I’ve written recently about suffering with chronic pain. I’ve done so for two years, since a few months into my pregnancy, and have experienced many ups and downs with it. There have been many visits to many different doctors, trying different medications, different physical therapies and many mornings waking up and hoping “Today Is The Day” (As of yet, It’s never been the day). Pain is a constant in my life, which I’m working on reducing alongside some incredible medical professionals, but one that I try my hardest not to get me down.
While listening to podcasts while out walking one day recently, I came across an interview which my Dad had recommended I listen to, Sean Moncrieff interviewing the TV Presenter and author Andrea Hayes. She spoke about her life living with chronic pain, the feelings it instilled in her, different things she had done to cope. While her pain is from a different source, listening to her I related so much to the interview and found myself sending it to other friends who have suffered with chronic illness – all of whom reacted the same as me “I’m not cracking up, it’s not just me, she’s telling our story”. So, when I got home I downloaded a copy of the book “Pain Free Life: My Journey To Wellness” and was excited to get stuck in.
I love finding new places to try out for lunch in Cork City, especially places that are good value for money with varied menus to treat my tastebuds. Recently, a cafe I had tried once before in it’s old location in Turners Cross, Lishh, moved to the Dosco Business Park on the South Douglas Road, closer to my house, and I took it as a great excuse to try it out properly. Lishh is a mixture of a deli cafe, food seller and catering company – now located directly across from Cork Meat Company and The Good Fish Company, two excellent fresh food sellers – the perfect combination.
Happy April, it’s the first of the month, and the Internet is filled with April Fools jokes. Some better than others, admittedly, but this is not one of those posts. Instead, I’m sitting looking out at the horrible rain outside and planning all of the lovely television I can catch up on with Netflix this month. Who needs to head outside in this weather when there’s so much to catch up on?
Are you familiar with Paw Patrol? Chances are, if you’ve got a child under the age of five who has been introduced to a television or Netflix account, you’ll at least be familiar with the theme tune. By familiar, I mean it’s stuck on a loop in a part of your brain that nothing else can quite reach to get it out of there (I’ve contemplated bleaching it out. Surely that will work?). For those of you who haven’t become familiar with the show that has taken over our lives as we know them, Paw Patrol is a Canadian animation broadcast in 126 countries, based on the premise of a pack of dogs who, under orders of the questionably aged boy with lots of technology at his disposal, go about saving the rather questionable townspeople from themselves. In our house, the combination of dogs plus fire engines (that would be the aptly named Marshall) was fated to be a winner.
Here we go again, February 14th, Valentines Day, the day where we make the effort we should be making the other 364 days of the year to make sure that the other half knows how much we love and appreciate them (and their bin taking out abilities). Windows are full of gift ideas which range from dodgy looking mens underwear, to chocolate covered treats and everything in between. If you’re planning on burying your head in the sand instead of joining the queue for overbooked restaurants and cinema showings this year, but have someone special to snuggle up to (or a comfy pillow, works either way), then you should be sorted with Netflix. You can even get into the spirit of things. Put away Making A Murderer for one night and get feeling a little more soft and gooey and warm inside.
Why go for one cheesy romcom when you can go for all of them? Date Movie is what it says on the tin, a send up of all those cliches, all those motifs you see in every single romantic boy meets girl comedy – and it’s got Alyson Hannigan (American Pie, How I Met Your Mother) in it, who I love, so it was definitely on my to-watch list. It’s not exactly Spielberg but it’s got a few good belly laughs and is good for the date that isn’t taking itself too seriously – or for simply laughing at the whole conceptÂ of romantic movies in general as it sends up most of the big ones! Perfect for those not quite behind the whole mushy side of Valentines Day.
What do you do when your boyfriend dumps you to go find someone smarter? Forget about your fashion qualifications and apply to Harvard Law of course in an effort to win him back. You can’t but love Reese Witherspoon in this, and between a rewatch of this and How To Get Away With Murder I’m dreaming of a law degree myself in the future! A love story with lots of law, learning, feminism and beauty tips to boot – if you haven’t seen it already (where were you?), you need to. While I’d class it as a girly movie, there is a lot of good laughs to keep the boys entertained too this Valentines weekend.
Romeo and Juliet
The most famous love story of all time meets a young Leonardo Di Caprio and a super young looking Claire Danes (This film is 20 years old this year). Using the words of the Bard in a much more modern setting, Baz Luhrmann works his magic. If you’re looking for classic romance this Valentines Day, you can’t ask for much better. A pair of star crossed lovers, and their tale of tragic romance caused by their warring families – we all know how it ends, but it doesn’t take from it at all.
Adapted from one of my favourite books, Where Rainbows End (Cecilia Ahern), Love, Rosie is a rather recent film with a lot of lovely moments. What happens when you meet your soulmate in primary school but never quite get the timing right? A ton of life gets in the way, that’s what. They may have made them English instead of Irish, and you will spend half the film shouting at them to cop onto themselves, but it’s a really sweet love story, perfect for Valentines Day!
What happens when you mix the creator of Love Actually and Notting Hill, with the star of The Notebook? One hell of an emotional ride, that’s what. It’s sincere, it’s beautiful, it’s very high on my list of favourite films. At the age of 21, Tim (played by our own Domhnall Gleeson), finds out that a family trait is time travel (better than the dodgy eyesight that happens in our family anyway) and thus begins a quest to not only find a girlfriend but to make every moment perfect. As the movie goes on though, we learn it isn’t quite that simple… If this doesn’t get you in the feels, Â you’re not watching it right. Perfect for a date night in with the one you love.
The film with one of the most iconic scenes in rom com history. John Cusack’s 1989 classic is a gorgeous love story which should make you smile, but not quite want to get sick from an overly sickly love story – definitely worth a watch.
Those are my picks this Valentines weekend – what are yours? If you’re looking for some more, I also did something similar last year so there may be some more ideas for you there.
What is your favourite date movie? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure:I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an iPad Mini in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own, and I already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.
I like things which make as little mess as possible – living with a toddler tends to use up all love for mess makers in one fell swoop. Since having said toddler, quite a lot of time seems to be spent in the kitchen, making copious amounts of tea, preparing snacks for the eternal snacker (but sparrow eater) and trying to figure out different ways to try fit more healthy food into our diets (this one is a work in progress). All those snacks (fruit in particular) and teabags do add up and can make up quite a lot of mess. In fact, since we moved into our new apartment which has a dishwasher, it’s the only part of mealtimes which can really be complained about. Between messy liquids and smelly Â leftovers, if it took more than a day or two to fill the bin, we could be left with some really unpleasant hang-ons until bin day. This was even without having a designated caddy like I’ve had in other houses, which was generally dreaded if the weather got in any way warm. So when I got an email last week asking if I’d like to try out Obeo’s compost bags to see if they’d improve our kitchen fare, I was thrilled to try them out.
Oh, the weather outside is… well, it’s bloody awful for the last few weeks, isn’t it? While I consider myself extremely lucky to not have been affected by the horrific flooding around the country, it has been pretty miserable out, meaning that my big wandering walks have been lessened and more time trying to keep a toddler amused and myself sane has been had. It’s been a long holiday break, but there’s nothing like getting stuck into a series to make the time go faster. Enter Netflix, saviour of the rainy day blues.
It’s that time of year again boys and girls, the evenings are getting darker, the days getting colder and the shops busier and more full of stressed out retail staff. People are giving out about “that Mariah Carey song playing AGAIN” while knowing that if nobody can hear them they’ll belt out a few bars along with the music. Best of all, mince pies and selection boxes are in the shops, so it’s time to forget about the “summer body” for the moment and chill out with some amazing eats and some fantastic viewing, holiday classics which were intended to be accompanied by lack of movement and yummy snacks. The Christmas lights are lit and Santa has arrived in shops around the country. So stick on Netflix, dig into your selection box and enjoy! Pass the mulled wine, won’t you? If you pass enough, you may even win the fantastic prize up for grabs at the end of this post!
