Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Southwestern Food Fix

As I attempt to piece together more stories to regale you about the Southwest, I'll start you off with a pretty South-Westerly recipe, perfect for the cold winter nights we all seem to be having right now... I might be in the desert, but it's freaking COLD! Snowed overnight and for most of the day... but it's peaceful and very festive.

This recipe is pretty darn easy, a lot of the stuff comes from cans, can be made veggie or meaty in a million different varieties. How American eh? If you're a wannabe foodie like me, you'll go all organic and as local as possible - it's pretty easy with this one. However, I warn you, I'm not sure where you can get the mild chili powder outside the States- Erg. Onwards.

Hearty Homemade Chili to ward off the chill.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
500 grams (1lb) ground beef, turkey or quorn
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder – the American non-hot stuff as illustrated above
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or hot chili powder
1 teaspoon salt or Creole salt seasoning
1 medium red or green pepper, chopped
Any other favorite vegetable, it could be chopped carrots, corn, broccoli or all of the above…
Feel free to add any other seasoning you like such as parsley, basil etc.

The best thing about cooking yourself? You get to do it exactly how YOU want to... so please, add & subtract ingredients however you like.

In a big aul pot, heat up the garlic in the olive oil, without letting it get too brown and add the onions until they’re nice & sweaty. Throw in the meat getting it nice & browned. Drain off any excess water or fat from the cooked meat.

Throw the canned ingredients in the pot with the meat mixing them together well. Add the remaining ingredients – and as I always say, do not hesitate to taste, making it as spicy, salty or mild as you like.

It should be a thick liquidy consistency – the tomatoes making up the majority of the liquid – if it’s a bit too thick or dry you can add a little bit of water, but don’t add too much, making sure the flavor remains full of your seasonings.

Leave the pot on for a while at a low simmer with the lid on, around 30 minutes, to ensure your veggies are cooked through. Since it’s chili, feel free to cook it even longer – as long as it’s a low heat and the lid is on it shouldn’t burn or lose any moisture – it’s one of those dishes that sometimes is better the longer it’s left on as it has more time to get the flavors going.

I like serving it up on tortillas with some grated cheddar, but in a bowl on its own is still delish, and it’s also good over rice. This also freezes & re-heats really well so you can make tons of it to re-heat later on.

YUM & pretty darn healthy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bluebird Flour - FAIL

As an outsider, I've noted there are certain signature items of the Navajo people...

turquoise & silver jewelry

amazing woven wool rugs

sand paintings

mud hogans

dogs, sheep, goats, horses

Blue Bird Flour...

Now that last item is more an item for the Navajo people as opposed to tourists buying overpriced items in the area... The sacks themselves are iconic for anyone who has come in contact with them or the open vast expanses of the Rez. The Rez is desolate to say the least... the question I had to ask my folks was, before the traders, what the HELL did they eat out here? There is NOTHING! Anyways, to get back to point... nowadays, and for the last century or more, one of the main staples of the Navajo are fry bread made from Blue Bird Flour. Blue Bird is sold in giant 10, 15 & 25 pound cotton sacks with iconic silk-screened logos. I love any of that old-fashioned style of selling goods, and of course, anyone familiar with me knows I love the idea of upcycling & recycling. So my mom & I, thinking about fun (cheap) Christmas gifts, thought it would be amazing to make items out of used Blue Bird flour sacks, but for the life of us, we can't find anywhere that actually sells them at a reasonable price.

Sure, we could go to the Red Mesa trading post & buy a couple of 25 pound sacks... but they would be complete with flour. Me, assuming EVERYTHING could be bought online was certain we'd get them there. No luck. Dilemma indeed.

What I want to know, what happens to the used sacks? Are they recycled? Sewn into other things? They're certainly not for sale as far as I can tell.

Maybe maybe maybe we might make the trek to Cortez Colorado where the flour is actually produced - maybe then we could buy the empty sacks and make some aprons or shopping bags or something. I dunno.

If anyone else out there knows anything about getting a hold of actual used cotton flour sacks (not vintage per say, as they're so WAY over priced) pluh-leeese let me know.


