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5 Things you Can Donate for Good Causes

When we give something, it gives us a warm feeling inside knowing that we are doing something good for someone that we will likely never meet. We all wish that we could do more for good causes, however, life often gets in the way and although our good intentions are there we can be guilty of never getting round to it.

With that being said, though, there are many things that we can choose to give that will make a difference for the better. Whether you feel that you have a lot or a little to give, it is important to remember that every act of charity, no matter the size, has the ability to change someone’s life.

box of toys

Pic Credit: Pixabay


Charity shops and gift initiatives are always welcoming of toys that they can use. When children grow older, they move on from the toys that they used to play with, often still in perfect condition. While your child may no longer play with their discarded set of Barbie dolls or action figures, there will be a little boy or girl out there somewhere that would love them.


Just as toys become forgotten about, so too do clothes. In everyone’s wardrobe there are shirts, dresses and other clothing that serve no other purpose than clogging up rail space. Whether it is a case that your old clothes simply do not fit you anymore, you have long since forgotten about them or they were an unwanted gift, they will certainly be wanted elsewhere.

Homeless shelters are always open to receiving clothing to help keep those who live on the streets warm. Children’s charities are also open to accepting the clothing your children have grown out of for young children that are living in poverty. Before throwing away any unwanted materials, consider why you are throwing it away – is it damaged beyond repair, or could it still be worn?


Giving Blood

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There is always a mass calling for blood, with Ireland currently seeing a shortage in blood with demand not decreasing anytime soon. When you agree to give blood, you will find out your blood group if you do not already know it.

If your blood group is O-Negative, you should certainly look to donate as this is known as the universal group as it is compatible with every other blood group. Those with AB-Positive blood can receive blood of any type, although this is the rarest type of the eight variants.


The most common form of donation is, of course, money. Fundraising events are held nearly every day with charities and those that support them looking to spread the word of their cause all while raising money. In many religions and cultures, giving to charity is an obligation – for example, Muslims will make an annual payment known as zakat, which is a percentage of disposable income.


Finally, if you have absolutely nothing else that you can give then you can give the gift of time. Volunteering to help with events, work at a shelter for a few hours or going the extra mile and putting yourself forward to go abroad and get hands on. Any time that you can give for others can make a difference, so even if it is just an hour every other week, do not think that it will not be appreciated.


Note: This is a collaborative post

Alternative Adventure Activities All the Family Can Enjoy This Summer

If you’re seeking some alternative ways to spend time together as a family this summer, why not aim for a little adventure? Adventure-based activities are great for children’s development, they help you to bond as a family and they keep you and the kids active.

So, what type of alternative adventure activities can you take part in? Below, you’ll discover just some activities you’ll want to consider.

Quad skating

 Back before the development of technology, children used to spend hours skating outdoors. While roller blades can be potentially dangerous, quad skates really couldn’t be safer. Why not treat the kids to a new pair of quad skates this summer? You can pick up some pretty cool looking skates these days from stores such as SkateHut.

The great thing about quad skates is that they’re affordable and enjoyable to use. They’re also suitable for most age groups and loved equally by boys and girls. You could even pick up some adult skates and join in. You’ll be surprised how enjoyable skating can be as an adult.

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Birth Story Expeirences

I have two wonderful, happy and healthy little men, however their entry into this world was anything but straightforward. I love to write which is why I started blogging.

However I can’t seem to bring myself to write my own boys birth stories, its still all too fresh in my head.  I often wonder why, envying women who seem to be able to take it all in their stride.  Was it something I did? Is there something wrong with me? Or was in medical negligence? Maybe ill never know.

I decided to speak to some fellow bloggers to share their birth stories.

Each one different yet each one equally magical.  Bringing a new life into the world is an experience ill probably never be able to convey properly into words.

