Entries in words (32)


Leeks - 31 Days of Eating, day 2

Autumn has arrived in Ireland.  The Indian Summer of September is immediately forgotten in swathes of fog.  Mist which as dawn breaks clings to trees, where leaves are beginning to colour.  There is a new chill to the air as the haze lingers throughout the day, only clearing for late afternoon.  It's time to put away my flip flops, and embrace socks, shoes, sweaters and soup.  Warm chunky soups made with root veg, as well as light and fragrant broths.

Morning mists silence the world, making the sound of birdsong much more piercing, in the stillness.  The colours of Autumn are only starting to come but in 31 days, this world of green will be gone.  In its place bare branches, dark nights and the coming of winter.

There was a glut of leeks at the market today, I must have picked up 20 for less than a couple of pounds.  

There ends slightly whizzened, but the leeks themselves, firm. 

Leeks are verstile and flavoursome.  They are mentioned in the Bible, eaten by St David of Wales, and were a favourite vegetable in Roman cookery.  Welsh myth believes they have mystical qualities.  Apart from all that, they have always been one of my favourite ingredients for adding flavour to dishes.  Finely sliced tossed in melted butter and dusted with cheese, they make a crunchy topping to Shepherds or Cottage pies.  Sweated in butter with garlic and mixed through marconi cheese before baking, adds depth of flavour, and nutrition to perhaps one of the worlds best comfort foods.  After frying some lardons or pieces of bacon, mix with a cup of leeks then use as the base for a cheddar cheese quiche.  


Wandering home, wondering how I will cook them. 

I start with Leek and Potato soup  my sisters favourite soup.   Behind me as I write, a pot of leeks sweating in butter murmurs and occasionally pops.  

Stirring the leeks, I feel sad Naomi is not here to share the soup with me.  I remember making this soup for her when she came to visit me in Dublin.

Leeks prefer butter to oil, and are best cooked over a low heat. A piece of baking paper placed over the leeks as they cook will stop them becoming brown and bitter, as it encourages them to cook in their own steam. Leeks are full of nutrients and anti-oxidants which help stave off winter colds and flu.

Before I start to make the soup by adding golden chicken stock (vegetable if you want a vegan/vegetarian soup) I set two ladles of leeks aside, to later make Pappardelle with Leeks and Parsley.  

To the leeks left in the pot I add the stock, and cubed floury potatoes, a light seasoning of salt, and a grind of black pepper. Rummaging around in the fridge I find some parmesan rinds, and decide to add those to the homemade Chicken Stock , silky soft leeks, and cubes of potato.  Parmesan rinds are always worth saving when added to stocks and soups they impart a rich depth of flavour to the dish.  Over a low heat this mixture will cook slowly, until the potatoes soften, eventually falling apart.  

Taking the pot off the stove, I use a stick blender to smooth the soup to a veloute, and cool before refridgerating to serve over the weekend for lunch.  One of the secrets of eating well is to be prepared. Tomorrow I have a busy morning and come lunchtime I will be ready to eat my hand, so knowing all I have to do for lunch is warm a nutritious healthly soup, is very satisfying indeed.

Pappardelle with Leeks and Parsley

I cook some pappardelle in well salted water until it is al dente.  As it cooks I warm the leeks in butter and add a handful of spinach and 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, one red pepper.  Draining the pasta, I toss it through the leeks and spinach, add a squeeze of lemon juice to add a note of freshness and serve with a grating of parmesan.  Additions - Sliced grilled chicken, flaked salmon or some chorizo.


Serves two


  • 250g Papparedelle or other long pasta,  tagliatelli, fettuccine or even spagetti
  • 3 leeks chopped and sweated in 100g butter for 20 minutes
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly grated parmesan to serve



  1. Cook the pappardelle in boiling well salted water until it is al dente
  2. Drain the pasta keeping 2 tbsp of cooking water
  3. Add all the other ingredients to the saucepan toss together, place the lid on and leave to 1 minute for the spinach to wilt
  4. Serve with parmesan and ground black pepper, and maybe even a pinch of chilli flakes.

How do you like to cook Leeks?

