Monday, April 15, 2013

Terrible Saps

Branden is going away for 5 days starting Thursday and I don't expect I'll survive. He has to go to Dublin where he will be attending and speaking at a conference for 3 days, staying the other 2 days for some much needed studying at the library at Trinity. I'm not going with him because I would only see him at night, and with my anxiety, I would just stay in the hotel until Branden came back as going out by myself would freak me out to no end...especially in such a big city. I do have great housemates though and we even got a new girl who is my age! She just moved in over the weekend but she already fits in really well and we all hung out mostly all day on Sunday. My friends are also offering to keep me occupied so maybe I'll pull through.

On Sunday we watched Britain's Got Talent since the new season has started. A dance group from Hungary came on and performed an incredible piece that is based on a true story. They danced to my favorite song from the brilliant Emeli Sande. She is an amazing artist with incredible talent. When the dance ended, Branden and I looked at each other and we were both in tears! We are such saps! It was beautiful though and you can watch it below.

Did you make it through without tearing up? I haven't even watched it a second time because I think I may be worse off than the first time! I hate to leave you on a sad note so here is one of my new favorite videos.

I know a lot of you are pet lovers so I just had to share it with you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ick, spam!

I tend to get a lot of spammers on my blog which thankfully go to the spam inbox and rarely my normal comment inbox. This is also a good reason why I approve all of my comments as occasionally they do slip through. Recently I was looking through my spam inbox, for kicks and giggles, and found some odd ones...

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I must be quite exciting if you are stuck writing about nasal polyps! EEEWWWW, EEEWWW, EEEWWWW!! I didn't even know those were a thing! 
(Word of warning: do NOT google image search them!!!)

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First of all, I'll fire my editor (sorry Branden), secondly, most spammers shower me with over the top flattery (so I don't like you), and last and definitely not least, how in the world to you figure that breast pictures increase exercise?? ...unless you are at an all boys school and hang them in front of the treadmills maybe...??? Please don't come back again either way.

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I don't want to know what that is and I definitely don't want to help you put a photo up of it!! YIKES!!!

What ever happened to good old fashioned normal people who tried hacking your site with boring old web ads!?! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What a way to celebrate!

Before I get into all the photos from our wonderful trip to Kinsale, here are some random photos for you. Our local Nintendo graffiti artist has added to his already awesome work on a wall near our house. The wall is very tall and I would be about as tall as the top of the lower it's amazing!

One of our housemates makes the best ever carrot cake!! He has a cream cheese layer in the middle and it's so moist and tasty! Since Branden and I had birthdays 6 days apart from each other, he made us a cake! As you can tell, he tried to write "Happy Birthday" in grated carrots on the top but he ran out of space and so it actually said "Happy Birtdd"...I thought it was hilarious and awesome!

Now onto our trip to Kinsale! We had an amazing time and it was the closet thing to a spa day I've ever had. We stayed at a fantastic B&B with the friendliest couple who ran it. We had just a standard double room but it was gorgeous! Our bed was the most comfy thing I've slept in.

We had a cute little seating area in a bay window and the wardrobe had great tea making stuff in it, with cookies, coco mixes, and chocolates!

Since we don't have a bath in our room at home, we asked for a bath when we booked the room. We were very excited to see this big jacuzzi tub in our huge bathroom at the B&B! It was perfect for winding down after a bitterly cold day in Kinsale.

We also had a balcony off of our room. It had a cute little 2 person table and chairs on it, but it was too cold for us to go out there!

When we arrived at the B&B, The Old Presbytery, we got settled into our room and then we were told to go up to the dining room for some afternoon tea or coffee. They had a nice little selection of teas and then a fabulous little selection of homemade cakes! There were mini cappuccino cakes, mini raspberry cakes, lemon raspberry cake slices, and a raspberry muffin with white chocolate was amazing!!

