Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Wishing all of you a most magical and wonderful Christmas.

And I hope that 2011 will bring you everything you wish for.

Love and hugs,  Siobhan xox

(and yes, that is me, about 3 yrs old with my very best friend, Maggie)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easy-does-it December...

I knew that December was going to be a rocky month - astrologically speaking and it has proved true.

Ireland was deluged with Arctic snow and sub-zero temperatures the first week of this delightful month, which may look fairytale-ish, but when you live in the country over here, the roads aren't cleared and you're pretty much stuck. I ventured out in our jeep,creeping along (I'm a real scaredy cat) and suddenly it took off sideways down a road and crashed into a stone wall. Yikes. Big hole in the door and cracked bumper and a driver (me) with a serious phobia now of driving on snow and ice. Sigh.

This was followed by a co-worker who wouldn't come in during the snow, so I had major overtime and stress and super tiredness set in. I'm not so nice when I'm tired!

So, we're at the 15th of December now and I thought I'd post some pictures of life here in Ireland, no crashed jeeps though!

Our wonderful fireplace and stove that has kept us all snug as bugs during this freezing weather.

The books that have kept me entertained, and sane, during the snow-in!

The lane to our house, so beautiful, so dangerous!

Mega-icicles hanging from our bedroom window. Shiver....

One magical night-scape, a waning moon and a shining star (or planet)

Phew...I hope your December has been better than mine so far.  Stay safe and enjoy the run-up to Christmas.  Magic is truly everywhere.  ~Siobhan xox

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween has Arrived!

A very Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to everyone! I love this holiday so much! There’s a little bubble of excitement inside me and I feel like something exciting is about to happen! Nothing much planned for tonight, just lighting lots of candles and possibly making a Barm Brack this morning for nibbling later on.

I haven’t been blogging much of late as life has been quite challenging recently and it’s been difficult to find little glimpses of happiness and fun to write about. There’s a strange energy about at the moment and I’m not the only one to be feeling the strain, that’s for sure. I’ve just been keeping my head down, avoiding confrontation and eating chocolate!

Anyway, just to catch you up on my life recently! are offering free shipping to Ireland this weekend and as Freya’s Spell Bottles are doing particularly well on Moonslipper at the moment I thought I’d treat myself to a new dress! Woohoo! So this is the one I bought:

Needless to say, I do not have legs like the lovely model, so maybe I'll wear it over jeans or leggings? I should have it this week – I absolutely love getting parcels in the mail!

And talking about Moonslipper and the Spell Bottles, do drop by and take a peek at them, they’re made by Freya, an old friend of mine and they are just gorgeous to look at.

We’ve also been getting some amazing feedback from customers about the actual spells too – they’re getting results! That’s what I like to hear! Click here to read some more.

And we finally finished our Chinese Horoscopes for 2011 – they’re more in-depth than any other year and I think they’re fantastic. It’s the Year of the Rabbit….

Check out what sign you are and what 2011 holds in store for you here - I know you'll really enjoy them!

I hope you have a fun, festive and magical Halloween night, whatever mischief and merriment you get up to! Siobhan xox

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

My little blog has been so neglected the past month I thought maybe I’d get back into the swing of things with Lauren’s Fill in the Blank Friday!

Hello to Lauren and thanks for stopping by to say hello! I agree, your beautiful Marley looks just like our Boots! Aren’t German Shepherds the best?

Do drop over to Lauren’s wonderful blog, here, and add your own link and join in the fun!

1. True happiness is being loved with lots of food in the house!

2. The most surreal moment of my life was when I bought my first house and walked in the first time as the owner – scary, wonderful, surreal .

3. My favorite texture is velvet. End of story.

4. My signature color is equal amounts of black and purple.

5. My signature style is toned down bohemian. Jeans with tunic tops, flowy dresses and vintage jewelry.

6. If I could choose one store to spend my life savings at, it would be Anthropologie. Even though I’ve never shopped there, it’s totally my style!

