My Pick of Christmas Viewing.

For weeks now I have been waiting for the RTE guide to appear on the shelves of my local shop as for me its arrival means Christmas is well and truly here !  I’ve picked my favourites to keep you going from Saturday the 23rd until New Years Day.

Enjoy, as always I love to hear your feedback.

Xoxo L.

 

For the Adults;

Saturday December 23rd:

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RTE 2 – Love and Mercy 9.05pm

A portrait of beach boy Brian Wilson documenting the troubles he had after he ceased touring and the loss of his grip on reality.

Channel 4 – The Wolverine 9.00pm

The wolverine is lured to japan where he gets caught up between rival gangs , as he struggles on the run he must face the prospect of death for the first time.

Christmas Eve:

BBC 2 – Guys and Dolls 3.20pm

In this 1950’s musical a gambler is challenged to take a “prude” missionary to Havana but falling for her certainly wasn’t part of the plan. Starring the delicious Marlon Brando this is a fantastic view.

TG4 – The Family 9.55pm

Starring Robert De Niro this film follows a mafia family in witness who want to turn their lives around.

Christmas Day:

E4 – Snow White and The Huntsman 7pm

A 2012 American Fantasy Film based on the German fairy tale “Snow White” compiled by the Brothers Grimm.  In the film’s retelling of the tale, Snow White grows up imprisoned by her evil stepmother, Queen Ravena. After Snow White escapes into the forest, Ravenna tells the huntsman that she will bring back his dead wife if he captures Snow White.

Channel 4 – First Dates at Christmas 9pm

The lovely Fred open up the first Dates restaurant for this Christmas special hoping to bring love to the couples just in time for Christmas.

RTE 1 – Mrs Browne’s Boys Christmas Special 9pm

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Mrs Browne’s Boys ! this year is no different.

St Stephens Day:

TV3 – Paul O Grady: For The love of Dogs Christmas 8pm

Paul helps a heavily pregnant stray among other gorgeous animals in this Christmas special.

BBC 1

Little Women – 8pm A three part series of telling this timeless tale.

The Miniaturist – 9pm A two part drama , Nella is gifted a dolls house by her fiance only to realise the tiny creatures mirror the actions of her family.

Thursday December 28th:

TG4 – Killing Bono 10.30pm

Two brothers hoping for stardom find it a bitter pill to swallow when there friends form U2 and take the world by storm. Starring love/hates Robert Sheehan

Friday December 29th:

RTE1 – The Late Late Show Dubliner’s Tribute 30 years on 9.30pm

Saturday December 30th:

TG4 – The Kite Runner 9.30pm

writer Amir returns to his Afghan birthplace to find his best friend and his wife have been murdered by the Taliban.

New Years Eve:

RTE2 – Beckham- For the Love of the Game 2.40pm

David goes on a unique journey as he plays seven games on the seven continents.

BBC2 – Into The Woods 8pm

A childless couple set out to find the ingredients to restore a witches beauty so she will remove the curse on their family Tree.

RTE1 – Imelda May New Years Eve Special 10.20pm

TV3 – The Graham Norton Show, New Years Eve Special 11.20pm

New Years Day:

Channel 4 – The Great Festive Bake Off 7.40pm

BBC2 – Sue Perkins and The Chimp Sanctuary 9pm

Sue Meets animals freed from medical testing at Chimp Haven Louisiana.

Channel 4 – Pitch Perfect 2 9pm

The Barden Bellas an cappella group try to revive their image after a disastrous performance.

 

 

For the Kids;

Saturday December 23rd:

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Channel 4 – The Rugrats Movie 7.30am

A good one to stick on if the kids are wired on the spirit of Christmas and your not quite ready to get up ! I used to love Rugrats so this is one ill be recording in the hope that well all be asleep when its showing !

BBC 2 – The Muppets 9.30am

A devoted fan, his brother Gary, and Gary’s girlfriend help Kermit reunite the disbanded Muppets, as they must raise $10 million to save the Muppet theatre from a businessman who plans to demolish the studio to drill for oil.

Christmas Eve:

The Gruffalo’s Child 10.55am

Be sure to record this one as Julia Donaldson’s beautiful stories are for life not just Christmas !

BBC 1 – Monsters University 2.20pm

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Despite coming after Monsters INC this is actually the prequel, Monsters University tells the story of monsters, Mike and Sulley, and their time at college, where they start off as rivals, but slowly become best friends.

RTE 1 – Angela’s Christmas 6.20pm

This is an animated adaption of Frank McCourts Angela’s ashes for all the family to snuggle up and watch. Set in the 1900s we follow a child’s wish to make sure every one is happy, warm and safe at Christmas.

