Monday, 28 November 2016

5 Stain Remover Hacks for busy mums

I can never find the time to do all the house work, I set unrealistic goals for my self and get stressed when they're not done i think this is an area that most busy moms can relate to. We try to find some spare time and improvise, but in the end, as mums we simply want to spend time with our little ones instead of cleaning our home. Fortunately, we live in the era where people can book home cleaners in less than 60 seconds. Hassle.com/ie is the online leading marketplace for cleaning services and claims to find you a trusted, local cleaner with only a few clicks. I was intrigued by this service and wanted to give it a try. It's so easy to use and you can pick you're very own cleaner, read their reviews and book for a time that is convenient for you. I found the whole process so simple to use and my cleaner was early, professional and very thorough.  

One thing I have learnt since becoming a mother is how to tackle stains. Chocolate Ice cream on a favourite dress or A cup of coffee spilt on a new cream rug. Been there!! Instead of driving myself crazy wiping faces and stripping my kids almost naked when they are eating Spagetti Bolognese I decided to get one up on these stubborn stains and learn instead how to remove them! 

Here are my top 5 stain removing tips...

Chocolate 
Getting to a stain ASAP is the best way to stop it setting in but that isn't always possible. If the chocolate has already dried in pour a little milk over the stain and leave for about 10 mins. This will allow the chocolate stain to become active again and you can try and remove it again from an active state. After 10 mins or so run cold water through the stain but not rubbing to hard as this will set it further into the fabric. And don't use warm water as this will only set the stain. When most of the chocolate has come out was as normal on a cold wash.

Marker on a table
This is so easy!!!! All you need is some hand sanitiser or some rubbing alcohol and some kitchen towel. Pour some onto the marker and leave for a few mins then as easy an anything just wipe away... If it's a big stain or a little stubborn just repeat the steps again! This also works with marker on clothes!! Wash on a cold wash after!

Marker on Carpet
Use white vinegar. Cover the marker with white vinegar, rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.. Repeat if necessary! 

Tea/Coffee on a Carpet
Again, the sooner you catch this the better. Otherwise you will just have to repeat the steps more than once. If you catch it early soak as much of it up as you can with a towel or paper towels! 
Pour a generous amount of baking soda into the stain and with a damp cloth work it into the stain! Rinse it out with cold water. Repeat as needed! 

Oil
A really easy way to get oil out of almost anything is to spray hairspray over it, rinse out with cold water and wash on a cold wash afterwards! 

This post is in collaboration with hassle.ie, the easiest way to book a cleaner for your home or business! It's a reliable, safe and extremely professional way of booking a cleaner. Check out their website to find out more! 

I received a voucher for hassle.ie in exchange for this collaboration, as always my opinion of their service is my own. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

5 reasons why we Love Child's Farm!

When we were given the opportunity to review some Child's Farm products I was more than happy to oblige. My friend Kellie from "My Little Babog Blog" loves them and uses them on her children so I knew I would love it too, so of course I jumped at the chance!
From the very first squeeze of the bottle, I knew I would love them! We are totally converted and here are 5 reasons why..

Joanna
Joanna Jensen the creator and found of Child's Farm first caught my attention. A mum of two daughters, Joanna only used organic washes on their skin and hair and she often felt disappointed by the products. Joanna decided it was time kids had their own set of products, which smelt great, were kind to skin and really worked…and the idea for the Childs Farm was born. Joanna had clear ideas of what she wanted from her children’s brand and most importantly it had to be as natural as possible with ‘free-from’ ingredients without affecting quality or results.
Joanna worked for a year getting the products right, making sure that the blends were just perfect by using a combination of essential oils along with the wonder ingredient, Argan oil. Most importantly, SLS, SLES, artificial colours, mineral oils, parabens and petrochemicals are NOWHERE to be found, and together this has resulted in Childs Farm becoming the first, and only, baby & children’s skincare range of its kind!

The smell
The smell is absolutely devine and it's a soft natural smell not really strong and in your like other baby brands I have used on my children in the past. 
Even after the bath is over the soft smell lingers in the bathroom.. And I really noticed even when I was kissing the kids goodnight when I'm going to bed I can smell it off their hair and the moisturiser I've used on them.. It's edible!!

