Favorite Irish Sayings

Proverbs and adages have a way of sticking with us—particularly if they come from a trusted source. The Irish have long been known as one of these sources when it comes to wisdom, hope, and a bit of humor. These eight sayings are just a few of the well-known favorites.

  • “May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”

While the origin of this saying is uncertain, its sentiment is an expression that is still used today as a lighthearted yet heartfelt wish between friends.

  • May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face.
    May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
    and until we meet again may the Lord
    hold you in the palm of his hand.

This Irish blessing is a well-known favorite for friends and acquaintances alike. Display the saying in your home with a plaque that can hang in the entry or a tea towel for the kitchen.

 

  • “You should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

Sometimes the truth isn’t quite as interesting as the way you remember the story. Fishing buddies and golf partners are sure to like this plaque as much you.

 

 

  • “May your blessings outnumber
    The shamrocks that grow.
    And may trouble avoid you
    Wherever you go.”

This blessing is a favorite for those who are traveling or loved ones you don’t have the opportunity to see often.

  • “Life is like a cup of tea…
    It’s all in how you make it.”

While it may not be uniquely Irish, this saying seems to sum up the Ireland’s optimistic culture. This plaque can serve as a daily reminder to see the tea cup as half full.

  • “Now don’t be talking about yourself while you’re here.
    We’ll surely be doin’ that after you leave.”

Although many Irish sayings have a dash of humor, this has to be one of the more comical—and to the point—ones. Share the saying with a friend you love dearly.

 

 

  • “Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.”

It’s hard to argue with a saying that welcomes joy at all turns.

  • “May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
    Bless every fireside every wall and door
    Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
    Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
    Bless every foot that walks its portals through
    May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.”

St. Brigid’s (a patron saint of Ireland) blessing is a favorite for housewarming gifts and your own home’s entryway.

Don’t see your favorite included in this list? Share it with us now!

Serve Traditional Corned Beef with Cabbage

Americans tend to associate corned beef with the Irish. It was, in fact, a huge export for Ireland during the late 17th – early 19th century; however, many accounts note that the Irish themselves were not as fond of the meat as their foreign counterparts. Either way, the traditional meat dish makes an excellent pairing with cabbage and vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Find our simple recipe—along with a bread pairing idea—below.

Traditional Corned Beef with Cabbage

INGREDIENTS

Corned Beef
3 lbs corned beef
spice packet (included in packaged corned beef)

Cabbage

1 head of cabbage, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 new potatoes, quartered

PREPARATION

Place the corned beef and spice packet in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 2 ½ hours.

Add the chopped vegetables. Return to a simmer and heat until all the vegetables are cooked—approximately 20-30 minutes. The salt from the corned beef will naturally season the broth and the vegetables. If you find the water is too salty, add more.

We suggest serving this comfort meal with soda bread—another Irish tradition. Try Katie Reilly’s Irish Soda Bread Mix for a simple addition to your meal.

The Father’s Day Gift Guide

He taught you how to ride a bicycle and later how to drive (scary as it was!). He has been there to cheer you on at soccer games, graduations, and promotions, and also pick you up during the hard times. Our dads mean the world to us. Show him how much you care this Father’s Day with a gift that is perfectly tailored to him.

If He Likes…Working with Gadgets

He’ll Love…An Irish Multi-Tool

If your dad is the “always-be-prepared” type, you can’t go wrong with a gift that keeps a knife, bottle opener, corkscrew, Phillips-head screwdriver, and more at his fingertips. This one is extra special because it also gives him the opportunity to showcase his Irish pride.


If He Likes…Hiking or Walking Through the Woods

He’ll Love…Blackthorn Walking Stick

Made from wood from Ireland’s blackthorn bushes, this walking stick can be both a memento and a practical tool. This particular version features a century-old design. Each three-foot stick is made from unique pieces, thus they all have their own natural variations and character.


If He Likes…Staying on Schedule

He’ll Love…A Celtic Design Pocket Watch

If he has an appreciation for classic design and historical pieces, your dad is sure to like the beauty and simplicity of this pocket watch. While the modern world may use phones and computers to track time, pocket watches have a special “timeless” allure that will continue to make them a favorite gift for years to come.


