Friday, September 9, 2011

Jimmy Choo, I do...

Isn't it funny everywhere you look you can find fashion inspiration I must say that Tara is the queen of being inspired, finding the look and then being able to pull it off. Me I have a lot of great ideas but they don't always translate into that polished look I am going for.

At Dublin Zoo last weekend Amelie had an amazing time playing with the tigers. Seeing the lovely fur coats the tigers were wearing made me wish I could pull of an animal prints (prints not real ones of course!) but I have never been that adventurous. I stumbled across the perfect shoe with just a splash of leopard print and I can officially say that I am in love, head over well toes with this hot pump by Jimmy Choo...

and I think that I would also like this 'lipstick red, soft box leather and quilted' clutch also available in their Autumn winter collection! Yum...

Happy weekend Everyone


Monday, September 5, 2011

Television & Under 3's...

Hi Everyone, how are you all today. So I have been so slack with blogging as I have just been so busy with study. In my first week or so of the course I had to do a 5 minute oral presentation on the topic of my choice. I chose to do it on the effects of tevelvision on children under 3 years of age. I thought that I would share the presentation as I really have no time to write anything new right now. I have uploaded the text below, it had a visual presentation to accompany it but you can probably get the gist from reading the speech. I will do another post soon on how you can encourage active viewing with your children to decrease the negative effects television can have on under 3's.
The effect of television on children, especially on babies, is an intensely controversial subject. When I had a baby I was not sure how television would affect Amelie’s development and I started to research. This became one of those things for me that I was really shocked about. Today I would like to share with you some of my findings on television for children under the age of three. I will begin by discussing the different common perceptions about television and why parents are motivated to let their babies watch TV. I will then go onto tell you about where the governing Health Associations around the world stand on television watching for under 3’s. Finally I will touch on the pros and cons for ‘screen time’ for children under 3. I welcome any questions any of you may have at the end of my presentation.
Why parents are motivated to let their babies watch TV.
Ok so why do parents choose to pop their babies in front of the television and what are the common perceptions parents have as to the effects television may have? The main reasons seem to be busy mothers need a little time to themselves it will entertain their baby and give them enough time to do the dishes or blow dry their hair. Secondly many parents believe that Television can be an educational tool and their children would be missing out by not watching it. In many cases a baby would appear happy and calm while watching TV so it is appealing to many parents as a tool to relax their babies. There are so many mixed views and ideas about television and appropriate viewing for babies some believe it is great others not so great. Let’s begin with the good... I mean programming such as cbeebies, baby Einstein and Sesame Street for 6moths olds are specifically designed for babies so parents believe it is an essential educational tool in their children’s development. Television can show your babies exciting and exotic animals and places that they can’t not experience in their day to day lives so why wouldn’t you let them watch it? These all seem like very straight forward logical reasons to allow your baby to sit in front t of the TV. Most parents believe that too much TV is not a good thing for children of any age and that monitoring what they watch is highly important. Many parents understand that there is a relationship between content viewing and aggressive and violent behaviour in children and many parents would deem and content of a sexual nature inappropriate for babies. Hopefully this highlights some of the ideas parents have about television, I know I agreed with most of these before I did my research but I am glad that I delved a little further as there was so much information out there I had not considered and in recent years there has been more attention played to the effects of television on babies and while the facts are few and far between general perceptions amongst health boards worldwide are in shocking contradiction to the perceptions of entire nations of parents.
Governing Health Associations around the World stand
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children under 2 should not see any electronic media and have given these recommendations for over ten years. In Australia the Australian government recommends that children under two should be banned from watching TV. In France would you believe  it has been taken one step further, not only do the French Government recommend that children under three should not watch TV at all they have banned any programming aimed at under threes on their free to air channels and amazingly they have enforced a law which requires cable television stations airing programs such as cbeebies and baby Einstein to first show warning not dissimilar to these found on cigarette packets warning of the dangers television viewing for babies can have. "Watching television can slow the development of children under three, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them."
Pros and cons for ‘screen time’ for children under 3
Does this seem shocking to you, it certainly does to me, why is television so bad, what do these health organisations and governments know that we don’t? What has lead them to make these stern warnings and recommendations to their nations?
To being with the studies onto television viewing for babies is limited. Much more focus has been on viewing of children. Numerous studies all over the world have  proven links into the increase of obesity, sleep problems, attention deficit disorder, and behaviour problems and stunted emotional development with the number of hours of television each child watched. While the facts are limited studies have shown that babes who watch television are at a higher risk of all those problems I just mentioned.
Dry Dimitri Christakis at Seattle Children's Research Institute found that for every extra hour watching DVDs, 8- to 16-month-olds learned six to eight fewer words than children who spent no time in front of the screen and the risk of attention problems at age 7 increases by an alarming 10 per cent.  
Marie Evans Schmidt at the Centre for Media and Child Health found that even just having television on in the background while under threes play with their toys disrupted their attention span even when they appeared to pay little or no attention to it.
So what exactly is it that is so bad it could lead to all these problems?
On TV images and scenes change so rapidly a baby may come to think that this is the normal pace of life, and the pace of actual life may seem boring and to them. There are direct links between exposing a baby's developing brain to videos and over stimulation that can cause permanent changes in developing neural pathways. When we are born our brain is relatively under developed and amazingly our brains triple in volume in the first two year of our lives. Experts in child development have found that three things optimize brain development: face-to-face interaction with parents or careers; learning to interact with or manipulate the physical world; and creative problem-solving play. When a baby touches, feels and experiments with objects they are learning about space, sounds, cause and effect and developing a sense of achievement and confidence. Basically they learn and connect pathways in the brain any that are not exercised my not develop to their full potential. Unfortunately while babies may seem mesmerized and contented watching TV they are not getting any stimulation that effect encourages these pathways to connect.
When we are born our brain are relatively under developed and amazingly our brains triple in volume.
Television can take away from the time babies could be spending on effective more valuable ways of learning such as interacting with adults or other children, reading books, touching and feeling and creatively playing with their toys. It is a completely passive activity that does not encourage learning in a way a child under three can benefit.
All of the things I just mentioned are things I had no idea about until I did a bit of research. I hope that the Irish Government invest in studies to find out more and are brave enough to make recommendations to their country about the dangers of television viewing. Finally I would like to add that there are a lot of web-sites and books that give our information on how to allow children to watch TV in a more healthy way and it includes things such as actively watching with your child, limiting content and time spent in front of a screen. All I know is I am glad that I am now aware of the adverse effects television viewing could have on my baby. So next time you see those cute little guys dancing across the screen, remember looks can be deceiving…

