I am Starving the Minions Mum

Is Mammy the ONLY Mammy whose minions spend the entire day either with their nappies sticking out of the fridge, or raiding through the cupboards?

This Fudgemonster currently eats 12 meals a day, not counting snacks hidden in secret stashes or cereal eaten off the floor. This was taken 20 minutes after her SECOND breakfast this morning. 😂

I’ve had to take the safety lock OFF the press which contains the bleach and chemicals. It is now on the fridge…

And it seems that there is a limbo or vortex of some sort between our house and next door. No matter how much they eat here, from the second they walk through the door of Granny’s, they EAT. Not only do they eat, they actually BEG. They whine as if they’re STARVING and scobe the food offered into them so fast, that the Grandparents most certainly exchange eyebrow raises over their starved little heads and genuinely wonder if I actually feed them AT ALL over in the torture pit of child hell that is my own house.

Poor unfed, unloved minions. Bad Mammy who never feed them. 😂

So now, with them going back to school and playschool for 5 full days a week, my biggest fear is NOT how they’ll adapt, or settle in, or survive without me… nope. I am seriously concerned that they won’t manage to ONLY eat at breaktimes and lunchtimes. I fear that they shall fade away without the constant drip of food from my poor, knackered cupboards. I expect the childcare facility to send me extra bills for all the EXTRA food that this doll will insist on eating every day.

I wonder if I should smuggle in some extra snacks in their bags? 😂😂😂😂

I am showing what I like Mum

Right Ladybelles.

You know I don’t DO the whole “Wow, look what X have sent me so I can tell you how amazeballs it is” melarky, but when I find or buy something that genuinely makes my Mammying easier, I must show you.

I bought these for Mini-Me starting school last year and then when Princess started childcare. Guys, these stickers are BRILLIANT. They survive dishwashers, washing machines and children in general!

I was so impressed, I bought MYSELF some for going back to school. 😁My whole classroom shall be labeled! 😂😂

I MIGHT actually consider THINKING about going to buy the uniforms etc now that I have these badboys to start sticking onto stuff… on Friday! I’ll do it on Friday! 😣

Anyone else use them? Or do you have any other BTS hacks for the Mammies this morning? 😘😘😘

#mynametags #notareview #genuinepraise 😂

http://www.mynametags.com @MyNametags

I am sipping bubbles in the bubbles Mum-Review of The Shandon Hotel & Spa, Donegal

​Shandon Hotel and Spa, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal.

The Him decided to finally whisk me off for a romantic break in The Shandon Hotel and Spa.

Since it reopened in March 2016, we’ve heard only gushing reports about it so have been very much looking forward to visiting ourselves.

We’re a fussy pair you know? When we do get a little time away on our own, we like exciting food, comfortable and clean surroundings and a little bit of luxury.  The Shandon gave us all this and more.

First Impressions:

Check-in was efficient and quick and friendly.  The foyer is beautiful; very tastefully decorated and perfect for relaxing with a paper or simply enjoying the amazing views of Sheephaven Bay.

Because we visited at Christmas, it had the added sparkle and romance of the Christmas trees and seasonal decorations; beautiful.

Our room was on the third floor. It was large, spacious and ever so clean. The bathroom was small but cleverly appointed, making excellent use of the space. Again, pristine cleanliness. (I love clean…did I mention that?) The window was massive, and like every room in the hotel, overlooked the bay and offered stunning views of the area.

Tea/coffee and shortbread, a safe and all the usual. The only thing I missed were robes, but no biggy.

​ (Our only issue on arrival was that when we got to the third floor, it became clear that there was major work/renovation being carried out upstairs. The noise was deafening. We checked with reception who immediately apologised and assured us that the workmen would be finished shortly and wouldn’t be starting until 10am the next morning. We were happy enough with this, but had we not been booked into the spa at 10am and had we been anticipating a lazy morning until Check out, I would not have been impressed. A small issue for us, but it might have beena disappointment for others, and perhaps we might have been made aware on booking that renovations are underway at certain times.)

