Hi all, I know it’s been a while, but sometimes life takes over. And that’s okay. That’s real life. We can all beat ourselves up about the things we don’t get around to doing, but it’s a better idea to give ourselves a pat on the back for the things we do get around to doing.

One such thing that I have to congratulate myself for is my bravery in getting a tattoo.

It was something that I’ve wanted for a long time, but I never had the courage to go through with it, my status as chicken being something I touched on in a previous post: https://yvonnemcevaddy.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/terrifying-thrills/

Although very proud of my tattoo, and very proud of my bravery, this post comes with a word of warning to those who are thinking of getting a tattoo. While I would normally be the last person to try to dissuade a person from expressing their individuality, from throwing caution to the wind and doing what their heart desires, what I have been through in the last couple of months means that I must, because I care about my fellow human beings, issue this word of caution.

Yes, the tattoo was painful. Did I survive it? Yes. Was the pain manageable? Yes. Immediately after getting it would I have recommended the process to others? Yes. Would I have ever gone through it again? No. Did I regret it? Absolutely not.

Then, what changed? you ask.

Well, in subsequent days I developed a rash around the tattoo. Nothing to be too alarmed about, as it was just a reaction to the colours. As some of you who have read my posts on sleep are aware, I am partial to natural remedies.







So I treated these spots, which resembled chicken pox, with tea tree and lavender oil. Which worked a treat. Until a spot developed on the tattoo itself. This spot I was afraid to go near with lavender and tea tree oil as the skin was sensitive. So I left it alone.

And then it happened. The spot got infected. This was not through me picking at it – as I said, I was afraid to go near it. The infection was not as a result of poor practice in the tattoo parlour – I had watched as the tattoo artist unwrapped sterile needles. He wore gloves. I was completely confident that I was in a reputable place. Sometimes these things just happen.

I went to the doctor and was put on a double dose of very strong antibiotics for three weeks. Then all was good. Or so it seemed. For a week or so everything was hunky dory. Then a few more spots appeared in random places around my body. Again I treated these with lavender and tea tree oils. They responded well. Until one spot got infected. Two more weeks of very strong antibiotics ensued, followed by three weeks of an antibiotic/steroid cream, which I am still using. I am also bathing regularly in lavender and tea tree oil, hoping that this will help the healing process.

I really hope my sensitivity to the ink settles down soon, as the last thing I want to have to do is have the tattoo removed. More pain, and yes more money.

If you have had a similar experience please feel free to share in the comments below. Or, if you have had a wonderful tattoo experience, please share that too. Any words of wisdom or advice are always welcome. And if you are thinking of getting a tattoo, I wouldn’t say don’t get one, but I will say, please take a bit of extra time to think again and get a skin sensitivity test. And if after all that, you still want a tattoo, I wish you the best of luck with it.

Screaming Baby Blues

While doing a bit of tidying up, I came across a poem I wrote when  my daughter was a baby. She is now six, and when I read it to her she thought it was hilarious. Let me know, in the comments below, what you think.


Screaming Baby Blues by Yvonne McEvaddy


I wake up in the morning

Bars around my head

I wake up in the morning

Just want my mama’s bed.


Got the end of the world, screaming baby blues

Yeah, I got them bad.

Got the runny nose, sore throat, sore ear blues;

Yeah, it hurts real bad.


I got my teddy, want my bottle;

Got my bottle, want my teddy;

Got my teddy and my bottle,

Now I want my mommy.


Got the end of the world, screaming baby blues,

I’m tired but don’t wanna go to bed.

Got the daddy just ain’t no good blues,

I want my mommy instead.


I got my daddy, want my bottle;

Got my bottle, don’t want daddy;

Got my daddy and my bottle,

Now I want my mommy.


Got the empty tummy, sore tooth miseries,

Got the my mommy done gone and left me woes.

Got my bottle and my daddy

But he just ain’t no mommy.


Got the screaming baby blues, got them real bad,

Got the screaming baby blues, I’m just so sad.

There’s nothing quite like a good beat to get you up and at ’em in the morning.

Some of my personal favourites are Footloose by Kenny Loggins, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, The Blues Brothers, I Don’t Wanna Stop, Ozzy Osbourne, It’s Good To Be Alive, Imelda May, and, of course, Happy by Pharrell Williams.

So if you’re having a blue Monday, a tiring Wednesday, or you’re just finding it difficult to get into your happy place, put one of these songs on and I’m sure you’ll find yourself dancing around.

Perhaps you have some personal favourites of your own you’d like to share with me. Please feel free to comment.








