Kidney Bean and Red Pepper Chilli
I’m back in the kitchen this week for Cuckoo Magazine cooking a dish so delicious and so attractive I want to wear it!
Click the photograph below to find out all the details.
It has been rather quiet here on lovetomtom and some of you may already know why.
Sadly I have had rather a difficult time the past few weeks loosing two special ladies in our family. As you can imagine, life has not only turned upside down, it has been put on hold.
🖤 . . Life has taken an unexpected turn the past few weeks & in a matter of days I have lost two amazing women. They were from worlds apart but somehow their strength & courage was mirrored. I'm filled with sadness & a longing to be in two places at once so until I am able to come out of this fog, my family, friends, work & life here will provide a welcomed distraction. #rip #love #family #strong #determined #women #lose #missinghome #repost @presentandcorrect Still Life.
I’m so delighted to introduce you to Cuckoo Magazine if you aren’t already familiar with it that is, and even more exciting is that I’m joining the team to talk all things food!
Each week you’ll be able to read my recipes, reviews, what’s good and even what’s bad and I’m kicking things off with a trip to Network café for my ‘Something for Dessert?‘ series. You can find out what I ate for dessert here and trust me it was good!
I know I have written loads about my wedding but there is one story I haven’t shared. Don’t worry it’s actually a very short story and you can find in THE NEW YORK TIMES!
I’m so thrilled to see my name maybe not quite up in lights, I’m working on that, but in The New York Times and with this special story.
Click here to read how I picked my engagement ring; it’s in The New York Times!! Just in case you missed that part.
This week I’m delighted to share with you another story that is close to my heart. Better still I got to write this piece for Count Her In, a network for women to be you guessed it, counted in. Georgina, founder of Count Her In has set up an amazing network for women to make connections, make friends, join groups and different events.
It is the perfect place for me to share my tale about moving to Ireland. Putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard ignited all sorts of memories and I’m thrilled to be have been able to revisit the adventure. Head over to Count Her In by clicking here. I hope you enjoy reading about the place I call home.
Almost time for holidays
August is here and I’m still counting down to my holidays. Fret not: While I’ve been counting down to my own holidays, as part of lovetomtomSBD I’ve had the pleasure of looking through your eyes and seeing all your holiday snaps and adding to my travel wish list. Plus my parents arrived and I’ve been in holiday mode with them so really it’s been a great summer so far and I haven’t even gone on holidays yet!
Here are a few photographs that caught my eye. Take a look at this beautiful view of Lake Como by Amelia at la femme éclectique. A place definitely on my travel wish list.
I couldn’t pass a look at Paris through Marie in May’s eyes.
Then there was this building in Tokyo to entice me thanks to Kristy Who.
And of course I couldn’t resist reminiscing and looking back at one of my own snaps from New York, a place so dear to my heart.
Once again the reason I started lovetomtomSBD has really paid off this month. Instead of being envious of all the places I haven’t gone, I look at your holidays with hope of all the places I will go. Same time of year, different approach and oh boy is it helping me get through the fact that I’m not on holidays. Yet!
Don’t forget to check out all the links I’ve included of these fabulous pictures and the people that took them and keep sending yours through. I never tire of looking at them!
Some of you may be aware that my fabulous parents have crossed the pond and made the very long journey to pay Mr B and I a visit. Life has been so busy the past few months, my countdown to their arrival went from over one hundred sleeps to 1 sleep in the blink of an eye! And you all know I love a good countdown!
House guests means preparations and preparations that I love. Remember the last time I had house guests? Most of my preparations this time round have been about food and what we will eat and where! I know I have a tough few weeks ahead of me!
Back home I’ve gone into guest room mode and I always have this image of how I want a guest room to look (I blame Pinterest for that) but sadly, there are lots of things in my house that are there and not by choice. I can only work with what I’ve got and it doesn’t take much or cost much for that matter to pretend like our house is somewhere worth staying. I added a few little goodies like toiletries I know they like, samples I know mum would like to try, the city essentials and a well stocked drinks trolley will hopefully make up for the brown patterned carpet! At the end of the day they are here to see us so I guess that’s all that counts!
Do you like having house guests? How do you prepare? Will I be envious of your guest room?
Wonderful Women , Wonderful Jewellery
This post is very special to me. Even more special because I was able to share it as guest writer for Song of Jewellery.
You’ve probably guessed what’s it’s about, jewellery of course and in this case, jewellery that is very dear to my heart.
Click here to read the article and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!
Where in the world…
Here we are, the second instalment to my ‘I got married‘ series and let’s get stuck into it. Before that, I need to say how overwhelmed I am at all the good wishes, texts, email, tweets and comments. It really has made this time even more special if that’s possible!
Ok so let’s talk planning. Planning is not actually the correct word as we felt there wasn’t too much to plan. No flowers, no bridal party, no invitations, no guests (yet), no planning of hair styles, no trials, no cars. From very early on we knew our wedding was going to be a party of two. Ok three, if you count the person marrying us. Ok four, if you count our witness! So wedding first, celebrations with friends and family after and given they are on either sides of the world, that meant there were going to be lots of celebrations. Yay! At this stage with just Mr B and I to think about, it was exciting to know we could do whatever the hell we wanted and there was only one question for us to answer; where in the world will we get married?
