Dublin: Shopping the Creative Quarter

Dublin Creative Quarter

Looking up places to shop in Dublin, Grafton Street is the top recommendation of many guidebooks.  Every city has one of these — I think of it like San Francisco’s Pier 39.

Do yourself a favor if you travel to Dublin and skip Grafton Street.  There are lots of chain stores  you can find anywhere and we hardly saw any of the famed street performers.

No, you should visit the Creative Quarter.  The Creative Quarter is near Temple Bar and is a concentration of restaurants, boutiques, and other design-led shops.  As a creative looking for neat places to shop, this was perfect!

We spent one morning visiting all the shops on my list.  All of the shops below are walking distance from each other.  All are independently run and feature lovely curated products.  By the end of the shopping trip I was bouncing around, so pleased with myself that I hit so may creative stores.

I focused on homeware, craft, art, and stationary-type stores.  We passed a few independent fashion boutiques that we didn’t have time to check out.

What I love about all of the shops we visited is that even though they are design-focused, they are unpretentious and cater toward normal people.


Hands down my favorite shop of the trip.  Article has a nice mixture of homeware, books, and paper.

Dublin Creative Quarter

The card selection was fantastic.  I found some beautiful neon letterpress cards!

Dublin Creative Quarter

I had to talk myself out of buying random bowls and containers I didn’t need.  I walked out with a stack of greeting cards, notecards, and washi tape!

Dublin Creative Quarter

Article, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 S William Street, Dublin 2

Irish Design Shop

Such a cute little store selling a little bit of everything including books, pillows, cards, jewelry, art prints, homeware, and more.

Dublin Creative Quarter

Everything is designed and made in Ireland and the shop has some maker spaces upstairs.  I had to stop myself from buying a few handmade zippered pouches without having a clue what I’d put in them . . .

Dublin Creative Quarter

Irish Design Shop, 41 Drury Street, Dublin 2


Designist is a gift and homeware store that focuses on bringing good design to customers in Dublin for reasonable prices.  Out of the group, this is the only place that had a big selection of items for kids and had the most eclectic selection overall.  I bought some cards for myself and a gift for a cute toddler in my life.

Dublin Creative Quarter

Designist, 68 S Great Georges Street, Dublin 2


Industry focuses mostly on homewares (of the group, they had a furniture selection) but they do have a selection of paper goods.  It’s a beautiful shop and I wish I lived closer so I could buy the red floor lamp!

Dublin Creative Quarter

Industry, 41 a/b Drury Street, Dublin 2

A. Rubanesque

A. Rubanesque sells ribbon and other cute handmade items.  It is definitely the least gifty of the group of shops I visited — there were several people in there buying ribbon for projects.

Dublin Creative Quarter

I really really wanted to buy the triangle table runner.  Look at it — so cute!

Dublin Creative Quarter

A. Rubanesque, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 S William Street, Dublin 2

Jam Art Factory

The Jam Art Factory is an Irish design and art shop.  There are two locations — we visited the shop in Temple Bar.  It sells mostly art prints but also a few cards.

Dublin Creative Quarter

At this point toward the end of the day, I decided I needed a new place to decorate because I loved the prints!

Jam Art Factory, 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

The Pen Corner

Just a tad further away from the rest of the shops and nearer Trinity College is The Pen Corner, specializing in, you guessed it, pens!  It’s not technically design-led like the rest of the shops but pens + stationary = sign me up.

Dublin Creative Quarter

There are two floors — the first floor for pens and I mean the kind that are displayed under glass.  Downstairs from that, they have paper pads, stationary, planners, and a card selection.  The card selection was a bit more mainstream,  but we still found a couple cute ones to pick up.

The Pen Corner, 12 College Green, Dublin 2

This was one of my favorite afternoons!  Normally when we travel, it’s difficult to visit more than one design-type shop because they’re rarely so close to each other.  If you’re in Dublin, skip Grafton Street and take some time in the Creative Quarter!

Mr. P and I recently spent a long weekend in Dublin and I’m writing a bunch of posts about the trip.  Click here to see a summary of our trip and for links to all the posts.  Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here

Getting the Correct Date & Time on Photos

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

Have you ever thought about the date and time on your photos?

