New Year resolution season is here. But fear not! Today’s post about ‘thin places’ shall not take you on a tour of Ireland’s gyms. Instead, we’ll explore the Celtic concept of thin places – surreal physical spaces where heaven and earth seem to touch…. Read more here.
County Mayo is the setting for Des Garvin’s new book, Fields of Rye, based on the folklore and genealogy of Shrataggle and its surrounding villages. Two hundred years of family histories are shared, including stories of the two prominent families in the area, the Garvins and the O’Malleys. Other family names from the area include the O’Tooles, the Dohertys, the Maddens, the McAndrews, the O’Boyles and the Kavanaghs… Read more here.
County Leitrim offers lush landscapes with magnificent mountains overlooking tranquil lakes. This Irish county may not be on many tourists’ radars, but trust me the scenery in Leitrim is simply spectacular…. Take a photographic tour of County Leitrim here.
Did you know that marking the beginning of each new year on January 1st is a relatively new custom in Ireland? Believe it or not, this practice is less than 300 years old. Until recent years New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations were very subdued in Ireland. The Irish national folklore archive does not hold much evidence of these dates being cause for major festivities in centuries past…. Read more here.
Lighting a candle in the window is a Christmas Eve memory I cherish from my Irish childhood. Every Christmas Eve we placed a single red candle in the window. My mother always told me we were lighting the way for Mary and Joseph on their way to find the stable in Bethlehem. This Christmas Eve, I thought we might explore this tradition a little further to discover it’s origins and meaning…. Read more here.
I know you love the Celtic Claddagh symbol as much as I do, and to celebrate Christmas this year, I have a very special Sterling Silver Claddagh necklace adorned with Swarovski® Crystals as a prize for one lucky reader to win. Before I share the details of how to enter to win this beautiful necklace and eternal emblem of love, friendship and loyalty, let me share the story of ShanOre and introduce you to their magnificent collection of Irish wedding jewelry… Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Mincemeat is a festive filling for baked goods, and don’t worry there’s not an ounce of meat in this concoction of mixed fruits, almonds, spices, and of course, a little booze. Many people take the easy peasy route at Christmas and opt for store bought mincemeat to fill their pies. But trust me, making festive mincemeat is far easier than it may seem. And my recipe is extra easy since I use my crock pot or slow cooker to heat the mixture to meld the flavors together …. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Lorna Sixsmith has written three books: Would You Marry A Farmer?, How To Be A Perfect Farm Wife and An Ideal Farm Husband. The latter was published in September and she won the Best Nonfiction Book in the Irish CAP Indie Awards with her second book. As you may remember, I reviewed her previous books here and today I’m delighted to interview her about her recent publication. Lorna has also provided a copy of her new book for one lucky reader to win, but before I share the details of how to enter, let’s first ask Lorna a few questions about Irish farmers and farming … Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Grab a strong cup of tea for this new Irish book, The Secrets of Roscarbury Hall, because it’s filled to the brim with drama! Written by Ann O’Loughlin, a leading journalist in Ireland who reported on the Irish adoption scandals, this new novel centers on estranged sisters, Ella and Roberta. The women live together in a decrepit mansion in small town Ireland and communicate through hand-written notes…. Read more here.
In celebration of the Thanksgiving weekend and to salute the upcoming holiday giving season, the good folks at Biddy Murphy, a Michigan based retailer of Irish gifts, have graciously sponsored a lovely array of Irish gifts for readers of Irish American Mom to win…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Children can be worriers and taking those fears and anxieties away is every parent’s greatest wish. Did you know the fairies can help take worries away? Today, I’m delighted to share the inspirational story of how the Irish Fairy Door Company was founded. The Irish Fairy Door Company has graciously sponsored a giveaway for one lucky reader to win…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Cauliflower cheese is a classic Irish or English side dish which is usually served to accompany a roasted chicken or beef dinner. It’s also a perfect side for turkey dinner at Thanksgiving or Christmas…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Everyday vegetables in Ireland are simply boiled or steamed and tossed with a little butter before serving, but for occasions like Christmas or Thanksgiving I like to make veggie side dishes a little extra special by adding an extra layer of flavor. And my cider glazed carrots are no exception. Hard cider, a sweet and fruity alcoholic drink is very popular in Ireland, and helps transform simple carrot batons into a mouth-wateringly delicious vegetable side…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
“My Ireland” is a place of love which invokes a deep sense of identity. “Mother Ireland”, as we so lovingly call her, will always influence my state of mind, no matter where I wander.
She instills in me a life-long feeling of connection. “My Ireland” is a collection of stories and memories that have shaped my life.
“Memories, converted into stories,
can become a monument of sorts
to the remembered.”
– Christy Kenneally
“My America” is a place of acceptance, which invokes a deep sense of pride. I have chosen to live in a small state in the heartland of America. In Kentucky, we live outside the limelight, and may not be considered part of “mainstream” America.
Here I present the stories and images of “My America” – Smokey Mountains, natural wonders, and great rural beauty. I have learned we are as integral a part of the ‘Real America’, as our more famous urban neighbors. Welcome to my American Dream.
Slán agus beannacht!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom