Monday, July 30, 2012

Thing #50: Spend a day with my Dad


If its Summer, and its Sunday, my Dad will be going to a car show.  You can count on that.  My sister, brother and I used to go along as kids once in a while, mostly because there was guaranteed candyfloss and funfair rides.  The possibility of face-painting.  I can’t tell you how many of our childhood photos include vintage cars and steam engines.  When we lost interest in the incentives, Dad gradually accepted we hadn’t inherited his passion for auto and stopped asking us to come.

He was suspicious (to say the least) when I said I was going with him to the Irish Classic and Vintage Motor Show in Terenure, Dublin.  He assumed I was harbouring an ulterior motive to embarrass him in some way.  God only knows what kind of devilment I could possibly get up to at a vintage car show.  He repeated several times that maybe I wouldn’t be able for the early start (8 a.m.) and that it would be ‘a long day for me’.   



I managed to wake-up on time (shocker) to one of the wettest, most miserable days in car show history.  We packed a good lunch and decided to brave it anyway.





I hate the rain- I mean truly hate it.  Rain was the single biggest push-factor out of this country a year ago.  But I have to admit, even with the persistent rain, I still had fun- in that sentimental, nostalgic kind of way!

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #28

doggie dog










What are your plans for the weekend?  I’m looking forward to eating tapas and sipping cocktails on Saturday night with one of my oldest friends, Denise (old as in I’ve known her all my life- not old as in elderly).  Even though I haven’t seen her in an age, meeting up again always feels like slipping back into my favourite dress.  Cheers to that and enjoy your weekend, wherever in the world you are!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thing #48: Lose 7lb


There’s a little mathematics equation for you.  That’s all I’m saying.  Did you think I would give away my weight on here? A-ha!

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Toy Skaters

alternative to soldiers

A non-aggressive alternative to toy soldiers for little boys.   I’m thinking if I gave these to the kids in my kindergarten class, it might stop them aiming their imaginary guns at me in class.

Here’s another awesome idea:


I should write a book on how to raise kids right!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thing #43: Go to a concert


Dear music acts I want to see live,

When planning your upcoming concerts, you should always include an element of surprise. Of course the big stuff is important; venue, playlist, lighting, sound… but years later, when everyone has forgotten about the length of the queues to the restrooms, they will remember that surprise. Think obscure support acts, unexpected collaborations and metal covers of great classics or cheesy pop songs.  If you’re performing in a desert climate (Abu Dhabi), water misters are a good call.  In any climate, free stuff for your fans is a good call.  Talk to the crowd- tell us an embarrassing story.  Get old-school and crowd-surf. Consider industrial-sized bubble machines. I love those things.  Get creative.

Sincerely, t


Last month, we went to Sea Sessions- an annual surfing and music festival here in Ireland (that’s me with my bro).  Kaiser Chiefs and The Coronas were headlining- they were great, but about as great as I had imagined they would be.  No surprises.

The surprises, for me, came in the form of a couple of acts I had never heard of before. I discovered some unbelievable talent- and isn’t that what music festivals are all about anyway?


The Hot 8 Brass Band

The Hot 8 Brass Band are a bona-fide marching band from New Orleans.  Headed by Bennie Pete (I swear I would have guessed his name before I was told), they became famous in the States after some unplanned uplifting gigs they played to Hurricane Katrina sufferers in the aftermath of their hometown disaster. Their sound is something I’d describe as a mix of Jazz, Reggae and Rap- but like all music, you have to listen (here) to appreciate it.


(I have a talent crush on the saxophone player, Clarence ‘Trixzey’ Slaughter.  Major.)




Gary Doherty, Lead Guitarist for Stonefree

Stonefree were one of the local bands performing and judging by the crowd that showed up to see them, are still relatively unheard of.  The smaller stage made for a more intimate gig and meant that the band could hear (and respond to) hollers from their audience.  I didn’t hold it against them when they politely ignored the requests screams for RAGE (Against a Machine) from our crowd.  Much less when they threw out free CDs at the end.  Respect.


Monkeys at The Surfer’s Village

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What to do when lost

US Forest Service safety flyer 1946

A U.S. Forest Service safety flyer from 1946 unintentionally offers general wisdom for troubling times: Don’t yell, don’t run, don’t worry and above all, don’t quit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thing #26: Write and send a letter


I love handwritten letters.  I love getting them.  I love writing them.  I love sending them.  It makes complete sense that I would put this on my list.