Birth experiences


  • First up is Lisa who shares here own experience on her blog Irish Baby Fairy. Lisa is a mid-wife herself so I was very interested to read her story.  Uniquely she is able to give us perspectives from the both sides in the labor ward. A story well worth a read.
  • Next is Hayley who blogs at I am River. I just love that name, if and thats a big if, I ever have more kids I may need to steal this name.  The positivity in this post really resonates with me.
  • Lyndsay- Rose writes at My Family of Roses and talks about not having a birth plan on her second. Her first was premature but second time round it was a very different experience. Showing us how different birth experiences can be.
  • I just love the pure honesty in Georgina who writes at Gee Garnder post.  After a very difficult pregnancy her beautiful baby was born full term, healthy and happy with no complications.
  • Nicola who blogs at Mummy to Dex shares her own experience of the birth of Dexter.  This post is really detailed and gives a great insight into Dexters birth. Again a very informative post well worth a read.

I really do enjoy reading other peoples birth stories, its gives me hope that maybe just maybe if I rolled the dice one more time I may have a calmer, more straightforward birth. We will see!

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

Top tips for dealing with the warm weather for kids & babies

This week we have been fortuante enough to speak to an expert from LloydsPharmacy who very kindly took the time to share her expert advice and guidance on dealing with these unusually warm tempartures we are having here.  These tip are also excellent to have if you are jetting off this summer too.

1. Sunburn

My pair are blue eyed, blonde and pale so preventing sunburn is very important, Rebecca has set out her top tips to prevent sunburn below:


Pic Credit: Pixabay

We all know that sunburn is a huge risk factor for skin cancer, but did you know that much of the UV damage that leads to skin cancer happens in the early years of life. All children are at risk of UV damage, even those who tan easily.

  • Wear sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher in adults and SPF 30 or higher in kids and reapply every TWO hours.
  • Stick to the shade where you can to limit your exposure to UV rays. Babies under 6 months should be kept in the shade as much as possible. Make sure the shade casts a dark shadow.
  • Cover up as much sun-exposed skin as possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat made of cloth, or other close-woven material to give shade to the face, neck, head and ears.
  • Don’t forget to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, sun exposure over time can lead to cataracts and cancer.
  • These tips apply whether you’re at home or away, UV damage is just as harmful from Irish sun as abroad. We’re getting an unusually hot spell right now but everyone needs to take just as much care on cloudy but bright days – up to 90% of UV rays can pass through cloud.

2.  Dehydration

I am always very aware at getting liquids into the boys during this heat. Some tips from Rebecca include:

  • Water should be given to counteract dehydration in hot or humid weather and should be drunk before you get to the stage of feeling thirsty.
  • Oral rehydration solutions such as Dioralyte replace salts, as well as water, lost through sweating.
  • Kids should be encouraged to drink water or a sports drink before, during and after any exercise in hot weather.
  • Adults should remember that tea, coffee and other caffeine containing drinks are diuretics and can worsen rather than help dehydration. The same goes for another diuretic, alcohol!
  • Children in cars need special attention as temperatures in cars can reach dangerously high levels very quickly. Children should never be left in a parked car.
  • If a child suddenly becomes dizzy, nauseated or weak in hot weather, bring them inside or at least in the shade. Give them lots of water or a sports drink and cool them down with a tepid shower or a sponge bath and fan air over their moist skin. Seek medical attention if their symptoms get worse or last for more than an hour.
  • Also avoid sun in the middle of the day, ideally between 11 and 4pm as sunburn stops your body from cooling itself down properly. Wear loose, light clothing that will allow the sweat to evaporate by allowing air to flow around the skin. Avoid dark clothing as this absorbs more heat than light colours.

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Your Guide to an Eco Friendly Period

This  month we have something a little different and hopefully very useful – .We are delighted to have Jackie Bolen a self confessed tree-hugging friend of the Earth guest posting this month. When not working on Reusable Menstrual Cups (, she can often be found paddling the rivers, on top of a mountain, or drinking coffee around Vancouver, Canada. Her hope is that one day, a menstrual cup or cloth pad will be found in the hands of every single menstruating person in the world.


I have few regrets in life, but this is one of them…

I didn’t realize that there were eco friendly period options until I was in my early 30’s. I honestly thought that my two choices were disposable pads or tampons.   I’m not sure why I didn’t know this—maybe I was hanging around the wrong people, or maybe these products just weren’t as popular as they are now. Whatever the case, I’m happy that I made the switch, although I do regret all those wasted years (and money!).   I’ll talk about what’s wrong with traditional feminine hygiene products and then offer a couple of eco-friendly alternatives for you to consider.


What’s Wrong with Disposable Pads and Tampons?