Observations in Amer-i-keh

Happy Holidaze to everyone! I've been a bit off-grid lately as for the past week I've been in the deepest depths of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

My parents moved out here for work 6 months ago and have been building a new life on the res, which makes for fascinating reading. (I'm trying to convince my mom to start her own blog). The day that I was made redundant I got some pretty bad news about my Dad's health, and once my new un-employment status set in, I no longer was constrained by vacation time. Long-story short, my most-awesome boyfriend insisted I go back and visit and be with the family during the holidays and gave me money towards my ticket as a Christmas/Birthday pressie. Am I lucky or what?!?

So here I am, a week into the adventure and a lot has happened. I flew to Albuquerque where my mom came and picked me up - we drove back towards their town, Red Mesa, which is in way North Eastern Arizona near the four corners, where the borders of Utah, Arizona, Colorado & New Mexico meet. On the way, we stopped at Canyon de Chelly as you can see in the attached photos. Four and a half hours later, we made it to Red Mesa... more photos to come.

We stayed in Red Mesa for a night and then it was off to Phoenix as my dad had to be in the hospital for some tests... bring on another six hours in the car. Sheesh! In the end, all the test results were fantastic and my dad got a pretty clean bill of health which was a seriously fantastic Christmas present for all of us. I'm going to update more of our adventures including adventures in food, travel and just being in America in general.

I've also had time to think about this poor neglected blog and it's lack of direction. I'm getting some ideas to keep it rolling out. But for now, expect some updates of the traveling in the Wild West.

The photo up above in the post is of White House Ruins in Canyon De Chelly.

First photo below is my mom's newly adopted res-dog, Lucky.

Photo below that is also Canyon De Chelly,

and then of course, the Google map to show you exactly what I'm talking about!

View Larger Map

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pitfalls of self-employment

Oh me oh my...

my poor neglected blog. But neglected for good reason I suppose, as previously mentioned, I have recently been forced to go out on my own and forge a living without the security of a monthly paycheck. Eek!

So far, it's been quite the learning experience. And it's been good... and tough at the same time. I certainly won't yet call myself an expert of the self-employed world, but in the few weeks that I've been here I've learned a few tricks and stumbling blocks. Shall I share?

#1 - Get out there - The very first thing I did when my employment fate was given to me was to hit the ground running. I told everybody I knew about my new status. This satisfied the immediate need to open up and talk about it and freak out and bitch - but it also helped to let as many people out there that I was available. I was going to try and not fall into the rut of slowing down and feeling sorry for myself, but instead just let people know I'd do anything and everything. The result? I have been re-donkulously busy with freelance projects that are much more interesting than the day job, which is also why I haven't been adding too much to my blog as of late. Yeah, they're jobs that aren't gonna pay huge money, but in the field of video and editing and multimedia - one thing indefinitely leads to another.

#2- Get out of bed - DO NOT SLEEP IN! It sounds so silly and obvious - but getting up at the normal time for work - say, working by 9:30am - makes the day so much more productive. Especially now that it's winter in Ireland, it's very difficult to get stuck in to work when the sunlight is disappearing. My first week of "working from home" was spent sleeping a lot... perhaps that's also down to the slight depression anyone would get when one loses their job. But needless to say, now that I'm outta that routine, I've gotten a million more things done.

#3 - Shower & Get Dressed. Again, like #2 this seems pretty obvious, but when you don't actually have to meet people face to face - especially in a professional manner - you kinda feel like... meh.... unfortunately just somehow mentally I've found it so so hard to work consistently on work while greasy and in my jim-jams. Also, there are many moments where you realize you do need to pop into town, or at least the shops, and when it's 3pm and you still haven't dressed, these small tasks grow a bit more insurmountable.

More obvious advice moments to come...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kitchen Sink Drama

Remember way back when... I was talking about the stresses of moving house and the possibility of getting a new kitchen?

Well, few updates:
1. we're not moving (see previous post)
2. we did get a new kitchen... yet said kitchen is STILL not done.


It's definitely been a learning experience, with dealing with builders who don't actually have a clue, and standing up for yourself and getting what you need vs. what you want.