But first impressions were good and we instantly relaxed, knowing that we were in for a perfect “switch off”.

Feed me Now!

The hotel bar is comfortable and cozy and has a full wall of window.

It seems that no matter where you go in the building, you are able to see the famous view. It’s wonderful. We enjoyed lunch in the bar and were treated to good conversation and excellent G&T by the lovely Gary.

There was absolutely no problem when I asked for a variation to the Gin menu. He was more than happy to accommodate Little Miss Fussy Knickers here.😂 After lunch, I ordered a glass of wine. I wanted a glass of Malbec, but it only came by the bottle. Gary suggested that he could open the bottle and have it in the restaurant for us for our dinner booking. This is the first time that I have ever been offered this in a busy hotel. We were hugely impressed, and true to his word, the bottle was in the restaurant for us when we arrived that night.

Lunch was superb. The menu is impressive and the wine list and gin menus are extensive. If you visit, you MUST try the Salt and Chilli Prawns. They were HUGE, perfectly cooked and subtly flavoured. The only other place I have had prawns that good, was in a seaside restaurant in Portugal. They were so good that I ordered them again for lunch the next day. The Him had Salmon which was also superb. (The Steak burger he had for lunch the following day was incredible too.) We figured that if lunch was this good, then we were in for a treat at dinner.

We figured right.

The service was perfect. The food was divine. I had a duck confit to start and Seabass (with more of those prawns!) for my main, followed by a Cheese board to match any I’ve had before. The Him had a Crab starter (yum!), a perfectly cooked steak and a lemon tart to finish. There was a sorbet between courses and the Guinness Bread to start was gorgeous.

(I don’t have pics of the dinner as we left the phones in the safe for the evening…imagine!? 😂💖)

The next morning.

Breakfast was excellent; your typical hotel breakfast, but again the standard was high, with lots of little touches like “Shandon Detox water” with lemon and cucumber and homemade smoothies. Very good.

Now!

The Shandon Spa​.

Oh!

      My!

          Word!

We had hoped to visit this on arrival, but it was fully booked. (Check with the spa for availability as early as possible to avoid disappointment.) In hindsight, it was a much better way to do it anyway as rather than have breakfast and head home, we felt like we had a second day away! We checked out after breakfast, threw the bags in the car and were in the spa as it opened at 10am. Again, it was superb; the Reception, the staff, the changing rooms (soooo clean! 😅) and atmosphere was  quiet, relaxing and gentle.

​ We were first into the Thermal Suite that morning.

Ladybelles, it is THE nicest spa I have been to in Ireland.

It is bright and spacious with a spectacular glass wall, again overlooking the bay. Jacuzzi, pressure/massage showers, tropical showers, a herb infused sauna and a little room filled with essential oil steam are only a few of the facilities. It is first class.

Sipping bubbles in the bubbles!

We spent an hour in the Thermal Suite and then headed out to the famous Hot Tub on the balcony. You know when you anticipate something for so long that it ends up a disappointment?

​ Yeah, well that did NOT happen.

We were brought two glasses of chilled prosecco and spent 20 glorious minutes sipping bubbles in the bubbles! It was baltic that morning; cars were frozen in the carpark; my wet hair was frozen by the time we got out; but we were toasty warm and afterwards, you can warm up on the heated marble loungers inside. The tub is magical. It is EVERYTHING I hoped it would be and EVERYONE needs to experience it.

We were then taken off for our treatments. The Him had booked the Spa Sensation Package so we were getting Full Body massages. My therapist was Rita and she was brilliant. The relaxation room offered fruit and water and more views of the bay. We stayed there for about 15 minutes before returning to the changing rooms. Afterwards, you can chill with a selection of teas and coffee in yet another room with sea views beside reception. There are also soft drinks, wine and prosecco available for purchase. What I loved most about this was the lack of rush.

So many other spas tend to want you to leave ASAP after your treatment. “When you’re ready” generally carries the subtext of “Hurry along now!”, but not in The Shandon. We could have sat there drinking tea and enjoying the view (yes again!) for as long as we liked. It really was the most relaxing few hours and I have it on good authority that The Him loved it every bit as much as I did.

