Wednesday, 23 November 2011

10 Things I'm Thankful for and 10 Things I'm Hopeful for...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American friends and family!

This is my first year in six that I have been out of the US for this celebration. I remember this time last year, panicking about how we were going to fit everyone into Sale e Pepe for the Thanksgiving Brunch.. but having a lot of fun in the process.. how much I miss those times, the celebrations afterwards,  previous years at university with all the girls, dinners, travels, creating memories. Now, here in Ireland, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and even though it hasn't been the easiest year, I feel I should give thanks to some people and for some things that have happened to me since Nov 2010...

In no particular order and without getting too mushy...


1. To my sister, Jacqueline, for being the BEST sister a girl could ask for. She is my confident, best friend, and just the most amazing little sister.
2. To the Four Seasons, for welcoming me into an awesome company
3. To my parents, for their love and attempted understanding
4. To my best friends, in particular * , Maggie, Asia, Belu, Lydia, Lorena, Gloriana, Ali, Taoufik and Zied. These people are no ordinary friends; they have become family to me over the years of knowing them. My relationship with each of them is different, and has evolved over the times we spent together, but I have 100% trust in all of them, and love them, and hope they will always feel the same about me
5. To God for my health and the health of most the people in my life
6. To the people around me who have given me the inspiration to better my life in any way possible
7. That I was able to do some traveling (although not enough!)
8. That I visited Disney World a few times (seriously, it's my favorite place!!!!)
9. That I saw my Dutch family after 2 years (And will again in a few weeks:) and reuinted with 2 great friends, Grace and Sofie in London, after so many years apart
10. For the feeling of being 100% and totally in love. (and everything that goes with that)

I read a quote the other day .... all emotions are good. I think that makes sense. If you didn't care about something or someone, you have no emotion... it doesn't matter. When you feel, you know it matters.

Hopes X 10

1. To travel to as many places as possible to visit friends and family, and to experience new places&cultures
2. To accompolish as much as possible from my 100 Things I want to do list...
3.Good health for EVERYONE in my life
4. To move forward in the Four Seasons
5. To  purchase a property
6. ...
7. To be physically and mentally fit
8. To celebrate my best friends wedding (a little after next Thanksgiving, but it's ok..!)
9. To see all of my best friends as much as possible (normally this would be easy, but mine are in every different corner of the world!)
10. ...

There are many many more things I could write in this section, but most of it is covered in my 100 Things list.

What are you thankful and hopeful for??

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy your day!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Yep... Fall is over and winter has begun.. and we know what that means...Christmas isn't far away! It's still surprisingly NOT cold. Everyone has warned me of the snow from last year, and the havoc it played, but I'm still waiting for it to get even remotely snowy. I'm secretly excited for that weather to come so I can finally wear hats and scarves again, and wear my overly priced new boots!

Cold nights
Last week I realized (once more) that I am not a baker. A few days ago I decided to give it another try and baked a rainbow cake. The idea was great, the pics I saw online looked really awesome. Unfortunately mine looked like a reject from the rainbow cake factory...

Mixing all the colors was awesome!!! I felt like I was taking part in that scene from Hook with the lostboys in Neverland! ...." All my favorite neverfoods........."

Yes...those are chopsticks in my cake. I needed something to balance it!
Michael Buble was in Dublin a few days ago and switched on the Christmas lights on Grafton St. (My favorite street in Dublin city) The Brown Thomas Christmas windows were also unveiled and they were so nice!! I can't wait for my December visitors to get here so I can take them here...

Happy Christmas!
How nice!!

The streets of Dublin...

I FINALLY found a place in Dublin that makes Gelato. This makes me very happy. And the good thing about eating ice-cream in Ireland, it doesn't start melting on you 2 minutes after you buy it. I was able to stroll around Grafton St. ice-cream in hand, for a good 20 mins before I finally finished it. 


All the shops have started to decorate too for Christmas. So exciting.  I love this time of year!! I already want to start Christmas shopping but I think it's a bit early to start hiding all the presents in my room. At least I will wait until we get our tree!

Brown Thomas

Every year the windows in Brown Thomas are decorated differently. I haven't been here at Christmas time for so long that I haven't seen them, or really appreciated them before...I wonder how much time goes into these before they are unveiled to the streets of Dublin. I can't speak for the last 8 years, but this year, they were so pretty...

