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Mamma Fairy

Baba Reviews

YippieYo Cross buggy review

We spend so much of our time as a family being outdoors. By splitting our time between Dublin and Donegal means the incredible Wild Atlantic Way is quite literally on our doorstop. We grab every chance to spend time exploring it. The boys are kind of at that awkard age where they want to want walk but  still get tired (lazy) after a while.

I received an email a number of months back wondering if we would be interested in giving the YippieYo a go.  I had just given our Phil & Teds to my sister in law so it was perfect timing!

There was great excitment when the postman delivered a massive box to the front door.  Following a very easy assembly we were good to go.  My husband (and rightly so) is a total safety obssesive.  The YippieYo got a thorough going over and once it passed his inpection out we went.

The YippieYo isnt a stroller or double buggy like id ever come across before. It fits two children side by side with 5 point safety harness that my little houdini can’t even escpae from! I understand the YippieY0 complies with all safety and quality standards in accordance with the European Standard for Pushchairs and Prams (EN 1888) and is GS certified in Germany. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

So what did the Mamma Fairy house think:

Pros

  • See above – how safe it is, safety when it comes to my kids safety is paramount so this for me is a key consideration
  • It is so easy to use and pull along.  Both my husband and I are in total agreement about this.
  • The brake – we tested it (minus kids) on the steep hill outside our house and it didnt budge!
  • It comes in a range of colour options and accessories, speaking of accessories you can get clip on LED lights which I think ever buggy should have.
  • No issues with the rough terrain in Donegal! And zero complaints from the kids when out about about in it.

Cons

 

  • This is Ireland! Id love some kind of clip on rain hood.  Not a deal breaker but a definite nice to have for me
  • It is big for transporting, not an issue for us but might be it you had a smaller car

 

Mamma Fairy Verdict:

Overall the YippieYo gets a big thumbs up from the Mamma Fairy house, it delivers exactly what it promises, its safe, its comfortable and suitable for all terrains. We received this before Christmas and it gets very regular use in this house.

 

Note: We were sent the YippieYo for review however the views expressed by myself and the boys are in no way influenced by this.

 

Mamma Musings

Make Your Home Safer and Healthy For the Tiny Humans In Your Home

One thing that you learn when becoming a parent is just how much your home is a potential accident waiting to happen. Things you wouldn’t have even thought of before having children can now be the biggest thing ever and can be a real problem when raising some tiny humans. The reality of them being able to pull something over on themselves or fall off things can be very real. Especially as they grow and can suddenly reach things that they couldn’t before. So what are some things to look out for to make sure that your home is a safe and healthy place for them to be? Here are a few of my thoughts.

Door Locks and Latches

There are so many things that you wouldn’t have thought were a problem around the home pre-children. A lock on the fridge might have just been something that you joked about to keep you from snacking. But with kids, it can be a reality. They could get their fingers trapped if they manage to open it, and worse, could get themselves stuck in there if you have a large American style fridge-freezer. The same goes for securing away cleaning products. Things like laundry tabs or dishwasher tablets can look like sweets to a toddler, so they need to be kept out of reach (and out of sight).

Keep Pests Under Control

They say that we are never too far away from a mouse or a rat, especially if you live in a city. So we need to think about this kind of thing with children too. If pests around the home aren’t kept under control, then it can be bad for our children’s health. They test out a lot of things with their mouth, so if there are droppings around the house, then it can be quite dangerous. So looking into something like Terminix and keeping the house cleaned regularly are the best ideas. Then you can have some peace of mind that your home is more safe and healthy, at least.

 

Wires and Cords

If you have things like window blinds, then before children, you might have just left the cord for them dangling down. But this can be rather dangerous for children. If you haven’t already, then get some ties for them, to wind them up when they are pulled down to their longest length. Babies, and toddlers especially, can get themselves into all sorts of spaces when they are on the move, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Secure Furniture

There was a video going around on social media not too long ago about twins in a room, and they were climbing up a bookshelf that then fell on one of them. This can easily be a reality in the home. You can’t just get rid of all of your furniture. But you can make it safer by securing it to the wall, for example. It takes a couple of minutes but can mean a much safer environment for your little ones to be on, especially if it is in their room.

