Features

2019 – the year we all could swim!

Naturally as 2018 come to a close we began to chat not only about our holiday plans but our 2019 goals for us and the kids. We uniformly agreed the the four of us knowing how to swim confidently was top of the agenda. I can swim, im by no means good at it but I can manage. The boys love the water, but can’t swim properly, now they are only 6 and 3! The Dada Fairy again loves the water but isn’t a swimmer.

child swimming

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I have been on a waiting list for some time to get the boys into lessons and finally last week the email came through and Sundays at 1pm will be “swim time”.  We have various bits of swimwear from our holidays over the years but we do need a full suite of swimwear for all of us.

We are all going to improve our swimming ability this year every one of us!  Encouraging each other will spur us on and help us achieve this. We have Alvor, Portugal  booked for October and the goal will be…..all being competent in the water. We don’t need to be at Olympic standard just able to hold our own.

Legs in pool

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The thought of buying swimwear for myself fills me with such dread. I’m very body conscious in swimwear, I suppose lots of us are. I stumbled on these absolute beauties by Tyr. The brand is of California origin so expect lots of cool prints. My absolute fave is the Tyr Thresher Baja open back knee suit. This is right up my street, covers plenty!! There seems to be a great sale on the these at the moment with 30% off lots of the swimsuits too. There are some stunning swimsuits for only £17.99 too. Bargain!!

My pair are typical little men, the swimwear will have to be loud and adorned with the favourite characters, currently anything Star Wars related. I saw some swim shorts which would be ideal but they were more excited about the Star Wars logo swim hats! I actually find it so funny my aim in the pool is to be as less noticeable as possible however at 6 the louder the better!! I have no problem investing in decent swimwear for the kids. This is the year we will do this. It was mooted in 2018 but with a lot less enthusiasm. We travelled quite a bit in 2018 and the kids saw the benefits of swimming and using all the amenities at their disposal when they travel.

I have vowed to up date this post in January 2020 with our progress so ill re share then.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post however all aspirations and goals are my own!!!
Fairy Travels

First up on our 2019 wish list – Alvor Portugal

Generally we like to try new places, countries, cities etc when we travel however that said the only place where we have routinely returned year on year is Alvor Portugal.  We didn’t make it for 2018 for family reasons and as we closed out 2018 and rang in 2019 one thing we did agree on was that we missed our annual family trip to Alvor. You see its not just the immediate family, we go as a party of our extended family. For our first trip we were a party ranging in ages from 6 months to plus 60 years and hand on heart every single person enjoyed.

beach

The beach at Prainha Credit: Clickstay

For us and the age range of our party Alvor has it all, beautiful beaches, friendly locals, seriously good food and wine and a lovely chilled out vibe. Given our party size we always opt for a villa preferably with a pool and bonus points if its a covered/ sectioned off one as my crazy crew have little fear around water. Don’t get me wrong that’s not a bad thing id just rather that they were aware of the dangers of water and that I didn’t need 300 pairs of eyes for the daredevils! Thankfully holiday rental companies such as Clickstay offer a number of accommodation options from 2 beds upwards.

With young kids having the ability to cook for them and just have some extra space for chilling is pretty invaluable, again with a large crowd rooms for a breather are very useful too!

I would have said im not a creature of habit but maybe am I after all! Our resort of choice from our first trip is Prainha Village for a couple of reasons:

  • Location – location just outside of the main town area means it quiet and peaceful and a stunning secluded beach is just minutes from the properties
  • Size of property – we choose the 4 bed option and its perfect for our needs. See for example see this Clickstay villa in Alvor
  • Pools – there is an incredible salt water pool in this complex. The setting over looking the sea is breath taking

    view of rocks on beach

    View from Canico Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy

  • Canico bar – this deserves a special mention, quite honestly the highlight of our trip whether having coffee while the kids place on the beach or sipping champagne as the sun goes down on the ocean. There is a magic here that’s impossible to convey.
  • Miss Pasta – my kids just love this place. The staff are just brilliant and go out of their way to make all ages fell welcome and valued. This is something I find very important in any resort.
pool view

Atlantic Salt Water Pool Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy

While there are many fantastic properties on offer with sites like Clickstay in many different destinations throughout the world, every year I leave a piece of my heart at Prainha Village. The great thing is given the size of our party its very budget friendly that’s both the accommodation and the eating and drinking!

