Panting around the convention center

across the convention center

After three long years, I found myself (again) running around the convention center

I can’t believe it is 2017 already! And with the arrival of this year, there are a couple of personal improvements I wish to do for myself. I don’t want to tag it as New Year’s resolution per se – I tend to break those. But I’ll just try my best to keep doing it!

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Making the most of the sunny Dublin weekend!

Samuel Beckett bridge

So, it’s sunny Dublin this weekend – what to do?

After a tremendous battering of wind and rain over the past two days, the weather this weekend was superb! Especially if we are to consider that it is still technically winter – to be treated to a very sunny day is something no person should miss. Even if it was so cold and chilly, it was a great chance to go out after being mostly indoors for the past months.

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Black Friday Weekend in Dublin

Coffee Angel

Some personal time-off during the Black Friday weekend in Dublin..

Last weekend was one of the days when I get to have a little bit more time for myself. I booked an appointment to go to a hair salon (Toni and Guy) at Clarendon Street to get a haircut and highlights done. I still did the groceries in the morning but made sure to go through the aisles I need to be and don’t spend a lot more time checking out the specials.
After the groceries, I went home quickly to grab some lunch and placed the groceries where it should be. And because my son wasn’t home (went to a play area with my husband), I finished everything quickly, too. I even had spare time to watch TV and prepare the vegetables to cook later in the evening!

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Winter activity for toddlers: Rugbytots!

Rugbytots

Have you heard of Rugbytots?

Since relocating to Dublin, I’ve realized my son’s childhood will not be the same as mine. For one, as parents, it is an additional task for us to find a way so he mingles with other kids. It is not the same as simply “dropping by the neighbors” or visiting aunts/uncles to meet up with cousins.
He is not enrolled in a daycare as well. We have a nanny coming in to take care of him while I work during the day. So if you think about it, he is only interacting with kids his age if he bumps into them while outdoors during summer.

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Gallery viewing at the CHQ Building

CHQ Building

This is what happens when you bring a toddler inside the CHQ Building

One of the things I “learned” after relocating to Dublin in 2012 is to make the most of every opportunity to go outdoors. Not really for myself but for my rapidly growing toddler. I think of myself as mostly an introvert anyway. So in most days, I am happy spending the day indoors. However, I notice the more my son grows, the more he “craves” for outdoor activities or the chance to play outside.
It wouldn’t have been an issue if the weather is ALWAYS nice. But now that autumn is here, it is a little bit more tricky to strike the right balance to let him enjoy outdoors and prevent him from getting sick at the same time. I do allow him to have a quick walk outdoors so long as it’s not raining or too windy – to catch some fresh air!
Before 2016 ends, I have to use a couple of annual leave days before 2017 arrives. So I planned to take a day leave starting October until December to use the days sporadically. And on those days, I’ll get the chance to enjoy (really?!) some time with my son, too!
On the first day I took the time off, it was surprisingly sunny. Not warm, though. But at least, there was no hint of gray clouds around. So I took my son for a quick walk outdoors. I thought it was a good chance to have a change of scenery for myself as I’ve been working from home, too.
On that day, I decided to take him to CHQ – same venue as the recently concluded Oktoberfest. I ditched the Luas and walked to get there to enjoy some breath of fresh air. I think my son also liked the scenery as he was so excited pointing at cars on our way there.
When we got there, I let him run a bit outside the CHQ Terrace. We arrived at the area around 2 PM. Unexpectedly, it was STILL slightly busy. There were some heading to grab a quick lunch while others on their way back to work.
After a few more minutes, I decided to take him inside the CHQ building – it was a little bit cold. At that moment, the dining area was still slightly filled with people. I’d probably consider going here at a later time to make sure most have finished their lunches and on their way back to work.
After we got inside, my son hurried to a small art gallery exhibit located at the back of the CHQ building. I didn’t have the time to check which exhibit it was for – I was too preoccupied running after the little fella! Luckily, there was nobody around when he stormed inside – we had the entire room for ourselves!

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We didn’t spend much time inside but it was a good chance for me to catch my breath. I think my son liked the photos on display, too. He was too busy checking everything out!

AirBnb Personal Experience: Our Galway accommodation

Galway

So, this is what we experienced in our AirBnb accommodation in Galway

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and from my personal experience with the AirBnb accommodation/owner. I will also not indicate the name of the owner, even if I knew her first name.

