Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Traditions

We all have traditions that make Christmas special for our family.
When I had my kids I started thinking about traditions I wanted to start with my family.
Today I'm sharing some of our old and new traditions that we love doing every year.

School Holidays means pancakes in our house.
Chocolate chip Christmas shaped pancakes.
They love these.

Every year I sit down with a big mug of hot chocolate, the Christmas TV guide and a highlighter and mark off all the movies that we're going to watch over the holidays.

It's not Christmas until you've seen the big man in the red suit.
Little Man was in LOVE with Ho ho ho.
That's what he calls him.

One of my faviourite places to go every year is Listowel Garden Center. 
They have, hands down, the best Christmas display I have ever seen.
They transform the entire shop into a winter wonderland with every kind of decoration you can imagine.
Christmas Bliss!!

This is a new tradition.
I made up nice list certificates and letters from Santa for the kids.
Jasmin was over the moon to hear from Santa and to see she was on the Nice list.
I whipped up a little chocolate bar wrapper too just for the heck of it.
I found these adorable printab;le Santa letters on Pinterest.
Where else, right!?
They were so much fun for the kids to use.
You can read all about them here.

Christmas Cards for her school friends is a very important tradition for Jasmin.
Even though they are very time consuming, she would be devastated if we didn't do them.
What's Christmas without 30 plus hand written cards?

For the past two years we've gone to Jasmins Christmas show and It was the highlight of my Christmas so for this year.
She was an Angel.
But no ordinary Angel.
She put her heart of soul into every move and shake and sang her heart out.
She even  scolded me for not clapping enough all the way from the stage.
(apparently, trying to hold her brother up to see was NOT an good enough excuse)

The last tradition I love doing is my Christmas Eve box.
I fill a big box with new pj's for everyone, sweets, popcorn, hot chocolate, Christmas movies, and anything else that takes my fancy.
I'll be doing a post in that when I've got it made up, so keep an eye out for it.

Do you have any traditions that I missed out that I just have to do.
Share them with me.
I'm always wanting to add some more.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

My Favourite Free Christmas Fonts

I love Christmas!
Everything is just extra fancy.
Even Fonts.

I love making up printable and prints for around the house.
So, today I'm sharing my favourite links to my favourite FREE fonts.
I hope you enjoy using them as much as I did.

I've used some of these to make printables and cards for family.
I LOVE them.

Now go use them.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Naughty list warning : FREE printable

Am I the only one that needs to use the "Santa's watching" card.
My kids are good kids.
But when I'm low on patience and can't listen to the fighting any more..
I use it.

"You'll be on Santa naughty list if you don't stop...
Killing your brother.
Climbing on the table.
The list could go on.

I don't think it's pulling as much weight as I was hoping though.
So I made this Printable for all you moms and dads that are finding the same.

Nothing works better than a letter from the big man himself to get them behaving.
Yes, It might be a little naughty on my half but I could do with a little help if things get worse.

So, here you go.
Just right click on the image and save it to your computer.

(Personal use only)

Feel free to share it around or pin it.
I hope it works for you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A letter for Santa. Plus a FREE printable

I love this time of year.
The time we spend together as a family.
Making memories and starting new traditions.

I used to love writing my letter to Santa Claus.
The thought that the big man himself would be reading MY letter.
The excitement of it all.

My little girl loves fancy paper and loves writing little notes for people.
Even if you can't understand all of it. Ha!

I wanted to make it even more special for the kids this year.
I was going to try design my own letters for them but just didn't have to time.

So what do you do when you don't have time to be creative...
Search Pinterest, of course.

I found the cutest FREE printable over at
I've decided they are so cute I'm going to share some Blog Love with her.
She designed 5 beautiful Dear Santa letter templates.
A pink one for the girlie girls and classic red with Santa and reindeer.
I choose the Snowman and pink presents for my two.

If you haven't written you letters to Santa yet these are a lovely treat for the little ones.
Click here to find the one that's perfect for you little one.

Now, If I can just get them to decided what they actually want and stick to it.
Oh, the joys of being a parent.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Happy 6th Birthday

I cant believe that my little girl is 6 years old.
I remember the day I gave birth to her like it was yesterday.
The fear, the love, the emotions.

