Children need Omega-3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results.


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Preparing to go back to school can be stressful for both you and your child. You may already have added a new school uniform, lunch box, and pencil case to the “back to school” shopping list, but it is also important to ensure your child’s concentration levels are back in full gear for the upcoming school year.

Omega-3 Helps Children Thrive

Omega-3 fatty acids are the most critical building blocks of the brain; they are considered essential and must be obtained through diet or supplements. Without these important fats, it can become difficult for children to concentrate, learn new information and balance their moods. Since most children do not eat oily fish on a regular basis, Omega-3s are in short supply during the most critical stages of brain development.

The brain is a massive 60% fat, so it’s safe to say that it plays a huge role in brain development and function. Through blood tests, they found a correlation between low levels of omega 3’s in the bloodstream and increased struggles with learning and behaviour in school.

A 2012 study found Omega-3 DHA had a profound improvement in reading age, concentration and learning ability in children, lower levels of DHA were attributed to poorer reading and impaired performance.

In a separate study, researchers fish oil rich in omega-3s to the diets of children struggling with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD. After six months, these children showed improved self-esteem, memory, perception, and reading and writing skills. They showed a decrease in disruptive behaviours. More studies have been done with similar results.

How much is required?

Studies show that you need 250mg DHA daily to support brain health. Eating oily fish twice a week – such as salmon or sardines, provides a healthy dose of omega-3 EPA/DHA. Not a fish fan? You should choose a high quality fish oil supplement such as Eskimo-3 Kids.


On the market for more that 20 years, Eskimo-3 kids is one of the purest fish oils available today. Eskimo-3 comes in two delicious natural flavours – tutti-frutti flavour and orange flavour which kids simply love!

Award Winning 

Eskimo-3 Kids won Gold in the National Parenting Product  Awards in 2015 for Best Omega-3 Supplement for children. The NAPPA recognition signifies that a product has been rigorously evaluated against stringent criteria by expert judges and parent testers, and that it stands out among similar products. 


  • Specifically formulated to give children the right balance of Omega oils.
  • Eskimo Kids features the same pure & stable Omega-3 fish oil as Eskimo-3, along with Omega-6 & omega-9 and vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is absolutely essential for healthy bone development
  • Available in great tasting tutti-frutti or natural orange flavour that kids just love!

Eskimo-3 Kids


We are delighted to introduce our new product Eskimo-3 Kids Chewable DHA+, which combines brain boosting omega fatty acid DHA and EPA, with choline and biotin in a great tasting, easy to swallow chewable. The new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ offers an option to children that don’t like to take liquid, as they can take just one chewable a day. Each chewable provides a whopping 254mg DHA, are sugar free and come in a delicious orange flavour. Be warned…You will need to hide the pack as they taste so good. 

  • EPA and DHA found in omega-3 fish oil are essential for eye and nerve health, learning and IQ, co-ordination and mood.
  • Choline – Helps brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning. Choline can be made in small amounts in our bodies, but mostly needs to obtained through food – e.g. eggs, liver, salmon, nuts, fish.
  • Biotin: The brain is more dependent on biotin than any other organ in the body. Biotin is important for a healthy nervous system. Biotin deficiencies can potentially cause neurological problems, especially for those with autism. 

Fantastic new Children’s Product

“I have given this supplement to my children for 3 months and the results are wonderful. My son had difficulty in concentration and speech. I’ve seen significant improvements in his concentration and his speech since taking Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+. He is more relaxed and less irritable in his behaviours. I’ve also noticed that their skin and hair has improved as well. There is more shine in the hair. They love the taste and the fact that there is no fishy aftertaste. I am delighted to recommend new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ to other parents.” Sabrina Kelly, Galway.”


Eskimo-3 Cover Kids

For a real academic edge this school year, make sure there is lots of omega-3 DHA in your child’s diet. The full range of Eskimo Products is available in health food stores, pharmacies and online.

More information:

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The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower


The Baby Box is one of the most well thought out gifts for a new mum.

My sister is a new mum and got very excited when she saw it exclaiming, “This is exactly what every new mum needs!”

The idea behind the Baby Box is based on Finnish tradition. The Baby Box not only provides essentials for baby’s first few months of life, the box itself is designed to be the baby’s first crib.

In Finland every new mum receives some kind of maternity grant. They can either choose between a cash grant or a maternity package containing good quality clothing and baby care products. Two thirds of women opt for ‘The Baby Box” as I would too.

