Monday, March 28, 2011

the big reveal

in love with H! by Henry Holland. pretty sure it's a clothing line for teens.

falafel sandwich with sriracha + last of my yucateco green sauce. moo.

staff party. oops only took one picture.

my last day as a chef (for now at least)

I spent this week gearing up for a change in my life. The big news? 
I got the job with Habitat for Humanity Ireland. I start April 4th. Kablow.
200 applications. 7 months. Finally...and it's the one I wanted.
Life is good!

To get ready, I did a little shopping and bought a very office-worthy blazer.
I said goodbye to my short-lived + beloved restaurant family.
Now I get a week off for a staycation.
Big things are in store.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

name game

personalized wallets with common names

Some totally normal Irish names:

Boys: Eamonn, Caoimhín, Eoghan, Eimear, Pádraig, Enda, Cearnaigh
Girls: Mairéad, Gráinne, Finola, Aoife, Eabha, Gormlaith, Maeve, Niamh, Una

Friday, March 25, 2011

more door

somewhere near Crow's Lane-Temple Bar, Dublin 2

I guess I have a thing for doorways. Please excuse my obsession with pictures of doors. I am realizing this is not normal. Anyway, notice the sweet brunch art featured to my right.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


ñom ñom ñom

Grubbing on the couch: Spanish tortilla made by a real, live Spaniard. Whoa buddy.

Monday, March 21, 2011


almost as tasty as George Michael himself

Ireland knows sweets. The candy display at the corner Spar is bigger than the candy selection at an American grocery store. That says something a whole lot. I have heard stories of Irish people visiting the US or Canada and coming back with bags of new candies for their friends and family to try. Candy as souvenirs = awesome. The Irish are such fans of sugar that they even put it in their tea with milk. I have learned that I like my tea 'black'. To me, this is like asking for my ice cream served 'cold'. Please excuse the state of me and enjoy this photo montage of me eating a WHAM bar. 

The moral of the story is that I've found amazing candy here in Ireland. It is super sweet and sugary and all of it sparkles like rainbows and shooting stars. Current Top Three:
  1. WHAM bar = semi-hard raspberry thing the consistency of a Now and Later
  2. M&S Butter Mints = hard candy that mixes the flavors of butterscotch + mint
  3. Curly Wurly = a chocolate-covered toffee bar in a cool, twisty shape

Irish vocab lesson of the day:
"sweets" = candy
"toffee" = caramel
"biscuits" = cookies
"fruit gums" = gummies
"wine gums" = gummies that taste like wine. gross. 
"digestives" = plain flat disc cookies like MarieLus
"jaffa cakes" = fruit + chocolate is usually gross as well.
"penguins" = tim tams for those of you aussies out there.
"banoffee" = a caramel and banana cake that Jamie Oliver loves
"buttons" = chocolate circle tweaked-out animal eyes. see above. yeah.
"the state of me" = a phrase meaning I am doing something horribly unattractive
vrrry useful.

over the lips and through the gums...

look out cavities, here we come!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

pot + kettle = black

the aftermath - George's Street, Dublin 2

Oh Mr. Moylan...stop pretending like it is only Americans who use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to get drunk. Please, do expound on how you celebrated this 'once-meaningful holiday'.

Friday, March 18, 2011

st. patrick's day

got my wellies on

So I didn't get to enjoy the festivities or see the parade but the streets of Dublin were full of people today. Here are a few snapshots from my morning 'commute' and coming home. Lots of wild orange and green hats, face paint, green neck towels, and green leggings. Aside from the outfits and the fact that it was a Thursday, I can't say it looked different from a normal night out in Dublin.

I am not interested in a themed frat party in the streets, so hubs and I ordered in and enjoyed some cheap cider from the Spar around the corner. Does that make me a party pooper?

I was hoping to get a sense of something St. Patrick-related. Maybe some snakes could slither away from me or maybe a special extra-Catholic St. Patrick-themed prayer could be recited. Or honestly any aspect of history that would make St. Patrick's Day in Ireland different from St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, I didn't learn anything. All I kept thinking is that I can go to an Irish pub and drink Irish beer with Irish people any time I want. That's something to be thankful for, right? At least it was a festive day and people seemed to be in a good mood. I especially enjoyed the flags along the river.

southside quays

parade route blocked off -Dame Street, Dublin 2

George's Street at 9.00am

George's Street looking south at 6.00pm

George's Street looking north

Dame Street

heading towards Temple Bar

Temple Bar

Thursday, March 17, 2011

here comes paddy

be wearing wellies for sure

On a normal weekday morning at around 8:30am, I see one puddle of puke on the streets of Temple Bar. In fairness, there are a few homeless shelters in the neighborhood and sometimes I can see the culprit responsible for the vom slumped down perched on a nearby stoop with an open can.

