My Top Tip For Dry Skin

I can already predict when writing the first sentence of this post that I am going to ramble on, but I really wanted to publish this ‘tip’ it as a follow-up to my recommendations for red, sensitive skin. As said previously, these products have really helped my skin care regime, and I highly recommend them to fellow sufferers if they haven’t found their ‘holy grail’ product(s) yet.

Before I considered redness and sensitivity as my main enemies, I had another even more irritating nemeses – dryness. My skin was unbelievably dry to that point that sometimes it even started to bleed from the lightest touch. This was a problem for my face as dryness on my body was never really an issue. What bothered me the most, because apparently I am that vain, was that make up would never stay on my face. Instead, it would just cake on and flake away, getting progressively worse as the day wore on. Of course, I immediately blamed the foundation I was using because don’t we always immediately resort to buying a new product as a solution? Of course this did not work as the problem was much more deeply rooted than my outside façade.

While the moisturizer mentioned in my last post were a great help in combating my dehydrated skin, they certainly were not the solution to my problem. Let me tell you what was. A product so simple and thankfully readily available to me, yet it barely crosses my mind. Water. Yes, I began to drink water. Two litres a day to be precise. Within a matter of weeks (let’s say 8) my skin began its transformation. I couldn’t believe how much of a change there was. Was my body really that dehydrated that it made my skin such a hot mess? Must have been!

That was 2 years ago now and my skin has not reverted back to its old ways. In fact, it can even be somewhat oily these days and sometimes I have to put a light moisturizer on when applying my make up to refrain from having to use heavy powders and setting spray to keep it in place.

This ‘trick’ of mine may not be new to most of you, but I felt the need to write this post as I believe there still are many people who overlook the most simple and natural products that are out there. Let’s face it, we live in an age of consumerism where products of all kinds, just not beauty related, are pushed in our face every day. While a lot of them certainly have their benefits and purpose, we also need to remember not to overlook the small things that could make a difference, like water or a healthy diet.

Have you any other natural beauty tips you swear by? I would love to hear them!


Water is more than just a beautiful thing to look it. This is a scene from the Ring of Kerry.

Recommended Skin Care Products For Red, Sensitive Skin

I rant about it a lot so it will most likely not be news to you that I have quiet red, sensitive skin. This can make it hard to find products which do not irritate my skin. Make-up is not so bad but cleansers, toners and moisturizers can be very hit and miss. I have had so many breakouts from skin care products which were much too harsh in the past that now I am very vigilant when choosing what to buy. However, after many years and who know how much money, I have built up a little stash of products that I can always rely on. Continue reading

A Collection of Inspirational Quotes

I used to publish a lot of posts on Joyful Antidotes based around my favourite quotes. They were actually some of my most popular posts, probably because everybody needs some words of encouragement from time to time. I stopped writing these posts altogether at the start of the year because I wanted to focus on my own personal writing. Over the weekend, however, I decided that it was time to include a post filled with inspirational words for you guys. Maybe you will immediately click off this post when you realise what it is, or maybe you will stick around and the words of some very wise people will put a smile on your face. I know some of these quotes have motivated me over the past weeks. Let me know in the comments below if they have struck a chord with you too. Continue reading

Börek / Spanakopita Recipe

I am back with a new recipe. It is not the most attractive of dishes, but it sure is tasty. My pictures certainly don’t do it any justice and I probably have killed the traditional recipe with my take on it. Right, I think that is all the disclaimers I need to state before setting this mouth-watering dish upon you.

Some people call it ‘börek’ while others call it ‘spanakopita’. I guess it depends on what country you are from or where you first sampled it. For the sake of political correctness, I call it ‘the delicious spinach and pastry dish’. First things first if you want to prepare the ‘the delicious spinach and pastry dish’, you have got to get to the supermarket and get yourself some ingredients. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Panda Mama

When I made my first couple of trips home after moving to Berlin, there was one thing which dominated my mind: food. I was barely off the plane before heading into the nearest shop to buy bottles of Lucozade, bags of Tayto, etc. The list was long. In fact, if your are interested in my favourite treats from home, you can click here to read a previous blog post where I list them.

