Mamma Musings

Avoiding the Dental Hygiene Mistakes That Most Parents Make

A good photo of your kids or grandchildren when they are laughing or smiling is always nice. You only have to look at it to lift your spirits and end up smiling yourself.

The problem is that these days more and more kids are too self-conscious to actually smile properly. Usually, this is because they are missing teeth. Unfortunately, childhood tooth decay is a growing problem. Instead of the number of fillings and extractions falling, they are on the increase. As a result, parents need to make teaching their children good dental hygiene a priority.

Educate yourself

The first step is to visit blogs that are actually written by actual dentists to learn about proper dental hygiene. The one at Docklands Dental (Dublin 4) is a good starting point. There you can quickly learn about common dental problems, the latest hygiene techniques and how to help your children to look after their teeth.

Baby teeth really do matter

An awful lot of parents make the mistake of thinking that baby teeth do not matter much because they soon fall out. Whilst this is understandable thinking like that is a big mistake that can have a very negative impact on a child´s long-term dental health. For example, a full set of healthy baby teeth is essential for setting the mouth up for the emergence of their adult teeth. If there are baby teeth missing there is a good chance that they will need braces and other dental treatments to straighten their adult teeth out.

 

Set a good example

By far the best way to teach your children the importance of dental hygiene is setting a good example. If you brush and floss at least twice a day your kids are far more likely to do so as well.

Teach your children about sugar

After you or your child has eaten something sugary get into the habit of cleaning your teeth. You will be really surprised at how doing this reduces your child´s thirst for things like sugary drinks. They are far more likely to opt to drink water instead of pop, especially if they are busy playing a game. The last thing they want is to have to get up, stop what they are doing, and go to wash their teeth. Naturally, they are more likely to ask for water rather than a sugary drink.

 

This is good for their general health as well as reducing the chances of them suffering from tooth decay. You can find out more about the connection between a child´s sugar consumption levels and the chances of them having problems with their teeth, by reading this article.

 

Supervise your child´s teeth cleaning

 

When your children are young, you bath them, dress them and, naturally, clean their teeth. Pretty soon their dexterity improves to the point where they are able to start taking care of those tasks themselves. Or, so you think. In reality, even children who are perfectly capable of dressing themselves will not actually clean their teeth properly. Even if they know how to do, and are physically capable of doing it, the chances are that a lot of the time they will not spend enough time actually brushing in the correct way.

 

You really should supervise your child´s teeth cleaning routine until you are 100% sure they are doing it properly and really understand the importance of doing so. Occasionally using disclosing tablets is a good way to check what they are doing and show them what areas they are missing.

Using the above information will help you to avoid the most common childhood dental hygiene mistakes. This should result in your child having fewer problems with their teeth and being able to avoid having to have extractions or fillings.

 

Fairy Travels

Treating the Nana Fairy – Winter Sun in Benidorm here we come!

Winter Sun in Benidorm

My mum now known as the Nana Fairy – its one incredible lady. She does a huge amount for us so every year I treat her to a  trip (sans kids!) just the two of us for some well deserved r&r. We have done New York (times two), Prague and this year it will be a winter break in Benidorm.

Sunset in Bendidorm _ Winter Sun

Sunset in Benidorm – Pic Credit Wikipedia

Why Benidorm? Well, I asked her what was her preference this year in terms of holidays and her response, sun, nice beaches and good nightlife. A family friend is just back from a ten day break there so we decided why not. Getting a personal recommendation really pushes a place higher up my list. I had been myself many (many!) years ago. I still remember the stunning beaches and the nightlife!

Where?!

Its probably safe to say most people have heard of Benidorm, equally famous for its sandy beaches as it is its nightlife. Benidorm itself is in the Spanish province of Alicante along the tourist hotspot of the Costa Blanca. Its a really popular destination and I can really see its appeal.

 

Most looking forward to…

……………..Chilling on those stunning beaches.

