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Using Sennheiser Memory Mic [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 06:06

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Seamless way of creating text from speech.

Self Acceptance

Caitriona Redmond - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 14:09

For years I sat on the beach and watched as the boys splashed in the surf with my husband. On holidays we’d go to waterparks and I’d brave a slide or two but mainly sit by the pool and keep a watchful eye on them.

It’s not that I wasn’t willing to go and join in but I was wary of myself. Of how I looked in swimming togs and being conscious of other people looking at me.

Recently it’s not that I had an epiphany, far from it!

We were on the beach with the kids during the lockdown and they wanted to go sea swimming, something we normally reserve for very warm Summer days. We are going to be spending an awful lot of the year based from home and are privileged to live by the beach so I got wetsuits for the lads (boys and their Dad). My husband suggested I find one for myself and I decided not to.

The wetsuits arrived and the 3 lads got into the surf together and had an absolute ball. I stood on the beach watching them splash together and had a yearning to join in. I realised that I would have to get one for myself.

At that moment I decided that I wasn’t going to stress about how I looked. I was going to stress about not being part of the fun.

Reader. I bought a plus sized wetsuit. It wasn’t as horrendously expensive as I thought it would be.

I am wearing it to sea swim. Something I did a LONG time ago and stopped doing because of my self doubt.

I feel more confident in myself. I’m more body confident. I have borne 2 children. I’ve run a marathon. I am who I am and more comfortable in my own skin.

No longer will I stand to one side because of my own inhibitions. The boys will remember I’m there and part of their lives.

Just one of the wonderful changes that happened in our house during lockdown.

The post Self Acceptance appeared first on Caitriona Redmond.

Ultraviolet Knits – Altair Cowl

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 14:04

To celebrate summer, I’m focusing on one pattern from my latest book, Ultraviolet Knits, each week all summer. Today, it’s all about my Altair Cowl. You can access a list of all the related posts HERE! One of three cowl patterns in...

The post Ultraviolet Knits – Altair Cowl appeared first on EvinOK.

An Unexpected Dimension of Distance Education

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 07:11

ON HER FINAL DAY of primary school, Mia (12) joined with 30 other classmates in a surreal setting that typifies the way her life has been for the previous 15 weeks. She stayed two metres apart from friends she has known throughout primary school. I watched the setting and wondered what lies ahead in what may be a hybrid form of education for our two school children.

Ireland is moving forward with reopening businesses. Talking heads on the radio offer commercially driven messages forecasting economic suffering ahead for everyone. I believe if we prioritise businesses, we waste an opportunity to ensure a better fall for children and families. We need to do everything in our power to make a return to school possible in the fall. We need to explore how to do this for younger children first. They must be the top priority.

For this to be a realistic goal, case counts of the COVID-19 virus must continue downward. Since COVID-19 is spread by groups, we need to restrict international travel, require universal mask wearing, and offer easy access to hand santisation. And we need to be acutely aware of the local incidence of outbreaks.

When Ireland first battled this pandemic, we sacrificed school, closed child care facilities, and asked families to join a nationwide surge of emergency remote teaching and learning. This strategy cannot sustain Ireland into the future but it seemed logical since we assumed COVID-19, like many other respiratory illnesses, would be spread by children. We still don't know if that's a viable assumption since there is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence to disprove the premise.

We still don't know how this particular virus works. We do know that a second wave is very probable and that if it happens, many will die.

Listening to teachers and principals in my local area, it seems that Boards of Management want to figure out how to reopen in the fall. Policies such as social distancing for five year olds and deep cleaning of shared assets are major challenges. If management wants to continue the status quo of minimising the number of times large groups of students mingle in the same physical space, it means means school in the fall semester of 2020 will follow a hybrid learning model with students taking classes in school part-time only a few days a week and online every day of the week. If this happens, my workday productivity as a third level lecturer will decline. Moms across Ireland will be asked to step back into their roles with generous amounts of maternal sacrifice. Plus, we need to plan for the inevitability of sick days due to seasonal influenza.

I've set up electronic alerts that uncover emerging evidence showing that younger children are at lower risk of getting COVID-19 and are not a major source of spread. However, nothing I've read suggests a no-risk scenario. Children could be asymptomatic and then bring COVID-19 home to their parents and grandparents.

So for the remaining months of the summer break, I hope we can continue to see days of zero COVID-19 deaths and no more than a dozen new cases across Ireland. We need to start a new school term with low transmission rates, clean physical spaces, and treat the daily school attendance roll as an effective contact-tracing system.

Do you have any other suggestions?

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology.]

Fighting Social Isolation in Clonmel [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 14:27

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

Recorded with Dylan (9) during our 17th week battling COVID-19 in Ireland.

