Monday, March 30, 2015

This blog now available in book format

My blog, Ireland Ever After, is now available as a book in paperback form.  Also available are never before published Coincidence short stories.  If you don't know, Coincidence is the name of my first book.  Link to purchase Ireland Ever After: An American in Ireland, The Blog is below.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Up and away

Well, it's been nearly six months since my last post and I come back now only to say the absence will continue for the forseeable future. Thank you to everyone who have read my blog and enjoyed it and even if you haven't enjoyed it, well thanks to you too. You've made it what it is and have laughed along with me as I've navigated a new life with my husband and daughter in a foreign country. Although, I'm not saying goodbye to blogging and Ireland Ever After, for the time being, I'm choosing to live my life and not write about it. I'm sure there will be a random post here and there until I decide to come back to blogging more often. I have an amazing group of friends and family and you know who you are, and at the minute, my time is best spent with them and not online. Without sounding like too much of a cliche, never take anything for granted. Yes, we may get easily annoyed or aggravated with simple things, but in the end, if you have your family and friends and your health, then nothing else matters. With those three simple things in place, you can get through anything. And, anyone that wishes unpleasant things on you, then hold your head up high, but hold your fingers up higher ;) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers. May God Bless you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It didn't sink

My weekend?  Dancing with Zumba All Stars Sheldon and Eric with my girls from Pilot's Row in Belfast's Titanic Quarter in front of a replica of the staircase of the Titanic.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cheeky weekend in Scotland

Barry, Isla and I decided to hop across the water for the weekend and visit Scotland.  I've never been, Barry's never been and Isla's definitely never been so off we went.  We landed in Glasgow.  I secretly hoped for a nice, tropical know different from the wet weather of Derry.  Unfortunately, it was not to be had!  Glasgow is, of course, more North than Derry so any chance of warmer weather...well, I knew it wasn't going to happen but hey...can't blame me for wishing.  By the way, someone needs to let that 'ol cow Mother Nature know it's May and freezing rain and hailstones is a no no!

We stayed in a hotel where Barry bumped into someone who lives just right down the street from us and the lady that worked in the breakfast room every morning actually had a son who went to college in West Virginia!  I'll use the never overused phrase here:  small world.  The lady didn't actually know I was from West Virginia because she was slagging the crap out of it talking to someone else lol.  She had been.  To a podunk town I'll add so I can kind of see her view but you know...don't judge a book and all that jazz.  I thought for a moment about going over and embarrassing her and telling her I was from West Virginia, but I didn't.  How crap would she have felt...and she was so nice to Isla every morning.  But, you can go no where!

Isla at Pizza Hut in Glasgow.  She learned to color here!  We have to make our dining out experiences now in these types of places as she's loud, whiny and makes it a habit to ruin others dinners!

Hotel hallway crawling.  A baby's favorite thing.

So, we conquered Glasgow...exploring Buchanan St., all the shopping centres including the one housing the only Hamley's outside of London.  And, I didn't buy one thing!  Except lots of food!  We walked our feet off and pretty much hit every touristy sight in Glasgow.  After that was finished, me and my little touristy self wouldn't have been content with just one city, so we hopped a train to Edinburgh for the day on Sunday. 

Getting ready to explore Hamley's!  Sort of the same as FAO Schwartz....

I have yet to see another city with a skyline as domineering, dramatic and breathtaking as Edinburgh.  From the castle swooping out of the side of the hill as if it's part of the actual mountain, to the old buildings that seem to collide into one, my eyes were never bored while we dandered about Edinburgh.  Starting from the castle and walking down Royal Mile, I could actually picture Mary Queen of Scots doing the same thing.  Well, I like to liken myself to royalty, so I could actually picture myself doing it.  Kidding by the way.  No, I'm not. 

Edinburgh skyline.

Barry and I have three cameras between us not including the cameras on our phones.  However, not one of our three cameras works and we had to rely on our crap phones for pictures the whole weekend.  I'm uber not impressed with the quality because of course pictures never fully capture what you're seeing with your naked eye.

The only crap thing about Edinburgh:  Holy cheese is it expensive!  The castle was okay.  It was very expensive.  Sixteeen pounds per person to get in for a total of £32.  Actually, it was £33 because Barry decided to accidentally drop a pound coin in the castle off to the side where everything was roped off and no one could get to.  Not a fan of losing money even if it is a pound.  That could have bought a packet of biscuits at the pound shop!  I was disappointed in the castle and Edinburgh only a smidge because it is so bloody commericalized and touristy.  In fact, the whole weekend, I don't think I heard many Scottish accents!  They were Italian, French and those damn bloody Yanks everywhere and their uniform fanny packs (get your giggles out all you Derry folk lol...yes, we call them fanny packs!), red waterproof jackets and massive white trainers.  I don't understand why Americans come over here and dress like this. They do it here in Derry, too.  All trotting off the bus down at Free Derry corner with their standard issue red coats, white shoes and fanny packs.  They don't dress like that at home!  Why do they do it anywhere else?  Makes me wanna go over and slap them when I see it and shake them and tell them they're not giving off the best impression!
Here' s the room inside Edinburgh Castle where Barry lost the pound coin.

