Wine in a Box
This week instead of recommending a drink, I will recommend a way of buying wine that might save you money and might save a sore head in the morning.
Now we’ve all thought to ourselves on the way home from work that a glass of wine or two would be nice, but you know once you open a bottle you might drink it all or worse still it might end up down the sink, if not drank in a day or two. Well here’s the answer to that problem, buy your wine in a box.
You might or might not have seen these around the place, and you might of thought to yourself, I’m not buying wine that comes in a box, well you are missing out. These wines come in a number of different sizes, 750ml, 1.5l and so on. The box contains a bag with a little tap on it to access the wine and once opened will last for around 6 weeks. Now you won’t find really good wine sold this way but you will get a good easy drinking wine perfect for a glass or two in the evening, BBQ, or even out and about at the weekend, maybe the beach.
So next time you want a glass or two pick up one of these boxes of wines and you won’t have to worry about the wine turning bad which in turn might make you drink the whole bottle. You should pick up a 1.5l box for around €15.
Tags: Bevvy of the week, Wine in a Box
Tags: Dublin 2013, Listen of the Week, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, RDS
Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Dublin June 15th 2013
Normally I blog my Listen of the Week on a Friday … no reason really. It has been that way for some time now. Last week I missed the Friday posting …oops! I never have before. This week I’ve decided that my Listen of the Week post won’t be an Album like it normally is and this is why – on Saturday when out with my Mum who came up to ‘The Big Smoke’ to take me out for lunch and get me a prezzie (my birthday was last Thursday), I got a very appreciated and grateful phone-call from Ed my cousin to wish me Happy Birthday and say he had two tickets to see Neil Young that night! For me! Whoop! This fabulous call came at 4pm … the same time the gates were opening! The next hour was spent on the phone with my fine gentleman trying to organise ourselves to get to the RDS pronto!
Unfortunately we missed Little Green Cars … I’ll see them again for sure. We did however get to see and rock out to Los Lobos and rock and bop about to The Waterboys, who played loads of their classics … and when Neil Young and Crazy Horse took to the stage we nodded in agreement that this was going to kick ass!
I’ve read some articles following the gig which read that Neil indulged himself in his own guitar rifts, that the crowd were fuming that he didn’t play the old rockin hits … to these I say bah! You came to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse … you got to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Old favourites like Heart of Gold and Old Man are Neil Young minus the Crazy Horse … check your ticket next time! (Grrr)
I had a brilliant time. The sun shone for most of the afternoon and evening. The wine was a flowing. My beau and I met up with some good friends. We were treated to some fine music and got to witness one of the coolest and talented songwriter / guitarists in our living days with the Crazy Horses; Ralph Molina, Crazy Horse drummer since the 60′s, Billy Talbot, Crazy Horse bassist since the 60′s and Frank Sampedro, Crazy Horse guitarist since the 70′s … wow! Can you imagine the stories they could tell … hold on … isn’t that what they do! Funnily enough we bumped into one of our own great story tellers Declan O’Rourke on our way from the gig … coolness!
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Tags: Drink, Food, Photographs, Taste of Dublin 2013
Taste of Dublin 2013
Myself and my fine beau went along to the Taste of Dubln 2013 on Sunday. As mentioned in my Taste of Dublin 2013 post on Wednesday, which you can read here - my tips for the day included bringing both sunglasses and an umbrella … it’s Ireland and that’s just how we must roll, however we were blessed with gorgeous sunshine so the umbrella wasn’t needed … whoop! Oh and what was even better for those of us who went to the early 12 – 4pm Lunch Service was that we weren’t asked to leave for the Dinner Service 5.30 – 9.30pm! Yep we got to stay all day! … Sunshine, Food, Drink, Music and merriment … a perfect way to spend your Sunday!
For those of you who haven’t been but are considering it for next year, here are some more photo’s to give you an idea of what to expect. We spent the day sipping on drinks, tasting different foods and drinks, eating delicious food glorious food and drinking scrumptious drinks. We got the opportunity to witness Rachel Allen spatchcock a chicken in the Chef’s Skillery Marquee… some great tips for a BBQ, we watched Ed Cooney the Executive Head Chef from The Cellar at the Merrion Hotel cooking up a storm in the Electrolux Taste Theatre, we witnessed a quick and easy Thai Salad being created in the Taste of Thailand … well they made it look easy! and we enjoyed watching Catherine Fulvio in the Food for Thought Theatre … all of these and we were treated to live music and as I mentioned already … sunshine!
