Sunday, 31 December 2017

Reviewing the Inspiration!

Like many, New Years Eve tends to be a time where we reflect on the year that has passed and wonder what the New Year will hold for us. 

As years go 2017 overall hasn't been a bad one. It's had it's ups and downs and at times it has knocked me sideways but overall it's given me some things back which I thought I'd lost. 

For some time, I've wanted to write about some people and things that occurred that have inspired me over the last year and motivated me all the more for 2018!

Karen Geraghty aka Yankee Doodle Paddy / @blissbakery 

Many of you will know Karen from her blog Yankee Doodle Paddy and from social media as @blissbakery. I first got to know Karen from following her on Snapchat and immediately I thought "What a lady". Karen has a wonderful attitude to life and always looks for the good there is and spreads love to all who know and follow her. 
When we met earlier this year, I have to say I wasn't disappointed. The Karen you see on social media is exactly who you get and more! Karen just oozes smiles and positive energy that you can't help but to soak it up and bring it with you. 
I feel very blessed to know Karen and love how on a daily basis she inspires me as she does many I'm sure whether it be in her cooking or with her words of love and wisdom. She's a true lady and I feel very lucky to call her my friend. 

Jennifer Rock aka The Skin Nerd

Another lady who many will know from social media, Pippa's Fashion Factories and Ireland AM to name a few. 
Jennifer is you young woman, proud mum to her mini skin nerd and in the last year since becoming her own boss she has gone from strength to strength and stronger. Between her Cleanse off Mitt, her personalised online skin consultations with her Nerdettes, appearances both on TV and and events and now a new book to arrive on our shelves in 2018, she truly has become a remarkable woman and one to keep a close eye on for the future. 
I met Jennifer at an Image event earlier this year and stepped away feeling, I've met a lady who is going to have great successes and will be grounded throughout. Jennifer works very hard for what she has achieved to date and I've no doubt as her brand grows, she will continue to inspire many throughout her journey.  

New Frontiers Phase 1 

I remember the day when I read the email from DIT Grangegorman to say I was accepted to New Frontiers Phase 1. It was a Monday afternoon and I was with our son while we waited for his little sister to finish her ballet lesson. To say I was delighted on receiving the email was an understatement! It was my first time to apply for New Frontiers Phase 1 so to be accepted was fantastic as I knew it was the kick start I needed. 

Taking part in New Frontiers made me think not only about my business Darcy the Dingo in a new way but also about myself. In setting up a business you can become quite lost and sometimes you need a little redirection to help you get back on track and New Frontiers certainly helped kick start this for me. 

Curraun, Co. Mayo

As some of you may know Mayo for me is my home from home, and more specifically Curraun is. Curraun is where my mother and her family were reared along with many of my cousins and now for our family it is the place we love to visit for our holidays every year. 

This year, Mayo gave me a lot more than previous years and that was to unwind more and to take in what truely was around me. When you are sitting listening to the radio in the evening and looking out onto Clare Island and a school of Dolphins passes you can't help but feel blessed. Visiting Mayo is always a simple and relaxing holiday but this year taking an extra week to soak up all of what Mayo has to offer made it perfection. Mayo this year, gave me a lot of clarity on things and reminded me again that I can and will move forward and all will be great.  


Acorns was for me one of my high points of 2017. When I read the email that I was accepted I cried. It was my 3rd time to apply and my final chance to join the amazing women who are part of Acorns. 

When I met the wonderful Paula Fitzsimons who was behind the setting up of Acorns, she shook my hand and congratulated me that I kept trying and didn't give up on applying for the programme. Hearing her say that gave me such a boost and ignited my confidence which I'd mislaid during the months prior. 
Every lady I met just oozed inspiration, motivation and confidence which you couldn't help but to feed off it and thrive. 

Within our round table we have a wonderful lead in Alison Ritchie, Managing Director of Polar Ice. She's such a lady and has helped spur me on, along with my colleagues to move me and Darcy the Dingo forward. I feel very lucky with the great ladies that form our roundtable who are as follows;

Being accepted to Acorns has made me feel part of something so much bigger and when I see great women such as Nicki Hoyne of My Shining Armour, Niamh Hogan of Holos Skincare, Geraldine Byrne of Mediskin, Claire Molloy of Sweet Living Kilkenny and Jo Browne of Jo Browne to name but a few and seeing how they have progressed I feel all the more inspired as what the future holds for me. 

Brian Kelly aka my husband, father to our children and my rock

And my best inspiration of 2017 I've saved for last! My wonderful husband! Brian has put up with many of my up's and downs not only in 2017 but since 2004 and still as always he is by my side supporting me and our family. 
He's a true rock to me and there's many times I'd love to shake him in a good way as he doesn't realise what an inspiration he is to us. No matter what he is there and he always does his level best to be there for any appointments our children may have and help me when I need it to attend meetings etc for my business. 

