Kayla and Santa’s Irish Adventure Review

Santa’s Irish Adventure is written by L. J Taylor, illustrated by Patrick D. Kinsella and produced right here in Ireland by Digital Scribe in Bray, Co Wicklow.

The book arrived last week, Kayla was ecstatic when it arrived. Complete with a letter from Santa confirming she was on the nice list, it made her day. That evening we got comfy with some hot chocolate and I watched as Kayla got lost in the book and the adventures it brought her on.

Santa also sent my little babog a letter, it was in the book when we opened it, she is on the nice list and he cannot wait to come bring Kayla some presents if her good behaviour continues. It was an added bonus, again this is personalised and Kayla was mesmerized yet again.

The only fault I have with this book is the price, I do think it’s quite expensive at €15.99, however Kayla loved it so much I would buy one as a gift. We are bringing Irish culture, mythology, landmarks and history into our everyday life at the moment and this book and it’s educational features really helped embrace that. I loved reading this book to Kayla. I loved watching her face light up as we turned each page. This book makes the perfect gift for Christmas or as a special treat.

Kayla’s Review

I love my book that mammy got me. I love how I helped Santa save Christmas. The elf looks like The Grinch, but he’s green thats my favourite colour. My friend Louise went to the Giant’s Causeway, I seen pictures, mammy says she might bring me next summer. I love my book, I like my picture and I like my brothers are in the book too. I cannot wait for Santa to come on Christmas Eve.

The personalised Christmas book takes 5 days to print and 1-2 days delivery within Ireland. Santa’s Irish Adventure costs €15.99 plus P&P and you can order your own copy HERE. Digital Scribe are also on Facebook, check them out HERE.


The guys over at Digital Scribe have been super generous and I have one to GIVEAWAY. Competition open to all. Giveaway will close 23rd of November at 8pm.

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GOODLUCK!!


**Disclaimer: I was giving this product for reviewing purposes only. This does not affect my honest opinion.

Can We Just Pause For A Moment?

Not so long ago I began to worry about Frankie’s development, he hated tummy time, he had yet to roll over and he was still drinking six to seven bottles a day. I began comparing him to other babies his age and started fretting over his development.

Then one evening I went in to check on him and he was sleeping on his tummy, i had yet to witness it but the ‘rollover’ was complete. The following morning he blurted out mama, fast forward two weeks and he’s recognising signs, he sits up unaided and he’s clapping hands.

Now I’m afraid to blink. He’ll be riding Tinkerbell our lab like a cowboy around the house soon. Frankie is roaming through the house, exploring, marking his territory, letting us know who is boss. When I’m cooking dinner he creeps around the fridge, practically hanging out of his walkers expressing his interest in whatever is on the menu.

Last week I was making a stir-fry, their he was loitering about, so I gave him a slice of yellow pepper. Assuming he would throw it away, he gnawed, chewed and demolished every last piece. Tinkerbell has some competition; she normally gets the left-overs.

My boy is going to be talking, walking and answering back before I know it. I was wishing time away, rushing precious moments for the sake of competing with others, now I just want to rewind every milestone. It’s been a rollercoaster the past couple weeks, I’m overwhelmed with how quick my baby is growing.

Can we just pause this moment?

Egg Allergy Anxieties

Many mothers fret about allergies, and I’m no exception. I’m having an issue with eggs this month. Kayla had a horrible reaction at eight months old, while my partner also has an egg allergy.

Egg allergy symptoms normally occur within a few minutes but some children may not react until a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs.

Kayla had quite a severe reaction when she was Frankie’s age after consuming boiled egg, she broke out in a rash from head to toe, her nasal became inflamed and she began vomiting violently. It was during the snow storm we had four years ago, a taxi-man I never got to thank got us to the hospital within minutes. It was a very scary experience.

When I began researching egg, I discovered egg has many other names. Some of them hidden amongst ingredients that can be easily consumed without knowledge. Egg can be also known as Conalbumin, Livetin and Ovalbumin amongst many other words. Egg is also used in some hair care products, medications and vaccinations. For this reason Kayla had her MMR in hospital as a precaution.

I dreaded birthday parties, try explaining to a toddler they are not allowed cake, it was horrible. She missed out on so much due to her allergy. One of Kayla’s favourite foods is a pancake, it’s a special treat. A friend had joined slimming world and gave us an eggless pancake recipe that I still treasure to this day.