RTE 1 – Arthur Christmas 4.05pm

As one of our five favourite family flicks https://mindmadnessmilesandmummetime.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/our-5-favourite-family-flicks/ this is one well definitely watch again and if you hadn’t its a must as it is fantastic festive viewing.

Christmas Day:

TG4 – Cat a Hata An Nolliag 11.22am

If you want to bring a cupla focail do na paisti then who else better to do it than cat in the hat !

TV3 – Chicken Run 4.20pm

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Rooster Rockey and chicken Ginger decide to escape the farm when they realise their destiny !

BBC1 – The Highway Rat 4.45pm

Another animated tale brought to us from Julia Donaldson.

St Stephens Day:

BBC 1 – Planes 2 Fire and Rescue 10.10am

When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins a forest fire and rescue unit to be trained as a firefighter, or else his air strip will be shut down.

Channel 4 – Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel 12.10pm

A fun filled animation following the adventures of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

ITV2 – A Bug’s Life 2.35pm

Flik is a little ant who’s always messing things up for his colony. Recently he  destroyed the food stores that were supposed to be used to pay off grasshopper Hopper . Now the strong-arming insect is demanding that the ants gather double the food — or face annihilation. Flik goes on a journey to recruit fighters to defend the colony.

Wednesday 27th December:

BBC1 – The Gruffalo 3.45pm

TG4 – Bee Movie 5pm

Barry the Bee (Jerry Seinfeld) finds the prospect of working with honey uninspiring. He flies outside the hive for the first time and talks to a human, breaking a cardinal rule of his species. Barry learns that humans have been stealing and eating honey for centuries, and he realizes that his true calling is to obtain justice for his kind by suing humanity for theft.

Thursday December 28th:

TV3 – Gnomeo and Juliet 2.05pm

Two garden Gnomes try to avoid tragedy and find a happy ending to their star crossed love affair.

BBC1 – How to Train Your Dragon 2  4.10pm

Five Years after peace was restored between the dragons and the Vikings hiccup and toothless find a cave home to dragon Rider which might challenge the peace.

Friday 29th December:

BBC1 – Room on the Broom 3.50pm

Another half hour animation based on the popular Julia Donaldson books.

Saturday 30th December:

3E – Madagascar 4pm

A firm favourite in our house ! Four domesticated animals from New York Central Zoo escape to the wilderness only to find themselves out of their comfort zone very quickly

New Years Eve:

BBC1 – Bolt 9.25am

A small white dog named Bolt who, having spent his entire life on the set of a television series, thinks that he has super powers. When he believes that his human, Penny, has been kidnapped, he sets out on a cross-country journey to “rescue” her.

New Years Day:

3E – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules

Summer is over and Greg Heffley and his older brother Roderick must deal with their parents’ misguided attempts to have them bond.

On Radio….

Christmas eve one for the kids – 11am A furry Xmas RTEjnr radio tells the story of a group of dogs in a pound in Dublin.

Tune in and burn off some Christmas kcals ! – 7pm 2FM  Jenny Greene and The RTE Concert Orchestra.

Enjoy folks !

Xoxo L.

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The Mmmm Christmas Playlist !

Happy Christmas to you all !

I feel it is officially ok to say that now were in the serious run up to the big day ! I’m sure if you haven’t hosted a gathering or let rip at a party already it’ll all kick off soon and maybe if your putting a playlist together you’ll find some tunes here that you mightn’t already have thought about adding to bulk it up !

Do Let me know your favourites in the comments , of coarse I love the good old faithful tracks but unfortunately as much as I love the Last Christmas/ fairy-tale of New York type hits they can be overplayed !

Enjoy,

xoxo L

 

Run Rudolf Run – Chuck Berry (1958).

Written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie but popularized by Chuck Berry, If you like Johnny B Good you’ll love this 50’s festive tune as it is musically similar !

 

 

River – Joni Mitchell (1971).

Although set in Christmas time rather than technically being a Christmas song this magical folk song is a favourite of mine in general but has a beautiful winter/festive feel to it that means it is a must on my list of amazing festive songs. It is taken from the equally amazing album “Blue”.

 

Oi TO The World- The Vandals (1996).

I must admit I came across the cover of this tune first and although No Doubt do it justice they are just slightly missing a little more edge to compete with The Vandals! This is the title track from the Orange County Punks Christmas album and is an ideal track to get a party started !

 

Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms (1957).

This has been a favourite of mine since before I ever realised the sheer brilliance of 50’s music and I’ve yet to find a person who doesn’t agree its a super song … Composed by Joseph Careleton Beal and James Ross Boo this is a must on every xmas playlist.

