Parenting

Not Enough Hours in the Day

So I have been a little bit lacking in the blogging department as of late. I assure you, I have a good reason. Life is getting in the way! Way back in December I mentioned that I was planning on starting a Montessori course. It’s a long distance course which I thought would be much easier (and handier) to do than a taught course. Wow, was I wrong! The long distance part of the course is handy, as I don’t have to travel anywhere for classes. Although, as I am beginning to realise now, I probably need to attend classes in order to get some study done as I am finding any reason not to study currently!

I am horribly behind in my assignments (thankfully I have 12 months to complete all of them), but I have a ton to do, so I really need to get myself in gear (what I really need is a big kick up the bum!). Thankfully, I have just finished my work experience placement. I started at the beginning of March and finished at the end of June. I can confirm that this has definitely cemented my thoughts in the area of early years education. I really enjoy it and wish I had decided to make this career change years ago. I also would have had more time then.

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My biggest problem right now is time management. Trying to fit in teaching, house work, caring for Ruby, life in general, blogging and study/assignment writing and research! Don’t get me started on trying to fit in exercise! I had tried to do study while Ruby was having her daytime nap, which would be fine if I had no other work to do. You see, it is during this time that I normally get most of the house work or dinner started. Things that I find very difficult to complete with Ruby awake. She’s at that stage where she wants me to be playing with her constantly or up in my arms. I’ve also tried to do some reading while she plays beside me, but she’ll have none of it.  So it’s the choice of getting some course work done and letting the house fall down around me, or finding another time to study. This is another reason why my blog posts have been lacking. I feel guilty writing a post because I feel if I can find the time to blog, I should be using that time to study! I then had every intention to study once Ruby was put down for the night. But to be honest, by the time 8pm arrives I am absolutely exhausted. To be honest, I just like to have my own head space and watch something other than Peppa Pig once Ruby is asleep. That being said, I have also been known to stay up till the early hours watching Netflix, which isn’t doing me any favours. I am my own worst enemy.

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I am also aware, that there are other parents out there with full time jobs, who are busier than me, with more than one child, who are completing degrees etc (and probably succeeding more than I am, in the study side of things). My hat goes off to you all. I don’t know how you do it. I had a little melt down about it when things got a little stressful. You are all superwomen/supermen….please share your secrets!! As I write this I am sitting here internally screaming at myself to go and study. But unfortunately, my time is up. I had a short window, but Ruby is now back from the shop with her dad and I must get the dinner started! I’ve no doubt that I’ll get everything finished, but as usual it will probably be a last minute, world-wind of stress, left down to the last second of my course deadlines. Pray for me!

Until the next blog (I’ll try to not leave so long this time)

The Irish Mammy x

Pictures accessed through Google images and  taken from http://www.funnybeing.com/50-incredible-mom-memes/ and  https://thinkbiblicallyblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/not-a-super/
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To Boob or Not to Boob. 

breastfeeding meme 1Before I get into this blog post, I just want to stress that I am neither pro-breastfeeding or pro-bottle – I am of the view point of fed is best. The most important thing is that your baby is fed,  regardless of whether it’s done by the boob or bottle. Not everyone is able to breastfeed, both mother and sometimes baby too, every circumstance is different. I feel that sometimes we are too quick to judge before knowing the full story. Even before I was pregnant with Ruby I had made up my mind that I would breastfeed. I thought that it was something that was easy (little did I know then!). My sister breastfed and even though she had some problems with it, I was still determined to give it ago. But what really made me determined to do so was when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with Ruby at approximately 32 weeks. I had to attend a lifestyle class in the Coombe, where myself and some other ladies were given a talk on how to make better food choices and what foods effected blood sugars etc, as well as being shown how to check our bloods. I found the whole thing extremely daunting. But I thought that if people who actually had diabetes had to eat this way and document so many things every day of their life’s, that surely I could do the same for a few months for the health of my unborn baby.

