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Hi all, Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017.  Thanks for being part of the journey so far.  This year I am going to Jazz th...

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Book of the Month: The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

The year I have become really interested in business, finance and money management. At school it was not my favourite subject but it just goes to show that even if you don't like something in school that your interest later in life can grow.

What I like about this book is its not boring. I like the style its written in its fun and lighthearted. Scott's approach to finance is also fun for example a date night with your partner to sort out your finances. Granted while I can think of more fun dinner conversations why not mix business with pleasure sometimes. Also, he says open an account where you allocate 10% of your take home pay for fun and splurging. He also doesn't advocate ruler budgeting which I think is healthy as well. He states its possible to be financially savvy without being boring and stingy.

Scott's story is also inspirational because a few years ago he lost his home and everything in a bush fire. He was left with his wife and a new baby to pick up the pieces and because of his financial knowledge he was in a position to turn the situation around. The focus of the book is to teach people how to be financially bulletproof. Who doesn't want that? Its one less stress.

The book is basically a reference document because depending on where you are financially you are going to dip into it at different stages for example, getting out of debt, buying a house, saving for your children's education and retirement. I really do feel there is something for everyone to take from it.

What I don't like about this book- the steps sound a little like Dave Ramseys baby steps. Scott has modified some of them but basically there is alot of overlap between them. Scott seems to be a looser and less regimented version of the baby steps. There are some other takeaways addressed like not paying through the hills for bank fees too

Overall recommended : a good all round text for managing your day to day finances and as a plan to becoming financially free. With work of course:)

For More Information
Barefoot Investor

Google Play link to the book - you can read a sample for free here 

Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Amserdam, Netherlands

Watch the video 

 Why: It was on the bucket list and so I finally did it.
What: Capital city of the Netherlands Amsterdam is known for its canals, canal houses, Anne Frank, Red Light District, Cheese, windmills, cycling, brown cafes and art.
Whats there : Do not be fooled into thinking Amsterdam is only about the cafes and the Red Light District there is so much more on offer.
 How: I booked by flight and hotel through Ebookers . I like that you can book both on this site and also they have a Bonus programme which is like Boots. You can earn points every time you book and redeem the points against future bookings.
 How much : I booked one week hotel and flights for around 500 euros. I also like Viator for booking tours and things to do in advance.
 Experience: I booked the 48 hour hop on and off cruise.4 This was one of the best bits. There is two lines the blue and the orange and you can of course just choose to do both tours without getting off. The choice of stops is good they stop at the Heineken Experience and also the Museums,Anne Franks House and Amsterdam Lookout and Amsterdam Central. The boats give a commentary as well so you learn a little about the history. I loved just cruising along the canals looking at the boat houses and canal houses.

The second excellent part was the Heineken Experience. They do a great job and its an excellent tour. They really take care of you. When I was there I got a keyring, a Christmas bubble they also give you 3 glasses of Heineken. I don't actually like it in Ireland but for some reason it tastes much better there. There is also a number of fun items from photo booths to karaoke that you would not expect as well as talks and exhibitions on how Heineken is made.

The third was the Amsterdam Hop on and Off bus.  I loved the Gasson Diamond Factory tour which is free and included in the price of the tour. Its really interesting and if you like jewellery then this is a must see. They explain all about the diamond processing as well as the importance of clarity, colour, cut and carats. You can see the diamond cutters at work as well.I went to the Diamond Museum as well but for me the Gasson tour was much better.

The fourth for me was Artis Zoo ( note you can buy discounted tickets on the hop on and hop off bus tour). This is just the most cute and amazing place. Ideal for families they have everything from lions to an aquarium. Its not a massive zoo either and there are plenty of spots to stop off for a rest, snacks etc too. Recommended.

The fifth for me was wandering around the streets. For me the best way to get to know a city is on foot. You can truly take the time to appreciate it all. Amsterdam seems to have surprises on every corner and I love that. There is something for everyone. 

The sixth was the Portugese Synagogue. Its priced at 15 euros and includes access to four places namely the Jewish Historical Museum, Children’s Museum, Synagogue and National Holocaust Memorial and Museum. I only did the the Synagogue and the Historical Museum. It was my very first time to visit a Synagogue and I found the tour really interesting. 

