Our favourite Irish baby brands

With a new baby comes the unwritten rule to spend ridiculous amounts of money on anything remotely small or cute. With Aidan I bought him so many tiny clothes that he only got to wear some things once and others never even got the tags removed. This time I said I wouldn’t buy too many clothes until Finn was born so that I could judge sizes a little better. That being said I couldn’t sit through 41 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy and buy nothing, right? Here are some of my favourite Irish baby brands and stores that I simply couldn’t resist.

JellyBean Group
I first discovered the JellyBean Group when I purchased Aidan’s Tripp Trapp. Not only did they offer the best deal at the time but their customer service was second to none. After ordering they phoned me to tell me when my delivery could be expected and were an absolute pleasure to deal with. As you can guess they were my first port of call this time around on my search for a new changing bag. Again offering the best deal, speedy delivery and fantastic personal service. I got the Storksak Noa in grey for €99 with a free gift of 3 aden + anais muslin clothes.

Hogsett Designs
Again a previous favourite. You may have seen Aidan’s personalised blanket we had made last year on my Instagram. It is the softest and most complimented product I got him. In the spirit of fairness I of course had to get one for Finn too. As you can see from the picture the blankets are minky fabric with tags on one corner and personalised with the childs name. Like with Aidan’s, Finn’s blanket attracts almost as many compliments as his hair. The blankets measure 75cm x 110cm, which is almost cot bed size and are made with the softest material I have ever come across. Including shipping the personalised blanket cost €49.50.

Irish baby brands

BabyBoo.ie
When Aidan was born he was a chubby 8lb 11oz and went straight into 0-3 months clothes. Finn weighed 7lb 9oz, but he is long and skinny – meaning at 2 weeks he is still a little lost in newborn sized babygros. He has a tiny little neck meaning that any ‘one size fits all’ bibs I had bought were utterly useless! I happened to have some that Kellie from My Little Babog had sent me from BabyBoo.ie and they were the perfect fit on their smallest setting so I immediately went and bought a collection of them. Because they have 4 different size settings and they wash so well they will do Finn right up until he is finished with dribblers. Each dribbler costs €5, but they are currently running offers of 3 for €12, 6 for €21 and 10 for €32.50!

Irish baby brands

Irish baby brands

Baba Me
Technically I haven’t ordered from them yet but I have my eye on the Lillebaby All Seasons Elephant Parade. I think a sling is a must have with two under two – it will allow me to hold the baby and still have my hands free to play with the toddler. Anyway, even though I haven’t dealt with them directly yet I have been a member of their Facebook group for a while now – their offers, helpfulness and advice cannot be faulted! They also offer 10% off your first order using the code ‘firstorder’.

*I purchased all products mentioned and was not asked or influenced to include any of the above brands – I simply love to spend money and influence others to do so 😉

Meet Finn

I have been almost completely absent from my blog and my Youtube channel over the past few months. Well, after 41 weeks and 3 days he finally decided to arrive! I will be sharing my birth story on my Youtube channel soon but for now… Meet Finn!

 

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Woodland Nursery Plans

The countdown is well and truly on! Little man is due in 2 days! Where did the time go? At this stage with Aidan we were uber prepared and had everything ready to go and a fully decorated nursery. This time… not so much. I still have to decide on a changing bag and the nursery is in the very early stages of preperation.

Aidan’s room is an ‘up in the clouds’ type of theme, with lots of blue and white so this time we decided to avoid blue. We chose a woodland/ forest theme with lots of greens, browns and creams. Like with most projects in my life I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and ended up spending hours pinning to my ‘Nursery’ board.

We already bought a gorgeous sleigh cotbed, the same as Aidan’s but in a dark walnut colour which will suit the room more. I have yet to source any drawers that will match though. I have no idea if or where you could buy this but I have fallen in love with it so I am genuinely considering having it custom made. Let’s be honest we already have enough books to fill one!

woodland nursery

 

After Pinterest I am always drawn to Etsy for unique and handmade pieces. Here are two that I have my eye on. ‘Adventure awaits’ – what a very true statement to make when entering into the unknown world of two under two!

woodlandpicture-etsy woodlandpicture2

And no kids room is complete without a touch of Disney! This Bambi blind from VELUX is a perfect fit with the woodland theme and a nice fix for my Disney addiction!

woodlandblind

Now all that’s left to do is have the baby, finish the nursery and let the adventure begin.. Wish me luck!

