Fota Wildlife Park Cork – family pass and VIP family experience review

fota wildlife park cork review vip family pass fota wildlife park family pass

Last year one of the first big purchases I made with money I earned myself was the yearly pass for Fota Wildlife Park here in Cork. So many of my friends have it and even though its about a half hour drive from the house I just knew it was something we would get a huge amount of use out of. And I was so right, I would estimate we have been about 20 times in the past year and honestly there has never been a time where I have suggested going to Fota and the girls have been anything less than ecstatic. And it’s been a joy to watch Lucy change over the last year going from a ‘baby’ that stayed in the buggy the vast majority of the way round to a little lady that literally walks or runs the whole route now and grows more and more fascinated by the animals every time we visit. And the park has changed loads since we started going, there have been new animals introduced and new babies born so it really is a new experience every time we go. Continue reading

8 ways to be more sustainable around the house

Back in the day when I used to work the area I became involved in was centred around sustainability – mainly in the area of water, wastewater and the reuse of dairy wastes. Sounds glamorous eh! But it was really interesting and I loved it and when I became a stay at home mother it was something that I became more and more conscious of especially as the girls got bigger and we had more. I started to question the world we were going to be leaving behind for them and, more importantly, the problems their generation and others will face.  Continue reading

Our sleep journey with the help of Lucy Wolfe

Ah sleep, it’s one of those topics that I think most parents could talk at length about. We’ve had a checkered history with sleep – the first two ladies were, in general, pretty good. Then our third lady came along and I’m pleased to say that she has slept through the night consistently now for the last week so yay…she’s two and a half!! Disaster but it’s not her I’m here to talk about, it’s the smallest lady! Last night she slept through the night for the first time and she’s 7.5 months so I am thrilled. Sure look she may not sleep through again for another month, at this age between teething and leaps and milestones it’s important we, as parents, manage our sleep expectations, sure some babies sleep all night from the start etc but lots of babies go through phases where they’ll sleep really well and then they get sick or get teeth and sleep is broken for a while. Anyway, this is a long post so I’ll get straight into it!   Continue reading

January Sales – investing in quality

Ah the sales, who doesn’t love a bargain but I suppose the thing with sales is not to get sucked in. Yes it’s easy to be dazzled by that jumper that only costs a tenner or whatever but the reality is that we need to stop and think about what we buy. Regardless of whether it costs practically nothing because sometimes a bargain isn’t a bargain if we’re not going to wear it all that much, that said if it does cost a tenner and you will wear it loads then yay for that! I love the sales for investment pieces, things that would ordinarily be way out of my budget are suddenly within reach so I jump. I want to pad out the basics in my wardrobe with really good quality clothes so the sales are a great time to look at investing in leather, wool, cashmere, denim; materials and pieces that will last.

That said it can also be a good time to step outside your comfort zone – for me it’s a great opportunity to buy dresses that I have notions of wearing everyday but in reality I rarely get to but I do love them all the same and someday I’ll wear them more I swear!!  Continue reading

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

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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

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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