Quality Time

Hosting a brunch – My Top Tips & Menu

Organising a charity brunch cheaply, simply and quickly.

It has been a longtime since I hosted anything in my house and one thing on my bucket list for 2015 was to do just that.

Coupled with my beautiful, little cousin recently diagnosed with cancer and learning about a lovely charity called Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, what better way to combine a simple gathering of the nearest and dearest ladies in my life than to have a Sunday brunch in aid of Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. I invited my mum, mother-in-law, aunts, sisters, a few WAGS, neighbours, mums from school and cousins. images

Once the invite went out and 25 odd people said they would attend I realised it was going to be the same weekend that the boss would be away. Nooooooooooooooo! It was too late to back out. My monkeys had no choice but to be my waiters and any help I was offered I took.

We had a full house and raised a whopping €365 for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie.

Here are my top tips for organising a brunch, QUICKLY, CHEAPLY and SIMPLY.  (more…)


A Fun AND free Mid-Term Activity: Kilmacurragh and Geocaching

Kilmacimage 4urragh is one of those beautiful oasis, just off the N11 near Wicklow Town, that few people know about. It is a sister of the National Botanical Gardens and is beautifully kept, never busy and big enough to enjoy without having to carry moaning kids back to the car.

It is most well known for its Rhododendrons that are a vision in April/May. Rhododendrons in Kilmacurragh

We have been going to Kilmacurragh since the monkeys were babies and it never bores them. This particular trip had a new twist though; our recent discovery of geocaching. (more…)

Week 1 – Beginnings: 52 Week Photography Challenge

As part of Mummy B‘s 52 Week Photography Challenge here is my photo for Week 1: Beginnings.

Monkeys at the Skatepark Week 1 - 52 Week Photography Challenge: "Beginning"

Monkeys at the Skatepark
Week 1 – 52 Week Photography Challenge: “Beginning”

Last Sunday, the day before we all went back to our routines, we went for a scoot down the promenade and a look at the skate park. The monkeys have been begging for ages to go with their scooters (fortunately the BMX doesn’t fit in the car!). (more…)

“The Hour” – My Top Tips

From when the school empties out, the cars drive away and then the chaos returns to the gates a short while later, what do mums do during that that mysterious hour between the school pick ups? images

A daily discussion between mums who have child(ren) in the infant classes and other child(ren) in the rest of the school is “what do you do for the hour?’ The infamous hour! For most this hour between pick ups can be a chance to do a shop or some chores but for anyone who does not live next door to the school it can be a real pain in the neck. (more…)

A Simple Cup of Tea

What is it about that initial moment when you wave the kids off to a sleepover, the house is silent, you put the kettle on. You have dreamt of this moment for ages and then you wonder what to do!

My initial feeling is to miss the little monkeys. Then I have a wave of panic that I am wasting precious time, minutes are a treat, hours are precious… A whole day and night with no weddings or plans…. is the ultimate luxury. The excitement. There are so many things I want to do and can do that I don’t know what to do and what to do first! A long bubbly bath? A nap? Have an undisturbed chat on the phone? Paint a room? Potter around the shops? The list just grows and then I get over stimulated! So I put the kettle on again and have a breather.

For just a few moments, a brief interlude, I sit and drink a full cup of hot tea, not too strong from forgetting to take the tea bag out as a result of being summoned to a ‘muuuuuuuuum’ or having to referee a squabble, not too cold from forgetting about it, leaving it half full in odd places as I move around the house, and not reheated either.

images-18Undisturbed, in silence, from the first sip to an empty cup, this is one of life’s simple pleasures. (Cue: A huge sigh of contentment!)

What I think of me v’s What my kids think of me

After watching the inspiring video, “What moms think about themselves v’s What their kids think” I decided to ask my monkeys to name three things they love about their dad. The little man’s response was confident and without hesitation. “Wrestling, playing the Xbox and more wrestling.” In hindsight this is not surprising given the amount they wrestle… but that is a blog for another day! Then the little lady named her three things with a similar assuredness but with a voice full of love. “I love Daddy’s kisses. I love when he gives me squeezes and I love when Daddy tickles me.” Daddy’s little girl just melted her Daddy’s heart.

I have to say I was a little nervous then asking them to name three things they love about me. Is that too much to ask a child? What if it’s not the answers I like or don’t want to hear? Or worse what if they can’t even think of three!
Children can boost your self esteem or be brutally honest and not so great for the self esteem. Bracing myself and assuming (hoping) the children in the video think like my children I took the plunge and bravely asked.

In order, the little man loves when we play Lego, bake and laugh together. Sigh of relief! However, the little lady took a little longer to say anything. I waited patiently and then she started pointing at her fingers and making a list. She loves when we play Lego, do jigsaws, bake, put her hair in plaits, go for a walk, cuddle on the couch, make bracelets. paint nails, when I pick her up from play school, when she wakes up in the morning and comes in to our bed for a chat, when I smile……. Phew! Massive sigh of relief! Slightly wet cheek.

photo copy 8Sometimes, when I am in the depths of rushing from my office to school runs, to starting on dinner, checking emails, doing bedtime, back to my office…running running running, I go to bed and wonder if I spent any quality time with my kids that day. “Mother’s guilt” is rampant in our house!

But not today. Just like the video, my children see beyond my shortcomings, they don’t hold grudges or remember what happened yesterday or an hour ago, they remember things that make them feel happy. Tonight I can have a guilt free night.

Secretly I am also chuffed that they share the same loves I have for Lego, jigsaws, baking and especially cuddling and laughing.  Although a recent birthday cake request for a Lego Head did test my love for baking!!