Styled in Ireland / What to Wear to the Farmer’s Market

July 15, 2015

What to wear to a Dublin Farmer's Market Welcome to another Styled in Ireland post! This one might be my favorite yet. My friend Naomi and I headed into town one Saturday for a visit to the farmer’s market in Meetinghouse Square in Temple Bar. It had been a long time since either of us had been, so we stopped for our usual lunch, picked up some amazing bok choi and beets, and a bunch of lavender flowers. market-bag-georgian-door-small

dublin-market-bag-5-small For our market visit, I brought along this new tote from 31 Chapel Lane, one of my absolute favorite Irish companies. Joi and Damien produce beautiful Irish napkins, table cloths, towels and cushions. They’ve just teamed up with Apolis to bring their jute and leather market tote to Dublin. I’ve been seeing Apolis totes, all with different city names emblazoned tastefully on the side, popping up all over the place so it was really fun to see Dublin, Ireland, on one!

The Apolis totes are made in Bangladesh by a women’s co-operative and then finished in California. It’s a wonderful, worthy cause that employs and empowers women half a world away, and Joi and Damien have such hearts for helping those less fortunate. And toting one around is a great way for me to help as well.  what-to-wear-farmers-market-dublin market-bag-x2-small The tote is deceptively large. In fact, it looks a little heavy in these photos because in addition to my market finds, it’s holding a suede jacket (which I shockingly didn’t need), my camera and extra lens, and my wallet. Good thing it’s so roomy or I would have been lugging those things around haphazardly all day! It’s also really sturdy and will likely last me for years and years.

I have to admit, I’d rarely wear bare arms in Ireland, but it was particularly balmy so I stuffed my suede jacket into the bag and walked around in my sundress and sandals. It felt like real summer even though it was pretty cloudy! My dress is very old from Gap, and those sandals are new from Clarks. They’re so comfortable for walking around cobblestoned streets. Fun story, I actually wore that dress to my high school graduation and I just can’t bear to part with it! My necklace was a $7 Target find a few years ago and it gets so many compliments. Love those finds! market-people-small what-to-wear-farmers-market-dublin I’m not sure if it was because Naomi was standing five feet away snapping photos, but I was getting a lot of looks. I think there was some serious bag envy going on!

We love the little cheese selection boxes from the cheese stand. For only €5 you get five small hunks of different cheeses. There’s also a stall where you can eat oysters and drink wine, which is usually pretty appealing.  cheese-stall-dublin-market-small dublin-cheese-stall-small dublin-market-olives-small dublin-cheese-stall-3-small dublin-farmers-market-flowers-small dublin-farmers-market-small Whenever we go to the farmer’s market in Meetinghouse Square, we pick up roasted vegetable quiche. I think quiche is a loose term, it’s mostly just a stack of delicious roasted vegetables barely held together with a little egg in a pastry crust. Eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives, carrots and broccoli. It’s delicious.  dublin-market-bag-4-small dublin-market-flowers-2-small market-bag-10-small We picked up beets which I roasted that night for dinner. I’m always a little nervous about beets because they stain so easily, but I washed them and chopped the greens off, then wrapped them in tin foil and put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about a half hour. Then the skins just slid right off with a little help from a knife. They were so sweet.  31-chapel-lane-market-bag-small 31-chapel-lane-dublin-market-bag-small

dublin-market-bag-2-small And that’s exactly how pumped I was for an afternoon at the farmer’s market!

In case you missed them, you can check out past Styled in Ireland posts for lots of outfit inspiration!

Sandals: Clarks  / Dress: Gap / Tank: H&M / Necklace: Target / Watch: Jord Watches / Glasses: Oakley / Tote: 31 Chapel Lane / Photography: Naomi Phillips / Market: Meetinghouse Square in Temple Bar, every Saturday, rain or shine!

Dublin’s Hanging Flowers / O’Neill’s Pub and Guest Rooms

July 13, 2015

hanging-flowers-dublin Hello, everyone! Happy Monday! I’ve got just the thing that’s going to brighten your day. Giant, blossoming, overflowing hanging flowers in Dublin! It’s one of my favorite times of year in the city, when the hanging baskets start spilling out over window sills and doorways.  o'neills-townhouse-dublin dublin-pub-hanging-flowers I don’t know what most of the flower varieties are, but petunias play a leading role in most hanging baskets, and they’re most commonly found hanging from pub windows. Of course, that makes it all the more baffling how they manage to be so prolific – it’s not like the bartenders are out daed-heading blossoms as they go by! But yet they always seem to be thriving.  dublin-pub-flowers They’ll last well into the autumn, making the streets of Dublin so cheerful. I took these photos of the incredible flowers hanging from O’Neill’s Pub and Guest Rooms on Pearse Street just before I left for Maine. Aren’t they incredible? The antique globe lanterns are pretty great, too! dublin-pub-flowers-2 dublin-pub-flowers-3 hanging-flowers-pubs-dublin hanging-flowers-ireland flowers-dublin-ireland o'neills-pub-dublin o'neills-pub-dublin-2 oneills-pub-dublin This is one of my favorite details you might see while you’re walking around Dublin. See that little pillow in the photo above? I’m not sure the technical term for it, but when the trucks come to deliver kegs to the pubs, they’ll drop the kegs off the truck and let them land on that pillow before rolling them to a bulkhead to store them in the basement under the pub. If you see a truck unloading kegs (especially Guinness), look for the pillow!

