Thursday, 5 October 2017

Halloween Activities in East Cork 2017

Looking for something to do with the kids this coming midterm?
Well there's lots going on in East Cork this year. I now it's only the beginning of the month but I've compiled a list below because if you're anything like me you may like to plan well in advance!


  • Ghoulsley's Manor, Cuskinny, Cobh - This is actually located a few minutes drive from where I live and it's a relatviely new set up. Suitable from age 5 and it offers a 60minute "theatrical experience where you are invited on a journey through the mysterious rooms of our spooky manor house. It offers 2 different shows for different age groups and tickets cost €15.00 pp. Click on the link above to visit their website. 
Photo Credit: Ghousley's Manor

  • Lou Lou's World, Cobh  - An art, craft and holisitc shop, Lou Lou's world in Cobh is incrediably popular with the kids. They hold parties and events and regular workshops for kids and teens. This Halloween they are holding 2 Halloween & Autumn themed workshops for 5 - 9yrs on Thursday November 2nd and for 10 - 13yrs on Friday November 3rd. Both run from 1pm - 4pm and cost €25 per child. Click on the link above to visit their Facebook page for further informaiton. 
    Photo Credit: Lou Lou's World

  • BOO! @ Leahy's Open Farm , Dungourney - Offers Haunted Hay Rides, Witches Forest, Scary Stories and Halloween games. We love Leahy's Farm and have done the Christmas experience so we are hoping to make it to this one too. €9 entry per person and this also includes access to all normal farm activites and play areas. 
Photo Credit: Leahy's Open Farm 

  • Youghaloween Spooktacular, Youghal - A Halloween festival running from October 27th - 29th "blending old Celtic ways of celebrating Samhain with the new". Youghal is a medieval town "steeped in legends and stories banshees, witches, ghosts and more" so it makes for the ideal location for this time of year. If you're looking for something different this year then I reckon this won't disappoint, we're really looking forward to going. 
    Photo Credit: Shane Broderick on Youghaloween FB Page

  • The Happy Halloween Experience , Patricks St, Cork City - Suitbale for the younger kids where they get to meet the nice witch Hattie O'Goodspell. €5 entry per child including sweets. Photographs with Hattie optional. 
Photo Credit: The Happy Halloween FB page

  • Halloween Art & Carve Event, Leamlara Hall - A charity event with Art & Pumpkin Decoration, fundraiser in aid of Hope with €5 entry per child.
Photo Credit: Event Page

  • Halloween Camp @ Tir na Si, Watergrasshill - Halloween camp on the farm including baking classes, pumpkin collecting, farm walks etc. €20 a day or €70 for a week


There's loads there to keep the kids entertained this coming midterm! If you have an event you'd like included please feel free to contact me and I can add it to the list.







Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Office Area Accessories

You might have seen on my Instagram a couple of months back that I finally got around to changing the spare room into a work area, like an office for me to have my computer and things and for the OH to have an area to get his study and projects done, it's his final year in college so it's a busy one.

I've got all the main things done, painting, furniture etc but it's still missing those little bits of extra detail to complete it and I've been looking around recently to see what I could find. I want it to be finished fully before I do a post on the room transformation. 

Here's a selection of items I will pick up and some slightly more luxurious items that I would love:

  



Black & White is the colour scheme of the room along with some bold patterns so this monochrome picture frame from Heatons wold match perfectly sitting on my desk. A bargain too at €2.09.








I was actually struggling to find the right rug to match my curtains, each one I saw just wasn't quite right but this one I found on Ebay looks like it will suit the room just perfect in both colour and size. 







Anyone who knows me will know how much I love skulls so what's more apt for me than a skull desk tidy huh?! I found this on the Paperchase site. They deliver to Ireland but I'm hoping to be in the UK in the next few months so may just pay the store a visit instead.






A skylight is an office accessory that I have always wanted and it's something on the list for when we own our own house but for now I can just look. There's something so cosy about having a skylight window, I think it's being able to look out at the the night sky, I can imagine I would find a lot of blog inspiration gazing out of one. Roof Windows have a great selection of skylights and blinds.





Another one for the dream office is one of those fancy, ergonomic chairs. So much better for my weak back and the splash of colour on this one would brighten up the room. Hunt Office have a great selection of chairs for various budgets but for us and for now we will have to settle for what we have but these have been added to the wish list. 



Do you have a home office or a designated working area in your home? Please feel free to share and we may just inspire each other! 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Life Lately...With A Fearless Four Year Old

I haven't done life lately post in while so thought I would give you all an update on what life is like with our now 4 year old.