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Making a comeback? | Vlog

I usually keep my blog and Youtube channels separate but seen as I had disappeared from vlogging for a few months I just wanted to share my recent upload. I am hoping to come back in full swing with weekly vlogs but D-day for the second little man is in 4 days which may throw a spanner in the works. I will of course share a video once he is born but I don’t know how much of it will be outside of my bed never mind outside the house. But, for now, here is what we got up to over the past week and a little look at how much Aidan has grown in the past few months….

28-32 Week Pregnancy Update

28-32How I’m feeling:

I am super lucky and have had no complaints at all with this pregnancy. I thought I was lucky when I was pregnant with Aidan but it seems that I am going along the same road this time around too. I have been getting some Braxton Hicks which are getting more annoying now that the baby is getting bigger but over all they aren’t that bad. Heartburn has arrived but it’s not as bad as I remember it with Aidan – yet anyway.

Skin:

My skin is in the best condition it’s been in the longest time! I will be doing a post on my current skincare routine including the products that I think have cleared my cystic acne.

Cravings:

Nothing really. I still enjoy sugary treats when Aidan goes to bed but nothing much else. My obsession with cleaning and the smell of cleaning products has reached a whole new level and has me scrubbing the house every free minute of the day!

Size of baby:

At my last hospital appointment (at 28 weeks) my bump was measuring right on average – 12 inches. My app (ovia) tells me that the baby is currently the same size as a plastic scooter board/ florida pomelo/ pain d’epi/ naked tailed armadillo. I use this app because it lets you chose different things to compare baby’s size to rather than just the normal fruit and veg suggestions. I have gained 8kg since falling pregnant which is right on track too.



Can I see my toes?:

Honestly? I’m not sure and I am too lazy to get up off the sofa to check so I am just going to say no.

Stretch marks or swelling?:

No swelling and no new stretch marks yet but there is still plenty of time for them to rear their ugly head.

Sex:

It’s a boy! We have only had one scan (20 weeks) to determine the sex compared to several with Aidan so I am sticking to fairly neutral colours just incase!

Also…

I have my whooping cough injection this week and our next hospital appointment is at the end of the month. I have all the stuff for my hospital bag ready (just not actually in the bag yet). We are going to get the baby’s cot-bed tomorrow. And, I am starting to get very nervous about life with a toddler and a newborn!

Mommy does make up | P.S beauty range

Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with make up and was always the first to try out new products. However, from having Aidan to all my skin problems I completely neglected my stash and myself for a while. After attending the Deise Bloggers masterclass, recieving so many new products and discovering new brands my passion was rekindled – much to the dismay of my bank account. Since the event I have began to restock some old favourites, add some new brands and most importantly finally do something I enjoy that’s just for me.

PSBeauty3

I have splurged on some things that definitely aren’t worth their hype but that’s for another post. Somethings that have really lived up to the hype is the PS Beauty range from Penneys (Primark). I have tried several pieces from their range and I don’t think I have been disappointed by anything!

PS Beauty

Their brush range is fab! I use their double ended stippling brush for highlighting and contouring, their double ended foundation brush for applying foundation and concealer and the angled contour brush for applying powder contour. I have washed all brushes and there has been no shedding or effect on their performance. For around €3 each they are definitely worth having in your make up bag.

Next up I tried their foundation sticks. I got the colours Ivory and Tan – the lighter shade for highlighting and the darker shade for contouring. While the paler shade wasn’t an ideal match for my skin tone the darker one I use for my contour every time. It is easy to apply and blends easily. It is a full coverage foundation too which is a must for me!