I feel very blessed and proud to call Brian my husband and I know that with him by my side, there is greatness ahead ;-)

So, as we draw near to the end of 2017, what will 2018 bring? If I'm honest, who knows, but one thing I do know is it's going to be a great year! While there'll be lots of hard work, there will also be lots of fun and a trip or two to Mayo and most important of all, everything that is done will not just be for me but our family. 

I'd like to wish you a wonderful New Year and I hope that all you dream of comes true for you and your loved ones 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Now is the time!

As many of you know who follow me or chatted to me, I've been working on #secretproject for some time which many of you now know as Darcy the Dingo! When I revealed what #secretproject was, I was so excited and was ready to share Darcy the Dingo with all. 
Through one thing or another it didn't go as planned and as time progressed and life got in the way, I lost a lot of confidence in my own self if I'm honest! 

Last week when I met up with my fellow Acorns and our Lead, Alison Ritchie, I was filled with mixed emotions. While I'd my goals set and prepared from our initial meeting and was excited to see everyone, I was nervous too.

Deep down I'm excited about Darcy the Dingo and I know I'm not a failure in my own self and I've a "few brain cells" I can rub together but I'd lost confidence to move forward and take the steps I've needed to just start! 

Thanks to our Acorns round table talks last week, I'm now trying to stop overthinking, reducing how much I listen to everyone's "advice" and I'm just going to DO IT!

So, thanks to my fellow Acorns and also support of family and friends, I'm now doing it!

So, today, I finally have on sale, subscriptions for Darcy the Dingo and also an additional gift option which you can shop for here

Today, I feel proud, proud that I've finally just done it, even if it's not how I planned, I'm delighted to be moving forward and gaining back confidence in me! 

I must say a massive thank you too, to my fellow Acorns for pushing me in the right direction and also family and friends for helping me to take the leap and JUST DO IT! 

If I'm honest , for the last week after saying to my fellow Acorns, "Ok, I'll do it, I'II have a pre-sale / launch"! when I said the words, I shook and in many ways, I've hidden myself from admitting to those words and trying to figure out ways to get out of what I said but in saying that, it's a great thing to have happened! I'm now getting out there, I'm going to MOVE FORWARD  and I'm really looking forward to the journey! 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Review: Luggwoods Santa Experience

Yesterday we were invited to visit Santa's Enchanted Forest at Luggwood's and I must say we weren't disappointed! 

Neither Logan or Elise knew where we going so when we arrived and they saw the festive lights and signs for "Elves at play" there excitement levels soared knowing then they were meeting the main man Santa! 


Before boarding the train to go through the enchanted forest Logan and Elise got their faces painted by some helpful Elves and after that our journey began! The Elves greeted us and welcomed us on board the train and from that moment on the children were entertained and drawn in by the magic of Christmas. 

As we journeyed on the train, there was singing and fun with the Elves, the waking of the fairies and the saving of Christmas! When we arrived at Luggwoods barn we were greeted by none other than Mrs. Claus! We gathered inside to listen to her stories, saw the Elves workshop and danced with them on stage!

From there, there was more singing and we entered another room to get ready to meet Santa. As we waited we wrote and posted our letters to Santa, got a pic with the Elf on the shelf and there was Hot Chocolate and Santa's sleigh where you could also have a picture taken. 


The time came for us to meet the main man and both Logan and Elise were so excited. For us, it was big deal for Elise meeting with Santa as she has a big fear of beards (as per hubby, it's known as pogonophobia!). This year she began to get over her fear thanks to her godfather so for her to go in and high five Santa with ease made it for us! 
We got to have a few minutes to chat to Santa which was lovely and of course Logan and Elise received a gift. 

When we said our goodbyes to Santa, we were led by the Elf, out towards a room where the children were entertained with a disco and we collected our family photo with Santa before boarding the train back.  

To quote Logan on the way home "I didn't like it, I loved it" and I must say, I have to agree! It was such a lovely experience for all of the family and I look forward to seeing how Elise gets on with Santa next year ;-)

The whole experience lasted about 90 minutes and from start to finish the children were entertained throughout! 

If you haven't booked your visit to Santa yet, follow the link here 
to book your families ticket at Luggwoods. 

Disclaimer: I was invited to Luggwoods as a guest and all views are my own

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Moving Forward and I'm looking for you!

There's nothing like taking a step back, pausing and reminding yourself why you are doing what you are doing?! What was and is your motivation? 
Over the last few weeks this is just what I've done and I feel I've a new lease on not just life but on me! 

Since taking part in Acorns, it has reminded and helped me to refocus on the goals I need to set for my startup business, Darcy the Dingo to help move it forward and also for myself. I now feel more motivated than ever before and have a new and revived confidence in myself which I'm really enjoying. 

One goal, I have set is setting up a new focus group which you may have seen shared on my Facebook pages here or here. My reason for setting up this focus group is to hear your thoughts! Hearing what you have to say is important to me, so I would like you to take part and have your say. 

What's required if you take part?

To take part you will be asked to fill in some simple details* for your child/ ren to receive some postcards and letters from Darcy himself for 3 months! 