What a fun question! And surprisingly easy to answer. Just to give you a bit of a time frame, we decided we were going to get married back in April 2015 (that’s code for engaged) and have the wedding in September 2015. So off I went, typing into Google ‘how to get married in France’ and I soon realised this maybe wasn’t going to work out how we thought. It’s not impossible to get married in France but we were not going to be able to manage all the legalities and requirements in our timeframe so back we went to the world map. Italy was our next choice, Amalfi coast to be precise and with a very small amount of research, it looked like a winner. With only five months to the wedding I decided I better get my outfit sorted and I did but you’ll have to wait until next week for that instalment! To make life a bit easier we thought we would pay for someone to take care of all the paperwork. I even looked up wedding planners but quickly realised this was service was not for us. We also realised that like France, there were a few requirements that we didn’t have the time or patience for so we decided Ireland was next on the list and straight after the wedding we would jump on a plane to Italy, wedding outfits and all.
Even though this was our third choice we knew exactly how we wanted it to look. I got rather an unromantic slap in the face when I found out I couldn’t just go and get married. Who knew there was so much paper work to getting married?! This is all manageable of course but it felt stressful and difficult. I had some very interesting phone calls here and if I heard the phrase ‘wedding package’ one more time I really had the potential of turning into bridezilla! There were a few other instances that tipped me over the edge and so we decided to rethink things. Again. We reminded ourselves that we had only ourselves to think about and maybe with a bit more time we could make Italy work so with June 2016 as our new date we went back to researching Italy.
Even with that decision made, other than finding some fabulous hotels we imagined ourselves lounging around, I didn’t get much further with our Italy plans until one day in November I heard details of someone else’s wedding destination and I had a light bulb moment. All I kept thinking was ‘why aren’t we getting married there’? Within a day of researching and joining some forums to see if what I was reading was correct, we had one hundred percent decided on our location. We were so excited that everything was working out just as we wanted (and that it was easy and romantic!) we decided, why wait? Come the last week of December, we packed our bags and flew to…..
The not quite announcement
I was trying to find the right title for this series but I keep coming to ‘I got married!’ and it seems perfect! I am thrilled to be sharing this news with you and over the next few weeks I’ll be giving you all the juicy details. Ok not all the juicy details as it’s not just my story to tell but I will be sharing everything from not shouting it from the roof tops, to being told I couldn’t organise a wedding in 3 months and how I made the ultimate decision of what to wear. Basically the when, where and how of this very exciting time and why I’m doing everything in reverse!
I won’t start at the very beginning so let me bring you to just after our engagement. The very short version of that story is that we were in Paris and had just taken a stroll around the Eiffel Tower. We continued our stroll down a neighbouring street, I was busy taking photographs of the beautiful architecture surrounding us and Mr B was patiently waiting for me to finish before popping the question. I’ll spare you all the mushy details but you can guess what happened next. It will be no surprise to you that we celebrated with coffee and croissants.
Ok so we are engaged. Ahhhh that word, engagement! I don’t know what it is but I’m not a fan. I preferred to say, ‘I’m getting married’. Actually it took me a while to even say that. Don’t get me wrong, I was bursting with excitement at the thought of marrying Mr B but we kept the news to ourselves for a while. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision not to tell people but there were a few things on our minds. Mainly, I was aware of the fact that I was very far from family and some of my dearest friends and the thought of texting our news felt so impersonal. Until I worked out how I wanted to spread our news, I enjoyed the fact that this was our fun, romantic secret.
Right, so fast forward to when our news was kind of out in the world. By kind of I mean that Mr B decided he wanted to wait (this will become clear a little later on) and as for me, I told a very limited number of people. This actually took me a few months. Between face-to-face catch ups, arranging chats on Skype, rescheduling chats on Skype and life in general getting in the way, I actually forgot who I had and hadn’t told and I found myself saying ‘did I mention we’re getting married?’. In the end I had to tell a few friends with a text message and you know what, that’s just the way things turned out and it didn’t diminish the excitement or love we felt from those closest to us. Marriage and weddings conjures up all sorts of things for people and it was so interesting to see everyone’s reactions and oh boy were there a lot of questions! How did he propose? When are you getting married? Will you get married in Australia? Will your family come to Ireland for the wedding? Can I see the ring? What are you going to wear? Are you going to take his name? Don’t get me wrong I loved that everyone was so excited and I wanted to share everything with them, but not yet. Mr B and I already had a pretty good idea of what our wedding was going to look like so we felt there really wasn’t a lot to organise. Plus I had no intention of ‘the wedding’ being the driving force of conversations or of my life in general for that matter mostly because I wanted to keep nearly everything to myself until I was ready to share. Like I said, we kind of did everything backwards as now that we are actually married, I am more than happy to chat endlessly about the wedding and all the fun, romantic details.
That is why now is the perfect time to share this exciting news with you so I’m going to say at this point, ‘to be continued’. Be sure to sign up to lovetomtom so you can get the next I got married instalment straight to you inbox.