Tag Archives: Aran life

Celebrate the Seashore

Is it any wonder why so many of us flock to the seashore to exercise, socialize, relax, forage, and get creative? We are kindred spirits, sharing the allure of the seashore, feeling it’s magnetic pull, and knowing it’s something well worth honouring in celebration. It’s our happy place!

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It’s a Good Day to Have a Good Day

Every day won’t be the best ever, but there’s a best part to each and every day.  It may not be what you hope or expect.  In fact, better on these less than best (hard) days to stop expecting and instead wait with optimistic anticipation for the completely unexpected joys that appear out of seemingly nowhere from unlikely people, places, and things.

If there’s something ostensibly big keeping you from your joy, focus your attention on something small.  There are little miracles everywhere in nature just waiting to distract us from our thoughts of ourselves and our worries…

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Family Day at The Black Fort

Less promoted than the islands main attraction Dun Aengus Fort, the Black Fort offers as much and more.  It’s less visited and one can easily wander off in any direction that catches their whimsy rather than having to stay on a single path until reaching the destination.  So wander we did and an incredible day of fun hiking and exploring is what we had. Continue reading

Working Together Separately

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Many days Johnny and I can be found toiling about our garden, working together separately.  With bent over backs, we handle the earth, only speaking when necessary.  Perhaps because we rarely have silence in our full house.  Or because in the openness of the land, sound travels so easily.  With the constant island breeze, the birds might carry our intimate, personal conversation to the ears of neighbours and passing strangers.  Better to not risk it.  After all, if we can hear them, chances are they can hear us.  Although both of these reasons are sound, our silence is more likely because working with our hands is meditative, especially when working in nature.  It has evolved from the aforementioned reasons of appreciation and prudence to the contemplative cognizance of the task being carried out. The work is not just a means to an end; we are wholly aware that this is where we’re meant to be and what we’re meant to do.  So with this week’s mild temperatures and the sun hanging low and shining brightly, we headed to the beach to collect seaweed to fertilize the garden.   Continue reading

Pride of Place


A wonderful place for children

It is often said how fortunate an upbringing the children of the island have and I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.  I grew up in a small community, but there is something about island living that makes it much more unique an experience than that of my own. Continue reading

Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses


Summer homes are filled with the familiar faces of islanders who, often following work opportunities, have moved their primary residence to the mainland.  Many are here with their families, an annual ritual organized around the various children’s camps offered, while others are here for family festivities that are planned around the fishermen’s schedules.  Dozens more come just because they still, and always will, consider the island their home, where their youth was spent and their heart still is. Continue reading

Garden To Table: How To Make Orzo Salad With Aran Island’s Goat Cheese & Ground Dillisk Seaweed


Quick and easy, filling and nutritious.  Loved by both children and grown-ups.  Such a great recipe I couldn’t help but share it, after all, this recipe is asked for everywhere I bring it.

It is made extra special with the addition of goat’s cheese and ground seaweed made by local artisans right here on my lovely little island of Inis Mor.  Anytime possible, I encourage everyone to use in-season, local produce.

Support your local artisans!!

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  • 325 g orzoorzo collage
  • 100 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil or 50 g dehydrated
  • 100 g sunflower and pumpkin seed mix
  • 1 ts olive oil, plus 2 Tb olive oil, plus 1 ts olive oil
  • 25 g garlic
  • 125 g spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
  • 1 1/2 ts dried oregano or 4 1/2 ts fresh oregano
  • 150 g cooked fresh garbanzo beans or a 400 g can, drained and rinsed
  • 200 g Aran Islands Goat Feta Cheese
  • 15 g capers
  • 1 ts dried dillisk

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How Well Do You Know Your Sewing Machine?–Beginner Sewing Worksheet 1

As I prepare to post Beginner Sewing Project 3, I realize there is something else that I incorporate with my classes–info worksheets.  Understanding sewing machines, tools, and terminology is important to become an independent sewist.  This first worksheet explains the very basics of motorized machines (electronic machines vary and manuals should be consulted). Continue reading

Garden To Table: How To Make Fermented Salad Dressings

Homemade salad dressing is really easy to make and so much better for your health and wallet.   Here are my two go to recipes, one is a vinaigrette using kombucha or apple cider vinegar and the other is a creamy style using kefir or yogurt.  Really good stuff.

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