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Fathers Day ideas – Gift Guide

Fathers Day tends to get a lot more air time in our house than Mothers Day for some reason! The boys love to treat the hard working Dada Fairy for Fathers Day so we decided to pick out some of our favourites below.  I am very much in favour of pracitcal gifts or gifts that mean something. I loathe spending unnecceasarily, so with that in mind the Mamma Fairy house has picked a couple bits that are well worth checking out and wont break the bank either:

Handy cheap and cheerful gifts

While not the cheapest in the gift guide I think this from Lidl is well worth checking out. With the advent of contactless payments the security of cards has certainly become an issue.  It is so easy now to pay or perhaps even accidently pay with your card therefore a wallet like this from Lidl would be well worth considering. Its aluminum which protects the card itself and has in built technology which blocks the abiltiy to be able to use the contactless function in your pocket etc.  (pic credit: Lidl) At €24.99 is at a good price point too. Availble in Lidl at the moment.

Lidl also have a huge range of cheap gifts from aftershaves to novely golf balls, to mugs to insulated cups to superhero tshirts.  Safe to say most budgets are covered here with prices starting at €2.99. The kids wanted to buy the Dada Fairy the golf balls pitcured opposite! They thought they were hilarious! However the Dada Fairy doesnt even play golf!! (Pic credit: lidl).

I was in my local lidl today and picked up some great beer glasses, they had loads of types like the tulip style ones or the 300ml sampler type ones. Another good option for Fathers Day and at €4.99 per set great value and practical too!

Sentimental Gift

The Dada Fairy lives for his boys and he loves nothing more than filling the house with pictures of the boys or mementos to mark occassions. I totally fell in love with these personalised gifts from Makeitwithwords.com.  The pencil style portraits are amazing and can be personlised with any text and framed. Love love love them.

For any musical dads I love the mix tape picture where you can add the name of songs or bands that mean something.  You can also add personalised text to it too.  There is something about a personalised  gift.  Make it Words are a family business and my love of supporting local and small business is well known. They make a whole range of amazing personalised gifts from all occasions not just Fathers Day.

Grooming!!

I was having a nosey in Dealz last week and and I saw a card suitable for the Dada Fairy – “Bearded Dads make the best dads”.  I know its totally tounge in cheek and yes I did buy it as the beard is a long running joke in our house.  This lead me to our next option! See here from Top Men Shavers   which has some great articles on types of razors ( I havent a clue about anything like that) and some gift ideas for the bearded men in our lives!

I love this old school shaving kit pictured opposite. (Pic Credit: Top Men Shavers)

Lild and Dealz have some great very reasonably priced cards too.

 

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.
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

 

 

 

Features

Winter Safety on Two Wheels

With the very quick onset of the bitter cold weather, never a better time to highlight the importance of being aware of the changing road conditions in the winter weather. As a family we love getting out and about.  The Dada Fairy and the oldest man love their Saturday morning cycle.  Great way for the pair of them to spend time together as well as getting out

Jefferies Solicitors have produced a really useful infographic to coincide with road safety week which starts 21 November. See below for some of the key messages, so important to be seen, be visible and ensure your vehicle is road worthy. Sounds like a given but you can never be too careful on the roads.

graphic1                                graphic2

 

In addition to the above, also very important to be aware when out and about walking with kids to use reflective clothing in the evening times, with it being dark so early now, its never been more important to highlight the importance of being seen.

Our local DIY shops sells reflective tape which I use on the buggy also. Its something I highlight to the kids in the hope that I instil its importance creating life long good habits.

Hope this post helps reinforce the importance of road safety particularly for the most vulnerable road users this Winter.

Take care when out and about this Winter – be safe, be seen and lets help save lives.

 

Features

3 ways I know im married to a builder

I am married to a builder……….

My husband is honestly one of the hardest working men I know between his work as a stonemason, his farming and being a brilliant dad to the two wee men however……this leads me to a conversation myself and my colleague had recently.  Three reasons you would know im married to a builder…….she concurs by the way!

1 – Tools, tools tools…..

ehardware2They are everywhere and I mean everywhere. From big to small to everything in between. No space is free when he is finished his days work!

 

 

2 – Work wear

At this stage I could sell Hi-viz vests, the kids love trying them on (!!). He owns more wear wear than casual clothes….think this page  from Engelbert Strauss his brand of choice, they are everywhere.  engelTo be fair it makes the present buying easy, the washing not so much! For any other farming mamas out there, they do a great range of kids protective clothes. Something which I am very strict on when they are out on the farm.

