Monday, 12 June 2017

Make It With Words - Father's Day Gift Idea

Anyone who knows me knows that I love nothing more than a personalised gift.
The effort and thought that goes into picking the right one, making the personal touches and choosing a design that's suited best to the person you are giving it to.

So of course I am delighted to be reviewing an item from the lovely people over at 
Make It With Words, who specialise in bespoke gifts, prints and accessories.


The packaging itself is so pretty and the gift came really well presented. All ready to give to my recipient without me having to make any final touches. 


I chose the Best Grandad coaster as it's perfect for Luke's tea drinking Grandad and I liked the message as it had meaning for both Dad and Grandad. It's made form cherrywood with a felt bottom to protect those surfaces. We got it personalised with mine and Luke's name. This particular one is €12.50. 


Delivery was super fast and my item was with me within 2 days. I was very impressed with the quality of the product and the short time frame it took to reach us.


There have a whole range of different gift ideas over on the website and the team have very kindly offered all readers of Tattooed Lady With A Baby a 20% discount code!. So if you are stuck for gift ideas for this coming weekend, why not check out Make It With Words and use the following discount code: MAKEITFORDAD17

Sunday, 11 June 2017

4 Years Old

Today you are 4. 
Oh sweet boy where has the time gone?! 

You light up my world in a way that I never could have imagined. 

Every morning when I see your sleepy little head in front of my face, ready to start another day, my heart bursts with pride that little bit more. No matter what time of the morning, even those mornings when I can't even open my eyes, you make it that little bit easier. 

Your understanding of the world around you amazes me everyday, you are so clued in and there is definitely no wool being pulled over your eyes. You want the facts, straight answers, none of this fobbing you off with baby explanations. Your Nanny says I was just like you as a child. 

Once we explain something to you and not just spring it on you out of the blue, you are ok with it. This mostly applies to when I may have to leave you for a while outside of my usual work hours. You'll ask me if I have a meeting or an exercise class to go to, or if Dad is going out to football, it's very funny actually.

You have no idea how much I love your random bursts of affection, the kiss on the cheek or the hug out of the blue, the "I missed you" after I come home from work or the "I love you Mom" for no reason other than you want me to know that. You are such a loving boy and I hope it's something you'll always be. Of course you know this also gets you out of trouble sometimes too.

I love the excitement in your voice when you finally get a chance to tell me about your day, who you played with at preschool, what you learned that day and the utter pride in the pictures that have made that week. Sometimes when I ask you how was school, you respond with "I didn't make you a picture today" and a bit of a sad look but that's ok. 

I love our Sunday morning chills after Dad has gone to work and we climb back into my bed for a while, you watching your tablet, me just relaxing and enjoying the quiet time and we lie there in contentment. I relish those moments because I know that all too soon you'll be running out the door to play with your friends on the weekends, not chilling out with your Mama. 

Your new thing at the moment is, when I lie down with you at night time, you snuggle down to bring our foreheads together and you tell me that I have to stay there forever with you, you are a heartbreaker! 

We can't forget that you a total diva either, oh my can you turn on the hysterics when you want to. Just tonight it was because your Dad said he had to put your cream on your face, like we do every night and you had a meltdown over it. 

Your are brave but cautious, easy going but serious when it matters, happy but an emotional little thing. 

It seems like only a few months ago I was bringing you home from the hospital, totally unaware of what was ahead of us but d'ya know what? We are doing just fine.

Happy Birthday my little buddy
xxx







Thursday, 11 May 2017

5 Essential Baby Items

Having a new baby around the house recently (well, my godson is 6 months now but he's still the newest baby!) got me thinking about items that came in useful to me when L was a baby. 
I definitely had way more stuff than necessary or some things that never even got used or items that were used a few times but were actually more of hindrance than anything. 

So I've complied a list of the 5 items that I found the most useful when having a new baby in the house. 


  1. Cosatto Changing Unit  - This was a life saver for me. I suffer with a bad back form an old RTA injury and this made changing, washing, dressing etc so much easier as I didn't have to bend down. We kept it in the alcove under stairs and wheeled it our when needed. It's great for storage too. I have safely stored away in the attic just in case there's a need to use it again. This is the one we had and we actually got it for a absolute bargain second hand for €30.00 and it was like brand new.

  2. Bath Seat - This made bath time so much easier and more relaxed. We were given one of these when L was born and I was little unsure at the start but it was much more convenient to bath him lying in this rather than trying to lean over the bath and hold him. Also I;m not sure about anyone else but holding a baby in water is quite stressful and I was always afraid he'd slip or something! Bath time was a nightly feature during the bed time routine so we got lot of use out of it. 