The seventh is food. The Netherlands is famous for its cheese and its delicious. You can find plenty of cheese shops around Amsterdam. Most will allow you to sample a few before trying too. I would urge you to try Pancakes cafe franchise there are a few in Amsterdam and one right beside Anne Franks House. They serve sweet and savoury pancakes. Remember your dutch chips will come with mayo and try local foods such as my favourite Bitterballen. These are tasty crispy meatballs which are served with a mustard sauce. Street food can vary from raw herring ( I didn't try it) to croquettes from a vending machine. Finally, for dessert the Dutch waffle. There is something for everyone I think. 

Pros: I felt really safe in Amsterdam and transport is excellent. The flight is around 1 hour and 15 minutes from Dublin. Everything is in euro and I can say I find the city much more relaxed then London and some of the other cities I visited.
 Cons: The only con really was its an expensive city I found especially for eating out. So make sure you budget and bring enough money to cover everything. I had to exclude somethings because I just didn't have money to do it! My biggest regret is not getting the I am Amsterdam Card  This card includes free access into a number of museum as well as free transport so its ideal. Get it before you go and then just worry about buying food and also presents. Disappointing visits for me included the Diamond Museum and also the Botanical Gardens.
 More information
I AM Amsterdam its a one stop shop on everything you need to know. 

 Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Thursday, 19 October 2017

100 euro project update and money management

This year I have been doing my best to educate myself on money and money management.
So to a quick recap, I decided to set up a share portfolio.

  • I opened my portfolio with Degiro. (ad). 
  • I decided to save parcels of 100 euros based on the 1000 dollar project by the youtuber Sugarmamma. 
  • I saved by bringing my lunch to work, coffee and any other way I could think. 
  • I researched stocks on Morningstar.com
  • I brought my stocks . 
  • You can ready my story here 
  • So far I have managed to build my portfolio of over 1000 euros. My target for this year was 1000 euros so I am delighted I managed to exceed this. I am going to continue my portfolio moving forward so the next target is 2000 euros.
  • Any dividends I earn from my stocks are being re-invested for now. 
My other finance find as been Dave Ramseys baby steps. 
  • Baby Step 1 – 1,000 euro to start an Emergency Fund.
  • Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball. This means basically looking at all of your debt and then starting with the smallest one, use all available cash to pay it off and then going to the next debt. 
  • Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings- top off your emergency fund. 
  • Baby Step 3a - (Rachel Cruze his daughter) say saving for a house should go here. 
  • Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into your pension in Ireland. 
  • Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
  • Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!

I really like how its set out and step 7 has the ethos of giving. The one criticism I have is it does not take into account saving for a house. I'm at the age and stage where this is on my mind but those of you in Ireland will also know the prices are rising rapidly. However, it is a good model to follow to make you financially stable.

You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :)

Monday, 16 October 2017

Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Where: Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Why: When I lived in Dublin I often went to Howth as a kind of date day. I had not been in years and so as I was in Dublin for a few days I thought why not! 
What: Pretty seaside town with lovely walks in Dublin. 
Whats there: nice little shops, walks, sea views and you can go out to Irelands eye on occassion. 
How : I took the Dart which is the local train service in Dublin which runs all along the East coast of Dublin. You can also get the bus from the city centre. 
How much : I went to the local Insomnia Coffee place. For anyone outside Ireland its like a Starbucks and got some coffee and a sandwich for about 5 euros. The train ticket for the Dart I got a return ticket which was not more then 6 euros. Look at the link below for transport options. 

Experience: I really like Howth its really pretty seaside town. There  was some seals in the harbour which was amazing as well. I loved watching them they literally look for the fishermen to feed them! But its really nice to see them. It was a lovely day and so I did alot of walking around the area and I really enjoyed it. Its a really nice get away spot from the hustle and bustle of Dublin city centre. 
Pros: I love it here and I fully intend to go back again and again! I also think its lovely for a day date. 
Cons: None really, I would say it can be a bit crowded in summer, the DART and Dublin bus run less frequently on Sundays and so its worth checking out the timetables. 
History: Howth has a alot of items for those interested in history. Irelands Eye is a bird sanctuary and also has the ruins of the Martello tower and an 8th century church. Howth Castle and its grounds upon which you can find the Transport Museum. There is Howth Lighthouse and the Bailey Lighthouse on Howth Peninsula. St Marys Abbey which has its origins back to Viking times when Sitric, King of Dublin built a church on the site in 1042.

