Look for The Silver Lining

So if you are following my blog since the start of the year you will know how excited I was to go back to work after being at home with the kids for almost 7 years.

I love my kids but I was never a natural stay at home mum, I love my independence always did.

I felt I lost a little bit of my spark being at home all day every day with the kids. I got lost in being Mum the bum wiper, snot cleaner, shoe put-er-on-er, drink getter, toilet trainer and general life preserver. I wanted just a little bit for me. Maybe that was selfish? My mother was all those things and a hell of a lot more and she never sought more. She had her lot and she lived with it. But from day one I knew I was more than just “Mum”.

Being a mum is the hardest job in the world

Anybody that tells you its a walk in the park is a liar. End of. I am not going to list out the things that make being a mum hard because if your a mum, you bloody know well what they are. If your not yet a mum…lets keep you nice and naive for now hmm?!

So last February I prepared myself to head out into the big bad world of the workforce. I was working among adults again, chatting about grown up things that didn’t involve Peppa and why they had to wear pants…well most of the conversations! It took me a long time to get settled into the new routine, it was by no means plain sailing. The twins began acting up in school and this, I knew was all due to their new little routine. All of a sudden my toddler went from being with me 24/7 to seeing me buzz around for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening before bed. I proudly declared on the blog post I wrote at the time, that I wouldn’t have the Mum Guilt…now who was naive?! You can read that here

marissa carter, me 2 girls, boy flowers, cocoa brown

 

 

the beautiful truth, 3 girls, smiling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I had pangs of guilt when I realised I hadn’t done the boys homework with them for the past few months, now don’t get me wrong. I hate homework…like, despise it. But, I felt like I had lost a mummy badge of some sort.

I realised that I didn’t have the right balance in place.

I loved the work I was doing, it was exactly everything I wanted to do, but my time wasn’t tilting in the direction it should have been, with the kids. No, I didn’t want to give it all up and go back to being a SAHM again, but a change was definitely needed.

Then last Wednesday that decision was taken out of my hands, I was made redundant along with 20 of my colleagues. Bam. Life Changed.

I had a little over a week to become used to the fact that I was going to be a Stay at Home Mum again.

Being made redundant is a weird feeling, you almost feel like you’re in limbo, the work place you are used to has changed, the atmosphere and comfort have suddenly vanished and you are left feeling stripped bare almost. Shook, numb, angry and a little bit lost. Suddenly I have to make new plans. I myself took the news of redundancy on the chin, something I have built up since we lost Grace is perspective. I rarely let things bother me too much, because I am all too aware there are things out there that a so much worse, life can get really dark sometimes, redundancy is merely a blip in comparison.

Yes my confidence took at hit and my once clear path was very fuzzy.

The evening after the bad news, I got the most amazing news. I was placed second in the parenting category in the Irish Blog Awards!! Look here I am… I was watching a live feed Kellie (from My Little Babog and winner of the Bronze Award in the same category FYI!) had on her Instagram. When they called out my name as a finalist I screamed “There’s my Blog!!!” I was so excited, THEN it went so quick they called out bronze and silver categories and they called out my name again!! I got Silver. I nearly fell over. I couldn’t believe it, bare in mind the bloggers in this category have been a huge influence on me and reading their work over the years has made me laugh, cry, nod my head in agreement and just feel like I had an ally in them.

v by very award winner, silver award winner

They made me realise it was normal to feel like a shit mum sometimes that nobody is perfect and being a parent is bloody hard work. Now here I was among them feeling very much like the intruder!

That lift came exactly when I needed it. It was a seal of approval for my writing because lets face it, as bloggers and writers we always question who exactly wants to read our work! It made me sit up and now the path ahead isn’t as fuzzy as I thought. I have something that I can use as an escape, not everyone is lucky enough to have that. Whatever happens with the blog after today is a bonus.

So I have to agree with that old adage Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining (all of the pun intended!)

This time last week I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with my lack of work life balance, a day later that choice was swiftly taken out my hands, the day after that my little blog was recognized and celebrated by my peers.

The thing to remember is, They Make Diamonds out of Coal.

The Greater the Storm the Brighter the Rainbow

So Tomorrow is the big day! March for Choice 2017. Myself and Chloe will be making our way up to the big smoke for our first march. I remember last year seeing images from TFMR placing their white roses outside the Dail, it was so poignant.

