Dublin Days

Beggars can’t be choosers I guess, but they can weezle their way around it.

My flight switch was approved and I was lucky to get a two day layover in Dublin, Ireland at the beginning of June. One of my all time favourite cities.
First thing I did was order a stand-by ticket to surprise mom with.
I couldn’t wait for her to get home from work. I know everyone’s parents work hard, but my mom REALLY works hard, and it breaks my heart daily to see her struggles. Right now this is a way for me to give her something she would normally not even think about let alone consider. A little break.

She’s so excited! And I’m thrilled. She asks a million questions as if it was her first time going away.

Then I realize I’m going to spend an entire two days with my mother… Alone.

I mean, we’ve spent a couple hours together before, going for walks, ice cream, shopping and such. But there were always distractions and room to cut the time short.
I don’t share private and intimate details of my life with her, I never have. What on earth are we going to talk about? How do I even entertain her? Can she keep up?

A hop, skip and a quick ride to the hotel with an even quicker check in, we finally open the door to our little retreat. She loved the room, spacious she said, cozy and comfortable. When she sat on the bed and her tired body melted into the heavenly plush sheets she uttered “maybe we could just stay right here for the next two days”.

Colliding with the fresh and crisp air we made our way to where adventure waited.
Her head turning aimlessly as we walked through busy streets among curious tourist and locals hurrying off to work. The fashion alone was an endless conversation.
Getting lost is the best way to finding yourself right where you want to. And that’s just what we did. After several attempts to follow a map, we finally put it away and let our feet lead the way.
Turning down what felt like a hundred corners we circled cute little Dublin until the sun set and our legs began to ache.

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Dublin Castle, worth seeing and tours are free on Wednesday’s. The tour guides knowledge of the history was great, feeding our imagination with short stories as we climbed down stairs into the grotto of original castle walls and standing river water that used to surround the structure years ago.
After 15 minutes, we were ready to take off on our own little tour.

St. Stephens Green park is a little gem within the city. Doesn’t look like much from the outside until you enter through the huge heavenly gates. Greenest greens you’ve ever seen. Birds chirping, swans strolling and my mama in love. Her eyes were seeing the freshest oil paintings, colours blending perfectly, sunbeams resting beautifully on every branch, leaf and puddle of water.

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Rain is more than common in Dublin, and that sent us straight into the welcoming arms of the ever friendly pubs. We chatted as we relaxed over a glass of wine.

Our first day was productive, besides the castle and park, we walked through the National Art Gallery, which didn’t do much for me. The Museum of Natural History was overwhelmingly filled with every insect and creature that ever walked or swam on our planet and the National Gallery of Ireland. We walked up and down Temple Bar, Dame and O’Connell Streets stopping in a cute corner Cafe overlooking the River Liffey for a delicious coffee as we watched the rain come down once more. Continuing our adventure admiring the vivid colours attached to every piece of architecture, before stumbling into the world famous Temple Bar.

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When in Ireland, you do as the Irish do and drink beer. Neither my mom nor I are big beer drinkers, but in Dublin I will always make sure to have at least one pint of Guinness. It’s nothing like you’ve ever tasted before, and I actually enjoy it. The foam wraps around your lips like whipped cream and each sip goes down smoother than the last. That bitter taste all beers have? It’s almost unnoticeable and it has a deep, rich coffee, hazelnuttly taste. It takes about a minute and a half for it to reach your hand and each is a perfect pour. It’s an art really, and the bartenders make it look so effortless. I order a half pint for her, along with a couple mayo filled chicken and turkey sandwiches that come with a side of bite size chocolate desserts, which naturally we start with.
The look on her face says it all and I can’t help but laugh. Her first and last Guinness.

Six hours of our evening we spent sitting among a sea of people. Live Irish cover bands filled the bar with sweet sounds.
Every body swaying, smiling faces, hands clapping and people singing along. Be careful though, as the moon rises, so do the drink prices.

A good nights sleep and we were off again. It doesn’t take long for one to fall perfectly in place. The city welcomes you with open arms, pulls you in and never lets go. Dublin has a very special place in my heart. It may be a hub for tourists, backpackers and passer-by’s but it is filled with kindness, warmth and energy.

