Favourite things... May 2016 edition
Sometimes, when I'm trying to figure out what to blog about, I think about what I like to read on blogs I follow – and the old reliable favourite things posts are definitely up there. (Some favourite blogs are A Model Recommends; Buy Now, Blog Later; Forever Yours, Betty; and, of course, the Irish crew: Anouska; Retro Flame; Fluff & Fripperies; and Cinnamon Soul, to name just a few!) So, I decided to take the fact that I like reading "favourite things" posts and use it to make the assumption that you, too, like to read them. Without further ado...
Sprout & Co
I don't know where Sprout has been all my life, but I discovered it about three weeks back, thanks to my personal trainer, Niamh at Lift Training Studios, and I have been there at least 10 times since. (I know this because I filled an entire loyalty card, and am on to card #2!)
Their sataysfied turkey bowl – roast turkey, leaves, brown rice and satay sauce – has to be one of my favourite things to eat in the world ever, and they sell the most delish sweet treats, supplied by NutShed (the peanut chocolate square thing is divine). I'm not supposed to eat the treats, because they don't fit my macros, but I've had a seriously weak couple of weeks, and am taking the idea of flexible dieting to worrying new levels.
(It also now has the enviable title of being the location of my first friends date with Nash Wynter, Jamaican fashion maven and future BFF.)
If you follow me on Snapchat (@rosemarymaccabe), you'll know that I've become slightly Fitbit-obsessed of late. I got my Fitbit maybe... five years ago, as a press gift from their PR company when (I think) they first launched in Ireland. My model is the Flex, which is one of the most basic, and I used it for maybe... a fortnight, when I first got it. Then it went into a drawer and I totally forgot about it.
Until last month, when I dug it out and decided to start wearing it again, to see just how active I really am! (Obviously I thought my results were going to be off the scale...) Since then, I've really been enjoying seeing how many steps I'm taking and, even more than that, how much sleep I'm getting. (If you'd asked me, I would've said I get eight hours sleep per night, but since I started wearing it again, I've only got eight hours once, so that's interesting!)
Anyway, the only thing this means is that I now (of course) want to upgrade my Fitbit, and am considering buying either the Surge or the Blaze. If you have either, please let me know in the comments – and tell me which one I should get!
Legan Castle Farmhouse
I was invited down to Legan Castle last weekend with my boyfriend Stephen, and our dog Coileán (gotta love a dog-friendly guesthouse!) – and we were blown away by pretty much everything.
Since I got back, I've been trying – with varying degrees of success – to explain to people what Legan Castle is. It's a B&B, but has a lot more in common with a five-star hotel: insanely comfortable beds, for one; a gorgeous, picturesque location; incredibly good food... The list is fairly endless.
It's a one-woman show, run by Caroline Sweeney (whose sister Katherine owns PREEN, so smarts and business savvy must run in the family), who meets 'n' greets, cooks, was a great walking guide (bringing her gorgeous dog, Oscar). I'm already planning my next visit, and have essentially recommended it to every single one of my friends. (Sadly, Legan Castle Farmhouse is booked out until the end of September, but I think they do have midweek availability if you're interested!)
Saint Laurent's classic star trainers
Er, again, a bit of a "been there, snapped that"; I showed Snapchat (and Instagram, actually) the new trainers I bought last week, and I have to say, these are going to be in the favourite things category for a long time to come. These Saint Laurent trainers were ridiculously, stupidly, horribly expensive – but I had a €200 voucher and, to be perfectly honest, I live in runners.
Plus? (And here's where I jump down the rabbit hole of justifying my purchase...) I don't drink alcohol; I gave up smoking a year ago; I don't get half as many takeaways as I used to; er... they're an investment? I'm running out of excuses. But I love them!
Here's the rub, though (if you'll excuse the pun): the leather is really tough, so they've already given me a bit of a blister, and will definitely take some breaking in. It might be really old-fashioned of me, but I kind of associate breaking in with well made shoes, so I don't mind it too much. I'll report back in a few weeks!
I know they're pretty much gone now, but I've been really enjoying gazing at, photographing and generally documenting them around the city. Cherry blossoms always remind me of the end of the school year; when they started to bloom, you could taste summer in the air – and you knew that freedom was just around the corner.
And even though I don't have that particular joy – of knowing that there are three months of holidays coming up – there's still something about those beautiful pink blossoms that make me think of fresh starts and brighter days to come.