If He Likes…Drinking Beer

He’ll Love…This Guinness Bottle Opener and Catcher

When he’s enjoying a cold, smooth Guinness at home there’s nothing easier than using this bottle opener and cap catcher set. The shiny brass bottle opener mounts right to the wall above the metal cap catcher. Both are emblazoned with the Guinness logo so there’s no mistaking the house beer brand.


If He Likes…Indulging His Sweet Tooth

He’ll Love…Butlers Irish Whiskey Fudge

It’s his special day, so he deserves a treat—and there’s nothing like the taste of this smooth fudge that features a hint of Irish Whiskey. While you’re at it, give him permission to have more than one to celebrate!

 

Irish Green: What Does It Mean?

When you think of Ireland or the Irish, green likely comes to mind—and there’s good reason for that. From traditional shamrocks to hue-tinted St. Patrick’s Day treats, the color seems to appear everywhere. Have you ever wondered why? Here are a few of the top reasons why Ireland will have you seeing green.

The Countryside

Nicknamed “The Emerald Isle,” Ireland’s landscape is, well, green. The rolling landscape seems to be filled with every range of the color from light pea-green shades to rich jade hues. With the countryside being filled with the color, it’s only natural that it would carry over into all the things Irish.

 

The Shamrock

The aforementioned landscape no doubt contains a seemingly infinite amount of shamrocks. These first became noteworthy when St. Patrick used shamrocks to explain the holy trinity to the Celts in an effort to convert them to Catholicism. Since that time they have become a badge of Irish pride, thus their brilliant green can be seen wherever they are used.

The Flag

The green in Ireland’s tricolor flag is meant to represent Ireland’s Catholic heritage and nationalism, while the orange represents the protestant minority. The white between the two represents peace. Thus, the green is a source of pride, making it all the more popular.

Irish Wedding Traditions

The covenant of marriage is a sacred one—special because of the proclamation of love, the commitment made before God, and—of course—the Irish traditions that accompany the ceremony. As wedding season comes into full swing, we’re brushing up on several of our favorite Irish wedding traditions.

 

Wearing The Claddagh Ring

Claddagh rings are an icon that is  symbolic of love, friendship, and fidelity in Ireland. The tradition is for single women to wear the ring on their right hand with the crown turned inward. When you are in a relationship, the ring is flipped to have the crown face outward. When a woman becomes engaged, the ring moves to her left hand. On this hand it means “Let Love and Friendship reign forever, never to be separated.”

Handfasting

Have you wondered where the phrase “tying the knot” originated? It comes from this Irish practice, which literally means to bind the hands—or wrists—of the bride and groom together, thus uniting them. Originally, the man and woman were bound for a period of time, and at its end they could decide to separate or go into a lifelong union.

Incorporating Bagpipes or a Harp

Both the harp and the bagpipe have Celtic roots .The harp served as Ireland’s national emblem for a number of years, and bagpipes are still a popular part of the culture today. Having a harpist or bagpiper at your ceremony can add historical Irish flair to the celebration.

Ringing Wedding Bells

Bells have a couple of meanings in Irish marriages. First, ringing bells on a couple’s wedding day is said to keep any evil spirits away from the sacred vow of marriage and bring good luck and fortune to the couple. Secondly, they have a slightly everyday application that many couples—Irish or not—still use. “Makeup bells,” as they are known, are meant to be rung by one spouse when a couple has an argument. When the bell rings, they must makeup and forget the quarrel. For both of these reasons, bells make a popular gift for Irish brides and grooms.

What are some of your favorite Irish wedding traditions?

Explore the Wild Atlantic Way

What is the Wild Atlantic Way?

If you haven’t been to Ireland in the last three years, you may not be familiar with this term. The Wild Atlantic Way is a stretch of 2,500km or (roughly 1,500 miles) that runs along the western or Atlantic coast—hence the name. The Ireland tourist industry touted it as “the world’s longest defined coastal route.” In addition to the route itself, there are hundreds of built-in attractions from Downpatrick Head to Blasket Island—along with plenty of delectable dishes at local restaurants and enough festivals and events to give you something to celebrate almost every day of the year.

Where exactly is this located?