You have just read the day two in the series 31 Days of Eating, read Day One Vegan Chocolate mousse.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable 



q&a with artist Kieron Black

It is a pleasure to welcome artist Kieron Black to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Kieron is an immensely talented artist who's work has been shown across the world.  Kieron's work is lumious full of effervescent light.  One of his drawings has accompanied me across the world.  His cartoons accompany pieces in New York financial magazines each week and his watercolours are available to commission.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Kieron for a long time because he is my very cool older cousin.  You can connect with Kieron and commission a piece of his art work on Facebook and by email.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...
Kieron Black. 45 years on this planet. Very human.

Where are you from, where are you based ...
The afore-mentioned planet. Killough, Co Down, in a timeworn cottage by the sea.

Talk about your work ...
Talk about yours.

What are your future plans ... 
Live my life, be a good father, husband. Not die til it's time.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...
The beautiful, the grotesque. Everyone who tries... by those who it comes easy to but mostly by those who it comes hard to.

Describe your space ... 
Messy. Full of boards and the means of making marks.

How are you feeling today ... 
Just dandy.

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 
You can do this.

Your work life philosophy is ...
There is always someone who is better at what you do than you are. Don't sweat it.

What is your favourite smell ...  

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 
A good caeser.

Three things or products that have changed your life... 
Boards. My wife, my daughter.

How do you relax ... 

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  
All of them. All of it.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 
My weeping friends forebear to mourn, nor for my absence cry. You must, like me, to dust return. You must, like me, die.

Share some words of wisdom ...
I just did.


Thank you Kieron, it was great to interview you on the Salt & Sparkle q&a.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable



q&a with illustrator, designer and stylist Sara O'Neill 

It is wonderful to welcome Sara O'Neill - artist, illustrator, designer and stylist - to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  I first came across Sara's work during Belfast Fashion Week several years ago, her ability to put things together is ravishing, she has a unique vision and creative eye, combined with an ability to bring colour and lines together that is remarkable.  Her Instagram account is filled with the most beautiful photographs filled with effervescent light.  You can follow her on facebook , Instragram and Twitter, She has also designed a range of ethereal silk scarfs called Éadach which are available at BTS Concept Store, Una Rodden Couture, Gráinne Maher Fashion or from Sara herself. 



Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I am Sara O’Neill, stylist and scribbler. Fiancée to Al, a big wave surfer. Daughter to Eddie and Bernie, sibling to Beckie and Rory. Friend to a handful of crazy people. All very intelligent, interesting, passionate people who make me laugh a lot. Owner/ maid/ belly scratcher to golden retriever, Blyton. 

I like being me, it’s a cool life but can be a bit hectic, my mind never switches off and I have so many ideas, things I want to create and become obsessed with. But that’s the way I’ve been since I was a kid, I’m used to it by now.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m from Portrush and after fifteen years in Belfast, returned to the coast last year. Belfast was great, first of all for uni then building my career and client base. But I think when you’re brought up by the sea you’ll always be drawn back. I love it.

Talk about your work ...  

I do a few things, I keep busy. I’ve worked as a freelance stylist for nearly a decade now, specializing in commercial and fashion work, working alongside some brilliant teams. 

Five years ago I got back into drawing, I avoided it for a few years after uni. I’ve since had a few exhibitions and am represented by a London/NYC commercial illustration agency. My illustrations tend to be quite feminine and stylized but it depends on the client brief of course- book and album covers, company branding. I also write a lot, mainly for ad agencies and magazines. 

Last year I combined the skills I have developed from years working in fashion and illustration and launched a range of limited edition printed silks- wearable art.

Éadach has been brilliantly received and I’m always thrilled at the strength of feeling for the pieces- customers get quite emotional.

After completing my BaHons in Fashion and Textile Design eleven years ago I swore I’d never go into design but that just shows you should never say never!

If you told me back then my prints would be featured in Grazia or the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, I would never have believed you- in fact, I’m pretty sure I skipped the print workshops at uni! 

What are your future plans ... 

Professionally, to stay focused, building the different aspects of my business. Work does take up a lot of time, but also allows me a degree of freedom and flexibility. Personally, I’m getting married in the very near future, so that’s exciting.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

I find inspiration everywhere, different things inspire me at different times- music, literature, art, history, people.  At the moment I’m very inspired by my surroundings here on the north coast. The coastline here, combined with the Irish myth and legends my granny told me as a child, is the inspiration behind Éadach.

Describe your space ... 

When I’m writing, designing or drawing I work from home, often hopping from room to room depending on natural light, or in the garden.

Our house is decorated in calming pale colours, neutrals and blues, light and airy rooms with lots of natural textures and bits and bobs collected and inherited over the years, often with a beachy/nautical theme.

