First of all, Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. We are all very busy here in Nenagh today - my daughter is walking in the Nenagh parade for the first time with her school band and my husband is a steward in the parade. I'll be watching from the side lines and taking loads of photographs to preserve the memories. Hope you all have a wonderful day with your families- looks like the rain might hold off for us all.
Way back on 26th February, Lorna at Garrendenny Lane Interiors awarded me with a Stylish Blogger Award so it has taken me until now to thank her for the honor. I'm touched that she thinks so highly of my blog - as so many of you do!
To Accept The Award Requirements:
Thank and Link back to the Blogger Who Awarded you with the Award and Share 7 Things About Yourself, Award 5 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers and Contact the Bloggers, inform them of the Award.
So 7 Things You Might not know about me (although I'm sure you've picked up a lot through my posts).
1. I have an unbelievable love of almost all animals (reptiles we can leave out). I've always dreamt of working in a zoo or even a stable. I'm particularly fond of dogs and cats, horses and donkeys. My grandparents in England had a donkey when I was a child named Jackie. And that started my love all those years ago. And horses, well I'm absolutely smitten with them - I love their smell, their soft velvety noses -unexplainable to those of you who are not horsey people but it's a powerful force with me. Growing up in Connecticut, we lived on a small farm and had chickens, pigs, sheep and a very inquisitive goat named Toastie and a pony named Pandora (I'll have to get my mother to dig out some photos so I can do a post about them all). But here in Ireland we just don't have the space to have more than our two dogs (although I secretly dream of having a farm here and getting back to an even simpler way of life - allbeit more labour intensive).
This is one of our dogs, Croi, who we recently adopted from my sister in law - above before, below after a major "tidying up". Not sure which one I prefer but she seems quite happy with less hair and is awfully cute.
Here is Croi, nestled behind Sophia while she is doing her homework. Our other dog is a big rambunctious yellow Labrador, Sugar, who is not a lap dog, although she tries to be.
This is our kitty cat, Daffodil, who we had to leave back in America when we moved - she's 17 years old next month and has a content country life at my parents house in Connecticut.
This is Rumble, my parent latest addition to their household - he's now gigantic (this was him last summer as a kitten). My parents have a particular fondness for orange kitty cats- and have had several over the years.
2. I love to travel. If I were to win the lottery - first of all, I'd pay off our mortgage, invest a huge bulk of the money but the rest I'd use to travel. I love visiting new countries and exploring off the beaten track - visiting museums and trying out new cuisines.
Back in May 2000, James and I went to Cancun, Mexico, for a weeks holiday. We took a day trip on of the days to visit this pyramid - I, however, did not climb it as I have no problem climbing up but getting back down I get crippled with the fear of heights.
We also went on a beautiful sunset cruise one evening (which ended up being the night we got engaged). We went snorkeling, tried out jet skis and James even held a big nurse shark in a pool we came across on an island - it was an amazing trip and someday I hope we can take Sophia to share the experience.
3. I have a huge passion for photography. In high school I learned how to develop and print my own film and prints. I created a black and white portfolio of my work to send in with my college application and in college I was photo editor of the college newspaper. Now with digital photography, I have a camera with me at all times and snap away to my hearts content.
These are shots I took of frozen Lough Derg back in January. The lake was absolutely still and beautiful and there was a whole group of swans waddling around on the frozen surface.
4. I love flowers and gardening. Since we moved into our house almost four years ago, I've been working steadily away at getting our garden into better shape. It was a disaster when we moved in with no borders and loads of junk in the soil. We have no installed a patio, created a long border along the sunny side which in the summer is lush with climbing roses, lupines and foxgloves (two of my favourite flowers). I absolutely love Dahlias, see below, but have had limited success keeping them alive in my own garden from year to year.
5. I'm an avid reader. Last night I regretfully finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is a fantastic read - compelling, fascinating and eye opening and it reminded me of how when I was younger I had a great fascination with the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi. Well worth picking up at your local bookstore or library.
6. Big collector. I have several collections throughout our house. One would be books - when my husband met me he could not believe how many books I had in my apartment - little did he know how many I had stored up at my parents house! I love ceramics too- all due to my mother's passion for them as well and I love collecting different glassware. My husband and I have also slowly amasses a small vintage silver collection of bowls and gravy boats both through Ebay and car boot sales. They are all stored in a beautiful old dresser that dates back to the 1600's and was something I inherited from my grandmother.
7. Hmm- what have I not mentioned - well I love walking and swimming. Almost every morning I head out with our dogs and usually my neighbour and do a loop in town called the Dark Road which takes almost an hour. It's a great way to kick start the day and honestly, I don't think I could go a day or two with out it -but jogging, just not my thing at all.
Okay so now I need to send the award onto 5 Stylish Bloggers:
First, to Cottageology - this blog, written by Olga, is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and celebration of Irish cottages and culture. I recently discovered her through Twitter and she's got some great posts.
Secondly, to An American In Ireland - this blog, written by Clare, who moved from LA to Drogheda just a year ago, covers food, drink and good craic. I love her quirky posts.
Third - I know I've mentioned her before but Imen, who writes her blog Married an Irish Farmer, just has the most amazing photography and recipes on her blog (clearly I'm biased towards ex-pats too:)) She's also been shortlisted for the Irish Blog Awards which is well deserved.
4th - Loving Concrete Honey - this blog has beautiful simple images of food, interiors, flowers and weddings with a wonderful feminine flair.
Finally, a former colleague of mine back at my House Beautiful days in New York - Eddie Ross- has such a creative flair - he blogs about his fleamarket forays- styling, photo shoots etc. There is always something to inspire you.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Are you cooking up traditional Irish food today?
Let me know.