Last week, we were in Mallorca on holidays as you might have seen on my social media 🙂 We had a blast, it was just so much fun, a total last minute holiday (we booked a week before!!!) but it was just brilliant.
I have had so many questions on Snapchat and Facebook about where we were and where we stayed and would I recommend it so I thought a blog post was the best way to answer everyones questions.
We stayed in a resort called Insotel Cala Mandía Resort and Spa (visit their website here). I heard about this resort from my brother and his wife, they have 3 kids (11, 9 and 4) and have been going there for years and always love it.
We booked flights and hotel separately. We flew from Belfast airport; the main reason being the flight times from Dublin to Mallorca were really awful in terms of the times; crazy early morning flights or silly late night time flights and with a toddler that is just not ideal, it would mess her up totally so we always try find day time flights.
We flew with Easy Jet and they were just fantastic! We had a car booked to collect us from Palma airport in Mallorca to bring us straight to the hotel. It is such a good idea to have this pre arranged. Another reason we picked to go to Mallorca is that is flight time is only 2 hours 40 mins so it is nice and short, ideal for Anabelle!
The hotel is fab, it is a complete family focused resort, to the point that if you don’t have kids I really wouldn’t advise going to be honest. There is an over 16’s area, restaurant and pool etc (which is quiet and calm) BUT to be really honest it is aimed at families and kids. There are (I think) 6 pools, and a selection of restaurants (I think 5)…
We went all inclusive for the week which worked out great, although we ate and drank WAY too much all week, but sure isn’t that what holidays are all about!! I find all inclusive brilliant for Anabelle too, she can be quite fussy at times so it is great to have the variety and if she doesn’t finish or like something we can just get something else for her. Plus it’s great not to have to carry cash around and just be able to go up and get a drink, a coffee, an ice cream at any time.
There is a massive indoor and outdoor buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner, we went there mostly, massive variety and really good food, with a special kiddies corner too. There is also a 50’s style dinner you can go for dinner which is very fun and the food is lovely too.l
Overall, I found the food to be good, you do get a little bored of buffet after a few nights but at the same tine with kids it is just so easy and handy!
When the main buffet restaurants are closed there are a few places that have food available all day long (if the kids or you get hungry) so you can just walk in and grab what you like there was always; fruit, pastries, yoghurts, bread, chips, pizza, chicken nuggets etc etc.
There is a sectioned off baby pool in each one of the pools and we mainly spent the entire day there, Anabelle just LOVED playing in the water and it was so safe and secure. There is also a dedicated baby/ toddler pool with lots of mini slides which she loved too.
On top of that there is a water park within the resort, ideal for say 4 years and upwards (Cormac and I both did the slides so there is no age limit!!! lol)
There are also a few playgrounds around the resort, as well as tennis courts. In terms of entertainment, there is a mini club (think for 2 – 3year olds) a junior club and a teen club which do activity all day with the kids (painting, dancing and all sorts of fun activities to keep them amused)
Aside from the pool the highlight for Anabelle was the nightly kids disco at 8pm – she loved it!
There is adult entertainment every night too but it doesn’t start til 9.30pm and we found that too late, after the kids disco, Anabelle was always exhausted so we all had early nights.
We stayed in a family suite and it was lovely; Be sure to ask to stay in BLOCK A. There resort is huge and split into 3 blocks, A, B and C. We flew A was definitely the nicest place to be.
Overall, yes I would highly recommend it if you have kids and looking for something really fun and entertaining for them. It is a lovely hotel, good food and fab pools. It is very noisy all day, as you can imagine and outside the restaurants at night there was like a buggy car park – Let’s just say the kids RULE at Insotel Cala Mandia.
Travelling with a Toddler
I get asked lots for tips for travelling with a toddler and I have some blog posts on this you might find useful. See HERE and HERE
If you’ve any questions or anything I didn’t cover, just leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you 🙂
A post wouldn’t be complete without at least some fashion 😉 So here’s a round up of some of the looks I wore on holidays.
Flying: It’s so important to be comfy when flying. The key is not to dress too heavy, instead wear layers so you can peel off as needs be!
