Monthly Archives

March 2017

Baba Reviews

Interplay UK – Bug Safari Review

I am (irrationally!!) terrified of all sorts of creepy crawlies, therefore the Dada Fairy was dispatched to try out Inter Play UK Bug Safari with the kids.

The set itself contains:

  • Field lens (magnifying lens)
  • Bug tongs
  • Magnifying Pot
  • Tweezers
  • Paint brush (kids assumed this was to paint pictures of their findings – apparently not its for sweeping the bugs in the pot rather than touching them!)
  • Handy little guide about the tools and bugs that you might find on your hunt.

The kids took their Bug Safari kit off to the local park to for their bug hunt! I sent them off with the warning that they weren’t to take any bugs home!! I had a quiet couple of hours while the boys hunted! I can happily report that I didn’t see any of the finding of the bug hunt as all were returned to their environment following investigation by my little explorers.

The Verdict

The boys would spend every waking minute outdoors so I had a feeling this would be a hit and it was.  They loved the magnifying pot which stored their loot for closer inspection. The bug tongs was apparently very handy for getting them into the pot!  I think this is a great product, contains all the tools you would need including the useful little book that comes with it.  Particular thumbs up from the Mamma Fairy house for the magnifying pot.

I can foresee this getting lots of play in our house especially over the Summer months. However do return the creepies back to their homes after inspection!

Note: We were sent the Bug Safari to review however this in no way influenced mine (or the kids in this case) review of the product.
Features

Those tricky subjects!!!

Who doesnt remember those cringe worthy episodes where the nude scene comes on the TV and your parents in the room! Yep we have all been there and those couple of minutes felt like an eterntiy while you tried not to look inteterested in the TV in front of the parents.

Which? Wills has commissioned new research that reveals the ‘unmentionable’ topics in life that we often feel uncomfortable discussing with family and friends.

The survey and infographic reveals the trickiest subject matters are sex, finances, death and relationships.  I can agree with all except perhaps the finances one. I suppose being an Accountant means that talking about finances for me can’t really be taboo!

Not surprisingly our perception of taboo subjects depends largely on our relationship with the person we talk to. For example, conversations with kids will differ to those with parents; siblings; grandparents or friends. I still remember being totally morto telling my parents I was pregnant and im the wrong side of 30!!

While the top three opposite we can in reality escape ever having to talk about them, however the topic of creating a Will really shouldnt be taboo. Whats is wrong with future proofing and protecting those around us when we are gone?

I am mid (coughs**) 30 and I have mine done.  Not because I think im heading 6 feet under anytime soon but because when the time comes, I dont want stress, drama or arguments about what I do or don’t have.

Which? Wills has simplified the process of learning how to make a will with its easy to use online tool to create a will in 30 minutes. It really is well worth taking the time to at least think about it.

With my Accountant hat on, its also a very useful tool to consider the tax planning nature of same however that is a whole other days conversation.

As the quote opposite says and never a truer word spoken…….therefore its no harm planning in as best we can for both.

 

 

 

 

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

 

 

Mamma Reviews

What to look for in a good after-school club

After-school clubs were once few and far between. They were primarily somewhere for a child to stay for a couple of hours until a parent could pick them up after finishing their working day. Now, a whole range of schools, both community and private schools, provide after-school clubs with a whole lot to offer.
 
So what should you look for in an after-school club to know it will be good for your child? These tips and suggestions aim to help.
 

Where is the club?

 This isn’t just for your convenience, such as the club being a good distance from your work, but to benefit your child too. For instance, if it’s local, the club will probably be attended by some of their friends from school or other children they know. A club out of town, on the other hand, might have access to fields, rivers and forests, where they can enjoy some exciting activities – see below.
 
After-school clubs, both near and far from your home, bring different benefits. Deciding what’s best depends on your child and what kind of experience you want to give them. For instance, a club close to home might be best if your child is shy, while one further afield could be the right choice if they’re confident and like the outdoors.
 

What activities will your child be doing?

 After-school clubs are commonly known as places for children to play games and have fun. While having fun is important, it’s wise to check that they will be learning too. You should look for activities that will allow your child to learn new skills, as well as build up their social skills and confidence, and help them stay active.
 
Activities can include things like arts and crafts, sports, cookery, and learning about nature. Clubs should have a plan of different activities they’ll cover from season to season. So it’s a good idea to find out what your child will be doing, not just day-to-day, but throughout the year too.

What is the quality of facilities?

 It’s important that the club provides facilities of a high standard in a clean and safe environment. All indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment should be well maintained, child-friendly and safe to use.
 
It’s also worth checking to see that there are a range of club facilities, which will allow your child to do different things, in addition to the group activities on offer. This could include a sizeable play area and a quiet space for them to draw, read a book, or do their school homework.
 
There can be a lot to take into consideration when finding a good after-school club. So it’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about a club, attend an open day, or try and arrange a visit, before making a decision. But, with these suggestions and tips in mind, you should be able to find a club that brings out the very best in your child.
Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

International Woman’s Day 2017

So yes we have our own day. A day to celebrate woman rights. But we shouldn’t have to have a day.

Gender equality and inclusion should be a given, not something we need to fight for.  As some of you already know, as well as being a mother and blogger, I work full time as an accountant.  The issue of gender equality is a hot topic around boardroom tables.  I have seen a marked improvement in efforts made by corporates to close the gender gap, however I am under no illusion……. there is still a long way and in some case a very very long way to go.

There have been lots of studies conducted in this area. One very recent one was by Content marketing agency Axonn Media who surveyed 108 parents on their working life and found that being a mum still presents greater professional challenges than being a Dad, even in 2017.

Research from its Gender in Marketing 2017 report reveals that 62% of Mums said that parenthood hampered their career, compared to just to 24% of Dads.

However, despite the obstacles working mums face, parents on both sides of the gender divide have challenges to overcome.

The top 3 complicating work factors for working parents are traveling and meetings (55%), working hours (48%) and lack of flexibility (34%) from their employer. I can see the lack of flexibility issues as being a key topic for discussion these days.  With significant technology advances working from home is so much easier, logging on from home, dialing into calls, emails at your fingertips.  Your precise working location is being much less significant. In fact I know of some companies who actually promote a day a week at home due to office space constraints.

It does seem however that companies are failing to capitalise on flexibility despite parents valuing it more than ever before when it comes to approaching their work. For me in any work contract negotiations it would be one of the items top of the agenda.

Another interesting finding of the study is the differences between men and women when asked “Which aspects of working life are the most important”. What I thought interesting was the breakdown of why  men and women said they work! Salary topped the list for men while doing something they love topped the list for women. See top 5 opposite. For me personally id agree with findings, for me enjoying what I do is key, getting paid well is a bonus. Lets face it if you leave your kids behind for 8-9 hours a day you want to me doing something you love.  I’d find it very hard to leave them all week and hate the job also.

 

So as we celebrate International Womans Day I am grateful for the advances made in closing the gender gap, I am optimistic for the future that this will continue albeit slowly.

I am humbled and proud of the hundreds of thousands of women who marched in Dublin today to #strike4repeal.

As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.

Take Care

~Mamma F