Pads and tampons are expensive. According to the Huffington Post, people spend an average of 13 Pounds on pads or tampons each month. This can add up to thousands over a lifetime. According to that same article, only 6% of people in the UK are using a menstrual cup. This means that 94% of people are using disposables.   Estimates vary, but it’s thought that the average person produces 100-150 kg of waste during a lifetime from feminine hygiene products. These products, by their nature aren’t recyclable. 90% of disposable pads are non-biodegradable plastic, which will still be hanging around thousands of years from now.    This isn’t a huge amount of waste when compared to other things, but it’s not ideal especially when considering that there are far less wasteful options.

The final reason why disposables aren’t great is because they sometimes contain trace amounts of pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Although not found in huge quantities, repeated exposure to these things is thought to potentially have some serious side effects. There aren’t a lot of studies related to this, nor is there much information from the manufacturing companies about what exactly is in their products.

Overall, disposable pads and tampons are expensive, and also not great for the environment or our health. Thankfully, there are some cheaper, healthier, eco-friendly period options.

Reusable Option #1: Menstrual Cups

moon cup

Pic Credit: Pixabay

As only 6% of menstruating people in the UK use menstrual cup, you may not know what they are.   They are bell-shaped cylinders, usually made from medical grade silicone, and are designed to replace tampons. The best thing about them is that they’re reusable, and with proper care and cleaning, can last for 5-10 years.   A menstrual cup is obviously much better for the environment than thousands of pads or tampons, particularly if you have a heavy and/or long flow. There’s more good news—menstrual cups can often be recycled, depending on where you live.  Period cups cost around 20 pounds, which makes them slightly more expensive than disposable products in the short term. But when compared to the 13 pounds a month on disposables, you’ll be saving money in only a couple of months.

The final reason to consider making the switch to a menstrual cup is because they don’t contain chemicals and pesticides in them. Just be sure to get a top-quality menstrual cup that won’t degrade quickly and avoid the cheap ones from China.   To date, there has only been one reported case of toxic shock syndrome related to menstrual cup usage, unlike with tampons where there are thousands of cases.

If you live in the UK, an excellent option is the Brighton based MoonCup. It’s one of the oldest, most established menstrual cup companies in the world. Shipping is free and you can order directly from their website here. You’ll be well on your way to an eco-friendly period!

Or, consider the Lena Cup. Although it’s relatively new, it’s quickly become one of the most popular menstrual cups. It has some of the best user reviews on Amazon, and it’s often a little bit cheaper than something like the MoonCup.

Reusable Option #2: Cloth Menstrual Pads

The next eco-friendly period option is cloth menstrual pads. They are similar to disposable pads, except that they’re reusable. You just have to wash them with your regular laundry. The best ones are stain resistant, or are made from dark fabric.    Cloth pads cost around 5 pounds each, or you can make your own for cheaper. Like menstrual cups, they can last for 5-10 years and most people find that a set of 6 is enough to get through their period. Again, you’d be saving money by using reusable pads in only a couple of months when compared to disposables.   Cloth menstrual pads can go a long way towards reducing waste going to the landfill, particularly of the plastic variety. They are made from natural materials like charcoal, bamboo and cotton so once thrown away, they’ll biodegrade. I’ve even heard of people burying cloth pads in their garden once they’re done with them!    Finally, cloth pads don’t contain all the toxic chemicals and pesticides that the disposable ones do. Just be sure to wash them before use.

The best place to buy cloth pads is on Amazon. They have the full range of colours, styles and absorbency levels.

Ready to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Period Products?

Are you ready for some eco-friendly period awesome in your life? Congratulations! You’ll be joining an enlightened group of people who are excited that there is a better way to do periods. You’ll save thousands of dollars, produce a lot less plastic waste, and reduce your chemical load.

Small changes really do make a difference. Be part of the change.



Christmas Craft Ideas

Christmas Crafts

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Christmas is the ideal time to get creative, and crafting can be used to make presents for loved ones, and decorations for your own home. Check out these wonderful Christmas crafting ideas, and delight your friends and family with your creations.

