The pre-hen night

My sister in law, andrea(Simon’s sister) is getting married in August. We had a lovely dinner in Bann Thai in Ballsbridge. A nice, relaxed and quiet evening to prepare ourselves for the strippers, oil, thongs etc of the real Hen night tonight.

Discovering my shape

Discovering my shape.
It’s quite confusing being a girl and having a girl’s body, for me anyway. I’m short at 5’4 ish and work hard to keep my figure at a size ten. I don’t want to be any smaller or any bigger. I was larger years ago at a size 16-18 so I’m constantly aware of my body.
The other day I discovered that I am a hourglass and I’m delighted!
Most people tell me I’m a pear shape. No offence to the pear shape but the hourglass shape if the shape I’ve always envied. Look at Jennifer Lopez, Nigella Lawson and Marilyn Monroe. See what I mean? A lot of Irish girls have pear shapes but don’t dress for this. Simon always told me I was an hourglass but I really thought I was a pear shape after a friend told me this in the changing rooms one day shopping.
Since, I’ve discovered I am a curvy, hourglass, I’ve felt happier with my body and appearance, weird I know!
How did I discover? I measured my shoulders, hips and waist and found that my shoulders and hips are the same size with my waist being ultra smaller in comparison. That’s the way you will know if you are an hourglass! But, you are going to have to measure as us ladies tend to not see the real shape in the mirror as I’ve proved for years! The oprah website( which actually pretty good!) then gives you strict guidelines for ways to dress to show your body off, be it pear, hourglass, athletic. We all have amazing bits of our body to show off.
Amazing fact about hourglasses that I did not know-
Hourglasses are the only body type that look really well in strapless dresses! Yay!
Skinny or slim jeans look best on hourglasses figures only. It’s funny how we think that skinny size zero girls look best in skinny jeans but no, that’s wrong! Skinny jeans with heels show off your killer curves at their best. Im starting to sound like Gok!
Now, I recommend you get the measuring tape out and check out the oprah website. I’ll try and get some photos up of me in hourglass worthy clothes!

Lennon’s in Carlow

We are very lucky to have this amazing Art and theatre in Carlow. Visual was built last year and it is on the grounds of St Patricks College and Carlow Cathedral. It’s just nice to walk through. If, you do take a visit to Visual, Mimosa wine bar(one of my fave spots) is on the way!
Lennon’s Cafe is in Visual, which is reattach. Lennon’s bar was an institution for Carlow Town. Until it shut abruptly one day and a bookmakers went in on their premises. We have approximately 2,300 bookies in Carlow Town. Excellent planning.
Lennon’s does great, local food and really good coffee. No wifi but I’m informed this will change. Yes, the food is expensive and you could eat there every day but the food is really good. Try their thick, potato wedges with skinny garlic dip. Good.

I’ve always wanted to do that….

You know the way. There’s something you’d always been meaning to do. Learn the piano, travel the world, read Ulysses…You imagine that one day you’ll do it. You convince yourself even.Most people carry on like this until they pass this world. Some people take action.
I was thinking about how many times I reminisced on how much I enjoyed singing when I was little. I sang in our school and church choir, sometimes solo but always loved it. When I left primary school, I became too self conscious to bother with it.
But I’ve always remembered the way it made me feel.
I don’t want to be one of those people who put it off and off. So, one evening in a fit of madness and a glass of champagne, I googled “voice training”
I found this charming website and beautiful singer under the name of Charlotte Mahler. I listened to her voice and thought, yes, I’d like that! Obviously, I’m never going to be a mezzo-soprano like Charlotte but one can always improve what they have!
Today, I had my second lesson.
It went well, it is fascinating. There’s so much to take in. We started with our warming up exercises and then launched into the songs. Woah, one was far too high for me but she told me in no uncertain terms that:
” You will be able to sing this song in half a year if you practice every night!”
I’m up for the challenge.
Even if I never do anything with this, I’m enjoying the time spent on myself and proving to myself that you don’t need to put things off and off.
If you want to do it, make the steps.
My next aim?
Learning the piano!
Hmmmmm. Let’s get the singing right first!

Free wifi in Lir coffee bar, Ballaghdareen, Co. Mayo.

On our way back to Carlow, I saw three signs on the side of the road telling us to come to sample their coffee and food.