The Baby Box was actually designed in 1937 to give all children a more equal start to life, and it continues to serve this purpose today. Finland’s child mortality rate is among the lowest in the world, partly thanks to the maternity grant and associated health checks.



The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower

Parents can use The Baby Box as their first crib or as a second back-up one for the sitting room. For example: I used to carry the moses basket up and down the stairs each day along with the stand or else I would use the pram for James to sleep in downstairs. This solves that problem as it can be left downstairs! The simple, effective design of the box, coupled with its firm mattress, also helps to promote safe sleeping, which is important too.

When the baby has outgrown the Box it can be used as a keepsake box to have forever. Those first little shoes, the teeny tiny first vest and the first haircut! As you child grows the baby box can grow with your memories too.



As well as their range of Custom Designed Baby Boxes, The Baby Box also sell various Newborn Gift Sets of clothing and accessories starting at just €25. Check out all their gift ideas here 

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby showerOne of my favourite gifts is the The Muslin Swaddle Gift Box €25 (link here). Each Gift Box includes two 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddles which are ideal for swaddling a newborn, nursing, or covering a stroller when baby drifts off to sleep.

The first box for Spring/Summer 2017 is the The Original Baby Box (RRP €125)

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower1 x Baby Box 1 x Mattress 1 x Machine Washable Breathable Mattress Cover 1 x 100% Cotton Fitted Sheet 1 x 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddle (120cm x 120cm) 1 x Soft Toy 2 x 100% Cotton Baby Vests 1 x 100% Cotton Baby Sleep Suit 1 x 100% Cotton Hat 1 x 100% Cotton Bib 1 x Luxury Blanket 1 x Pack of Nappies 1 x Jar of Nappy Cream 1 x Pack of Water Wipes 1 x Bag of Cotton Squares FREE Delivery in Ireland & UK


The 2nd option is The Ultimate Baby Box (RRP €250)

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower

1 x Baby Box 1 x Mattress 1 x Machine Washable Breathable Mattress Cover 1 x 100% Cotton Fitted Sheet 2 x 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddles (120cm x 120cm) 1 x Soft Toy 3 x 100% Cotton Baby Vests 2 x 100% Cotton Baby Sleep Suit 2 x 100% Cotton Hat 2 x 100% Cotton Bib 1 x 100% Cotton Luxury Blanket 1 x Baby Health & Grooming Kit

1 x 100% Cotton Luxury Bath Robe 1 x 100% Cotton Hooded Towel 1 x Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo 1 x Burt’s Bees Baby Lotion 1 x Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Oil 1 x Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment 1 x Burt’s Bees Butter Milk Soap 1 x Changing Pad 2 x Soothers 1 x Pack of Nappies 1 x Jar of Nappy Cream 1 x Pack of Water Wipes 1 x Bag of Cotton Squares FREE Delivery in Ireland & UK

There are many more options in between like The Bed Box and The Deluxe Baby Box


As safety is of primary importance to any new parent every single one of The Baby Box products undergoes rigorous safety testing.

The Baby Box conforms to BS EN 1130, the International Gold Standard for Crib & Cradle Safety. The Baby Box is the only Finnish Baby Box on the market that meets this standard. Their mattresses also conform to BS EN 1877 for Safety and BS EN 7177 for flammability. Read their safety and sleep tips here


In The developing world a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable disease.

 The Baby Box works closely with UNICEF worldwide to help prevent these unnecessary deaths. For every Baby Box sold 10 vaccination kits are distributed to the Third World. Each one of these vaccination kits ensures that children are protected against Measles, Polio and Tetanus. To date The Baby Box has protected over 5,000 children from these potentially fatal diseases.

The Baby Box believe that all babies should be given an equal start in life regardless of where they are born.



For any new Mum this is a dream gift. It contains everything a new mum needs in those early days. I truly believe anything that can help relieve some stress from new mums is really important. It’s the perfect gift where all mums friends can chip in and help to give the bay the best start alongside creating memories and helping children less fortunate get a better start in life too.


#ad #spon

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charityI have teamed up with Fairy Non-Bio who will be donating to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice from every pack of Fairy Non-Bio Pods and Fairy Non-Bio Fabric Softener sold between now and mid-July. Fairy Non-Bio have committed to make a minimum donation of €25,000 to LauraLynn later this summer.



LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice was born out of the sadness of the tragic loss of Jane and Brendan McKenna’s only children, Laura and Lynn. Laura passed away in August 1999 at the age of 4, following surgery to repair a heart defect. Her big sister Lynn died less than 2 years later, in April 2001, at the age of 15. Lynn had leukemia, which was diagnosed on the day of Laura’s last surgery.


Having dealt personally with such serious illness both Jane and Brendan saw a huge need for a ‘Home from Home’ for children with life threatening and life limiting conditions. In 2003 they set up the ‘LauraLynn Children’s Hospice Foundation’ to raise funds to build Ireland’s first Children’s Hospice.


In 2007 they were approached by representatives of the ‘Children’s Sunshine Home’ which is their current location. The following year the two organisations merged and LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice was born. As a result of this Ireland’s first Children’s Hospice became a reality in 2011.


The main aim of LauraLynn is to provide palliative care to children with life-limiting conditions both in their hospice facility and the child’s own home. They also very importantly provide special care and respite to parents and siblings, helping them to cope with their difficult situation and to have fun time together as a family making memories.


They are committed to improving the quality of children’s palliative care in Ireland and their Clinical Education and Training Department provides training programmes tailored to meet the key needs of the evolving disciplines required by health professionals working in this relatively new space.


The history of the hospice actually dates back to 1925 when it was a convalescent home. Dr Ella Webb, a pioneering Dublin pediatrician of her time, treated many cases of children with rickets.  With the support of a dedicated group including Ms. Letitia Overend, they saw the need to provide medical care within a residential setting, where tenement children with rickets could be given an opportunity to recover fully, before returning to home.


Funding at the time came from voluntary donations and this early ethos of providing care for disadvantaged children has continued to motivate those who work and continue to work and volunteer at LauraLynn today.


Brendan and Jane’s daughter Lynn wrote this beautiful poem I would love to share with you:

LynnS DREMA, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charity


The Fairy Non-Bio ‘Care for Others’ campaign will help to support the LauraLynn@Home care which is offered in 11 counties in Ireland. This will enable children with life-limiting conditions and their family to access palliative care and support within their own home. For further information click here.

#ad #spon

FAIRY NON-BIO sponsored post

Welcome to #MummyMondays where I will be teaming up with The Stork Box to bring you some great articles over the next few weeks on preparing for a new baby but first let me introduce you to this dynamic duo sisters Sophie Cafolla and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer

The Stork Box is a new and exciting Irish company specializing in products for Mum and Baby, including a prepacked maternity hospital bag, helping parents get ready for their new arrival and a range of Gift Boxes, which friends and family can ship directly to the recipient. Brought to you by sister duo, both of whom are Mums themselves, Sophie Cafolla, a sponsorship and marketing consultant and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer, a Doctor who has worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for the last 11 years. I met with the girls to find out their story and what led them to create The Stork Box….

“This got us thinking about our own experiences” according to Sophie, “When I was preparing my bag I didn’t start to do it until I was about 34 weeks pregnant, I was working, tired and totally overwhelmed by the number of things I needed to get. I couldn’t find anywhere that sold all the essentials together, or even better, somewhere online that you could order in one go and have it shipped to you. So we thought, why not create a box which contains the essentials for both Mum and Baby! With Vicky’s professional knowledge and both of our personal experiences it seemed like a good fit!”

The duo wanted to create a service that takes the time and stress out of preparing your maternity hospital bag, while also providing the very best products to help make the hospital stay as comfortable as possible for expectant parents. Vicky admitted they have added a few extra touches to really treat new Mums too. “We have included a Social and Personal magazine in the Mum bag as well as a Just Eat gift voucher, I know I would of loved to have ordered a meal online one of the first few days I was home, we were far too tired and consumed by our new arrival to cook!”.

Value is also important to The Stork Box; both the Mum bags and Baby bags are discounted, the Mum bag contents are worth €80 however the bag is sold at €65, and the Luxury Mum bag contents have a value of €125 but is sold at €100 and the Baby bag is worth €135 but sold at €120.