  3. Tommee Tippee Bottle Warmer  - L was bottle fed and we would prep his bottles for the day every morning. I didn't like the idea of giving him a cold bottle so would just pop it into the bottle warmer for a minute or so just before his next feed and it would be the perfect temperature by the time he was ready for it. Was so handy to bring upstairs with us during the night too. We got ours in Mothercare with a voucher we were given when he was born. 

  4. Pram Clips - A vital tool when shopping with a pram, there's only so much you can fit in the basket underneath the pram! My bestie gave me one of these, I'd never seen them before and they are so handy to clip your bags on to when you are out and about in the shops. 

  5. Homeopathic Remedies - It's no secret Luke hit every regression with his sleeping pattern and  he had a hard time teething, as babies do and I swear by 2 homeopathic remedies that I've written about here and here. They made such a difference to him during these phases and helped get us through the tough days. Homeopathy isn't for everyone but I highly recommend it from personal experience. 
Hopefully some people may find this list helpful.
What are essential items when there' s a new baby in the house? 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I have not been asked by any of the companies mentioned to review these products and links are provided purely for convenience to find a product.*

Saturday, 6 May 2017

April Round Up


April you were a busy one!

For the first time this year it was not filled with stress and worry and we actually enjoyed the month. I had a week off work so got to indulge in some quality family time. 

Easter took place obviously and on Good Friday I was selling the Easter Lily pins in my town and we also fit in an Easter egg hunt. Easter Sunday morning myself, Luke and his Grandad went to the Youghal Easter Rising Commemoration where we marched behind a Republican band and listened to speeches from some of the Sinn Féin TD's that were present on the day. It was a great morning and a privilege to take part in it. While we didn't have our usual Easter Sunday family dinner it was still nice and that night I got out for some much needed drinks with the girls.

We had 2 trips to Fota Wildlife park during the month. Luke loves it there and we can spend hours in there. We also went to Fota Gardens a few times, it's a lovely place to bring the kids on their bikes or for a stroll around. Both of these are only a short few minutes drive from our house and we are so lucky that they are on our door step. 

We did a lot of exploring during the month in our local area and had a lovely evening walk in the local woods. You can walk right through and down to the strand, there's some lovely views down there. We went to to the local Farmer's Market in Midleton where we had the most delicious stonebaked pizza and we took a drive along the back roads of East Cork. It's so easyto take for granted the things and surroundings we see everyday but we really do live in a beautiful part of the country and we really need to appreciate it some more.


I mentioned last month about Luke's skin and suffering from orbital dermatitis, well I wasn't happy with the way it was going so he went back to the doctor and they described him as having atopic eczema / asthma. I think I'm right in saying that means he has the symptoms without having the actual diagnosis if you get me. Anyway he was prescribed an anti histamine, emollient cream, and granuales that he has to take at night time and there has been such an improvement since and he's back to sleeping properly. His eyes still aren't fully better so he has been referred to a dermatologist to get this looked at some more but overall there's been a vast improvement. 

The camera has been out and about a lot this month and I'm currently working on a gift idea for the parents, I won't say much here just incase the Mothership is reading but I will share once it's done.

The Fitbit has had me out and about more in April. I've managed to fit in some walks during my lunch breaks and some evening walks. Of course the first night I headed out it lashed rain and I got soaked but it wasn't enough to deter me. I'm really struggling with my fitness at the moment, according to the Fitbit I'm in the end of the "Fair" section on the scale and I'm determined to bring that up. With an energetic, almost 4 year old it's important that I can keep up with him. Weight is a whole other issue but right now I'm trying to focus on the fitness part and hopefully the weightloss will fall into that as well. 

Recommendation of the month goes to Alfaparf Pigments Hydrating Shampoo.

May looks set to be another busy month and we are looking forward to some warmer weather, hopefully!

How was your April??


Monday, 1 May 2017

Me & Mine April

April, you were a busy one! It felt like a long month because we managed to cram so much in to it I think.

April saw us taking a step back from life's stresses a bit. We had a break from work, college, preschool and some time to just spend together and relax. It was badly needed after the manic first 3 months of the year. 

The weather was a bit unpredictable as it usually is in April but we really made the most of being outdoors as much as we could and we love it. Luke loves nothing more than running around outside.

Easter was a quiet affair, we usually have a family dinner but this year we didn't and it was actually quite nice to just go about our day at a leisurely pace and do our own thing. 

For once this month we weren't rushing around trying to get a last minute photo and the Mothership actually took these of us at the local. Easter Egg hunt.

Here we are in April:





This month Luke loves:

Playing "I'll be the good guy and you'll be the bad guys and I'll catch you"
Mickey Mouse Club House
Getting out and about in the garden with his Grandparents

This month Dad loves:

Two weeks off college
Having us visit him at work
Topping up his tan at work - he works mostly outside and only needs to look at the sun to get a tan!

This month Mum loves:

Catching up with friends over lunch and drinks
Finally getting my hair cut
Getting a walk in most days, the FitBit won't let me sit still! 