The Ingredients
* Childs Farm uses natural ‘free-from’ ingredients and essential oils to produce a range of mild, kind and delicious-smelling toiletries.
* All Childs Farm products care for the hair and skin of newborns, babies and children.
* One of very few baby and child ranges that undergo clinical and controlled user trials.
* These certify that all Childs Farm products are dermatologically tested and approved, and paediatrician approved, as suitable for newborns and children with sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

The gentleness 
Noa has the same skin as me. It's very sensitive. Any time she has an infection her skin can break out in a rash or hives.. So I've always had to be so careful with her bath products and the washing powder I used on her clothes and bed clothes. Child's Farm is so gentle on her skin. I honestly have never felt or seen her hair so soft! Her skin is soft and not one hint of a reaction. It's like a weight is lifted. I've found something I can use on her that literally ticks all of the boxes! 
✓  Dermatologically tested and approved
✓  Paediatrician approved
✓  Suitable for newborns and upwards
✓  Suitable for children with sensitive and eczema prone skin
✓  98% naturally derived ingredients
✓  Made with organic essential oils
✓  Free from parabens, SLSs, mineral oils and artificial colours
✓  Never tested on animals, only on people

The price
I have been using these products for 4 weeks and they are not even half gone yet.. The bubbles have less in it, my kids love lots of bubbles and you have to use a generous amount but still loads left! 
The 250ml are only only €4.50. And in my opinion,worth every cent! 
Now the low down on what we thought of each product we reviewed...

Bubble Bath
As I said above the smell is amazing.. The bubble bath moisturises as you bathe which I love as my girls have dry skin. You have to use quite a generous amount though to get lots of bubbles like my girls want. (Which is lots!!)

3in1 Swim
This shampoo, conditioner and body wash combo I was excited to try. Kyle does swimming lessons and even after showering I can never get the smell of chlorine off him. This is fantastic. It's gentle, it didn't sting his eyes and left his skin feeling really soft. And most importantly it got rid of the smell of chlorine!!!!

Moisturiser 
I was very impressed with the moisturiser too. I think it is the best moisturiser I've ever used on my children! It smells fresh and light, it left their skin so soft and it drys very quick. Which for me is essential. It didn't leave their skin oily or greasy what so ever like brands I've used in the past! Love it! 

Hair and Body Wash 
This is great. One thing I love is that it doesn't lather too much in the hair.. Some products give too much lather and just when you think it's all out there's more left! 
It didn't give a hint of irritation to my three children's sensitive skin (especially Noa Belle) and it didn't sting any little eyes!

Hair Detangler 
Again, another Child's Farm product I will buy again! This leaves Noas hair smelling amazing and even when she is just sitting on my lap I can smell it! Her hair has never been softer or shinier between this and the hair and body wash! You just need a little amount sprayed into the hair and brushing through is a dream. 

Overall- SO impressed!!!

We were sent these Child's Farm products for the purpose of this review but, as always, my opinion and words are my own. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Purcell&Woodcock

Have you heard of Purcell and Woodcock? If not, you're about to hear it a whole lot more!! If you have, you know exactly why!

Purcell and Woodcock is an Irish company specialising in luxury scented candles and diffusers. 

When I got the opportunity to review this stunning range I was a little apprehensive, I am quite a candle connoisseur! And I really know what I like and what I don't. 

I LOVE these.

First and foremost the Frangrances- 
The fragrances are devine!!! Gina kindly sent me, a "Floral Fushion" Diffuser. I normally don't like floral frangrances but this is absolutely stunning. It smells so fresh and clean and really light in the air. I have it in my loo and although the room is quite small the scent is not over powering at all! The diffusers retail at €27-€30

I was also sent a large candle in the scent "SeaSalt and Driftwood" again a beautiful fresh fragrance, perfect for any space in your home/business. This candle retails at €18.

And lastly I received a Mini Spa Candle set.. This is fantastic. And for €20 it makes a really great gift. Inside are four smaller candles in four different frangrances. The only problem is trying to choose which one to use first!! The scents are intoxicating- MidnightPomegranate (my personal favourite) it's a little darker scent but still very light and not too overpowering! Basil mandarin, Mango Guava and Bamboo Green tea! All light really fresh, very uplifting scents. Scents that I am very confident everyone would love. For the first time ever with a candle company I genuinely love every scent. 

Secondly the ingredients, Purcell and Woodcock candles use pure soya wax in their candles and natural frangrances. The use 100% cotton wicks, lead free. Meaning no harsh chemicals in your home especially for me with my little ones! I don't know if it because of the natural ingredients but the wax doesn't seem to burn as fast as other candles I have used in the past. They are lasting longer than other candles I've used, so far!

I love the packaging and it comes in beautiful expensive looking boxes with a gift bag if you are giving it as a present. But what is really unique and such a beautiful touch is Ginas home advice card. With bits that even after all these years of buying luxury candles I never knew... There are many tips but these two are my favourite.. 

1. The first time you burn your candle burn it for 2-3 hours, allowing the wax to burn evenly across the surface to the edge of the glass. Frangranced candles develop a burn memory and candles that have not been burnt right to the edges on their initial use will "tunnel" and burn unevenly through the centre of the wax causing wax to be wasted. (I never knew this!!)
2. Do not burn your candle for too long. The maximum a candle should be burnt is 4 hours. If you want to burn for longer trim the wick, let the wax cool and relight. 

