Dublin Flower Shops / Appassionata Flowers


Welcome to round two of our pre-Valentine’s Day virtual flower shop tours! This time, we’re visiting Appassionata Flowers on Drury Street, sandwiched right in between George’s Street Arcade and Cocoa Atelier. (And now that Cocoa Atelier has gone from charcoal to orange, it’s like a little Irish flag between those three buildings! Probably not what they were shooting for, but it’s happening nonetheless!)

I’ve worked with Ruth, the owner, on a few different styling projects and I just love following the Appassionata Instagram for all the latest from their studio and the shop. They’re always working on weddings, commercial projects, bouquets and rumor has it they’ve got a big flower wall installation happening this week (maybe Kanye/Kardashian wedding meets Dior flower wall) and I’m hoping for a peek! flower_shop_dublin_appassionata_ireland

Now on with the tour! Appassionata is small but packed with flowers and plants. I’ve picked up a few plants here – mostly because it’s so hard to walk by their little corner without falling in love with one of them. I picked up a beautiful maidenhair fern there a few months ago, which I am sadly now nursing back to health after leaving it in Michael’s hands over Christmas. i_love_you_sign_appassionata_florist

I’ve also fallen in love with their love sign, made by a friend of our family who works in their studio (hi ultra-talented Sally!), it’s a collection of I love you’s in all the languages their staff speaks! You might get a little dose of the Irish version here tomorrow!  appassionata_flowers_dublin_ireland

While I was taking photos, Lynn was working on this giant bouquet right on the counter and telling me all about the shop and the flowers and how to keep my succulents from growing into ugly little mini trees (less water!).

Behind Lynn there is this year’s Valentine’s installation, an awesome vintage neon LOVE sign Ruth has had for years and 3-D mesh clouds made from chicken wire. And this is exactly why I wanted to give you all a virtual tour of flower shops. They have the most creative decor and inspiring window displays.  flower_shop_dublin_appassionata dublin_flower_shop_appassionata

Scoopable lavender. hanging_raindrops_appassionata_flowers_dublin

And red rose rain drops hanging from another big mesh cloud in the front window. So cool. irish_flower_shop_appassionata appassionata_succulent_dublin

I discovered this new succulent but decided it was too precarious to lug him around town all afternoon. I’ll be back for you, buddy! appassionata_succulents_dublin_ireland irish_flower_shop_appassionata_florists

How can you not to love flowers in boots!

One more tidbit I learned while loitering in Appassionata oohing and aahing over the flowers? The price of red roses gets jacked up by Holland ahead of Valentine’s Day, and they can cost as much as €10 per stem! Isn’t that nuts? If I was in the market for a Valentine’s gift, I’d definitely hit up the succulent section instead!

Appassionata Flowers / 29 Drury Street / Dublin 2

Don’t forget to catch another lovely virtual flower shop tour of Les Fleurs Artisan Florist from yesterday! 

Posted in Dublin, Exploring Ireland, Truly Irish, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Dublin Flower Shops / Les Fleurs Artisan Florist

Les Fleurs Dublin Flower Shop

Welcome to today’s virtual flower shop tour! Because flowers are hot on everyone’s minds with Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the lovely flower shops around Dublin. Whether you’re a local looking for blooms for a loved one (Valentine’s Day or otherwise), or a visitor looking for the best window displays in the city, I think you’ll enjoy these posts either way!

First up, Les Fleurs Artisan Florist in Harold’s Cross, where it currently feels like spring!  Les Fleurs Irish Florist Dublin

Les Fleurs is run by Olivier (you can see him below in the background on the phone!), who is French, hence the shop’s name. He was on the phone with someone who had just received a bouquet – he said the woman wanted to call and tell him the bouquet looked like a painting! What a lovely compliment.  Wedding Flowers from Les Fleurs Flower Shop

The only sign of Valentine’s Day at Les Fleurs is this fun graffiti on the front window. It’s perfectly subtle Valentine’s Day. Les Fleurs Pink Flowers Valentine's Day

Inside, there are a few lovely shades of pink mixed with some springy grape hyacinths and olive branches.  Les Fleurs Valentine's Flowers Les Fleurs Irish Flower Shop

Narcissus and perfectly pale pink tulips would make any Valentine smile. les_fleurs_dublin_flower_shop Dublin wedding flowers Les Fleurs Dublin Flower Shop Les Fleurs

And these cappuccino roses  – I love the red and pink doors across the street in the background, they worked out well for the holiday!  les_fleurs_dublin_flowers

Les Fleurs Terrarium Flower Shop

Or a succulent-filled terrarium for a slightly longer lasting option!

