Giving in.

I don’t want to admit it to myself, let alone blog it, but I am giving in and will be embracing Christmas early this year.
Nine days ago I started a new job. Something that I am very thankful for because out of the last two years, I’ve only been employed for eight months of that time. For those of you who aren’t Irish, or aware of the current state of Ireland: it is a pooh hole. And there are no jobs. I know absolutely nothing about politics or how to run a country, but even I can see gaping holes in the governments plans and am appalled at what has unraveled over the past week. Basically, Ireland is bankrupt. Outside of my own little world involving design and family and friends, there’s not much to look forward to. You have to put your blinders on, otherwise it would become too much. I am blissfully ignoring it since I can’t do much about it at the moment.
My new job is involved in design, for which I am very thankful for – department store or not. There is also a large Christmas department. I’m amazed at people who come in and are buying Christmas trees already. Everyone who I speak with are getting ready for Christmas for the same reason I am delaying it: because it’s a special time of year with a wonderful feeling. People are decorating because they need something to look forward to. Since my new job, I have had zero time for myself. I’ve done no college work, and my kitchen is a disgrace due to neglect. I also next to never see my boyfriend since I’m in work all the time, and he’s in college for the remaining time.
For these reasons, I am gleefully embracing Christmas next Saturday. Mulled wine, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and sleigh bells. I cannot wait. To me, Christmas is a feeling. It’s something I feel in my chest, like a warm light, and once it’s switched on, there’s no turning back. Since I grew up in Canada, Christmas is what you see on those beautiful winter seasonal cards. I haven’t had a proper Christmas in 7 years {I can’t believe it’s been that long}, but the feeling is still there, welling up in my chest every year. And it’s about to start next weekend.

Anchors aweigh – Part 2

I thought to share a little picture of my tattoo design. I like old tattoos. And I like pirates {’cause they’re awesome}, and just to balance it out I put a hydrangea in the mix.

You know when you’ve been trying to figure something out for a long time, and the moment you know it’s right, it clicks? And everything falls into place? Once I added the hydrangea I knew that was it. I don’t have all the shading done yet, but it’s healing nicely.
I ordered a handheld black light, and it should be here in a couple of weeks {all the way from NZ}.


Pumpkin and bacon soup

Since college is sucking my will to live at the moment, the meals I manage to make are usually ones you can completely ignore until you remember you were making dinner 30 minutes previously.
When I was wandering around eason’s the other day, I came across a cute little soup book: 1 Stock, 50 Soups. It had a particularly yummy sounding recipe for bacon and pumpkin soup. I had pumpkin, and I had bacon. This is a simple recipe for soup. I made it quite lazily and just shoved everything into the pot and left it, but if you have more time, I recommend you cook it as directed. If you’d like to see the recipe for this hearty and comforting autumnal soup, just click below to have a nose around. Enjoy!

2tsp olive oil
2 onions {I used just one}
600g canned pumpkin {I used 3 cups of pumpkin puree}
200g smoked bacon, diced
pinch of grated nutmeg
1.2 litres basic stock
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the pumpkin, bacon and nutmeg, stir well, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes. Pour in the stick, increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While that is cooking, make the bacon croutons. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and fry for 4-6 minutes on each side, until crisp and it has released all its fat. Meanwhile, cut the bread into 1inch squares. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Add the bread squares and cook, turning and tossing until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Transfer soup to a food processor {or use hand blender} and blend until smooth. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with the croutons, crumble the bacon over and serve immediately.

NOTE: I did the first step all in one go. Shoved everything into the pot and left it. The soup turned out gorgeous. Yum, yum.

Click here for a handy cooking calculator, should you prefer to measure in cups, mls, oz etc.