Other things I have tried and liked are their lip pencils, lipsticks, lip crayons, eye liner, individual false lashes, brush cleaner, highlighter powder and blusher. Like the foundation stick, the blush colour did not suit my personal skin tone but the pigmentation was great for the price – I would love them to start stocking more shades. Luckily, they are always expanding their beauty range meaning that we are in for lots of new treats in the future. Their latest releases I have yet to try are their eyeshadow palettes, powder contour kit and new shaped beauty sponges. The PS beauty range is extremely affordable while also being fantastic products and I would recommend them to everyone. You could have a full make up bag for less than €30!

Here is a look I created using the PS beauty range products listed…
Foundation sticks in Tan & Ivory
Individual lashes
Lip liner in the shade Burgandy
Lip crayon in the shade Deep Purple
Highlighter 
Double ended stippling brush
Angled contour brush
PS Beauty

Have you tried the PS beauty range? What’s your favourite product or what just didn’t work for you?

Whose to blame for body shaming?

Everyday there seems to be another celebrity under the ‘size spotlight’. From shaming pregnant women who have swollen ankles to those who have lost some weight in recent months, it seems that passing comments on the shape and size of people is the new ‘norm’.

Today I seem to be facing body shaming on every platform I visit. It started with a radio station turning a conversation about Cheryl V-F’s divorce into a conversation about her current weight and image. Yes, it is true that Cheryl has recently gone through a tough time in her life and perhaps she has lost weight but does that mean that society has the right to pass their judgement on her?

Then again on Facebook under a post about the Golden Globes the following argument ensued…
#1

#2#3I typed out my reply but didn’t press send. I chose not to get involved in a Facebook feud where my point would get dissolved in peoples views and emotions, so I decided to use my platform to share my views.

Here is what I typed…
”Paula, while I see your point, it is not the individual women who cause these body image issues. It is the media, brands and other platforms who have created the idea that being a size 0 is the average or normal body size. It is those who have women and young girls trying to reach an almost unachievable goal thus leading to them being unhappy with their appearance. That does not mean that being a size 0 is wrong, in the same way it is not wrong to be a size 20, once each individual is happy and healthy in their own skin. Body shaming of any sort needs to stop – what makes it ok to say ‘she needs to eat a burger’ but not ‘she has eaten too many burgers’?

My point – instead of tearing down someone for being skinny or fat empower the individuals in your life to be comfortable in their own skin. It is not the responsibility of any skinny celebrity for the insecurities of a teenage girl, it is the platforms that support the unhealthy, highly edited images. It is the fact that people now feel like these photoshopped images are how real life men and women look – which is of course not true. But, by tearing down and body shaming skinny or fat celebrities you only give one more skinny or overweight girl at home, who also reads your opinion, another comment that she feels is directed at her. So while your words fall on deaf celebrity ears, there are many ears a lot closer to home who might just hear how ‘she is so fat’ or ‘she needs to eat a good dinner’.

This photo appeared on my Facebook timeline a while ago and it is one of the most powerful things I have seen in relation to body shaming.

bodyshaming

 

When we limit what is allowed to be called beautiful, we also limit who is allowed to feel confident, empowered, important, sexy, brave and proud.

Our Netflix Binges

Making a Murderer
So unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard about Making a Murderer. Everyone and their mother is watching it, literally – my mother is now watching it! It follows the trial of a once wrongfully convicted man, Steven Avery, as he now faces a new accusation – the brutal murder of a woman. As the evidence is presented and the statements are read the story only gets more and more shocking. I would recommend everybody to watch it as it is definitely eye opening to the many flaws in how justice systems operate.

Making a murderer

 

Jessica Jones
I am not a superhero/ Marvil fan in any sense of the word. While Clayton has watched all of the Marvil and DC series to date it has not been something I have ever been interested in. However, Jessica Jones seemed to receive major hype and build up in the weeks before it’s release and so I got sucked in. It also stars David Tennent who I loved in Broadchurch so I thought it was worth a shot. We watched the entire series in about 2/3 days! It had the right mix of suspense and mystery without too much sci-fi or supernatural stuff.