The Me and Mine Project

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Alfaparf Pigments Hydrating Shampoo Review

Any regular readers of my blog know that I rarely, if ever review beauty products but y'know when you find something new that changes your world (perhaps a slight exaggeration!) that you just need to share it with everyone?!! 

I've been a L'Oreal Elvive girls for years when it comes to shampoos and conditioners especially the latest Fibrology ones because my hair is quite flat and lacking volume so that always gave it a bit of a boost there. They are always on offer too so would always get them on a "Buy one get one free" basis. In regards to colour though they didn't preserve it for very long and it would fade quite quickly after getting it done particularly with the red and purple colours I go for. 

However the last colour I put in, back in March, was magenta and I was determined to try and keep it vibrant for as long as possible. Enter Pigments Hydrating Shampoo by Alfaparf:

I picked up a bottle of this in my hairdressers after getting my colour done along with the Violet Ash pigment, you mix that in with the shampoo and just make sure you give the bottle a good shake before using.
I won't lie it's usually the price of the salon products that turn me off and could they really be worth much more like? Would they really do such a better job? It's a big 'hell yeah' where this is concerned and I only really realised it when I ran out and used my normal shampoo for a couple of weeks before going back to the hairdressers. My colour almost immediately faded. (My hairdresser, the lovely Debbie is probably reading this saying "I told you so"!)  
When using the Pigments shampoo I didn't need to use any additional conditioner and my hair felt fabulous. Way easier to manage and stronger and it didn't get greasy half as quick. I wash my hair every second day but with this I could leave an extra day or 2 depending on what I'd been up to. 

The 2 products were €18, I think, I can't quite remember because I paid for it along with my colour that day but honestly worth every penny. I'm on to my second bottle now and honestly I just love it, the shine on my hair is amazing.

As always thanks to DKH Hair in Cobh, Co Cork for helping change my ways and show my hair some love. This product, along with others can be purchased in the salon, just click on the salon name above there for further details on how to contact Debbie and her team.



Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Round Up



March has gone by in a blur. I had some lovely time off over St Patricks Weekend, I took a couple of mid week days off and it was so nice to be able to do the school run and get some nice dinners ready and spend the the afternoons with the boy child. He was so happy to have me there and he is such great company at the moment. It made my return to work that little bit harder than usual.

I'm going to be straight up here, I'm not too impressed with how 2017 is going, it's a lot more stressful than I anticipated and I was really hoping for a quiet year. Nonetheless I always try to  remain grateful and appreciative and remember there are so many more who are worse off than me. 

March has been spent trying to get a bit of Spring cleaning done and sorting out the spare room to try and make it more spacious in the hopes of turning it into a study / office. We have removed the bed and replaced the wardrobe with a better one in the hopes of utilising it for storage space. I am shocked that I can regularly find tings to throw out / give away, we have so much stuff. 
We were recently sent some products from Milton to review and they came just at the right time. I find the anti bacterial spray and the wipes ideal for cleaning the boy child's bedroom and toy area. Well when I say toy area that basically means the whole house because there is toys everywhere! It surprises me just how dirty and mucky the toys can get, he's gone passed the stage of putting things in his month but he now likes to make "drinks" and "dinners" for us in his kitchen and sometimes this involves using real food and drinks! As you can imagine it can get quite messy. The boy child has a bit of a thing against hand dryers at the moment too, I think he just finds them too loud and a bit scary so if we are out and about and he needs to use the bathroom it's a battle to get him to wash his hands because he thinks he'll have to use the dryer so the hand sanitiser that we were also sent is the perfect size to keep in my handbag and keep those germs at bay.

Speaking of the boy child, most of March has been spent trying to find some relief for the orbital dermatitis he is suffering from. It's looks like eczema around his eyes and can be brought on by the use of inhalers and steroids which due to a bad chest and croup for a lot of the Winter he was on both. He looks terrible with it, like he's done a few rounds in the boxing ring! We have found some relief for him though by using special wipes for the eyes that my Mum picked up in the chemist and keeping it moisturised with Haldens cream or Silcock's Base.He still has a touch of the cough too so after reading some reviews we decided to try a salt clinic. One opened up recently in East Cork in Midleton and we have had 2 sessions there now. I'll do a full post on that at a later stage I think because there seems to be lots of benefits to it. 

I had my first request to make cupcakes for people other than my family and friends, very exciting! A work friend was organising her friend's hen party and asked would I make a batch of Where's Wally themed cupcakes for their night away. It's very nerve wracking knowing that strangers were going to be eating my baking!

We finally got to out in the garden, yay!! My tulips were beginning to blossom in the packaging I bought them in but now they are sitting pretty in the flower bed out the back. I also picked up some colourful primroses which I've put into the pots by the shed. I'm not the most green fingered person, much to my parents despair as they have a beautiful, huge garden which is a labour of love for them but I love having a bit of colour out there. 