Living with a 4 year old is a lot different to the tantruming threenager stage but it's also the same if you get me? It's still full on, it's still challenging but it's different challenges.

Where we had tantrums, we now have defiance ,where we had screeching, we now have back chat and where we had crying, we now have whinging, a lot of it!

This kid know's what he wants and won't stop until he get's it. When he get's in trouble now he can regularly be heard telling me "Stop annoying me", or "When you annoy me you make me angry". I generally deal wiht this by asking him to explain why I annoy him or make him angry and if this doesn't work I just leave him to come out of his funk and find me when he's ready to either talk about it or apologise. 
The apologising after being bold or getting trouble is getting better, he know's now when he's gone too far and I tend to ignore him until he can say sorry but these day's it's not taking long and he's approaching me to say sorry for what he's done. We have a little chat about it, hug it out and move on. 
I get a lot of "But I'm the strongest so that means I can do what I want" - I try my best to deal with this while not letting out a giggle becuase he's damn sure that this is the way things go. I usually tend to agree with him on the strong part but that doesn't mean he can do what he wants. 

The bargaining at bedtime is still in full swing but only with me, not his Dad or his Nan who he stays with every Tuesday night. I can be guaranteed to be met with a barage of excuses as we snuggle down to sleep - I'm hungry, I don't like my bed, I'm really not ried, I'm thirsty...you get the picture. 

Do they ever stop whinging though? It's the whining and half arsed cries that get on my nerves, everything else I can deal with but that is my bug bear!

Everything is poo too - poohead, pooface, poobum....

But it's not all bad, there's lots of pro's to having a 4 year old. 

Where we had daily battles, we now compromise on a lot of things, where we had tears when I left for work, he now understands that he'll see me that evening and is much more reassured.

He now likes to read the books to me at bedtime, sure it takes a bit longer but it's the sweetest thing to watch him improvise the story by looking at the pictures and remembering it the way I have it read it before. 
Four means we can have some chill time together at the weekend, where we can sit together and watch a full movie or we curl up in my bed and he watches his tablet while I read or something. 

Hes the most considerate little guy too, just last weekend I was wiped out with a migraine and I had said to him that I wasn't feeling well and he'll have to be a good boy for me and he was the best. He told me he'll mind me and occupied himself with his toys and some Netflix until I was feeling better. 

Four means we can have little chats about things in more depth, how his day has been, what he'd like to do that day, how he's feeling etc..

He's great company and cracks me up on a daily basis. I love his enthusiasm for the little things. "Thanks so much for my new shoes that got for me" he told me the other day, "I really do like them". The sheer excitement when I pull a Kinder egg out of my bag, well if I could bottle that and sell it! 

It's funny to see him picking up other people's mannerisms too particularly his Nan's. " Call me if you need me" is my favourite thing to hear him repeat. Or when we got the dog a new bed the other day, I said I hope he likes it, "Oh I hope so too Mum", it just sounds so funny coming out of him. Or hearing him chatting away to the dog. "Give me your paw Murph", "Murph paaaaaaaaaaaw" and then he gets the paw and all you can hear is "Good booooooooooy" it really is so funny!

At four he is developing into himself and his personality is shining through more and more each day - 
he doesn't like when I pull his pants up too high, they have to be on his hips, I must make sure his socks are pulled up properly, he has to have red sauce with everything and he'll always eat the meat first off his dinner plate. 
He likes certain songs that he'll ask for the radio to be turned up for, mostly The Dubliners these days, he doesn't like the mince but he'll devour bolognese. 
He loves to spend time with his cousins and it quite protective over his baby cousin, that's his favourite baby! The rougher you are with him the more he loves it, cue plenty of wrestling moves being tried out. 

While four is tough on some levels, I'm thoroughly enjoying it many other levels. Each age is just another phase that we have to muddle through.







Friday, 22 September 2017

Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas - Tuna Rice Noodles



Now the madness of the Summer is over at work, I am triyng to get back on track with proper lunches and prepping them in advance instead fo going to nearest deli or shop. 
I was rooting through the fridge for lunch the toher days and found enough ingredients to attempt to emulate a lunch I'd get in the English Market here in Cork.
Thankfully ti turned out quite well. it gacve me enough for 3 desk lunches at work this week and cost me less than if I was to pop to the market and get one portion. 