While most people will have heard of and seen the images of Levante Beach, golden sands framed by high rise hotels and apartments, on our previous trip we spent more time on Poniente Beach, which was certainly quieter back then. While Benidorm these days is high rise, populous and busy, the romantic image of old town Spain is still alive in Benidorms old town. It is picturesque and romantic with its little cobbled streets and blue domes. A real must. Also while you dont go to Benidorm for the food for some traditional tapas my recommendation is to head to the old town.

Will be sure to do a full trip report – cannot wait!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

Mamma Reviews

Brainstorm Spider Catcher Review

Spider Catcher

Pic Credit: BrainStorm Toys

I’m going to be straight up here…I am absolutely terrified of spiders. There is a now infamous story in my family about how I made (!) my dad drive 20 miles to my house to get rid of massive spider!! Such was my utterly hysterical state the poor man hoovered my apartment from top to bottom to ensure the offending creature was well and truly gone. I know its totally irrational but I cant help it. Roll forward about 15 years and I now have two amazing little men who think its wonderful to show mama every weird and wonderful creature they can find in the garden.

With our camping trip in the back of my mind when we were asked to review the BrainStorm Toys Spider Catcher I thought why not! Maybe just maybe id be brave enough to capture one (yeah right!!). The boys absolutely love this and love even more showing Mama the lovely (!) creatures they have captured.  Its actually a great item, as you can remove the offending creatures without harming them and returning them back outside.  The long arm on it means they quick literally stay arms length away.  Its really clever item.  Look  – i really despise the little things but I don’t want to harm them.  This is perfect to dispose of them out the back without having to actually touch them!

Spider Catcher in action

Spider Catcher in action

The Spider Catcher comes with a plastic spider.  My oldest man has had tonnes of fun tricking people about the spider in the house and showing them how to dispose of it! While its an incredibly practical item, my kids have had hours of fun with this one and for around €12 you cannot go wrong – fun and functional what more could you ask for!!

 

Note: We were sent the Spider Catcher for review however all view are my own or the boys where appropriate. 

 

 

Mamma Musings

How technology is improving road safety

How is technology improving road safety…

Last weekend while having dinner my oldest asked how many miles is it to Donegal – about 140 miles I answered. My husband then thought out loud wondering how many miles have we have done this summer?! We love travel whether that is within Ireland or overseas.  We think conservatively we have travelled around 5,000 miles this summer!

Car safety

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I am acutely aware of the dangers of being on the road. Its sad to say that very few days go by when we don’t hear of a tragedy on our roads. While we cant control other peoples actions what we can do is control our own.  I am a proponent of rear facing for as long as is practicable, I am obsessive about NCT and road worthiness, checking tyres before setting off, ensuring lights are all working fine. Some people would say I’m a little obsessive, compulsive maybe. However I don’t care – I want to ensure I do all I can to ensure my own safety and that over others in so far as I can. Having first hand experience of the after affects of a un-roadworthy vehicle means I can talk with all too real experience.

Road Safety and Technology

I totally embrace technology and I welcome with open arms anything that makes travelling on our roads safer.  One of the recent additions for us has been a dash cam.  While dash cams don’t make your vehicle any safer per se they can assist after the event and thus potentially help ensure it doesn’t happen again. Only recently have insurers accepted dash cam footage as evidence in compensation claims. A move I welcome, as we have all read recently how insurance premiums have been rocketing.

There are many other technologies out there which can potentially make our roads safer see    I will admit the concept of driverless cars both excites and terrifies me in equal measure!! For further information please guide.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

 

 

 

 

Baba Reviews

Mamma Fairy Great Reads – the kids edition

The Top 10 books we are loving

I loved reading as a child and I still do. I think my own love of reading developed from my own parents love of it and the time they spent with us each evening succumbing to the often relentless – one more story please.  History is most definitely repeating itself in The Mamma Fairy house and requests of one more story are nearly always met! I have put together a list of our current 10 favourite books. At the moment this is the core group where “one” (!!) story is chosen from these nights.

