Event slider working moms event

Are you heading back to work after maternity leave or just struggling to find a balance between work and home? Are you starting a new career or even just thinking about returning to work? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Eumom’s Next Steps event is for you!!

This event is the first of its kind in Ireland and I’m delighted to be presenting it alongside some truly inspirational women like journalist and author Emily Hourican ; owner of organic baby food company, Organic Little One, Niamh O’Dwyer; lawyer & CEO of Swim Ireland, Sarah Keane; and politician and working mom Lucinda Creighton.

There will be a series of hands-on workshops from LinkedIn, Mumager and to provide guidance and support if you:

  • are returning to work from maternity leave or perhaps a longer career break.
  • are looking to change career or upskill.
  • would like to start your own business.


Tickets can be booked on Eventbrite at:


Attendees choose 2 workshops , one from each section below.


Workshop A Choice (10.45- 11.30am)

Choose one of the following:




If you’re questioning whether your CV would pass the recruiter test, then don’t miss our comprehensive CV masterclass with top interview tips that will have you prepared and confident in making that crucial next step on the career ladder. Hosted by mom and founder of, Orla Donagher, Orla facilitates workshops for Job seekers and also for Employers. She has contributed to articles in Stellar Magazine and has appeared as a career coach in the RTE 2 series “The Unemployables”



Want to start your own business but unsure of the first steps to take? This talk will explore everything from exploring an initial idea, taking action and following it through to completion. Hosted by mom, Pauline Sargent, Pauline been running Social Zavvy a digital communications business for the last five years. She also founded DigiWomen in 2012 for female makers and users of technology. DigiWomen was chosen for the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program this year. Her mission in life is to make it easier for more women to set up their own business.



We all have to have them – whether it’s a conversation with your boss about flexible working, or asking your partner to help you more at home.  Discover how to deliver your message so that the other person listens – and feels compelled to change their behaviour or take action. The working mom experts, Mumager, show you how in this pro-active workshop.


Workshop B Choice (11.55- 12.40pm)

Choose one of the following:


Mom of two, Abi Williams of LinkedIn presents ‘Super charge your career using LinkedIn.’ This workshop will showcase the power of leveraging LinkedIn tools to suit your needs and advance your career to the next level. Whether you want to keep on top of topical work-related news and in touch with work colleagues while on leave, or optimise your professional brand image, Abi will show you how. Abi is a sales professional and business leader who is passionate about developing people and helping others achieve their full potential. She’s been at LinkedIn for over 2 years and fully believes in the LinkedIn vision of “Creating economic opportunity for everyone in the world.”



Wracked with guilt over being a working mum?  Or feeling guilty because you don’t feel guilty?  Find out how to get a grip on your guilt and feel more proactive.  In this module you’ll explore practical things that you can do to take charge and reduce how guilty you’re feeling. Our talented Mumager experts will be your guide in this super-helpful workshop



Do you know what your entitlements are as a working parent? Would you like to have a more flexible work schedule or more understanding colleagues? In this module we’ll explain how to get what you want from your employer and colleagues.

– See more at: Inspirational Working Mums

Full details on:

Eumom Next Steps Working Event

Read Sharon Tighe’s (eumom) article here:

Positive Next Steps Working Parents Ireland

I hope to see you there

Ali xxx

I caught up with Jason Vale a couple of weeks ago and he shared a couple of great tips about juicing. If any of you are fans of my Facebook page you will know that I’m a huge fan of both juicing and blending.

I kept getting mails asking about the difference between juicing and blending and also for some of my recipes so here’s a full page that I did as part of my minding mum series with the Daily Mail. Enjoy xxx

ALISON week 4 minding mum jpeg

As you will know by now I’m a big fan of doing a lot of little things to keep healthy. By this I mean eating well, exercising, meditation, keeping a gratitude diary every day and, much more. The trick is to find what works for you and everyone is different. As a busy mum my nutribullet has been a lifesaver as sometimes I simply don’t have time to juice in the morning and my nutribullet is just so easy to clean but there is a difference between juicing and blending and a nutribullet is a blender.


The main difference is that juicing removes the pulp and extracts most of the liquid nutrients and water from the fruits and vegetables. Blenders pulverize the whole produce making it into a smoothie. The pulp is what is called indigestible fiber, which has no nutrient content but is essential and very important for a healthy diet. It helps to keep your digestive system and gut healthy and it also slows down the absorption of sugar which is why you should not juice a lot of fruits together as the sugar will get absorbed quite quickly leading to your blood sugar becoming unbalanced which causes mood swings and believe it or not energy loss!


The trick is to use mostly vegetables when juicing or blending. When I’m juicing however I always notice how much more produce I go through so as Jason Vale says juicing really is “a nutrient express”.


