Amazing Mumpretreneurs. Part 2.

When the idea of a series celebrating mumpretreneurs came to me the first person who popped into my head was Elaine. We have been friends for roughly 20 years and we have literally grown together sharing some amazing experiences along the way !

we met as pony mad teens and became fast and firm friends, never in each other’s pockets but always there for each other when needed but since we had our boys just 3 months apart four years ago we’ve become closer than ever as it’s invaluable as a mother to have a friend who you can be completely honest about your feelings with and share a carriage on the rollercoaster that is motherhood.

When Elaine started her business Specialist Pain Relief I knew she would make a success of it as even from a young age she was a hard worker, extremely passionate about her interests and threw herself into every project she took on 110% over the years and I was not mistaken. I’m lucky not to have had to call on Elaine in a professional manner but am confident that when the day comes that I need her she’ll sort me right out 🙂

I hope you enjoy the interview with Elaine and check out Specialist Pain Relief.

Xoxo L.


This fantastic facebook page is where you will find super testimonials to Elaine and her work , useful information , interesting articles and information on clinics and booking.

Elaine Mackey – Specialist Pain Relief.


* L>R  Ross, Michael and Elaine *

Tell me a little about yourself .. Not the mum or business woman just you ?

I am kind, intuitive and loyal. In my best possible attitude I’m happy, content, calm and organized. I love to work and to be physically active. Last year, Ross the father of my child and I married. In the same year, we renovated and settled into our own home with Michael and our dogs. Before that, I can boast 42 rental address. Being on the move is natural to me. I like a busy life. My passions include a love of horses & the visual arts.


What is the nature of your business and the service you provide ?

The nature of my business is to reduce, remove and help people manage their chronic nerve pain. I try to get clients out of the acute pain phase through muscle manipulation and skeletal realignment. I am a Neuromuscular & Physical therapist, Reiki energy healer and an academically trained artist. Specialist Pain Relief is the name of my business. In a practical sense, I see myself as a mechanical engineer for the body. I thrive on complicated trauma & injury cases. Rehabilitating my client’s bodies, limbs back to a functional base through postural realignment and skeletal resets is SPR’s focus area of expertise.
A major part of my service is consultation. I inform new client’s that their presenting pain issue is just scratching the surface of the healing process we will initiate. The results we will get will require remembering their history of pain and injury in their body. Often I would use the metaphor of an archaeologist to describe how I approach the physical assessment process. The more I can gather of client history, the deeper I can track injury to relieve stress in the body as a whole, in a way that is sensitive, balanced and safe.
Looking at the whole person while specifically separating pain, emotional and physical is part of the experience of getting well through physical pain relief. SPR is a client focused and confidential. We look at root causes of pain issues.

As a mum and entrepreneur who had to call time on my own business I know that keeping all the balls in the air can be challenging . What do you find the most challenging about being a mumpretreneur ?

Becoming self-employed four years ago was one of the best and most challenging opportunities I pursued. As a highly independent personality I feared that being a full-time mom would isolate me from society and from who I was. I needed the security of earning my own wage, however small to keep my anxiety and frustration away and keep me from feeling compromised by my role as a mother. As a mumpretreneur I find not having as much time as I would like to work. Being a mum is my priority. The happiness and health of my family is paramount.


Tell me a little about your family and how you find a work / family time balance ?

Being self –employed requires commitment, finding that time to balance everything means that getting up early is my staple diet as is being asleep for 9pm. It can be very hard to keep motivated at times. Having to put my family first sometimes can feel like business suicide and its hard to trust that everything will be ok

Without whom could you not do this without the help of ?

My mother. Without a shadow of a doubt, there would have been no way in this world that I achieved what I did without the unfailing support of Patricia. Not for one second would it have been possible to get the time or money to go to work. She is Michael’s grandmother but I joke with my parents that actually we share-rare my son! I have always had huge support from my family, my father, and brothers. From business plans to prints outs, baby sitting and bodies to practice on. I’m very lucky and I know it.
My husband is also very supportive and believes that what I do is valuable to other people, so when I feel like giving into the pressures of motherhood or feel overloaded with the burdens of the business, he is slow to agree that it would be the best for everyone involved if I gave it up. Support is key.


What advice would you have to give to any mums thinking of starting a business ?

