Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kiss the Blarney Stone & Get The Gift of Gab!

I think it's a given that if you're going to Ireland, a stop at Blarney Castle is a must. It's the very first thing that we scheduled into our itinerary, then planned the rest of our road trip around that.

Blarney Castle

One of the many things that I love about Ireland is that there are a lot of things you can see and explore that are free. However, Blarney Castle & Gardens does have an entrance fee, and it isn't exactly cheap. We paid roughly $80 USD for 3 adult tickets and 1 child ticket, and I believe that was even with Mariah getting a student discount with her school i.d. The $80 was just to explore the castle and gardens, but if you wanted to tour the Blarney House as well, there is a separate fee for that. Since we had a few other stops that we wanted to make that day, we passed on the house tickets and just stuck with the castle and gardens. Was the price worth it, though? Totally!

Blarney Castle

We arrived on a cold and rainy week day afternoon. The rain had just let up shortly before we arrived, so the castle was not crowded at all.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

We immediately went into the castle to do some exploring, then find the line to kiss the Blarney Stone. It was interesting to climb the stairs, then veer off to see the different rooms in the castle. The thing that struck me most was how small the rooms were compared to how huge the castle is.


Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle


Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

What do you think about this "Murder Hole?" Doesn't sound very pleasant, does it?

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

We waited in the Blarney Stone line for around 20 to 30 minutes, but the wait wasn't horrible because you get some pretty spectacular views from the windows and the top of the castle.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

There were two men helping guests with kissing the stone. One to guide you as you lay on your back to kiss the stone and the other to photograph your experience. You can totally take your own photos like we did, but it is nice to know that you can get a professional photo if you didn't get a good shot of your own. Of course, there is an extra fee for that, but they don't try to pressure you into making the purchase, they just let you know the option is available for those who do.

Blarney Castle

For those who worry about germs, they did have a bottle of disinfectant on hand and were cleaning the stone in between groups. Did I get the gift of gab though? Nah. I'm still terrible with words and find myself in many awkward silence situations. It's okay though because it was one of those experiences we'll remember for a lifetime. Afterwards, we made our way back down though the back of the castle so we could spend some time exploring the gardens. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for that update!

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle




Would you kiss the Blarney Stone? 



Friday, June 14, 2019

Dad's Gonna Love This Breakfast Hash!

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. 


Last week, I shared a quick and easy no-fuss breakfast recipe that would be perfect for Father's Day. I waffled between 2 recipes to share this year, then wondered why not both? I mean, is there anything better than breakfast food? We have breakfast for dinner here often, and if your husband or father is anything like my husband, he'll eat it morning, noon, and night without complaint. Jason wakes earlier than everyone else, so he's usually in charge of feeding himself in the mornings. One thing that he makes that always disgusts me is corned beef hash in a can. Sorry if you're one of those who likes it too, but to me it looks and smells like canned dog food, so it's something I could never get on board with. Homemade hash, on the other hand, gets a big fat yes from me! One of my favorite Breakfast Hash recipes come from Golden Blossom Honey. This recipe does require more than a few minutes to whip up, but I promise, it is so worth it!

Breakfast Hash

This does have a 30 minute stove top time, but I used a little hack to help save a few prep minutes. Use 2 bags of refrigerated diced potatoes with the chopped onions already inside. I used Simply Potatoes, but if there's a cheaper store brand option, by all means, try those. Of course, you can peel, cook and dice your own potatoes and onions as the recipe calls for, but I'm kind of lazy now that we're on summer vacation, so the store bought pre-diced potatoes was a great option for me. 
 
Hash


If the dads in your life are meat and potatoes men, treat them to this hash this Father's Day. I'm sure they'd love it morning, noon, or night, and I guarantee that it's much tastier than that mush from a can!

Ingredients
2 (11 ounce) packages frozen cream chipped beef
6 or 7 medium potatoes, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
4 tablespoons butter

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Beef Hash

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.


If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!


What's on your Father's Day menu this year?


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Captain Marvel Collectible SteelBook Now Available at Best Buy! #CaptainMarvel

I received a Best Buy gift card courtesy of the sponsor to help facilitate this post. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. 