My kitsch side always surfaces though, so there is the odd flamingo, pineapple, neon sign and a smattering of animal skulls around the house. When I’m styling I could be on location anywhere or in a studio.

How are you feeling today ... 

Focused. I’m currently working through all the ideas that have been floating around for months, getting them out of my head and onto paper, silk, my Mac before the AW15 madness begins.

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Space. Work can be all-consuming sometimes, so space to clear my head is essential. That’s usually in the form of a walk around the cliffs or on the beach by myself or with Al and Blyton. And sleep. I love sleeping.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn

Your work life philosophy is ...

Dream like a bohemian, work like a boss. 

What is your favourite smell ...  

I have many! I love natural outdoor smells- honeysuckle on a summer evening, tomato plants in a greenhouse, the beach after a storm, a forest after the rain.

At home, I love St Eval’s Bay and Rosemary candle from BTS Concept Store and I always have loads of flowers everywhere.

My new scent obsession comes from Fir Beard and Body- they have the most beautiful, evocatively scented beard oils. I’ve nabbed ‘Driftwood’ and use a tiny bit on the ends of my hair. ‘Campfire’ is the most gorgeously heady, smoky smell that conjures up images of glowing embers on a beach.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

I have the musical taste of a dad, crossed with a moody 80s/90s teenager.

I listen to a lot of music when I draw, I find it helps my pencil work flow.

I love Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, the Stones, anything from the late 60’s/ early 70s really. Then I love Nick Cave, L7, loads of indie and new wave stuff, punk, ska, dodgy rock and metal. Also old jazz and blues.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

I love Italian and Mexican food. I’ve been veggie since I was 11 so anything with lots of spices, herbs and gorgeous fresh ingredients is always a winner.

Favourite ingredients include avocado, watermelon and halloumi.  

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Books, 3b pencils, eyeliner

How do you relax ... 

Bumming about and exploring the coastline with Al and Blyton, going camping if we have a couple of free days. Hanging out with friends and family, going for coffee and a walk. Dancing around like a deranged ballerina and singing badly.

Making things look pretty. Gardening. Reading. Yoga- Jennifer Greenlees takes a great class in the beautiful Arcadia building in Portrush, amazing to hear the waves crashing just outside.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

Sunshine. Or a really good storm. Beautiful sunsets. All beside the sea (are you sensing a theme here?) clambering around the cliffs or on the beach, taking photos. A good book in my bag and a coffee in my hand.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

One of the drawbacks of being self-employed is that you forget to take holidays sometimes, so I have not travelled as much as I would like to. I will remedy that. I love wandering around cities with beautiful architecture, history and culture: Florence, NY, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam have been favourites. I like people watching, eating, finding cool markets and boutiques and just soaking up the atmosphere. 

What do you most value in your friends ...

Loyalty, intelligence, humour. Good conversation and bad dancing.

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

‘Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same’, from Wuthering Heights.

I love classic literature, and novels set in the past with a gothic air. Anything by Yeats. I’ve just finished ‘Rebecca’s Tale’, a spin-off of the Du Maurier classic. It was beautiful.  

Share some words of wisdom ...

Dreams don’t work unless you do.


Sara, it was a real pleasure to interview you for the Salt and Sparkle q&a.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


q&a with David Cavan photographer

It is a tremendous honour to have had the chance to interview one of my favourite photographers the sublimely talented, and all round 'great guy' David Cavan.  I went to school with David, his sister was in my year, he was in the same year as my brother.  

David sees the world with clarity, creativity and collaboration.   He is a man of integrity, honour and wisdom. His images tell powerful stories, evoking the heart to memory, they are full of emotion, capturing a little of the lives of his subjects in frame.  

David also has great taste in books!  

You can connect with David on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or head to his website.  

Welcome David.

Who are you, what’s it like being you …

Who am i? wow, I am David Cavan [31], I am a husband to the beautiful Julie, Dad to the brilliant and gorgeous Reuben [4] and Ollie [2]. I do some work for Tearfund [An International Development Charity] and the rest of the time I run my own photography business, which has been going for just over 5 years. Whats it like being me?

I feel HUGELY privileged for my life, for all my family and friends. From a work point of view I feel I have the best job in the world, taking photos of people, trying to see if I can tell a story at 100th’s of a second at a time - I feel people let me into parts of their lives, others don’t get to see, moments that are normally private for families. However, over and above all this, the best part of my life is my family, being a dad and husband is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Oh and I’m a Liverpool fan and the degree joy of my life is dictated by how well Liverpool did the previous week, thats maybe a slight over exaggeration. 

