Dublin City Bridges Tote from Clover Rua


I had been wanting to take a few photos with my new Dublin Bridges tote from Clover Rua for months now. In fact, I carried it and my camera to church six times, since our church is near the Liffey and I figured it would be easy enough to have Michael snap a few photos before we headed home. Turns out? Not so much. Every single time, something came up. We were hungry (this happens a lot), we forgot we had plans, we were on welcome team and just couldn’t wait to sit down. So, the bag just kept making journeys back and forth – close to the Liffey but never on the Liffey.

Until Friday, when Julie finally snapped a few photos of me and the Dublin Bridges bag on my very favorite bridge, the Samuel Beckett. And lo and behold, we loved one of those images so much, we made it into the cover of Delightful Dublin!


How sweet is that tote? It’s very sturdy and Anita from Clover Rua assures me it can get dirty because it’s very washable. I’m still a little careful with it!

We’re also going to have to talk about my shoes for just a sec. I don’t own a single other item of clothing this psychedelically bright and yet I love these shoes. And I found them at Gap this summer for $4. $4! They make me way more than $4 of happy.


The Samuel Beckett Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava (which is a super fun name to say) and it reminds me of a cable-stayed bridge in Maine. The entire thing turns when a ship needs to come through, which is very cool to witness.

I actually used to be quite scared of bridges, but I think it was actually the height of some of the bridges in Maine that bothered me. I used to crawl down onto the floor of the car when we were going over one! All of the bridges across the Liffey in Dublin are so low to the water, I never get worried. Julie, on the other hand, was a little nervous!


And on a somewhat unrelated note, I am having a love-hate relationship with my new haircut. It just has a mind of its own and only responds to air-drying, which still takes so long even though it’s shorter. It looks pretty okay in photos but in person I think it looks wild and crazy. Anyone have a long bob of wild and crazy hair? What do we do with it?!

Delightful Dublin Cover And here’s that cover again! I’m so excited about the positive response Delightful Dublin has been getting. It’s been a very fun few days!

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Welcome to Delightful Dublin

Delightful Dublin Cover

Well, today is the day, friends! The Delightful Dublin guidebook is live and ready for the world!

Julie and I have worked hard to make sure it is useful and beautiful, inspiring and informative. It is packed with beautiful photographs and peppered with personal stories. It is 250+ pages of the best Dublin has to offer, in my humble opinion.

To get your copy, you can head over to the Delightful Dublin website. I hope you love it, and I hope you find Dublin to be just as delightful as I do.

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Nearly Nearly


Friends, on this Tuesday evening, my brain is mush. For the last five days straight, Julie and I have breathed, slept and thought Delightful Dublin constantly. We are fixing the very last typos as I write this and it will soon be ready to go out into the world. You will, very likely, see it tomorrow. It is a giant labor of love and you will have to forgive me tomorrow when I gush and gush about it.

Lately I have been wondering why long, thoughtful, storytelling posts on FCV haven’t come as naturally. Today I realized this is because I have been using all of my storytelling on the pages of Delightful Dublin. I realized, as I was re-reading a section for the millionth time, scrutinizing every single word and phrase, that I have told so many stories in these pages, and all the while trying to keep all the other balls I’m responsible for up in the air.

My brain is mush and I can’t wait to share with you the reason I can barely string a few paragraphs together tonight. Stay tuned tomorrow, it’s a big day, friends!

In the meantime, just a few things I enjoyed reading before Delightful Dublin camped out in my brain. Until tomorrow….

Fashion at the U.S. Open

A history of school lunches

Searching for Anne of Green Gables

 The Great Kale Shortage of 2014

And now, good night!

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Truly Irish / Bog Standard Candles

handmade_irish_souvenir_moss_candle I was on the lookout for a friend’s birthday present (happy birthday, Rachael!) and I was so pleased when I happened upon these sweet candles while I was giving a tour the other day. Their lovely packaging with those floral illustrations caught my eye, and then I was captivated by the beautiful, subtle scents. And then to top it all off, they’re Irish!

