Supporting Fellow Writers – Not Just a Princess

My Blogging Buddy Gavin Leonard from Not Just a Princess  blog is launching his Kickstarter campaign to get his gorgeous book series up and running today.

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Gavin wants to spread the message that little girls can be anything they want to be and that they should not be pigeon holed by stereotypes or gender expectations.

 

He says that the idea and “name for this little project of mine came from me continuously insisting that Jade was “Not Just a Princess” despite all of our family and friends telling me that she could be a baby model, or that she was like a little ballerina, or that she was going to break hearts! No one said she was going to win a Nobel Prize, or invent something amazing, or that she could be the President – and when I said she was going to be a Kung Fu Master or a Ninja, these ideas were dismissed out of hand.”

He says “Although I’m not necessarily against the Princess genre, I do think that the stereotype we are unknowingly projecting onto young girls can be very damaging. There might not be hard evidence to back up this feeling but whoever she wants to be, I want my little girl to know I’ve got her back!”

I couldn’t agree more!

And so the Not Just a Princess Books were created.

They are launching at 4pm today!  

And they are beautiful.  My two have been reading them daily since they got them last month.

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Mini-Me and Princess love these books

The large font is clear and appealing to younger readers and means that Mini-Me can read them by herself and she loves reading them to her little sister.  The stories are simple but exciting.  Jade finds herself in all sorts of situations and dilemma, and is helped efficiently by her friends, all of whom have skills required to deal with the problem.

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Read me a story

They particularly love the book where Maria helps. (I’ve told them she’s named after me, I’m joking of course, but Gavin has named the characters after the strong women he knows.)

The illustrations are beautiful; bright and colourful with realistic images of the characters.

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The books are Beautiful 

We love these books in our house and wish Gavin and Jade all the best with the their launch.

Oh!  And I have a set to give away on my Facebook Page so pop over there to be in with a chance of winning.

 

The girls were gifted these books by Gavin, but I was under no obligation to share or support his launch.  I am happy to support these books.

“Mam-Me Time” at The Silver Tassie Hotel & Seascape Spa – Review

The Silver Tassie Hotel has been a family favourite with my parents since I was a child. We’ve have many family events and two family weddings there. The Him and I have stayed many times and always delight in being invited to weddings or functions in their ballroom.

Once upon a time, this Mammy spent summers pulling pints behind the bar there too. Rightfully, The Silver Tassie is known as one of the gems of Donegal; a family run affair which can easily combines chic, country coziness with contemporary glitz and class.

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So when they invited my Mum and I to celebrate International Women’s Day with them at their Seascape Spa , followed by Afternoon Tea in their Conservatory, we were only delighted to say yes.

We had some of their Spring Treatments in the spa and then had an Amazing Afternoon Tea It was much needed after a few very busy weeks and we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon.

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The current Spring Specials

We arrived to the spa to a friendly and efficient welcome, where we filled out the usual forms and were shown to our changing room. Mum headed off with her therapist, Martina, for the Perfect Retreat which by all accounts, was exactly what it said on the tin. She said that the Indian Head Massage was the best she’d ever had.

Alison took me for my treatment which was the Voya Mindul Touch package. I’ve had many massages in my time; some good, some that left me needing physio afterwards. But this was wonderful. The hot stone massage was incredible. My neck and back were in bits when I went in. By the time Alison was finished working her magic, my back felt like warm butter.

I then stepped into the Seaweed Bath. I’ve had this in Seascape before and every time I sink down into the water, I ask myself why I don’t do it more often. I love the slimy feeling of the seaweed on my skin. I love the smell. I love the exfoliation of some of the weed and I love how silky my skin feels afterwards.

We were then shown to the relaxation room which had a selection of teas and fruit. A little bowl of sorbet was a lovely touch and very welcomed after the treatments.

The Seascape has it right on so many levels. It’s a boutique spa, intimate and calm. The decor is classy and subtle and the smells are a sensory treat throughout. They offer special packages throughout the year and can adapt many treatments for pregnant ladies. The therapists also specialise in treatments for people who are fighting, or have fought, cancer.

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Proper Bum Coverers!

Can I also say that they also have proper disposable Ninkernankers! Not the teeny tiny cheesegrater/dentalfloss type that are virtually invisible and therefore quite pointless. Proper comortable disposable pants, for all bum sizes. Very important.

What Mum and I both agreed on is that the spa is accessible to everyone. It’s one of the few spas where you don’t have to wear a swimsuit and can keep your robe on at all times, and so is perfect for women who perhaps don’t love the prospect of parading about in a swimsuit or bikini. The Seascape is dignified and subtle for anyone.

