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Mamma Fairy

Features

The Advantages of Getting Your Kids Playing Sport Early

girl playing football

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Young children are very impressionable and curious, making them more willing to try new things. This impressionable stage is where lots of children develop their passions, their hobbies and their interests which have a huge impact later in life.

At a young age, parents have a certain level of influence over their child, what they do and when they do it. Today we’re going to look at how you can encourage a sporting hobby for your child and why you should keep it in mind for the future.

Physical Skills

Between the ages of one and five, children undergo drastic physical changes whilst they explore and learn more about the world. As a parent, it’s our job to serve as a safe base for this exploration. We are the omnipresent support that our children use when they’re tired of exploring and want to return to familiarity but that doesn’t mean we can’t help our children in other ways.

Sport is obviously quite physically intensive and through developing a hobby for your child, it’s easy for a parent to help their child gain better strength, balance and agility that can be transferred to everyday life. This is especially true for slightly more clumsy children where a safe and constructive environment is essential for them to practice balance and awareness,

Social Skills

Whilst sport for kids is great at developing physical abilities and strength, many people underestimate its power to grow social skills too. Most sporting events for children are held in groups, whether they be training sessions, introductory classes or other activities. This means that your child will likely be part of a team or at least surrounded by other children, forcing them to practice empathy, understanding and team play.

Even though a sports setting is competitive and objective focused, the act of speaking and engaging with other children (and other adults) is hugely beneficial for a young child. In fact, for particularly young children, some parent-child sports sessions can also help with learning speech. There are quite a lot of communication-based advantages to encouraging sports for your child.

Self-Confidence, Ambition and Self-Development

boy playing football

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Sports encourages a desire to improve oneself and to perform better. This ambition for self-development and growth is absolutely invaluable both in education and throughout life. Similarly, if your child is performing well on the sports field, they will receive positive reinforcement from their coach and from you, their parents. This is great for improving self-confidence, further assisting the social skills that we mentioned before.

Good Habits

Being active and staying fit is a big part of any healthy, balanced lifestyle and sport is an easy way of instilling this in your child. If your little one is playing sports throughout their school career, it shows

that they can maintain their passions and talents despite being busy for most of the day, increasing their likelihood to continue playing in their adult life.

As a minimum, being physically fit and athletic breeds a desire to stay in good shape. Therefore, even if your child drops their sport later in life, they’re likely to go to the gym or take up some other physical activity that keeps them healthy. For a more scientific look at habits and how to change them, you can click here.

So How Do We Get Started?

Whilst this whole post has been about the advantages of sport for kids, it hasn’t detailed how to get them started.

For an easy entry point, consider a sports party (click here for more information on these). They’re simple, they’re easy and they will give your child a taste of many different sports, allowing them to pick out a favourite.

For a more structured approach, research at community centres and local clubs, then see which sport fits into your schedule. Most clubs host free taster sessions for young applicants, so bring your child along once and see if they take to it.

That’s all there is to it! Hopefully this will help you locate and encourage your child to get involved in sports young, just be sure not to pressure them into doing something they don’t enjoy.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Reviews for Mama & Babas

Halloween fun with Fiesty Pets

The day has finally arrived. In our house anyway the only bigger celebration is Christmas. My kids love Halloween so they were mega excited when the day arrived. Costumes more or less agreed on, goodies purchased for the trick or treats and most likely a night of little sleep when the inevitable sugar rush kicks in!!!

Just before Halloween a new super cutie arrived in our door….Sir Growls a Lot! Great name, I may keep it in reserve 🙂

I hadn’t heard of Fiesty Pets but my pair knew instantly what was about to happen. Do not be fooled.

These cuties are not what they seem, squeeze them at the head and the super cutie turns super cross!

Just look at Sir Growls a Lot – I actually thought the 3 year old might be frightened! Not a bit, he loves them too.

The six year old has been having bad dreams of late and he thought of the idea of keeping Sir Growls a Lot beside his bad to keep the bad dreams away. I love that idea and I love how much the teddy now means to him. It was never the intended purpose of it but it works and im leaving well enough alone.

I think these guys would be a great gift for the upcoming season.  They come in a range of different animals and priced around €18. They don’t require batteries always a mega plus!

Along with Sir Growls a Lot arrived with some very cool Snazaroo face paints. I have said I before many time and ill say it again. I am not creative. Not even the smallest bit so I delegated to the kids.

Request one- “Can you paint me like Sir Growls a Lot

Drum roll please…….be warned the likeness is uncanny………maybe just maybe my kids have inherited my (lack of) creativity.

