The Snug…where the best tales are spun

May 11 2016

I’ve been busy

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Hi-dee-ho neighbours …

I have been swamped these past few months with work – I’m not complaining at all…it is good to be busy. The only downside is I don’t get to vent my frustrations in your general directions.

GF Sourdough

Gluten Free Sourdough at Mortons of Galway

 

The kids are bigger and bolder and the chef lives in his own little world of Bread and Baking at Mortons. His Sourdoughs are killer and he is trialing a Gluten Free Sourdough right now which is getting decent reviews! If you try it, let me know!

Now that summer is approaching I hope to get back to doing a bit more blogging.

In the meantime, click over to this gorgeous website to read a few of my reviews on a few well known restaurants.

I’ll be back soon!

WiseMóna

Oct 18 2015

Two years TV free at home

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I can’t believe it myself to be honest.

This week – we are two years TV free at home.

I thought for sure himself would have cracked by now and fallen prey to the seductiveness of Sky or the lure of UPC offers that keep popping up in the daily post.

This little sticker on the letterbox will sort that problem out!

Galway Blogger TV Free at home

Last year, right around this time, I wrote about how it was to be TV free for a year. The kids all chimed in, as did himself, because clearly they were still feeling the withdrawal symptoms of going TV free at home.

This year, when I tossed the question about, I got nothing; Bubkiss.

They couldn’t be bothered even chiming in because the house is well and truly TV free, and I think they have all come to terms with the fact that the TV ain’t coming back.

One of the observations I have made, however, is that it honestly takes about a year and a half to break oneself (or actually one’s family!) of this highly addictive bad habit.

Before you go all defensive on me and cite the benefits of leaving the telly on to pacify a few kids while you make dinner, don’t worry, I totally agree that it is more important to feed the kids. But have a read of this article and this one and get back to me. There are scientific studies out there that state “TV can affect kids’ health, behavior and family life in negative ways.” The one that got me the most was that “time spent watching TV  can take time away from healthy activities like active playing outdoors with friends, eating dinner together as a family or reading.”

In one of those studies, over 54% of families have the TV on when eating dinner. For the love of god people, if you are watching TV while eating dinner with your families, please stop now.

Time spent around the table with kids, while it might be stressful especially during the teenage years, dinnertime might be your only window into their souls. Even if they are hating on you … they will talk to their siblings and you can catch a glimpse of what’s going on in their worlds.

And if you want to take it one step further, cook with them. Although a big fan of myself and himself sticking together (it is us against them after all – we are totally outnumbered!) we have just recently started to divide and conquer. The kids, bless their organic fair-trade cotton socks, are mighty for doing the dishes after dinner, for the most part that is. There are times, usually at 6am in the morning, when I pull a plate from the cupboard and it is grimy, from a child in a hurry putting dishes away that may have never seen a dishwasher.

So now, he assigns a few of them to cook with him, week on, week off. On the week they cook – they don’t have to clean up and vice versa. Seeing as I am the original dishbitch around here, I am now taking more of an active role in make sure the shit gets done the right way every time, and in a timely fashion. Because, let’s face it, as much as we all know that ‘now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face‘, I would much rather be doing something A LOT more productive or relaxing! (you can thank me later for that ear worm!)

He has also just started to teach them how to bake bread (so far they have made Ciabatta and Danish. Sourdough is next weekend) and make the basic sauces. In a few months, maybe by the start of the new year, he is adamant that they will be able to cook supper for us, from start to finish, without needing any assistance from the Chef. Fingers crossed!

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Ok – somehow I got sidetracked with kids and dishes and the real crux of the story has not yet even surfaced.

When I sat with himself and had a chat about being TV free for two years and whether or not he was ready to throw the towel in and get the TV back .. he was nowhere to be found.

Eventually, I found him hiding out in the bedroom reading yet another book. He is a trilogy kinda guy now guys and dolls – like Dan Brown and anything Scandinavia crime thrillers – any recommendations please leave them here in the comments and I can start looking for his Christmas pressie.

It took the first year to wean him of the TV and now, happily detoxed from telly in his second year of being TV free, I can’t keep up with his book buying and reading. No – he refuses to use the Kindle. No screen time for this fella unless its a rented DVD.

