Month: December 2015

What Aidan got for Christmas



It is almost Christmas! I must say that this year I am very prepared and have some of these presents since October – yeah, I am as bad as the supermarkets. I thought I would share what I got Aidan for Christmas this year because I always find these posts really helpful when trying to decide on presents for other people.

Living around the corner from Smyths means that it is way too easy to just pop in and pick up one or two things, hence the excessive amount of stuff I managed to accumulate. His main present is a wooden kitchen and we decided on this one from Little Tikes as I wanted something really sturdy – 6 hours later and it is still being put together! He has a rapidly growing obsession with anything on wheels, and also a few crafty bits to help us get through the wet and miserable winter months ahead.

Kitchen collage

Little Tikes Wooden Kitchen || Melissa & Doug Food Groups || Melissa & Doug Fridge Food || Melissa & Doug Pots 


Duplo My First Bus || Press & Dash Vehicles || Wooden Tractor || Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Sorter

craft collage

Wooden Magnetic Standing Girl Puzzle || Wooden Magnetic Farmer Puzzle || Crayola Minions Mess Free Markers || Crayola Twistables || Aquadoodle

And that is the majority of what we got Aidan this Christmas, not including the bits I picked up for his stocking like chocolates, mini cars, a sippy cup and so on. Also, there are several books we got him for Christmas which I haven’t included but I do plan to do a post about his book collection very soon so keep an eye out for those in there.

Now I just need to find the time to wrap them all, as well as gifts for everyone else! How did you do this year? Were you prepared early or are you a last minute dasher?

The Perfect Gift | Votre Portrait Review

Did you ever get an email that literally made you squeal with excitement? I did! 

As a blogger, and like most first time parents, I take many, many, MANY photos of Aidan. The poor kid is so used to it now that if he sees a flash he instinctively turns towards it sporting his cheesiest grin. Like most people these photos remain only in digital form and are only appreciated in moments of nostalgia, remembrance or when you are in search of one suitable to a blog post.

A few weeks back my friend Eimear from The Two Darlings shared a print she had received from Votre Portrait ( I immediately fell in love with it – it was beautiful! I visited the companies website and decided that after Christmas I would treat myself to my own print from them. Then I got the email – they asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their prints! Ehh.. YES!

The service was fantastic. From placing my order to receiving my print to my door took 3 days and I was informed of each step as it happened. I chose the artist sketch portrait, sent the photo that I had chosen and when the artist had finished they sent me a proof to ”approve” before sending it to print. I fell in love with it immediately.

This is the photo I chose
Here is the artist sketch digital print
Here is the artist sketch digital print

A few days later when the print arrived it looked even better than what I had imagined. While 20x20cm is small in size I personally think it suits the style of the art work perfectly. It now has pride of place in our hallway so that everyone will see it as soon as they walk in the door.

I cannot speak highly enough of Votre Portrait, both their service and their fantastic talent. I have already chosen another photo of Aidan to get done and I will be getting some of the new baby when he arrives too (it’s only fair, right? haha). If you are looking for a gift for a grandparent, new parent or even yourself then I would definitely suggest one of these pieces. The prints are also available on photo paper and phone cases.

This canvas is a 20x20cm Artist Sketch Portrait, one face – costing €65.00

*I was sent the canvas print in exchange for a review but as always all opinions are my own, 100% honest thoughts.

Octagon 4D Cards | Review & Giveaway

‘Twas some nights before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some Octagon cards would be there…


I have a toddler who can work an iPad like a teenager – It originally started out him watching a few youtube videos while having his dinner, then a few games and now he bloody loves the thing. A recent study suggests that 72% of Irish children use the internet daily meaning Aidan is not alone in his love for technology.

A few weeks ago when Octagon got in touch with me and asked if Aidan would like to review their new 4d interactive alphabet cards. Aidan has yet to venture into the world of words so anything that might help him is always of interest to me, especially when it is digital because it will hold his attention like nothing else.

