Thursday, May 31, 2012

Irish Inspiration - Pinterest Style

Seeing that I'm currently in Ireland I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite pins on Pinterest.  I really like Pinterest and wish Apple would make a good app for the iPad similar to the one for the iPhone!  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

World MS Day 2012

Today is World MS Day

World MS Day (WMSD) is the only global awareness raising campaign for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Every year, the MS movement comes together to provide the public with information about MS and how it affects the lives of more than two million people around the world.

WMSD was launched in 2009 with over 200 events in 67 countries and has continued to grow every year. Last year saw activities taking place in more than 73 countries worldwide!

I'll be celebrating in Ireland by drinking a pint!  Cheers MS!  

I started this blog in April 2010 with the intent to blog about my journey with MS.  While I have done that my blog has grown to be about so much more than just MS.  That makes me so happyIt shows that just because I have MS doesn't mean that my life stops.  I am living every day to the fullest.  

Hopefully others with MS, especially those newly diagnosed, will find my blog and be inspired that life doesn't have to end when diagnosed with MS.  MS is just a part of me.  It doesn't define me.

If you've never read my diagnosis story go here to do that.    

For more info about MS go here

In September I'll be walking 50 miles in 3 days for MS.  Please donate if you can! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flashback. . . Ireland 2010 (part 2)

Thursday - we took a day trip to Kenmare.  It is a cute little town with colorful houses and window boxes filled with flowers.  We decided to do another tour so that we could see the Beara Peninsula.  It was very different from the Ring of Kerry and Dingle (the other 2 peninsulas) and pretty in its own way.                                       

The tour guide drove us up Healey Pass which is a very curvy and windy road.  You literally had to come to a complete stop if a car was coming for the other side.  Sometimes we had to stop for sheep too!  After the driving part of the tour we went on a boat cruise in the Lakes of Killarney.

After our tour we returned to Killarney for dinner and drinks!  Of course!

Friday - Allan, Cathy and Gail golfed 9 holes in Killarney while Katelyn and I did the Ring of Kerry tour.  We went on a small bus with a group of other tourists.  This was the least sunniest days of our trip but it didn't rain so we weren't complaining!

First stop we got to see a sheep herding demonstration.  I though it was really cool.  The border collie's are SO smart.  They listen to every command and seem so happy doing there job.  I never knew sheep could run so fast but boy can they!

We stopped in a little town for lunch.  Katelyn and I decided to stray away from the group and walked around.  We found this pub, and knew it was the perfect place to eat lunch.  While we were in there our distant cousin (haha) made friends with us.  He was so drunk!  He told us he worked 2 days a week doing landscaping.  We assumed he spends the other 5 days hanging in the pub.  He talked our ears off for a while and half of what he was saying we couldn't understand due to his accent and the slurring of words!  Luckily when our food came he left us alone!

The views of the Ring of Kerry were nice but I always feeling silly posing for pics alone!

After the tour we met the others back at our cottage in Killarney.  That night we went to a martini bar that I really like (we had been there the last time).

Well little did we know that they would be having a huge "Sex in the City 2" party.  All the girls were really dressed up and drinking fancy drinks.  We sat in another room that was pretty quiet and I enjoyed my own pretty drink!

Saturday - we got up and packed our stuff and started our drive to Dublin.  On the way we made a lunch stop in Kilkenny.

It is a medieval town.  It was really pretty and very busy!  It is also the home of Smithwicks but the brewery.

That afternoon we made it to Dublin and we headed out to a few of our favorite bars/pubs for drinks.  First stop was at "The Bank."  It is a really cool bar inside an old bank.  After that we went to dinner at a restaurant that Gail's cousin recommended.  It was pretty trendy!

The food was great.  Oh and it seemed like we were a little under dressed as all the girls there were decked out!  It didn't stop us from enjoying more drinks!

From there we went to a pub called Beau's.  Allan had read about it and really wanted to go.  They are known for all of the whiskey they carry.  Allan was happy.  It was actually a cute little put and only a block from our hotel!

After this pub we called it a night.  We knew we needed to save some energy for our big day on Sunday!


Sunday - the highpoint for today was to go to Brazen Head for the Irish session.  They really have the best live music.  We knew from experience that we would need to get there early to get a table.  So Katelyn and Cathy headed out to Guinness and Jameson (since Katelyn had never been) and Allan and I headed out to kill time.  We stopped off at the Jameson gift shop and then we were off to the brand new Leprechaun Museum.  It was a little cheesy but good to see something new and different after being to Dublin several times before!

