Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #26








family photo



Hello Friday. You have me all to yourself. 

(It was a long time coming this week!)

Serious kudos due to CNN for consistently bringing us ground-breaking news and bulletins from around the world.  And I want a husky. So bad.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thing #43: Go to a concert

Easy thing.  The list has a whole bundle of easy things, but that’s all part of the fun.  There is a reason why thing #43 isn’t solve the global debt crisis or achieve world peace.  It’s because I know my limitations.  Drinking beer and listening to live music?  I know I can do that.

Bellx1 headlined last year at The Galway Arts Festival and we all got very excited.  Seeing Bellx1 live is something to get excited about.

Let me explain something:  You know that irritation you feel when you realise you’ve accidentally downloaded a live version of the song you wanted instead of the album version?  Well that feeling doesn’t exist with Bellx1.  Somehow, live is always better and you can listen to it over and over.  Well, I can anyway.

I have this Rocky Took a Lover story on my ipod and if I’m ever feeling homesick, I’ll listen to it- something about Paul’s handsome Dublin accent whooshes me right back home.

Such sweet songs and the lyrics are poetry.  When I listen to songs like this, I always wonder who’s the girl… and how can she resist?  I don’t think I’d look twice at Paul if he passed me in the street, but men who play music are just unequivocally good-looking.  It’s like tennis players- they are all very attractive.  How is that?

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Awkward Merit Badges

awkward merit badge

The proud owner of seven of these.  I’ll let you guess which seven.  I’m working on a full set.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thing #35: Hand-make a present

Upon arriving in Ruwais last year, I was incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t find a ton of things I had considered necessities back home.  My quest for decent beef and dairy products (my beloved cheese!) lead me to believe that the cow had become an endangered species.  And don’t even get me started on beauty products.  Of course, that was before I discovered almost everything I needed was harboured in the ‘normal’ shops of nearby Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  Now I treat trips to either city with the same frenzied purpose as a squirrel preparing for hibernation.

It was tough going for a while though and I had to become resourceful.  I even taught myself to make my own body scrub! I know, I was practically Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

Lavender Salt Scrub

lavender salt scrub

This body scrub was intended as a substitute for one of those essentials I couldn’t find in Ruwais: Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Scrub (my absolute favourite).  The lavender was my own idea- you don’t have to use lavender.  I’ve heard some people refer to it as an old lady smell (to me, cabbage is an old lady smell).  You can use almost any essential oil your heart desires.  Next time, I’m using peppermint and calling it foot scrub!  No bigs.

I made this for Katie when it was her birthday.  Here’s how:

Shopping List

A glass jar (whatever size you wish)

Table salt and/or Sea Salt flakes (I use a mix of both)

Small handful of dried lavender (optional)

Extra-virgin coconut oil

Almond oil

Lavender essential oil

Labels/ tags/ string

How to Make It

First, make sure your glass jar is completely dry and spotlessly clean.  Fill the jar 3/4 full with the coconut oil.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so you might need to warm it up first.  Then mix in the salt (and the dried lavender) until it forms a thick mushy paste.  Top up with almond oil so the jar is nearly full.  Then add about 10 drops of the essential oil (more if its a really big jar).  Mix well and add more salt to reach desired consistency.  Package it up all pretty and give it to someone special.

A note on the Day Zero Project:  Thing #100 on my list is to donate €5 to charity for each achieved goal.  At the start, I had some great suggestions of charities to support/ promote from you- but none recently, so I’ve been donating to one of my own favourite charities UNICEF Ireland.  If there is a particular charity you’re passionate about, please let me know about them (thelmafrayne at gmail dot com).

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Le Sigh

design crush

Today was a rough day.  Honestly.  If you had a rough day too, know that I was right there with you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #25

pushit door sign









funpix3 (2)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pick Two


Real life!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ingenious (5)

Even more ingenious inventions and designs.  For Roisin.  I miss you.

two way toothpaste

Two-way toothpaste

bic pen cutlery

Bic pen cutlery


I could eat a horse spaghetti measuring tool


Realistic to-do list

crawling knee pads swissmiss

Crawling knee pads

like button stamp

Like button stamp (I really want this for marking the kids’ worksheets in school)

dress for dinner napkins

Dressed for dinner napkins

soap dispenser

Eco- friendly soap (flake) dispenser

safety usb

Safety USB 

spiral ballpoint pen

Spiral ballpoint pen (lasts twice as long)

Liked this?  Click here for more ingenious posts: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More things to be happy about (19)

Procrastinations;  a flask of hot chocolate to share;  library ladders;  Sunday night sitting room supper;  Huskies;  farmers’ markets;  cutting your own fringe;  the places you feel at home;  there being no macho way to carry a bouquet of flowers;  Christian Louboutin;  The Avoca cafe;  getting the job;  watching someone walk into a bar and scan the room for you;  house-hunting;  chocolate covered macadamia nuts;  talking to jelly babies before eating them;  a camera around your neck;  live music;  bouncy castles;  late-night conversations with your brother.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thing #8: Make a new friend

It’s hard to make friends, right?  I mean real friends.   It’s easy to make the kind of friends you might call up once in a while to borrow their hand-held mixer. 

