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September 2017

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 

 

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