Mamma Musings

Living Arrows 15/52 Positive changes

Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Another week into this strange new norm and we are all adapting pretty well. I have to say I am really proud of how well the kids are handling all of this. They are missing their grandparents and their friends so much but are doing really well. I think we can learn at lot from them.

Its funny I have begun to look at this as more of a slow down rather than lock down and ive had some time to reflect on a lot of things. One of the things that has come to the fore with all this is we have vowed to spend much more time outdoors as a family and secondly sustainable living. I suppose I never really realised until now how much unnecessary stuff we buy for ourselves and the kids. I have been totally wowed by the concept of the Reima kids 100% recyclable jacket, the kids can even register the jacket with Reima and they donate €10 to the charity supporting saving the oceans and you can also track your jacket to see where it ends up once recycled. Its genius. It really is the way forward and if we all make small changes like this it will make a big difference.

Another thing  I have been terrible at is buying take away coffees. My love of coffee hasn’t changed but I have realised taking my Keep Cup with me or bringing it out full with me is just perfect. Also shopping bags!! I did try to take them every week but now I make sure I do. Small steps can make such a big impact.

Its funny I think we will look back on this period of our lives and hopefully realise it has taught us so much about ourselves and the way we live.

Living Arrows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Features

Living Arrows – 13/52 – and breath

Kahlil Gibran“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Second week in a row now having rejoined Donna from What the Redhead Said linkie inspired by the above quote, delighted with myself.

This week its all about about re grouping, enjoying the simple things in life. We were supposed to be back in Iceland this week but that couldn’t happen so im just happy everybody is safe and well and we are learning to enjoy a much slower paced life.

This week was all about getting fresh air, stretching the legs while observing the imposed restraints. The boys are thoroughly enjoying the scooters Santa brought. Who knew back then we would be getting so much use out of them for this reason. It does the head and the heart good to get out so we try every day to get out for a breath of fresh air, always conscious of social distancing.

Keep safe, keep well and keep following the advice. We can and we will come out the other side of this.  Each night going to bed myself and the boys plan what we will do once all this is over and we cannot wait.

 

Living Arrows
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KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE WITH MIGRAINE: Some simple steps

migraine relief - relaxing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I think its important to set out at the outset, that I am not a medical professional, im actually an accountant, who enjoys blogging and sharing useful content. I happened across this very useful article and though in the times we are facing, it was an opportune time to share in the event it could help somebody. Other supports and resources are available on www.speakyourmigraine.ie or from the Migraine Association’s website www.migraine.ie. It goes without saying always consult a medical professional if you have any concerns. 

Migraine is Ireland’s fifth leading cause of disability, affecting over 10% of the population.[i]. Managing the condition can often feel like an uphill battle on any given day. Now, along with the usual symptoms and fears surrounding a chronic migraine attack, navigating our new ‘normal’ during COVID-19, brings additional challenges – from working at home and keeping the kids occupied to social distancing and drastic changes in daily routines.

Here are 6 simple tips and actions that can help you to manage your migraine during this uncertain period.

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Mamma Musings

Living Arrows 12/52 – Our new norm

Kahlil Gibran –  “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

During 2018 and 2019 I took part in the fabulous linkie run by Donna from What the Redhead said. It is inspired by the above quote and runs each week. I really love reading other peoples post in this linkie so despite vowing for months to get back to it, I have finally decided to get back to wring more on the blog. 

Our New Norm

It’s all a bit surreal isn’t it? Hard to know what day of the week it is. Working from home for the foreseeable, kids off school for the foreseeable, social distancing the new norm.  One thing I have learned so far is that kids are super resilient. Every day my pair wake up full of life, happy out. The roles have been reversed they are now teaching me how to live a “slow life” , to enjoy the little moments, to live in the present, to not be stressing about rush here and there.

Our days are filled with board games, socially distanced walked, facetime calls with grandparents. Very different to the rush and fast paced of the ‘norm’ for us. So rather than fret and worry, we are doing our best to embrace this new norm for the next while.

So take care, stay home, stay safe and we will meet on the other side of this when im guessing many of us will have a renewed appreciation of life and our loved one. We can and will do this. Lets learn from the example set by our kids.

 

 

Living Arrows
Features

Practical Tips for Working from Home with Children

Glandore, Ireland’s longest serving & leading provider of serviced offices & coworking spaces, have very kindly shared helpful advice for those trying to juggle working from home whilst keeping their children occupied.   I am very thankful for their kind permission to share the below in these highly unusual times.

tips working from home laptop phone

Pic Credit: Pixabay

1.            Set up a daily structure: Childcare professionals’ advice is that routine is vitally important when it comes to maintaining happy children. If your children’s day starts at 8.30am in crèche or school, try to start their home care at the same time. Establishing a routine at home will help everyone transition to this new ‘norm’ more easily. If your children are used to breaks at certain times, make sure to build those into your day. As we all know, children’s attention spans are much shorter than ours, so exercise and snack breaks are important to schedule in, for both the child and the parent. Try to finish up your home crèche or school at the same time as their regular day. 