As our final day came to an end, we spent the last few hours of it planted in front of the makeshift stage back at the Temple Bar where we were serenaded once more by live music. Leaving was hard, it took us over an hour to finally step outside onto the cobbled streets and make our way back to the hotel.

It’s been several weeks since I took my mom to Dublin, and to this day she still talks about it. My job gives me wonderful opportunities, and moments like these I am beyond thankful especially when I get to share them with people who matter most to me. I’m happy those that travel with me get to see a little glimpse of what my chaotic life is all about.

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My Essentials: Hair & Skin

Flight Attendant, Stewardess, Air Hostess.
noun – an airline employee who serves meals, attends to passengers’ comfort, etc., during a flight. – dictionary.com

I’m pretty sure you’ve guessed what it is that I do for a living.

People always ask me, “What do you have in your suitcase?” Or, “How do you pack for all the different destinations, you must be very organized.”

In my world it’s more like, “organized chaos”.

What I’ve learned in the last few months of flying is how to manage my time. What are the things I can do that will save me that extra trip to the bathroom or closet and will maximize my time in between the sheets.

So here are my essential that don’t cram my suitcase with unnecessary things. Things that save me and make my layovers that much easier – all on 4 wheels.

Starting from the top.
Head:
Round brush/ 2 medium sized rollers – for that extra oomph
Time saving tip: for those of us with long hair, side bangs or full bangs – separate the first 2-3inches of your hair. Tie the back. Shampoo and condition the front part of hair, rinse and blow dry. Set on rollers over night. And voila, as I prance downstairs for call time, I look like I’ve spent hours on my do.
Sock bun: who wants Prom Queen hair every time. This is a fantastic alternative and probably one of the greatest inventions out there. I thank YouTube for the tutorials.
This should not take more than 10 minutes.
Hair ties and bobby pins – I go through them more often than I blink.
Money saving tip: When I’m in the UK, which happens more often than desired, I stock up on essentials at Primark. Especially hair ties and bobby pins. Large quantities per package for next to nothing. No 5* quality but they get the job done.

Face:
Simple is key. Non harsh soap and warm water. I use Dove White Deep Moisture soap. I’m the last person you will find at the sink with toners and scrubs. Skin ages, grows and develops naturally, the more chemicals you use the more skin becomes irritated and sensitive.
A great rich moisturizer is a must. I grew up on Nivea, and I won’t use anything else. And if I look anything like my mom at her age, I’ll be happy. Tried a few other more expensive products with ingredience I can’t even pronounce. Just because the price is in the double or triple digits doesn’t mean we will all look like Cindy Crawford. Use what works best with your skin.
Under eye cream – unfortunately I’ve been blessed with those great dark circles under my eyes. I recently started using Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye Moisture Cream. On the pricy side, so when my sample container runs out I will have to seriously contemplate the splurge.

Makeup removers – I find liquid makeup removers don’t always survive the trip. A few times I’ve wasted precious minutes rinsing, drying and repacking because my bottle had spilt. Not to mention cursing that my $15, 100ml bottle product evaporated into thin air. My alternative; face wipes. I use Equate Exfoliating Cleansing Towelettes. Gentle on the skin and wallet. They go with me everywhere and are always at my bed side at home and abroad. One thing I will never do is fall asleep with a full face on, especially one that has gone through two or more continents. So when exhaustion hits hard and I can’t bare to stand on my feet any longer I reach over and my wipes save me. Under 2 minutes and you can do it with your eyes closed.
Did you know? Aloe Vera isn’t only used for sunburns. I use it as a makeup remover. Works just as good if not better than all other products AND it’s made up of natural ingredients. Bonus for your skin.

Makeup – I repeat, simple is key. Too often flight attendants resemble Robin Williams’ character in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ as he slaps on a last minute dripping “face mask” when Mrs. Sellner pops in for her appointment. Except at 40 000ft, I’m sure it would be far from tasty.
Primer – I use Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer. I find my makeup application is smoother and even. It reduces the cake look and creates a base so makeup does not sink into the creases, fine lines and wrinkles.
Followed by a little bit of concealor, mineralized powder, mascara, a bit of bronzer or blush and I’m ready for outfit …

Here are a few of my favourite things

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