 

  1. Midnight Creatures (By Helen Friel)  – This is really cool, its a pop up story book that you use your torch to find various animals across the five scenes in the book.  
    Scene from the book Midnight Creatures

    Midnight Creatures – Pic Credit Laurence King Publishing

    The detail is really intricate and the kids absolutely love being using their torch to show the shadows on the wall. This one suits both boys ages 2 and 5 and keeps both engaged. 

  2. Pirates Love Underpants (By Claire Freedman and Ben Cort) – Nothing like the mention of underpants to emit howls of laughter from young kids.  Join the pirates as they search for the fabled pants of gold!!! It doesnt matter how many times I have read this they love it every time and laugh their heart out a the mention of “big knicker bay”. Its beautifully illustrated. Their are loads of other underpants loving books by Claire Freedman, kids are looking forward to adding to their collection!
  3. Animal Architects (By Julio Antonio Blasco and David Nassar) – This is a stunningly intricately illustrated hard back book that gives you an insight into how animals build there homes. It really is a fascinating book. Each home contains a pull out section with more details.  The kids adore this book.
  4. Hide and Seek (By Charlene Man) – As with number 3 above this is another Laurence King published title with the same level of intricate detail. While not strictly a story book this is more of a interactive book where you have to find the animal that doesn’t belong in the scene. The illustrations are just gorgeous and its a firm favourite  in our house.
  5. Salty Dogs (By Matty Long) – Sticking with the pirate theme. Salty Dogs is another action packed mad cap story involving the Salty Dogs setting off on an adventure around the Pirate Islands.  Each page of this one has absolutely tonnes of detailed illustrations with something new to spot each time. This one is enjoyed by both boys.
  6. Rhyme Crime (Jon Burgerman) – Not quite a fall asleep type story but a funny interactive one. Premise of this that a thief has committed a crime and everything he stole is replaced with a rhyme! Really silly but really funny for the kids. Probably not the wind down before bed type of book though!
  7. I want to go first – (By Richard Byrne) – This one id say is my youngest little mans favourite at the moment.  Its a gentle tale encouraging (just enough) reader participation.  The story centres around a baby elephant who in contrast to elephant rule wants to go first not last. She enlists the help of the reader to assist her. I like this one, its really nicely illustrated too.
  8. How to Babysit a Grandma (by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish) – our love affair with this book began well over a year ago and its certainly a testament to its popularity in the Mamma Fairy house that its still going strong a year later.  In a reversal of roles this clever book teaches you how to babysit your grandma. I am not joking when I say I can quote from this word perfect.
  9. Animals at home (By Claudia Boldt) – Not strictly a book but I have included this one as its our bedtime game. Quite simply its a gorgeously illustrated card game where you match 27 animals to their home.  Its really lovely and both kids play together for this one which I really love to see.
  10. The Magic of my Name – This book belongs to my oldest and its a personalised story based on the letter of his name.  I think all kids go through that stage where they ask why did you call me x.  Its a really detailed book, in fact my husband calls this “the long one” as there are about 40 pages in it!! Kids love it and the mention of their names makes it all the more special.  Again like many of the others above it contains lovely illustrations.

Reading back the above I have come to realise visual books are what really appeal to the boys.

I love reading with them, its a lovely special time when my time is 100% theirs no distraction. I do hope they grow up with the same love of reading that I did. All books above readily available both online and in traditional bookshops with the exception of number 10 which is personalised therefore available direct from the publisher.

 

 

You Baby Me Mummy
Laura's Lovely Blog
Features

Plum Recipe for kids with thanks to Organix

Its plum season!

I’m no food blogger and I make no secret of the fact I rely on some of my lovely blog buddies to help feed my growing pair with healthy nutritious food – im talking about you One Yummy Mummy. I like to eat it alright but im a hopeless cook!  This week its a little something different and im sharing a recipe with thanks to Organix.  It’s a delicious receipe for Organic Roasted Plums.  Not only are plums in season in Ireland in August and September, the month of September also celebrates all things Organic.

