Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lunch @ Bunnyconnellan

J surprised me last weekend with a lunch booking at Bunnyconnellans, in Myrtleville, Cork.

I love surprises, especially when they come complete with a scenic drive, food and beautiful views!

Bunnyconnellans - pic from their website

It was a bit overcast while we were there, but the view from our table was still amazing:

The food (below) was good - but it came out 5 minutes after we had ordered, which seemed a bit too quick..(microwaved?)

Spinach and ricotta pasta


This little cottage was in the parking lot. It's probably just their storage shed or bin room, but it looked so cute I had to photograph it:

 And one last shot of the views to finish off :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cake Wrecks

I've been in stitches the past couple of hours from reading

I stumbled across it while looking up wedding cakes.

All from
The commentary that goes along with the 'wrecks' is just hilarious. Love it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Venue: booked!

...well, provisionally booked at least.

After the wedding venue dilemma post, we went back to Waterford Castle to attend their wedding fair.

It was good to see the castle again - it was pouring rain outside, and the castle still managed to look fantastic. The interior was lovely too, and we got to see the presidential (bridal) suite, which we missed out on last visit. This suite is HUGE - I could definitely imagine myself getting ready for the wedding there.

If you remember from my previous post, the biggest concern we had with Waterford Castle was the bar being in a separate room. Seeing this bar room again only highlighted how big of an issue it was for us - the room is quite big, and full of comfortable chairs and sofas.. I could definitely imagine half the guests opting to sit in there for the night instead of the main reception room - and splitting the wedding guests is NOT what I want to happen on the night.

But - After a quick chat with the wedding coordinator - the problem was solved! for a small fee (approx 300 Euro) they will set up a temporary bar in the conservatory connecting to the main reception room. This means we will have to chop our guest list by 20 to make space for the bar, but that will only reduce the costs further, which is great.

So, based on that, we ended up (provisionally) booking what seems to be the perfect venue!!

View of the Castle - it's on its own island. Guests will need to catch a short ferry across.
Waterford Castle Entrance hall
Reception/Dining room

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wedding venue dilemma

Wow, it's been a while..things have been absolutely hectic here for the past couple of months. But enough excuses, time for a new post.

Besides a few other major issues going on, hunting for a wedding venue has taken up quite a bit of our weekends. Originally we had decided that the end of October was our deadline to book a place, but this has now been extended to the end of November, because we are no closer to deciding!

No venue we have looked at so far has been perfect - they each have their pros and cons. The two front runners are:

Waterford Castle
This castle is beautiful, it's on its own island with ferry to bring guests across. The castle has been very well maintained to a 4 star hotel status without losing its 'castley' charm. There's a lovely dining room for dinner with a connecting conservatory. There's 19 rooms in the castle, plus lodges on the island giving more than enough accommodation for guests.

Hesitations: The bar is in a separate room to the dining/reception room - I'm worried that this will split the guests. Also, we would have to ensure all rooms in the castle were taken for the night of the wedding - however the castle rooms are twice as expensive as the lodges (and the lodges are of VERY good quality), so we're worried the guests will all choose the lodges, leaving us to foot the bill for the castle!

Castle Leslie
Again another beautiful venue. The grounds are amazing, and the castle rooms are unique (shower in a life sized doll house anyone?). While the house doesn't look like a 'fairytale' castle, the inside has been well maintained - and has beautiful views of the lake.

Hesitations: The castle is amazing - but the reception for our numbers would be out in a 'semi-permanent' marquee attached to the castle! If we go with a castle venue, I'd prefer to have the reception within the actual castle..

Two other potentials we're hoping to fit in viewings of sometime over the next few weekends:

Kinnitty Castle

A traditional 'haunted' castle - they have great wedding packages, but I'm unsure about the reception room - the photos seem a bit dark.

Village at Lyons

This venue is a bit different in that it's not a castle - but the photos look amazing, so I'd like to check it out. I am worried though as the reception room is split level with the bar being on the top floor (see Waterford Castle hesitation).

So - that's where we are with selecting a venue. I didn't expect it to be so difficult! We've been searching for almost three months now...did anyone else find it difficult to select a venue?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Engagement ring cleaning at home

My engagement ring needed a clean, so I read through this vogue forum thread to see how other girls look after their rings at home.

First up - a close up of my dirty diamond - see all the specks!

I soaked it in a little tub of detergent and warm water for about 15 mins:

Then scrubbed it with a soft toothbrush, rinsed it in cold water (after putting the plug in the sink first!), then poured a little vodka over the diamond.. (apparently this gets rid of any left over soap residue??)

Finally, I dried it using a hairdryer.

The result:

No more specks!

And extra sparkle!

