Here’s a new monthly feature – a little recap to keep you updated on everything that happened on and off the blog this month. I’m calling it our virtual cuppa tea and a chat, so pour yourself a cuppa and let’s have a chat about our little corner of the internet… Read more here.
Samhain is an ancient Celtic Feast and seasonal festival that dates back to pre-Christian times in Ireland, and other Celtic nations like Scotland and Wales. In modern times, people all over the world celebrate Halloween, but very few are aware of its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain… Read more here.
Did you know that our Halloween Jack O’Lanterns have Irish origins? These beloved symbols of Halloween are carved throughout the United States and Canada each and every year, but their roots are firmly Irish. Did you know this annual Halloween tradition of carving out pumpkins or rutabagas to create light-up lanterns was a tradition brought to America by Irish immigrants in the 19th century?… Read more here.
Eoin Colfer is an Irish Children’s Laureate. His new book, The Dog Who Lost His Bark, is a poignant, uplifting story of a young boy, his new puppy, and the power of music to heal. This short novel boasts beautiful hand-drawn, emotive and detailed illustrations by PJ Lynch,which bring the story to life for young readers…. Read more and enter for a chance to win a copy of this Irish children’s book.
You could reasonably say that trees are firmly rooted in Irish culture. The ancient Celts revered them, with sacred trees located in the heart of their settlements, rooting them to their home. In today’s post we’ll travel back through Irish history, through the lens of Trees in Ireland. From the time before the era of the Celts, through to today, with a look to Ireland’s forested future. Plus we have a beautiful Sterling Silver Tree of Life Pendant from My Irish Jeweler for one lucky reader to win…. Read more and enter the giveaway here by Sunday, October 13th, 2019.
If you love your Irish heritage, why not display your pride with a lovely canvas shoulder bag with a fun, and funky Ireland logo. Today I’m delighted to share a lovely canvas shoulder bag, designed with the traveler in mind, as a prize for one lucky reader to win….. Read more and enter the giveaway here by Sunday October 6th, 2019.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a faith-filled prayer from the 5th century, and is attributed to Ireland’s patron saint. This litany or invocation is said to have been written by Saint Patrick in the year 433 A.D. as he appealed for divine protection… Read more here.
Visiting an Irish island can be a truly memorable experience, especially when the sun shines. Ireland is an island itself, but did you know there are about 80 large islands off the coast of the Emerald Isle, and about 20 of these islands are still inhabited? Today we’re going to take a photographic tour of one of these small isles off the Irish coast…. Read more and check out my short video photo gallery here.
Irish mothers are unique and exceptional, supportive and attentive, caring for us in their uncomplicated and quiet ways. Here is a poignant tribute to one reader’s Irish American Mom…. Read more here.
Christening gowns are part of our Irish cultural heritage. For centuries these gowns have been a meaningful way for Irish families to express their faith and family traditions. They’re symbolic works of art. This post introduces the beautiful work of Helen Marie Moore from County Galway who designs hand crafted christening gowns with embroidered Celtic designs…. Read more here.
Boreen is a word used frequently in rural Ireland. It’s a beloved term, conjuring homesickness and nostalgia for many. But have YOU ever wondered what this frequently used little word means? And so, today I thought we might explore, WHAT is a boreen?…. Read more here.
What is an Irish salad you may ask? An Irish salad is an ensemble of cold vegetables, meat, eggs and cheese, carefully arranged on a plate, and not tossed or mixed in any shape or form. For any readers who grew up in Ireland, I’m quite certain you frequently ate salad for tea or your evening meal during the summer months… Read more and get the recipe here.
Irish coleslaw is a creamy, crunchy delight that’s perfect for summer feasting, barbecues, and pot-luck get-togethers. Irish coleslaw! You probably think I’ve lost my mind. You may believe there’s nothing Irish about the origins of coleslaw, and you would be correct. But trust me! Irish people LOVE coleslaw….. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Remembering those who have gone before us, and paved the way for us here in America, is important in this little corner of the world wide web. Today I have a lovely immigrant tale to share with you, one that is memorialized in a touching folk song that tugs on the heartstrings….. Read more here.
THE GREENEST WIND is a children’s book set in West Cork, where a young German girl changes from feeling alone in a strange place, to never wanting to leave. A common complaint for anyone who spends more than a few days in this magnificent corner of Ireland. Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Gesine Shculz’s middle grade novel, THE GREENEST WIND. …. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Planning a vacation to Ireland comes with many challenges and indecisions that tend to overwhelm people. There’s so much to see and do in Ireland despite it being such a small country. Am I doing too little? Is my plan too much? Will I miss the important parts? Today I’m delighted to share some great trip planning advice from Conor of Donegal Thatched Cottages…… Read more here.
Check Out My Videos Highlighting My Recipes And Ramblings
Ireland is home to many Famine Memorials and Graveyards. Abbeystrewry Graveyard located in Skibbereen in County Cork is a beautiful, yet poignant memorial to the victims of the Great Irish Famine. This unmarked, mass grave is the resting place of over 9000 men, women and children. Let’s explore the significance of this Irish Famine Memorial in Skibbereen, County Cork….. Read more here.
Turas Éireann, a new Irish tour operator, is offering experienced, driver-guided, luxury tours of Ireland for groups of up to ten people. The good folks at Turas Éireann bring you Ireland at your leisure. Dermot, the Irishman behind the company, contacted me to share the curated travel services he offers, so I asked him to write a guest post to help spread the word about his goals and dreams for these personalized tours of Ireland….. Read more here.
