Turning 40 Is Nothing To Fear.


40 is one of those birthdays that movies are made about, the ones where all the women are depressed and the men go through some strange mid life crisis. It’s the birthday that you spend drinking wine and feeling terrible that you are 40, thinking your life is now over and it’s all down hill from here, that’s if you are to believe the movies. I turned 40 on Thursday and to be honest I don’t feel any different at all, maybe a little more drive to get into gear and start doing some of the many things on my wish list but more about that in a few minutes. Turning 40 so far for me has been nothing to fear turning 35 was way worse. I found turning 35 really hard and I don’t really know why but it took me ages to get over it.

Turning 40 hasn’t had that effect at all or even anything remotely like what we see in the movies. I have been thinking for a while now about turning 40, how I think it will feel, what I think I should do now, If my life should change or if it’s all over now if I haven’t made it now I never will and I came to some conclusions.

40 is not at all scary in fact its a great number to start taking your life back a little. It’s a good solid age to start some new things, It’s a good age to start to look after yourself a little better than you have for the first 40 and it’s a good age to stop being part of the herd and to finally just be who you want to be.

So for me I plan on challenging myself each year to try some travel if it can at all be done and I know this won’t always be possibly as life will get in the way but its time to start on my travel bucket list and the first one for me is Iceland, Halloween holidays next year. So I will take this full year to save to go and that will be the first on my bucket list ticked off. The second thing I am wanting to do for my 40th year is get fairly good with my camera’s, so for me that means finishing my photography diploma, I am going to join my local camera club and for my 40th I have bought myself an Olympus Pen e-PL 8 in brown. The next thing I would like to do but this is a big ask is to be able to get myself a MacBook pro to write my blog on, edit all my eventually wonderful photos on and write each month for Life Plus magazine. The last thing I want to start for my 40th year is to get a little more active when I can.

So that’s my plans for the coming year nothing huge but a few little bits I want to do that are just for me, not for my husband, the farmer who let me tell you is totally spoiling me this weekend, not for my kids who have also spoilt me this weekend, not for my mum who I care for and not for work, the farm or the riding centre, it is all just for me and only I can make it happen.

So if you are turning 40 don’t fear it just get your ass organised, maker some plans for the year ahead and do some of the things you have always wanted to do.

40 is fabulous.

 

New Magazine Launch.


Where has the time gone? it seems like only a few weeks ago I was all excited about getting the opportunity to write a monthly piece for a new women’s magazine launching the end of September. I was being given a chance to write about something I love but don’t share that much here on the blog for some reason, slow living. Now here we are nearly three months after I submitted my first three pieces to our editor Nicola OHanlon, only three days away from its online launch.

I am still amazed and grateful to Nicola for giving little old me this chance and I am getting to work with some other pretty amazing and talented women. So a little about this new magazine, hands up who loves all the high end fashion magazines? hands up who drools over all the designer clothes? hands up who knows that one they possibly cant afford whats in the pages of the magazine and who also knows that while the latest dress on the very stunning model is amazing not one leg would even fit into it for the rest of us. Well this is the magazine for you, a magazine for all ages, sizes, backgrounds and interests. A magazine full of real life , with real inspiration and realistic goals to reach. This magazine will hopefully leave you inspired when you are finished not wishing you could win the lotto or were a size 0.

I asked Nicola during the week if there was anything she would like me to put in this post and this is what she said about our magazine ” really is meeting women where they are at, encouraging women to see themselves in a more positive light, articles written about real life topics, and having a lifestyle website that is bypassing the celebrity role model and having relateable role models instead.” . We want everyone to enjoy this, get inspiration and bring realistic goals into their own lives.

I am so excited and nervous for Friday which is launch day, I want it so badly to be a success as does everyone else. We want to inspire you all, so now I am going to ask you all to give the magazine a follow on Twitter on our Instagram and to go sign up to our website so you will get a notification the minute it launches on Friday.

There are also two hashtags to use one is the magazine tag which is #lpliving please use it on your social media so we can see what you guys all think and the hashtag for my piece each month is #lpslowlived which I will be using and I hope you will as well.

I wont be able to sleep the next two nights.

Europe’s Largest Outdoor Festival.