 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

Renovations roll on……its all about the kitchen

Don’t get my wrong im not complaining (much) but for the last two years we have been undertaking a mega renovation job on an old house that we purchased while on maternity leave with my second little man.  The Dada Fairy is doing most of the work which is combined with his full time job is taking time! This weekend was spent picking the finishing touches to the kitchen.  As this is the room which I will be spending quite a bit of time I am taking my time in choosing the various finishes.

Due to how dark our space is we have decided on a cream kitchen to help the light into the room.  The wall tiles are also a cream colour therefore we wanted to introduce a pop of colour which is how we came across coloured acrylic splasbacks  see here here from Simply Plastics for example.  I think they are a brillant idea, durable, easy to wipe clean and most of all very reasonably priced.

I understand too that they are very easy to assemble and can be delivered ready to fix to the wall with the cut outs done for the plug sockets, switch etc.  I love the one picutered opposite (Pic credit Pinterest).

However for the braver there a huge range of funky colours to choose from see left (pic credit Simplyplastics). The great thing about splashback v tiles is that as they are reasonably priced you change it up every so often.

I think im hooked! This time next month should see the space liveable.  Cannot wait.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post.
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

 

 

 

 

Baba Reviews

2 months on where are the Christmas toys?!

  1. Now that the dust has quite literally settled on the  Christmas toys,  two months on im always curious has the must requested item been cast aside or is it as much loved and wanted as it was when it featured on the infamous list. First up are those that are still very much played with.

1 – Irish Fairy Door Worry Plaque

Once the oldest saw this on the Late Late Toy show it was a done deal, Santa HAD to bring him one. Santa being the great man that he is duly obliged. Oldest is a real worrier about everything. The worry plaque for anybody who doesnt know is a genuis idea by the Irish Fairy Door Company. You put your hand on the plaque and it turns from red to green meaning your worry has gone.  Simple but very effective.  Our resident fairy JoJo (cuddly teddy by the Irish Fairy Door Company) brought the worry plaque and he sits a the end of the oldests bed to look out for him.  The magic and wonder is so beautiful. I am a firm believer in letting kids be kids and the magic that the Irish Fairy Door products brings is just magical.  Our worry plaque is ably guarded by Batman and Robin!!! The worry plaque is available from Irish Fairy Door Company and in my opinion well worth it.

 

2 – Melissa and Doug Horse trailer

This was a last minute addition as I dashed around TK Maxx on Christmas eve. The youngest absolutley loves this toy.  The trailer carts Peppa, Ryder and all sorts of wierd and wonderful characters around.  It cost €9.00 and it was so worth it.  I have seen it in a couple of places since albeit slighlty more expensive. Melissa and Doug toys in my experience are really well made and last the test of time.

3 – Furry Friends Watch

Despite the fact that he can’t tell the time he insists on wearing his watch everytime he leaves the house! We were sent these before Christmas and I kept one as a stocking filler which turned out to be a great idea! Big hit here, they are well made and an ideal size for my 4 year old. They come in a range of colours and a reasonable price tag of £12. Available here

So what didn’t  make the 2 month test!

Soggy Doggy

The main item on the Christmas list was the board game Soggy Doggy.  It was played with for approximately 10 mintues and that was it nothing….. it barely made out of the box after that.  There is nothing wrong with the game I think he just expected more from it.  Board games can be a bit hit and miss anyway unfortunately this one was a miss for us.

Fairy Travels

24 hours in Belfast with kids!

We ended up making a flying visit to Belfast last November and while we set off with little expectations of seeing much of this lovely city in 24 hours we ended up thoroughly enjoying our stay. The dada Fairy was on business so we were tagging along to keep him company.