If you have a talent or gift that you think maybe a good business venture, start planning. Do a start your own business course, structure your support system and get professional help. Becoming a millionaire from being self-employed when it is a solo venture is probably slim. Be realistic. Set your goals. Identify the strengths and weakness of your situation. Do your market research. If it materializes then be prepared to learn to separate your desires. Keep focused and give it a shot. Be prepared to fail but be open to success. Be brave, it can be very stressful trying to micro manage home and career but the satisfaction I gain out of making a real positive difference to my clients quality of life gives me a huge uplift. The best thing about being your own boss or having a small business means that you can work it around your families needs. Having a few bob well earned goes a long way in establishing positive self-esteem, something that can all too easily disappear with motherhood.

X Elaine.

Elaine Mackey -Specialist Pain Relief

(087) 273 1479


Representing The Irish Therapy Dogs at Camphire International Horse Trials.

For those of you who don’t know allready myself and my fantastic Jack Russels Trixie (9) and Penny (4) are volunteers with The Irish Therapy Dogs. I help out with interviews in the Cork Area and proudly sit on the Board of Directors of this amazing charity.

* Trixie makes friends and Penny poses !*

Irish Therapy Dogs’ Mission is to provide physical, therapeutic and educational benefit to people, young and old, fit and frail, alert and impaired, in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Day Care Centres, Schools and other places where people may be restricted from having pets and where the presence of dogs and their owners, will add comfort and support.

Last Sunday as part of Camphire International Horse Trials Gain Animal Feeds organised a fantastic dog show kindly donating the proceeds to The Irish Therapy Dogs. To show our appreciation our chairman BrĂ­an 0′ Sullivan judged the classes (with the exception of the class for Irish Therapy Dogs) and myself and fellow volunteers helped out with the show along with meeting the crowds and gaining awareness on the day.

It’s not uncommon for me to have a mini “plus one” at awareness days as at the best I times I find it difficult to get childminders/babysitters still it’s rare the whole familia head out to awareness days but when I looked up the events facebook page to seek directions I delighted to see that this was a fun filled day out for all the family so we packed the car up and headed off !


In times gone by I was no stranger to events as I worked with horses from a young age and groomed for a trainer/Eventer in my late teens but despite my history and love for horses I had only once a few years back brough the smalls to an equestrian event. Subconsciously I always chose days out to interest everyone else so we’ve been to multiple car shows and kiddie events , unfortunately this time as my day was mostly spent volunteering I didn’t get to see the equine action but I really gave me a taste for events again and brought me back to the good old days watching the cross country at Blarney Horse Trials.

It was clear from the moment we arrived that this was going to be a fun day out for the smalls and the first thing they spotted was the bouncy castle ! I swear they have a 6th sense for those shaggin things !!!!!! I now know it’s self destruction to say no or try put off the bouncing as they will whinge till they get on it and if Left too late they will be tired and inevitably injure themselves in a life threatening manner .. You know speed burns, toe stubbing , tongue biting and the like !!!!

So all that considered I advised Mr.Mmmm to just go with the flow with them and that he did… the amazing aromas coming from the chipper swayed them from the bouncy castle and funnily enough after they ate and had a wander around they wanted to come back to me and watch the dog show so that they did and gave me a hand giving out treats to all who entered.

Now this was a proud day for J and Penny as it was their first dog show ! They entered the therapy dogs class so that the judge would be unbiased and should we be claiming a rosette it would be on our own merit and I’m glad to say they came third ! It really was cute to hear him tell penny how proud he was of her and discuss her prizes with her !

After my stewarding tasks were over so too was the equine action so I just wandered over to see what I missed during the day ! Of coarse the bar in full swing was the first thing I noticed ! But aside from that I saw amazing bubbles coming from the kids area so I went to investigate.

I was very impressed with the kids area, aside from the bouncy castle which they enjoyed a good bounce on there was also face painting and carnival games and these were all reasonably priced. There was also a chill out zone an area for kids to relax on bean bags and a hammock company provided a hammock area which was a huge hit , this and the bubbles display (which had the kids fascinated) was all free. The bubble artists had for all the world what looked like a washing line with loops in it and would dip it in the bubbles , raise it and send giant bubbles floating through the grounds it was super !

At this point the gruesome two some were getting tired to we indulged in smoothies and my fave chocolate marshmallows and strawberries ! I then had a wander at the trade stands before heading back to the car to head for home. As to be expected there was mainly equestrian stalls with a few doggies stands too with just one general stall but to be honest it was enough.