Overall, The Shandon Hotel and Spa really is a jewel in the Wild Atlantic Way. It is beautifully appointed, well run and the food and service are equal to any we have enjoyed in any 5 star hotel, both at home and abroad. The spa is exceptional and the setting is perfect. And for us, the fact that it is only a 30 minute drive from home meant that we could escape for 24 hours and still be home quickly to the girls. 💖💖

We returned home completely relaxed and rejuvenated and ready to start the hectic New Year. For some quality time as a couple, it is the perfect location. We only wish we had been able to go over earlier on the first day so we might have gone for a walk on the gorgeous beach and had a look at the leisure centre and pool…

Next time!

We can’t wait to visit again, and might just have to make it an annual anniversary trip. (But I’m already planning a night with my Girls in February, because as romantic as it is, it would also be the perfect spot for a girly catch up, gossip and giggles and some first class pampering. Sssssh! I won’t tell Him just yet! 😂💙)

Congratulations to the Shandon team on creating a magical hideaway, right on our doorstep.

If you’d like more information, here’s their website. http://shandonhotelspa.com

And find me on Bookface @the.s.mum for polite and shy daily musings about motherhood… 😂

The Shandon Hotel and Spa gets a Super 💋💋💋💋💋from The S-Mum!

 Please note: I write this review simply because I feel like it and because the hotel deserves it.  We paid for our stay in full and I have no ulterior reason for my gushing, other than having had a wonderful time.

I am Shopsy Mum

​Well feck-it-up Friday was FABLIS!
Today’s Mummy wins were:

1.  Keeping everyone in one piece, fed and entertained.

2. Not getting puked on.

3. Princess SLEPT for the 2 hours we were shopping.  And No, I didn’t put wine in her bottle. 🤗

4.  Only making very animated faces behind Mini-Me’s back 3 times before bed.  😲

5. Getting same Little Miss “I DON’T LIIIIIIIIKE CHICKEN!” to eat a big bowl of CHICKEN by blitzing it up with bolognese sauce, calling it LAVA and pouring it over a pasta VOLCANO! Oh, and calling it Secret recipe lava helped.  She DEMOLISHED it! 😂👇👇👇👇👇👇

In fairness, the only thing I fecked up today was my credit card. 💳💳💳
I went to McElhinneys with my Mamma Bear and accidentally fell into some clothes.
I got a few bargains actually…a few teachery type bits to make me feel a bit of fab when I mix them with the old faithfuls from Penneys! #penneysbest
Then I ACCIDENTALLY bumped into the Chanel Counter and I felt SOOOOO bad that I had to buy shiny tiny little black boxes filled with shiny tiny but very FABLIS little pots and bottles. 

 (Sssssh! The Him🕵does Not need to know this.  It’s our secret K?)
S-Mum shall face the HELL of going back to reality with a shiny “Chaneled” face and smelling of aromatic floral bouquets of very spensive orchids and peonies or pee-the-beds or whatever.
It’s all still sitting in the little tiny bag on the bed because the packaging is WAY too exciting to open just yet.

Seriously, that little white bag has SERIOUS magic powers.

It really has helped me to feel better about going back to work. (And not just because I am going to need wages again to pay for it!) 😂 
I know I’m supposed to say things like “The only jewels I need around my neck are my children’s”, and “The prettiest thing a mum can wear is a smile or her baby or whatever.”

But sorry Ladybelles.

Feck that…
Sometimes I NEED the tiny roped handles of a tiny but crisp and structured white bag with one little word in divine black font around my wrist.

AND nice smelly creams can REALLY help with the pretty!

 I SWEAR I look 10 years younger ALREADY and I haven’t even opened it yet!
Now, speaking of aromatic floral bouquets, Shiraz or Merlot? 🍷🍷🍷
Share your Mammy Wins today? Or go ahead and tell me how you Fecked-it-up! 
I am SHOPSY MUM!