At the end of this session another nurse came in to chat to us about breast feeding. She said that we 100% had to breastfeed, we didn’t really have a choice in the matter – I have to say, I didn’t really agree with how she approached the talk. I felt like breast feeding was being forced on me as such, and that’s after I had already made the decision to breastfeed. God knows how the other women in the room were feeling if they hadn’t made their mind up yet. We were told that breastfeeding would help to regulate babies blood sugars once born (gestational diabetes babies have to have their bloods checked twice after birth to make sure there are no problems), and that it would help them with their weight in later life, along with passing on nutrients etc on to the baby. I knew a lot of this information already. But because I had this nurse telling me all of this in a force fed sort of way, I felt that I had to breastfeed and that was it. We were told that if we couldn’t make the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, that it would be covered in the antenatal class that we would attend. I would have loved to have attended the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, but unfortunately they were on a Wednesday morning and with a very busy full time job I felt that I couldn’t take more time off to go, so I decided to go with whatever information I was given in the antenatal class. This was mistake number one – I should have gone to the breast feeding classes! Due to work and both myself and Andy’s availability, we decided to do a day long antenatal class, but the lady who was giving it ran out of time and never covered anything to do with breast feeding. So the first time I ‘properly’ covered anything to do with breast feeding was when the midwife put Ruby on my boob after I gave birth to her. This was at the end of a very long and tiring 18 hour labour at 3.30 in the morning, so anything she was telling me or showing me went in one ear and out the other.

breast feeding meme 4So my next attempt was about four hours later when the nurses woke me and said that I needed to feed her as they wanted to check her blood sugars. I was in a room where all but one lady was breastfeeding so for some reason I felt like I had to deliver. So I picked up Ruby and tried my best to remember what the nurse had showed me just a few hours earlier, but sure I hadn’t really a notion of what to do. Ruby was roaring so wouldn’t latch on….not that I new how to do that correctly either, I think I was just trying to put my boob in her mouth and was hoping for the best. A few minutes later I completely broke down crying. I felt like every other mother in the room was looking at me and I remember clearly thinking “they must think I’m a terrible mother because I can’t feed my child”. I was so worried too about needing to feed her as she needed to get her sugars done. So I rang the bell beside my bed and a few minutes later a health nurse came in and pulled the curtain around me and asked me what was wrong. I just broke down crying.  I explained that I was just so tired, physically and mentally from the labour and I felt so overwhelmed and that I couldn’t feed my baby. I have to say, she was really nice and tried her best to reassure me. She said that she would send one of the nurses on the ward to come and properly show me how to breastfeed in a few minutes. But, of course that never happened. So I was sitting on my bed trying to feed Ruby while waiting for a nurse who would never come. In the end I asked for a bottle of formula. I told myself that she needed to be fed regardless of how I had to do it. Breastfeeding clearing wasn’t working for me so the bottle would do until I figured it out. She hoovered the bottle – she must have been starving. But it was a few more days before I actually got to give breastfeeding a go because Ruby had to be taken up to the high dependency ward (you can read all about that story here). So I was told that I would have to start pumping so that she could get some colostrum. The idea of pumping hadn’t even crossed my mind, so I went down to the hospital shop and bought the parts for the pumping machine that I needed. I found pumping so much more easier and it turns out I had a massive amount of colostrum and when my milk came in, I had a huge supply of it.  The only problem was that there was only one machine on my ward and one on the high dependency ward so it was a carefully planned out plan of attack as to who could get to them first. Because of this, one of the nurses suggested hand pumping for the occasions where there were no machines available. Again, I had no idea how to do this. So I was randomly squeezing my boob this way and that to no effect. So I asked one of the nurses to help. She said to put boiling water on two nappies and to place one on each boob to help with the let down of milk which would make it easier. She said that she would be with me in a few minutes after that to show me how to do it. But again, the nurse didn’t return. I walked around that ward a few times to try and find her, I saw her alright but it was like she was trying to avoid me. I was so annoyed over this, it was the second time a nurse said they would help me and then just didn’t bother following up on it.  So I just kept pumping like a demon and in the end my mam bought me my own pump so that I could use it when ever I needed to.

