2017 End-of-Year Photo DUMP

What joy it brings to look back on a year in (iPhone) photos. This clump of a zillion photos is basically just for me, to look back on the truly awesome and unforgettable, from Cairo and the great Pyramids on New Year's Day 2017 to spending Christmas in Scottsdale with my family before ringing in 2018. It makes it look like nothing bad, sad, or challenging happened the entire year, which of course, is complete hogwash (but wouldn't that be wonderful). I think this is going to be a big year of change. Taking one, two, three deep breaths...

Past years: 201120122013201420152016

Dublin's Coffee Boom

In Dublin, most conversations turned to coffee. I don't know how it happened. I love coffee (though I didn't used to) and didn't mind these chats.

So my media mind raced: it's a TREND.

Coffee is a THING now in Dublin. This could be a story, or part of the larger food story I was writing!

But, as I came to find out, unlike some trends that are...ahem...made up in the media, coffee culture really is booming here.

There are premium coffee shops popping up and Dublin has the "potential to be the next Melbourne!" when it comes to coffee, as one barista told me.

I wrote about Roasted Brown here and thought 3FE was super cool but I wanted to give a shout out to another one of the coffee shops and cafes I loved: Brother Hubbard. In fact, they work with the 3FE team on sourcing and making the best possible coffee.

It feels like such a friendly neighborhood joint, one that you'd love to stumble upon in a foreign city.

Located on Capel Street just outside the busy center, there is a take-away section loaded with treats and a sit-down cafe. Both are fantastic.

Brother Hubbard: 153 Capel Street, Dublin, Ireland

My Dublin: The Fumbally


Oh how I love The Fumbally in Dublin. It's off the beaten track in a Dublin kind of way, which means a ten-minute walk out of the center. Dublin is small and so walkable that everything feels close.

At first, you think "What a cool, casual coffee shop." The ceilings are high and it feels like an old warehouse turned hipster passion project.


But then you see the sacks of organic grains, produce piled high, an enormous bowl of oranges, the communal tables, the delicious menu, and the happy cooks turning out truly fantastic food from the open kitchen near the register. There is no head chef - just people that can cook really, REALLY well.


And you notice the people - friends meeting, families with kids, people solo reading books and typing on their computers. They had to have all been local Dubliners except for me.

Avocado toast and a San Pellegrino for lunch? Yes, please.

The Fumbally is open for breakfast and lunch.


The Pretty Market Town of Adare, Ireland


Adare is such a pretty little market down in the west of Ireland, south of Limerick. I met my parents here and we wandered around for a few hours but I definitely could have stayed a night or two, either at the gorgeous Adare Manor ($$$$$) or the quaint little Dunraven Arms (less $$$). 

First up - we walked to Adare Manor. The photo opps here are Irish countryside perfection. I'd recommend eating lunch at The Carriage House which overlooks the golf course but you most definitely should stalk the main building, which is STUNNING.


Can you just sink into these chairs in the Adare Manor library? Dreamy.


I pretty much love everything about this gorgeous pink room.


And the indoor pool is fantastic (I'm such a pro hotel stalker - I march around like I own the place).


Once you've had your fill of Irish manor life, the cute town has some worthy distractions, like tiny shops....


And very relaxing parks....


And finally, Aunty Lena's, which was our favorite pub in town. Great food, great prices, and good Irish craic.


My Dublin: All About Shopping!


Dublin, especially on Grafton Street, has its share of chain stores that can make the city feel very similar to other European cities. But I found some great new-to-me shops in Dublin that are centered around Irish design and products.

Here are my favorites, in addition to Avoca, the Irish department store that I wrote about here

Kilkenny Design Centre - This is the most touristy of the bunch, but it's still worth a stop. It's a large store with a wide range of Irish designers and well-known Irish products like Waterford crystal. I loved the Orla Kiely display - she has designed some of my favorite Kate Middleton ensembles and Carole Middleton wore one of her dresses when she visited Prince George in the hospital. 

Industry - If I lived in Dublin, I would dream of buying everything for my apartment here. It's just cool and gorgeous, with a range of new, upcycled or vintage items from all over the world.


Irish Design Shop - I absolutely loved this shop and Catherine shot here for our National Geographic assignment. I wanted to buy things for my kitchen, like these cool mixing bowls.


Jam Art Gallery - Focused exclusively on Irish art, this is a tiny, fun shop to stop by for a few minutes. There are two locations - the one on Patrick Street that I visited and a newer one in Temple Bar, closer to the tourist center. They're incredibly nice here!


Daintree Paper - There is a cute little coffee and cake place I liked called The Cake Cafe in Dublin and we walked through this cool paper shop next door as we were leaving. You'll see brides-to-be designing their wedding invites or moms creating baby shower invites so it's a nice snapshot of local life. The papers are gorgeous and you might pick up a sheet or two. The paper is also ethically sourced, something that you never hear about when it comes to paper (food and clothes? yes. But paper? not really).


Powerscourt Centre - This place blew me away because I never knew it existed! I love visiting Powerscourt Estate outside of Dublin, and this gorgeous mansion was the family's city home, now a collection of shops and restaurants called Powerscourt Centre. You walk in and are greeted with lovely fresh flowers for sale, and a sign detailing the history of the mansion. From there, there are a few levels of shops to explore. My favorite shop was Article on the first floor for cool European design - when you go in, look up at the ceiling to see the designs of the former sitting room. Upstairs, you can explore the bridal shop and salon and see the architecture of the former ballroom. It is so lovely.


Cow's Lane Design Studio - Close to adorable cafe Queen of Tarts, Cow's Lane Designer Studio is run by a group of independent artists that switch off working at the shop. There is a wide range of jewelry, artwork, clothes and scarves, hand-poured candles and other fun items that might strike your fancy. Every Saturday, they host the Cow's Lane Designer Mart, featuring many of the artists that have products in the shop.