Honestly you will not regret a visit to a place like Prainha, we have been very fortunate to have travelled to many countries around the world, however Alvor is currently the only place we have gone more than once and that is a true testament to the calibre of the place you are going to.

So Prainha we will see you later in 2019 and young and old members of The Mamma Fairy house cannot wait.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control, pic’s and memories are my own too!

 

 

 

 

Reviews for Mama & Babas

STEM toys for Birthdays and Christmas

I strive every year to purchase functional, educational toys. I loath the sheer quantity of plastic rubbish that appears every year. This year I have compiled a list of tried and test STEM toys which we love in the The Mamma Fairy. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths. The concept has evolved so much over the last number of years and is now viewed almost as cool and trendy much to my enjoyment (as a woman in STEM!)

  • First up is OKIDO – OKIDO magazine, an award-winning, high-quality, interactive publication designed for children aged 3-7.  Each month, you will receive a magazine covering topics from Coding to Architecture to Robots to Breathing to Planets and Outer Space. Each issue starts with a story from the much-loved, hand drawn character Messy Monster and also includes science answers from Zim, Zam, Zoom, regular character features, stories, puzzles, doodles, games, activities, science experiments, a poem, a recipe and a pull-out card activity.  OKIDO was created as an antidote to the plastic-wrapped, poor quality publications on the market. OKIDO is a content-heavy, beautifully designed, quality product with high profile contributors including artist Paul Noble, illustrator and author Benji Davies and illustrator and animator Lesley Barnes.  Since its first issue in 2007, OKIDO magazine has won a host of awards and celebrity fans. Lauren Laverne wrote in Grazia “A kids design delight that has become a cult favourite for adults too….as fit for gallery walls as it is for playroom floors.”

 

  • Salt Water Car,  This is pretty genius and very budget friendly. Salt Water Fuel Cell Engine Car Kit contains everything you need to construct your own 4WD. But, instead of requiring endless batteries or electricity, this nifty bit of 4 wheeled kit is powered by water. My oldest just loves this. From the initial construction to the play after that. Its fun, educational and eco friendly whats not to love! It makes an ideal gift for the kids birthday parties. Its pocket friendly and educational too.

 

 

  • Top Quarkz by the Remarkablz is a game designed to encourage girls in STEM. A 2018 take on Top Trumps, showcasing some of the best female (and male) STEM role models to inspire children and young adults to explore exciting disciplines and aspire to their own superpowers regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability. As a female in STEM I just love this! 

 

  • Slime Factory What kid doesn’t love slime! I ignore the mess as my kids just love it. This slime kit was a big hit, is messy, its fun, it interactive! Lots and lots of play for my two boys with this one particularly the glow in the dark ones. My pair literally wiled away hours and I mean  hours playing with this kit. Yes it is messy but go with it, its educational and fun and kept mine entertained for hours.

 

  • Clementoni Mind Designer Robot this is heading up the price scales but in my view very worth the heftier price tag (€59.99). This innovative robot guides your children through the process of learning maths, arithmetic and geometry. It introduces your child to design using the precision motors which enable them to create geometric shapes and designs of varying complexity with extreme precision. This robot can be programmed manually or by voice using the innovative voice recognition function.  Using the exclusive free App, your child can experiment with coding instruction blocks, create complex geometrical shapes and play with loads of original interactive code-games. My oldest adores this, he is in the right age bracket for it and used the app feature on my ipad for it.  Its really clever its functional and provides hours of independent, educational play.

 

  • Meccano  was around even back in my day (and long before!) and its really stood the test of time. Its doesn’t have to high tech to be STEM.  Meccano is one of the brand names that have endured the generations which is obvious a testament to its strength and popularity. Our current favourite is the Ferrari kit, I mean whats not to love. Admittedly its pitched at a slightly older age group but this have proved some great fun for the Dada Fairy and my oldest to have some bonding time.  The bits are small and at times a little fiddly so do keep away for teeny hands!