So by the time I was allowed to try breastfeed Ruby again, I still had no clue how to do it correctly. They had started to feed her my milk via a small bottle and I just explained that I really wanted to try and breastfeed. So the nurse on Ruby’s ward said that she would ring my phone when it was time to feed her (this was during the night). So I’d hop out of bed and Run up to the ward to try and breastfeed. The nurse didn’t actually show me how to hold her or give me any assistance really. I’d barely start and she’d whip Ruby off me to bottle feed her. She just said that it wasn’t working and to go and pump instead. It was the same nurses for most of the next day too and she acted the same way at each feed. By the time the shift was changing again the following evening, I was so up set by the whole thing and I felt like such a failure. By pure luck, the nurse who was taking over was an expert in breastfeeding. I explained that I had been trying since the night before without much luck and that this was something that I really wanted to do. So she promised me that she would try her very best to get breastfeeding established for me. She was so helpful. Each time we tried for ages, she showed me the correct positions to hold Ruby and we discovered what suited both myself and Ruby best. She introduced me to a breastfeeding pillow, which was a game changer. Each time we got a little bit better at it. She totally man handled by boobs but to be honest, at this point I didn’t care. I was just so happy that someone was was actually willing to spend the time helping me. Ruby seemed to be having huge difficulty with latching on so the nurse checked for for tongue tie. It turned out that she had a severe case of it – it was so severe that it was pulling her tongue inwards in the middle and she also had a lip tie as well. So the poor child wasn’t having any luck. So morning time came and the nurse said that we were almost there. She suggested that I go to the shop and get some nipple shields to make latching on a bit easier for her – as well as Ruby’s tongue and lip ties, I had a really inverted nipple which also didn’t help matters. So I got the shields as soon as the shop opened and by lunch time we were breastfeeding. I was beyond delighted. All it took was that one nurse to take the time to help me. Before we were both discharged, I asked the doctor if I needed to get anything done with Ruby’s tongue and lip ties. He said that he didn’t think so but to get my doctor to have a look at it at her 6 week check up and to go from there.

So we were home for four days before we had to take a trip up to Crumlin Children’s Hospital with Ruby (click here to read more about that story). The breastfeeding had been going ok at home. But as soon  as I got to the hospital, I was there on the first night trying to breastfeed when they told me to start pumping again. I can’t remember what the reason was, I don’t think there was one really, they told me. In hindsight I should have said no, that I wanted to stick with beast feeding. So I started pumping again, but by the time we got home again I just couldn’t re-establish breastfeeding on my own. So I continued with pumping and told myself that she was still getting breast milk, just via a bottle instead. I lasted just under 8 weeks before my milk dried up. I tried to pump every three hours to keep my supply up but eventually at each pumping session I was producing less and less milk. In the end I was getting maybe two feeds in a day. I couldn’t keep it up. I was getting up ahead of Ruby’s scheduled feeds to try and pump what little milk I had left (the pumping and feeding schedules had become out of sync), then by the time I was finished with pumping, it was time to feed Ruby and long term I just couldn’t sustain that kind of schedule. So I decided to use up what ever breast milk I had left in the freezer and I slowly weaned Ruby onto formula milk.