Yes, I know this isn’t an issue for all women, but there are many who say no to spa trips with friends simply because of the fear of having to get undressed or be semi-naked. If that is something that you can empathise with, try the Seascape. And bring your friends.

After our treatments, we went into the conservatory of the hotel where we were served a beautiful afternoon tea. There may have been enough food for 4 people, but Mum and I managed! The conservatory is spacious and elegant and the table setting was stunning.

Three trays of treats awaited. The bottom tray had open sandwiches; one with goat’s cheese and chutney, one with smoked chicken and one with smoked salmon and prawn. Divine.

Fresh, warm scones with jam and cream sat on the second tray, and the top tray had a selection of fruit, chocolates, profiteroles and sweet bites. The tea was served in a huge pot, perfect for Mammy Bear, and the coffee was so good, I asked for a second pot!

It really was a lovely experience and it’s right outside Letterkenny. We could actually see our houses across the Swilly while we ate our tea.

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Pinky Out

The Spring Specials are available all month and afternoon tea can be booked at reception on 0749125619.

And don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday 31st. This would be the perfect treat for you, or for the special lady in your life.

As stated, we were invited guests of the Silver Tassie Hotel, however as always, my review is my own. I was under no obligation to write it and my account of our experience is honest.

Mummy pages Plus – I’m an Advocate Mum

I have an exciting new club to share with you gals!

As you know, I don’t do collaborations or sponsored posts or the like, unless it’s a company that I genuinely use and like or I think that my followers are going to benefit from.

So when Mummy Pages Plus contacted me with news about their new platform for discounts, designed by Mums and aimed at Mums, with parents at the core of their plan, I liked the look of it immediately.

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I asked for more information and it looked good, so I signed up.  The annual fee is €60 and yet the first 100 to sign up will receive a pack of vouchers worth over €60. Mine came yesterday.  Here it is.

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Beautifully packaged with a little book too!

MummyPages+ is Ireland’s exclusive club for Mums, by Mums.

In their own words:

We’re on a mission to make family life even more rewarding by making great products and experiences that bit more accessible for you and your family.

We’ve hunted down discounts with lots of leading family and lifestyle brands and destinations around Ireland just for mums like you. 

By buying a MummyPages+ pack you’ll get one full year access to these exclusive rewards, not available anywhere else, and join our mission to help mums and their families thrive.

At present, we have well over €5,000 worth of rewards on the platform which, we hope – should be right up your street!

Many mums are reporting saving the annual cost of the card,  in the first few weeks of purchase!!

Get yours today, be part of a growing community of Mummy Pages Plus Mums around Ireland and start saving!!

I’m delighted to be an advocate for this new platform and I do think that if used right, Mums will find great businesses and services with exclusive deals for members.

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A screenshot of the app

They’ve already teamed up with some of the most loved household brands in Ireland and bigger brands are coming.

You simply sign up, download the app and sign in with your membership details and then you have access to all of the current deals and discounts.  You can clip the ones you are interested in for a specified time, and then use when you get a chance.

There’s also a dedicated facebook group which will keep you posted on the daily/weekly deals and help ensure that you are getting the most out of your membership.

I’m looking forward to using mine.  If you fancy having a look, check out their website.  You can sign up here.   Have a look and see what you think and if you think it’s something you’d benefit from, go for it!

(And if you are a parenting based business, or your audience is Mum, have a look.  I’m looking forward to seeing some Donegal businesses offering their discounts soon!)

Disclaimer: As a Mummy Pages Plus advocate, I received a discount on my own membership fee payment and will receive a % of sign ups through my #af link. 

But you know I wouldn’t recommend something that I didn’t think was worthwhile. 

Festive Tea at Harvey’s Point

Last Saturday, I was invited to join a handful of Donegal Bloggers at the official launch of the Festive Afternoon Tea at Harvey’s Point.

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It is available there from Saturday 1st of December, right through to January 6th and Oh My WORD guys, it is beautiful.

We were met with a Prosecco reception by an open fire.  From the first moment, the staff were friendly and attentive.  We then met the formidable lady behind this incredible gem, Deirdre McGlone,  whose passion for the hotel is infectious.   She is a lady and the love story which brought her to Harvey’s is deserving of its own book.  (Let me know if you’d like it written Deirdre!)

Carina and Sheila gave us an informative and fun history of the hotel, before taking us on a tour of it.