Les Fleurs Artisan Florist / 204 Harold’s Cross Road / Dublin 6


Posted in Dublin, Exploring Ireland, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Dublin Chocolate Shop / Cocoa Atelier

Cocoa Atelier Chocolate Shop in Dublin

Why, happy Tuesday night, everyone! Let’s talk chocolate in Dublin (again), shall we? Last week, when I was having my happy little wander around the city looking for pink Georgian doors and flower shops (coming tomorrow!), I stopped into Cocoa Atelier. I did a double take, because Cocoa Atelier used to be charcoal grey on the outside, and now they are a very serious shade of orange (it’s growing on me, slowly), but it was the very same sweet shop on the inside.  luxury_chocolate_shop_dublin_ireland

Cocoa Atelier is a chocolate and sweet treats shop, a purveyor of delectable chocolates in flavors like Earl Grey and Bailey’s, macarons in many colorful flavors, and even ranges of ice cream and chocolate bars.  cocoa_atelier_chocolate_shop_dublin

But my very favorite thing about Cocoa Atelier is their light fixture, made of more wire whisks than you could count before your neck got sore staring up at the ceiling. Isn’t it spectacular?

cocoa_atelier cocoa_atelier_chocolate_dublin_ireland

They have boxes of chocolates all wrapped up and ready to surprise your sweetie with this weekend. A little luxury and of course, all Irish made.  cocoa_atelier_chocolate_dublin I picked up a few of these tiny boxes made for two truffles to gift on Saturday. The perfect petite present to let a few friends know I’m thinking of them!

Cocoa Atelier / 30 Drury Street, Dublin 2

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A Valentine’s Day Georgian Door Desktop Wallpaper

valentine's Day Dublin Door

Just one week left until the most loved up day of the year! I had a few hours free last week and thought I’d take a Dublin Bike around the city in search of a pink Dublin door to adorn your desktops for Valentine’s Day! My fingers were numb before I found a pink Georgian door (turns out they are rare!), but I found an especially cheery shade of pink to share with you today, along with a few lyrics from Lady Antebellum’s song If I Knew Then.  desktop download georgian doors dublin

‘Cause love only comes / Once in a while / And knocks on your door / And throws you a smile

Click here to open the image, then right click to set as desktop wallpaper. For personal use only.

I hope it brings you a smile this week!

Posted in Dublin, Exploring Ireland | 2 Comments

Friday Finds


Hello and happy Friday, friends! How was your week? Mine was remarkably fun – not too packed, not too many deadlines, and a few extra doses of fun. I loitered around a few Dublin flower shops taking photos (all to share next week!) and wandered around in the cold looking for just the perfect Dublin door (for another little fun post next week). This weekend, we’ll be chatting with a bank about a mortgage (early stages yet!), watching/playing some basketball, and eating dinner at Opium. What are your plans?

And for your weekend lounging, here are some fun finds from around the web!

Homemade pepper-jack crackers sound yum and not too terribly difficult?

Grace’s kitchen makeover in upstate New York makes me want to buy a house in New England and paint it all white. There’s nothing like winter light in a New England kitchen.

Five apps that make investing easy, I’m thinking this might be a way to go for my freelance retirement fund?

Conversation heart magnets, because I need more magnets. Just kidding, I need zero more magnets but these are too cute!

I have enjoyed Natalie’s writing on Hey Natalie Jean for years and she wrote a book I’m excited to support! Design Mom did too, they’re both available for preorder and I feel really strongly about supporting them both after reading their words for free for so long!

I made these pea fritters with a few tweaks this week – mint instead of parsley, ground almonds instead of coconut flour, and no ricotta. Still so yum!

Happy weekending!

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Tying the Knot?


My friends Rachael and Anthony, photographed by our other friends Poppies & Me!

I don’t like to bombard you with my wedding writing, but every so often I’m reminded that some of you are in the midst of wedding planning and might benefit from what I’m writing in other places. Lately I’ve gotten a few messages from brides planning honeymoons in Ireland and asking for wedding photographer recommendations (have those for dayyyyyys, friends!), so I figured some of you might find these useful!

Here’s my writing lately over on Wedding Party:

Happy wedding planning!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies for Valentine’s Day


I don’t always get very excited for Valentine’s Day, but this year all the pinks and reds seem springy, so I’m going with it! I baked up some of these sweet heart cookies last week (and somehow managed not to eat them all up!). I used this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies from Martha Stewart, but they weren’t quite as cinnamon-flavored as I had hoped. I fixed that by adding a little improvised cinnamon icing.


These cookies are on the crunchier side (and they go from done to burned really quickly), but I think if you took them out of the oven when they don’t look quite done they might be chewier. No matter what, keep an eye on them when they’re starting to crack and take them out earlier than you think you should. I used a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes while they were still warm on the cookie sheet, then I let all the parts cool before icing. valentines_cookies_mexican_hot_chocolate

I used a standard icing recipe (1/8 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp almond milk because we didn’t have regular milk in the house, and 2 tsp cinnamon). I colored it with a few drops of red food coloring.