During the 3 months, there will be a private, closed Facebook page where you can ask questions or chat with others if you wish. 

At the end of the focus group, I would then ask those who take part to fill in a brief survey to gauge your feedback. 

So, what do you need to do to take part?!

It's simple, just pop an email to with the title Focus Group and let me know your'e interested in taking part! 

Can you spare 5 minutes?

Another aim I've set for myself is a brief survey which you may have seen the link for on my social media. There are 10 questions in all and you can answer as much or how little as you please
I'm hoping which I'm sure you can understand to gather as much information* as possible so would appreciate it if you can give as much detail as you can ;-). To take part in the survey, just follow the link here

I'm really looking forward to what is ahead for me and Darcy the Dingo and beginning the focus group and hearing yours and your little ones thoughts!

*It's important to note, that any information received is confidential and will not be shared with any other party.  

Thursday, 9 November 2017

I did it FOR me!

Today, was a great day! A great day because I took more steps for me! In my recent post Little Steps, which you can read about here I spoke about how lately I haven't been myself and since then I've being taking those little steps for myself! 

Starting Acorns on October 23rd with 55 other amazing women was the most wonderful thing I've been part of in quite sometime. While it was something for my business 
Darcy the Dingo, it was also something for me! It gave me a WOW, and reminded me, I am GREAT, I can ACHIEVE and I WILL achieve! 

So ..... what did I do today?! 

Well, today I took a massive step and one I said I'd never do, as it wasn't for me because "Been there(ish) done that(ish)" kind of thoughts went through my mind many times up until the last couple of weeks but thankfully, I turned those negative thoughts around and took the plunge with my fab friend and partner in crime to join one of the local gyms! 

While I've always known my body can do it in the gym with the correct training, I'm one of those people who needs my mind to be convinced that I'm actually going to take those steps TO DO IT and for the right reasons. 
Some of you will have read some of my posts regarding #BeTheBestYou and Fitness which you can read here and here and while I did do it for the right reasons for my body and health, they weren't always right for me. At the time, if I'm honest I was forcing myself to be something I'm not. 

.... Quick background! 

I remember 1st June 2014 I made a decision to take steps for me, for my body and my health. That day, I was delighted not that I was going to make lifestyle changes to be a fitter and healthier me but that I'd made a decision for me, for ME to make positive changes for myself. My journey while it was slow I was making a difference to myself both mentally and physically. 
I made good progress slowly on my own and as the months passed I took part in various programmes that really looking back weren't for me. Yes, they made additional positive changes which was great but for me, they weren't sustainable. They were plans and choices that didn't suit me and more importantly didn't suit our family. With taking on these programmes, it meant these bigger changes I really wasn't ready for and now 3 years on, I'm back to square one and then some!! 

So now, lets fast forward to today! Today, my decision was made for the right reasons like it was back in June 2014 - for Myself! Today, along with a great partner in crime to support me and vice versa, we joined our local gym, All Aspects Fitness and while yes its day one, we're looking forward to our journey ahead! 

Today, I walked away with my own goals, goals that are achievable for me and over the next 6 weeks, I'm going to work towards them. I say 6 weeks because, yes, I do plan to enjoy the festive season. While there will be some visits to the gym over the festives, there will also be visits to the box of choccies and some drinkies!! 

So my decision today was all for ME and not what other people have said I should / shouldn't do. Today I'm chuffed, I made this decision and I'm looking forward to tomorrows session and training with my great friend in crime. I know, I'll be like a ball of jelly as each training session progresses, but I also know, it will be worth it and it's for me! 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Little steps!

For months, I have been writing blog posts in my head but they never seemed to get written. There are many valid reasons why I never sat down to write them and also some excuses telling myself, tomorrow, I will get back to it, but alas this never happened until now! 

Over the last 12 months in some ways I haven't felt myself, not in a bad way but in a way that that I've been thinking a lot about things, life in general I suppose. And with all of this thinking well, if I'm honest it made me none the wiser and if anything it held me back from things I should've and wanted to do! 

When I think back to when I began my blog which you can read here, I was excited to have my own little space on the world wide web to call my own where I could share my "clucks and downs" with those who wanted to read them. I still love having this space but as already mentioned, I haven't made the time to share but more importantly, I haven't made the time for me! While the blog was to be my own space on the web, I also wanted it to be a place for me to escape from it all for a little while. So, today, today I've decided to do my best to stop overthinking and step by step to move forward. 

It can be so easy to put ourselves on hold and now its time for me to take steps to change that. I have many things in my life that I am grateful for and so many more to look forward to, one of which will start in the coming days. 
On Monday I received news that I was accepted to the Acorns Programme. To say I am delighted is an understatement. It was my third time to apply for the programme and thankfully, "three's a charm" and I was accepted. For me being accepted to the programme is the reboot I needed to move me forward not just for Darcy the Dingo but for myself! 

So today, I am seizing it to be the start of small changes for me and looking forward to the positive outcomes they bring!