3- Our house is never finished

I’m not complaining…. but our house is never finished. We  undertook a mammoth renovation project when we bought our new house 2 years ago and its still on going, extending up and out and all the rest.  He loves to keep working on the house basically because he can. I love his vision and his resolve to give me the house of my dreams. Im currently waiting on a beautiful kitchen from Cherrymore to arrive. Hopefully by Christmas we will be done!

Features

#officeyoga – excercising at your desk!

As many of you already know,  I work full time as an accountant which involves 40 plus hours a week at my desk. I read the findings of Lead scientist Professor Ulf Ekelund, from Cambridge University and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences with interest. His research found that at least  one hour of physical activity per day, for example brisk walking or bike cycling, helps to negate the affects of such a sedantary day.

While preganant with the boys I developed chronic hypertension which went after my first but unfortunately is still lingering a year after my second.  When Furniture @ Work asked me to get involved in a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of movement at work as part of their #officeyoga campaign, I didnt hesitate to get involved. It is something I make a huge effort to do myself. They have produced a range of handy infographics which I have reproduced with permisson below.

Chair Raise Hands    Chair Spinal Twist    Chair Cat Cow Streatch

The above are so simple and easy for us all to try.  Given the amount of time we spend at our desk its important to look after your posture and over the course of the day make an effort to increase the amout of physical activity you do.  Im based on the third floor and  I always take the stairs up and back. Its much easier on the way down than up!

Has anybody any other tips to increase movement at work, do share them, would love to hear.

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features

Marks & Spencer Back to school picks

Its so hard to believe it is nearly time for the kids to go back to school. If any of you are like me and leave everything to the last minute hopefully this post will help you get the last few bits and pieces sorted!

The basics

basicsI really think the key with school uniforms is good quality basics.  When you think about it, these clothes are in almost daily use and will no doubt take plenty of hard wearing. The M&S trousers come with a range of different options including adjustable wait, crease-resistant and with the stormwear technology which helps to repeal the dirt and mud stains as well as keeping dry in the rain.  They come in a range of colours and combinations of the above options.  For example see  here.  Similarly  with the skirts. They also come with the stormwear technology, adjustable waistband and variants of the different types of pleats.  Link here. 

Whether its shirts or polos you are after M&S have a great unisex range in a wide range of sizes – see here for the range of non-iron shirts!! I’m all about non-iron!! Again all the M&S school stock come in a range of colours.

Coats

mscoatsWhile most definitely a basic, this deserves a whole category to itself.  My mother always said, a good coat was crucial and I follow that advice with my own boys.  I have picked out my own favourites below.  Most of the coats come with Stormwear to keep the rain out and to repeal the mud and dirt.  Links for each are underneath. Starting from left to right.

 

  1. Padded Jacket – see here
  2. Pink coat – see here
  3. Black padded coat (comes in other colours) – see here
  4.  Cars print jacket  – see here (this one is currently reduced to €15 for €24, we have this one, its fab, go a size up as its quite small fitting.)

School bags

bagsSee opposite for some of my own picks. I attended the M&S press day back in June and as soon as I saw the Spiderman backpack I knew it would be a big hit in our house. The big man is superhero mad.  There are other avengers ones in the range.  For the whole range see here.  The sale is currently on and some of the Frozen ones are on sale, good value reduced from €19 to €11.

 

Hope this post is of some help for those last minutes bits.

Note: This post in in collaboration with Shopping Links and  M&S. 

 

 

Features, Mamma Reviews

Smoothie loving with the Nutribaby

Since the Nutribaby arrived in the Mamma Fairy house, we have become smoothie addicts! It is such a handy way to get the little people in our house to eat vegetables.  Surprisingly one of the big hits is a beetroot smoothie.

Beetroot-berry-kale-and-banana-smoothieIm not particular about the quanites so roughly to make two childrens portions of the Mamma Fairy beetroot smoothies I use:

  • 2 cooked beets
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • 3 small celery stalk
  • cup of water to give it a lighter consistency
  • some ice

There are so many variants of this smoothie based around beetroots for example substitute the apple and carrot for banana and kale. For us that’s half the fun trying out what works.

The nutribaby itself is a genius multi use product, it has five key functions including warming bottles/food, blending, steaming and sterilising.  nutribabyFor me the large capacity is a big selling point as I like to batch cook for both the boys.

Uniquely there is also an associated app which is full of tonnes of recipes broken down into age ranges. We have also taken some smoothie inspiration from the app and have tried the Melon, banana and melon smoothie – seriously good! ( see here for receipe).

For anybody interested in downloading the app, it can be downloaded from the google play store.

Other smoothie receipes which have got the thumbs up from the little men are:

greensmoothieThe Hulk – the big man named this because of its vivid green colour.  Simply spinach, celery, green apple and cucumber.

The One Mamma Likes – self explanatory! My own personal favourite, carrott, banana, apple, lemon juice and a small bit of ginger.