 

Note: We were sent the Fiesty Pets and Snazaroo Face paints however all views and opinions are mine or the kids where appropriate.
Mamma Musings

What a week in The Mamma Fairy house

What a week……

Well drum roll please, my little blog, my one person operation, my crazy random rambling has only gone and won Bronze at the Irish Blog Awards. I actually cannot believe it.  I was a finalist the last two years but this year I was up there with the top 3, the best in the business.  Indulge me!! I’m absolutely over the moon.

I’ve always said its not about winning and it really isn’t but there is a small part of me that is just so excited that somebody somewhere thinks what I do is good. There is no fancy marketing, no staff and to be honest im quite bad at social media. Its about the writing, its my creative outlet so to be recognised is so exciting.

Happy, so so happy.

 

Other news

In other news….second drum roll!! I need a caveat at the start of this one. ***If you know my kids please don’t say anything to them about what im about to say next.***

In three weeks time we are off to Lapland. No matter how excited the kids are, they will never be as excited as me!! I know they are going to go wild when they hear it. I wont be telling them until a day or two before hand for my own sanity.

pom pom socks

Pom Pom Socks: Credit: https://www.condorbarcelona.uk/en/with-pompoms-warm

The last few days have been spent pouring over Facebook Groups and discussion boards to digest all of the information about dressing for the cold weather for us and the kids.  Don’t laugh but one of the items that is discussed at length re Lapland is having good socks.  So if you looked at my search history all you will see is searches for different types of socks! While searching I stumbled across the fabulous  Condor UK online shop.

 

If their  knee socks were good enough for Prince George, the are good enough for my crazy pair.  I could spend hours browsing, there is so much choice.  I don’t have girls myself but my little nieces will be getting a pair of the pom pom sock as part of their Christmas present. So so cute.

Another must have item over the base layers are fleeces or cardigan. Just look at the toddler boys cardigans online here. I want them all! There is something so adorable about cardigans on toddlers. My own mother always said that to me about them for my own boys and I really do agree with her.

You will see lots of posts over the next while on our trip and the preparations. For us it really is the trip of a lifetime.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.

 

Features

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is an exciting time of year. To help ensure you and your children can enjoy it safely, FBD Insurance has prepared some handy tips for you.

Keep “trick-or-treaters” safe

  • If you let your older children go alone, make sure they stay in groups.
  • Plan your trick-or-treating route before you leave and make sure the kids coming with you know where they’re going.
  • Only visit places in familiar neighbourhoods.
  • Avoid shortcuts and stay in well-lit areas.
  • Only visits houses with lights on and avoid isolated or dark houses.
  • Walk on paths and always follow the safe cross code.
  • Make sure your kids know not to enter a stranger’s home under any circumstances
  • Carry torches or glow sticks.
  • Check all sweets and treats before eating and remember to take home some healthy options like apples and nuts as well.
  • Be fire safe. Avoid bonfires and keep children away from candles, bangers, fireworks, sparklers etc. Call 112 or 999 in an emergency

Get your home trick-or-treater ready

  • Remove items such as toys, bikes, garden hoses and decorations, etc. that could cause trick-or-treaters to slip or trip.
  • Turn on outdoor lights and replace burnt-out bulbs.
  • Sweep wet leaves from your steps, pavements and driveway.
  • Restrain pets so they don’t scare or harm trick-or-treaters.
  • Give trick-or-treaters treats and snacks or they’ll play a trick on you.

 Costume Safety

  • Test your costumes before trick-or-treating. Ensure there’s no risk of tripping in your outfits or having allergic reactions to make-up and fabrics. Check that your child’s costume meets fire safety standards.
  • Add reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Avoid masks or accessories that can obstruct your kid’s vision.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and stay warm.

 Tips for motorists

  • Drive slowly, especially in residential areas that may have trick-or-treaters.
  • Don’t overtake stopped cars that might be dropping off children.
  • Make your vehicle more visible by turning on your lights, even during daylight.
  • Stay alert and don’t get distracted. Keep your eyes and mind on the road.
  • Pay extra attention at junctions, corners and intersections. Children might cross from anywhere and may have costumes making them less visible or obscuring their vision!
  • Be very careful when starting the car, parking, or backing up – make sure there are no children behind or around your car.