I enjoyed my day volunteering and the family really enjoyed theirs but one things for sure I’ll be coming back next year off duty to enjoy all Camphire International Horse Trials has to offer and would highly recommend anyone to go along too .

Xoxo Laura.

If you wish to find out more about the Irish Therapy Dogs or about how you can apply to volunteer go to or contact me at



Amazing Mumpretreneurs. Part 1.

A few months ago while attending Constance Hall’s meet and greet I was lucky enough to meet many amazing women and Ranae was  one of them. I like to think I’m a good judge of character as I have amazing friends most of whom are long term legends but sometimes I’m drawn to people and it was a tag team effort I think as I was drawn to Ranae and her beautiful daughter Ava equally !

We didn’t get to chat much that day but as you do we connected on facebook and began to get to know each other a little more, I told her of my FB blog page and she directed me to her page Von Essentials.

I have always been interested in oils but apart from burning the odd time I didn’t really know much about them. I learnt alot from the page and then messaged her about the way I had been feeling in recent times and explained I’d rather not go down the traditional chemical medicine route and asked for some advice. The advice she gave me and the oils and supplements she advised were amazing but I’ve a whole other post on that !

What I loved about Ranae was that at no point did I feel she was being pushy or “sales man ” like, instead she thrived on sharing her knowledge in the hope of helping me which I found very refreshing .

The fact that I ceased trading last year following the inability to do it all really made me admire the mumtrepreneurs out there. These women are mums, partners and so much more and manage to keep all the balls in the air, so when I decided to do a series featuring amazing women Ranae was one of the first I thought of .

I hope you enjoy the interview with Ranae and check out Von essentials.

Xoxo L.

This fantastic face book page is where Ranae posts informative live posts and shares tips and information to enable you get the very most you can out of your oils for you and your family.

Ranae von Meding – Von Essentials.


* L>R ; Ranae , Audrey and Ava.*

Tell me a little about yourself .. Not the mum or business woman just you .

My name is Ranae and I’ll be 30 this year. I have a wonderful Wife Audrey. We met because we both started out in theatre, she as a stage manager and I as an actress and singer. We did reciprocal IVF in 2015 (we used her eggs and I carried!) and now have an almost 1 year old daughter Ava. I am a Libra, on the cusp of Scorpio which definitely shows sometimes. We live in Dublin City. I’m originally from Chicago but we moved here when I was 4 so I have dual nationality. I can be either when it suits me:) Aside from the theatre, things I love are; Horses and Riding. Swimming. Being outside generally. Travelling. Reading. Box sets. Kids. Any animal of any kind. Being obsessively clean. I am a definite Type A personality!

What is the nature of your business and the service you provide?

I started up my own Natural Health Business after the birth of our daughter Ava. It’s called Von Essentials and I teach people about doTERRA essential oils. My work involves networking, education, troubleshooting and just getting to know my clients and what their own physical and emotional needs are and give ideas of what could help.

What do you find the most challenging about being a mumpretreneur?

Finding the blocks of time needed to get any admin work done of being on the computer. Getting out and about is fine with Ava, but for some reason she doesn’t want me to be on the computer when I should be entertaining her? 🙂

What stage is your business at and what are your plans/ hopes for the future?

This is still my 1st year in business but I am very driven and hope to be creating an income from it by the end of the year. Then eventually the hope would be that Audrey could come on board and help me run the business when it grows to the stage where I can’t do it alone any more.


Tell me a little about your family and how you find a work / family time balance?

Audrey works pretty much full time as a stage manager in Dublin. Technically she is freelance, although it usually works out that she has quite a few jobs lined up. While this is wonderful, it is hard as she has to be away from home. It’s hard on her having to be away for most of the day. So we try to have at least a half hour in the evenings when Audrey gets to do a bath for Ava or just have some fun play time. It’s important to snatch any moments that you can together as a family. Also, I’m starting to do a child swap weekly with a family member which is working out so well. I take hers on one day, and she takes Ava another day. This is something I would highly recommend. Even if you don’t need the time to do ‘work’, it’s still precious time where you can just be you and not feel guilty about it either. It’s a win/win.

Without whom could you not do this without the help of?


Audrey. She is so understanding about my business and does everything she can to help me succeed. She can also see the potential and so is excited to watch it grow.

What advice would you have to give to any mums thinking of starting a business?