Please note: We very gratefully received two tickets to the Taste of Dublin 2013 through The Life of Stuff from Kennedy PR, however all the photo’s, words and opinions are my own … sure who else’s would they be?
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Tags: Drink, dublin, Food, Taste of Dublin 2013
The Taste of Dublin is Back!
The Taste of Dublin is back and the exhibitors and organisers are probably putting the final touches to their spaces, their wares and of course to the food glorious food and drinks as I type and lick my lips.
If you haven’t been to the Taste of Dublin in previous years, I would recommend you take a trip into Dublin and to the Iveagh Gardens to check it out. I went last year and had a great day.
With guest appearances by some of the best chef’s around including …
Rachel Allen, Jean Christophe Novelli, Clodagh McKenna, Jonray & Peter Sanchez, Nevin McGuire, Darina Allen, Sunil Ghai, Stephen Gibson, Derry Clarke, Oliver Dunne, Catherine Fulvio, Ross Lewis, Edward Hayden, Ryan Stringer and Eurotoques Young Chefs … you’ll be spoilt for autographs!
Famous faces and talented palettes aside and there are so many attractions to choose from, including …
Electolux Taste Theatre, Electrolux Chef’s Secret’s, Chef’s Skillery, Food For Thought Theatre, Taste of Thailand, Bulmers Ireland World Beer Bar, Jacob’s Creek, Mumm Champagne VIP Suite, Beaujolais Bar, O’Brien’s Wine Experience, The Butler’s Pantry, The Exchequer, Paris Bakery, Dublin Wine Rooms, Moy Park, Live Entertainment, Lifestyle Awards.
… And if these highlights get your belly rumbling you have a host of Irelands finest restuarants on site ready to take your order!
Bon Appetit, The Green Hen, Chop House, Diep Le Shaker, Kilkenny Cafe, Il Promo, Pichet, Jaipur, Aniar, Knockranny House, Wineport Lodge, Ice House, Brasserie Le Pont, Matt the Thresher Seafood Bar and Grill, Gordon Ramsay @ Powerscourt, Dylan Restaurant, Ely, Rock Lobster, The Hot Stove and Clodagh’s Kitchen.
… And if you’ve eaten your fill of delicious-ness you have all these exhibitors wares to check out, shop, nibble on or drink …
Adriatico, Artisan du Chocolat, Asia Market Ltd, Ballymaloe Country Relish, Beaujolais Wine, Baked, Brady Family, BMW, Bulmers Ireland World Beers, Cassidy Wines, C&R Drinks, Chai Xpress, Choc Allure, Clonakilty Blackpudding Co, Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Cuisine de France, Danucci Chocolates, Dubliner Cheese, Dublin Wine Rooms, Electrolux, Embassy of Argentina, Empire Donuts, Flint & Flame Hammer Stahl Knives, French Wines, G.H Mumm Champagne, Ginos Homemade Italian Gelato, Great Wines of Spain, Havana Club, Hi-life Diners Club, Ireland’s Blue Book, Jacob’s Creek Cool Harvest, KBC Bank, Keoghs, Kettle One Vodka, Lindt, Living Social, Linwoods Health Foods, Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School, Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants, Mash Direct, Microsoft windows 8, Moy Park, Mövenpick Ice Cream, Newgrange Gold, O’Briens Wine Masterclass, Paris Bakery, Perfect Pans, Picturehouse photography, Pink Lady Apples, Premier International Beers/Beer Heaven, Pukara Estate, Regina, Rudds, Sacla UK Limited, Select Hotels of Ireland, Shocka’s Coconut Hub, SO Prosecco, Taste of Thailand, The Absolut Bar, The Coffee Bean, The Collective, The Czech Republic – Prague, The Exchequer, The Westin, Zwilling.
It’s pretty obvious by now that I’m really looking forward to heading along. Some say you should plan your day. It sounds like a great idea. I plan on soaking up the action and going with the flow … although I have to admit there are a number of Chef’s I’d like to see, Restaurants I’d like to dine at and Exhibitors I fancy checking out … so I probably should go make a plan then!
Following last years’ attendance what can tips can I share? Well … bring sunglasses, an umbrella, shoes you can dance in, a camera and a little wad of real money to buy your Taste of Dublin money ‘Florins’.
For more information on tickets, times, florins and of course the Chefs, Restaurants and Exhibitors you can visit the Taste of Dublin website by clicking here.
