Mamma Reviews

Mamma Fairy Favourites May/June

Its been a while since I posted any Mamma Fairy favourites and to be quite frank its because there wasnt any products that I loved enough to share with you.  However I have 3 firm favourites that I have been using daily over the last few weeks.mayfavs

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night pads

Numerous bloggers had reviewed this and I thought its probably a lot of hype however I was wrong.  These are the business.  I had really neglected my skin after my second was born and with back to work looming I felt I better up my game so I bought these in Boots Jervies, they were on sale, €11 I think. Well, well worth the money.  I use them after washing my face to give a deep clean.  They arent drying and work wonders on rough skin and black heads.  Be warned the first few days even a week or two, my skin around my jaw line broke out like I was a teenager again.  However once that had cleared, my skin became really fresh looking.  I use them every night and im now my second tub. Each one contains 60 pads.   They contain 5% glycolic acid which I believe is what aids the exfoliation. If you can get through the breakout few days they are well worth it for deep exfoliation. Particularly like me if you have neglected your skin for a while!

PS Make up fixing spray

This is not something I ever bothered with before but waiting in a long queue in Pennys blanchardstown “made” me buy this on impluse.  I was really surprised at how well it works for €2.50!! It is a really fine mist and definitely does hold my make up in place for a lot longer than it would have in the past.  I work in a stuffy albeit air conditioned office however by 3pm I used to notice my makeup was pratically non exisitent.  This has made quite an improvement to that and it seems to prevent that sort of sliping around my hair line which i used to go.  Its worth the €2.50 to give it a go for sure. Its in daily use with me at the moment.

Bioderma Hydrabio Creme

I have used Bioderma in the past and have had great success especially with their BB creme (see September Favs here ), so when I was sent their new Hydrabio range to try, I was happy to give it a go.  I never had dry skin until my second was born and for the last couple of months I was so dry and dehydrated looking.  This cream has a lovely thick rich feeling texture which is what I  love in a moisturiser.  I only use this a night as it is very rich in texture, it feels like  really treat especially after cleansing with the Nip&Fab pads. It really does deliver on its promise of hydration. When I wake in the morning my skin does feel quite plump and fresh looking. Its a little heavy for me for my rushed morning routine but an essential part of my bedtime skin care routine.  I was sent a tub to review however it does retail at a reasonable €18 (approx).

Have you tried any of the above?  Let me know what you thought.

 

~Mamma F

 

Features

Babymoov brand ambassador #stresslessweaning

You might have noticed the new #stresslessweaning tab on the header, well….I was delighted to become a Babymoov ambassador. blog ambAs a result over the coming months you will see lots of weaning posts and we will be putting some Babymoov products to the test. Babymoov has just also launched its first mobile application specially dedicated to food for baby:  “Cooking Babyfood” can be downloaded on Google Play Store right now and will soon be available on iOS.

I was fortuante enough to be able to chat to the Babymoov Nutritionist Julia, who kindly answered my questions in relation to begining the weaning journey.

Mamma Fairy – I have such a fear of choking at what stage can I leave him bits to chew himself?

Julia – Finger foods can be introduced from around 6-7 months and this can include soft pieces of meat. Offer big pieces that baby can grab and hold easily, then chew off manageable amounts, rather than small cut up bits that would likely be put into the mouth completely and possibly lead to more risk of choking. Many parents are very worried about choking, its perfectly understandable, but delaying lumps and pieces means that babies will be less equipped to deal with them later. Be brave – maybe have a friend or someone there for moral support?

Mamma Fairy – Stream v boil is the difference in nutrient content with one over the other significant?

Julia – Yes, some vitamins (e.g. B & C) are water-soluble so cooking with lots of water means the nutrients can leach out. Use minimal water when cooking veg, that’s why steaming or microwaving are usually recommended over boiling.

Mamma Fairy – Foods to help with constipation and those to avoid more so for my toddler but want to help prevent with baby toddler did suffer bad.

Julia – 2 things are important for preventing and managing constipation: fluid and fibre. Make sure your toddler is drinking enough water – maybe give a little well-diluted orange juice each day. Fruit and veg provide both fluid and fibre so plenty should be offered over the course of the day. Dried fruit like raisins can be useful e.g. in breakfast cereal. Offer some wholemeal bread and wholegrain cereals (e.g. Weetabix) to give extra fibre, though please be aware that too much isn’t recommended as it can be bulky and fill up small tummies too much. See GP or specialist if necessary.