I have always been pro-choice. 

It is my opinion to have no opinion on another person’s body choices especially a woman. I have always believed if a woman needs to have an abortion because lets face it, an abortion is a need not a want, she should be granted to basic right of the choice. But I have been ignorant in the past. I closed my ears and eyes to things that didn’t affect me.  You know what happened though… 

It affected me and scarred me. 

By now some will be aware I became directly affected by the 8th amendment when I delivered my daughter Grace in Liverpool’s Womens after almost 36 hours of labour with her.

I remember the very first time I heard of the 8th Amendment… It was when I asked my consultant why I couldn’t be induced in Ireland. She said it’s a grey area because of the 8th Amendment. I’m actually embarrassed that I didn’t know of the 8th. Grace was my 5th pregnancy, how did I not know there was legislation in place that could hinder my health while pregnant. 

I remember pottering around the kitchen maybe a year before I was pregnant with Grace and Ray D’Arcy was on the radio… I wasn’t really listening but I did hear him talking to a woman who terminated her pregnancy because her baby was dying. I stopped for a moment and thought this is a heartbreaking story and moved on with the rest of my day.  This was the founding of TFMR 

Why didn’t I get mad for these couples? Why didn’t I campaign for women’s bodily autonomy? 

Simple. They didn’t affect me. 

But then February 18th 2014 at approximately 2.30pm when my consultant told me the results of Grace’s scans… 

… Then it did affect me. 

So I’m marching tomorrow beside and for those women on the radio I didn’t get angry for, the women who have been forced to continue their pregnancies whatever the reason, I’m marching for every woman who is not here to March, especially those who lost their lives because of the 8th, I’m marching for my daughters, my 15 year old’s bodily autonomy and my baby  girl’s memory. 

I’m marching for every single female in Ireland. 

The last time I walked around by the government buildings in Dublin was the day we travelled to Holles Street to be told there was nothing this country could do for us. I walked past that building carrying my dying baby girl inside me, I looked in past the gates and thought the people within those walls have no clue what is happening to women out here in the real world. 

So I’m marching tomorrow once again to the Dail, this time I’m carrying anger, grief and my baby girls picture. 

I’m marching tomorrow for choice the first and hopefully for the last time.

If you are around the city tomorrow please do join in and March in solidarity with us 💖

You can read Grace’s Story here

Barry the Bug. 

You know how it is during school holidays you enjoy the freedom of no lunches, no uniforms, no homework, no manic rush out the door in the morning, etc. Etc.

One thing I forgot to enjoy or rather didn’t appreciate enough, was the feeling of a house full of well, virus free, bug free kids that had pallors that’s didn’t resemble whitewalkers. 

They’ve been back at school exactly 15 days and the second week back they were out sick with persistent coughing, sore throats which brought on their asthma. They were good about it though they fell sick in turns… Jamie was the first half to cian the second.

Third week in… All back to normal… Then the itching started… No… No… No… Not fekin lice AGAIN!!! I checked them…okay I’m lying Kieran checked them throughout the summer… Back to school the weekly checks kept going. So how 3 weeks in have they gotten nits?? Might I add…

 They got them THREE TIMES in senior Infants… THREE!!!

With the amount of prevention shampoos, tea tree, treatments they got every week and every morning how on earth the little shites burrow their way onto their little heads I’ll never know. But they did,  3 times over the year 😭

Here we are three weeks into 1st class and the tearing begins…quick check their heads!! Hubby checks and checks nothing there… We all sigh with relief but he gives the overnight doses of treatment for good measure 😂

So now here we are week numero 4. They were off school Monday because of the all Ireland final… We’ll not discuss that right now, as I may feel a little quesey myself. The last thing Jamie has to eat Monday was rhubarb crumble and custard 🍮. 

If you could think of the WORST thing to have in your belly hours before a violent stomach bug takes hold I’d say rhubarb and custard would be a fore-runner 😷😭

Approx 12am we heard it… The coughing, spluttering, “oh f**k!” ran in to him… It was Jamie and it was too late. He had pebble dashed (sorry) his bedroom wall, duvet cover, duvet, school clothes, himself. We both looked at each other like two desperate tired parents do… You know the look.

