Parenting

2017 V by Very Blog Awards Ireland – Long List

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I am delighted to have been added to the long-list for the 2017 V by Very Blog Awards Ireland in their parenting blog category. Even if I don’t make it on to the other lists this year, I am so happy to have my little blog recognised in some way. Blogging is something that I absolutely love, I feel like  its become an obsession for me. I am constantly thinking about what to blog about next. I have found it especially hard to get to blog as much as I would like the last month or two due to the Montessori course I am completing – I recently wrote a post about how difficult I am finding the whole mammy/partner/student/study/work life balance! I keep feeling that if I can find the time to blog (like now!), that I should be using that time to study. Role on February 2018 when my course finishes! But I am working hard to find a balance until then. So here’s hoping that I make it to the shortlist! But if not the long-list will be good enough for me – for this year anyway!

Until the next blog,

The Irish Mammy xx

Recipes

Chocolate Orange Energy Balls

These little guys not only taste great, but they are nut & refined sugar free, meaning they are suitable for the kiddies school lunch boxes. They are just gorgeous and a big hit in our house – even Ruby loves them. The problem is trying to just stick with eating one!! I got the recipe from Childhood 101 & changed it up a little.

IMG_20170608_141429_159Ingredients:

200g dates

30g dedicated coconut

60g oats

2 tbsp cocoa powder + extra for decoration

1 tsp vanilla essence

3-5 tbsp orange juice

Rind of one large orange

 

Method:
Blend everything together in a blender and roll into balls. I got 17 in total, but next time I
think I’ll make them a little bit smaller as they are very heavy and rich. Then roll in remaining cocoa powder and pop into the fridge.

Enjoy x

DIY, Uncategorized

DIY – Toddler Learning Tower

Ruby is at that stage where she wants to be up doing what everyone else is doing or being carried around all the time. If its not that, she wants you to be down beside her 24/7 playing. I had heard about toddler learning towers, which toddlers can use to access the kitchen counter top or table in order to take part in baking activities etc. It’s safe too, as you don’t have to worry about your little one falling off, but obviously you shouldn’t leave them unattended whilst they are on it.

I looked into buying one but the prices were too high! So I took to Pinterest and came across a link to a fabulous website called www.happygreyluckly.com. It was here that I came across her brilliant IKEA hack for a toddler learning tower using the IKEA BEKVAM step stool. Now, I am by no means a DIY goddess, I’ve never even used an electric drill (which you really should used for this project), so unfortunately, I cannot take the credit for putting the learning tower together. It was my other half Andy who did all of the DIY work, after I sent him the website link and asked (very nicely), if he would put it together for Ruby. I think he did a wonderful job!! The only part I had in this was painting it afterwards and taking some pictures! So we headed off to IKEA and picked up our own BEKVAM step stool and followed the step by step instructions on the site.

Here are some before and after pictures:

 

But if you would like to make your own one then had over to www.happygreylucky.com. 

If you decide to make your own, I would love if you could send me your pictures and let me know how you got on. Happy DIY-ing!

Until the next blog,

The Irish Mammy xx

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.

free time meme

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/
Fun Days Out

Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm

18056808_1324547560945794_992039144092068706_nThis weekend we headed off to Kildare Farm  Foods – open farm and shop, situated out in Rathmuck, Co. Kildare. This is a third Generation Family Farm where visitors can see a wide variety of animals in a natural and relaxed setting and entry to the open farm is Free. There is so much here for children of all ages to do. There is of course, the open farm, where children can feed the animals with animal feed that costs of €1. But there is also a train ride called the Adventure Railroad, costing just €2.50 per passenger. The train brings you on a tour of the farm where you can see all of the animals and you will also be brought along to the Old Wild West, the Indian Creek and then to the Old Gold Mine Shaft. You are then brought back to present time where you will surface from the City Underground seeing the Magical Forest as you go (watch out for the Dragon!). There is also an option to play Indoor Golf. It plays 18 holes with an Indian Creek and Old Wild West theme. Prices: Children: €5 each, Adults €7 each, 4 Ball Deal €20 for any 4 players.