We have just opened the box on the Nutri baby so looking forward to trying this out. Lots of updates to follow. nutribaby

 

For more information on the brand and the products themselves please see Babymoov website.

 

Mamma Musings

Keeping kids occupied during the summer months

With the kids summer holidays fast approaching, and every parent knows what to expect over those weeks. Two words will likely penetrate your ears more than any others over the next few months: I’m bored!!!

bored

Even with planned holidays, day trips to the likes of the zoo and other local attractions booked those 2 words will still be inevitably uttered at some stage over the summer holidays.  Don’t fear; these simple tricks will help keep your little ones entertained in a pocket friendly way. Win -win for parents and kids alike.

The Great Outdoors

My boys, like many kids love being outside, between being out the back of our own house, the park, the playgrounds and the beautiful Liffey walk way on our door. We get out and about as much as we can.  The kids get exercise, fresh air and generally play together and more times than not there are plenty other kids out and about and they play together.  Kids have brilliant imaginations and can happily play for hours with other kids they only just met.  I find even by getting out and about together with the boys it really does helps encourage that  sibling bond.

Keep Technology Cheap

siblingsWhile as parents we do try to keep screen time to a minimum, most of the older children I know do love their modern tech gadgets. As long as it’s in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with them spending some time in front of those screens (just not all day!). However, you don’t want it to end up costing you a fortune.  While my boys are still much too young to have a real interest in particular games, I spoke with my Aunt informed my with the Euro’s about to commence FIFA is the game of the moment! Im not going to pretend I know anything about games however she did give me a good tip that rather than forking out huge sums for a new game, you could simply enhance the ones they have, for example in relation to FIFA you can  buy FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Game Coins.  She says it really does save quite a lot.

As you know im a Netflix StreamTeam member and can definitely recommend Netflix for both adults and kids.  The great thing is you get a free 30-day trial so might be worth contemplating for one of the summer months. Currently writing my May Netflix picks so check back soon for some recommendations for both adults and kids.

Make Money

It’s never too early to teach kids the value of money. So this summer, why not implement those lessons by helping them earn some cash? We did this regularly over the summers as kids. My little sister still hasn’t let me forget selling an East17 poster behind her back!! Please tell me we werent the only ones to do this. (below pic is from google but you get the idea!)yard sale

Im sure our house is not alone in the amount of junk we gather over the years and as the saying goes “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Selling some of this at a garage sale can help earn money to be invested in the new items they want. Alternatively, you could bake and sell cakes. Whatever you do, it should remain fun. Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity to save money while educating the kids too.

 

Mamma Reviews

Nimble Babies – Milk buster

A couple of weeks back we were sent a bottle of Nimble Babies – Milk Buster to try out.  nimblebabiesI was very interested in this as milk in cups/ beakers/ bottles and this warm weather do not mix.  Both my little men love milk and love a beaker of milk before bed. However I find those sippy cups and the bottles hard to get rid of the milk residue smell and hard to get in and get them really clean.

One of the great things about this product is the spray nozzle, it means it can reach right into the spout of the beakers/ cups.  Its pleasant smelling but not at all overpowering and best of all it works.  I used to find depsite hot washes, dishwasher etc they still sometimes had a grimy film on them but certainly not after Nimble Babies.

How it works

According to Nimble Babies, it is made of the safest cleaning ingredients derived from sugar, amino acids, and coconuts. It’s pH is balanced to be very close to that of water and it also has plant-derived ingredients to remove water hardness. Its also sulphate free too.  Once opened it lasts about 2 months so really good value for Stg£5.99.  For a full list of stockists see here.  There is a great short video on their website to show the product working and explain more about the science behind it.

 

 

Mamma Musings

Survival Tips for New Parents

Being a parent is wonderful. But it’s also incredibly hard work. Nothing can prepare you for the first few days of parenthood, but hopefully, these handy hints will help to make life easier, im the first to admit im no expert, but thought id share some tips I have picked up having had 2 babies!

Be prepared

When you’re pregnant, you count down the days until your due date, but really, your baby could arrive at any time during the final stages. This is why it’s beneficial to be prepared. Have the nursery ready and stock up on nappies, wipes and babygrows. You don’t need to buy everything before your baby is born, but make sure you have the essentials. It’s also a good idea to have your hospital bag prepped and ready, just in case you go into labour earlier than expected or like me end up in hospital from 30 weeks. Most certainly not what i expected but it meant i didnt get home before the baby arrived.

Get some sleep

People warn you about sleepless nights. But it’s impossible to appreciate the changes in sleep patterns you experience with a newborn until the baby comes along. It’s likely that you will wake several times during the night for the first while, and you may not get into a settled routine for weeks. This is why it’s essential to get sleep when you can. Nap when your baby naps, and take it in turns to get up during the night. Try and iron out any sleeping problems you have before our baby comes, that either you or your older kids. We spent considering time getting the big man into his own bed full time and off nightime feeds.

Invest in a new mattress and make sure your bedroom is calming, dark and peaceful. If you’re planning to try co-sleeping or you’re planning for the future, it may be worth swapping your current mattress for a larger one. Try out some mattresses  or look for a review on bestmattress-brand.org.

newborn-220142_960_720

 

Ask for help

As a new parent, you may want to spend every precious second with your baby, but it’s ok to take a break from time to time if you can at all. If you’ve got parents, siblings and friends offering to help out, don’t turn them away. Even an hour’s respite can give you a chance to enjoy a nice hot bath or pop out for a bit of fresh air. There’s absolutely no shame in asking others for a bit of support. They’ll probably be overjoyed to have the chance to spend some time with the new arrival.

Look after yourself

When you’re a new parent, all your energy goes into looking after your baby. But it’s also important to look after yourself. Try and eat healthily, have some time out and rest when you can. When your baby is a little older, try and get out and about. A walk to the park or a trip around the block can do your body and mind the power of good.

man-holding-newborn

Welcoming a new baby to the world is one of the most special and exciting experiences. But looking after a newborn can also be draining. Sleepless nights and busy days can make for exhausted parents. If you’re preparing for a new addition, take these helpful tips on board. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and try and get your head down when you can.

Savour every minute, they are only little for a very short space of time.

Baba Reviews

AlflorexChildren’s Probiotic Review

As today is World Digestive Health Day I though it quite apt to post my review of Alforex Childrens Straws.  alflorexchilldrenAs a blogger I get sent lots of press releases, some grab my attention some don’t.  However this one did.  For the reason being my 3 almost 4 year old has suffered on an off with digestive problems – sore tummy and constipation. I found giving him a probiotic has really helped this.  However he is a very typical toddler and incredibly stubborn.  I have tried probiotic sweets – limited success. Probiotic drops – he didnt like the taste! Therefore when I saw the straw I thought bingo, this willl work and  it did!

In the mornings he will remind me that I have’nt given him his “cool blue straw”. The great thing is it you only need 3-4 sips from the straw for the product to work.  Now for the science bit….

Alforex contains the unique  35624™ culture, developed as a precision strain which goes to work only where it is needed.   The  35624™ culture has been isolated, extensively characterised and clinically studied by Scientists and Gastroenterologists.  Alflorex straws have been designed to contain a small oil droplet with a daily dose of 35624™ bacteria.

They are genius, they really are.  They are a tad on the pricey side at €32.95 however I give them to my son at particular times in four week blocks (ie a packs worth)  such as after illness or after trips away.  While pricey I do believe they are worth it as I know he is actually getting the product.

While we were sent a box for the purpose of this review, I have since purchases a further box and also the adult verison for myself and my husband.  Please not im not a doctor so please do consult your doctor if you do have queries or concerns on your digestive health.

 

 

Mamma Musings

Unique birthday gift ideas

With the big mans 4th birthday fast approaching it has lead  me to think about some unique gift ideas for him.  birthdaygirlIt can be a hard decision when choosing something to buy your child for their birthday.  The boys are so lucky they receive so many toys and clothes so I like to purchase something for them which is unique. Searching the internet the last few nights has turned up some fab unique birthday gifts for kids, which has prompted me to devote an entire post to it!

