Saturday, December 31, 2011

Purrfect present

Waffles has been our cat since May and he has impressed all who have met him mightily in the seven months he's been living with us, judging by the presents he received.

Cian and Babs knew that our tired tabby likes to spend a lot of his time on the sofa. Now he can snuggle up to the beautiful Mog cushion cover from one of my design heroes, Donna Wilson.

GO THE WHOLE MOG: Waffles and his Donna Wilson cushion.
Photo: Eoghan Writes

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Waffles mulls over the design of the Mog cushion.
Photo: Eoghan Writes

His dining area has also been transformed with this gorgeous Tigrito Cat Bowl by Miriam Mirri for super fun Italian design brand Alessi, which he also received from Cian and Babs.

The Tigrito Cat Bowl by Miriam Mirri for Alessi.
Photo: Eoghan Writes
DIFFERENT KITS: The Tigrito Cat Bowl also comes in blue and yellow. 
Previous arrangements included old plastic trays which once housed microwave meals and unsatisfactory double bowls, making throwing out less than desirable fresh cat food a chore and resulted in dry food falling all over the place after an enthusiastic dining experience.

Miriam Mirri has also designed the Lula and Lupita dog bowls and Mio cat bowl for Alessi (photographed below). Alessi products are available from Arnotts and Stock in Dublin.

BOW WOW: The Lula dog bowls by Miriam Mirri for Alessi

TAIL-WAGGING APPROVAL: The Lupita dog bowls by Miriam Mirri for Alessi
CATTITUDE: The Mio cat bowls by Miriam Mirri for Alessi

Update: I think you may have to order the pet bowls online as I'm not sure they're available in Irish stores. However, I could be corrected on this. Alessi sells them, as does Amazon.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Wunderbar-land in Kilmainham

We've been watching the bright lights of Winter Wonderland glisten from our windows and listening to people scream daily as they dangle a few hundred feet from the ground on the super scary Mission Space ride.

The event features an ice rink, Fossetts' Circus, Christmas market and funfair, and opened its doors at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on December 8th.

KURVE APPEAL: Spin around at increasing speed until your stomach churns on this mini-rollercoaster.
WHAT'S THE WURST THAT CAN HAPPEN? My favourite German word has long been 'currywurst', despite being a vegetarian. It's closely followed by 'lecker', though I can't personally vouch for the tastiness of the wursts here.
NEON CITY: Lots of colourful lights at the Winter Wonderland funfair. The Mission Space ride is on the right.

The market is one of the better I've seen and there are some nice little bars, such as the Porterhouse, to choose from.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: I love the Wunderbar neon sign. I want one in my house!
LIGHT UP: The windmill bar, toboggan tower and Mission Space.
HORSIN' AROUND: The pretty vintage-style carousel, the least scary ride in the funfair.
The colourful and slightly retro fun fair makes you feel like you're on the Continent and it's very pretty lit-up at night. Eoghan took lots of great photos above and below.

There's lots of food and drink options, from spiced cider to currywurst, plus crepes a-plenty, churros (Spanish doughnuts) and waffles.

BRAVE SOULS: One of the cranes of Mission Space gets ready to swing people hundreds of feet in the air. The scariest ride I've ever seen at a funfair.
TWIST AND SHOUT: The toboggan tower.
SWING BY: The windmill bar features all-important indoor seating.

It's a lovely place to spend an hour or two, even after December 25th (the event runs until January 8th). Here's hoping it will become an annual event in Kilmainham.

ROLL WITH IT: The Alpine Coaster. Photo:
THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES: Mission Space.  Photo:
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Bumper cars. Photo:
Christmas is almost here and we've made the living room festive. It was even cold enough last week to justify a fire, which Waffles the cat loved.

WINTER WARMER: Waffles and I cosy up beside the fire.
SPIN IT: The view of the Ferris wheel from our house.
JINGLE BELL ROCK: This dancing Santa stands in our living room window.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tree-mendous collection

FIR REAL: My friends Aoife and Rob's majestic Christmas tree

Is it just me, or are far more people sharing photos of their Christmas trees on social media than ever before? It also seems that we have re-embraced the tradition of sending Christmas cards, judging from the nice envelopes hitting the doormat this week.

The following Christmas trees are aesthetically pleasing, but seem a little cold.

JUST ALL WHITE: This modernist tree via M2JL Studio

A LITTLE FLAT-PACK: An IKEA Christmas tree via DigsDigs 

In contrast, my friends Aoife and Rob's tree (pictured in all its glory at the top of this post) had me transfixed when I visited their home recently. It's a real Christmas tree decorated in ornaments which each have a story to tell. They pick up decorations on their travels, including India, San Francisco, Boston and Paris.

Some of their eye-catching tree decorations:

Other Christmas ornaments at Aoife and Rob's:

WAX LYRICAL: The heat from candles powers this helicopter house

TWIST AND OUT: A classic nutcracker