Imelda May



I am in the middle of cooking for a children’s birthday party – and have burnt myself yet again while taking chips out of the oven. So item no.1 of importance is aloe vera gel. It’s handy to have an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. But if you’re like me, you’ll likely kill it before you will need to apply its gel on your burn.

I am expecting a few falls and grazes this afternoon – what would a children’s party be without some skinned hands and knees. Items no.2 and 3 go hand in hand. Lavender and tea tree oil. A little of each mixed with water and applied to a cut will promote healing and also sterilize it.

Item no.4 of course is a few plasters. Fun, character ones if you can manage it. If not, regular ones will do in a pinch.

Item no.5 is some TLC.

My husband and I have been talking a lot about the early days and years of parenthood. And of course those sleepless nights came up. It’s hard for them not to come up since there were so many of them and it was on-going for such a long time. Our poor girl was fighting sleep since she was 2 weeks old. At first it was only her day-time sleep that she was fighting, and we only really started looking into what was causing the problem when she gave up her day-time sleep and it was her night-time sleep that was being affected.

Those of you who haven’t been following the previous sleep related blogs may be interested in checking out






Since we’ve discovered that it was E-numbers, aspartame and cheese that were causing the problems, we’ve all been enjoying much more sleep. We have done a lot of research into E-numbers in the last year. There are approximately 500 of them, and they’re not all bad. And some of the worst ones can actually be listed in the ingredients as natural colours or flavours. Even when we buy things that have no artificial colours or flavourings she can sometimes have nightmares. When we do a little research into the natural colour she had consumed the day before we realise that it was an E-number.

When it comes to cheese, she can tolerate sauces that are 2% cheese and she can tolerate E-free cheese and onion crisps. But pizza, cheese sandwiches and cheese flavoured crackers are out, and so is, as we’ve recently discovered – fromage  frais. A lot of people find that if they eat cheese late in the evening they have bad dreams. In our daughter’s case, if she eats cheese at any time of the day it will cause her to spend a portion of the night, usually between 2am and 4am, awake and hallucinating.

There are some E-numbers that she can tolerate. We have discovered this through a process of elimination. One of these is Soy Lecithin. She has a limited amount of Soy Lecithin, as we fear that if she has too much of this she will be up at night with bad dreams. We have just discovered that Soy Lecithin is an ingredient in formula milk and some baby foods. So the poor girl has been getting E-numbers at first through my breast milk, and then through formula milk and baby foods. We started giving her cheese when she was 7 months old. And then of course there were all the medicines that she was taking for teething and ear infections etc.

Is it any wonder she had such troubled sleep for so long?

From the research I’ve conducted, Soy Lecithin does not appear to be harmful. In fact it has certain beneficial properties. However, if you have a sensitivity to it, like our girl appears to have, small doses or avoiding it altogether might be wise. More research is needed here – a period of giving her no other additives or preservatives and upping her intake of Soy Lecithin to prove that the formula may in fact have been instrumental in her sleep disturbances.

I will keep you posted. And if anyone has any sleep related stories to share, I am always happy to hear from you.


No Fences

Are you, like me, anxiously awaiting news of whether or not the 5 concerts will go ahead? Or are you fed up of the whole fiasco?

I can remember my first introduction to the music of Garth Brooks. It was 1991. I was at home, sitting on my bed, reading a book and listening to the radio. My older sister came into our room and gave me two cassettes that a friend of hers had given her the loan of. No Fences and Ropin’  The Wind. And there the love affair started.

I put the first track on and I was in love. I hadn’t been so in love with a singer since Michael Jackson in the ’80’s. That’s what The Thunder Rolls did to me.  http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=102875

After that, every new album Garth released was on my Christmas wish list. It got so that my brother stopped asking me what I wanted for Christmas. After a while his only question was, ‘Do you want it on cassette or CD?’

When I heard that Garth Brooks was coming to Ireland in 1994, I immediately wanted to go to see him. However, he was coming in April. I was due to start my work experience in Euro Disney in April. I was a little heartbroken. But my love affair with Disney had been going on for a lot longer than my love affair with Brooks. And I figured that Garth would come again, but that my chance to work in Disneyland Paris was a once in a lifetime one.

I was right, Garth did come again. In 1997. But I was saving to get married in 1998. I know his tickets are inexpensive, but it was still an expense we couldn’t spare. Once again I figured Brooks would return. So I got on with the business of getting married, hoping that I would get to see Garth before too long.