This is my favorite

Anyone want to go Christmas shopping for me in Louis Vuitton??

I actually cannot wait for December to start. One of my best friends and her sister are coming to visit in the middle of December. Lydia, I can't wait!! Then of course it's Christmas week (and a trip to Tenerife), and then on arrival home, I will be greeted by my lovely Dutch family for a few more days of visits. What a nice month!!
I'm off to work.... ! Goodnight! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Search for Inspiration

Is anyone else in need of some inspiration?

A book I am reading at the moment has made me question my motives, my reasons for doing things and has made me realize I spend too much time coasting through life. Most people just do what is expected of them, fulfilling their requests rather than their dreams. It’s so easy to just sit back, and do what you’re supposed to do; fulfil your obligations, letting life guide you, instead of you guiding your own life.
In the middle of my book, just yesterday, I started to question what drives me, what is my inspiration?
Some people find inspiration through music or through beauty. Some people find other people inspire them. This can all be true, but I feel the real inspiration has to come from within. Those other factors can make you question yourself, or kick start you into action but it’s you that has to push yourself and keep that going when the idea of it is not so exciting anymore, and the realization that to get where you want to go may take hard work.

Sometimes your dreams of the future are your inspiration, but that can only get you so far, because as the future draws ever nearer, sometimes those dreams are just as far away as they were at the beginning. Sometimes that is because of choices, but also, sometimes because of circumstances which can’t be changed – linked to this, some people are motivated by God, but sometimes He has different plans, or shorter plans, for some people. That’s why I want to make sure I live life every day to the max. 

At the moment I find myself with SO many things in my head, my mind is racing from the moment I wake up till I fall asleep at night. For example, yesterday, on my day off, I wanted to bake, I wanted to take a bath, I wanted to join a gym, I wanted to buy a jacket and a pair of welly boots, I wanted to visit my Grandma ,I wanted to see my friends ,I wanted to make about 10 phonecalls, and I wanted to hop a flight to Florida, Tunisia, and Poland all at the one time! And the weird thing is, even though I am tired, I feel like I have the energy to do all of those things. 

Coming back to the book (and closing this rant!), it really is becomming clearer to me that not much is impossible. People around you may say it can't or won't ever happen,  but if you find the strength and motivation within, I think everything is achievable. 

Just a thought....

Go and find your inspiration!!! Have a good week ...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ten Days Straight...

I wish I could say 10 days straight of vacation, or 10 days straight of the beach, or 10 days straight spent with the love of my life..but no.... what I mean is 10 days straight of working. I am somewhere in the middle of a ten day stretch without a day off. It might not seem so bad if the last 3 days of it were not overnight shifts. Alas, they are, and they start tomorrow!
I haven't had much time to do anything in the last week. I find myself getting home from work after midnight and catching up on phonecalls/emails/reading/family in the hours from midnight to 4am which results in my sleeping until midday where upon I shovel in breakfast, shower and get ready to go back to work.
Trying to find ways to unwind at the moment is proving a difficult task! I made myself have a bath a few days ago - light some candles, took my book in and relaxed. I also did some baking... Nutella cookies.. they were yum!!! The recipe made 20 and they were all gone in two or three days.

The BEST chocolate!!!

After a visit to the doctor a few days ago, Jacqueline and I went down to the village and enjoyed a beautiful, crisp evening. When it got dark, we went to Starbucks for a coffee, yummy Mocha, and a slice of cake. When I walk into Starbucks it instantly reminds me of FL!

I'm off to bed to sleep for 12 hours and be ready for tomorrows overnight shift!

Have a good end of the week!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Mi Paraíso

In this post, there is no need for many words... every picture brings a memory and reminds me how much I love and miss this place...
These pictures are only from a few weeks ago before I left.

As my dad pointed out to me the other day, my body may be in Ireland, but half my heart is somewhere else...

Lunch at PF Changs...yum

Naples Beach sunset... 

Marco Island....Cape Marco, anyone buy me a place here?:)
Dream house
On the pier of my favorite place on Marco. Here you can come to watch dolphins swim by, pelicans landing, and the sound of Osprey flying overhead. In the night you hear nothing but the splish splashing of water as fish are jumping, dolphins 'going home' and there always seems to be a clear sky with the moon overhead and lots of stars. Something Special.

And more amazing memories...:)
I miss you, Florida. See you soon...