Tuesday, July 31, 2012

La Vie en Rose Boutique

La Vie en Rose, our new shop is now OPEN!!!! Yaaaaay!!!

Here we are on the morning of the opening, tired but happy!   The night before we opened we were still unpacking and labeling stock until the 3.00am.  Our good friends Jan and Jamie (a big thank you to both) were there too and we couldn't have done it without them.   The next morning despite having a shop herself (a beautiful ladies clothing boutique in Kinsale called Jane) Jan arrived to help us finish getting the last few bits in order and did the wonderful window display - what a friend!!   Jan's husband Paul also came around putting up some pictures, clocks and then took some photos - thank you Paul!  Here we all are just before we opened the doors . . .

From left to right: Jan, our eldest son Aran, Dylan (Jan & Paul's son) Paul, Me and my husband Niall.

This is Diva's cafe owned by the lovely Shannen right beside our shop (the white one)!

It was a stunning day, sunny with bright blue skies.   There were people waiting outside to come in - our first customers!! 

Jan's lovely window display . . .

We still had some things to finish in the shop but decided to go ahead and open anyway rather than delay the opening.  Since opening a week ago we now have finished (putting up some lighting fixtures and hanging more mirrors etc - so more pictures to come).

I asked Shannen from Diva to do some nibbles and a punch and she prepared some delicious platters and made a gorgeous Sangria!!  Here I am pouring some sangria for a customer . . .

In the background in this picture you can see a metal wall plaque with the words 'Keep Calm and Carry on' - that's what we did all day, as although it was SO exciting, we were a little nervous aswell!

A silhouette lamp next to the home accessories - as you can see there is a definite rose theme throughout the shop!!

The shop has had a great first week and we've got a lot of positive feedback from locals and customers which is great!  We actually managed to have a glass of sangria ourselves and here we are at the front door toasting our new venture.

We've done a lot more to the shop since it opened and promise to post more pics soon!!

Again, a big thank you to Jan, Paul and Jamie for all their hard work and also a very big thank you to YOU - all my readerrs, followers and my lovely new customers for all your support and comments, it's greatly appreciated.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meet our eldest Son - Aran

Today is a VERY special day!! It is our eldest son's 20th birthday!!!!!!


It seems only yesterday that I held my new born baby son in my arms and he winked (yes winked!! as his new baby eyes couldn't keep both open at the same time - it was sooooo cute!!)  up at me with those adorable big blue eyes!!  Oh yes, from the word go he was a charmer!!

The night of Aran's graduation 

 They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!  Aran has just finished first year in College - guess what he's studying???  Furniture Design & Manufacture!!!!  The College had an exhibition of the all the student's work at the end of the year, we had a great night and I was SO excited to see Aran's pieces having seen the work in progress throughout the year.  I LOVE them!!!!!

Aran's Floor Lamp (it's about 6 foot high) - isn't it cool!!!

Aran's side table - sycamore with walnut inlay and bentwood legs . . .  I LOVE how this piece turned out as I saw how much work went in to each step of the process . . .

Aran working getting the new shop ready . . .

Twenty years has flown by and that little baby has matured in to a wonderful young man.  We are SOOOOOO proud of him, he is a loving, caring, mature, loyal, dependable and hard working. I won't embarrass him by gushing any more but our family has had a tough few years and Aran has been a rock through it all and has gained respect and admiration from everyone who knows him.  So, hope you have a VERY Happy Birthday Aran - you deserve every happiness Life has to offer!


Love Mama Bear

Sunday, July 22, 2012

La Vie en Rose Opening Day

La Vie en Rose will open it's doors today!!!!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy and a lot of hard work but also a LOT of fun.    Family and friends have been going full tilt painting furniture, unpacking stock and labeling accessories to put on the shelves until the wee hours of the morning (3.00 am !) in a final push to have everything ready for Open Day!  I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to post a blog to update you all on the progress or to catch up with all of your blogs and see what you've all been up to!  But I WILL catch up with you all as soon as I can and blogging should return to normal very soon also. 

