Mamma Musings

Shifting the postnatal weight

Gym Equipment

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Having a child is one of the most beautiful and natural things in the world – but with it, a female’s body experiences a great deal of change, and post birth, you can be left with a body shape that doesn’t reflect your pre-baby body at all. For this reason, a growing number of women are joining post-natal classes and are trying to get back into shape after giving birth to their little ones. With a new-born baby in tow, it can be hard to go back to the gym – but where there is a will, there is a way.

The NHS recommend waiting around six weeks post-partum before starting up intensive exercise again. Your six week postnatal check will determine how well you have recovered. However, women who exercised regularly before pregnancy, may feel fit and well to begin working out sooner than the six week check – each new mum is different. You’ll know within yourself if you feel fit enough to get back into your regime, don’t push yourself too soon.

But with social media becoming a forum for fitness inspiration, some new mums want to jump straight back on the wagon. Postnatal fitness is on the rise too. The internet has inspired a lot of us to reach our fitness goals, and postnatal goals are no different. In fact, postnatal posts are becoming increasingly popular across the web, with #postnatalfitness associated with 53,003 Instagram posts.

Industry professionals noticed a gap in the market to help women post-birth. As a result of this, fitness professionals have set up their own postnatal classes to provide a solution for new mums who were struggling to get back into shape after having their new born. There are now specialised post-natal exercise classes that help women get back into shape with their baby’s – an opportunity for new mums to get their pre-baby body back. Classes usually allow mums to bring their little ones along to the class with them.

And it appears that postnatal fitness is helping new mums not just physically, but emotionally too. Many women have also revealed that exercising after having their baby has helped prevent, or ease postnatal depression as exercise has made them ‘happier’. Research would suggest this to be true, as exercise is shown to release endorphins in the body – hormones which can have positive psychological effects, such as a ‘euphoric high’.

Randi Lynn Greene, founder of RGL fitness, is a mum herself and is passionate about helping other mums get the body they strive for. Her Instagram account, with over 39.9k followers, showcases workout and yoga routines that can be done by new mums who have a baby in tow. She has proven that workouts can be done by mums at home with a little one crawling around. Of course, nutrition is just as important as your workout regime. Greene has also appeared on Lorraine on ITV to show mums that you can exercise at your own convenience.   

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Fairy Travels

Enhancing the experience as a travel photographer

Olympus cameras are a great companion for any travel photographer, allowing them to experiment with different types of photography on their adventures around the world. One common problem faced by globetrotters though is being stopped at airport security due to technical equipment being wrongly packed in your luggage!

Fortunately, we’ve teamed up with Clifton Cameras to bring you this infographic to make all of the problems you might encounter go away when it comes to travelling for photography.

Book your flight and head to the airport, because we’ve also created a list of some of our top destinations that would better the experience for any travel photographer — lights, camera, action!

Check out a selection below and see which ones are on your list. Or if you have been and have photos to share id love to see them.

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Features

Need some help choosing an engagement ring? Here are some tips!

My younger brother recently got engaged and chatting to his finance made my think about all the considerations to think of when choosing an engagement ring. Its about 9 years since we got engaged but the I still haven’t forgotten all the things that I researched thoroughly when choosing mine.

Size

The average price of diamonds depends on its size, among others, so you have to be certain on the size you want. See the collection of Certified Diamond Network in Sydney and you’ll be amazed by what you will see. Whether you choose to stay small or you raise the size, it all depends on your own personal preferences. 

Clarity

The clarity of the diamond is also important in choosing the engagement ring. You can opt to have a diamond that is very clear.  You might even settle with a diamond that has a lower clarity without you being able to notice the difference. 

Colour

If colour is more of your thing, you can choose to buy a coloured diamond instead. There are many people who would prefer to get a coloured diamond due to its uniqueness. Because the intensity of colours can differ, they will have something that is truly unique from others.

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Fairy Travels

Holiday day dreaming – where to next?

I have always loved to travel and since the boys came along while our travel plans have altered somewhat we still love to travel as a family.  As the Dada Fairy says im always plotting and planning the next trip!  My  sister honeymooned in Mexico recently and made us insanely jealous with her tales and photos of blue skies, crystal clear waters and stunning resorts.

Mexico

Pic – Wikipedia

While we have travelled extensively neither of us have been to Mexico and to be honest rightly or wrongly I had this idea it might not be that child friendly. However I have no problem admitting when im wrong and my sister informed me that it is indeed incredibly child friendly….and with that researching another long haul family trip began.

A blogger pal published a post recently about their family trip to Los Cabos. We were so inspired by her stunning holida photo’s off to google I went.  Wow and more wow! The beaches, the blue seas, the beach side properties with those incredible views just take me there right now……

Los Cabos – Where exactly is it?