The camera hasn't seen much light this month but I have ordered a new wide angle lens so looking forward to playing around with that.

March has been about enjoying as much of the Spring sunshine as possible, there's nothing like some sunshine and fresh air to lift the mood.

Mother's Day was thankfully a lovely sunny day, I took off to Lismore with the Mothership and Luke and we had a lovely day, finished off with dinner out for the 3 of us
.
March saw us celebrating my godson's christening which was a great day and also a great excuse for me to finally get around to getting my hair done, those roots were so bad!! I went for magenta highlights this time and a victory rolls for the christening, I pushed the boot out altogether and also got my make up done for the occasion. Thanks again to Rosie Higgins MUA and DKH Hair for looking after me, these gals are amazing so if you are ever in the East Cork area be sure to look them up.


We are looking forward to April and the Easter break, well a break for me and the boy child, the OH will probably be working all the hours as he'll be on holidays from college, but we will be sure to enjoy our time off on his behalf too, I'm sound like that hehe.

How was your March? I hope the sun has shone wherever you are.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Me & Mine March


March was a long month wasn't it? Usually I say they fly by but March seemed to go on a bit longer than usual. On the other hand it's hard to believe we are entering April already, 2017 is definitely going by n a flash.

It was another busy one here and another one that was filled with coughs, colds, ailments, migraines etc etc but fingers crossed we are out the other side. 
It was however a much more settled month than February thankfully. The clock change makes such a difference too, it's so nice to have the brighter evenings, I always feel like I can more done that way. 

The 3 of us had some lovely quality time this month which was well needed. You would think we wold have had ample opportunity to get some half decent Me & Mine photos for March but it was not to be.

Here we in March, in our very grainy, very rushed family portrait:



This month Luke loves:
Playing with Lego
Having fun with his Aunty
Going out on his bike

This month Dad loves:
Going to the gym
Getting some projects out of the way
Spending quality time with Luke

This month Mum loves:
Going to physio to finally sort out a pesky shoulder problem
My godson's christening
Getting my hair done


The Me and Mine Project

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes

Ah my old reliable - 6, 6, 6 and 3. I will always remember this combination from my childhood days of baking fairy cakes with the mother and it's always used whenever I need to whip up some last minute treats. It's also usually the only time I work in ounces too. 

These cupcakes are ideal for a Mother's Day treat this weekend.



Ingredients:

6oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Baking Butter
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Madagascan Vanilla

Topping:

500g Icing Sugar
250g Baking Butter
1-2 Tblsp Milk
1 Tsp Raspberry Flavouring
1 Tsp Vanilla Flavouring
Rose Pink Food Colouring


Method:

  • Preheat oven on 170 degrees (I have a fan oven)
  • Mix the sugar and butter first until creamy
  • Sift flour and add a little bit at a time along with one egg at at time.
  • Leave to mix in the food mixer for a few minutes while you get your cake cases and trays ready. This is how I get my light and fluffy sponge.
  • Add vanilla essence
  • Divide mixture between cases and then using a cocktail stick even out the mixture. This helps the cakes to rise flat rather than uneven which makes them easier to ice.
  • Bake for approx 20 minutes.
  • Once cool, beat the butter for the icing first until creamy and then add in the icing sugar, at this point I would also add in 1 tblsp of milk and add the more in needed, sometimes the mixture can be quite thick and the milk will help the make it easier to ice the cakes. 
  • Add in flavouring and colouring and mix 
  • Ice cakes as desired. 
  • Toppings optional - I used mini marshmallows and Vermicelli strands.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Playlist Of My Life

The very lovely Nicola over at Simply Homemade Blog is hosting a link up for a Playlist Of Your Life and I couldn't not join in.
I love these kind of posts! It's not an easy one for sure, there are so many songs I could include, (y'know the ones that automatically transport you back in time or make you feel the exact same way you did back then) but that would take forever so breaking it down to a small number has been hard.

Here we have the Playlist Of My Life...to date:

Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer


This one brings me right back to driving to Wales from Slough for us to get on the Swansea / Cork ferry in November 1992 as we packed up our life in the UK and headed to the Emerald Isle. My mam had bought the Now 23 double cassette and we played it for the whole journey with boxes, kids and dog squished into our blue Ford Sierra.

The Lifeboat Mona - Luke Kelly


I grew listening to Luke Kelly a lot and I think by now that everyone knows our own Luke is named after him. My Dad was and still is an avid fan of Luke Kelly and he always had his cd's blaring at the weekends as he worked in the house or up in the shed. This song was the first one that hit me with feeling, I was only about 7 / 8 and the lines "The howling wind and the driving rain" and "We'll never see land or home again" were sung with such conviction, I would feel those words in my chest each time I heard them. 