“Mum I need to go to the toilet”, eh you just went! “I’m really thirsty” eh you just had water! “I’m afraid a lion is going to smash through my window” eh we don’t have lions roaming around. “Oh really mum do you guard the zoo!!” Anything to avoid sleep and then “I don’t like you because you’re mean because I want to watch ninjas!” Even after all this I have decided to keep him.

tearing my hair out

Actually it was comforting on Sunday night to post this on my Facebook page ( and the support of other parents going through the same thing was great. A lot of the comments made me laugh which normalized what I was going through. I was cursing Christmas, sweets, late nights and alcohol however only two days into my new year cleanse the cloud is lifting, oh and I took James ninjas off him last night and kept them for 24 hours. This was an incredibly hard move for me to make. I have been told many times by Joanna Fortune, Parent child relationship expert from Solamh not to threaten if you don’t follow through.


Well obviously I’m guilty of the above as I’m human and I find every sentence coming out of my mouth sometimes a threat. You can’t have a treat, you can’t watch cartoons, and you can’t go on your play date if you don’t do this or that! But yesterday I just did it I took them, my heart was palpitating with a mixture of excitement and bravery (yes my son is four and I’m the adult) but I followed through and a miracle occurred. Not straight away mind you but after also confiscating his swords later in the day. He asked when he was getting them back and I said “24 hours”. “Ok” he said and then returned a while later asking what 24 hours was. So feeling a bit stupid I then explained in a way a four year old can understand. I told him that he would wake up go to school and come home and then he could have them and I just couldn’t resist, I finished the sentence with “but only if you’re good tomorrow” I imagine by his reaction that the duration of time I had explained sounded like 55 years in adult terms. He reminded me of Kevin’s shocked face in Home Alone.


I almost felt sorry for him till he called me a meanie under his breath. I let this go and thought about my own parents and the fact that they both survived my childhood and believe me I was much worse has given me great hope for the future.




I asked James to go to sleep tonight after his story and after he came into me about five times I very calmly said do you want me to take your ninjas again? Gone quick as lightening!


Now I’m not naive enough to think my child will behave like this all the time. He’s four, he’s challenging and seemingly that’s part of the deal when you become a parent. I would personally like to know who made that deal with the powers that be.




If I hear one more time ”if they are challenging you and pushing the boundaries then they are doing their job”. Hell I’ve even used that line on my shows! Oh James is definitely doing his job alright he wouldn’t even have to do an interview. You’re hired, come straight through and well done I see all your mums hair on the floor!


So as we settle into our routine again I find myself wondering how I’m doing at my job. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong but one thing I am learning for certain is that as a parent sometimes I’m afraid to do things that might make my child dislike me. I know this might sound incredibly stupid to a lot of you but maybe being a single mum I want him to be happy and feel loved but what I’m also quickly learning is that by disciplining him and creating those boundaries he might not like me for a while but he’ll hopefully love me forever.


Here I give a short description about what I learnt over the years on my long road to recovery from depression about what works for me. Some of it may help you if you or anyone you know suffers from any mental health issues. I really hope it can help in some small way xx



Q: I’m so tired since the  arrival of my baby and I’ve  heard you talk about the  benefits of a good diet. Can  you share some tips?

You’ve spent the past nine  months looking after yourself  better than ever before. When  the baby arrives nearly all  new Mums tend to neglect  themselves as all the focus is  on this precious new bundle.  Your body has gone through  enormous changes and will continue to go through  changes in the weeks after  you give birth. It’s for this  reason that you need to eat well and look after yourself better than ever so that you remain healthy so you can cope with being a new Mum.

If you’ve had a C-section or stitches vitamin C will help you heal. Citrus fruits and kiwis have loads of vitamin C. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron, which will help with energy levels. A bowl of porridge in the morning will set you up for the day. Oats are rich in iron, calcium and magnesium that are vital for your depleted mineral stores after labour. If you’re breastfeeding you’ll need lots of calcium for your baby’s bones and teeth and eating yogurts (or green leafy veg) is a quick and convenient way to get calcium.

One thing a new Mum has very little of is time so you need to find foods that are convenient. I remember going through most days forgetting to eat until someone put food In front of me. This is something a family member can help with by preparing meals and helping with shopping in the early days.

Eskimo3-cap-CMYK-RWH_3800I would recommend taking the ESKIMO- 3 Omega 3 with vitamin E supplement, which will help ward off the baby blues, and also a good Vitamin D supplement, which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth.

eskimo_brain_caps vit dEskimo also do another one that contains Vitamin D so you can kill two birds with one stone!!


You need to eat protein to help repair your cells. Snacking on nuts and seeds is an easy way to get some protein or eating lean meats like chicken. Scrambled egg on toast for a snack is also packed full of protein and energy and make all your bread wholegrain instead of white. If you’re having toilet trouble post birth eat and drink prunes. Prunes were my savior and I’m sure all you new Mums know what I mean!