Sigh. My work here is done and it all happened without me even really trying.

As the years roll by us, and the kids take their leave from Tween to Teen … we are feeling them pull away in ordinary healthy ways. They are ready to be more independent in the way they dress and behave. We have very few opportunities to sit them down for a chat, without a scowl being on one of our faces, so meal times spent together – well this is truly treasured time. Sometimes we are so caught up in the parenting journey that seems to be without a destination. It can be beautifully uncertain and frightening. Full of bumps in the road – we just need to remember to take time out to appreciate the view along the way.

If you have been thinking about cutting back on overall TV time, then here are a few tips for you to get started.

Right – there is still a decent chunk of the weekend left – so off out for a walk and bit of fresh sea air today!

WiseMóna x

Mar 27 2015

Choose to be ‘Gay for a Day’ …. on May 22nd, 2015.

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Marriage Equality Bill 2015

The Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015 (bill no.5 of 2015) is a proposed amendment to the constitution of Ireland to mandate provision for same-sex marriage. The bill was introduced to the Oireachtas in January 2015 by the Fine Gael–Labour government, which expects both houses of the Oireachtas to pass the bill in time for a referendum to be held on 22 May 2015; all constitutional amendments must be put to referendum.

Voters will be asked whether to add to the Constitution that “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.

A YES vote is supported by the Government as well as all major political parties.

According to polls, provision for same-sex marriage is supported by about 76% of the voters.

The above statistic is fecking AWESOME but only if said voters get out and actually vote!

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I.LOVE.THIS.COMMERCIAL.

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Have you added your YES Equality 2015 to your profile photos yet? If not, why not? Maybe you can’t find the easy peasy template?

It is RIGHT HERE! Get it done and Tweet me or share with me on Instagram.

YES WiseMona

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Best response evah …..

JKTweet Gay ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I am not going to get up on my soap box on this one guys and dolls … well, maybe just a wee bit … I have A LOT of gay friends and family members. I love them all because they are beautiful, funny, creative, smart and talented humans.

I believe we, as humans, ALL deserve to be treated equally, no matter the colour of our skin or the bedfellows we fall hopelessly in love with.

This is a human rights issue; Stop trying to convince yourself it is anything else.

On that note, and if you dare listen to our national broadcasting radio station these days, a few fecking eejits  folks are feeling the need to phone in and voice their opinions.

The one opinion shared that has had the most impact on me, and my kids because we were listening to the radio on the way to school, was the notion that you just wake up one day and ‘choose to be gay’.

So….I am directing this at anyone who feels that being your – fabulous – gay self, is a choice.

Of all bloody days to wake up and choose to be gay – please do so on Friday May 22nd, 2015 and vote for your (human) right to be treated as an equal.

You can click here for voting information.

I feel it is only right to finish up with a few words from the fabulous Lady Gaga herself and stick this ear worm in your head for the day …. or maybe for the next 7 weeks ….

My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are
She said, ’cause He made you perfect, babe
So hold your head up,
girl and you’ll go far

 

 

Remember guys and dolls … It’s ok to be GAY!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today.

Have a wonderful weekend! The Chef and I are off to visit our friends at OldFarm in County Tipperary where a weekend of #midireland and #magicalmidlands tourist fun awaits us!

WiseMóna

Sep 9 2014

So you are thinking of doing a PhD?

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Well, everyone keeps asking ‘Are you going to do a PhD?’ … it seems like the next step doesn’t it?

Hello husband of mine. Please, remember to place the oxygen mask firmly over your mouth first, and take a deep breath before bellowing out your outrage at the thoughts of me even considering this.

Before I allow myself to think about taking on another FOUR LONG years as a student, I decided to ask my good friend Sally McHugh to give me the run down, on what a person needed to do in order to put the wheels in motion, when thinking about applying to do a PhD at NUI Galway.

This is her story and while it is all told in an excellent and very engaging manner, Sally wants you all to remember that this is just her experience. It is meant to help you navigate through what might be entailed when it comes to the grant(s) and application process.  I think it is the best guide I’ve seen to date.

Take it away Sally!