An Angel - The Kelly Family 


Oh I'd say my parents curse the day I ever heard this song! I was 11 and it started a an obsession that was to last a few years but brought so much to my life. I think they were played on 2TV once and I managed to record it on a video and I cherished that bloody video. It was through The Kelly Family that I really developed my love of music and made me want to pick up an instrument, I got my first guitar at 11. They bought a big house down the road from us so I became obsessed with them at the right time and would often see them around. I also met lots of people, their fans, who used to come and sit outside their house for weeks on end. At one point I had 90 penpals, most of whom were through being Kelly Family fans. A huge part of my childhood.

Westlife - Swear It Again


My first boyband obsession. I was 14 I think when this came out and I was a devoted fan for ages, had all the cd's, books, video's, dvd's. I used to buy all the magazines with them in and my room was plastered in posters, ah the innocence. I remember paying for Sky box office to watch their first tour live and then record it on video in a family friends house, I watched it over and over and then let my bestie borrow and her brother recorded over some it....I was distraught, I still don't think I'm over it! I lost count of how many times I saw them in concert, and I was there proudly shedding a tear at their farewell in Croke Park not so long ago!

Crawling - Linkin Park


Ah the "nu metal" phase, well actually it wasn't a phase I still listen to all this kind of music but they were the first band like this that I was hooked on and it was a perfect match for my teenage angst. My first boyfriend before he was my boyfriend told me to listen to this, he was trying to impress me I guess and it worked! I'm all about the lyrics and this spoke to my 15 year old heart. The whole album, Hybrid Theory is still one of my all time favourites, from start to finish it is a masterpiece. 

Outside (Live) - Staind


This video was all over Kerrang! music channel, oh god can't you just feel the angst of the teenage years in Aaron Lewis' roar towards the end?! I saw these guys in concert in The Point when I was 16 and it was still one of the best concerts I was at, in the mosh pit, the guitarist spat in my direction, getting squashed by all the sweaty over enthusiastic Staind fans, I loved every minute of it!

Ding Dong Song - Gunther


Oh god even the name of this song is cringey nevermind listening to it!! If I close my eyes while listening to this I am back on the dancefloor in "The Comm" on a Thursday night after a big bottle of WKD or 2 bottles of Kopperberg (I was a lightweight, still am!),  I more than likely had school the next day, being 18 in Leaving Cert year had pros and cons. It's one of those stupid songs that got everyone on the dancefloor.

Tipsy - J-Kwon


I think we all got a bit too tipsy in the club when this song was around! It was guaranteed to get everyone out on the dancefloor, hands in the air, bouncing around like we from the ghetto!! Bottle of Smirnoff Ice with a straw dancing up on the balcony in "The Comm", (I spent a lot of time in there in my teens/early 20's) with my knee high white boots and black rara skirt, sure I was the bomb altogether! A time where a night out turned into 3 nights out, only going home to get showered and changed. I still don't know how I made it into my part time job after a night out back then but I did. Ah good times.

Broken - Seether ft Amy Lee 


A Seether fan and an Evanescence fan, I was bound to love this track. This reminds of a time when I first moved away from home to work and live in a holiday park, it was such a life changing experience filled with so many ups and downs. It was a time when I had to experience some hardships without any of my family or childhood friends around, it was a roller coaster of a time but I wouldn't change any of it.

Everytime We Touch - Cascada


What a belter! This is mine and my good friend Jen's song. We loved this, we both worked in the holiday park together for half of my first season there and every night we'd blare this while getting ready to head out to the pub on site. It reminds me of us just laughing and getting up to mischief. If we ever get the chance to meet up these days we might still give this a listen.

The Noose - A Perfect Circle


Not long turned 19, finished school, but hadn't settled in college, was working in the local Centra, had a boyfriend who I had messed around a bit too much, god love him I was still reeling from my first heartbreak and he got the brunt of it but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted in life at that moment in time. Then someone came along and introduced me to this album and it was a game changer, a brief dalliance and all too soon I was on my way to the next chapter in my life. This song always reminds me of that time, exhilarating but didn't last too long, which was good when I look back now! 

Beachball - Nalin & Kane


Ah everyone loved this song point didn't they?! Cruising in my white honda civic with this one blaring, it reminds me of laughs, sunny skies and having fun. This made a it of a comeback around 2006 I think or else it was just still being played but I had just come out of a bad car crash and lived to tell the tale, I had to move back home which was a blessing in disguise  and this one always reminds me of finding my feet again and going out with my friends, it was definitely a summer of fun that year. 

Umbrella - Rhianna


Before I even left for Australia I was bloody homesick and this song was out around the same time. My bestie was a Rhianna fan and it was played everywhere in Oz and all I could think about was how much I missed my friends and couldn't wait to see them. I'm just not built to spend long periods of time away from home. 