A few weeks back we had the pleasure of working with the brilliant Edel O’Malley photographer on a family photo session… with a difference. I didn’t want “posed” photos and I knew Anabelle Ivy, being the age she is, wouldn’t sit still for a second so when Edel got in touch with me about an outdoors lifestyle/location session, I thought it was just perfect for us.
I’ve known Edel quite a while now, she came to our home and did a newborn photoshoot with Anabelle- see it here (AB was just 8 days old). Then again when Anabelle was about 8 months old I had some more shots done with Edel. Anabelle has grown up and changed so much over the past year that I was dying to capture some memories of how she is now; walking, talking, laughing, playing and running around like a little lunatic! I knew a studio setting wouldn’t be right for her. Instead, Edel met us in our local park here in Dun Laoghaire and we took it from there.
Edel has a very relaxed, gentle and calm way about her, Anabelle instantly felt comfortable with her (as did Cormac and I) She has such a good way with kids, there was no directing or trying to get Anabelle to stand a certain way or even stand still for that matter, Edel just followed Anabelle’s lead and caught some incredible images of her and us as a family, just laughing and playing in the park.
These are the kind of memories that will last a lifetime, as Anabelle grows up I know we will look back on these and smile, and always be grateful to Edel for capturing her character and her joyful spirit in such a beautiful and captivating way.
My little girl is turning 2 at the end of September and I can hardly believe it. I know everyone tells you to treasure every minute because it goes by in a blink, but now I can truly understand that. They say “the days are long but the years are short” and it just really rings true.
We didn’t have the easiest of starts in the whole world with Miss Anabelle Ivy, she suffered terribly with severe reflux for almost a year, and there were days when I thought her crying and pain would never end but thank god that is a distant memory for us now, and we have the happiest, giddiest, most loving little girl on our hands now.
With each passing day I see more and more of her incredible personality coming through and she honestly just blows me away, she is fiercely independent, determined, loving, sweet, stubborn, funny, giddy, hyper, mischievous, affectionate and has a smile and a giggle that would set the coldest heart on fire.
A single kiss from this little girl and the whole world seems ok again.
If I think of just how fast the last two years have gone by, I know the next two will be even quicker, that’s why I am just so so glad we got the photos done when we did, they sum her up so well.
Thinking of having some pictures done of your family?
I would really encourage any mammies reading this to consider getting a lifestyle shoot done with Edel, you will not be disappointed, trust me!! From now until Christmas Edel is offering 10% OFF on her lifestyle location shoots if you mention “The Style Fairy” when booking.
Location sessions like the one we did can be done at home or at a location of your own choice. The package includes over an hour and a half session time, so loads of time for plenty of great shots, or to even allow for a change of location if you wish & Edel will travel to you. To get more information on her packages you can email Edel on firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can visit her website HERE to see more of her work
And when you get in touch with Edel make sure to tell her we sent you 😉 So you can avail of her discount over over the next few months.
By far the most requested blog post lately is tips for flying and holidaying abroad with a toddler. I wrote a blog post after our very first holiday abroad with Anabelle (you can read that HERE). She wasn’t walking back then and in ways I think that was probably easier! I was absolutely terrified before our first holiday with her and she really surprised us!
I wasn’t quite as nervous this time around and overall she was great (still lots of hairy moments and a few toddler melt downs!!!!)
The most common message/ email/ snap I get is “I’m flying with my xxx month old and I am terrified, please share your tips”. I think we all are nervous to fly with our wee ones (maybe not so much you well seasoned mammies but us newbies are) My main worries are/were things like; the flight – What if her ears pop? (I have heard nightmare stories of burst ear drums and the likes 🙁 ) What if she screams the whole time on the flight? What if the person next us is horrible and not patient? Then on holidays you worry about things like; Will she eat the food? Will she sleep? Should we keep her routine? How much supplies should I bring? We all have the same worries and concerns and I know I have spoken with countless mammies on Snapchat about this.
I’ve written this blog post just to share our experience and tricks I learnt along the way 🙂 I am by no means a pro, and my god there was plenty of stress at times too, but just a few things that worked for us.
So we were in Portugal for this holiday. We were staying in a family owned place so hence I didn’t share too much of it on Snapchat or social media. But the area we were in was very near Praia de Luz and about ten minutes drive to Lagos. We have been to this area a couple of times before (never with a baby) and it’s really a stunning part of Portugal.
