7 Links and 5 Recommendations

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been asked to share, but thanks to Jody at Ireland With Kids, I’ve been “nominated” to give you what I think are 7 links to my best posts on this blog.

I have to preface these by saying what fun it was to read through the last 3 1/2 years of writing and 143 posts I’ve put up here… and now I’m wondering what wonderful old posts lay hidden in the depths of other people’s excellent blogs. I think I’ll be doing some cyber-digging this weekend!

Also, please note that while I was nominated as a Travel Blogger, by a Travel Blogger, not all these posts have to do with travel per say.

Here we go.

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1. My Most Beautiful Post – TIE between “Heart to Heart” and “Cold Coffee, Warm Beer”

Tea & Bakewell

I chose these two posts as my “Most Beautiful” because I think they best represent ME, and what goes through my head when I’m writing exclusively for myself. They’re quite personal, but sincere, and I feel like the writing is as honest as anything I’ve ever written. They’re a couple years apart, but I think they’re both good examples of where I’ve been, personally speaking, while living in Ireland.

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2. My Most Popular Post“IRE 101: How to Talk Like a Paddy”

 This post was a lot of fun from start to finish, but also actually took a lot of time! I spent a couple weeks writing down local sayings and dialects as they came to me, in addition to “fact checking” with Frank to make sure I had them right. Together, we came up with so many  sayings that I actually followed this post up with a sequel, “IRE 201: Advanced Paddywhackery,” which hasn’t gotten as many hits but still has a lot of funny little anecdotes about the way we all talk around here.

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3. My Most Controversial Post“The Big Three”

Bruscar

I actually thought I’d get more backlash off this post than I did – so either everyone agreed, or no one read it! Ha ha! 🙂

I’m still glad I wrote on these three frustrating topics, though – Litter, Bad Drivers, and Bigotry. They still pop up constantly in my day-to-day life here in Drogheda and I would love to find a solution, or at least a positive remedy to helping make things better. As they say, it starts with you! I guess that means I’ll be doing my bit this weekend.

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4. My Most Helpful Post“Recession Chicken – 1 Bird, 3 Meals”

Chicken Risotto

 This was really my first big “foodie” post on this blog, and now I’m addicted to food writing! It’s so much fun!

Thanks to Frank, I wrote down my process in making three meals out of a single chicken dinner. I’ve actually had quite a few people mention this post to me, which is totally unexpected because I figured my recipes were just common sense! I guess sometimes we all need some extra inspiration.

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5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me “Address: Caravan By the River”

 This post has received so many hits, and continues to do so. I’ve always found the topic of Irish Travellers fascinating, but I had no idea it would be such a common topic on search engines, and that this little post would draw in so many readers! I think it’s brilliant, really, and I hope a lot of the readers were Americans who (like me), knew nothing about the Travelling Community. There’s also been evidence that members of the Travelling Community have themselves clicked onto the post, which is even more of an honour to me, and I truly hope I’ve been fair and honest in my depiction. The post is a few years old, and I touched on the topic again in “The Big Three” (above). I’ve definitely learned more about this group of people since writing about it, and I know there’s tons more I have not yet seen.

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6. My Most Underrated Post“Heirlooms”

Brooch

This post is dear to my heart because I am such a fan of antiques and the stories they tell, and I truly have been in awe of the bits and bobs I’ve stumbled across in antique shops around Ireland. How amazing, to think of a cream pitcher that’s been around since before the United States was a country! How thrilling, to see a newspaper headlining the devastating news of Michael Collins’ death!!!

I also liked this post because Frank did a wonderful job photographing some of my treasures.

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7. The Post I Am Most Proud Of – TIE between “In Praise of Simplicity” and “A Food Education”

Cookbooks

I am proud of these two posts not so much because of the writing, but because they represent some really wonderful and positive things I’ve learned and adopted while living in Ireland. As you’ll read in the first post, I am in love with the simplicity of clotheslines. Silly me. 🙂 I also owe a lot to Ireland in terms of teaching me how to cook and how to appreciate all kinds of unique flavours, textures and techniques. It just goes to show, all experience builds character, even if it wasn’t your first choice in the life’s lessons department.

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BONUS – since not all these posts were actually about Travel, I’ve also dropped in a few links for some of my favourite posts about visiting places around Ireland and Europe, for your reading pleasure.

“Summertime” (Summer 2008 in Drogheda and our first visit to lovely Howth Harbour)

“Paris, je t’aime” (our late Honeymoon in February 2009 to Paris)

“Please Replace Batteries” (our trip last summer up to the Northern Coast of Antrim and Portstewart, in Northern Ireland)

“A time for thanks.” (a family visit to Hampshire, England, for my brother’s wedding last November)

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And now it’s my turn to Nominate 5 Travel Bloggers who stand out to me! This is hard – I don’t read as many blogs as I would like, and not that many can truly be designated as expressly dedicated to travel! With that in mind, I’m bending the rules just a tad, but I promise, each of these lovely writers DO write about their travels, in addition to a host of other fascinating topics.

1. Living the Sweet Life In Paris – David Lebowitz
David’s writing alone takes me back to this blog again and again, but I also love living vicariously through him and his travels around the world. He always has wonderful descriptions and mouth-watering food reviews and recipes from whatever destination he happens to be in.

2. Letters From Nairobi – Caroline Knowles
My sister, Caroline, has seen much more of the world than my whole family combined – pretty much everywhere but South America! She documents her travels with incredible photos (my favourites were from Morrocco) and tells beautiful stories of the people she meets. She just got married, so I’m not sure how much she’ll be blogging, but I really hope to see a lot more from her!

3. Cottage Revolution – Claire Brosman Norton
Claire is probably my best friend in the whole world, and I think that is as good a recommendation to read her blog as any! However, I know you’ll also be fascinated by her craft and cooking projects (she is so talented!), in addition to the places she travels. I love Claire’s blog because it always takes you off the beaten path and away from the norm, be it bread-baking, dress-sewing, garden-tending or USA-trotting.

4. Family Rambling – by Jody Halsted
Not only was I impressed that Jody nominated me to continue this little tradition of sharing 7 blog posts, but I’ve been even more awed by her own blogging! She has a site exclusively dedicated to travelling Ireland with a family (which I linked above), but she also has a larger, more general blog to travelling with a family wherever! It’s full of great tips and insights and has given me an enormous checklist of places I want to visit with my own family.

5. An American In Ireland – by Clare Kleinedler
I met Clare about a year ago when she came into Traders and we got chatting. Her blog is much more disciplined than mine and very dedicated to food and travel around the Emerald Isle and beyond. We have shared a lot of the same thoughts about moving here as “Yanks,” but she has been lucky enough to see way more places then I! If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, look no further than Clare’s blog for advice.

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