 

 

Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt (1953).

well this number needs no introduction and if you’ve ever been to a “good ” Christmas party you’ll have either done the whole Santa Baby routine after a few too many or witnessed someone else doing a rendition of this classic tongue in cheek look at a lady’s extravagant Christmas wish list ! Can you believe Eartha was only just a teenager when she first sang this !!

 

Mistress For Christmas – AC/DC.

Taken from the 1990’s album The Razors Edge this is not your usual Christmas song and a great one to have on your playlist to rock the party in classic AC/DC style.

 

Rockin Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (1958)

Another great festive tune written by Johnny Marks, recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958. By 2008 ( the songs 50th anniversary) the original version had sold over 25 million copies and has been recorded by lots of other artists. Be sure to have this great on your playlist this Christmas !

 

Little St Nick – The Beach Boys (1964).

Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love (only credited for his efforts after a lawsuit in 1990) for The Beach Boys. The song released on December 9, 1963, and peaked at number 3 on Billboard magazine’s special seasonal weekly Christmas Singles chart. This song puts a bit of a groovy 60’s buzz to your playlist !

 

 

Sleighride – The Ronettes (1963).

Sleigh ride , the light orchestra standard was composed by Leroy Anderson, he had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946 and finished the work in February 1948.  Since its completion in the 40’s it has been covered by more artists than I have time or space to mention but The Ronettes version is by far my favourites and is also a big hit with the kids !

 

 

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Christmas All Over Again (1992).

I Felt after the loss of such an amazing musician and writer in October I had to feature this fantastic Christmas song. Some of you might recognise it from Home Alone 2 and I’m certain if you haven’t heard it you will agree its a lovely piece and an ideal song to end the night on if you’d like an alternative to Fairy Tale of New York!

 

Have a great Christmas xxx

 

Our 5 Favourite Family flicks.

Since the winter crept in the Mmmm household has being having quite a few snuggly movie days and nights ! Of coarse the smalls love loads of movies and have enjoyed lots but when they ask to see it over and over again I know it gets their stamp of approval !

For me movies are a mums dream !! snuggle up, cuddle into cosey blankets, grab the goodies and enjoy an activity that lends itself to silence and peace !!!

Here are our five favourites so be sure to stream or watch any you haven’t already seen over the festive period.

Beauty and the Beast (2017).

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This is one I admittedly picked out for myself as I had been waiting to see the new version of the timeless tale all year and I was not disappointed. I don’t need to enlighten anyone on this classics storyline I’m sure ! My only concern with this movie having two pre-schoolers was that maybe the beast would frighten them but ironically the only thing we did have to ffwd was the scene where the wolves attacked Beast, other than that they were quite happy and the beast is actually quite endearing. It doesn’t say much for my taste in men when I tell you I actually found him more attractive than the prince he finally turned into !

This is a beautiful family movie and is a must see if you have not already.

 

Wreck It Ralph (2012).

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This one was picked by J himself and he just adores it. The week we got it I was heading away for the night and I let Mr Mmmm to do movie night so I haven’t seen this myself but judging by the amount of times I’ve popped it in the Dvd player since (and according to himself) it is a big hit.

Arcade game character Wreck-it-Ralph is sick of being the bad guy and is fed up of losing to “good guy” Fix-it-Felix and goes about proving he too can be a hero but on his mission he accidently draws a deadly enemy on the entire arcade . Can he make people see him for the softie and good guy he really is ? C’mon its Disney what do you think !!!

Arthur Christmas (2011).

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This is the movie that launched our weekly movie night ! Picked up a few weeks ago for just e4.99 in Dunnes while doing the shopping, this movie doesn’t owe us a penny and is so fab that we’ve all watched it a few times !

we all know each Christmas Santa delivers gifts all over the world but what you didn’t know is that to help him do this amazing job he has a very high tech operation in place, but when disaster strikes and a child is forgotten its up to Santa’s youngest son Arthur to get the toy to the forgotten child before dawn.

With the help of his Gramps (a retired Santa) Arthur uses a more traditional method of bringing joy and shows why he should be the one to wear the red suit on his fathers retirement. Be sure to fit this fantastic movie in over Christmas or if its been a while since you saw it go there again as it’ll be as magical as the first time you saw it .

The Santa Claus(e) (1994).

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My earliest memory is of going to The Capital cinema in 1986 to see The Santa Clause (Dudley Moore) with my beautiful Nana and my heart warms at the thought of how magical both the film and the venue were.

Despite my best efforts to get the gang into it they didn’t sit it out so we tried this Tim Allen Santa Claus(e) instead and it was a winner with myself and the smalls. It deals with the doubts and questions kids and adults have about the magic of Christmas in a very child friendly manner and is quite humorous too.