The route stretches from Donegal in Northern Ireland to southern Cork by meandering down the western coastline.

 

Valentia Island in Country Kerry, Ireland

 

What’s the best way to see the Wild Atlantic Way?

The best way to see (and experience) the Wild Atlantic Way is your way. You can start at the northern-most point and follow the trail south, or you can simply visit different areas based on what you enjoy and what your time allows. There’s no wrong way to see the Wild Atlantic Way!

 What are some of the things you can do there?

The vast expanse is broken into six regions: the Northern Headlands, the Surf Coast, the Bay Coast, the Cliff Coast, the Southern Peninsulas, and the Haven Coast. Based on what you enjoy, here are a few of our picks.

If you like SIGHTSEEING

Rent a car and drive as much (or as little) of the trail as you like. With forests, beaches, mountains, headlands, and more, there’s plenty to see as you wind your way down the coast.


If you like RIDING THE WAVES

Focus your time on a three-and-a-half hour route that begins in Ballyshannon and ends in Erris Head. Billed as the Wild Atlantic Way’s “Surf Coast Driving Route,” this Northern Ireland stretch offers waves for both beginners and seasoned surfers.


If you like FEELING THE WIND BLOW THROUGH YOUR HAIR

Rent a convertible and choose one (or more!) of the amazing road trip driving routes suggested by the National Tourism Development Authority. Click here to view suggested routes.


BONUS: If you like making memories and getting a little credit along the way, pick up a Wild Atlantic Passport. Participating post offices along the route offer these passports, which can be stamped at 188 signature points on the trail. Collect the stamps as you follow the route and you’ll have a book of memories to recount your travels once you return home. Learn more at wildatlanticway.com/passport.

To learn more about this area of Ireland, visit their official travel, wildatlanticway.com.

Have Your Cake and Drink It, Too

Guinness; it’s not just for drinking any more. As part of a continued trend, chefs and confectioners are incorporating the beloved Irish beer into everything from bread to lamb stew.

Since Arthur Guinness began tinkering with ales in the late 1750s and then eventually focused on porters at the end of the century, the Irish have been enjoying the fruits of his labor. Today, the beer not only has a name in Ireland but around the globe. Perhaps it is this popularity that is spurring a movement to the kitchen. To try the trend for yourself, indulge in this easy-to-create cake.

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Classic Cream Cheese Icing

INGREDIENTS

Guinness Cake
1 (12 oz.) bottle Guinness
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups sugar
¾ cup baking cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream Cheese Icing
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
chocolate shavings, for garnish

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. Flour and butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Over medium-low heat, warm the beer and butter until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar and baking cocoa until blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add this mixture into the beer mixture, stirring to combine. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add these dry ingredients to the wet, stirring to combine. Pour the batter into the two cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the cake’s center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.

While the cake cools, make the icing. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth (do not over-beat).

Ice the cooled cake and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Find the Perfect Gift for Mom

They rocked us when we were babies, made our school lunches as grew, and are still available for heart-to-heart chats—no matter how late in the night it may be. Celebrate the moms in your life with a gift that shows you care about her and her interests. No matter what your mom enjoys, we’ve found the perfect gifts to let her know you care.

If She Likes…Relaxing at the End of the Day

She’ll Love…An Irish Blessing Cushion Cover

Any mom, whether she’s of Irish heritage or not, can appreciate the heartfelt words of this age-old blessing. Plus, this decorative pillow cover adds color and comfort to any room.


If She Likes…Exploring the Outdoors

She’ll Love…A Trinity Shamrock Jacket

If your mom loves adventure, this shamrock-embellish jacket can come in handy for a stroll, hike, bike, or even just running errands around town (which can be an adventure in itself!).


If She Likes…Irish Dance

She’ll Love…A Celebration of Irish Dance Charm Bracelet

Perhaps your loved one enjoyed Irish dance as a child or has always admired those who perform it. This bracelet celebrates all things Irish Dance with charms that feature hard shoes, soft shoes, the Trinity knot, and a recycle symbol with a heart.


If She Likes…Cooking for Her Family

She’ll Love…An Irish Kitchen Prayer Cross

This cross, which reads “Bless us with good food, the gift of gab and hearty laughter. May the love and joy we share be with us ever after,” is a sweet reminder of the times we share enjoying homemade favorites with family and friends around the table.