 

Have fun and keep safe this Halloween with these tips from FBD Insurance! If your car breaks down, FBD Insurance offers 24-hour roadside and doorstep breakdown assistance coverage. Additionally, if you need help with covering your home, take a look at their home insurance options.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Where to Invest in Your Home This Winter

energy efficient

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The nights are drawing in, and winter is just around the corner. With it comes many pleasures, such as snuggling up by the fire to watch a film with your loved ones, taking brisk winter walks and calling in to the pub for some hot food afterwards, and the joys of the festive season. We’re used to inclement weather in the UK, and for the most part, it doesn’t bother us, we just get on with things as normal. However, if your house is letting in draughts and you can see your breath when you wake in the morning, your home isn’t going to be the cosy haven it needs to be to sustain you through the winter. Now is the time to act and make sure you don’t suffer from a cold home before the worst of the winter weather strikes.

Insulation and drafts

One of the most important aspects of keeping your home warm is making sure it’s well insulated. You could be pumping heat into your rooms all day, but if it’s escaping through your old windows and through cracks in the doors, you’ll still struggle to keep warm. If you don’t already have loft insulation, or what you have is getting on a bit, you should arrange for new insulation to be installed to stop warm air escaping through the roof. Windows and doors are the next most likely culprits when it comes to poor insulation. If your home has old windows or doors that don’t fit properly, and you haven’t got double glazed units, it’s worth looking at getting them replaced. If you have an older home, you needn’t worry about having to put UPVC frames in, because companies like Timber Windows Direct can make bespoke double-glazed wooden windows to fit any age or period home.

Heating and hot water

If you’re using gas or oil, how old is your boiler? Do you have it serviced regularly and have you taken out an insurance policy to cover you for emergency repairs if it goes wrong? Boilers are one of those things that tend to get ignored when they’re working but can cause havoc if they break down. If you don’t have a modern condensing boiler, chances are you’re spending more than you need to on oil or gas, as older boilers aren’t as energy efficient as newer models. Installing a new boiler isn’t cheap, but if you consider the cost savings you’re likely to make, plus the reassurance that you’re less likely to have problems with a new boiler, then installing a new one could be a wise move. Having a service schedule in place will ensure your boiler is professionally maintained, and your engineer will be able to advise you when you should consider replacing it. Insurance against breakdown will give you further peace of mind, and help avoid expensive repair bills.

It’s always worth checking whether you could get a grant or contribution towards your home improvements because there are still incentives in place for some types of work. Most importantly, spending a cold, miserable winter won’t be good for you, your family, or your wallet, so invest in your home and keep yourself warm this winter.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

My journey to a new smile

There are loads of phrases we see and hear when it comes to our smiles….”our smiles are the windows to our soul” or “smile and the world smiles with you” or my personal favourite “smile..its the prettiest thing you can wear“.

But you see for me for many and I mean many years I thought that this wasn’t the  case. I never smiled in photos, actually I deliberately avoided photos on nights out at events etc. On the rare occasion I did end up in a photo, I preferred to hide in the back and certainly never smiled showing my teeth. I always promised myself I would do something about it. They weren’t terrible. I just wasn’t happy with them and it didn’t matter what my friends and family said that was my opinion and that was that.

Last year I hit 35, a bit of a milestone in my own head and thought you know what.. im going to do this. So I began a treatment programme which used clear aligners. 

Thus beginning a journey I wanted to take for some time.  This is all done online, you take impressions of your teeth and they get sent off and a couple of weeks later your clear braces land in the door.  So so simple and efficient. However in advance its important to have consultation with a dentist, do shop around as you may even be able to obtain a free dental consultation. 

Following completion of the programme which took all in all about 8 months, I could not believe the different, each aligner change brought subtle but noticeable changes but it was only at the end when I saw the before and after pictures I realised just how far my teeth had come. But it wasn’t just my teeth. I lecture and I found my thoughts on my teeth really impacted on my confidence. I hid behind the podium, behind my hands or pages. Always aware and to be honest probably overly consumed by it. Now, its an entirely different story, I don’t mind getting into photos. I smile!! I actually truly smile.

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Home & Interiors

Using radiators as a feature…latest trend

A couple of years back if you said to somebody you were using the radiators as not only a incredibly useful piece of equipment but also a feature in your house, people would think you are crazy.  For a few years there was the trend of radiator covers which if im honest I never really got fully on board with.  However having all but completed our own renovation works which necessitated a complete overhaul of the plumbing system we decided to replace all the 1970s bulky rads.

After much deliberation and a little gentle persuasion from the Dada Fairy we went with black vertical radiators in the vertical “Nevo” design.  

vertical raditator

Pic Credit: https://www.traderadiators.com

Choosing vertical radiators

Who knew there was so much to consider when purchasing radiators from lots of different sizes, to BTU’s, to single or double panel not to mention the valves etc.  I learned so much when choosing ours, I think even the Dada Fairy was impressed.  We consulted in depth with our plumber to ensure we got the most for our budget in terms of heat output.  When they started to arrived to the house, ill admit I panicked a little…they were big and very dark. I suppose sub consciously we were used to the white horizontal radiators. I remember my mothers face when she saw them,no words necessary!!!