After the event I’ll share with you my experience but for now here are a few snaps from my Taste of Dublin 2012 … I particularly like my Galway Hooker shot …
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Tags: Bevvy of the week, Marques de la Concordia Reserva, Marques de la Concordia Tempranillo
Marques de la Concordia Tempranillo and Marques de la Concordia Reserva
This week I am recommending two spanish red wines from the Rioja region. Marques de la Concordia Tempranillo and Marques de la Concordia Reserva.
Both wines are made with the Tempranillo grape which is one of the best red grapes in Spain. The basic Marques de la Concordia is a soft, well rounded wine with a nice plummy dark berry character and is not too heavy. The Reserva is a fuller, richer and more aromatic wine. This is because all red Spanish Reserva wine are aged for a minium of three years, one of which must be in oak.
So if you like a softer wine go for the basic Tempranillo and if you like fuller bodied wines go for the Reserva. Both wines are really good so why not get them both and see the difference. You should get the Tempranillo for around €10 and the Reserva for around €12.
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Tags: Blog, Liebster Award, The Life of Stuff
The Liebster Award
Google ‘Liebster Award‘ and try and find its definition or origin and I’ll give you a tenner if you can find out anything other than the following;
- Liebster means in German ’sweetheart, beloved person or darling’.
- It’s an award that is passed from bloggers to bloggers they appreciate.
- There’s no bloody trophy!
So I might be sounding a little ungrateful but believe me I’m not! I was actually quite chuffed that The Life of Stuff was considered for such an award. I must admit that I was a little fumbly when I read the rules and realised that I’d have to answer questions about myself (I normally only share what I wish to share). I did consider getting Patrick our lovely Drinks Blogger involved but after scanning over them I put my reservations aside, relaxed, felt a little more chuffed and smiled.
So what are the rules to receiving a Liebster Award?
1. Thank and link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
4. Write 11 questions for your nominees.
5. Present/nominate a Liebster blog award to 3-5 other bloggers.
And so without further ado …
1. Thank you Sandra from Random Thoughts From Dublin for Liebstering me … you’re too kind
2. Eleven Random Facts about me:
- When I was really young I used to bury snail shells in the garden – sort of like a snail graveyard.
- I had a four year honours degree as I turned 21.
- I can stretch my toes out and make a ‘gorilla foot’.
- I won all four Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles figures in a colouring competition.
- As a teenager I had a crush on Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam.
- As a child a took up the recorder, violin, guitar, piano, keyboard and accordion. I play none but I sing.
- I’ve skydived.
- I’ve eaten grasshoppers and silkworms.
- I love the film The Crow and have watched it a ridiculous amount of times.
- I was proposed to up the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- I’m the eldest of four children.
3. Answer Eleven Questions:
1. Q: What’s the one place you must visit before you die? A: The Ends of the Earth.
2. Q: If you could live without music or books, what would it be? A: Books
3. Q: Why did you start blogging and what do you love about it most? A: I started to blog and set up The Life of Stuff because it was a way to keep me sane while I was ‘in between jobs’. I’ve kept it up because it is a hobby that I truly love. I love to share my words, my ideas, my thoughts. I love to be involved in what Ireland has to offer and I love to learn and explore. There are so many avenues The Life of Stuff has yet to take.
4. Q: What’s your best childhood memory? A: I think it must be the memories of the simple things like getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday and dragging the duvet, boxes of cereal, bowls, spoons and milk to watch cartoons. Or making up and telling stories at night time to my little brothers and sister. On a bigger scale it would be my surprise Tenth Birthday party where nearly every child from my class was invited and my mum had a dinner menu to choose from (wonder woman or what!) and we all played for hours.
5. Q: Where’s your favourite holiday destination? A: I’ve travelled quite extensively so it’s hard to choose one but I have very fond memories of Goa in India.
6. Q: What do you love most about your husband/wife/ fiancé(e)? A: Everything.
7. Q: What’s your shoe size? A: Depending on the shoe 5.5 but mostly a 6.
8. Q: Pepsi or Coke? A: Too controversial to answer.
9. Q: Who are your five dream dinner guests (alive or dead) and what would you cook them? A: Jim Morrison, Marylin Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and I’d have a BBQ.
10. Q: Where was your honeymoon, or where is it going to be? A: It will be the South of France.
11. Q: What is your favourite season? A: Sometimes it depends on what season I’m in but it’s mostly summer.
4. Write Eleven Questions for your Nominees:
- What time of the day do you blog most?