Divorced dad Scott has custody of his son (who is reluctant to spend time with him) on Christmas eve . when Santa accidently falls from Scott’s roof and Scott mistakenly accepts the job as the new Santa Clause they are magically transported to the north pole where an elf tells he him must take Santa’s place before next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he has been dreaming but soon starts to put on weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Soon he realises all was not a dream and he has a lot of work to do !!!

Another must see this festive period.

Pete’s Dragon (2016).

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This is the most fantastic film I’ve seen in a long time and was not only loved by our family but by all who watched with my smalls including my sister and aunt.  Again I wondered would it frighten my two but this dragon is as beautiful as the dragon in the never-ending story with gentle eyes and a furry coat you would love to wrap yourself in !

When a mysterious 10 year old boy Pete turns up claiming to live with a giant green dragon (after the death of his parents in a car crash near the woods when he was just a toddler)  he is taken in by forest ranger Grace, her partner and her daughter Natalie. They then go about finding out where the boy came from, where he belongs and about this magical dragon who has been taking such good care of Pete .

If you only watch, stream, rent one movie in the coming weeks make sure Pete’s Dragon is it !

 

I hope you enjoy some of these movies if you haven’t already .

xoxo Laura.

 

 

Na Leabhair is breá liom as gaeilge.

Níl ach cùpla focail agam ach tà grà mòr agam don teagna, mar gheall ar seo ba mhaith liom na pàistí ag fàs suas i dteach le beagàn gaeilge. Níl focail ar bith ag Mr Mmmm, mar sin cupla focail as  Mo bhèal agus cupla scèal as gaeilge chomh Maith mar ata sè !

I am by no means a gaeilgóir nor will I pretend to be filling my childrens sponge like minds with Irish on a regular basis as I don’t !!! But I like Irish, have a basic understanding and a few so I hope to throw in a few words here and there and introduce Irish to them through a medium that they love … So books it is !!!

Here are some of our favourite books as Gaeilge,  enjoy ! Please do give me suggestions of must reads as gaeilge if you have any in the comment box below 😉

 

Usborne Very First Words in Irish – Na Chèad Fhocail Ghaeilge.

This is a lovely book suitable from 6mths , a sturdy, colourful  board book aimed to introduce little ones to first words in Irish. Nicely presented using double pages displaying simple words alongside clear illustrations to suit the chosen subject e.g; animals, clothes , things that go while the last two pages focusing on colours and counting. We read this book in conjunction with the Usborne Irish Flashcards and we love them ! Almost 2 years on this is still a firm  favourite of J’s.

My First Word Book in Irish – Usborne Publishing

 

This is Similar to the book above but with an extra 150 words in Irish to add to your child’s vocabulary , this is a lovely book but for me I feel although targeted at age 2yrs + it is more suited to children of 3/4yrs of age as there is a lot going on in the pages for a toddler . That said it is the perfect progression book from the very first words in Irish Book.

 

An Choisir  – Jc Girbes/ Silvia Ortega

 

This is a lovely board book from the ‘ag leamh le Caitlin agus Cormac’ series. Cormac celebrates his second birthday and we join the party,  count his friends, presents etc. and we are encouraged to count to ten in Irish. Again a firm favourite in our house and a great book for adults who want to read to their children in Irish but may not have a huge grasp of the language themselves.

other titles in the series:

la mor fada (big lond day) , an phicnic (the picnic) and tabhair leat do leabhar (take your book with you).

Published by Leabhar Breac  they can be bought at  www.leabharbreac.ie

 

Macan ag Ithe a Dhinneir – Orianne Lallemand /  Elenore Thuillier

This is my favourite series by far !!! Macan is a little wolf who learns all about life from his mammy and daddy. In the series he learns how to use the potty , sleep in his own bed and eat his dinner !!!

In this book macan wants to eat nothing but pasta and refuses to eat his veg  Dad finally gets around the little wolf by combing veg and pasta in a tasty lasagne that goes down a treat.

This book has lovely wipe clean laminated style pages that are ideal for the transition from board books to paper pages. The illustrations are fantastic and I love the beautiful one of mammy wolf baby wearing when out walking !

There is a humorous side to the tales of macan as they play out many scenes that occur in real life and I felt both myself and the kids related to many a scene in the stories.

http://www.leabharbreac.ie

 

Ag an gCarnabhal – Enric Lluch / Pablo Tambuscio

 

Alastar visits the carnival and sees a lot of  goodies  but he cant have everything he wants …. or can he ? Unfortunately for Alastar his desires outnumber the amount of hands he has and he leaves the carnival empty handed after learning a lesson the hard way. Alastar bocht !!