Phd1

Image: www.themarysue.com

I was lucky enough to be recently awarded a 2014 Hardiman Research Scholarship from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies at NUI Galway. My journey towards this point started back in 2007 when I enrolled on an evening diploma class at NUIG. Two years later I commenced a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and graduated with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in 2013. I loved my time studying in the university and really wanted to continue researching so I began to think about doing a PhD. Different ideas went through my head over time but it wasn’t until I experimented with different concepts for my MA thesis that my topic fully developed. I hummed and hawed for a long time over whether I would apply or not and it was constantly niggling away in the back of my mind.

Once I decided I was going to go for it, I had to make contact with a supervisor and find someone that would share the same interests as myself. A list of NUIG potential supervisors and their research interests can be found here and that was a good place to start. The next step was to email and arrange a meeting with a potential supervisor and have a chat. Before either of us made any commitments, fully discussing my topic was good for sussing out if we could work together. Once my choice of supervisor had agreed to come on board, it was time to start researching the different funding available and how to apply for the different grants.

Images: www.behance.net/1103810DMalcolm & taocentro.blogspot.ie

Images: www.behance.net/1103810DMalcolm & taocentro.blogspot.ie

During the academic year the Graduate Studies Office run information sessions and these were very useful and helpful for understanding the application process. At the 2013 sessions, the Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr Lucy Byrnes and the Vice Dean for Research, Dr John Walsh, gave all the necessary information on the different scholarships and how to apply for them. They went through the application process in detail and spoke about what is expected in the different applications. They also gave pointers as to what else to add into your application, for instance, have you a vision for something and if so to tell them about it; are you passionate about your topic and if so to demonstrate that passion. This was good advice because often we (I) tend to be more formal when doing applications, but realistically how are those selecting the candidates supposed to know how you really feel unless you tell them? They advised mentioning what position you came in a class, any academic awards you may have won, scholarships, or anything relevant that might make you stand apart from your competitors. Attending these talks and taking everything suggested on-board was vital in preparing a good application.

Before you start the scholarship application itself, you will probably have to write a proposal for the college department you wish to study in. This usually consists of roughly 5 pages (A4) with headings such as Introduction (outlining your research question), Aim & Objective(s), Theoretical Framework, Methodology and Research Plan, Significance of Study /Relationship of Project to Existing Research. Your supervisor may be able to assist you in the drafting up of this document and once it’s done, it will be the foundation for all the scholarship applications that you apply for.

Hardiman-appl-clip-PS

Image: Sally McHugh-Research Proposal

 

In the academic year the first opportunity to apply for funding was the Hardiman Research Scholarship and the Dr Tony Ryan Scholarship Scheme (your one application is considered for both scholarships). This usually has an annual deadline in late November and those short-listed are interviewed in December/early January. The stipend is €16,000 p.a. and fees are also paid.

The Second opportunity is the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, more commonly known as the IRC (Irish Research Council). These scholarships have the same funding as the Hardiman/Ryan scholarships but will also pay research expenses up to the value of €2250 p.a. The deadline for this application is usually the end of January. The IRC website gives all the relevant dates including information on other funding opportunities such as the ‘Employment Based Postgraduate Programme’ and an ‘Enterprise Partnership Scheme’.

The third opportunity is the Galway Doctoral Research Scholarship Scheme, usually advertised in March/April but like the other scholarship schemes, is subject to change. These scholarships are for €16,000, but fees have to be paid out of this allowance.

Scholarships are also available under the Digital Arts & Humanities (DAH) structured PhD programme and this year the closing date was in mid-May. Funded by the Higher Education Authority the scholarships are also €16,000 plus fees paid.

More information on these and other scholarships like Bioinnovate and the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme can be found on the Postgraduate research courses page on the NUIG website. There may be more funding available in the different schools that I’m not aware of, so it’s worth checking that out directly with the schools.

People are notified about the outcome of their NUIG Hardiman Scholarship application in early January as one of the conditions of acceptance is that you also submit an application to IRC, the Irish Government scholarship, and that closes end of Jan/beg of Feb. (all dates are posted on the Postgraduate Research Courses webpage). Although you may be successful in receiving the NUIG Hardiman/Ryan scholarship, by applying for and possibly receiving an IRC scholarship, your IRC acceptance frees up another place for someone else in the Hardiman scheme. The results from the IRC are usually out in late May/June and are available online. Later, they send you some feedback on your application so that you know what to work on if you apply again.