Tricks for Family Photos with Toddlers

July 8, 2015

eabha-running Toddlers are funny little creatures, aren’t they? So much personality, so many opinions, and so few words to express them. Add a camera and the majority of them run the other direction as fast as their little feet will carry them. Those tiny little people can make family photo shoots a little tricky. I have two tricks for family photos with toddlers that I’d like to pass on in case you have a little gremlin of your own about to head out on a family photo shoot.

First, you can’t make them do what you want. They do not take direction under the age of three, and I’m skeptical if it improves much after that! Instead, you be ready and trust your photographer to capture the moments when you all happen to be looking the right way and smiling. Or at least close to it.  phillips-under-tree Second, and this is a reflection of my personal theory of family photography, but the natural, organic moments are the moments that come through the most beautifully on camera. Eabha cleaning every speck of dirt off her teddy, or Elsie needing a little snuggle from her dad. Those moments, un-coached and un-cajoled, are so real and reflective of their phases of toddlerhood.


cosy-andy-03 westbrooks-family-shoes If we set out on a family photo shoot, we’d likely do a lot of walking back and forth, taking the lead from the little toddler at the heart of the family. Whether they want to be picked up or put down (or some combination of both for hours on end!) my goal as a photographer is to catch those little moments in between.

So plaster that smile on your face and wait for your little one to get on board. It’ll be worth those sore face muscles in the end!

Howth is Magic

July 6, 2015

orange-sails-ireland-howth Last week, when Nora and I were up in Howth filming one of our neighborhood guides, we happened upon the most magical scene. For all the times I’ve stood on the west pier in Howth, I’ve never seen anything like it. At least fifty sailboats, decked out with identical orange sails, dancing their way into the harbor. We both stood there mesmerized. The grey blue sky and the burnt orange sails just zig zagged, one by one, into the harbor. You can see a dreamy little video on my Instagram as well.  sailing-ireland-howth-harbor howth-harbor-sailboats aquabat-howth-ireland Orange sails, mint sailboat, doesn’t get better. Ireland’s Eye is the island in the background. It seems to have burned in the last few weeks, that patch in the front is usually vibrant green.  howth-sailing-ireland


howth-harbor-sailing sailboats-howth-harbor sailing-ireland-howth I’m always telling you about Howth, here’s what to wear to a seaside coffee date, the best blooms to see in Howth, a family photo session in a Howth park, incredible panoramic views from the cliffs, a cruise from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, and golden hour in the harbor.



Happy Weekend!

July 3, 2015


Happy Friday, happy weekend, and happy almost Fourth of July! And while we’re at it, how on earth is it July already? After a very long delay (by our standards, we usually have our summer flights booked by April), we have finally booked our flights to America for this coming Monday. We waited longer than we typically do because we were trying our hardest to by a house before we left. And we have nearly done it! Or so we think. Of course, everything could fall apart at the last minute (we’ve heard such horror stories!), so we’re not in the clear until we have keys in our hands. But for now, we’ve signed every last piece of paper in sight and we’re hopping on a plane on Monday. We are really looking forward to spending time with family and friends before my sister gets married in August.

This is the first time in seven years of living in Dublin that we’ve stayed into July and it has been such a treat. Of course, the recent heatwave has been a huge bonus! But we’ve been loving the long evenings in the sunshine. I’ve been heading out for lots of evening cliff runs (that image above is from one!) and wearing bare legs, which still feels so strange in this country!

But how about you? Did you have a nice week? Any excitement? If you’re in Ireland, I have a feature in the Irish Independent about cafe owners around the country and you might enjoy it for a little weekend reading!

See you back here on Monday, and thank you for spending the week here with me. Wishing you some beautiful sunsets and even a few fireworks!

Dublin Cafe and Patisserie / Eathos on Baggot Street

July 1, 2015

Eathos Cafe, Dublin, Ireland There was a really happy accident that happened to me a few weeks ago. Nora and I were wandering around Baggot Street, waiting for Cocu Kitchen’s line to calm down so we could take photographs in peace, when we spotted this brand new, absolute gem of a cafe and patisserie, Eathos. It had only been open a month so it was such a fun little discovery!

