Jean Grainger first began writing fiction at the suggestion of her clients who enjoyed her stories as she guided tours around the Emerald Isle. Born in Cork, Jean tapped into her experiences as an Irish tour guide, a teacher, a university lecturer and a playwright to create compelling stories to become a bestselling author on Amazon. You can enter to win signed copies of four of Jean’s novels. But before I share the link for the giveaway let me first hand you over to Jean to share her writing journey…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Beautiful, original tiles and plaques by Celtic Valley Ceramics are inspired by the beauty of the Irish countryside and draw upon the traditions, artistry and legends of the Ancient Celts. To celebrate the introduction of these lovely tiles to my giftshop, we are hosting a little giveaway for readers. But before I fill you in on the details of the prizes and how to enter this giveaway, let me first introduce you to Louise and Andy and their superb Celtic inspired designs…. Read more here.
Next week a major new Irish exhibition opens at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Famine, Friends and Fenians explores New Bedford’s curious role in Irish history from the 18th century through the famous “Easter Rising” in 1916. In today’s guest post from the museum, I’m delighted to share the details of this wonderful exhibition…. Read more here.
Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to award-winning and internationally acclaimed bestselling Irish author, Catherine Dunne. Her US debut, THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED, goes on sale today October 11th, 2016. And to mark the occasion, her publisher Simon & Schuster is sponsoring a giveaway for one lucky reader to win a copy of Catherine’s new book…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Halloween and fall celebrations are in full swing all around America. Today, I have a little treat for all who are interested in Celtic history and the Irish origins of Halloween. “Spiorad na Samhna” is a bilingual short film telling a two-fold story of how the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) was transformed into today’s Halloween, as well as the origins of Ireland’s biggest Halloween Carnival, in Derry… Read more here.
Today, October 3rd 2016, marks the 5th anniversary of the publication of Irish American Mom’s very first blog post. Wow! Where has time gone? I can’t believe it’s been five whole years since I first started this crazy blogging journey. Thank you to all who stop by to read my ramblings. Today I am writing this post to acknowledge all of you, who visit my website, who read along, who join in our little discussions, and who give me kind words of encouragement. This blog would not be possible without you…..Read more here.
Did you know Donegal Airport was voted one of the world’s most scenic airport landings in an annual poll of global travellers and travel industry experts conducted by PrivateFly? This is high praise indeed for a small airport etched into the coastline of Ireland’s most northerly county…. Read more and take a photographic tour here.
Today I’m delighted to introduce a wonderful memoir recounting one man’s trip around Ireland’s coastline with a donkey and cart. In Last of the Donkey Pilgrims, Kevin O’Hara experiences Ireland in all her incredible glory. During his crazy trek around Ireland’s perimeter, he meets an unbelievable cast of characters, who could hail from no other country in the world other than Ireland. And good news! One lucky reader will win a copy of Last of the Donkey Pilgrims…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Ireland is a great destination for cycling. The Irish roads are calling all you avid cyclists, with memorable trips in store for the energetic and physically active tourist who loves to travel the highways and byways by pedal power. Every year there seems to be huge numbers of new cyclists on Irish roads, and for anyone who ever thought about taking a biking trip to Ireland, I thought a little information about the different cycling routes might be a good idea…. Read more here.
Graveyard seats may seem an unusual topic for a blog post, but in today’s installment Irish writer Mattie Lennon explores the idea of adding seats to Irish cemeteries. Graveyards, both old and new, are an integral feature not only of the Irish rural landscape, but are also painstakingly preserved and cherished amidst urban city sprawl. I believe Irish people feel a deep spiritual connection with the past by visiting graveyards. But I have never visited a cemetery in Ireland where seats are provided for loved ones to rest, contemplate and connect with the past…. Read more here.
Metal farm gates are found dotted around Ireland’s countryside. Whether separating fields, or protecting the entrance to verdant green pastures these functional entryways are part of my Irish memories. These gates are so widespread around Ireland, I am going to venture so far as to say, I consider them a symbol of Ireland. I know, you probably think I’ve lost my marbles, when I decide to write a blog post all about gates…. Read more here.
The Victoria Sandwich consists of two sponge cake layers sandwiched together with raspberry jam and cream, then dusted on top with confectioners’ sugar. This teatime treat became popular in England and Ireland during the reign of Queen Victoria, whose name this cake now bears. Originally caster sugar was sprinkled on top, but I prefer to use finer confectioner’s sugar. Being a quintessential English cake you may ask why I am sharing this recipe on my Irish blog…. Read more and get the full recipe here.
As we Americans celebrate Labor Day today, I thought it might be interesting to gather old Irish sayings that speak to the importance of work and labor in our lives. The Irish throughout the world are not known for their riches or affluent lifestyles, but throughout the ages the Irish have never been afraid of hard work. This collection of old Irish sayings is evidence the Irish fully understood the need to earn prosperity through the fruits of their labor…. Read more here.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce Irish American Mom’s Online Giftshop is officially open for business. Here, you’ll find handpicked and curated Irish and American gifts, perfect for showing appreciation to family and loved ones who may be Irish or Irish at heart. To celebrate our grand opening I thought I might host a little giveaway for a beautiful Celtic House Blessing by Kevin Dyer….. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Today I’m delighted to tell you my good news. On Thursday September 1st I will open a new online venture, Irish American Mom’s Giftshop. Here I hope to share some beautiful pieces of Irish and American artwork and gifts, and help artists on both sides of the Atlantic introduce their wonderful work to a wider audience…. Read more 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