Luz is a sleepy, rustic, traditional Portuguese village, totally different to the likes of Villamoura for example. More old style Portugal. The beach in Luz is STUNNING – really gorgeous.
We flew (with Aer Lingus) to Faro Airport and where we were staying was about a 50 minute drive. We had a car booked (with a car seat) so it was great to have no stress when we arrived in Faro airport. It is so handy to pre book a car and request a car seat, almost all car rental companies will facilitate this. For the remainder of our trip we rented a car, again we had use of the car seat all week. It was really handy. We used a rental company called Lago Rent.
Most days we ate breakfast in our own apartment. Then headed to the beach in Luz, then it was lunch, and time for Annabelle’s nap and then in the afternoons we usually went to the playground or the pool. And headed our for dinner at around 6pm/ 6.30pm each evening. Mostly we were home by 8.30pm/9pm (but more on restaurants later)
The Flight – My Top Tips
When booking your flights I do advise to try and pick flights times that coincide with nap times (where and if possible). We flew around 11.30am/12pm so it meant getting Anabelle up a little earlier that morning and by the time of the flight she was well ready for a nap.
We booked seats in advance but they messed them up, anyway long story short the staff were great and got us seated together (I had a mini panic attack that Cormac and I were gonna be separated!!).
My top tips for surviving the flight are:
Try fly as close to nap time as possible
Offer a bottle or two. Anabelle doesn’t take a bottle during the day anymore but she took one on the flight and it really helped calm her and get her off to sleep. So if your baby still takes a bottle in the day time I advise bringing at least two.
I brought the powder formula in little containers (already counted out) and just bought bottled water for the bottles once we were though security
Bring as many snacks as you possible can. Snacks and food are the best possible distraction. I packed raisins, rice cakes, bread roll, cream crackers and anything from Organix is really handy like the sweet corn rings, carrot puffs, the flat jack style bars, fruit bars, oh and mini custards – they are SO handy and Anabelle loves them.
Security can vary – some let you bring small yogurts and custards and formula, while other don’t. We were allowed the custards. And then I bought bottled water after security.
I packed lots of snacks and I was so glad I did. There was not great snack variety available in the local supermarkets.
Bring a change of clothes on the flight (and a spare vest!!!) You know yourself, poop explosions are always a possibility
Changing bag – I brought a few nappies, wipes, hand santizer and a mini bum cream (Bepanthen)
Extra/ spare doddies
iPad – an absolute MUST. She loves Frozen so we have that downloaded plus Tangled, The Lion King and some of her favourites
New (and small) toys. You don’t need to go to expense, but a couple of small toys that they haven’t seen before are a great distraction. I bought a small book, stickers (she LOVES stickers), some mini play dough and other small bits and pieces. Whatever your child is into.
Sleepytot comforter. Ye must be sick of me talking about the Sleepytot! But Anabelle has a special ‘Bunny’ and she only gets him at nap time and bed time – When she sees him she gets so excited and for her it means it’s sleep time. I brought this on flight with us and took him out just as we were about to take off. I wanted to make sure she was sucking on the way up (to avoid her ears popping). it worked a treat.
I also brought Camomile syrup on board, I am always so worried about her ears, so the camomile is great to dip the soother into to make sure she sucks – it tastes great, she loves it, it is supposed to have a calming effect and most importantly it means she kept sucking her dody!
Other than that, just try yourself to be as calm as you can, they can sense it of us if we are stressed for sure.
Dress yourself comfortably and same for your wee one, something that is easy to get on and off (those toilets are tiny so it’s hard to manoeuvre)
On the flight out Anabelle was great, she slept about one hour. The flight to Faro is 2 hours 20 so it was brill. (Love the shorter flight!). On the way home we were an hour delayed and she was soon over tired by the time we boarded, she was a total grump, the poor pet and very irritable, lucky for us there was no one in the third seat next to us so it was great to have the extra space. She didn’t sleep on the way home (even though she was exhausted) and she did cry a bit on and off but we survived to tell the tale 🙂
Most people are very kind and understanding when you are travelling with babies and toddlers and if you are unlucky enough to get sitting beside someone who isn’t very nice? Well, feck them, you will never see them again, kids are kids, and if they don’t understand that, well more fool them!
