Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer Daze


How are your summer holidays going? Is childcare a pain for you in the summer months? Do your kids love the long days off? Or do they fight like cat and dogs? All the above here! Sometimes the days seem to fly in, and then others a day seems like an eternity!


However, this week has been beautiful, weather wise. Last week was a bit iffy at times. But sure we'll  take what we can get! 





Snes Tee Zazzle



Here's our busy week that was!

1. American chum visits
2. Pappy turns 85
3. Can't stay awake
4. Beautiful blooms
5. Glitter
6. Granda Bill
7. Wedding guests
8. Cuddles for sleepy

Monday, 4 July 2016

Design your own!


Hello July. The weather is anyones guess. We just have to take it hour by hour at the moment, which is no fun when the summer holidays begin TODAY! The wildflower around at the moment is just lovely. I like the idea of those wildflower bombs that you just fire into your flower beds, and up come these beauties. How can these be considered weeds?




So every Mammy has the right to a couple of photos of their kid on the first day of school (especially P1!) and the last day? Right? Well, Jack can get well and truly sick of being photographed (I don't blame him) which is why I try to photograph him as candidly as possible - usually. I wanted a wee photo of him on the way to his last day of P1. He wasn't best pleased. As you can see. Look how he's grown though! Size of the biy! And that 'tude!

So, that's P1 over and done with. How that year flew. Jack doesn't seem one bit sad about it being over. He looks forward to P2, but is just so excited to be off for a couple of months. As usual, I'm wondering how to pass all the extra time, especially when it rains! The fighting and bickering between them has already started.

(Fortunately for me, Noah will still play happily in front of the camera!)


So, we're waiting for a break in this morning's torrential rain to walk the dog. Fortunately though, while we have been waiting we have the best rainy day activity to pass some time! This amazing Lala and Bea Design your own PJs kit! 

These very light grey, (almost off white) 100% super soft organic cotton PJ's come in a lovely little screen printed tote, with 5 fluorescent coloured Dylon permanent fabric pens. They also have some stencils if you need a bit of help. 


I found it very difficult to hand over control! Whatever is drawn onto these jim-jams is permanent! I really wanted them to look good! So, I got my professional artist husband to design the top (I think he made an amazing job of it) and Jack and I designed the bottoms. I let Jack draw whatever he wanted on the back. So far, he has drawn this "dinosaur, being bitten by a T-Rex and bleeding, surrounded by fire ants."




 (I think it was only because of the boredom of being stuck in the house that camera-irritated Jack hammed it up a bit for the camera this morning! Silver linings!)




Jack of course loves everything Daddy chose to doodle on his jammies. Cartoon men - yas. Funky patterns - yas. T-Rex - Yas yas yas. And who are the snails? That's Speedy and Ben. Jack's pet snails. I thought they would be a very low maintenance pet, and on one hand they are. But man, can snails poop? Their tank is disgusting. But Jack is very fond of those dirty bugs.




We really loved the PJ's. They are great quality, as you would expect of Lala and Bea. They would make the perfect gift for an older child who really loves doodling, or a younger child with artistic parents! We keep in touch with a lot of my husbands university art-graduate buds, who now have families of their own too. I reckon they would love a pair of these as a gift! Could they hand over control I wonder? The pens still haven't run out, even after a lot of colouring, so I can vouch for the quality of those too.

Thank you to Lala and Bea. These PJs are a hit!

Smile? I shan't.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Guess Who!


Bonjour! Is it still okay to say that? Now we're out of the EU? You've probably heard the news about what's going on in the UK. It seems to have tipped everything up-side-down and back-to-front. Well, besides all the crazy politics that has dominated the last few days, we have had a great week! Lots of happenings here. We of course celebrated father's day (no portraits of Daddy and sons, as the boys were not playing ball!) and Noah turned two. And a couple of days after that, I turned 30! I'm still coming to terms with this. I would have rather stayed in my twenties, but time waits for no man, although I wish I could have cut a deal.


Noah is a bit of a billy-no-mates compared to Jack. With your first you have time to take them to Mum's and tots, and they have all these wee chums their own age. I've found with my second, there's no time for baby groups. We're too busy on the school runs, carting Jack to birthday parties and youth club, or his friends houses (he has some social life) and poor Noah just comes along for the ride. Even still, we had a birthday party for him with the regulars in his life. Grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and the few friends he has attended a get together in the park for tea and cake. He had an amazing time! I was so busy thinking about this I didn't think much about my own birthday.