Edible Christmas trees

Who wouldn’t love a decoration you can eat? Make your very own edible Christmas tree using gingerbread stars, icing and sprinkles. Bake your gingerbread from scratch and cut into cute star shapes. Stack the stars to resemble a tree and glue them together using icing. Decorate your tree with icing and sprinkles, or edible beads. Edible Christmas trees can take different guises, with pizzas, cupcakes, and fruit all suitable for the Christmas tree makeover.

Melted candy ornaments

Staying with the edible theme, get the kids involved in making these tasty melted candy ornaments. For this recipe you will need metal cookie cutters, peppermint candies, parchment paper, cookie trays, and ribbon. has an excellent how-to guide for these ornaments and even tells you what not to do when creating them, saving you time and money. Head on over via the link to discover how you can make melted candy ornaments.

Resplendent wrapping

Do away with boring gift wrap and create your own. Buy large pieces of paper and use crayons, felts, and paints to design original pieces of wrapping paper. When your creations are dry, and you have wrapped the presents, finish each gift by wrapping with a ribbon, or raffia, and tying baubles in assorted sizes to the middle of the cross section of ribbon.

Paper snowflakes

These are sure to bring back childhood memories of sitting and cutting out snowflakes with which to decorate your home in the holidays. This used to be a common activity, but now with so many children preferring to play technology-based games, making paper snowflakes is becoming a dying art. Introduce your kids to the pleasures of learning How to Make Paper Snowflakes by following the tutorials on This may not be how you used to make snowflakes, but once you learn how, it will be the way you make them from now on!

Mason jar snow globes

So simple to make, these pretty snow globes offer a modern take on a traditional ornament. To make one of these you will need fake snow, pink and white spray paint, a mason jar and lid, a small bottle brush tree, a hot glue gun, and pink ribbon. Start by spray painting the bottle burhs tree pink and leaving it to dry. Once dry, glue the tree to the centre of the bottom of the mason jar lid. Next, pour fake snow into the bottom of the mason jar, about a sixth of the way up. Then, carefully put the lid and tree into the jar and tighten the lid. Once the lid has been tightened, wrap the pink ribbon around the lid and tie into a bow.


Have fun making these beautiful gifts and decorations with your family – Happy Holidays!


Why Its Important to Take Care of Yourself During and After Pregnancy

Wow! You’re pregnant!  Congratulations.   And yet, despite the euphoria, there are feelings of dread, uncertainty and anxiety.  For many women, this comes with every pregnancy, whether it is their first child or their third.

It is a time of great change and for many of us, that is tough to handle. Combined with your own feelings of trepidation and insecurity, there is your partner to consider too, and their concerns too.   It is also a time where family members, work colleagues, friends and complete strangers feel they have the right to tell you what to do and not do, where you are going wrong and why.

Others also feel that they can impose their own belief systems about what a ‘good’ pregnancy is as well as wax lyrical about how to give birth.

And then there is the debate about breastfeeding and formula feeding, which is best, better or the devil in disguise. Here’s the big question – are you looking after you?

Pouring from an empty cup

Running on empty when pregnant, either physical or emotional energy, is simply not possible. Thus, looking after you is essential. But how?


  • Take action that suits you


From finding a discreet incontinence pad supplier who delivers regular orders to your door that makes managing occasional leaks or urine easier, to practising pregnancy yoga to eating crackers when you wake in the morning, do what works for you.   Bear in mind that every pregnancy is different and so what worked the first time around, may not the second.   Be agile – in other words, be prepared to adapt from one pregnancy to another, from one trimester to another, from one week to another, from one day to another.


  • Take time out


You can’t unstrap your baby bump for an hour or two but you can close the door on the world and all that well-meaning advice.

Unwinding, de-stressing, zoning out, call it what you want but just as in everyday life, taking time to disconnect, even if it is for half an hour, can leave us feeling renewed and vitalised to face the rest of the week.


  • Stay active


There will be some days where rest is essential. And there are other days when a brisk walk around the park is just what you need.   But again, there are all kinds of beliefs that others have about pregnant women exercising. Providing you were an active gym bunny pre-pregnancy, there are no reasons why you can’t continue. You’ll probably find the gym staff will help you adapt your routine anyway.