We live by routine in this house. And I think it is so so important, it gives Anabelle comfort knowing her routine and by bedtime (most of the time) she runs to the stairs to go to bed once she has her teeth brushed as she just knows her routine so well by now. (It’s not always that perfect but it’s getting there)
But, with that being said, holidays are different, and I think you have to be more flexible. Within reason though I think it is only fair to keep as close as you can to your home routine. So Anabelle still takes one nap, usually two hours from 1pm – 3pm, because we wanted to keep her up later at night on holidays we tried to stretch the naps as late as we could and it worked quite well (most days) So mostly she was going for a nap around 2pm and waking up around 4pm.
Before I continue I probably should mention – we had the most amazing 4/5 days on holidays at the start but then we all got very, very sick and ended up delaying our flights as we are unable to fly home so the latter half of our holiday was not so pleasant. PLUS our dog Oscar was missing on the early part of our holiday, so all in all, although there were brilliant moments to this holiday there were some pretty awful ones too! But we are all home, well and happy now (including Oscar) so it’s all good.
I got asked a lot while we were away and since I got home on how did we entertain Anabelle during meals out.
And the truth is…. it was VERY difficult. Unlike our last holiday when we were staying in a resort and there was buffet to head to in the evenings and she could run riot, this was more going out for meals in local restaurants and it was hard for her. She has a span of approx 45 mins and if we are lucky, one hour.
We brought the iPad and we also have a portable DVD player so we brought one or other of those out with us at night. I would normally give her a small dinner in the apartment at around 5.30pm and then she would usually snack/eat again while we were in the restaurant, I always just asked for a tiny portion of either rice, pasta with butter or chips – This really helps to keep her occupied.
But it depends on her mood, some days she was happy to sit and watch Peppa on the DVD and we could eat in peace, other evenings she had no patience and we had to speed eat our way out of the place, But hey, that’s toddlers for you!
As I said we had brekkie in the apartment each day. Lunch we usually had out, just at a casual beach side place, I then made Anabelle proper dinners in the apartment and then we all went out for dinner at night. In Praia De Luz, I would recommend;
Fortaleze Da Luz – this place is AMAZING. a complete must visit. It is an old Castle with the most stunning views. Ask to eat outside!!! It’s so worth it.
2. Paraiso. This beach side restaurant is our other favouite. The views are AMAZING too and the food is divine. It has major Miami beach vibes going on – Fab interiors! V child friendly too.
3. Fabrica. Fab menu, lovely staff, close to the beach.
4. Italia. This is in Lagos town but is such a yummy Italian, well worth a visit.
There are lots more great restaurants but these would be my top 4.
Stroller/ Baby Equipment
I have the Babyzen YOYO stroller and love it, it is so neat, folds so easily ad can be brought on board if you wish. We choose to bring it as far as the air craft and then let them take it.
There was a cot in our family’s place where we were staying and in any hotel or resort you are heading they will provide a cot, just make sure to request in advance. Same with highchair, any hotels or resorts will have these.
We did pack our monitors, just for peace of mind as Anabelle was staying in a room on her own.
Bring enough nappies, wipes, swimming nappies etc to get you through say 3 days or so and then you can head to the local supermarket. I like to have enough to get us through the initial days (just in case) but everywhere now has shops that will sell the Pampers equivalent (Think in Portugal they were called Dodot). Same goes with swimmimg nappies.
The only thing now, having been on two foreign holidays with Anabelle, they don’t tend to have the baby snacks I like to give her (Like the organic ones etc) So I do advice bringing some snacks.
I also packed a one tog gro bag – I got it from Mothercare online and it’s perfect for warmer weather. As well as that I brought a little hooded towel for her.
I also brought Ewan the Sheep, and some of the teddies from her bed – To remind her of home! I know i know, I am probably mad, but I do think it helps her! I also brought her bedtime book (Goodnight, Moon) which we read every single night before sleep. So I tried to keep things as normal as I could.
Clothes & Swimwear
Most of Anabelle’s holiday clothes I got in Dunnes Stores, Penneys and Next, with a few pieces from Jojo Maman Bébé.