We were lured in by the gorgeous treats in the window and figured it would be a good spot to undo all the healthiness points we worked up eating salads for lunch. Little did we know, we could have combined both a healthy lunch and exquisite treats without moving a muscle. Good information for next time!

Eathos patisserie, Dublin We had a little chat with one of the co-owners, who explained that their team had been working on the recipes for a year! Their pastry chef had been painstakingly concocting the pastry array for so long, and it’s still always changing. But in addition to their pastries, they have a whole selection of really healthy lunch options and yummy specialty teas and 3fe coffee. Another fun tidbit? Their salads are made fresh each day, in the early hours of the morning, never leftover from the day before. That’s a fact the Eathos team is very passionate about.

Eathos Cafe, Dublin, Ireland Eathos cafe, Dublin, Ireland The interior is light and bright, but we chose to sit in the back patio/conservatory room. It’s such a great use of what would otherwise be an unusable space about nine months of the year. They essentially made a plexiglass room and covered the walls with wooden cladding, painted a lovely shade of blue. There are a few square tables for two and then a big round table that would be perfect for a special occasion. patio-eathos-dublin eathos-patio-dublin-ireland

eathos-3fe-coffee healthy-food-eathos-dublin The only problem with sitting in that bright back room is that you are located in the furthest possible location from the stacks of treats in the front of the cafe. And that’s really the only way to choose a treat. The words on the page of the menu just don’t do those treats justice. We walked to the front for a browse before making our final decisions. chocolate-brownies-eathos-dublin When faced with many options, on a menu or stacked on platters, I panic. More often than not, I choose the absolute wrong thing. This time, my luck won out and I chose the absolute right thing. A gooseberry financier with strawberry, blackberry and mascarpone. Truth be told, I have never had a gooseberry in my life. Couldn’t even tell you what they look like! But these gooseberry financiers are heaven on a fork. Financiers are usually shorter, but I really liked the extra moistness that the height added, and the gooseberries added little bursts of tartness to the cake. Final points were awarded for generally not being too sweet, which often happens with treats that look this perfect.  gooseberry-financiers-eathos-dublin eathos-patisserie-treats Meanwhile, Nora ordered a chocolate tart with a white chocolate centre and raspberries and crushed pistachios. Also totally delicious. That creamy white chocolate centre was everything you wish white chocolate would be. And the plates, those colored plates!

eathos-baggot-street-dublin The team at Eathos (all of whom, by the way, are really nice and friendly) is hoping to open a few more sweet cafes around the city, making for even more opportunities for their sweet treats. For now, you can find them at 13A Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4.


In Season / June Blooms

June 30, 2015

poppies-dublin A few nights ago, while Michael was away in the countryside celebrating a friend’s birthday, I took myself on a flower photo walk. It’s one of those things I like to do when I have a few hours and I need a brain break. It makes me feel like I’m giving myself a little treat, moseying around the neighborhood scoping out what’s blooming in the little front gardens.

I try not to look like a weirdo when I’m carrying my camera around the neighborhood, but on this particular night I failed miserably. My rule is that I always stay on the sidewalk and I try to make it obvious that I’m taking photos of flowers, not houses or people. As I write this, I realize this totally makes me sound like a total weirdo. Anyhow, about ten minutes around the corner, I spotted a few amazing peonies and was crouching on the sidewalk, earphones in my ears listening to a fascinating Fresh Air episode about the Colorado River, oblivious to the world, when I realized the owner of said peonies was standing on her step asking me what the heck I was doing! She even said she thought I was some kind of private investigator, which gave me reason to make a new rule. Never wear a dark baseball hat when out on photo walks. Oops!

Luckily for you, but maybe not so lucky for my neighbors, I wasn’t deterred. And seriously, these poppies are worth looking like a weirdo!

poppies-dublin-summer poppies-dublin-2 roses-dublin This bush was full of both pink and yellow blooms. How do they do that?  pink-rose-dublin red-rose-dublin yellow-rose-dublin-summer This yellow rose is so soft I turned it into my desktop wallpaper. You’re welcome to as well, just click this link and save the photo to your computer. Then right click on it to select it as your desktop wallpaper. I’m sure there’s an easier way to do that, but that’s how I manage to make it work! hydrangeas-ireland hydrangeas-dublin-2 hydrangea-dublin-3 daisies-dublin daisies-dublin-2 I think these little guys are technically weeds, but I love the way they grow from cracks in the sidewalk. bumblebee-ireland japanese-maple-dublin lavender-ireland thistle-dublin roses-dublin-pink peonies-dublin peony-dublin-ireland And there’s the amazing peony that aroused the suspicion of the neighbor. Totally worth it, isn’t it incredible?