If anybody has any tasty smoothie suggestions send them our way!

 

 

(pic credit: Pixabay)

Note: I am a blog ambassador for Babymoov and am part of the #stresslessweaning campaign, for which i received some products to try.  All opinions are my own or the boys where appropriate.

 

Features

The Mamma Fairy is 1

Well…. this month marks the 1 year anniversary of The Mamma Fairy Blog. Never in a million years did I think id still be here a year later and enjoying it as much if not more than the first few weeks. This blog started on maternity leave with my second and grew from there.  I never believed anybody would really be interested in my random ramblings……

TBS-Top-Mommy-Blogger-Badge-2016The last few days have been full of great news for The Mamma Fairy Blog.  I’m delighted to share that my little blog has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Mommy Bloggers of 2016 by The Baby Spot Magazine.  This is a huge honour. The Baby Spot is a highly regarded Canadian based worldwide online parenting magazine and to be recognised firstly by such a respected publication and along side some great names is really so overwhelming.

Secondly and hot off the press is the news that The Mamma Fairy blog has been short listed in The Parenting Blog category for the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards.Littlewoods-Blog-Awards-2016-Website-MPU_Shortlist Again to be named alongside blogs that I would have followed and read before my own blogging journey is really exciting.  I never set out to earn accolades as a blogger however to be recognised is so flattering.  Thanks to everybody who reads and follows the blog, it is very much appreciated.

To finish I thought id mention some of my own person highlights over the last year. Without doubt meeting and forming new friendships has been my highlight. I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of events over the last year where I  can honestly say I could not have been made feel more welcome.  One particular event stands out and thats the Netflix London lunch. I had the fear big time heading off to London with two fellow bloggers I had never met.  My fears were totally unfounded – Kellie of My Little Babog and Sinead of Bumbles of Rice were so nice and welcoming and I thoroughly enjoyed my time.

Im going to enjoy a nice cold glass of white wine to celebrate the year the was.  Here’s to another blogging year. Again a huge thanks to everybody who reads the blog and do keep any feedback or suggestions coming.

party

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

 

Features

Brilliant Buys To Keep The Kids Happy This Summer

The summer holidays are heading into the last few weeks and if you’ve managed to keep boredom at bay so far, you deserve a medal! If you’ve heard rumblings or you’re looking for new ideas, here are a few brilliant buys to keep the kids happy for the last few weeks.

Embracing Pokemon Go

pokemon_go_logoIf you’ve got older kids, the likelihood is that they’re tearing around searching for Pokemon. The new version of the retro classic has captivated kids all over the world. The good news is that there’s some great merchandise around. If you’re embracing the trend as a family, search online for Pokemon Go gear. You’ll find everything from caps to backpacks.

(Image source www.pokemongo.com)

Getting out and aboutairfield

It’s been a mixed summer so far in terms of the weather. But we’ve been lucky to enjoy a few days of sunshine and some warm evenings. The summer holidays offer a perfect excuse to get out into the garden and spend time together as a family. The range of outdoor toys is increasing year on year.  Invest in a modular climbing frame, which you can add to in the future. Buy some garden games like cricket, tennis or badminton. Have a look at sandpits and water trays for little ones. Go for aqua slides or water guns for older children, if your kids are like men water play provides hours of entertainment.

Finding Dory

The latest Pixar release has got everybody talking. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably already been pestered to book cinema tickets. If your kids are fans of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, use this to encourage creativity. You can buy all kinds of crafts and art supplies adorned with their favourite characters. Look out for complete sets if you’re in need of an art cupboard clear out.

Paw Patrol

Paw Patrolpawpatrol is one of the most popular children’s TV programmes at the moment. If it’s a big hit in your home, try and channel your kids’ enthusiasm and create role play scenarios. You can buy fire engines, helicopters, and trucks. Encourage your kids to take on the roles of their favourite characters and have fun as a family. There are also lots of associated games you buy.  The big man got a brillant Paw Patrol board game for his 4th birthday.

 

Small world toys

Miniatures are big business in the toy industry this year. This type of toy is all about giving children a chance to act out real life scenarios. Small world toys give kids an appreciation of the world around them and encourage them to be imaginative. Playing together can improve their social and communication skills. Popular buys include Lego and miniature Disney Princesses and their pets. The beauty of ranges like Lego is that you can add to your collection over the course of time. There are also themes, which appeal to kids with a broad range of interests. You can buy everything from princesses in castles to mad scientists and dinosaur hunters.

The summer holidays are long (for parents maybe not so much for kids!), and even the most inventive parents may struggle to keep their brood entertained throughout. If you’re looking for inspiration for new toys, games, or treats, look no further. Hopefully, you’ve got weeks of family fun ahead!