Ingredients:

1x Packet Rice Noddles - I got the fresh ones from Aldi
1x tsp of Minced Garlic - I got the squeezy tube of garlic in Aldi
Button Mushrooms - As many as you like, I love them to added in loads
Large Handful of Baby Spinach
Cucumber
1x Carrot
Soy Sauce 
1x Tin of Tuna in Spring Water
2x Tblsp Light Mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Start by chopping your mushrooms and carrots. I peeled and thinly slcied my carrots. Add them to a wok with olive oil and cook on a medium heat
  • Add the teaspoon of garlic
  • Shred the spinach leaves and add them to the wok 
  • Once your veg has soften, add the rice noodles making sure you coat the noodles with the oil in the pan.
  • Add a splash of soy sauce and salt and pepper
  • Let them cook for about 5 minutes in a medium heat, stirring them to ensure they don't stick
  • Drain the tuna and add it to a bowl with the mayonnaise and mix well.
  • Take the noodles and veg off the heat.
  • Slice your cucumber and add it to the noodles and veg mix while it's cooling.
  • Once cooled you can store in the fridge. 
I boxed mine up seperately - rice noodles and veg in one box and the tuna in another. When it came to eating them at lunchtime I heated the noodles for a minute in the microwave at work and then mixed in my tuna. 



So tasty and filling and so many options to load it up with more healthy vegetables!  



Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Folláin Jams

Jam always reminds me of childhood, not mine in particular but just of being a kid and having jam sandwiches or those butterfly cakes with jam and cream in them. A treat if you will so I was only delighted to recieve this pretty little hamper in the post from Folláin, any excuse to make some fresh scones (or for the mother to make fresh scones so I could eat them!). 




Folláin is an Irish company based in Ballyvourney, Co Cork , my home county and have been producing delicious jams, relishes, sauces, marmalades etc since 1983. 


We were sent 3 different flavours of the No Added Sugar range but the Blueberry & Raspberry is my favourite, it's so delicious and not too sweet, just sweet enough. It was so smooth and spreadable, if there was a cruunchy and smooth version of jam like there is with peanut butter, then this would be the super extra smooth version, if that makes sense. 


If you ever needed an excuse to whip a fresh batch of scones or bread, trying out this delicious jam is the perfect excuse to do so.

You can find Folláin products in your local Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and Super Quinn. 


Monday, 4 September 2017

Things Making My Life Nice Lately

I've been absent on the blogging front, regular followers will be used to it by now, same time every year, works kicks up a notch and I lose my life outside of work / keeping the family alive hours! 
However in the last couple of months there have been a few things making my days that little bit brighter.


  • Sunshine and beach trips. Well one beach trip but Luke had so much fun I can honestly say it was the highlight of the Summer. Unplanned but with a hand towel and spare pair of shorts in the car, he just couldn't wait to get soaked on day trip to Ardmore Beach. 


  • Getting my make up and hair done for my best friends wedding. My bestie aka the bride is my usual MUA and my hair dresser Debbie of DKH Hair was busy looking after the bridal party so I had to look elsewhere for these services on the day and I'm fussy so it wasn't easy! A bit of late night Facebook scrolling though led to to me finding an MUA and hair stylist that would come to my house on the day, sure totally spoil myself altogether! Kristina MUA did my make up on the day and Bozena of Freelance Hair Styling Cork looked after my hair. I was delighted with their work. Y'know when you just feel great in yourself, hair was on point and make up was on point, I liked my dress, my whole look came together so well and I was delighted heading off.  These ladies are so professional and truly talented in what they do, I'd highly recommend them. Also the convenience of getting it all done in my own was only fab, no rushing around or being late for appointments! 
  • Colourful nails! I'm always changing the colour of my nails, usually to match what I'm wearing (because there isn't a million and one other things I could be doing in the evenings!) but the brighter the better in the Summer months. This shiny orange was my favourite - yes my ring finger is always a different colour, it was a trend, it may not be anymore I can't keep up but I just cannot cope with all of my nails being the same colour, we'll put that down as a weird quirk of mine! 
  • Glenisk Vouchers - Sure who doesn't love a freebie eh?! Especially when it helps to fill the snack boxes and keep a bit off the weekly shopping bill. The lovely peeps over at Glenisk sent us some along with this cutesy bandana bib that is just perfect for my little 10 month old godson! 
  • CozyPhones - How cute are these things eh?! We were sent these for review and while Luke thinks they are "awesome" he won't let me get a blimmin' picture of them on him. They are headphones in a soft fleecy headband, to protect their little ears and you can pick from various designs. I should really get an adult pair for when I listen to music in bed becuase it's slightly uncomfortable trying to doze off with an earphone stuick in your ear! 
  • Lipsticks - I should wear them more I think. They always finsih off my made up look but I just forget to put them on. I picked these shades from the Essence range in a sale in the chemist next to my office, serioudly need to stop with the lunch time buying but I love them all.
Normal blogging shall resume soon! 
Hope you all had a lovely Summer.