Kieran took over… We have an unwritten pact. He does puke and I deal with poo. Sorry. 😂

He somehow clears the mess. Nice and clean sheets, all cosy tucked up with his basin! Literally 20 mins later… I hear him again. I go in to check. Funny he hasn’t got his head in his basin but rather on his pillow where he proceeds to tell me… “I’m  alright, go back to sleep mum” what he doesn’t realise is he got sick again all over his bed, himself etc. Etc. Etc. 🙈🙈

Yep we have a bug. Let’s call him Barry. Apologies to all the Barrys out there. Barry somehow hibernates during our school holidays. I dunno maybe he feks off island hopping to Ibiza for the summer… But he sure as hell doesn’t be around here! 

Bugs, teddies, critters
Barry… In cutsie teddy form.

I guess he comes back just before the kids begin school, maybe he lives in the lost and found press? I can imagine Barry the bug residing there curled up with 9 holey school jumpers, 6 ties and 4 odd pairs of slippers. Then once the kids have settled into school he creeps in and gives them a big, bug filled  barry  hug.

 F**K YOU BARRY. 

So here we are end of week 4. Jamie went back to school today. All better. Approx. 4.3pm I was texting hubby to let him know I was a finalist in the V By Very Blog Awards!! Only delighted with my life!! He replies with 3 little words… You know what they were…

Cian is puking.

Yep twin number two is feeling the love from Baz. So here I am, giving sips of water in between writing this blog post… Hoping he gets a little sleep so I can watch a little gilmore girls before I literally blink before my alarm goes off again 😭

So as I finish up this very weird ranty post about an imaginery bug monster called Barry (affectionately called Baz) I’m looking through the common childhood sickness book and giving a guess at what’s next… I wonder Is Paddy Power taking bets….

Until next time

Tracey xxx

Another Milestone 

mum and daughter, 2 girls, love yourself

One day your staring blankly at a plastic stick with a little pink line wondering how the f**k your gonna cope with a baby at 19.

The next your wondering if those niggles you’re getting in your huge belly are the result of the burger you inhaled at 1am the night before or real life big girl pants Contractions.

You then wonder if it’s normal for this tiny little thing to produce green poo…the book never mentioned it being green! You better not ask because your a kid yourself and they think your gonna fail anyway.

Mum and baby, young mum, smiling, baby
You look at her chocolate covered face at her 1st birthday and wonder what the hell you stressed for. She’s perfect, happy, healthy even if she is as bald as an egg! 
Everything is laid out shiny shoes, crisp white socks, itchy grey jumper… All at the bottom of her big bed awaiting her first day in school. Her bald head produced a head full of curls… Worth waiting for 2 years for 😂

Mum and daughter, girls, couch
You watch while she walks in front of you as you walk up the aisle to marry her dad. This is one of those moments life stood still. 
You try and keep a brave face through utter devastation. She remains your constant. Knowing your heart is breaking.
You look around at the familiar walls you left not 16 years before, the same smell, teachers the same feel. You cannot believe that little thing that kept me awake half the night at 19 when you should have been out doing shots is starting 1st year.
Today. Results day. No need to stress it’s pointless now. Don’t be nervous, she’ll be fine. You can imagine her belly full of butterflies waiting for the envelope. Screams of delight ring out and you know she is cursing having a surname so far down the alphabet.
It’s not letters on a page that define her rather her soul, her heart, and her kindness. Your time being her protector and steerer is running out fast and you just can’t believe it. She’s grown into a beautiful independent young girl and you’d like to think that kid who wasn’t sure of that green poo and was looked at with pity when you pushed your buggy around town has had a little something to do with it.

Congratulations mini-me on your JC results ❤️

If you would like to read about what it was like having a baby at 19 I wrote a post on it here 

Mum and daughter, girls, smiling

Love Yourself 

mum and daughter, 2 girls, love yourself

I won tickets to the Love Yourself event the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa were holding at the weekend. I brought the 15 year old with me to catch up on some very rare mum daughter bonding, gorge on posh little sandwiches and tiny deserts!

We headed up the road, I was slightly fragile thanks to myself and hubbies date night the night before which was supposed to end a lot earlier than it did. Who knew 2 sleep deprived 30 odd year olds could knock back that much vodka in 2 hours??!