 

  • Power Tracks Back to the theme of coding, next up is Power Tracks. Power Tracks helps stimulate curious minds and teaches elements of STEM with Volty – the friendly programmable robot! Kids can take their first steps into coding and the exciting world of programming and circuit building.  Connect the large tabletop tiles to make 1 of 20 circuits, or design your own. Use the direction of the buttons to program Volty with commands to guide around the circuit. Discover Volty’s many hidden features as Volty travels over special tiles. We love this one as its portable and the kids have endless fun with the different combinations of play available. I love the fact it encourages independent thinking.

Has anybody any other favourties? Id love to hear them.

Mamma Musings

My journey to a new smile

There are loads of phrases we see and hear when it comes to our smiles….”our smiles are the windows to our soul” or “smile and the world smiles with you” or my personal favourite “smile..its the prettiest thing you can wear“.

But you see for me for many and I mean many years I thought that this wasn’t the  case. I never smiled in photos, actually I deliberately avoided photos on nights out at events etc. On the rare occasion I did end up in a photo, I preferred to hide in the back and certainly never smiled showing my teeth. I always promised myself I would do something about it. They weren’t terrible. I just wasn’t happy with them and it didn’t matter what my friends and family said that was my opinion and that was that.

Last year I hit 35, a bit of a milestone in my own head and thought you know what.. im going to do this. So I began a treatment programme which used clear aligners. 

Thus beginning a journey I wanted to take for some time.  This is all done online, you take impressions of your teeth and they get sent off and a couple of weeks later your clear braces land in the door.  So so simple and efficient. However in advance its important to have consultation with a dentist, do shop around as you may even be able to obtain a free dental consultation. 

Following completion of the programme which took all in all about 8 months, I could not believe the different, each aligner change brought subtle but noticeable changes but it was only at the end when I saw the before and after pictures I realised just how far my teeth had come. But it wasn’t just my teeth. I lecture and I found my thoughts on my teeth really impacted on my confidence. I hid behind the podium, behind my hands or pages. Always aware and to be honest probably overly consumed by it. Now, its an entirely different story, I don’t mind getting into photos. I smile!! I actually truly smile.

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Fairy Travels

Golden Circle DIY drive with Lagoon Car Rental

We arrived in beautiful Iceland after a short 2 hour WOW air flight from Dublin on a Friday afternoon, grabbed our bags and quickly headed towards the meeting point to meet the rep from the car rental company.  Having carried out a lot of research we choose Lagoon Car Rental for our trip. Lagoon are a family owned business with offices at both  Keflavik airport and Reykjavik.  Some of the key factors which influenced our decision to go with Lagoon were firstly; their cars are all less than two years old, there was a huge selection of options and additional extras.  While getting value for money is important one thing I will never scrimp on is car safety.  That is even more important in a country where we are driving on a different side than we are accustomed allied to the fact the weather conditions in Iceland have the potential to be unpredictable.

The Car

lagoon car rental desk

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

We met the Lagoon Car Rentals in the arrivals hall of Keflavik airport and took the short trip in their mini bus to their desk just outside of the airport grounds.  We were lucky it was nice and quiet at the time being later in the afternoon so the entire process was quick and seamless and we were sitting in out Kia Sorrento in a very short space of time.  The kids loved the hot chocolate in the waiting area! We went for a 4*4 automatic and added on the 2 car seats and gps.   The vehicle itself was immaculate inside. We took our time going through the condition before signing off to take it away. This is something I would strongly urge anybody to do. I took a lot of pictures too in case of any disputes, of which thankfully there were none! And with that we hit the road for our hotel in Reykjavik.

We spent the first night relaxing at the hotel and get to bed early so that we could depart early for our Golden Circle tour. I had read loads and done a lot of research so I had it more or less planned out so that we could make the most of it.  We were truly blessed with the weather. While it was cold it was bright and crisp without a drop or rain or snow in sight! There is a saying in Iceland that if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes.  Iceland is prone to huge variations in the weather conditions even within the one day so my advice is to have the car well equipped.