On Monday morning, I woke up expecting a normal day. That husband of mine totally surprised me! He had secretly taken the day off work, arranged childcare, and had a whole days worth of activities and pampering lined up for my birthday! I couldn't believe it! It was the best Monday ever. I was so touched by the thought and care he had put in to the day. And it doesn't stop there. He's throwing me another little party tomorrow with some friends. What a guy, eh? If you have to turn 30, this has been the way to do it, let me tell you!


As if all this has not been excitement enough, Owl and Dog Playbooks asked us to review their first book, Guess Who. Owl and Dog Playbooks is an independent children's book publisher, based in London. 

With their product design background, they see books as objects, and formats to be challenged, rather than being a standardised vessel to contain images and words. Especially in today's digital age where kids are bombarded with tablets, computers, and apps, which threaten the existence of the humble book!

Guess Who Book £8.99

We were delighted to be asked to review the book. We like books. Jack and Noah have a bookshelf filled to capacity... but there's always room for a little one. Here's a little bit about Guess Who, from Yeonju, one of the founders of Owl and Dog

 Our first title is "Guess Who!", a clues-and-answers set of three books.
The books can be opened and read in different ways, without affecting the rhythm and rhyme. When the book is completely open and turned over, it reveals the answer with shape and patterns.



Jack and Noah really enjoyed the book. They enjoyed the clues, yelling over one another to guess first (Well, Noah was just repeating everything Jack shouted, but louder.) But mostly, they just loved playing in the mask when the book was completely unfolded.

I think these books would be great in a nursery setting. Don't you? Can't you just imagine how excited a bunch of kids would get as the clues were given, and another flap revealed a little more of the animal? You would have to make time for each child to have a little fun in the mask too! 



These guys are one to watch. With plenty of ideas, and some new titles in the pipeline, Owl and Dog Playbooks are sure to appeal to kids and parents alike! Yeonju says:

We are interested in new, unusual formats, halfway between books and toys,
and exploring the theatrical role playing involved in reading a book to a
young child. Our books are designed to be read and used creatively, with a
vision to celebrate this fun ritual of book reading, and to promote magical
moments of discovery.

As the style of our books will be always different, we hope our overall
vision will become easier to understand as our list grows. We have lined up
four books to be released in 2016, and all of them play with the same principles.








Thanks so much to Owl and Dog Playbooks for sending Jack and Noah a copy each of Guess Who. And do check out their website. Here's our exciting week that was!

1. "Happy Birfday, Mummy!"
2. Noah's 2nd Birthday Party
3. Rainbow Jellies, (it's not a party without them according to Jack)
4. 10 years since our first date!
5. Noah is 2!
6. Birthday breakfast in bed
7. 30 and my Mammy still bakes me a beautiful cake!
8. Birthday bouquet - spoilt I was!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Staycation


This past weekend we all enjoyed a staycation on the North Coast, in a little seaside town called Portrush - for those who are not familiar with Northern Ireland, Portrush might be comparable to Brighton in the UK. It also really reminds me of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA, where I actually worked for a summer way back in 2007. Think candyfloss, amusements, cafes and restaurants, and lots of beautiful beaches.


Jack's best friend, Conor, whom he met at nursery a couple of years ago has just turned 5. The both of them are always on at us about a sleepover, so we thought, why not take them for a little weekend away together? We rented a little cottage, the two of them got to share a room for two nights, and even had a midnight feast (at 10pm as they couldn't possibly wait a second longer)





We've all been to this part of the world a million times before. (It's about a 2 hour drive from where we live) but we acted like total tourists and hit up all the attractions - Barry's amusements, Dunluce Castle, The Giants Causeway, Mussenden Temple, not to mention a few beaches. And we just happened to book it for the hottest weekend of the year so far! Lucky us! Believe me, that never happens to us. The weather was amazing!













































Jack and Conor loved the whole experience, and wee Noah just had a ball. He's up for anything! The owners of the cottage allowed pets, which was a bonus, and our Maisey got to come and enjoy the whole holiday too. Welcome to the big 5 club, Conor! What adventures await us when you turn 6?