*Always drink sensibly kids…weeeell at least until you HAVE kids that is😂*

So the speakers were Pamela Flood who I have to say I was a little star struck by, the original fashion and beauty show Off the Rails was a favourite of mine. Siobhan from Siobhan OH Fitness, Jennifer Rock The Skin Nerd and Sinead from The Beautiful Truth. I thought it was going to run along the same lines as a few masterclasses I have been to but it didn’t have the feel at all.
Siobhan began to talk about her fitness journey and I was pleasantly surprised how positive she talked about working out and food. She made a point of making sure everyone in the room understood to achieve fat loss or put on muscle or improve fitness in general, you were not to restrict yourself completely nor do you have to workout 5 to 6 times per week. She was all about balance, if you deprive your body of food or something you like as a treat, you will eventually binge. The key word was balance and realising that being active 3 times per week creates something much more important than physical changes. It helps create a positive mindset, I don’t know the science behind endorphin’s and positivity but I do know they are linked.
Next up was Sinead, she went through her favourite makeup products. When I was growing up makeup was something you were told was worn by a certain type of girl who wanted to get a boys attention. “War Paint” was a common phrase. So makeup was something I never was bothered by and anyway growing up in the mid 90s the most makeup you ever bothered with was heather shimmer and a pan stick!
Sinead started her talk by saying if you ever feel like shit, put a little makeup on and you will instantly feel a little better and I couldn’t agree more. It’s not about putting it on to LOOK better for others, it about putting it on to perk yourself up, lets face it if we are feeling like crap and looking middling it does help our mood. You cannot deny it. I love the fact makeup is not seen as it used to be, a mask or to hide things. We have some how reverted back to how we saw makeup in our childhoods, something to play around with, be creative and enjoy.

Jennifer went through her essential skincare products, not so much brands but rather the essential ingredients that you should include in your regime. But more than that she concurred everything Siobhan was saying, you not only feel better when you put good good nutrients in your body, you also look better.
The reason I was so impressed by this event was the feel I got from it… A huge room of ladies loving life and learning to love themselves. The main theme from the day was Love Yourself and it definitely shone through. It was women lifting women up. The room was full of good vibes, positivity and love. The panel they chose was perfect.

Mother, daughter, 2 girls, smiling, love yourself

What made the day was having my 15 year old daughter there, listening to these real women tell their real stories. You can tell a young girl to love themself, look after themself but it’s a not until they see these in action they truly realise.

Young people have it tough these days, everything is online, social, instant and materialistic.

There is a reason why teens are one of the biggest buying powers out there.

Chloe watched these ambitious successful women, and was impressed, Siobhan exudes strength, Jennifer knoweldge and Sinead pure passion.

If I walked away with anything it is the fact we don’t teach our young people to love themselves enough, and we need to teach this by showing them. When women empower women magic happens. They say lead by example. So first I’ll need to practise loving myself… Stop putting myself down, empower myself, empower more women, stop comparing myself to others, stop the negativity seeping into my life. It’ll take practice, I’ll fall off the wagon but for right now, I’m going to try and look at myself and think you know what…

You’re alright!

10 Things that make Life Happier

mum, kids, mum and kids, boys, woman

These are a few of my favourite things

Thanks to the fabulous Ladynicci for tagging me in her post 10 Little Things. Its really got me thinking about things that have been making my life easier or happier or just a welcome addition! I thought I may be stuck and not make the 10 but everywhere I look I am spotting things that make me nod and go, “Yes, my everyday life is definitely better since I brought this into it”. There is a mix of everything in here..

 Childs Farm Moisturiser

  • childs farm moisturiser, childs farm, moisturiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My toddler has eczema, it flared up last summer and we went through mountains of oral antibiotics, topical creams, steroid creams and healers. Eventually last November we found a steroid cream that took the nasty rash away, but we just couldn’t find a moisturiser that would help the “in-between flare up times”. Some would work but only for a week or so. Until I used Childs Farm. After a week of using this on his skin twice a day I noticed not only was his skin completely hydrated but the skin that was thinning on his face from steroid creams was beginning to appear a lot plumper! After a few weeks I spotted the familiar red spots beginning to appear on a different part of his body, I slathered the Child Farm on that night and the next morning it was gone! I have not had to use a steroid cream in a few weeks now. Something that I haven’t been able to do since…well ever! Childs Farm Moisturiser is €5.45 and it can be bought in any pharmacy, I bought mine in Molloys Pharmacy