Some interesting facts that I never knew about plums!!

  • Plums are a rich source of vitamins C and K and dietary fibers
  • It can take 3-5 years after planting for the trees to bear fruit
  • There are actually over 200 varieties of plum in the world!!!
  • Plums are used to produce wine or spirits in some countries!

Organic September Roasted Plums

12+ Months
10 – 30 minutes to prepare
10 – 30 minutes to cook
Serves 2 adults and 2 children

Ingredients:

Roasted Plum treat

Pic Credit – Organix

Roasted plums
3 large plums
Coconut oil (or melted butter) to brush
Almond & oat crumble
3 tbsp porridge oats (or gluten free oat)
1 tbsp ground almonds (or desiccated coconut if nut allergies)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter)
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)

Mascarpone cream
150g of mascarpone
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
A couple of mint leaves (optional)

 

How to make:

Step 1 –   Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper

Step 2 –   Prepare the crumble by mixing the oats, ground almonds and cinnamon powder together in a small  bowl. Add melted coconut oil (or butter) and maple syrup. Stir until you get a crumble texture

Step 3 –  Spread crumble on baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside to cool down

Step 4 –   Put the grill on to 275°C

Step 5 –  Cut plums in half and remove stones carefully

Step 6  – Brush each plum all over with some melted coconut oil (or butter)

Step 7 –  Arrange plums in an oven proof dish, cut side up

Step 8 –  Place until the grill for around 5 mins or until the plums soften

Step 9 –  While the plums are in the oven, mix mascarpone with lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl

Step 10 –   To serve, dollop the mascarpone cream on a plate. Add 2 halves plum per adult or 1 half plum per  child on top of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with crumble.

And there you have it – Orangic Roasted Plums.  Let me know if you give this a go, even better show me the pic’s!

 

 

Mamma Musings

Living Arrows 36/52 Coffee and Chill

The Pod located on the side of the road along the Wild Atlantic Way

The Pod – Killybegs

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Living Arrows 36/52

As the dust settles on the first week of “big” school for my oldest.  For the first time in a long time I have had time to sit down and relax and quite literally have a coffee and chill. This weeks Living Arrows post is inspired by this gorgeous coffee spot in the picturesque Wild Atlantic Way as you drive towards Killybegs.

I have vowed for the coming school year to make time to be present and not be rushing and dashing around the place doing jobs that in reality could wait.

playing on the beach despite the weather

Fun without the sun

We had our final farewell to summer holidays in a typically wet Donegal despite the weather, we ran, we laughed we played but most of all we were present in the moment.  I am a full time working mum and im guilty of checking my mails, picking up messages and texts when in  reality they can wait.

As we sat on the beach and had our picnic and a delicious coffee from The Pod, I thought about the milestone my son had ahead of him – starting school. It really is such a milestone.  For him and for us.  Where did 5 years go?

Well as I sit here chilling with my coffee I can happily report week one was a success. The only tears were my own, he skipped in the door and looked forward to returning the following day.  I’m under no illusion every day will be like the last couple but fingers crossed most days will be like this.   The house feels so quiet, its actually hard to get used to it! Not that im complaining!!

Signing off with a coffee in hand, two feet up and the TV on – coffee and chill it is…….

Living Arrows
Features

Tips for making your garden a safe and fun environment for kids

We have been renovating our house over the last number of years and while the inside is nearing completion, an equally challenging task is next on the agenda……the outside spaces.  I decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers to get some tips from them on making the garden a safe and fun place for kids.

