Because her pained face is better than mine

Yes I Was Aware Of That

 

Why do people persist in telling me things I already know and/or stating the bleedin’ obvious. This week alone, I have been told the following. I just say yes, the bits in bold, I say in my head.  My tolerance levels this week are low, very low. 

Sometimes it's best to say nothing at

You look tired. Yes. I know that, I have a mirror. I am so tired that if I started telling you just how tired I am we would both end up crying  from the horror and also,  thanks ,clearly my make up and showered state is going nothing to hide it.

That royal baby has been christened already, course  you haven’t gotten around to christening the baby yet. Yes.  There are some ways in which myself and the royal family in the UK differ which is why they probably got around to baptising their child a bit quicker than I have. 

You have a lot of helpers. Yes. As my children ransack supermarket shelves throwing additional sugary treats into the trolley as they are off their heads on sugary doughnuts. Yes. They are a HUGE help in this soul crushing bi-weekly  money burning, tolerance testing exercise that is food shopping and they didn’t pay for those doughnuts.

That’s a lot of laundry. Yes. Thank god you pointed that out, I never would have realised.

The baby has no socks on, her feet are freezing. Yes. Ring up and report me to someone, I  double dog dare you.

You’re still breastfeeding. Yes. That is  the reason why I am sitting in your company with one boob out. 

Is that your dog? Yes. That is why I am walking it and four children at the same time, really, I am unlikely to steal pets to add to things I am responsible for.

Did you change the car? Yes. No we painted and shrunk the other one.

She will choke on that. *smilesDo you actually think I would hand my child something that could potentially kill her or is this some weird freaky premonition/ spell you are casting like the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty? Because that is just weird.

Are you sure you are not having another baby Mammy? Yes. PLEASE , FOR THE LOVE OF THE BABY JESUS (WHO YOUR SISTER DOESN’T KNOW  AS SHE IS NOT BAPTISED ) JUST LET ME SHOWER ALONE WITH MY CHUBBY BELLY.

Because her pained face is better than mine

Because her pained face is better than mine

 

 

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Jesus On A Pen Giveaway

 

I have mentioned before about my love of Tiger Stores. It is a love that continues to grow as time goes on. On  Tuesday evening I went along to have a preview evening in the new store that is now in Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15. This is Tiger’s 17th store to open in Ireland. There were some nice treats and a lovely goodie bag and all the usual delights one discovers in a Tiger Store.

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My favourite ever Tiger Store purchase was my Jesus on a pen, which I bought before Christmas last year.I have Our Lady too and both pens have brought me immense joy since coming into my life. Here’s my  thoughts on the pen’s from a previous post :

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I bought them to write my Christmas cards with. I didn’t get around to writing my Christmas cards but I lovingly write lists and notes and Jesus and Our Lady pen usage makes me happy. However, I have learnt, they are probably best used at home. I was in the tax office a couple of weeks ago. Which resembled the 7th circle of hell, the queuing system nearly made me burst a blood vessel in my eyes from rolling them so hard. Anyway whilst in the queue a man walked up to the woman behind me and asked could he borrow her pen and she refused and told him it was her pen. I was aghast and also wildly entertained as I had been queuing for a while. He explained he just needed to sign a form and she clutched her , I might add cheapo bic biro, and hollered “NO It’s my pen”. This woman was being really fucking weird about her pen. I don’t know if she was just rude,  didn’t like  the man or just really loved her pen but she wasn’t handing it over. The man looked mortified. I decided to step in and save the day. “I have a pen” I roared giving the bic pen owner a filthy look.

Now I carry many pens in my bag at all times but I was in the never-ending hell queue carrying a wiggling baby so instead of whipping out a normal pen, Jesus came out. I saw it in my hand and realised it was the wrong pen and this wasn’t the time to bring Jesus to the party but it was too late. I had made such a production of offering a pen, I had to hand it over. The man looked horrified by Jesus on a pen, the women with her crap bic biro looked more horrified and I ended up looking like the weirdo. Anyway, bar that blip, the pens continue to bring me a huge amount of happiness.

Every time I have been in a Tiger Store since, I have looked for them and have been disappointed. This all changed on Tuesday, for there lying in the new Blanchardstown store was a pile of Jesus and Mary Pens……….Hallelujah.  I knew when I saw them, I needed to share this joy, it was kind of epiphany if you will so I have two to giveaway. Who wants them?