Top tip: set an alarm to go off, so everyone knows that it’s family time now. The alarm doesn’t have to be the sound of a school bell ringing, it could be one of your children’s favourite songs instead.  

 2.            Have a designated space for mess: The length of time that we will be working and schooling from home is unknown and therefore it is recommended to designate a school/crèche area in your home if possible. Children need space to play and that play can often be messy so it might be wise to make the kitchen your home childcare centre. With paint, glitter, Lego, dolls and action figures, children’s toys can easily take over the house. They are used to being in the same room for the day, whether in crèche or school, so keeping the home childcare space consistent will help with their sense of routine. Again, be mindful of your child’s attention span; they may only stay with an activity for 10 or 20 minutes depending on their age. This should also match the projects you are setting yourself; if you have something that needs your focus then perhaps leave that until everyone is in bed.   

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Fairy Travels

I Had a Car Accident: What do I do Next? A Handy Checklist

I Had Car Accident: What do I do Next? A Handy Checklist

Staying Calm After a Car Accident | Car Accident Tips | An Post InsuranceWhether it’s a nudge in a car park or a more serious crash on the road, many of us will hear the squeal of brakes and the crunch of a bumper at some point in our lives.  Thankfully, most car accidents involve no more than some scuffed metal and a bruised ego or two, but they do make for a stressful experience. Being prepared can help you avoid panic and get the best result from a difficult situation.

Based on An Post Insurance’s many years of experience working with Irish motorists, they’ve put together a handy checklist to keep in mind should the worst happen when you’re behind the wheel.

First things first

If somebody is injured, call the emergency services straight away. If not, you’ll still need to contact An Garda Síochána, as they need to be informed as soon as possible after an accident, and definitely within 24 hours if the crash injures a person or animal or if your car is stolen or damaged. Apart from the legal requirement to contact the Gardai, they’ve also seen plenty of accidents before, and will be able to help guide you through the process.

Keep your cool

It’s easy to get flustered and perhaps even angry in the event of an accident, but it’s important that you don’t get into a conversation about blame and don’t accept responsibility – you don’t want to make an off-the-cuff statement you might regret later.  Try to stay calm and polite – even if it means counting to ten several times over!

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Fairy Travels

A weekend in Luxembourg with kids

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

No surprises here – another Ryanair bargain flight and we were off to Luxembourg at the end of January.  Having got good flight deals on Gothenburg  and Eindhoven I was very excited to add another country to our travel list. I booked the flights end of November for January at €9.99 each. It was a very short pleasant flight around an hour and half long which was perfect for a weekend break.  We landed in Luxembourg around 7pm to really dense fog, I literally could not see the bus stop when we stepped out of the airport!!

The first thing you will notice is how clean everywhere is. The airport was immaculate. We jumped on the bus number 29 which departs outside the airport main door straight to the city every 15 minutes and takes about 20 minutes.  Again so efficient. We were very lucky as the bus stopped quite literally outside our hotel door.  We couldn’t wait to get a visual of the city but the dense fog and pitch dark meant that would have to wait until the morning.

Where we stayed

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

We stayed at the Novotel Luxembourg Centre which claims to be a family friendly hotel and hand on heart it was one of the most family friendly hotels we have ever stayed in.  It is evident from the moment you check in.  There have a fussball table in reception and my kids were hyper about the next bit… a kids corner with an xbox. It was just perfect for us. I would be very remiss of me not to say a special thank you to Caroline on reception. The kindness and professionalism show to us was some of the best we have had in all the hotels we have stayed. She had endless patience with the kids and their questions and xbox requests and so much knowledge on things to do locally.  I hope Novotel realise what a gem they have with Caroline.

The room we had comprised  a double and sofa bed  – again ideal for our needs. The breakfast was really and I mean really good. The kids were borderline obsessed with the pancake maker and pretty much hogged it the entire breakfast each morning! I find a good breakfast when you are travelling really sets us up for the day of exploring. Thanks to the Novotel for the lovely personalised welcome to our room, absolutely made our day.

Temperatures hovered around zero and it was quite damp so kids were glad to have their Reima  which was kindly gifted to us for our Lapland trip.

What we did

Luxembourg is a stunningly beautiful city, the old buildings and walls and narrow winding streets. The fog was still pretty bad making visibility quite poor so we decided to head walking to get our bearings. Interestingly the old fortification walls of the city are designated UNESCO  sites. Its not hard to be wowed by the contrasting architecture. The old walls are just stunning.  The city also very uniquely have over 17km of underground tunnels (Bock Casemates)  which unfortunately were closed during our stay but can be accessed at two points in the city. The kids are begging to go back just to see the tunnels.