Imagine how upset I was to hear of his retirement before he could return. I anxiously awaited news of him coming out of retirement. And finally the news came. As long as we could get tickets I would finally get to see Garth Brooks in Croke Park in July 2014.

Just moments before the tickets sold out my husband was successful.

I was ecstatic. I have been waiting 20 years to see Garth.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been remaining hopeful while the whole thing is up in the air. I believe in thinking positively, and that’s just what I’m doing.

I will get to see Garth at the end of this month!



The cliche of having your heart in your mouth is such an apt description. When watching The Walking Dead the other night I literally felt as if my heart was leaping up from my chest, through my throat and into my mouth. I love that feeling although, in reality, I’m such a wuss – I cringe at the sight of blood, faint when getting injections or having a tooth pulled, and hold my jaw in horror if someone is talking about the dentist.

While attending a First Aid course recently I had to look away at the slides that showed gruesome injuries, but yet I have no problems watching Dr. Derek Shepherd cutting open a brain in Grey’s Anatomy, and it has nothing, or at least not much, to do with his McDreamy status.

I seem to have no problem separating fact and fiction when it comes to the gory details. In fiction, the gorier the better, but in fact, gory will have me reaching for the smelling salts. I can read, write and watch horrific scenes, feeling them unfold in front of me. Yes, I know I would look a bit like a crazy person if someone were to look in the window and see me leaping up and down on the couch and clutching my hair, but that’s only the wonderful feeling of the heart taking up residence in my mouth.

In reality, the things that induce these feelings are roller coaster rides and sky-dives, which are not all that common-place, so I need to get my daily dose of thrills from horrific fiction.

If, like me, you’re addicted to thrills and terror, you might be interested in checking out my novel Shadows of the Dead. If you read it, you might let me know what you think, or even write a review. And if you’re not interested in my novel, perhaps you can comment below and let me know what gives you thrills?


chain_linksI have been asked to take part in this blog hop by my good author friend, Jessica Kong. In this chain, authors will reveal a bit about themselves and their writing process through answering four questions. Then they pass the link to others. I have passed the link to Melanie Toye. First I will tell you a little about myself and answer the questions. Then I will tell you a little bit about Jessica Kong and Melanie Toye.

Yvonne in Java's

I live and work in co. Galway, Ireland. I am the author of two novels, Passion Killer and Shadows of the Dead. I was long listed in the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition 2012.

I am a member of the Java Writers group, who have recently published Infusions, a collaboration of our work, and am also co-author of 8 Slices of Cake, an ebook which can be downloaded on smashwords and amazon.  I took part in the first ever short story compiled by tweets, along with well known crime writers Val McDermid, Mark Billingham and Martyn Waites. The story is entitled First Stop: Revenge and can be found at: east coast story 

To connect with me:  Website, facebook, twitter.

1) What am I working on?     My current work in progress is a thriller about a serial killer. Detectives Sarah Forde and Dave Burke are trying to put the clues together to create a picture of the monster who is going around the city and county, brutally killing women.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I tend not to stick to any one genre. As you can see from my first two novels, I have written a cozy mystery and a horror. With 8 Slices of Cake I ventured into romance. And I have written an as yet unpublished children’s book. I write what I am moved to write as opposed to trying to stay within a genre.

3) Why do I write what I do? I write because I love it. I write what I do because once an idea takes hold, it doesn’t let go until it’s written, no matter what genre it’s in.

4) How does my writing process work? I wish I could say that I get up at 6.30 every morning and write for an hour, then sit down to the computer after the school run and write for 3 hours until the next school run. However, as a busy mum and childminder, my writing routine is more like this: I squeeze in a few words wherever I can. They all add up. As Agatha Christie said:

Agatha Christie quote

I would add to this – while doing the laundry, in the car on the school run, even in the shower. Or doing any of those mundane, must-be-done chores.

My books:

Passion Killer CS Mar 7th (1)

If your ex lover and best friend was accused of killing your boyfriend would you stand up for him? Would your friends stand by you?

Passion Killer is a story of how unrequited love, jealousy and obsession become dangerous, turning passion to murder. It revolves around a group of friends in a small town in Ireland.  Sylvia arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend, Rick, in a pool of blood. In the course of their investigation, Detectives Barbara Molloy and Mick Naughton question the group of friends and uncover a web of deception. A party the night before the murder left many fingerprints at the scene of the crime. In the tangle of love triangles there are plenty of motives to choose from and few alibis, casting the net of suspicion wide.

As the story unfolds, the friends discover secrets and lies that test their relationships to the point of breaking. In order to cast suspicion away from one of their best friends, Alex, the group start to suspect a myriad of acquaintances. Will they succeed in finding out who killed Rick before Alex is put away for something he didn’t do? Or will they find out that Alex isn’t who they thought he was?

Available At:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble           Smashwords

Shadows cover

What would you do if you found your dream house and it was rumored to be haunted? Would you buy it anyway? Would every noise in the still of the dark night have you paralyzed with fear?

Shadows of the Dead is about Alice and Mark O’Brien who don’t believe in ghosts. They fall in love with Hawthorn Grange on their first viewing. Amused by the rumors, they buy and move into The Grange.  With Mark working the graveyard shift, Alice is alone at night. Alone with the sounds from an old house, with the words of the neighbors whispering around her, the stories of the shadows arising from the graves next door and making their way into the house.

Will her imagination succumb to the rumors? Is that a door creaking open? Who is that standing at the foot of her bed? Is it just a dream? A nightmare of real or imagined proportions follows Alice around as she tries to remember that ghosts don’t exist. Or do they?

Available At:

Amazon               Barnes & Noble


Java Writers are a Galway group who met through Over the Edge literary events and creative writing classes. We meet regularly in Java’s Cafe  to write and share artistic musings.  Infusions is a collection of our Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Illustrations, a percolation of diverse themes – love and loss, mystery and nostalgia, family and friends, sea and fire, wind and rain –  set variously in Italy, England, America and Ireland, reflecting the group’s eclectic mix.

Available At:

Amazon            Barnes & Noble

8 Slices cover

A wedding, an 8 tiered cake, 8 short stories, 8 writers from all over the world. Each writer has chosen a different cake for our characters attending the wedding. Each story has its own cake recipe. We are comparing this book to the movie “Love Actually.” We all write in our own unique style. 8 Slices of Cake is a fun read about marriage, divorce, romance, dating, failed relationships, and finding love.

Available At:

Amazon          Smashwords

Jessica Kong

Jessica Kong

Jessica is an avid reader of all things fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal. When not reading or writing, she enjoys puzzles, arts and crafts, crocheting, horror movies, and video games. She created the Sea-anan Saga out of inspiration provided by her love for movies like Star Wars and Deep Space Nine, along with an avid appreciation of romance novels. She makes her home in Somerset, New Jersey, with her loving husband of twenty-one years and their teenaged triplets.

Her books:


Seacat John McCall labels the attack on the Sea-anan Empire as a nightmare. He escapes the enemy’s invasion, only to find himself stranded on a distant planet called Surreal. Tormented by thoughts of his family being massacred or captured by the enemy, he focuses on returning to aid them until he experiences a mind-boggling kiss that can only come from the one he is meant to share his life with. To ease the terror he feels for his family, John seeks the identity of his secret admirer. He quickly learns the true meaning of nightmare when he discovers his soul mate is of “the mist.”

Jasira Eversole is drawn to the powerfully built outlander sitting at the king’s table. Unable to resist the need to see him again, she enters the warrior’s room while he sleeps. John’s rugged good looks and chiseled body compel Jasira to reach out and touch him. Being of the mist, Jasira knows she will not be able to feel John, but she cannot resist his pull. The richness of John’s hair, the firmness of his muscles, and the clean scent of his skin all take Jasira off guard. She swiftly realizes John is her intended mate. Now, Jasira must somehow convince the young warrior that they are two halves of one soul without chasing him off Surreal, leaving her to a lonely existence as mist.

Available At:

Amazon US              Amazon UK                Barnes & Noble

CreateSpace            Books A Million


Picking up from where the first installment of the series, A Lost Kitten, left off, the second installment in the fast-paced Sea-anan Saga by Jessica A. Kong explains the reasoning behind the creation of the law that forbids felines to permanently join with aliens.

This law creates the main conflict that exists between Sev, the reigning king of the Oceanan race, and his soulmate, Areo, of the human-feline hybrids. Sev is raised in the midst of a vicious family feud, but all seems worth it when his adoptive aunt gives birth to a beautiful little girl, Areo, whom Sev falls instantly and irrevocably in love with. But when Sev’s planet collides with its own sun and collapses, he must bear the loss of his entire family, including his love as well as any memory of her.

When Areo’s empire is brutally attacked, everyone is scattered throughout the universe. Where does she land but the planet that Sev is currently occupying. What follows is a continually building conflict interlaced with one of the most fervently passionate love stories seen in these kinds of novels.

Author Jessica A. Kong chooses not just to write about space travel, or war, or love, or family, or even racism; instead, she chooses to combine all of these classic literary themes into one amazing story. The result is a mysterious and ultimately deeply satisfying story that only leads to the craving for more from this gifted and astoundingly creative writer.

Available At:

Amazon US              Amazon UK             Barnes & Noble

CreateSpace            Books A Million

Melanie Toye
Melanie is a dream chaser. More than that, she is a freelance business writer and author. She sets out to inspire, teach and entertain through engaging, creative and storytelling content. She wants to touch every person’s life and her way of reaching out to the world is through writing. She has been a writer and storyteller all of her life, yet when looking for her dream career, she had not even thought writing could be it. It seemed too easy. Three years after, she published her very first novel, Entice Me. A chick lit, fiction that every woman (and man) will love to read. She realised she could do this. She could turn her passion for writing into a career. And so her dream chasing career has begun. 8 eBooks published, a loyal following and writing business articles for various industries on a regular basis. (To see what she has accomplished through writing to date, view her LinkedIn profile . Connect with her too; she loves meeting new people). Since she made writing her career, she has pushed herself to greater heights, accepted new challenges, and found herself in a completely dark tunnel wondering where to make her next step. She keeps bundling in the dark, yet every step she moves forward, a small light shines its way and she knows she will look back on her journey, shake her head and say well done Mel. That was amazing. So far, her journey with writing, creating, building and sharing has been absolutely unforgetable.


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Support a writer and purchase her eBooks for sale: Amazon 

If you’d like to follow other links in this chain, check out the blogs of Zach Abrams and Brenda Perlin.


Happy New Year. And it sure is a happy one for us. Since we discovered these warm milk supplements we’ve been sleeping great in our house.

If you’ve missed out on my previous sleep related posts you may be interested in checking them out:





To recap, we’d been having a rough time with our daughter’s sleep. We started keeping a food diary while giving her camomile tea, and the homeopathic remedy Chamomilla 3oc, and flower remedy Night Essence. Through a process of elimination we discovered that it is e-numbers that cause her nightmares and the artificial sweetener, aspartame, that causes her to wake up during the night and stay awake for 2 hours.

After changing her diet we took her off the Chamomilla tablets and Night Essence. However, it’s impossible to avoid e-numbers completely. Monday to Friday her diet is controlled, but on the weekends there are parties, and of course there is some eating out, and even through strict diligence the occasional e-number slips through.

We’ve discovered that the warm milk supplements combat the effects of the e-numbers, but not the aspartame, so we’ve been able to ease up on her diet a little. But we still eliminate e-numbers where possible.

We’ve just gone through a tough couple of weeks where she’s been on antibiotics and steroids. A lot of medicines contain aspartame and e-numbers, and since the milk tablets, as she calls them, don’t work for aspartame, we’ve had quite a number of wakeful nights, but soon she’ll be back to full sleeps again, and so will we.

As an added bonus, we’ve noticed that our daughter is growing more now that she’s sleeping properly.

Please share this post, as I want to help as many parents and children as possible to get the sleep they need and deserve.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. The cold, crisp weather, snuggling up in front of a fire, the Christmas preparations, festive cheer. I love it all. We’ve established a few Yuletide traditions in our family over the years, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Christmas songs go on in our house on the 1st of November. As soon as the Halloween decorations come down, Bing Crosby can be heard singing White Christmas. I know this goes against the grain, but I’m extremely Christmassy.

Christmas movies


We also start watching Christmas movies on the 1st of November. So far this year we’ve watched the 3 Tim Allen Santa Clause movies, the Dudley Moore Santa Claus movie and The Snowman. While the kids have been in bed the last month I’ve watched Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, An Affair to Remember, It’s a Wonderful Life, Four Christmases and Serendipity. I have yet to enjoy Love Actually, The Holiday, The Family Stone and White Christmas. As a family we have yet to watch Elf, Jack Frost, Fred Claus and both versions of Miracle on 34th Street. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Obsess much?” Right?

The Christmas tree and decorations come down from the attic on the 30th of November, the tree is erected and the lights go on. On the 1st of December the tree is decorated and decorations go up around the rest of the house.




On the first weekend in December we go ice-skating and wander around the Christmas markets, taking in the wonderful atmosphere, enjoying the food and drink on offer and making a few Christmassy purchases.

As soon as my Christmas shopping is done we watch the original Miracle on 34th Street while wrapping presents in front of the fire.

So, do you have any Christmas traditions? Please share; I love to hear what others love most about this time of year.