Linking up with Lady Nicci


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dropping A Ball


I'm always busy. There's always something that needs to be done, people to be organised, lunches and dinners to be sorted, a 4 year old to look after, a full time job to go to, family gatherings, meet ups with friends, events to plan for, cumann business to attend to, a partner working 2 jobs so I've to make sure he doesn't over do it and run himself into the ground...it's a constant juggle and there's a lot of balls in the air all the time, there's been no let up in that for a while now.

However recently I have suffered a back injury that has forced me to slow down and step back and drop one of those many balls I juggle on a daily basis. 
I thought I was fine, I mean all I did was slip on water, not fall but whatever way I jerked myself back to keep myself upright has resulted in some pretty painful damage.
I went to the doctor who gave me a prescription, I said I'd be fine for work because I can sit and stand as I needed so wouldn't be stuck in the same position, also I don't take sick days lightly.

Two weeks later and I still wasn't feeling right, in fact it was getting worse so back to the doctor I went. I need to say here that up until this incident I felt like I was finally on top of things health wise - I'd finally got my shoulder seen to by the physio, the migraines had stopped, I was out walking again, taking my supplements and really felt good so to be in this kind of muscle pain again I felt like I was being thrown backwards.

A few tears to the doctor and her advice was to take time off work so that she could prescribe stronger medication and that I rest up properly, no unnecessary driving and that would in turn help ease the pain and heal the injury faster. 
I didn't take the time off work part lightly nor the resting up as I really don't have time for that but I had to admit defeat and one of those balls in the air had to drop for a while.

So here I am 2 days into sick leave with deep heat and Valium as my new best friends and I am resting, for the first time since I was pregnant I'd say, I'm resting up. 
It feels a bit weird and yesterday I felt like I should be doing something, I'll admit I logged into my work email and answered a few emails but I wasn't quite comfortable with this whole doing nothing. 

Do you know what though? I need this, not only for a hopefully speedy recovery but I needed it for my mind. To have that little bit of control taken out of my hands and being told to stop, even just for the week is what my body and mind needed. 

Movement is restricted obviously and I'm spending time trying to get comfortable either sitting, standing or walking but I'm not over exerting myself. I've managed a bit of cleaning, did a small food shop but everything else can wait.

It's funny how now it can wait but up until this point I couldn't leave anything go, everything had to be done and it had to be done there and then.

I hate the thought of letting my co workers down and it's not something I'd do lightly but right now it's a must and they are chugging along just fine without me. 

So sometimes, like a lot of us I'm sure, sometimes we have to let a ball or 2 drop, just for ourselves, to keep ourselves in check and remember to look after number 1 - me, because if I don't look after myself properly then I can't do any of the above to the best of my ability.

It's a tad annoying it's taken a back injury to slow me down but silver linings and all that eh?!



Wednesday, 26 July 2017

My Nametags ~ Review


Picture Credit: Mynametags.ie



I know, I know it's only July and here I am talking about back to school already but I like to be prepared!

I have been meaning for ages to get name tags for L's belongings, I mean for like the last year. There's a few Luke's in his preschool so it's good to be able separate their stuff should it get mixed up, by being able to look on the label for a name. However as usual I put it on my very long list of things to and promptly forgot about it...until there was a mix up with his Paw Patrol hat which resulted in him having to come home without it one day as someone else who had the same hat had picked it up by mistake...he was not impressed.

So when I got an email not long after the Paw Patrol hat incident asking would we like to review 
My Nametags it was perfect timing. 

We designed our stickers and added L's full name and a contact number. We picked from a selection of fonts for the writing. There are lots of lovely icons you can choose form to add to the labels, we had a very tough decision between a digger and a dinosaur! I wanted something bright that would catch the eye so we added in the blue cloud background.

I've rubbed out the phone number part here for privacy reasons obviously :)
They come on a sheet so you can peel them of with ease and then store the rest away. I would have a taken a picture of this but after I took a few to stick on to some items of Luke's he hid the stickers on me because he said they were his and I couldn't use them!! Would you believe me if I said I haven't seen them since? I have no idea where he put them so I really need to order more. 

They were with us within a couple of days and I was very impressed with them. I chose the stickers instead of the iron on labels, more because I wouldn't have the patience to iron them on.