breastfeeding meme 3During those eight weeks though, I noticed that while I was feeding her breast milk via a bottle, that she was having trouble even sucking/latching on to the bottle so I brought her to the doctor to take a look at her tongue and lip tie. My doctor said it was very bad and that it would most definitely affect her eating and speech when she was older. So we were advised to get the ties snipped. We brought Ruby when she was eleven weeks old to a specialist named Dr Dermot Murnane who did a fantastic job. If I had have been told how severe it was by the doctor when I actually asked him in the hospital, I would have gotten the procedure done straight away – maybe I would have had a better chance at breastfeeding Ruby. If I ever have any more babies with tongue tie, it’s something that I will definitely get done again. Also during this time, I brought Ruby to a breast feeding group in the health centre, more so to keep an eye on her weight. I spoke to the health nurses about the difficulties I was having with breast feeding and filled her in on Ruby’s story. Her answer was something along the lines of ‘well sometimes if you’re under that much pressure it can effect your supply’. That was it. There was nothing else offered regarding help with re-establishing breastfeeding – baring in mind this was still within the 8 weeks before my milk supply stopped. I got no advice on where to go or who to talk to. All she gave me was a little flyer with tips to help with breast feeding – all of which I was already doing. I just felt that there wasn’t a lot of help given or available to me for breastfeeding. I think that the nurses etc just expect that if your breastfeeding that you can just go and do it and if you happen to have any problems along the way, deal with it yourself. I found that there was very little advice available to me from the time I was in hospital right up until I could no longer breastfeed. I don’t think there are enough resources out there for women. I know there are websites etc that explain how to go about it. But I mean there is very little hands on help out there – unless you can afford to go to a lactation consultant. Of which was never mentioned to me as an option when I was in hospital. As I mentioned above, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, whether it’s by choice or not, which is absolutely fine. You need to do what is best for mother and baby. But I think that if it’s something you decide to do, that there should be at least more help out there. Just because it’s something that is natural, doesn’t mean that it will happen naturally for mother or baby. Maybe I am wrong, but all I can draw my opinion upon is my own experience on the matter. Hopefully, if I ever give Ruby a little brother or sister, that my experience will be far better and easier than it was with Ruby. Here’s hoping.

Until the next blog.

The Irish Mammy xx

 

P.S. Here is a link to Breastfeeding.ie for anyone who is interested.

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Fun Days Out

Afternoon Delight

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I recently went out with my mam and sister for afternoon tea at the Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. It was a mothers day treat for our mam (a little bit later than expected), and myself and my sisters birthday treat to each other (our birthdays are the day after each others, and the week after mothers day). So we decided to celebrate all three occasions together. To book you can either phone or email the Bistro. I emailed and was replied to within the hour with two time choices. The two settings for afternoon tea are at 1.30 and 3.30 and lasts for two hours. I went for the 1.30 time slot.

When we arrived, we were immediately brought to our table. A beautiful spot by the window, which led into the stunning garden area. Thankfully it was a super day, so we had lots of sunshine beaming in to make a happy day even more cheerful. We had the option of ordering either the sparkling afternoon tea for €30, which included a glass of prosecco, or the traditional afternoon tea for €25, which included tea and coffee. As both myself and sister had little people to return home to, we went for the traditional afternoon tea. I know if I had even sniffed a glass of prosecco I would have been on my ear!

The food was absolutely gorgeous. I was so full afterwards that I didn’t need to eat a dinner later that evening! The set menu consisted of:

I enjoyed all of the food on offer. But I have to say, the Caramel Choux Bun and Macaroons were exceptional!! We spent a full two hours at the hotel, which is just the right length of time to spend enjoying afternoon tea. When the bill came, I got the happy surprise of not having to pay extra for the two cups of cappuccinos that I had ordered. Any where else that I have had afternoon tea at, have always charged extra if you order any kind of drink not included on the afternoon tea menu. Most places just serve black coffee, so I nearly always ask for a cappuccino instead and expect to pay extra for it. But happily in Killashee, they included it in the price as I did’t ask for a pot of coffee. In total, for the three of us it cost €75. Not a bad price for a relaxing two hours of eating and drinking!

I would definitely recommend going to Killashee hotel for their afternoon tea. It is such a nice way to catch up with and spend time with friends and family. If you would like book afternoon tea click here and click on ‘Dining’ and scroll down to ‘afternoon tea’ to follow details on how to book.

