St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day weekend is upon us! What are you doing to celebrate? Southie? Pub crawl?

Colin and I are heading home to Long Island for the weekend for my dress fitting, to pay a visit to my sister Kelly’s salon (I am in desperate need of some highlights!), and to hang with the family. We’ll be celebrating good ol’ St. Patrick at one of our favorite restaurants, the Irish Coffee Pub. Looking forward to it. :)

Some fun events going on around Boston:

*And if you need more suggestions, feel free to take a look at my CBS Boston post.

Sólás Irish Pub is the third top-selling Guinness location in MA, in the coziest nook on Boylston Street. Sólás never charges a cover and opens at 10 a.m.  Irish Specialties include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, chicken curry, fish and chips and beef stew — yum!

Slàinte!

Slàinte!

MJ O’Connor’s Park Plaza has been serving corned beef and cabbage since March 9th and it will continue through March 18th. They’ll also have Irish breakfast, Guinness stout onion soup, Irish whiskey bread (sounds pretty amazing) and Kilkenny steak tips. Not to mention the Irish step dancing at 3:30 p.m. (I used to be an Irish step dancer — see embarrassing photo below) and live acoustic music from Martin Macatee at 4 p.m. Also, MJ O’Connor’s Westin Waterfront will have a live Broadcast with WROL, as well as acoustic music, Irish step dancers and Irish specialties served all day.

Dancing away!

Dancing away!

Ned Devine’s party starts early — tomorrow, March 16th. Toucher and Rich will be joined by Guinness, Bushmills and 650 party people. There will be live music from Bareknuckle Boxers (12 p.m.) and Galway Guild (5 p.m.) — both from Philly. Their St. Patrick’s Day menu will include corned beef egg rolls, Irish breakfast sausage sandwich, and corned beef sliders on Irish soda bread. Best of all? They are giving away a trip to Ireland!

Ah, the homeland!

Ah, the homeland!

The Harp opens at 10 a.m.! There will be lots of great live music, plus plenty of Black and Golds (Guinness and Harp) before and after the Bruins game at 1 p.m.

Friendship, loyalty, and love

Friendship, loyalty, and love

Anthem Kitchen + Bar will become Anthem Irish Pub at 9 a.m.! They’ll be serving brunch and Irish specialties from Chef Ben Hennemuth. Live music will play from 2-6 p.m. (Cherry Orchard) and 8-10 p.m. (Brandon).

The Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel

The Green Briar will be showing all 6 Nations Rugby games, starting at 8:30 a.m. They will also be showing live GAA Hurling (love hurling!) and live GAA Football. Irish step dancers will go on at 12 p.m.  as well as live Irish music from Lake Shore Drive from 12-8 p.m. and then a DJ from 9 p.m.-close. Irish specialties and Irish breakfast will be served all day!

A hundred thousand welcomes

A hundred thousand welcomes

Happy (and safe!) St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Have fun!

Have fun!

About these ads

An easy, cute gift idea

I’m going to give you a scenario and then I want you to think about whether or not you’ve been there before.

You see a really cute craft and think to yourself, “I am going to make that! That is so inspiring. It would look great in my apartment.”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a creative idea and then thought something along the lines of what I just mentioned, and still haven’t gotten around to it yet. I am currently raising my hand (and looking pretty awkward while doing so).

Or what about this scenario…

It’s your sister / boyfriend / mother / best friend’s birthday in two weeks and you are totally stumped for a gift idea. You’re complaining to said sister / boyfriend / mother / best friend saying, “Ugh! You are SO hard to buy a gift for. What is wrong with you?!”

Instead of attacking the birthday girl or boy, why don’t you simply pick out a great picture of the two of you, or an artistic shot you’ve taken, etc. and turn a wonderful memory into an absolute perfect (and thoughtful!) present – a custom canvas that they can hang up and add a little spark to their home.

I decided to turn one of my favorite photos from our trip to Ireland into a canvas for one of Colin’s Christmas presents this year. He loved it (probably because he can think about Guinness every time he sees it) and I was really happy with the quality of the canvas. Easy Canvas Prints was (as its name says) easy to use and the customer service was very accommodating. The first photo I chose was super blurry and they let me know that it might be better to choose another photo which I was very appreciative of. :)

As a little bonus, if you “like” Easy Canvas Prints Facebook page, you will receive 50% AND free shipping on your next order! So think about those people you need gifts for soon, or those empty spots in your apartment where you could really use a cute decoration…

Here’s Colin’s (well, ours – since we’re roommates!):

The finished product!

Up close and personal

*Please note: I was given my canvas order free of charge in order to test out this product courtesy of Easy Canvas Prints. All opinions here are my own honest words and opinions of the product and company.

The wedding of the century!

I’ve been procrastinating the massive Ireland 2010 wedding post for too long. It’s time I’ve tackled it. I say this because I took roughly 800 photos while I was there and don’t even know how to choose my favorites. I also say this because it was honestly the most fun trip ever to occur in the history of our family and most families in attendance. We had a ball! It was so cool because essentially our family + a ton of people we know and love were all on vacation together, hanging out, laughing, relaxing, etc. It was great! We should do it more often. Fo’ real. :)

As for the actual wedding day, I can hardly put it into words (good thing I have 800 pictures to choose from…) Megan was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. She was also the most calm bride I’ve ever seen/heard about. My sister Kelly did an absolutely AMAZING job on her hair (it legitimately stayed fabulous the whole day – till about 2am!) Her dress was perfection. Her makeup was flawless. And her attitude said it all; she was ecstatic, no freaking out, no nervousness, just happiness.

