March 2018 | The Northern Irish Mum

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Easter baskets 2018

Easter baskets are one of the traditions I started for babs back five years ago at her first Easter and have continued each year since. Last year OJ was just a teeny two months old at Easter, so this is really his first proper Easter where he can be involved in the egg hunt and will actually enjoy getting his little Easter basket with his sister. So here is what is in each kiddo's basket this year & scroll to the end of the post if you wanna see the alternative Easter Egg Nannie is getting this year.

For starters, I've bought two little Easter themed air ballons (you know the type that never seem to deflate?!) Both kid's love these, we still have one floating about that was for mother's day that OJ loves to run after  his sister with, so i'm certain these will go down a treat!
 First up Bab's basket:
The actual basket is a beautiful soft faux fur pink bunny basket with the most amazing big ears, from tkmaxx. Babs spotted this in tkmaxx a month or two back and really really wanted it. But (cue the mum guilt) I said no. I went back a few days later, after she had mentioned how much she loved it time and time again and it was gone. The joys of  tkmaxx is, you can never guarantee what they have nor that they will have it the next time your in. Nannie to the rescue, babs had of course mentioned it to her also and my mum had spotted this one in her local tkmaxx. So we have one happy girl (she has had this basket already just not the other bits and bobs).
Now onto the other items:
Easter egg: Peppa Pig- Home bargains (under £2)
Rainbow windmill: Home bargains (under £2) . This is the large one and OJ has the slightly smaller one. We had these last summer in the garden flower beds and babs loved them. But the weather over the winter has really battered them so these will be nice fresh bright replacements.
Pastel Sandals, Laura Ashley: purchased in TKmaxx £9.99  I instantly loved these when I spotted them a few weeks back. They are super soft and lovely and will be perfect for spring / summer.

Bunny t-shirt : H&M £2.99. Such a sweet little top, perfect for the Egg hunt at nannie & granda's.
LuLu bow : Home Bargains (under £2) Basically a cheaper version of the famous JoJo bows (but this mama doesn't wanna pay £7 a bow and theses are just as lovely as good a quality. Babs is a bow addict, she will love this!
Fairy activity pack :local card shop 99p . Normally each year I have got babs some sort of Easter colouring book etc, but I thought this was a little different, nice that the fairy has red hair like her and it comes in a handy pack which would be good for when we are out and about or heading to my parents house etc.
Disney Easter bowl & Plate : Tesco (I think these were £1 each) We needed a few more handy snack plates and bowls, these are a good quality for the price and babs loves mini mouse so this sold them for me.

Now onto OJ's basket

As you can see one thing is missing? The basket! Yep his basket is currently in the attic, but he will have one Sunday morning I promise. 
Balloon 99p I know this is probably going to be his favourite item from the basket, nothing else will get a look in most likely once he spots this.
Mini windmill Home Bargains (under £2) to match babs, i'm hoping the weather picks up in the coming weeks and we can get out into the garden. Do some planting and pop these into the flower beds.
Duck sponge : Home Bargains (under £1)
Duck wash cloth hand puppet: Home Bargains (under £1) OJ is a water baby and these are a nice wee nod to Easter for bath times. 
Bunny bubbles: Home Bargains (£1) He hasn't experienced the joy that is bubbles yet, I don't think at least. Looking forward to showing him these. 
Easter Egg: milky way. Ignore the fact it's Nestle, I know. I do. And try to avoid them as much as possible. However I don't know what it is about milky bar's (probably advertising) but they seem the more toddler friendly option? I know if I was offered dairy milk buttons or milky buttons for OJ I'll always pick the milky. Likewise if someone else buys them for him they do the same. So this egg seemed like the logical easter option for him, that and it is quite small.  
Disney mickey mouse Easter Plate and bowl : Tesco (£1 each) these are really cute and hes started to use little plates, all of which have been bought for his sister, so these will be his first official plate & bowl bought just for him. 
Mustard Beanie : H&M on sale for £2 I spotted this as I was paying for bab's top. I adore beanies on OJ, he wears one at some point most days and this mustard colour will just look adorable on him. 
Throwing this into the mix, you might have seen one of my previous posts about what was in the Easter basket for my mum from the kids last year? If not have a read here. This year I picked up this gorgeous egg by Ghost, from Superdrug for £6. Inside is a little minature perfume. I thought this was a gorgeous alternative for Easter for my mum from the kids. And how amazing is the card?! My local Tkmaxx has really had the best selection of cards recently! 

