Archive | January, 2013

I miss the swans!

28 Jan

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I found this photo on my phone and it made me miss spring and seeing the swans on my way to work. At the moment it’s dark when I go to work and dark when I get back, so the only wildlife I see is a few intrepid ducks.

Pampered puppies

24 Jan

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Paddy cuddling up with his new teddy

If you don’t have a car in Dublin, your choice of pet shop is pretty limited. There are a few small ones dotted about the quays but I’ve found them to be overpriced and under stocked. I’ve been on the lookout for a local shop for a while as I wanted to stock up on a few treats for Paddy’s half-birthday (sad I know!), and the name which keeps cropping up during my online searches (and at the Dublin Pug Club) is MuttUgly.

After coming across it again at the weekend, I decided to give it a visit. There are three branches in Dublin, but we opted for the Ranelagh store as it was the only one open on Saturdays and is a scenic 30 minute walk from our apartment.

Although the shop is quite small, I was pleasantly surprised by what we discovered. They stock a wide variety of collars and leads as well as bowls, toys, beds, toiletries and even hair accessories (or should that be fur accessories?!) for the more fashion-conscious owner. The shop also doubles-up as a groomers and doggy day-care, so there were about 10 dogs all having a ball in the back. The shop assistant was very helpful and friendly and spent a long time helping us choose what we wanted, and even got two similar-sized puppies out of the back for Paddy to have a play with.
MuttUgly also offers a boarding facility, but the staff take the dogs to their own homes so they are surrounded by people (and other dogs) rather than being stuck in a kennel. At 22€ per night it isn’t cheap, but apparently only a couple of euros more than the DSPCA charge for a kennel stay so I think the peace of mind would be worth it.

After choosing a new collar, lead, microwavable teddy (which Paddy now carries EVERYWHERE!) and some doggy breath freshener which he is sorely in need of, I left the shop 40€ lighter but with a feeling that I will definitely be back to buy more puppy paraphernalia in the future.

For any Dublin Pug Club members, MuttUgly also offers a Pug Pamper session (a full groom including nail clip) for 25€ every third Monday of the month.

If anyone knows of any other local shops, I’d be happy to hear from you!

Convention Centre by night

23 Jan

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Bella Cuba date night!

20 Jan

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I have been a bit M-I-A so far in 2013 due to the fact that I was ill with a terrible cold that just would not leave me alone, and then by the time I finally recovered I had no money left after Christmas. So January has been a very quiet month so far!

For my first outing of 2013, my boyfriend took me to a Cuban restaurant in Ballsbridge which we’ve fancied going to since we moved here. It’s called Bella Cuba and is above Bellamy’s pub. You can check out their menu here.

Although I’m a big fan of Mexican and Spanish food, I’ve never tried Cuban food and wasn’t really sure what to expect. I chose Arroz Con Pollo Borracho (Drunk Chicken Rice), a Cuban delicacy which is chicken and rice cooked in beer. I’m not really sure why I chose this, as I don’t like the taste of beer and therefore I didn’t particularly enjoy the meal. We ordered papas bravas (mini roast potatoes with pan-friend chorizo) as a side, and they were delicious so I filled up on those instead and stole some of the Portugueezer’s main, which was so tasty it made me jealous. He opted for the Pollo Rolleno con Chorizo (chicken stuffed with chorizo), which came with mash and was mouth-watering.

The restaurant itself is very small (probably around the size of most people’s living rooms) and you are sat a little too close to comfort to the surrounding tables, but it has a distinctive charm with its red and white checkered table-cloths, low-lighting and lively Cuban music.

I really enjoyed the evening and will definitely be going back to sample the chicken and chorizo again! I would definitely recommend it to other Dubliners, and they also have a branch in Miami so if you ever find yourself in that area of the world, why not give it a go?

Bon apetit! x

 

Happy New Year / Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh :-)

2 Jan

Happy New Year!

I’m now safely ensconced in my apartment in Dublin with Paddy by my side. I must admit I did have mixed feelings about coming back after Christmas – I’d had such a lovely time with my family and friends that it seemed a shame to come back, despite the fact that I was missing the Portugueezer and the pug (a lot). The thought of seeing those two – as well as my new Dublin besties – pulled me through the initial hump and I’m now looking forward to 2013 and what exciting things Dublin may bring…

 Here is a list of my top 10 moments from 2012 – my first year as a Dubliner!

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What are you looking forward to in 2013?

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