I’m a bookworm at heart, I have been since I was a child. I was that kid who was always, without fail, in the book section if you lost me in a toy shop – while my brothers were instructed to go to the security guard by the door if we lost sight of either parent, there was really no need for such instruction when I would be most likely to be found devouring an Enid Blyton tale of boarding school and ginger ale. My love of reading for pleasure somewhat waned when I hit college – ironically studying literature – because the sheer volume of academic reading intimidated me into ignoring the growing pile of books which I had been eyeing up for fun, as to attempt to get on top of difficult articles in multiple languages that I would be able to quote in assignments or exams. It wasn’t that I had lost my love of a good book, rather I realised that with working part time alongside a heavy college workload and extra curricular activities which were adding value to my CV did not allow much time for relaxing with a Marian Keyes book and a cup of tea. Since graduating three years ago, I have been making a concious effort to get back into reading, and have discovered a love for non-fiction, particularly Irish nonfiction. While it started with economics books (Freakonomics, numerous David McWilliams tomes and rather depressing tales of how the Irish economy had been flushed down the toilet), it quickly spread into biographies and tales of events happening within the last century in Ireland, things that have shaped the society I live in and that I am bringing my child up in.
Straight up – to me, Shonda Rhimes can’t do much wrong (though she makes my tear ducts activate on an almost weekly basis). For the last ten years, I’ve been a major fan of her work on Grey’s Anatomy but before that, she wrote my favourite teen movie, The Princess Diaries (as well as the sequel AND Britney Spears movie Crossroads). So when I see her getting involved in new things, I get excited for amazing soundtracks, captivating storylines, a cast which inevitably will cast at least one gorgeous man, one gorgeous woman (who am I kidding, they’re all pretty gorgeous, this is the entertainment industry) and some of the best acting talent out there. So last year once I spotted the trailer to How To Get Away With Murder, a legal drama based around a law lecturer and her team of interns who somehow get caught up in a murder themselves, I was captivated. I ate up the episodes, a lot of them in one go, and then mourned for the summer that I’d have to wait for Season 2 which I am VERY happy to be enjoying every week at the moment. And now I see that the whole first season is being added to Netflix UK (It’s already up on the US and some other places) at the end of this week (22nd), it’s all safely there for more marathon binges where I can spot the little things I didn’t notice before. If you haven’t already, you should be joining me in checking it out – but of course I’m going to say that, I may as well give you a few reasons why.
So – Why do you NEED to watch How To Get Away With Murder?
Balance has been restored to the Four Walls, Rainy Days household. It may have taken 21 days, three phonecalls ending in crying with rage, two failed installations, one failed activation, and learning a whole new definition of morning (apparently 9.30-1.30, but potentially can go on up to 5pm) but we have broadband in our new house. Not only that, but thanks to our new place having a TV that has a HDMI slot (yay for entering the modern era), I can finally get to use my Apple TV and watch Netflix on a screen that is bigger than my laptop.
There’s been a lot of kids tv. I’m not proud, but solo parenting while moving house and balancing a toddler means that sometimes, Peppa has to give Mammy ten minutes of peace from “No!” and “Mama! Mama! *scream*”. We’re managing to get back on our feet though (happily welcoming Dada back from his work trip, getting a bit more settled into our new home) and the child has started actually going to bed (and staying asleep) at a reasonable hour. Which means we’re actually able to sit down and watch things, in full, and be able to follow them. The novelty. So, after my month of deprivation, of not being able to depend on 90210 to make me feel better about life, I’ve accumulated quite the list of things I’m looking forward to enjoying (and have started on some of them). (more…)
The concept of rape culture is something that was probably first highlighted to me around the time of the furore around that “Blurred Lines” song – it’s not that my life had been in a massive bubble from it, but rather it had never been pointed out in such a way that it had a name, that it was a thing, not just a part of normal life. Things previously seen as “banter” or “just being lads” began to be framed in a whole new, less rose tinted, light. I consider myself extremely lucky in this regard, that it isn’t something that had hit me personally, that it wasn’t something on my radar. I remember being horrified hearing the details of the Steubenville case, the victim blaming, where society didn’t look at the horrific acts suffered by the victim but rather the damage to the reputations of these “promising young men” and the ruination of their futures, as if their “indiscretion” shouldn’t be something they needed to face up to, and one girl shouldn’t get to ruin their lives. This wasn’t the first case in the US in recent years where this was the premise; Savannah Dietrich from Kentucky, was assaulted and recorded in 2011, and faced her “justice” as her attackers having their records expunged by the age of 19 and a half, despite her having to live with their actions for the rest of her life, then faced potential incarceration herself for breaking a gag order by naming them online as her attackers. As a long term fan of shows such as Law and Order SVU, I’d seen time and time again the “ripped from the headlines” stories where girls and women who had been violated were unable to win a case against their attacker as much of the time, it came down to a “he said, she said”, and often, she wasn’t believed. It wasn’t until the Slane Girl debacle, almost a year after the Steubenville case that we got to see it hit our shores here, the difference in attitudes and the ruination of reputation and impact of social media in how we perceive sexual conduct in society. There were no Slane Boys, there was no shaming of them for their actions which were equal to that of the young woman involved. Instead we saw a public “slut-shaming”, photos going viral over social media, a drunken mistake displayed to the world and in an instant ruining a reputation and a life. It is with these cases, and others like them in mind, that Louise O Neill wrote the powerful “Asking for It”.
