Posted by: chiarraigrrl | September 19, 2011

Coffeetime reading

What temptation looks like - the Old Town Bookshop on Victoria Street

Since the #smokefree experiment began back in July (and it’s September already! Yay!), I decided that a huge part of what was required to stay off the cigarettes was to develop new habits and routines that didn’t involve my old pal nicotine. I can’t imagine a morning without coffee (even simply writing those words struck a note of terror in my heart), so I’d have to figure out something to do on my coffee break when I would have been outside smoking (do more work, you say? Eh, no. 1) I do more than enough as it is, 2) you get no thanks for it and 3) I’m legally entitled to my break and I think people actually work better if they have appropriate break periods when they’re not doing work). I messed about on WordPress reading “Freshly Pressed” blogs and looking through themes, but I seemed to be wasting a fair proportion of my breaks looking for something interesting to read rather than actually reading something interesting.

Which is when it dawned on me: I could set up a Google reader, and have my favourite blogs at my fingertips (and of course, add any more that also looked interesting from “Freshly Pressed” posts, friends’ suggestions etc). I know, it’s not rocket science, but… Problem solved! But what to read, I hear you ask..?

Well. There are loads of great blogs out there, and it seems like every second day I’m finding another one that makes me laugh (or nearly choke myself trying not to laugh aloud in the office and raise questions, I should say), inspires me, challenges me, reminds me that I’m not the only one going through huge changes in their lives (though it can sometimes seem so) or that there are some really fantastic people on this little planet we call home.

Obviously, one of the first blogs I check is my friend Beth’s “Yes, folks. I run like a girl”. Much like its writer, it’s funny, smart, inspiring and often educational (and somehow makes running sound really appealing). And of course, from her blog I started reading another running blog, “Will Run For Beer”, which has also cracked me up on more than one occasion.

I love photography (could you tell?) so there are several photography-related blogs I read that inspire, challenge and amaze me – first up of course is the Flickr blog, which I actually added to my reader after seeing the post about the Dublin photowalk. If I hadn’t signed in to my flickr account that evening, I would have missed out – and that would have been a real shame. Plus they have tips on projects people are doing, and ideas for photos, which is great for inspiration. I also spend way too much time drooling over the photographs over on phoblography, Cropping Reality, The Dassler Effect, and Rambling with a Cantankerous Old Mule.

Super-special awesomeness photoblog mention must go, of course, to @BlondieNY‘s 365 project (which inspired my own efforts), over at BlondieNYdotcom. Granted, she’s working from the advantage of living in NY (*snigger*), but there are some really fantastic shots and creative angles (or little details I might not have noticed – her pics challenge me to pay more attention to my surroundings, too).

Thanks to the “Freshly Pressed” page on, I discovered Kate Davies’s “Needled” knitting and fiber art-related blog (with lots of photography thrown in for good measure). She’s an inspiring, creative person, and though I’ve only started knitting this year and only do single-color garter-stitch scarves at this point, her posts often make me want to go out and buy new yarn, or challenge myself with a new project. The fact that she’s a great writer doesn’t hurt, of course.

I similarly found “Team McFord” and “Yes, I said Minnesota” from the WordPress “Freshly pressed” page, and I’m glad I did- in both cases the writers have made enormous moves (one with small children) thousands of miles from where they had been living. Under the circumstances, it makes for interesting (and often funny or inspiring) reading for me…

Special mentions must also go to I’ve Become My Parents, which has elicited more than one most unladylike guffaw in the reading, and The Official Blog of Vernon J, who is probably one of the most positive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of tweeting with and his blog is much the same.

As you might expect, there are oodles more that I may share in the future, but these are some of my favorites. The only trouble with having set up a Google reader, of course, is that as an avid reader I don’t want to miss anything – so it can be a bit addictive…



  1. You, my dear, are far too kind.
    I am glad you’re posting more frequently, too, as I love the tales and especially love your photography!

    • Thanks missus! πŸ™‚ (glad now that I had scheduled a couple of posts while I was away this week :)). I always enjoy reading your blog- just speaking the truth! πŸ™‚

  2. […] of the temptation, of course, is that with my blog-reading at my coffee breaks, I’ve gotten into reading a few food blogs, notably “Eat, Live, Run”, “Eat, […]

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