Those mixer friends are cool, don’t get me wrong, we all need those mixer friends but will they be there for you after all this mixing business is over?  Will they turn up at your place with chocolate and chick flicks when you are feeling emotionally unstable?   Will they be there beside you when you’re ill, watching Geordie Shore and concerned about your intake of Iron and Vitamin C?  Will they be angry at the people who upset you and like the people who make you smile?  Will they laugh at all your stupid jokes?  Will they recount and overanalyse the same scenarios and situations with you again and again?  Will they indulge you in games of  Would You Rather while sunbathing on the beach? (Would you rather be attacked by a fully grown lion or 70 house cats?) Will they gently steer you away from bad life choices?  Will they use their hand-held mixer to make you pancakes for breakfast and awesome cakes for your birthday?  Will they?  I’m not suggesting that you are emotionally unstable, that you watch Geordie Shore or that you have any kind of obsession with food.   I’m clearly just talking about myself.

Moving on.

It’s hard to make friends.  Still, since starting The Day Zero Project, I’ve made three.  I’m lucky (I know it) and I’m counting my blessings. One, two, three.

Allow me to introduce them.


This is Marie, Lucy, AnneMarie (and me).  Love you guys!  You know it.

I have to tell you a story that prompted me to write this post today:  Last night, we were all hanging out together watching a crazy desert thunderstorm in Ruwais.  After it reduced to mild, far-away lightning flashes, Lucy and I wanted to chance the 15-minute walk home.  We could have just have just stayed put but we’re both stubborn like that and have a baby-like attachment to our own beds.  A lengthy discussion ensued about whether it was a smart idea, ending in Lucy and I stealing a glance at each other that said this is so silly, let’s just go- and we did.  It felt weird and cool to run through the deserted streets in the rain (It almost never rains here) but along the way, I couldn’t get the look on the other girls’ faces out of my head.  AnneMarie:  angry frustration at our obstinacy;  Marie: pure uncensored worry.  I’m so sorry I did that to you.  But more than anything, it made me realise how much we all care about each other.  And that’s nice. 

On a lighter note, aren’t they all just ridiculously good-looking?  That’s totally not a prerequisite for being my friend!

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don’t Let Them Call You Skinny!

A reminder of those pockets in history when it was sexier to have some junk in your trunk.





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Week

This week, I’ve mostly been lusting after these earrings- and hell, the whole collection- by Anna Sheffield..


… and listening to this song on repeat (don’t judge).

Anyone who has noticed a certain strut in my step around Ruwais, it’s because this song was playing on my ipod.  What a sold defence!  Anything with a Latin beat, I swear.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thing #78: Bake Cookies

Oatmeal pecan chocolate chip, actually.  I made these.  If you could see my face right now, you would see me beaming proudly.  I’m not even going to be modest- they were awesome.


Here’s the recipe (adapted from Joy the Baker): Makes about a dozen

Shopping List

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups oats

1 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

*cup size doesn’t matter- just use the same cup

How to Make Them

Beat the sugar and butter in a mixer fit with a paddle attachment (I asked my Mam which one was the paddle- looks something like this).  Beat until creamy (3 to 4 minutes).  Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.  Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans last.

Scoop into a dozen or so balls (you could used this) and lay out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.  Bake at 170°C/350°F for 10 to 13 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired doneness.  I like mine a little underdone and cook them for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Best of… March 12

Hello.  I’m back from my staycation- you still have to come back (to reality I guess). It lived up to every expectation I had, except my perception of how time passes! I was left feeling cheated and alone at the airport when it all ended so abruptly. Oh well.  Here’s my best of the blogs for March.  Can you believe it’s Aprilalready…?

march tomboystyle1

Via Tomboy Style (which is now a book btw)

I’m finally getting on the colourful jeans bandwagon.  Fiona bought me a pair of electric blue skinnies as part of a never-ending birthday present and I intend never to take them off.

march pinterest1

via Pinterest

I’m also on the Pinterest bandwagon.  I don’t think I told you that before.  Can you be on two bandwagons at once?  Looks like it.

march sartorialist1

march thesartorialist1

Via The Sartorialist

I haven’t been feeling The Sartorialist for a while.  A lot of what’s on there now is fashion elite and catwalk stuff you can get on any blog.  But this month, there were bits and pieces that justified why that blog stubbornly remains on my list of daily reads.  Keep it old school, Scott.  Just my opinion.

mar thatkindofwoman

Via That Kind of Woman

Pretty girl, pretty dress.

mar ss1

Via Stockholm Streetstyle

Leather pants, be mine. I would probably die in them with the heat here! That reminds me, do you remember this scene from Friends where Ross wears leather pants on his date? (totally random diversion…)

march thatwoman1

march thatkindofwoman2

Via That Kind of Woman

And is it true?  Are people still wearing scarves and coats in other parts of the world?  I can’t imagine it.

march favthings1Via Favorite Things

This is more suitable to the weather outside my door, perhaps not the culture.  I’m still hopelessly in love with the whole underwear as outerwear thing.  Although this may just be underwear.

march sincerelyjules1

Via Sincerely Jules

Oh, Jules!