Enter below and you too could be the very lucky owner of both Jesus and his mother, Mary, on a pen. We will have a Hallelujah together?

ACTUAL PENS THAT WILL BE WINGING THEIR WAY TO THE WINNER ON MONDAY...........EXCITING!

ACTUAL PENS THAT WILL BE WINGING THEIR WAY TO THE WINNER ON MONDAY………..EXCITING!

To enter all you need to do is comment below or my Facebook page. The winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday.  You NEED these pens in your life .Good luck.

 

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Days Out In Dublin- City Spectacular and Good Food

 

 

We had a slow start to our day, lazy morning, tired children, exhausted parents. Staying on the couch for the day was tempting but we found energy to move from couch to car and headed into town to the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular.

We have gone in to see it on other years and always enjoyed it, in the past we have always gone in early to try to avoid the huge crowds, today we didn’t leave home till lunchtime and I was somewhat reluctant at the prospect of crowds of people. I am so glad we did. This year is their 10th anniversary and its bigger and better than ever.  If you are in Dublin, go tomorrow, it is so worth the visit and next weekend they are in Cork.

 

The gods were shining down on us and we got into town in no time and then achieved the holy grail of free parking on a Saturday afternoon in Dublin 2. Two minutes walk from Merrion Square. FIST PUMP.

Free Parking WIN

Free Parking WIN

 

All roads surrounding Merrion Sq are blocked off to traffic so the kids were free to safely roam around, it was busy but there was so much to see and do that nowhere was particularly overcrowded. There are over 200 workshops, performances and activities over the course of the weekend so there is a lot going on.  We opted not to take a timetable (which you can view online if you are the planning type) and just wandered around. The street performers all had big crowds but the kids were able to scoot through and have a look while we hung back with the buggy.

There were loads of activities in the park itself, games, food stalls, music.IMG_6397

 

The baby was in her element in the toddler music section, 30 or so babies and toddlers all playing instruments at the same time is quite honestly the ugliest sound you will ever hear but god they were all happy out making the hideous noise. We had to prize the xylophone from her vice grip when the noise got too much.

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There was a really nice relaxed atmosphere to the day and despite the grey skies, it didn’t rain.

 

All was going well, then the hunger struck. The husband and I were getting that grumpiness that can only come from being starving. Although there was a huge amount of food stalls the logistics of feeding six from a food stall and eating in the park requires preparation and we weren’t prepared. We considered walking down to Grafton St and then we decided we deserved good food.

FXB’s of Pembroke Street has always been a dining favourite but never somewhere I would have considered visiting with kids, I didn’t even know if kids would be welcome but we took a reconnaissance mission as it was so close by and turns out it’s really family friendly. Pricier than our normal choices for family lunch but a rare treat.

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The STEAK WAS AMAZING and the staff didn’t freak out when they saw us walk in with our gazillions of kids. Early bird of three courses for €23.99 and a kid’s meal of fillet steak, chips and gravy for €10 was reasonable as the food was so good and the staff were really accommodating of the numerous requests that come when eating out with four kids, would highly recommend for a family lunch.

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That’s the kids meal on the bottom. Trust me we don’t usually buy the five year fillet steak, a very rare treat.

 

 

Once we had eaten we obviously wanted to dump the kids and go and sit in a beer garden (not really…………) that wasn’t an option, though so we headed back down to the festival. It was closer to 5pm now and the crowds had dispersed a bit. The husband and the older kids went off to watch to The Space Cowboy act which they loved and myself and the five-year old went off to get her face painted.

 

We also visited the farm section and got to brush a sheep ( spot the Dub’s, this was wildly exciting). The five year old had the “best day ever” free bubbles, free Cheerios, free tattoos and butterfly face paint, this is the stuff of five-year old’s dreams.

 

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If you are in Dublin you should definitely head into City Spectacular tomorrow, it’s all free and there is so much to see or if in Cork do go next weekend, would highly recommend.

 

The photo’s don’t show the boy refusing to eat in the nice restaurant and us having to buy him a €3 hot dog or me irritating the husband or an over exhausted child complaining about something or other but sure you can paint over most of this with an Instagram filter  right? All in all though it was a pretty lovely day out.

 

 

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The Quest For Free Chocolate Cake

Last week, I got the monthly envelope full of promotional stuff from my local supermarket. Instead of the usual spend 100 get a 10 euro off voucher there was instead a voucher for free chocolate cake if you spend €20. Well the eldest child was just thrilled with this offer.

