Thursday, 12 January 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 12/01/17

The hits for Jimmies last week were higher than they've been in 6 months! I'm guessing everyone is feeling it this January - IT'S NOT OVER YET.

Things that have rustled my jimmies this week include but are not limited to: 

1. Women's public toilets with no 
hook for your handbag!

2. The heating STILL not being fixed in the office

3. Arriving home from Parcel Motel to a text from Parcel Motel to say another package has arrived!

4. Feeling a little draughty walking through town, reaching down & realising 

5. The STARK difference between Obama's farewell speech & Trump's press conference hours later

Tell me, what's been rustling your jimmies this week? 
It's SO good to share...

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Doin' the Do like the Downton Dowager at Highclere Castle with a Trip to Bombay Sapphire to Boot!

Last October while wondering what to get Sue for Christmas I suddenly remembered that she said she really would’ve loved to come along with us when I brought 4 of my little ones to Highclere Castle in July, you can catch up on that post HERE.

Each year in early December Highclere Castle host a Christmas fair so it would be the perfect present well that and it meant I would also have to tag along! As it was her Christmas gift I wanted it to be a five star luxury break but my budget simply wouldn’t stretch that far as I had trips to Frankfurt, Birmingham & Lapland all within a few weeks. I also wanted to throw in a surprise trip along the way for her so I set about researching the best & most budget friendly way to get there using my old reliable Skyscanner for flights, hotel and car hire deal sites.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 05/01/17

I know I’m not alone in rejoicing in closing the chapter that was 2016. You would think that with this fresh start that my jimmies would be relatively unrustled, right? – YOU WOULD THINK!

In the interest of starting 2017 on an even keel, the habitual unrustling of the jimmies is back. Do yourself a favour & join in, won’t you?

In no particular order of pissiness this past week:

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Help Getting to Sleep: Catching Elusive Zs After the Christmas Break!

So we did it, we managed to survive the first official working day back of 2016. Or did we? Hands up if you looked at the clock every hour on the hour, hands up if you found yourself scrolling Instagram at 4am, while sleep eluded you... Fortunately, or unfortunately I only had a couple of days off for the Christmas break so managed to shake off my post holiday insomnia with relative ease, but judging by my timeline today others weren't so lucky. So here be my 5 top tips on how to beat insomnia and have you sleeping again in no time at all. 

1. A Long Soak 

Molton Brown Ylang Ylang: €12 HERE
There's a reason every Mama incorporates baths into babies' bed time routines and I'm a firm believer that the instant relaxation a long soak evokes never really leaves us. Whether it's a mental recognition of the routine or the hot water itself. It works. 

If you're not a bath lover, a hot shower is just as effective. I've been relying heavily on the Molton Brown smellies as part of my nod off routine, this Ylang-Ylang body wash in particular, though anything fragranced for relaxation will be just as effective. A long soak and fresh pjs. Heaven. 

2. Lavender Based Body Oil

Waxperts Body Oil: €12.99 from HERE
Originally marketed as a nourishing and smoothing post wax treatment, it was a while before I tried my Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil when the ladies sent it. I'm just not a waxer you see, tried it once, it was grand, never felt the urge to do it again. As with the Waxperts Wonder Pads (that I've recommended until blue in the visage) though, this oil is multi-functional and relaxation is just one of those functions. 

I slather this on, post soak and after my moisturiser and it gives a double whammy. Not only do I sleep easier thanks to the lavender base, but my skin sings hallelujahs come morning because the oil has upped the efficacy of my body moisturiser by a multitude. When I shared this oil on Snapchat this weekend I had a deluge of Snappers extolling its virtues too, that's not for nothing.  

3. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray: €19.50 HERE
Hints and tips aside, wouldn't it be nice to have a product that guarantees zeds in minutes? Let me introduce you to the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works - this actually works. I'll go one further and tell you that this should be labelled as chloroform in a bottle because within minutes of spraying its relaxing scent onto my pillow, I'm sound asleep. Every. Single. Time. 

Infused with essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile to soothe the body and mind, the pillow spray is completely natural so safe for use with restless kiddies too (proven by my nephew Séamus (9)). I thought originally that it might be a placebo effect, sheer coincidence that every time I spray this, I sleep, but then I bought it for friends. It works for everyone, every time. Wouldn't it be nice to buy sleep? Well tan-spankle-ah-dah - now you can.

4. Ban the Screens from the Bedroom

Let's be realistic, you've probably pressed YES to the next episode on Netflix from a horizontal position more times than you care to admit during the break, I mean you HAD to see what happened poor Steve Avery; but there's nothing that disturbs sleep more than the lure of screens when we should be sleeping. For me it's a vicious cycle, I think I'll drift off if I scroll a little or watch one more, but it has exactly the opposite effect. No matter how relaxed you are, when your brain is taking in information, it's awake. 

It took a while for me to part with my phone at bedtime, fooling myself with the 'but I need it for the alarm' excuse. Last weekend I bought a little battery alarm for €2 in Mr. Price and have made a concerted effort to leave the phone in my handbag and well away from the bedroom. The difference was almost instant. That and upon waking, instead of rolling over and scrolling notifications before checking every platform known to man, I now have a full stretch, and consider what I'll be inhaling for breakfast in the next twenty minutes. I can't tell you the difference that one little change has made. 

