With only a few days to go, the shops are manic, the postal dates have passed and hopefully you’ve still got fingernails after biting them down to see if THAT toy arrives before the big day. However, if you’re stuck for a last minute gift and you can’t face the Christmas crowds in town, don’t fear. Give them a gift that lasts the whole year (or at least a few months) from the comfort of your own sofa. Here’s 11 gift subscriptions that will keep them happy (and keep your sanity) this Christmas.
It’s mid-December, which means that we’re truly deep into Christmas mode here at the BadMammy house. We’ve been to see Santa TWICE, his shopping lists updated, and are wrapping up warm against the freezing cold. I was reminded of this format post which I used to LOVE doing because it’s so simple but sums up everything in one piece by brilliant blogger (and friend) Tracey from Love Of Living earlier so decided that it would be perfect to sum up what we’ve been up to this month, and then completely forgot with all the hubbub, so am just getting around to that now. As the December craziness seeps in, it’s great to look back on the month that was. I’m looping in with the #LittleLoves format from Coffee Work Sleep Repeat.
As the last posting day is drawing closer, and shops are starting to fill to bursting with last-minute shoppers, the pressure is on to buy THE PERFECT GIFT. While some people have been prepared since August (I am DEFINITELY not in that category), some of us have gone against our resolutions to be more organized in 2017 and are faced with finding the perfect gift in a short amount of time. As lovely as online shopping is, the chances of things getting here on time and in one piece diminish over the festive season, so sometimes brick and mortar shops are the only options left. While Cork City is full of the regular high street shops (Debenhams, H&M, New Look), it’s also home to some wonderful homegrown small shops with thoughtful gifts you’ll not find elsewhere. Here’s a look at 8 of the loveliest spots to pick up thoughtful gifts in Cork City this festive season.
Christmas is a time of magic, a time of wonder, especially for little ones. This is really the first year that Eliott is getting into it – he is very excited about the idea of Santa coming, and has been singing songs about Rudolph for weeks. With that in mind, we’ve been hoping that a Santa experience will give all of us, not just him, that Christmassy feeling we’re seeking in the dark December days. We were lucky enough to be invited to check out the wonder of Christmas at Cork’s Fota Beyond experience this year.
The second the clock struck midnight on 30 November, the elves came out to play. In many houses around the world, and across my Facebook feed, The Elf On The Shelf has invaded. For 24 nights on the run up to Christmas, parents in houses everywhere will be one foot into bed and realize that the bloody Elf is still in the same position as last night. For kids, it’s a magical time, with promises that the elf will ensure that Santa is well-accustomed to words of good behavior. For the adults – well, it’s a decent discipline tool, but it can be a whole lot more effort than it’s worth! While there are lots of great examples out there for things to do with the elf when you’ve ran out of ideas, like these posts from Jill at Proper Fud, here are some of parents who have REALLY had enough of this Elf on The Shelf stuff…
In the run up to Christmas, it can be stressful to figure out just what kind of gifts will put a smile on different faces. Often, it can be useful to focus on a hobby or occupation that the person has when it comes to picking a gift, as it will be something they will use and cherish instead of abandon to the back of the cupboard. Bloggers are no different to this regard. So, if there’s a blogger in your life that you’re scrambling to get the perfect gift for, look no further. Here’s a gift guide to aid you in pleasing the blogger in your life this Christmas.
Christmas is a time of spending time with family, eating far too many nice treats, and hopefully watching some classic movies. These days there’s no need to hope that the television networks put on our favorites to celebrate the season, they’re all at our fingertips through streaming. Netflix has got you covered this Christmas with a selection of Christmas Classics – both festive themed and ones you may associate with crowding around the tv with the family to watch. Here’s a look at the best of Netflix for Christmas 2017.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
What if your child was stolen? The 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?
One of the best parts of Hallowe’en is getting stuck into the scary movies while tucking into some pilfered treats, right? Thankfully, Netflix has lots of content fit for the perfect Halloween movie binge, with stuff for all ages and tastes. What will you be watching this Hallowe’en? Here’s some of the best of what Netflix have got for you to stream.