I improved my baking skills while locked down. [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 13:39

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

But haven't mastered banana bread.

Sweden's COVID-19 mistake [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 07/07/2020 - 16:33

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

From NYTimes

Dylan Has a Terrier [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 07/07/2020 - 15:04

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

First outdoor green screen production.

A Visit to Stranded By The Sea LYS in Edmonds, Washington

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 07/07/2020 - 13:39

Last summer, I enjoyed a special book signing event at Stranded By The Sea in Edmonds, Washington for Bake Knit Sew (Anchor and Bee, 2014). If you are ever in the Seattle area, I recommend a visit to this delightful...

The post A Visit to Stranded By The Sea LYS in Edmonds, Washington appeared first on EvinOK.

Meatball Sub Recipe

Caitriona Redmond - Tue, 07/07/2020 - 10:53

Whoever said that a main meal had to include rice, pasta, or spuds? Possibly noodles at a pinch?

The holy trinity of a double carb meal is one that my husband aspires to; a three-in-one contains rice and chips. The gourmet sandwich is always made with white sliced pan filled with Cheese and Onion Tayto. It must be cheese and onion. If it’s not cheese and onion classic, Southern Ireland, Tayto crisps, then it’s not a proper crisp butty.

Have you ever tried making a chicken and stuffing toasty with a smear of garlic mayonnaise? If you’ve never tried it before I highly recommend it, not forgetting a smear of beetroot relish on the side to dip those crispy triangles in.

If you haven’t guessed by now I’m not a fan of being tied to the kitchen sink everyday.

So take my advice, make a batch (or even a double batch) of my meatball marinara recipe. It will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge once cooled to room temperature. It also freezes extremely well.

Buy some ready made soft rolls, of course if you want to make your own go right ahead. If you’re using day-old rolls that are a little crunchy on the outside run them under the tap for a moment so that they soften first.

Slice those rolls down the middle and stuff them with the meatballs in the marinara sauce. Heat the stuffed rolls in a baking tray in the oven until they are warmed through. Sprinkle grated mozzarella on top, or cheddar if you want a bit of sharpness.

What about the double-carb requirement I hear you say?

Less washing up means you have to pair this meatball supper with a bag of cheesey nachos. The 11 year old has spoken and will entertain no alternatives.

Salad to the side is optional but will make you feel a little more virtuous. You will also have more washing up to do afterwards. You have been warned…

The post Meatball Sub Recipe appeared first on Caitriona Redmond.

Newsblur Global Stories [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 10:45

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Seen on Newsblur.

Meatballs Marinara Recipe

Caitriona Redmond - Sat, 07/04/2020 - 17:35

My kids love meatballs for dinner. They beg me for this dish at least once a week. If I make meatballs and leave the kitchen I have to make sure to hide them from the boys. They have been known to sneak into the kitchen and eat them straight from the slow cooker when I’m not looking. Indeed, they’ve also been known to eat them early in the morning in the interests of breakfast. One of their favourite cartoons is still ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”. This recipe is definitely made for the meatball fans.

For ease of preparation I use a food processor here. It just makes life a little easier for me, but you can of course chop the vegetables by hand or use a box grater.

This is enough to feed your family for 2 meals, if you can stop them from eating the meatballs when your back is turned…

The breadcrumbs both bulk up the meal but also give the meatballs a lighter texture than if you use just meat which I prefer.

Ingredients

  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 300g turkey mince
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 pepper, core removed
  • 500ml passata

Method

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let the breadcrumbs soak up the milk (it’ll take about 5 minutes). Once the crumbs have soaked up the milk add the garlic, salt and pepper, dried oregano, and turkey mince to the bowl. Mix all these ingredients together with your hands or a fork. Once mixed thoroughly portion the mixture into ping-pong ball sized meatballs. Use the sunflower oil to fry the meatballs in a non-stick pan until golden brown on the outside.

Once the meatballs are golden brown pop them into a slow cooker set to high, leave the frying pan on low. Close the lid.

Take a food processor and pulse the onion, carrots, and pepper using the general blade until everything is puree style. Cook the puree off in the still-hot frying pan. This will take about 10 minutes to reduce the astringency of the onion. Pour the puree into the slow cooker and add the passata. Stir well.

Cook the meatballs in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours, until you have an unctuous sauce. Season to taste before serving. I like to add torn leaves of fresh basil on top of the meatballs mixture and serve them with penne pasta.

The post Meatballs Marinara Recipe appeared first on Caitriona Redmond.

