Friday, 23 June 2017

Teddy Bears Picnic at Rathwood Review

We had the pleasure of hopping on board Rathwoods famous woodland train last week. We went for a teddy bears picnic and a search for baby bear. Rathwood started train journeys 10 years ago and since Kyle was small I have been dying to try it out. And it did not disappoint!
All children got name tags which was lovely so all staff could call them by their names! Making our 2 year old Noa feel very special! They got a teddy at the beginning which they got to stuff themselves and carry on board for their train ride, again such a lovely touch in my opinion!
There are lots of interacting with all carriages of the train throughout which I loved. Songs and different things for the kids to see and shout which was lots of fun. 

We picked Mommy, Daddy and baby bear up on the way.. And they even hopped on board! We stopped off an fed the ducks and all children got some bread to do so which was lovely! And then at the end when everyone got off the children got a little picnic which had a drink an apple and a cookie. Both our kids were thrilled with this! They had picnic blankets for everyone to sit on but unfortunately not enough for us..and about 4 other families! The grass we sat on was a little damp which I found a little disappointing, I think it would be worth Rathwoods while to invest in a few more picnic blankets and have enough for every family on board! 

The kids all got a chance to have a picture with the teddy bears which Noa loved.. Kyle 7 was not as keen! I think over all Noa 2 1/2 loved every minute me for Kyle he was just a little old but he really did enjoy his day! 
The kids got vouchers for a free ice cream so we headed to the cafe and the fantastic playground the have right beside it! 

In my opinion the price for the food does not match the quality. All that was available for the kids was frozen/fried options. I would have loved to see some fresh sandwhiches and fruit for the kids.. I thought the food for the adults was a little expensive too so my advice would be to bring a picnic and around the back of rathwood are beautiful walks and lots of picnic areas! It is advertised to be a 60 min experience which even after pics with the bears etc only lasted 50 mins... I would love another lap or a little longer route on the train. For the 1 hour and 30 min drive from Dublin the whole train ride was over very quickly. BUT both my kids really enjoyed the day! What a lovely day to bring grandparents along to too? There is a calm feel about rathwood and I know my MIL and FIL would love it and also a look in Rathwoods stunning garden centre!! 

Tickets are €7 per child and €4 per adult which in my opinion is totally worth it! And we really look forward to going back! For more trains, times and info check out their website.

We received our tickets complimentary in return for an honest review.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Fathers Day Sorted with Lidl

Fathers Day is Sunday 18th of June. But don't panic, Lidl have you covered. If it is a gift you're searching for or a meal you can spoil any man in your life with look no further this year than Lidl!

With the beard trend still in full swing for our men, I am delighted to see lidl stocking this Silver Crest beard trimmer for just €11.99 perfect for Neil! It is also a hair trimmer so perfect for any man in your life! 
My fav item this year is Lidls luxury item a C secure card holder. For just €24.99 it is a perfect little accessory this Father's Day.
Neil will absolutely love this- a secure place to keep all his cards together and safe. 

I always love to add a small fun present from the kids and this year I have emoji gold balls- which he prob won't use for another 3 years!! But for €4.99 it's a fun present. And something the kids will like to give as they are colourful and they love the faces on them! 
Lastly I have a little fragrance for Neil also from Lidl. These impressive fragrances are just €4.99 and if the man in your life goes through aftershave as fast as my husband this is a no brainer!! They come in three different fragrances- one for every taste! 

If gifts are not your thing and your prefer to get to your mans heart through his stomach. Or you have a man in your life that is impossible to buy for why not cook him something amazing this Fathers Day?

Give your dad the gift of a satisfied tummy this Father’s Day by preparing a delicious meal for you and your family to enjoy.  

From tasty loaded nachos to pork burgers, each of these recipes is quick and easy to make and uses fresh and delicious produce, guaranteed to invigorate taste buds!

Ingredients available in Lidl’s 150 stores across Ireland. 


Tasty Loaded Nachos with Homemade Guacamole

Serves 4

Ideal for serving while your dad’s favourite team are playing or as a yummy starter, these tasty loaded nachos with homemade guacamole are sure to go down a treat in your household this Father’s Day!


• 1 tin of Freshona Kidney Beans, drained
• 1 clove of Garlic, peeled & crushed
• ½ tbsp Primadonna Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 bag of Simply Salted Tortilla Chips
• tbsp Kania Cumin Seeds
• 200g Rathdaragh Medium Mature White Cheddar 
• 2 Avocados, peeled & destoned
• Juice of half a Lime
• Half a Red Onion, peeled & thinly sliced
• Large handful of fresh Coriander
• 1 small Red Chilli, sliced
• tbsps Coolree Creamery Sour Cream
• tbsps Snaktastic Hot Salsa
• Pinch of Kania Salt & Black Pepper



1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the kidney beans. Add one clove of garlic, season, and cook for 5 minutes over a low heat. 


2. Tip the tortilla chips into a large casserole dish. Grate the cheese over the tortilla chips and melt under the grill. 


3. To make the guacamole, mash the avocados & add the lime juice, onion, chilli & most of the coriander and stir to combine. 