This gluttonous behaviour was repeated anytime I went to London as a selection of my favourite food items could also be found there. Then, something changed. It was kind of a sad time when I realised that my taste buds were becoming more accustomed to the food found in Berlin. I simply was not enjoying the same foods anymore and during my last time home, I set myself up for disappointment. Luckily, not all of my previous food habits let me down.

A trip to Panda Mama was an absolute success! Panda Mama is a Chinese restaurant located on Parnell Place, Cork City. It was an establishment I visited a lot when I lived back in the homeland and I always enjoyed it immensely. However, the last time I had Chinese food in Ireland (not in Panda Mama), I was not satisfied.

Entering the restaurant with a negative attitude encouraged me to set up a game plan. Therefore, I decided to have one dish which was something completely new, and another which is an old favourite. For my starter I choose salt and peppercorn prawns. Not only had I never sampled this particular dish before, I had never even eaten a prawn. It was a challenge I was ready to undertake. I ordered it as a starter dish and it was fan-tas-tic. The prawns tasted amazing and the batter which covered them was perfectly cooked. It was a very spicy dish, due not only to the batter but the addition of spring onion and red chili, making it a perfect choice for me. Now I am obsessed with this dish and I cannot find anything similar in Berlin.


My main course was an old favorite – vegetable curry. I also enjoyed this dish very much but admittedly not as much as my starter. The portion was plentiful and I was also pleased with the wide selection of vegetables contained in the curry. Often it is the case that just peas, onion and beans are included. I had my curry along with some egg fried rice and a handful of chips snatched from the plates of others.


So, what else is good about Panda Mama? Well, for one, they do an awesome early bird menu for €16.50 person. This is what I got minus the tea/coffee as I am not a fan of hot drinks. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated and spacious which means you are not sat nearly on top of the other diners. The staff were very friendly and the food was served in expert timing – something I am not used to having lived now for 3 years in Berlin.

Overall, Panda Mama presents a pleasant dining experience with great service and good food. Give it a try if you haven’t already!

*This post is not sponsored. The meal was paid for with my own money.

Book + Film Review: Life of Pi

‘Life of Pi’ was I film I avoided, despite the rave reviews, because it was a film which I simply thought was not my thing. However, the bargain lover in me could not resist giving the book a read when I snapped it up for just €1 at the Boxhagenerplatz Flea Market.

When I opened the first pages of the book, I was still pretty skeptical about whether I would enjoy it or not. In fact, I was pretty sure that I would not make it to the end of the book (usually I try to force myself to read until the end but I am trying to drum the mantra ‘life is too short to read bad books’ into my head). Luckily, it turned out ‘Life of Pi’ was not so bad after all. I didn’t get as stuck into it as I have with other books, but I did find myself enjoying it. Let me tell you why. Continue reading

The Jameson Experience

Quite simply, I do not meet the Irish stereotype when it comes to whiskey. In fact, it could be said that I actually bring shame on the country’s beloved drink. Why so? Because when I do drink whiskey it is mostly bourbon whiskey, and I also mix it with cola. On the odd occasion I have drunk Jameson, it was mixed with ginger ale. I must admit that it didn’t sit with me very well either. Therefore, I wouldn’t blame you for being surprised that this blog post is about my visit to The Jameson Experience in Middleton, Co.Cork. Continue reading

Travelling the Ring of Kerry

Last week I spent a fantastic few days back home in Ireland. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time now will know that I love nothing better than a trip home. This time around we had some friends with us which made the holiday even better. I felt like a tourist in my own country as we visited some of the most beautiful spots Munster has to offer. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate what your homeland has to offer and it takes a spell away from the place to truly recognize its wonder. I highly recommend jumping on a train or bus and discovering what is underneath your very nose. Believe me, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Nights of Rain and Stars

I have been reading like crazy recently as I have so many amazing books to get through. That is thanks to the massive book haul I did a few weeks ago. Luckily all the books I read so far were an enjoyable read, so of course you want to hear my tuppence worth about what they were like. Continue reading