Do something that you LOVE. If you don’t love your product, or service or blog or whatever else your business is about, then when it gets tough, as of course it will, you will just want to throw the towel in. Of course, you’ll still want to throw the towel in, but at least if you love what it is that you sell or do, you will want to keep going… simply for the love of it.

Have you any additional thoughts on this topic that you would like to share on this subject ?

GO FOR IT! It is so hard, but truly satisfying to work for yourself. I have seen so many mums in the same business as me who have created something wonderful for their families. Financial freedom and in the process, having a knock on effect on other families. It is definitely achievable. Surround yourself with positivity because negativity will kill a business before it’s started.

Ranae x


Ranae von Meding – 085-7212669

“Von Essentials. Natural health through essential oils.”









Camping with the Kiddos …

So a couple if weeks back we as a family had our camping debut , up to that I had camped twice ever.

The first time I was a complete dodo and myself and my partner in crime went on the lash before “pitching” our tent, not good. I use the term pitching lightly as I’ve no recollection of doing so ! All I know is I woke up in a upright tent but absolutely soaked with a bottle of vodka and an empty purse by my side …

Fast forward ten + years and sense was on my side I had a trial run with a camping expert without the kids , she showed me how to pitch perfect and we made our beds – marvellous…probably as much drink as the first time round meant I slept like a tired mammy and thought this camping life was the bomb .

Our debut trip brought us to Barleycove , after driving for hours ( I stupidly made an appointment for the morning in the opposite corner of cork) I must admit I was tired and slightly hot n’ bothered by the time I got to Barley cove Holiday Park so when it started lashing as I was pitching ( about the same time I’d realised putting up a tent is a doddle with two adults , not so much solo) I must admit I was questioning my sanity. Just as I was finishing Mr Mmmm’s friend appeared and I followed him and his gang to their caravan on the promise of a cuppa !

Thankfully Mr Mmmm arrived after work and it dried up about 9pm that night. A group sleepover , delicious chips from the on site chipper and a few cans of cider meant all was well in the camp literally ! After a success full night we awoke to a fab sunny day and for the first time ever I felt sorry for Mr. Mmmm as he headed off to work and we gobbled breaky with plans to head to the beach after a stint in the on site playground.

If you haven’t been to the beach in Barleycove you are seriously missing out , this is the nicest beach I’ve ever set foot on ( Australian sand included ) a devine blue flag beach with a peaceful vibe, if you’ve not been put it on the list. As for Barelycove holiday Park it was great lovely facilities , a well stocked shop and that fab chipper allready mentioned. I would highly recommend this well run site as I felt very safe and happy there and even alone I’d be happy to return.

After a delightful first camping trip we headed home with happy hearts promising the kids that we would do it all again soon and Tuesday gone we did just that !

A friend of mine was in Dingle so we travelled the distance to the campsite she had a arranged Campail Teach An Aragail which is 10k from the town with a pub and beach just 1k from the site. This site was more basic but had clean showers/toilets and washers/dryers  along with a relaxed atmosphere and little playground and great value at just e21 for the 3 of us ( myself and 2 kids ).

Now I don’t know what god has it in for me but it lashed again and I was saturated and stressed after sorting the tent , beds were made all of us changed into dry clothes at 2pm we took to the tea and chocolate and cosied up for the afternoon in the tent with the rain drumming on the canvas ! Strangely I was very relaxed and dare I say I enjoyed the avo as the two were happy to cuddle, read and colour I think I may be still in a state of shock at this !

Alas, like all good things this too had to come to an end ( to be fair they passed 3+hrs in a tent without complaint ) and the bickering started so we got dressed and went into dingle for grub and a shnaky one ;-).


Oh what a night !!! After heading back to tent after tea we had the kids watching a movie on the iPad in one while we had tea and beer in the other but by 10.30 I was fit for bed so we settled down to head to sleep …  Little did I know I was only to get but a few hours sleep as  I’m fully convinced we got the end of a storm from somewhere.

The wind was fierce and the rain the same Little L and I in one bedroom and J in his own , L is hilarious she would and literally would sleep through anything !!! Bout 3am myself wide awake just waiting for the tent to lift but hoping my big bod and cooler box would keep us grounded and as expected J awoke so there was 3 in the bed …. At this point I was bursting for a wee but genuinely felt if I left the tent to go aside from getting soaked I may come back to nothing after my children and tent taking flight wizard of oz style … They say necessity is the mother of invention well mother nature is certainly the grand mother then … I won’t even go into how I solved my problem ;-). Finally at about 4.30 it died down enough for me to sleep ! After a wild night it was clear that I am infact good it seems at pitching tents as there had been a few catastrophes during the night and flattened tents were abandoned by a few families fleeing to the car !