I really love this book, the left hand side of each double page has just one sentence and the right has a beautiful piece of artwork. I just adore the illustrations in this book they really are exceptional, so bright, lively and expressive.

The text is big and bold and along with being perfect for parents with limited Irish to read to toddlers it is ideal to give youngsters beginning to read confidence.

I will definitely be purchasing more from this series again published by Leabhar Breac.

Pog Mar Seo – Mary Murphy.

 

In this Beautiful book we learn that no two kisses are the same , we see the giraffe giving gentle kisses and the bees who give buzzy kisses. After reading all about the different types of kisses parent and child animals share we find there is one kiss missing, whose kiss is it ?!!!

This split page book really engages the little ones and gives a few giggles, it would be an ideal gift to give to a young child or new baby.

For more information see ; http://www.walker.co.uk

Cuairt ar an bhFeirm – Maire Ni Ghallchobhair / Peter Donnelly

 

This book was a little too advanced for my two ( 3 & 4 ) and is a little more difficult to translate for a parent with basic Irish to understand but hey that’s what google is for !  I purchases it on a whim as the title appealed to me but I had no idea what age group it was aimed at so took a chance online. The Lusai series is aimed at 6-8 year olds and is used as part of many a school curriculum.

The story is quite humorous as Lusai is a bit of a rogue, a lovable one mind! and I could see this series being a big hit with the age group it is targeted to. In this book Lusai and her classmates are brought on a school trip to the farm where Lusai takes pity on a lonely bull and opens the gate !

I really enjoyed this story and will pull it out again in a couple of years !

Yet another Leabhar Breac publication!

 

Bi ag Spraoi Liom – Sadhbh Devlin / Tarsula Kruse

 

Luna is a Keen Inventor but has a small problem, her mom is too busy to play with Luna and her time machine. This book really hit a nerve with me as often us parents are so busy trying to keep all the balls in the air we often don’t play with our little ones as much as we ought to. While mum is busy Luna travels Back to a time when Mum was small, thankfully before its too late Mom sees the errors of her ways and enjoys the magic with Luna.

This is a lovely story with amazing illustrations that should be on every child’s book shelf and every adult should read it to be reminded if needed how important it is to put our kids and fun before household chores every now and then !

Published by Futa futa  more info@ www.futafuta.ie.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our favourite books in the Irish language , I purchased all of these myself and all my opinions are honest and unbiased as always !!! Its just coincidence a lot  are from Leabhar Breac but it must be said the service they provide is fantastic and delivery is super speedy !

Xoxo L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Latest Beauty Loves…

 

Hi all ,

Sorry I’ve been AWOL lately. I’ve been behaving with regards to blog posts in the same way I’ve been tackling life lately ….. helicoptering over all my to do list never quite managing to put anything to rest !

So here’s one of the 3/4 posts I’ve started the others are on their way I promise!

Unfortunately I don’t spend the money I’d like to on beauty  products actually it’s the only area of my life where I only buy what I need ! Apparently the l’oreal attitude ” because I’m worth it” hasn’t quite sunk in yet !

I’m always on the hunt for great products at bargain prices and these products below fit that requirement … enjoy xoxo L.

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The Square by PS .(penneys)

These French nails are so natural in colour and length that they are an ultimate bargain in my eyes! I always have a set of frenchies to hand but loved these black and gold set when I saw them and have them earmarked for the festive season. For E1.50 these are superb !

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PS Matte Primer  (penneys).

This by far is my favourite product I’ve purchased in the last couple of months.  As a huge fan of the Gosh primers I was surprized to find this was almost identical to their clear gel primer that I would use regularly but for a fraction of the price.

This primer goes on beautifully leaving your skin feeling like velvet along with sorting out those fine lines. At just E4 this primer is exceptional and is the perfect base for whatever type of foundation you apply. Stock up ladies at this price you can afford to and you certainly wont want to run out.

Sleek i-Devine (10 yr anniversary palette)

On recommendation from Joanne at Lipstick and Leopard Print (make sure to follow her on FB!) I tried this palette and was not disappointed at just e10.99 its superb quality eye shadow that is easily applied and blended. As a huge fan of black/grey shades I was sold but I really love the shades of pinks that accompany the darker shades I usually stick to . I will certainly be purchasing more Sleek products in the future as the quality is so amazing for the price tag attached.

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e.l.f  beautifully bare Foundation Serum.

I like most had heard e.l.f cosmetics were coming to penneys , none of my friends had used the products and I wanted to find out for myself if they lived up to the hype so I picked up two products to try out.