The Baby Bag has everything to make baby happy and comfortable in their first few days.
•    5 x Short Sleeved Baby Vests
•    5 x Long Sleeved Baby Grows
•    5 x Bibs
•    1 Hat
•    1 Set of Mitts
•    1 Cellular Cotton Blanket
•    Pampers Nappies (Pack of 24)
•    Cotton Wool Balls (100)
•    Mamia Newborn sensitive wipes (pack of 56)
•    Sudocrem Care & Protect (40gm)

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,

In addition to the Maternity Box, the Stork range includes 3 Gift Boxes, the Newborn Stork Box, the Night Night Stork Box which plays on the bath, bottle, bed routine, a favourite of many Mums and the Playtime Stork Box. Each box contains a bonus gift for Mum, a unique selling point of the brand, “it is important not to forget about Mum!” says Sophie

The Mum bag, €65.00 (retail value €80), includes;
•    Phyto Shampoo (50ml)
•    Phyto Conditioner (50ml)
•    Uriage Shower Gel (200ml)
•    Deodorant (35ml)
•    Elave Daily Lip Balm (15ml)
•    Karite Hand Cream (30ml)
•    Uriage Thermal Water Spray (50ml)
•    Sample of Nia’s Just Balm – suitable for Mum & Baby (5ml)
•    Hair Bobble & Hair Clips
•    Mini Brush
•    2 Tooth Brushes – for Mum & Dad
•    Toothpaste (25ml)
•    Monochrome Notebook and Pen
•    Maternity Pads (10 pack)
•    Sample of Lanolin Nipple Cream
•    1 set of Disposable Breast Pads
•    Sample of Lansinoh’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
•    Social & Personal Magazine
•    Just Eat gift voucher €10

The Luxury Mum bag, €100 (retail value €125), includes everything from the Mum bag plus;
•    Payot Hand Cream (50ml) instead of Karite hand cream
•    Cleanse Off Mitt
•    Mustela Bust firming serum (75ml)
•    Mustela Stretch Marks Recovery Serum (75ml)

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,If that wasn’t enough to start with, Sophie has also developed her own baby clothing range, Mini Style Addict, which is included in The Stork Box Baby bag. Inspired by her daughter Sienna, the range includes baby vests and baby grows. The Mini Style Addict clothes are gender neutral, with a nod to the monochrome trend, a key look in baby and toddler fashion at the moment.

The girls stated they are committed to providing a service that grows with their audience; “we research, we invest our time and use our knowledge to find the best and most appropriate products for Mum and Baby. We have more exciting products coming to the range soon so be sure to keep an eye out!”. Keep an eye out for more to come from these two!

Check out Their website for more info

Are you feeling overwhelmed, over stressed and over Summer (and it hasn’t even started yet!)?? Could mindfulness help?

Well author of the Irish Better Birth Book and Founder of the award winning GentleBirth antenatal program Tracy Donegan, shares a great technique for coping with stress this summer.

sumer is coming, summer holidays, mindfulness, tracy donegan, gentlebirth, summer stress, summer camps

Summer is coming and like many parents around the world you’re scouring the pages of the local summer camp brochures trying to figure out how to keep the family sane. If you have younger children then summer camp might not be an option. Being pregnant and entertaining a 5 year old for the summer can be stressful.

As a Gentlebirth mum you know how important your daily practice is but between practice times you have a multitude of opportunities to use the tools every day.

Forget the meditation cushions and incense – and even the headphones (hardly practical when you have twin toddlers racing about the house).


Your daily practice isn’t always about lying on the couch with your headphones on (wasn’t it so much easier on your first pregnancy)? The reality is those moments of madness are often the best ways to bring your focus training out of the GentleBirth App and right into your kitchen.

Author and meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn says children are like “live in Zen masters” and it’s so true. I guarantee you’ll have at least 10 opportunities to practice your Heart Breathing every day this Summer (particularly each time you hear the words “I’m bored”).   Try out the practice below and before you know it you’ll be paying more attention to how you’re reacting to the daily stresses of life, you’ll start to differentiate between what you can and can’t control and by doing this you’re activating brain circuitry which is protective of your mental health. Does that sound like something you don’t have time for? Focus training doesn’t mean adding anything else to your day – you’re just being more present in what you’re already doing (loading laundry, preparing dinner, changing diapers).

When you find yourself feeling stressed – what can you do in that moment to respond differently (in a way that is good for you and your family)?


BreatheTake 3 deep breaths right down to your belly.

Find your feet – look at them if you can and wiggle your toes if you’re barefoot. Are your feet warm or cold? What else do you notice? (Pay no attention to the remnants of the pedicure you got for that wedding 6 months ago or that’ll just invite judgy mind to join in). If you’re wearing shoes do they feel comfortable or tight? Stay with this exercise for a few moments more – as you can probably tell this exercise has really nothing to do with your feet but it’s reducing activity in one part of your brain and activating another healthier brain circuitry.

sumer is coming, summer holidays, mindfulness, tracy donegan, gentlebirth, summer stress, summer camps

So let’s say F- THAT to Summer stress (or any kind of stress you’re experiencing at work or home) with this mindfulness technique.