Allan and I were the first people to arrive at Brazen Head for the music.  We picked out a great table (right next to where the guy who plays the spoons sits) and we killed time for about 2 hours!  Luckily a few drinks helped pass the time.  The music was great as usual and after the session we got to talk to the guy who plays the spoons.  He was really cool.

Monday - time to go home.  I didn't want to leave to head back to reality but at the same time I was exhausted from all the eating, drinking and sightseeing!  We had an awesome trip!

And since this blog is mainly about my life with MS I wanted to let you all know that my MS was well behaved on this vacation.  When you live with MS you never know when symptoms are going to pop up and ruin your day.  I was feeling great most of the week with very little fatigue which I was thrilled about!  I slept well too which for me is a huge thing.  By the end of the trip my body was exhausted but I think that is too be expected considering how much we did.  So glad I could enjoy an amazing vacation without complications from my MS!!!

Of course there is a lot more about my trip that I didn't write about.  I took over 200 pictures and didn't think I should post them all!  I hope you enjoy this recap and if you ever go to Ireland I'd be happy to tell you more.  I've now been 4 times!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Flashback. . . Ireland 2010 (part 1)

From May 21, 2010 to May 31, 2010 I was on vacation in Ireland with my brother, Allan, my aunt Cathy, my cousin, Katelyn and a family friend, Gail.  We had an amazing time with wonderful weather, especially for Ireland.  Here is a recap of our 10 days.

- we landed in Shannon around 6 AM local time which was really 1 AM Boston time.  Since none of us really slept on the plane we were all pretty tired.  We got our rental cars and drove to Killarney.

This is our cottage (well actually it is Allan and Cathy's).  Once we got settled we took naps.  That night we went down to the center of town and had dinner and our first of many pints!

- we took a day trip to one of my favorite places in Ireland, Dingle.  The drive to Dingle is so beautiful!

We all wanted to see Slea Head but none of us wanted to drive it.  So we called a local tour company and had John take us around on a private tour in his van.

He took us along the coast and stopped at the most beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.  The ongoing joke of the day was "next city Boston" because Dingle in the western most point of Ireland.  Not only were the views amazing but it was 70 degrees and sunny which is such a treat.

John quickly learned about my obsession with sheep and cows so he made sure to get me up close to them.  I swear this mama and her babies posed for me to take their picture!  What a great view they have!

During conversation with John he mentioned that he had a farm.  I of course asked him if he had sheep and cows and he said he had cows and calves.  Well you can imagine how excited I was when he offered to take us to is farm to see them!  So off we went and boy did I get up close and personal with the calves.

These four were only two weeks old and they were so cute.  You can tell that one in particular was pretty friendly!  Oh and while I was hanging out with the cows Cathy and Gail were trying to marry me off to John's brother, the farmer.  Poor kid didn't know what to do with those two and their crazy ways!  I don't think he has ever been outside of Dingle.

All good days end with food and drinks of course!  We ate at a pub in Dingle and enjoyed some pints.

So glad we fell upon a tour guide who had cows!  If you ever go to Ireland let me know and I will give you John's info.  He was an excellent tour guide!

Monday - the rest of the crew planned to golf 9 holes that day at the Gap of Dunloe.  I didn't really want to go anywhere by myself so I decided to go along for the ride.  I was going to sit and read my book but I was allowed to walk the holes with them so I did.  I became the official photographer and sunbather!  And of course after golfing it was more eating and drinking!

Tuesday - we all took a day trip to Kinsale which is a pretty harbor town similar to Newport.  We walked around for an hour looking for a restaurant called "Fishy, Fishy" which Allan had read about in his book.  Well I wasn't too interested in eating there since I don't like fish but even less interested when it was taking us an hour to find it.  We ended up going to their other restaurant "Fishy, Fishy, Chippy" which is a more casual version and thankfully they had chicken!  While in Kinsale I got to try Berry Bulmers for the first time.  I liked it but Pear Bulmers is still my favorite!

Wednesday -
Allan, Cathy and Gail went to play 18 holes of golf while Katelyn and I went horseback riding on the beach in Rossbeigh.  Since it is still "off season" we were the only 2 people there.  My horse was Tom and Katelyn's was Paddy.  Paddy did not like to keep up with us and often had to trot to catch up!  Katelyn sure had a bumpy ride!