All scholarships are very competitive and so the application process is very important. The approach I took was to be honest, to say exactly how I felt in simple language, to show my genuine enthusiasm and passion for the research, and to explain the importance of the research from my own point of view. I also believed it important to maintain an authentic professional online presence, because although it’s not mentioned on any application forms, you are surely googled at some stage! As you have to include your CV on applications, another good idea is to make an appointment at the NUIG Career Development Centre where a member of staff will sit down with you and work on your CV.

I’m looking forward to beginning the PhD journey and I’m sure there will be many obstacles along the way but it’s exciting to get started (and to get to fill in the blanks below!). I’m hoping it will be a rewarding experience.

Good luck with your application!

thesisoutline

Image:phdcomics.com

 

Thanks a million for this handy ‘how to apply for a PhD’ guide Sally.

Now … must be time for a cuppa, anyone?

WiseMóna
OH – and on a side note. First day as a lecturer went alright. I spoke too fast and tried to cram way too much into a short space of time. Today – I will practice breathing … then talking. Thanks for all the love, support, message and emails. Ye are lovely, really x

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Sep 8 2014

By the time you read this …… I’ll be gone to work

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What?

Work I hear you say?

Yes. Work. As in the kind of work that pays in cold hard cash.

But before you get too excited, it’s only a little job, with just a few hours per week, but it sure as heck makes me feel like going back to college for five long years –  was totally worth it.

Today, Monday September 8th, 2014, I’ll start my new job as a part-time lecturer (of Journalism) at NUI Galway.

Exactly five years ago, to the day, I sat in a classroom scared to death of college and learning……and felt like a right eejit for following my dream.

Let this be a lesson to all you dreamers….get your ass out of bed and make it happen. Right now.

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Thanks to the love and support of my Mum and my husband and my siblings and my friends, I have come through shining at the other end. I should also go on record to thank our children who, in their own endearing way have kept me motivated to keep moving forward.

My foot would not be in the proverbial front door of the university were it not for the constant support of my supervisor, who has challenged and supported me for the last five years, and the trust my new boss has in me today. They have already taught me so much, and now they trust I can teach others. No pressure there!

It was not all sunshine and roses along the way and there was at least one, if not two times where I felt sure I was dropping out. But I didn’t quit.

Excited much? Yep.

Totally terrified? You betcha.

Worried you might get fired? Of course.

Any chance at all you might feel even a little bit proud of this accomplishment? Ok…yes, if you insist.

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And before I sign off…this you should know. Having a blog was instrumental in keeping sane while enduring my years of study at NUI Galway.

Meeting new friends, on and off line, and listening to your feedback on all my daft stories propelled me to just keep going. I am certain that my digital profile was studied hard before anyone approached me with this opportunity and I want y’all to know…I love you.

Wish me luck….even though you know as well as I do, none of this can be attributed to the ‘Luck of the Irish’ …. It is all down to hard bloody work.

So…. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go….teaching 2nd yr Journalists a class called ‘The Journalists Web’……

I’m sure there’ll be Tweeting … You can find me @WiseMona and the hashtag is #TeachN’Tweet.

WiseMóna

Jun 4 2014

Life as a part-time intern

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It’s no picnic at the top guys and dolls.

I’m just finished with the first work placement with Education Matters and am delighted to report that they have offered to pay me and my colleague Caroline Duggan to continue on blogging and interviewing people for their blog and their annual publication which is due out in December. Part-time paid work for a journalist is waaaaaaaay better than no work, right?

In addition to that, I had my first day at the Connacht Tribune yesterday. This is also a part-time placement with me only doing three days a week for the next month. I wanted the in-house newspaper experience and after my first day in their office yesterday … I am struggling to find the courage to make it in to work today and its only day 2.

It feels like I am back in junior infants/1st grade and I am the only one in the class that knows absolutely nothing. A lovely bunch of people work at the Connacht Tribune … but they are all well seasoned hacks and I’m sure are growing weary of the students who show up looking for experience … when all we really do is kinda get in the way and annoy the crap out of everyone with all the questions.

