The ultimate directory of small creative Irish companies

I’ve long since been a supporter of small Irish companies who focus on creativity and sustainability. I applaud any man, woman and parent who takes on the challenge of coming up with an idea, of creating a business and being everything and everyone that is required to run a company, from marketing to designing, they do it all. I’ve reviewed many a product from these wonderful companies and wonderful people but in the run up to Christmas I wanted to do something that I don’t think exists out there already – a proper, constantly updated, list of all the wonderful small businesses out there. A place where people can come with an idea they want to support local, support Irish and they can find what they want here, from these wonderful businesses.  Continue reading

Investing in the classics with Marks and Spencer

Lately I am loath to admit that though I harbour dreams of looking as effortlessly stylish as some of the ladies I follow on Instagram, for me this just isn’t a reality right now. My days (and nights!) are busy and I would love to have the time and energy to spend my mornings browsing through my closet pulling together outfits, but the truth is that the same jumpers and jeans are on rotation for many’s  a day. And that’s ok because I need to be warm (for walking to school) and I need to be comfortable around the girls. Continue reading

My Autumn wardrobe staples for busy Mums from M&S

Ah Autumn is finally upon us, I absolutely love the Autumn and the Spring, I love the transition between the two more slightly extreme seasons. I adore the frosty cold mornings that Autumn brings and the cosy nights in in front of the fire. I’ve come to realise I tend to rely on similar versions of the same outfit for Autumn and Winter – skinny jeans or jeggings and cosy jumpers. I’d like to think I will wear dresses and skirts 

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The art of transitional dressing, pre- to postpartum, with Marks and Spencers

Ah maternity clothes…I have found over my four pregnancies that dressing an ever changing body is a real challenge. And maternity clothes are, bizarrely, becoming increasingly more difficult to find in the high street stores with most maternity ranges banished to the web. I always find it baffling really because of all the times in your life you need to try on clothes it’s when you are pregnant! Over the course of my pregnancies I’ve tried to mix it up in terms of what I wear from ‘maternity ranges’ and shopping around to find clothes that fit during and after pregnancy. This is the real dream, something that is flattering in both phases of existence, and while it can be tricky it is not impossible. Continue reading

The ultimate school uniform checklist

Ok ok I know, school is barely out for the summer and here is your one talking about school uniforms for September but hear me out – I know lots of you will be thinking about it over the next two months so I figure its good to have something that you can reference! So for a third year in a row I am working with Marks and Spencer on their Back to School campaign. I think it’s testament to a good collaboration when it fits seamlessly into our lives, the eldest has been wearing pretty much nothing but Marks and Spencer uniforms for the past two years. I’m consistently happy with the quality and the price point and all of her previous uniforms are neatly put away and ready for the next lady when her time comes.    Continue reading

Social media for small businesses and working with bloggers

I get asked quite a lot by small companies and start ups is advice on their current social media strategy and for advice on working with bloggers. It is wonderful see so many people setting up businesses now, but the very nature of that venture is that you need to wear a lot of hats and be proficent in so many areas of expertise from the finacnes to the marketing. And social media is a wonderful thing for small businesses, it means that they can access a huge audience of people for a relatively small spend but there is more to social media than meets the eye. I want to go through some of the most common questions I get and the most common suggestions I give so that it may help another small business owner to perhaps step back from it all if they are lost in the fog. Continue reading

An easy and unusual DIY idea for getting lots of memories up on the wall

I find with the house inspiration comes in fits and bursts, I am either brimming with ideas or have none whatsoever. The girls started off in separate rooms but it’s a joy to see them so close that they decided themselves they wanted to share a room. We had bought triple bunks for both of their rooms and so I decorated accordingly but over Christmas they decided they just wanted two single beds in their rooms so that they could look at each other when they chatted, so adorable. Therefore I was left with rather ridiculous looking gaps on the walls where the bunk bed had been as I had hung pictures above the bunks in the assumption they’d be in place for years to come. Continue reading

Put down your phone and read a book!

We have a rule that I ‘generally’ adhere to in our house – no phones beside our beds. And you know I have to say I think it’s a great idea (it wasn’t mind it was my husbands, he’s literally allergic to social media – well they do say opposites attract!). Lucy used to wake a LOT at night, actually it’s probably remiss of me to write that in the past tense because she’s only just figured out how to sleep through so I doubt we’re out of the sleepless woods yet. Anyway, I digress, I used to find myself picking up my phone once I’d settled her, you know to check all the incredibly important social media happenings that just simply couldn’t’ wait until morning….!! But for sure the bright light of the phone really messed with my ability to go back to sleep and it used to set my mind racing with ideas or thoughts. Continue reading

Be good to yourself this January and revaluate rather than resist the food you enjoy

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This post is an ad in association with Brennans Bread

I don’t know about your house but here we don’t go in for new beginnings with the dawn of the new year. I find myself so fatigued by the end of January by all these offers of new diets and new fitness routines, urgh, just not for me, I am more about moderation and healthy, sensible eating all year round. That said I do find January a nice time to reassess what we already do, life is busy and sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut when it comes to food and routines so it’s a good time to take stock and look at how we can be sure to be good to ourselves for the year ahead! Continue reading

Meet the Makers – Chiara Hayes Jewellery

chiara hayes jewellery meet the makers small irish businesses

So it’s safe to say the small Irish directory of businesses has been a huge success. The businesses are still rolling in and it’s becoming a wonderful resource for people especially now in the lead up to Christmas. To compliment the directory I’m going to do a Meet the Maker series – a short questionnaire that gives some insight to the people behind the brands and businesses listed. That’s half the point of buying from a small business, you are not only investing in a beautiful, quality product you are investing in real people who use that money to pay their bills, or pay for dance classes for their kids, it’s a win win for everyone involved.  Continue reading