You are the one that made me a Mom and I will always love you.
No matter what comes, good or bad, I will love you.

Happy Birthday Pig.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Health and Fitness Friday

I'm back linking up with Jen from A Daily Dose of Davis today.

I've been finding it hard to get focused this last week. 
I feel like I'm chasing my tail.
I've not been blogging like I have been and it has to change.

Last time I was here I was talking about becoming a morning person.
I was thinking about how I needed to change my pattern of staying up late and feeling crap.
I can finally say that I am now one of those crazy people that get up at 5am to do stuff.
I've not quite managed to do anything other than computer work but at least I'm up.
Because I'm up so early it means I'm in bed early.
Like 9pm early.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes Caroline healthy, wealthy and wise.
I'm not sure that I'm going to get wealthy or wise but I'm felling alot healthier.

It's been a while since I did any kind of a workout.
Summer kicked my ass and not in a good way.
I found it very hard to do anything with the kids.
But we're back to school and a new routine and I'm finally getting used to it.
I'm starting back horse riding this month.
I've been doing it for nearly 20 years now but babies and life have gotten in the way the last few years.
I love it!
It's a great workout that doesn't reel like a workout to me.
It's my realise.
My way to escape.
I'm also looking for a good ab workout.
I need to strengthen my core to help me with my back ache.
So if you know any good workouts to help me out, let me know.

I'm buying a slow cooker.
It's been ordered and I hoping it'll be here any day.
It's really going to help me on the nights that we have stuff going on late or at the weekends when we're just too busy having fun.
I'll just stick it on and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
Only problem is what will I cook.
I need recipes to try out.
Do you have a fool proof recipe that I can tryout.
I'm a first timer and need help.
I'm also hoping it'll help with my diet and get me eating good food again.

And that's it.
Kind if a mix of everything today but next week hopefully I'll have more to add to the do section.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Tooth Fairy Prep: Top Tooth Fairy Ideas

Someone in our house has a loose tooth.
Stop! What!
How is it possible that I even have a kid old enough to be loosing teeth.
Where has the time gone?

I am NOT going to get caught out.
I'm getting prepared for this big event.
I'm putting together a list of my favourite Tooth Fairy ideas to help you get ready too.
I'm so nice. Ha!

I really like the idea of glittered money.
Who doesn't love a bit of glitter.
I'm just not sure if this tooth fairy can afford €5 for every tooth.
Maybe just the first one so I can get my sparkle on.

My friend Jen over at A Daily Dose of Davis has this cute shop, The Polka Dot Posie where she sells printables and a whole host of very cute things. 
She made this FREE Tooth Fairy receipt one for boys and one for girls.

I made up my own little receipts for when the time comes.

Hands up who loves cupcakes!
I don't really need an excuse to make cupcakes.
I love these toppers that I found here.
They're just what I need to make this occasion extra special.
Because we're on a budget I might try make some of my own toppers.

I love the idea of tooth pillows.
No digging around under the pillow for a tooth.
I'll be making one for Jasmin myself.
Keep an eye out for a tutorial.

Are you like me and forget everything.
I have to write down every little detail of what my children do so I can look back on it later.
I couldn't find anything I liked so I made this myself.
I can write the date that each tooth was lost.

I really cant wait for Jasmin to loose her first tooth.
She is going to be so excited.
I can't wait to put all my little magical finds into practice.
I'll keep you updated on the process. 

Thanks for Reading.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A New School Year and New Worries

My small girl is back at school with a week and a half now.
I couldn't be happier. 
I'm finally getting back into some sort of a routine and feeling less crazy by the day.
I love watching her walk into school.
She looks so grown up and has matured so much from last year.

Last year, her teacher was amazing.
She made everything so simple to understand.
Had simple homework plans.
It made everything so easy...
For me that is, Ha!

My daughter takes to new things like a duck to water.
She is unfazed by the new school year.
By a new teacher and classroom.
I, on the other hand, am very worried about making sure she does well.