Eggs are very nutritious. They provide your baby with iron for their brain development, protein for growth and they are a source of vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth. Frankie is more active now, I’ve noticed he has a much bigger appetite the past week. It’s now time to introduce some new foods, explore some new textures and tastes.

Over time Kayla began to tolerate small amounts of egg. Advised by our dietician we began reintroducing her last year and so far it has been a success. Many children do outgrow their egg allergy before adolescence but in some cases, it continues into adulthood.

What if Frankie reacts? The hives I can cope with but when Kayla’s nose began to inflam, that was terrifying! It may be a little extreme but considering the family history I’m looking into getting an allergy test done on Frankie for my own peace of mind.

We Buy Second Hand Toys

Since our family grew we had to make some big changes, the electricity, heating and shopping budget all increased, money is tight so we decided to make some big changes and one of mine was to shop for second-hand toys for the kids.

Children are so expensive, their needs and tastes change so quickly. Buying second hand baby clothes and toys helps create a greener environment, landfill space is preserved. Buying used goods also costs only fraction of the original price.

I researched some baby and toddler second hand markets local to me and came across The Baby Market. So Kayla and I headed along is search of some inexpensive educational toys.

Upon arrival there was a €3 entrance fee with €1 donated to charity. I loved the layout of the room, it was spacious with plenty of room between tables, perfect for creeping through the thirty something stalls, toys were stockpiled and the atmosphere was lovely. There was an excellent variety of quality second hand baby, toddler, maternity and children’s goods. I also came across a handful of stalls with local vendors selling services and goods, and there was a little kiddies corner with arts and crafts too.

Kayla and I went off exploring for some bargains, our aim was to find some new toys for the little man. This teddy was one of Kayla’s finds. The Fisher-Price Love to Play Puppy normally retailing for €19.99, we got it for €3. Frankie love’s it.

Another bargain not to be missed was this VTech Playtime Bus that normally retails for €26.99. It is an interactive talking bus that teaches phonics, letters and numbers, costing us mere €4. While Frankie loves pressing the button, Kayla is having a great time answering the interactive curriculum questions, it’s a very educational toy.

Some people may be too proud to buy their children second hand toys but honestly after finding these little treasures I will definitely be back. It’s shocking some of the bargain that can be found. Stall holders had travel systems, car-seats, cots, bouncers and baby monitors and sterilisers. You could get everything you need for a newborn baby under one roof, it’s amazing and so cheap.

Always keep an eye out for product recalls especially when buying for a baby and always check the product is in perfect working order before purchase.

The Horrid Onset Of Teething Is Upon Us

When your baby reaches the milestone of cutting their first tooth it’s certainly an exciting time. Although getting there we endure sleepless nights and some frantic ordeals trying to soothe our babies. Some babies endure some awful, sometimes very painful, swollen and inflamed gums while their teeth start cutting through and other sail through the whole process. Not forgetting they produce a barrel of drool too.

The horrid onset of teething has been slowly lurking and creeping upon us awhile now, Frankie started to drool excessively about six weeks ago. One morning last week he woke up with a grumpy appearance, flushed cheeks and then refused his porridge. He never refuses food. Ever. With all gums he’s latching and gnawing on anything within arm’s reach. I even found him chewing on the side of Kayla’s dolls house the other day.

Just as we get him in a fantastic routine he is waking four-to-ten times a night, sore, swollen and very upset. No cuddles, no Calpol, not even co-sleeping will comfort him. It’s an awful to watch, I’ve been close to tears as he wails. It’s heartbreaking. We are walking the walls trying to comfort him to no avail, he eventually sobs himself to sleep.

He’s very attached at the moment too, I cannot leave the room without him crying after me or chasing me in his walker, I think his uncle got him a super express one, he’s a pro in it. I must be in full eye contact at all times. Kayla has been feeling very left out as he needs my constant attention every hour of every day. When we eventually get him to nap, all I want to do is chill with a strong coffee but she has other things in mind.

My favourite hour of the day is when daddy walks in and I almost throw Frankie at him and escape to our bedroom and hide, that’s until Kayla assumes I’m playing hide and seek and proceeds to act like a crazed jack in the box. This tooth better make an appearance soon or I may have to get in there with a chisel myself.

