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The NO Machine

Posted on 29 June, 2015

Lately I’ve been finding that my sentences are a loop of nos,”don’t do that” and “STOP”. The vast majority of these exclamations are entirely justified. I’ve read numerous bits of parenting advice that suggest you don’t say No continuously to children instead you tell them what they should be doing. This advice goes straight out the window when Ewan “helps” me with the shopping by grabbing a packet of sausages and making a break for it. In seconds he has eaten through the cling film to get at the raw meat underneath. As I run after him I don’t have the presence of mind to think of saying ” Ewan remove the raw meat from your mouth and put the sausages in the fridge please” and instead “NNOOOO, Ewan stop it, for the love of god come back. Arrgghhh how did you eat cling film, Ewan they’re raw, yuck,Ewan come back, SSSTTTOOPP”.

I will admit that at other times there’s no risk to him and sometimes saying no is just a habit. A No often often involves less effort than a yes. But saying no constantly gets irritating for everyone, including myself. Last weekend we took a little holiday to West Clare and I tried to let some things slide and tried really really hard to say yes a little more often.

It’s not easy. There is always a whole host of things he wants to do and a whole list of things I determine we need to do instead. He wants to get out of the car, “Sorry but No we have to get there”. He wants to watch more cartoons, “No you have to go outside and exhaust yourself because we are going for another trip in the car”. He wants to eat everything, all of the time, “No because you might actually explode”.So my plan to say yes a little more often was beginning to seem a bit lofty.

We were staying in Quilty and had an awesome view of the sea. As soon as we drove into the village Ewan shrieked “bbbbeeeeaaacchh” and pleaded to go.  I said no and we went in to meet my friend and her family who were putting us up. Over the next day and half there was a whole list of reasons we couldn’t go to the beach. With places to go and people to see it added up to no beach. One afternoon we were coming back from another long drive and he squealed “bbeeeaacch” again. I replied with “Sorry we can’t go it’s raining but maybe later”. I knew once we were in there would be little to no hope of me leaving again. I had dreams of wine, chats and sitting but then I thought again. He was strapped into the car seat more often than not and wanted to go to the beach. It really wasn’t that unreasonable a request. So I zipped him into his rain suit/ mechanics outfit, hoisted on his wellies and off we went. I sat in my rain coat on a blown out tyre someone had dumped on the beach and he had the time of his life.



Saying yes to the beach in the wind and the rain might not be sensible option but despite the fact that I was still thinking about the wine in the fridge I loved every second of it.



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London Fog

Posted on 17 June, 2015

Recently blogs and supermarket brochures have been flooded with pictures of summer offerings of bbq food, cooler boxes full of beer ,bunting and ice creams. Despite the rise in temperature I must concede I’m not feeling the summer vibe quiet yet. This week I’m more likely to reach for a snugly cardi than I am to strip off to a bikini. I have no doubt that when my summer mood emerges I’ll throw off my cardi with great aplomb but for the moment I’ll share with you my found comfort drink.

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Last weekend we took a break to London where I ventured from my regular choices. When faced with tea options outside of Ireland I inevitably veer to the solid and trusty English Breakfast Tea. However, I am as susceptible to a catchy title as much as the next person so when presented with a tea option called “London Fog” I had to try it.

It has quickly become my snazzy warm drink of choice! I have been struggling with how to describe it and the best I can come up with is a fluffy cloud of frothy comfort. So if that sounds like something you could do with then please read on.

You will need :

A teaspoon of honey

Early Grey tea bag

Milk for frothing

Boiling water

All recipes I have found online use vanilla syrup or vanilla extract. My novice opinion is that Earl Grey tea has a delicate flavour and you don’t want to go trampling all over it with vanilla but I’ll leave that up to you.

First add your tea spoon of honey.


Next, add the Earl Grey tea bag and boiling water. I half filled the cup with the brewing tea. The ratio of tea to steamed milk is one you can play around with but equal parts of tea and milk works well for me.


While the tea is brewing it’s time to get steaming your milk. I used the steamer our coffee machine but if you don’t have one just warm the milk in a pot or in the microwave (don’t let it boil!) and get whisking.


Then just  keep filling up the rest of your cup with your warmed frothy milk.



Give a good stir to mix in the honey and sit back and be comforted!


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Posted on 11 June, 2015


I will declare openly  that there is an element of trickery to this post. I will show you a few flowers and fruit which I hope will lead you to believe that my garden could be quiet nice but in truth all hope is lost. When it comes to waging war on hip height nettles I simply don’t have the will to face them. As a result I am a garden refugee.  I have evacuated 95% of the garden and focus solely on growing delicious strawberries.


So far the yield is small (20 strawberries) but I have high hopes now that the sun has arrived. Ewan has named them straw-bee-berries which I find particularly cute. His love for straw-bee-berries knows no bounds! I have no idea how I will parent when the straw-bee-berry season is finished. At the moment any mood can be lifted with the question ” Will we go check if there are any strawberries today?”.

This generally receives an enthusiastic declaration of  “Exciting!” as he rushes off to try and put on his wellies. In truth going to check the strawberries involves me carrying him in one arm and an overflowing watering can in the other as I wade through the war torn land of nettles to the safe zone of the glass house. It all feels pretty heroic and like a big adventure into the wilderness!


Once in the safe zone he uses the full extent of his waiting ability. Yesterday he agreed that ,yes, we did need to wait for the straw-bee-berries to go red before we could eat them. He proceeded to pace  outside the glass house for 30 seconds or so and came in to declare “It’s ready now”. This was the face I was given when I explained that they might take a day or two to go red.


The slow pace of growth really doesn’t suit the nature of toddler life where a day may as well be a month. But despite the small yields and prickly path the quest for seeking out red treasures is one that’s still met with such giddy excitement that it makes me think gardening isn’t so bad after all. Especially if you just focus on strawberries and the occasional flower mix packet!




A week in numbers

Posted on 5 June, 2015

week in numbers



See how I dropped in (twice) that i was on the radio, as if I didn’t have a knot in my stomach before hand like it’s a thing I do. Yeah, that’s how I roll.

If you’re in the listening mood you can hear me talk about the post ” The real cost of being a stay at home mum” here on the 96fm podcast here. I am introduced at 36 minutes 38 seconds to be exact:)

Also in the interests of honest since I started writing this post at lunch time I have watched another half of an episode of Corrie and there have been more potty training accidents!