So we were shopping last weekend, we asked as per the instructions about the cake  at the bakery and we were told we could collect it the check out. Grand. We shopped, we got to the checkout ,the cakes were all gone. They told us to come back on Tuesday. This would have been fine until we noticed a man who had been queuing behind us at the bakery holding his free cake smugly. He was also behind us in the checkout queue. Further proof that if he had a cake we should have a cake. The 9-year-old was infuriated. There was many exclamations about the unfairness of the situation and some filthy looks were thrown at the man who was grasping his cake in his hands. Some would berate their child for such behaviour however, queue skipping and the unjustness of it is up there on my pet hate list. I understood her anger. It was justified behaviour.

As we were waiting to pay, I could hear mumblings from other shoppers about the free cake. We were not the only ones left disappointed. I then overheard a man ask about the free cake but the assistant told him it was only for those who had a voucher. The man shuffled off embarrassed and cakeless and our own cakeless status didn’t seem so bad for at least we had the promise of a cake on Tuesday .

Turns out that was a fat lie. We went to get our cake on Tuesday, there was none. They told us to come back the next day. The free chocolate cake was proving popular. As we walked away from the bakery counter another shopper  said  to me “this is the third day I have tried to collect mine and still no luck” I gave her a sympathetic look and we went our separate ways. Every time I was in the supermarket this week, I overheard shoppers mentioning the free cake. People are MAD for free cakes.

The next day, there was still no cakes. The marketing geniuses of Super Valu were winning though. By this stage I had spent a significant amount of time waiting at the  bakery counter. I can now tell you the selection of cakes available and their prices. This new bakery section has quite a French feel and some of the cakes look fairly incredible. Myself and the 9-year-old were told to come back on Friday and again we walked away, cakeless and also quite aware of my current body weight, standing begging for a free chocolate cake on three separate occasions will do that to a person.

This morning, the husband was dropping the kids to camp. Its cake day, the 9-year-old told me, I didn’t need reminding. Herself and the husband dropped the other two and went to the supermarket.FINALLY, the free cakes were in stock. The 9-year-old arrived home carrying the cake as carefully as one would carry a precious jewel. At last. After four attempts, the free (at this stage we had spent about 3k on supermarket purchases this week ) cake was ours.

Well played, Super Valu, Well played.

 

Also, I don’t even like chocolate cake.

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Raising Delinquents

Yesterday, day one of the school holidays. Nice day, relaxed enough. All fine. I went upstairs yesterday evening and the boy’s room was thrashed. Himself and his sister had been up there playing. There is always a price to be paid for a half hour of quiet time.

There was lots of ” I have NO idea how this happened” and head shaking from both the seven and five year olds when asked how the room had ended up like it was- mattress off the bed, duvet in a ball, books scattered everywhere etc.

Nothing more was said except, clean it up, there was no argument. It was day one. We were all relaxed and happy.

We sat down to dinner and afterwards the husband picked up his Ipad. His work Ipad. The boy child in particular has taken a shine to it.

As he was scrolling through he found 15 or so new videos. Not only had they thrashed the room they had filmed themselves doing it and with commentary.  “This is my sister- full name- about to attempt a ginormous tumble of the recently destroyed bed, all covers are on the floor for her to roll onto” or words to similar effect and they took it in turns to film each other thrashing the room and doing gymnastics.

Next step, they filmed themselves cursing. I despair. The stupidity. Filmed themselves cursing on their fathers device, obviously they were going to be caught.

Wildly entertaining though. I mean one of them loves to spell out the word f-u-c-k-e-r-s and thinks if you spell it, it doesn’t count as cursing but to hear the little voice say it with pure determination and defiance when not in the ear shot of an adult was particularly funny.  I know, I am an awful parent.

Seriously though, the stupidity,  if you are going to carry out some vandalism of your bedroom and swear like a trooper, don’t film yourself doing so. Years ago, they drew on the walls and signed their names underneath but I assumed as they got older they would  become better at covering their tracks, clearly not yet.

Their faces though when they saw us watching their videos……….priceless.

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Tonight Matthew I am going to be Meghan Trainor……..

My five and half year old is seriously competent. Anything her older brother and sister can do she makes a good effort at doing and most times she succeed and sometimes she does it better than they do.

She is just finishing her first year of school. She has grown up a lot, especially in the last few months. Before she demanded cuddles, stories and songs before she would sleep, more often than not of late, she takes herself off to bed at night time , when I go up to check on her, she is usually asleep, tucked in neatly, teddy in arms.