Gina also gives care advice for her diffuser. Again a unique and clever little add on. My two favourite pieces of advice on Purcell and Woodcock diffusers are. 
1. To increase the fragrance throw, turn the reed sticks upside down and reinsert every couple of days! You can turn a few reeds every few days or all the reeds everyday. Keep in mind the more reeds you turn and the more often you turn them the faster the fragrance will evaporate. 
2. In smaller spaces, use fewer sticks so that the fragrance isn't too over powering!

Their Christmas scent is Cinnamon and white Ginger! I just love a Christmas scent in the house when the tree goes up!

Purcell and Woodcock is the perfect gift for almost anybody this Christmas. 
Teacher, Lollipop lady, Mum, Sister, Friend. Or even just for yourself. With so many beautiful fragrances you can't go wrong. I am so impressed with Purcell and Woodcock and I am certain you will be too! 

To see the rest of their range or to purchase check out their website..

I received Purcell and Woodcock products in exchange for an honest review. As always, my opinion is my own. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sudocrem Baby Changing Room Facilities Awards 2016

Parents from all over the country have been voting in the Sudocrem Baby Changing Room Awards and the best changing rooms in Ireland winners have just been announced!

Research revealed that 94 percent of parents consider baby changing rooms important when planning their day out.
But a shocking 45 percent have experienced a dirty changing room and a further 30 percent have faced a lack of bin for nappies and other waste when changing their little one.

Sudocrem is encouraging venues across Ireland to provide clean, safe and warm baby changing room facilities. 

These places were voted the best and received three stars... 

Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin
Kildare Village
MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny
Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork
Boots, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre
Brown Thomas, Cork
Brown Thomas, Dublin
IKEA, Dublin

The top things parents want in a baby changing room are:
1. A designated room for baby changing
2. Clean facilities with a dedicated bin for nappies and wipes
3. A changing table at waist height that has a security belt.
4. A changing table within arm’s length of the sink
5. Feeding support for example a chair for the parent that is separate to the changing area
6. A changing room that is wide enough to fit a buggy / double buggy
7. A toilet for the parent or other children within the same baby changing space

Receiving 2 stars were.. 

Jervis Shopping Centre, Dublin
Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Dublin
The Square, Tallaght
Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords
Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Dublin
Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk
Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Cork
Arnotts, Dublin
Boots, Castlebar
Boots, Childers Road, Limerick
Mothercare, Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick
Debenhams, Newbridge
Debenhams, Mahon Point, Cork
Marks & Spencer, Blanchardstown
Tesco, Oranmore, Galway
Ilac Shopping Centre, Dublin
Ballincollig Shopping Centre, Cork
Manor West Shopping Centre, Tralee
Wilton Shopping Centre, Cork
Mothercare, Sligo

And receiving one star in the awards.. 

Applegreen Enfield West on the M4
Marks & Spencer, Dundrum

Is there one near you?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

10 foods to eat when you are breastfeeding..

Porridge 
Porridge Oats are a completely natural whole grain, high-fiber food. A bowl of porridge in the morning can help increase your milk supply. Plus, oats are high in iron; and iron-deficiency anemia, which is common in new mums and can affect your milk supply! 

Yogurt
Stocking your fridge with yogurt a smart move because the creamy stuff has got both protein and calcium! Just beware that some breastfeeding moms are told to give up dairy if baby is diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance. Signs your baby could be one of them include frequent spitting up, diarrhea, bloody stools, rashes, coughing and wheezing.

Brown rice
White or brown? Brown rice is better for you because it’s got more fiber and other nutrients. Complex carbs like brown rice (and porridge) help keep you full and keep your blood sugar at consistent levels (no drastic energy dips!). Brown rice does take a little longer to cook than white rice. If you don't have time, don't worry! Instant boil-in-bag brown rice has the same nutrition content as the regular kind, but require less effort.

Dates
Dates are another calcium-rich food, they’re thought to help increase milk supply, since they increase prolactin like apricots do. They’re also a high-fiber, naturally sweet treat. Their high finer content also helps keep your bowels regular! Which is great for after birth when you can become constipated! Chop some up and add them to your morning porridge! 

Beans
Fiber-rich kidney, black, pinto and other beans can be good for your digestive system, and they’re fantastic sources of iron and protein. 

Almonds
Almonds aren’t just packed with protein; they’re a good non-dairy source of calcium. And the every little bit helps. Breastfeeding moms should take in 1000 mg of calcium per day. That’s because the milk you make is high in calcium, and if you don’t get enough in your diet, your bones and teeth could be robbed of calcium they need. There are some exceptions though. If you’re allergic to almonds, they’re obviously a no-no. And if your family history includes a history of nut allergies, you might want to hold off on them until your baby is at least 3 months old, since food proteins more easily pass from a mom to her baby’s bloodstream (via the baby’s gut) in the first three months of baby’s life.