😍😍😍

#SMum #mcelhinneys #ballybofey #mammyheaven #chanel #sprayme #regretittomorrow

I am Sweeties-Mum

tonguesweeties

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“Sveeeeeeeties!” she screams, sounding suspiciously like the Grand High Witch in Roald Dahl’s Witches.

“You can’t have sweeties for breakfast Silly Billy.  Would you like toast or Shreddies?”

“COCOPOPS!!”

“What about French Toast? You can crack the eggs for Mammy.”

“COOOCOOOOOPAAAAWPS!!!”

“Do you want to crack the eggs?”

“Meeee cwack the eggses!  I wub Fwench Toooast” – and just like that, I win. No row, just distraction. I’ve kicked the sugar craving in the arse.

cookies.chocolate.bowl.13

But where, oh where does it come from? At what point did I teach my little girl that sweeties and chocolate covered cereals are the ultimate prize? How is it that she knows what to say to wind Mammy up in the morning?

We’re a pretty healthy family.  We try not to eat overly processed foods.  We eat a varied and balanced diet of good food and tasty treats. Mini-me has been eating the healthier versions of cereal since starting on solids, and her favourite breakfast is in fact Shreddies.

She gets sweeties and ‘choc-choc’ as a treat.  We do reward good behaviour with a sugary treat…gasp!  But to her, a raw carrot or cheese and grapes is also a treat.

We thought we were doing it right. We thought that we were teaching her to love healthy food and to see Sweeties as occasional treats.  When I offer her diluted juice, she prefers water or milk.  She won’t drink fizzy drinks; her choice.  She loves fruit and breadsticks etc.  We’re doing ok.

So how is it, that when she feels mischievous, she knows to ask for chocolate covered cereal which she knows we don’t buy?

Well, probably because she had them once while on a sleepover, and loved them,  What child wouldn’t? It’s chocolate in a bowl…for breakfast!?

She also had great pleasure in throwing poor Granny under the proverbial bus one day “Granny gave me cocopops” she announced as we pulled into Granny’s driveway.

“Did she now? And did you like them?”

“I wub Cocopops”

Of course she does!

Listen, I get that people are happy to let their kids eat chocolaty breakfast cereals.  I have no problem with that.  It’s none of my business what other parents feed their little darlings.

We just choose not to give them to ours. That’s our prerogative as her parents.  We know we can’t control what she eats all the time, especially when she’s with other people, but we can influence what she perceives as good food or as a treat as she grows up.

People don’t agree with us. Sure there’s no harm in them.  My kids ate them and they didn’t do them any harm etc... Yes. Ok.

But we just don’t want to give them to her as an option.

Breakfast is one of the few chances we get to ensure that our little darlings leave the house ready for their day.  If we want to make sure that they are fueled with goodness, rather than with sugar, that’s OK too.

I can smell the sweetie irony though.  By offering sweeties as a reward for good behaviour, we’ve actually taught her that the sweeties are something precious and special.

So it’s absolutely my own fault now that she expects them as a reward for good behaviour.  It’s absolutely my own fault that she sees sugary treats as the holy grail and would chose the chocolate bar over the plain biscuit.

Of course it is.  But sure I would too.

As an adult, I have my own relationship with food.  I love it.  Eating is one of my favourite things to do. I love a bit of chocolate.  I love the odd sweetie. I eat well and I’m active, so these devilish treats are fine.  As is everything in moderation.

And that’s the key.  Moderation.

sweeties

She likes sweeties.  She likes chocolate.  So what? Who doesn’t.

She likes her good behaviour to be verified with a treat, so, I’m making an effort to replace these “rewards” with non-sweets from time to time.  Her craft box full of feathers and glue is now offered as a reward for being a good girl. Or I let her watch Minions (again!).

And sometimes, I’ll just reward/bribe her chocolate. Sometimes I’ll offer her sweeties. Sometimes, I’ll share the sweeties with her, (but never with Daddy!), just because I can.

And yes, sometimes I’ll give her sweeties when she asks for them…but not for bloody breakfast!

I am Sweetie-Mum 🙂

sweeties2