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tourism Review

Dublina, The Viking Experience

Recently enough I had a lovely visitor from Australia and wanted to show her some Irish sights. When we decided to visit Dublina I saw the perfect opportunity to do a review.

The Dublina Viking Experience was fantastic for the littlen’s as far as education and stimulation goes. There were opportunities to dress up and interact with the exhibits, even to create simple Viking art the mini ones can handle, my monkey is 18 months old and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. Unfortunately we could not have picked a worse place to take the buggies! The exhibits run on a kind of one way route, there is a lift on each floor but the lift is at the beginning of this route so when you get to the ‘end’ of a floor everyone files up the stairs to the next exhibit but we had to double back, against the herds of people through the entire floor again and find the lift. This was difficult and frustrating but it didn’t ruin the day.

The two bubba’s really enjoyed the whole experience and the changing facilities were clean and spacious. If you are a nursing Mama it might be difficult to find a quiet corner where you can settle your baby for a feed as this is a very popular tourist destination in Dublin but the grounds surrounding are lovely so if it’s a nice day you will find a lovely spot in the garden.  If you plan to visit Dublina with a small bubba I suggest a sling as opposed to a buggy but if it can’t be help you’ll still have a great day.

Adults €7.50
Children €5.00

For more information on Events at Dublina visit the Jetsetting Babies Dublin Events Page or the Dublin website at
Enjoy your weekend,