Focus – stop whatever you’re doing

Feel your breath – breathe in and out deeply

Find your feet – notice how they feel, wiggle your toes and respond with Fierce kindness towards yourself.


The school holidays won’t magically become a fairytale when you become more present with mindfulness but you’ll have some tools to make it a little less stressful for everyone.

#SelfcareSunday #mindfulness

Sugar crash, alison canavan, sugary cereals, fizzy drinks, be complete, health and wellness, sugar, white poison, nutrition, kids health,Sugar was exposed on Monday night on RTE for the true demon we all know it is but we don’t want to admit to it because it’s so tasty. Well sorry my friends as we saw on ‘Sugar Crash’ tasty or not it’s killing us. Many doctors and experts have predicted that this generation could be the first to die before their parents if we don’t get a grip on this and soon!

I used to live on sugar, the lower I felt, the more I ate. I never joined the dots between the two until a few years ago when I became determined to get to the root cause of my problems without the pills. One of the first things I did was dramatically reduce my sugar intake and along with that the fog started to lift and there was no denying that sugar was one of the strong links to my mental health issues, low moods and energy levels.

Knowing this and having returned to college to study nutrition I was determined to do my best and encourage a healthy diet with my son. This was a breeze until he went to school and started going to birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong he’s allowed have treats but not every day. There are three golden rules in my house: no sugary cereals, no fizzy drinks and no fast food joints like McDonalds. Needless to say this doesn’t make me very popular with some parents. I would go far as to say that fizzy drinks and sugary cereals should be banned. They have absolutely no nutritional value and are harming our kids.

An excess of sugar over time has been shown to cause liver damage, heart attacks, stroke, dementia, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and depression. Is this really the future we want for our children? Worst of all this is totally preventable.

Teething biscuits, follow on milk and juice all day long are just some of the culprits that have contributed to this problem. We are one of the highest consumers of sugar in the world and a lot of it is hidden which is why we need to educate ourselves.

I know we are busy and most mornings we just want to get the kids fed and off to school but the bad habits we ingrain in them during their formative years will be setting them up for a lifetime of bad eating habits and health issues. Surely we want our kids to live a life of vitality and health? As a parent you are making that decision for your children right now!

As a nation we are on target to become the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. Low fat foods have a big part to play in this because the fat they take out is replaced with sugar for taste and as we now know its sugar not fat that’s the real problem.

I have some very simple tips:

  • Eat Wholefoods, which are foods that are as close to nature as possible so tomatoes not tomato sauce. Bascially foods that have been unchanged from their original form.
  • Stay on the outskirts of the supermarket which is in most supermarkets I have been too where the fresh produce is.
  • Stay away from processed/packages foods as much as possible
  • If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label you should not be eating it
  • Children up to two years of age should have NO sugar or added salt in their diets!
  • If you are time poor which leads you to eat convience food. Cook in bulk and freeze for the week
  • Eliminate fizzy drinks, juices and sugary cereals from your families diets

And be careful just because you’re kids are not overweight does not mean they are not being affected. These diseases are slow burners and are damaging our internal organs, which is something simply not visible to the naked eye. As parents we all need to take responsibility not only for our own kids but for all kids. We need to respect other parent’s wishes and make an effort to keep all kids healthy.

Follow me on 

FACEBOOK  for healthy tips and daily inspiration!

Ali xxx

Sleep, bumps and cuts, caroline jackman, essential oils for kids, essential health, calm child, parenting, holistic parenting, alison canavan, be complete, lavender, wild orange

Like most parents, I go to great lengths to look after my child’s health and work hard to support her physical and emotional well-being. The world is an exciting place for any growing child but also full of its own challenges for immature immune systems and developing emotions. Essential oils provide a wonderful way to help support a child’s health and in my own home have become a first line of defence for the majority of typical childhood concerns. There are of course occasions where medical attention is needed but for minor injuries and illnesses, essential oils can provide effective relief. Children are very responsive to aromas and essential oils can also be a wonderful way to support children dealing with emotional upset. Here are some tips for beginning to use essential oils with children.

Bumps & Cuts

Cuts & scrapes can sometimes be an everyday occurrence for parents of adventurous kids. Using natural remedies can effectively help with healing and at the same time the aroma of the oils helps to calm emotions. Melaleuca essential oil is a great natural disinfectant which helps healing when applied to cuts & scrapes. I like to mix Melaleuca, Lavender & Frankincense together and spray on cut knees. Lavender is comforting & soothing and Frankincense supports skin regeneration.