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Fairy Travels

Our Lapland 2019 Adventure

I have written this post so many times in my head but couldn’t grab the time to give this post the justice in needs.  We first visited Lapland in 2018, following this I wrote my Lapland DIY post which has consistently been in my top 10 read posts which I think it a testament to just how popular it has been as a destination.  In 2018, our youngest wasn’t well and added to that we have limited snow. I felt I needed to go back to experience Lapland in all its snowy glory.  So on the day of the EasyJet Winter sale release, I set my alarm and for £17.99 each way we were off to Lapland again!

Where we stayed

As with last year we stayed at Santa Claus Village. My kids just love it here. I know its expensive but for us there is just some sort of magic there. Wandering around the village when the tour groups of gone, playing with kids in the neighbouring chalets. Its almost like exactly as how id imagined it would be.

Breakfast each morning was at the Christmas House restaurant. We had drinks a couple of evenings in the Three Elves Restaurant and a dinner another evening at Santa’s Pizza, both on site at Santa Claus Village .  We loved the Three Elves but wasn’t 100% on Santa’s Pizza. It was manic and you got your chips first and then pizza and burgers were cooked to order it seemed and arrived 20 mins later.

We had a standard cabin which has a double, a double sofa and a little kitchen which was perfect for us.

What we did

Where do I even start. We packed so much into the 4 night visit.  I know this sounds so cliche but it was magical.

Huskies

  • We visited Husky Park located at Santa Claus Village. We did the 500m husky in -8 temperatures which was ideal length for the boys (ages 4 and 7).  A total bonus for us was the the husky hugging – oh-my-god. I was in love. We saw the most adorable pups.  We loved this experiences and could clearly see the love, care and attention the dogs get at Husky Park.  Kids absolutely loved this experience and cant wait to see their favourite dog – Batman again

Reindeer 

  • Also located at Santa Claus Village is Santa Claus Reindeer We didn’t get to experience a reindeer ride in 2018 so this year we could not wait to do this. We arrived at 10am and it was really quiet, no queuing so we were straight on. We did 2 on each sleigh and it was breathtaking. It was quite bright and the snow glistening as we were leisurely pulled around the woods.  Definitely a memory I will cherish.

Elfs Farm Yard

  • I understand Elfs Farm Yard  is a new edition to Santa Claus Village and we were very excited to give this a go. This for us was a very surprise hit. How many people can say they skied across the Arctic Circle on traditional  Lappish skis or feed reindeer on the Arctic Circle. This place is very deceptive, there was so much to do. We cooked hot dogs (available to buy in the on site shop), we skied, we fed reindeer up close and personal, we used sledges up and down the man made hill there. We waited for the sun to set and sat around the fire pit chatting to other families. Magical and in terms of prices in Lapland, so reasonable. A true hidden gem not to be missed, definitely a surprise highlight for us.

Kids Snowmobiles

  • This was top of my kids wish list particularly the 7 year old. From September onward he stalked accuweather to see if there would be enough snow this trip for him to go on snowmobiles. He was not disappointed. He spent time each day at the Wild Nordic kids track at Santa Claus Village and just loved it. I have to thank the very lovely 2 female staff members who were incredibly kid to my pair, im sorry I didn’t get your names.  This was such a good option as it was contained, felt very safe for the kids and the kids felt they were getting independence. Just brilliant and I think if im honest the snowmobiles even topped Santa for my oldest!!!

Snowman World

  • Snowman World opens each year in early December, its also located at Santa Claus Village. It consists of the Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar and the “winter zone” the winter zone consists of a pretty epic snowtubing slides. There was also a separate smaller one for kids which was ideal for my pair. They must have went up and down a million times! We enjoyed a drink in the Ice bar we didnt do lunch this time but hopefully on our next visit.

Santa Park

  • Santa Park is located 2 km from Santa Claus Village and is all located inside which can prove a nice days respite from the cold. This was my youngest favourite morning. There is loads of cool activities to do here, crafts, gingerbread decorating, ice bar, train ride, crossing under the Arctic Circle, visit Santa and the highlight for all of us I think was the elf show. Its on a number of times during the day and its quite mesmerising. We had lunch at the buffet there while watching the show. I think the location in a underground bunker really adds to the charm here. We got there for the opening and it was nice and quiet. We took the bus between Santa Park and Santa Village which was ideal. There are large cloakrooms to store your winter gear also.