Picture taken from the gallery at http://www.killasheehotel.com

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Parenting

Keepy – Organize and Save Kids’ Artwork & Memories

1048257_651517224886880_1005599632_oI was contacted a few weeks ago by a lovely dad of two boys named Offir, who is the CEO and co-founder of Keepy. Keepy is an app for parents to save their children’s artwork, schoolwork, photos, videos and mementos. There is also an option to add voice and video narration to anything that you upload. You simply save your memories on Keepy and you’ll have a unique, interactive, family scrapbook to cherish for now, for later, and for ever.

Key Features:

_0001_2– Share your photos and videos with grandparents and loved ones.
– Safe and private, accessible based on invitation only.
– Quickly saves your family’s best photos, videos, quotes, videos, notes     and more.
– Easy commenting with text, high quality video and voice recording.
– Family “fan” invites that keep everyone in the loop.
– Easy to use cropping tools.
– Unique timeline for every family member.
– E-mail, web or phone notifications.
– Private Keepy website to view your family’s memories.
– Secure, private platform, accessible from all devices.
– Print mugs, T-shirts, greeting cards and more directly from the apps       store.
– Auto Sync with Dropbox.
– Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire and Web.

Screenshot_20170330-092344I downloaded the app from the Play Store on my Samsung and applied for the unlimited plan. The unlimited plan allows you to save more memories, without it you are limited to the amount of data you can upload. To go unlimited you can subscribe for €2.41 per month or €11 for the year. It will also give you 50% off products in the app store and allows unlimited keepy uploads. For €2.41 or €11, its a very reasonable price.

Personally, I think its a great app! You can easily tag and invite family members to the app so that they can all view the pictures you upload. I love how you can organise pictures by category and that you can save information like the who, what, where and when in the pictures.  The automatic notification through Facebook is great too if you’d like to share there. Even photos from years back on Facebook can be added through the Facebook ‘On This Day‘ section. There is also the Keepybot reminders in Facebook messenger. It asks if you want to save statuses, photos, etc to Keepy, which is a quick reminder to log things away regularly.

Its not just pictures you can upload either, you can take pictures or scans of your children’s art work and upload those too. Then you can go to the apps store and turn your pictures or artwork into picture mugs, photo-books, photo gifts, of which there are all kinds of options. Which would make nice gifts for mother’s or Father’s day and any other celebrations.

To learn more about this app or to download it, go to: http://www.keepy.me/

I was given the app, including the unlimited plan in return for this review.

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Birchbox – March Review

I have been getting the Birchbox subscription for nearly six months now. I was really impressed with them at the start, but sadly as the months have gone on I haven’t been as impressed. You get five items but they are nearly all always sample sizes. I have only ever gotten one or two full sizes (one per box). As it is an English company, there are certain items that cannot be shipped to Ireland and I sometimes feel that these items are replaced with random items. On their website you have the option to complete your beauty profile so that they can match their products to your beauty needs. I have filled this profile out but I find that the Birchbox I receive doesn’t always reflect this. This month there were only two items that I was impressed with, the rest were just Ok.

So what did I get in my March box?

1. BENEFIT – They’re real! Double the lip lipstick.

This was one of the items that I loved. I new it would be included in this months box as I recieved an email giving me the option to choose between two different shades – Lusty Rose or Pink Thrills. I choose Lusty Rose which turned out to be a gorgeous colour. This lipstick is like a lip liner and lipstick in one. It has a teardrop shaped tip, with a liner shade at the top and a long lasting lipstick at the bottom. It is a really vibrant colour and the two in one formula helps to create visibly fuller lips. I loved this. It has a lovely moisturising feel and lasts on the lips for long time. It is long lasting as advertised.

2. CAUDALIE – Vine (Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum.

This was the second item from this months beautybox that I really liked. The serum itself has a lovely texture and goes onto the skin like silk. My skin felt gorgeous after using it. It delivers anti-cell burn-out complex (whatever that is!?) which brightens dull skin and smooths fine lines. It is applied in the morning and at night before your moisturiser for some added protection.