When a child is suffering with any minor illness, it is difficult for a parent to deal with, especially if it interferes with the child’s appetite and sleep. Once a child attends crèche or starts socialising with other children, illnesses like coughs & colds can become a common occurrence. Eucalyptus, Melaleuca and lemon used topically and aromatically can help with coughs and congestion. Diffusing these types of supportive oils in a child’s room at night is a helpful way to open airways for a more restful sleep. Lavender used topically can provide relief to rashes, earaches, headaches and can also help soothe a teething baby. Diffusing or exposing a child to essential oils like wild orange, clove, cinnamon & rosemary can all help to boost a their immune system in a safe and natural way.

Emotional health

Lavender and citrus oils like lemon, bergamot and wild orange can help manage anger or stress for little ones. Rubbing oils between the palms of your hands, cupping them over a child’s face (without touching skin) and letting them inhale the aroma is a really effective way for them to benefit from the positive effects. Choosing oils like spruce, vetiver and Frankincense can help children deal with mood swings or new social environments like the first day of school.


Create a positive and happy learning atmosphere for a child doing homework or study by diffusing or inhaling an essential oil like rosemary, which helps to balance emotions and combat mental fatigue. Lemon essential oil can help concentration, reduces stress and is a refreshing scent that will elevate a child’s mood.


Whether you have an infant who hates nap time or an older child scared of the dark, essential oils with calming and sedative properties can help everyone in the family get a good night’s sleep. Diffusing essential oils is an easy and effective way to help balance children’s emotions and create a more peaceful space for sleeping. Lavender, roman chamomile and vetiver are some of the many oils which can help children to wind down and sleep soundly.

When using essential oils on children, it is important to first apply a small amount of oil to test for skin or other sensitivity. Avoid using essential oil on a child’s hand as they may easily transfer it to their eyes or mouth. Always use 100% pure therapeutic grade oils.


‘Calm Child Blend’

Diffuser Recipe

3 drops lavender

3 drops wild orange


Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support. It is important to select therapeutic grade oils free from synthetics.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

Kids books, christmas, reading, parenting, gidts for kids, benji bennett, top christmas books for kids, usborne

The greatest gift you will ever give your child is the gift of reading and the earlier you start the better. Santa just loves when girls and boys ask for books. They are by far the most important presents the elves make each year. I started reading to James when he was just a few weeks old and as he grew we had great fun with books that had texture and colour. It’s also a great way to immerse them in the sounds and rhythm of speech, which is really important for language development.

My house is covered in books, it’s where I go to learn, laugh, escape and immerse myself in a world of imagination. Story time each night with James is such a special time for both of us because it’s our time together with no distractions just each others presence where we head off and enter a world where anything is possible.

Here’s my top picks for Christmas 2015:


  1. For new babies upwards I would highly recommend the Usborne series of ‘That’s not my… ” series. There is a whole collection of this series to choose from. These books have wonderful textures and colours and as your baby grows they will be encouraged to touch and feel these books. (That’s not my Meercat €8.49 Mothercare) I used to sit James on my lap and point to colours, animals and shapes from a few months. It doesn’t matter that they can’t interact yet so many studies have shown that it helps with their speech and words later on and its fun!! BUY HERE

Childrens books, christmas books for kids, kids, christmas, ELC, mothercare, reading to our kids, usborne

  1. We are huge fans of Julia Donaldson’s books here but my personal all time favourite just has to be The Gruffalo. (€9.79 It’s the story about a little brown mouse in the deep dark woods and Julia’s illustration partner Alex Scheffler is incredible. Watch out for the cartoon this Christmas too. Other great books from this duo include The Snail and The Whale and The Smartest giant in Town. BUY HERE

Kids books, christmas, reading, parenting, gidts for kids, benji bennett, top christmas books for kids, gruffalo, julia donaldson, usborne

  1. Mr Men are a timeless favourite with characters like Mr Tickle, Mr bump and Mr Strong getting into all sorts of bother but what I really love it that these stories help kids to figure out their different emotions and different character traits that people have like Mr Nosey! Mr Men The Christmas Party is €4.75 in EASONS BUY HERE Kids books, christmas, reading, parenting, gifts for kids, mr men, benji bennett, top christmas books for kids, usborne
  1. The Benji Bennett books are a series of books that Benji wrote in memory of their son Adam who is now an angel. They are filled with love and laughter and they feature all of Adams siblings harry, Robbie and Moly as they head off on different adventures. Adams greatest inventions (€9.99)is a wonderful story where the kids go back in time to find the best inventors through history and I have to be honest I learnt a thing or two from this! The illustrations from Roxanne Burchartz are fantastic and you could easily spend a half an hour on each page investigating everything that’s happening. People who buy sets of Benji Bennett’s hugely popular children’s books on ADAMS CLOUD this Christmas will receive a free book and €10 will go to to charities which help parents and children deal with serious illnesses and loss.