A couple of months ago she stopped sharing a room with her older sister and for now has the room to herself, its the cleanest bedroom in the house.

A couple of days ago, a vile bug, struck the house. It hit her out of nowhere, she looked awful and was lying on the couch. She informed me she was going to be sick, walked to the bathroom, fixed her hair out of her face and was sick. Competently.

I was faffing around, trying to fix her. She was calm and told me she would go and lie down. Sometimes she looks like the adult and me the five-year old. So we went to bed and we lay down. I was rubbing her hair and holding her hand and despite her being unwell it was actually really nice. It felt like weeks since we had done this ,just the two of us. She was curled up kind of on my lap and it was like she was a toddler again.

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She was worn out and still looked pretty unwell. I was trying to make her better.

I started to sing to her. She didn’t like the song, so I suggested all my back catalogue of lullabies . You Are My Sunshine, Dream A Little Dream , all rejected.

Sing All About The Bass” she said.

“Ah no, will I sing, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, maybe? Said I, hopefully.

“All. About. That. Bass. Please. Now. Go . On”– she said like some tiny five year old version of Simon Cowell.

She was sick. I was trying to make her happy. So off I went.

I’m bringing booty back……

She stopped me.

Sing from the start Mammy”.

Oh.

And so I did and when I got stuck  with the words, which surprisingly I did considering how many times I have  heard this song, this year, she prompted me.

About half way through she suggested I sing more like Meghan Trainor than myself. It was more a Stars In Your Eyes than X Factor performance she was looking for.

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I realise it’s not the most appropriate of songs to sing to your child, I realised this more as I was singing along without it playing in the background. Nonetheless I continued. It’s a long enough song, thankfully nobody else heard my rendition or saw my actions, if you are going to do something, do it properly and all that……..

Then I finished  “Not too bad, Mammy “and she fell asleep.

She hasn’t asked for a repeat performance and she is fully recovered now.

The Wonderful Weirdness of Kids

One of my favourite things about this time of year, is going through the things the kids bring home from school. I have gotten more ruthless since the days of keeping every scribble from the precious first-born but their school copies are always keepers.

Did you know imagination copies are a thing? Amidst the drawings and all the colour, I am not going to lie, there is some pretty weird shit in there too. Not worrying weird just, Jesus my child is quite strange, weird. Stuff that wouldn’t be out-of-place after taking a hallucinogenic –  Cakes that talk to each other,  Batman having his injuries healed by dark arts potions,  kidnappings, mysterious parks , investigations and how to ” google things up” – arm  chair investigate work if you will  rather than Famous Five style.

Then there are the story copies . Again, amidst the poems about rainbows and the tales of pancakes and playgrounds, there is some darkness. This one was my favourite.

The Woodcutter.

Once there was a wood-cutter. He was big. He was fat. He was a Daddy. ( A psychiatrists dream  right there) He was a criminal. The wood-cutter killed children.  ( Who needs suspense, cold hard straight to the point wins the day).

The wood-cutter came to a house, to kill some children. The mom knew the wood-cutter. So the mom punched him in the face. He ran away. He was very scared. The woodcutter went to another house. The wood-cutter made sure he didn’t get punched in the face by the mom but the mom killed him anyway.

The End.

The wood cutter is twice the size of the mother, yet she throws that killer punch regardless.

The wood cutter is twice the size of the mother, yet she throws that killer punch regardless.

I LOVE IT. The moms are bad ass. One mother provides the facial punching to scare the wood-cutter away and the next mother just straight out murders him.

Of course reading the poems and hand prints about growing up and how much they love you are lovely and bring a tear but sometimes you need something new. Like a mama protecting her kids from a potential child murdering wood-cutter with violence.

Proud.

Skincare, Badly Applied Make Up and Other Musings

Make-up, I know very little about it however fellow blogger Sinead at Bumbles of Rice came up with an idea of sharing how to look human on three hours sleep and I said I would join in, so here we go:

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I regularly survive on three hours sleep. Big sunglasses and copious amounts of strong coffee are how I survive. My jittery actions from the coffee hopefully distracts from the exhausted greyness of my face. At the minute I rarely have occasion for lots of make up and even when I do, it is hit or miss how my make up looks. I put it on, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s similar to the way I never learnt how to cook a roast dinner, nobody ever thought me to apply makeup or the importance of skin care. And speaking of that, what is with teenagers these days? They all have immaculate make-up, there is no badly applied awful colours on their faces, they all look amazing and no acne. I, however, at the grand age of 36 and a half have developed a rake of hormonal occasional spots on my chin. It seems unfair really. I went through all this twenty years ago. I digress, make up………..