We ended up going with Ikea for kitchens... As much as I have qualms about using the Primark of interiors, they were dead cheap and fairly easy to design when using their special software. And when its done it'll be pretty... and there's a lot more counterspace which is mega yay...

However we did not go with Ikea's installation option. It just seemed crazy to spend so much more than the actual kitchen cost for installation. BIG MISTAKE. Tomorrow will be round three of the kitchen fitters returning to re-do the shoddy job they started over a month ago. Again. From improperly installed plumbing to messy carpentry... it's been an experience all right.

When I've got the pretty finished kitchen I'll post lots of shiny photos... but in the meantime, here's the fun we've been dealing with recently:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Recession hits home... literally

A lot can happen in a week. Life can go from normal to completely strange and unknown territory in the space of hours. It has been a very strange past couple of days, and I now feel like I have digested somewhat, my new state of affairs.

I think it's fair to say the recession has pretty much affected everyone in the past year or so; some positive (lower rents, lower prices) most negative (terrible budgets, loss of jobs etc.). Now I can count myself among the statistics as I just found out I'm being laid off. It's really strange, in my 15 years in the working world I have never lost a job. I've left plenty of jobs, and I've finished contracts, but I've never been let go.

I am strangely calm about the whole thing I have to say. Last Friday, when I found out, I was pretty much in shock. Now that it's sunk in a bit I am, of course, worried... but at the same time, I'm a little bit relieved. Meetings that have taken place over the last few months make a lot more sense, and I am also in the type of position that allows me to work on a freelance basis, which is something I always felt I would do, yet was too comfortable - and complacent - about the cushy full time position I held.

In a way, I'm a little bit excited, and scared, to see what the next couple of months have in store for me. It'll force me to be a lot more productive, and really stretch my muscles as an entrepreneur... which at my age, I should do!

I've always felt this blog lacked direction, and perhaps now it'll be my way of showing the world how I'm getting on. It'll be a little journal of how I'm surviving... Perhaps if I discover genius ways to be awesome on a majorly tiny budget. We'll just have to see how it goes... wish me luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The luckiest ferals in the world...

I love a happy ending... and here's one for the feral cats from San Gabriel Island off the coast of California. Yay US Humane Society & Yay for Do Great Good

I wish I could post the video, but you'll just have to visit the link above.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Those of you in the know will be well familiar with MO-VEMBER, a cute lil charity-spinner that is in support of Prostate Cancer charities. It basically allows you to sponsor fellas to grow & sport a moustache for the entirety of the month of November. So generally you are paying money to watch your friends and colleagues embarrass themselves all over their face - in the name of charity. Fantastic.

Of course it appeals to the hipster elite (ooooh look what a weird 'tache I can cultivate onto my face) and the manly men (It's SOOOO thick on my upper lip, imagine what I look like down there) and of course those looking for an excuse to be able to head to the office in a not-so-clean-shaven manner (It's for a good cause!) Indeed even women can join in (in a supportive non-hairy way).

I am all for any fun, creative way to raise monz and awareness for a good cause. In fact I have already sponsored my office's team Rogmo & Claytasche - you can help them out as well:

Oh and visit this site if you also want to get in on the hairy action:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vote Talulah!

O hay....
Did I already mention this? No? Geez what's wrong with me? I made a video for my band, Talulah Does The Hula, and the video has been nominated for an Irish Music TV award in the best newcomer category. BUT it's a public vote category so we need all the help we can get!

Step one: watch the video

Step two: vote for the video HERE!

Thanking you
(PS that's me with the blondy hair at the top of the vid - ooooh)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another blog, and it's rather NICE!

So of course in starting a blog about better-ing one-self, I have now come across so many amazing blogs which are doing similar things... and I LOVE it!

Operation Nice is my latest discovery. Join them in the quest to make the world a nicer place!

Sweeter than sweet

Need some smilies? We saw these on TV when we were in NYC... and they're just about the BEST THING EVAR:

Conversation Pieces

So while regretsy proves that sometimes "upcycling" can have massively disastrous results, it's blogs like Conversation Pieces that prove a lil creativity and an eye for detail can truly make upcycling an art form. Check out the vintage suitcase cat bed! The use of Cath Kidson fabric! YAY.