We had changes of clothes, food, rain gear and walking gear.  Just in case! But that is the luxury of having a car you can just dump all in the boot!.

Golden Circle Stop 1- Thingvellir

car at thingvellier park

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

We departed Reykjavik bright and early. The sky was so clear and so blue, we were so excited. Stop one was Thingvellier National Park which is a UNESCO listed site which once housed the Icelandic Parliament. The kids were particularly excited to see the rift in the landscape cased by the separation of the 2 tectonic plates. Its quite remarkable to think where you are standing and what is going on in the ground beneath you!

We parked up and walked one of the trails, which is a little uneven so do bring good walking shoes. It wouldn’t be buggy or wheelchair friendly the particular section we choose so do plan your route in advance.   The entire landscape here is breath taking. I actually don’t thing any photos could even do it justice.  No matter which way you look its simply stunning. One thing I did notice was how crisp and fresh the air felt.

You could spend hours here, looking at the old stone ruins and walking the trails but we were on a tight enough time scale so departed after maybe 2 hours and a hot cup of coffee!

Mamma F Top Tip– Parking needs to be paid for in the visitors centre as apparently they read the registration on the way out. Loads of toilets and coffee shop there so well worth a quick stop.

After a quick coffee and rest of the legs we headed back to the car to get to our next stop – Fontana Thermal Spa.

Golden Circle Stop 2 – Fontana Thermal Spa

Fontana SPA

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Fontana is ideally located about half way along our Golden Circle route.   It serves as the ideal spot for some lunch and a total relax in their geothermal baths.  We opted for the buffet lunch upon arrival and it was so good. The food was tasty, fresh and plentiful with something for everybody. However I cannot forget the bread. In fact im drooling right now thinking of it.  It was incredible. It is baked underground for 24 hours in the hot black sand.   It is no exaggeration to say it was quite possibly the tastiest bread I have ever eaten. (Quite the accolade for a bread loving Irish family!)

Lunch eaten and we headed to the changing room to get ready for our dip in the geo thermal pools. One thing to bear in mind is that you must shower before you go to the pools and not doing so is viewed as being very disrespectful by the locals.  The changing rooms have lockers and plenty space to get organised.  The layout and setting of the pools is really lovely. There are a number of pools each with different temperatures. Onsite there are also sauna and steam room and for the brave amongst us you can take a dip in the ice cold lake. Its apparently very good for the body and heart to alternate the temperature but im quite happy to take somebody else’s word for this!!

 

fontana geothermal spa

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

We met a lovely couple here who were doing a similar trip to us but in the reverse direction and advised us of a lovely farm with home made ice cream just before our next stop. He mentioned salted caramel ice cream and I was sold! We dried off and hit the road again for Geysir via the ice cream stop!)

Mamma F Top Tip – have lunch at Fontana and follow up with home made ice cream at Efstidalur II, you will not be disappointed. So so so tasty and the setting is lovely looking out over the farm.

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Fairy Travels

WOW air – from Dublin to Iceland from €49.99!

Since I was a kid I have been fascinated with Iceland, I can’t quite say what specifically it was that interested me but the curiosity to visit has been there for some time. I’m very excited to say I finally ticked this item off the Mamma Fairy bucket list.  Getting to Iceland is remarkably easy with WOW air offering 2 flights a day from Dublin during peak times and with prices starting from €49.99 each….as I told the Dada Fairy “sure we would be mad not too!!”.

WOW air – History

WOW air aircraft on tarmac

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Keflavik Airport

Most people have heard of WOW air and know their striking purple livery but who are they?!!  They seem to have exploded on to the aviation scene as a solid budget airline.  Curious to know more myself I did a little digging…..WOW air is an Icelandic airline who operate out of Keflavik airport. They were founded in 2011 and the airline made its inaugural flight in 2012.  Flights commenced from Dublin in June 2015 when WOW began expanding into North American and Canada connecting parts of Europe via Iceland.