The serum is beautiful its ideal for saving your going out makeup and using day to day doing school runs etc. when you want to look “respectable ” but don’t want to apply a full face of makeup . For E12.85 you get a lovely  natural looking cover that lets your skin breath, there is a lovely fragrance to it and comes in a very luxurious bottle with a nice pump inbuilt. A definite thumbs up from me.

e.l.f  Intense Ink Eyeliner.

This I must say gets 9/10 from me … a super product in my eyes (and on my eyes !) I would go so far as to say that I think this is as good as the Bobby Brown Eyeliner I use regularly but is one fifth of the price !! The e.l.f intense ink liner is amazing to apply and has lasted as long as I’ve ever needed it to (so far an average day). Why does it not get 10/10 ? It takes a few seconds to dry as opposed to the Bobby Brown ink liner I love and as I’ve only had this a month I’m not sure how long it will last (I have the Bobby Brown more longer than is healthy !) It is certainly a must for every makeup bag and I look forward to trying more from e.l.f cosmetics.

I hope you all like my latest beauty loves , let me know if you have tried any of these and what you think?

xoxo L

 

Decorating childrens bedrooms – Basic not Boring !

Before the kids arrived we had two decorated spare bedrooms downstairs along with our own and we have always had an open house and enjoyed a party or two in our time ;-).

We do have two large bedrooms upstairs but they are basically a dumping ground for the time being so at the moment we have no spare bedroom as the gruesome twosome have a room each. So basically if we’ve someone to stay they have to take over one of the kids rooms , that’s why when I was decorating little L’s room it was at the back of my mind that it had to be child and visitor friendly !

When planning the rooms I kept everything simple and cost effective as at ages 2 and 4 the chances are I will be redecorating a few more times before they leave the nest !

Here are my tips for decorating children’s bedrooms in a way that they can be transformed into guest rooms or upgraded as the child ages with minimal effort !

when picking a paint colour , humour the child but don’t pick a colour you as an adult can’t imagine on your bedroom walls.

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For J’s I chose a strong blue and L’s a dusky pink and even though when themed with character bedding and fun posters etc they are perfectly suited to a child’s bedroom they are equally suitable with different soft furnishings for a teen /adults room.

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Invest in a few large photo/ poster frames.

we all are guilty of destroying paint work plastering posters all over our walls pre teens and further on but in order to preserve your walls invest in a few frames and fill them with posters from kids mags or like I’ve done sample pieces from wallpaper shops or your local DIY store. When I decorated J’s room he was eating , drinking and literally sleeping Mickey Mouse so when that phase ended and we entered the world of marvel all I had to do was update my wallpaper samples in the frames.  I also changed the duvet covers and hey presto the room went from a toddlers room to a ” big boys” room ! No stress involved !

 

 

Purchase neutral curtains. 

Curtains can be the greatest cost when decorating a house so getting value for money from your curtains to me is very important . Again for J’s room basic blue black out curtains from Homestore and More (these were just e99 a set and are amazing !) were chosen and little L’s were inexpensive at just short of e70 ( not blackouts but she’s a great girl to sleep like her momma) and are lovely pastel cream, lilac and pink striped curtains also from Homestore and More. Both these sets of curtains will easily see the gruesome twosome into teens and likely into their twenties and if a visitor happens to have to use their bedroom won’t have to awake to chaotic character curtains !

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Up cycle Accessories/ fixtures to suit your colour scheme / theme.

Using little tester pots of paint I (for just a couple of euro) matched up shelves, photo frames even thumbtacks to the colour scheme I had chosen.

With J’s room I was lucky I found shelving on http://www.littlewoods.ie in the ideal blue colours I was looking for at a great price but for L’s room I couldn’t find what I wanted so bought the same shelves in white and painted them to suit.

I also grabbed two frames for just e3 each in a discount store and gave them a coat of the tester tub paint , I went as far as even giving a few thumbtacks a coat of paint to hang a few bits up with , I did this by sticking the tacks in a stale slice of bread, painting them and removing when dry !!!

Hang onto your child’s cot or cot bed mattress.

This can be useful for when visitors arrive, siblings can camp out with each other in the one room but also if you have the space you can make a cool reading corner with just the mattress and a colourful sheet and some cushions!

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* Picture from google images *

Only Books and Bears in bedrooms !

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Our sunroom is our playroom as such and I try to keep the madness and masses of toys to that room (with a slight overspill to the kitchen) and if toys make their way to the bedroom by day they have to be brought back well before bedtime. The general rule is that only books and teddy bears are allowed in the bedrooms. There are two reasons for this !

1) It’s enough for us to have to tidy one mess at night without either extra arguments or me ending up doing two more rooms at the end of the day.