Jojo Maman is fab for swimwear, swimming hats and swim shoes and I just ADORE the dresses they do for little girls – Really cute.
I picked up two swimsuits ( coverall all swim suits) from Dunnes for Annabelle, she wore those to the beach and pool at all times. There is great comfort in having her more or less totally covered up. They are very handy and I highly recommend.
She has swim shoes/ beach shoes (which can be worn pool side or in the water) from Jojo Maman and a tie on swim hat from Jojo also. Everywhere has great swimwear in at the mo – Penneys, Heatons, Dunnes, H&M, Zara, Next etc etc
I picked up fabulous denim shorts and cover ups for her in Penenys. In the evenings she mostly wore dresses with a little cardigans. They need very little so try not to over pack (easer said than done as kids stuff so soooooooo cute and hard to resist not bringing it all!)
I think that’s about it, if I have missed anything or if you have any questions, please just leave a comment below and I’ll get straight back to you.
I recently launched my brand new summer TSF collection and I am SO excited about it. So much so, I want to celebrate by running a GIVEAWAY – see bottom of the post for details on how to enter 🙂
This is my fourth collection of TSF fashion accessories and my far by biggest and most eclectic yet. This season’s range see’s the introduction of some stunning semi precious stones (all handmade in New York) as well as the new addition of rings. I absolutely love each and every piece in the collection and that is so important to me. Each piece is so unique and so wearable, and there is certainly something in there for every taste and style.
The collection comprises 17 pieces in totals from rings and necklaces to bracelets and earrings.
The hugely popular ‘Friendship Knot’ range is back in the bangle and this time in a beautiful, dainty ring and it comes in silver, rose gold and yellow gold. All items are one size fits all, including the rings, as you will see from the pics there is an opening on the back.
FRIENDSHIP KNOT RANGE
To celebrate the launch of my summer TSF collection, I am giving away TWO BRACELETS – One of the ‘Georgia’ statement leaf cuff and one of ‘Bella’ Live, Love, Laugh bracelet to two lucky winners 🙂
I have some REALLY exciting news to share with you all…. I’m delighted to announce that I am one of the judges at next weeks Punchestown Festival judging the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady.
I am judging on Wednesday 26th April (Which is Gold Cup Day) and my fellow judges on that day are Aisling O’Loughlin, former Xposé Presenter and owner of exquisite.ie, Hannah Power wife of Gold Cup winning jockey Robert ‘Puppy’ Power and Linda Stinson, owner of Bellamianta Tan. I really cannot wait! And what a fabulous bunch of ladies to be judging along side.
The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th April 2017. Other judges during the week include Glenda Gilson (Tuesday), Bláthnaid Treacy (Thursday) and Vogue Williams (Friday).
The prize for the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady is simply AMAZING, the overall winner (which is announced on Friday) gets;
VIP trip for two to the private Bollinger estate and its new Champagne libraries, France.
Overnight stay in the beautiful historic town of Reims – the capital of the Champagne region
Michelin dining and luxury overnight stay in Paris, the City of Light
Private chauffeur and Champagne lunch experience
Each day (Tuesday – Thursday) there will be 5 finalists picked with one overall winner from each day.
Each of these 5 finalists will receive a €100 Topflight voucher, a bottle of Bollinger Champagne and other exclusive goodies, while the overall winner each day will also receive a custom-made Montgomery Millinery hat worth €250 and a €200 Topflight voucher. The winners from Tuesday to Thursday are invited back as automatic finalists in Friday’s main competition where they can wear the same thing or something else, it’s their choice. The overall winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady will be announced on Friday.
My Top Tips
Hope I get to meet some of you ladies on the day, if you are coming on Wednesday, make sure to come over and say hi, I would absolutely LOVE to meet you.
Here are some of my top tips for a winning look:
Timeless Elegance. For me a winning look should be timeless and classic, it is nice to see the incorporation of some ‘trends’ but for me a classic and elegant look with a demure, sophisticated and timeless feel is always a winner.
Style & Flair. The winner to me should show their personal style and individual flair, catch the eye of the judge or scout but yet not be totally over the top either. A winner or a finalist can usually be spotted a mile away but not because she is loud or showy, rather because she exudes style.