  • Keep an eye on your mental health


Thankfully, we have started to talk more about mental health and how, for some of us, days, weeks and months can be a struggle.The black cloud of depression hangs around and yet we don’t know why – we have everything we need and want.  And yet… 

Hormones in pregnancy magnify mental health issues and it is very easy for everyone, including you, to just assume that it is part and parcel of being pregnant. It is, in some ways, but there are also warning signs we need to keep an out for and when we ‘see’ them, we must reach out for help. But at a time when you are low, reaching out is the hardest thing to do. The days of social services popping up and taking your baby away because you have dared to admit to feeling depressed, stressed and uncertain are gone.

There are mental health charities and phone lines who can help and will listen.  Please talk. Please share.


  • YOU time


This includes the basics and the luxuries;

    • The basics – shower. Go to appointments in good time. Eat well. Stay hydrated. Talk to your midwife/GP/pharmacist if you feel unwell just as you did before pregnancy and before you were mum.

    • The luxuries – a warm bath, with bubbles and candles and the door locked so everyone knows it is calm and relaxing time for the lady growing a small human inside her. Or sit in the park, the garden or anywhere you like, reading a book and enjoying a chocolate treat or two.


  • Banish guilt and shame


It is easier said than done because more mums – and dads – will tell you that most of the early years of being a parent are marred by guilt. Are they doing the right thing? Should you be going out and leaving the baby with a sitter? Should you go back to work?   And then there is the guilt-tripping that others do, sometimes without realising and without malice. They’ll tell you ‘what you are doing wrong’ or imply you are making the ‘wrong decisions’.   Banish this negativity and look forward to a joyous time, a time of amazing change and embrace it. Because you are amazing!

HARTMANN Direct is one of the leading discreet incontinence pad suppliers in the UK. Their products are safe for use during and after pregnancy.

Note: This is a collaborative post

7 Fruits to Dry and Eat


Pic Credit:Pixabay

Fruits are not only delicious, but also healthy for consumption. This makes fruits a good alternative for people who want to pursue a healthy diet. However, fresh fruits do not always retain their freshness after a couple of days. Unless you are storing them in the fridge, the fruits may decay over time. Thus, an alternate method of keeping the nutrition high, while maintaining the richness in taste is by dehydrating the fruit. This post will share some of the best fruits that you can dehydrate and consume even after weeks. Go through the list of the fruits below and choose the ones that you love to consume.



These fruits are one of the most delicious, especially when they are dehydrated. Many people who go on camping trips, etc., like to carry these with them as a snack.



This fruit is available in many desserts. Besides being incredibly tasty, these are also incorporating many health benefits. A benefit of dates is that you can rehydrate them when needed so that you can add them in various recipes. Some recommended recipes that you ought to try using dried dates are chocolate tart, quinoa truffles with date nuts, almond butter / date caramel with apple (raw) sandwiches.



Tomatoes have also been considered one of the Best Fruits To Dehydrate, and many people do not even know about this. The method to enjoy dried tomatoes is best when you grind them after dehydrating them. Now, you have multiple options to use it to create ketchup, puree, or add them in other sauces as per your requirements for a particular dish.





Pic Credit: Pixabay

These sweet fruits taste very savory when one removes their moisture from them. The taste that you get is an exotic combination of sweet and tangy, which children love to eat. If you add dried strawberries to trail mixes and smoothies, you can enhance its flavor and make nutritious and appetizing recipes.




Dried banana chips have been known to serve as an alternative to regular potato chips as these are these contain much more nutrition compared to the latter. However, you should avoid munching them uncontrollably, as these are also containing fat. Regulate their consumption, as these chips can be highly addictive just like their counter part.  In addition, you can use dehydrated bananas for various traditional dishes for lunch and dinners.




dried fruit

Pic Credit: Pixabay

This fruit is one of the most dried ones used in several types of deserts and dishes. You can even try them as a snack dipped in peanut butter, etc. One of the best ways to consume it is by making an apple pie out of them.




You may have seen dried cherries on top of cakes, ice creams, mock tails, etc. These fruits have been known to serve its purpose really well. Kids love them too. 

Try dehydrating such fruits and add them to various recipes you have been waiting to try. You are surely going to love consuming them for their taste and health advantages.