Once the walls were painted and the rooms completed the radiators got fitted and wow. The difference they make to the room is insane. They are quite literally the talking point for most people who visit.  The best advice I can give is to shop around, if like us you might be  lucky and find a great deal on vertical radiators. 

Do also consult your plumber and relevant tradesman as foolishly I was only concerned with the aesthetics of them. There is naturally so much more to consider.  Almost 2 years on do I still love them?…..absolutely!

I love that they  are such a striking feature, they are ultra modern and blend effortlessly into our new extension.  I  also love how efficient there are in terms of heat output and most of all I loved how budget friendly they were.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control

 

Features

Tips to Prepare Your Kids for the Move

Moving can be one of the most stressful processes in any person’s life, even if it is being done for a positive reason. It can be hard enough for adults who truly understand the ramifications on the move, but it is generally even harder for children. For children, moving away from the familiar surroundings of a tradition home against their will can make them feel powerless and incredibly upset. It is immensely important that the children’s feelings be considered and handled properly so as to avoid any type of lingering feelings of anger and resentment. Here are some tips to make their ransition as easy as possible:

Let them know the move is coming ASAP

While you may need to shield your child from some of the details for a variety of reasons, it is best to be as honest about the process as much as possible when moving to a new home. Sharing the fact that the move is coming with the child may add stress, but it also gives the child the maximum amount of time to come to grips with inevitable. If time allows, you may want to prepare a written timeline for the move and allow the child to make a list of concerns he has so that you can address them and alleviate problems before they arise.

Allow them to be upset  if necessary

The child may go through the usual stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance when he is made aware of the news of the move. If the child has trouble making it to the acceptance stage, there is no shame involved in taking him to a professional who has the tools to properly intervene and help. This could be done before the move to help the child cope ahead of time, after the move if the child has trouble dealing with the situation, or both if necessary. Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is the best one to share light on what can be a difficult situation.

Try to permit them the ability to make choices

The choice to move is never within the child’s control, so giving them the task of making certain choices can help them overcome the emotion of complete powerlessness he may otherwise feel. You can let the child choose things like the color of his new bedroom in your New Tradition Home, the location of certain electronic items, or even let the child pick a nickname for your new abode. If you have the ability to spoil your child here – perhaps by promising a new toy, a television set, a computer  – you can do so if you like. However, if money is an issue, try your best to work within an affordable framework as far as what you are willing to allow the child to choose. You want them to see the move as a positive experience and sometimes a new gift, pending their cooperation and understanding, will enhance the experience further.

Don’t just talk about it; write about it

Some children may need to talk to you or – in more extreme cases – speak with a counselor when he finds out a move is coming. However, it may also be beneficial to encourage the child to write his feelings out in a diary or draw a picture if the child is young. Make sure the child knows the diary is completely private and that his thoughts will only be shared with others if he decides he wants that. Being able to freely express himself in long written passages can often make the child feel better about the move and help him deal with any stress he is experiencing.

Assure them the friends they are moving away from will not disappear

If you aren’t moving that far away, this is an easy fix as you will be able to easily assure the child that you will still be able to take him to visit his current friends. If you are moving far away, this may be a little bit more difficult, but with today’s technology, it is easier than ever to stay connected from long distances.

Whereas in the past long distance phone calls were incredibly expensive, today you can talk to anybody anywhere in the country via cellphone and do it at an affordable rate. There is also texting and all kinds of social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat which can keep kids who move stay connected to their old friends.

Even better, with the advent of video chatting, services like Skype and Tango allow you to see the face of the person you are chatting with during the conversation, making it feel as if that person is in the room with you. That kind of video technology can be especially helpful in keeping your child connected to his existing friends and allowing him to feel like his entire life is not being thrown into a frenzy.

Make them a part of the moving process

There are few things a child likes more than getting to feel like he is an adult doing grownup things, so do your best to include him or her in many of the projects related to the move. Have the child label and help pack boxes, assist with cleanup and organisation in the house, and if old enough, you can even let him help you decide on which moving company you are going to use to carry out the move.  Once you get to the new house, you can have them help you there as well. Allow the child to help you unpack boxes and organise at the new house as though it is a family adventure that you can do together as a bonding exercise. What should be in each room? What colour should the walls and floors be? Should the house have carpeting and wallpaper or would it look better with bare floors and walls?