I cannot wait to open the doors of the shop!  It is SO exciting - and a little nerve wracking!   We had SO much fun unpacking the boxes and ooohing and aaaahing over the stock - it was like Christmas - I love it!  The sign went up over the door of the shop yesterday evening about 6.00pm while we were ankle deep in cardboard boxes but with all hands on deck we were finished (ish) at 3.00 am and went home to bed!  So, I'm just about ready to literally open the doors and welcome our new customers.  

Wish me luck!

Wish you were all here!!!!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet Criostoir - .Our youngest son

Today is a VERY special day.  It is our youngest son's birthday!  Today Criostoir is 4 years old!!


You haven't been introduced properly yet so Criostoir meet Mama's blog friends . . . 

 and blog friends meet my baby Criostoir . . .

A little bit about our youngest son . . . 

Criostoir loves snuggles, stories, songs, his tractor and farm animals.  His favourites on TV are Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, Timmy Time and In the Night Garden!

But Criostoir's greatest loves in the whole world are his books and songs!  - he's just like his Mama!!

I've mentioned before that Criostoir has Special Needs - (special needs are needs that the majority of children don't have therefore they are called Special Needs).  Criostoir was born 4 years ago with significant special needs.  The Doctors didn't know what was wrong with him and our journey with Criostoir began.  He was very sick at the start and required frequent hospitalisation for chest infections and tests to try and obtain a diagnosis.    The main problem was that his muscle tone was very weak which has significantly delayed all his development, (Criostoir can't talk, sit or walk - YET!)  Then at the age of 3 because of advances in Medicine and genetic testing a diagnosis was discovered.  Criostoir has a genetic disorder where there is a small deletion in his genetic code.  Criostoir is the only person in the WORLD with this particular disorder so there is no data on this condition.  

Our precious son is truly UNIQUE.

The reason I'm sharing Criostoir's story with you is that someone facing a challenging situation may read the following and it may help them.  When Criostoir was born we loved him instantly but we were devastated to find out that he was very sick.  Like all parents you want a perfect, healthy little baby to arrive.  All we knew was that our son was extremely sick, the Doctors didn't know why and we were walking in to the unknown bringing a disabled child home who required 24 hr nursing care.  A few days after Criostoir's birth, my husband took me for a walk around the hospital grounds and we sat down to talk.  My husband Niall, is my rock, he's an amazing man.  Niall said something very special to me that day that I will never forget.  He said that we could not change the fact that Criostoir was very sick, I said true, then he said we didn't know how long we would have Criostoir with us, I said true, then he said that the best possible thing we could do for Criostoir and for our family was to love Criostoir and make him as happy and as comfortable for as long as we could.  He also said that we shouldn't dwell on the negative aspects of our son's ill health or all the things he couldn't do but instead that we should put every ounce of energy that we had (which wasn't a lot at the time!) in to focusing on making him happy and enjoying every precious moment that we had with him.   So that whatever lay ahead for Criostoir and us as a family we would make the journey together with as much love and positivity as we could find. And that's what we did from that moment on.  

Four years later, Criostoir's health has improved, albeit slowly but there has been significant positive improvements.  The Geneticist has said that Criostoir has a normal life expectancy and as we have seen he will continue to improve but this improvement will be slow.  This is Good News.  As you can see Criostoir is a loving, happy 4 year old full of fun and mischief and I am convinced that our positive outlook has had a huge impact on his physical improvement and mental development and we hope that one day he will talk and walk.  It's not that we are in denial of his condition it's just that we choose to focus on the positive things he CAN do rather than focus on the things he can't.  We celebrate the small things and revel in his happiness.  All we want for Criostoir, our eldest son Aran and for each other is to feel loved, happiness and contentment.  The older I get the more I am convinced that the happiest man on earth is the man who is content with his lot - whatever that 'lot' may be.  

This is just our own personal philosophy - to focus on happiness, the positives, the good stuff no matter how small - it's not easy and some days are harder than others but it has helped us on our journey and I hope that it may be of help to one of you.  There is of course another phrase for looking at the world in this way, it's a french phrase . . .

