A Youthquake

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Frank and I recently moved to an apartment much closer to town. We were living a bit away from the city, not too far as only a 15 minute train or 30 minute bus away, but definitely still slightly removed from the city. At first I was super bummed we had to move, but having spent over 4 of my (nearly) 6 years in Dublin living a little bit outside, it’s been actually really nice to be near the city now.

Rewind to when I arrived in Ireland first it was mid-recession and I won’t lie… times were tough. We lived in a city centre apartment that was so cheap but so tiny and it was mental to be so near everything. Times were tough for me personally as I was a recent graduate working at a job I hated (but thankfully I had a job!) and learning how to grapple with adulthood. This was in addition to living in a brand new country with a constant state of visa-stress given that I was only allowed stay here a year. And I think living right in the city probably was what we needed at the time but felt almost a little stressful at the same time.

Besides my own personal anxiety, Ireland is general was kind of struggling too. Confidence was low and the general vibes of the city weren’t great. A lot of stuff was closed, we lived off one of the main streets in town that had basically half the businesses boarded up, which is pretty worrying for a central main street in Dublin.

But fast forward a half-decade in Dublin, I’ve seen how much the city and the country has changed. That same street we lived off of now looks quite different (now there’s four Starbucks alone on the same street) but definitely seems to be thriving. It’s a different day here and even the people seem to have been changing too.

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Not only have there been major developments politically (overjoyed with the latest referendum result) but economically too everything just feels like it’s progressing. While we probably don’t have too much more disposable income personally, it feels kind of like we do. People are out more, new businesses are opening all of the time and the atmosphere is definitely shifting towards a more positive place.

I was reading this article and model Lauren O’Grady described this current moment in time perfectly and articulated the current sentiment so well:

Youthquake: “When you have that contrast of a really conservative country and a really progressive young generation, it bursts out. Young people are not afraid to experiment with their clothes, the indie music scene is thriving, and there are a lot of amazing art schools. It’s always been a creative place, but people are much more comfortable trying new things now.”

There is an earthquake of sorts here and it’s about time. Times are changing for everyone everywhere across the entire world. My own personal rollercoaster ride in Dublin is back on the up and I’m learning that change is good. We need change (even if we feel we don’t need it) and it’s time for a new dawn.

I’m pretty proud to live in Dublin at the moment (for the first time ever so slightly relieved to not be in America when it feels so tense) and happy to call Ireland my home for now.


PS. The sunsets alone from the new apartment balcony are enough to bring joy!

The Magic Floor + some thoughts


If we rewind three years ago thinking back to a visit I had in Deer Park, a lovely spot in Howth, the forest was full of color and joy and light.

I’ve come to think of this place often and in my head I keep referring to it as the magic floor. This year I managed to catch the very end of the season (I missed the start as I one. forgot and two. was in France when I remembered it was time) and while I missed the rhododendron wonder, I at least was able to soak up the pink forest floor.

This has been kind of a tough week and I’ve been thinking a lot about moments that I’m thankful for. When I read that Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain died by suicide, my heart broke for them and their families. Two people seemingly living their lives to the full yet hurting so much inside.

As Cup of Jo so eloquently put, it feels like it’s crucial now more than ever to talk about mental health. The vast amount of people affected by mental health illness needs to be talked about and the stigmas need to go away. While we might think everything looks like a wonderful magic pink floor, I think it’s important to talk about the not so magic, dark floor moments we can all go through too.

I read this last year, I cannot remember where or when, but this morning I found a notebook with the quote written on the first page:

Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself. To expand my heart out to others. To achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others. I am not going to get angry or think badly of others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can. – Dalai Lama XIV

I felt like it captured what I sometimes need to tell myself when I have a lump in my throat when I wake up in the morning. Let’s think of kindness to others, especially given this week. In the meantime, I’m going to keep reminding myself of the magic that can be found in our world, knowing that pink floors are temporary but they still are there even when it feels dark.


A few days spent in county Cork


Guys it’s been a hundred years. Okay that’s drastic, but a solid year and a half.