It’s getting to the time of year where all the shows I’m looking forward to seeing again are about to hit our screens – I’m anxiously awaiting the return of “Shondaland TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday)” lineup as it’s got Grey’s Anatomy and my new favourite, How To Get Away with Murder, as well as other favourites such as Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU. However, in order to bridge the gap until mid-September, I’m relying on my old faithful Netflix, and she is not disappointing in the slightest. These are my Netflix Picks this month to tide me over, adding new obsessions to the pile while it’s at it! (more…)
Insomnia is never really a welcome friend to any house. I’ve never been a big fan of it – I like my sleep, comfy and duvet covered. It went without saying that the sleep deprivation caused by the installation of a baby into my life was tolerated (barely) but not loved. So when I finally manage to get a child who is sleeping (not sleeping the night, but sleeping in blocks that feel like it’s a full nights sleep) and I’m stuck staring at the wall at 3am, that’s really just a bad joke. One that really, really isn’t funny.
Last week I started having some slight breathing issues where simple things like walking and talking would make me so dizzy I had to sit down and stop, or risk falling over. In typical form, this initially happened on a treadmill, mid-physio session. Because, where else would you fancy almost fainting? Off I toddled to my GP, who after a quick listen to my chest announced my athsma had decided to flare up for the first time in a few years and I’d have to be on a course of steroids for the week. Grand, as long as it stops the forever dizziness, all was good. Or so I thought. I hadn’t weighed in the thought of how steroids affect sleep – something I’ve definitely learned a lesson from this week. (more…)
I’ve been changing nappies on a daily basis for the last 16 months. I’ve become somewhat of an old hand at it, there are no more pee on the sofa incidents, and it becomes less of a two man job as each day passes. So, you’d wonder how after 16 months of dealing with changing nappies multiple times a day, how I would still forget to pack the basics in the bag. I’m in need of a one-stop-everything-in-one-place solution – I blame the sleep deprivation! (more…)
As part of my trip back to the not-so-sunny South East, a couple of visits to Waterford were in order. Iâ€™ve got a lot of extended family who live in the city, and it is one of my favourite places in Ireland, having spent ,most of my teenage years spending any free time hanging out in the city, living in The Book Centre and having a lot of lunch breaks from work in the same cafe every single time with the same friends. Said cafe no longer exists sadly (RIP four euro chicken goujons and mashed potato), but it has been replaced by a wonderful cafe which is both adult and child friendly, No. 9 Barronstrand St, in Georges Court Shopping Centre. Iâ€™ve been in here once or twice but never with my own child until today, when myself and the Mammy decided weâ€™d treat ourselves to brunch. We were not disappointed.