I suppose its like this on anyone’s first day in a new ‘job’. The sick-to-your-guts feeling that you are going to make a complete eejit of yourself … and then everyone will know what a total eejit you are.

Yep – that’s exactly how I feel.

But … I have not spent the last five years in college learning how to write .. to give up now. I will plod on, I will have fun and I will finish my unwritten Thesis of 15,000 words, before August 15th.

Then the …. honest-to-god-sick-to-my-stomach-at-the-thoughts-of-it… real hard work begins … the search for somewhat gainful employment.

CT FB - almost 17 K

For now though … why not pop over the the Connacht Tribune website and download their GalwayApp (free). Also pay a visit to their Facebook page because they are at almost 17,000 fans on their page and have a great audience ……… and if you are on Twitter … please connect over there too.

CT Twitter

I have no idea which of my stories will even make the cut … but if any of them do, I’d hate you not to be able to have a read.

aNd if you have any exciting stories you think Ae newsworthy …then by all means send me an email at Mona.Wise@CTribune.ie

Thanks for all the blog love lads … and if you are still looking for a breakaway to the West this summer .. next blog post in the drafts folder (coming later this week) is for a 2-night getaway at the G Hotel ….. oh me .. oh my … you’ll have to try … just make sure you are a registered reader right here.

That’s all I got for now,

WiseMóna

May 5 2014

{Event} Blue Teapot Theatre Company

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imageThe Blue Teapot  Theatre Company

Silkes, Munster Avenue

Galway

(091) 520 – 977

Admin@BlueTeapot.ie

 

Girls smiling

 

Just around the corner from Kai café sits the Blue Teapot Theatre Company. The two lassies in the above photos are not only neighbours, they are friends and have joined forces to raise some money for the next drama production the Blue Teapot Theatre will produce for the Galway Arts Festival – it’s called ‘ID’.

From July 16, 2014 to July 26, 2014
Blue Teapot Theatre, Munster Avenue, Galway city

iD: identity                 iD: intellectual Disability

‘Who do you think I am’.

iD experiences the world as seen through the eyes of people with intellectual disability and also questions our perceptions of identity along the way.

The world premiere of iD will be unveiled in the Galway Arts Festival this year. This innovative and entertaining new work is conceived & presented by the actors in collaboration with Director, Scott Williams and Dramaturg, Gavin Kostick.

 

 

 

Jess Murphy, always wearing her generous heart on her sleeve, heard that Petal (the director of the Blue Teapot Theatre) had just launched a Fundit campaign to raise the necessary funds for their new show and she jumped in with both feet. How about a pop-up dinner at the theatre?

The folks at the theatre were only too delighted to get a bit of help, and even a bit shocked, because no one has ever proposed such a thing before and the Blue Teapot Theatre has been around since 1996.

Photo: by Reg Gordon

Photo: by Reg Gordon

So first things first folks …  ask yourself ‘do you have a few extra pennies, dimes, dollars, euros or pounds to spare?’ If so then please help support this FundIt campaign – especially those of you living so far away you can’t make it to the pop-up supper on Friday May 16th 2014.

LOGO BTP

If you want to be part of the fun and attend the pop-up dinner on Friday May 16th, 2014 then have a look at the long list of people who are only too happy to donate their time and their food and wine. We are most fortunate to live in a city (and country) that is bursting with generosity. If this does not whet the appetite I am not sure what will.

All goods – save but a few tiny items like plates and linens – will be donated for the evening and Jess hopes to raise close to €6,000 for the Blue Teapot Theatre company.

Helping Jess out in the kitchen for the evening is Enda McEvoy – Galway’s first and only Michelin star chef. Enda was kind enough to jump in (also with both feet) even though he is in the throes of gearing up to open his own place slap bang in the heart of the city – LOAM. Stay tuned on this one, it is sure to be delicious.

You can watch a little video chat with him and Jess right here.