Matt looked so handsome! And watching him watch Meg walk down the aisle at Holycross Abbey was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. You could honestly see how much he loves her right in that moment. I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s true… After they were pronounced husband and wife and were ready to walk down the aisle, we had a bit of a surprise up our sleeves… With the help of my siblings and my wonderful cousin Aisling (who lives in Ireland) we arranged for the singer to play a few seconds of “The Wedding March,” then pause for a moment and then start up again with “All You Need is Love” like they do in Love Actually. We even had both trumpet and trombone players who popped out as an extra surprise! It was great!

The reception at the Dundrum House Hotel was SO MUCH FUN. Literally the best time of my life (hopefully Meg and Matt’s as well!) My toast went smoothly I’d say – I kept it to about 2 minutes, I was shaking like a leaf and my voice was shaky but I didn’t totally break down or anything. I sort of kept it together, so I’ll take it. I got some laughs, some tears and some applause. Success :) My dad also gave an absolutely amazing toast – made me cry of course! Mr. O’Neill did as well, it was beautiful!

We danced and danced and danced. I don’t think I ever stopped. Literally, my hips were killing me the next day. Great workout!… After the “official” reception was over, the “afters” started. We went down to the residence bar (residence bar in Ireland = a bar in your hotel which you can ask the front desk to open whenever you’d like. If the normal hotel bar is closed for the night, well you just ask the staff to open the residence bar, they get the bartender on call and there you go! Pretty sweet huh?!) to listen to traditional Irish music and nibble on some snacks, drink some Guinness and just continue to have fun!

The morning after the wedding we all had breakfast together and then Meg and Matt headed off to Greece. They had an amazing trip!

After the wedding festivities Colin and I got to do a little traveling – we headed to the Cliffs of Moher, then Galway for two nights and then Dublin for a night. This was Colin’s first time in Ireland so I wanted him to see a bit more than just Tipperary. It was so much fun and Colin did such a great job driving! I must say, I did a pretty good job myself helping to navigate/read the map. Plus, we didn’t get into a huge fight/break up/hurt one another at all. Pretty good. :)

Now, without further ado, I present to you Megan and Matthew Ireland wedding extravaganza…

Ready to go!

Oooh Ireland...

Our townhouse

Ok I gave up on individually inserting the pictures! Here is the gallery:


Top 5 Things To Do While Visiting Ireland

{In honor of my sister getting married in Ireland today, here is a top 5 on this magical country from MM (my Ireland guru) of Travel Eat Love!}

1) Leave Dublin. Really, even if you fly into Dublin Airport, get out of Dublin as soon as you can. Ok, you can stay and tour around for a couple of days, but no more than that. Dublin is fine, but it is definitely not my favorite world city and definitely leaves a lot of Ireland to be seen. My brother in law once referred to Dublin as a “city on the West coast of England”. Enough said. There’s a lot more to Ireland than Dublin, and I want to make sure you see it.

There are buses leaving for Galway from various bus companies on the hour, there are car rentals, or you can take Iarnroid Eireann, the train service as well. If you stay in Dublin or even just the popular tourist cities, you miss seeing this. . .

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And this. . .

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And this. . .

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2) Eat local food. Like any high volume tourist destination, many Irish restaurants, especially in cities and other well traveled areas, do their best to cater to tourists offering convenience foods and bland, fattening options. All Irish food is not like this, and if you look around a bit, you will find a burgeoning cuisine that is based on fresh, local, delicious goods. Smoked salmon, prawns, Irish cheddar, lamb, and fresh vegetables make the base of many of these dishes, and I can’t emphasize enough that you should seek out these ingredients as often as possible. You will not be disappointed; the taste of real food from the land is as important a part of Ireland to me as the beautiful countryside is.

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3) Have a pint of Guinness. Unless you don’t or can’t drink, I suggest having a pint of Guinness in its home country. Maybe you haven’t liked Guinness in the past, and maybe you won’t now, but it’s definitely worth a try.

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If you hate the Guinness, there are plenty of other delicious Irish libations like Bulmer’s cider and Smithwicks.

4) Go to a pub and listen to traditional Irish music. Pretty much anywhere you are in Ireland, you can find traditional music any night of the week. My favorite places for trad are Galway, Westport, and Doolin. If you need specific suggestions please feel free to email me! And don’t forget to stop at a chipper on your way home for some garlic and cheese chips. You won’t regret it (Well you might, but it will be worth it!)

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5) Get outside! Yes the weather may suck at times. It could be rainy, blustery, cold, cloudy, and even hailing small frozen peas from the sky. But you can see 4 seasons in a day in Ireland, and your best bet is to just get out there. Make sure to pack enough clothing to wear layers, lots of light wool, lots of socks to make sure you have dry ones, and good walking shoes. I have experienced so many different days where it has been pouring in one place and gloriously sunny in another; if we never went ahead with hiking or running plans because of the rain, we would spend a whole lotta time in my husband’s house! Even when the sky is threatening, the scenery can not be beat.

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Thanks so much, Colleen, for giving me the opportunity to guest post. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Ireland and that Meg’s wedding day is the best ever. Looking forward to seeing you both when you get back! ;)