On our long weekend trip to Galway, we used AirBnb for our accommodation. I think it was literally a week before the trip that we decided to finally proceed. And if we were to consider booking a hotel for that trip, we can bet that the price would be quite steep, especially as we have to book separate rooms to accommodate us and my friend.
For that trip, we booked a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom/toilet penthouse apartment. There was another 2-bedroom apartment located at the city center we considered that has Wi-Fi but only had one bathroom. We thought that even if we had to pay more in this penthouse apartment and without Wi-Fi, at least we have the convenience of having two bathrooms. Continue reading “AirBnb Personal Experience: Our Galway accommodation” »

Autumn is here!

Grand Canal Dock

Our autumn view from Grand Canal Dock

In most of my posts – whether through this blog or through ExpatPost, I always seem to complain about the Irish weather. Well, it is HARD not to – especially if the weather is too unpredictable and wet. And with the cold autumn winds finally here, you may think that I detest it here even more.
Not entirely. Apart from the fact I love autumn/winter fashion (so long as it won’t take ages to dress up my little one to go out) or the winds not too strong as if to blow me away – I love seeing the seemingly painted canvass of the horizon. Continue reading “Autumn is here!” »

The bane of my existence: Irish Tourist Visa

Irish Visa

Things you need to know about the Irish Tourist Visa

One of the things I never liked about my current Passport is that it interferes badly with international traveling. To start, most international trips should be planned months ahead. Apart from the finances, traveling logistics often include Visa application. And sadly, it seems that my Passport needs a Visa everywhere. Ok, I am exaggerating. But you do get my point, right?
It may sound easy to apply for a Visa. In most cases, it is. Just troublesome. But in certain cases, the experience is similar to a nail-biting thriller that will leave you hanging in your seat!
Ireland seems like a popular travel destination these days – evident from their evolving food scene. Continue reading “The bane of my existence: Irish Tourist Visa” »

Spending the weekend at Dublin city center

Dublin city center GPO

Last weekend at Dublin City Center..

Last weekend, we missed the Luas to go to Dublin city center. And because the sun was shining brightly, we decided to go for a walk. Before my son was born, my husband and I rarely use the Luas – especially during the spring/summer season. And since my son is no longer a baby and the weather still warm, we decided to use our feet to go to the city center.
It was great. We used the time walking to chat and appreciate the refreshing breeze outdoors. Apart from that, we also noticed that preparation for the Oktoberfest is now ongoing. Booths and food stalls (I failed to take a photo of, too busy chatting with my husband, 😆 ) are already setup. In case you are interested to know more about Dublin’s Oktoberfest celebrations, watch out for my article on ExpatPost tomorrow (16 September 2016) about it!
We went to mass at the St Mary’s Pro Cathedral located at Dublin city center. As usual, my husband and son stayed inside for the first half of the celebration. We were lucky we were seated beside the candles for prayer offering – allowing my son to keep still longer than usual. But that didn’t prevent him from running around the Church ( 😐 ). So eventually, my husband took him out and I was left inside to finish the mass.
After the mass, we have to wait a couple of minutes till the shops open at 11 AM. We decided to drop by a local Starbucks shop to wait and grab a bite, too. On our way to Starbucks, I had to appreciate the fantastic weather outdoors and snapped a couple of photos of some attractions at Dublin city center! Continue reading “Spending the weekend at Dublin city center” »

Random thoughts: The result of change

Dublin alley

Last Saturday was totally crappy. It was raining so hard – I had to drag myself out of bed so I can go on with my errands for the day. Saturday is “grocery shopping day” and unfortunately, it is also a day when most of our important commodities run out. There are days when I move grocery day to Sunday but then, we already made plans – I don’t want to delay it. Not to mention that if I missed grocery day on Saturday, it also meant that cooking our meals for the week will also get delayed. Oh well, adult life. Parenting life. No matter what you call it. When the weather is crappy, it is only called crappy day!
Since Saturday weather forced us to stay indoors, Sunday was the only day left for a family day. My husband and I both work. And I am blessed to be able to work from home. But even if I technically stay at home to see my son the entire day, it is not the same as spending time with him. Continue reading “Random thoughts: The result of change” »