Be you. Stay true to you and your own personal style, don’t try to recreate a formulaic race day look because you feel you have to, instead, embrace your own style and wear what suits you.
Be comfortable and confident. You need to feel comfortable in your look which in turn will give you the confidence to rock it. Keep in mind that you want to be ‘race’ appropriate too.
Expensive or deisgner does not equal a winner . For me personally, it does not matter whether you are wearing Prada or Penneys, instead it is HOW you put together your look, not whether it was expensive or if its designer. I like to see how people pull together their outfit from head to toe, that might mean, a little vintage here, a little high street there and a splash of designer, and a borrowed hat but – It’s the finished product I am looking for. The detail, the thought, the way it fits and suits your shape.
I am so excited to show you all my outfit, although I am not even close to organised yet – It’s all the final bits that can take so long, but I am getting there! I am extremely honoured to say I am being dressed by the amazing Irish designer Niamh O’Neill and I actually cannot wait to show you the outfit by her. I have never worn anything like this before! I’m also beyond excited that the amazingly talented Irish Milliner Jennifer Wrynne is designing me a bespoke headpiece…. Eeeeecccck, I’m bursting with excitement to see that. To keep up to date on my outfit and more importantly to follow all the style on the day itself make sure you follow me on Snapchat (username: thestylefairy)
** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNERS ARE AOIFE O’SULLIVAN AND EVE BYRNE – BOTH WINNERS HAVE NOW BEEN CONTACTED **
I’m delighted to be once again collaborating with my good friends at Vaughan Shoes to showcase their amazing Spring/ Summer 2017 collection.
And I am thrilled to announce there is a very special 15% DISCOUNT CODE for Style Fairy readers across their entire collections using the code ‘TSF15’ at the checkout, this discount starts today (Tuesday 18th April 2017 and ends on Tuesday 25th April 2017).
Plus, if you scroll to the bottom of this post there is A GIVEAWAY 🙂
I am a huge fan of Vaughan Shoes; they stock an amazing array of fantastic brands including the likes of Amy Huberman, Clarks, Dubarry, Pedro Anton, Kate Appleby and Jose Saenz to name just a few.
I originally came across Vaughan Shoes when I was hunting down a pair of wedges a few summers ago and my love affair with THE comfiest wedges around began… Pedro Anton (see that range here). Plus, this seasons Amy Huberman collection is my favourite of hers yet, wait til you see it, trust me, you will want them all!! See here.
Vaughan Shoes is a 100% Irish owned company offers free delivery nationwide, a very easy returns service plus a very quick and easy click & collect service across their 3 stores in Castlebar, Ballinrobe and Claremorris. And wow I have to say I am seriously impressed by their Spring/ Summer collection. To showcase their latest and greatest I have decided to do “The Style Fairy’s Top 10 Buys” across their website.
COMPETITION TO WIN AMY HUBERMAN SHOES (OR ANY SHOES YOU LIKE FROM VAUGHAN SHOES)
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this blog post to see how TWO of you lucky readers can WIN a pair of shoes from the stunning Amy Huberman collection or if you prefer, the two winners can simply pick from ANY shoes they wish across the website.
THE STYLE FAIRY’S TOP 10 BUYS
In no particular order here are some of my best buys. It was close to impossible to narrow this list down to 10, I could have easily included 20! Always a great sign of a good collection. What you get when you buy from Vaughans is REALLY good quality, and shoes or boots that will last for seasons to come. I have trainers from a brand they stock called ARA, that are now seasons old, yet still one of the comfiest trainers I own!!
TWO lucky readers get to choose ANY pair of shoes they wish across the entire collection – Amy Huberman, Pedro Anton, Jose Saenz, anything YOU like. I recently got the grey Amy Huberman boors myself and just love them!
TAG AT LEAST 2 FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK WHO WOULD LOVE TO WIN
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW SAYING YOU HAVE ENTERED (it is vital you enter here on the blog too as we need your email address to contact you)
The lucky winners will be announced on Wednesday 26th April. I will draw two winners names at random and will announce this on Facebook – You will also get an email from me. Then you will get to choose any shoes you want and they will be immediately posted out to you 🙂
Don’t forget from today (18th April) until next Tuesday (25th April ’17) there is 15% across everything on Vaughan Shoes. Simply use the code ‘TSF15’ at the checkout. This applies to all brands, plus all mens shoes, so you might just pick up something for the hubby too (They stock great mens brands too like Tommy Bowe, Dubarry and lots more!)
