Happy Houzz

So I didn’t quite stick to my plan of blogging every week, I think it’s going to take me some time to get back into the swing of things. Instead of sitting down in the evenings to think, plan and write, I end up picking up, cleaning up and tucking in.

I remember before having kiddos, I had this really romantic idea of when I did have babies that I’d spend my maternity leave doing all sorts of fun things that you can’t do when you’re working. I thought babies napped for hours at a time. Was I wrong.

Anyhoo, enough of the excuses, here I am at my desk on my own, just me and my computer. I sat down to write about a really exciting email I received a few weeks back from an Editor from Houzz.com who got in touch to ask if I’d like to be featured on their website as part of their Bloggers Home Tours. To cut a long story short, I took a couple of photos, answered a few questions and our house is now live on Houzz!

I plan to write a few posts about how and why we did what we did to the house over the next while, once I get used to this blogging malarkey again. For now though – head on over to Houzz and leave a comment for the chance to win a print just like this one in my sitting room. Happy reading!

My heart print

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It’s been a while…

Hello! Is there anybody out there?

Our poor little blog has been completely abandoned for the last two whole years. Why I hear you ask? (or not because nobody reads this anymore and I am talking to myself more than likely.) Well, babies happened and they happened big time.

First of all, way back in February 2014, we planned a huge pregnancy and baby festival called Babytalk. It was an amazing experience and a huge success. While planning the festival, I was also making a baby, a very big baby boy.

He arrived in all his pink squashy glory in April 2014. His arrival into the world was a noisy one and that noise and chaos has become the norm in our little world. We aptly named our little hurricane – Rory.

“Rory, Rory what’s the story” has become the mantra in our house. His big Sister thought the world had suddenly been turned upside down and inside out – things would never be the same again. Everything was put on hold for the next few months, which turned into years while we all learned to settle into life with each other.

Nothing prepared me for parenthood, that was one of the main reasons we decided to create Babytalk festival – to help people get together and try to figure some of it out together. I thought I had a reasonably ok understanding of the main ins and outs at that point – after all I had successfully managed to make baby number 1, and raise her quite well I thought. I was soon to learn though that you never stop learning, each day throws some new, sometimes crazy situation at you, and you have to figure it all out again and again and again. Now I am aware that this all sounds a bit bleak and maybe scary, and there are definitely bleak and scary moments along the way. The other parts though, they’re pretty amazing, and make up for all the not so fabulous bits in between.

a good day
Ta da! One of those super great moments – they do exist.

I’m rambling now, but the main gist is that stuff and life happened and both myself and Marie decided to take a bit of a break from blogging to spend time being Mammies. So after two years and a ridiculous number of nappies, I’ve decided to dip my toe back into the water and see how it feels.

With all of the new arrivals bringing with them lots of bits and bobs, we’ve had to make quite a few changes around the house. Walls have been knocked, stairs have been built and the painting is never ending. My aim is to try and show what we’ve been up to and the projects that we’ve completed while couped up with our kiddos. So watch this space.

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Edible Map of Dublin


We’re back!

Babytalk was great fun – we’ll have a full post up soon and you can check out some of our photos on our facebook page here.

With the festival over, we’re looking forward enjoying some free time. Top of the list for me is eating my way around Dublin with the help of this lovely illustrated map from Niall Harbison, Love Dublin and Peter Donnelley.

Some favourites listed include Izakaya, L Mulligans and The Fumbally, while I can’t wait to try out Super Miss Sue.

Any other recommendations for gastronomical adventures in the capital?

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Babytalk update

babytalk baby fair ireland


Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely relaxing break.

While January can be a depressing month we’re very excited here about our babytalk pregnancy and baby festival – only 2 months to go! We’ve been very busy booking speakers, entertainers and other lovely people to keep you entertained and informed, and lining up our exhibitors. You can see our line up sneek peek here.

We have an early bird special offer on at the moment – 2 tickets for the price of 1 – so why wait – book your tickets today and we’ll see you there : )

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Jingle Bells


While they aren’t sleigh bells these silver bells in support of the Beaumont Hospital Foundation are still awfully Christmassy!

One of my sisters received excellent care in Beaumont Hospital a few years ago when she was very ill, (she is now thankfully fully recovered) so this is a cause close to my heart.

Each bell is €20, and you receive a beautiful bell designed by silversmith Seamus Gill. A lovely gift idea, the bells can be used as a Christmas Tree decoration or a pretty wind chime. The bells hang from a red ribbon which carries the message: “The gentle ring of a silver bell reminds us of all we hold dear; health, family, love and friendship”. You can also send a personalised custom message with each bell also.


We have a tradition of buying one meaningful Christmas tree decoration each year – I think this might be this year’s bauble!