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  1. Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy is celebrating 30 years this year and it is more of a fantasy book for new parents because lets face it who wouldn’t cherish five minutes on their own most days! It’s a funny book because it’s true. Its about an elephant family and mummy elephant it just trying to get some peace but no matter where she goes the kids are not far behind and they even hopped into her bubble bath where she was enjoying her peace with a cup of tea. €8.50 EASONS BUY HERE

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  1. Giraffes Can’t Dance from author Giles Andreae has been a bestseller for over 15 years and for good reason it tells the story of a giraffe who starts off as an outsider but who finds acceptance on his owns terms. There’s a very powerful message in there about daring to be different and accepting others too. €5.99 Eason’s BUY HERE

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  1. Usborne’s Look inside your body is a brilliant book to introduce kids to our amazing bodies. If you have an enquiring mind at home this should do the trick. They will be amazed at how we breathe and what happens in our brains. €13.99 MOTHERCARE BUY HERE

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  1. Calm Down Boris by Sam Lloyd is a hand puppet book, which kids absolutely love, and it gives parents a real chance to show off their acting skills!! (Your kids will think you rock anyway). Boris is orange, hairy and a little over- enthusiastic. Boris means well, but always ends up getting carried away and spoiling things, which actually reminds me of my own childhood, as I was pretty excitable
    Kids are asked to help Boris brush his hair ready for his trip to the park and in return they get smothered in grateful kisses. The same happens when they feed him, and when he gets to the park none of the other little monsters want to play with him because he’s so loud and boisterous. But he ends up saving the day by scaring a big dog away with his big friendly kisses. €13.99 MOTHERCARE BUY HERE

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  1. David William’s books are great for kids between 7-11. His first book The Boy in the Dress is about a boy who felt different and kids fall in love with these books in the first few pages. There are brilliant lessons about life like in his book Billionaire Boy about Joe who has everything but despite having everything he could ever want he was lonely and wanted a friend. Visit WORLD OF DAVID WALLIAMS to see the entire collection

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  1. The Dr Suess books are great and they cater from birth up till nine years of age. One of my favourites is Did I Ever Tell You How lucky you Are (0-4 years €8.99) because it teaches us that there will always be people worse off than ourselves which is a really valuable lesson to learn so early. Oh The Places You’ll go, is for older kids entering their teens and it explains that mishaps happen to the best of us and encourages us not to take life too seriously €9.50 EASONS BUY HERE

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  1. Daisy and the trouble with.. Are a series of books by Kes Gray that are all about Daisy and the trouble she gets herself into. In her book Daisy and the trouble with life she does something so bad that she gets grounded and is barely allowed out of her room but what did she do that warrants such a punishment??? €9.50 EASONS BUY HERE

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  1. Author Orla Kelly has written a series of children’s books available on amazon or from that aim to teach children values, morals, life skills and how to be a good citizen. The short stories about animals reinforces everything positive for children to help them with growing up but the books also teach children that there will be challenges to overcome but overall the books are very positive and uplifting. We are reading all about Owly at the moment and James loves them and simply can’t wait to see what happens to all the forest animals each night. Magical, enchanted and imaginative! The Kindle price is €3.65 and print book on Amazon is €7.99.

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  1. And Finally to celebrate its 70th anniversary of the first publication of the Famous Five books, you can get the first three Famous Five adventures in one volume. – The Famous five Collection. Five On A Treasure Island, Five Go Adventuring Again and Five Run Away Together. All the adventures happen on Kirrin Island where the famous five have to solve mysteries. These books bring back very special memories and friends of mine said their kids are still enjoying them today! A beautiful Christmas present to cherish and pass on forever. €14.20 EASONS BUY HERE

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These books are just the tip of the iceberg but there are many more great authors like Niamh Sharkey and my firm favourite Roald Dahl. There are books to suit every interest and imagination.