Summer vacation has officially started here, and with that I know that I'll be hearing a chorus of "I'm bored!" before the week is even up. However, this mama is prepared this year because I have a slew of activities and camps planned to keep the kids busy. I even have an ace in the hole boredom buster up my sleeve: Captain Marvel Collectible SteelBook available from Best Buy!

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is available today, so if you're looking for a little summer entertainment, Best Buy can hook you up. You can get your copy with super cool packaging: a collectible SteelBook that is exclusive to Best Buy!

Captain Marvel


About Captain Marvel: 

This sci-fi action film is the latest offering from the American comic books by Marvel Comics. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), an Air Force pilot who experiences a freak accident that somehow bestows her with alien superpowers, making her Captain Marvel. With time running out, Captain Marvel joins forces with Nick Fury (Samuel.L Jackson), and together they work to save the planet from a looming war between alien races.

The film is packed full of action and adventure, making it the perfect way to get some entertainment in this summer. Not just for the kids, but it's one that the whole family is going to want to watch time and time again! 

Captain Marvel is available to purchase today. Be sure to head to BestBuy where you can pick up your copy in store or online. And remember, you can only get the Captain Marvel collectible SteelBook exclusively @BestBuy!







 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Askeaton Castle & Friary

If you drive through Ireland, you'll notice that the country is insanely visitor friendly. We had everything that we wanted to see and do mapped out months before our trip, but we still ended up with some down time most days we were there. If we had extra time between our plotted out stops, we noticed that the major roads had signage indicating that the next exit would take us to nearby castles and abbeys. I didn't have a stop planned for Askeaton, Ireland, but while castle hopping we decided to follow the signs and make a detour since we were ahead of schedule. We arrived at the Askeaton Castle fairly quickly (sometimes it does take a bit of a drive to reach the castles once you exit), found parking on the street nearby, and walked over to have a peek. Our first impression: there wasn't much to look at.


Askeaton Castle

Some of the off the beaten path castles and abbeys in Ireland were in ruins, but we were still able to walk up and explore them. However, we were stopped by a construction worker who politely let us know that the Askeaton Castle was undergoing major construction and wasn't open for touring. We thanked him for letting us know, then proceeded to just stay on the side walk so I could try to grab a few photos before we left.

Askeaton Castle
Askeaton Castle

When the same construction worker noticed I had my bulky camera out and was snapping photos, he came back out of the gated off area and said, "I see you're snapping photos. If you'd like, come on in and get a closer look, but watch your step!" I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you will not find a more welcoming people than the Irish. They definitely know how to be hospitable!

Askeaton Castle

Jason and the girls stayed towards the front and chatted with the friendly Irishman, while I walked a few yards ahead and took a few snaps. I didn't want to overstep my welcome, so I didn't go far in, but still managed to see most of the work that's been done so far.

Askeaton Castle

Askeaton Castle

Askeaton Castle

"You were quick with your pictures. Are you sure you got enough? Did you take some pictures of the windows up there?" I assured him I did and thanked him for giving us the privilege to have a closer look. As we were leaving, he made sure to stop us again to insist that we drive a block up the road to see the abbey. "You absolutely must visit the abbey up the road before you leave. Head on up this road, make a left, and there you are! But be sure to lock up your doors before you leave your car behind. We've had some vandals running around here and I'd hate for anything to happen to it." We chatted a few more minutes and he reminded us 2 more times to lock up the car and beware of vandals before we left. He was such a lovely gentleman!

Askeaton Friary

We arrived at the Askeaton Friary within 2 minutes, and oh, what a lovely Friary it was!

Askeaton Friary

The very first thing we spotted was a beautiful horse just standing in a field of wildflowers next to the abbey.


I was slapped with an overwhelming feeling of Ireland's magic then and there. I mean, what screams fairy tale more than Ireland, abbeys, and horses?

Askeaton Friary
Askeaton Friary Horse


Askeaton Friary was founded in 1389, but a good bit of it was still standing. I'm not sure if you can tour inside the Friary since all of the doors were barred and locked shut. However, we were still able to walk the grounds and soak in all of its beauty.