Local attractions: 
From local seafood restaurants and pubs to walks along Howth Head and trips to Irelands eye. There is alot to do in Howth. Its a great place for a Sunday trip a walk along the pier and Sunday dinner in a local restaurant or pub. Irelands Eye is a bird santuary as well. Howth Market is also located in the town where you can find local arts and crafts as well as cheese and olives. Its also a popular dating spot where people go for a walk on the pier and share a bag of chips from Besoffs! While I was there I even caught some seals trying to get some fish from the fishermen.If your into fishing I believe you can do sea angling but I have not been able to find a contact. 

More information 
Irish Rail ( ticket information) Note if visiting Ireland especially Dublin look into the Leap card as well. 
Howth Head Loop Map - you need a rainjacket, strong boots, phone and water for this one!
Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07

 Facebook: @catmc
 Twitter: @forrealllemail 
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com 
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc 
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Dunmore East , Co Waterford

Where: Dunmore East Coast Waterford
Why: I had been before many moons ago with my parents but sadly it was a rainy day. Have heard some really good things and so set off on an adventure.
Pros: the beach is awesome so sandy. The tide was out when I visited. It's also a super cute little village. There are lots of walks as well that are lovely. I did a little bit of the coastal walk along the cliffs.
Cons: Nothing for me. The cliff walk could be dangerous in bad weather and is not a place to bring young children. Parking was a bit of an issue close to the beach.
Experience: I parked close to the beach and took a stroll onto the beach. The first thing that struck me was the beautiful view over Hook Head . I strolled along the beach and then took a walk over to the harbour. Finally I made my way back to the beach and went to The Strand Seafood Bar. I ordered the catch of the day and salad. Portion was huge and the food tasty. It was a scorching day during the Easter holidays and so the pub was busy. You can eat outside and its literally overlooking the strand itself so the perfect place to watch the sun go down, take in the view and just be happy!
How: I drove from Waterford to Dunmore East . You go past Ardkeen Hospital and it's about 20minutes outside the city.

History: Dunmore East is a fishing village just outside of Waterford city. It is still an active fishing village and has the second highest figure for landing fish in Ireland outside Killybegs.  Hence, the area is renowned for its seafood.  There are two principal hotels in Dunmore namely The Strand and The Haven The Strand Inn and The Haven which was once home to  The Malcolmson family of Portroe a noted wealthy family. More recently the area has hit the news as the BBC drama Redwater is set in and around the area. The area is also noted for its watersports. 

For more information: 
Lonely Planet: Dunmore East 
The Strand Inn - recommend for food or drink 
The Haven Hotel - have not stayed but good reviews online 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Finance Savvy : Investing -12 Things I have Learned.