After sampling bits of everything, we decided we should probably get real lunch and we went to a cafe recommended to us by our hosts. It was a cafe/bookstore, with bookshelves lining one wall filled with old and new books for anyone to read at their leisure or to purchase if they so wished. They had an incredible selection of teas, which we each got our own little pots of, and a wonderful chicken, avocado sandwich on incredibly tasty bread.

When we finished eating, we snooped around the cute little shops along the tiny, narrow roads. Thankfully there are lots of fun shops as the weather was almost painfully cold to be out in. Kinsale is right off the Atlantic and the wind was absolutely bitter with cold! Shopping done, we went back to our room to get warmed up and take a nap before dinner. Being out in the cold makes you quite sleepy!

Dinner was beyond anything I could have hoped for! We went to a place called Max's where the food was incredible, the server was fabulous, and the restaurant itself was very nicely decorated and cozy. I had a starter of muscles grilled in a parsley garlic butter and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. They were heavenly and the server told us how to do them at home too! Branden had a starter of red seafood chowder that was jam packed full of different white fish, salmon, and shellfish. For a main, I had medallions of Ling with a delicious sauce with sun dried tomato and herbs and a side of potatoes, and Branden had the venison with an cranberry stuffed apple and side of broccoli and red cabbage. (are you drooling yet?) Dessert was another triumph where I had the mini Bourbon creme brulee pots with almond biscuits (cookies) and Branden had the sticky toffee pudding with pear and date compote. If you ever get to Kinsale, you have to go to Max's!

After that masterpiece of food, we popped into a nearby grocery store, picked up a bottle of red wine and headed back to the B&B for the night. We just relaxed, watched Rio (loved it!), and took a bath before conking out in our most coziest of cozy beds.

The next morning we woke up to snow! It was crazy but luckily it wasn't sticking to roads, just cars, bushes, and tops of buildings. By the time we finished breakfast it had almost all melted though. Breakfast was also a culinary delight. I had a crepe filled with warm fruit and drizzled with honey. Branden had scrambled eggs and John Dory (a tasty white fish) that was buttery and delicious! We had heard that our B&B had the best breakfasts and they certainly proved themselves!

With tiny hail type snow falling, we decided to wander around the town again before catching an early bus home. We walked up the hill by our B&B to a convent that overlooked the bay.

This was the front entrance to our B&B

Pussy willows in front of St. Multose Church which was built in 1190. We couldn't get in but we have been inside a couple of months after we moved to Ireland. You can see that blog post HERE

Across the water and on that patch of land, there is an old fort. We wanted to walk to it (which was down the road a ways, then across a bridge and then up the other side) but it was snowing on us the whole time, which is why the photo is slightly hazy.

And old, derelict house that would be amazing done up!

My disbelief in the crazy weather as little tiny snow pellets pelted me.

After touring around some more, we hauled our frozen bodies to the cafe/bookstore and waited for our bus. I got some hot coco and Branden got a mocha. When we got back to Cork, it was lovely weather! Yes, it was cold as well, but the sun was out and there hadn't been any snow! We went to lunch at a Thai restaurant after popping our heads into a toy store that was the closest thing to Toys-R-Us I've seen since leaving the States. After a tasty lunch, we did some shopping before going to the cinema to see OZ the Great and Powerful. We really liked it! To finish off our night, and not quite ready to go home yet, we stopped in to an Australian themed pub that's on our way home that had half price pizzas that day. They also have good deals on pitchers of cocktails so we ordered a pitcher of Melon Madness cocktail, a yummy, meaty pizza, and a side order of fries. It was great! We walked home just as it started to snow (and thankfully didn't stick!) and made it back happy over all the fun and good food we had experienced over the short 2 days!

It was fabulous! Tomorrow we are going to Cashel and Cahir Castle for a day trip to celebrate Branden's birthday that was on Saturday. He does need to see a couple of tombs in the Rock of Cashel as part of his studies, but it's a cool tourist destination anyway and we missed it last time we did a research trip. It should be fun and we'll have more photos!