The man behind the airline is a well known Icelandic businessman and financier called Skúli Mogensen.

I understand that as of 2018 WOW air operates to 36 destinations from Europe, North American to the Middle East. Quite remarkable for an airline which is still really in its infancy having only commenced in 2012. According to media report, they have a fleet of 20 and carry over a million passengers a year.

Our WOW air flight

boarding WOW air flight

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Dublin Airport

We departed Dublin on the 11.45 flight on a cool crisp Friday morning. Timing wise this flight is perfect. My pair love their sleep and the earlier option while it would have provided us with more time in Iceland in reality would probably have just meant id have a grumpy pair on my hands by 3pm. Boarding was efficient, we departed on time and the services on board couldn’t be faulted.

I do have to give a specific mention to the pilot on our outbound flight as my kids are still talking about him.  Before the cabin crew ran through the safety demonstration he urged the passengers to watch and pay attention or else he would be out to ask questions!! Now my 6 year thought this was just the funniest thing ever! Throughout the flight he was engaging, witty and set a great tone for the holiday. Similarly the cabin crew were friendly and efficient and seemed to genuinely wanted to make the flight as pleasant as possible for those on board.

Coming home again we opted for the 12 o’clock afternoon flight which again is perfect timing. No crazy early starts! Similarly we left on time despite Keflavik airport being incredibly busy that morning.

On board 

We had the xl leg room seats on both flights and I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for this.  I’m not tall, the Dada Fairy is and he was very impressed with the comfort of the extra leg room. Our flight over didn’t have the USB chargers however our flight home did. The certainly was not an issue for a short flight perhaps if you were en route to the US you might need to charge your devices particularly if you were travelling with kids. We didn’t sample the food offering on either leg but there looked to be the useful fare at usual airline prices.  Again for a short flight we usually don’t bother.

On board the aircraft the purple theme remains with the seats and floor covering.  The aircraft on the flight home to Dublin had some hilarious slogans for the call bells which when you are six years old is pretty funny.

Child friendly 

WOW air aircraft on runway

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Dublin Airport

My kids are very used to travelling despite their young age therefore an airline who are child friendly is something that would be very important to us. No matter how used to flying kids are they still could be prone to tantrums, sore ears, being upset etc.  I have to say from start to finish the cabin crew and ground staff were fantastic, helped with buggy, getting them settled and getting on the aircraft early to get them settled with little or no queuing. Sometimes I feel there is a perception that budget airlines may be less child friendly or even welcoming of kids. Hand on heart I can’t say this wasn’t the case with WOW air.

In fact we were so impressed not just with WOW air but also with Iceland (yes I have left a piece of my heart there – lots of posts on our adventures there in progress) that we are intending to use them for our long haul trip to Chicago in April.

Our next Adventure – Chicago

We have been fortunate enough to have been invited to experience Chicago as a family friendly destination and what better way of doing it that combining it with a long lay over in Iceland.  I hope on that trip to completely dispel the myth of taking kids on budget flights.  Funny enough my pair were the only kids on the aircraft both ways.

WOW air offer flights to some US and Canadian cities from €99 so that’s some serious value combining that with a trip to the land of fire and ice what more could you want.  I also read recently that WOW will commence flights to Orlando in December this year, making the elusive trip to Disney that little bit more affordable.

The ability to add the layover to the US flight tickets is an impressive add on.  Having spent time in Iceland I can highly recommend making a stop over. I am currently drafting posts on our adventures there.  We spent a day driving the Golden Circle which was in a word….breathtaking. Sneak peak below but do check back for full post which ill link below when it completed.

 

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Thingvellir Park

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Gullfoss – Golden Circle

geysir

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Geysir – Golden Circle

***********update************

Wow have flights from €29.99 one way one way (ex charges/bags) between now and end March, plus its Northern Lights season!! We are currently planning a second trip in March and we cannot wait, we didn’t see the Northern Lights the last trip so figures crossed we have more success this time! For more see www.wowair.ie 

 

 

Note: Thanks to WOW air for the support on this trip, all words my own and I retain full editorial control over the content above as all opinions and views are mine or the boys where appropriate.