 

 BirchBox Subscription

birchbox, birchbox subscription subsription service, makeup brush, moisturiser, eye makeup,

I had never signed up for a subscription service before Birchbox. I adore beauty products but I just never got the whole not knowing what you were getting every month element! That was until I signed up for one. Now I want to sign up for every beauty box and stationary subscription (which I didn’t know was a thing thanks to Ladynicci!!). Honestly there is a little thrill receiving that little box to my desk every month (yes I get it delivered to work because lets face it, who needs the funny looks from the hubby for another delivery coming to the house!!), opening it up not knowing whats inside, oh its a sad little thrill I look forward to every month!!

 My Nametags

my nametags, name tags, school name tags, mynametags.ie, school bags, school books,

Another new activity for me this year was using name tags on the kids school books, clothes and stationary! I was the mum who sent her daughter in to national school for 8 years with her name scribbled on to her jumper and books with a biro… well no more! I was kindly sent Name Tags for the twins at the beginning of the summer and I had notions of them being firmly stuck to their new school books and clothes by July…yep that didn’t happen. My eldest put them on for me last week!! But they are so so handy!! Even using a fabric marker on the care tag, after a few washes names always look like a blob of black on the tag! With Name Tags I chose different colours and different images for the boys…no more arguing over whos jumper is whos! The tags never wash off so there will be no more rummaging in the lost and found bin in the school for their jumpers!! I will always spot them! The twins are forever giving away their colours…and lets face it buying 2 pack of twist-ables every couple of weeks does add up! Their colours now proudly display their names and never again will I hear a row about how “He stole my Red!”

 

The School Holidays

little boy, toothfairy, woods, forest, tree, fairy walks, smiling boy

I love school holidays. Easter, Halloween, Christmas and especially Summer. I love not having routine, not having to drag the kids out of bed, pleading with them to eat one more spoon of rice crispies searching for ties and rushing out the door, giving hurried kisses and “please be good boys today” speeches. Life is much more relaxed during school holidays.

 

 Suu Balm 

suu balm, itching cream, moisturiser

I suffer from really really itchy legs. A couple of days after I shave the regrowth literally makes me tear my skin off. It gets worse if I wear tights or gym leggings. I have tried lots of creams and they relieve the itch for a few minutes but lo and behold it always creeps back. Suu Balm kindly gifted me a tube of their product to try out a few weeks back. Honestly the stuff worked immediately but whats more than that the itch stayed away. It worked immediately and the dreaded itch didn’t return. What really impressed me was relief the Suu Balm gave to my foot. I suffer from a form of dermatitis on my feet and when I say there is nothing I wouldn’t do to cure the itch I mean it. I have often had to go and splash cold water on my feet in the middle of the night to cool down the itch. I have used the Suu Balm a few times when I feel that itch and it has worked, its stopped the skin crawling itch I get, especially at night. So this is a product I can safely say has made my life so much better. I have linked their website in this text if you need to try this out, if you suffer from itch this stuff works.

 

6. The Gym

functional fitness, gym,

Now this is a funny one. When I go to the gym 3/4 times a week I am on top of the world. My mind is clear, my mood is good and my body is changing. I know being at the gym and eating 80/20 clean is going to make me feel amazing! BUT lately 9 times out of 10 my brain has taken over and says “You have been at work all day, go home to your kids and relax”, “Don’t bother getting up from 7 am class, you will have no time to get yourself and the kids ready for school and work”… now this I know is complete bull. I CAN make the gym before work, it’s absolutely manic getting the kids up, running to shower, dressing the toddler etc etc etc but it is doable! Going to my gym (which is Functional Fitness FYI) makes me happy, I sweat buckets and hate every burpee but I know how I am going to feel when I try on a pair of jeans or dress up for a night out with my hubby. I am going to feel good. That is worth every drop of sweat. Now if I could just tell my brain that!!

 

The Gilmore Girls

gilmore girls, tv programme, lorelai and rory

I first watched The Gilmore Girls when it first came out 16 years ago! When the twins were born the series was repeated on day time TV, just in time for their naps!! When it came out on Netflix I was delighted, I watched every episode, curled up in my bed and it happily took me away to Stars Hallow. Then I watched it again. Then I watched the new episodes, which led me on to re-watching the older episodes, I am currently on Season 7 AGAIN. I think you get the gist! Its a program that is utterly vital with a hangover! If you have a touch of the fear and you are getting a lie in by a very nice other half, mammy or friend, get yourself on Netflix and let the bad feelings wash over you!!

