Let it Go

Let it Go

It’s Forget-About-It Friday! Let go of any negative thoughts that may have crept inside you this week. Sometimes we try to have happy thoughts and be positive but maybe someone says or does something to pass their negativity on to us. It is hard when this happens but we have to release the negativity and just let it go. No situation, person, or unkind words are worth losing who you really are inside. Don’t allow one person or event to change you.

You can’t live a positive life around negative people – Let them go. Release them and their negativity so that you can focus on a more positive life for you. If you have to see that person on a regular basis just don’t let them get to you. Guard your soul and heart against negativity. Imagine an invisible shield around your body and don’t allow them to enter. They may be close but they will never break your positivity shield :-)

Don’t hold onto the negativity… release it… set it free… let it go! Have a great weekend my friends :-)

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Slow Down, Breathe, and Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life

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Scenic Ireland

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, I am going to let the pictures do the talking and hope you enjoy the Irish scenery. Hop aboard and join me as we tour around the beautiful countryside together. So sit back relax, and enjoy the ride… beep beep!

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A Taste of Cork City

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On our last trip home we decided to go on a tour of the Jameson Distillery. Established in the 18th century, the distillery is located in Midleton, Co. Cork. The “Jameson Experience” is a walking tour with an expert guide through mills, maltings, and other beautifully restored old distillery buildings which date back to 1795. Set on fifteen acres of land it is a must see on a visit to Cork. The tour lasts about an hour and ends with a complimentary glass of Jameson Whiskey. I wasn’t sure if the boys would like the tour but as you can see from the picture below they fit in just fine. Don’t worry, we just let them smell the whiskey :-)

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After our visit to the Jameson Distillery, we hopped in the car for a quick drive into Cork City. Founded by St. Finbarr and built on the River Lee; the city is filled with grand historical buildings like Shandon Steeple, City Hall, and Holy Trinity church (pictured below). Patrick Street runs through the heart of this city built on water and you will most definitely find what you are looking for when it comes to shopping and dining. Music often fills the streets as buskers (street performers) entertain locals and visitors.

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While exploring the city another must stop is the Old Cork English Market (pictured below). It is a cultural destination just off the main shopping streets in the city. The market is very multicultural and fresh produce from around the world can be purchased there. I can remember going to the market with my mother as a child. We would hop on the number ten or number fourteen bus which would take us right to the city center. The smell of fresh vegetables and produce greeted us at the entrance to this friendly food market. My mom would go up and down both sides of the market picking out fish, veggies, and meat for our weekly dinners. It often took a while as my mom chatted to the market vendors and other customers who would chime in on the conversations too. I remember there were lots of conversations and laughter as we made our way through the market.

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So now you’ve had a glimpse of Cork City, I hope you come back and join me tomorrow as I round up my journey to Ireland. Tomorrow, I will take you on a photographic tour of the beautiful Irish countryside where the grass will be green, the ocean will wave hello, and the land will whisper softly beckoning you to its shores :-)

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Irish Blessings

An Irish Blessing

Céad Mile Fáilte – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes! Ireland is known for many sayings and blessings. “May the road rise to meet you…” is one of the more well-known blessings and one that decorates many Irish homes across the globe. These blessings are little Celtic prayers meant to bring luck, happiness, and lots of good fortune. Today, I am taking two of my favorite Irish blessings and pairing them with two of my favorite pictures from back home in beautiful Éire. The picture above was taken at Gougane Barra and the picture below was taken at Ballycotton. Tomorrow, I am going to take you to the streets of Cork City and we may even stop into the Jameson distillery for a taste of some whiskey. So sit back, relax, and let’s continue the journey through Ireland tomorrow :-)

