Motivational Monday … Boundaries/Choices

When you’re afraid to set a boundary, you have two choices:
face your fear, or,
accept the consequences of choosing not to.
It’s your call.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Some festivities and parades may be cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate virtually. Here’s a link to the virtual St. Patrick’s Festival, with lots of music, history, and shows to fill your need for everything Irish. You can also see other festivals around Ireland and the world on this site.

…and enjoy these pics from around Ireland!

Raise a glass and say Sláinte (pronounced “slawn-che”)

Have a great & green St. Patrick’s Day!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … almost Paddy’s Day edition!

sunset from Clare Island Lighthouse, County Mayo

May the dreams you hold dearest be those that come true.
And the kindness you spread keep returning to you!!

…at the edge of the burren

…and let’s revisit my friend, Gina’s, tip to keep the holiday authentic and Irish!

  • “If you want to be truly Irish about St Patrick’s Day: It’s NEVER called Patty’s Day for short here in Ireland. Patty is a woman’s name. It’s called Paddy’s Day!(no ‘St’ used) Or we say, colloquially, just one word: ‘Paddy’s’ …eg – “we’re off school for Paddy’s” “What are your plans for Paddy’s?” “I’ll be in ?? on Paddy’s” (the word night is implied there, & some venue / house)
  •  And NOBODY but NOBODY eats corned beef here on St Patrick’s Day. We barely eat it at any other time of the year either!! Ham or bacon is traditional. Beef was expensive, and the landlords would have had that. Not the rest of us!
Thanks Gina!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Foodie Friday … Irish Soda Bread and Shamrock ravioli

I’ve posted an Irish Soda Bread recipe before, but my daughter says that my sister, JoAnn’s recipe is the best one, so I thought I’d share it with you here. Thanks Jo!

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup currants (I switched it up and substituted chocolate chips instead…yummy!)

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Stir in the buttermilk until you have a large, sticky ball. Toss in currants (chocolate chips) and mix well. Use your hands to get the currants (choc chips) in to the mix, while kneading the dough. Toss the dough onto a floured surface and knead some more. Create a round loaf about 5″ in diameter and 2″ high and place on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Score an X on the top of the loaf @ 1″ deep.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden (it should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf) Check it at 25 minutes and if it’s getting too brown, just cover with foil for the remaining 10 minutes.

Slice and serve with Kerrygold butter!

As you’ve read since the pandemic started, I’ve really been enjoying making pasta, especially the fun colored ones from Salty Seattle (@saltyseattle). Buy her book, buy her beautiful colored dough… and/or sign up for one of her fun virtual classes! Well, I’ve been making it so much, that I upped my game and invested in an electric pasta maker. Soooo much quicker to sheet the pasta than cranking by hand. What better excuse to make shamrock shaped ravioli than St. Patrick’s Day?! There’s no real recipe to use, just use green dough and shamrock cookie cutters with your choice of filling. I had some leftover brie cheese and mushrooms, so that’s what went into some of mine.

brie/mushroom filling

I also made a bunch of asian ravioli using the pork recipe for my eggroll as the filling. I just threw it in the blender to make it easy to squeeze out of a pastry bag. There was so much that I also made agnolotti and fettucine. So delish!

blue with golden shamrock …. asian filling. I’ll be pairing this with a soy/butter sauce when the time comes.
My freezer is now filled with pasta!!

I made the mushroom/brie shamrock last night with a brown butter sage sauce. OMG!! So good! This is the proof I’ll have when I look back on the pandemic and wonder why I’ve gained a bit of weight! ….but it was a delicious and fun way to do it … and I’d do it all over again!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

You learn something new every day!

I was recently with some friends and chatting about our “post Covid” life wishes and I mentioned that I’ve always wanted to host on (I recommend it to everyone if it’s available where you live or where you’re traveling). I’ve posted about this before but I think when this is over I will come up with a few recipes, submit to be a host and then hopefully be approved to host some Eatwith dinners on my cute front porch.

I bring this up because when I was telling my friends about this, one of them said, “how do you even find out about these random things? You have more random information about things to do than I’ve ever heard.” I thought about it and just said, “I don’t know, I guess every time I hear, or read, about something that seems fun that might interest me, I delve deeper.”  …and that was something that made me realize that not everyone is curious enough to delve deeper into the things that might interest them. Hmmmm. 
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people are interested (maybe even have a passion?) for certain subjects…whether it’s business, the arts, whatever…but not everyone acts on those passions.
My passion when my kids were growing up was “my kids” but when they went off to college I had the opportunity to see what else was out there. The internet wasn’t prevalent at the time, so travel was my means to learn more about our world, plan adventures and just experience other places & cultures. It was enlightening, educational and awesome!
….and then the internet exploded and I’ve had access to so many things that I never knew were out there! So, how do I know so much about random things to do? I click on every link that I’m interested in, take notes (literally writing things down) and make experiences happen. 

Then the pandemic hit us all! I didn’t want to stop learning and I certainly didn’t want to stop traveling, but what were my options?? I may not be able to travel, but I can still click, learn and have experiences just sitting at my kitchen table. Since the pandemic started I really wanted to connect with my Irish roots (I was hoping to go back this past summer 🙁 ) so I did a google search and found the fantastic Irish Times Women’s Podcast. I’ve loved listening to everything that’s happening in Ireland, how women are dealing with the pandemic, books to read and hearing the beautiful Irish lilt that I miss. One thing that was mentioned on the podcast that I thought was cool was “Big Night In” on zoom…Saturday nights just hanging out with some speaker and hearing some great content & conversation. I loved experiencing it back in October thru December, so I signed up for the coming season (which started this past Saturday). Here’s the link to sign up. It’s only an hour, takes place from 11-12 PST (7pm in Ireland, so some of them are drinking….FUN!). This past weekend I so enjoyed listening to former President Mary McAleese and her views on so many interesting subjects facing Ireland today … as well as a great story where she put Pope John Paul in his place went they met. I also loved going on a Zoom walking tour of Dublin architecture with a professor from Trinity. Lastly, until I get back to Ireland, I’ve really enjoyed following @patrickdextercello, @cairde_76, and @sign_andstep_withpadraig on Instagram … and thanks to my cousin, Padraig, and my friend, Gina, who keep me up to date on things happening on the other side of the pond.

I guess this is a long way of saying, “Go ahead and click on those things that might interest you and maybe you’ll find something fun to do, or listen to!” Delve deeper and you’ll have fun experiences that can whisk you away to new places! It’s sure helped me weather the pandemic and keep my mind busy.

If Italy is someplace you love, or would like to go, I’d highly recommend Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy on CNN … great show with beautiful scenery and fabulous food!

The world is your oyster!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational March

Clare Island, County Mayo, Ireland

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more,
and nothing but happiness come through your door
. … Irish Proverb

I’m dedicating March to my Irish heritage.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … Keep Going

Can you believe that we are coming close to the year anniversary of our first pandemic lock-down?! I know everyone is so weary and tired of it all, and heartbroken for the sorrow that it brought and continues to bring to so many. Those in Texas have been hit hard on top of everything else. Be kind to yourself and keep moving forward (giving you two quotes this morning)…

Keep going …
because you did not come this far
just to come this far!

Keep going …
You never know how strong you are
until you look back at everything you’ve overcome.

I enjoy following @charliemackesy on instagram for his inspirational & adorable posts

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Mindful Monday … travel and tables

The world is a book, and those who do not travel
read only one page. … St. Augustine

If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table
… not a taller fence.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!