Living Arrows 8/52 Arts and Crafts

This weekend we had a lazy one. Daddy was off on a mini trip away at the weekend and had a tennis match on Sunday morning. The weather was not the best either. It was miserable. On Saturday it was constantly changing. We managed to catch a bit of sunshine and at least made it outside into the garden.

The other hours we spent inside the house playing, building, making, watching, messing.

Chloe loves playing with playdoh. We have this ice cream castle which comes with two spoons and she got a few more tubs off Santa. She spent a good bit of time scooping out the playdoh and putting it into her pan. Then her task was to match them and put the colours back into the right tub.

While Matthew is more into colouring in, he finished the book he already had. There was not much left of it. I picked up a new one from Finding Dory on Sunday then. He already has six pictures done in it. This boy is unstoppable. It’s the cutest when he is asking for a sheet of paper to draw a family.

H&M and Primark Haul

Last weekend I went on a little shopping spree. I was only supposed to go for two things but you know the way it is. You always end up buying more. Plus I didn’t have the kids with me so of course you want to browse because you can browse in peace and don’t need to rush.

We have a few shopping centres not far from where we live. I decided to give Liffey Valley a go because it’s handy to get to and the parking is generally easier than Blanchardstown for example.

My first stop was H&. I was delighted when they announced last year that you can now shop online with them in Ireland. Up until that point it was a pain to get stuff because the closest store back then was Letterkenny which is nearly 2 hours away. Now I have these stores basically nearly on my door step which is so handy.

Matthew always needs loads of tracksuit bottoms. He wears these at the weekend because it’s the most comfiest for boys. He is playing a lot on his knees, as kids do so eventually there will be a hole in them. Not a big deal and nothing I can do other than keep buying more. I don’t like Primark ones because some of them are really thick but the ones from H&M are brilliant. I ordered more from Next yesterday because they come cheaper with a set of three for only €20.

Now that Chloe is two, she is slowly but surely moving into 2-3 size clothing. More Next than H&M but I bought a few new tops from H&M that are a bit more loose on her. You can always role up the sleeves.
I also picked up a new hat for her because the one she has is getting too small. It’s up to four years so it will last her a few more winters/ cold days.

Primark I find really good for Home decor etc. So this is where I went after. I picked up a cute cactus that is now sitting on the windows sill of our main bathroom. I also got two green chevron cushion covers. Our living room seems to have drifted into a green and grey theme. All we need now is curtains.

Take a look at my haul video below. Apologies for the bad lighting but I am only getting started on these videos, so go easy on me.

A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life – Blondie Mommy Stories

It’s FRIYAY!! I actually can’t wait for the weekend to start. I was off sick at the beginning of the week and I don’t think it’s still not quite right. I’ll have a busy weekend ahead though because hubby is going on a mini trip. But on Sunday afternoon I am going for afternoon tea with my friend. Have to tick off my afternoon tea bucket list after all.

Today we are going international. It’s Oana who lives in Romania and blogs at Blondie Mommy Stories.

First of all, tell me a bit about yourself.

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to tell you how happy I am to take part of this Blog Series. Thank you, Janine!

I’m the mother of a 4 year old boy and live in Bucharest, Romania. I found motherhood so challenging, that I tried to be a parent in my own way, making it easy for me (at least trying).

How many times were you woken last night?

None.

Do you co-sleep?

I’m not a big fan of co-sleeping. My son never slept with me or my husband. As a newborn, he slept in his own crib in our bedroom, and since five months old he sleeps in his own bedroom.

What time do you normally wake up?

That depends… If it’s a weekday and my son needs to go to preschool my alarm clock is set to 7:45 a.m. My son needs to be until 8:45 a.m. at preschool, since at 9:00 a.m. they serve breakfast.
In weekends (or in the day that he’s sick with flu, which happens a lot) I wake up when he wakes up. Around 9 a.m.

How much average sleep do you get a night?

6-7 hours. And that’s because I stay up late at night.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I hit the Snooze button.

Tell me about your typical morning routine.

I wake up after hitting the Snooze button for at least three time. I wake my son up, and begin my morning marathon. Brushing teeth, getting dressed and driving to preschool.

When and how often do you prepare the family dinners? Give us a few examples what you would cook.

I cook dinner almost every day. Sometimes, I cook something that we can eat for 2 days.
I’m kind of new to kitchen… As my husband used to say, “I’m not getting along with our kitchen”. So I try and cook simple dinners, but I also try and cook some sophisticated meals.
I love cooking duck breast with orange sauce. I just love it since I’ve eaten it at the restaurant. It’s pretty easy to cook, since it must lay several hours in the oven.
I also want to try and cook some chicken breast with peaches and cheese. I’ve seen this somewhere, and it just appealed to me.
The easiest recipe, and the one that my son just loves, is spaghetti with tomato sauce. Pretty simple one, right?

What’s on the menu for lunch?

I cook lunch only for weekends and when my son is staying at home and not going to preschool.
Usually our lunch consists of some kind of soup and something else… I don’t always cook the second dish.

What activities have you got planned for the day for the kids?