Something tragic happened in Galway. Something no one will talk about. Now that’s what I call a suspenseful introduction to a new book. Rhian J. Martin, in her debut novel, A Different Familiar, transports you to Galway, Ireland, where the rainy city provides an authentic Irish backdrop for her contemporary characters to uncover an unexpected mystery…. Read more and enter for a chance to win a copy of this new book set in Ireland.
Brave Hearts, by Californian author and fellow Irish American, Jean Mahoney is a novel of tenacity and resolution, bravery and love, recounting the story of her family’s American journey. I’m thrilled to introduce you to this unforgettable story of grit and determination, set in the colorful San Francisco Bay area and to offer a copy as a prize for a lucky reader to win….. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
On Toronto’s waterfront you will find a poignant tribute to Irish immigrants, who made the harrowing transatlantic journey to Canada to escape starvation and disease during the Great Irish Famine of 1845 to 1850. Created by Irish sculptor, Rowan Gillespie, this memorial creates an artistic link between his original sculptures on the banks of the River Liffey…. learn more here and take a photographic tour of Ireland Park, Toronto.
Ireland is a country of many names. For such a small island it bears an incredibly wide and varied array of titles, from the Ould Sod to the Emerald Isle, the Land of Saints and Scholars to Inishfail, and from Hibernia to Scotia, to name but a few. From the Greeks to the Romans people from far and wide have had their say when naming the island of Ireland. And so today to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, let’s explore the many names for Ireland…… Read more here.
Faith flattens mountains is an old Irish saying and an example of the deep spiritual wisdom of our ancestors. Pearls of wisdom found in old Irish proverbs were passed on by our forebears for centuries and millennia. I would go so far as to say, these old adages and dictums can even provide a reliable, moral framework to help guide us through life. Today’s collection of sayings about faith, definitely fulfills that criteria…. Read more here.
County Longford lies at the heart of Ireland and is steeped in ancient Irish mythology and lore. From the reedy shores of Lough Gowna to the banks of the River Shannon, the quiet countryside of County Longford overflows with rural charm. Come join me today on a photographic tour of this inland treasure, which may seem off the beaten path to many. However, County Longford is an area of great natural beauty, just waiting to be explored…. Read more here.
Potato and leek soup is an Irish classic. This creamy, filling soup is delicious, especially when served with Irish brown bread. Learn how to make this simple, soup with step-by-step photographic instructions ….. Get the recipe here.
Hot whiskey is made by mixing smooth Irish whiskey with lemon and cloves and topped off with hot water to create an Irish style cure for colds and flus. Known as a hot toddy in Scotland, learn how to make the perfect hot whiskey….. Get the complete recipe here.
The Irish or Gaelic oral tradition is replete with numerous proverbs and sayings. Our ancestors composed many little nuggets of advice, and some of their words are overflowing with Irish wit and wisdom. There are thousands of wonderful Irish proverbs and sayings covering a wide variety of topics, so you won’t be surprised to learn our forebears even composed proverbs about proverbs, bearing advice about their own advice. And so, today I thought we might explore a few words of advice about advice from our wise old ancestors.…. Read more here.
Today I have a little video treat for you. Here’s a lovely collection of photos of the West Cork coastline along the Sheepshead and Beara peninsulas. I hope you enjoy these shots of County Cork’s peaceful, unspoiled landscapes. You’ll find some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Ireland in West Cork. Many thanks to Ana, a reader from County Cork, who submitted these lovely photos of her home county’s beautiful scenery….. Read more and check out the video here.
Ireland is a spectacular subject for photographs. Mother Ireland can look amazing for professional and amateur photographers alike. Many of you have journeyed to my homeland to personally witness the majesty of her scenery, and along your merry way, you’ve snapped some incredible shots of sites and sights found all around the Emerald Isle. Today’s post is a video compilation of readers’ photography submissions…. Read more here.
County Limerick lies at the heart of the Shannon region in Ireland with the City of Limerick built right on the banks of Ireland’s longest river. Limerick is a tourist’s paradise. The county boasts beautiful mountains to the south. The Ballyhoura and the Galtees are spectacular inland mountain ranges surrounded by rich fertile plains and verdant valleys of green. County Limerick boasts over 5,000 years of history with evidence of Neolithic life, amazing medieval castles and charming thatched cottages just waiting to be explored…. Read more here.
Here in the Irish American Mom Community we love to celebrate our Irish heritage. But what is it about our heritage that makes us so proud? Is heritage the memory of our ancestors and the legacy they have gifted us? For some of us it surely is. But others have only recently discovered their Irish roots through DNA testing, and never knew their Irish forebears. A while back I asked a favor of members of our little Irish community. I sent subscribers an email and posed a complex question in search of insights into the meaning of our Irish heritage. Here’s the question I asked: “What’s the most important thing to you about your Irish heritage?” In today’s post let’s explore some of the amazing answers I received….. Read more here.
Champ is a traditional Irish potato side dish. Mashed potatoes are mixed with green onion infused warm milk, and served with a knob of butter melting in the center….. Read more and get the complete recipe with step-by-step photo instructions here
Dolmens are megalithic monuments found dotted around the Irish landscape. Standing for millennia, they perch majestically on grassy hillsides, on craggy cliffs, on winding roadsides, and even right between modern day homes. Ireland is home to over 150 of these ancient portal tombs, and so I think it is fair to consider these historic monuments as symbols of our ancient past. And so today, I hope you’ll join me as we take a little tour of Ireland’s wondrous dolmens, both great and small….. Read more here
Irish Coffee is a favorite after dinner drink all over the world and consists of sweetened coffee with a shot of Irish whiskey, topped off with a layer of lightly whipped cream. But did you ever wonder how on earth Ireland became famous for a coffee cocktail rather than a tea based tipple?… Read more and learn the history of Irish coffee 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