Monday, March 31, 2008

Trip to Dublin and Preparations for the Ball

"When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people."
By : Abraham Joshua Heschel

Hello all you lovely bloggers. Well, I have a busy week ahead of me - but an interesting one, too.
I am on the early coach to Dublin tomorrow, to apply for my French Visa (I will tell you all about my trip in one of my next posts...) I love going to Dublin, its a 4 hour bus ride, and I just sit and listen to my Walkman, read, look out the window...pure bliss and peace for the day!
I will be sure to take some pics and do a post about that wonderful city upon my return...

In the meantime, my bestest friend arrives from Manchester on Wednesday evening and we are going to do some shopping on Thursday and Friday. Then we check into the Clarion Hotel on Saturday afternoon and the Ball is at 7 pm.
I will be sure to tell you all about it!

This is the dress I am wearing...It looks very nice on, quite flattering...although I was planning to lose a good few kg's before saturday, so am now on the hunt for Spanx. Apparently, Trinny and Susannah have come out with pants that suck everything in, may give those a try!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Country Living Magazine and the New Cath Kidston Catalog

"He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away, " - Raymond Hull

Firstly, I must apologize for being away for so long, I wasn't anywhere exotic, sitting on a beach drinking cocktails (I wish...) - My husband was first really sick, and in bed for 3 days and then he was away in Dublin for 4 days on business, and I ran the fort for that time...needless to say, I am exhausted, I spent a fortune entertaining the kids and I am ready for a break.
Now it is saturday morning, my daughter is at a friend and my hubby has taken our son out for the morning, so now is my chance to catch up, yay!

Look at my lovely award to the left from Claire at Serendipity Loves New York...I am so happy about it, thank you so much Claire!Its my first one!
The above quote means a lot to me, because I try everyday to just be myself and not always feel that I have to fit in to be liked. Hard to break the habit though, but so important I think.

The latest Cath Kidston Spring 2008 Catalog arrived yesterday and it is really one of the most beautiful issues I have seen. I love the picnic pages, really stunning.

I love the latest issue of Country Living, there is a gorgeous house in there and I love the article on Heavenly Hideaways...beautiful!

The house below is amazing, I just love that shade of red. Gorgeous!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Glanworth Mills

Glanworth Mills

Max waiting for his Panini The entrance to the boutique, the
Bistro is on the left
Below is the view from our table, so
peaceful and the sun was shining

"Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed." - Robert H. Schuller

I love the above quote. I find it difficult to understand men (women...) who feel that they are above Who created them and everything around them...that they don't need to acknowledge a Creator and a greater being,and that they are so infinitely wise. Their abilities and wisdom were given to them by God, if it were not for Him, they would not exist.
Rambling a bit there - just my opinion on things...

Anyway, we were at Glanworth Mills yesterday, which is one of my favourite places in East Cork.It is an old mill that has been transformed into a Boutique come Bistro, and it is in such an idyllic setting. There is a river running through the most beautiful fields and there is a bridge going over...What I love is that after we have had coffee and cake the kids can go running around or as mine did yesterday, go up the ancient stairs to the top of one of the ruins and explore.
Yesterday they found a dead crow, yuck, which of course they both found very exciting!

They have a selection of gorgeous furniture and other things for the home. The Bistro is fantastic, with a selection of beautiful home made cakes, quiches and pies. Really nice atmosphere there. A great afternoon out!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Great days out and some new purchases..

Well, we have had some beautiful weather here in Cork (I am not going to look out the window today...seems a bit dark...).I bought this bucket yesterday and have not quite decided what to use it for, perhaps a plant or dishtowels.

I bought these candle holders on sale at Marks and Spencer.They are more for outdoor use, but for now I think they look great on my kitchen table.

I bought this table cloth yesterday from a Farmstall in Cork, I think it looks very Cath Kidston, and it was so reasonable...I have been searching for an oil cloth table cloth for ages, and have not been able to place any orders with CK due to a lack of funds...:-(...oh dear
But, we have had some great days out since the holidays began, the picture on the right is of the Kids with their friend Conor in Donorail park, which I only discovered exists this week. What a fantastic place! Wide open spaces, lots of trees, a lake, a waterfall, an old Manor House, a playground and even some deer.What a fab day!

Quote for the day:
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars, " - Oscar Wilde 1854

Monday, March 17, 2008

My "Irish" Kids...and other ramblings of a crazy mum!

I fell in love with Ireland again today...Beautiful buildings, rivers and the atmosphere can be so magical...when the sun shines a little.

"Children are our second chance to have a great parent-child relationship" - Laura Schlessinger

Ah, we had such fun today, we laughed so much.I decided to take my kids into the City...where we had lunch, clowned around, had delicious ice-creams and spent a great day at the park.It was so much fun.They both have such a great sense of humour, especially my ten year old, Payton. She is such a pretty girl,with so much heart and yet she is so "unaware" of herself. I love that about her.She is really a special, special child. xx

We saw this beautiful Manor house when we crossed the bridge at Fitzgerald's Park...It looks so much better in real life, you can't appreciate it in this picture.It overlooks the river...and the gardens are gorgeous...

This Bridge is amazing, it leads from the Park, over the river and to a set of stairs and onto the street. From the street, people can access their houses. It was such a fun walk. Can't wait to do it again over the summer.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lovely Homes

"Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves." - Helen Keller

House and Leisure magazine is a South African decor magazine, which I have to say I miss dearly. My dad came to visit me in Ireland in May last year and brought me this copy. I love it so much, I decided to post a few pics on here (there will be more to come) so that I can look at these beautiful homes whenever I feel like it!(and share them with you of course..)
I am usually one for bright colours, florals etc, but I really love the neutral decorating style in this home, it feels really "South African" actually, cool and natural.
The owner of this home in Cape Town describes her house as "Pale, bare and imperfect".Love it!

The above two pics are from an old Country Living Magazine. I love these two rooms, they are so bright and cheerful and really remind me of summer days. I need something to make me feel warm and bright today...Its so gray and cold here in Ireland.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, we are hoping to go to Kinsale and I will take some pictures, it is the most beautiful little town in .... well, I think in the whole of Ireland!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Signs of Spring

"The way I see it, if you want the Rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain" - Dolly Parton

I know, I am posting about my tulips again - I just need to see something bright, green and beautiful to remind me that spring is around the corner (although I am told it is officially here...) Like England - the weather in Ireland has been terrible, storms, rain and wind. It really makes it harder to get through the days, especially with an energetic 5 year old boy.
So - I am very proud of the bulbs that my daughter and I planted in September...its lovely to see things come to life, and there are a lot more the in garden that still have to come up and surprise us with their beautiful colours.

I have to say thank you so much for all your lovely comments about really did make me feel so much better about the situation. Some days things can just all get too much, and I have been feeling really down this week about Bella, missing home and just the gray days. I would give anything to sit and have a cup of coffee with my mom and just chat, things I took for granted when I lived back home in South Africa. It really puts things in perspective and makes you appreciate what you did have.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bye Sweet Bella

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad." - Henry Wadsworth

Its been a tough week. We had to find Bella a new home, for a lot of reasons...
Let me start from the beginning..We had a Boxer named Spencer in South Africa and had to let him go 6 months later because we were moving to Ireland...
I vowed never to get another dog as it was too painful to say goodbye to him and I did not want to go through that again.

We had been in Ireland for over 5 years, when a friend called to say that her Boxer, Bella was pregnant and did we want any of the pups? I told her we would think about it...So she called me when they were born, there were 9 of them and they really needed to find good homes for some of the pups..
So, off we went one Saturday when they were 8 weeks old, and my daughter fell in love with the little quiet female of the pack, and we took little "Bella" home.
It was a challenge from the beginning, as our house was new and we had to deal with the mess,the training and just the adjustment of having a dog in the house...
George, our cat, who had been with us for a year already was not happy and from the beginning, he got his back up, literally. The hairs were up and his tail was out like a toilet brush, he never did get used to Bella.
We got a trainer in when Bell was about 3 months old, and hundreds of Euros later, we had a nice new diet for her and a few good tips...
But as Bella grew, she just became so obsessed with George, chased him at every opportunity and it became clear that she was going to need a lot more training than we could afford (and that my husband was prepared to pay for...)
I knew that it was going to be the best thing for her and for us, to find her another home, with a bigger garden and with people that could give her the attention she deserved.

She is now about a mile down the road, with the most amazing people (no children and they lost 3 of their boxers to disease)- they have an acre of land and have embraced Bella, I can see that they love her to bits.
The lovely part about it, is that I can take my daughter to see her whenever I want, and that is comforting for her.
It has been such a hard, sad, depressing week, we are all so so sad and miss Bella everyday, the house is so quiet...When 5 o'clock comes I want to get her food out and feed her, but then I remember that Bella is not here.
Have any of you been through something similar?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Garden Pavillion

It was a beautiful day in Cork today, look at that blue sky...
I went back to the garden center today and had a great time browsing around, it would have been more fun to meet a friend and have coffee there, too. But - next time. They have this Light at the entrance, its really beautiful.

This is a dresser, filled with Cath Kidston goodies, its so gorgeous.There is a teapot I would love to get on there!

My purchases...A little bunny for my boy, I gave it to him when I fetched him from school and he called him "Buttons"!How sweet.
Then I got those gorgeous Greengate serviettes and the dog tin, all at quite reasonable prices..I am going to use the tin for biscuits.
There was a wealth of Cath Kidston products, but I think I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't choose! Needless to say, I will be going back!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Snow & Tulips...

"I think I've discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it" - Charles Schulz

I couldn't get my head around doing a post this weekend, my mind was really all over the place for a lot of reasons..
Look at my babies! My tulips are showing little buds, quite heartening in the middle of spring in Ireland where we are having snow and hail...
As I am sitting here, it is snowing, which is quite pretty...but I have to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH of the cold already.Please can we have another beautiful spring day again...its so wet and gray at the moment.Well..I'll have to just keep looking at the tulips for now.

This is my garden, I tried to take a picture of the snow, but I really need a nice new camera to capture that kind of you can see, though, its all wet and slushy. I miss sitting out on my deck in the sunshine, we had it installed last summer and it was glorious out there with a glass of wine and a magazine. Roll on July!My poor little flowers and plants are also taking beating from the frost and snow.

I changed my lounge around. This chair was upstairs and I missed it in the living room, so I created my little corner again.I love it, its so cozy.
Excuse the quality of the photographs, I am so hoping to get a nice digital camera soon and then I will be experimenting with all sorts of things...It will be nice to have for the summer to capture the colours, flowers and warmth of the season.Have a great Monday! x