My phone always selects the correct local time zone because of cell towers.  My camera, on the other hand, has a manually-set time zone.

Why is having correct date/time important?

It really matters for sorting photos from multiple sources.  If I have cell phone photos and DSLR photos, I’d like to flip through them at the same time so I can decide what I want to keep.  If I took a picture of the same thing with both devices (it happens).  I need an easy way to scroll through and see them at the same time.

Plus, my camera has this annoying habit of restarting photo numbering at odd points during the trip, so even just looking at that one source, I have to sort by date/time to see them in order.

It also matters for posterity.  Having at least the correct date is helpful for looking back in the future.

Option 1 – Change Time Zone on Camera

The first option is to change the time zone on the camera right at the beginning of the trip.  When you get home, no muss, no fuss.

Personally, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget to do this.  It hasn’t occurred to me on any previous trip and I don’t want to forget to switch it back.

Option 2 – Change Time Zones on Photos Afterward

This is much better.  If you know what time zone your camera is on and what time zone the picures are supposed to be, some quick math and a Picasa tool can fix it in a few seconds!

Use Picasa to Batch Change Time Zones

Understand what time zone your camera is in.  Either check your camera settings or pick a photo you generally know what time it was taken and compare the time recorded on the photo.

Make sure to take Daylight Savings into account.  I figured out my DSLR is in Pacific Standard Time (as opposed to Pacific Daylight Time, which is during Daylight Savings).  It’s also important to know if where you are traveling has Daylight Savings or not.  Our trip to Ireland was after the US sprang forward, but before Europe did.  I flew to London the next weekend during the spring forward.

Figure out how many hours off your photos are.  When I did the math, I realized my photos in London were 9 hours behind what they should be.

In Picasa, select the photos you want to change dates/times for.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

Click the Tools menu, then click Adjust Date and Time.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

In the pop up box, change the time.  It will show the time for one of the photos, so just adjust accordingly.  For my London pictures, I added 9 hours.

Make sure the radio button for Adjust All Photos by This Amount is selected.  Then click OK.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

All done!  Sort your photos by time and they will appear chronologically no matter what device you took them on.

Bags Packed

SFO by Håkan Dahlström

I always dreamed of being a traveler.

Every time we pack our bags for a big adventure, I know how lucky we are.  I feel how lucky we are.  It’s not lost on me.

Every time we enter the airy, beautiful international terminal at SFO, I get so excited.  I grin when we go through security.  It never ever gets old.

I carry my passport like I have a backstage pass to Alice Cooper.  It’s the ultimate accessory, really.  Would you like to see my passport??  I have a passport and I’m using it to go somewhere cool!  Are you sure you don’t need to see it, Mr. TSA guy?

My bags are packed, I’m clutching my passport, and this time none of the trip includes work.

Wheels up and away we go.  We’re so lucky.

Follow along on Instagram.

Image by Håkan Dahlström via Creative Commons license.

Scrapbook Layout: All-Star Game

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: San Francisco hosted the MLB All-Star game in 2007.  We didn’t actually go to the game, but we participated in some of the activities.  The ballpark was five years old at the time and it was a big deal to host the game.

Printed Ticket: I’ve gone on record before about being sad that we print more tickets at home because I rarely put them in my scrapbook.  They just don’t look as cool.  However, this time, I included one of our Fanfest tickets and it worked really well with the design (after I cut off the sponsor messages and whatever other fine print they manage to fill an 8.5×11″ page with).

Team Logo: I traced and cut this out with my Silhouette.  Again, not making it available for download because it’s not my intellectual property to give away.  If you have questions about how to trace sports logos, let me know!

Patterned Paper: I rarely, if ever, include patterned paper in sports layouts.  I don’t know what’s coming over me!

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

MLB All Star Game Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Klinic Slab | Tools: Silhouette SD (headlines & logo), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Pioneer SJ-100 Jumbo Scrapbook (scrapbook & pages), Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos), Bella Blvd/Daily Chevies/Chevy Carrot (patterned paper) | Ephemera Included: Fanfest ticket, newspaper.