Way back before kids I worked in Belfast for a time so know the city pretty well, always enjoy my visits there, this one being the first with kids in tow!

Where we stayed

We booked last minute on booking.com.  There was very little choice so last minute so we took the only suitable place we could find! The Clayton Hotel it was.

Pros:

  • Location was central
  • Child friendly
  • Good breakfast included in rate

Cons

  • Could have been how late in the day we booked but the room was tiny for the 4 of us.
  • The parking situation – appreciate you are in a city but the parking is a huge public multi story behind the hotel which I wouldn’t fancy having to go back to my car in the dark to get something its quite eerie!

Overall, stay was fine, would stay there again, kids also enjoyed and location as very convenient for us.

Where we ate

This was absolute highlight of the trip! We ate at a restaurant called Fratellis across from the Europa hotel.  The kids are still talking about this place.  Its is quite possibly the most kid friendly place we have ever eaten.  The kids menu was set price Stg£7.99 and included a starter – Garlic bread or dough balls and mains was either pasta or make your own pizza. There was no contest! It was make your own pizza.  The little men were given aprons and chefs hat and their selection of topping to make their own pizza at the table.  Following this they were served ice cream and a babycinno! The adults had an equally enjoyable dinner, with the kids so excited and preoccupied, there might have been wine and cocktails and 3 courses for us too. No mean feat with 2 busy kids in tow! If you are ever in Belfast with the kids a visit is a must, do bear in mind it does get very very busy.  We were there on a Saturday and had a bit of a wait for a dinner not a issue for us as it gave us time to sample some of the delicious cocktails on offer!

What we did

No trip to Belfast is complete with a trip to the Titanic museum.  The boys are probably a little young to fully appreciate this fabulous attraction. The tour itself was an hour long taking you on a journey to follow in the footsteps of those who took the fateful trip.  The experience itself really draws you in from the moment you begin.

It is really interactive and engaging. You do it as your own pace which is ideal with kids, its also very buggy friendly. Price wise its pricey enough for adults at Stg£17.50 however kids under 5 are free.  They have lots of different events on like afternoon tea for Mothers Day or Valentines which I can imagine would be very enjoyable in this setting.  We didn’t get to sample the on site eateries this time, maybe next time!

 

 

 

Mamma Musings

Its what I wish for…..

This post was prompted by a discussion on a parenting discussion board, when somebody asked what is that we want for our kids.  For me the answer was easy the doing not so much.

Just over a year ago our family lost an incredible person – Granda by name but so much more in reality. I’m the oldest grandchild – he was my best friend, my confidant, the person I asked for advice, the person I trusted unquestionably, the person I loved more than I express in words.  In some ways I was incredibly lucky to have had him for 34 years, but on the flip side having had him so long meant the good bye was incredibly painful and a pain this still strikes me out of the blue on the bus to work, doing the shopping often when I least expect it.  We had an unbreakable bond.

At 88 healthy years old, he knew his time was up and in his own words he was ready to go. He told me not to be sad that he was ready to go because he lived his life, he saw the world, he had a family who loved him, he was happy.

He used to brag about seeing every country in the world during his navy days, something many of us can only aspire to have done. He had many different jobs, he loved his family and everybody who knew him knew just how much. He loved life, he really did. I was sent a poem the evening he passed away entitled “Miss me but let me go”, the words were exactly what he would have said to me.  I have a chain engraved with these words and his initials, it means the world to me.

From that day I have vowed for mine and my boys sake to live our lives.   Sometimes that means just ignoring the pile of washing on the floor while I play with the boys, saying no to that work event, giving the kids the requested fish fingers and waffles rather than stressing about their greens. It means being present, ignoring my phone, the work emails, the calls when its our time in the evening after work.  Its easy to get caught up in the cycle of work and bills etc.  That’s always going to be there but its how I deal with it thats changed.

Its all about perspective and I can honestly say I have a lot more of that now.  So in honour of a great man, what I really wish for  my kids is that they too can say they lived their lives. Life is after all for living.