Jessica Jones

90210
I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to rematch my teenage guilty pleasure that was 90210. Like most things I completely forgot about it until Adele’s ‘Hello’ video was released which stars one of the characters from the old show. I have been really enjoying this during Aidan’s nap times. It is light watching in comparison to the others I’ve mentioned making it great for some mid-day binge watching.

90210


KIDS

Masha and the Bear
This is very much new in our house having only watched it over the past few days but my goodness does it make Aidan laugh. Honestly, I am not really sure why because there aren’t too many words in it but he finds the whole thing hilarious and will sit and watch it with a huge grin on his face.

nasha and the bear
New Peppa Pig
I hate Peppa Pig! Even more so I hate re watching the same episodes of Peppa and her constant whining over and over again. So, when season 2 of Peppa was released I got a little excited to add some variety to her moans. As much as I hate the little pink pig she does something to toddlers that I wish she would teach me! He will just sit there is awe of her as she bullies her little brother, George…. Uh Oh maybe he is picking up tips?!

peppa pig
Paw Patrol
The geniuses behind paw patrol have laughed all the way to the bank this new year with Paw Patrol toys being sold out everywhere from here to Timbuktu this Christmas. We are only recent jumpers to the bandwagon but those tiny, helpful pups are already a firm favourite round here.

paw patrol


STILL TO WATCH:

Luther
It seems I am the last person left not to be watching Luther so I plan to give that a try once I finish my current 90210 binge.

luther
Narcos
Again, last to the party I believe. In my defence (sort of) I did start watching Narcos but I fell asleep reading the subtitles. I always read before I fall asleep so I have to remember in future I cannot watch Narcos in bed because my brain will shut off.

narcos


COMING THIS YEAR

Pretty Little Liars – Season 6B
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 2
Orange is the New Black – Season 4
Better Call Saul – Season 2
Fuller House
Grace and Frankie – Season 2

Also, this week Netflix has announced that it is now available WORLDWIDE meaning that if you are living abroad (lucky you!) or travelling or simply on holidays you don’t have to miss out on your favourite series. You can binge watch in the sun – now that sounds like my kind of ‘Netflix and Chill’.

 

*Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an Apple TV in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own. I also already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.

15 from ’15

I wanted to do a round up style post for 2015 but wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach it. The lovely Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From is hosting her annual linky so what better way to round up my year than by joining in with my 15 things from 2015. Be sure to check out her post and feel free to add your round up post to the linky too.

1. Most Popular Blog Post:

At the beginning of the year I wrote a post during one of Aidan’s night time parties, I did not expect the response it received. My ‘How to Prepare for a Newborn‘ post was shared on the front page of Mumsnet, My Kidstime, by several other bloggers and many other online platforms. It is a humorous look at the things they ‘forget’ to mention in all the parenting books – which I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one experiencing. 12 months on and the laundry pile is still as high!

2. Favourite Post

This may be my pregnancy cravings speaking but the post I revisit a lot is my Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I originally made these for the Glensik blogger competition but they have been made over and over again since and are often requested by people who have tried them previously.

3. Favourite Photo

O-KEEFFE_ellen_artist_Esquisse_NB.1_20c_Tl_1V_fedex-eco-INTERNATIONAL_9326.479.VP

Technically this isn’t a photo it is a digital image but it is based on a photo, which I also love. This print from Votre Portrait is one of my favourite possessions, I admire it every day.

4. Best Adventure:

Taking Aidan on his first foreign holiday (assuming Wales doesn’t count as foreign?) was definitely an adventure. We went to Nerja in Spain for 10 days at the end of June. We though June was a good time of year as it wouldn’t be too hot – we were very wrong! Temperatures were 33-36 degrees the entire time we were there! Luckily Aidan didn’t mind the heat and honestly just slept through it mostly. We had a villa with our own private pool so it meant that we could still be out enjoying the sun while he was inside watching TV or having a nap. However, sometimes he napped in the pool too!
June


5. Favourite Craft:

After seeing The Dadventurer’s canvas he made with Baby L I had to give it a go myself. I didn’t actually write a post on it but here is a link to Dave’s post for you to check out. It was an extremely messy but fantastic craft to do with a baby or toddler.