The following morning was nice but with a bag of wet clothes and down to our last knickers we decided to give the beach a miss ! We opted for a walk around Killarney, lunch in the Danny Mann ( see review here ) and a trip to Grandpa Charlie’s Olde sweet shop .

* t-shirt in the Portwest shop was very apt !*

The kids really enjoyed the trip despite the weather and I did too 🙂 , there is just something good for the soul about camping ! And well definitely be doing a lot more of it.

So now I’ve had two camping trips with pre-schoolers under my belt what have I learnt ?

  • When packing up at home make sure the tent is the last thing you put in the boot as it’s the first thing you’ll need to get your hands on when you arrive , obvious you say.. well not to me it seems !
  • Pitching a tent is pretty easy with two pairs of hands but not at all that easy with one adult and an uncooperative 4yr old ! Make sure your fairly confident or bring a hip flask if pitching solo !
  • Ensure you have enough socks to sort a centipede , you can manage without most things but socks are not one of them. Bring plenty of towels, clothes and a roll of  plastic bags too.
  • Let the kiddos fill a bag of toys and if not allready in add story books and colouring books/crayons as these will be invaluable to you if it rains and let’s face it if you are camping in Ireland the chance is high !
  • For an overnighter or a taster trip you don’t need a lot of equipment , once you have a suitable tent you can survive from a cooler box and a flask . If you want a little extra I’d advise a gas cooker and a commode to be put top of the list, other than that the other things I deam handy are battery operated lights, a table and chairs and blow up beds.
  • To minimise blankets needed with smallies we get kitted out in our winter jammies and all are happy !
  • Apparently it doesn’t matter what percentage fat you have covering your bones sleeping without a blow up bed is no joke and not for me ! The blow up bed will defiantly be rooted out for our next trip.
  • The camping part is what the kids love so just let them chill in and around your pitch don’t get hung up on activities.
  • Even in the rain camping is fun just go for it !

Have you you any camping hacks or handy hints , I’d love to hear them

Xoxo L.


My Latest Beauty Loves.

Hi all ,Something new for me , a beauty post !!! Why now ?

The kids are getting a small bit easier the last few months and I find myself getting out a bit more which means I’m wearing makeup a little more and also I’m on the hunt for nice makeup that doesn’t break the bank in order to be able to fund my mum me time and still look presentable !!!

I’ve bought or rooted out some products I hadn’t been using and I’m going to share with you the ones I love , here goes ;

MAGNIF’EYES – Rimmel London.

I have always loved Rimmel and to me it’s the best budget eyeshadow, mascara or eyeliner you can get so it didn’t come as such a surprise that I just adored this pallet in 003 Grunge Glamour.

Personally I find it very hard to break away from grey and charcoal shades so this was a safe buy as it contained my favourites shades along with a nude, browns, a dark copper and my favourite a burgundy red also. These shadows last minimum 5 hours ( I haven’t been out longer as of yet !) and are easy to apply. I got mine from Littlewoods Ireland at e9.99.

Catrice Cosmetics – Re-touch Light Reflecting Concealer.


How I have managed without this Concealer in my life up to now is anyone’s guess ! I went with Light Nude 005 but it is also available in darker shades. It does exactly what it says “Diminishes shadows, fine lines and signs of fatigue”. It is easy to apply, has a lovely texture and is a steal coming in under a fiver ! ( I paid e4.50 at my local pharmacy). This now is my go to product even when I’m not using make up I dab a bit on to take the ” mummie” look off me ! Definitely my best buy this year !

Garnier – Ultimate Blends, ” The sleek restorer , Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter.

This was a fluke purchase as shampoo is not a ” thing” for me so I just grabbed these  as they were on offer in Dunnes Stores . The only thing I look for in a shampoo is a smooth and sleek type formula and if it’s silicone free ( which this is ) it’s a plus !

As someone whose hair was initially curly but has gone frizzy from the abuse of the years of straightening (with the iron before ghd became a thing ) this is a fantastic shampoo and conditioner combo. Aside from the wonderful aroma after just 2 washes my hair felt so much softer and if I blow dry it properly I would hardly need to straighten it ! It also gives a fantastic shine and is reasonably priced even at full price .