It also reminds me that my blog is feeling a lil bit neglected - I'm just not sure of my theme, my motivation. I think I need to goal it up or somethin....

Anyways, soon to be blogged about: The kitchen/moving saga and how it's making me start living afresh in my mess of a house.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Re-Connect Live

A lil while back you may recall I posted about Re-Dress, an organization here in Dublin that focused on the ethical & sustainable side of fashion. Well it appears that they are organizing a small get together/networking event this week in Dublin. Sounds like a great event to meet like-minded individuals.

Time: November 11, 2009 from 7pm to 9pm
Organized By: rosie o'reilly

Event Description:
RE-CONNECT LIVE has changed venue and the networking event will now be held upstairs in the Stag's head pub - just off Dame Street.

"The evening will be kicked off with a presentation by Kellie Dalton of her thesis "Towards a theory of Fashion Evolution ; a revolution of consciousness". Then time for chatting , nattering and RE-CONNECTING!"

Sounds good to me...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


In my lack of posting for the last month I've let this gem of a site go unmentioned... it's been getting a lot of attention as of late and there's good reason why.

I'm a huge fan of Etsy - the concept fits exactly with the remit of this blog... plus generally most things are gorgeous handmade or vintage pieces of loveliness... BUT, like the internet itself, enabling anyone & everyone with the facility to sell & self-promote throughout the world, you're bound to accumulate some batshit crazy people and ideas... Which is the concept behind Regretsy. An awesome collection of the dregs of Etsy... they find the terrible and hilarious shit so you don't have to.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back in the saddle

Oh it's been a while, but after three incredibly busy weeks, life should be somewhat back to normal.

In those three weeks I've managed to put in that new kitchen as mentioned in previous posts, move out of my home for three years, and have a fun New York vaycay... and watch bezzie mate Susie walk down the aisle in Vegas.

I am however, finding it very difficult to get properly back in the saddle, so instead of writing anything epic, which I am incapable of at the mo', I'll just provide you with some links to ponder. Apologies for the grim nature of both links.

If you're living Stateside, simply pop in your zip code to find out all the grim truths about your nearby environment.
Maybe where you live is AWESOME and clean and healthy with no unemployment - then, huzzah! Unfortunately for me, as a person who was brought up in So. Cal and hopes to return there one day, I was pretty disappointed to see the top THREE cities with cancer diagnoses are all Southern California. Yuk.

Topic Two: The Humane Society has just released some truly disturbing footage of some US veal farms... they're hoping the upsetting images will highlight the need for policy reform. Watch if you dare, and have a strong stomache:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

American Rí Rá

Hey American friends, looking for a genuine "Irish Pub" experience? Looks like a few Dubliners have brought Ireland stateside without a hint of diddly-eye-doucheyness that's usually found in the American version of an Irish pub.

Rí Rá is a small but growing chain of restaurants/pubs that you can read all about on the Tasting Table site here:

According to Tasting Table, the menu varies from location to location - which looks like it's down to locally sourcing their goods - that's a win for locality and sustainability. Annnnd even better, most of the local establishments appear to support & benefit their community, with fundraisers and the sponsorship of teams etc.

Check out Rí Rá's website here:

Well how nicey nice!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Temple Bar Food Market

Been meaning to post these photos for ages but I'm only getting around to it now. A good few weeks back myself and the fella headed into the centre of Dublin's Fair City on one of those rare lovely bright Saturday mornings when you've had a good rest...

The Temple Bar Food Market was in full swing, serving up it's delicious array of fresh foodie goods. Here's some of what we found:

They say ignorance is bliss, and it's probably true as now that's I'm a bit more food-origin-conscious I realized it's a "food market" and not a "farmer's market". The difference? I think it's down to the fact that the proprietors are more "distributors" than actual farmers, at least that's the feeling I got when compared to my precious Santa Barbara Farmer's Market.