6. Most Common Theme:

The search term most popular from google, which pops up several times a week landing people on my blog is ”immersion”. Yes, immersion. They end up on my post about ‘Irish slang’ which has also proven to be a very popular post this year.

7. Favourite Vlog:

I really struggle to manage the blog and the Youtube channel at the same time. I love both but right now I think blogging better suits my life. With vlogging it is an all day, constant job with several hours editing at the end where as blogging can be done around Aidan’s schedule and tantrums. This year I hope to find a balance between the two because I do love having the vlogs to watch back but end up abandoning the camera by mid day after dealing with Aidan’s early onset ‘terrible two phase’.

My favourite video from this year is between ‘SURPRISE‘ and ‘POOLS, PLANES AND PROMENADE‘ both captured two very sepcial weeks this year and they alone remind me of why I want to keep up vlogging.

8. Favourite Celebration:

This is a tough one because there are two very special celebrations that happened this year. Firstly, in May Aidan turned one. We had a lovely party for him some of which I captured on video. It is definitely a day we will always remember.

Secondly, in June my Grandad turned 80 and the entire family went away for the weekend. It was so nice to spend time with everyone together. We had a lovely meal together over the weekend, all the ladies visited the spa and the babies had a ball playing with each other (with a toy shop only metres from the hotel you can only imagine how spoilt they were). We also brought home a new family member that weekend – we just didn’t know it yet.

9. My Best Move:

This year I rebranded the blog. While El and Baby A was a suitable name in the beginning it wasn’t a good fit in the long run. After lots of thinking I decided on Bumps and Roundabouts as we cannot ‘outgrow’ it and also it doesn’t limit me to any specific types of posts.

10. Favourite Freebie:

Bluestone! I cannot speak highly enough about Bluestone. We had such a lovely week there and we have all said we can’t wait to go back. If you are looking for family friendly, relaxing and very unique holiday then Bluestone is definitely one to look at.

BlueLagoonAidan

11. Best Blog Moment:

Being on the front page of Mumsnet was such a great moment for the blog. I was only blogging a few months at the time so to see my work recognised in such a way was a huge honour.

Being a finalist in the Irish Parenting Blogger awards back in April is definitely something I am extremely proud of. As fantastic as it was to be named as a finalist, the night and the community of IPB that I met at the event were definitely one of the highlights of my year.

12. Worst Blog Moment:
Making the move from El and Baby A to Bumps and Roundabouts was quite a stressful migration. Although everything went relatively smoothly it was like starting from scratch with several sites like Tots. It was quite disheartening to log in and see all my previous rankings take such a hit. I don’t spend too much time stressing over these rankings but it is nice to see the numbers go up when you put the work in.

13. Favourite Title:

‘We’ve been keeping a secret…’
Obviously, announcing that we are expecting our second baby was really exciting. I made a video to announce it and wrote a post too. That seems like only yesterday but in less then 10 weeks our second little man will be here, hopefully.

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14. Favourite Blog-Series:

I am going to cheat on this one a little because I haven’t really followed any blog series or partaken in any linkies in quite a while so I decided to talk about my favourite series. This year I discovered ‘How to get away with murder’ and oh my god I am hooked! Every episode leaves you on the edge of your seat and makes for great binge watching. Series 1 is on Netflix and I definitely suggest checking it out.

15. What My Blog Did For Me In 2015:

Both my blog and Youtube channel gave me a place to record my pregnancy, Aidan’s milestones and our many adventures of the year. It has given me a place to put memories that I probably didn’t even realise would be so special at the time. It has given me a space to revisit in times of sadness, hardship or darkness and gives me one hundred reasons to smile. There is no freebie, ranking or popular post that can trump the everyday moments I managed to capture on camera or in a post.

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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 

carcollage

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?