Los Cabos is located at the Southern tip of Mexico’s California Peninsula, it encompasses the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabos. I believe this area has only really risen in prominence in recent years as a tourist destination when the Mexican Government actively began to market it as a tourist hot spot. I understand the tourist industry is the biggest one here providing a huge chunk of this areas employment.

I doubt it needs much of a marketing push with the draw of it is clear skies, blue seas and warm sunny temperatures.  I understand that the area receives over 2 million visitors a year!  I had to see what all the fuss is about!

Where to stay?

When travelling with kids for me personally I like to stay in houses/ apartments. Having the option to make our own meals and the space to chill when kids go to be early is a very important decision for us.  Check out these utterly amazing Los Cabos Villas the views!!! I will be day dreaming about these properties for the next while.  These villas cater for larger number so making them the perfect extended family get away.  This is another important consideration for us as my parents often travel with us, thereby making villa or apartment stays the perfect choice.

What do in Los Cabos with kids?

Pre kids – a trip to somewhere like Los Cabos would be total relaxation, cocktail in hand chilling on the beach or by the pool. Unfortunately  my kids don’t share my love of  chilling by the pool and like a little more activity. With this in mind I have picked my top five Los Cabos with kids activities:

  1. Straight in at number one has to be some beach time! Miles (about twenty of them!) of beach and blue waters make this an obvious attraction. Although according to my sister the waters can be quite cold and can have strong currents so do always obey the signs and instruction of life guards.
  2. Whale Watching – you couldn’t go all this way and not look out for these incredible creatures.  Los Cabos is alleged to be one of the best spots in the world to spot whales particularly during the months December – March.
  3. The stunning Arch of Cabo San Luca (pictured above), this is a synonymous site with this area and a must visit. Take a boat around it or even stop off at the beaches there – my idea of bliss!
  4. Take a yellow submarine – I kid you not!  You can take an hour like trip in a yellow submarine that get you up close and personal with the sea life in Los Cabos including a close encounter with the stunning Arch.
  5. Sample the array of eateries, from farm fresh to pizza it’s all catered for here.  I have been reliably informed that no visit is complete without a visit to Flora’s Field Kitchen which is a working farm serving meals from the farms produce. Certainly pricey but you go for the entire experience and if what I have been told is correct this is an experience you will not forget in a hurry.

There are also plenty activities on offer locally from snorkelling to camel rides, to picturesque horse back rides and for perhaps older kids or the more adventurous adults there is also a zip-lines and ocean riders (high speed boats).  Safe to say there is pretty much something for everybody with most ages groups catered for.

Well I think my mind is made up, the whole places sounds idyllic.  I’m off to research flights. If you have been do let me know and leave your tips or attraction recommendations below in  the comments section.

 

Note: This post is in collaboration with Luxury Retreats however I retain full editorial control over the content.
Mamma Musings

What To Think About When Buying A Baby Present Online

Buying anything online can carry an element of risk. Will it arrive on time? What is the quality like in real-life? Does the image match what you will see in the box when it arrives?

If you are looking for a quality online retailer, you can find some of the most wonderful baby gifts on sale from Baby Gift Box. You’ll discover a huge range of nappy cakes, baby hampers, baskets and other precious gifts for a little one’s arrival into the world.

When it comes to buying baby gifts online though, are there certain things you can look out for to make things easier? This article will uncover some top things to consider before you make that purchase and make things official.

 

What To Think About Before Buying A Baby Gift…

  • If you are buying clothes… be extra careful

It’s easy to get swept away by the cute images. However, it’s equally as important if not more so to consider vital aspects such as the level of comfort. Therefore, it’s essential to look at the description to read what materials the clothing is made with and if they are suitable for sensitive skin.  You’ll also want to take extra care when choosing the size.   Babies grow super-fast so if you are buying for a new-born it’s good to buy 2 years ahead in general.

  • Always read the detail

Images can only do so much talking. It’s crucial to read the finer print to discover what makes the product so special and how it is made for babies. It should answer most of your questions but just in case it doesn’t, this leads us to the next point.

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Home & Interiors

Make 2018 the Year You Invest in an Oil Monitor

You may know friends who use oil monitors, but you’ve always thought they were a bit of a waste of time – you know how much oil you bought and how much you have left. However, over the years you may have had an unpleasant surprise when your oil levels suddenly drop during a cold spell or, worst of all, someone’s stolen half your supply.

Modern oil monitors don’t just tell you what your levels are, they can tell you how much you’re using each day and alert you to perilously or suddenly low levels so you can take action in plenty of time.

home heating control

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Being able to see your levels is useful

Of course, this is the primary benefit, because if your monitor also looks at your daily usage it can tell you that you’ll run out in 15 days; this means you can head here to get a cheap top-up. You can also rein in your usage a bit if you’re burning through your supply a bit too fast.