 

A teddy

The boys receive lots of “plastic” toys as gifts and from us to be fair so I like to give them something traditional that I know they will love. You cant go wrong with a teddy, a teddy is something they can keep and treasure forever. They are unlikely to throw it out like they will do with their other toys when they grow out of them. teddycuddleI stumbled across this article which reveals, a lot of people still sleep with their teddies as an adult! I still have mine, Lulu has pride of place in the boys bedroom.  My own dad is almost 60 and he still has his.  My own boys are fascinated by the “really really old” teddy!! I have seen lots of places where you can customise the teddy, with the childs name or  you could add a voice clip to the inside the teddy. It’s a great gift idea from babies to toddlers and right up to older kids. There really is something lovely about a teddy that you can treasure for life.

A set of books

You cant go wrong wit books, our love of books is well known.  A set of books is also  a wonderful gift idea for your kids. They are something they can keep forever too. I love our time reading together in the evenings before bed, in time im sure he will be reading to himself and I know ill miss that lovely time together.  Some classic timeless book sets such as the Narnia books, or even the Harry Potter set are great options. 

 

Something customised

Who doesnt love something customised.  For something unique, you cant go wrong with a customised gift It could be a picture of them with a favourite doll/car/toy or perhaps a toy box with their name on. For something fun, I found these custom bobbleheads probably for a littler older kids, but great idea. You can even get the bobblehead dressed in their favorite football team or character costume to make it more fun.

Traditional board game

family-game-588908_960_720The big man loves, and I mean really loves board games.  Current favourite is Operation, which Santa brought last year.  In a world of electronics i love to see him interested in some “old school” board games.  They don’t get old (my son doesnt believe I had Operation game as a child!!) and the biggest thing i think is they encourage all the family to get invloved, not really a feature of the electornic side of things. There are so many you could get that your child will love; here is a good selction for kids!

A present from your past

Another unique present idea your child will love is a present from your past. Perhaps you have something you had when you were little that you want to pass on to your kid.  For example a teddy or a piece of jewellery.  I received a bracelet from my nannie for my 16th birthday that was hers. She has passed away since and that bracelet has become priceless to me.

 

Once I finally have the present sorted its time to think about organising a little party. He loves the idea of blowing out canldles on a cake! And sure who doesnt love a party!! 

party
Note: This is a collaberative post 

Features

Some useful tips including ebook – living and sleeping with arthritis

I was asked recently to contribute to an ebook in collaboration with Adjustable Beds.   I had previously written a review of a product which my mother and my husband had reviewed with regard to their own arthritis symptoms (see here) . Arthritis is a condition they both suffer with to varying degrees therefore I am acutely aware of the challenges both day to day and in particular sleeping that this condition can create.

I was delighted to be able to use the experience of my mother and husband in the hope that it would help somebody else in that position. Below is the quote I submitted having spoken to my family re their top tip.

“A warm shower and some gentle exercise first thing helps loosen the joints and move more freely during the day

 

Link to  arthritis-ebook

Hopefully this tips featured in the book will be of some help.

 

Take care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaberative post

Mamma Musings

3 Fun Activities To Help Encourage A Sibling Bond

I have written about the bond between my boys before, I love watching them interact, I love watching the bond grow and develop over the months.  A strong sibling bond can last a lifetime. But the same reasons that siblings bond can be the reasons that they fight too! They are constantly by each other’s side and often know exactly what makes the other one tick. This means that they can help, reassure and support each other. But it can also mean they know what buttons to push. At any age, a sibling bond can be encouraged to develop and improve. A strong sibling bond doesn’t necessarily mean that all arguments and disagreements will become a thing of the past. But it does mean that at the heart of it all they are good friends and will always try to be there for each other. If you’re trying to encourage the sibling bond in subtle but effective ways, try a few of these fun activities.child-childrens-baby-children-s-large

A Joint Project

Encouraging siblings to start a project together can be a great way to help them become close. It might be a building task such as a new toy or even a sandcastle. Perhaps it could be a creative project like a painting or a jigsaw. Baking something together under supervision can also be fun. Presenting cookies or a cake to a loved one will be the result of their teamwork. This can create a sense of pride and accomplishment, meaning they will have good associations with working with their sibling. Many siblings can struggle to share toys or activities and can quickly become territorial. If they learn that working and playing together can be more fun and rewarding, sharing will start to come naturally to them. If one sibling has more experience than the other, they can become the “teacher” in the pair. This also helps to generate a bond of trust and collaboration between them.