Dublin: Where to Eat

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

Hear this: good food all around in Dublin.  Really really good and really easy to access.

Dublin is a smallish city with a population of just over 500,000 as opposed to London’s 8 million.  Everything is very well contained and we walked to most of our meals.

I hate to think we have to maximize our meal opportunities on trips (it leads to a big letdown if we have a bad meal), but we totally did here.  We did not have even a mediocre meal!

Note: everything was a great value.  I was shocked sometimes at how much we got for the price.  It certainly helped that the euro was tanking during our trip, but even that aside, the food was a better value in Dublin than back home in Oakland.

Breakfast and Brunch


I’d read about this a few places and our apartment was next door!  No excuse not to go.  It was very busy and I can see why: the food is excellent.  I had the semolina pancakes with ricotta and berries (at the top of this post), while Mr. P had the beans and pulled pork.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

It’s a little small inside.  If you have more than two people, get there early.  While you wait for a table, you can get coffee next door (see below).  They also have a second location called Sister Sadie on Harrington Street.

Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel Street, Dublin 1


Next door to Brother Hubbard and owned by the same folks is Little Brother.   They have a few counter seats and serve the pastries, drinks, and other quick breakfast items from the restaurant.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

We dropped in for some tea and pastries before our Jameson tour — it’s about a 10 minute walk from there to the Old Jameson Distillery.

Little Brother, 153 Capel Street, Dublin 1 


Instead of sitting for brunch, we decided to check out the Meeting House Square Market and it did not disappoint.  It’s a Saturday market and fit really nicely in our schedule!

The market is mostly prepared foods with a small bit of produce.  Not that I’m complaining — it’s small but everything looked excellent!

I started with a hot chocolate which could have been a meal in and of itself.  This is the way hot chocolate should be done: made from chocolate hand chopped on the spot and thick enough to double as a dipping sauce.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

Mr. P had a sausage roll (not pictured) and I had a vegetarian Indian dish (or 2 dishes, she let me get half of each): paneer with a tomato based sauce and a chickpea and veggie curry.  I had her go light on the rice since it was a ton of food.  Even with Mr. P helping, I couldn’t finish it and took it back to the apartment to finish later.  I think it was 6-ish euros for the whole thing — a bargain!

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

A big attraction at the market were the oysters.  The oyster vendor had a long table set up for people to sit and enjoy oysters and wine.

Meeting House Square Farmer’s Market, Meeting House Square (Temple Bar), Dublin; Saturdays 10am – 4:30pm



Picture this: just landed, need food.  We walked across the river to Temple Bar and looked around.  This cafe is located in tourist/bar central, but was very good and just what we needed.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

It’s a cute quick eats place — they serve up the pies warm and hand them right over the counter.  I had the steak & Guinness pie with mushy peas and Mr. P had the chicken & whiskey with mash.  I think we spent just over €20 for two pies, sides, and two beers.

The Pie Man Cafe, 14A Crown Alley, Dublin 2


Fallon & Bryne is a food hall plus a restaurant.  They have a prepared food counter inside the food hall and we popped in there for lunch on our second day.  The food counter is kind of like the prepared food counters at Whole Foods.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

The food hall wasn’t quite as big as others that I’m used to, but it was cute.  I wouldn’t make a special trip to the food counter (unless you are going for dessert, which looked amazing), but it was worth it to stop in before we headed to Guinness.

I had a onion and goat cheese tart and Mr. P had sausages and mash.  The tart was excellent!

Fallon & Byrne, 11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2


More on Bruxelles over in the drinking post, but Mr. P and I split an order of fish and chips there.  Two thumbs up on the whole plate, the mushy peas were done really well.  If you’re considering some classic pub food, go here!

Bruxelles, 7-8 Harry Street, Dublin 2



I made a reservation here for our first night in town.  The gastropub menu totally spoke to us — beer pairings for everything, including dessert!

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

Dinner was good and dessert was excellent.  I had the mussels and Mr. P had the burger — he loved the house-made chili ketchup (and the man usually hates ketchup).