Bobbi Brown – Ink Eyeliner ( Blackest Black).


I had never purchased Bobbi Brown products before but recently at an airport after a perfume purchase I was given a e10 voucher to spend in any other shop in the airport so as my eyeliner is the product that gets the most use I picked up this Bobbi Brown Liner to try .

I was amazed by how much I liked this ink liner as I usually prefer kohl pencils. This liner is so easy to apply and drying time is not an issue like other liquid liners as this doesn’t have a ” wet ” feel and drys instantly. It stays on for ever ! I’ve gone full days as this is still as good at 6pm as it was at 9.30am so really there is nothing to fault it on at all. Of coarse cheaper at the airport but I’ll be restocking at BT as at e28.50 this is well worth it and lasts a good while.

PS… ( Penneys)  –  Matte Nail Polish (Dove).

I just loved this gunmetal grey matte polish when I spotted it a couple of weeks back in Penneys and at just e2 I took a gamble on it and another purple gel varnish. The purple gel one I couldn’t fault I just didn’t like the colour but the ” dove” matte polish I loved ! You do have to give it two coats but at e2 it’s not like you’ll be sparing it !

Elemis – Pro Collagen Marine Cream Ultra Rich. 


I got got a sample of this beautiful cream a while back and said I better try it out before it was out of date . I had a 7ml sample and got 4 days out of it but gosh I really noticed a difference in my skin after just a short time ! I genuinely looked more youthful especially around my under eye area and it smelled so nice I questioned was it a hand cream as opposed to a face cream.

This fantastic anti-ageing cream can be purchased in Debenhams but I found it for half the price at for just e69.95.  I haven’t shopped from that site so opinions welcome … One way or another this is on my wish list.

Ps..(Penneys) – Matte Lipstick Crayon.


Like a lot of Penney’s products at e2.50 I thought this was worth a gamble , I loved the shade Nude Beach and had a good feeling about it so bought two ! My physic powers were on fire that day as I wasn’t disappointed … This is such a lovely lip crayon to use, it applies perfectly even without a lippie brush and is a great shade for day or night and lasts easily 3/4 hours.

You really can’t go wrong for e2.50 so be sure to try a few other colours, my BFF loves the purple and I like the burgundy for a heavier night time look.

Well hope you liked my latest loves ! Please share any must haves that are in your makeup bag.

Xoxo L.

Ten ways to keep your kids entertained this summer .

Can you believe it we are halfway into July all ready?

Most parents at this point have put down almost three school free weeks and are more than likely starting to sweat it a little at the thought of another 6 weeks or so trying to entertain their offspring ! Well fret not I’ve put together ten budget friendly suggestions that I hope will help.

1) Build an Obstacle Course. 

This is something we as children , my sisters and I used to get great fun out of and my kiddos are no different !

My course was made up of a lot of dog agility equipment that I had all ready but trust me your shed/garage and broom cupboard has all you need.

We started with weave poles so think old Paint tins , large stones anything for them to weave in and out ! From there over a little jump (two traffic cones that ahem just appeared in the boot of my car ! and a old brush handle painted , three different size balls then had to be thrown into a vertical tunnel ( drag out your laundry basket for this one !)

Quick, quick up on the trampoline for ten bounces / star jumps before jumping over the swings ( lowered down ). Next through the tunnel and down the slide to finish .

After a trial run I got out my stopwatch and took things up a gear and my two and their cousins really got into it even thinking if new ways themselves to add to the course ! A couple rounds of this I can assure you had them all puffed  …but smiling.


2) Nature Walk/Outdoor Art.

We are very lucky to have a lot of beautiful woodland walks nearby ( my two favourites locally being Curabinny Woods and The Millennium Walk in Minane Bridge.) A few months back we did a nature art walk as part of a Mind, madness, miles and Mum me time meet up and all the kids enjoyed it .

We met at the woods everyone with a little bag or bucket and set off on a looped walk picking up flowers ,sticks , leaves and more as we went !

After a lovely walk the kids tipped out their findings on the picnic benches and with some colours , glue/Sellotape , a scissors and paper created some fantastic collages and great leaf rubbings .

Of course after the crafts we had an obligatory picnic and all from aged 2 to 12 went home happy after a morning well spent in the great outdoors !


3) Coffee  Filter Butterflies.