I hate being a negative nelly, but while all the lovely organic fare got me drooling, I did find myself a little disappointed with the amount of imported produce. A lot was flown over from Holland, France & Spain - but unfortunately there's not a whole lot you can do about that when living in the dark wet Irish environment. I've obviously been very spoiled growing up in California where the local climate is incredibly accommodating to most produce, and the farmers markets are made up of... farmers. But hey, it is organic, and I would gladly go out of my way to support a local farmer/distributor than Tesco any day.

I tried my darndest to choose only local stuff, but boy was it tough. Here's what I cam home with: Irish tomatos, leeks, garlic, spinach, zucchini (courgettes to you Irish), an artichoke & apples. The non-Irish stuff came in the form of blueberries from Holland, peaches & plums from France. I think I did fairly well considering.

My biggest challenge was to next use ALL the fresh fruit & veg before it spoiled. A tough job for busy busy folks like the fella & me. The results coming soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Eco Fashion Fixes

I just came across a web magazine devoted to the ever-growing and trendy world of Eco/Ethical fashion.

There's a boatload of articles, ideas, ideals, online shops, store locators & more. It's mega-huge. Green Street Style? List of blogs? Videos? Yeeeah! Excellent!

I'm still trawling through their endless pages as I write this, getting exited to see if there's any projects I can work on, or new places to shop. And of course, who would argue with looking fashionable AND being good to Mother Earth. That's what I thought!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vertical Farm Project

I recently came across a site promoting the concept of vertical farming.

Of course, it all looks verrrrry interesting, considering the population explosion, the lack of farmable land, climate change and the need to find more sustainable methods of feeding people - this is all very timely and their positive arguments are pretty strong.

It doesn't look like any full-on vertical farms have been built just yet - I suppose really, it's still a concept. The section of the website that shows the various skyscraper farm designs is quite cool, there are so many different ideas. But of course, the actual build of one of these projects would be quite costly - and experimental. I'm very curious about the energy consumption of the buildings - the website claims that vertical farms could produce organic food year-round, which in my head says: energy-sucking-heat lamps, but if there is a way to harness sustainable energy, then wow, genius.

On a smaller level, a vertical farm could be an interesting concept for urban allotments, or even urban gardening, where outside space is really precious.

Photo is a concept by SOA Architects: and

More Make & Do

This weekend I was left only in the company of my kitty & decided to have a go at some sewing projects I've had at the back of my mind, which also served to recycle/re-use a bunch of scrappy fabrics bursting out of my sewing drawer...

The result! A super soft, fuzzy and durable cat cushion/bed. The top is just some fake leopard fur leftover from lining a key-tar carrying case.

Noel the cat was taken away from his mommy a bit early so he has a bit of a 'thing' for anything fuzzy. The moment he steps on anything furry his little purr motors up and usually he begins to knead and suckle. Awww... I knew he wouldn't be able to resist his very own furry cushion/mommy replacement.

The underside of the cushion is actually recycled denim... from old pairs of my very own jeans.

Everyday Objects Print

I just happened upon this amazing collection of wax print fabric someone picked up in Ghana.

view the full collection here:

It's amazingly awesome the way all the designs are inspired by everyday, modern objects such as lightbulbs, mufflers, lipsticks and even first aid kits. Something mediocre turned into something beautiful. If I got my hands on this fabric I'd love to throw together some amazing Shaheen-inspired creation... as if I could actually sew dresses.... In reality I'd probably make some mis-shapen tote bags... but we can all dream a dream.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Laundry Envy

As a follow-on to my previous post, I came across this delightful Laundry Room. Ahhh... to be a time-warp wife.

The original post is here:

"Washdays are sure to be sunny in this colorful laundry. While washer and dryer take over, you can catch up with a favorite TV program or settle down to desk work. Soiled clothing is sorted into hamper baskets to match washer settings."

"The American Home"
April 1959

Although that fiberglass chair is making my arms itchy just looking at it.

Modern Life is Rubbish

The things we impose on ourselves!

So... I've been having a dilemma. I've been a homeowner in Ireland for just over three years. Yep, myself and the fella are one of those lucky people now living in negative equity... which doesn't really matter so long as you've a roof over your head right? And with interest rates so low, we're paying less than we would if we were renting. So, it's not so bad.

