Éirinn Go Brách: My Favorite Irish Exports

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With a name like Erin Patricia McKenna (I added my husband’s Polish surname after we got married), it’s safe to say I’m Irish. My maternal great-grandfather was once the Grand Marshall for New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Luckily, I had the chance to go to Ireland back in 2001 when my husband interviewed for a job there. We stayed living in the states, but that visit only increased my love for “Dear Old Erin’s Isle.” Yummy pints of Guinness, the freshest oysters to be had from Galway Bay…what’s not to love? In fact, I love so many Irish things I thought I’d share some faves (not the least of which is my own Irish lassies dressed up and wearin’ the green, see above). From beauty to culture, weddings to handmade finds, there just might be something on this list that you’ll love too!

BEAUTY: I’m a lover of perfume, and one of my favorite fragrances is from Ireland. I’ve never smelled another scent like Inis, ever since I was introduced to it years ago in Boston by a friend. One thing I love about it, is that it is not at all “girly.” You can find it online and at many stores that import Irish goods.

BRIDAL: If you are an Irish or Irish-American bride and are looking to incorporate your heritage into your wedding attire, check out the beautiful creations from Colleen Collections of Ireland. They create gorgeous tiara’s out of Co. Galway. Each on is stunning and unique.

We all know about “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But the Irish take it a bit further and add “and an Irish 5 pence for her shoe.” I wanted to cary the luck of the Irish with me on my day, so I taped one into my wedding heels. 5p are no longer minted, as Ireland now accepts the euro, but you can found them online. I also love using Irish blessings for the “Take a Wish” portion of the Make-a-Wish/Take-a-Wish bowls I create for weddings.

MUSIC (and one very cool etsy find!): I grew up loving and listening to Irish music. My favorite album to jig to as a kid was Paddy Noonan and His Grand Old Band’s, Live Irish Party at the Barleycorn. Too bad it’s sold out, otherwise, I’d have totally scooped up this awesome recycled journal on etsy made from the albums cover. Too cool. On a more modern music note, had you been at my wedding, you would have seen an awful lot of crazy dancing to The Saw Doctors. I’ve seen this band many times, mostly in Chicago, and they never fail to get the crowd singing and dancing with some serious spirit.

DESIGN/HOME DECOR: Now, even Irish design is everywhere, including your local Target. Check out Irish designer Orla Kiely’s Target Collection and get ready to swoon at her mix of bolds and brights. Just lovely.

I’ll leave you with one of those Irish blessings I mentioned. Something I truly wish for each and every one of you!

“Wishing you always…
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire!”

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