Askeaton Friary

Askeaton Friary

Askeaton Friary

Askeaton Friary

There were no other people milling around, so we had the whole place all to ourselves (and thankfully didn't run into any vandals lol). We spent about 20 minutes walking the grounds before heading out. Once you are back near the road, you can look out over the water and get a lovely view of the castle again.

Askeaton Castle

So, my tip for first time travelers to Ireland would be to schedule some time in your travel itinerary to do a little detouring. We never would have stopped in Askeaton during our travels there, but I'm so happy we decided to make a snap decision to veer off course. Askeaton was so charming and I have some really amazing memories of our unplanned stop to the town.


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more travel related posts!


Do you always stick to your travel itinerary, or do you like to detour off the plans to try to find unexpected magic on your journey?



Friday, June 7, 2019

Father's Day Breakfast: Eggs Florentine & Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. 


Dads are pretty special, don't you think? I do. And I also think special dads deserve a special breakfast. My husband eats eggs for breakfast almost every morning, usually scrambled or in an omelette, so when I heard he had never had a poached egg before, I figured we'd remedy that asap. Poached eggs are one of those dishes you order at a restaurant but hardly ever make for yourself at home. Honestly, I don't think I've ever made a poached egg before this week, but thanks to YouTube, I learned it's actually a really easy way to cook an egg. So easy, I think my teenage girls can handle making them without any issues. The girls are great about serving me breakfast in bed on Mother's Day, but this year dad will get the early morning treatment thanks to this super delicious Eggs Florentine & Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette recipe I found on Golden Blossom Honey. 

Eggs Florentine

A delicious and nutritious breakfast is the best way to start the day, so what better way to get dad off to a great start than with this yummy breakfast sandwich? This is a 10 minute or less recipe, so the kids won't be spending all day tearing up the kitchen trying to make the perfect meal. This recipe is amazing as is, but I like to cut a slice of cheddar cheese to add to the sandwich for just a small kick of extra flavor. With or without the cheese, dad's going to love waking up to this meal this Father's Day!

Ingredients
Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons Golden Blossom Honey Mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Eggs
4-6 eggs, poached
2-3 English muffins, split in half and toasted
4-6 thick slices ripe tomato
1 pound baby spinach leaves, steamed and well drained

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Eggs Florentine

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.



If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



Breakfast in bed, yay or nay?


 



Friday, May 31, 2019

Tri-Color Pasta & Bean Salad for Light Summer Meal Option

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


Do you ever get excited thinking about summertime foods? I do! One of my favorite things about the season is getting an invite to a cookout, or even hosting one of my own because nothing beats warm weather grub. Even though I like warm weather, I don't like spending a lot of time over the stove when it's hot outside, so I gravitate more towards pasta salads this time of year. Not only does it require minimum stove top time, it's a lighter side dish or meal option that won't weigh you down like many other cookout foods do. I found this Tri-Color Pasta and Bean Salad on Golden Blossom Honey and thought it would be the perfect summertime recipe to have on hand for cookouts, picnics and potlucks. 

Tri-Color Pasta

I normally think pasta and beans offer up a rather bland flavor on their own, but with the extra ingredients added into this recipe, the whole dish is chock full of flavor. The honey gives it a touch of sweetness, the garlic adds in some tang, and the pine nuts round it out with a bit of warmth. You can immediately eat this pasta salad once all ingredients are tossed together, but I like to leave it in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight to let the flavors marry a bit more. Additionally, I love that it can be prepared in under 15 minutes, so if you're short on time, this is the recipe for you. If you've got a few cookouts lined up this season, keep this recipe tacked up in the kitchen as your go-to for a quick, easy and light mealtime solution.

Ingredients
1 pound tri-colored rotini, cooked al dente, drained
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 ounce sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
1 Tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM RAW HONEY
pepper to taste
1 (19 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (8 oz each) cans tomato, sauce
1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Tri Color Pasta and Bean Salad


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.




If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



How many cookouts do you host or attend during the summer?