Big Casino - Jimmy Eat World


It's no playlist of mine without these guys in there. If I close my eyes to this one, I am right back driving (well in the passengers seat) the Brand Highway in Western Australia in a 1986 Ford Falcon which promptly broke down not long after we reached our destination. This album was released mid road trip and we stopped off in Karratha if I remember correctly to buy it. It's one of the fewer times in Oz where I wasn't homesick or wanting to be anywhere else and at that point of the road trip I felt free as bird and genuinely excited at what was ahead.

Polaris - Jimmy Eat World



After returning from Australia I found it hard to find my feet at home again, although I was delighted to be home and I think I'd expected everything to fall back into place like it was before I left but obviously it didn't and I spent a couple of years trying to find my way and figure out just where it was I wanted to be, I think this is pretty standard in your early twenties though. Anyway this song reminds me of that time, where everything was up in the air and I wasn't really myself but I knew I would be ok. The line "In your darkest time it's just enough to know it's there" is tattooed on my arm, it was kind of a reassurance to myself. 

Many Of Horror - Biffy Clyro



This one signifies a who change in direction in my life at the end of 2010. I'd spent the previous 2 and a half years trying to make a relationship work and it just wasn't ever meant to be, I probably should've given up long before I did but it was one of those where you're not quite sure if you're better off out of it or to put up with it and accept it for what it was. There was lots of back and forth and eventually there was the final break up and at the time I just knew in my heart that that was it and there would be no going back and I remember driving home and feeling strangely elated but incredibly sad at the same time and this song was on which played havoc with my already running high emotions!! Even now when I hear it, I just think back and remember finally being able to break the cycle and knowing it was better off for everyone involved. Everything changed from that point on and I'm a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. 

Concrete Angel - Gareth Emery


That time I loved going to the gym for a few months! This was my treadmill song, I always put it on first to get me going in the gym. I really enjoyed going, it was the first time in a long time I'd felt healthy and body confident. I'm aiming to get back to that point at some stage in the near future. Even now it makes me want to put on my runners and get out and do something. 

Million Voices - Otto Knows


Summer 2012 was a blast and this song is the song that reminds me of it. Myself and the OH got together that Summer and this was a favourite of his. It reminds me of the start of our relationship, all giddy and excited and wanting to spend every minute together. He took off on boys holiday about a month into our relationship for a week and every time this song came on I pined for him, it was ridiculous..now I can't get him out of the house enough (just joking my dear in case you are reading this!!) 

Let Her Go - Passenger


Aww this song makes me so happy because it reminds of my little boy as a baby. This was in the charts when he was born and it was the only thing for ages that would literally stop him in his tracks. I can see him in my arms as a baby, only weeks old and he'd stop crying when this came on and I would stand in front of the tv just rocking him, so so tired but so besotted with him and for those few minutes it would be sheer bliss with my little baba. I used to play it in the car too if I was trying to get him to settle or go to sleep. Awww this makes me miss those newborn days...kind of! 

The Town I Loved So Well - Luke Kelly


Luke Kelly features again. To me my Dad was always this gruff, big, strong man who would fix all my problems (he still is!) but I remember sitting down to watch a documentary on Luke Kelly on RTE 1, I can't quite remember how old I was but I was maybe early teens, I was watching it with my Mam and Dad and this song came on mid way through the program and I remember looking over at my Dad and seeing him cry. It was my first time seeing him in any other way other than how I described him above. I remember being kind of shocked but knowing that this song hit him hard personally. If we happen to be watching one of the many Luke Kelly documentaries since I make myself scarce for this song because it's just so emotional and seeing the effect it has on him brings out the tears in me and I just can't cope!

Sweet Child of Mine - Guns 'n' Roses


This will always be a favourite of mine, it's one of those songs that I can remember at any time of life and when I eventually make it down the aisle to the OH I want this to be playing. It was my ringtone on my Nokia 3210 for ages!

So there we have it, a very brief look at the play list of my life, although it seems quite long when I go back over it but I honestly could've added so many more but there's a place called stop and all that. It wasn't easy picking the above videos but I'm quite impressed with my list above, a Spotify list has now been created off the back of this.

Are there any tracks that you associate with important or memorable times in your life? What's your playlist? I'd love to hear.










Sunday, 12 March 2017

Snapshot

Life right now. Linking up with one of my fell Irish Parenting Bloggers, Awfully Chipper, these are my favourite kind of posts!

Listening to: This very minute it's Cork's Red FM on the radio, it's the only station I really listen to although I may have to reconsider now that KC is gone in the mornings. Spotify is on through my headphones at home some evenings, I rediscovered Evanescence live album a few weeks ago so that's been playing on there. 