 

Coffee

coffee, mug of coffee, hot coffee, black mug

Its a basic thing but coffee really really makes me happy. I am happily addicted to the dark stuff. I cannot say how I function without it because apart from being pregnant I have never not drank 3/4 *really 5/6* mugs of the caffeinated stuff per day!

My MSc.

graduation, 3 women, graduationkids, graduation, baby, mum, 4 kids

I graduated last October with an MSc. in Marketing from LYIT in front of my mam, husband and 4 kids. It was the proudest day of my life. So looking at my graduation picture surrounded by my family who supported me all the way (it was a long road, if you fancy reading! http://mumsmakeupbag.com/graduation/) is something I love to do with a big cheesy grin. I think it stems back from getting pregnant with my eldest in college, I have always had an ambition to learn as much as I possibly can.

 

My School Friends Whats App Group

whats app, whatsapp group, whats app logo

We have known each other for 22 years (at least) since 1st year of school. We have seen each other going through first boyfriends, break ups, babies, marriages and everything in between. We were friends before we had mobiles and we all maintained our friendships through the age before social media. Now if something pops into my head and it reminds me of the girls it so handy to reach out to them. It is also a good reminder that Tracey is still here, I’m not just mum, I’m the girl my friends remember from 1999.

So that is some of the things making my life happy right now! What about you? Whats keeping you happy right now? Answer in comments!

*Disclaimer I have indicated where I was sent a product to review. Image credit to whats app, Gilmore Girls and Functional Fitness*

Thanks for reading,

Tracey xxxx

When the Lottie Dolls came to stay

The twins and their Toys

My twin boys are your regular 6 year old, very wild couple of kids. They play with the usual toys, Lego, dinosaurs and cars. I have always been firm in not allowing them have toy guns, I just don’t see the need to “play” with something that in the real world can kill someone and does kill people. Slowly though in the last year or two a odd toy gun would appear in the toy box.

Their play would be rough, wrestling, shooting, someone getting killed or under arrest. I have often seen a nice friendly play with their Fire Man Sam characters end up with someone getting violently eaten by a T-Rex! I was not worried in the slightest by this type of play, but I just reckoned I would love to see how they would play with life-like characters very similar to themselves. I remember when Chloe was their age, she would play happily and gently for hours on end.

Sammie and Finn

I had heard about Lottie Dolls but I wasn’t aware that they did boy dolls. Lottie very kindly send the twins a doll each to play with and see what they made of them. So Sammi and Finn arrived to our mad house about 5 weeks ago! I wondered how they would take to the doll but they were delighted with it. I thought there may be a bit of “but dolls are for girls!!” there wasn’t even a mention of anything like that. Jamie took Finn the Kite Flyer and Cian was delighted to have Sammi the journalist who wrote for the school paper.

lottie dolls, sammi doll, finn doll,

That evening I let them play by themselves and apart from telling Cian what a journalist does, I had zero input. First impressions, they couldn’t get over how the dolls had the same shoes as them, the same clothes and had cool accessories. They played on the mat with the dolls and I was amazed how gentle the play was. Not at all like them, and neither Sammi nor Finn got kidnapped, murdered, was put under arrest or eaten by a T-Rex the whole time!

It took I would say 2 hours before the investigation began to see what underpants the dolls had on, when it was established they did not have any underpants and they had “Bums” there was a lot of giggling!!

 

lottie dolls, bed, kids bed, books, kids book, sammi doll, finn doll

I let them play independently with the dolls for a couple of weeks. Then I went investigating where they were. These were my findings!

How the Lottie Lads were Settling in

 

 

toys, doll, register, dinosaur, kids toys, colours, colourful, zebra

 

So I found Finn in amongst the toys, he seems to be working as a sales assistant now and has left his kite flying days behind him, oh ya he’s also naked, not a stitch on the poor chap and him working a full time job. I asked Jamie where Finn’s clothes were, he told me there were in the wash. Can’t argue with that now can?! Sure enough I found Finn’s clothes in the laundry basket! I dressed Finn and gave him his kite and his dignity back.