If She Likes…Curling Up with a Good Book

She’ll Love…Wise Irish Women

Written to inspire and revive, Wise Irish Women shares the stories of 36 women—all of whom have a deep connection to Ireland. These short stories are the relaxing and refreshing way for mom to start or end the day.


If She Likes…Being Fashion Forward

She’ll Love…The Mary Day Cross Body Bag

Perfect for the mom who is always on the go, this leather bag is embossed with eternal knot work to showcase its carrier’s Irish pride. Available in black or brown.


Featured JMH Jewellery

JMH Jewellery is a family business with a 44-year obsession with producing quality Irish made jewelry!  We are manufacturing jewelers based in South Dublin, ideally located close to all our homes! Started by our parents in 1973, shortly after they met, from the beginning JMH Jewellery has been a fusion of design and goldsmithing, producing stunning designs with recognizable style and quality. Our parents instilled their love for fine jewelry, craftsmanship and design in us, and so now Joseph and I work alongside them creating beautiful jewelry, carrying on the family tradition.

The Family Colours seemed like such a natural collection for us to create, from our family to yours, and we are pleased to launch a new necklet style in the collection this year. Personalized jewelry pieces are such a great opportunity to create bespoke family heirlooms. Each stone in these pieces represents a birth month of a family member. Gorgeous!

Its important to know, too, that each piece of our jewelry has been tested and hallmarked at the Assay Office in Dublin Castle, Ireland. This is your guarantee of the purity of the metal in your piece. You will be able to find the hallmark on the back of your necklace, or inside your ring, and you will see the initials JMH, standing for Joseph Michael Harbourne (also known as Joe, or the Boss, or Dad!), alongside that is the Hibernia mark, to say that the item has been through the Dublin Assay Office, and finally the number to indicate the carat gold, or sterling silver.

925 is Sterling Silver        417 is 10ct Gold                585 is 14ct Gold.

We make all our jewellery in house in our workshop, so you can be sure that it has been cast by us, and then driven by one of us into the Assay Office to be tested and marked, before being brought back to the workshop, finished, set, polished and packed, and then sent on its way to you to be worn and cherished.

We hope you enjoy wearing our pieces,

With Love

Eve Turner & Joseph Harbourne

Know Your Irish Symbols

If you’re not familiar with Irish culture, the number of emblems and icons can be confusing. To help you navigate their meaning and significance, we created this quick guide that includes five of the most-often-seen symbols. Read on to learn more about each one.

The Claddagh

The Claddagh is typically seen on a ring, such as this sterling silver one. The ring circle is in the shape of two hands holding a heart. These rings are given as tokens of love, friendship, and loyalty. The name Claddagh comes from a small fishing village located just outside of Galway, which was the birthplace of this symbol.


The Trinity Knot

The Trinity Knot is a continuous, unbroken triple knot that has no beginning and no end point. This knot symbolizes both the holy trinity in Christianity and also serves as reminder of ancient Ireland where the Celts believed the number three held magical powers. It is also called a Triquetra, which in Latin means three cornered. These knots often have a circle that outlines their frame like the one shown on this wall hanging.


The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is a well-known emblem for many cultures. It symbolizes creation and our relationship with nature. The Celts, in particular noted the connection between heaven and earth found in the tree, with the roots reaching deep into the ground and the branches pointing upwards as seen on this suncatcher. Further, the tree is seen as a source of food and shelter.


The Celtic Cross

Surprisingly, this Christian symbol has pagan roots. Lore has it that the shape originated from an ancient sun symbol that St. Patrick modified by extending the lines to create a cross. The circle seen around the top portion is meant to symbolize the halo of Jesus Christ. It is a sacred element that can be found on meaning pieces such as this sterling and emerald necklace.


The Shamrock

As the national emblem of Ireland, the shamrock is associated with all things Irish and is seen as an inviting and welcoming symbol—perfect for welcoming loved ones. The origin of the word comes from the Irish word seamróg, meaning trefoil, which denotes the number of lobes on the leaves of these plants. It has been said that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a tangible way to explain the holy trinity to the Celts.