You’ll be alerted to theft or leaks

Your monitor can sound an alarm if there’s a sudden drop in oil levels so that you can take action. Many thieves siphon off a small amount every few days, so if you don’t find a leak, you can put more security measures in place. If you do find a leak, you can get help before you lose too much oil and damage the environment.

Your boiler will never suddenly run dry and go into lockdown

You can set a limit on your monitor so that it alerts you to dangerously low levels. This is important not just so you’ll top up, but so you can avoid a boiler lockdown. This is a mechanism that prevents damage to boilers – running dry can let air into the internal workings – and while it does prevent any damage, it also means a call-out as well as a top-up.

You can keep an eye on your tank from a distance

You can look at your oil levels from your cosy bedroom; it’s also a lot cleaner than using a dipstick.

You will save fuel and carbon

You can get monitors to tell you how much carbon you’re sending out as well as how much oil you’re using. Knowing how much CO2 they’re responsible for is a wake-up call to many – they finally upgrade their boiler or fix the windows. Monitoring your oil usage can help you to save up to 15% on your spending each year.

Oil monitors aren’t as expensive and fiddly as they once were

Lots of people would like to install and use an oil monitor but they think that the cost of buying and fitting one is more than they’ll actually save. This isn’t true anymore as many modern tanks have sockets ready for the monitors to slot into. Other think that bunded tanks don’t work well with monitors, but with the right advice and the right monitor, there’s no difference.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

Cyber Liability Insurance – an overview

What is Cyber Liability Insurance

cyber crime

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The concept of Cyber Liability Insurance was virtually unheard of until recent years however with the increase in the number hacking’s, viruses and data breaches, it is certainly something that companies are putting an increased focus on.  Or if they aren’t they really should seek appropriate advice to see if it is something they should be concerned about.

So why insure? Its quite simple – companies need to try to mitigate against the costs of these things happening.  The cost involved for example in data recovery after a data breach can be substantial and if not rectified quickly and customer confidence restored it could have a potentiality catastrophic affect on your business.

Around there world more and more of us are shopping online from groceries, to clothes to holidays and with this brings increased opportunities for cyber criminals to cast their net with so much of our personal data out there in the online world.  As a business we need to protect these consumers and while Cyber Liability Insurance can help us in the unfortunate event that it happens, it is important to be proactive from the inside.

Ways of reducing Cyber threats to your business

Rigby Financial have produced a summary of measures as an indication of the types of things companies can do to reduce the potential for Cyber Crime for example:

  • Ensure your staff are trained to spot the latest threats.
  • Use data encryption to protect the data on a hard drive so that it can only be accessed with a decryption key rather than just a simple password.
  • Protect hardware by installing doors that require a swipe pass to access a particular room or computer locks for desks. Sounds simple but you would be surprised how many business forget the most simple of controls.

Other things companies can do include for example:

  • Use of strong passwords.
  • Use common sense when it comes to public wi-fi and links in emails
  • If customers can pay on line ensure that appropriate verification of cards is used
  • Keep software and operating systems up to date

The above is a small selection of some of things you can do to protect your business. Do consult a specialist in this area if you have queries. I have seen companies offering one off cyber audits which would be money well spent. As always insurance is to protect if something happens but you do need to take steps to hope you never have to use it!

Note: This is a collaborative post in conjunction with Rigby Financial

 

 

Home & Interiors

Tips on adding some colour to your garden

colourful garden bench

Pic Credit: Sloane & Sons Garden Benches

I love my garden and I especially love it in full bloom, full of a gorgeous array of colours, however the weather this time of  year does not lend itself to that as much. The extent of adding colour for me often leads to the use of props, ornaments etc. My husband is a lot more experienced in this area so I leave all things garden related to him!  In fact he owns more garden equipment  that he knows what to do with!!! As crazy as it may sound this time of year is the ideal time to start laying the ground work for your winter garden and hopefully giving you a lovely colourful garden at what often is a cold dreary time of year.

Sloane & Sons Garden benches have produced a really useful guide that list the types of flowers that are the most hard wearing to help your garden bloom in Winter. The guide discusses the ten best flowers to grow for the Winter time.

My own personal favourite is Cyclamen.  There is something so magical about seeing them so colourful in full bloom while little else is flowering. Every year we opt for shades of pink and while they do take a little work and maintenance, really this it is worth it. They are also ideal for flowers beds and even indoors. I really love the garden and think taking the time to make it a relaxing space is so worth it regardless of the time of year. While it may take a little effort and research the pay off is so worth it.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Mamma Musings

The Christmas toys one month on

Last year I wrote this post which proved really popular. We had a look back 2 months on from Christmas at which toys were the hits and which were the miss! Its funny how sometimes the unexpected toys/ gifts become the most popular.