 

Cuddle Fairy
Features

Top tips for helping get through the cold and flu season

You might recall earlier this year our post featuring our top tips for dealing with the summer weather with thanks to Lloyds Pharmacy. We are back again with some top tips from Lloyds on how to help with the inevitable cold and flu that comes with the advent of Autumn/ Winter. This time we have some expert insights from Denis O’Driscoll, Superintendent Pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy. Denis very kindly gave me some of his time to run through my own questions.

girl with cup of tea suffering cold and flu

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Question: I dread this time of year for the kids as its the inevitable they will pick up colds, flu’s etc. What practical tips would you advise to try to keep sickness at bay?

Answer: In the main, colds and flu are viral and self-limiting. Here are my practical tips for children and adults:

  • Maintain healthy eating and diet
  • Eat loads of vegetables and fruit
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Use a disposable tissue and dispose correctly after use
  • Wash hands after sneezing /coughing, use a hand sanitizer if necessary
  • I would also recommend visiting your local pharmacist to discuss getting the flu vaccination. The flu vaccination not only helps to protect against catching the flu, but also ensures the infection isn’t passed on.

Question: Are there any multi vitamins or supplement you would recommend?

Answer: In winter there is a need for more Vit D3 as people tend to feel tired. I would recommend a multivitamin that contains Vit D3- your sunshine vitamin and Vit B which gives energy. There are many products, but the one I am currently using myself is Revive™Active for Adults. This product is also available for children aged 5-12 and teens. Your local pharmacist is best placed to give you this advice, dependent on your child’s diet and daily activities.  In my opinion as a pharmacist and a parent, I always ensure that my children are eating healthily and they’re getting enough fruit and vegetable. If this proves difficult, I use any product with B-complex and VitD3 such as Revive for Children. This should always be taken with an antibiotic if prescribed, and I would also provide them with a probiotic.

Question: For the times we do get hit by the dreaded winter colds and flu’s what advice would you have for helping us feel better until it passes?

Answer:

  • Keep hydrated with warm drinks

    drink of hot lemon and ginger to help with cold and flu

    Pic Credit: Pixbay

  • Keep warm, and get plenty of rest
  • To manage the symptoms:
    • Sore throat lozenge and pain relief
    • Gargling salt and warm water is something to consider
    • If nose is blocked, use a recommended product or a saline nasal spray
    • Use disposable tissues. There are a number of products to help with stuffy nose and runny nose
    • Sometimes using tissues caused the nose to be a little painful so we would recommend using a little petroleum jelly or some Sudocrem™

 

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Mamma Musings

Living Arrows 37/53 – the simple things

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth – Kahlil Gibran

Probably around this time last year I joined Donna from What the Redhead Said linkie – known as Living Arrows where each week you share a photo from the week which celebrates childhood. I don’t know exactly why but this link up speaks to me! I love what it stands for and love the quote above that gave Donna the inspiration to start this.

I am aiming to link up each week but life sometimes get in the way. I missed last week but im back this week.  My photo this week is of my dad and my youngest son. Im not sure what it is about this photo but something in it touches a nerve and makes my heart swell with pride.

This pair have an unbreakable bond. Its such a beautiful relationship and I feel both are luck to have each other in their lives.  We spent a morning exploring the Botanic Gardens in Dublin.  No devices, no playground, nothing snazzy just simple fun exploring the gardens.  Sometimes we get consumed but having to do “something” visits to playgrounds, play centres, shows etc.

Sometimes paring it all back it just as effective and just as enjoyable. I had the most beautiful relationship with my granda and I love seeing the bond between this pair growing every day.

 

 

 

 

Living Arrows
Mamma Musings

Living Arrows 35/53 – back to school

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth – Kahlil Gibran

Probably around this time last year I joined Donna from What the Redhead Said linkie – known as Living Arrows where each week you share a photo from the week which celebrates childhood. I don’t know exactly why but this link up speaks to me! I love what it stands for and love the quote above that gave Donna the inspiration to start this. For the week that’s in it this weeks photo is of my oldest as he prepares to return to school this week. I always feel like this week is a bit bitter sweet, yes to getting back to normality and a set routine but no to missing so much time with my pair.

