Living in a new country has had its challenges, and not surprisingly my friends here do whatever they can to make the transition as painless as possible. They’ve introduced to me other people who’ve quickly become new friends; they’ve answered endless questions on everything from television licenses and immersion heaters to farm slang and bank holidays. Whatever I may need, they are here for me and I can’t imagine surviving without them.

But part of creating my own life in Ireland is about developing both personal and professional relationships outside my circle of friends. In a very short span of time, I’ve found a supportive and fun group of people within the blogging community here in Ireland. And though I haven’t even met most of them in person, they provide great inspiration and encouragement (often times without even knowing it!). Here are a few of my new blogging friends:


The Daily Spud

There is no vegetable or starch as popular here as the potato, and if you want to try something new with the beloved spud, Aoife Cox of The Daily Spud can give you a few [hundred] ideas. From the classics like Champ (a velvety potato mash topped with melted butter) to eye-openers like Fruity Potato Milkshake (don’t knock it ‘til ya tried it!), Aoife has the scoop on Ireland’s favorite veg. But she doesn’t stop there; the blog offers lots of non-spud recipes, restaurant and product write-ups and even a few gardening tips, all written with dead-on dry humor and wit. I will be forever grateful to Aoife for accompanying me to a much-needed sushi night out in Dublin. She may be The Daily Spud but I refer to her as my Sushi Partner in Crime.



I Married an Irish Farmer

Imen McDonnell gave up her fast-paced urban life complete with an exciting entertainment-industry job for the love of an Irish farmer. She now resides with her family in the Irish countryside where she’s more likely to sport Wellies than Manolos. But with her inherent sense of style and natural glamour, Imen has created a fashionably fabulous farm life that resembles something off the pages of Country Living magazine. The best part? She also has a heart of gold. After reading one of my blog entries about a rough day, she reached out to me to offer advice and friendship. A former city-dwelling American herself, she understands how frustrating the transition to small-town Irish life can be and her support is a real gift.



The Good Mood Food Blog

Even by Hollywood standards, this guy is an overachiever. Donal Skehan is a pop star, food blogger, cookbook author and up-and-coming television personality…and he’s not even 25 years old! He’s also becoming the unofficial cruise director of Irish and Ireland-based food bloggers by organizing meet-ups to connect bloggers with Irish food organizations. Since I was part of a great community of food bloggers back home, I’d hoped to become a part of something similar here. Thanks in part to Donal, I have. What I like best about his blog is that it offers not only fantastic recipes and tips, it provides a healthy dose of positivity with every post. Donal’s upbeat nature and optimistic outlook on life has lifted me out of a sour mood more than a few times, and it’s just plain fun to read!


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The Harvest

Shane Leavy is a Dublin-based freelance journalist and offers a passionate and insightful look into the social, economic and political topics that affect Ireland. As someone who knows little about these subject matters in relation to my new home country, Shane’s blog offers balance to what’s being covered by traditional Irish media – necessary for a well-rounded perspective. On a lighter note, he’s also a fan of Japanese food (something that, being half-Japanese, I crave almost all the time!) and is a willing participant to J-food outings in Dublin. I know I can count on Shane for stimulating, topical debates over sushi and sake anytime!


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From Minnesota to Ireland Wales

John found me a few months ago through the expat blogging community and we’ve been blogging friends ever since. Having moved to Ireland six months ago, he was already well-versed in the ups and downs of settling here. Whether it’s the hassle of immigration or baffling Irish slang, John’s hilarious musings of Irish living got me through some of my most frustrating days. We recently met up in person and had a great time comparing stories as I showed him around my new hometown of Drogheda. He’s now off to Wales, where he’ll be managing a hostel, which will no doubt bring about a whole new set of adventures for John. Good luck, buddy!

There are dozens of other writers and bloggers who, in one way or another, has made my transition here much easier. Thanks to Bibliocook, Italian Foodies, I Can Has Cook?, Bord Bia, The Sweet Oblivion Blog, Two Wheels, Beth Morrissey and many others in the blogging and Twitter community for all your advice and support over the last few months. I couldn’t retain my sanity without you!