Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dun Laoghaire Christmas Festival

Walking down to the People’s Park last weekend, I noticed a bit of construction and I was reminded that I need to do this blog. I was so upset to hear that the Christmas Markets in The Dublin Docklands was cancelled this year but that disappointment was quickly replaced when I realised that Dun Laoghaire was going to be transformed into a winter wonderland full of fun and excitement this Christmas.

Kicking off on the10th December Santa will arrive by Harley Davidson’s and the first ever Dun Laoghaire Christmas Festival will begin with a fire works display. The construction I referred to is that of an Ice Rink, yes that is right our very own Ice Rink! There will be German styled Christmas markets, Children’s Entertainers, Santa’s Grotto, a Christmas Train, and even a live nativity.

I am really excited that the Christmas fun is coming to me this year and I will not have to venture far from home to experience some Christmas magic. I have been thinking about how lucky I am to live in such a great little community and I am going to do my best to keep my Christmas shopping local and support local businesses, many of which have closed down or seem to be struggling. I really do love Dun Laoghaire and I am so impressed that the council are providing such a great event for us this festive season.

For more information pop over to http://www.dlrevents.ie/

I hope to see you there, gammy Christmas jumpers and all.

Happy Festive Season Everyone


P.S.  I recently did a 'Mama Loves' post on this years Christmas decorating... enjoy x


Monday, November 28, 2011

Mama Loves an Eco-friendly Christmas...

Christmas can be such a wasteful time, that is not what it is all about at all... over the next few weeks I will try to post a few of my favourite tips for keeping it green this Christmas, to get the baubles rolling here are a couple of pics that have given me a little inspiration this festive season....

I absolutely love love love this, combining the silver candle holders and adding pine cones, so simple and so effective, a perfect table centre piece.

This is so subtle and cute, I adore it because it doesn't scream CHRISTMAS it whispers Christmas ever so quietly.

I'm loving the red and white tea set, very candy cane and the baubles make a cute way to serve delicious chocolate or fudges on Christmas day!

I found this image at www.furniturehomedesign.com
Pop over to this site for and endless list of amazing eco- ideas, I just love it, so inspirational! I think this particular tree could be great in the garden and wouldn't it be pretty if tea lights were placed at the end of each branch instead of lights... ooh magical!

Loads more Christmas to come soon...

Love the Yummy Mummies and The Jestestting Babies


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Outdoor Obsessed!

Hello everyone! So as you can tell from my last blog ('Get those Bubbas and Toddlers Outdoors… Rainbusters are a must') I have been thinking a lot lately about activities that you can do with your little ones out of doors. I guess because the weather is getting colder and weather I have been looking for ideas to keep Amelie out of doors in the winter months as it is not quite as easy as in the warmer months (notice I didn’t call it summer, Ireland does not get a summer as far as I am concerned lol.) So here are five of the most basic outdoor activities that I don’t want to say goodbye to just because winter is here. I plan to do each and every one of them over the winter, what-ever the weather….
Panting – Seeds, bulbs flowers
This is great it is always the time of year for something to go into the ground. Garlic and Onions are due in now and we picked up some lovely pansies recently to plant at my father in laws house.
Ok so the playground is not the safest place if it has been raining but I watched a grandpa whip out a towel wipe the entire playground down and which it in a plastic bag, if he can be prepared then so can I… and I will. I am going to get Amie to the playground as much as possible. Even though my local park is closing at 4pm now there are the odd few that are open later. Amelie loves watching the sun go to bed and the moon rise in the sky. It means paying very close attention to ensure her safety but hey it’s worth it.
The beach is always calling and I am going to collect some drift wood and shells to turn into unique Christmas decorations. Amelie loves the beach and it is a cool activity to keep her busy and away from the water.
Picnics are not just for the summer, granted they are a lot easier but I am determined to change the water flask for a thermos and still get out there on a few picnics. A good picnic blanket that can be put down on wet ground is really all you need. Try find a spot under a huge tree incise is starts to drizzle and be close to a shelter incise it starts to bucket down.
Walks in the dark
If you can’t get out doing any activities as such a walk is just as good as anything. I am going to walk every day with my daughter. Getting rugged up and walking is great exercise for us both, an excellent opportunity to talk and chat about the world around us and just spend quality time together. Amelie is currently obsessed with the moon, I guess that is one advantage to it getting dark at 4pm, Amelie is learning all about the night time, the moon, the stars, owls, bats and so much more…
Coming soon… I will be sharing some outdoor play tips from our friends over at Clap Handies!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Get those bubbas and toddlers outdoors... Rainbusters are a must!

What gorgeous weather we have had this weekend. I am so pleased. It has just been lovely, cold but dry and sunny so we can’t ask for much better for this time of year. The recent rain and the thought of a dreary, rainy and long winter has brought me to this post.
I recently attended a Siolta Seminar on connecting young children to the outdoors, one of the biggest issues that arose at the seminar and one of the biggest issues I have noticed in the childcare industry is the fear parents have of exposing their children to the elements and the lack of suitable wet weather gear available at affordable prices. So to cut a long story short this post is a huge plug for Rain Busters…
I do not know how parents in Ireland survive without these for their children. Amelie wears hers most days and can go anywhere in any weather. She loves them and even putting them on she knows that she is in for an adventure. They came recommended by a friend of mine and since I got Ammies I have never looked back. I will be dressing her in rain busters for years to come; there is no question in my mind. 
Pop over to their lovely website and online shop at http://www.rainbusters.ie/

 Amelie and her mate Hugo at the beach in their rainbusters!