3. BATISTE – 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

This was something that I was really excited to see when I opened my beautybox. I had seen it in the shops and had been meaning to try it out. I am a big fan of Bastille products and like most girls, I have used them in the past to boost my hair a little if it is looking a bit flat. But as everyone knows, it can leave your hair feeling really dry. So when I saw that a 2-in1- product was out I thought it would be great. When using it, I applied it to my hair/roots and waited for a few minutes before massaging it through my hair. To be honest, the result was a bit of a let down. It definitely didn’t have the same result as the original dry shampoo and it didn’t even look like I had applied it to my hair. It even looked more greasy then it was in the first instance! I am not sure that I will use it again, but if anyone tires it and has a better result than I had, please let me know!

4. RITUALS – The Rutual of Sakura Foaming  Shower Gel

This is a nice product – it does what it says on the tin. A foaming gel wash that foams at contact with water. I have used many products like it. The smell is really gorgeous – Cherry blossom and organic rice milk. When using it, use a coin sized amount onto damp skin, lather up and rinse away.

5. BALANCE ME – Instant Lift Primer

This is a 99% natural blend of hyaluronic acid and acacia gum that tightens and diffuses for smoother and refined skin. I didn’t really like this, I found that it made my foundation look like it was sitting on top of my skin. The particular foundation that I used over this primer is a long wearing matte foundation, which on its own is genuinely long wearing and doesn’t look cakey on the skin. But unfortunately when used with this primer, looked heavy on my skin and went blotchy, which it normally never does. It might work better for other skin types, or even with a different type of foundation but, ultimately it’s not for me.

So, my thoughts on Birchbox’s March beautybox? It’s just ok. As I mentioned above, there were two out of the five items that I really liked and I suppose that the foaming gel wash was good too. And I liked the little bag that was in the box too. But I just felt like the items weren’t exactly in line with my beauty profile and maybe that’s because some items cannot be shipped to Ireland. But if that is the case, they should aleast include a replacement item that is going to suit you. I feel that some items are just added regardless, to make up the five items required. Maybe next months box will be better, but I am not 100% sure if I will get it next month. If you would like to try Birchbox’s beautybox’s out for yourselves, of to www.birchbox.co.uk.

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Glossybox – March Review


I am totally in love with Glossybox – for such a reasonable subscription price each month you get a lot of bag for your buck. Each month you get five products in total. In the March Glossybox I got four out of five full sized items! Amazing.  As well as the amazing products, as usual everything arrived in a beautifully packaged box. It’s such a treat for the eyes – it’s almost a shame to open up the packaging.

So what did I get in my March box?

1. oOlution – Eye Love (Full size)

I absolutely loved this. I am always on the hunt for a good eye cream and this one ticks all of the boxes. It absorbs really quickly into the skin. Every time I use it, I find that my eyes look really bright and awake. This eye cream is packed with a host of active ingredients. It uses 100% natural ingredients and is free from synthetic ingredients and palm oil. The result is a luxurious, hydrating formula that is rich in antioxidants. It helps to diminish dark circles and reduce puffiness. It can be used with in the morning or as part of your bed time skin routine.


2. IWHITE TEETH WHITENING – Whitening toothpaste (Full size)

I am big into teeth whitening  products. I have tried so many tooth whitening toothpastes and other products over the years and this is one of the whitening products on the top of my list. I have used IWHITE products in the past and I have never had anything bad to say about the brand. I love it. The toothpaste brightens teeth and can be used daily. It contains an active whitening formula that targets surface and deep tooth staining. This is so important for me as I drink far too much coffee which isn’t the best for keeping my teeth white! I loved this product.