Go on, treat yourself, you know you wanna.
Better food than your Mammy’s!
I had to stop here as they had got the apostrophe right.
Lir’s Cafe bar is really a pub/bar but does rather good coffee. Plus, it has free wifi so me and iPad were really happy!
Lunch is good a chicken pesto wrap with fries to share €5.95. Really, nice little waiting staff. There is never usually a reason to stop in Ballaghadreen and now there is!
This could be our new stop!
After this, I’m on the way to buy my new shoes In Dundrum, LK Bennett shoes are to be mine at last! I had promised myself these shoes if I completed a task( sounds mysterious but it’s not) and when I didn’t complete the task, Simon gave me a voucher for them for my birthday!
Cannot. Wait.
I’ll take photos later and demonstrate how cute they are!

Printed tablecloths, baked potatoes and a rather spruced up Ballina!

Sundays can be boring. Yes, Sundays are boring. The only good thing about Sunday mostly are the papers. I demand that shops open 24 hours a day. I demand that banks open when I finish work.
So, we are in Mayo( where I’m from!) for weekend and decided to take drive. Stopped at Mary’s kitchen coffee shop on the way. Mary’s is in an idyllic, tiny town called Ballycastle, beside the famous Ceide Fields. Always wanted to pop in here, it’s been open for 13 years! I got my chance today. It’s a very homely, printed tablecloth type coffee shop with a glowing, healing crystal alongside a crucifix. Strange but true!
I can’t really comment on the food as I only had coffee. Though, Simon had a scone, which he dubbed “pleasant”. In Simon language, this means “average or ever so slightly above” I might also add that a scone could only really be average. It’s a scone, that’s all.
Mary gave us free refills and generally was very attentive. I was trying to write and found it hard when the quiet coffeeshop turned into a swarm of little toddlers making unnecessary noise and the like.
We got back on the road to Ballina and searched for the Ice Hotel, a venue ice heard great things about. A local informed us that it would take far too long to walk to and pointed us in the direction of “Dillon’s Pub”, this place has won loads of awards and when a local recommends a place, who an u to turn it down?
The waitress was lovely and geeky and expressed her annoyance at the fact that there are no wifi hotspots in Ballina at all. We agree with her totally and ate glad we have 3g!
The menu is massive here and has everything you could ever want! Pizza, pasta, steak, wraps, fajitta and jacket potatoes stuffed with various fillings. I ordered jacket potato with garlic chicken, cheese and garlic sauce and Simon ordered the chicken fajittas.
Really tasty but a massive portion! That’s my criticism of eateries these days. Far to much. Yes, I know there are people out there who like their grub but I shouldn’t have to pay for your portion sizes! I paid 9.95€ for 2 f;$) off jacket spuds loaded plus massive salad and a portion of potato salad! I can only eat half. Why not two options on the menu?
Normal size portion- 1 jacket potato with small salad-5.95€
extra hungry and huge portion designed for 2 people-2 jacket spuds with huge salad and extra potato salad.

Not much to ask for?

vegetarian- a long process!

For the last 2 weeks i have had a good old stab at a non-eating meat diet! Not too bad actually. Although how I am doing it I don’t know as I have an official Vegetable and bitty fruit phobia…Since meeting Simon however I have managed to get over this phobia! Honest, don’t laugh! When I met Simon I couldn’t even eat spag bol with bits of onion or tomato in it and had to sieve it or pick it out with a fork or some other implement!

I have advanced onto eating many different veg, though with reluctance..I have a feeling that if I keep at it, my body will adjust!

Actually, the first time I tried a tangerine I used to have a force a tiny piece down me and chew and chew and when eventually I knew i had to swallow it, I would visibly gag…Poor me! Today, I ate a full tangerine on the way home, I rock and i have came a long way! Used to live with a gang of girlies in Dublin when I went to college. I survived on waffles, oven chips and pizza and garlic chips…not one bit of veg or fruit for all that time and i would estimate my body has not seen fruit and veg for about 20 years!

I worry that I will die of cancer because of this. I know I worry about everything!

So, who knows in a years time I may be a fully fledged fruit and veg goodness eater? A natural one that doesn’t balk at the thought of it!

Wish me luck and freshness!


respectable people and colours

It is a bit strange, I think. The wine glasses that we bought almost 6 years ago have started to fade. They used to be black but now the black has started to rub off the glass making the glass slightly embarrassing to use for future company. We bought them in that particular colour as we were obsessed with black at that time.
We had black plates, cups, toast holder, egg cups, butter holder, gravy jug, water jug and I am sure many more of these black items for our kitchen.
Now it seems much more fashionable to mix and match colours and styles of our homeware.
this trend can be seen in women’s’ fashion- 5 years ago, everything matched like jewelry, shoes, clothes and even eyeshadow.