Then I went hunting for Sammi, I searched all the toy boxes, bags, underneath couches, under beds, in beds eventually I found him here…

doll, car, doll in car, toys in car, toys

 

Can you see Sammi? Yep that’s him on the floor of the car, in a basket amongst some other toys and books. He looks like he may have been involved in Finn’s new supermarket job and maybe he’s doing the deliveries? I asked Cian what was Sammi doing in the car and he replied “He’s getting a lift!” I didn’t ask any more but I am sure wherever Sammi was coming from or going to in the car was going to be interesting! And if nothing else, at least this chap has all his clothes on!!!

 

doll, basket, car, toys in basket, pencil

 

The Future for Sammi and Finn

The boys are very fickle when it comes to their toys, they have never LOVED a toy so much they would play with them constantly. Most toys they get are rarely played with to be fair, but I do notice Finn and Sammi is getting played with a lot more than I expected after a few weeks being here. Finn had an incident with his kite and it got caught up in the laundry with his clothes (again!) so I have to get him a new hobby! So my next purchase will be accessories for Finn and Sammi. I’ll let the boys decide what accessories they want to get for each doll…this should be interesting!! I know they have their eye on the scooter set and fishing set!

So that is how my twin boys got on with their Lottie boy dolls. I am delighted with how well and gently they are playing with them. I also love the fact they have their own individual dolls because it must be nice having something that’s uniquely yours when your an identical twin!

Here is some info if you are thinking about purchasing a Lottie Doll for your little one and there may be a cheeky competition to win a Lottie Doll, keep reading!!

Who or What is Lottie Dolls

The developers of the Lottie Dolls (Arklu) recognised how short and precious childhood is. Childhood has changed even from my generation 30 years ago. It can be a pressurised environment for a child. They wanted to strip back the stress of being a child in today’s world and just let them be a kid again, with no complications, feel safe and let their imagination run free. Along with this Arklu have made dolls that belong to an inclusive place where every child belongs regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. The first doll they made took 18 months as they researched every area they felt was needed, including retailers, child psychologists, nutrition experts, parents and of course children themselves. The doll’s bodies are in proportion to that of a 9 year old child! The dolls are based on real kids, girls and boys and they even urge you and your children to submit any ideas you have to help them create the next new Lottie Doll!

Whats more this company is Irish. Now I can’t help but be biased towards an indigenous company creating such ingenious little dolls. They are based in Co. Donegal and have a myriad of awards to prove the team up on the North West of the country of Ireland know what they are doing, simply because they have a passion. Protecting Childhood.

The Finn Doll is one sale right now and along with his kite accessories, there is a fishing set that can be bought for him. The Sammi doll is a brand new boy doll that is a junior reporter. I love the fact his accessories isn’t the usual ball or bike! The dolls are available to buy on the Lottie Dolls website. Finn is €19.95 and the new Sammi Boy Doll is €24.95. There are some gorgeous girl dolls available also of course.

You can join Club Lottie and avail of some fab offers, from discounts to promotions.

You can buy directly from Lottie or shop their stockists here. They ship internationally so Lottie Dolls would make a fabulous gift for a little one you know living abroad.

If you would like to be in with the chance of winning a Lottie Doll please enter by filling out the contact form below I will be sending on the details to Lottie as they will pick the winner, but your information will not be shared with a 3rd party.

Have your little ones got Lottie Dolls? Whats your thoughts on Lottie Boy Dolls?

Let me know here or on my Facebook page, thanks for reading, Tracey xx

Keep up to date with Lottie Dolls Social Media Facebook Instagram  and Twitter.

8 years married today…

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31st July 2009

I was probably taking to the floor for our first dance this time 8 years ago. We shuffled along to Etta James’s “At Last”. I say shuffle because moving left to right was about as much of a waltz as I was going to get out of my husband! Some people have two left feet, my hubby dances like he has concrete shoes on!

Anyway 8 years…quite a long time. Something to celebrate you might think… maybe. Yes my wedding day was an amazing day but not just because I was marrying himself. We never needed a ceremony to prove anything between us, we knew from day one how strong we were as a couple and the ivory dress, vows and speeches were fantastic but they didn’t make us any stronger or more solid. It was life and its ups and downs that strengthened our relationship.