3. SLEEK Makeup – Eye & Cheek palette ( Full size)

I love Sleek cosmetics products. This palette was one of the sneek peek products last month and I was really looking forward to receiving it in this months box. I was a bit disappointed with the colour scheme of the palatte. It wouldn’t have been what I would have chosen myself. I did receive a link where I should have been able to choose my own palette colour , as there were a few to choose from. But unfortunately the link wouldn’t actually let me choose anything ! Such a pity. But, putting that aside, it is still a great palatte. I really liked the eye shadows. There were four in total – two matte and two shimmer shades. I just found the bronze/contour shade a tad too orange for my colouring and the pink blush; although a really pretty colour, was a bit too pink. The pigments of all of the colours are brilliant though, really vibrant and long lasting.

4. THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up

This is called the “Hero product”. I’m not too sure whether I agree with that. Apparently Victoria Beckham uses it…..is this why it’s called the Hero product, because a celebrity useless it? Just because a celebrity uses it, doesn’t mean its good. This product is a primer that balances, plumps and brightens the skin, leaving it “photo perfect”. I can’t say I found that it did any of these things to my skin. I found that it made my foundation really patchy and it made it look like it was just sitting on top of my skin. It might work better for other skin types, but sadly not for mine. It gets a thumbs down from me. If you do decide to use it, it is applied after your moisturiser or face oil, followed by your foundation.


5. GOT2B – Styling Primer (Full size)

I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go. We are all used to preparing and priming our skin for make up applications, but priming our hair can make styling it ten times easier. Something I could really do with as I have an awful time just trying to dry my hair, let alone styling it! The primer gives your hair grip and pliability, as well as lasting control. It is worked into damp hair and then style as usual.

My over all rating of the March Glossybox? I’m giving it a solid 8/10. Besides The THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up Primer and the fact that I was unable to choose which Sleek palette I got, I loved this months Glossybox. Aprils sneek peek is the ModelCo’s Contour Stick. I am looking forward to giving that a go and colour looks gorgeous. If you are interested in finding out more about Glossybox or would like to sign up for a monthly subscription go to www.glossybox.ie.

Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a recipe that I cook regularly in my house. It’s the one dinner that I know Ruby will eat every time I cook it. I know everyone probably knows how to cook this already – with both the well known jars of sauce brands or sauces made from scratch. The recipe I am going to share with you is my own. The measurements of ingredients are only suggestions as I tend to throw ingredients into the pan and measure with my eye. You can add any veggies in that you fancy. I mostly add in  mushrooms and red peppers. Sometimes I chop up carrots really small and hide them in the sauce! I also chop up all of my veggies nice and small first before I start to cook anything. Then they are ready to pop into the pan when needed. Like everything that we buy, nearly all of the ingredients are from Lidl, where we do our weekly shop. Anything that we can’t get in Lidl we get in Tescos.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

500g mince 

1 medium sized onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

60g mushrooms

1 red bell pepper (or yellow)

1 Carrot (optional)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes 

Tbsp worcestershire sauce

I beef stock cube

150 – 170 ml boiling water

Tsp each of dried basil and oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta (brown or white)

Method:

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot (if using).


2. Once this is done get the pan heated up and add your oil of choice (I use rapeseed oil spray from Tescos).

3. Add the onions and garlic (if using, add the carrots here too) and sweat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the mince and cook until it turns brown. Boil some water in the kettle.

5. Add in the mushrooms and peppers and cook for a few minutes. At this stage dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water.


6. Once dissolved, add the water and stock cube, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and worcestershire sauce to the pan. Add seasoning here too.

7. Lower the heat and simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces down and thickens up.

8. While the sauce and meat are reducing get your pasta on (I assume we all know how to cook pasta?!).


9. Once the pasta is cooked and soft, serve it up with the bolognese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).