7. My best thing about autumn is everything is the best thing! That musty smell of leaves, burning woods and last, but not least, Halloween! My favourite holiday!

A very happy, magical and fun October weekend to all!   Siobhan xox

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Work, No Play

I seem to have been working non-stop for the past 3 weeks, making me a very dull girl indeed!

Just a couple of little things that gave me moments of delight recently.

We have wild hazelnuts in our forestry! I was in heaven and have plans to pick and roast them and maybe, just maybe, make my own chocolate hazelnut spread. Mmmmm....

Blueberry and raspberry pavlova on the left and raspberry and blackberry pavlova on the right.  Made for a friend's barbeque.  I assume they were quite good as they disappeared super-quick and I didn't even get a piece.  Note to self:  make mini-pavlova for personal consumption next time.

Set of gorgeous antique plates spotted in a junk shop.  I resisted the tempatation to buy...

A magical August sunset.  It was during the recent meteorite showers. 

I'm hoping things will settle down, just a little bit so I can get back to more frequent blogging and picture-taking!

Wishing you an enchanted final week in August!  Siobhan xox

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One of my favourite blogs is Lauren's and it's not just because she has a German Shepherd like we do (although it's one of it's many attractions!)  Lauren has a light, fun writing style and I always feel uplifted and happier after reading it.  Anyway, she has a Fill in the Blank Friday quiz and I've joined in.  Some little known facts about me...

1. Today for breakfast I ate…two slices of cinnamon toast with nutmeg and two cups of insanely strong coffee with real cream. Yum.

2. My go to/never fail recipe…fried chicken…the secret is in the breadcrumb mix…(fresh parmesan)

3. Something I eat that other people think is weird…peanut butter sandwiches with dill pickle. Divine I tell you!

4. My worst cooking disaster ever was…any gravy. I just can’t make gravy.

5. If I could only eat one flavor of ice cream the rest of my life it would be…really good quality chocolate ice cream. Or maybe vanilla…I can’t choose!

6. One food I hate and avoid at all costs is…fish. I’d like to eat it, but it makes me very queasy.

7. What is your favorite meal? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Breakfast! We travelled a lot when I was small and the family story that did the rounds forever was about the time they had to hold a flight for me because I wouldn’t get on the plane until I ate my breakfast in an airport restaurant. I was holding onto the table – and my breakfast – with a death grip. That was in the days when they held flights. I’m still the same. Don’t ask me to function (or be pleasant) until I’ve had my breakfast.

Why not pop on over to Lauren's blog and have your very own Fill in the Blank Friday quiz...I'd love to know more about you!
Have a great Sunday ~Siobhan xx

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Birthday Week

I had a big birthday last week. I'm quite reticent about saying how old I am now, because, quite honestly, I can't believe I'm that age! I'm not vain about it particularly, it's just I don't want to be pidgeon-holed or labelled. The age I am now is different than it was in the '50s or even '70s, but still...sigh...I feel like I'm still about 16!

I'm finishing a spell of 10 days off in a row - bliss - but unfortunately have to face the fact that I'm back to work tomorrow.

We went up to Dublin on my birthday for a stroll around and hit Avoca Handweavers, a favorite spot of mine, on the way home. A few little snapshots from this delectable store:

In the end, all I bought was two bars of soap! If you care to take a dreamy look around their online store, just click here: Avoca Handweavers.

Then, because I was feeling a bit giddy and like I actually was 16, we stopped for ice creams:

An Italian birthday dinner that night with friends, too much to eat and drink and I'm still recovering!

Hope you're having a lovely week wherever you are and do remember, age really is just a number! xox

Friday, July 2, 2010

The End of a Good Day

I just had to write a few words about today.

I had such a good day! I don't know about everyone else, but I rarely have a day where one nice, or good, thing happens....all day long!