It was a natural progression to get married, it was the next expected step. Well to be fair, we did do it arse-ways, we had the baby at 19, mortgage at 25 and married at 27, but for us it was the natural next step!

A Big Party

It was the only day I had nearly every single person I have ever cared about under one roof it was a full day of catch ups, dancing, laughing, crying and photos and more photos. It wasn’t an overly romantic day, I don’t think I spent more than 10 minutes with hubby after the meal! We enjoyed the fact everyone we knew was there for us.

The memories from our wedding also makes me sad, there are so many people in the photos or in the wedding DVD that is no longer here, most especially my dad. One of my favourite moments of the day was waiting on my wedding car in my home house and everyone had already left. It was just me and daddy, we had a glass of prosecco (cheeky cigarette) and chatted away just the two of us.

What really matters to me

Whats a lot more special to me than our wedding is the day we became a couple because if I had not asked him to out with me…yes I asked him out!! The last 17 years and the adventure we have been on would never have happened. To me our relationship is much more important than a marriage. We have been through some tough times and some unbearable times that no couple should have to go through, but we did it and we did it as Kieran and Tracey, not Mr & Mrs. We did it by laughing (even in the most sad situations) we have always made each other smile. We have had amazing times together. We have created this little family of ours together. We have supported each other’s ambitions.

We have fought, we have cried, we have shouted we have gone days without speaking to each other. I have hated him and I have driven him up the walls.

And so to the future

There are 2 anniversary cards on my mantle piece tonight, one from my sister and one from my mam. We didn’t buy each other anything or exchange cards. We don’t need to celebrate the day we signed a piece of paper to prove we were a unit or solid. We became a unit and a team and a force to be reckoned with the night the DJ played “Fairy Tale of New York” in December 2000.

So Happy Anniversary Mr. Smith… 6205 days together… 2920 married and a life time yet to come xxx

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Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum…the truth.

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Why I Chose Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum

It was one of those products I kept eyeing up…for months I kept saying will I buy into the hype? Or is it just an expensive serum? I had been just getting over a bout of dermatitis on my face and I was genuinely anxious about using a quite active product.

My First Impression

The first time I used the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum I was surprised at how fast it soaked into my skin. The serums I had used in the past, sat on my skin and even the next morning my skin was still greasy. I woke the next day and my skin (no joke) looked better. It was more even and so so soft. I continued to use the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum for the next few weeks at night. At the weekend I rarely wear makeup so I would lash it on in the morning also.

Every day I noticed the little changes and improvements to my skin. It was so much brighter, the redness around my nose reduced, that greyness and almost blue toned tinge to my skin had improved massively. One of the main differences I noticed from using Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum was how well my foundation sat and lasted. It created a perfect blank canvas for my base.

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I was delighted with how well it was working. There was no doubt I was going to re-purchase the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum.

Then I stopped Using It…

Last Thursday my Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum rolled under my locker and every night I was too lazy to get it, so I used another product I had at hand. On Monday 3 days after I hadn’t used the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum my skin was patchy, uneven and and the redness reappeared around my nose… I put it down to being out at the weekend and the copious amounts of vodka I consumed, along with the copious amount of carbs I shovelled the following day. But yesterday I looked at my skin in the afternoon and my makeup was flaking around my nose, my pores were like craters. It just looked crap.

This is when I knew 100% that the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum was a game changer for me. I was impressed before, but now I could actually notice the difference when I stopped using it. That was enough for me to be even more convinced of how good this product actually is. There is a reason it’s always out of stock, people know!!

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One bottle of this magical potion…sorry Hyaluronic Serum lasts about 3 months. It costs €43.00 and I purchased mine from Molloys Lifestyle Pharmacy.

I like to change up my skincare every few months. I believe it is pointless sticking to one routine all year round especially when the climate changes, diet changes, environmental changes all can have an effect on our skin. While this may be true, the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum will remain a constant.

Have you tried the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum? If so what did you think? Let me know!

Eskimo 3 Kids Review

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About 4 months ago I started the boys on Eskimo-3 kids. It was purely by chance actually. I was working at one of our stores Grand Opening when I spotted a large display of the Eskimo-3 products. I had heard of its advantages especially the fish oils for concentration before, but apart from that I didn’t know a whole lot about the product. So I got talking to the rep that was there on the day and she explained some of the benefits the Eskimo-3 Kids has. Keep on Reading!