Watching: We are re watching Prison Break ahead of a new, long awaited series starting soon, I'm so excited to see it! Also trying to get through the last 2 seasons of Bones and the latest season of Criminal Minds 

Playing: Superheroes, all day everyday when the boy child is around, or good guys / bad guys: "You 2 be the good cop and catch me I'll be the bad robber" - he tells his Dad and I.

Reading: I'm easing myself back into reading at the moment, I haven't done it in so long and I was an avid reader previously. I'm reading a book by a local author set in my hometown so it's not too taxing on the imagination and easy to read. There's a pile of books on my bedside locker waiting to be read.



Looking Forward To: March being a quiet month, February was so hectic I'm looking forward to having no plans this month

Drinking: I'm trying to cut out all those bad fizzy / sweet drinks and usually they vdon't bother me but if I feel like one I'll try and get a can of the organic stuff from the local health food shop, it's quite tasty. The elderflower one is my favourite.



Wearing: Black, all black everything. It's slimming, not much but it does disguise a few lumps and bumps.

Eating: I have given up crisps for Lent and anyone who knows me knows how hard that will be! I'm actually addicted to crisps like, it's kind of scary, I'd devour any packet in front of me so to ease the blow I am eating these organic, gluten free corn chips from the local health food shop. They are surprisingly tasty.



Working On: A few things, being more active, making the blog more interactive and keeping on top of my to do lists, that just keep on growing.

Permanently Frustrated By: The weather, will it ever stop raining?! Traffic, always forgetting to take the meat out of the freezer for dinner, ruins my meal plans! 

Enjoying: Being able to walk into the spare room now that it's been cleared out a bit

Not Enjoying: The rain. Monthly wages, only one month in but I don't know whether I'm coming or going at the moment 

Head on over to Awfully Chipper to see a snapshot into some other blogger's lives right now.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

February Round Up


Well well well...February you certainly kept me on my toes!

It's been a stressful month to be honest and not at all how I expected it to go. In fact the events of February have railroaded any plans we'd made in January. It's been a month of upheaval, stress and worry but finishing with a sigh of relief.
However I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and as much as I hate change sometimes you just have to roll with it and allow things to workout by themselves.

February saw the OH start a new job, in a place I spent a couple of seasons working in back in the day! He gets into the full swing of it in March and he's looking forward to a change.

With all the upheaval I haven't been as productive as I would've liked, unless you count baking, I've made a lot of cupcakes this month. I love making them, decorating them more so and doing different fillings, I don't even eat that many of them afterwards but I enjoy the whole process. I've been asked to make a batch of cupcakes for a hen party in March, I'm excited and nervous, I hope I don't mess them up!

We had a family christening in February. It was great to get away for the day and the boy child had great fun catching up and playing with his cousins, he ran himself ragged and was exhausted afterwards. It was in Dungarvan and I captured a lovely evening shot of the quay (see below).

There was some nice things that cheered me up this month too - my niece Jade bought my new charm for my Pandora bracelet, it's so pretty and I was delighted to add to my collection.
How cute is that unicorn phone cover too?! I saw it in Penneys and couldn't leave it behind, so not my usual style either.

I'm loving the slightly brighter evenings, it's so nice to drive home from work and it not be dark. Hopefully I can get out in the garden soon and finally plant some flowers.

I went to see a medium at the end of the month and it was very interesting to say the least. Quite an emotional appointment which I wasn't expecting but I got lots of guidance so I am looking forward with lots more positivity.

March, it's time to settle down again, into our new routine and make the most of the month.

Here's a small recap of my February:



How was your February?

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Me & Mine February

The shortest month of the year felt like the longest this time around.
It's been a busy month, with lots of ups and downs but as the month is closing we are finally back on a somewhat even keel. 

February saw new jobs, mid terms, much needed family time, re evaluating some things...we are adulting hard this month! However as always things always work out for the best, as I say everything happens for a reason.

We are really looking forward to March being a much more settled month on every level.

Pictures this month were a little rushed but we have one of the 3 of us in the same spot of the house at this time of the year for the last 3 years so it's nice to keep this tradition going.

Here is our family portrait for March:



This month Luke loves:

Having his baby cousin Eliot come on a sleep over
Going to Fota Gardens with his friends to ride his bike
Watching Kung Fu Panda

This month Dad loves:

Starting a new job
Having some much needed family bonding time
Going out with his friends

This month Mum loves:

Looking after my handsome godson
Going to see a medium
Finally starting a new book



The Me and Mine Project

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

January Round Up


January - You could have been a bit nicer but you could have also been a whole lot worse.
I feel like the month passed by in much the same way as 2016 on a whole did, highs and lows. No sooner had we ourselves sorted then we suffered another set back. 
I did decide this year that I wouldn't be focusing on a the whole "new year new start" straight away because I always feel like that's a bit unrealistic, the aftermath of Christmas tends to linger, I celebrate my birthday and just generally getting ourselves back on an even keel takes a bit of time so with that mindset January went quite ok.