Except (and it's a big except to us) we bought our place in a neighborhood we were less than thrilled about simply because there was nothing else we could afford at the time. An Estate Agent would call it central, I would call it inner city.

Wanting to upgrade neighborhoods was always at the back of our minds, and knowing we couldn't sell our house, we slowly worked on fixing up the house with the distant possibility of being landlords. Well... opportunity literally knocked on our door a few weeks ago and our former next door neighbor was interested in renting the house. Grand. Good. Let's do it.

In theory we're supposed to be leaving our home this week... except for one small problem. Our house doesn't have a washing machine. No biggie right? When I lived in NYC, having a washing machine was a luxury. Well, in Dublin it's considered a "Mod Con". It's actually required! Not only do we not have a washing machine, but we've no place to put one. In order to put a washing machine in our house, we would need to fit an entire new kitchen. This whole landlord business is starting to look quite expensive!

So... lucky for us cheapies, Dublin finally has Ikea. I've got the kitchen all picked out using the Ikea kitchen software thingy, but I began to panic as reality set in. Thoughts of all the things that need doing in order to REALLY put in a kitchen. Such as:
Okay, like, BUY the kitchen
buy a washing machine
get the kitchen installed
re-tile the walls
re-tile the floors
get a plumber to put in a washing machine
get a plumber in to take out the radiator
get another heater installed under the units by electrician
get electrician to fix the oven pluggy-thing that is messed up but we've ignored for 3 years.

Ummmm... this is not a weekend event is it? All for a stupid washing machine!

AND... can I really call myself a modern-day-eco-warrior by buying a super cheap kitchen from Ikea? Inevitably imported from far overseas and taking business away from some local kitchen artisan? Okay, well, my bank balance won't allow me to have that argument, but it is something I think about.

I'm thinking I agree with Blur, Modern Life Is Rubbish.

(anyone know any good kitchen installers?)

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Volunteers!

Since I was on the whole volunteer buzz, and since the garden is beginning its annual, colorful journey to winter slumber, I figured I'd take some photos of the locals who have taken up residence in my little patch.

Click on the photos to see more detail.

First, below, a grape vine, grass, and heather:

Then, a willow and some bell flowers:

Finally, my messy pot that was originally supposed to be a peonia, but is really just a shambles.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It you can't find it... Make it!

I've always loved creating projects on the aul sewing machine... I am however, no dress maker - no, my sewing projects are generally limited to purses, bags and other carrying devices. I'm not really sure why, but that's what I seem to engineer as soon as I've got fabric in my hand.

Some of my more successful items include canvas and oil-cloth shoulderbags specifically created to carry two-litre water bottles, and possibly my greatest ever feat of engineering (that still needs a bit of stitching) a bespoke bag I created for my mate Lauren's Roland AX-1 Keytar complete with shiny red outside, adjustable strap, lots of padding and super fuzzy leopard print on the inside. I must get a picture of it for the site.

One of my most recent projects began life as a bag, but ended up as a "love heart knitting cushion". Basically it's a cushion made from hand-dyed canvas that opens up to reveal clever wool storage - just add needles and a couch and you've got a quiet night in. Below are photos of the results.

This weekend, my plan is to develop a couple of bespoke guitar pedal board/cases. Stiff bottom where the pedals can be velcroed-in and left on stage, and then a zipped top turning it back into a carrying case.

Monday, September 21, 2009


No, not the charitable kind, instead the kind you find popping up in your garden. Urban gardening is a strange thing, my neighborhood suffers from a huge lack of greenery, yet despite this, an amazing amount of plants have sprouted up of their own accord in the pots in my little back garden. I have a full blooming heather, a willow tree, some sea grasses, maiden-hair ferns, and loads more that I am yet to identify. Which is sometimes the danger with volunteers - some might be simple weeds, while others are worthy of replanting into their own pots! An eye for identifying plants is definitely helpful in the volunteer arena.

My favorite volunteers? A couple of tomato plants that just popped up into my Clematis pot... They've grown a good bit more since this original photo, and I've since transplanted them to their own home. It's too bad the summer's over - I have a feeling there will be no real activity out of these bad boyz.