Queen for the day outside Edinburgh Castle.  If only I knew we were going to lose a pound coin inside...I would have wiped that smile off my face!


Holyrood House Palace in Edinburgh at the bottom of Royal Mile.  We took a royal pees here and changed a royal diaper.  Well, at the visitor's center anyway.

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Necropolis

And, on our way to the Glasgow airport today, we encountered a lovely bus driver.  This is where the title of this blog post comes in.  A cheeky trip, indeeed.  Because we got a bit of cheek from the bus driver who threatened to punch Barry and told me to my face while holding my 15 month old daughter, "F*£$ you!"  A long story about this, but we were actually in the right and had many witnesses who gave good testimony as we filed a formal complaint.  Still made it to the airport on time though!  Boom!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What to do now

I started off the year thinking that this year would be a clean slate.  And, I mean that in the sense that I didn't have anything major planned.  Since I've met Barry, I've had something major planned every year (wedding, engagement, book, moving, Zumba classes, Zumbathons, vacations, etc.).  This marks the fifth year I've known Barry, so when January came and I had nothing planned, I didn't know what to do with myself.  It took two weeks into January and then my calendar was officially booked for the first part of the year.  My spacing could have been a little better because most things I signed up for that second week of January came to fruition this week.  The first of which was a Strictly Come Dancing style dance competition for charity (Dancing with the Stars to my American readers).  My partner and I have been meeting for months and practicing our dance.  We competed in the Zumba category, naturally.  Months of practice came to a head Friday night as we performed in front of hundreds of people our dance.  Here's a few photographs and a video...looking at these photos, I'm rethinking this whole growing out my fringe/bangs.  My forehead is so big you could land a freakin' plane on it.  Where are my scissors?

A few weeks prior to the competition, all the dancers met and put together a silly Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One More Time parody video.  Here's the may want to sit down before you watch the video...and your eyes may bleed a bit:

The morning after this was a Zumbathon for a group called Parents of Older Children with Autism. 

Now, it's time to put my feet up and relax a little bit.  Oh, wait.  I'm the mother of a one year old...feet up doesn't happen anymore!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A bobby pin shocked me

This blew my mind today:

Am I simple?  Am I the only one who thought it was the other way?  How can I be 32 years old and not know the right way to use a bobby pin?  I'm ashamed of myself.  Once I saw this picture, I went upstairs and pulled out my bobby pin stash and actually put one in my hair the correct way...and it was like night and day!  These things actually work!  All this time I thought it was a load of crap! 

Other than being astonished by bobby pins, I'm so busy at the minute.  To think I started this year off saying to Barry that I have nothing planned and now I'm up to my neck in stuff.  This week is especially a killer.  I'm competing in a Strictly Come Dancing-style competition on Friday (to my American friends...a Dancing with the Stars-style competition) then I have a Zumbathon beginning first thing Saturday morning.  This, in addition to my other classes and the practicing for the competition.   Plus, I've decided to make this the week to start a 3-day herbal life trial.  This sucks.  I miss food.  I'm on day one.  No food makes me wanna kill dead things!  Will I make it to day 3?  I don't know. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oh, the moaning...

Why does Isla cry?  Top reasons for uncalled moaning and crying from our 1 year old daughter. 

Because we put Easter Bunny ears on her.
Because she can't touch the glass candle holders by the television.
Because she can't touch the screen of the television.
Because she can't shake the television.
Because she's pooping.
Because she can't get water out of her sippy cup because she's not tipping it far enough.
Because we put her in the...gasp...playpen.  Oh, the agony!
Because she can't play with Iggle Piggle while she's eating.
Because our cat Charlie walks away from her instead of letting her pull his fur.
Because she's teething (okay well this one is legitimate).
Because she won't let me let her kill herself by sticking a finger or a Starbucks straw into the electrical socket.
Because we put her in the pram.
Because we take her to the park and make her try to walk by herself.
Because she can't eat the food off of Mommy and Daddy's plate even though it's the EXACT same food that's on her plate.
Because she isn't allowed to electrocute herself by putting her hand in the toaster.
Because she isn't allowed to dip her finger into a really hot cup of tea.
Because her favorite show, In The Night Garden, goes off.
Because she's not allowed to chew on my phone.
Because she's not allowed to touch my computer.
Because she's not allowed to kill herself by falling down the stairs...a.k.a she's not allowed to play on the stairs.
Because she's not allowed to ingest poison by playing under the sink.
Because her pink toy car she rides in stops.  And by stops I mean because Mommy and Daddy stops pushing it for one nanosecond.
Because I lift her out of the bathtub after bathtime is over.
Because people are talking to her.  You're only allowed to talk to her and receive a smile AFTER you've been in her company for at LEAST 2 hours.  Hey, I don't make the rules.  These are rules according to Isla lol.
Because she can't kick her shoes off.
Because I make her get dressed.
Because I brush her hair.
Because Mommy and Daddy look wayyyyy to comfortable and relaxed on the sofa.  That just doesn't happen.

And, that is all for now.