Octaland 4D cards are alphabet cards that teach kids about several different professions, from Albert the Astronaut to Matt the Magician and Zack the Zookeeper. Each character moves and looks at the screen while staying true to their profession. For example, Albert the Astronaut hovers a few inches above the card as if he were in space.

octagon cards

As well as the 4D images there is a 2D section where the child can flick through each character and learn more about their job.

octagon cards


Octagon also have an Animal card range. For me, this was utterly jaw dropping! As I already knew what to expect from playing with the occupation series I jumped straight into the animal cards expecting a similar cartoon type graphic. However, the animal graphics are extremely realistic looking and acting – I literally spent an entire nap time playing around with the animal series before even showing it to Aidan.

octagon cards


These cards would make a great stocking filler for children – it makes learning interesting by making simple flashcards come to life in their hands. I think these will get a lot of use in our house over the next few years.


I have a set of the Octaland 4D Occupation series and Animal series to giveaway to you! This competition is open worldwide, simply follow the steps below to enter. Good luck!

Octagon 4D Card Giveaway


*We were sent some Octagon cards to review and giveaway but as always all opinions are our own, 100% honest thoughts.

I Wish We Co-Slept!

Co-sleeping is always a topic that causes much debate amongst parents (and non-parents too). Some people swear by it while others choose to completely avoid it. I can understand both arguments but once everyone is getting a decent sleep I think that is the most important thing. As a baby Aidan would co sleep with me when his Dad was at work, I don’t ever remember the three of us being in the bed together – perhaps on a rare occasion. This was not because I was against co-sleeping, I really enjoyed the time spent cuddling my little baby, he just settled better in his own space.

When Aidan moved into his own room he took to it like a duck to water. I did however at this point make a commitment to not bring him into our bed unless he woke up with a genuine reason, like a temperature, nightmare or extreme upset. I never had to actually find out if I would stick to this as Aidan much preferred having his own space and his own room. He would never wake to come into our bed or even our room. At the time I thought I was really lucky that we were all getting our sleep and space. And, I am still thankful that he doesn’t mind being in his own room, I would hate for him to not like his room or to dread going to bed at night. (He gets so excited at bedtime and nap time it is actually weird!)

However, last weekend our house was struck with a vomiting bug. Luckily I have managed to avoid it so far which meant I was able to run between the two patients. Aidan was being sick all night and because he is so used to sleeping in his own room he wouldn’t settle in our bed. This meant that each time I cleaned him up I had to put him back into his cot and sit outside the door listening incase he was sick again – which he was. I spent the entire night wishing that I co-slept so that I could get some rest and still know that Aidan was ok. Eventually at 7am he was so tired, and I think a little scared, that he fell asleep in my arms on our bed and we both got an hours sleep before he realised that he wasn’t in his own bed.

Thankfully he was fine the next day apart from everyone being tired. While I understand all the arguments people have about co-sleeping I would have given my right arm to co-sleep with my sick little man that night. It would definitely have been the best option for everyone.

co sleeping

Fool Proof Christmas Dinner?

Today I actually got to watch ‘This Morning’ which hasn’t happened in months! When I switched on they were talking about Tesco’s microwave Christmas Turkey? Luckily we go to my Mom’s for Christmas dinner because to be honest if it was left to me we would probably end up with beans on toast or something because even the thought of having to do a big dinner like that stresses me!

Anyway, this got me thinking of a fool proof (or Ellen proof) Christmas dinner, and if such thing exists. Alas the internet never let’s me down in suggesting some crazy Christmas dinner alternatives….tinner

A tin of dinner, or ‘tinner’ per person – who wouldn’t love to be served this on Christmas day?


canned chicken

I actually don’t eat turkey so for me how about this ‘canned whole chicken’? Beans on toast is starting to sound pretty great right now, eh?


canned bread

Clayton is a sucker for bread and butter with a roast dinner so as not to leave out one of his favourites I could pick up this brown bread in a can? 99% fat free & 100% weird!



Incase you didn’t know Clayton is actually from American so to keep with his traditions – a PBJ ‘candwich’ to enjoy with a cuppa in the evening. Includes a candy surprise inside. Could not be further from excited about that surprise!


I do promise if I ever invite anyone for dinner in my house I will not serve any of these ‘delights’ but I just thought they were too weird interesting not to share! Hope I haven’t turned you off your Christmas dinner. Just remember if it all goes wrong beans on toast is always a better option than ‘tinner’.