Also lending Jess a hand is Louise Bannon of NOMA (listed again recently as the best restaurant in the world) .. she is in town for the Ballymaloe Literary fest and is making a little time to dish up a few tasty plates with her mates. These chefs are quite the force guys. They get.shit.done.

louise bannon

Louise Bannon – NOMA restaurant

Aran McMahon from Café Rua will start of the evening by serving Rhubarb Belinis to the crowd and  Kevin Powell – noisemaker at Gruel Guerrilla and famous for his pop ups in Dublin with News of the Curd – too is donating a helping hand with service for the evening.

Although killing himself on the campaign trail, Seámus Sheridan also took a few minutes to join in the fun and is lining up the wines for the night with Enrico Fantasia from Grape Circus. This is always the fun part!

Eric Morton

There will, of course be bread – which Morton’s of Galway are only too happy to donate …

Ron Wise - Morton's of Galway

Cuinneog are donating important ingredients like cream, butter and sour cream …… Tony Garraha from Lough Boora Farm is donating all the fabulous greens and floral edibles needed for the menu – which is going to resemble a midsummers night meal .. There is talk of a beautiful beetroot salad, a fresh fish ceviche and of course Brady’s butcher in Athenry has donated all the meat.

I can only imagine ….. it all sounds …… delectable.

Urban Grind - header café sign exterior (1 of 1)

Padraig from Urban Grind (also in the neighbourhood and eager to meet y’all) is donating the exquisite (3fe) coffee …. I could use a cup right now … and incase that does not sound like enough … didn’t Seámus Sheridan come back and offer to donate the cheese to wrap up the evening …

The evening will be captured by one of my favourite photographers Reg Gordon and if you are able to attend this event, make sure you find him and say hi – aside from being incredibly talented, he is one heck of a nice guy to donate his time and talent to this event.

So there you have it … a list of people all offering to donate their time, money and food in the hopes that you will come and fill your bellies with a fabulous five-course (with wine) dinner on Friday May 16th, 2014.

Click here to donate or pick up the phone and call (091) 520-977 to book your place for the pop-up kitchen at Blue Teapot Theatre.

Thanks folks … t’is not often I ask for your help and as usual we have something to sweeten the pot … Ron and I cannot attend this event as we are tied up with a work thing already that evening but we are happy to donate our two tickets (worth €150) to a lucky reader.

Here is the kicker … you have to be subscribed to our WiseWords blog (sign up here) and because this is a time sensitive event and fundraiser, we are asking that you donate at least a few euros to the FundIT campaign. We will pick a winner on Tuesday evening (May 13th) giving you plenty of time to organise a babysitter or a taxi .. because I am sure this is going to be a fabulous night out in Galway.

Just leave me a comment down below letting me know you have already made a small donation and I will throw your name in the hat and we will join you for the cheese course!

That’s all for now folks … thanks for tuning in.

WiseMóna

 

 

May 2 2014

Does Galway have what it takes to claim the title as Ireland’s Best Food Destination?

Posted by     5 Comments    in The Snug

WIseMona Foodie Town

You bet your sweet ass we do.

Watch this video first … it serves as a nice reminder of how passionate the locals are about the thriving food scene in Galway. We are also very passionate about the thriving Beer scene in Galway but will have to leave that for another day.

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The Restaurants Association of Ireland, in association with AdMailer.ie from An Post, are on the search for Ireland’s premier foodie destination.

I  need your help.  Click on the image below and vote for Galway – please.

Foodie Towns graphic

AND … because you helped me out – this is a little reminder to stay tuned. Just like last summer, we will be hosting a few FABULOUS summer giveaways right here on the blog so you can pack up, get away for a few days – and head WEST!

Maybe a couple of nights right here in Galway at The G Hotel or a few nights at Mulranny Park Hotel in Westport? Just as long as you are a registered reader of our blog – you will be in with a chance to win. There are a few other places lined up for later in the summer too … I can’t wait to blog-all-about-them.

Now- back to the voting ….. anyone can vote so share the link with your friends and family

PLEASE help us put Galway on the map!

THANK YOU!!

Have a lovely weekend … we have a nice long one here on the island with it being a May Bank Holiday weekend. No plans really … just the usual chasing after four kids to keep us busy.

WiseMóna

 

PS – if you have any trouble with the voting page .. please let me know via the comments section down below or via twitter or email me at MonaZWise@gmail.com.

