Summer 2015 Goals

As of Friday, I will officially be half-way finished with my Master’s degree. I cannot believe how time has flown by. Since my summer is about to begin, I need to hold myself accountable for my upcoming goals. In order to attempt that, I need to write them down.

My goals for summer 2015:

– Improve my Spanish. Whenever someone asks me if I speak a second language, I am highly embarrassed to have to say no. I am sick and tired of it. There is absolutely no reason why there are so many bi/multi-lingual people in the world and I can’t be one of them. I took 4 years of Spanish (2 in high school and 2 in college) and at the time didn’t actually want to learn, I only enrolled because it was a requirement. When I went to Peru last June, everything changed. I really want to speak Spanish fluently so am going to enroll in lessons this summer. After I master Spanish, I want to learn Italian.

– Volunteer and gain work experience. I need to make myself more marketable so I’ve reached out to a few organizations to gain some work experience this summer. I want to help the long-term unemployed (including the homeless, early school leavers, etc.) find work.

– Work more hours. I need to start earning some money!

– Figure out what topic I want to do my dissertation on. This is overwhelming but is a must! My dissertation proposal is due in September, at the start of the term.

– Travel. I’m looking to book my trip to Iceland this week. I’ve already booked a trip to Amsterdam with my sister. I’d also like to return to Italy this summer or early fall. I’m hoping to return to Paris with K at the end of summer where we will simply eat ourselves to happiness. I would also like to finally visit Kilkenny.

– Eat healthier and start an exercise routine. I said this in my New Year’s post and have not started yet. I had some health issues that prevented me from starting an exercise routine before now, but there is no excuse for the unhealthy eating. I am tired of feeling like crap on the inside and want to lead a healthier lifestyle. If anyone has any nutrition tips that helped you get started, as obvious as they may seem, please do share. I’ve done this before but feel like I am starting over.

– Be outside as much as possible and enjoy the gorgeous summer weather that Ireland has to offer. Growing up in Florida, summer was always a dreadful thing and never anything to look forward to. It’s the complete opposite here in Ireland.

What goals do you have for the summer?

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(The Best of) Dining in Dublin (and Cork, Edinburgh, London, Bournemouth & Brighton)

I am at a point in my life where, more than ever, food brings me pure happiness and joy. I appreciate good food more than I ever have before. If you haven’t eaten recently, you may not want to look at this post. Take this as a warning that you will be hungry after looking at these photos!

This post is mostly a photo blog showcasing some of my favourite foods I’ve eaten since returning to Dublin in August (with little commentary).

Eggs Menemen @ Brother Hubbard

Eggs Menemen @ Brother Hubbard, Dublin

By far my favourite dish on Brother Hubbard’s menu!

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Moroccan Special @ Brother Hubbard, Dublin

Cinnamon & walnut scroll @ Brother Hubbard, Dublin

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Kilkenny Cafe and Restaurant, Dublin

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Fish Tacos @ P.Mac’s, Dublin

P.Mac’s has delicious fish tacos! I’ve had them many times!!

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Scottish breakfast cooked by my friend’s mum – Edinburgh

I am so addicted to square sausage.

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Cafe Mexicana, Cork

This photo isn’t too great because it’s dark in the restaurant but I have loved this place since 2010. It was so nice to return in January.

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Shandon Bells B&B – Breakfast room – Cork

The B&B I stayed at in January has the most gorgeous breakfast room overlooking the River Lee!

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Shandon Bells B&B – Breakfast room – Cork

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Full Irish Breakfast @ Shandon Bells B&B – Cork

They also make one of the most gorgeous Irish breakfasts I’ve ever had.

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Real Olive Co. @ English Market – Cork

Every day I am in Cork, I have to get olives here! They are so so good.

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Open sandwich of smoked salmon with poached egg, cucumber, a lemon, caper, dill & crème fraiche dressing, spinach & sumac @ Brother Hubbard, Dublin

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Lemon & ricotta cake (wheat-free) served with a passion fruit syrup & a little yoghurt @ Brother Hubbard, Dublin

This was freakin AMA-ZING. K & I shared it and after our first bite, our faces were priceless.

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French toast with rashers and a poached egg @ Cinnamon, Dublin

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Eggs Benedict with rashers @ Bibi’s, Dublin

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Cornucopia, Dublin

Cornucopia is a fabulous vegetarian restaurant and their food is delish! Amazing portion sizes as well!

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Pulled Duck, Leek & Cucumber on Toasted Brioche Bun, Crispy Shallots, Hoi Sin Salad @ The Kitchen, Dublin

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Reuben Croquettes @ P.Mac’s, Dublin

My favourite dish at P.Mac’s. My jaw dropped to the floor after my first bite.

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French Toast @ Bibi’s, Dublin

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Crepe @ Sprinkles, Bournemouth

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Hot chocolate @ Caffe Nero, Bournemouth

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Bill’s – Brighton

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Bill’s – Brighton

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Bill’s – Brighton

Bill’s is the most “Pinterest perfect” place I’ve ever been. I LOVE it here!

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Bibi’s – Brunch – Dublin

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Bibi’s – Brunch – Dublin

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Brunch @ Bibi’s – Dublin (Turkish eggs & Butternut squash eggs)

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My favourite brunch spot in Dublin!

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Room Service @ Sofitel Heathrow, London

E & I stayed here in January and not only was it hands down the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in, their food made me say “OMG” after every single bite. Everything I tried there (including their breakfast) is the definition of gorgeous food. I would literally fly to London just to eat here again. Not exaggerating.

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Fruit platter @ Sofitel Hotel Heathrow

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Salmon @ Sofitel Hotel Heathrow

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Pizza @ Sofitel Hotel Heathrow

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Tastebuds Special (hot cheesy parcel, fried egg, hash brown, grilled Cyprus halloumi, spicy beef sausage (sucuk), olives, Feta cheese, tomatoes & cucumber served with a baguette) @ Tastebuds, Winton/Bournemouth

Any time I see something unique on a menu, I usually order it. I loved the description of this platter and it didn’t disappoint. Tastebuds is the most precious place to eat and made my eyes well up with happy tears. Additionally, Winton in the cutest town on the face of the earth.

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Boojum – Dublin

Lastly, but certainly not least, the best burrito/burrito bowl in Dublin: Boojum. Boojum has had my heart since the first time I tried it in 2010. I typically go once weekly (though I went twice this past weekend!) and it is always the highlight of my week. Not only is the food so good and fresh, the staff is so friendly and that alone makes me want to go back. (Fun fact: Boojum has 5 locations across Ireland and Northern Ireland and I’ve been to 4 of them so far!)

Obligatory nostalgia post

I will stop with the nostalgia posts after this one (for now), but this one is very much obligatory. One year ago today, I began my round the world trip. I left Tampa on March 1st, 2014 and flew to Delhi, India (after stopping in Detroit and Amsterdam first). I simply cannot believe it’s been a whole year since I began one of the greatest adventures of my life. I am thinking of all of the wonderful people I met in India.

Today, I spent the day in Brighton, U.K. with my sister. It was a gorgeous day and I’ve had an amazing few days visiting my sister here in the south of England. Back to Dublin tomorrow.