Where are you from, where are you based …

I feel like a bit of a nomad, I grew up in Carrickfergus, went to school in Belfast [Belfast Royal Academy], Lived in Northern California for a year and then lived in Bangor for 4 years. For the last 4 half years I have been up the beautiful North Coast living in Coleraine. However I still do a lot of work in and around Belfast and all around.

Talk about your work …

As a photographer, work is split in three; 

Making the images and engaging with the people who have trusted me to take their photos. 

Editing and post production, making small adjustments to the photos to help them be the best representation of how I made the image in my head. 

Admin; general correspondance, etc

Yes before you ask this list is in order of preference. I love getting out and meeting people, entering into their story and seeing how I can  best represent that through the lens of my camera. 

What are your future plans ... 

I have lots of ideas, but no real plans as yet, I still feel I am learning my trade, I hope I always feel I am teachable and learning, however, I am still trying to understand and get on top of the present. The future, I do believe if I continue to focus on the present and be the best person I can be in the present, the future will look after itself.

However the only thing thats in my head is that, I have always felt whatever talent/skills I have with photography are to be used for more than just running a successful business. There has to be more to it than that.

So I am looking into ways where photography can be a catalyst in hearing and change in peoples circumstances. I have loved travelling and doing some photojournalism especially in places of obvious need. I have just come back from a trip to Lebanon to visit some Syrian refugees in the boarder towns.

My heart is still broken from that trip.   

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

I am inspired all the time, sometimes that inspiration can be helpful and drive me forward, at other times of insecurity, the inspiration from other peers around me can make me feel like an impostor in an artistic world that I don’t belong in. However I feel this is down to the fact that I would never have considered myself an artist until my mid-late 20’s.

So I am learning to accept the creative part of myself and owning it a little. I find massive amounts of inspiration from my boys. The eyes of wonder they possess inspire me to see the world through their eyes, how they can find beauty and wonder in literally anything, things that I have taught myself over time to discard as useless.  

Describe your space ... 

I am very fortunate, I have recently just moved my office back into the house. We live in a three bed semi in Coleraine and for the first few years of the boys being on this earth they had different rooms, as their sleeping patterns were different, however, once they started going to bed at the same time, we thought we could put them in the same room and leave a space for a spare room/study.

So when this happened I contacted my friend who is an amazing artist in his own right, except his paint brush is a blowtorch and saw. He made me a custom desk with shelves and I now love the fact that I can be surrounded by my family whilst I work and my boys can come in whilst I work and ask me the brilliant questions the ask. 

How are you feeling today ... 

Today has been strangely productive. Since coming back from Lebanon my levels of productivity have fluctuated. But today lots of things are being marked off the to do list. Since as completely this for Nicky, who asked me to do this AGES ago. 

A non-negotiable in your life is …

I think of myself as a flexible person about a lot of things, I love the sense of accommodation when it comes to life, the to and fro and working together creates a lot of energy. However the things that I am very protective of are my family and friends. I have a strong desire for people being allowed and encouraged to be the best version of themselves. 


Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

I have been very fortunate to have people in my life who have encouraged me along the way. However the one time that sticks out in my mind is with my former Headmaster.

I have failed my 11+, went to Downshire Secondary School for 2 years and then transferred to Belfast Royal Academy, this was because my sisters and family friends went there and I always wanted to go. However, the academic expectations was greater, and that wasn’t my strong point in life. So whilst my social skills in school with being developed no end, I was struggling academically. I literally scrapped by with my GCSE’s and got back into school for my Lower 6th year. At the end of that year I got my AS Level results and they where less than impressive, I hadn't put the hours when it came to study but I was still surprised i did as bad as I did. I got DUU.

However, I was called into the headmasters office at the time, Mr Billy Young. He sat me down and expressed how disappointed he was in my results. However this wasn't done in a way that made me think less of myself, it was done in a way that was empathetic and understanding. He said I have a few choices but continuing on into the Sixth Form with my class mates wasn’t one of them. He said I go could to a technical college, which might be great for me, but he felt I could get lost in an environment of independent study. The second option that was offered was initially very jarring and a bit humbling. I was offered the chance to repeat the year. This was the last thing I wanted to do, to drop into the year below, was embarrassing and it meant leaving my friends behind.