Top Tips:

1: Make life easy and eat nourishing food that’s convenient. Take your Omegas and rest when you can.

2: Tryptophan rich foods like bananas, turkey, spinach and eggs will help you sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces calming hormones that slow down the brain and make you sleepy but need to be eaten alongside carbohydrates to access the brain so banana and toast is a perfect combo.

3: is an amazing new company for new mums who want nutritious meals tailored for them post birth.They have a package for new Mums where they can train and have their perfect food delivered for a month or 6 weeks, depending on what they want.  They also have hampers for new Mums and Dads of good, wholesome, nutritious dinners. Just what you need after baby comes home! email emma 

Outdoor Summer Hazards


baby sunbathing


The sun is out; whoops it’s gone again!! Well welcome to the Irish  Summer. But on a positive note getting your babies and kids outside is so  important. James ate everything in sight so everything was a hazard  including pebbles, barbecues, poison berries, water and the list goes on.  Your first thought is to get them back inside to safety where you have every  cupboard locked tight, every corner padded and stair gates that block all  escape routes to danger.

However, after a very long winter a few simple precautions will allow you  to enjoy the alien yellow object that appears as if to tease us sometimes in  the Irish sky.

Keeping our kids hydrated and protected from the sun is one of the most  important things to remember during summer months. I love the  Hamilton range of Sun creams, as they are suitable for all the family and  especially kids with sensitive skin. The snoozeshade for your buggy is  also fab for the summer months as you’re baby will be protected and won’t  overheat in the buggy. Make sure they always wear a sunhat and suitable  comfy breathable clothing. Be careful not to leave creams or insect  repellents lying around as some liquids and oils contain liquid  hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition,  irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the  substance into their lungs. This is obviously extreme but a real danger at  the same time. Child resistant caps are a must throughout your house and  garden.

Beware of poisonous garden plants like rhododendron, deadly  nightshade, azalea, rhubarb leaves, lily of the valley, hyacinth, privet,  foxglove, delphinium, laburnum and yew that are known to be poisonous.Also beware of plants with thorns or spikes. These can cause a lot of pain if your baby falls face first into them. Teach your child not to pick flowers or plant parts and keep your baby away from them.

Please be careful near water as drowning is quick and silent. Young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in headfirst and sink to the bottom like a rock. A child who’s underwater will lose consciousness after two minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes. Never leave your child unattended for any length of time near water.

TOP TIPS: (bottom section)

1. Stay aware and never leave them unattended

2. Even after the barbecues go out the coal remains hot so watch those little fingers

3. Don’t let them put soil in their mouth at it could contain dog/cat feces which contain harmful parasites

4. Make sure there are no holes in the fence and keep the gate locked

5. Make sure surfaces around swings and slides are cushioned and bolts are safe

6. Be careful of lawnmowers around children

7. Always make toddlers wear helmets on scooters and bikes

8. Be careful of open windows in the Summer and don’t leave anything near them that a child can climb onto


Theres nothing better than starting your day the right way. Porridge is quick and easy and a simple way of adding extra nutrition is to add your favourite fruit and some sprinkles (James word not mine) and we change our sprinkles every day. Today we chose Linwoods flaxseed with bio cultures and vitamin D.

The vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and grow and maintain strong teeth and bones. Omega 3 is an “essential” fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own. The sprinkles also provide calcium, iron and zinc and can be added to any food at any time of the day including yogurts, baking, scrambled eggs and much more.

Flaxseed is considered by some to be one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence from studies that it may even help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. This teeny tiny seed has been around for ceturies in fact it can be traced back to Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it!!! Imagine a law requiring you to do something healthy (now thats a thought) Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say we have preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected so give it a go. It certainly can’t hurt

Would love to hear what you think so please comment below,

Thanks Ali xxxx

photo 1






photo 2

brekkie face

linwoods brekkie


placenta-picture-d-300x240 PLACENTA encapsulation only came to my attention recently through Lisa O’Leary from I also have a friend who drank     her placenta in a smoothie because of the post-birth health benefits.

It can lead to an increase in energy and in the amount of milk produced. It can    also slow down or even stop postpartum haemorrhaging. This leads to an  overall faster recovery post-birth.

In my opinion we are pretty much kept in the dark when expecting our first    baby here in Ireland. If I was blessed with another baby, there are so many  things I would do differently, including getting my placenta turned into  capsules.

Having suffered from postnatal depression first time round I would try everything to help prevent it. Consuming the placenta in raw smoothies or in capsules allows the mother to replace the essential nutrients and hormones lost during birth and it may entirely prevent post-natal depression.