Weekends produce between 2-4 puddles in the three blocks I walk to George's Street. These probably belong to the tourists staying in the hostels nearby. After all, the Dublin experience revolves around whiskey and Guinness.

I would just like to put it out there: I am frightened for my morning walk tomorrow, because it's St. Patrick's Day. This week alone, I've seen a huge influx of tourists in the neighborhood; rolly suitcases in hand, jittering along on cobblestone roads, getting ready for the party. All the corner stores started selling giant green foam hats and clover pins and shirts with ridiculous sayings.

I had heard (from American friends) that St. Patrick's Day in Ireland is supposed to be a somber religious holiday. I'm convinced this something the Irish Tourism Board came up with to downplay reality. Based on the PSAs on the radio this week ('do everything in your power to keep your kids away from alcohol') the whole day is a drink-fest and the world is invited to participate. It is three weeks of Oktoberfest rolled into a single day.

I am told they shut down all the streets in the city centre and it can take over 20 minutes to cross Dame Street. I've been told to avoid Temple Bar if at all possible and there are supposed to be half a million people in the city centre alone. I guess I want to enjoy St. Patrick's Day since it's part of the experience, but I'm questioning if I'll go out at all. I might feel different if I was here on a visit, but the fact that it all happens in my neighborhood sort of makes me want to hide. Whatever happens, I will take my camera and see what there is to see!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

big news

I have some big news. I can't announce it here just's awesome. If you are family, then you already know.

Anyway, as a result I haven't had much time for blogging these past few weeks. I just have a few things to wrap up and then I'll let you know. Hooray!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

queen of the crepes

R-L: cameo by hubby's finger et moi

Once I was crowned the Queen of Minneapolis after a seriously intense game of Dutch Blitz. There was a metal crown fitted on my head in a ceremony and everything.

Now that I am no longer a resident, I probably have been replaced so that royal duties continue uninterrupted. At least I am still Queen of the Crepes. Here we have a succulent spinach + cheez crepe for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

so it begins

our new scrabble board

Hubs and I broke down and got ourselves a Scrabble board today. Thankfully, Ireland believes in classic board games. Walking around the Smyth's toy store I was beginning to worry that the world had become completely animatronic. 

With that in mind, our Scrabble board has plastic tiles instead of wooden ones. Despite this small disappointment, the game is still lovely. Not only is it fun to play, but it is also a solemn matter of showing off your supreme intelligence...

...I kid, I kid! 

Seriously, come to my house. Play with me. We have Scrabble headbands and everything:
peace be with you

and also with you

Monday, March 7, 2011

hot + spicy

Jo'Burger -Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6

After eating at CrackBird, a pop-up restaurant currently in its third of a twelve-week stint in Temple Bar, hubs and I decided to try the original restaurant of owner Joe Macken. I was smitten with CrackBird because they served me a habanero chili sauce that made me cry. Oh, that's a good thing.

We ended up at Jo'Burger after a quick trip on the 83 bus and I was delighted to find they had two types of veggie burgers and a plethora of burger toppings. I went with avocado and hot peppers, my two favorite condiments of all time. Oh and those Sriracha fries? To die for. 

I also discovered an Asian grocery near me called Asian Food Co. that sells all kinds of lovely things. The thing that impresses me the most is the amazing produce selection: pink Japanese eggplants, ripe (!) avocados, quarter chunks of fresh pumpkin, and scotch bonnet peppers. I have completely sworn off Tesco and will try to do all my shopping here from now on. Yesterday hubs & I bought a week's worth of groceries for a mere €13. And the place doesn't smell weird, either.

legumes + curries galore -Asian Food Co. Mary Lane, Dublin 1

Irish vocab:

"cookery" = things having to do with cooking (pots, pans, cookery books)
"pancakes" = small ones, like griddle cakes
"chilis"  = hot peppers, usually a medium-spicy red thai chili
"piri piri" = a blended sauce or spices with bird's eye chile, lime, and salt

Sunday, March 6, 2011


chips in every color of the chocolate rainbow-Kitchen Compliments, Chatham St

Today I learned that the word "sketch" is a word you say when you are doing something shady and the Garda, or police, are coming. Also, it's what people whisper at you when you are talking about a person and they are coming up behind you, hearing every word. Oops, my bad. 