For more information on the bells or to purchase one visit the Beaumont Hospital Foundation’s website.

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Just being curious… hatch

If, like me, you often find yourself spending fruitless hours searching online for very specific items (multi-coloured pom pom trim, yellow-peep toe shoes, soft leather satchels in a particular shade of red…) then online service hatch.co is for you. It’s a service that brings together people who want something unique made with people who can make those things. They also have a range of products that you can tweak to add your own creative touch.

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Anastasia from hatch recently while she was visiting Ireland as part of the Web Summit and she told me a little more about her business…


Custom engagement ring box

1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Anastasia, and I co-founded a company called Hatch. The idea behind Hatch is that every product you see on our site can be personalized and customized by the user, so the result is always something very personal and unique.  Prior to Hatch, I spent 5+ years at Google, working as a Product Marketing Manager and New Business Development Manager, where I led entrepreneurship efforts in EMEA and closed deals for early-stage technology partnerships for Google Voice, Google Chrome, and Google Wallet.
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a triple major in Psychology, Sociology, and French and have been a curious nomad all my life, having spent long stints in Bahrain, Vietnam, Hungary, Russia, France, England, and the US.


Custom Scrabble necklace

2. What gave you the idea to create your service?
There are many times that I would look at an object, whether jewelry or a vase or a piece of art, and find myself thinking that I would absolutely love it if one slight element of it were different (a different material or perhaps a different set of color combinations or an altogether different design that was personal to me). Then, it would be perfect for me, or for a friend whom I was trying to find a gift for.

As I saw the rise of DIY, I realized that there are many people out there who have great ideas for unique things to create but who simply don’t have time to invest in learning the proper skill required to bring that object to life, whether that’s painting, sewing, woodworking, or jewelry making. On the other side of it, there are millions of very talented makers out there who have these skills and with these skills, they can do anything. Yet they are constantly forced to produce a number of objects and sell them exactly as they are, thereby only creating a small portion of all the things their skills enable them to bring to life.

The idea behind Hatch was to bring these two sides together to create an experience of collaborative creation.

3. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration by forcing myself away from my work from time to time. Doing yoga or immersing myself in a good book and forcing myself to be absorbed in something else are the times when a great idea or a new way to solve a problem will strike. I also go out of my way to talk to as many people as possible who are in a different space or industry than the one I’m in. They bring a whole new way of thinking to the table and can help spark an idea by forcing you look at something from a completely different angle.


Custom Calligraphy

4. What advice or words of wisdom would you give from your experience?
Don’t worry about failure. Admit to yourself that yes, it’s possible that you’ll fail, and then put it out of your head. As a very wise man said to me when I was debating whether to leave my job to start Hatch, “Don’t be the person who’s always talked about starting your company but never actually did.” Surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you and motivate and empower them to do great work. At the end of the day, try to remember that everything boils down to people so empathy will go a long way. Lastly, and this is the hardest for me, be patient. We tend to think success happens overnight and get frustrated when the things we’re doing don’t seem to be making an impact, but this is all part of the very fun journey that we go on to fill our days doing something we love.

5. Share a few of your favourite things…
Some of my favorite things:

  • For curious reading: www.brainpickings.org
  • My favorite book as of late: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
  • Yoga
  • Mulled wine
  • all things Yellow

Thanks so much Anastasia!


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We had a lovely curious outing earlier this week at the opening of the new Pictiúr exhibition in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Rachel and I are both huge fans of picture books so we very excited to see some the work of some of our favorite illustrators.


Pictiúr is an touring exhibition featuring 21 of Ireland’s fantastic children’s book illustrators. It has already visited Vienna, Bologna, Brussels, Belgium and Draíocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown and the Babaró Children’s Festival in Galway and will be on show in IMMA until January 12th.

It’s right beside the cafe so you can indulge your sweet tooth too!


There are some great events happening over the course of the exhibition – for more information visit IMMAs website or read more from the Childrens Laureate, or see an older post about the exhibition.


Photo credits – 1 Oliver Jeffers  2 Steve Simpson  3 Tatyana Feeney 4 Chris Haughton

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October – Children’s month

Well October has arrived with a big wet and dreary bang. On the bright side though, with the darker mornings and evenings and wetter weather, we have more of an excuse to cuddle up in cosy blankets and indulge in some reading!

October truly is Children’s month, with lots of tricks and treats to entertain little people.

The Children’s Book Festival is taking place all month and it offers a jam packed schedule of exciting events all around the country. Lots to sink those little fangs into!


Baboró Arts Festival for Children is also taking place in Galway this week, from the 14th – 20th of October. The festival combines theatre, puppetry, art, music, science and all sorts of fun!

So whether you hibernate under your duvet or venture out in your wellies, you’ll have plenty to do and see this month – enjoy!

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