Garden Safety 

Garden Safety - locking shed

Garden Safety

First up some great tips around keeping the area itself safe and enclosed.  Elizabeth from The Homemakers Journal had some great suggestions in terms of basic safety, keeping the tools and equipment in separate storage areas.  Also crucially and a very important consideration, keep all sprays and fertilisers out of reach of little hands (and animals).  Jo from Cup of Toast also highlighted the importance of keeping hazards out the way, I love her suggestion of giving the kids their own shed that way they are contained and away from potential hazards or even escaping!

Pete who writes at Household Money Saving highlighted the importance of making sure the toys themselves are in good working condition.  This is a brilliant suggestion and probably one im guilty of not doing enough off particularly for the likes of trampolines and swings which could pose a risk if not installed or used correctly.

I love Natalie from Mummy and Moose suggestion of training the dog to do its business in one area and training the kids to avoid! Genius!! While we don’t have any pets one suggestion that ill definitely be implementing is from Sarah of A Few Favourite Things of keeping the wheelie bins separate. Safety aside we have 3 and they are so unsightly looking!

I also love Carolin of Mummy Alarm suggestion of  soft surfaces for playing on.  I have two boys and they just love playing rough, climbing and skipping around the place.  Hopefully a soft surface would lessen the cuts and scraps. Something like rubber mulch flooring would be ideal.

Garden Fun

Garden Fun in the sun

Garden Fun

The bit the boys will love!! Both Stacey of One Small Human and Anoushka of Spitting Yarn mentioned mud kitchens!! I have never heard of this before but I suspect the boys would love it, quite literally, a sectioned off area with some kitchen utensils and some muck/mud. You can’t beat the messy play to keep them entertained for hours.  Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure suggested a sensory garden including a fruit and veg patch. I love the idea of growing some of our own vegetable so this is something im definitely looking into. Check out Emma’s gorgeous garden at the above lunch, that pergola is some serious garden goals!

The boys really want a tree house and the Dada Fairy has promised them he would make one for them!   Some fantastic tips and inspiration above.  Ill look forward to revealing the finished product over the next few months.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post 

 

Mummascribbles
Features

Top 5 Gardening Projects in 2017

Every gardener knows that for a flourishing summertime garden, you need to start planning and preparing the year before. That’s why gardening projects in 2017 will come into full bloom next summer.

But what garden projects could you undertake? And why is the tail end of summer the best time to do it? We found out with thanks to Rattan Direct.

#1 Update the Garden Furniture

Why now? Late summer deals mean you can pick up great quality items for use next summer but at a great price.

Budget: mid-range.

Enjoying an afternoon in the garden, either reading the latest novel or admiring your gardening prowess is the ideal way to relax. However, gone are the days when the only option was a striped deck chair or dining table set.

From day bed to sun loungers, the range of rattan garden furniture has increased considerably, giving you ample choice when it comes to creating a superb relaxation spot or an al fresco dining area.

#2 Create an Outdoor Kitchen

Why now? The building work involved means it needs to happen during good weather. It will overwinter well allowing you the look forward to spring and summer in the garden the following year.

Budget: mid-range +

This is one step up from BBQing in the garden – the garden kitchen is a ‘fitted’ kitchen, just like you would expect to have in a home.

Lower end budgets will still get a lot for their money with built-in cupboards and worktops, along with a fixed BBQ. Why not add a pizza oven to enjoy in the summer?

For shade, add a pergola with pretty, scented climbing plants to spread their aroma whilst you cook and eat outdoors.  

We’ve seen some exciting examples, of outdoor kitchens also been plumbed in too, with a sink and drainage making it a fully working kitchen for the outdoors. In the UK, we have always shied away from creating outside rooms, so look to Mediterranean countries for inspiration as cooking is usually done outside for the majority of the year.

#3 Add a Pond

Why now? Adding a pond to your garden now means it has a chance to get established before the main insect breeding season in spring. It also means that when you add fish, the environment is not hostile to their survival.

Budget: dependent on the size of the project

Gardeners the world over will tell you that nature is both your enemy and your friend. To get the most help from other nature, you need to create the best environment that you can in your garden.