- What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
- Where can you see yourself living when you retire?
- What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
- Name a pet peeve about your partner?
- What’s your favourite ice-cream?
- What song do you probably know all the words to?
- How old were you when you had your first kiss?
- Where would you like to go on holidays?
- What’s the smelliest thing you’ve ever smelt?
- Panda Dog … right or wrong?
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Tags: El Porko Loco, J.W. Seetman's, Listen of the Week, Nobo, Panic Slowly, The Shoos
The Shoos – Panic Slowly, 2012
After being fed and watered and having sweet tunes fill my ears this evening courtesy of the lads from The Shoos it’s only fitting that they are my Listen of the Week … not that I’m easily sold or bought … let that be known to ya’ll.
Anyhoo to explain the fed and watered shenanigans … Patrick (from The Life of Stuff) and I were invited along to The Shoos launch party of their new single ‘Battlescars‘ from their 2012 and second album ‘Panic Slowly‘. It was actually a double whammy as the lads were also filming the new video for their song ‘That’s What She Does To Me‘, with Live Graffiti Art, which was carried out and photographed (it’s going to be time-lapse style) by the artistic Jeff, Paddy and Michael … fair play lads! It all took place in The Showroom on Erne Street Dublin 2, as the lads said themselves, they wanted something different. And different it was. We were treated to a free dinner courtesy of El Porko Loco, who dished out delicious mexican burritos, nacho’s and smokey chipotle sauce … they were feckin yummy! We drank redbull if we were thirsty for a pep in our step and for a skip in our step we were treated to a glass (or more) of J.W. Sweetman’s Pale Ale – it went down a treat I must say, so I’ll be calling in and ordering a pint of the good stuff next time I’m on Burgh Quay. To top it off we had a selection of dairy free Nobó ice-cream – however you liked it, in a bowl or in a cone, I choose a cone cause I like them. Outside The Showroom waiting like a getaway were the vans from Splitter Van Ireland.
Ok so back to The Shoos … the Dublin band, played five tracks/songs from Panic Slowly. To be honest I’m a new fan so have not had the pleasure of seeing/hearing them live and have only listened to or watched them on youtube etc. My conclusion having witnessed them in The Showroom is that they are a band you will want to see LIVE. This evening the band was plus a cajun box drum and minus a drum set. The sound was great and they were flawless, however I am looking forward to witnessing them minus a showroom in a live venue plus a drum set (and maybe a cajun box drum too). This evening I particulary loved ‘Western Zombie‘ and the anthem-like ‘Battlecars‘, their new song ‘That’s What She Does To Me‘ is definitely a grower.
The Shoos’ next gig will be the Dun Laoighaire Music Festival on June 22nd, I’m not too sure about their other gigs. I probably should have asked the lads when I met them but I was high on graffiti paint and burritos. For more information about the band you can check out their website here. To connect with them you can follow them on Facebook here or/and Twitter here. For now you can check out a few of my pics from the evening and the brilliant video for ‘Battlecars‘ … Enjoy!
The Shoos – Battlescars
Note: Patrick and I were gratefully invited to the Launch Party through The Life of Stuff by The Shoos through Orchestrate Marketing & PR, however all the words, photo’s and opinions are my own … sure who else’s would they be?
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Tags: Atelier 27, Om Diva, Weekly Fashion Fix
Om Diva & Atelier 27 – Drury Street, Dublin 2
Om Diva & Atelier 27 are practically an Institution in the Creative Quarter, Dublin. I’ve mentioned them more than once in The Life of Stuff like last year when they played a big part in the Dublin Fashion Festival which you can check out here and then in my Five Fabulous Reasons to Shop in Dublin City post , which you can read here. They like to get stuck in on the action of bigging up Dublin’s, no actually, Ireland’s fashionable folk. This year they are working on surpassing the expectations that go with being awarded a Purple Flag. What’s that you may ask! Well, its pretty much like the Blue Flags that are awarded to beaches except that the Purple Flag is awarded to city regions for excellence in appeal from 5pm to 5am … want to know more? The Creative Quarter were one of the first places in Ireland to be awarded one … which is a pretty big deal. Want the complete lowdown then you can click here to be brought to Dublin City Bids website.
So what have Om Diva been working on to surpass expectations … well how about their Night Market? They tested the waters a little while back and this evening I popped by to dip my toes in.