Salmon
This tasty, fatty fish might be the perfect meat for breastfeeding moms. It’s high in protein, and also contains large amounts of DHA, this type of fat is very important to the development of your baby’s nervous system. 

Apricots
Apricots contain dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, all essential nutrients. Eating apricots can also increase prolactin—that's the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Fresh, whole apricots are a better source of fiber than canned apricots; if you go canned, look for ones packed in water or natural juices, instead of sugary syrup. Dried apricots are also easy to toss in the diaper bag for an on-the-go snack.

Spinach
Actually, pretty much any dark green, leafy veggie is a breastfeeding super food. That includes broccoli and Kale. They’re full of nutrients and even high in calcium. (This one’s for you vegan and veggie moms!) So you can get a veggie serving and a calcium-rich serving in one, delicious, leafy food. Plus, we love how versatile spinach can be. Eat it fresh in a salad, sautee it as a side, or add it to lasagna.

Sesame seeds
Who knew? Sesame seeds are packed with calcium, and are a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Toast them and sprinkle them over a salad of dark leafy greens. Or add some to your veggies; green beans and sesame seeds are a tasty combo.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

To epidural or to not epidural..

I had an epidural on my first two babies. I was a huge believer in pain relief, and I suppose looking back really didn't know too much about the side effects of having an epidural and really didn't care. I was too scared to do it without and totally thought there is nobody handing out medals at the end for bravery! I blame age, lack of education and definitely lack of explanation in my midwifery care and hospital.
On my first, Kyle in 2009 I had an epidural. He was a forceps delivery. Afterward I experienced horrific migraines to the point where I couldn't open my eyes... The epidural had gone too far and pierced my spinal cord. I had to have a blood patch done. Another epidural (basically) but it fed blood from my arm into my back to patch up the little tear. It worked immediately but I suffered with back pain for years as a result. And I was hospitalised again when he was 10 months old for horrific migraines again... 
When I was having Noa I thought I could try do without but once in labour with her the fear took over and I asked for an epidural. I had a long labour. I got the epidural at 2cm and it slowed everything down. By the time I was 10cm 10 hours later the epidural had semi worn off and I couldn't get another. She was born "star gazing" and got into difficulty which resulted in an episiotomy.. I felt everything.
I had all intention of getting an epidural on Briar again mainly out of fear. That I wouldn't be strong enough, capable enough, brave enough to do it without. How wrong I was....
All my intentions went out the window when she decided to arrive 6 mins after I got to the hospital. No time to get an epidural, no time to take a Panadol, no time to take my clothes off!!!! 
And what an easy birth hers was. Coincidence maybe but I think not.... I stayed at home doing things and walking around and this was my first pro during childbirth- gravity for sure helped my body with contracting effectively. When I was in transition I instinctively got onto all fours (in my hallway!!!) and this helped hugely with that... 
Lying in a hospital bed on your back with your legs numb is really not how Mother Nature intended us to give birth. 
I gave birth to her with one push and there was absolutely no intervention then or after. No stitches, no stinging, vertually no pain afterwards. I could walk, I could dance. I was on cloud nine! 
Briar was my third time to give birth so that could have played a big role but I am so thrilled to have proven to myself and maybe others that you don't need an epidural to give birth and if you are planning on one just be completely informed on pros, cons and side effects. 

Of course everyone is different. Every mothers preference and choice is different and no choice is right or wrong. The main thing is baby makes a safe arrival! 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Baby now teething ball...

My poor little baby has started teething months before her brother or sister ever did. So these teething balls came at just the right time! As soon as I took it out of the box the rattle inside caught Briar's attention... And still now two weeks later as soon as she hears it her head turns. So that is a great feature. For B it took her a while (she's still not a pro) to learn to grasp it. With all the bits to chew it did take her a while to learn which ones she likes and which ones she didn't. But once she did she absolutely loved it! Since receiving it I have given it to her every single day. It's my go to when she's cranky. And the little rattle noise stops her crying every single time.
We have a Sophie the giraffe too which she absolutely loves but she does get a bit frustrated with Sophie as it's hard to find an easy but to chew on. But with the Babynow teething ball the little bits are the perfect size for her to chew on. Each and every one of them!
It's 100% BPA free and child safe. Designed in Ireland! Two balls come in the box, in bright colours and textured surfaces to stimulate your child's senses! The surfaces help massage babies gums! 

Two come in each box in different colours so I gave one to a friend who's baby is just a little older than Briar Rose.... This was her opinion.... 
"Tom loves it, he really enjoys chewing the different textures. Sometimes I notice he finds one he really likes and no matter which way I give him the ball he chews that one. The only negative I would say is the bell inside, it's pretty annoying and now sure it's needed. Thanks again for sharing with us"

You can get yours from babynowbrand.com 

Disclaimer- I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are my own.