Firstly, I saw a bit of karma in action this morning, which left me smiling and thinking, what a lovely start to the day! I often wonder, when people are rude, or disrespectful or downright nasty, why don't I see karma biting them in the you-know-what? I never see it happen, but today I did. It was very satisfying! :)

I'm off work for the next 10 days, holidays, and I have a BIG birthday coming up next week. At the morning coffee break, I was taken completely by surprise by my co-workers, a gi-normous fudge chocolate cake, candles and a card. It was so lovely and I felt very special.

Then, a friend at work I'm particularly close to, came by later with a very generous voucher for my favorite store. Ok, at this point, I was thinking, can this day get any better? Oh yes it can! heehee

My boss let me off early - yippee - and when I came home, there was a package from one of my all-time-favorite places to shop, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. If you love fragrances, you must pay them a visit. Along with the perfume oil I ordered, they very sweetly included free little samples (they call them imps ears) - oh my - just divine.

And this is what I feel like doing now in the dark, mossy woods...

So, now I've lit some candles (Jasmine and Feu du Bois) and I'm sitting with my honey, feeling grateful for the day that was.  It gives me hope I can have some more days like this...simple pleasures.

Have a magical, wonderful weekend and look for enchantment everywhere!  ~Siobhan xox

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June has arrived!

The weather has been amazing this first week in June! I've been lucky in that I'm working from home and can dash in and out between jobs to soak up this early summer sunshine!

I had a really lovely day yesterday.  First my cat Charlie came in through the kitchen window for his morning saucer of milk, which always makes me smile!

Then we decided to drive into Wexford and have a mosey around the shops - who doesn't love a good mosey??  On our way out, we met these two babies who wouldn't move forward, backward or sideways and took a great deal of sweet-talking to get them to move!

After a yummy cappuccino and a spot of people-watching, I headed over to one of my favorite shops - Barkers -  to buy a birthday present..  And they have purple Le Crueset on display! My favorite color!

And these super-sweet egg cup holders -

So, I got my friend's birthday present, headed home and sat down to do a bit of sketching.  My creativity is slowly coming back after being dormant for months and when it makes an appearance, I grab my sketchbook and let my imagination take over.

I hope you had a wonderful start to June as well!  Enjoy your weekend and see the magic in everything!

~Siobhan xox

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Long Month of May

It's been quite awhile since I posted, but I have good reason!

I had to go into hospital a week ago for a little procedure (all is well) but I knew about this upcoming event since the beginning of May and I was terrified!  I happen to be the biggest coward in the world and all I could think about was this hospital trip.  As this blog is about happy moments, pretty things and lovely times, I just wasn't in that head space!

I'm back now and this week has been one of discovering that I can face my fears and come out the other side.  Of looking with fresh eyes at the simple pleasures of life.  Of daring to dream and setting goals.  In other words, an inspirational week.

These are the simple little things the last couple of days that made me happy, made me smile:

A scarf from Joules, ordered before I went into hospital, in the most delicious shade of blue!

Organic, Peruvian coffee beans, ground in our new grinder and steamed off in our Bialetti coffee machine - yummy!

Looking over an antique clock face we had in the attic and wondering what I can do with it:

Finding time, and enthusiasm, to start sketching again:

And finally, watching our 2 rescue dogs,  Boots and Heidi, chase each other through the buttercups:

Hoping you have the most wonderful week ahead, filled with magic and happiness. xox

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kitchenalia and such things

Just popped into Wexford for a couple of things and of course I had to have a quick browse in Barkers. This is kitchen/gift/interior decorating shop in which it is possible to spend far too much money. Sigh. I snapped a couple of pictures, the first one is of rows of napkins, table cloths and such dainty things.

The second picture is of  the divine Nigella Lawson's kitchen ware, all pastel colours and just lovely.

Wishing you a charming and happy Tuesday. xox

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Day Off full of fun distractions

I'm on a delightful day off today. No work, no deadlines, no clients.

Instead, I'm doing housework, baking, cooking for the freezer, taking dogs for walks and writing my blog!

Also, I've been spending too much time on youtube. For all cat lovers out there (and yes, I am definitely one) please enjoy these two videos, if you haven't seen them before. I laughed so much watching both of them I had tears running down my face. Brilliant!