I'm not too sure how often I should be cleaning it.. I'm worried about dislodging the small diamonds down the side. I'm also not too convinced about using vodka - I can think of better uses for alcohol!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding Crest

I'd love to have a wedding crest to use across all our wedding stationary. 

I'm planning to design it myself - at the moment I have this:

Luckily both J and my surnames begin with F, making the design easier to work with (and I'll be taking on J's surname anyway).

I think it's a bit too simple at the moment, definitely needs a lot more work.

Some beautiful wedding crests I've come across:

crest from here

crest from here
crest from here
crest from here

Let the planning begin...

We've decided that we'll get married in the Irish summer, 2013 and that we'll have roughly 120 guests.

That's about all we've decided on so far.

I'm determined to be an organised bride-to-be, so I went out and bought myself a wedding planner:

I chose it because it's a binder, so I can easily add plastic sleeves and paper under the relevant tabs:

The only downside is that the planner is HUGE, and kinda heavy - and that's before I even start filling it with paper, plans and pictures.

I'm also worried people will think I'm a bridezilla if I lug this folder around with me, so I also purchased some simple notebooks to bring around with me to meet vendors.

As half the guests will be coming from Australia, we wanted to give as much notice as possible in regards to the wedding date - so we started looking at venues last weekend.

I thought I was super-organised, looking at venues 2 years before the wedding... turns out, the venue we looked at over the weekend was already booked out the first 2 weekends in June, and the first week in July 2013 - crazy!

This has gotten me a little stressed, so I'm eager to see a few more venues as soon as possible, so I can book in a June/July date before they're all taken! (so much for not being a bridezilla...)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Medical themed party

Now things are starting to settle down a bit from our engagement announcement, I can catch up on some much delayed posts.

While back in Sydney a few weeks ago, I got to see some decorations put together for my mums medical themed party for her 60th birthday (I previously posted about designing some prescription invitations for the party).

There was medical signs such as this posted up around the house:

and my sister put together this eyesight chart:

I'm embarrassed to admit I thought it was a normal eyesight test chart. It took me a while to actually figure out what it said!

Guests to the party were invited to dress as either a doctor or a patient. Sounds like it was a fun night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's been a while since my last update - things have been quite hectic lately!

The most important update is - I'm engaged!!

J proposed last weekend at the Cliffs of Moher in county Clare.

Cliffs of Moher
He told me we were driving from Dublin to visit his family for the night, only for us to end up at the cliffs!

J had packed a picnic of strawberries, raspberries and cream:

After we had finished eating, I suggested we head off but J wanted to wait 'a few more minutes to enjoy the view' - what he was actually waiting for was for the crowds to go away! When there was a break in the tourists walking past us, J handed me a scroll to read while he got on one knee and proposed with my dream ring! I said 'yes' (of course) and there were a few tears - all happy ones!

The Ring

J and I had been looking at rings for a while, and earlier this year we found the most beautiful ring at Delphi Antiques in Dublin. Delphi also had the ring up on their website, so every few days I would jump on the website to see if it was still there. J was very busy with exams and work around this time, so I thought he would wait till things calmed down a little before buying the ring. 

As soon as I noticed the ring disappear off the jewellers website I called J over in a panic - he swore he didn't buy the ring, and that he would call the jewellers to see if it was really gone. The next day J said that he had spoken to the jewellers, and that someone had definitely put a deposit down on the ring and it was off the market.

That was three months ago, and during that time J had been suggesting we go ring shopping again and making other comments to put me off the trail. I honestly thought that the dream ring was gone and that when we had time again we would find something else. 

Because I knew J wanted to propose with a ring we had chosen together, I didn't suspect that he was going to propose that day at the cliffs - in fact, while we were sitting on the cliffs I was thinking "This would be the perfect time and place for a proposal - too bad he doesn't have a ring yet!"

It turned out J had bought the ring the week after we had viewed it. He had kept it at the jewellers for 3 months, and hid it around the house for the last week before the proposal. Very sneaky! I didn't have a clue!

Engagement Weekend

To top off the weekend, J booked a room at the Raddison in Galway. Because Galway was packed that weekend due to the Arts Festival, when we checked into the hotel, they put us in the penthouse suite!! (this was without knowing we had just gotten engaged!)

That afternoon we called J's family and told them the news, and waited for everyone to wake up in Sydney before calling to tell my family. My parents weren't surprised at all as J had called the day before to ask for my dad's blessing. 

And, the weather for the weekend was gorgeous - sunny and warm. All in all, the perfect weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Aussie Fashion Wish List - Black & Navy

Online shopping in Ireland can be expensive.