Pilke Museum

  • We were kindly gifted Culture Passes which offer entry to the top 3 museums in Rovaniemi. Its €20 per adult and €15 for children over 7 and under 7s free.  We had decided to spend a morning have a nosey around the town and make use of the card. In the end we only made to Pilke as we has so much fun in the snow at Lordi Square and also at the Irish Bar!!!  We decided on Pilke which is the forestry museum as boys really love this type of thing.  Its beautifully laid out, relax, lots of different activities. I found it so interesting learning all about sustainable forestry. Another ideal way to spend an afternoon out of the cold!

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Fairy Travels

Eindhoven with Kids

We wanted to go on a short city break over the October school mid term however, I left it a little late to book. A couple of hours on Skyscanner, €120 lighter we were off to Eindhoven with Ryanair. I knew very little about Eindhoven apparently for the football team PSV and its links to DAF and Philips.

Ryanair

Pic Credit:TheMamma Fairy Blog

Eindhoven has become known for its close cooperation between its universities and industries. In terms of industries Eindhoven is known for its biomedical and engineering research fostered in the main but its high tech Universities. The city of Eindhoven works hard to develop and grow its intelligent community credentials. As a result of these efforts, the Intelligent Community Forum (“ICF”) named the Eindhoven metro region one of the top-21 intelligent communities in 2008 and one of the top-7 intelligent communities in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the ICF named Eindhoven the Intelligent Community of the Year.

One of the things that struck me most as we came into land in Eindhoven is how much green space there. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that at all. The airport is located only minutes (8km) from the city which is brilliant couple with the flight over just over an hour long, making it the ideal city break destination.

Where we stayed

sky view Einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

When we started researching Eindhoven there were lots of accommodation options from chain hotels to boutique hotels to B&B’s. I used booking.com and got an excellent deal at NH Collection. it’s a five star hotel, in the centre of the city with stunning views from the breakfast room an another floor up again for Vane Sky Bar.

The room itself was plenty big for the four of us an spotlessly clean. The breakfast was plentiful an that view. I could have spent hours staring out the window. The night we arrived the lovely Rik at Vane made us some seriously impressive cocktails. I do have to compliment the staff here, it was busy with the early after work crown and our family was made so welcome.

There are some cocktails on the menu at Vane designed by the World’s Best Female Bartender Tess Posthumus. We were there quite early in the evening and didn’t try the food here but I can imagine it gets very busy at the evening progresses. Its uber trendy and the panaromic view of the sun setting over the city is a lovely way to chill after an evening sight seeing.

What we did

daf museum einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Our time in Eindhoven was short so we left it up to the boys what they wanted to do. It’s funny their own choices really do sum up themselves. The oldest wanted to go and visit the PSV stadium and the youngest the DAF museum. After a huge breakfast we headed first for the DAF Museum which was about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. This building is so deceptive. It looks small from the outside but once you get inside it is anything but. It’s fabulous, we began with a coffee over looking the vehicles and my youngest was hopping on the spot with excitement to get exploring.

The first thing that struck me when we walked in was that the place is immaculate, the vehicles are immaculate. It’s so well done inside, from the vehicles arranged in key milstones, the square with its own pub, to the top floor with a huge array of cars from the 1920 onwards.

The week we were there, the DAF museum were putting the finishing touches to their new exhibition spaces extending to over 1,100 square metres. We had a sneak peak and it’s a great addition brining the next phase in DAF’s history incuding trucks from the 1990 and 2000’s.

My boys truly loved this museum, its was right up their street. The Dada Fairy was equally enthralled being in a similar business himself. Our entrance was kindly gifted however at €9 for adults and €4 for kids age 5 up, under 5 free, this is a very good value and I can see why it is regularly ranked top of Trip Advisor ratings in Eindhoven.


PSV Tour
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Fairy Travels

Lapland – new for 2019

log cabin

Santa Claus Village Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Last year we went on what was supposed to be a once in lifetime trip to Rovaniemi, Lapland. It so magical and captivating that we have decided to go back again this year. In conversation with Visit Rovaniemi I asked them was there any new activities/ restaurants for 2019.  They very kindly sent me on all the new activities etc which I though might be helpful for return visitors like ourselves.

New Accommodation:

  • Happy Fox: Happy Fox Suites
  • Apukka Resort: 17 new Aurora Cabins, 3  Lappish Komsio Suites.
  • Forenom: Forenom Serviced Apartments Rovaniemi Valtakatu 35, 96200 Rovaniemi.
  • Sky Hotel Ounasvaara opening after renovation as a 4 star hotel.
  • Nova Skyland: New apartments
  • Santa Claus Holiday Village: 14 new Family Suites, each suite fits 2 adults + 3 children.
  • District Rovaniemi: Yurt accommodation.
  • Arctic Dreams House: Private Luxury Experience in Ranua. Wikkelä Villa all inclusive –stays.
  • Snowest Travels: Villa Snowest, Villa for 16 persons (420m2) https://www.snowesttravels.com/villa-snowest/

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