5. The 4-7-8 Sleep Technique 

Much like the pillow spray above, I was hugely skeptical about the 4-7-8 Technique until I tried it. Also like the spray above, the simple fact of the matter is This Works. The method is the brainchild of Dr Andrew Weil and uses mindfulness to not only slow your heart and lower your blood pressure but it stops your mind racing as you concentrate on your breaths. A natural tranquilizer. It might take a little getting used to at first but it's guaranteed to make you nod off in as little as 60 seconds - I KNOW! It's been a god send for me during bouts of insomnia and especially this past week. 

Now that we know that disrupted sleep patterns disrupt our hormones, leading to a slow down in metabolism and increased feelings of stabbiness during the following day, it's well worth taking a little time getting our sleeping patterns back on track. Especially if we're using January as a fresh start, fitness wise and trying not to flip office tables.  

Tell us, how was your first day back? Or are you home with little ones and living for schools to reopen? 

Any hints or tips for nodding off that you'd care to share? 
We'd LOVE to hear 'em!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Causey Christmas Experience

Over the past 10 years we’ve been to many Christmas experiences around Ireland and further afield, most years we do more than one experience over the festive season. We’ve been to Causey Farm Christmas Experience many times and each year it gets better & better this year we were invited down and I have to say they’ve outdone themselves. 

Where is Causey Farm?

Causey Farm is located in between Kells & Athboy in Co Meath about 40 minutes drive from Dublin or if like us you live near Athy it’s roughly an hour and a half drive. If you’re not driving you can take a Busáras bus to Kells & hop in a local taxi for the 5 mile journey to the farm.

What is Causey Farm?

It’s a family run farm that’s still owned and run by the Murtagh Family descendants of the local Kings/Chieftains of Co Meath. Today they are kings of their craft with three generations of the Murtagh family pitching in to make the farm a wonderful warm welcoming environment for young and old alike.

There’s always something to do on Causey Farm no matter the season, during the summer you can take the children on a Farm Experience day where you can milk a cow, paint a mural, participate in a bodhrán workshop, cut turf or just go bog jumping (how fun does that sound?!). They’ve lots of events and experiences to choose from on their website They even host hen parties and run the award winning Farmafobia in October; we haven’t been brave enough to visit that yet!

What’s Causey Christmas Experience really like?

Honestly?! It’s fantastic, as I said we’ve been a few times over the years but this year was the best so far. It’s billed as an hour and a half experience that guides you around the farm, where you’ll visit lots of places like the post office, the control centre, the elves bedroom and their workshop complete with lots of toys. Along the way you’ll get to meet a few farm animals, some you’re used to seeing on farms in Ireland others well let’s just say he had the hump all day! So be sure to bring comfy footwear, willies if you have them and wrap up warm.

Ground Control to Major Nick

There’s ample free parking available onsite, when you arrive be sure to check in at reception in the gift shop first then you’ll have time to run to the loo which is conveniently located in the front courtyard. I know I was glad to see the loo as my 5 little ones needed it after the car journey! They’ve a café onsite where you can purchase a range of delicious fresh homemade produce or just grab a tea of coffee to warm up.

I don’t want to spoil the surprises so I won’t tell you exactly what happens during the experience but I will tell you be sure to try the hot homemade mince pies which are served at the start of your journey around the farm, they are divine. As with all of these Christmas days out the staff/elves really can make or break the whole experience, the staff at Causey were fantastic and abundant, everywhere we looked there were lovely smiling elves ready to chat with the children. 

This year saw a few additions to the experience from previous years and it’s magical, I particularly loved the cottage with the roaring turf fire where we were regaled with stories old Irish traditions before the children got to make a wish while helping to stir the Christmas pudding.

It’s the first Christmas Experience we’ve been to that not only are you encouraged to take photos on the way around but they advise you to ask any elf to take a family photo of you, they’ll be happy to oblige. The only exception to this is when you’re with Santa; they’ve a professional photographer on hand to snap that special shot. 

Our visit lasted just under 2 hours as the children were having so much fun at snowball alley and the mirror maze. Sure there are little tweaks that can be made to enhance the visit like try to cut the wait time in the shop but really it’s nothing that’d put us off visiting again. I bought some fab decorations and blankets for the children in the shop as their prices are very reasonable. I would however have loved to be able to buy a Causey Farm ornament for our travel tree as a reminder of our wonderful experience.

How much is the Causey Christmas Experience?

Adults: €14, Children aged 2-12: €22, Toddlers aged 12-23 months: €8 & Babies 0-11 months are free of charge. 

We were invited so our trip was complimentary, it would have cost is €138 as we’re a family of 2 adults & 5 children. I feel this is a very fair price for the experience and the quality of the toys the children receive from Santa for those reasons we will be visiting again in the coming years.

Have you been to Causey Christmas Experience? What did you think?

(Edited to add: 
Huge thanks for all the messages about
our typo in the fifth paragraph, 
no idea how it slipped past both
of us but we laughed so hard that it's staying!)