I kind of forgot about this space, but then I remembered those cute little balloons, how nice it was to have a little diary about a trip I loved and want to remember, so here I am. Trying again.

It’s already February 2018, how the actual shit did that happen, but sure there’s been a few adventures I’ve had in the time that’s past and let’s get them documented again!

As work has been a manic mental madness of a time lately, I’ve been in my head daydreaming about a trip we took over New Years to a place I’d really spent no time in Ireland, county Cork.

I’d been to the city a few times to visit friends, been just outside the city a handful more for work purposes (I’m not counting any of those) and other than a trip to Kinsale a few years ago, I really haven’t headed that direction much. I’d always kind of skipped over Cork to head to Kerry but I’m so happy we had a trip to spend proper time in Cork this time.



I had heard about how lovely it is in west Cork, with people talking about its stunning scenery and fantastic coastline. However since I’m so used to spending time west, along the coastline near Galway and Mayo I hadn’t really considered how different it would be a little more south.

While the scenery itself is similar to the likes of what you find in Galway (cliffs, single lane roads you think won’t ever fit your car, surprising and beautiful beaches in the middle of nowhere) but in Cork it was just much more tame.

There’s something otherworldly about spending time in the “Wesht.” The roads a little worse, the greenery a little more brown, the shrubbery a little more… all over the place. However driving throughout Cork it felt a little more organised, a little more neat. This doesn’t make it any less beautiful, just different.


We stayed in a rented apartment in Clonakility, a sizable town about an hour drive southwest of Cork city. Over New Years it was pretty quiet and granted even though you’re not guaranteed good weather at any stage of the year in Ireland, it was pretty miserable. However we still had an excellent time, could only imagine how lovely it would be with a bit more sun.

The first evening we were down we went for such a wonderful and tasty dinner at Deasy’s. Just outside of the main town, well worth a quick trip for some tasty food and seriously delicious drinks. After a few more pints in the Clonakility village, our favourite stop was clearly An Teach Beag, well worth a visit if you’re in town, we headed back to crash.



The day after we went to a quick spin out to Baltimore, went for a short walk out to some gorgeous cliffs and then as always stopped for some cake after. As we arrived at the cafe at Glebe Gardens, they let us know if we waited a few minutes we could have slices of the sponge cake just coming out of the oven. Our timing is impeccable.

On the way back we stopped by the beach everyone told me to see when I said we were heading down to Cork, the very picturesque beach of Inchydoney. As always in Ireland I’m impressed with the people who are surfing even on December 31st and living life regardless of the weather. I was way too chicken to jump in the sea, but could tell how awesome it could be given a few more degrees.

That night we went on a mini pub crawl before settling in to the institution that is De Barra’s and settled in for live music, a midnight countdown complete with party props and deciding against late night chips on the way home (which was a smart decision).

It is a great place to spend an occasion and would highly recommend a trip over. In the end we only spent two quick nights and two quick days before heading back to Dublin, but I’d love to go back and spend more time there in the summer.


And as always, with most trips in Ireland – we had a rainbow to bid us goodbye before driving back up to Dublin.

The joy that is Skerries


Today I’m gonna talk to you about this sweet little seaside village about 40 minutes north of Dublin city, Skerries. It’s still in Dublin county, but it reaches quite far north that it’s getting closer and closer to county Meath.

Frank and I had been to Skerries one other time before, but it was right when I moved to Dublin so had really no context or geographic sense at all. At that time we were living on the north side of the city, so we just kind of explored anything that was within a 30 minute drive. We would set out for a spin with really no idea where we were headed.

It was less than four years ago, but I really miss that time. Pre-insta-obsession. Pre-smartphone. Pre-yelp. In some ways I really miss just jumping in the car with no direction and stopping at wherever looks nice. Now I don’t want to waste an opportunity and obsessively research a place before I go, making sure to find the best this… the best that.

Anyway – back to Skerries and what brought me back north again. For those of you that may not know (which is probably quite few as I’ve told basically everyone, sorry friends) I recently completed my very first Olympic distance triathlon. I had done a couple smaller triathlons in the past couple years, but this time I was going the distance… literally.

