What a deal!

What a find! Still on the subject of trains, Charlie managed to pick up a wooden train play table and a set of tracks including a few bridges and some useful connectors – and the best part was, he got it for free! Someone advertised online that they were giving it away, and so we jumped at the chance to get it. It’s the perfect size to house our collection of wooden tracks, and it rolls away... read more

Product review: Comparing wooden train engines

Little Man is currently OBSESSED with trains. Every evening lately, when I ask him what he’d like to play, his first answer is “Wanna play choo choos!” He got his first train set in May of last year – a small set we picked up in Tesco for about €12, with a bridge, some plain wooden trains, and enough track to make a loop with the bridge. Then for his birthday, Little Man got... read more

That was fun!

Last night was our first ever Boardgame Club meetup – I think it’s fair to say it was a success. We started the night with Cranium, which is always a great party game providing everyone is willing to act a little silly every now and again. We played in two teams – boys against girls. And of course the girls won – TWICE. After our second resounding win, the boys didn’t seem... read more

Boardgames for everyone

The other night we realised we own a crazy amount of boardgames. Well crazy when you realise that half of them require three players minimum, and Little Man is just a bit young to join in yet. So we decided to do something to make a bit more use of the games, and give ourselves a bit of a social outlet too. I put a message out on Facebook to a few of my friends to ask if anyone would be interested in... read more

A terrible mistake

I think I made a terrible mistake yesterday. I got carried away with all this talk of Lent and “giving things up” on the radio, and I decided to give up chocolate and crisps and desserts from now until Easter. What was I thinking? What’s worse is that for the past week I knew Lent was coming, so I may have overdone it a teensy little bit on the chocolate front. So the withdrawal is that... read more

Wordless Wednesday: Building a spaceship

“Oh my goodness – look at this mess!” I exclaimed! Little Man shook his head at me – “Is not a mess! Is my spaceship!” Why so it is, Little Man. Silly me! read more

A little spring cleaning

We’ve been clearing the clutter (and the cobwebs!) out of our house this past couple of weeks, and it’s just so refreshing. So I’m thinking it might be a good idea to do the same thing with my website. I’ve already made a few changes behind the scenes to reduce the number of plugins I’m using, and generally clean up the maintenance of the site. But I thought I’d turn to... read more

Feeling bored? Try a boardgame!

While reorganizing the clutter that constantly threatens to take over our little house, Charlie and I gathered up all of our boardgames so that we could store them all in one place. By the time we had collected them from the wardrobes, the sitting room and the office, we had quite an impressive collection built up. I think we were both a little shocked at just how many we have. Though when I think about... read more

Glitter and Glue

Arts and crafts with glitter and glue – also known as “how to entertain a toddler in three extremely messy steps”: Draw an “invisible” picture on a page with a glue stick Sprinkle liberally with glitter Tap the side of the page off the table to remove the excess glitter and reveal your masterpiece Little Man just loved this activity – especially the big reveal at the... read more

Product Review: Billy Winky Pillow

The Tessell Play Mat wasn’t the only big hit in our house among our purchases from (which we bought using a voucher for €180 that I won on We also got Billy Winky’s Child’s Pillow, by Dream Genii. Without a doubt, this was another splurge purchase, as a direct result of winning the voucher. But now we couldn’t do without “Billy the... read more

Wordless Wednesday: Puzzling Process

Evenings are a bit chaotic in our house during the week – crèche dash, make dinner, do laundry, tidy up, bedtime routine… It’s usually all go until Little Man goes to sleep at 8pm, and if we’re not careful, it’s all chores and no fun. So lately we’ve been making an effort to take back the fun times. Tonight was Thomas time with a whole bookful of Thomas jigsaws.... read more

My growing Pinterest addiction

Over the past few months, I’ve seen growing numbers of references to Pinterest online. It turns out it’s not a site you can sign up for directly…in a move guaranteed to promote a sense of exclusivity, and to tease my curiosity, the only way you can get yourself a Pinterest account is to be invited from someone who already has an account, or to request an invite. I requested an invite, and... read more

Back to basics

It’s been a tough week food-wise here at Chez Mama! Doesn’t matter what we serve up – even pizza that he made himself is refused by Little Man. Yesterday, I decided to dig out the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook and follow a few recipes for decent finger foods, in the hopes that even if he wouldn’t eat a full dinner for me, Little Man might eat some finger foods. I was all set to make our... read more

Blind as a bat

I’m just back from an eye test in Specsavers where I was told that I need new glasses. My eyesight has deteriorated slightly in my left eye and my current glasses are not a great look for me anyway – optician’s words not mine! I’m making it sound worse than it was – she was joking with me…I think. She warned me that 12 hours a day spent staring at computer screens and... read more

A budding chef?

Little Man is going through a fussy stage with food. So far this week, we’ve heard “I no like carrots”, “I no like meat”, “I no like dinner”… You get the picture. So I decided this evening to get him involved in making his dinner to see if it would get him excited about eating it. We made pizzas using some ready-made bases and sauce. Little Man spooned the... read more

Breastfeeding is bad for my health

I’m beginning to think that breastfeeding is bad for my health! Or at least the debates about breastfeeding in Ireland are! My blood pressure was through the roof this evening because of it! You may have heard that Friends of Breastfeeding held a protest at the Facebook headquarters in Dublin today. This protest was against a persistent problem on Facebook, where despite having a policy which states... read more

Guest Post: Planning a water birth

Today, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post, written by Maria Barker who loves discussing the various options during pregnancy, and how women make decisions from their first pregnancy symptoms. Planning a Water Birth Water births have had a popularity surge in the last five years and thankfully hospitals are beginning to accommodate for this. There was a temporary ban on water births in 2006 in... read more

Toilet Times

Week two of potty training is almost over so I figure it’s time for a progress report. This time last week, when I picked Little Man up from crèche, his carer told me that he was now day-trained as far as she was concerned. That tied in with our experiences at home in the evenings, so we were delighted. But of course, there are no absolutes when it comes to toddlers, and just as we were patting... read more

Lá Fhéile Bríde

Today is Lá Fhéile Bríde, St. Brigid’s Day. On February 1st each year in Primary School, I remember making St. Brigid’s Crosses in class. I didn’t have any rushes to make one of my own this year, but I saw this photo of a beautiful one on Flickr that I thought I’d share with you. It was taken by _SiD_. Happy St. Brigid’s Day everyone! And a big welcome to... read more