2) I feel you get a better nights sleep in a room that is free from clutter and is an open and clear space. On trips to the toilet or to comfort them at night it’s comforting to know neither of us will have to navigate an obstacle course or sustain a Lego related injury !!!

I hope you’ve found at least one useful tip here ! With these tips all you need is a five minute whizz around your child’s bedroom with the Hoover and a clean ” grown up ” duvet cover and you have a guest room sorted without any stress !

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Xoxo L.

A year has passed but What have I learned?

I can’t believe it’s a year since I wrapped up my business of ten years to focus solely on my little people , god it’s just flown by !

If I’m honest it’s not been how I daydreamed it would be , it’s not been bad just different to how I imagined.  The first week at home I did up a rota for chores , I’d iron on x , clean the bathrooms on y and I had imagined I’d be the mum who let the kids paint without ever thinking about the fact I’d be longer cleaning up than they’d be painting ! , get creative and take them on educational and fun outings and adventures until they were sick of them ! Oh I was also going to re paint the house , eight years on get the blinds for the kitchen and maybe even decorate upstairs …aside from the fact that I was being unrealistic I’ve learnt a lot.

I miss my business so much and it’s another part of me I have sacrificed for the good of my smalls but I don’t regret it and it was the right thing to do so I take comfort in that .

So what have I learned this past year ?

It’s an obvious one but … Being a SAHM is the hardest position I’ve held.

No stranger to physically hard work I genuinely though this would be an ” easy and enjoyable ” job , I wasn’t pushed into it .. It was my choice and it’s was always my dream to be at home with my kids. I simply had no idea how mentally taxing being a stay at home mum would be .. Taxi driver , referee , nurse , teacher, confidant , problem solver , cook , cleaner , laundry maid etc etc … You fill all of these roles with no knocking off time and no sympathetic sick days.

Yes , working mums do all of these things along with their jobs and I salute them, maybe I’m old fashioned but I felt as I was at home now the house and it’s up keeping along with looking after the kids was my job and I felt I couldn’t ask for help and I’d even feel guilty if I was lacking the motivation to do a “proper dinner ” and stuck on a pizza .

When I was working I thought nothing of asking Mr Mmmm to do things around the house or never felt the need to justify myself if there wasn’t a meat and two veg meal on the table on his arrival and now a year on I’m relaxed and confident the job I’m doing is an important one and If the dinners not done big whoop we won’t starve and there’s no guilt when I see him grab the Hoover !

That all said despite days where I’m mentally exhausted from refereeing the gruesome twosome or craving adult company along with a full cup of tea uninterrupted it is also the most rewarding position I will ever hold.

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I’ve learned to make friends !

This last  year I’ve put myself out there a bit more .. I promised myself unless impossible I would accept invitations , invest time into  people I knew but weren’t “friends” and where opportunity struck (and sometimes where it didn’t ) make new friends. It has lead to me not only making a few friends but meeting people who I have great time for and I feel will become lifelong friends.

Of coarse there have been one or two who I thought I’d become ” proper friends” with now I’d time to invest in these potential friendships that didn’t quite workout that way but I’ve no regrets or I’ll feeling toward the fact it was a bit of a one way street. The friends I’ve made more than make up for the potential friendships that didn’t work out ! So accept the invite for a cuppa from someone you don’t know that well, create an event or meet up ! And just try saying yes to as many invites as you can 😉

I now know why if you want anything done ask a busy person !

These days my workload is less than half of what it used to be but sometimes I’m even more allergic to doing a trivial job than I used to be facing into what I knew was going to be a long and busy day ! Sometimes I put off a simple phone all for days , why ? The less we do the less motivated we become . I’ve learnt I need to be doing things to motivate myself , “doing” ups your motivation. I do feel though you need more than doing the mundane daily household tasks and that’s why I continue to volunteer with The Irish Therapy Dogs and why I like to organise the odd meet up etc through my facebook page. Doing things you enjoy , pursuing a hobby also motivates you, So if you needed an excuse for that cuppa with your friend or a run etc here it is !

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Weekends are proof God exists !

Omg I had no idea what I was missing out on ! In that early daydream I had decided I was going to take the kids to church at least 3 times in the month but I must ashamedly admit I can probably could the days this year we attended on my hands or at a push add a foot in !

I have learned to relax … On days off, even holidays in the past I genuinely couldn’t relax. Mr Mmmm used to call me Roy Cropper on holidays BC ( before children) as I’d have the guide book out planning our timetable for holiday almost getting annoyed with him if he wanted to chill by the pool … I know, I know what a nightmare ! I now make sure we have at least one of the days in the weekend without plans do we can go with the flow or do nothing at all if the mood takes us. I now too get the Friday feeling and enjoy the weekends that were once alien to me and I don’t think after working weekends for almost 20 years would I ever go back there .

