My Three Balmonds Summer Skin Care Favourites

My Three Balmonds Summer Skin Care Favourites

[Ad] In the summer time our skin needs special care and protection from the effects of the sun. This particular summer that’s past we have also been washing our hands a lot more frequently. Both of these cause our skin to dry out and feel uncomfortable. As a family we… Read More »My Three Balmonds Summer Skin Care Favourites

During Lockdown We Did Things We’ve Never Done Before

This is a collaborative post, for more information, read my full disclosure policy. During lockdown we did things as a family that we’ve never done before. It was quite strange that this happened really. It was like the enforced lack of freedom caused us to be more imaginative and adventurous… Read More »During Lockdown We Did Things We’ve Never Done Before

Four Easy Knit Scarves

Here are four easy to knit scarves that all have a slightly different pattern. I would consider myself a beginner knitter although, in the 1990’s, I knitted a couple of jumpers which included cabling. That was long before I became a mother and I wasn’t so easily distracted. In the… Read More »Four Easy Knit Scarves

Bermuda Pirates Board Game Review

Bermuda Pirates Board Game Review [Advert] Can you collect treasure in your pirate ship without being sucked into a Bermuda Triangle whirlpool and forfeiting your bounty? To win at the Bermuda Pirates board game, using your pirate ship, you need to be the first player to collect a jewel of… Read More »Bermuda Pirates Board Game Review

Caravanism – we’ve converted.

We are currently travelling home from our first ever caravan adventure and in spite of the miserable old weather, we absolutely loved it! In my eagerness to share this with you, I’m typing this on my phone as we trundle along the highways of Ireland. We have had our caravan… Read More »Caravanism – we’ve converted.

Treads Shoes giveaway

Treads School Shoes Giveaway

Treads School Shoes Giveaway Summer holidays have only just begun in the UK, and in Ireland the secondary schools are already half way through their 3 month holiday! No doubt any mention of the dreaded ‘Back to School’ phrase will cause many kids to groan and sigh, on the other… Read More »Treads School Shoes Giveaway

Shamballa and Swarovski Crystal Jewellery Set

Shamballa and Swarovski Crystal Jewellery Set Giveaway!

In my continuing quest to support and raise awareness for female entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses from home I have teamed up with Helena from Busy Beaders – handmade jewellery made in Ireland, to bring you this amazing giveaway! Helena specialises in customised jewellery, personalised bracelets and communion… Read More »Shamballa and Swarovski Crystal Jewellery Set Giveaway!

Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces

Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces

Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces Yesterday morning was our second Sunday back to church after lockdown and things are very different compared to the way we were at the beginning of March! Because we are limited to 50 people meeting indoors we now have two services of an hour… Read More »Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces

amelia daniels product review

Amelia Daniels Review – hand-poured happiness!

Amelia Daniels Review – hand poured happiness! I was delighted to be sent an array of gorgeous hand-poured Amelia Daniels products for review purposes, and in the past weeks since I’ve had them in my home, my sense of smell has been on a delightful journey! They say everyone has… Read More »Amelia Daniels Review – hand-poured happiness!

I just signed up for a Digital Photography Course!

I just signed up for an online Digital Photography Course!

I just signed up for an online Digital Photography Course! When I was a Graphic Design student back in the early 90’s, one of our subjects we had to take was photography. I couldn’t have signed up for an online Digital Photography Course way back then because they didn’t exist,… Read More »I just signed up for an online Digital Photography Course!

Picture Show Game Review

Picture Show Game Review

Picture Show Game Review Picture Show is like a mini-theatre version of charades crossed with a shadow puppet show, here is our family review of the game. One of my happy childhood memories is of going camping with my family and one night my Dad created shadows on the wall… Read More »Picture Show Game Review

beach at Lake Michigan

My Summer Survival Strategy

My Summer Survival Strategy (with my kids!) It might seem like a strange thing to need to a summer survival strategy, but if you have kids, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. At the beginning of the summer holidays last year I wrote a post examining why I find the… Read More »My Summer Survival Strategy

baking recipes

Our Favourite Lockdown Baking Recipes

Our Favourite Lockdown Baking Recipes Because of the slower pace of life these past three months of lockdown, and maybe also because of a need to comfort eat, (and possibly a sugar addiction) we have been baking up a storm! I have collected a number of recipe books through the… Read More »Our Favourite Lockdown Baking Recipes

How Did That Happen?