A Sleepover

siblingbondA home sleepover can be a fun activity that is often overlooked. But building a cosy fort with snacks and story books, a night light and some games can be a great way to bond. One sibling could invite the other to their room, or perhaps both siblings could camp in the garden for part of the evening. With blankets and outdoor lights this can feel like a real adventure and bond the two together. Indoors, even if siblings share a room, a sleepover can be made exciting. Extra cushions, blankets and bunk beds are all fun for children.  My oldest is obsessed with bunk beds, he doesnt have them yet but we are hoping to get some this summer for them both.  There is tonnes of choice on line but probably the coolest triple bunk beds ever are top of the list at the moment so his best pal and little cousin can stay over with them. Stacked bunk beds are not only fun to climb but they also save on space in a bedroom because they are high rather than broad. That leaves far more floor space and a larger area for play!

A Team Game

Board games or quizzes can be made into a fun team activity and siblings can be paired up. Even if they are only playing against parents or a few friends, this can encourage them to stick together. A fun sense of rivalry against others for the game will stay playful. But it will also help encourage them to support each other. This can stay with them long into later life.

I’m sure I have said this a thousand times but it warms my heart everyday when I see my boys interact with each other. I truly do hope they will be life long friends.

 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

Baba Reviews

April – What we have been reading

It’s only when I took the picture did I realise the very obvious theme!! My boys are minded by the granny during the week when I work and I am blessed with the incredible bond that is between them. We love reading in our house and the bedtime story is an integral and much loved part of our day.  Its 2 stories a night! That’s the 3 years olds request!  For the past few weeks its been these two.

  • Peppa Pig – My Granny
  • How to Babysit a Grandma

 

bookspeppaPeppa Pig – My Granny

This is a lovely personalised hardback book with both kid’s names in it. The story is the interaction of the kids and Peppa discussing their grannies. My 3 year old loves Peppa and the idea of being in a book with Peppa was very exciting. It doesn’t matter how many times I have read it, he still enjoys especially when it comes to his own name! The quality of the book is lovely and well able to stand up the amount of use (think more like abuse!!) they get in our house.  You can personalise the hair and eye colour of the characters in the book too.

The book is produced by Penwizard (https://www.penwizard.com/)  who kindly sent me a copy for the boys, they also very kindly sent a code for 20% off books until 31 May 2016 – (please note its not valid in conjunction with any other offers) simply input BLOGGER20 at the checkout.  They also do similar books for Ben & Holly, In the Night Garden, Frozen and many others – including a personalised potty training one.

Price wise they are Stg£14.99 and available from their website. Delivery was really quick and they would make a great gift.

 How to Babysit a Grandma

This is a beautifully illustrated book written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish, who were also creators of the well know New York Times bestseller “How to Babysit a Granda”.  It’s a lovely simple but very effective story.  We have read this many times.  My heart swelled with pride 2 nights ago when the 3 years old quoted almost the entire book word perfect, he obviously can’t read but was able to recall so much of it. The story is almost a role reversal where a little girl goes to babysit her granny and the fun things they get up to.

I bought this from Dubray Books on Grafton Street for €9.99.

I love that my boys love reading as much as I do.  It’s something that was instilled in me as a child by my parents and I am delighted to pass on my love of books to the boys.

 Get Crafty

Last month we were sent a copy of Get Crafty by Ali Coghlan to review.  Ali is a fellow Irish blogger and I was delighted to receive a copy to review.  Get-CraftyThe quality of the book in particular the photography is the first thing that really stands out.  In the photographs are Ali and her kids and they are really beautifully captured.  The book itself has over 40 different craft ideas set out in different themes.

The crafts are set out in step by step guides which even the totally non crafty (i.e me) can follow. The boys have their cousins coming down next weekend so the Driftwood sail boats are on the agenda.  This really is a fantastic book if like me, arts and crafts are not your thing, if I can follow it anybody can!

Wishing Ali the very best of luck with this beautiful, easy to follow book.  The book retails at €14.99 and is available in most book shops. A great purchase with the school holidays only a few weeks away!!

 

Have you read any of the above in your house?

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: We received 2 of the above books for review purposes however all opinions are my own and/or my kids.