So my blog has been a bit quieter of late. We’ve not been off on massive adventures, and we’re just over a horrible bout of sickness and plague in the house. We’ve been a bit pre-occupied by the Netflix box – I FINALLY figured out how to work it with the Nintendo Wii so am now able to watch it on the telly (meaning that when tiny man is watching, my laptop isn’t in danger). This has not made me very productive. Thankfully on the Wii it doesn’t have the feature of automatically heading into the next episode, but that doesn’t stop us clicking on “just one more” and hours going by. I could lament those lost hours that I could have written Pulitzer prize winning content, created the next great invention or finally gotten around to doing up the toddlers bedroom (thats a post for another day), however it has introduced me to some new fantastic things. These are my best bits this month, so far… (more…)
I’ve had Netflix for about a year and a half now, and was lucky enough near the end of last year to become a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which has been a fantastic experience. With the Netflix subscription, we didn’t bother renewing our UPC subscription so have saved ourselves money, and time listening to their dire on hold music when the blasted thing wasn’t working (most of the time). In comparison, price wise it was a no brainer, and content wise it just meant less of the crap rubbish mid-week tv I was watching (anything decent live can be watched on the channels player generally online) and more time to catch up on those series that I’d said for months I really should watch. (more…)
I like food programmes, despite being a crappy cook. I aspire to have the talent of those onscreen, but forget to turn off the oven on time. Nonetheless, my watching them convinces me that one day, I too will be able to make incredible creations, or at least feed my family healthy food and have to resort to processed take-away goodness less.
Lately, I’ve found myself watching a lot of Foodie Documentaries on Netflix (following on from my interest piquing with Super Size Me) , particularly when I’m cooking dinner, I like sticking a show on the laptop and watching it as I’m prepping dinner, and try to remember to pay attention to my timings while watching. There’s been a lot thats caught my interest lately. (more…)
Recently, I’ve had the great pleasure of reading a charming book writtenfor children but with a deeper message that can apply to us all; regardless of age. Edward Mark Fitzgerald’s first children’s book, a tale called “The Adventures of Wilbur Burrows” in his “The Last Fairy Tales” series, is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while and it did not disappoint. (more…)
So if you follow me on any social media, in particular Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed that I went to London for a few hours yesterday. I might have maybe mentioned it, just a little bit. Or a lot. Fierce exciting stuff as I’d never been before and not only was I going, but there was pampering and child-free Me-Time. (more…)
Another month gone by. Another first day of the month where I resolve that this is going to be the one where I give up the chocolate biscuit habit (oops), take up jogging (I’ve an excuse for this I swear!) and go to bed at a reasonable hour. That means it is now March, which is a special month for a number of reasons. It’s the month my parents got married, so kudos to them, means I’m here doesn’t it? It’s also the month that I gave birth last year. Oh yes, my little man is going to be a year old. A full year. Wow.
There’s a lot going on – heres just the things I’m looking forward to most… (more…)
Valentines Day is a different ball game when there is a baby (or many) in the picture. What previously would have been a for-sure night out, with nice dinner and obligatory wine, complete with butterflies over cards and flowers has been replaced with forfeiting all of the above unless the gods that be provide you with a babysitter who doesn’t have plans of their own that night. That, and the will to do anything but curl up and sleep in your child-free zone. No, this year Valentines Day is different, and thats okay – it is just a day after all, you can still be as loved as you are the other 364 days of the year. (more…)
So it’s freezing. It’s the first of December, acceptable to play Christmas music and resolve to change your ways in January (sure, whats the point when Christmas is around the corner and you can just make them New Years resolutions soon?). It’s also now acceptable to call a Giveaway a Christmas Giveaway (see more information below!)
In our house we’ve been having more days in – with the weather taking a turn for the colder and wetter, and the evenings getting dark much earlier, it’s become a nicer thing to settle down in front of a show or a movie, with tea and let the hours drift by. And now that it’s officially December and the shops have decided to belt out Mariah Carey, it’s okay to watch Christmas specials! (more…)
Ah reading, my old friend, the thing I used to do before my spare time was taken up with blogging, and singing “Ali Baba had a big farm” (to myself, sans child, before cursing myself for singing the bloody thing again). I was one of those children who literally devoured books – under the covers with a torch after bedtime, hiding them in school books to finish a chapter, even my go-to place in a toy shop, if lost, was the book section. I saw myself as a bit of a Matilda, minus the dysfunctional family and the magical powers, though I always envied the magic powers. Though life is now taken up more with watching things, and writing things, and saying I’ll get around to reading things, there is no denying that there is no better relaxation than curling up with a hot cup of tea, a duvet and a book you’re looking forward to reading.