I'm really looking forward to Easter this year, I think because Bab's is super excited she has made everyone else excited too! We will be doing the egg hunts, the baskets, trips to Barrys in Portrush, sleepovers with nannie & granda and hopefully in the coming weeks welcoming a new baby cousin to the family!  But we will also be exploring the true Easter story with the kids. Whatever you do I hope you have a lovely one! 


Monday, 26 March 2018

Bubba Bag teething toys

Teething is one of those things that I know alot of mums, myself included, just dread. Those little nashers coming through can cause all types of problems for little ones from, temps and tummy upsets to bright red cheeks & restless nights and of course aching little gums. Both of our kids have started teething quite early on. Babs got her first tooth through at exactly 4 months whilst OJ got his first few through in one go just before five months.
For each of them I had my trusty go to teething remedies. I swear by the natural teething powders as well as milk lollies and wet cloths frozen (have wee peak here at my teeting tips pinned) for little gums to munch on. I have always had a few items of teething jewellery including teething safe necklaces, that I would have worn more often when the kids were very little and often carried in a wrap or buckle carrier as they could happily and safely chew on it whilst being carried. 
 As they get older and more independent they find things to chew on as they play, everything goes into little mouths, especially when teething, but not all toys are ideal for this. GumiGem however have developed a fantastic range of teething toys, that are both fun, but also safe and made for chewing and biting to ease teething discomfort. 
GumiGem so kindly sent OJ their Bubba Bag tool Bag recently, the tool bag is part of their teething toy range. 

Included in the tool bag is a little hammer, a spanner, a tape measure and a little saw. All are made from soft, flexible non toxic silicone. They are dishwasher and steriliser safe too. The spanner, hammer and saw have little loop holes where you can attach them to a dummy clip/toy clip to take out and about with you. 
 We have literally taken our bag everywhere! It goes in the car with us, keeps OJ entertained on the school run and long drives up to my parents. He loves carrying the bag about, inside and outside! The bag is really robust and withstands OJ pitching it down outside (as you can see above!) and swinging it about. There are four little compartments in it, as well as the handle. OJ just loves to pop the tools in and out as well as adding other bits and bobs he finds on his travels!
When hes teething he seems to favour the saw or spanner the most. But all of the tools have been put through the OJ chew test over the past few weeks. Not only does he chew on them but he also really plays with them. He hammers things and pretends to saw bits and bobs and fix things with the spanner, much to the delight of hubby (who is a joiner).

The toys are great quality, as is the bag, OJ has really taken to this little set it is by far one of his go to toys and I can see it remaining a favourite in the coming months.
Any of the bubba bags would make a great baby gift, something both fun but useful too. The items can be purchased individually too, I think we might order a few of the items from the other sets to add into this little bag for him too!
Overall we have been really impressed with it and it has definitely been added to my list of essentials for teething!

*we have been gifted this item in return for an honest review, all opinions are my own!* 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Tannaghmore farm - A free family visit this spring

Looking for a free little family friendly trip out this Spring, Tannaghmore farm & gardens Craigavon should definitely be on your list.
The farm itself although not the largest open farm, has just enough animals to keep the kids entertained. They have a few rare breed cattle, sheep and pigs, as well as a variety of horses, ducks and chickens on site. On a number of occasions, there have been little piglets there when we've visited much to bab's delight!
 The site is all paved with easy access for prams and wheelchairs. Every time we have been, the site has always been well kept and clean. It opens around 10am each morning, if you arrive around opening time you'll often have the place to yourself for a bit which is nice, to let the kids have freedom to explore when it isn't too busy.

 One of the things that impressed me was on exiting the farm area there is facilities to wash little (& and big) hands. Perfect as often the next thing you see when stepping out of the farm area is the ice cream van in the carpark, serving all the usual ice cream van faves!
There are also picnic tables/areas dotted about the site, what little one doesn't love a picnic?. Further on in the site there is a agricultural museum which, i'm slightly ashamed to say despite numerous visits we have never managed to visit as yet, but its on our to do list! There is however a fantastic children's play area, within walking distance of the carpark, as well as beautiful gardens complete with sculpture trails and a couples kissing gate situated around a Georgian farm house.
For me one of the big draws is access is free! The kids have always loved visiting and we will be making a wee visit or two over the coming months i'm sure!
More info can be found here
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