So recently I started to get my finances in order. I did the grown up thing and started a pension . I also started a little investment portfolio. I have been massively inspired by Sugar Mamma and her 1000  dollar project. So I implemented my own version the 100 euro project. So far I have proudly managed to set aside 500 euros since the start of 2017. I have invested all of this and in the process of my investment journey I have learned the following things.
1) Research research research it pays to look into fees for stocks,bonds,mutual funds or EFTS. Watch the  percentage or you may well find your hard earned cash being gobbled up on fees.
2) How do you want to invest ? Stock broker or are you and online do it yourself trader. Both charge fees and therefore you need to decide what your comfortable with. I use Degiro. It charges very low fees and there are other online do it yourself trading options so do your homework.
3) What to invest in? Bonds are traditionally believed to be safer but not always. Shares and if so who is it the Apples or Microsoft's of this world. There are websites such as Justetf which will build a portfolio for you. I would recommend double checking and researching the stocks which these sites recommend for you to make sure you are comfortable with them.
4) Risk - this is such an important aspect. If you are the kind to lie wake at night worrying if you loose 100 euros then your cautious and there is no point investing in high risk shares. Shares and stocks are not a get rich scheme and you need to know what you are doing and unfortunately be prepared to loose money if you gamble. Sorry but it's true. I recommend Morningstar for research. I recommend you complete the Irish Life questionnaire to see what kind of investor you are.
5) Strategy -what kind of investor are you are you a day trader or a long term investor. Both are very different and require a different strategy.
6) Research again because the value of bonds and shares can go up and down in the matter of minutes. Before you buy decide how much you are prepared to buy for. If the stock is high maybe leave it until it falls to a price you are happy to pay etc.
7) Be prepared to make mistakes and learn - but do not gamble recklessly. I have saw stocks dipped and sold as I was afraid but I should have held on. I did not have a clear strategy when I started and so I chose some stocks that were not suitable for what I wanted out of my investments. It happens and its ok. Live and learn but don't invest lots until you are sure on a stock.
8)Tax man -you must pay stamp duty on shares when you buy them. Equally, you are taxed at 20-40% pending on your income bracket for any dividends you may earn and when you sell shares yes, the tax man needs to be paid again. This is in Ireland in other countries such as the UK, investing in ISA's I believe are charged lower tax. Look into your investing and in Ireland the most tax efficient way to invest is in a pension. 
9) Make sure you have built an emergency fund, paid off debt and do not put all your eggs into one basket with investing. Have a savings account and diversify your assets e.g. some in property, FTSE, S & P, manufacturing, technology. 
10) Most men have investments but not alot of women invest. Why is this? For me it took ages to get me head around it. I think consumerism is geared more towards women in terms of clothes, hair, make up etc. But it makes me worry about my fellow pink sistas because we should be owning our finances and looking after our future and being #girlboss.  
11) Its going to take time. Investing is like saving one step forward and 3 steps back so invest little and often. 
12) Do not keep up with the Jones in investing. Gold may be the hottest thing since sliced bread for John Jones next door but it might not suit your strategy. There is alot of different factor from age, investment profile, attitude to risk , disposable income, strategy etc. If someone gives you tips on investing and starts telling you Copper is the next sure thing listen but always, always do your homework. 

If in doubt seek the advise of a trusted financial adviser these are just some steps to get you started and some tips that I found. I am not a financial adviser and so these are based on my opinion and experience. 
Best of luck with it.

If you would like me to do an ABC of investing and explain some of the terms please let me know.

I would also love to hear others investing lessons and stories. Thanks :) 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Update 100 euro project

Hello all,

So my posts have been irregular as I am back in college part time and also working full time. So its a hard balancing act. I am going to post some of my videos online so link for one is here

So this post is on my 100 euro project. Progress has been as follows:

1) 40 euros from my change savings jar could not believe so much in it.
2) I have moved over money from from my account where I saved money by bringing in coffee or bringing my lunch to work.
3) High interest rate saver. I am using AIB Online Saver Account which earns 2%. Its not setting the world on fire but its a start. To compare other savings accounts for lump or regular savings I love Bonkers.ie and also found ConsumerHelp. ie. really useful.
4) I am a fan of Pigsback and also Living social, Groupon and if you keep an eye out there can be really good deals on days out, meals and even a night away. Then put what you would have paid into the savings account result.
5) Cashback Ireland something new I found basically if you buy something online with Livingsocial, Easons or other companies theres loads from Fields Jewellers to Hotels.com you can earn back a percentage of the cost. Whats not to love about more money in your pocket?
6) Being minimalist. I am in Dublin and my god those shops. I find it so hard in Dublin to keep money in my pocket and so I have come to the idea of buying only what I need. Right now its a few jumpers and leave the crazy sparkly things and handbags where they are even though it makes me sad sometimes! :)
7) Budget- oh my god its so boring but so necessary. I have found pinterest useful they have a pie chart where you should save x amount, live off y amount and then bills etc z amount.
8) Have a vision. This is important because you can feel like you are depriving yourself but if its for a car, holiday etc then think of that when it gets hard.
9) Look at those statements where is your money going and cancel anything you do not want to be paying for e.g gym if you don't go do not pay for it.
10) Bank charges I am with AIB and I recently was gobsmacked with how much I pay them. I found this really useful. 
11) Financial review you can do this with your bank or else with an independent financial adviser. Its up to you but its on my list of to do.
12) Check and see if you are entitled to any tax back on rent, bin charges, medical, tuition etc.

