Halloween Decor at Dealz 🎃

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I adore Halloween, this time of year in general is full of festivities and celebration. My friends laugh at the effort I go to for Halloween but I did even before I had kids… 

I have picked up some great décor pieces over the years and then pick up some more cheaper bits year on year. When Dealz asked me to promote their Halloween range and event on the day it was a no brainer-I am already a big and regular customer-in fact I am surprised I am not on the Christmas party list! 

Dealz have really upped their game in recent years with what they have on offer and at only 1.50 you really can’t go wrong. From spooky décor to more stylish pieces-check out the gorgeous golden pumpkin I picked up last week- there is lots of offer and you can check it out here.

 

Now on the other hand if you are also like me and not very artistically inclined and the fear of painting faces gives you more than just the regular Halloween spooks then Dealz are holding Halloween events in a number of their stores, see details below from 1-3pm on Halloween Day and donations will be given to Make a Wish Foundation which is a lovely cause to get involved with. The first 50 kids will get sweet bags too to add to their trick or treat loot!

 

 Participating stores:

  • Swords
  • Blanchardstown
  • Omni
  • Bray 
  • Waterford
  • Gorey
  • Wexford
  • Galway
  • Athlone 
  • Killarney 

*this is a paid collaboration with Dealz but all views are my own and honest as always! 💚

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Products we love right now… 

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I generally don’t write reviews, I’ll always pop up what I like on social media but sometimes good products merit a review and we have loved some lately. I do get sent things but I’m never going to say I like something if I don’t, having said that there is little we are sent that I/we really don’t like.

First up was bibs we got sent. Bibetta have a range of bibs online and we got sent a feeding bib and a dribble bib. The feeding bib was excellent, in fact I’m going to order another one soon. It was kind of scuba material so easily cleaned but also easily dried which is a winner for me. The dribble bib was definitely more absorbent than others we have used, I suppose the only thing for me was the range of designs wasn’t as good as others. Bibs start at about £7.00 and available online.

Next up is Molloys Pharmacy own formulation of teething gel and nappy cream, especially good for sore teething bums. Our little man has been teething since 4 months but still only 2 teeth to his name at almost 1. I was purchasing this product anyway but then Molloys kindly sent it to me along with the nappy cream. The gel has a strong smell with the clove bud oil as the main product and he does resist taking it somewhat but it definitely seems to get instant results for soothing. It’s all natural too which is a bonus. The nappy cream is also their own formulation with calamine, lanolin and olive oil. We sent it into Creche when they said his bum was sore. He’s never suffered from nappy rash so I’m putting this down to teeth too. It worked a dream and the very next day his bum was back to normal. You can get their great products online

Last but not least is the Obeo boxes we got sent. We had just recently purchased a small bin in ikea for food scraps since Panda brought in changes to the bins but during the tail end of summer the fruit flies were in abundance and really it needed to clear out daily which can be annoying. The obeo boxes can sit on your counter top, ours sat on top of redundant bin and as you prep lunch/dinner the food scraps can go in. I think the reason I hadn’t picked them up before was they seemed a bit expensive, current RRP is €3.85 for 5. However having used them and a believer in time is money I think they may be now something that makes it into the shopping trolley in the future, especially in summer months and would be so handy over Christmas too. You can also use the code foodwaste if you fancy trying them out to get 10% off! They are available online or Supervalu stores nationwide. 

12 things I’ve learnt with 12 months with Max

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 1. There is more room in my heart and love I didn’t know possible-it was hard to imagine how I could love another child like I loved my first born Josh but once Max arrived the love was instant and deep.

2. Tiredness I didn’t know possible-if I thought I was tired pre baby or with one this was on another level and unfortunately continues to be with another bad sleeper in our lives but most days you just learn to live with it. 

3. Sibling bond-as an only child this was magic for me to watch, from very early on they became firm pals and even though Max is still small they manage to have great craic.