I do a lot of puzzles with my son. He just loves them. He also loves Lego and, most importantly, cars. I’m on the way of teaching my son to play by his own. He’s searching for constant attention and doesn’t like to play by himself. So, I can’t do anything else, when I’m with him.

Do you generally eat dinner together as a family or get the kids fed first?

We always eat dinner together. I like to teach my son what family really means, and this includes eating together. Of course, there are some occasional exceptions.

What do you do after dinner?

Play or watch TV. We usually eat one or two hours before bed.

What is your bedtime routine?

Sometimes we read a story, but not always. I like laying down with my son until he falls asleep, hugging him. After he falls asleep, I gently get out of his bed, trying not to wake him up and go to my blogging and freelancing routine until 12 p.m. or 1 a.m.

Most importantly, when and where do you normally blog in those 24 hours? Do you have a schedule?

I don’t have a schedule. It’s one of my 2017 goals to be more organised. I try and blog while my son is at preschool and when he sleeps. Sometimes, also when he’s awake, since I try and teach him to play by himself, because mommy has to work.

Thanks Ooana. I can relate to the constant attention. My first born was really independent from a very young age but my second is the complete opposite.

Everyone loves a follower more. What social media platforms can we find you on?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blondiemommystories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blondiemommystories/

Pinterest: https://ro.pinterest.com/oanawrites/blondie-mommys-stories/

Siblings in February

Another month has passed and it’s time again to see how brother and sister have been getting on the last month.

The month of February started off with a celebration. It was Chloe’s second birthday. We had a small party for her at the weekend and had cousin’s over. The weather was on our side and they were playing outside half the time.

The last month was actually very quiet. We have been very lazy and neglected the outside walks a bit. It’s coming close to spring now which means, well I am hoping, the weather will pick up again and we can go and explore the local area. There are a few things on our list. First is probably to find an outdoor playground. We haven’t been to a playground in months.

Above photo was taken in the living room. Matthew wanted the tunnel out to watch some Transformers. He’s obsessed with super hero’s bit particularly Transformers. This is only the cartoon version of it but I think I might have you watched the actual Transformers movies with him. I’m sure he will love it. Chloe was crawling around him watching him, annoying him, crawling into the tube.

I thought this one was adorable. I can’t remember what they were watching at the time but it might have been Mickey Mouse. They had their snacks in a bowl which was grapes and both sat down on the sofa together with the cushion on their knees.

Chloe is copying everything Matthew is doing lately. Including the crying… we definitely need to work on Matthew’s behaviour. He doesn’t listen a lot of times and that applies to creche too. I want him to be the best boy when he enters big school in September. Chloe must be the tidiest girl in her room. She’s so good cleaning up after herself. As soon as she sees me coming to collect, she goes into tidying up mode and only then she wants to leave.

The Me and Mine Project

Ireland’s #Hiddendrives

When  my friend comes over for a visit from Germany, we always do a day of exploring around Ireland. Generally around the region of Sligo. She hasn’t been to visit me since we moved to County Kildare. Can you imagine how much we have to explore here? It would take us days, if not even weeks. We only live at the border of County Dublin and everything is so easily accessible once you have a car with an up to date insurance ie. Chill.

But back to Sligo… We never really have a destination when we explore Ireland. We take one road and that’s it. Who knows where it is leading us to. That way we have found some amazing and beautiful gems. Some that I would like to share with you and maybe you might even want to explore yourselves in the near future.

Streedagh Beach, Co. Sligo

This beach is located outside of Sligo on the way to Bundoran/ Donegal. It’s actually near Mullaghmore which is off the main road. We discovered this beach randomly. This was sometime in  May and the weather was nice enough to walk around. I used to be a big climber when I was a child but not so much now. The view from one of the cliffs on Streedagh Beach is incredible though. Definitely recommended to all photographers out there.
On the way you can even visit Mullagmore. It is famous for its dolphins and I think you can even take a boats tour depending on the weather. There is a pub beside the hotel which does delicious fish and chips.

Lissadell

Another place we explored together is Lissadell and its beach. To get to Lissadell, you have to take the road to Bundoran/ Donegal again but turn off in Drumcliffe. For this adventure I also took Matthew with me. He loved all the running around on the long beach. He is a huge fan of the beach in fact. We haven’t been to the beach in quite some time now. It is a bit further away for us now but we can make a day trip out of it.
We didn’t go into Lissadell House. I can’t remember if it was even open at the time because I know it was closed for a while but it has since reopened and they have exhibitions running.

Caves of Kesh

This was probably the most adventurous experience we have done. I would recommend to wear good boots. Hiking shoes would be more appropriate. It involves a lot climbing and you certainly get your work out from this. Located on the outskirts of Ballymote, Co. Sligo is a little village called Kesh. It’s in the middle of nowhere but the caves from the top give you the most beautiful view.

Knocknarea

It wasn’t the brightest day when we decided to climb up Knocknarea in Strandhill, Co.Sligo. In fact it was in January. Not the nicest weather to be expected in that month, especially in the west of Ireland. We walked it anyway. Not too long they opened a new nature trail called Queens Maeve Trail. They’ve designed a set of wooden stairs to go around the mountain. We didn’t have the time to do the whole lot as it will take you around two hours.

Have you explored any of these hidden gems before? 

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