So my 100 euro project is now 140 euros and counting.
Would love to hear of anyone elses ideas as my target is to grow this little nest egg into 500 euros and onwards. I am saving for a house and so I know I am not alone in the savings struggle.

Have you any tips? Would love to hear them and put them in the comments.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Action for Happiness : Key Look for whats good

I believe our minds affect our bodies. Feeling good and being positive can impact us physically too. In order to find whats good I try to use the following habits daily.

  1. Visualisations - I really like to think about what I want to achieve whether its a relationship or something else I try to imagine it and flood by body with feelings of positivity. 
  2. I have just started using a new app called Moodspace. I use it to write down 3 good things daily. There is always something good even on a bad day. 
  3. I also really like positive psychology which I want to learn more about. I think it would be a good thing to learn more about for my own well being. 
  4. The Four Agreements- I came across this recently. I was dealing with someone and their actions upset me but once I looked at it from the four agreements side I just let it go. Sometimes we take on things because someone doesn't like us, wants an argument/drama etc. But if you can not take it personally it affects your moods in a more positive way. I have to remind myself and I'm sensitive but I found it really helps. 
  5. Someone told me out of everything bad comes something good. The best example I know is Oprah. She was going to be fired but the television company did not want to break her contract or get out of it. They moved her from being a news reporter to a talk show host. She said the minute she stepped into the role as a talk show host she knew she was home! 
  6. Mindfullness- the more mindful I am the more appreciative I am of my life, of the little things of nature, food and so much more. This in turn has impacted my happiness levels. 
  7. Challenges not every challenge in life is negative. We are all challenged and our strengths come from our struggles. You can learn so much even from suffering and very difficult things. 
  8. Do something you love. We all need something to look forward too and coming home from a bad day at work or even going through a stressful period its nice to have 1 hour even if its only a week to paint, run, walk, meet a friend, read. 
  9. Self care - the more I go through my journey in life the more I realise this lies at the root of everything. From what you eat and drink to how you dress and present yourself to the world. You have to look for whats good in yourself, believe you are enough and celebrate yourself. 
  10. Non Judgement - this is such a challenge and I struggle with it and the monkey mind. But not judging especially yourself can massively impact your thoughts. It gets rid of the conflict. 
  11.  Finally let it go. Do not hold onto the past and bad experiences. For example, just because your ex two timed you it doesn't mean you have to be afraid that the next person will do the same. Look for whats good with the next relationship and don't let yourself be defined by your own mistakes or the actions of others. 

For more information see
Look for Whats Good
Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hotel of the week: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

I'm a video watch me !

  Where: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway
 Why: Its one of the five star hotels in Galway so I was a little curious about it.
 What : Golf course, there is also estate activities from falconry to yoga. There is also the Pullman Carriage which is converted into a restaurant and is famed from the film of Agatha Christies Murder on the Orient Express and has links with Sir Winston Churchill. The hotel also has another restuarant called the River Room and the Oak Cellar Bar which has a bar menu.
Whats there: Everything from suites to hotel rooms, golf and fine dining.
  How: I drove from Galway city along the N59 and the hotel is on the left as you are heading out of the city.
 How much: You can spend as much or as little as you want.  You can stop by for food in the Oak cellar or else stay for a few days.
 Experience: I love the grounds and found staff to be lovely, friendly and very helpful.
Pros: The grounds and the views over Lough Corrib are really beautiful even in winter. The actual building is lovely too. I love the little church I just think its so cute and inside its small but lovely so it would be nice for a civil ceremony. I also love the Pullman I think its such a cool idea and would love to go to dinner or afternoon there sometime. Its on my to do list.
 Cons: The only con is its a little on the pricey side. But its supposed to be a treat and so if you have an occasion or valentines then its someplace nice to go.
 History:  Glenlo Abbey was built by one of the tribe families of Galway called the FFrenches in 1740.The house was originally called Kentfield House. In 1846 the estate was put up for sale and was brought by the Blakes another prominent Galway family who were one of the tribes. In 1897, another family called the Palmers purchased the house. In the 1980's the Bourke family purchased the house and converted it into a hotel.
Local attractions: Galway City Photowalk
 More information 
Glenlo Abbey Hotel 