(Simon wrote this by the way)

I often wonder what “respectable home owners” do.  Part of me wants to be one and the other part of me wants to completely rebel against it.  From what I can gather, minimalism is in.  A room should contain as little as possible.  For example, a sitting room should contain a sofa, an armchair, a television and stand and a lamp.  Colour should also be used carefully.  Monochrome is essential here.  So if you pick beige as your colour then everything should be beige or tones of beige.  The twist, however, is that you need a twist of colour – generally a colour that is on the opposite end of the colour spectrum.  Therefore, a colour like cyan or turquoise offsets the humdrum look of a beige room.  Add a single stem in a narrow vase in another complimentary colour and you have a respectable sitting room.

It also goes without saying that every room in a respectable house should have a focal point – an interesting picture, a colourful bed pan or a clever patterned tile.  It should scream out – “look at me” – but obviously in a respectable way.  Anyone who screams in a respectable home is obviously a Philistanic family member or neighbour.

It was about time we got rid of our former black glasses.  In fact, it probably was time we got rid of any black-coloured item.  A trip down to the Next store would be inspirational indeed.  This season’s colour could be seen and then we could go to other shops to buy them but for half the price.  A respectable family, of course, would not shop in a multi-national company like Next.  They must shop in boutique-style places where every piece of furniture has a story.  For instance, a kitchen table must be made from the purest oak from Venezuela and dipped in the creamiest Magnolia from the paint pots of Swiss artists and then lovingly carried by three priests to the shop where the price tag is written in Nepalese ink for no less than one thousand euro.

My review of not so clever girlie childrens’ novel for magazine

I occasionally write reviews for the teachers’ union magazine and this summer i received a package with a book for me to review..It was a novel( and I use the term novel loosely) written by a very successful author for little girlie girls..unlike me obviously.

I wrote my scathing 200 word review and sent it to Simon, my husband to check it for grammar and other mad mistakes I am liable to make when I type fast and dislike a book.

He sent me back the following reply.

Dear Mrs. Lewis

Thanks your for sending your review of “Bonjour Alice” to our offices.  Unfortunately, we are far too busy killing our French competitors in a secret, underground publishing company war which has been going on for 400 years.  We believe that books like “Bonjour Alice” are ultimate weapons in our plot to make women dumb.  We have already infiltrated many formerly clever women’s brains so they read our books and excuse it as “light” or “swimming-pool” or “holiday” reading.  We have also introduced other books which other supposedly intelligent women would consider “yeah, it’s chick-lit but it’s a bit more high-brow, like”.  We are now infiltrating younger female brains in order that when they reach the age of 18, they will be ready to read our ultimate weapon of mass destruction – well WOMD to our French competitors…  this weapon will be so fierce that no French author will ever write a novel again.  Gone will be the days of “Chocolat” or “Amelie” and everyone will be reading “Where Rainbows End” and “Tara Hill”.  This book will be co-written by Cecilia Ahern, Maeve Binchy, Pamela Flood, Amanda Brunker (our latest soldier in the destruction of women’s brains and French authors) and “that girl that used to be in Fair City who used to be really ugly and wore thick framed glasses but they’ve done the best they could do with her now”.

Our company wishes to offer you ONE tip in improving your review…. Judi Dench did NOT write the book.  (See below!)

Kindest regards

Judi Curtin
PS if you could kill a few Frnech people on your way out, that would really help us out.

CONCLUSION: My husband is rather funny.

veg are not so evil

I have always hated veg, well, that’s a lie as i do remember eating veg when I was about 6…I think at some point I was force fed and I basically went on strike from all veg..

Since I have met my husband, he has slowly encouraged me to eat more!when I met him about 8 years ago, i couldn’t even eat spag bol as it had “bits”, he had to cook 2 separate dinners and blend mine into a baby food..

Okay, I am still not brilliant but I try most things and tonight had baby corn, green beans, touf and onion chow mein, I wonder will I ever get to the stage where I eat veg without thinking about it.

I also force myself to eat 2 pieces of fruit a day and and aiming for 3 portions of fruit!Sad?Well, i am trying and I really believe I had and still have slightly a veg phobia…is there a doctor that can cure me?