For me this photo sums up a lot about him, while you cant see his face you can see the concentration in his gesture. He is so like me in many ways. He likes to be prepared.  He loves PJ Masks and being surrounded by his favourites is sure to help instil some superpowers of his own in him.

Its such new territory for them and hopefully familiarity and self belief will help them be brave on their new journey just like his favourite superhero CatBoy.  He likes to call me Owlette, which im hoping is become his mamma has her own superpowers to help him in any and every way she can.

Good luck to everybody starting or returning to school this week, in the words of Oprah – “education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom

 

Living Arrows
Mamma Musings

Mamma Fairy Summer Loves

I was reading back over some old blog posts and realised I share loads of what the kids like or our travel adventures but very little about what I like or love (kids and travel aside!!). So I thought id share some of the current things im really loving. This isnt a review post it just a random collection of things that I liked or loved of the last few months:

Shoes, shoes and more shoes

  • Hot, hot, Hotter……

I just love shoes, for me they make or break an outfit. I’m on the go constantly either running with kids to school, activities or  to work myself.  I’m always in heels in the office but I badly needed a pair of dressy but comfortable shoes to run between the office, meetings, pick ups etc.  This summer I was introduced to the wonderful collection of Hotter Shoes  they are insanely comfortable and dressy at the same time.  I wanted flat shoes that were stylish but didn’t look too mumsy if you know what I mean. I have Natalia in black and brown and trust me you will not find a comfier dressy work shoe. Coming in a little hefty a price tag but they are so comfortable and durable and for me anyway, well worth the extra spend.

  • Skechers for Style….

Staying with shoes, while shopping for the kids school shoes in Skechers, out of the corner of my eye I caught these bad boys. I honestly didn’t know Skechers do “street style” shoes (their words not mine!).  Just look at these I mean how could you not get them?

Aside from being ultra stylish they are staying true to brand and are uber comfy. The sales assistant in Liffey Valley very helpfully advised me to go down a size and she was of course totally correct. I’m usually a 6 but these fit like a glove in a size 5. I feel so stylish wearing them.  Only issue now is I want them all. Lots of different types to choose from.  Have a nosey on their website so many types to choose from.

 

Blue Jean Girl

I am and probably always will be a jeans girl, love them in all styles, colours, types.  Comfort is king when im running about so im always trying out new brands and really putting them through their paces.  I suppose what I love most about jeans is that you can either dress them up or down so easily.  One of my current favourites are jeans from Esprit they also do some fab office wear if you are in the market for nice cut office dresses and trousers/ blazer coordinates.

Accessories 

While not really an accessories girl, I favour keeping it simple. I love a nice watch and im so in love with my birthday present from The Dada Fairy.  Its a rose gold watch from Adexe London.  How stylish is this?  It really dresses up an outfit. The rose gold trend shows no sign of abating and ive totally jumped on the trend ban wagon between my skechers and my watch!!

Never realised I was a tend follower!!

Lotions and Potions 

My skin care routine is simple! We only have the one so I do try to look after it and I don’t mind spending on products that do work.  For the last 3 months I have been using Clarins extra firming night and day cream. I love love love this. The texture is so lovely and a small bit really does go a long way.   I cleanse with the Clarins gentle foaming cleanser again love the texture of this and its not drying at all. I have combination skin so it can be hard to find products that really work.  I’m still clinging hard to that youthful glow so I really feel I have found products that not only work but suit my skin.

I’m probably 3 or 4 months at this routine while be no means am I that regimented that I don’t miss a night or a day using the products I do try to do it daily and nightly.   The price tag is hefty at around €60 each but do bear in mind a little goes a very long way.  It really works for me.  I would advise if you aren’t sure which products to go for id pop in to one of their counters for a chat. I have been to the one in both Debenhams and Arnotts in Dublin and found staff in both very helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for some sample and go home and try them for a file. At €60 a pop these products are investments and you do want to be sure they work for you.