This week, a news story hit that the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has begun to use a robot for educating their students on the physical elements of childbirth. The news video included some (debatably creepy looking) footage of the robot in practice. Lucina, Ireland’s only “birthing mannequin”, has been purchased for €75,000 to benefit the surgical education of the future doctors taught in RCSI. The reaction to this news story has been mixed, to say the least. Some are horrified at the idea of a robot being used to teach doctors how to work in a childbirth setting. Others find it a genius idea which will likely improve outcomes for future patients as the educational tool will prove beneficial to the doctors in their training. So, what exactly is the reasoning behind the robot, what is it likely to teach that our current system doesn’t have, and is it all a bit of space age nonsense?
Hallowe’en is fast approaching, and there’s plenty going on to celebrate the night when the ghouls come out to play. With the weather as miserable as it has been lately, hopefully this will be a chance to have some spooky fun without getting rained out of it. Over the last few years, the Hallowe’en spirit has definitely increased in Cork, and this year is no different. Whether you’re a little one or a grown up, Cork has plenty in store for you.
Our family holiday wasn’t exactly a lie back on the beach with a good book type of break, but that didn’t stop the reads from accumulating. Long flights will do that for you – the Kindle app on my iPad was definitely kept busy. Here’s a look at my October reads, the books I dove into over the last month, and what I thought of them.
In late September, the three of us jetted off on our first family holiday as a trio. As it was Eliott’s first time on a plane, we decided to not go too mad – or rather, we decided to throw caution (and everything else) to the wind, and opt for an 18 hour flight each way and headed to sunny South Africa. It was a wonderful trip, one which I will definitely be writing more on, but it was definitely an educational trip in more ways than one. I feel incredibly lucky to not only be able to go on this kind of trip myself, but also to expose my child at the age of three to a whole different world of things – different weather, different cultures, foods, experiences. We stayed in Durban while we were there and found it to be overwhelmingly child friendly. I would thoroughly recommend it for people with kids, as it’s got so much for them to do, and playgrounds at every corner. However, if you’re thinking about traveling to South Africa with kids, there are a few things you need to have with you.
Ahead of the March for Choice next week in Dublin, there was a Repeal Not Replace demonstration in Cork City on Saturday 23rd September. I was asked by the organisers to be one of the speakers at this event. Initially I was hesitant to speak, feeling like my story wasn’t as relevant of that of many of the women who have suffered greatly under the 8th Amendment to our constitution. However, on reflection, I realised that as a woman who has gone through pregnancy in Ireland, I do have my experiences of maternity care under the 8th to speak about. The 8th Amendment is about so much more than abortion and it’s availability in our state, and I hope that I got that across in my speech. Here’s the full text of the speech, I’d love to hear what you think.
We’re in the process of getting ready to buy a house. The bank accounts have been scrutinised, we’ve weighed up the different mortgage offers and gotten the calculators on overdrive. The deposit has been added to regularly and we’re ready to get looking actively for a house to live in of our own. Along with this, inevitably, comes the dreams of what the different rooms will look like. My Pinterest is filled with gorgeous (probably unrealistic) images, but hey, a girl can dream. As Eliott is now no longer a baby, but a proper big-boy toddler who is losing his baby ways faster than I can handle, he needs a room that fits with that. So, what’s on the dream big boy bedroom list? Here’s just a few ideas I’ve had lately.
Culture Night 2017 is almost upon us. On the 22nd of September, various centres of culture including museums, theatres, churches and many more open their doors and allow in the public for exhibits of the best of what they do. It’s an annual event which I look forward to each year, as there is always something a bit different on that night. Although there’s lots of events that are for adults only (great date night!), it also provides lots of options for the little ones too. Here’s what’s set to go on in Cork to keep the kids happy for Culture Night 2017.
I’ve been getting back into reading lately, having failed for quite a while on my earlier resolution to read 40 books this year. On suggestion of some other bloggers, I signed up for NetGalley, and as a result have been lucky enough to receive advance review copies of books. These make up a substantial amount of the books I’ve read lately – and my to-read list grows ever longer, as I’ve gotten a bit request-happy! Here’s a look at what I’ve been reading lately.
I listen to the radio on my commute to work, my commute home and often when I’m just hanging around in the house by myself. I have a preference for talk radio compared to music-filled segments. While I was off work, it filled the void of social contact that work had previously given me. Conversations they had on air felt like conversations I would overhear, and potentially take part in, in real life. However, it hasn’t escaped my notice just how few of the voices I’m listening to are female. Where are the women on Irish radio?