As I have shared previously on the blog having family in Donegal means we travel up that part of the world quite a bit for family events etc. Over the last 3 months we stayed a night in three different hotels in Donegal. As the stay was quite short I though the easiest thing to do would be some short snippet reviews of our key thoughts as really one night isn’t enough to write a comprehensive review therefore below you will find our initial thoughts and observations. Two of the below trips we had the kids, the third it was the grown ups only.
Clanree Hotel – Letterkenny
First up is the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny, we stayed here the October bank holiday as the Dada Fairy was attending an event in Letterkenny. We arrived quite late thanks to bank holiday traffic and we were greeted so warmly by the incredibly friendly staff.
- Staff were excellent couldn’t do enough to help
- Child friendly
- Great breakfast
- Great food in the pub on site and very welcoming for kids
- Rooms were spotlessly clean
- Lots of parking on site
- It is a little out of the town, you could walk but it’s a bit far if like me you have kids in tow!
We booked last minute via booking.com see here for hotel website.
Mill Park Hotel – Donegal Town
I have stayed many times in the Mill Park Hotel and it never disappoints. This time we were here for a family function. We arrived midday on a Friday and were able to avail of early check in.
- Location – easy walk to the town
- Rooms were fab – the one we had was newly renovated and had the most amazing shower
- Great breakfast
- Lots of parking
- Apparently a great pool and leisure centre on site however we didn’t get a chance to use it
- No food available at the bar when we arrived only sandwiches which was only minor inconvenience being so close to the town
We booked quite a bit in advance via booking.com see here for hotel website.
Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa – Ballyliffin
We wrapped up 2016 with a stay (minus the kids) in Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa, its only when we drove up did we realise the vastness of the county of Donegal, the drive up with so beautiful, the scenery along the way really must be seen. We arrived on a cold Saturday afternoon to a really warm welcome. The hotel was decorated beautifully for Christmas.
- Lovely room
- Spotlessly clean
- Breakfast was amazing – best pancakes I have ever tasted!
- Lovely setting
- Very friendly and helpful staff
- Our room must have been over the wedding room which meant we could hear hum of the music, the hotel do supply earplugs not that we needed them. Not a problem for us however if you were travelling with young kids who went to bed early this might be worth considering if you are staying a night where there is a wedding on.
We booked this stay direct with the hotel on their website.
Note: This isn’t a sponsored post all trips were paid for by ourselves
I have to say at the outset im hopeless at crafts, I don’t think that side of my brain works! I’m an accountant – im a numbers girl! However I did accept a challenge of creating a Kitty in Boots snow globe!
The Tale of Kitty in Boots is a book written by well known author Beatrix Potter and illustrated by equally well known illustrator Quentin Blake. The book chronicles the tales of a well behaved young black cat who leads a double life defeating the evil villains.
See link here for super simple easy to follow instructions including a handy video tutorial.
In summary you need:
- A jam jar
- Some fake snow or glitter
- A little Christmas tree decoration
- Water resistant glue or a glue gun
- The cutout image of Kitty
- A laminator with laminating pouches, or clear packing tape as an alternative
Tips from somebody who is totally non crafty!
- We used glitter but the snow would make it much more festive
- We didn’t have a laminator so used some waterproof clear tape my husband had in the shed (!)
- Its honestly super simple so give it a go and I would love to see some pics if you do try it, you never know I might even pop a copy of the book in the post for the best ones!!!
The Tale of Kitty in Boots is available from Ladybird Books
Note: This is a collaborative post
Its no coincidence that first up in my Christmas guide series is all about books. I love reading and it seems that this has transferred to the boys, we love our time in the evening reading before bed. I have picked our favourites below which hopefully might be a useful guide.
The Adventures of Pippy and Dippy
These are stunningly illustrated books by Cork author Jim Bartley, they chronicle the adventures of two mice named Pippy and Dippy. These book are full of content, a really lovely engaging read for young kids. My oldest is 4 and really enjoys these stories. What captures the kids imaginations is the sense that the mice go off on adventures while they sleep. For younger readers I think colouful illustrations is so vital to hold attention and these books have it in abundance. Also supporting local business this Christmas another big plus! They are available to buy online here.
Agrikids 4 book set
Sticking with the theme of supporting local, my next recommendation is from Agrikids. Farm safety is something which is of huge importance to us so anything which helps to spread awareness is always good. There are four books in the series “Tales from Riverside Farm” and priced at €24.99 for all four is great value. Available to buy Here.
Freddy Buttons is a series of book written by Fiona Dillon, its premise is encouraging children to take a more proactive role in good food. The books themselves chronicle the adventures of Freddy who undertakes a number of investigations based around food and where it comes from. The set of six is €25 and available Here.
Personalised books are always a big hit in this house particularly for the oldest who gets so excited when he sees his name in books. Our two favourites in this house are easily:
- Message in a Bottle, another stunningly illustrated book with a beautiful personalised message at the end, (see full review Here)
- Persoanlised Peppa Pig book from Penwizard (full review Here). For anybody with Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly or Turtles fans its well worth checking out the options from Penswizard. Most of the current character favourites are available and can all be personlised.
Lots of options above for any other houses with little book worms.
I haven’t posted a Mamma Fairy favourites in a while so thought id blog the four products im loving at the minute.
I tweeted this picture back in September and they are still in daily use:
1. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
I love my sleep!!! With 2 kids full nights sleep are a thing of the past. The last few months have been filled with work stress, house renovation and sick kids so I needed something to help me wind down to sleep. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is by a company called “this works” and I can attest to the fact that it does actually work. Its made of a blend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile and you simply spray on your pillow before bed and it really helps you relax. Its a pricy at €19.50 but im happy to pay for something that does work. My sister is also hooked now!
2 The Body Shop Rose Face Mask
The body shop have introduced a fabulous range of face masks over the last few months and having tried a couple of them the Rose one is a firm favourite. The smell is just divine. It has a lovely texture, a gel infused with rose petals. It claims to be plumping and it really is. Priced at €25 and available from The Body Shop.
3 Jo Malone body wash
I wore Jo Malone Wild Bluebell perfume for my wedding day 6 years ago and the smell really invokes happy memories. Love the body wash as the smell lingers all day. This was present from my husband so im not quite sure of cost but its available in Brown Thomas.
4 Nourella Cream and Tablets
A couple of months back I was asked if I wanted to try out this new product comprising of a face cream and 2 daily tablets, with claims that its proven to reverse the signs of ageing and stimulate the Skin Rebuilding Process long-term, how could I say no! Almost 2 months in I am very happy to have accepted. Bear in mind this isn’t an overnight miracle, I can start now to see subtle results in my forehead. My skins definitely appears plumper and refreshed looking. I know something is working well when my own mother comments on my skin! I love the texture of the cream and the results it gives. I wear it under my makeup and it helps keep the skin plumped under make up. The product itself has been clinically tested, drug free and based on natural ingredients.