Friday, 31 October 2014

Me & Mine October

Wow October just by in the blink of an eye! We had a super busy month with trips away, a birthday party and get togethers, holidays from work, organising the house some bit although you wouldn't think it was organised if you saw it now. I was hoping the garden would be sorted this month Dad has been flat out at work so hopefully November will see that being done.
The OH had a trip away to Manchester with a friend for the football and myself and Mum headed off to the UK to Windsor for a few days, more of which I'll post about later. It was a lovely trip down memory lane for both of us.
We were hit by a stomach bug at the start of the month but we weren't long getting over it although we all now have colds but nothing major.
I've been on a bit of a baking splurge this month and still have a few more recipes I want to try out.
The OH had a week off work and I'm currently on a weeks holidays from work too so we've both had lots of quality time with Luke this month, it's been great. He's getting 2 more bottom teeth at the moment so is requiring lots of cuddles and I'm so glad I've been at home this week to give them.
It's hard to believe that today is Luke's second Halloween, we are going to Mum's tonight for a bit of a gathering and some finger food and goodies for our tea.

Here is our family portrait for October:

This month Luke loves:
  • Having his cousin Katie stay with us for most of the week
  • Talking Tom, every morning he goes straight to Dad to show him the talking cat on his phone
  • Learning a few more words
This month Dad loves:
  • Having a week off
  • Finally buying FIFA 15
  • Quality time with Luke
This month Mum loves:
  • Also having a week off work
  • Finally making the spare room look like an actual bedroom
  • Visiting places from my childhood


Thursday, 30 October 2014

One Misty Morning

I took these pictures on a very foggy Sunday morning on my way out to my parents house, I love how the fog descended so thick and fast and then as quick as it came it was gone again. There was a big bright sun hiding behind all of that fog as I captured at Cuskinny, looking over towards Roches Point. Right across from my parents house is an old grave yard, the thick fog only added to an already eerie picture. The cobwebs were huge and as the fog lifted the sunlight streamed through them. 

Something beautiful is on the horizon, keep on going 

Don't be afraid to go into the mist, be excited because you don't know where you will end up

Oh, what a tangled web we weave 


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Halloween Shortbread Biscuits

I love baking when it's an occasion, I love nothing more than getting out my food colourings, icing, sprinkles, cake toppers etc, decorating is the best part of baking for me. So what better time to get all of these out than for Halloween.
Yesterday we made bat and coffin shaped shortbread biscuits with a jam filling, they were a great hit and so quick and easy to make for a treat.

Here's the recipe:

6oz Plain Cream Flour
4oz Caster Sugar
2oz Butter (I used "real" butter, y'know the block stuff that has the best taste rather than margarine)
Strawberry Jam
Icing Sugar
Food Colouring
Sprinkles of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 160degrees, we have a fan oven
  • Mix together butter and sugar until a soft creamy texture
  • Add in the flour to form a dough, we used our hands and the wooden spoon for this bit
  • We found the mixture a bit dry and crumbly so added in a drop of milk to bind it together which worked fine
  • Bring the together into a ball and then roll out on a floured surface
  • This amount of mixture allowed us to get 14 biscuits
  • Place biscuits on to a lined baking try and bake for approx 20mins or until biscuits are lightly golden
  • Allow to cool before putting jam on to one side of a biscuit and placing another on top to make a biscuit sandwich.
  • We decorated ours with black icing and sprinkles


This food colouring is the best I've used. Only a small bit needed for a strong colour. We got this in Home Store and More in Mahon Point, Cork, it's the only place I've seen it before. I think it cost about 2.69euro


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Baby Market, Cork

The other week myself and the lovely Fiona went to the The Baby Market here in Cork to off load some of our baby stuff that our boys no longer use or need. The Baby Market is a regular event that runs around the country in different locations rotating approximately every 6 weeks, it's a place to find a bargain or make a few bob on anything baby / toddler / maternity related.
I've been a fan of The Baby Market set up since someone told me about them back when I was expecting Luke in early 2013. I first went to the event in Cork in the Barres GAA club, venue was a bit a small but it didn't take away from the bargains to be had. I managed to pick up lots of essentials like a bath, changing mat, sleepbags, newborn neutral clothes that weren't just white, playmats etc all at a fraction of the brand new price and these items were in great condition. So it only made sense that when my spare room began to fill up with all of the things Luke no longer used that I would return to The Baby Market as a seller this time.
The venue has since changed to Rochestown Park Hotel which is so much better and it's allowed the event to grow in my opinion as there is so much more room for stalls to sell and customers to comfortably look at everything for sale.
Signing up is simple, I visited their website and enquired about a stall and received an email with a pay pal invoice to confirm my place. It's €25.00 per stall. Our place was reserved and we arrived at 10am that morning to set up our area, we had a lot of stuff and took full advantage of the 2 hours beforehand to get ready. At 12pm the doors opened and in came the customers. The event ran for 2 and a half hours and it was great fun. I've been a few times now but it's always nicer to have someone on the stall with you to chat with. It's a great pace to meet new people too, customers as well as other sellers, it's nice to be able to impart some wisdom as well to some of the expectant mother's who stop by the stall. We managed to get rid of few big items this time around which was great because we couldn't face loading up the cars again with it all!