3 Tips for Preventing and Correcting Childhood Obesity

It’s no secret that obesity is a huge public health issue through the world. Childhood obesity can not only have a disastrous effect on your child’s overall health, but on their quality of life and self-esteem as well. And too often, children tend to bring that excess weight with them well into their adult life along with their bad eating habits. Here are a few simple tips that can help you combat childhood obesity.

boy playing sport

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Make Activity Fun

The first thing you have to do to prevent childhood obesity is to instill a love of activity into your children early on. Make sure that they don’t associate exercise and activity with hard work and suffering and try to get them into fun activities instead.

For instance, you could decide to make your backyard more conducive to activity. You can add a soccer net and play with them from time to time. Installing a small pool or a big inflatable one could be a great idea as well. A trampoline is also a surprising way to burn calories and most children absolutely love them, so that would be a great way to sneak some physical activity into their lifestyle without them seeing it as a chore.

You could also consider enrolling them in some organized sports. Most children will have a sport they will particularly enjoy from a young age. If you notice they have a love for a certain sport, ask them if they would like to play in a team – but don’t force them. If they’re enthusiastic about the idea, look for leagues in your area that you could enroll them in. But always make sure to make it about them and not you, or they might start losing interest.

Reduce Liquid Calories

You won’t believe how many calories juices and soft drinks contain alone. By making smart choices and cutting the amount of liquid calories your children take in, you could make a huge difference on their daily caloric consumption.

Instead of soda, try to go with sparkling water with fruit. You can easily replace soft drinks with a low sugar sparkling water lemonade and your kids will love it. Making your own smoothies is also a great way to cut on calories and provide them with the nutrition they need.

Gradually Reduce Servings

Serving sizes are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to childhood obesity. If your child is already used to huge servings, you’ll have to reduce them gradually so that they don’t notice the difference. One of the ways you could do that is by getting a smaller set of plates. Children will usually associate a full plate with a full serving and won’t see the difference.

It’s also important that you know what the daily caloric needs for your children are and portion their meals accordingly. Small children should never eat more than 1400 calories per day and can get by with much less than that. Adolescents however, will need about 2000 calories per day if they’re active. If you have a teenager who’s struggling with excess weight, you can consider weight loss supplements like Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or HCG for short. If you want to learn more about HCG and various HCG products on the market, you can visit Hcgdietreview.Com.

If you follow these few simple tips, you should be able to reduce the chances of your child being overweight. Make sure that you apply these tips in your everyday life to improve your child’s quality of life.


The weekend that Royal Wedding Fever gripped us all

I would say very few people did not know the Royal Wedding was on last weekend.  I could not wait to see the style, for me that is the part I enjoy most about wedding whether its somebody famous or not.  One of my close friends is getting married next July and we rounded the girls and decamped to mine to get some inspiration for the bridesmaids dresses. My own wedding anniversary is soon and I can vividly recall the stress over picking the dresses. It can be such a tough decision to get a style that suits everybody’s shape, colouring and personal preferences.

I was honoured to be asked to be a bridesmaid for my friend, she is pretty chilled out and is letting us have a little free reign into what we want as long as we all agree (sounds easy!!! if only!).

Back to the Royal Wedding, how incredible did Megan look?. Simple, elegant, classic just wow. I loved every thing about the look, her makeup natural and understated.  And her mum lets not forget the poise and elegance of her mother who was so far from home in the midst of the most surreal situation who just exuded class. She will forever be for me the stand out of this wedding (well actually David Beckham could be a contender for that role too :-)).

So are we only closer to a decision?! Kind of……we have scoured the internet as like anything budget is a key factor.  What we did come across is a great deal site that pulls together latest deals and upcoming sales from wide rage of high street brands such as New Look, Zara, Boohoo and Next.  Boohoo have some fab summer dresses. The wedding is in Spain so something summery and floating would actually be just perfect.  I have written about this before, I am the self confessed Queen of the Deal!! We travel a lot and can do so thanks to my pretty epic deal hunting skills!!

I most certainly will be adding this site to my favourites as its not just Dresses they cover everything from books to Home and Garden and pretty much everything in between. Having all deals in one place is very (very) handy.  And its not just deals, is competitions, its feebies and offers too. Love it!

So who was your best dressed guest? Did you love or loath Megans dress? Do tell me in the comments.


Note: This is a collaborative post