On Wednesday and Thursday last week myself and the farmers headed to Europe’s largest outdoor festival ! . When I think of festivals I think of summer time, loads of music, face paints, shorts and fancy wellies and very trendy famous people with farming being the last thing I would think of. Europe’s largest outdoor festival is actually all things farming, food and enterprise with a little bit of music and dancing thrown in but no muddy fields full of tents. The National ploughing Championships this year were on Tues, Wed and Thurs the 19th to 21st of September and was held in Screggan in Co Offaly.  The ploughing is a yearly event that over the three days attract over 200,000 people, they come from far and near to see millions of euro worth of machinery, livestock and food. This day out is planned from one year to the other in a lot of houses and we haven’t missed it in years. This is an event for not just the farming community but for everyone as there is just so much to see and do and even though the weather this year on the Wednesday was crap we still wouldn’t have missed it, after all isn’t that what rain gear is for ?

This year was also a little special as the eldest farmer ( on the right) received his award from Dairymaster on the Wednesday and was presented it to him by the Minister for Agriculture, Micheal Creed. The two lads worked hard ( partied hard )on their thesis and it payed off in the end, they both started college together and received their awards together as well.

There were lots of cute animals to see and also a pink Valtra tractor for breast cancer, I couldn’t convince the farmers that we really needed this tractor.

For the last couple of years I have curated the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account on the Wednesday of the ploughing, taking photos and some videos during the day to share with the over 12k followers the account has, this year I got to curate for two days, the Wed and Thurs and it was made extra special as on the Wednesday it and myself were number 1 in the top 5 journalists to follow for the plouging which I was delighted with as its a great account giving people a inside view of real life on a farm. Here is the link below.

We put together a list of the top 5 journalists tweeting from #ploughing17. https://t.co/MLUMACCPCH

So that’s the ploughing over for another year and we are all looking forward to next year already, Roll on September 2018.

 

Our Summer Adventures: Week 1 and 2.


Sorry there was no post yesterday but I want to share with you some of our adventures we are having this summer so I will be posting on a Tuesday now instead of a Monday. For the summer Mondays are mine, the farmer and Sids day off so we are trying to head away from  the yard for that day. So last week it was the farmer who decided where we went and we headed to the beautiful city of Kilkenny. This is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. We parked in the car park beside the river which wasn’t expensive, we were parked most of the day. We headed to the shopping centre first and then back down the town to get some lunch. Now being coeliac getting food out when we are away is always a little nerve wracking because you want to get good food and also not limit the farmers as to where they can eat so we tried Langtons, they had a huge choice for us all and there was no problem with me getting gluten free. After lunch we headed to see the castle which just like something out of a fairy tale. You can go on a tour of the castle but we didn’t we just enjoyed the grounds which has a playground, acres of grass to play on and a beautiful rose garden.

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We then headed back to look at the rest of the shops along the streets of Kilkenny and stopped into a little cafe just across from Kytelers Inn for the best scones and tea I have tasted in ages they even have gluten free. We spent the whole day in Kilkenny and enjoyed every minute of it, its a beautiful place and Sid didn’t get bored once.

So yesterday it was my choice and I brought the farmer and Sid to the Irish national stud and Japanese gardens in Kildare. There is free parking at the stud, there are picnic tables in the car park if you didn’t want to buy food when you were there. It cost 29euro for the three of us to entry the stud which isn’t expensive when you see the size and the up keep of the place. We went to see the gardens first and they are so pretty with a stone track to follow and a map to explain each stop on the way.

Sid loved exploring the gardens and looking into all the little tunnels and caves. When we were finished in the garden we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. It was 33euro for the three of us for our lunch and there are lots of gluten free options on the menu.

We ate our lunch out on the terrace and this was our view along with a swan and her baby.

 

After lunch we headed to the best bit or for me anyway, the stud farm. This place is just a horse lovers dream but it is equally beautiful for anyone. On the stud you get to look around all the stable yards, the stallions have air conditioning in their stables!. You get to meet some mares and their foals, see some of the top stallions they have and meet some legends of racing like Hardy Eustace, who we got to rub he is really friendly.

We got to visit the racing museum, see a video of a foal being born in the stud and learn a little about the man who started the stud back in 1900, Colonel William Hall Walker and how he believed the stars sealed the faith of each foal born and that every horse should be able to see the stars from their stable.