15 Lies We Tell Our Kids

We all tell tales to our small for a multitude of reasons whether it’s to protect them, not knowing the answer, to avoid a meltdown or for the sake of our own sanity. If you think you have never told your child a lie, you’re a goddamn LIAR! Here is a list of the most common lies I have my kid and the ones our mammies and daddies have told us.

1. ‘If you keep picking your nose, it will fall off’

Disgusting habit, once they start, they can’t stop.

2. ‘Show me your tongue, if it’s black you are LYING!’

The trick? Only mammies and daddies can see it.

3. ‘We’re almost there’

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET!!

4. ‘I’m leaving without you’

You have to be willing to walk away and hid around a corner, trust me they WILL follow!

5. ‘We’ll come back another time’

The awkward moment you’re about to leave the park, zoo or toy shop.

6. ‘If you don’t clean up those toys, I will throw them out’

You will never throw them out but it works.

6. ‘If you go outside with wet hair, you’ll catch a cold’

I hated this as a child, I still do. Colds are caused by viruses, not from being out in the cold.

8. ‘Santa is watching you’

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! The biggest lie we have told our kids.

9. ‘I’ll tell the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, fairies…’

Need I say more?

   10. ‘If the wind changes, your face will stay like that’

We live in Ireland, the wind is always changing.

   11. ‘Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis’

This is actually a myth, a MYTH!

   12. ‘If you swallow gum it will get stuck in your gut’

In fact, it will just take longer to digest.

   13. ‘It’s bedtime’

It’s a half hour before bedtime and you trick them into an early night, no harm done.

    14. ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose’

Of course, it does, win, win, WIN!!

     15. ‘They’re all gone’

You really mean ‘I’m going to eat them when you are in bed!’.

Tappy Safety Bath Toy – Review

The Product

Tappy is a universal fit, tap guard toy designed for children from six months to six years. It protects children from bumps, by cushioning metal taps and prevents scalds with built-in insulation. Tappy is made with neoprene, meaning it will air dry and is machine washable.

The Review

Kayla likes to think she is a mermaid when she dives into the bubbles and has occasionally bumped her head and back off the tap. Her favourite colour is green so she was very excited for bath-time, to play with Octopussy, Tappy’s new name. So Octopussy was a perfect fit on our awkward tap and wriggled and danced as the bath started filling with water.

Tappy’s main objective is to protect but it’s also a great educational bath toy too, she was finding numbers and colours, counting her eight legs and singing the rainbow song. It distracts Kayla while I’m washing her hair and we have used it as a puppet to entertain Frankie too.

Kayla has great fun with Tappy, she loves pouring water and bubbles into her mouth and watches as it sprinkles through her legs. Tappy is a very pricey at €17, not something I would spend on a bath toy but in it does help protect from nasty bangs and scalds and most definitely brightens up bathtime.

Tappy is available to buy from Jojo Mama Bebe, Amazon and Tesco.

I was giving this product for reviewing purposes only. This does not affect my honest opinion.

Maternity and Infant Awards

Last month I took part in the product testing stages of the Maternity and Infant Awards in the DoubleTree by Hilton. So when I went along to the awards itself on Friday I was very eager to see how some of the finalists would get on.

TV3’s Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King presented 37 product awards and 15 people awards over four hours to very deserving women, men and children. All guests were served a scrumptious to die for, four course meal, free wine and a very entertaining afternoon.

One of the first awards presented was Midwife of the Year, and guess what, it was my midwife, and my nomination.

Maternity & Infant Awards Magazine

I submitted a nomination for midwife Catherine Manning from The Coombe, Medical Clinic. Catherine looked after me throughout the duration of my pregnancy and stay on my second child, Frankie. My pregnancy was considered high risk due to a condition called thrombocytopenia, my platelet levels dropped meaning there was a high probability of hemorrhaging during pregnancy and labour.

Catherine guided me throughout my whole pregnancy, ensuring I was not stressed about anything. She always asked how I was both feeling both physically and mentally, she genuinely cared for my well being. Catherine was compassionate, attentive, devoted and very supportive. She went above and beyond to care for me, sometimes visiting my bedside after hours. I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award.

I bumped into Aoife from Gripper Soles and Mika from MikaB Teething Jewellery.

There was some outright winners and some that took me by complete surprise on the day. Maternity and Infant pride their awards on products that are chosen by parents for parents. I’ve listed some of my favourite products and service winners below.