When buying online from a supplier outside of the EU, on top of the price of the item, you can expect to pay:

1) Customs Duty. - Customs duty is calculated by Customs on the TOTAL cost of the clothing. They add together the purchase price, + any insurance, + freight costs. On this total figure they charge Customs duties of 12%.Duty on footwear depends on the material the footwear is made of. It's usually between 9% and 15%Customs duty does not usually apply to clothes or shoes under €150 total cost.
 2) V.A.T. - After adding the customs duty to the total cost of the clothing, they then add V.A.T.@ 21% on the after Customs duty figure.
(Quoted from

These extra charges suck. And they can be expensive. Trust me - I found out the hard way through a revolveclothing order.

And so, I'm using my trip to Sydney to stock up on items from my favourite and sorely missed Aussie stores!

I've got a huge wish list, so I'll just post part 1 for now:

Australian Fashion Wish List

From the list above, I've already bought the Diana Ferrari shoes, and the Country Road jeggings. Both items are extremely comfortable to wear.

Some more pics of the Diana Ferrari heels:

Side view. Love the heels and the cut out.
Bought them on sale. Score!

More Aussie wishlists to come soon!

Sydney Food Dates

It has been brilliant being back in Sydney!

As you can see from the pic above, I've mostly been catching up with people via lunch/dinner/brunch/dessert dates.

I think I will go back to Dublin 5 kgs heavier.

On the plus side, the scales in my parents bathroom are broken, and tell me I'm 20kgs lighter than I really am. Great excuse to keep those lunch dates coming!!

With the exception of the Max Brenner pic in the middle of the collage, I've mostly stuck to Asian meals since I've been home, because the quality of Asian food in Australia is 100x better (and cheaper) than what you can find in Dublin. If only the Irish would catch on to the concept of Yum Cha!

Friday, July 8, 2011


After 30+ hrs of travelling, I've finally arrived in Sydney!!

I'm here for a short break (just over a week), and am so excited to catch up with everyone here.

I'm so jealous of people who can sleep on flights. I tried very hard to sleep on all three of my flights from Dublin - Sydney, and only managed a few hours. If only those seats reclined back a few more inches..!! (or..if only I could afford 1st class seats!)

More posts about my trip to come, but for now I'm going to sleep!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summertime Festival @ Kildare Village

After a weekend in Cork for a birthday, we decided to stop off in Kildare Village on the way back to Dublin on Sunday.

Kildare village is an outlet mall which looks like a miniature Woodbury Commons. While it is very small, it's still a nice way to break up the Cork-Dublin drive.

The summer sales were on when we visited, but I didn't buy any clothes - I had already bought a TopShop dress and two Jane Norman skirts back in Cork!

Kildare Village was also holding their Summertime Festival. The festival seemed to be just a tent in the middle of the village selling food - but what food!! The cakes looked delicious, and there were huge lines for the hot food.

I bought two cupcakes and some strawberries and cream for the drive home. Yum!

Strawberries, cream and sunshine - the perfect way to end the weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Dayward Q&A

I thought I'd put together a few different Q&A's just for a fun, and to put a bit of a different twist to the usual 'about me' post.

1. What was the last thing you ate?
Rice Bubbles (aka Rice Krispies) with milk...for dessert.

2. What is your body shape?
As much as I would like to say I'm an hourglass, unfortunately I've just recently come to accept that I'm more along the lines of an upside down triangle.

3. Best tip for dressing for your body shape?
Avoid shoulder pads.

4. Current favourite item of clothing?
Yuki Kasia print dress - it's perfect for work without being too boring, and fits well too.

Yuki Kasia Dress - Pic from TopShop

5. What are your make-up essentials?
I usually rush through my make-up application each morning, so I like a no-fuss, simple look:
* Maxfactor black eyeliner (mechanical - because I don't have time for sharpening!)
* Dior Blush in English Rose - I use this on my cheeks and my eyelids (again - it saves time!)
* Dior nude skin perfecting hydrating concealer in beige
..and that's it! All my other make up is for nights out.

6. What is something you purchased recently that you're happy about?
It may be a bit of a strange answer, but I purchased these on-the-vine cherry tomatoes the other day because the colour looked so much more appetising than the tomatoes we usually pick. Not only were they sooo tasty, but they worked out cheaper too. Yay!

Cherry Tomatoes

7. Name something that annoys you
Hmm...I will have to pick two things:
i) People who stop in the middle of a crowd for a chat. Move out of the way!!!
ii) Getting my hair caught/pulled. It puts me straight into a bad mood!

8. What is your current favourite jewellery item?
My double heart tag silver and onyx pendant necklace from Tiffany & Co. Not only is it simple and elegant, but it was given to me by my best friends. I love it!

Tiffany & Co Necklace

9. What's something you're looking forward to?
Going back home to Sydney for a visit next week! I can't wait!

10. Describe yourself in three words.
Quiet. Ambitious. Quirky.

Feel free to answer these Q's on your own blog - post a comment below with a link to your blog. I would love to see how other people answer!

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