However, Mr Young, sat in his office and said something to me that will stay with me for the rest of my life. He stated that he had faith in me, not just as a human but that I could work hard and prove the thoughts I had about myself wrong. He said he didn’t want me to leave and would I trust him and agree to repeat the year. He also said that he would personally look at the subjects of offer and point me in a better direction to what would suit better, and he would meet with me once and week, and check in with my teachers to see how I was doing to make sure I was keeping up.

Now this is one of the top schools in Belfast with 1200+ pupils at the school, and the head  master was pouring confidence into me that I could do. I was very fortunate at school, mostly I had teachers that where very good, and I got on very well with them, however at the moment of me being the lowest, I walked into an office expecting to be told that I wasn’t good enough to come back to the school I loved. That day literally changed my life in lots of ways. I ended up leaving school 2 years later with CDE in my full A Levels and having been unconditionally accepted into university. I am not saying that a university degree is the best thing for people but for me, it wasn’t the qualification that at the end that inspired me, it was the effect that one mans confidence in me, had on me and how far it sent me. 

Your work life philosophy is …

For me, whether its life or work, I want the things I do to make a difference in the world or someones world. I love being a photographer, and yes there are days where getting my camera out feels a bit more like a chore than I would wish, I want to create a work/life balance that compliment and balance each other out.  

What is your favourite smell ...  

The slightly damp smell of my boys hair after they have come out of the bath / Julie’s perfume / BBQ’s! haha 

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now … 

An album that has been on repeat for a long time in my ears. Bears Den - Islands is what I am listening to now. Its amazing. However, my musical tastes range from random people few people have heard of, right up to Taylor Swift, who is incredible and even a bit of One Direction. 

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients … 

I do love food. I did photos at a wedding in Texas last year on this huge raunch just outside Dallas. Americans do weddings a bit different. So the night before the ceremony they have a wedding rehearsal followed by dinner, were they eating, drink and do the speeches. The dinner at that and the actual wedding day was mind-blowing. It was slow flame grilled Brisket. I would say, without any shadow of a doubt that was be my favourite meal.

From an ingredients POV - its simple for me, I love meat. So chicken, beef and bacon.


Three things or products that have changed your life... 

My first Apple Mac, it was a beautiful white iBook and it started me on the road of realising how my creativity can be supported via computers.

My first digital camera. I had just come back from my year in America, and my best friend was out in Hong Kong, he kept telling me how much cheaper cameras where, so I got him to pick me up a tiny canon point and shoot, from there I realised I love the instant nature of digital photography.

I am a visional learner, who HEAVILY relies on trial and error, and digital photography gave me the platform to see what was working and how it was working. Even though this wee camera sits at the bottom of a storage box and hasn’t been used in years, it for sure was my first step in the door.

The film Good Will Hunting. For lots of reasons, this film changed how I approached life. The importance of engaging with life and not just experiencing it from the passenger seat. Plus Robin Williams. 

How do you relax ... 

Watch or play football, playing football whilst it reminds me how unfit I am, it puts me back to zero, re-calibrates me. Love watching TV shows/Films with Julie. Playing super heroes or cars with my boys. Finally, getting all my work done. I like to feel a sense of being of top of work before I can truly relax.  

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place … 

What makes me happy is watching people not accept 2nd best in themslves, especially when their opinion of themselves has come from someone else in a negative way. My happy place is sitting on the sofa with my family around me, just enjoying each others company, our boys bring us so much joy, so no matter how difficult a day/week/month has been, listening to their take on the world they occupy does it for me. 

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ... 

When I lived in Northern California, I drove the 12 hr drive from LA to San Francisco a few times and the coast road is beautiful! My best friend lives in Hong Kong and I would love to go there or India. Cultures that are so different from ours really interest me, and love meeting people there and hearing how they view life.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

I love being my friends biggest fans. In Northern Ireland especially where saying your good at something is considered over confident, I like to make sure people are aware just how amazing my friends are. What I value most in them is loyalty. Not necessarily to me, but to themselves. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

I am not much of a reader, I am dyslexic and find reading a chore but I do have subscription to Audible so listen to audio books in my car. I have just finished a few books, Love Does by Bob Geoff, The Zim Zum of Love by Rob & Kirsten Bell and Scary Close by Donald Miller. All are inspiring and gaving me different ways of looking at things I thought I had made my conclusions on. Favourite word is grace.

Share some words of wisdom …

When it comes to wisdom, I wouldn't suggest that I am someone who emits it in abundance. However, I would say with lots of things I do in life, I feel there are people doing it bigger and better than me. I have a constant feeling that one day people will notice that I am making it up as I go along.

However, I am learning to accept that I am always moving forward, it may only be tiny steps but its always in a forward motion.

When this happens, its only when you look back and see how far you have come. Even when life knocks you, you realise you have made a mistake, things aren’t working out, whatever it is, you learn and dust off, even if it takes a while and keep moving forward. Live life to the fullest and don’t forget the things in life that are most important, for me its people. 

 David, thank you for joining us at the Salt and Sparkle Q&A

That's if for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable



Weekend Thinking


Meet - Five Minute Friday

The day she met him was dull.  Only a vague shade of green could be seen on Black Mountain from which the rain seemed to pour onto the city streets.  Standing behind the table in the bakery, her hands dusted with flour, she wove lengths of dough with an effortless rhythm, stretching and pulling.  Teasing them into perfectly plaited loaves.

Using the back of her arm to wipe her brow, she left a faint dusting of flour in her dark hair.   Something in the air changed, the scent, and instinct told her she wasn’t alone.  Silhouetted in the doorframe watching her, he shook his blond curls and water dripped onto the tiled floor.  All the time his blue eyes locked on hers.  The stood still in silence.

In that instant everything changed.


Today I thought I’d share a little fiction from a story I am working on as part of my Five Minute Friday post.  I hope you will join the Five Minute Friday community, and consider writing for five minutes, then sharing your words with us.  It will be a five of the best minutes you spend all day.  Happy Friday.

That’s it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable





q&a with Rebecca McKinney from Cool FM

It is just lovely to welcome the beautiful Rebecca McKinney radio presenter at Cool FM to the Salt & Sparkle q&a.  I first met Rebecca through Siobhan O'Sullivan at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast.  Stylish, sassy and smart Rebecca is fun and fabulous.  You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, her blog  and Instagram.


Who are you? What's it like being you?

I am a presenter, current co host of the Breakfast Show on COOL FM, and a fashion stylist. Being me is a pretty happy experience right now.


Where are you from?

Born and bred in East Belfast, my house over looks Stormont and is my little haven.


Talk about your work.

I feel very lucky to be able to wake up the country on COOL FM. Work makes me laugh every single day - which is pretty special. I know how blessed I am being able to combine my passions with my career.


What are your future plans?

To be happy and settled. I'd love to travel more, explore career opportunities in the media and watch my friends blossom around me. Throw in some romance and I'm all in!


How do you find inspiration? Who are you inspired by?

I love people watching. Style wise, I'm inspired by women in this city, magazines, friends, pinterest. Life wise, I'm inspired by anyone with a passion.


Describe your space.



How are you feeling today?

 A tiny bit tired - 4.30am alarm clocks will do that to you!


A non-negotiable in your life?

Kindness & manners


Most encouraging words you have ever heard

'Now is your time' - from a great friend


Your work life philosophy is.....

Work hard, play hard (and be true to yourself while you're at it!)


What is your favourite smell? 



Who do you like to listen to?

It depends on my mood, John Mayer to relax and Beyoncé or Calvin Harris to party. Dance music is an essential part of my weekend.


Best meal and fav 3 ingredients

I'm partial to a nice Indian meal. As cooking is not my forte, my favourite 3 ingredients would be..... Marks & Spencers


Three things or products that have changed your life

Make up Studio Foundation from Paddy McGurgan's Makeup Pro Store helps my skin look fresh despite the early mornings, 'Great Lengths' extensions have transformed my hair thanks to Michelle International hair salon and Vita Liberata tan gives me a glow that really lasts.


How do you relax?

A hot bath and a magazine usually does the trick


What makes you happy? 

Spending time with my girlfriends - I have an amazing circle in my life.


What is your favourite journey? Where in the world would you like to visit?

I would love to visit somewhere that has turquoise blue sea and endless sandy beaches. To me, that's my idea of paradise.


What do you value most in your friends?

Loyalty, honesty and sense of humour


What are your favourite words? What are you reading now?

Anything in VOGUE. 


Share some words of wisdom 

Happy girls are the prettiest - Audrey Hepburn


Rebecca it was a pleasure to have you at Salt & Sparkle.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable