Food · Life

Favourite Christmas Foods

FOOD!! My favourite part of life. I come from quite a large family of food lovers! All our family parties revolve around the food and Christmas time is the one time of year you can eat whatever you want and no one can judge you!!

Santa Sweets!

One of the best parts about Christmas night was cracking into the Santa Sweets (or Lemons as more commonly known). We only ever got these at Christmas, to be honest I don’t think you can get them any other time of year! My favourites are the Iced Caramels and the fruity ones.

Santa Sweets


Roses, roses, roses, the classic Christmas sweets! I’m the weirdo of my family who loves the strawberry dream ones that everyone else in my family hates so whenever I go to visit my Granny I get to take all my favourite sweets with me! 🙂



Jelly Tots

Okay, jelly tots aren’t a Christmas food but we always get the tube of them in our stockings every year so to me they are Christmas!!

Jelly Tots

Ham & Turkey Sambos

Yes, Christmas dinner is a wonderful thing but I look forward to the ham, turkey and tayto sambos at the end of Christmas day sitting down by the fire watching a Disney movie.


My favourite favouite part of Christmas dinner is the stuffing. None of this bread stuffing nonsense I use my Granny’s infamous recipe which includes sausage meat (cause why wouldn’t you stuff meat with more meat?) and always goes down a treat when I make it for Thanksgiving in my brothers.

Christmas Cake

My breakfast in December generally consist of cake, cake and more cake. Once we collect the Christmas cake from my Grandmother myself and dad usually some how manage to have it gone by Christmas day. It’s kind of nearly becoming a tradition/challenge to do it every year now!

Christmas Pudding

Yet another one of Granny’s recipes is her wonderful Christmas Pudding. This one though we manage to save until after Christmas. We usually do a big New Years day dinner with my dads brother and his family so we save the Christmas Pud til then cause we usually steal some in Granny’s house on Christmas day on Dessert stop number 1!


Christmas Pyjamas

I always get new pyjamas on Christmas Eve, it’s one of my favourite traditions since I was a little baba and it’s still my favourite about Christmas Eve! Here are some of my favourite PJs I’ve spotted dotted around the internet recently.


Asos £30
Gnome Santa
Asos £25
Boohoo €22


H&M €19.99


Grinch Pj's
Pennys €14
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Pennys €14
Mrs Browns Boys
Pennys €13

I know the last two aren’t necessarily Christmas but Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is one of those movies that’s always on at Christmas time & Mrs. Browns Boys Christmas Special is a must watch for us every year!






Last Minute Gift Ideas

Not everyone is super duper organised for the holidays so here’s a quick last minute gift guide for all you last minute shoppers.

Framed Photos

I feel like nowadays most people tend to post their pictures on their Facebook or Instagram accounts and no one ever prints them anymore. So one of my favourite things to do is to print a photo of myself and whoever I’m giving the gift to and get it framed nicely. This is a real easy cheap idea but it’s a nice personal gift to give to a relative.

Christmas Decorations

I love buying Christmas decorations as gifts for people. They’re a perfect keepsake and so easy to pick up in a hurry. Newbridge Silverware or The Ornament Shop have lovely ones. I particularly love The Ornament Shop as you can get the decorations personalised for whoever you’re buying them for. This is where we got the McNamara Snow-People decoration from.

Dinner Vouchers

I come from a big family who all love their food so dinner vouchers are a perfect last minute gift for someone who loves their food.

Cook Books

Continuing on in the food theme, cook books or baking books are always a great option for the chef or baker in your life.


You can’t go wrong with a good aul pair of Christmas pyjamas! Pennys is your best friend when looking for pjyamas. I love these Grinch ones (have I mentioned The Grinch is my favourite Christmas movie?) they had in stock a few weeks ago.

Grinch Pj's

Vouchers, Vouchers, Vouchers!

You can’t go wrong with vouchers if you’re really struggling to find a gift for someone. One4All vouchers are the perfect one to get for someone you’ve no idea what to get them! They can be used in so many different places so your gift receiver will be spoiled for choice with this one!


Favourite Decorations

Putting up the Christmas tree is one of the things I look forward to every year however in my house I’m never allowed put it up too early. It usually goes up a handful of days before Christmas. We’re not ones for having the most stylish Christmas trees, our decorations are a collection of things we gathered over the years so here are some of my favourites.


I’m not sure where this one came out of but I love it and it’s always the first decoration on the Christmas tree whenever I decorate it.



This is one of the more sentimental decorations we have on our tree. Christmas 2015 my aunt hosted a Christmas get together in her house and bought us all this angel decoration for our trees. The March after that my aunt sadly passed away. It’s a nice touch to add to our Christmas tree to remember her.


Mickey and Minnie

Quite a few years ago my aunt, uncle and their kids went to Disneyland Paris and brought us back a Mickey and Minnie tree decoration. They went to Disneyland in Florida this year and brought us back another Mickey and Minnie decoration!



Again this is another one I’m not too sure of it’s origins but it’s a little Santa decoration I absolutely love.


The McNamara Snow People

In one of my many trips for Christmas shopping in Galway my brother and I decided to get a little decoration made up for our tree at home. Just 4 little snow people with our names on them.

The McNamaras


Another sentimental decoration. This one belonged to my Granddad before he passed away. Christmas time was always a special time for my family and again having something that belonged to him hanging on our tree helps me to remember all the memories I have of him.

Granddads Train


Merry Grinchmas

We had Christmas Decorating wars at work this week where each section of the office was going up against each other in a battle of who could decorate their area the best. We decided to go with a Grinch/Whoville theme as it is one of the best (and my favourite) Christmas movies however, much to our disappointment we ended up loosing to a Polar Express theme, a “snow experience” ( a bucket of Styrofoam beads, which I must say was pretty cool) and a pretty nifty home made snow globe machine. Although we lost I thought I’d share some of our Grinch/Whoville decorations anyway!

Grinch and MaxGrinch ChainGrinchs LairHis Heart Grew 3 Sizes that dayPost OfficeSignpostWelcome to Whoville

Many hours were put into these creations and although unfortunately we did not win, I’m still pretty impressed by our hidden artistic talents we managed to uncover!



2017 Favourites

I love reading and watching “Favourites” posts and videos so I thought I’d do one and share some of the things I’ve loved this year.


John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Shampoo


Frizz Ease

Sleek Face Form


Anastasia Bevery Hills Dip Brow Pomade


Inglot YSM Foundation

Inglot YSM

Benefit POREfessional Primer


L’Oreal Clay Mask

Loreal Clay Mask


Girls Trip

Girls Trip


Flatliners 2017




IT 2017


Good Times – All Time Low


Everything I Need – Picture This


Glorious – Macklemore ft. Skyler Grey


Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato Tell Me You Love Me


There has been many more products tried, movies watched and songs listened to that I’ve loved but these are the highlights and most loved things of this year!









Stocking Fillers

I always loved my stocking presents, I have a thing for the nick-knacks you get in them. Our stockings were always the only presents we could open before we had our breakfast on Christmas day.

Besides the obvious tube of jelly tots, toothpaste and toothbrushes here’s some inspiration for some stocking fillers this year.

Power Bank

Power Bank
Harvey Norman €19.99

Travel Mug

Asos Travel Mug
 Asos £11.99

Mindfulness Colouring Book

Asos Mindfulness Colouring Book
Asos £4.99

Microwaveable Teddy

Cozy Cuddles Asos
Asos £12.99

Movie Night Kit

Asos Movie Night Kit
Asos £14.99

Phone Case

H&M Phone Case.jpe
H&M €19.99






2018 Goals

As I said in a previous post, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions anymore, I tend to make goals for myself for the year and try to focus on achieving them throughout the year rather than giving up on my resolutions 2 weeks in.


One of my goals this year was to take a photography class – which I did do, but I find it difficult, or else I stop myself, from going out and actually using my camera. I bought my DSLR camera 3 years ago and I’m still not sure how to use it properly. Next year I would love to somewhat master it and actually start using some of the functions on it rather than just auto!!


I guess it’s safe to say I’ve some what been bitten by the travel bug and there are so many places on my wishlist to go to but the big one for 2018 is my trip to Philadelphia and Chicago (and hopefully a day in New York, just cause) with my brother. It’ll be the first time myself and my brother go on holidays together outside of family holidays and I’m really looking forward to seeing other parts of the US.


A sun holiday this year will also be a must come the summer, I’m not 100% sure where I’d like to go yet but somewhere where I can sit, relax and enjoy many a strawberry daiquiri!

I definitely want to do some city breaks next year. There’s been a few places pretty high on the list for the last while including London, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam and I’d love to go back to Edinburgh again. Obviously all of these are not possible next year especially since I’ll be saving most of my pennies for my long awaited trip to Melbourne in 2019 but I definitely want to get one or two in before the year is out!


It’s always a goal of mine to include some charity events and the main one I always make make the time to do is the Darkness Into Light Walk for Pieta House. For the last 4 years, usually on the morning of one of my college exams myself and my mam have walked the 5km walk for Pieta House to raise money and awareness for the suicide and self harm crisis center. There’s something about this walk I find really inspiring, I’m not sure if it’s the dedication of the participants and volunteers who get up in the middle of the night to do the walk, the fact that it’s a global event to raise awareness for these issues or the feeling you get after completing it, whatever it is, it is incredible and it’s something I want to be a part of for as long as I can.

Darkness into Light

For the last 2 years mam and I have done the Cook Medical Women’s Mini Marathon, although it’s a bit tougher it’s definitely something I would like to do again this year.

Moving Out

Although I do love my home comforts and the fact that I live 10 minutes from where I work, this year I want to move out of my parents house and into somewhere in the city. This has been on the cards for a while now and I think next year it’ll be time to bite the bullet and become an actual grown up!


Speaking of being a grown up, one thing I’ve been massively struggling with lately is managing my spending and my savings, or lack there of savings. I’ve a lot of stuff coming up, including that trip to Australia, so saving and minding my money will unfortunately have to be a big priority for 2018.


One thing I’ve seriously let slide since starting college is my fitness. I was never super fit but I was always active since I was a child between playing camogie, Gaelic football, basketball and Irish dancing but after my first semester in college I gave up the last sport I played which was basketball and since then I haven’t really gotten back into exercise at all. Next year I definitely need to try and do some form of activity. I kind of want to give boxercise a try but I haven’t managed to find a gym near me that does it.


I definitely want to become more consistent with my posts next year and keeping my blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages more up to date with new content frequently. I’m already trying to plan out my January posts!


My Christmas Playlist

When I was trying to pick out my favourite songs for this post, I realised I’m a real sucker for Christmas songs, so I have quite the lengthy list for my Christmas Playlist.. but because I’m super nice, if you don’t feel like reading the entire list just skip to the end where there’s a link to my Spotify Christmas playlist!

All I want for Christmas is you – Marhia Carey

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Johnny Mathis

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

A holly jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

White Christmas – Elvis Presley

Have yourself a merry little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Andy Williams

Merry Christmas everyone – Shaken Stevens

O Holy Night – (not sure which singer I prefer this by but I love the song)

The Little Drummer boy – Johnny Cash. Also Bing Crosby & David Bowie’s version

Merry Christmas everyone – Slade

Silent Night – Elvis Presley

Step into Christmas – Elton John

This Christmas – Picture This

Happy X-Mas (War is Over) – John Lennon

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty McColl

There’s definitely so much more so I’ll probably be updating the spotify playlist as I find more of the songs I love!

Spotify Playlist:


2017: Year in Review

Well, 2017 you’ve been interesting! You were off to a pretty rocky start trying to balance final year of university with working part time and trying to cope with all the stress that that brought on.

January to May was probably the busiest, most stressful and exhausting few months I’ve ever spent in college, and I was one of the few students who was lucky enough to not have to do a final year project, I’d have gone totally bananas if I had to add that to the list!

After just about surviving the semester, the assignments & group projects, many mental breakdowns and exams university was finally over. Desperately needing a break from the craziness that life brought over the previous few months myself and my parents set off for a holiday in the sun in Fuerteventura.


June 1st came around and it was time to officially go out into the real work and start my first ever full time job. Luckily enough having worked in the company since January 2016 it wasn’t a massive change for me, I just needed to get used to getting up at 7am daily.

June also saw the beginning of a friendship with a girl I could not imagine my life without. Having met on St. Patrick’s day at a friend of a friends party myself and Vanessa were both delighted to meet the “other girl in Mark snapchats”. Vanessa and I spent most of the summer drinking and dancing the nights away but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Niamh & Vanessa

August came around quickly and so did my college graduation, probably the biggest day of my life so far. I know I said it before but I genuinely never thought I’d graduate from where I did, studying what I did and have been so proud and happy about it!


September hit and I decided I needed to start saving my pennies for my impending trip to New York so the Saturday nights out came to a halt and the countdown to New York began. I also made a trip with mam across the Irish Sea to Cambridge to meet a cousin of mine I had never met, it was really great to be able to put a face to the name.

October saw me off to New York and do I even need to tell you how much I loved it? It was everything I hoped it would be and more, so far it’s definitely my favourite place I’ve traveled to. I’m already planning my next trip back!


2017 has been a whirlwind of a year for me. I graduated university, started my first permanent job, partied my way through the summer, made some new friends, and made my first ever trip across the Atlantic. Some highs and some lows but thankfully 2017 you brought more highlights than lowlights & I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store!