Communication is easier nowadays, for sure.  We have email and texting and facebook and twitter and skype and IM and BBM and pinterest and instagram and blogging and and and.  If you wanted to get a message to me right now, there are no less than 6 ways you could reach me instantly.  Sometimes that feels a little like pressure.  It doesn’t make much sense because most of the steady stream of information coming my way doesn’t even require a response, but I still feel I need to get it right away.  If I can get a message at 6 in the morning, when it was sent, then I feel I should… or else I’m missing out (or something) in those hours I wait to read it.

I guess the reason I love handwritten letters so much is because it feels like a temporary relief from that sort of pressure. Whatever it is you’d like to say, the recipient can’t have it now. They just have to wait. You have to wait too, but it’s a nice feeling- kind of like the feeling you get hiding behind furniture at a surprise party.


I picked up some cute stationery from Paperchase and started writing.  It was easy and it felt good.  I didn’t just write one letter, I wrote lots.  I used proper grammar and punctuation.  The stickers and doodles mean I’m still fun.


This here is the opposite of facebook.


Write to your loved ones.  On actual paper.  Do it.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Runway-inspired Eyeliner

runway inspired eyeliner from jade nemunson

I own you, Armani.  (via Jadene Munson)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Best of… June 12

This year, June has been about coming home, being reunited with friends and family, wrapping up against the cold and rain and finding fun things to do indoors.  Truth be told, it kind of feels like Christmas (we actually lit a fire last night!).  Reading other blogs reminds me that Summer is still happening in other parts of the world-  and just look at all the pretty things you guys get to wear outside.

june vj1

june fashionbakchic

june express-o1

june ft1

via Vanessa Jackman, Fashion BakchicExpress-o and Fashion Toast

I’ll be sales shopping like never before and stockpiling playsuits to wear when I’m back in the heat of the UAE.

june sj

june sj1

june sj2

via Sincerely Jules

Little tricks I’ve adopted to channel my inner Summertime: a straw hat, torn denim, neon nails.

june thatschic1

via That’s Chic

White dresses might be a little risky with the current downpours!

june fh1

june sart1

june tkow1

via The Sartorialist and Justin Chung

And some well-dressed beautiful men to finish, since that seems to be my new thing.  Oh, and Justin Chung is a newly-discovered (by me, anyway) photographical genius.  (Who’s your friend, Justin?)

More on pinterest, if you like.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thing #10: Join a book club

People don’t really do book clubs anymore.  Not the kind that get together on a Saturday afternoon, drink tea in someone’s living room and read excerpts from novels aloud  in any case.  This (sort of) saddens me-  if that were still the way, I’d be joining up.  Especially if there was cake involved.  I imagine there to be cake in my book-club-fantasy.

I’m always looking for a good book recommendation.  Always.  Do you have one for me?

Oprah does.  I joined her online book club (here) and was immediately pleased when I received my Summer reading list.  Here are a select few from the list:


Kingdom of Strangers is the third in a series of crime novels by Zoe Ferraris.  A secret grave in the desert of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is unearthed revealing the mutilated bodies of nineteen women and the shocking truth that a serial killer has been operating undetected for over a decade.

In The Red House, Mark Haddon tells the story of a week-long vacation through the alternating viewpoints of the different family members involved.   Set in the English countryside, it is a story about disconnection, resentment, secrets, inappropriate desires, fading dreams and rising hopes- a true portrait of contemporary family life.

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is a sobering novel set in 19th century New York.   It tells the story of Moth, a 12-year-old girl growing up in the tenements of Lower East Side Manhattan. Sold as a servant by her mother, Moth escapes to the streets and ends up in a brothel of certified virgins whose purity would be taken by men seeking the "virgin cure" for syphilis.

Cathi Hanauer’s novel Gone is a story centred on 42-year old working mother, Eve.  After 14 years of marriage, her husband Eric leaves one night to drop the babysitter home- and simply doesn’t return.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to my homework (and I don’t need a real book club for  there to be cake involved…)

P.s. It’s not on the list, but I’m curious about the controversial 50 Shades of Grey.  Will you be reading it?

€5 has been donated to the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you would like to donate online.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #27


supermarket bike





funpix2 (2)