You can see what else was in bloom around my neighborhood in February, March, MayAugustSeptember and October. If I manage to capture the rest of the months, I might just make an Irish blooms calendar. Would anyone be interested?


“The day is always redeemable.”

June 29, 2015

michael-sutton-beach Or so said my husband last weekend, after a particularly rocky start to Sunday.

It was a lethal combination. Hours of tossing and turning all night led to oversleeping ourselves right through the start of church, because the one of us who is the alarm clock was the one of us who finally shushed her brain to sleep as the birds were starting to chirp and the early Irish sun was well over the horizon. A rush out the door wouldn’t have caught half the service, so we made a new plan. Breakfast, a workout, our favorite coffee stop, a few errands.

But it was one of those days that starts rocky and stays rocky for a while. A surge of hormones, a poorly timed suggestion that landed as criticism, and a burst of disappointed tears sent me to the car in defeat.

irelands-eye We rode in tense silence, grudgingly determined to at least get our coffee fix.

Wearily, I practially whimpered, no stranger to heightened drama in these situations, “Is it redeemable?” I was too worn out to even give the question much oomph.

Michael knew exactly what I meant. “The day is always redeemable.”

And so, as if by magic, with that proclamation the day started to turn. The edges curling upward into the barely-there smirk that prefaces a smile.

The day is always redeemable will be the mantra on those rocky-getting-rockier days that come along every so often.

kite-surfing-sutton-beach sunset-ireland kite-surfing-ireland-sunset We finished the day with a sunset beach walk (I should remind myself more often that beach walks have never not improved all of life’s bumpy moments), and a trip to the pub.

Wishing you redeemable Mondays around the world.


Cocu Kitchen for Healthy Lunch in Dublin

June 25, 2015


Welcome to Dublin’s newest healthy lunch spot, Cocu Kitchen! I had seen inklings of Cocu Kitchen a few months ago when it was getting ready to open and I was excited to finally have a chance to try it out with Nora last week.

I’ll start this little Cocu Kitchen story by telling you that on their opening day not that long ago, Cocu Kitchen donated all of their proceeds to FoodCloud, a Dublin-based charity that helps businesses redistribute leftover food to the hungry. So we start with that awesome building block. Then we add to it a menu full of healthy, filling salad options and a good dose of Scandinavian-inspired minimalist design and we get a really successful little food counter-cafe.   cocu-kitchen-healthy-options When we arrived at 2pm on a Friday, the weekday work crowd was still lining up out the door, so we walked around the block and ogled beautiful Georgian doors while it quieted down. When we finally had the place to ourselves (just the way we like it for snapping a few photos), we munched ourselves full on Vietnamese Chicken salad with leafy greens and peanutty dressing.  cocu-kitchen-menu The portions were big, the salad dressing was delicious, and the vibe was altogether fresh. It’s so nice to have a decidedly healthy option for lunch (or breakfast, actually) in the city!  cocu-kitchen-vietnamese-chicken-salad

Thanks to Nora for snapping so many lovely photos of me with my mouth full! 😉 Yum yum!

Cocu Kitchen / 9 Baggot Street / Dublin 4 /

Photography / Family Photos at Malahide Castle

June 23, 2015

phillips-under-tree A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing 18-month toddler Elsie Grey and her parents, our dear friends Naomi and Andy, in the Malahide Castle grounds. I photographed Elsie when she was just a few weeks old, and her shock of dark hair has lightened and grown so long! She squeals as she toddles along, her legs going faster than her body is even ready for.

I keep looking at these photos (and these of my niece and her parents) and thinking our friends are all such babes! And they make such cute babies!  nomes-elsie-x2 andy-elsie-small cosy-andy-2 In true Irish form, it downpoured for a little while, so we took cover under the giant trees. Elsie wasn’t sure she was ready for a photo shoot, but she had a snack and a snuggle with her dad and decided she’d put up with me. cosy-andy-03 andy-elsie-shoulders andy-and-elsie phillips-family-04 phillips-family-06 phillips-family-10 I love Elsie’s grip on her dad’s ears! Ha!  phillips-family-x2 naomi-elsie-03 elsie-flowers nomes-elsie phillip-family-03 naomi-elsie-02

phillips-family-photography Such a handsome family. It’s so fun to see how Elsie and Eabha, born just a few weeks apart, have grown in the last year and a half. Just about polar opposites in the looks department, but such cute little friends! And it’s been wonderful to see how the little girls have each grown to be so like their parents. This last photo is just how I think of this little family. Big laughs together!

You can learn more about my photography here and see past shoots of (teeny) Éabha, Elsie, Julius, Sam and Nicholas, as well as one-year-olds Eabha and Aoibhe