Irish_candle_bog_standard_packaging irish_candle_bog_standard_homemade

They’re made by a Northern Irish company called Bog Standard, and I have a feeling they’ll be a new go-to when it comes to presents. They would make the loveliest souvenirs to bring home from a trip to Ireland – Irish but not too shamrock-y!    irish_candle_scent_moss_bog_standard  They make soap and hand lotion and scented sachets as well. I found these candles in the Kilkenny Shop, which has a slightly overpowering tourist vibe but does have some really great Irish-made things that are just perfect for souvenirs or gifts.

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In Season / August Blooms


I’m a little late to the game to be sharing August blooms with you, but here we are with just a little peek at what’s in bloom around our Dublin neighborhood. Autumn is surely upon us, but I love knowing that even as the weather gets colder, we’ll still have at least a few things blooming to remind us that spring will eventually return. And I always love these wanders around our neighborhood. Whenever I take my camera, I walk slowly and peek into people’s gardens, imagining what their lives might be like. It’s a great time out for my brain.

So, here’s what’s blooming in our neck of the woods!  morning glories lantern flowers strawberry blooms sedum ivy

I’m getting so excited about this wall – pretty soon it will be all red! hydrangeas

The hydrangeas are starting to go by, but I kind of like when they turn a little crispy. I’ve picked a few from our garden to dry inside the house.  hanging berries butterfly

This guy stopped just long enough for a photo before a bee wanted his spot on that flower.

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A Poem for Monday

Atlas poem


A poem for a grey Monday morning, given to me by a friend a few years ago that I had tucked into a notebook. It slid out this morning as I was looking for blank pages to fill.

Sometimes I can’t believe that marriage (and grown up life in general) has just so much maintenance involved. But thinking of those daily chores we do for each other as part of upholding the permanent structure of living, that they keep my suspect edifice upright in the air, as Atlas did the sky makes it all sound much more noble.

Happy Monday, friends.




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A Delightful Dublin Preview a Happy Weekend!



Happy Friday, everyone! Do you have nice plans for the weekend? I gave a walking tour this afternoon and got drenched (my first soggy Vayable tour!), so I’m working on warming up before we spend the weekend puttering around the house. The next few months hold a lot of travel for us around Ireland (Donegal, Clare, Galway) and beyond (Glasgow, Barcelona, America), so it’s nice to have a weekend without much planned.

Delightful Dublin is just about finished, and Julie and I are preparing to release it into the world in just over a week. The illustration above is a preview from the book – each of the six neighborhoods we feature includes an original Ursula Celano illustration! Isn’t it so great? We will hopefully be making the illustrations into prints or postcards you can buy in time for Christmas!

The process of writing Delightful Dublin has been different than I imagined when Julie and I started exploring the idea almost a year ago. It has been equally more fun and more exhausting than I thought it would be. I’ve learned how important it is to work with the right partner on a project, and honestly, working with Julie has been the most fun part. With a project this size, it’s so helpful to have someone who believes in it just as much as you do, who can give you creative pep talks if you’re doubting yourself, and who has such a great eye for the aesthetic as well as the general look and feel of the project. I think we’re going to have to write another book after this one just so we can keep working together! But just a few more weeks and you’ll be able to see the fruits of all our work on this one!

I hope you have a dry, happy weekend, friends! See you Monday!

Posted in Dublin, Exploring Ireland, Truly Irish | 3 Comments

Folkster Homewares in Temple Bar


I promised yesterday that I’d share with you a bigger look at Folkster, one of the selection of lovely shops in Temple Bar. I visited to take some photos of their new bridal line (so affordable!) and between looks I took a few extras of their homewares room.

folkster__dublin_06 folkster_dublin_02

They have rugs and cushions and vases and pots.  folkster_dublin_05 folkster_dublin_08 folkster_dublin_09

They also have prints from their Gild & Cage line, which are odd but likeable. This one is called Icelandic Woman, I think. folkster_dublin_10 folkster_dublin_01

I have to admit I made no fewer than three impulse buys while I was there. A cute pair of earrings, a belt and a giant sari blanket thing that I absolutely do not need but told myself might some day come in handy! Next time, I have a feeling one of those cushions and a vase will come home with me!


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Five Great Things About Temple Bar

emily temple bar

A few months ago, poor old Temple Bar made a totally depressing list of top ten most disappointing places in the world. What a shame, huh? It’s never good to have such an infamous award in your city. (For the record, those guys on a stag behind me in the photo above are a big part of why Temple Bar made that list! Come on, lads!)