 Hope you enjoyed reading.
 You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Place of the week: Graignamanagh, Co KIlkenny


Where: Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny
Why : I have been coming here since I was a child. So over Christmas I came here again with my sister.
What: Duiske Abbey and river walks along the River Barrow.
Whats there: Graignamanagh is a little town in Kilkenny. Its probably most famous for Duiske Abbey which is a Cistercian Abbey. There is also Duiske Glass and Cushendale Woolen Mills.
How: We drove from Kilkenny to Thomastown to Graignamangah along the R703.
How much: You can spend as much or as little as you like.
  Experience: I really love the walk along the river Barrow. You can walk  to St Mullins.Unfortunatly, we could not do all of it as my sister had her children and there is not much protection from the river in terms of boundaries so we only did a little but it was nice. There is also a heritage trail in the town. The Abbey is also nice really beautiful stained glass windows.
 Pros: The river and the views towards the mountains. I also like that is an old town and you can still see it in the buildings from the bridge over the river to the Widows cottages.
Cons: I would love to see the town developed a little bit more.
History: Graignamanagh- the town means town of the monks possibly in reference to Duiske Abbey: was founded in the 13th century. It began to deteriorate in 1536 and fell into ruin. It was returned to the Catholic community in 1812 and it was finally restored in the 1980's. Today it is used as a place of worship by the local Catholic community. The river Barrow also aided the growth of the town and became an important navigational route for commercial barges.
 Local attractions:
Duiske Glass 
Cushendale Woolen Mills
Woodstock House and Gardens

More information:
Walk from Graignamanagh to St Mullins 
Graignamanagh Heritage Trail 

 Hope you enjoyed reading.
 You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Eat of the Week: Quays Street Food, Galway

Where: Quays Street Food, Galway City.
Why: Street food, seemed like good prices, looks new and was curious.
What: Its got everything from vegan boxes to pizza, burgers, thai and chinese dishes. Here is a menu. 
Where: Its opposite The Quays Pub.
Whats there: You can sit inside there is a little cozy window and also seats outside. There is a range of food from korean, thai, flatbreads,coffee. They have a strict no MSG and also use 100% beef and halal chicken.
 How: I walked.
 How much: 7 euros for Galway Girl vegan box and a water.
 Experience: Its a small little shop but I can see it being a nice place especially once the weather picks up. I just liked the fact its healthy, quick and easy food. Sometimes, I find it hard to get that and everything can seem to come with chips when you eat out. I really like the fact there is alot on offer too because then you can pick and choose and its kinda cool if your with friends. Its not craxy expensive too.

 Pros: Good range of food at good prices, people watching.
 Cons: None
 History: Quays Street Foods is brought to you by a dedicated and passionate team of food lovers from around the world, We have brought our many years of experience together in order create a wonderfully tasty World streetfood menu.
Local attractions: 
Galway City Photowalk

 More information 
 Hope you enjoyed reading.
 You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :)

Friday, 13 January 2017

Action for Happiness Key : Find Ways to Bounce Back.

Inspiration: Goals for this year. It was the last action for happiness post. Its a new year so new me. In order to get the year off to a good start I have a theme and its control I took it from the folks at London Real.

There are a few things I want to do with the blog, with my shop,family, friends,finances, fitness and a lots of other things too. I am a little stumped in some places in my life and so I am hoping for a eureka moment. The good news is that I have started to make plans.

Action for Happiness Key : Find Ways to Bounce Back.
We all have our setbacks, our failures and knocks. It might be a broken heart, you didn't get the job you wanted or a berevement where you are left living your life without someone whom life is unimaginable without. Finding ways to bounce back from hard times is so important. Its something I can struggle with as if something bad goes wrong I tend to cocoon myself in a little shell and I kind of isolate myself. Its not helpful sometimes but if its really bad I don't have words and I need space to get my head around it.