Festive and delicious!


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4 Ways to Beat the Dublin Winter Blues


Sunday night, as we drove back from Cork, the temperature gauge on the dashboard hovered between -1 and +1 Celsius. Luckily it was a dry evening or it would have been a harrowing drive. Just the day before, we got caught in a gusty freak snow squall on an otherwise sunny day, and there were iced over puddles in the parking lot when we left the hotel. Back in Dublin, the sun is shining today, but I’m skeptical.

There are hints that spring is coming, but we’re still a ways away from daffodils here in Dublin. For the next few weeks, while we’re still in winter survival mode, I thought we all might need a few tricks to beat the Dublin winter blues. I know I certainly do!

1. Get Some Fresh Air

It’s not always possible, what with the wind and the slushy snow and rain, but getting fresh air is an instant mood changer. A walk around the block, or even better, a stroll down a beach with a friend as the sun sets, can lessen the feeling of being trapped inside by the weather. We like to bundle and head over to Hole in the Wall Beach in Sutton for the best sunset views or Portmarnock Strand for a view of Howth head.

I also like to keep an eye out for the first green shoots in our garden, which always makes me feel like spring is just around the corner (even when it isn’t). We have paperwhites and hyacinths starting to poke through already!

2. Take the Glasnevin Cemetery Tour

This one’s a little quirky, but taking the Glasnevin Cemetery Tour is a fun excursion on an afternoon – and will perhaps remind you that things could be worse than enduring a Dublin winter? And you can even give yourself a reward at the end – a pint or two in Gravedigger’s Pub around the corner. It’s one of the cosiest around and they’re gaining a reputation lately for their tapas, of all things!

3. Make a date for the Lighthouse Cinema

With Oscars season upon us, we may as well take advantage of the good movies out. Make a date with a friend or loved one to have lunch and a movie at the independently run Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Try Third Space, L. Mulligan Grocer, or Oxmantown for lunch, and catch one of their matinees.

4. Get Cosy

One of the things that has helped me cope with the dark, dark days of winter is to embrace the season as much as possible. I try to remind myself that it’s candle season (in the summer you can’t light candles until about 10pm!). On normal weekday evenings, we light candles at dinnertime and it makes the dark evenings much less dreary.

We don’t have a fireplace in our house, but my friend Ruth just did a great post on three of the best firesides in Dublin you can cosy up to with a hot drink. I can’t wait to park it in front of the fire at the Cobalt Cafe, a new-to-me spot!

And when in doubt, pick up a decadent hot chocolate. Here are my 5 current favorite spots for cocoa in Dublin!

Are you planning a visit to Dublin? These are great spots to try, no matter when you arrive! If you’re looking for a place to stay, try Expedia to book your winter visit. 

Posted in Dublin, Truly Irish, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Latest Spectacles

new glasses from specsavers ireland 2015

A few weeks ago, I picked out new glasses. It was past time for an upgrade. Michael snapped a few photos while we were in Cork over the weekend, in the morning light overlooking the water at the River Lee Hotel.


I found my glasses at Specsavers in Swords and I’d recommend them – they have some of the best customer service I’ve experienced in Ireland and they’re very affordable. You can get an eye test €30 or a contact lens test for €20, which was much cheaper than I was expecting.

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Friday Finds

photo (16)

(Locks Restaurant in Dublin – on my list to try!)

Happy Friday, friends! It’s bright and sunny in Dublin today, which is a relief after yesterday’s soggy mess. Michael and I are heading to Cork tomorrow morning for the night to visit friends, play basketball, and attend a wedding fair for Confetti Magazine. Bet you can guess which gets to go to which! Think I’d trade, though, I’m not really the wedding fair type!

We have survived our first week of clean eating and we’re both feeling pretty good about it. We’ve had a few new meals that we loved and that we wouldn’t have cooked otherwise, but we’re looking forward to putting milk in our coffees again soon!

I thought I’d resurrect the Friday Finds post I got in the habit of doing last year. I found some really lovely and delicious things online this week and I thought you’d get a kick out of them!

This is the perfect pink.

Funfetti anything is fun, funfetti biscotti sounds delish.

I’m gearing up for Valentine’s Day and planning to make these nutella molten cakes with no-churn cheesecake ice cream.

A great reminder to stop striving and just be where you are.

Love these old Dublin travel maps on my Delightful Dublin Pinterest board.

Pumpkin salad with cumin yogurt and pomegranate seeds sounds so flavorful.

Have you seen these charcoal water filters? Genius and so sustainable.

The things happy families have in common.

The McDonald’s Theory of drawing great ideas out of the not-so-great ideas is what I use when I’m not sure what to write. Works almost every time.

Blue subway tile for the win.

Have a really lovely weekend, thanks for coming back here to hang out with me each week!

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