I also learned that it is a very Irish thing to tie a handkerchief around your neck when you have a sore throat. To me, it looks like some simple French-style flare, but I guess to the Irish it is helping them medically. I suppose it's time for another Irish vocab lesson:

"loads" = a lot of something
"sketch" = here come the cops
"deadly" = fantastic
"dodgy" = sketchy
"dodger" = a shady character
"massive" = big
"knackered" = tired, not to be confused with...
"knackers" = derogatory term for Irish Travellers

Saturday, March 5, 2011

the temple bar

the cadavos @ the temple bar-temple bar, dublin 2

Hubby's band played The Temple Bar tonight. The Temple Bar is kind of a big deal because the entire neighborhood is named after it. It's the bar that I used to make my blog banner. Look up there. When we were looking for a neighborhood in Dublin, we wanted to be in a place is known for artistic residents, locally-owned shops, and the open-air markets--basically somewhat like where we lived in Minneapolis. Even though it is overrun with tourists, The Temple Bar is a huge traditional style pub and is probably the most well-known pub in all of Dublin. So, you should have figured out by now that hubs is a pretty big deal for playing there. 

I did my part by parading around with the tip jar empty pint glass asking for tips. It turns out they were well-liked and are going to play again next Friday night. Sweet.

taking pictures because they are famous

Thursday, March 3, 2011

choice music prize

Here are my pictures from the Choice Music Prize awards show at the beautiful Vicar Street venue. Aside from the idiot girl behind me who shushed me and poked me repeatedly in the shoulder to be quiet even though she talked with her friend at a rather loud volume the rest of the show, I had a great time. Girl, you are lucky you touched me and have lived to tell the tale. 

The Choice Music Prize is an annual event where they award bands for best Irish album of the year, with a focus on non-mainstream bands. It's a sort of indie music awards for the entire country. For the event that we attended, each nominee plays two songs and does an on-camera interview. At the end they announce the winner and hand them a giant check for €10,000. I was rooting for a band called O, Emperor that some friends showed me awhile back. They are from Waterford and put on an amazing set. 

SPOILER ALERT: O, Emperor did not win. Still, I'm glad we went because I discovered a bunch of talented Irish bands. I also discovered an expensive fizzy drink called WKD that tastes like raspberries and is bright blue. Highly recommended. Oh and almost all the bands had five-part harmonies and a little folksy twang. Thanks Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and friends. I am thoroughly enjoying your success.

our seats were in block A

James Vincent McMorrow sounds and looks a bit like Sam Beam. No complaints here:
james vincent mcmorrow

O, Emperor was the band from Waterford. They are friends of the couple that went to the event with us and put on the biggest set of the night:
o, emperor

Fight Like Apes had a crazy girl in spandex running around. I was jealous of her giant hair:

These guys were obviously the most famous already. Thankfully, they said they'd donate the money to charity.
two door cinema club (winners)

The Villagers were the favorites to win. How do I know? Well, in Ireland you can go into a betting shop and find all sorts of statistics. These guys had the worst odds so that means they were probably going to win. Have I told you that I want to take up gambling? Nobody will take me to Ladbrokes yet, but I will find some shady yoke to teach me all about the underworld...
the villagers

Cathy Davey was my favorite of the three female-fronted bands that played:
cathy davey

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

george's street art

west side of the mercantile restaurant-george's st, dublin 2

Iroincally, there is real scaffolding next to the fake ladder. Anyway, I found a website called Big Art Mob that documents street art in the UK and Ireland since some of the artists' work appears here and in England. The have all the locations pinpointed using GoogleMaps, which is handy. I noticed a few of the pieces on the site that I've already seen around town and a couple that I'd still like to find. 

irish fashion

donuts, magic wands, an ample sweater + leather jacket selection at Tesco

I dont want to make negative comments about fashion in Ireland but Gok Wan told me on his fashion show that the majority of people in the UK buy their clothes at the grocery store. I realize Ireland is not part of the UK anymore, but semantics aside, they have a clothing aisle at the local Tesco. See what I can buy alongside my roast vegetable medley and fruit trifle dessert? 

Once I bought a pair of flip-flops from the Raley's in my hometown because my own pair broke as I was walking around the store. Even with the dire circumstance at the time, I knew it was an embarrassing move. If anybody were to ask me, "Where did you get those plain black flip-flops?" I would've had to make something up. The horror. Moral of the story: There is a pink and black striped sweater currently on sale at Tesco that I would totally wear. Obviously I haven't purchased it on principle alone. 

Here is a fun article I found on the Irish Times about how men dress here. I believe I have mentioned the tracksuits before.