Studies have shown that the symptoms of post-natal depression are linked to a severe lack of essential nutrients such as vitamin B6 and the hormone CRH (the stress reducer hormone), both of which are in plentiful supply in the placenta.

The placenta itself has long been thought of as a magical part of the creation of a baby as it physically connects the mother to the unborn child, feeding essential oxygen, nutrients and vitamins to the child.

During and after the birth, women lose one eighth to one tenth of their blood supply from the bleeding wound which is left inside the uterus, where the placenta was previously attached for nine months.

It’s believed that if you consume the placenta, you can make up for this loss as it provides the new mother with essential fats, protein, vast amounts of iron, and essential hormones which help to heal the wounds and help the body recover.

The benefits of consuming the placenta are now being rediscovered and scientists are beginning to study placentophagy. With this in mind, you should try to deliver the placenta naturally and keep it safe until encapsulation. Many of the hospitals now regularly administer an artificial hormone-based injection, Syntometrine, to speed up the third stage of labour and the delivery of the placenta, especially when the baby is being delivered by Caesarean section.Dried placenta powder was recognised as a potent medicine in Europe for centuries and was used to treat and cure many ailments, mostly related to birth. However since the late 19th century most natural birthing methods have been replaced by modern techniques and, as a result, traditions were lost.

You should see if it’s possible to avoid this to prevent artificial hormones presenting in the blood and the placental tissues.

However, the Syntometrine injection does not prevent you from benefiting from placenta encapsulation nor do Caesarean section births. I recommend researching it fully through on It generally ranges from €150 to €300 per encapsulation. Some specialists are able to offer a discount for those in financial difficulties — so do ask for details.





James chia bia

I’m always looking for easier ways to slip healthy habits into my life. As parenting is a constant cycle of guilt as well I’m always worried if James is getting enough nutrients and a well balanced diet. I’m self-employed and always running from one place to the next. (Violins please) I try to eat as healthy as I can but I skip meals and then eat junk in the evening because I’m so tired and want an instant fix.


There are a few changes that I have introduced which have had an enormous effect on our diet, mood and behavior. We now sit at the table each morning for breakfast instead of switching on the TV and handing James a bowl of cereal in an effort to keep him quiet while I run around like a headless chicken achieving very little other than making myself stressed and starting the day off saying “quick Mummy’s in a rush”. When your three year old says “Mummy you’re always in a rush” you know you have got to make changes.

It’s been fascinating to find out how appalling I am with time management. James is up at 6AM so what on earth was I doing with my time. Then I realize (like its news to me) that I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Yes I said it.. First thing I do is pick up my IPhone and scroll down my timeline to see what random people who I haven’t spoke to for 10 years are doing!! Now I do it when I’m in bed at night. Big difference I hear you say but I can justify anything to myself and now I am spending quality time with James in the morning and we’re both having a good breakfast. As I pat myself on the back for thinking I have figured out something unique, amazing and wonderful my friend who’s a mother of 3 announces she has always done that and couldn’t believe I used to sit James in front of the TV and give him breakfast. I won’t be telling her that I still do it at the weekends then!!


As you can see from the picture James is clutching his favourite food. It’s called Chis Bia and we have mixed it into cereal, salads, yogurts and shakes for well over a year now. If I baked I would also put it into the delicious cakes I would make. Chia Seed is great for your Heart, Mind & Body. If you’ve heard of Flax, Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds you have to meet Chia, as Patrick Holford says it’s ‘The best all-rounder’

Dr. Wayne Coates rediscovered Chia seed, an ancient food of the Aztecs, in 1991 after it had disappeared from common knowledge over 500 years ago. In 2009, Irish company Chia Bia began bringing Chia products to the European market, and last year, Chia Bia expanded into Malaysia, Canada and the United States.

Chia originates in Mexico and South America where the Aztecs and Mayans had long known the benefits of eating Chia. It was so valued that it was offered to their gods in ceremonies, was used as currency and was also used for wounds, upset stomachs, body odour, prostate problems, sore throats and many other illnesses.

Chia is a complete food, which contains the highest plant source of omega-3 with soluble and insoluble fibre, protein and antioxidants to help get your heart, mind and body in shape. The main health benefits associated with Chia Bia include; reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved concentration and energy levels. Chia Bia can also help promote weight loss as the seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water; this results in a gel forming in the stomach that slows the absorption of carbohydrates and leaves you feeling fuller for longer helping you avoid the 3pm slump!

Its also tasteless so really great for fussy kids. James calls it “Bia Bia” and loves the routine of mixing it in and feeling like a “big boy”. The levels of Omega 3 are also very high and as a sufferer of depression this is an essential part of my diet. As oily fish can have high mercury levels this is also a far safer option.

Chia Bia Bags small €4.95, Large €9.95 med