When I went to write about Temple Bar in Delightful Dublin (don’t forget, you can sign up for our mailing list so you hear first when it comes out!), I thought it might be difficult to find very many delightful things about the neighborhood. Turns out? It’s full of delightful spots, but you really need to know what you’re looking for to make sure you avoid the places that landed it on that very embarrassing list!

Today I thought I’d share just a couple delightful spots, and of course when Delightful Dublin is released in just a few weeks, you can find the whole list inside. I’ll leave you waiting with bated breath!

Folkster - One of my new favorite shops, I’ll give you a bigger peek inside Folkster later this week. It’s filled with vintage clothing and accessories sourced from around the world, as well as a new Folkster Edit collection of party and wedding dresses, and a new Folkster Home section. The belt I wore to Michael’s brother’s wedding came from Folkster!

Cow’s Lane Designer Studio - Cow’s Lane is a collective shop where you can find Irish designed crafts and accessories. Check out the great hats from Shevlin Millinery and the pottery from KaroArt.

Bar Pinxto – When the tapas restaurant, the Port House, is too busy, we walk three blocks to its sister restaurant Bar Pinxto. In fact, I’m not sure why we don’t just go there to begin with! Bar Pinxto has the same menu, the same ambiance, and it’s always less busy.

Farmer’s Market at Meeting House Square – On a Saturday, the market square fills with stalls – rain or shine. They have permanent umbrellas they can put up that cover the whole square if it rains.

Indigo & Cloth – Indigo & Cloth is a hipster clothing store / coffee counter, but it’s where you can pick up a copy of Kinfolk or Cereal magazine as well as original Irish county screen prints.

Photo by Julie of Half a Dream Away

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Where Do You Get Your News?

emily on ipad

Lately, it seems the news has been full of very, very sad information. Ebola, Gaza, Iraq, James Foley, Ferguson and Michael Smith, and Robin Williams a few weeks ago, sad stories are just about everywhere you turn. But what makes me even more sad during times like these is that the news can become so partisan and limited and sensationalized and shout-y on the internet. Trying to find out simply what’s going on and why can get exhausting very quickly.

I can’t claim to understand everything that’s going on around the world, but I’ve been making a greater effort to be informed about the why and the who behind current affairs. I feel strongly that when events this important or tragic are happening around the world, it isn’t enough to just mindlessly click on the Buzzfeed or Upworthy article someone shared on Facebook. I want to know more than a snapshot or a slideshow, and actually be informed about what’s happening in Liberia, Iraq, Ukraine, and Missouri.

As my heart has ached for the sadness and brokenness families and parents and children around the world are feeling in all of this upheaval, I’ve wanted more thoughtfulness. I’ve wanted to read about what ISIS is and why it’s called that and why exactly it’s so scary, and I’ve found myself reading detailed accounts from veteran professors from colleges around America about race relations in America. While none of these stories has made me feel better, really, or uplifted, I feel more peaceful than panicked. The short-form stories and quick snappy headlines instil fear that builds, story after story. Deeper articles, even when they pose big and unanswerable questions, at the very least make me feel that thoughtfulness, on everyone’s part, has to be the key to some of these problems.

So now to ask, where do you get your news every day? Or do you? I know a few people who opt out because the news seems just too sad, but I’m not sure that’s

Every morning, I get an email called The Skimm with the headlines and a little background information about the stories of the day. I like it because it gives me the guts at a glance and then links to larger articles. It’s also a little funny, when appropriate. I follow Slate and the New York Times on Twitter, and read several of their articles every day.

This article about ISIS from Vox was enlightening. As was this feature in Vanity Fair on Austin Tice and James Foley missing in Syria. This article in GQ about the East Pond hermit, who lived for decades in the woods near where I grew up, and was a fascinating read.

Finally, and this is going to sound a little silly, but I always check in with Design Mom on Fridays and Joy the Baker on Sundays. They both do link roundups that are thoughtful and considered, and  peppered with house tours and nail polish news, which are a welcome distraction.

Image of me working away in Coppa by Julie of Half a Dream Away

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