Surviving and Thriving on Staycation Drives or Long Road Trips with Kids

Evin O’Keeffe - Fri, 07/03/2020 - 15:08

I previously wrote a post about how to pack for kids for a long-haul flight and also how to entertain kids on a long-haul flight. I also did some Instagram videos about the topic. But this post is focusing those...

The post Surviving and Thriving on Staycation Drives or Long Road Trips with Kids appeared first on EvinOK.

School Gate Shawlette Knitting Pattern & ECIYC Back2School Campaign

Evin O’Keeffe - Fri, 07/03/2020 - 14:32

Introducing my newest knitting pattern called School Gate Shawlette. It was inspired by the ironwork openings and lattice textures of my son’s school gate. This pattern is being released as part of a fundraiser for Every Child Is Your Child (ECIYC)‘s Back2School campaign. All...

The post School Gate Shawlette Knitting Pattern & ECIYC Back2School Campaign appeared first on EvinOK.

I’m Back

Caitriona Redmond - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 19:34

I finished up writing this blog as the lockdown took set. It wasn’t intentional, not at all! It’s just that as the kids finished school I began to realise that the juggle of working from home and home schooling was simply not compatible with writing here.

This time around I’ve given myself some time to load up the new recipes into the blog and space them out over the weeks and months ahead so that when I say I have a new recipe, I actually have a new recipe. When I say I have a blogpost, there is one actually coming.

An awful lot of lockdown has been difficult but equally some of it has been wonderful. The past 3 months have been stories of highs and lows.

Of many frustrated tears when I didn’t have enough hours in the working week to homeschool and work, which resulted in me working through the weekends.

Of getting tired of relentlessy cooking and satiating my family’s need for food.

Of hugs and tears and hugs again for the boys as they missed their friends, the chats, the messing.

Of my husband learning what it’s like to be here for the boys. Learning how to connect with them and be a huge part of their lives. Previously this was limited to reconnecting on holidays. Now, he says it’s the holiday he never asked or wished for, but, it’s like winning the lottery to spend so much time with these two messers.

Lockdown made my work immeasurably harder. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to actively homeschool the boys for now. I’m looking forward to reclaiming the weekends for us-time. Maybe even getting to schedule some time off in my future.

Other uplifting things have happened like me returning to sea swimming. Joyous socially-distanced walks with my friends of late. And light. My life is filled with so much light now thanks to my genius husband and the boys who worked together to create a brand new garden for us all to enjoy. Replete with so… many… solar… lights… that I can’t count them all. They finished it just as the weather took a turn for the worse. For now I’m sitting in the living room in the evenings with the curtains flung open and watch the lights gently glow as the gloaming deepens.

Things are getting better. I have time to write for myself again. I am back.

The post I’m Back appeared first on Caitriona Redmond.

Ultraviolet Knits – Aerglo Shawl

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 12:42

Aerglo Shawl This shawl can be made in two sizes, both of which are knit using three full skeins and three mini skeins. Each is knit with a background created by the two darker neutral skeins, so the UV-reactive yarn...

The post Ultraviolet Knits – Aerglo Shawl appeared first on EvinOK.

Energy Cookies

Caitriona Redmond - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 17:11

While school was underway these energy cookies made it into the lunchboxes at least once a week. For many reasons, not least that they are so darn easy to assemble in a food processor, but also because they are low on allergens. We have restrictions on certain food items in school due to children having allergies and I have to be extremely careful of nuts and sesame seeds in particular. I know that when I make these cookies they are not going to cause a risk to other children in the classroom.

Most important to the boys is that these energy cookies are one of their favourite lunchbox treats.

Earlier on the youngest fella accosted me in the office to see could we make them on my lunchbreak. They are easy enough for small hands to make with minimal supervision.

Ingredients

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 200g oats
  • 50g chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30 ml water

Method

Preheat a fan oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Bring the coconut oil to a soft form/oil by popping it in a bowl and microwaving for 30 seconds (It must be soft for this recipe).
Add all the ingredients including the coconut oil into a food processor and turn on full until you have a batter. Leave the batter to one side for 15 – 20 minutes. The chia seeds will act as a binder and the batter will turn more solid.
Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper. Using a tablespoon as a cookie measure, spoon onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to cool before eating.

The post Energy Cookies appeared first on Caitriona Redmond.

19 Refreshing Lettuce-free Salads

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 16:55

Salads do not always need to be green or pasta. This week's three salad recipes are delicious, healthy, and vegetarian (use egg/dairy-free bread for vegans)! It might be ideal for those family members who dislike eating their greens.

The post 19 Refreshing Lettuce-free Salads appeared first on EvinOK.

Out of quarantine [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 10:09

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

First day that all shops can reopen across Ireland.

Started with Google Tasks and then [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 07:32

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Returned to Airtable

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