We all know kids love arts and crafts so if you can put together a box of goodies and gather old toilet rolls , magazines and even sweet wrappers , scraps of tin foil etc they will get hours of fun creating. I find Dealz fantastic for cheap but exciting craft supplies.

The reason I picked coffee filter butterflies is that this craft will suit     a wide age range (I did it with 2-10year olds)  and despite the younger ones needing a tiny bit of help every one will really enjoy it.

You will need a coffee filter, some markers and a pipe cleaner 8/10″ long.

First everyone coloured in their filters with felt tip pens/markers, no real design needed just let them free ! Then we folded them cone like and dipped the tip of it in a glass with an inch of water in it, give the filter time to soak up the water and create a tie dye effect on the filter before opening it out to dry.

Fold the pipe cleaner in two twisting the curved end for about 2 inches, scrunch up the filter to make the butterfly wings and put in between the pipe cleaner and twist tightly to keep them in place. Finish by coiling the top of the pipe cleaners to make the antennae .. Da da coffee filter butterflies. Make a few and decorate your room !


4) Wildflower Arrangements.

This is a great time killer as a long walk to pick the wildflowers is essential ! For the price of a piece of oasis ( I got this circular piece in the discount store for e2.50 and it did four cans ) and collecting a few cans in the lead up to the activity you kill time and encourage your child’s creative talent. You yourself needn’t do anything unless you have toddlers then they might need help inserting the oasis and soaking some water.

Let them at it and add a ribbon or decorate the can after if you wish but I feel less is more and they can look great!

5) Embrace Local Amenities .

Most of the trips I take are to local free attractions and cost no more than the fuel money if I keep it within a half hour spin it works out e7-e10 max !

When I posted about some these trips or amenities on my facebook page a lot of people nearby didn’t  even know they were there , how I found them was literally googling and following other mummy bloggers pages.

Find a few local mummy bloggers ( if in cork or even if not I’d highly recommend This Irish Family I’ll put link at the end ) and  you’ll hear about some great trips, activities, events or amenities in your locality, also ask other mums at the school gate or in toddler groups.

 Check out the playgrounds local to you find a one that suits you age wise etc. I find the small ones better as I can sit and have kids in view at all times while having a cuppa.


6) Setting Seeds. 

This is activity that my two really enjoyed ! Planting seeds is more than just a time killer , it’s great for fine motor skill development , encouraging responsibilty and they get a real kick out of seeing their seeds grow.

Being responible for setting and looking after the seeds means that when they start shooting up the kids are very proud of their achievement.

I got my kits in lidle for a few euro but seeds are inexpensive and usually not much more than a euro a pack. We planted peppers and tomatoes but I’d recommend something that grows fast for the first attempt like watercress or tomatoes as we had almost wrote off the peppers that are now only about 2.5″ as opposed to the sturdy tomatoe plants that are 8/9″ and grow after just a week.

Let the kids sample their wears , watercress can be put on rich tea / Marietta biscuits or in salads. You can also encourage reading up on your chosen seed or measure them weekly to track progress . One things for certain your little ones will be proud of their plants .

7) Join and/or visit your local   library.

If you are not joined your local library then get onto it ! This is a must for anyone with children .

To join is free and the cork county council library I’m joined provides an amazing service (as all libraries do I’m sure ) with super books and DVDs to borrow and organising great events .

We get ten books (or DVDs) on each card and can borrow them for three weeks and if we need more time it can log in and extend the loan period very easily .

My gruesome twosome absolutely love going to the library and if there’s a book they don’t have they will order it for you ! We’ve finally got our hands on stickman and it was like Christmas he even fell asleep reading it last night !

One of the things that is great about the library is along with the books I pick to read to them they choose their own as when purchasing they don’t have that free rein as I but books that they will like of coarse but I but books that I deam quality and educational eg . I’m not a huge fan of mr. men so it’s nice J can feed his obsession from library books that don’t cost me !

We have started a summer reading challenge also , the smalls got a leaflet to fill in the books we read, they put their names on a star that they glued on a chart in the library and a certificate will be awarded at the end of the summer so if in your library be sure to ask about it !

8) Bubble Art

I saw this activities link posted to another mums wall and thought it looked cool so decided to try it out. I allready had food colouring and chose to pay e1.50 for 2 small canvases to let the kids create works of art but I think my mistake was buying cheap bubbles … I’d used this e1.50 large bottle from the euro shop before without complaint but I feel when the colouring was added it diluted it too much so I’d advise buying good quality bubbles for this to really work !