Firstly I am a sucker for the “spend a shit load of money, get a free gift” promotions. So the majority of my non daily wear make up comes from these or from  christmas gifts. I have one palette of eye shadows I received as a gift about four years ago, which I use when I feel the need to see if I can apply eye shadow ( I can’t). I am looking for a good primer though any and all recommendations appreciated.

Lipstick- I can’t wear it. When I apply lipstick, I look like I should be doing porn. It’s not a good look. So  I use vaseline or if I am feeling particularly wild, lip gloss I received as free gift, see above.

After years of having thick dark brows, one of them has started to develop a bald spot. It’s the start of eyebrow ageing. I will take recommendations for brow products too please.

I like BB creams. I find CC ones too heavy. My favourite one is this one from Garnier. Its cheap and cheerful, the colour is natural and its non sticky.

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Foundation I use  one of these. If using the MAC  one I mix it with bb cream as I think it’s quite dry. The Estee Lauder Double Wear lasts for hours.

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And I am a fan of this also for help in looking less haggard and more glowy.

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I am a mascara whore. I have no brand loyalty and am again a sucker for advertising when it comes to mascara. I currently have about 12 in use. This is my current favourite ,Benefit- they’re Real  although it has a tendency to be a bit clumpy and requires careful application but when non clumpy it’s rather nice.

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See, I told you I know f**k all about make up. So instead I am going to recommend some skincare products. As I am free-falling towards 40, I finally realised I need to take care of my skin properly. These are the products I am currently love. If my skin looks good, make up looks better on me all with the long-term goal of achieving dewy,glowing skin lending the impression I have all my  of life under control.

Despite my initial derision I have become an advocate of the double cleanse. First the grime/make up is removed with some cheapo micellar water. Garnier do a big bottle for 4.50 you can get in Penneys or Boots have a nicer one in their botanical range which is cheap as chips too. FullSizeRender (5)

 

Then this.

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Everyone needs this in their life. Nia’s Calendula and Orange Blossom Cleansing Balm. It is sensational. Nia is Irish owned and chemical free and as soon as I run out of this and need to order more, I am buying their restoring moisturizer too. So the balm. It’s thick and smells like heaven. When I use it the smell calms me and I feel like I am in a spa, for that twenty-second feeling twice a day, its worth it alone. It comes with a spatula, you apply it, massage it in, then you use the fancy clothes it comes with to sweep the product off your face. Seriously, amazing. I have really dry skin and since using this my skin is so much more hydrated, I don’t even need too much moisturizer. Buy it.

This is my second wonder product. Nip +Fab No Needle Fix Serum.  A friend recommended a couple of months ago and it is another thing everyone needs in their life.

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Again it is an additional product like the double cleanse but worth it. You apply before moisturizer. Its light and I can feel my skin tightening a bit after application. My skin , particularly my cheeks, look and feels brilliant after using this for three months. It’s not an overnight change but it has definitely helped make my skin appear smoother. You can buy it online from  Boots, I haven’t seen it in store. It is currently half price, rather typically, as I bought a new bottle last week.  Buy it too.

I have also started using an exfoliation mask weekly but have yet to find one I really like. Hit me with a good recommendation and me and my soon to be youthful looking skin will love you long time.

With the addition of these two loves into my life, my obsession with moisturizer has eased. I have no real preference for a day time one once it has an SPF and is light. Night time, I am a fan of Elizabeth Arden creams-Visible Difference  and 8 Hour and regardless of the price if is says rehydrating or nourishing on the box, I will probably buy it. I am currently using samples from Kiehls with a view to purchasing but the Nia  mositurising products are my next buy. I use 8 hour Cream once a week and occasionally I burst an evening primrose tablet, mix it with lanolin ( yes the cream for sore nipples) and smear it all over my face before I get into bed. It’s  great if skin is very dry, really.

So there you have it. More questions than answers from a person who is never going to be a beauty blogger, who can’t apply make up properly but who has the cheeks of at least a 32-year-old. You can read all the other posts and actually learn something useful here  and if you have a product that works miracles and I need to have it please recommend it below.