The real reason the menu spoke to us was because there was a cheese plate for 1 for dessert.  I love sweets for dessert, he loves cheese.  It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a cheese plate for 1!  He was smitten.  He also got the recommended whiskey pairing.  We were both pleased as punch and at that point, I thought this is going to be an awesome weekend.  Fun how a dish will do that to you.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

We had a 7pm reservation and the place was not full yet.  It started picking up around 8 and had a nice buzz.

L. Mulligan Grocer, 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7


We walked by this place after finishing at Guinness — such a gorgeous interior.  I didn’t get a picture of the massive flower arrangement in the window and am bummed about it.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

The Larder is a restaurant and a brewhouse (I know, sign us up!).  Mr. P imbibed in the excellent house beers.  Our favorite dish was actually the starter: jambalaya balls with gravy.

The Larder has two dinner seatings, one around 5-6pm and a second one at 8:15.  We were able to get a reservation for the 8:15pm seating when we popped in there at 6.  When we ate, the restaurant was full and abuzz, so I recommend booking if you can.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

The host gave us the excellent recommendation for the Porterhouse, which is just on the next block and a great place for pre-dinner drinks!

The Larder, 8 Parliament Street, Dublin 2


Tapas and Spanish food are big in Dublin.  I wasn’t planning on trying them, but after a couple of days of solid heavy food, tapas sounded perfect.

Port House Pinxto is another place with a beautiful interior.  But, it’s dark inside which doesn’t lend itself to food photography.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

I can’t remember everything we ordered but it was excellent.  What I do remember was that we ordered five tapas dishes plus split a bottle of cava and the bill was less than €80.  I’d expect to pay well over $100 at home for as much food as we got.

The Port House Pinxto, 12 Eustace Street, Dublin 2


This was on my radar before we left and I made a reservation for our last night.  It’s a huge space with a restaurant, a bar, a tapas bar, and more.  The bar was buzzing but there was plenty of room in the restaurant when we were there.

We shared the beef braise for two: it was amazing and everything a good beef stew should be.  It has a light parsnip puree on top, which is why it looks white in the picture.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

On the side we split fries drizzled with truffled goat cheese and some peas and carrots to balance it out.  Both were just as excellent as the stew!

Fade Street Social, 4 Fade Street, Dublin 2

Dessert & Snack


We went here after our tapas dinner and I’m so happy we had time for it.  Murphy’s is a small artisinal maker and uses fresh local ingredients.  You won’t see these flavors elsewhere!

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

I had the sea salt and the chocolate chip.  Mr. P had the caramelized brown bread.  Amazing.

Murphy’s Ice Cream, 27 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2


Sheridan’s is very close to Grafton Street – a great place to stop and get a snack!  Mr. P wanted to get some cheddar to snack on and keep back at the apartment.  It’s a cute little shop with excellent service.  I think we were in, sampled cheese, and had our cheese wrapped to go within 10 minutes.

Dublin Food by Natalie Parker

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, 11 South Anne Street, Dublin 2

Let’s review: tons of excellent food, many walking distance from the center of town, and great values.  Go to Dublin!

Mr. P and I recently spent a long weekend in Dublin and I’m writing a bunch of posts about the trip.  Click here to see a summary of our trip and for links to all the posts.  Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here

The Funny Thing About Memory

Memories by Natalie Parker

I took one more thing from the 2015 Personal Digital Archiving Conference and it’s so relevant to our discussions here about scrapbooking that it deserves it’s own post.

It’s all about memory.

Professor Lori Kendall delivered the final talk of the conference.  I was particularly interested in what she had to say because her words last year where inspired my thesis topic.  I can’t possibly do her talk justice, but I’ll summarize what is really relevant.

Kendall has spent the last year studying memory from a variety of disciplines, not just her own field of personal archiving.  She found commonalities.

We think of memory as a fixed thing when it isn’t.  She describes memory more as rewriting something in your head than retrieving something.  We selectively remember things and forget others, often we may not be aware we are doing it.  Each time we remember something we are forgetting other things.

She also found that neuroscientists and historians agree that memory is very closely tied with identity creation.  Memories have more to do with creating your current identity than the past.