Take Monday.
First night of homework.
I was in such a panic to make sure that we started off the year on the right foot, that I messed it up.
I got so confused that I ended up getting Jasmin to do the wrong homework.
"Mom of the year" right here people.
I thought the days of feeling pressured about doing good in school were long behind me.
I was wrong!
Thankfully, Jasmin didn't even notice how worked up I was.
I'm just hoping that I learn the new teachers ways and can stop the worrying soon.
 I don't need any more grey hairs.


Am I the only Mom that feels like this?
Am I mad to feel "peer pressure" to make my daughter do well?
Please tell me I'm not crazy!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Cow and Gate Fruit Pouches Review

When I was asked to review Cow and Gates Fruit pouches, I jumped at the chance.
We have been big fans of their products since my daughter was a baby.
She nearly 6 now.

I certainly wasn't expecting the fabulous box of goodies that they sent us.

Made of 100% fruit and full of vitamins these are a great first food for babies. 
One pouch contains 1 portion of fruit for a 1 year old and 1/3 of a small child's daily vitamin C requirement.
Every apple, pear and banana that go into these pouches is hand picked.
The bananas are even hand peeled.
Now that is what I call attention to detail.

There are six new flavours:
apple, strawberry & banana
apple & banana
fruit mix
apple & pear

My kids loved all of them.
It took everything I had to stop them from eating the whole lot in one go.

These little pouches are great for busy Moms. 
They don't burst in your changing bag when my son thinks it's a bouncy castle like pots do.
Nobody has time to be cleaning fruit out of changing bags.
You can give them to your kid to enjoy it on their own. So they are great for in the car on the way home from school when

the kids are getting hungry.

Although they are designed with kids of a weaning age in mind, they make a great lunchbox snack.
My daughter takes one to school every day for lunch.
I was very happy with the products and these two gave it a thumbs up.

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum's sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Back to School : The Hidden Costs

Some of the other bloggers over at the Irish Parenting Bloggers were talking about the hidden costs of going back to school. It turned out that between all of us over there, there was a huge difference in what we all had to pay. We have started a blog march were each day new blog post will be linked to the march.

Today it's my turn.

I wasn't sure how I would approach this. 
I mean how many times can you read about the cost of going to school.
But as I read the other ladies posts, I realise that we are all in different situations.

A lot of the Irish parenting bloggers live in Dublin or in bigger towns across Ireland.
I live in the countryside in Limerick.
The difference in what we all have to pay based on where we live was crazy.
Some of the Moms were paying a contribution of €140 per child per year.
We even have an Irish Mom in the US blogging about how the state pays for all there school books.

It made me realise that I am SO lucky with the school my daughter goes to.
There is no big payment at the start of the year. Nothing!

Here are the costs for me this year.
Photocopying : €8
That's the only thing that I will have to send in with herself on Monday.

Books : €40
I only had to buy 4 school book this year because of a book rental scheme, which made everything alot easier. This price also includes copies, project books, folders, pencils, twistables and a pencil-case.

Book rental : €10
The school are doing a book rental scheme for the English readers and one other book.
They are also offering to photocopy the first class book for one subject so we don't have to buy it.

Uniform : €30 so far
The only things I had to buy this year was a new jumper, socks and polo shirts.
Crested Jumper : €25, Shirts : €2.50 (Tesco) Socks : €2.50 (Lidl)
 The pinafore that I got last year is still perfect.
It was so big for her last year that I had to take it up 5 inches.
I'm just going to let it back down again.
Her pants are still fitting her but I will have to buy some later in the year.
I also have a winter coat and shoes that still fit her.
I'm not including these in the price for school as I would need these even of she didn't go to school.

School bag and Lunch box :€24

Total : €112

Some of the other costs through the year will be 
Art and dancing : €4 per week
School tour : €5 (last year)
Swimming: ???

I don't mind paying for these things. If I only have to pay €4 a week of these things I'm not doing too bad.
They would cost a whole lot more outside of school.

The school will have non uniform days and fundraising days through the year too.
I will happily pay for these too.
They don't set a donation price so you give what you can afford.