 

Once you have finished with all of the activities, you can treat yourself to a lovely tea/coffee and something nice from their cafe. We tried everything but the crazy golf, as Ruby is too little to play. But she had a fantastic time seeing all of the animals and afterwards we had a lovely lunch. We were lucky on this particular day that all of the animals were out. The piglets in particular, which are not always there. Some of the animals on the farm include Wallabies, Mara, Pigs, Goats, Ponies, Deer & Sheep; with a variety of Birds including Ostrich, Black Swans, Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Guinea Foul, Peahen and Peacock.

Before we went home, we had a quick look around the shop. We buy most of our meat from here in bulk as it is such fantastic value. As well as fresh meats, you can also purchase fresh vegetables, frozen foods, desserts, confectionery, pantry supplies, baked goods, jams and sauces. There is also a small toy section.

Overall this is a fantastic family day out for fantastic value, with something for all of the family. They open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm and are closed Sunday and Bank Holidays. They also cater for school tours and birthday parties. For more information head over to http://www.kildarefarmfoods.com/index.html. 

 

Fun Days Out

Big Toddle’s Little Breakfast

Kieran Harnett
The expert panel: Jenna Russell, Sarah Keogh, Alison Canavan, Sybil Mulcahy.

On 26th April I attended the Big Toddle’s Little Breakfast event to launch Barnardos Big Toddle Box for 2017. The Big Toddle for Barnardos is the biggest fundraiser for the under fives in Ireland and has raised over 3.3 million in support of Barnardos Early Years services. The Early Years services ensures that some of the youngest children they work with are best prepared for the transition to ‘Big school’ and get the best possible start in life. This May and June will see up to 50,000 toddlers nationwide lace up their boots and take up the challenge to Toddle a half mile sponsored walk to help children their own age. It’s all about children helping children, and little feet making a BIG difference.

img_0316-2The launch took place in the Dean Hotel in Dublin, who kindly laid out a lovely light Breakfast with tea and coffee. There was a panel there on the day who discussed a variety of parenting topics for toddlers, including sleep and routines, childcare, expected verses actual behaviour, child development and milestones, parent well-being, being a working parent and more. The panel was made up of Alison Canavan – health and wellness coach, Jenna Russell – Barnardos Early Years, Sarah Keogh – Toddlebox Dietitian and Sybil Mulcahy – Editor of Evoke.ie and TV presenter.

Some of the books from the goodie bag

I have to say, it was a really enjoyable morning and I enjoyed listening to the panel about all of their suggestions, and hearing about their own parenting views and experiences. We also received a fabulous goodie bag which contained the Toddlebox fundraising pack, and some booklets, which will be really useful for the Montessori course that I am currently completing. We also received some Elave skincare product samples, sweeties and a beautiful room spray by Purcell & Woodcock.  There was also a HUGE chocolate bunny from Benoit Lorge Chocolatiers in County Kerry, which was given out to the person who had the most entertaining tweet about the event….which was me!! I never win anything so I really wasn’t expecting to win it! It was so big that it was nearly half the size of me….I got some funny looks walking back to the car with it!!

 

The fundraising pack includes all of the Big Toddle essentials including stickers, masks, and hats for all the children and a fun colouring competition (where you will be in with a chance to win a fab prize from www.gardenplay.ie). There is also an easy to read information booklet, a media pack to help promote your event, and other materials for the group leader. If you would like to know more about how to get your hands on their fundraising pack head over to their website www.barnardos.ie/bigtoddle.

 

Uncategorized

From Fi to You – Organic Kids Clothes 

Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page

This Christmas (2016) Ruby was given the most beautiful set of pyjamas from a friend of ours. The pj’s were handmade by our friends sister who has an etsy shop named From fi to you (Fiona Murphy) – she makes organic kids clothes. She is Irish and currently based in Norway. To be honest when I first saw them I thought that the pyjama set was a tracksuit – they are too nice to be pj’s! Ruby has only just grown into them. The material is absolutely gorgeous – a navy blue with little reindeer heads on them. The material itself is really soft and stretchy, so they move well with Ruby’s movements. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up in the wash and I was worried that they might shrink, but after wash number one they have held up well. Just make sure to wash them on low at 30 degrees to help preserve the colour.  She also has an Instagram and Facebook page. Here you can see fabric samples and different projects that Fiona is working on. I am seriously thinking of purchasing some items from her online shop. I would love to get some jumpers for Ruby – the fabrics that  she uses are fabulous. One thing is clear – this is one talented lady.

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Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page