Now I am mother of an adult! Actually, her birthday was 3 weeks ago but I think I’m still reeling from the shock. Last night I was overcome by a sudden urge to call up my friends who already have grownup children to ask them how they transitioned from being… Read More »How Did That Happen?

head phones noisy kids

Parenting on the Seesaw of Sound

There are days when I feel like my kids and I are sliding from one end to another on a giant seesaw of sound, trying to stop somewhere in that middle part, just above the fulcrum, where the balance is – the ever present fulcrum of yet another parenting conundrum.… Read More »Parenting on the Seesaw of Sound

Taking care of a Pop-up Pool, girls swimming

Taking care of a Pop-up Pool

Taking care of a Pop-up Pool We have had a framed pop-up pool in our garden for 7 years, and taking care of it isn’t a chore as we follow a few basic guidelines. Whether you already have a small to medium swimming pool or are considering buying one, I… Read More »Taking care of a Pop-up Pool

me in a hammock

How to make a Simple Fabric Hammock

How to make a Simple Fabric Hammock Making a hammock out of fabric is incredibly easy, in this post I explain how you can make a simple fabric hammock in less than an hour. It’s so simple that my old hammock which is over 16 years old was made for… Read More »How to make a Simple Fabric Hammock

mm laughing with her phone and mug

Messages you don’t need to send other Mums on WhatsApp right now

Messages you don’t need to send other Mums on WhatsApp right now Undoubtedly times are different right now during the Covid-19 pandemic and we no longer are able to do what we used to do freely. Hopefully all that will change soon. In the meantime, you might identify with this… Read More »Messages you don’t need to send other Mums on WhatsApp right now

Splendor in play

30 Brilliant Board Games for Tweens and Teenagers

30 Board Games that my Teenagers and Tweens Highly Recommend Here is a list of 30 of our favourite board games that we enjoy as a family with tweens and teenagers. These are all games that are suitable for children over the age of 10, and a few of them… Read More »30 Brilliant Board Games for Tweens and Teenagers

I Interview My 'Quaranteens' and 'Quaranteen' about our current situation

I Interview My ‘Quaranteens’ and ‘Quarantween’ about our Current Situation.

I have four kids aged 17,15,13 and 11, and I was curious to hear what was going through their minds regarding our current situation during this lockdown due to Covid-19. I ran a similar interview series on my blog a while back and we all enjoyed the process so much… Read More »I Interview My ‘Quaranteens’ and ‘Quarantween’ about our Current Situation.

last night I had the strangest dream

“Last night I had the strangest dream, I sailed away to China…”

“Last night I had the strangest dream, I sailed away to China…” (Matthew Wilder). Dreams are supposedly how your mind processes the thoughts that are going around in your head, and I really did dream about a boat and Chinese people last night. This is not the first dream that’s… Read More »“Last night I had the strangest dream, I sailed away to China…”

Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set range of products

Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set Review

Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set Review [Ad] Balmonds was kind enough to send me their All-Natural Starter Set for review purposes, all opinions in this review are my own. We are a family of sensitive skinned people! My husband and two of my children suffer from eczema, I have dry and… Read More »Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set Review

family walk on the beach

Choosing Some Wise Y’s.

If you are feeling X because of X, then choose to do Y. Everything is a bit weird at the moment isn’t it? I’m sitting here mulling the past two weeks over in my head. Every now and then I have been feeling dizzy – as though the world has… Read More »Choosing Some Wise Y’s.

Easy home made bread recipes

Easy Home Made Bread Recipes

Easy Home Made Bread Recipes Making home made bread is comforting, sometimes necessary when you’ve run out, and can even become a daily obsession! Eating it is always delicious. Some recipes are so easy, it needn’t be a chore to make bread, especially if it becomes a habit in the… Read More »Easy Home Made Bread Recipes

Relish these Present Days

Relish these Present Days Fia is 11 and, being the youngest of my four, is the only one still in the primary school in our village. She usually walks home from school by herself now because she’s old enough, in my opinion, and it’s not that far, but occassionally I’ll… Read More »Relish these Present Days