They are small enough that they fit perfectly on to the labels that are already on the clothes so I've been busy putting them on all of his coats, hats, schoolbag, lunchbox etc.



I wasn't sure if they would stick to the different kinds of fabric but so far so good and they have held up very well in the wash after the last few months of preschool.

I feel like the picture doesn't do it justice because of the reflection of the flash but I would have taken more...again had Luke not hid them on me!!

I'd definitely recommend adding these to your "Back To School" shopping list.


*We were sent this item for the purpose of this review, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own*


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

HD Brows @ DKH

I love a good eyebrow. I tend not to leave the house without them done properly, it used to be my eyeliner but the eyebrows have taken over. They frame the face don't they, give it that final touch. 
I've only ever had them waxed and plucked by the same 2 people, I'm fussy and they know me so well so it's a no brainer. 

I found with mine though that sometimes they look a little sparse in places and shorter on one side due to a scar from a failed eyebrow piercing many moons ago. When the foundation goes well they almost disappear then, cue lots of colouring in. Most days I get them right, some days it's hard to follow the natural shape of my eyebrows and they end up looking wrong.

So when I was invited to come into DKH in Cobh to try out their new HD brows I jumped at the chance. 

DKH have recently expanded their range of services as well as moving to a bigger premises. 
The DKH team now offer make up artists services, HD brows, lash extensions, gelish nails, waxing as well as their usual high quality hair dressing services, when it comes to colour I can't recommend them enough. 


I was met by the very lovely Rosie Higgins who was going to be looking after me on the day. Rosie is also the in house make up artist. 

In Rosie's own words:
"A lot of people are under the impression HD brows need to be thick boxy dark brows - this is not the case. These brows are light and natural and I always take care to follow my clients wants and likes when doing their brows" 



We talked through the look I wanted and I expressed that I felt like they were a bit too short and patchy and wanted a longer, more fuller look. 

Rosie explained how she would achieve that and started off with the tint. I need to point out how super comfortable the chair was, I was able to sit back and relax while she was working. 
There was waxing and threading in order to achieve the shape I wanted as well as working with my own natural shape. 
She then finished them off by using an eyebrow pencil to give them a smooth finish and talking me through how to do it so I can achieve the same finish myself at home.




I really liked how they turned out, even when I have my foundation on now I could easily get away without having to fill them. Its just so convenient if I'm rushing in the mornings, which I usually am, that I can afford to leave my eyebrows without them looking ridiculous or non existent against the rest of my make up.

They are expected to last for around 4 weeks and I'm already 10 days in and they have shown no signs of fading yet. 

This treatment costs €40 and in my opinion it's worth every penny. I'll definitely be going back to get them again.

DKH is located in 4 Harbour Row, Cobh and can be contacted on 021 4855319.

*I was offered this treatment for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own*


Friday, 14 July 2017

Fitzgerald's Park

Last weekend we headed off to Fitzgeralds park in Cork City for a change. Being in Cobh we tend to stick to the East Cork surrounding areas and because I work in the city I really don't want to be up there on my day off. 



I'd heard great things about the park and Luke is always excited to discover a new playground, so we packed up a few sandwiches and drinks and took off for a nosey. 

It's located on the outskirts of the city not too far from UCC and there is parking spaces situated around the parameter of the park itself, we managed to take one of the last available spaces. You don't even feel like you are in the city once you are down by the park, it's quite peaceful.



Luke was very impressed with the playground and I liked the sand aspect, although not so much when he kept asking to take off his shoes. It's quite big and considering the amount of kids that were there on the day there was plenty of room for them all to pay. 


We walked through the park and over to the famous Shaky Bridge. I'm not a fan of heights or of walking on tings that I can see the underneath so I held back but Luke took off across with his cousin and her friend, my nerves! They don't call it the Shaky bridge for no reason!




There's a fabulous rose garden on the other side of the park near the river, full with pretty colours and people relaxing. We sat here for a bit while having an ice cream which we purchased from the perfectly positioned ice cream van, there no chance of Luke not seeing it!














I was quite surprised at how big the park is, you definitely get lost in there for a few hours taking in all the surroundings and water features and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

An ideal spot if you want to grab a blanket and a little picnic and just relax and watch the world go by for a while.

This weekend in Fitzgerlad's Park, Ireland's biggest free Summer festival, City Spectacular will take place. There'll be lots of family friendly entertainment on with international street performers, interactive family activities as well as some international street food. So if you're looking for something to do this weekend why not head down.