Of course I can never leave without having a look around for a bargain myself although I wasn't successful this time because I saw a fabulous wooden rocking chair for toddlers for sale and I went back for it and it was gone, I was not impressed!
There are also stalls that aren't selling second hand stuff but things like baby massage classes, gymboree, handmade products, homeopathy etc.
I bought 2 things from these stalls and my own personal recommendations are:

Rhymes For Remedies by Jackie Griffin Synnott

I've been meaning to get this book for ages. I'm a big fan of the alternative option, the homeopathic route for remedying any ailments with Luke so this book is ideal for learning the basics. It's set to children's nursery rhymes so easy to remember too. It's a great introduction into the world of homeopathy. As you can see in the picture the books are 15euro and can be purchased here.

I love love love these custom buggy liners especially this star design! Our buggy is all colour coordinated with a cosy toes and bag but if it wasn't I would definitely invest in one of these. They also do seat liners, strap pads, dummy / toy clips in really funky designs. I picked up a dummy clip with a star design for 5euro with a much stronger clip which means Luke hasn't been able to pull it off. You can visit their Etsy shop here

The Baby Market seems to be expanding quite fast and they seem to be adding new locations all of the time, if there is one on in your area soon I would definitely recommend you go for a look.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car*

We received a super cool package in the post last week for review in the shape of the Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car.
The Smart Stages is a brand new range of toys from Fisher Price allowing babies and toddlers to explore the world in an innovative way. There is 3 stages to the Crawl Around Car starting at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months. The toy adapts the older the child gets by changing the settings with the manual switch to Level 1, 2 or 3.
Level 1 is for when babies are learning their first words and experiences feedback. Level 2 is encouragement in building on learning and level 3 is role play.

It's actually much bigger than I expected, we had to build the car from the pieces provided which was very easy. You are given stickers to put on certain parts of the car once it's built (my alphabet may be a bit lopsided though!) I left it on the living room floor for Luke to see in the morning, well it was like Santa had been early. He is delighted with it.
He spent ages figuring it all out and testing all of the buttons to hear what they say. I think his favourite is turning the key as if to start the car. My favourite is the windscreen wiper on the front that changes from night to day and from sunshine to rain.
There's a door on the left hand side that opens and closes very easily, Luke is all business when he gets in and shuts the door behind him. On the door also is 3 shape inserts, a circle, square and triangle with the corresponding shapes. Luke is flying it with putting the right shapes into the right insert, he gives himself a big clap after each one. He spent much of the first day figuring that out.
On the other side is an insert for 3 balls to go into and they roll down a slope, this keeps him very entertained. He then likes to throw them out, run after them and out them in from the opposite side again. There's a little petrol cap that makes noise when you turn it and the wheels are slightly off the floor so he loves to turn them around and have look at the stickers on them.
It's light enough for Luke to move it around the floor by himself. Every morning so far it's the first thing he goes for, there's so many features on it to keep him entertained and he's remembering the sounds each button or dial makes now. His other toys are a bit neglected although that suits me fine because he was beginning to enjoy emptying out the ball pond numerous times a day far too much!
The car itself stores away quite neatly, while it's big it's not too big or an obstruction in the living room.
Here are a few snaps, we were very impressed with the Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car.

*We were sent this product for the purpose of this review, all opinions and feedback however are our own*

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Me & Mine September

I am much later with this month's post than I had planned on but I left the laptop at work, it genuinely felt like I was without one of my limbs but here I am, we are, with this month's Me & Mine :)

September saw us all slowing down a notch, phew! My hours at work have reduced again until next Summer and I now have 3 days off instead of 2. This extra day is so important to me and my time with Luke, by the end of August I was really beginning to feel the strain of being away from him for that extra day. We have settled nicely into a routine on our Friday off together, we had planned on going to a toddler group on these mornings but so far we've spent them catching up with friends and celebrating family birthdays. We will be hoping to make a toddler group of some kind this month, Luke loves to be around other children.
I finally managed to get a hair cut in September, first time since January, how sad! I love going to the hairdressers and I've finally found someone who listens to what I say and understands my preciousness about my long hair!
The Dog got neutered in September too, he's like a different dog altogether, he's so much calmer and manageable. We've bonded quite a bit and he loves nothing more than to cuddle up next to us. I should really feature him in one of our Me & Mine pictures.
I really feel like September's pictures capture Luke's personality, he's a real smiler and a happy chatterbox.

Anyway, here it is, our family portrait for September, taken at 8am in the morning before I headed off out for work:

This month Luke loves:

  • Chatting, chatter chatter chatter all day long even in his sleep
  • Telling the Dog to sit
  • Emptying his ball pond onto the sitting room and laughing while I run around trying to pick all the balls up
This month Dad loves:
  • The release of FIFA 15
  • Teaching Luke to "Big Squeeze" where he throws his arms aorund you gives you a big hug
  • Purchasing flight tickets for an overnight trip to Manchester
This month Mum loves:
  • An extra day off work in the week
  • Meal planning
  • Getting a "Big Squeeze" off Luke 
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