Ladies.  The Him and I have been lucky to stay in some of the loveliest and most celebrated hotels, both at home, and abroad. We do like our luxury every so often. We’ve done most of the 4 & 5 star “must sees” of London and paid the extra for some luxury in NYC.  But nowhere, have I seen the spacious luxury of Harvey’s Point.  Even the corridors are huge.

And the rooms? We saw both the basic suite and the Premium…each of which are approximately the same size as the downstairs of most houses.  They are beautiful. Massive mahogany framed beds and plush carpets, with the most spectacular bathrooms.

I can see myself sipping bubbles in one of the giant bathtubs very very soon. (And there are robes, which if you know me, you’ll know how important that is!)

The Festive Tea was then served to us in the main dining room.  The table was beautifully laid out and injected the first little flourish of Christmas Spirit into us.  We were greeted by the waiters who were looking after us, our napkins were flourished individually onto our knees (I love things like this!) and then they brought us our mulled wine.

It was divine; not too sweet and very mild. Then we had little cups of soup, before the main tea displays were carried to us.  I’ve never seen such a beautiful bundle of happiness inducing delights.  Sandwiches; egg and watercress and turkey, stuffing and cranberry – and I’m not talking a finger of one sandwich each.  Scones with clotted cream and fresh jam, Christmas pudding, Mince pies, Santa mousse bites, little cupcakes, smoked salmon bites, duck paté… Each bite nicer than the last.

Tea or coffee was topped up frequently.  The coffee was superb, unlike most hotel coffees which leave me longing for an Americano on the way home. This was smooth and perfectly roasted.

As bloggers most of us know the others from our online presence.  Some of us had met briefly at different events or launches, but had never really had the chance to speak properly.  I being of the geriatric blogger/Mammy variety, who invariably has to rush off from everything to collect kids, was delighted to meet and actually have time to sit and chat with these ladies.  It was a wonderfully unexpected perk to the day. The ladies were lovely; all ages, all styles of creator and yet all genuinely delighted to get to share a lovely afternoon tea.

The tea is €26 per person (€36 with Bubbles) but as Afternoon Teas go, I have never experienced one as beautiful as this.  The most impressive thing for me was the amount of food and the array of flavours; from sweet to savoury, but all delicious.

Carina and Sheila really did look after us and every member of staff that we met, seemed genuinely happy to be there.  Harvey’s Point might be constantly expanding and growing, but I can predict that the ideas of family and home which formed the hotel in the first place, will never be far from its heart.

Now, off I go to pencil in a Roseymantic Mammy and Daddy time with my Him.  I’m sure I have a weekend free in 2019.

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Mammy was an invited guest to tea in Harvey’s Point.  As always, my review is honest and my own.  I was under no obligation to post or write about the event or the hotel.  My views as my own. 

My Book Heroes – Review and Offer

Mini-Me is strong little lady.

She is determined and outspoken and incredibly bossy… but it’s been recently bothering us that her “leadership” skills are tending towards dictatorship.

In fairness, she’s grown up in a house where both parents are usually leading situations.  She sees The Him in charge in the gym, throwing out instructions and routines.  She sees Mammy in rehearsals, either calling out dance routines or directing the cast.  She sees us in charge of events we run and so maybe, our “get up and do it” example to her has been misunderstood.

Of course I want her to be a leader, but leadership has to be earned.  It doesn’t just happen over night.

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So I found this book at just the right time.

My Book Heroes allows you to created personalized story books where the main themes are Leadership, Courage and Determination.  You choose your own avatar for your child and can write your own dedication.

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Their own dedication reads “We hope every child sees the hero in themselves and we promise to bring you beautiful stories that inspire all kids to be the best version of themselves.”

Mini-Me LOVES it.   It goes through a lovely story where the main character has to help others solve problems.  It promotes taking steps to solve problems, inspiring others, communicating clearly and having fun as the key to being a good leader.

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It also shows how all of the characters have very different skills and talents and how their goal will only be achieved, if they all work together.

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Gorgeous messages throughout

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Lovely illustration

It’s nicely written, rhythmic and rhyming; and the illustrations are lovely.  Mini-Me loves having it read to her and she loves that it has herself as the main character.

These are lovely books and are available on their website. It’s easy to use and delivery was quick.  The quality of the book is lovely and it is fast becoming a favourite bedtime story here.

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I am working with My Book Heroes and so have a lovely 10% discount for anyone who orders through this link.

Just use the code SMUM10 at checkout and you’ll receive your discount.

#af

#reading