Parenting through Food

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I read a recent quote from a nutritionist I much admire, Orla Walsh about how we tend to reward children with food these days and I have to say I winced, I am completely guilty of that at time or using it as a keeping them entertained too. Hashtag-bad mama Hashtag-tell me a person who doesn’t from time to time. BUT based on my last post and small goals-the boys eating better is on the longer list but very important for many a reason. Max eats pretty ok but I am convinced since his first taste of sugar on his first birthday his palate has altered and I am no sugar nazi but his reach for the bold things and his refusal for items he would have eaten with glee has wained. Josh is a really poor eater, oh how I would love for him to dip some houmous, eat parma ham, veggie based muffins but nope fish fingers are his gig. I really try to stick to 3 good meals a day and breakfast usually starts well but depending on the day lunch can be affected and dinner is usually something they will eat and I feel I can pass as nutritious. More time dedicated to meal times I think is important. We don’t eat with the boys but focusing on the time they do making it an event as opposed to a passing activity is something I really want to focus on.

You will see recent and upcoming posts about snacks and a new range of chilled food in Aldi and to me to highlight this was a no brainer and I already almost always have a pack of rice cakes, their biscotti and a fruit pouch or two in my bag as a quick go to for snacks on the run. I am a big fan of their Mamia range of chilled food produced by Pip & Pear so I am looking forward to trying the new Goodness range. I try and get the boys eating what we eat but it is handy to have good prepared dishes in the fridge for a busy weekend day and when Josh is insisting that pasta or fish fingers are the only thing he will eat and I don’t have the battle quite in me! Some days it’s about the easy left eh and knowing they are not eating rubbish helps too…

An update since I wrote this post later last week is Josh’s visit to the dentist, we’ve had some very unfortunate and worrying news about his teeth but that’s a whole other post and a whole new outlook and learning…

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New Year Old Me with a few tweaks…  

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We are just shy of 2 weeks into 2018 and so far so good in that I am managing to keep upright, implement a few small changes and my children are still alive and happy.

Like every change of year nothing drastic has changed just as you wouldn’t expect it too and I had posted recently about just being happy with my lot so that is what I am focusing on day to day.

There is a lot of buzz about self care and mindfulness etc but to be honest that can put you under another pressure if you feel like you are not managing to achieve that or what is even may look like on a day to day basis. We all know we need good sleep, good food, warmth and love to survive but in our ever increasing hectic lives (with children or without) just being still is what we are probably all lacking a bit. I am taking baby steps in ‘self care’, the latter end of 2017 was incredibly busy and I have come out the year feeling slightly withered.

So for 2018 I made simple goals and here are some of a medium sized list-

  1. No phone to bed
  2. Read more
  3. Get into a series
  4. Drink more water
  5. More family walks
  6. Mediate daily

So far I have done 5 out of 6 so that aint bad with the rest of the list to keep working through but being mindful that doing nothing and standing still, just being fine with right now is good too. That can be harder I find as a parent, you are always awaiting the next milestone, craving more sleep and phases to pass but time shoots by so fast so its embracing the little moments and building the bigger ones from those which is what is important to me right now.

Christmas Activities and Days at Home ideas…

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The month of December is mostly about Santa and Elves but there are lots of other days to be keeping kids entertained and the hysterical excitement somewhat subdued until the big day!

There is plenty to do to get out of the house and a few ideas below if you are staying put too. These events are mostly Dublin based so apologies if you are reading from further afield!

At home, coming up to Christmas I find there is an abundant ideas to do baking or crafting with the kids. Here are some of my fav finds and I do hope to try and get a couple done with Josh in the few weeks ahead. I find baking a treat then picking out a festive film on a miserable day work well!

If you haven’t already sent the letter to the big guy make sure to send it to An Post and get a response from them/santa and see your kids faces fill with joy. See below on how to do it, couldn’t be easier and the result is fab!

Be sure to write early. In your letter clearly write your (child’s) name and address. Post your letter to: Santa Claus, North Pole (using a €1 stamp). Santa’s helpers in An Post will make sure you receive a personal reply from the great man himself, just before Christmas.If you are out and about there is plent to do..

We love going to the library so coming up to Christmas we will be picking some Christmas books and films. I did take a look at what my local libraries have happening and here are some of the events they are holding on the run up to Christmas.

http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/events-and-news/event-calendar/pyjama-storytime

http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/events-and-news/event-calendar/christmas-crafts-children-aoifemunn-1

Kilrudderry is always a lovely spot to visit and for this month they have Christmas Markets 9am-5pm for all Weekends in December

The Ark has a lovely festive show on called Tracks in the Snow for the whole month which might be nice to attend as something different to do.

Giddy Studios is a lovely spot to create a Christmas gift for the family and a good way to escape the madness of Dundrum. They make it easy and you always come out with something lovely.

Powerscourt at this time of year has a stable set up with reindeer to visit which is a really cute thing to do. I also spotted this lovely event which looks fun! –http://powerscourt.com/events/robby-christmas-robin-dale-treadwell

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre is a great little spot with a really good playground and the cutest little coffee shop which I would say is very Christmassy at this time of year!

Airfield have a lovely initiative on at the moment to leave food donations for the Dublin Simon Community and I think this is a lovely way to show kids to be charitable at Christmas too.

Speaking of coffee Lolly & Cooks will have lots of festive treats for adults and kids this month so a nice spot to stop for a warm milk and a little cake with the kids if our and about.

A really nice idea is going pick a new decoration for tree once it’s up, allowing them choose whatever one they want could end up soon interesting and you then have a memory made for each year!

Finally one of our favourite things to do is go to the Live Crib in the Mansion House which stepped up a gear last year but is still for charity which is nice. We then usually walk around the corner to see the wonderful display of the gingerbread house that The Shelbourne Hotel put on each year, Josh just loves it and anything Josh loves Max usually gets fairly excited by too so this one will definitely be on our list.

Christmas can be so chaotic but just spending special times and moments with your family is really what it’s all about.

Christmas Traditions thanks to Dealz

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Well there is no escaping it now.. It is December and Christmas is just around the corner. I LOVE Christmas but my goodness there is no denying that it’s an expensive time year. Sooo when Dealz asked me to work with them on some Christmas ideas for the family I was thrilled! I’d already picked up some of their great ranges which are so impressive this year and I am now excited to share some of my finds with you. Most of their Christmas range is only €1.50 with a couple of items slightly higher but more than worth the great price point.

I’m big into Christmas traditions.. It starts with the appearance of Elf.. To have such an array of Elf products in Dealz this year makes it all the more exciting. I haven’t undertaken all the different places Elf can turn up & he might make it onto his swing got my hands on, keeping an eye on goings on. I just had to pick up a Elf cam too, what a genius idea.. this should work wonders for a bit of bare faced bribery coming up to the big day 😝. Keep an eye on my social media accounts on some of the other great bits and bobs I have picked up to help with the excitement/threat of Elf! 😉

I generally do crafting with the boys and was astounded by the offering from Dealz and stocked up for the quieter days coming up to Christmas.

Next up is a new tradition I absolutely adore.. Christmas Eve boxes for the boys. The idea is you fill the boxes and give them to them on Christmas Eve night. Usually included are festive jammies, I also included a book, a bath bomb, a chocolate Santa for Josh and a little teddy for Max. To get the individual boxes from Dealz was such a find and at only 1.49 you cannot go wrong!

A couple of days before Christmas I always take some time to dress the dinner table. I have picked up some staples over the years but I like to freshen it up with some news pieces each year and give a slightly different look. I find Dealz great for this and their range this year is really super. Make sure you keep an eye later this month to see my table set but here are a few of this items I have my eye on.

I will have another post early next week for some activities and ideas for the kids when coming up to Christmas but for now I suggest you hot foot it to Dealz and pick up some of their festive offerings. From Secret Santa, to decor and more, Dealz has everything you need to create your perfect Christmas.

And don’t forget to leave Santa his treats.. This set is seriously cute!

Check out Dealz for more.

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! 💚

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.