Starting with the ones still in pretty much daily use one  month on:

Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set

Hot weels track

Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set

Hot wheels are a really big thing amongst my 5 years old’s school pals so I had an inkling this was always going to be popular and I was right. Its probably the first toys himself and his pals gravitate to when they come in the door.  The set comes with 2 hot wheels cars but no batteries included as we found out on Christmas day (it takes the size D ones so not that likely to have them lying around!).  Its almost like a battle where you have to launch cars at the same time strategically into the rotating set.  Queue meg excitement here when they get the timing right as it loops around the set and crashing into your opponent’s cars in no time. The last car on the track wins. The track is compatible with the “track stars” individual cars you can purchase in Tesco, Smyth’s etc. The boys love this, its fast, action packed and generates a lot of noise and excitement.

Only downside I can see (aside for bad mammy forgetting batteries) is it does take up quite a bit of space.  The track set is available in most toys shops and a good purchase in my view. Currently selling for €39.99 in my local Smyth’s.

 

Fisher Price Teach N Tag Movi

kids toy robot

Teach N’Tag Movi

This little guy is utterly adorable and enjoyed equally as much by the 5 and the 3 year old.   He is billed as being super mobile with 360 mobility and that he has.  He is really fun, he encourages kids to get active and follow his directions, not an uncommon sight to see the kids dancing around the kitchen following Movi’s lead! There are 6 different  games to choose from​ where Movi asks the question and encourages the child to think of the answer and interact with the push buttons on  his head.  Movi has great facial expressions!

What the kids love about this is how interactive it is, they like to follow his tasks and love to practice dance moves with him. If only they would listen to me as intently as they listen to him and follow his lead.  He takes size C batteries which I did actually have so Movi has been part of the Mamma Fairy house for a month now and I don’t see him being resigned to the toy press anytime soon. Its priced at €49.99 in my local Smyth’s. It is really durable he has withstood my Mr Destruction which is the ultimate test of a toys durability I think!!!

Original Rubix Cube

It’s a real testament to think a toy first developed in 1974 is still going strong today and that’s despite the fact we live in such a technological age.  We had the junior puzzle so for Christmas we upgraded to the 3×3 version.

He hasn’t solved it yet but its not for the want of trying!! I throw it in my handbag when we are going out as I know it will keep him occupied. Funny thing is we have had lots of comments on it when out and about. I think all us 80s kids feel a sense of nostalgia for this product. At around €10 this money well spent!

Laurence King Make Your Own Spaceships

rainy day activities

Build your own Spaceship

This is quite possibly be the most perfect invention for the non crafty among us. The set includes 14 spaceships that you press out and slot together, zero need for glue or scissors .

The set includes 2 blank aliens to colour in yourself which were great fun. Definitely a great choice for any fellow non crafty mums for those rainy days.

Books, books, books

Our love of books is well documented and some of those which arrived over Christmas which we are still dipping into are:

  • Adventures of Johnny Magory – there are 3 books so far in the series and my oldest man begs me to get more. He really loves them. I think its because he finds them relatable. Like Johnny he is mostly good with a hint of mischief! Johnny plays sports, works in the bog (as my pair do each year), goes on adventures along the canal so they can immerse themselves totally in the story for them its real life.  These books are beautifully illustrated and written, illustrated and printed in Ireland. I love that.  Check them out on their website here for signed copies and additional activities.  And if the author Emma-Jane is reading this my oldest cannot wait for you write more in the series!

And to finish off this years “miss” is…….Gross Science. He wanted this badly, I mean I reckoned if Santa didn’t bring it he would have been devastated.  Unfortunately I think it was just too hyped up in his own head.  While the set comes with a good bit of stuff you needed a lot of extras to complete the experiments. We were away from home for Christmas so we didn’t have a lot of the kind of things needed in the house handy. So as I write Gross Science had joined last years Miss – Soggy Door in the bottom press!!

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Home & Interiors

Spring is in the air – can you guess the flowers?!

The last couple of mornings I can really notice the brighter mornings, there is definitely a sense that spring is on the way. I really love Spring time more than Summer actually, its symbolic of new beginning, new growth.

We start to see the first of this seasons flowers.  However much I love to look at flowers I am really terrible at knowing what exactly there names are.  When we plant our garden each year I leave that to my husband who has infinitely more knowledge in this space than I do.  Definitely the green fingered person in our house!

For fun we took this can you guess the flowers? Quiz in association with Rattan Direct. Suffice to say my results were pretty dismal and naturally his were pretty good.  Earned himself some bragging rights right there!!

So how well you do – click on the above link and let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Note: This is a colloboration in association with Rattan Direct.