Here's the results of the great tomato transplant, we'll see if they survive.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cheap-Chic = Eco-Chic

Angela Scanlon, stylist extraordinaire (whom I have had the pleasure of working with via StyleNation & IMTV) recently appeared on rte's TwoTube - giving tips on staying stylish without parting with too much of your hard-earned dosh. And lucky for us, in another "being good to mother earth without even knowing it" way, many of the tips revolved around the whole upcycling/recycling of clothes buzz.

She's got a couple of tips for the spendthrift fashionista (and fashionistuds as well) including the Crafternoon Tea which I covered earlier. You can watch her talking about her trip to Temple Bar's SwopShop here:
or simply read her tips on the rte website here:

Check em out - Tanks Ange!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DublinBikes: Tragic Update

I've just read reports that a 51 year old cyclist was killed this morning after being hit by an articulated truck on the Quays in Dublin's City Centre. The RTE report doesn't give much insight into the circumstances, but some of those active on the innnernet are reporting that he was on one of the Dublin Bikes as mentioned yesterday. Either way, it's tragic news and all the more reason for the Transport Minister's cycling path scheme to hurry up and get into place.

Here's what RTE had to say:

**update 16/09/09: the victim was definitely not on a DublinBike**

Variety Reviews 'Colony'

Variety magazine reviews the Irish produced Doc 'Colony' (as mentioned previously on this blog) after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival

Here's another preview of the film:

Dance on brother, dance on...

RIP Patrick Swayze

By the way, you can watch Mr. Swayze in a previous entry here: The Greatest Story Ever Rolled

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dublin Bikes are HERE!

The new public bike scheme has finally hit Dublin... The Press Release goes something like this:

"Cosmopolitan cities such as Paris, Lyon, Vienna, and Montreal all offer a public bike scheme. Dublin now joins this elite list. On 13th September 2009 dublinbikes will offer locals and visitors a non-polluting, traffic jam-beating form of transport to get around our capital city."

The concept is brilliant: there are 40 stations around the city centre - you pay 10 bucks a year for membership, have a €150 deposit to cover the cost of lost/stolen bikes and the first 30 minutes of rental are free - which basically covers you for taking the bikes most places within the city centre radius. Beware of keeping the bike longer than 24 hours though, or the full €150 will be deducted from your account.

Whether the International capital of binge drinking can cope with the responsibility remains to be seen. The organizers behind the scheme have the right ideas, such as keeping the 40 bike stations in well lit and publicly placed areas, and not allowing the bikes to be taken out after 12:30am (avoiding the inevitable 3am drunk ride home). But I know the nearest station to my house (Mountjoy Sqaure) is often desolate and dark after sunset. Erp.

Any scheme that's trying to reduce pollution, fuel costs and traffic, places high in my "good list"... I just hope it doesn't result in any injuries (or God-forbid fatalities) from numerous inexperienced cyclists on the road.

Aside from their website, I haven't actually checked out the look & feel of the bikes or kiosks, so definitely a full report to come soonish...

For full info about the program, visit their website:

Friday, September 11, 2009


This is what happens when you bring "the good" into someone else's home. Proof that trying to bring the good is not appreciated by eveyone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Earth Does Not Like Your Party

It's no secret that party decorations are not only expensive... but also have a terrible habit for ending up in trash piles. A new recycling site has just come to my attention via the Thrillist list

It doesn't market itself as a "recycling" site, but rather an online marketplace to buy and sell new and gently used party supplies. It does however hint at its subtle green-ness with the catch-phrase of "Saving the Planet One Event at a Time"... so there. I find the idea particularly interesting as not too long ago I was chatting to my cousin about this very subject. He works on big corporate events and mentioned the amount of waste after the party ends is actually a bit disturbing. Swathes of fabric and flowers and bowls with nowhere to go but the dump.

The brilliance of the idea is in its subtlety: all sorts of people are likely to go here for deals, or to make up for the cost of their big aul party rather than simply to be eco-friendly... extra points for slyly getting people to green up whether they realize it or not. Suh-weet.

How perfect is this? I'm giving it three outta five - considering it looks quite pricey to add an item to the site: