Stocking fillers and Secret Santa gift ideas for everyone in your life

(AD – This post is sponsored by Marks and Spencer) There are some gifts that are easy to buy and there are some that aren’t and honestly I find Secret Santa ones the hardest, you often find yourself having to buy a little gift for someone you may not know that well, maybe it’s the colleague at work you got in Kris Kindle, it could be for someone you just want to thank like the nurse who looked after you in the maternity ward or the childminder. Or is could be your brother in law or your aunt you want to get something nice for but you’re plain out of ideas – that’s why I am here and I have a huge selection 

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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

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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What to expect before, during and after an elective c-section in Ireland

elective c section ireland cork

This is a post I feel I had better write before all the info is gone from my head, lost in the blur or sleepless nights and school runs and preparing food! I have had four sections now, one emergency and the subsequent three were elective, all in Cork University Maternity Hospital so obviously the info I give here may differ from hospital to hospital. The second which is the pivotal one really, once you have two sections for the most part you have set your future birthing options in stone you can’t go vaginal after that (in the vast majority of cases). The main reason I had an elective section second time round was based on the consultants opinion. At 36 weeks the baby was measuring around 8lbs (in fact she was closer to 9lbs at that stage!) and given the previous history of my first birthing experience it was decided to go for an elective section at 39 weeks (standard elective sections are always done one week before due date). 

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3 essentials for your summer baby hospital bag to make the heat more bearable

hospital stay summer baby the two darlings parenting mummy blogger ireland cork summer baby hospital bag

I find myself in Cork University Maternity Hospital unexpectedly in June, while the country experiences the longest bout of insanely good weather I find myself literally baking alive inside a newish building that was built without air conditioning….firstly I think that’s insane because honestly I cannot describe how hot and uncomfortable it is here on the plasticy beds with windows that only open a crack into a courtyard thus leaving me without even a whisper of a breeze….anyway, can you tell I’m waiting a long time to be seen so I’m getting cranky!? Continue reading

Wise words for the new mother I was from the mother I am now

When WaterWipes approached me to get involved with their latest campaign I was, firstly, more than delighted because I use the wipes anyway on the small ladies behind and, secondly, because the campaign really struck a chord wth me. They want to take a different approach, so much of what we see online features picture perfect mothers with glossy hair and a serene expression on their faces holding an equally serene newborn in their arms as they gaze into each other’s eyes…no dirty muslin cloths hanging around in the background, no reminints Continue reading

10 tips for protecting our kids online and ensuring internet safety in the home

I went to a talk recently given in my daughters primary school which was all about internet safety and primary school kids. There is no doubt that technology will play a huge part in our kids lives going forward but there is a huge difference between educating kids in how to use a computer versus giving them free reign with a phone or tablet and fooling ourselves into thinking they are learning. 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

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

Lottie Dolls – realistic, inspiring dolls for young girls

I have long since been a fan of Lottie Dolls. I think the whole ideal behind the brand appeals to me, making dolls for small girls that actually look like small girls. I mean really when you think about it it makes perfect sense, why should a 4 year old be playing with a doll with boobs far larger than her mothers and a waist almost the same size as her mothers!!! I jest but in all seriousness I love the concept of it, it means kids can identify with it and can play games around the idea of kids rather than adults.  Continue reading