There is no such thing as ” The Perfect Mother “.

It isn’t that I was focusing on other mums around me and comparing myself to the gentle, patient, ideal mums ( well maybe a little ) but worse ….you see I had put my own mum on a pedestal and tried to be everything that she was to me but I’d focused so hard on all the good memories and moments that I’d not given a single thought to the moments where she was human. The times where she roared at us when we drive her mad ! gave out to us for what seemed like trivial things , even broke the hairbrush on my arse during one of the ordeals that was brushing my hair !!!

I had put an awful pressure on myself to be perfect and it was doing me more harm than good …this is a recent revelation for me and one that I’m sure will do me well in the days , weeks and months to come. We as mothers are so hard on ourselves and often despite thinking otherwise are the only ones who are judging our role as mum so harshly.

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Mum ” me ” time is extremely important .

Trust me there is no one giving out  awards to mums who never go a minute without a break from their kids , the only thing these women should be getting is possibly a Valium ! Only joking … Kind of 😉  If u can spend every living breathing second with your kids and not lose the will to live then more power to u !!!! For me personally I need that ” me time ” to be the best mother I can be …. I need my few drinks with friends who talk about something other than kids , I need the excuse to dress up and I need time to pursue activities that identify me as a person -Laura not mum. Once a week or a few grabbed minutes for me is not enough and at first when I tried to grab 2/3 child free jaunts a week I used to feel guilty ( that damn mum guilt ) now I try to get out on my only if only for a short burst at least 2/3 times more if I can wing it 🙂 because a happy mum leads to happy children – fact  I even grabbed a Mr Mmmm for breakfast in town at the weekend something we’ve never done in our 10 yrs + as a couple , can you believe that ! Before children we both worked harder than we played and it’s one of my very few regrets . So ladies make no excuses for needing your ” me time ” you are entitled to it and it’s in every bodies best interest 😉

The kiddos enjoy a pj day as much as a day of adventure and need a balance of both !

When I was working the kids trucked along and were little legends so when I got a full day or two off we tended to head away or do a day trip or head on an ” abenture” so full days of lazing around just didn’t happen . Now school term has put a stop to our gallop or lack of movement more realistically ! But there were days during the summer that we unashamedly didn’t get out of our pjs and just chilled and I came to realise children’s lives these days are busier than a md in a global company so I think days spent in pjs playing and relaxing are very important and you should’t feel the need to justify these days to anyone.

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It’s up to you to reclaim your identity or prevent it from slipping away from you while you ride the roller coaster that is motherhood.

For most of us when we have children maternal instinct kicks in and our family become our main focus despite any previous swears of never losing yourself in motherhood it seems to happen to the best of us ! Certainly preventing your identity from slipping away from you is ideal but if you feel it has then make a start on reclaiming it. The mum guilt and the fear of being judged is in my case the reason I lost myself…  I wouldn’t ask in laws or to babysit while I went for a few drinks or went to a gig if Mr Mmmm was working , abandoning the kids to drink coffee and gossip with my friends … Sher I couldn’t pay a babysitter so I could do that.

As for asking someone to mind them while I went to an excercise class or for a jog – what would they think of me asking them to babysit for me to do something ” that I didn’t really have to do ” or to swan off doing charity work while someone else was left holding the baby literally.

Circumstances changed I didn’t have the finances or the time for horses , the loss of my business meant I could do very little for the animal charities I had once helped and soon I felt anyone who met me for the first time wouldn’t even find me interesting as I felt I’d become nothing more than a mum.

In the last month or two I’ve started to reclaim my life and my identity , I’ve signed up for a ” girl crew ” kayaking trip with strangers , I’m looking forward to my first bloggers meetup the same weekend and I’ve started reaching out to my friends for impromptu pints and coffee dates . The more I do to reclaim myself the easier it becomes and I’m leaving go of the guilt with the aim of reviving the twinkle in my eye ! If you feel your in danger of losing yourself or have lost  … Start now make a plan you can do it 😉

So even though these lessons I’ve learned in the last year aren’t mind blowing they have been valuable to me and I think it has been a pretty good year and the best thing I’ve learned in my eyes is …

To just go with the flow and enjoy the little things ….

This year J started his second year in An Naoinra and L will start after  Halloween , before I know it they’ll both be in ” big school”  so for now I’m savouring each moment ( in between losing my shit with them of course 😉 ) and I’m celebrating all their accomplishments and milestones, creating memories and banking all those hugs, kisses and I love you’s for when they become to cool to give them to me 😉

Xoxo L.