Hope your week is going swingingly so far. xox

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Misty Sunday morning

The past 3 weeks have had some lovely moments and some not-so-lovely moments...but I won't be talking about them!

Here are some of the happier times so far in April:

Walking through our forestry in the early morning mist...enchanting...

The tiny little egg we found, all on it's own, nestled in a bed of leaves and moss...

Discovering that vegan double chocolate fudgey cupcakes taste amazing!

Re-reading Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers again. A favourite book from my childhood.

Hoping you have an amazing week, full of magical moments and happy surprises! xox

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday in Ireland

It's a damp, wet, mossy, ferny morning here in Ireland - I love it! The wind howled all night with the rain battering the roof and kept me awake most of the night.

Just off to have a French coffee in my Italian coffee maker (which is supposed to be for espressos but we drink the coffee in big mugs!) Possibly some French toast to go with, then a spot of house tidying this Good Friday.

Happy Easter to all with a wealth of Easter eggs finding their way to you! xox

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Setting the Sunday scene

One last mention this Sunday night. My absolute favorite candle maker, Diptyque, in my favorite scent, Feu de Bois. This divine candle smells exactly like a log fire, or gently smoking leaves burning in a dark and damp wood. So yummy, you must try.... xox

Saturday Happiness

Blissful day yesterday. First, we wandered in Wexford and picked up the Saturday Irish Times (which I have to read every weekend), strolled around a couple of shops and then, feeling in need of chocolate and a pick-me-up, we found ourselves in Whites Hotel, having chocolate fudge cake and mocha coffees. Yum.

As the day was so sunny, we then drove to Kilmore Quay and sat on the rocks in the sun. This is one of the chocolate box thatched houses that line the main (and only) street in Kilmore.

After that, home, walks with the dogs in the forestry, and a glass of wine in front of the fire. Happy weekend! xox

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A rocking St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing all my readers a fabulous St. Patrick's Day!

Beautiful day here, in the southeast of Ireland, the pubs are full, the energy is high and it's all going on!

Off to a little dinner party in honor of our patron saint tonight - I love meeting with friends for chat, food and a drop or two of wine!

Hope you're having a magical Wednesday wherever you are... xox

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Fabulous Sartorialist

Love, love, love The Sartorialist!

Happy reading moment this cold, damp and dark Tuesday evening in Ireland. xox

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Happiness!

Ahh, Fridays! Aren't they the best? The thoughts of a late breakfast on a Saturday morning is very cheering, especially if you work 9-5 ish, Monday to Friday!

For the record, happy moments today, in my little corner of Ireland:

Beautiful Mocha coffee on way to work, lifting my spirits considerably

Sharing recipes for a no-fail Victoria sponge with whipped cream and jam...

Sinful chocolate Moro bar at lunch, calorific but very necessary

Walk through a forestry after work with my dog Boots

Sitting on a mossy bank, in said forestry, thinking...

Blackbirds, raising the roof at dusk, chattering crazily

Have a fabulous weekend wherever you are, filled with happy moments.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Inaugural Post

My first post!

This blog is intended to be about the magical, whimsical things of life, in Ireland, where I live.

Just to get a little snapshot of me, I live in the southeast of Ireland, on the coast, in a 400 year old house with forestry all around.

These are the things I like:

The whimsical, the magical, the fairy-ish

Green, dark, luscious trees

Sprawling museums

Mocha coffee, any coffee

Old Cemeteries


and my orange cat Charlie

Here's what I don't like:

Bad manners
Dried flowers
The cold
Trips to the dentist

Like everywhere in the world, Ireland is proving a challenge to live in. Everything is way too expensive (for what you get), people are in a bad mood constantly, the roads are....indescribable, and everyone whines constantly about how bad everything is.

So, what you won't find on this blog is negativity, or complaining or whining.

There's enough of that around already!

What you will find are things/people/moments that inspire and uplift me, that make me smile, make me laugh, make me go weak at the knees (in a good way).

Wishing you happiness and a delightful week ahead!