Friday, March 18, 2011

Irish eyes are smiling

I am a lover of ALL holidays. No matter what it is, I always find a way to celebrate, always have a different wreath for my door that coordinates with it, and I always try to get in the spirit whether by dressing or baking or watching. That said, I've never really been huge on St Patrick's. I guess because it comes between the whole Christmas/New Year's/Valentine's debaucle, where everyone is going crazy with gifts and partying around, and then there's a lull before people ready themselves for Lent and easter eggs and palm sunday for Easter. St Patrick's seems to fall by the wayside, but for the past few years I have refused for that to happen! St Pat's gets its own day in my book, I mean I'm half Irish for pete's sake! So, despite my year round pale skin and blue eyes, I am no typical Irish and wasn't even aware til my grandma told me a few years ago, so without further ado -- here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate!

1) Green nails! I painted mine Sally Hansen's Emerald City, the same color I use for Christmas and the Master's. I'm a big fan of OPI and Essie, but couldn't find a color better -- this is dark and has flecks of silver in it.
2) The St Patrick's Parade at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. The only thing better than a St Pats parade is one in front of its namesake church, which is my FAVORITE church in the world! The beauty of the church on the inside never fails to take my breath away. I always go in here when I visit NYC every time, and if I was Catholic I'd get married there. I love watching this on tv and seeing the sea of redheads!

3) Corned beef and cabbage. Yes yes I know -- more traditional food is to eat salmon or lamb, but I love the savory beef with the steamed cabbage. I have tried making this myself and though it was edible, it wasn't noteworthy. Cracker Barrel can cook it like noone's business-- and with whole potatoes, carrots, biscuits and cornbread all in the meal -- where can you go wrong?

4) Turning the Chicago River green! I've been able to see this happen a while back when we went to Chicago for vacation -- I was like 14 or so, but won't ever forget it! So beautiful and it sticks around for quite some time!

5) Irish Soda Bread. I would always wait in lines at the bakery to get my hands on some, but finally found a perfect recipe and it is SO EASY! I plan on making it fairly often as it's only 4 ingredients, and is amazing with jam and butter as a snack, a side with meals, and breakfast! the cross on it is to ward off evil spirits, and I love that you knock on it to see if it's done in the oven!

6) John Mayer "St Patrick's Day". Okay okay, I know this isn't Irish at all -- but I loved listening to it while I was rolling out my dough for the bread and wearing my green! Plus his song alludes to what I mentioned earlier about St Pat's being overlooked with all the other holidays.

7) Lucky Charms Cereal. Once again I can hear your groans -- but when better is a good bowl of Lucky Charms before bed??

8) Boston Celtics. My favorite NBA team, and another reason to wear my shirt with the clover on it! Plus I'm sure Boston is the place to be on St Pat's! We went last August and you could feel and see the Irish presence there.

9) The gorgeous green grass of Ireland. That gorgeous country has always been on my bucket list to see one day, and the stunning scenery and lush grass is enough to draw anyone in. Ireland, I will see you one day!!

10) Claddagh ring. My ex gave me one that I loved and wore for years, but now that that is over and done with, I just can't simply buy and wear one without that negative connotation. However, I enjoy watching them on people from afar and have thought of buying a necklace or earrings. I love what they stand for, how you wear them on one hand or another, and turned in or out depending on your relationship. One of my instructors had one as her wedding ring with a diamond where the heart is, and diamonds where the band was. It was so gorgeous and I found myself admiring it everytime she was near me. Plus it has a crown (!!)

11) and you have to end your day with a good Irish movie! Two of my favorites are the heart-wreching-cry-your-eyes-out PS I love you, and the wanna-go-fight-someone-after-you-watch Boondock Saints. Plus both movies have good looking actors! :) 

One thing I haven't been able to find anywhere is McDonald's Shamrock Shake! I have looked forever with no answers! There's even a GPS/Stalker site called "Find the Shake" where people update on regions of the countryt where they found them! hilarious!

Lastly I'll leave you with an Irish blessing that I just absolutely love! I always find them in antique shops on plaques, but can't ever find just the perfect one for me.

What are your favorite St Pats things?

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