Sitting back and smelling the Roses.


I have been gone for a few weeks and sometimes you just gotta sit back and smell the roses. Yes this metaphor is true for my life right now, too much going and doing and not enough relaxing and just being still in the moment – roses are in bloom for so long and you got to enjoy them while they are here. I am talking metaphorically about roses – I know they are long gone, but the rose can be anything. Perhaps it is my daughter growing up so fast and heading to school next September, sometimes I just have to let her give me a lesson in how to not take life so seriously! My dogs that absolutely LOVE spending time with me and sometimes I forgot how good it feels just to stroke their heads and absorb some of that positive energy that just pours out of a dog, they have been scientifically proved to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

I took two weeks off doing everything, except ALL those everyday chores that a mother needs to do when working from home, then my internet was down and the midterm was upon me. I have enjoyed the break, my mind is not as “busy” as it was and I now see clearer in my direction forward both in my personal and career journey. It is a good feeling and I would urge anyone to find that clarity and just for a while “sit back and smell the roses” the old sayings are the best!!!

This picture was taken at Tucked Away Cottage in The Yorkshire Dales – an amazing B&B with spectacular English country gardens.


Gardening Tips that I have picked up along the way!


I am still getting into the groove in my garden and have yet to start my vegetable garden, but over the last year here are a few tips that I have learned and really work!

“Don’t be afraid of moving plants around, if they don’t work, or if you don’t like them in a certain spot – move it! Most of my plants think they have wheels…” – Hillary from Tucked Away House, Grassington in Yorkshire Dales. Hillary really had a fab English country garden, see picture above. She gave great advice and really got me interested in raised beds and different bee friendly plants.

“Your garden should have different, interesting places to relax and unwind” – I cannot remember the website that I read this from, but it really helped when we were designing our garden. We wanted to maximize the sun that arrived in a few spots from morning to evening, front and back of our house. So we created paved and stoned areas so we can put up a small two-seater table for breakfast time sun, a bench for relaxing in the mid day sun and a dinning table and chairs for dinner time.

“Things want to grow” and “I kept an eye out and learned through trial and error.” – Joanna Madden, Lady of the Manor at Hilton Park, Clones, Co Monaghan. Taken from an interview in IMAGE magazine’s September 2013 issue page 169. Β What good advice, things do want to grow and all you have to do is keep an eye out!

Happy gardening, I hope you all get those green fingers dirty!



It is ZERO Waste Week

Zero Waste Week

So, I was delighted to find out that yes there is a week dedicated to Zero Waste and it started yesterday 2nd of September and runs to 8th of September. Making a world of Zero waste deserves a week all to itself and if every house hold took part can you imagine the impact this would have??

As I am compiling my findings from my own Waste Free Home I am uncovering a few essentials that are needed within the home to really make it work:

  1. You have got to really WANT to save as much of your Trash from Landfill
  2. Your home needs to be organised with a well run kitchen – this really helps reduce food waste
  3. Your home recycling centre needs to be like that in an IKEA catalog – supper functional and organised – this makes it easy for the whole family to join in. I know that not everyone wants to do this so making it super easy is key.

Recipes – having a few easy and useful recipes that can be whipped up in a jiffy to salvage spoiled or left over foods are great. My top recipe that is fool-proof and tastes great as bread or muffins is Rachel Allen’s Banana Bread – HERE is the recipe. I always add an extra banana if I need to use them up – and I don’t fuss about the orange id I don’t have one handy.

I am realising that going old school in the kitchen and in the home really works. Even investing in Victorian style cleaning equipment and giving more elbow grease saves on chemical cleaning products that are just nasty. I found a store in Monkstown, Co. Dublin that sell a large selection of natural cleaning brushes – The Blue Door. The Downton Abbey style kitchen is one that should be emulated and shaped into the modern world – personally I would LOVE a Downton Abbey kitchen or even a house for that matter…..

If you want to find out more about the Zero Waste Week check out the website HERE.