I love this school.
The school has been open since 1904
The past 4 generations of my family have gone to school there and I will do whatever I can to help out.
We have a newly built school with amazing facilities and teachers.
They have huge over heads and they are still doing whatever they can to keep the costs down for us.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not well off. I will find it difficult to find money for these things around Christmas. But I will make it work. I have to. I will do it for my daughter.

I am so lucky with my school in comparison to some of the other Moms and Dads out there.
I know that there are parents out there that are wondering how they will cope.
Families on social welfare will get €100 for children of national school age.
That won't even begin to cover the costs if you're child is starting school this year.

How does your school fit in?  Do you have to pay a huge contribution?
Can our government do more to help them out?
Let me know what you think!
 Leave a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Below is a list of the other Bloggers that have joined the blog march.
Be sure to go have a read of them.

Sunday, 25th August: The Clothesline – It All Adds Up

Monday, 26th August: The Mama’s Hip – Homeschooling haul and chatter

Monday, 26th August: Awfully Chipper – Back to school in America

Tuesday, 27th August: Learner Mama – Back to school – A costly business

Tuesday, 27th August: Office Mum – School Costs & The Double Income Contradicton

Tuesday, 27th August: Musings And Chatterings – Crests and costs – starting big school part 1

Wednesday, 28th August: Serious Wagon – Back to School Costs

Wednesday, 28th August: Dreaming Aloud – Changing Gear

Monday, 26 August 2013

Back to School Printable giveaway.

I've been wanting to do something like this on here for awhile.
So today is the day.
I giving away a Back to School Printable.
I've started designing printable and Nappy cakes.
I love being creative.
Today I am doing a giveaway.

With School about to start here in Ireland, I thought that a School printable was perfect.

I will print out a personalized version to suit you child's name and class.
Perfect for the first morning of school.
It will be delivered by post.
If you live too far away I will email you with the file and you can print it off at home.

What do you have to do to win this you ask?
Just use the rafflecopter below.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday Morning.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Pinterest round-up : Lunch Box idea

School is nearly here again!
I'm ready to get back into my normal routine.
One thing I'm really not looking forward to is Lunch.
I hate having to try and figure out what to give my daughter for lunch.
I need to give her something healthy and I want to change things up too.
I find if I give her the same thing every day
she gets bored ans doesn't eat.

So, in a attempt to be super mom I scoured pinterest for lunch box ideas.
And boy did I find the mother load of ideas.
So here you go, I give you...

<lunchbox ideas> <my country girl ramblings>

Easy Lunch Box Ideas from
Lunchbox Inspiration from
Lunchbox ideas from
Yummp Lunchbox Ideas from
The first Five Lunches from
A week of Lunches form
Easy School Lunches from
20 Non-sandwich School from
10 Non-sandwich Lunch Ideas from

There are so many amazing ideas in this bunch.
Amazing moms to have thought of them too.

I like to try make my little girls lunch special too and this is a favourite of hers.
So simple too.
I write little "I love you" notes on it or make smiley faces.
The other kids in her class love it too.
Makes her feel special.


This blew my mind.
I can't wait to try it.
I hate giving apples because they turn brown.
But this solves the problem.

I'm not as worried about running out of ideas not that I have found these.
I hope that you all find them useful.

10 more days!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How to create a blog signature

<diy blogging> <diy blog signature>
Have you seen those lovely signatures that all the top blogs have?
Did you ever wonder how they got them?
I have.
I wanted one with a long time.
I figured out how to this a long time time ago.
Today I'm sharing my "how to" with you.

And how did this" not so tech savvy" lady get it.... Google of course. :)
I goggled "How to create a blog signature" and clicked on the first site that came up.
Simple as that.

  My live signature is a free blog signature generator.
It has easy to follow instructions and a tonne of choices.
You can type in anything and make it a signature.
Prefect even if you blog anonymously .

When I was finished, I wanted to save the signature to my computer.
All you have to do is right click and save it as an image in your files.

I love how it turned out.
I love even more that I can go back and change it if I get bored.
I hope you find it as easy as I have.

Thanks for stopping by

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