A new Chapter

Work is looming tomorrow after nearly 12 months of maternity leave. I am a basket case! I’m not worried about the work part of the situation (as any parent knows – it’s nearly a break from the kids. Oh bad parent personified here!!!) but I am just worried about fitting the whole washing, cleaning, dropping, picking up, school run, sanity part in.

Anyway an easy weekend was needed in preparation!

On Friday night I was lucky enough to be brought to Ballymaloe House for dinner by my parents with my sister. We usually go once a year & it is such a treat.


Friday night is always buffet starter night – pretty much all you can eat seafood, terrines & salads so you have to be so careful and pace yourself for the other courses.


(My Mum saying in true Irish Mammy style “Have you that thing pointed at me? Don’t take me……Am I not in it? Ok so”)

This is then followed by a soup course, a main course, cheese tray, dessert tray & petit fours with coffee. Phew talk about a food baby in my tummy at the end of that.


(Sneaky Selfie in the toilets as mobiles are not allowed in the dining room. Top – Maje, Skirt – The Kooples, Boots – Zara, Clutch Anya Hindmarsh (Kildare outlets) & Primark/Penney’s Tights)

Saturday was a slow one – I didn’t even make the gym. But I did muster up enough energy to make some Power Breakfast bars from Derval O’Rourkes new cookbook “Food for the Fast Lane”.  I got the recipe from a magazine whilst getting my hair done in Kopper, Glanmire on Thursday. Bliss.


Here is the recipe for those interested:

Ingredients for 15 – 20 cookies:

350g rice flour

100g desiccated coconut

100g ground linseed

100g sunflower seeds

100g pumpkin seeds

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

50g dark chocolate

2 eggs

100g agave syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 180 degress C.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a jug.

4. Add wet ingredients to bowl and mix.

5. Roll into balls & place on baking tray prepared with baking sheets – making sure to leave a few cm between each cookie. Flatten slightly with your hand.

6. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and leave to cool on wire tray.

These are very tasty & quite substantial – in other words they do fill you up. I’ve been eating them as snacks but made them with the intention of grabbing them and bringing them in the car this week. I work as a sales rep so I have vowed not to sustain myself with food from the petrol station forecourts anymore! This book is going on my Christmas list for sure.

Today brought a trip to town for a bit of panic shopping on my husbands part. His sister is getting married next Friday so shoes were needed. So was a stop in Milano’s. We’d never been with the kids (I can hear you reel in shock) so we thought we’d give it a go. Wowser – how did I miss that one? The place was packed! And the kids menu is great so I would definitely recommend it.



(Now it wouldn’t take a genius to decipher which of ours will be the one sneaking out the bedroom window at 16 – you think?)

And so I bid sayounara to my maternity leave with a glass of red vino as I type this. I’m nervous & excited for this next new chapter.



Cross your fingers for me – out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say eh?

Cli xx

PS THREE pairs of shoes were purchased…..I will get years of mileage from this one!



  1. Maud
    January 7, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Hi Cliona,

    Love the blog. What is agave syrup and where would I find it as I’m dying to try those breakfast cookies.


    • January 12, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Hi Maud,

      Sorry for delay! Agave syrup can be bought in Holland & Barrett or any Heath food shop. It’s an unrefined sweetener from an agave plant – which is kinda similar to a cactus. I hope that helps? Happy baking!

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