The idea is that you add a few drops of colouring to a tablespoon of bubbles and when you have a few colours you blow the bubbles at your paper / canvas and as the bubbles pop you are left with coloured circles .

while there were very few perfect circles  there was certainly great enjoyment had and the finished work is beautiful and is now hanging proudly in our sunroom.

Unfortunately you’ll only get fifteen mins out if this activity but it’s a cool one I think ;-). Let me know I’d the dearer bubbles make a difference !

9) Camping.

so we popped our camping cherry two nights ago and despite the weather being against us initially it turned out to be a great trip ! We took off to Barley Cove and I  pitched our four man borrowed abode in the drizzle and the kids were oblivious to the rain with the excitement.

I’d had brought colouring books and books but we took shelter in the awning of a friends caravan which was a help with the kids but not a necessity ! The gruesome twosome slept well after the excitement died down and I was sorry I was only their for one night . The campsite ( barley cove holiday park )was super; very safe , clean and had a superb take away. We had a great day at the beach after check out and would recommend you beg steal or borrow a tent like we did and try it at least once ! I’ll give a full rundown in my next post.

10) Volunteer at a local animal rescue.

This is a great thing to do if you are an animal loving family or are considering getting a furry friend in the future . Children would want to be 5/6 to “walk” the dogs properly and be a help rather than a hindrance ! Get in touch with your local rescue and have a chat , this is a great educational activity as it teaches good will, responsibility and the importance of looking after a dog /animal correctly.

Hope you enjoyed this post ! Please do share any tips you have !!!

xoxo L

Be sure to check out This Irish Family a super blog by a cork mum.


10 Brilliant Bargains e20 or less… Littlewoods Ireland.


Morning all!

Just browsing through Littlewoods online and wanted to share my top ten items from their sale under e20!

I love littlewoods and I get superb sale items a few times every year for both myself and the kids. Day to day i like the fact I don’t have to leave my house to shop and I can return free via parcel Connect at my local garage.

The kids have loads this time round so I just focused on me and it was very hard to pick my fantastic top ten as it really is a fantastic sale ! I hope you like them!

Make sure you check out the full sale!

1) V by very frill hem vest.

At just e11 I would advise you to purchase this in the ivory and the rose pink as you will wear this to death ! If only it came in darker shades I’d be laughing but for those of you who pastel colours suit this is one not to miss. Themed with skinny jeans, shorts or a skirt this will wow every time as it is a simple classy look. Go .. Now before they are gone !


2) V by Very cold shoulder cross back jumper.

At e16 this cold shoulder jumper will take you from summer nights to autumn/winter. Also available in coral but at a slightly higher price of e22.


3) V by Very Lolita fringed scarf.

now just e10 a lovely light piece to complete any outfit.


4) River Island lace bra.

This River Island Balconette bra is flattering and a little flirty and is a steal at e19.50.

Definitely one of the few that will make the cut when I go through my basket online !


5) V by Very tassel clutch bag.

This funky bag at just e15 is definatey my favourite and has secured it’s place in my basket ! This with all it’s beautiful coloured tassels will pay for itself making many outfits .


6) V by Very Dellar Imi Suede woven wedges.

At e17.50 these are a very versatile pair of shoes ! I love a wedge as they allow me to get the height to flatter my legs without the hardship of a heel , these wedges will susuit daytime drinks, short strolls or nights out and like all wedges can be themed with maxi dresses,jeans , shorts or skirts of any length. A good pair of wedges is a must for everyone in my eyes and these will certainly vamp up any outfit.


7) V by Very Love yourself shorts set.

This is a really sweet shorts pj set (95% cotton) is now just e17.50 ! Perfect for this  summers mild nights or trips away.




8) V by Very lace panel cami.

At e13.25 this cami is such good value ! The lace detail really dresses it up if worn with heels and your favourite skinny jeans or alternatively wear casual with summer skirts by day or on hols.


9) V by Very Petite Boyfriend jean.

At just e14 these boyfriend jeans are a must for any of you petite gals out there , I just love this style but unfortunately does nothing for my body shape ! Again they can be dressed up or worn casual either way a steal for the price they are.


10) Super dry Celia espadrilles.

At e20 these are a great bargain and a fab summer flat ! If cobalt isn’t your colour they are also available in black . These are another item that are not moving from my basket !


Let me know what would be on your list list or make the cut in your basket !

Xoxo L.