Feed your mind and open it and your kids will follow.

What are your favourite books? comment below!

work/life balance, parenting, Daily Mail, femail, alison canavan, practical parentingIs there really such a thing as a good work/life balance? Can we have it all as mums? Do we have a right to be happy? Should mums stay at home? We constantly battle with these questions and more but I have only one answer for all of them


I cannot tell you how many people have felt the need to give me their advice on my work/life balance. I work very hard as I want to give James a good life, education and future. I also like work. There I said it, I like working! We need to stop judging each other as women and mums because its really none of your business if a mum chooses to stay at home or go to work as long as they are happy and they feel that it’s the right decision for them.

Let me make one thing very clear before I continue: ALL MUMS ARE WORKING MUMS. That’s right staying at home is actually the most difficult job in the world. It’s constant and you don’t even get a lunch break most days!

That is why I think the best thing a mum can do is reserve judgment and offer support. If you want to stay at home then do that but if you want to go to work you should be able to do that without feeling guilty

As a new mum you might want to give up work and stay at home, change career, start your own business or head back to college. Be careful not to fall into the “I’m a mum now so I can’t do that” trap because it’s just not true.

I have achieved far more since becoming a mum than ever before. Becoming a mum has given me the courage to fight, follow my dreams and pursue my passions. It most certainly has not been easy but it has definitely been worth it.

Your life does not end when you have children in fact a whole new world of opportunity awaits. Don’t get me wrong you have extra responsibility and less time but if you are doing something you love you can be happy doing both. I believe that you can have everything just not all at the same time and you will have to sacrifice different things at different stages. But don’t ever give up on your dreams.

The first thing I would say to all new mummies is to simplify your life as much as possible. We all think everyone else is coping better than us but the reality is that most mum’s struggle trying to get any balance into their lives never mind getting it right. Most mums will feel less confident after a baby and nervous heading back to work, throw in a bit of guilt and a whole lot of I’m not good enough type of feelings start to bubble to the surface.

So my advice is get organized and stick to a routine. In my previous life I hated routine of any kind but not now. Get everything ready the night before. It saves time, sanity, helps with stress and the kids love their routine (even if you don’t)

You need to create lists and make them your best friend. Whether you have lists on the wall or in your phone they will help to keep you focused and there is nothing more satisfying that checking off a list. Set alarms on your phone if you are busy and tend to forget things (perfectly normal for mums!)

Preplan your meals for the week. Make your baby food in batches and freeze and do the same for your own dinners. Switch to Internet shopping as it cuts time and you can do it from the comfort of your own home when the baby or kids are asleep.

If you are struggling to stay on top of the cleaning and washing ask for help and if you can afford it get someone in to help for a few hours a week

Nearly every day at work people ask how I do it? When I get to work I switch to professional mode and leave my stresses at home. I struggle so much when trying to balance work and home life. But I need to take jobs whenever they come in which means that one-week I’m incredibly busy and the next I have nothing. For this reason panic mode can set in for financial reasons. There are definitely a few things that can help

Keeping a list and scheduling 5 minutes of me time every day and make sure you get some exercise. This can be as simple as sitting down with a cup of tea on your own and taking a few long deep breaths or going out for a walk. Getting the kids involved in chores from an early age and helping them to understand responsibility is also very important. My top tip and the most important rule I live by is to be present when you are with your children and make that precious time count.




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I popped into Heaton’s Stores last week to pick up some festive fashion for James and I wasn’t disappointed. I picked up and entire outfit and jammies for under €100. The aviator jackets above are €20 and the denims are €14. The brown mocassin boots are currently reduced to €10 online. Besides their collection being well priced, its also beautiful and great quality. James is growing really fast and he comes home daily with holes in his trousers and I find with stores like Heaton’s I can keep him in great clothes that are trendy, comfortable and look great.

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It’s times like this I’d love to be dressing a little girl as their dresses are simply stunning ranging from €18 to €20. You can get a full Christmas outfit including shoes and coat for under €50.


As well as party dresses heatons also have great novelty items like cuddly fleeces and winter woolies and their pyjamas (below from €9 and robes €10) were just too cute to pass by.

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As well as great fashion, footwear and accessories they also have a lovely range for babies too.

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The new kid’s collection is available in stores nationwide right now and online from November. Heatons online store offers customers free click and collect to store and free delivery on all orders over €30.00 which means you can shop from the comfort of your own home with no little people running off in store.