So it made sense to do the Dublin City Triathlon. Although the River Liffey was literally a black river of reeds, I really, really enjoyed participating this… especially in Dublin. It was so nice not to wake up crazy early and drive (mind you, we still had to wake up at 6am… we went to Tralee three years ago and that was 3am) just 30 minutes in the quiet city to Phoenix Park.

After four months of training, where I actually properly trained, didn’t just go out for a run occasionally… I’m talking six sessions a week and many brick sessions, I finished! And it went great! Way faster than I thought and thank god I didn’t get hit by a deer like one of the very unlucky participants (thank god he’s fine).

As food is literally what I think about 80% of the day, I knew after this 3+ hour race I was gonna be starving, burning off a ton of calories and deserving in my mind, a very tasty pile of food. It is kind of embarrassing to say, but I spent a ton of time thinking of where I’d want to eat and what type of food I’d want to shove into my mouth. Naturally, I thought wings and steak. So this is where Skerries comes in.

I had been wanting to eat at Blue Bar in Skerries since I saw this insta because those chicken wings look seriously amazing. THEN I saw the restaurant + perfect Skerries photos on my friend Alyse’s blog and immediately said, you in? So to make this (albeit pretty short) journey I felt it had to be worth it, and a post-triathlon meal made the perfect excuse for a trip up. I had several kind friends come out to watch the triathlon so we all went up and had a SERIOUS feed (as per below). Followed by amazing ice cream (as above) at the tiniest, cutest little shop Storm in a Teacup.


We also lucked out with absolutely amazing weather. It was a perfect afternoon, one of those evenings where I don’t think anyone wanted it to end. Shame it had to be Sunday! A long lunch turned into ice cream turned into laying on the grass trying to get all the dogs to come and hang out with us. Here’s a couple pics of the view from the grass. If you ever get a chance make it out to Skerries if you have a few spare hours, it makes for the perfect Saturday Adventure.



Bullock Harbour


There are a few places in Dublin that I go to all of the time. Bullock Harbour in Dalkey is one of them.I forget to take pictures because I’m by there so often and sometimes after you’ve visited a place once its magic is a little bit gone. I always am way less likely to snap another picture because it might be the same as the others.

This summer while I was training for my very first olympic distance triathlon, I headed down to Dalkey a lot. My bike rides ranged anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hrs 30 mins, so the distance got tough to make while trying to avoid massive hills.

Dalkey is about a 20 minute cycle from my apartment, so made the perfect destination for me on the shorter bike rides. I was always meant to do the training cycles continuously but I couldn’t help but stop and have a sit at the harbour.

It offered a sense of peace along with a disgusting smell of fish, to keep you grounded you know? After living in Ireland now almost 4 full years, a lot of times I forget that this place can offer a sense of magic… even to the same place you’ve been a bunch of times before.

Just last night in the 80 degree weather I found a set of rocks to climb that I never even noticed before. As I walked out there was a couple guys tight rope walking across the little pier and a big sheepdog on the other corner swimming out to catch his ball. It was such a moment of peace.

I’ve shared a picture or two here and there of my Dalkey moments, but I felt like it was time to give it a proper shout out. So Dalkey, you’re beautiful. I hope one day I can have my own dog so I can take you here one day soon.

Dalkey 2

Dalkey 3

Top 6 places to visit on the DART line

About two and a half years ago, Frank and I moved from smack dab in the middle of Dublin city (granted not a great area but the location! ideal) to one of the little villages a short bit out of the main city centre.

At first I missed the buzz of the city and was a little sad I couldn’t just easily meet a friend for a quick pint somewhere handy for both of us. After a little while though I grew to love being outside of the city, choosing to be in the buzz when I wanted to and generally just being outdoors so much more.

Also, where we live now is luckily only about a 5 minute walk from the DART station and only about a 20 minute train ride into the heart of Dublin. But besides the ease of getting into Dublin, it’s so great to have access to really nice places with max a 40 minute trip away.

