The Late Late Toy Show – A Beginners Guide

It’s that time of year again. Billy Barry children loudly singing and tap dancing their way across our screens. Toys running out of batteries at the wrong moment. Adults trying not to swear infront of the numerous children onstage on live television. And everyone, everyone, is sitting in on Friday night, watching The Late Late Toy Show. It’s an Irish institution for a reason. It’s got a routine to it, a familiarity, and it’s the start of the Christmas season proper in Ireland. So, for anyone living under a rock, or who has not been introduced to the nation’s comfort blanket television programme in December, here is a beginners guide to What To Expect From The Late Late Toy Show.

Read More

Black Friday Bargains For Parents

It’s Black Friday, which means that bank cards and credit cards around the world are quaking in their boots and bargains are being sought. The day originally kicked off in the United States as the first big shopping day before Christmas, but in the last few years, the bargain hunting has spread to this side of the pond. So, what’s on offer this year? Here’s a look at some of the top Black Friday bargains I’ve found for parents – let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed!

Read More

8 Christmas Gift Ideas For New (and not so new) Parents

Christmas is a magical time of year. It might only be mid-November, but the rush has already begun to get everything perfect and to start picking up gifts. When there are kids in the house, the holiday can become all about them, and less about the adults in the house. They definitely deserve some love too. If you’ve got friends who have recently become parents, or have been cohabitating with tiny humans for a while, here are a few suggestions for Christmas gift ideas they’re bound to love.

Read More

Snapshot of Sorts

Inspired by Suzy’s recent post, it’s time to revive the Snapshot post to show what exactly has been going on around here lately. We’re getting wintery and busy and spending days willing the germs in creche to avoid our three-foot-tall-typhoid-Mary(or Michael, whatever you want yourself). It’s gotten so bloody dark. On the plus side, it does mean that big coats and nice coffees are back in vogue. But anyway, on with the snapshot – what has been happening around here lately?

Read More

Have you had your Smear Test Yet? Cervical Cancer Prevention.

Cervical Cancer. It’s one of those big scary C’s that we don’t talk enough about. The words “Mortality rate” and “most common cancer” are bandied about, but as a society, we seem to stick our fingers in our ears and hum. Much has been done on this in recent years, but we’ve a long way to go.

Read More

10 GrownUp Advent Calendars For Everyday Treats This December

Advent calendars are something I associate with chocolate, from childhood. Behind each pane, a tiny chocolate, generally Cadburys. However, the market has really expanded over the last few years and you can now find advent calendars of every conceivable type, suitable for everyone’s tastes. As Christmas tends to be a time of over-indulgence anyway, this year I’ve decided to stay away from the chocolate countdown and look elsewhere for daily treats. Here’s a few grownup advent calendars that I’ve spotted that caught my eye – if you’re looking to treat someone this December, get picking them up now before they sell out.

Read More

7 Sugar-Free Advent Calendars For Kids This December

That time of year is rolling around again all too quick. The evenings are getting darker, the clocks have gone back, you’re having to put the heating on. And the toy ads, oh the toy ads are INCESSANT. On one hand, it’s great to have the Santa card to pull out when your three year old is having a meltdown about nothing at all. On the other, the pressure of getting it right and making it a lovely Christmas that everyone will remember happily is quite another. Advent calendars are something I remember from childhood as being great for getting into the festive mood (those and the Folens annuals!).

However, in my childhood, they were the chocolate-a-day type, which in our house will not go down well. It’s not that we don’t like chocolate – as my waistline will attest – but more so our lack of wanting to give chocolate to the three year old. He doesn’t react well to the sugar, it makes him crazy, and the festive season is crazy enough. So, for parents like me who wish to dodge the chocolate bullet but want to take part in the Advent Calendar joy, here’s some of the best store-bought sugar free (ie not confectionary) versions for kids I’ve seen.

Read More

December Girl by Nicola Cassidy – Book Review

What if your child was stolen?┬áThe tagline of Nicola Cassidy’s debut novel draws the reader in and plays on their emotions immediately. Her book, December Girl, is a historical fiction novel, based in the 1800s in Drogheda. I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy to take part in the Blog Tour to launch this wonderful book, and have been devouring it over the past few nights. So, what’s the book about, and is it any good?

Read More