View from the Saltees island in watercolour painting

Painting with Watercolours – Tips for Beginners

Painting with Watercolours – Tips for Beginners Painting with watercolours is one of the trickiest mediums as watercolour paint is not at all forgiving! Because watercolour paint leaves a translucent layer, you can’t paint over mistakes. However, I believe that there are no such things as mistakes in art, only… Read More »Painting with Watercolours – Tips for Beginners

groups at the table playing Yelestrations

Telestrations Board Game Review – the laugh-out-loud sketch pass & guess party game

Telestrations Board Game Review – the laugh-out-loud sketch pass & guess party game Telestrations was gifted to us for review purposes, all opinions are my own. Telestrations is an hilarious game – it’s a bit like a cross between Pictionary without the time pressure, and broken telephones. This is one… Read More »Telestrations Board Game Review – the laugh-out-loud sketch pass & guess party game

What is lawnmower parenting and am I guilty?

You may well ask, I did! Our kids started helping with mowing the lawn when they became teenagers but I’m not referring to grass and gardens in this instance. By now you have probably heard of helicopter parenting – the need to hover around your children all the time and… Read More »What is lawnmower parenting and am I guilty?

7 Easy and Fun Art Projects for Kids Aged 7 and up

7 Easy and Fun Art Projects for Kids Aged 7 and up Here are 7 different art projects – one for each day of the week (if you’re up for that!) – which are all both easy and fun to do with your kids aged 7 years old and up.… Read More »7 Easy and Fun Art Projects for Kids Aged 7 and up

mum and four kids around a table

What does it mean to be a ‘good enough’ parent?

I have been trying to figure out how to write this blog post without actually saying anything. Or rather, saying too much! If I write about my kids or share images, I have to ask their permission first and there are some topics that would be an awkward invasion of… Read More »What does it mean to be a ‘good enough’ parent?

barley loaf batter in a bread tin

Barley, Cranberry and Rhubarb Yoghurt Loaf

Barley, Cranberry and Rhubarb Yoghurt Loaf This is a typical yoghurt bread recipe but I added some rhubarb yoghurt and cranberries to add some sweetness for a teatime treat. You could make this sweet loaf with any flavour of yoghurt or just keep it plain and simple and use only… Read More »Barley, Cranberry and Rhubarb Yoghurt Loaf

kids walking in the forest

Some of the (well) hidden perks of having a teenager

Some of the (well) hidden perks of having a teenager  We have two teenagers in the house at the moment and in September we’ll have three (actually four if you count the visiting Spanish student).  If you mention the word teenager in polite company you are often met with knowing grins and a… Read More »Some of the (well) hidden perks of having a teenager

tweens and teens on their screens

Resources and 18 tips for safe screen usage for tweens and teens

Resources and 18 tips for safe screen usage for tweens and teens The good, the bad and the downright uuuugleee… Are you concerned about your teens and tweens screen usage or know where to find the right resources for their online safety? Most of the battles with our kids are… Read More »Resources and 18 tips for safe screen usage for tweens and teens

paints, pencils and brushes

Creative Gift Ideas for Teens and Older Children

Creative Gift Ideas for Teens and Older Children Do your children also love to make a mess? The positive word for this is being creative, I think, and I’m all for creativity! I don’t have a great love for cleaning though and to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit up-tight… Read More »Creative Gift Ideas for Teens and Older Children

Easy peasy homemade fudge recipe

Easy Peasy Homemade Fudge Recipe

Easy Peasy Homemade Fudge Recipe This fudge recipe is so easy, all you need to be able to do is stir reliably and not remove yourself from the stool you set beside the stove top for about 20 minutes. And because it’s homemade, it makes an ideal gift. (Christmas gift,… Read More »Easy Peasy Homemade Fudge Recipe

offending items

Some wonderful suggestions on how to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks

Some wonderful suggestions on how to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks The biggest problem with being a human being I find, is that you have to live with other human beings. As well as their smelly socks. I suppose you don’t really have to. There are… Read More »Some wonderful suggestions on how to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks

Drawing with Oil Pastels – Some Tips for Beginners

Drawing with Oil Pastels – Some Tips for Beginners In my previous post about drawing with chalk pastels, I spoke about how to draw dogs and some tips on using chalk pastels. In this one I am exploring their bolder, almost more childish cousins – the oils; and focus on… Read More »Drawing with Oil Pastels – Some Tips for Beginners

Self portraits by Fia, 8 years old

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – using the book to teach others how to draw

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – using the book to teach others how to draw This review of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards is written from the perspective of a teacher using the book to teach drawing to others. ~ This… Read More »Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – using the book to teach others how to draw

Transferring my website to SiteGround

On going Self Hosted on my Blog with SiteGround

~Affiliate post – my full disclosure policy can be found here ~ For almost 18 months I treated blogging as a hobby, a guilty pleasure! (Weird how I felt guilty about taking time out from house hold chores and parenting to write, but it just felt so indulgent). About a… Read More »On going Self Hosted on my Blog with SiteGround

fruit and vegetables in boxes

‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?