So in light of this, I wanted to round-up my 6 favorite stops along the DART line. Anything I’ve included I’ve been to so many times (probably at least 6x each and others countless times) and genuinely if I have a free afternoon or morning, I hop on the train to take me to some place for a bit of fresh air. Lots of these include two of my favorite weekends things: coffee and nice scenic walks.




1. Bray & Greystones

These two are grouped together in my book, because the Bray to Greystones cliff walk (or the opposite direction) is one of the best ways to spend a sunny morning or afternoon out of Dublin city. It’s the perfect level of difficulty (runners will do just fine) and offers gorgeous views of the sea. Great to go with your group as you can easily chat along the way (or go solo) and pet the dogs that pass you by.

Either direction will lead you to lovely treats to reward you after your walk. In Bray there’s Platform Pizza with homemade lemonade, seriously tasty wings and top ingredients on their pizzas. In Greystones everyone and their mother loves The Happy Pear (which I don’t dislike it’s always just too busy) so I opt for the sweet Cafe Gray, which has the tastiest lemon blueberry drizzle cake.





2. Killiney

Two parts to Killiney worth a visit – Killiney Beach and Killiney Hill. There’s a gorgeous extra long stretch of a beach where you can catch people fishing, dogs walking and people attempting to swim. It’s a rocky beach so not ideal for lounging on a towel, but there’s stunning views of the coast here.

Part two is Killiney Hill, another great walk without being too difficult. It’s the perfect mix of woods/coast and takes about 2 hours to complete. I like to do the walk first then sit for 15 minutes on the beach while waiting for the DART back to town.



3. Dalkey

Just the stop before Killiney, but Dalkey is a good place to stop on the way back from your many little walks or even if you’re looking for something a little different for dinner than Dublin city. My favorite little place to have a bite to eat outside is The Tramyard cafe and there’s about a million specialty food shops to pop into.

Also my favorite Italian restaurant Ragazzi’s is here. Frank and I always feel so welcome there, the food is so tasty and not overpriced at all. And of course, there’s a great (extremely) short little walk that takes you along the coast but really is gorgeous.




4. Howth

I’ve written about Howth a couple of times before but really, it’s fantastic. One of the best coastal walks in the east coast is here, sorry still have yet to find ones to match the west. I know I’m harping on about the coastal walks, but truly if you’re visiting Ireland you’ve gotta appreciate the islands edges.

Not into walks? There’s a sneaky little beach where you can actually stretch out in a towel. I always walk the furthest I can to get a quiet little space, or you can hop off at the Sutton station and grab a space near there. If you want to avoid the sea completely, there’s beautiful gardens as well. Also there’s my favorite fish & chips and a nice pub next to the water. Howth’s been getting all the press lately, which is great, but also please go early in the morning and avoid the swarms on a nice day.



5. Clontarf

If you walk out straight towards the sea from the dart you’ll reach the beginning of Clontarf. There’s a really nicely done pedestrian walk along the coast (grab a coffee here before you head out) and if you’re feeling a long walk, you can head out towards Bull Island. Even better, rent a bike and have a quick cycle on the path.

Either way, you’ll cross over a wooden bridge which you are unsure will continue to hold, and reach a really nice view of Dublin and the Poolbeg Towers. If you look to your left you’ll see a massive beach and perhaps even people attempting to surf.





6. Seapoint, Monkstown, Dun Laoghaire & Sandycove

These four stops are all the ones just after my own DART stop so there’s a lot I can say about these spots. They’re all really quite close to each other and merely walking distance so you could easily spend an afternoon covering off these few. All have their own merits but here’s a note about each.

Seapoint – this is my local little beach. There’s always people swimming, literally every day of the year, and no matter the weather it makes for a dramatic short walk along the water. When it’s windy there’s kite surfers, when it’s quiet there’s paddle boarders but people watching is generally a given here.