There is a playground near the mares and foals and also a fair door trail right around the stud for the kids to follow. Each fairy they find has an important job on the stud and each child gets a map for them to follow. Sid loved this but he did want to take home this foal, she was such a friendly little thing looking for rubs from everyone who went past. This is a great day out for all the family even if you have no interest in horses and its fully accessible to buggies or wheelchairs.

So there are our first two summer adventures, where have you been this summer on your adventures ? would love to hear all about them.

What I Learned This Week.


  • It’s a dogs life ! This is my shadow who follows me everywhere she can and most mornings sneaks upstairs for a snuggle.
  • That the old ways are still the best sometimes, like leaving Sids porridge out on the window sill to cool down because he is STARVING as he is always telling me.
  • That its good to meet up with family and friends you haven’t seen in years and just catch up.
  • That if you get an invite to one wedding in a year you will get an invite to ten.
  • That its just too warm at the moment for porridge for me.
  • That when the farmers are spreading slurry I need a room that they can leave all their clothes and boots in and get a wash before they come into the house !. The slight smell of slurry in the house is not pleasant.
  • That this years potatoes haven’t reached that burst open dryness yet and they are still really expensive.
  • That you can be a tourist and have a lovely day away less than two hours from home if you set your mind to it.
  • That my gluten free cornflakes has so much more added sugar than just normal cornflakes, which I don’t understand.
  • That the best cup of tea I have had in a cafe in ages and the best gluten free scone I have ever had I got in a little cafe in Kilkenny just across the street from Kytelers Inn in the city. The scone beat the ones I get in Avoca hands down! and the farmer said their normal scones were amazing and only 4.95 for tea/coffee and a scone.

 

So there is what I have learned this week, how has your week been? 

My Perfect Childhood Summers.


My summer childhood memories are some of the best I have of my whole childhood the only thing that might beat them is the horses. My summers started about May when I started to pray the last few days of school away and head to my Grandparents house for the summer, the whole summer, I very seldom ever went home and at the end of the summer I never wanted to go home but that’s another story. The excitement of the last day of school, knowing that possibly that evening or at the latest the next morning I was heading to Courtown for at least two months.

The time was spend swimming everyday twice a day no matter what the weather, playing for hours on the beach with the constant stream of cousins that also came to visit. We spend it getting ready for the kids/teenage disco that was on every week, spending all our money on sweets and bars of Chocolate, having adventures, having many summer crushes and just being kids and teenagers. There was no technology to distract us from our own imaginations, the freedom to come and go as we pleased even with no phones to keep track of us. We went outside in the mornings, managed to be home on time for lunch and dinner, no one ever got lost or into trouble. We were free to be kids, free to explore and free to make friends.

This weekend got me thinking about my summers after I meet some of the many kids/teenagers we spent our summers with for the first time in 25yrs. It got me thinking about my own kids summers, how 25yrs can go by in a flash and how times have changed now for kids.

We used to just sit and talk for hours, kids wouldn’t be able to do that now. We were happy if our Gran gave us enough money to go to the shop in the local caravan park so we could get a bar of chocolate, Mars bars were my weakness. We were happy with swimming everyday and getting the Tv only in the afternoons or evenings. Kids now, even my own kids couldn’t cope with a summer like that they would be bored and have withdrawl symptoms from all the technology they need now. Where has kids getting bored and having to find ways to keep themselves happy gone? My Grandad used to have a saying that drove me mad every time he said it ” only boring people get bored ” , this is what you would hear if anyone said they were bored and now I am older I see he was right. Kids are missing out now on summers like we had, a chance to make amazing memories, a chance to be bored and having to make your own fun so you aren’t bored and the chance to really take in the world around them. I worry that when our kids get to my age they won’t be able to cope with a time when they might not have all the distractions they have now.

I am 39yrs old now and every summer I miss my childhood summers, there are times I wish I was 14 again and for just one day could go back to that time of freedom and fun. A time when the biggest problem we had was if it was a wet day and everyday was an adventure. I haven’t been back to see our old beach or where we used to hangout in years but I will have to take a trip soon and maybe bring Sid minus any technology,let him have a fun day on the beach just me, him and his imagination maybe we would even get a Mars bar at the end.

What were your summers like? what do you miss the most about them ?