Obviously, depending on how old the child is, you will not want to leave all of the important decorating and style decisions to his/her judgement, but there is nothing wrong with using her as a sounding board for ideas. By doing that, you will make your child feel included in the moving-in process while allowing a sense of ownership as well.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

How to Plan an Unforgettable Family Road Trip

phone used as sat nav

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Road trips are romantic, fun-filled and exciting ways to travel and expose your children to new and interesting parts of the world – whether you stay in your country or you choose to cross some borders. They also require a certain level of planning in order to go off without a hitch, and its the purpose of this article to help you extract the best experience from your family road trip. From the vehicle itself to what you should pack and where you should go, weve got you covered when it comes to road trip planning.

The Car

The most essential component of your road trip is, of course, the car you choose to drive in. Some families already have the perfect vehicle at their disposal, while others prefer their traditional family car to stay home. If youre in the latter camp, youll be able to search for used cars to buy on finance online, securing yourself a great deal on the deal family wagon to take to the roads. Before you set off, do a comprehensive check of your vehicle, and make sure the oil and water is filled up for the kilometers youll soon be eating up.

Documents and Policies

Depending on the level of ambition your road trip has assumed, youll need to secure a number of policies and documents before you set off. Youll, of course, want insurance that covers your trip, and the breakdown cover thatll provide peace-of-mind should the unthinkable happen. If youre crossing borders, youll almost certainly need some paperwork in order to do so; search online for what you’ll need to avoid any last-minute frantic searches or any long waits at border crossings. Travel insurance is also recommended if you are going further afield on your road trip.

Itinerary

camera

Pic Credit: Pixabay

If youre road tripping with your family, youll know that you shouldnt attempt any monster 10-hour drives for risk of causing bedlam in the back seats. Instead, take it slow and schedule regular stops in order for you all to stretch your legs, have some food and drink, and see the places that youre driving through. Make sure that youve booked ahead the hotels youre planning on staying in, and dont overstretch yourselves – road trips shouldnt be stressful, they should be liberating. Your children will quickly rebel if they feel the trip is no fun.

What to Pack

Aside from the essentials, your packing should largely take into account what youll be able to bring to entertain your kids. You might choose to download films onto an iPad, or to buy some CDs or audiobooks thatll be entertaining for all the family. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks so that the family is refreshed and well-fed throughout, and bring all the equipment you expect you might need for the places your visiting – be that beach stuff, warm winter clothing, or even a tent and stove for families who love to adventure in the great outdoors.

 

Family road trips are some of the most memorable holiday options available; make yours a success by fully considering the tips above.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Hall, stairs and landing – renovation tips

We are so close to completion, I can almost feel. The very last piece of what has been a very large and complicated jigsaw puzzle will hopefully fit into place very soon. The last room we have to tackle is not so much a room but one of the key elements of the home. Its the first point of entry, it the thoroughfare to all other rooms. Naturally it gets a huge amount of traffic and with a house of men, it can at times be filled with sports gear, work boots and the school bags.

hall and stairs

Pic Credit: Pixabay

One tip I have learned throughout this mammoth renovation was to leave this room until the very end, for the very reason I set out above and below. As the renovations progressed on the other rooms, the hall had tonnes of traffic from the various different trades lugging tools, wood and other materials up and down the stairs.  Inevitably walls got scuffed, skirting damaged and door architrave strained.  I am very glad I listened to the Dada Fairy!  Before we commenced the major renovation works he insisted we leave this space until all else is done.  Admittedly I reluctantly agreed.   I suppose I really didn’t appreciate the traffic this area would get and the rough and tumble that would come with the movement of so many bodies and materials around it.  But I am very glad I did listen!!

Top Tips

So with the above finally drawing to a conclusion. Its time for the hall and landing to get its makeover.  Aside from the above of leaving it to the very end, some other useful tips I have picked up along the way include:

  • Washable paint – you will thank me later. Honestly well worth the extra spend especially if like me you have little hands who prefer to use walls than the bannister
  • Give time and consideration to the type of skirting and architrave you want.  Just to show how clueless I am about this I thought there was only one standard type! However there are lots of different options, including different materials and sizes. You can even get custom built and designed skirting!
  • Take samples home, I cant stress the importance of this enough. Something can look brilliant in the large, bright and airy showroom but take it home and it can swamp a space.
  • While there are lots of “how to” you tube tutorial available. If you aren’t DIY minded consult an expert. Its isn’t the easiest of task when you factor in the stairs, corners etc.
  • Take your time… its the first point of entry for guests to you house so make this space count!!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control