La Vie en Rose . . .


Love Mama

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kinsale Farmer's Market


I went to a Farmer's Market last week in Kinsale (my local town).  It was a beautiful sunny day and as we've been having A LOT of rain lately, everyone in town was in a good mood and there was a lively atmosphere among the stallholders and customers alike.

The first stall I came to was full of delicious breads and cakes!  The stall is run by the lovely Shannon who I know because she is also the owner of  Diva's Cafe and Diva's Deli in Ballispittle and just happens to be my new neighbour (my new shop is next door to Diva's cafe!).

I LOVE Shannon's cafe and deli - her food and cakes are legendary!  I had the BEST chocolate cake I've ever had in the cafe the other day - truly Divalicious!!   The styling of the cafe and deli is cool and original think 'gently alternative' meets vintage!  If you are in Ballinspittle/Kinsale and looking for somewhere for lunch or some cake and coffee head to Diva's.  Highly recommended!!

Isn't her packaging gorgeous??  I bought some of her rye bread and had it for lunch - yum, scrum!


Look at these marshmallow beauties on top and cupcakes on the bottom . . .


More deliciousness . . .

Love the blue glass cake stand . . . 

Then it was on to this beautiful stand!  Herbs and flowers all beautifully presented, no ugly plastic pots here.  This stall belongs to Cambium a small nursery/garden centre who sell plants and organic gardening supplies.   They are on the road from Ballinspittle to Kinsale.  The lady was lovely and we chatted for a while about plants and markets.  I have to say the plants herbs, veg and flowers were all SO healthy and superbly presented in organic coir pots.  All the plants were reasonably priced too!  Well worth checking out if you're out Kinsale/Ballinspittle way!




I didn't actually buy a crepe even though I love them - will get one next week!  but there were people queuing up to order so they must be good!!!

More flowers at the market.  Meant to go back and get this stall's name but ran out of time so will update this next week!


The Finders Inn is a restaurant in Nohoval and also have this stall at the Farmer's Market selling a range of food.  I've had their brown bread before - gorgeous.  Haven't tried their soups but I must say they looked good on that table!!


For the life of me I cannot remember this man's name!  So sorry, and will write it down next week and update this post.   I wish I could because he was so very nice and gave me lots of nice tasters and I bought some lovely cheese from him (can't remember the name of it either!).  I asked him for Comte (my favourite cheese in the whole world) but he mostly sells Irish cheeses so he recommended something similar and it was GOOD!! I demolished it when I went home with Diva's rye bread!  I have to admit I didn't realise there were so many good Irish cheeses out there, will defo go back for more Irish cheese next week.

Everything was beautifully displayed here as well.

Next stop . . .


Olives, tomatoes, pesto mmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . all my favourite things in one place!!

Love all the wooden buckets/holders . . . and so neatly displayed!  I ADORE black olives and these were DIVINE!!!!

There was also an organic pig farm stall called . . . 


They were packing up to leave as I came along so just got a snap of these jars of lard - I like the labels - "Good Old-Fashioned Lard"! Cute!  Kinsale is a beautiful old town, I really must do a post soon as there is so much to show you. 

Lovely old buildings in the little square.


I was really drooling over this stall.  Strawberries and pretty flowers!!!!!  Even the tablecloth was gorgeous!    I got chatting to Lydia the stall owner (lovely lady) and she told me that her parents grow the strawberries and she (Lydia) does the flowers.  I bought a huge bouquet of the white roses and Queen Anne's Lace and lots of other interesting blooms.  They were stunning and SO reasonably priced!!  Amazing value and the arrangement was so pretty and vintage in style - I've never seen flowers or arrangements like them.   Beautiful, pretty, soft, unusual flowers AND scented - just stunning!  I will defo be calling back to Lydia again and this time I will remember to pick up some strawberries.

Isn't Lydia's sign so cute??

So when I got home I took out all my market purchases and they looked so pretty I just had to take some photos before I demolished the lot!

Farmer's Market Kinsale, Co. Cork.

Every Wednesday 10 am - 2.30pm.



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