So this is a key I need to work on and its also so useful to pass onto children too as one thing your guaranteed in life is some knocks. But no one wants to stay stuck in the moment of failure or loss and build walls which prevent them from leading a full life. Lets fail forward :)

Top ideas:

  1. Write it down - journaling can help you process your thoughts, feelings and issues. You might find it helpful to talk about the problem and then list solutions. 
  2. Focus on the positive- even out of something really bad sometimes there is something good. You can realise you are stronger then what you thought, you might end up helping people who have cancer from a cancer scare etc, raise awareness or money etc.
  3.  There is always something to be grateful for. Focus on a daily gratitude practice and be grateful for the good things. 
  4. Family and friends are so important. Its really important to have a circle of people you can trust and talk to. 
  5. Let yourself feel the emotion and grief. There are no right or wrong ways but if its a break up or a death its healthy for you to process those feelings even though its hard and horrible. 
  6. Focus on what you love, your hobbies, reading, music etc. 
  7. Look after yourself when you feel down its so tempting to reach for the chocolate and ice cream. Its ok to do it once but your body will thank you for eating well, sleeping, exercise etc and you will feel better for it too. 
  8. Listen to inspirational people it can be someone who is going through the same thing you are or else someone who is inspirational to you in some way. I listen to Tony Robbins if it helps. 
  9. Mindfullness- give yourself permission to be where you are at whatever moment. Even if the future seems scary take it one step at a time and just be present to that moment. 
  10. Wake up call- some things can make you see you were on the wrong path like getting the course you thought you wanted but one year in you realise its not for you. 
  11. See the situation for what it is but no worse then what it is. Sometimes something bad can taint your vision of your life. But it might only relate to one aspect of your life. Like not getting a promotion may affect your career path but if you already have a job and a happy personal life and work life then maybe its just a case where you need more experience or education etc but overall things are good. 

Here are some of the rule of success for some famous people who I think personify resilience.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.  Maya Angelou. Amazing poem Still I Rise. 

I hope this post has inspired you. If you are going through a difficult time I hope you find it helpful too and you can take something away from it and triumph.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Hotel of the Week: Wineport Lodge.

Watch me I'm a video 

Where: Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Westmeath.
 Why: Irish readers may or may not be aware that The Restaurant television show was filmed here. Irish celebrities from Pippa O'Connor have also stayed here. So of course I was curious. Its a luxury hotel so its a little on the pricey side to stay so I popped by for lunch Its January people :)
 What: Luxury award winning hotel and restaurant with spa facilities.
 Whats there: This hotel does everything you would expect and more, good food, spa, luxury rooms with goose down duvets and pillows and marble bathrooms, the grounds can be used for marriage and they even do a proposal package too. There is a spa and meeting rooms so if you want to work or play its all covered.
 How: I drove to Athlone on the M6, then took the N55 towards Cavan. You will see signs for Wineport before you come to Glasson. Its in a country setting.
 How much: I paid just over 12 euros for a ham and cheese sandwich that comes with salad and chips and a tea.