We made some adult decisions, mortgage discussing no less, all very grown up and scary and exciting! 

We had a child free trip to Belfast which we really enjoyed, there was lots of shopping and eating taking in some of the infamous sights.

A date night out for dinner with the OH, uninterrupted meal time is a novelty!

A girly catch up over dinner where we laughed a lot about our younger days. I actually hadn't laughed that much in a long time, it was definitely needed.

The OH's car suffered a freak accident by rolling from outside our house and bashing into another car which we had to pay for.

My car suffered a hiccup 2 days later.

My insurance renewal came in with another increase after almost doubling last year, seriously it infuriates me! Cars are a bottomless pit of money.

We had my godson for his first sleep over, best baby ever! He was an absolute delight to have and Luke loves having him around.

Even though we have finally shifted all of the Winter sickness I'm still being wiped out by migraines, they leave me exhausted.

We haven't got out in as much fresh air as I'd like but our first visit of the year to the farm to see "the baby cows" made me realise that I most definitely need to invest in a pair of wellies! 

I do feel like I have been more productive already this year by beginning to organise the house room by room, making the most of all the things we already have and reducing the buying, particularly where food is concerned, you read more about that here. 

I've also picked up my camera properly for the first time in ages, I had neglected it for much of last year but looking forward to getting into my love of photography again and editing pictures.

Here's a small recap in pictures of the month that was January:


While picking up the camera I was also editing some older pictures form last year and really like the way these 2 below turned out. I'm really looking forward to getting out and about on some picture taking adventures in February.
Belvelly Castle, Cobh, Co Cork

Belvelly, Cobh, Co Cork
We are ending the month with a few things up ion the air that need to be sorted out but I'm hoping that February will see everything fall into place, we'll have to just keep positive!

ow was January for you? I hope it was kind to all.

Friday, 3 February 2017

#ClearOutAndEat Week 3



So week 2 of #ClearOutAndEat was another success.

We had a bit of a crap day on Saturday which resulted in the adults having a frozen pizza at 9 that night! No waste though as we had the dinner planned for Saturday on Sunday instead and I've added the roast pork to this weeks menu.

The pepperoni and mozzarella stuffed chicken on Sunday went down a treat, it was delicious. I also added some homemade spicy tomato sauce to it which gave it a nice kick. That was new dish and happy it turned out so well.

The curry on Monday was a bit too spicy for me but the boys devoured it. I'm surprised the boy child did seeing as it was extra spicy but he's becoming more like his Dad on the food front.

The chicken and chorizo pasta was well received except for the chorizo left on the side by the boy child which I ate because I'd eat all the chorizo, I love it!

We ran out of bread and milk on Wednesday so had to get a top up before the big shop on Thursday, again these are items that we would never run out of usually but I really think it's down to making a conscious effort to use what's already in the house so more bringing sandwiches to work or college instead of buying them each day, trying to get through the various packets of cereal in the kitchen for breakfasts instead of maybe grabbing something in the shop on the way to work / college and just trying to come up with different versions of meals and snacks using what's there. We still have a mountain of crackers of different varieties to get through so we'll probably make a dent in them this week.
I've also found restricting choice for the boy child helps. I'm all for letting him have his own mind and all that but when it comes to food he was getting too much say in his meals and we were wasting a lot. He's responded quite well to a more strict approach to food and his eating habits have really improved and he's been pretty much clearing his dinner plate this week.

We baked some lemon and white choc chip cupcakes as our treat this week. I have a cupboard full for baking ingredients so really need to start using them up.

As we enter into Week 3 of #ClearOutAndEat I can already see so much more space in the cupboards and freezer and we haven't had any food waste in the last 2 weeks.

Here's how the meal plan for Week 3 is looking:


Next week is bit all over the place because I'm not sure of the OH's hours at work and that plays a big factor in meals because he does the cooking on nights he's at home before me so I've managed to put together meals that are quick and easy or can be prepared the night before.

Homemade chips are a staple in our house mainly because for ages it was the only form of potato the boy child would eat. I just slice up a potato, sometimes with the skin other times without and shake them up in a bag with a bit of olive oil and different spices. Paprika and chilli is a popular combination here. They are then cooked in the halogen oven so they crisp up quite well. 

The Shepards Pie will probably be prepared the night before and we'll just add the veg once we're home. 

Freezer food on Thursday will hopefully see the freezer freed up of the stray bits of food like some pies, fish fillets, chicken goujans etc

We were under budget this week at €38.10. I got a deal on 2 packets of beef mince for €5.00 too so that'll cover 2 dinners which will more than likely have leftovers for a lunch or 2.

A pretty easy menu this week and again a majority of those ingredients are already in the house.

Have you got a meal plan for the week? I'd love for you to share.