 

Apr 10 2014

Education Matters

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Quad

Hi there …

Just a quick hello and brief update on where I am hanging out these days. College classes are over and I have completed three quarters of the MA in Journalism at NUIG. I have still to hand in a 15,000 word Thesis (not due until August) and I also have to complete a work placement experience – which I will be graded on too.

Education-Matters-logo

The first work placement I have undertaken as part of the course is in the national office for  Education Matters – their HQ is conveniently located on campus here at NUIG. If you have never heard of them, you can pop over and have a look at their website right here. They produce an annual publication (A professional handbook of Educators in Ireland) – this is  a useful tool for teachers and parents.

Say for example, if your little Johnny wanted to study medicine in college next year, then you could pick up a copy of this book and have a look at the who’s-who in Education … I am not encouraging helicopter parenting, but I’d be lying if I did not say I was  interested in finding out a little bit more about the teachers who are currently teaching my kids and the ones we have yet to meet.

Twitter - April 8th 2014

I, along with my college colleague Caroline Duggan, will be blogging and Tweeting and sharing links over on Facebook  regarding all things EDUCATION.

Facebook - April 8th 2014

If you have an interest in this topic – and I think most pepole do – then pop over and have a read. The first post we launched yesterday is all about how teachers can foster creativity in the classroom and how they have inspired their students to go forth and be fabulous.

We have hot topics lined up to review with all the readers – I’d love to hear your feedback on many or all of them.

Why? Because Education Matters …

WiseMona

Jan 13 2014

Want to go to college? It’s not too late.

Posted by     No Comments    in The Snug

October 2007 – we upped sticks in the US and moved to Switzerland. I had a one year contract with a large insurance company and we were ready to ‘do something different’ and live closer to my siblings and Mum – all scattered across the continent between Ireland, France and Switzerland.

In August 2008 – right before our eldest was ready to enlist in school – we headed back to Ireland. The fact that education is still free (for the most part) in Ireland played a huge part in our decision making.

NUIG lawn

Now, all four of our children are enroled in the local national school (the same one my siblings and I attended as children) and they are all thriving, thanks to my Mum mostly, as she picks them up from school 4 days a week to ‘do the homework’ with them. We have somehow managed to keep a harmonious work-life-study balance here at Chez Wise.

In September of 2009 – I began my own education journey. I applied for, and was accepted into a four year undergraduate course studying English literature and German language studies with a specialism in Creative Writing.

Even with a rock solid support system at home with my Mum, and very understanding husband, this was not easy. It was damn near impossible to graduate … but I did (with honours) and am now sitting at my desk (back) in college with a final 12 week semester ahead of me – finishing up an MA in Journalism.

Although very blurry – when I look back over the last five years I can honestly say I never saw this coming; This love for education that is.

Sure, I had hoped I would not flunk my exams and flop out of college – and having come through at the other end, I can tell you I totally understand why people DO DROP OUT of college courses. It is bloody hard.

But the rewards are great. The friends I have found, the experiences I have had, and the contacts I have made have all helped me get where I am today. We are working on job placements this week – and the good news is folks – there are LOTS of opportunities out there. So many, my head hurts from all the decision making I will have to do before the week is over.

images NUIG 2

If you are thinking about going to college, be it first time around or a wish to do something different, then now is the time for you to apply. The Central Applications Office deadline is February 1st, 2014. You can apply online right here.

NUIG BA in Journalism prospectus (page 2)

NUIG BA in Journalism prospectus (page 2)

If you are interested in Journalism – there is an excellent new undergraduate program right here at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) – you can read all about that right here.

Also, if you are in receipt of social welfare, and have been for longer than 9 months, you will almost certainly qualify for the Back to Education allowance scheme which will enable you to receive an income whilst you study. In essence, you will be paid to go to college as opposed to receiving a social welfare payment to sit at home twiddling your thumbs. In addition to that, citizens and residents of Ireland are elegible for free fees (based on previous years income).

If this is something you have been toying around with, mulling over, himming and hawing over, then this is the year to do it. The economny is showing signs of life, and the forecasters are making statements that the worst is over and the economy is bouncing back – but I think it will take a few years before we see a drastic increase in unemployment in Ireland.

This is my public service anouncement for January. Just do it.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

WiseMona

 

About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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