That means offering an attractive place for good bugs and insects, along with garden birds to enjoy – and keep bad bugs away! A pond is a great idea because where there is water, there is bound to be slug and insect eating frogs. Damsel flies and dragon flies are also welcome garden visitors.

You can create your own unique pond with plenty of digging, pond liner and stones or you can choose a rigid pond liner for extra stability. Add a water fall to oxygenate the water for the fish as well as adding a relaxing sound to the garden.

#4 Create a Meadow

Why now? Spreading wild seeds in a part of your garden now will mean an attractive meadow for the buzzing bees in spring and summer.

Budget: minimal

We tend to think of gardens as being manicured and ordered but our favouring of some plants over others have meant the bees, an important crop pollinator, are struggling to find the sweet pollen they need.

Creating a meadow is simple and easy. Choose a spot in the garden. Dig over the soil, adding plenty of organic matter. Either roll out seeded mats or liberally scatter seed across the surface, covering with a thin layer of compost. Protect over winter with a layer of mulch and enjoy the dancing meadow of native wild plants from spring to late summer. Allow plants to go to see and scatter their seeds for the following year.

#5 Create an Outdoor Chandelier

Why now? As the summer drawers to a close, introducing solar lights means you can enjoy the evening for longer, huddle around the fire pit. But this idea takes solar lights to a new level. Just one of many craft ideas for the garden.

Budget: the cost of solar light, around £5 or less

If you have trees you need to prune, then this homemade chandelier will reuse the smaller, more malleable offcuts.

Create a circle, square or any shape you like by intertwining the small branches of the tree or shrub together. You may want to use small cable ties or twine to hold it in place. Once you have your band of twigs, wrap solar fairy lights around the shape. Use twine to create a hanging strap and fix to your pergola, allowing the homemade solar light chandelier to adorn the seating area in your garden.

Pack away when winter comes but enjoy the sparkling lights in spring once again.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post with Rattan Direct who stock a wide range of rattan garden furniture and other accessories, all ideal for any garden, no matter the shape or size.

Baba Reviews

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller Review

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller Toy

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller – Our Review

You have to picture the scene for this one…..you are four years old and love the TV show Paw Patrol and wait for it …..this lands through the door! I only wish I videoed his reaction. I can only liken his reaction to my own if I won the lotto!!

He is beyond thrilled as he had been eyeing it up on the TV ad for the last number of weeks.   The product itself is recommended for ages 3 plus and retails at a hefty €80.  So whats included for the price -key features include:

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller contents

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller contents

  •  The Sea Patroller itself can be converted to both a land and a sea vehicle quite easily (but its not a water toy!);
  • It does light up and make sounds (it takes  batteries but they are included);
  • It comes with Ryder and his quad or ATV as im reliably informed.  Not sure I knew what an ATV was at 4!
  • A cage to lower Ryder down for his rescues
  • A life ring launcher (this is what the kids totally love!!) – it quite literally launches the life ring when you push the button;
  • Its quite big, definitely much bigger than I expected but im not complaining –  it has the wow factor and its the ideal size of sharing and going on “secret missions” as my pair call them.

Mamma Fairy Verdict

I’m calling it now, I think this going to be one of the hot toys for 2017 – last year it was the Paw Patrol Air Patroller among my sons pre school friends and I sense this will be this years equivalent.  Its a big toy with lots of fun parts to it and therefore lots of opportunity for kids to let their imaginations run wild.

Just one word of caution though, it doesn’t come with any of the pups. My Paw Patrol fanatics already had most if not all of them so wasn’t an issue but perhaps something to keep in mind.  I think Santa will have his work cut out this year making Sea Patrollers and if the excitement here is anything to go by  I suspect this toy will be very well received.

It’s readily available both on line and in most toys shops.

 

Note: We were sent this toy for the purpose of this review however this in no way influences mine or the boys opinion where appropriate.

 

Cuddle Fairy