4. Learning to be a mum of boys-when fart noises, poo and general dirtiness becomes common place.

5. My heart is so full but so is my mind-there is literally ALWAYS something to do. 

6. I became knarkier in the last 12 months than probably ever before-see points 5 & 2 above! 

7. I’ve learnt to let things go a little-coming from a perfectionist in certain areas that was quite the challenge but it’s a case of having to sometimes…

8. Fun makes a family-it’s the simple days out together we have as a family of four that truly are the best.

9. It’s not just a myth your boobs can reach your belly button-😳 12 months of feeding and second time round and this is the result! 

10. Wine is no longer your friend, coffee is-a glass or two is perfection at the weekend but a hangover is beyond deadly with 2 busy boys so a coffee a day keeps the madness away.

11. Your time with your husband is precious but rare-this is something we both miss madly at times but we know these are the trench years and will also miss them when they are gone.

12. I realised quite quickly that once I had Max that my urge to be a mother to another baby was incredibly strong and 12 months on despite all the above and because of all the above that hasn’t changed if we are lucky enough of course and give me a year or two of our new normality before another comes into the mix!

Anxious Mama

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Every parent has a degree of anxiety about their children and I am no different. It begins when they are in your tummy, then they are born, then they start to move, school, teenage years and I’m sure right into adult hood. This is all normal. You care unconditionally about your child/children so it is excepted for you to feel a little anxious about their well being. 

However I live and have lived with daily anxiety since my teens. When I discovered I was to become a mum I was nervous it would rare its head again but I was pleasantly surprised when my usual symptoms subsided-all those good pregnancy hormones did their job!

I stayed on low levels of medication throughout my pregnancies and feeding as recommended by the doctor and I knew this was right for me too.

On both babies those first few months I felt fine, completely sleep deprived but very contended and calm. It was around the 3/4 month mark on both I started to struggle. I’d feel familiar panicky symptoms, I’d overthink things and get completely overwhelmed. 

The more the years go on, the more I recognise these days/hours/periods of time but as a first time mum that was doing semi ok I decided to take action and went to speak with someone which I have written about previously. I met a fantastic councillor through Nurture who I will always refer back to when I need to check in on life. I returned to her for just a couple of sessions after I miscarried in between having the boys and it helped me immensely to take stock of my thoughts and  feelings. 

With my second child, the sleep deprivation was hightened. If I thought I was tired before this was on another level as all the reserves are gone. With the reserves gone, managing the feelings of anxiety that can come flooding in became a little less manageable at times but somehow I just muddled through. I put new strategies in place now that life was busier and on most days I come out the other side.

It is something I live with daily and I worry my eldest in recent months he picked up on some of my behaviours and will perhaps adopt some of my bad traits but despite him being almost 4 we talk to him like a human and that seems to help. 

A lot of the above mums are dealing with during periods in parenthood but unfortunately my head makes me work every day to be calm, be happy and be ok with just being ok. Even writing this post is hard because I know how lucky I am, I project a life of happiness because I am happy but the daily reality is with this I struggle, I’m learning and evolving with this almost 20 years later but I felt this week it was important to highlight the realities and be ok to put it into the public domain too. 

The real guide to being a mum of two 

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We are 11 months now being a family of four and here are some of the things I’ve learnt along the way. Let’s just get one thing straight no one has an easy time of it.. 1 child, 2 children, 10 children but on the more mental days you just gotta roll with it and find the funny side of the madness!

My boys have a 3 year gap so you are condending with different needs which is sometimes great, sometimes hard and sometimes quite hilarious! We are lucky and I know that every single day but here are some of my observations….

NAPS-If the stars align and when my eldest used to take a nap and they would actually nap at the same time it was the stuff of small miracles.

POOP-With 2, one toilet trained but one in nappies you seem to wipe A LOT of bums, it definitely takes up a considerable portion of my day! 

SLEEP-A bit like the naps above, you just hope that once you’ve re settled one at night the other doesn’t wake-we have 2 not so great sleepers so any sleep is precious in our house. 