I've always wanted to go horseback riding on the beach.  It was pretty fun!  After horseback riding once the horses were back in the stable let's just say Paddy got a little "excited."  Me being oh so mature had to take a picture but I won't post it here (trying to keep my blog PG haha!)  Let's just say Katelyn and I learned where the expression "hung like a horse" came from!

Ireland Vacation Recap. . .

to be continued. . .

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tiny Dancers

Tomorrow is Peyton and Ella's dance recital.  They will be dancing in these costumes to "Put On A Happy Face."  Sadly I'll be missing it again this year (last year I was on vacation in England) but I'm sure there will be many more years for me to attend!  Good luck girls!  I'll be thinking of you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flashback. . . The Public Gardens With Peyton 2010

On Monday when I was writing this post about taking Ella to The Public Gardens for the first time it made me flashback to when I had taken Peyton for her first time.  I looked for the post on my blog and much to my surprise discovered I had never blogged about it!  The horror!  In my defense we went just weeks after I had started my blog and I wasn't completely into it yet. . .

So I decided I would do a flashback post and share with you the 100s of pictures of Peyton when we went in April 2010.  She was just shy of 2 1/2 at the time so younger than when I took Ella. . . needless to say she loved it!

It makes me smile to look at these pictures again and see how little Peyton was!  She was (and still is) such a cutie!!

Peyton took her turn at sitting on just like Ella did (and probably like all kids do when they go there)!  

Checking out the ducks and The Swan Boats before we go for a ride!

 Peyton's first ride on The Swan Boats! 

Different "clown" but a flower just like Ella picked.  And of course we had slush!  It made me laugh when I looked back on these pictures and saw how similar they were to the ones with Ella.  I love "traditions" and that some things like The Public Gardens never change. . .

The trip would not be complete with going on the merry-go-round at the Boston Common.  Kids LOVE these things!  I must admit I like them too!  

I love this!  Pretty much the same picture of each of them during the first ride on The Swan Boats!  Too cute!!  I look forward to taking Peyton and Ella there for many more years!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm loving that I leave for Ireland TODAY!  I'll be on an "overnight" flight to Dublin in several hours and I'm so excited for a vacation!  No work until June 4th!  Woo hoo!!  (No live blogging while on vacation but several scheduled posts so be sure to check those out.  Plenty of Ireland recap posts when I return)!
I'm loving that American Idol change the nights it was on this week so at least I got to see part 1 of the finale.  I really hope Phillip wins.  I think both of the finalists are very talented but I think he would make a better Idol.  I won't get to watch since I'll be on an airplane but I'm sure it won't take long for the news of the winner to make it to Ireland!

I'm loving that there is a new music show starting tomorrow night. . . Duets is right up my alley.  I already love The Voice, Idol and of course The Sing Off (which I hear isn't come back and this makes me very sad) so let's add Duets to the mix too.  I think this show has potential to be very good!  My DVR will be recording it so I can watch when I return.

I'm loving that my cousin Katelyn is hosting an awesome giveaway for a Stella and Dot necklace.  All you have to do is like her Facebook fan page to enter and the winner can choose one of these:

I'm loving these mini peanut butter cups.  Why oh why did I ever buy a bag?  And then why did I buy another bag and pack it in my Ireland carry on?  These will be trouble but they are oh so delicious!!!

Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giveaway: Stella and Dot Necklace

I LOVE Stella and Dot jewelry don't you?  I have a chance for you to WIN a free Stella and Dot necklace and you even get to choice. . .

 Beautiful right!?

My lovely cousin, Katelyn, is a Stella and Dot Stylist and is hosting this giveaway.  Read her message for more details. . .

Hi my name is Katelyn and I am a Stella and Dot Stylist.  Have you heard of Stella and Dot
Stella and Dot is a social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women. Our boutique-style jewelry and accessories line is available exclusively through in-home trunk shows or online!
To learn more about Stella & Dot or check out the fabulous jewelry, please visit my website here

I am giving away a necklace to one lucky winner!  The winner will chose between two great everyday pieces:  Glint Flower CZ Necklace or Threaded Turquoise Necklace.

Here is how to enter:

For a  chance to win, become a fan of my Facebook page: Stella and Dot by Katelyn, Independent Stylist.  The winner will be chosen on Monday May 28 at 8pm and will be posted on the Facebook fan page.

Thanks Katelyn!  I wish I was eligible to participate!! :)  This is a great deal my friends so I really hope you'll enter.  If you do leave me a comment and let me know.  I'll be in Ireland when the winner is chosen so the info will not be on my blog.  You will have to check Katelyn's Facebook page to see if it is you.  Good luck!