At first sight the street looked prettier and even more alive as a mini gazebo displaying vintage clothing, bags and quirky jewellery greeted me outside of the Om Diva Boutique. I was then greeted by the gorgeous gals from Om Diva with a smiling hello and offered a beer while I browsed. Talk about selling me the concept … ha! Anyhoo I had a nose around and ventured into the store as I have done so on many an occasion and was greeted by lots of pretty sale signs offering 20% discounts … nice. Beer and bargains … madame you are surely spoiling us!
Om Diva is divided among three floors. On the ground level you will find a mixture of designs bought in from a mixture of design houses from around the world. These include dresses and skirts, tops and scarves and a hefty selection of quirky jewellery and bags. Downstairs takes you to the Vintage Basement where you will find all things vintage from dresses and skirts, tops and jackets to bags and shoes.
On the first floor is Atelier 27, where you will find some of latest designs by some of the best and up and coming Irish and Ireland based Designers around. Designers like Kayleigh Forsyth, De Loup - who I mentioned in my Tamp & Stitch post here, Aliquo, Beatriz Palacios and Heather Finn – who I mentioned in my Loft Market post here, Deerobyn, Ciara Murphy, Dolly Delinquent, Julia Bertule and Emer Vandal have their own space to display their fabulous designs … beautiful. Not bothered by jewellery and clothing, that’s a silly statement but one I’ll leave in for effect – you can also delight in the artistic work of Morganna Murphy, Adelle Hickey and Carol Mahon which adorn the walls and shelves.
For more information on Om Diva and to keep up to date with all the goings on you can connect with them on Facebook here.
The Ground Floor
The Vintage Basement
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Tags: Bevvy of the week, Limoncello
With the sun shining the way it is I’m going to recommend a nice refreshing drink that can be sipped on while you soak up the sun.
Limoncello is a Lemon liqueur from Italy and if you like lemon it’s definitely the drink for you. There are a number of ways you can serve this drink, all very refreshing.
1 – neat from the freezer.
2 – poured over crushed ice with some tonic or soda water.
3 – as number 2 but you can also add sparkling wine.
4 – added to iced tea and you can even add some fruit.
Anyway you drink this drink it’s going to be good. You should be able to pick it up for around €25
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Tags: Dublin Mountains, Massy's Estate
Back in March I blogged about one of my favourite places to bring my dog Charlie for a walk … The Hellfire Club, Montpelier Hill up the Dublin Mountains. Well at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and across the road from the Hellfire Club car park, you’ll find Massy’s Estate and Wood Nature Trail. This is where I go to push over huge trees in my spare time … because I’m so strong … must be all that boxfit! Joking aside though Massy’s Estate is another great spot for a walk and again is one of my favourites. It’s a woodland area that offers great pathways that take you through and around the estate. It’s a great place to bring your dog. If you like jogging it’s perfect as the trails are clear and if you have children, they’ll love the adventure of the tall trees, the crunch of the leaves, the gurgling of the stream and the mystery of the ancient garden walls that still stand … or maybe that’s just me! … but sure we’re all children at heart really.
My fine gentleman, our dog Charlie and I have been there many evenings after work and with the fine weather that we’ve recently had (long may it last) – it has been just perfect. We’ve taken the trail that is mapped out but have taken different routes half way through each time just to change it up. We’ve also spotted something new each of these times, whether it’s a species of tree we missed, a little waterfall, another pond, the disused Icehouse, the garden walls or on one evening the deer that came to say hello. Lots of the trees have plaques stating what species they are and if you’re unsure of which direction to go in, don’t be as there are wooden posts along the trail to direct you.
There is history behind the estate of course as the ruins were at one time a fabulous and luxurious mansion with sprawling landscaped gardens. The short of it is, the owner, Lord Massy got into financial trouble. The estate was taken from him and his family. The mansion was sold by the banks, who could not find an owner, to a builder for salvage who demolished it. So the mansion was knocked down and with time the landscaped gardens overgrew. Sad really but on a positive note, it is open to the public and enjoyed by many families every day throughout the year.
Massy’s Estate is only 30 minutes by car or bus from Dublin City Centre but when you get there it’s like a different world. It’s another example of all that Dublin has to offer. For more information on the estate you can visit Dublinmountains.ie here. If you are interested in the history of the estate and the one time owner the Massy family, I came across ‘If Those Trees Could Speak’ by Frank Tracy, which you can access here and which tells the story of the estate and the Massy’s. For now though, why not take a look at some of my photo’s below … enjoy!