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Irish Angel in the Sky

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Today, I take you from the roads to the skies above Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland and the only airline I will fly with across the Atlantic Ocean. I can remember the jingle for Aer Lingus and pointing to the sky every time a plane passed overhead singing the words, “Look up it’s Aer Lingus, Going where you’re going, Showing all the birds how to fly, Look up it’s Aer Lingus!” I have travelled back and forth to Ireland many times over the last eighteen years. I can remember my first trip to America and how excited I was to board the plane headed to the land of opportunities. I was to go to America for one year as an au-pair and I could hardly wait! The big Irish bird landed her wings in New York to frigid temperatures and more snow than I had ever seen in my life. It was the blizzard of 1996 and I recall lots of Irish snow angels were made on that first trip :-)

Sadly, I was only in America three months when I received a phone call telling me that my grandmother May had passed away. I was very close to my Nan so this was devastating news for a young Irish girl so far from home. With a heavy heart I boarded the big Irish bird again and prayed for God to give me the courage I would need over the next few days. As the airbus flew up over the Big Apple I looked out the window and saw a bright star in the sky. I remember thinking it was unusual to see just one big star on its own so I looked around but couldn’t see anything else in the dark skies. That one solitary glistening star stayed with me on my journey across the ocean. As the sun rose over Ireland I looked out the window at my friendly star and said, “Thanks for staying with me Nan.” I put my head down, looked up to see the coast of Ireland, and my star was gone.

I thought about not coming back after the funeral but my mom said that my nan had told her how proud she was of me just a few days before she passed. I decided to return to the U.S. and finish out my year as planned. When I returned there was a card on the table with an Irish stamp placed neatly in the top corner. I recognized the handwriting and with a lump in my throat I opened the envelope. It was a beautiful Easter card and I cried as I read the last three words, “Love from Nan.” I was lucky to have had such a wonderful lady in my life and feel blessed that her last words about me and to me were encouraging, positive, and filled with love. Could she have known that I would meet a young American boy who would steal my heart and be such a big part of my journey in life?

You see sometimes we have to take chances in life. Whether it is an adventure to a faraway land or a decision that may change your life – Listen to your heart, trust your intuition, and take a leap of fate. There are signs and people everywhere to help guide us on our path if we listen and look close enough. As a little girl growing up in Ireland I pointed to a plane in the sky and sang a jingle. I knew in my heart that one day I would get to America and I knew one day that big bird in the sky would take me there!

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The pictures above are of the Cliffs of Moher from land and from the sky. The other pictures are of an Aer Lingus plane on the ground, the welcome sign that greets visitors at Shannon Airport, and views of Ireland from the sky. More scenic pictures and stories to come over the next few days when we’ll be back on land in Ireland. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey with me :-)

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Castles of Cork

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Tourists from around the world flock to the Emerald Isle every year to visit some of Ireland’s many great castles. No, castle is not code for “pub” :-) although some castles do have restaurants located on their grounds. Here, the locals welcome visitors with a smile and invite them to sample Ireland’s finest cuisine with a nice cool pint of Guinness. Even if one does not plan a visit to one of these amazing Irish fortresses; the relics of historic castles can be seen in fields as one tours around the countryside. The pictures above are of Blackrock Castle (On the left) and the upper part of Blarney Castle (On the right).

When I go home to Ireland I usually visit Blarney Castle but on our last trip I took my American family to Blackrock Castle. The sun was shining and the sound of global accents echoed around the castle as people from all around the world settled in for lunch. After a hearty lunch we went outside and I watched my father beam with delight as his two grandsons ran around the castle grounds with toy swords. As they defended their territory against invisible enemy forces, I took a moment to breathe in the fresh Irish air and relish in the simple joy of the day. My heart is always filled with great happiness when my Irish and American families are joined together. It is as we say back home, “the stuff memories are made of.”

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The pictures above are of Blarney Castle (On the left) and a castle we stumbled upon called Caisleán Charraig an Easa which is Gaelic for the Castle on the Rock of the Waterfall. I will have more pictures and stories coming over the next few days so sit back and enjoy the ride… beep beep :-)

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