The Best Baby Food Award went to Organix for their apple rice cakes. I’m already a huge fan of Organix, they have a great range of products, Frankie loves the strawberry flavoured rice cakes.

There was no surprise when Aldi were awarded Best Nappy for their mamia new-born nappies. I’m currently using them, the price, quality and absorption is outstanding. Aldi also won the Best Baby Wipes Award for their mamia sensitive wipes.

Supervalu won Best Family Brand and Best Family Supermarket whilst Mothercare won Best Baby Store and the Grand Prix Award. Baby Elegance the headline sponsors won Best Travel System for the second year running with there Beep and Twist travel system and they won Best Cot for their Holly Cot and Mattress. We bought Frankie the Holly Cot a few months back and I love it.

Best Family Day Out went to Imaginosity, an educational, child-centred creative play museum. Kayla loves this place, even though we haven’t been in a while, she’s still always blabbing on about it.

I’m currently reviewing a pair of Shoobees and they won Best Children’s Shoes. Waterbabies won Best Mother and Baby Activity while Maxi Cosi won the Car Seat award.

There were so many awards presented to some tremendous companies and small businesses throughout the day, aswell as some very deserving people awards.

Check out who else won at the Maternity and Infant Awards HERE!

Overall I had a brilliant day, met some lovely people and got the goodie bag of all goodie bags, I’m looking forward to working my way through all these treats.

Operation Get Frankie Sleeping Through The Night

Last month I started over obsessing about Frankie’s sleeping patterns, ranting and raving like a woman possessed  to anyone who would listen. I was pacing the floor past midnight, he was disrupting the entire house, even Tinkerbell our lab was creeping through the house at all hours. I spent more time rocking, cradling, and searching for soothers than I did feeding, cooking and cleaning throughout the day

Kayla never slept through the night until she was nine months old, so sleepless nights wasn’t unusual. Frankie started following Kayla’s footsteps so I got books, searched the internet, tried co-sleeping and got advice from friends, family and strangers. Nothing seemed to work and I ended up stuck in a rut of answering his demands and needs immediately.

Kayla didn’t want to be around me because I was in such bad form. Her sleep was also being disrupted, one night she shouted ‘just shut him the hell up’ and another ‘just give him his bloody soother’, she was starting to resent her baby brother. My relationship was being jeopardized with my first born because I couldn’t get my little babóg to sleep at night. I did not want to play, I did not want to do leave the house, I wanted to hide behind the curtains and watch movies all day.

I was blathering over on my Twitter page and one morning a lovely lady, Niamh O’Reilly, a sleep expert from The Nursery, answered my cries. I proceeded to tell her our routine, only to discover we did not have one. Frankie was over sleeping during the day, I let him dictate, he slept when he wanted during the day, sometimes waking only for feeds or a soother. I assumed some babies slept 18 hours a day at five months. You would think on your second child you would have everything to perfection, I allowed Frankie to take the lead, responding to his demands, allowing him to eat, sleep and play when he wanted.

Niamh designed a structured routine for us and recommended to stay relatively strict for the first few days. Frankie wasn’t impressed, he was now napping in his cot, woken according to the schedule and breakfast, dinner and tea were now in my control.

Within two nights of following through with the firm routine Frankie slept from 7.30pm to 8.15am. I won’t lie I got an awful fright the first morning, I dived into his room to check his status, he was lying their cooing and content, it was so refreshing. Me and Kayla had celebratory pancakes for breakfast, we went the park, we baked cakes and I finally retained and enjoyed much needed one-on-one time with her.

Each and every day that followed we shadowed Niamh’s routine, twerking it to suit school runs and other herrings, Frankie has consistently continued to sleep through every single night apart from the day he got his four month injections.

The biggest tip Niamh gave us was his dream feed. Every night at 10pm, I give him a bottle, avoiding eye contact, with no interaction or nappy change, once he’s finished the bottle he gets a kiss goodnight, his soother and I leave his room till morning.

I was so drained, I had almost accepted I got one of those babies who doesn’t sleep. If any of you are struggling with a baby or toddler to sleep at night I highly recommend Niamh from The Nursery. Niamh helped me regain my family’s life back with friendly, responsive and practical advice. Frankie no longer dictates his routine and I’m very confident our routine will continue with a few adjustments as he gets older.

THANK YOU NIAMH!