Monkstown – if you get off at Seapoint, it’s about a 15 minute walk to Monkstown. Here is where there’s some seriously tasty restaurants and a great little Avoca to buy some food for dinner, or stop and sit outside at Cinnamon for coffee & a cake.

Dun Laoghaire – this one gets a lot of press as well, as there’s a whole bunch to do in this sizeable village. There’s two calm piers that take about 30 minutes each to walk. And again because I’m clearly geared by treats, there’s the Dublin’s favorite Teddy’s for 99s or the absolutely decadent Scrumdiddly’s that have every topping and delicious hot fudge sauce. Also on Sunday’s there’s a farmers market (again go early on this one because past 12pm on a nice day it is jammed) and stop by my favorite little shop for really inexpensive lovely paper supplies and more.

Sandycove – if you keep walking on past Dun Laoghaire, you’ll walk towards Sandycove. You’ll literally see a sandy little cove and if you round that corner, you’ll stumble to the Forty Foot, a common place to swim. If the water’s way too cold, loop up towards the main road and grab a coffee at this new coffee shop Hatch, sit outside on the bench and people watch before you head back into town.

P.S. While I’d love to share lots of nice camera photos – I’ve been awfully bad at taking the good camera along with me, so some of these spots I’ve never actually taken good quality pics at. So in the interest of consistency, everything is coming from my Instagram page.

The new lunch break


In the hopes of saving a bit of cash and being a bit healthier, I’ve been bringing my lunch in to work with me.

This is absolutely not revolutionary and has been really great, but at the same time I’ve been missing getting out of the office for an hour and taking a break from reading and staring at my screen.

At my last job, we had a lovely kitchen area where you could sit during lunch away from your desk and getting a little break. But my new office doesn’t have a kitchen area so that automatically means sitting at my desk to eat lunch.

Now I’m never going to be able to be one of those people who sits at my desk and reads a book or watches Netflix, I’d never be able to relax because I’d be thinking about all the other stuff I need to do.

So I’ve started to eat my lunch at my desk a half hour while working before I’d normally head out to lunch – but then still leave the office for the hour. Weather permitting I’ve been walking around Dublin (trying to avoid the massive swarm of tourists, is there way more this year or is it just me?) and listening to a new podcast.

Again, so not revolutionary and I’m totally late to the game on this one, but this hour of listening is totally becoming the bright spots of my week.

In the interest of sharing this new found love (okay, obsession… I think everyone’s waiting for me to shut up about podcasts now, years late to the game) I rounded up my 6 favorite podcasts as of late.

Please share any and other podcasts that you’re a fan of as I’m already flying through the ones below. Also shout out to Jess for telling me basically all of these, she’s the best sister.

  1. Anna Faris is unqualified – all are great, but the ones with Aubrey Plaza and Chris Evans & Jenny Slate had me laughing out loud, I probably looked completely insane
  2. Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin – Elie Kemper had me smiling ear to ear and telling everyone to go listen to it
  3. The Nerdist – I have a huge crush on Chris Hemsworth so the one with him and Jessica Chastain I loved
  4. Planet Money – this is the one that I throw out in work conversations to sound smarter, i.e. Planet Money Workout
  5. WTF with Marc Maron – loved the one with Broad City girls Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer
  6. Adam Buxton Podcast – favorite one was with Rob Delaney… also go watch Catastrophe now, I promise it’s great, only 2 seasons so far and each season only takes 2 hours to watch


PS. I’ve been downloading all of these onto the Overcast app so I don’t have to use up all my data to stream everything. I found it super difficult to find a good app so I’d love to know, do you use an app for your podcasts? Which app do you use?

The best walk


One of my favorite things to do around Dublin when we have a sliver of good weather (even an hour will do!) is to hop on the DART and go for a walk.

Considering there’s about 20 nice stops along the coast, I feel at this stage I’ve done a lot of them. Without a car though, it can be quite limiting in where you can actually go – and a lot of times you have to walk a mile or more to even get to the start of the walk.

The other day we had just about 20 degree weather (almost 70 degrees in F) so I had to take hold of the Sunday and spend it outside.