10. Enjoy!

Tip: If you are cooking this for little people, like myself, chop up the veg really small (they will also cook quicker). I often batch cook, cool, portion and freeze a lot of the food I cook for Ruby. If I was to do this with the recipe above, I wouldn’t cook the pasta until I needed it. I would let the bolognese cool and portion it into little freezer bags and freeze until I needed it. Then all you need to do is get the bolognese out of the freezer in the morning and leave in the fridge to defrost. It should be thawed by dinner time and all that’s left to do is heat it up and cook some pasta!

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February GlossyBox – Review


So this month I decided to give the beauty box from Glossy Box a go. It costs me about €14(+ €5 p&p) per monthly perscription which includes five beauty products. I have to say, when it first arrived I was really impressed. It was packaged really well. The box that it came in was a really good size and really pretty. I loved that the products were wrapped up in pretty tissue paper and tied with a bow. First impressions really count – this beauty box was a big hit with me. I also thought that the box design really suited the month that it was for. As February is the month of love, the box really tied in with this. When you sign up there is also an opinion to fill out your beauty profile, meaning that the box you receive each month can be tailored to suit your beauty needs.

So what did I receive this month?

 

1. LA THEORIE DES VOLCANS – Noir Eternae Youth Potion Face Scrub. (Full size)
20170225_132136This product is supposed to harness volcanic properties that gently cleanse and purify. It is enriched with anti ageing ingredients, which also help to plump out and smooth your skin. The mask starts off as a pink paste that slowly turns grey as it dries out. I have to say, I really liked this. My skin felt smooth and looked really refreshed after using it. Ideally, it should be used once or twice a week if                                                                   possible. It’s paraben and silicone free, vegan and 90%                                                                       natural. Not bad!

2. FIGS & ROUGE – Hydra-Activ Smart Nutrient Vital Moisture Day Cream.

This lightweight day cream provides instant and long lasting hydration. It includes hyaluronic acid and victamins A, C and E. I absolutely loved this. Even though my skin is really oily, I have had patches of dry skin at the top of my cheeks, just under my eyes ever since I was pregnant with Ruby, and it has never gone away. I find that no matter what cream I use before putting on my foundation, the dry patches still come through. But this cream really helped. My skin felt so smooth after using it and it soaked into my skin really quickly. I’ll definitely be purchasing the full size in this product.

3. GARNIER – Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strength Restorer Balm.

This hair mask from GARNIER is supposed to use the hydrating properties of honey that leave your hair feeling nourished and glossy. After washing your hair, the mask should be applied from the mid lengths of the hair to the tips and left on for up to five minutes. I didn’t like this at all. When the GARNIER Ultimate Blends honey collection first came out I gave the shampoo and condition a go. My hair, which tends to be greasy anyway, was so greasy after I used it. It looked like I hadn’t even washed it. I found that the hair mask had the same affect. It definitely doesn’t suit my hair, but it would probably work better on some one with really dry hair. But unfortunately, it’s not a winner for me.

4. MEMEME – Beat the Blues in Oyster Gold. (Full size)

I absolutely loved this and I have been using it all week. This is an iridescent skin illuminator that boosts the skins radiance. It is similar to Benefit cosmetics high beam liquid highlighter. I use it just along my cheeks bones, under my brow bone and on my Cupids bow and it creates a lovely dewy glow. It can also be mixed into your foundation. This gets a big thumbs up from me.

 

5. RODIAL – Smokey Eye Pen. (Full size)

I liked this, it’s long lasting and it applies and blends really well. The pigment is really strong too and has a gel effect, which creates a really clear definition around the eye.

I absolutely loved the February Glossy Box. From the size of the really pretty and attractively packaged box, to the quality of the full sized products and sample products – it gets a massive thumbs up from me.  I can not wait to find out what the next box will bring. I did get a little sneak peek though. One of the items in the March Glossy Box will be a SLEEK eye and cheek palette. I adore the Sleek cosmetics range, so I am really looking forward to seeing which palette I get.

If you would like to subscribe to get your own Glossy Box or to individually purchase any of the above or find out what the prices are, you can go to the Irish Glossy Box website www.glossybox.ie.