 Experience: first off the view from the hotel is amazing. For me it was instant calm. As I walked around I could see residents sitting on balconies reading books, having a cuppa and also taking selfies. Its such a beautiful setting and the owners have done their best to capitalise upon this with balconies, windows form the bar and restaurant taking in the view, seats outside, the Lakeshore Pavilion. I actually think its a super romantic place to go and too even for just lunch so if your looking to treat someone for Valentines day then look no further. I had lunch and I have to say staff were excellent, chatty but not in your face and very helpful. Service was swift too even though there was a few people around.I had ham and cheese sandwich which came with salad and chips. I ordered without chips which was not a problem. I have to mention this as its a little bugbear of mine. I got a big portion of salad which was great as some places give you some salad and a huge dollop of coleslaw. The ham was proper ham too and very tasty. The food is good and the wine and drinks menu is too for those who are lucky enough not to have to drive. Great job done by all so thank you had a lovely afternoon.
 Pros: The views just gorgeous and a real escape location to switch off and unwind. Also, noticed so much wildlife from ducks to robins singing.
 Cons: The only con is parking can be a little tight if its busy here.
 History: The hotel first opened in 1993. It's run by husband and wife team Ray Byrne and Jayne English. Jayne's mother and her partner owned the land on which the hotel is sited. They were farmers but seeing the potential of the site they decided to open a sailing centre. In conjunction with the sailing centre they decided to offer food to the sailing customers. In time they realised there was a gap in the market for accommodation for their sailing clients and in 2002 they invested 1.5million to build the first rooms and the spa. Demand rose and further rooms were added in time. The hotel is listed in Bridgestone and Ireland's Blue Book. Its also won awards such as The Irish Restaurant Awards and also Irish Hospitality Awards.
 Local attractions: Athlone, is a good shopping town. Also, Clonmacnoise and Ballinahown are not too far. Glasson also has gastropubs which are worth checking out.
 More information: 
Wineport Lodge
Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post no money exchanged hands nor other benefits in kind. Just an honest review.
 Hope you enjoyed reading.
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
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Monday, 9 January 2017

Cork City

Watch me I am a video! 

Where: Cork City
Why: January sales and for a ramble.

 What: English Market, Big Wheel, Shopping on Patricks Street.
 Whats there: Crawford Art Gallery, English Market, Shandon Bells, Shopping.
  How: I got the train from Thurles. It cost about 40 euros return.
 How much: You can spend as little or as much as you want.
 Experience: I love the people in Cork as they are so friendly. I always end up having a chat over something. I also love the English market its just an amazing place to visit and if you are a foodie its someplace you need to go. There are so many different stalls and places to eat from the cafe upstairs to Sushi and the amazing Gourmet sausages. I have been a fan of them for years.
 Pros: The English market for me. Inside I found a new chocolate shop (The Chocolate Shop) and  I love anything vintage. I found two shops side by side in the English market one is called Miss Daisy Blue and the other is called Peacock and Ruby. Lovely things in both but had to exercise restraint. Also, love the area around the Crawford Gallery as there is a Luigi Malones and other restaurants. Shopping in Cork has come up massively too on Opera Avenue. Had to wear some shopping blinkers!!😼
Cons: I started to come down with the flu so did not enjoy as much as I would have liked because I felt miserable. It has nothing to do with Cork itself.
 History: Cork is Ireland's second largest city after Dublin. The locals refer to it as the Republic of Cork and Cork people are very proud of their county. They have every reason to be too. Cork is renowned for its food, friendly locals, craic, music, cosy pubs and nightlife. If you are staying in Cork the renowned Blarney Stone is not too far from the city where legend has it if you kiss it you get the gift of the gab! The river Lee passes through the city. The main city area lies off Patrick Street. The city centre is compact and its pretty easy to get around on foot. There are a number of festivals held throughout the year so be sure to check locally if visiting. Its also possible to fly directly to Cork as it has its own airport.
 Local attractions: 
Fota Wildlife Park
 More information: 
Discover Ireland - Cork 
 Hope you enjoyed reading.
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
 Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Weekly Roundup :)

Hi all,

Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017. 
Thanks for being part of the journey so far. 

This year I am going to Jazz things up just a little and posts schedule is going to be: 

  • Place of the week
  • Action for Happiness/Inspiration post 💞 
  • 100 euro challenge post ( is still ongoing) money management
Whats new: 
  • I am going to do a few more photowalks of different places. 
  • I have added alot more to my Zazzle shop see here if interested. Now there is everything from postcards to cards, prints, wedding invitations and canvas. I am going to donate 10% to The Irish Wildlife Trust. I take so much inspiration from nature and I am go grateful for the beautiful landscape and environment we have in Ireland so its my little way of giving back to it. Below is an email I sent to them to let them know!

So be sure to check back. 
If you want to subscribe see the side bar. 
Any comments or suggestions would love to hear from you :) 

Forrealll The Mindfullness Photo Group. 
Its launched on Facebook but feel free to share with me via any social media would love to hear from you.