What does this have to do with us scrapookers, the memory keepers?  We can’t remember everything.  We often feel guilty or feel we have to justify the choices we make about what we choose to document and what we leave out.

Should you document your every day life,  your every week, your every day?  Or should you document just big events?  If you choose one does it mean what you are creating isn’t a real reflection of what actually happened?

What I took from the talk is that it simply doesn’t matter.  Every memory is a process of creation and destruction.  We can’t remember everything and shouldn’t attempt to.  Kendall notes that everything saved is something else lost.

We need to think about the story we want to tell and who we want to share it with.  That should be our guide.

Dublin: Where to Drink

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

I know, we only spent a weekend in Dublin and I have so much to tell you!  We hit some really fun watering holes, so get ready for some action!

The VAT House Bar

The VAT House is a hotel — the bar is connected to it but it doesn’t feel like a hotel bar.  We visited our first night in Dublin when we were on the hunt for live music.  It was perfect.

The bar itself wasn’t too full, but there were two musicians who played and sang Irish music (category 3 if you’re following my guide to live music in Dublin).  The music was easy to hear, the musicians were really engaging, and we had a great time.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

We went back again the next night after the music at O’Neill’s finished (see below).  It’s not the “it” place that’s packed with people, but a great place to chill with a drink and listen to music.  You can sit close to the musicians and have a more “engaged” (I know, sounds weird) time with them or sit further back, enjoy the music, and relax.

The VAT House Bar, Anglesea Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Grogan’s Castle Lounge

We stopped here for a break after we visited the Jameson Distillery and Trinity College.  We were hoping for a bite to eat, but all they had were toasties (heated ham and cheese sandwiches) and I was hoping for something a bit more substantial.

This place is totally old school and definitely a locals hangout right in the middle of tourist central, which is pretty cool.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

Grogan’s Castle Lounge, 15 South William Street, Dublin 2

The Porterhouse

This was recommended by the host at a restaurant when we asked for a place to grab a drink before dinner.  It’s a brewery with multiple floors to sit and hang out.  The Porterhouse has a full food menu and has live music (of the category 2 variety).  If we’d had more time, we definitely would have stopped back again.

The Porterhouse, 16-18 Parliament Street, Dublin 2


O’Donoghue’s is another old school neighborhood pub.  Near St. Stephen’s Green, we went to check it out because all the reviews I read said there was live Irish music nightly.  When we got there, I realized the music is more of the category 2 variety — hard to hear.

This was another cool place where you can go and feel like a local — it was filled to the brim.  However, we were looking for a different music experience so we stayed for one drink and moved on.

O’Donoghue’s, 15 Merrion Row, Dublin


Yessss.  Exactly what we were looking for with music and drinks!  There are multiple rooms and multiple floors.  Upstairs, there is a 3-person band with amplified sound.  They play and sing Irish music and both nights we were there (yes we went back a second night), they had a couple of dancers.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

It can get crowded in the area around the band and difficult to find a place to stand, let alone sit.  The second night we were there, we made friends with some Germans and shared their table.  I absolutely loved this place.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

O’Neill’s, 2 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2


We went to Bruxelles to watch the Six Nations Rugby Tournament and it was perfect.  The main bar area is traditional like other bars in the area and there are two rooms downstairs with extra seating.  They have a full menu of traditional bar food — Mr. P and I split the fish and chips.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

Bruxelles, 7-8 Harry Street, Dublin 2

The Church

This was one of the coolest places we went to.  The Church is a bar and restaurant inside what used to be a church (I know, catchy name).  The inside is airy and gorgeous.  We just went for drinks, but there is a restaurant upstairs and nightclub in the basement.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

The Church, Jervis Street, Dublin 1

There are a ton of options in Dublin and we didn’t dislike anywhere we went!  I can’t wait to go back and visit some of these again and see new places.

Dublin Ireland Bars by Natalie Parker

Mr. P and I recently spent a long weekend in Dublin and I’m writing a bunch of posts about the trip.  Click here to see a summary of our trip and for links to all the posts.  Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here