NOISE-Quiet moments are seldom and certainly more a thing of the past. Busy boys makes for a busy house. 

FUN-It’s busy, tiring and loud but my goodness it is definitely double fun. Seeing them interact as siblings is mesmerising. Already there is a little bond formed and that is just gorgeous to see.

PLAN-If you thought you were busy with one, two brings it to a whole new level so where you can plan, do, if it makes it all a little easier then it’s worth it. From clothes, to meals to activities-a lot of planning goes on in our house!

LOVE-It might be double the fun but it’s quadruple if not more on the love stakes. Having another boy to see grow before our eyes, the love between them as brothers, the pride in their Dad’s eyes-makes all the good, bad and the complete madness of it all completely worthwhile. 

Coffees with Kids ☕️

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I became a coffee addict when my second son was born… I also probably bored you all with images of coffees throughout my mat leave on instagram too! 


I went in search weekly for a good cup of coffee that would keep me going on tireder days but there were other factors I considered when coming up with my list below… 

SPACE-this isn’t a deal breaker for me based on another factor below but it definitely helps if there is space for the 2 boys, a buggy and the usual bag or two of ‘bits’

COFFEE-it can have all the space in the world but a lot of the ‘chains’ have space but awful coffee. 

FRIENDLINESS-for me when I potentially walk in with a buggy and another child in tow, even to a small establishment being instantly put at ease is a win for me. 

CHANGING FACILITIES-this can be a bit of an ask on some of the smaller independent coffee spots and it’s certainly not a deal breaker but it’s definitely an added bonus.

So with all the above in mind and not wanting to be subjected to bland/crap tasting coffee just because I’m a mummy and not a 20 something hipster here are a few of our fav spots….Oh and a good babychino for the toddler helps too 😂

Two Pups, Francis St-Fab coffee and cakes, a tiny little place but instantly given a warm welcome when I arrived in with two in tow!

Network, Aungier St-A very cool little spot with great coffee and drool worthy sambos, despite its size again you are put at ease with friendly staff.

Two Boys Brew, Phibsbourgh-This was a bit of a trek for us but visited on a day out and it was well worth it, a lovely space, great coffee and really helpful staff.

Fia, Rathgar Road-A divine little spot that I almost like to keep for solo visits and a blissful brunch but couldn’t be nicer when you visit with baby in tow.

Foam, Terenure-A move away from the usual 3fe coffee here but still a delicious cuppa and on a busy morning we were welcomed and accommodated for a quick cup of coffee which was greatly welcomed.

Foodgame, Ringsend-Another spot that’s small and welcoming and their brownies and mars bar krispies are the best around so this is definitely the place to come for a sugar hit with delicious Ariosa coffee too.

Pot Bellied Pig, Rathmines-A very chic little spot but they didn’t stop the guy reading my mind and bringing me a freshly baked brownie with a large cappuccino on a day it was badly needed so this place had to make the list!

Mayfield, Terenure-A local spot with a very inclusive feel, they are used to customers with kids and you feel that when you walk in. A scone and a milky coffee here will set you up for the day!

Square One, Sandyford-I found this spot as it’s right behind my nearest Aldi and I’m so glad a I did, I soon became a regular. The space is great, big and bright. Handy changing facilities and really good coffee that comes in 2 sizes-large for me most days! The staff are really friendly too which makes it a winner all round.

3 of the chain type coffee spots that are by ‘go to’

Marks & Spencer-this is usually a convenience factor but I’m not going to like their Almond Crossaints and a Flat White is hard to beat! 

Cafe Nero-of the chain coffee shops I probably find this the best one, the coffee is the best of a bad lot and pastries always look appetising. It feels like a comfier, cleaner space than most. 

Butlers Cafe-I genuinely like their coffee, it’s on the stronger side and who can resist the free chocolate too. 

I hope some of these make your list for the week ahead as I know a cofeee or two is what gets me through… Happy Monday!