Monday, February 18, 2013


1) Take one BASIC WOODEN toy box (Euro 70 from Lidl this one)

2) Paint it white and the top silver (I used satinwood paint)


3) With the same white paint used for the sides, paint on a road. I used the same idea as a labyrinth so that the traffic would flow from the roundabout, and used a 'business' size envelope to guage the size.


4) Find cool stickers and get the kids to decorate the sides. Mine cost E2 from a discount store. I carried on the car theme.


5) A voila, a completely transformed playful toy box, put together for a pittance.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Loving the look of spring as everything comes to life:

Here's the small joys making my heart sing, what's yours?

Pink cherry blossoms appearing next to roads
Buds on bushes
Daffodills bursting from nowhere
A surprise night out for Valentines
A friend presenting me with dinner ready to cook
Visiting brand new calves at a local farm
My 20 month old singing sensation

If the movie doesn't work, here's the link

An afternoon spent building lego with my eldest, who knew boys toys could be so relaxing?
Booking a cheapo easter hotel break for us all - something to look forward to

Friday, February 08, 2013


This morning I sat down at my laptop and, without thinking, started to build a new blog.

It's a blog name I registered nearly two years ago but didn't do anything with because I was too busy and too afraid of what might happen.

I wasn't ready to birth a new baby, given that my third real baby was just rocketing his way into my world.

It's a blog built for other people - to rant and rave about companies who have pissed them off.

It's a blog that could turn into something really exciting - that could absorb a lot of my time but could also lead to something more worthwhile in my life.

Something bizarre has happened to me recently, psychologically. I finally feel able to handle things, especially a blog like this.

I've come into 2013 at full pelt, brimming full of ideas and trying to carve a life back from the screaming of the kiddies.

I think it's because my kids are getting a bit older - and I don't feel the umbilical chord guilt I felt during their first few years.

I know from talking to other mums, that once you claw back a bit of me-time in the mornings when they're at school, then you yearn to start using your brain again.

You realise that anything can happen when the non-stop nappies and baby grafting are replaced by feelings of 'I wonder what would happen if I tried this...'

Six years ago I left a good job behind in London when I decided to marry an irish man and start a family.

What a wonderful six years it's been, and what abundance there is in having three healthy and vibrant kids.

But it's not everything any more. At last, I feel able to get back to what I used to do before I had children.

Ten years ago in London - I was a tiger. A TIGER! (sorry I had to repeat that for dramatic effect)

I worked as a consumer journalist keeping companies on their toes, should they
treat their customers badly.

Saldy, very little of my work and columns are left on the internet from those days, but I just found this snippet... didn't I look young and fresh?

So the plan is to start again, start something new, build up a new consumer forum for the Irish market and sling the sh*t back at the companies.

Check out my new blog at Consumer Tiger and send me your gripes and grizzles.. It won't work without you, the consumer. Put yourself first.

And put two big strong fingers up to the companies who treat you badly.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


I went rollerblading today - and fell on my bum. 

The soreness is a reminder of my new get-up-and-go attitude to life, having replaced my can't-be-bothered oh-god-not-another-day malaise. 

Thank goodness I feel that I want to partake in life again. 

It's a whole new me.  

For most of my last six years, I've allowed pregnancy, post-natal recovery and childrearing to consume my life. I've been lost in a bubble of baby chaos. 

I've had an undiagnosed underactive thyroid brought on by pregnancy that has left me exhausted from dawn til dusk.

I've had no life myself. I've not known what to do with myself other than just survive the baby days. I've had no plan for the future. I've just plodded along, wishing away the days until the kids were a bit older, a bit more maneagable, and wishing my energy would return.

At last, finally, they are a bit more maneagable. 

And my health has recovered. My thyroid tablets seem to work.

Hurray, I feel like I'm finally getting my LIFE back. 

I've got so much going on at the moment. I've got a two-year-plan. I'm going to do a start your own business course and get involved in a couple of things. Things are getting back to some semblance of life. 

The problem is, grumble, grumble, the kids still steal and suck up so much of my time. Those pesky kids; the same ones who are whining at me now because I'm sat down and I'm not in servant mode. Am I a bad mum to want something more than just the kids?

To want to feel like a person again, not just a mum?

To put on a movie and give them popcorn during the day to buy myself quality time at the laptop?

A few precious minutes before the next unreasonable demand or the next scream from the one that's been hit or fallen over whilst doing acrobatics off the sofa.

That's what parenting's all about; pockets of time. Snatching those pockets and trying to make the most of them. Right now, I think I'm doing well, but goddammit there's just not enough hours in the day!

Here's what I'll fit into the next few weeks:

  • Looking after 3 kids (aged 1, 3 and 5), school pick ups, playdates etc
  • Designing a website for my husband's new business
  • Co-ordinating and running a branch of the Irish Childbirth Trust, Cuidiu, which includes chairing the AGM
  • Producing the quarterly newsletter for Cuidiu
  • Heading to Dublin to train as an antenatal teacher 
  • Writing freelance articles
  • Trying to update my blog more than once in a fortnight
  • Trying to develop my blog into something that gives me a little something back
  • Attempting to keep husband happy, which means switching off tech/iphone when he comes home
  • Fitting in friends and groups  
  • Planning a few days away for us at Easter
  • Writing a short story
  • Painting a picture of a lotus flower
  • Doing a start your own business course
  • Going into business with a friend to set up an after-school club
  • A few nights out with hubby and friends


And the good news is, I'm no longer wishing my days away. 

I'm just wishing for more time.

And I can't wait to go rollerblading again...