4. Top the tortillas with the guacamole, warm kidney beans, sour cream, salsa and more coriander before serving.



Turkey Burgers with Feta & Rocket Salad

Serves: 4

These fantastic pork burgers would be a deliciously unique choice for your Father’s Day meal – simply serve with either regular or sweet potato fries & tuck in!


• pkt of Bally Manor Turkey Breast Mince
• 4 slices of Glensallagh Smoked Back Bacon
• pkt of Eridanous Greek Feta, crumbled
• 1 tsp of chopped Parsley
• 1 tsp of chopped Thyme
• 1 Connell Farm Egg, beaten
• 50g of Connell Bakery Breadcrumbs
• 4 Connell Bakery Burger Buns 
• Juice of half a Lemon
• ½ tbsp. Deluxe Irish Rapeseed Oil
• pkt of Meadow Fresh Rocket
• tbsp Deluxe Irish Country Tomato Relish
• Pinch of Kania Salt & Pepper



1. Preheat your grill or barbecue to its hottest setting. To make the burgers, mix the pork mince with the parsley, thyme, egg and breadcrumbs and season. Using clean hands, mould the mixture into 4 burgers, cover with cling film and place in your fridge for 15 minutes to set.


2. Grill the bacon slices until golden and crisp then set aside.


3. Grill the burgers for 10 minutes on each side, or until completely cooked through. When cooked add the feta and bacon and grill for one minute.


4. Mix the rocket with the lemon juice. Toast the buns and transfer the burgers onto them, adding the salad before serving.


Father’s Day Meal Deal:

If cooking isn’t your forte, Lidl are also offering a Father’s Day Meal Deal for just €10 so you can treat your dad to a delicious feast. The Meal Deal includes;


Sirloin Steak 400g


Sides: Take 2 Sides

Butter Roast Potatoes

Stuffed Mushrooms


Desserts: Choose 1 item 

Banoffee Pie or Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake


Sunday, 4 June 2017

3D Gender Scan with Ultrasound Dimensions

Last Saturday Neil and I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Ultrasound Dimensions and having a 3D gender scan on our fourth baby!
I don't know about other mums but for me, fourth time around and I was more nervous than ever before. I think the more pregnancies you have the more information you have also learned. With Google so easily accessible and so much information at our finger tips it can be a nerve wrecking experience getting your first scan. 
Initially when we were invited to ultrasound dimensions for our scan I spoke to Monica on the phone. Immediately I felt her calmness and her experience even just over the phone. So I have to say I felt confident going to Monica to do our scan as I really felt she knew what she was doing and she has years of experience. One thing Monica said to me on the phone when we spoke for the first time was "Eyes only see what the brain already knows" and from that moment on I knew we'd be in very capable and experienced hands with Monica at Ultrasound Dimensions Blackrock. I feel like with all the places that offer private scans all you really want and need is somebody who is fully educated in this field and knows exactly what they are doing, talking about and also looking at when they see you little baby pop up on their screen.

Our apt was for 11 on a Sat and I didn't know how traffic or parking would pan out- already feeling anxious about the scan I didn't need finding a parking spot and being late another issue to worry about. But it is so easy to get to and there is loads of parking right out side on the Main Street where you don't have to pay or down one side street a 30 second walk where I think it was €1.50 for two hours parking. When we got there we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist and a calm and clean waiting area. I filled out my form before going in. Personal details and then if you wanted to also check measurements and weight which I ticked absolutely YES. This is a little extra but in my opinion totally worth it. There is also a priceless option in my opinion which is to also have everything out onto a USB key for you to keep- again this is a little extra but a fabulous touch and something you will have forever. 
In Ireland for many people especially public patients, the first scan isn't until 20/21 weeks pregnant. A nerve wrecking time for any parent to be! I think before baby is moving and before you have really any other reassurance all is well, an early gender scan is a no brainier. For a little over €100 you can have the reassurance of seeing your baby and checking all the major bits are ok. For me, before feeling any big movements it was so nice to see baby rubbing her face and sucking her thumb and little smiles... And yes that's right I did say her... We found out it is another little GIRL.

A major thing Neil found from our experience with ultrasound dimensions was how warm and personal the experience was. Sometimes, in your maternity hospital it can feel very clinical and when doctors are talking facts and doing their checks, although understandably they're doing there job it can still feel very impersonal. With Monica she made us feel so at ease and like she genuinely loved what she was doing and cared about our scan as much as we did. Because let's be real, this scan, this moment (especially for us finding out the sex) is going to change our lives. This new little one is going out family and we will remember it forever. 
Monica really got to know us and even tell us a little about her life and kids.

If you are on the fence about a private scan or a 3D scan or a gender scan I would say GO for it!! I don't think you will ever regret seeing your baby in the womb. Or getting the reassurance that everything is ok in there! But my biggest advice is going to somebody experienced, somebody you will feel at ease with and somebody who you feel in your maternal instinct you can trust- and that is Monica at Ultrasound Dimensions in Blackrock. You will not be disappointed.
For more information or to book your own scan, check out Ultrasound Dimensions they offer so many different types of scans. One to suit any want or need you or your partner may have. Ask for Monica and dont forget to say I sent you :)

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

If you want to see more of our scan and hear my views in person please watch our YouTube video down below.. 

Disclaimer- we were kindly invited to ultrasound dimensions to review their services but as ALWAYS my opinions are my own.