This is the set we have for Amelie: fleeced lined, cosy, keeps her dry and the pattern is just adorable little skulls with pink bows, I love it :)
Children have an internal and natural desire to explore the outdoors. It is so important that they are given the chance to get out in the air, the dirt, the sand, the grass, the forest, the beach, the hills, the ditches, the puddles and the mud to experience what the world has to offer. From the smallest children who are learning through their senses the outside world offers endless sensory experiences that don’t cost a thing, to older children who need space, and lots of it to be free to run, skip, jump, zigzag, climb, dig, crawl and roll the outdoors is so important.

There is alarming evidence out there that shows that children of today are being raised indoors and not getting enough outdoor time. I have read articles that say infants and toddlers should spend a minimum of 90 minutes outside a day to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Studies also show that a connection to the outdoor world can increase healing times of sick children and reduce the symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children under five years old. Children who spend more time outside also have higher vitamin D levels which is important for healthy bone development. I do not know who this makes you all feel but for me personally as someone who was raised in the back garden, ours or Grandma’s or at the beach most days I get restless with Amelie inside too long. Rainbusters have been a life saver for me and I have so much fun putting on the willies/gum boots, stomping in puddles and running through mud with my daughter. It makes me feel so young and free and Amelie is such a little adventurer, she loves the wet and mud and isn’t afraid of the world. This makes me a very happy Mumma.
Have a great week, I hope you get loads of time to be outdoors :)
Angi x

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ryanair delivers and we somehow made the flight to London….


I was sprinting desperately in the direction of the departure gate, pushing the buggy with one hand, dreading the sight of a closed gate and the argument I would be forced to have with the Ryanair staff (that would surely be as bad as their reputation proceeds) and trying to strip off the layers of clothing with the other hand. It might have been 4° outside but it was roasting in the terminal and I was dressed for the cold winter. The scarf came off and then the jacket, still sprinting in the direction of gate 7 to make my flight to London to see Tara and Dylan. Amelie was gazing up at me grinning thinking this was the most fun she had in her buggy in a long time. It was probably pretty comical watching me struggle with the bags, boarding passes, jackets and buggy all at once sweat dripping from my forehead and a grinning baby being hurtled along in a bugaboo weaving dangerously in and out of innocent bystanders. At some stage Amelie’s sleep toy Blue Bear fell out, someone kindly yelled and chased me dumping him back in the buggy well at least that was one thing that had made the flight.

I had abandoned the essentials and left them in Trunki with the confused looking security staff in the airport. Hoping that they would not destroy Trunki (being unattended baggae and all) and all his contents that I had so carefully packed for Ammie I had only one thing on my mind, making that flight. I had been looking forward to seeing Tara and her family for so long, it has been tough missing her here from Dublin and not seeing her in months we used to see each other practically every day and the babies really missed each other too. Amelie was deliriously excited to see Dylan I had no idea how I would explain myself if we didn’t go on the plane and I didn’t deliver a Dylan at the end as I had promised....

“This is a final boarding call for flight FR1113 to London Gatwick. The gate will be closing please make your way to gate 7” Came blearing over the loud speaker… Help I thought I’m not even at gate 1 yet, I fought back the tears damn it I was going to make this flight and see my friends in London no matter what! Somehow by some miracle I made it. Puffing and panting I dug into my purse for the passport and boarding passes. I couldn’t speak. Amelie was smiling and the Ryan Air staff looked amused. They directed me to the lift and told me to leave the buggy at the bottom of the stairs. Still puffing and panting and rushing I think as I hadn’t had the chance to slow down I Got Amelie out of the buggy. I stood her next to me and gave her my bag to hold (assure fire way for her to feel responsible and stand still for two minutes) I folded down the buggy and scooped up my monkey and went up the stairs, realising on the way Amelie had a wet nappy and I had left everything behind at security! Oh no!

When the Ryanair staff greeted me at the top of the stairs I explained my predicament about the nappies and asked if they kept any on the flight. They very kindly explained they didn’t but that they would find me a nappy and not to worry. They were very kind and understanding. They also pointed out that the flight wasn’t full so if I sat Amelie on my lap for take-off and landing that she could have a seat for the flight. Of all the bad things I have heard about Ryanair I was really impressed. Just after take-off the flight attendant came to see me with nappies and wipes in hand and explained she had asked another mother on the flight to help me out. I was touched at the kindness of a stranger and at the effort she went to help me. I purchased a kids-pack which solved the problem of a snack and entertainment for Amelie. She ate the cheese dippers, did a little colouring in, feeling very grown up in her own seat and before I knew it we were landing in London. Yay, finally!

It was a really pleasant flight and I just want to say that I could not fault Ryanair, the customer service was probably the best I had received on a flight to date. They accepted the two piece buggy and were very helpful when we landed helping me down the stairs in Gatwick to arrivals.  I guess I learnt that Ryanair aren’t as bad as they had been made out to be. What is more all of the careful planning I did to pack Amelie snacks, drinks, mini toys, and nappies was really unnecessary. While I am sure that if Trunki had of made the flight it may have been a little easier it didn’t matter in the slightest. Ryanair delivered everything I needed and at the end of the  day Amelie was so excited to be on a plane and the journey was so short that it was easy to stay calm, and calm Mummy = calm Amelie. I really enjoyed the flight with Ryanair and would fly with them again in the future. If you are planning on Ryanair with your little one expect to be taken care of just make sure that you check the requirements before you leave. Trunkis and Bugaboo Chameleons are ok but additional infant luggage is not. There web-site is very comprehensive and any questions you still have just search Google there will be an online Mummy forum with answers I promise.

I have loads more to tell about my great, long overdue trip to London to visit Tara but that is enough for today so I will post again soon. Thanks to everyone who has been visiting the blog even though we have been slack with posts lately, we will try to get back into the swing of things.

Keep posted for more on our trip to Tara's house in London Town…

Here are a few fun photo's from our trip...

Angi x