Or ‘My Button Keeps Popping off My Pants and other Food Stories’ I am fortunate to have been pretty much the same shape and size my whole adult life but now I have bumped into a bit of a mental hurdle and I’m literally clambering over it to the next… Read More »‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?

washing line and flowers

10 beautiful gifts that make me grateful

This post is inspired by two other bloggers who both recently wrote lists on gratitude and beauty. I think I’m meant to showcase some new products but as I have not received any freebies I’m not feeling the love need. So instead my first impulse was to write about all my well… Read More »10 beautiful gifts that make me grateful

A cartoon of Liberty trying to do a cooking video

Forget Keeping up with the Kardashians, the Joneses or Anybody else for that matter…

I am approaching that Middle-Aged crisis everyone warns you about. Actually forget about approaching, I’ve fully been immersed in it since I turned forty. The worst part is looking in the mirror every morning, there’s no denying it, I am fading faster than a polaroid. My laugh lines are competing with my neck wrinkles for attention.

Younger women and bloggers are flooding Instagram, YouTube and Facebook with beautifully glamorous shots and videos while I’m overusing filters to smooth out the lines and deleting about a gazillion selfies in disgust.

Am I too old or too ordinary to be a ‘You-Tuber’? Ought I to stick to peeling my potato tubers and forget about bright lights and stardom? My kids are devoted to a young attractive British couple who vlog on You-Tube and it seems that millions of other people watch them while they put on makeup, do DIY projects, go shopping and eat out. Then this couple, because they are cute, earn millions in advertising revenue through other people watching them explain why this product or that restaurant are so wonderful. Because they have said so, others too will buy that product or eat at that restaurant who will then in turn invite the couple back because they pull in the crowds.

I wonder, could I make a career the very same way, or at the very least eat out now and then? Could I grip the world with my fascinating exploits? Of grocery shopping and home dinners? I doubt it. I’m not in my 20’s and so I haven’t perfected the art of the selfie. I just don’t look so darned cute anymore with all my pesky wrinkles and stray grey hairs. But here, I AM always up for a challenge and a bit of a laugh so…nothing ventured etc…Read More »Forget Keeping up with the Kardashians, the Joneses or Anybody else for that matter…

four children in a row, siblings

The Cost of Children vs the Value of Children?

The Cost of Children vs the Value of Children? I recently heard a couple of discussions on the radio about family sizes and the cost of children. I’m trying to figure out whether or not I chose to have my four kids (I do choose to keep them though), I… Read More »The Cost of Children vs the Value of Children?

May I suggest some Design Improvements in children?

Babies and Children could do with some Basic Improvements -IMHO. With all due respect to the wonderful way children are made, I would like to suggest a couple of improvements in their basic design. These are simply for making my life easier as a Mum. BTW I’m a professional Mum… Read More »May I suggest some Design Improvements in children?

Fear, Anxiety and Worry- the three false lovers I’m breaking-up with.

For the sake of my kids and society at large I am practiced at putting on a brave face but I am struggling a lot at the moment; every now and then the facade cracks and I spill awkward tears before strangers. These past six months have been a dark… Read More »Fear, Anxiety and Worry- the three false lovers I’m breaking-up with.

lion head carpet in shop

26 South African sights you will never see in Ireland.

26 South African sights you will never see in Ireland. That’s right, you will never see these scenes in Ireland (unless you look at my photographs), because these are all typical scenes you would find in South Africa. Some of these are so normal to South Africans, it has taken… Read More »26 South African sights you will never see in Ireland.

When Can I Resign from Being a Parent?

“Boys break your house, girls break your heart.” Anon. When Can I Resign from Being a Parent? It seems to me that boys are brilliant at breaking things, or worse, themselves and girls are brilliant at breaking you, either way your parent-heart is a little bit dented every time. When it happens to me I… Read More »When Can I Resign from Being a Parent?