Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ramblings

January has been a quiet month for me.



I sometimes feel, as I write in this space, that those who read about my life must think I do nothing. I'm always talking about relaxing and how wonderful the view is! The fact is, I'm a quiet girl who would prefer to meet a few friends for a quiet drink or a tasty dinner than party every weekend. And that's probably why I'm not blogging as much these days. I feel that no one wants to hear about how wonderfully relaxing and uneventful my days are. But then again, who am I blogging for? No one but myself and those who know me, so maybe I'll just keep on writing what I want to write.

I'm saving money for driving lessons and my sister's upcoming wedding, so staying in and entertaining myself quietly is actually pretty important right now. I'd love to finally have a full driving licence and be able to road trip around Ireland, enjoying the freedom of travelling without the need of a bus timetable. And the wedding! Oh, so exciting!! It's going to be in Tuscany, Italy, in this lovely castle on a hilltop. We're going to eat such amazing food and celebrate all week with Emer and Brad's friends and family. Can. Not. Wait.

And speaking of road trips, Nelly, a few co-workers and I visited the Glencar Waterfall in Leitrim. It was super pretty.




Anyway, back to January. Although it's been quiet and cozy, a lot of great things have also happened. I was awarded my Silver Gaisce Medal! You can read here about achieving my Gold Award, which actually looks silver, doesn't it? As I don't have a picture of my Silver Award and it's in the same shape and design as the Gold Award, you can just click the link to check out what it's like.* I feel like I've gained a lot through Gaisce - skills, experience, friends and connections. Not to mention a killer CV.

The first academic paper I wrote by myself was accepted for publication this month. I'm the first author and it's the first paper, of hopefully at least four, which is based on the work I did in France. I am stoked! I put a lot of work into the experiments I did in Nancy and spent much too much time writing the paper. And it's all paid off with this great accomplishment!

I kinda love what I do.

I'm trying to eat healthier this year, through Clean Eating and varied foods. I came across Bon Appetit's 2012 Food Lover's Cleanse a few weeks ago and immediately spent the day in the health food shop and the Saturday market buying loads of fruit, veg, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Whole foods. I'm staying away from processed foods, refined sugar, white bread and pasta as much as I can. And I'm drinking buckets of water! However, it's not always possible and I have to allow for busy days when I haven't been to the shop and I need something quick to cook - soba noodles in broth with miso - or those weekends I'm at home in Naas and my lovely family cooks dinner for me. But all in all, I'm exploring new foods and loving it! And last week, Danielle posted her Clean Eating Challenge. Heck yes! I'm in and I pretty much started three weeks ago, so keeping going won't be so much of a challenge. Here's what I've been eating:


I really love good food and cooking!

I hope everyone's having a nice Saturday. I know I am!

Fi

*Sometimes, I'm lazy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Lovely Apartment

I adore my happy, light, bright one-bedroom apartment with plenty of storage and enough heat and hot water to please even my dear sister, Aoife:









Pony Gerbil:







I love my baking shelves:


Lack of words, plenty of pictures, just like I like it.

xx

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The end of Christmas

Ah... As the Christmas season has now officially ended, I *sigh* contentedly. Time spent with my family and friends was absolutely lovely and I am so glad for the nearly three week break I was able to enjoy.



Christmas Day was a relaxed affair, with plenty of good food and chats. On St. Stephen's Day, we visited some of my Dad's family in Wicklow for more food and chat. And a few days later, we spent time with all of my Mum's family.*



My sister, Aoife, and her boyfriend, Jason, joined Paul and I for a quiet New Year's Eve spent playing poker and drinking Prosecco. On New Year's Day, we drove out to Connemara for a view of Galway Bay, a bowl of chowder and a Guinness in Padraicin's.


However much I really really love Christmas, it is a long holiday full of rich foods, late nights and more alcohol than one (I) ever needs to consume. It's no surprise that I developed a cold a few days after Christmas Day and my nose, throat and eyes were incredibly sore. Luckily, I fixed myself pretty quickly with a hearty vegetable stew, lots of Galway Cream Tea from An Cupan Tae and much curling up on the couch.


And so, goodbye Christmas, see you in eleven months!

xx

*I didn't take many photos this Christmas... I haven't really taken many photos lately at all... However, I only share photos of my friends and family on this blog if everyone pictured is happy to be shown here. That being said, getting a photo of seven to thirty five people and managing that said photo is complementary to everyone involved is difficult. This is just a little explanation of why there aren't more "people" photos on this blog. (:
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