So I found myself getting on the trusty DART, not entirely sure when I would get off. I knew I wanted to go north of Dublin, purely because it had been a little while. After about 30 minutes on the train, I ended up in Howth.

I’ve done a few of the walks around here before and they have a lovely market on Sundays as well as a fantastic fish & chip shop. So while no stranger to the fishing village, I had never actually done the long walk along the cliffs – called the Bog of the Frogs loop.

Let me tell you. This walk is unreal. Yes, it takes a while to get to from the train. And yes, I was definitely sweating at the end after a couple of steep sections, it was so beautiful.

I couldn’t have gotten a better day and next visitor that comes over to Dublin, if the weather is good – we’re doing this walk, so get ready.

Now I’ll stop writing and let the pictures do the talking.







Logistics: I took the DART northbound to Howth, about 30 minutes form Dublin city centre. To get to the start of the walk it’s a bit uphill and takes about 20 minutes. The walk itself takes about 2 and a half hours, and there’s not much shelter along the way, so would really only recommend this if you’re pretty sure the weather is good. But it is well worth the time spent!

Mannin Bay, Connemara









A couple of weeks ago we went and stayed at our friends’ grandmother’s cottage out in Connemara.

I still completely don’t understand how Connemara is laid out and I forget pretty much every town name there, but all I know is I have some of the best times there. It’s part of the Wild Atlantic West and it truly lives up to the name.

It’s rugged, it’s coastline is ever changing and the weather can turn on you in a matter of seconds. But when the weather is good…. it’s just so good.

We seriously lucked out as the weather can be so hit or miss in August (let alone any other time of the year) but we had sun, warmth and even went swimming. So we took advantage of one of the good summer days and went for a wonderful little hike throughout Mannin Bay, just outside of Clifden.

Now I’m 80% sure this is where we were hiking, but as I mentioned before I cannot seem to remember any of the names around Connemara. A brief search online to find a map for the actual loop (to save and remember again, or if you’re interested) and I couldn’t really find much other than a link to a long list of hikes and walks around Connemara. But my pictures look quite similar, don’t they?

Overall it took us maybe just over two hours and it was so worth walking along the coast. Sometimes I forget that I actually do live in a different country and I know I’m totally taking it for granted while I’m still here.

Sometimes it takes getting out of the normal everyday to slap me into remembering the beautiful country that I’m living in. This was one of those trips and highly recommended if you find yourself in the area. So let’s just daydream over to this hike instead of being at our desks, shall we?

Deer Park






A couple months ago back in May, I went on a little solo expedition and took a little day trip up to Howth to see Deer Park.

I have been seeing Deer Park posted seemingly everywhere, specifically for the rhododendron blooms (like here and here) and was over the moon that I actually remembered in time to go while they are in bloom. They’re only around for about a month each year, and I had missed it for the past two years.

It was completely worth the little hike uphill from the dart station and I felt like I was transported to a little fairy land. The nice thing about Dublin is you can take a short train ride, mainly along the coast, to so many lovely places. I’m so thankful for that as I don’t have a car (and I really do wish I do) so at least you can get around fairly easily.

So here’s my take on the lovely blooms. I also blogged about it in a more timely manner here. It also happened to be a day when the marriage referendum was voted on and passed with a big ‘YES’ from the Irish people, allowing same sex couples to wed. What a happy day full of colour! Read a little more about the day here.

If you want to head here from Dublin city centre, take a DART from Connelly Station heading north, destination Howth. Hop out at the little station there and take a right. Walk a little less then 10 minutes and you’ll see on your left a pretty steep hill heading towards Deer Park golf course. Turn up there and walk for another 15 minutes. You’ll reach the golf course club house and from there take the path on the right of the house and it’ll lead you to the blooms. Enjoy!

P.S. It’s been well over a year since I’ve posted on this blog… but I really miss it. I love looking back and seeing things that I’ve done, especially since I’ve gone around a whole lot of Ireland and want to have the stories here… not just on iPhoto and forgotten. So here’s to more writing and sharing.