*Please note the discount does not apply to Jose Saenz as they are currently running 20% off across this entire range.
Very best of luck to everyone
¨¨This is a sponsored blog post in collaboration with Vaughan Shoes**
The Style Fairy tests JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath #ad
So recently I was asked by Johnson & Johnson to take part in a really fun and interesting campaign they are running with their Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath. You can check out the full video I did here:
I was asked to run a small experiment comparing Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath with regular baby soap and the results were really interesting. I placed a fresh rose in each of the jars; one jar containing the Johnson’s Baby Bath (mixed with demineralised water) and one containing the baby soap (also with demineralised water) .
After 24 hours I took the roses out from the jars and the difference in how the two roses faired out was crazy. The rose that was in the Johnson’s Top To Toe Baby Bath was still perfectly intact, still bright, petals looked and felt fine and in general just looked normal. Where as the rose that has been soaking in the baby soap was not nearly in as good condition; it had wilted significantly, it was faded and white in patches and it looked like it was rotting in the centre; check out my video to see exactly what I mean.
It certainly really made me think of the importance of what I use on Anabelle Ivy’s skin. I have always, from day one, been very careful about what I use on her skin, both in the bath and any creams or lotions used post bath. Baby’s skin is so delicate and soft and I’m so conscious of what I use on her skin. In fact, baby’s skin is up to 30% thinner than adult skin which is why it leaves it so much more vulnerable.
Bath time is a huge part of our routine, although now she is getting so much bigger it is getting a lot more messy… and fun!! I’m almost always soaked after all her splashing an jumping around. She loves it though and I always find she sleeps so much better after a bath. Toys are a must have in our house, otherwise she gets bored after 10 seconds and starts trying to leap out!
After the bath we keep the routine the same, into her jammies, then its story time with her favourite bed time book (Goodnight Moon) and her last bottle of the day in her nursery. I always keep the lights dimmed low and talk nicely and calmly to her, she is so hyper during the day that I think this routine helps cal her after a hectic day. Last but certainly not least her Sleepytot Comforter, she just gets this at nap time and bed time and associates this magic bunny with sleep – definitely one of my best buys.
Hope you enjoyed the post
‘Til next time
COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS – SEE MY FACEBOOK PAGE FOR DETAILS OF THE COMPETITION
1 The Prize Draw is open to residents of the Republic of Ireland only who have a Facebook account and are aged 18 years or over, except employees (and their families of Johnson & Johnson (Ireland) Limited) and its affiliated companies, their agencies and anyone professionally connected with this Prize Draw.
2 No purchase necessary for entry into the Prize Draw. Entries received after the Closing Date of 30th April 2017 will not be accepted.
3 Entrants will need to like and share post, and comment on the Facebook post tagging a ‘friend’. 3 lucky winners will each win a JOHNSON’S® hamper containing a selection of JOHNSON’S® products to the value of €23.44 RRP. The separate information provided by the Promoter as to how to enter the Prize Draw is an integral part to these terms and conditions.
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** This is sponsored blog post in association with Johnson’s Top to Toe Baby Bath **
So, we went on out first family holiday abroad with Anabelle Ivy at the end of December, I have had so many requests for a blog post on how we got on, any tips or tricks I learnt along the way so here you go 🙂 If you want to have a read about where we stayed etc, you can check out my other holiday blog post here.
I’ll start by saying, I was SO nervous about travelling with her, I had no idea what to expect. Anabelle is now 15 months and at the time she hadn’t started walking (although she took her first steps on our last night of holidays). But she is a VERY active, busy little girl, she doesn’t stop for a second. I guess like any normal 15 month old, but she doesn’t tend to sit on my lap for longer than a few seconds, so I was particularly scared about how the flight would go (it’s about a 4 and a half hour flight). Secondly, I guess my other main concern was trying to keep her in somewhat of a ‘routine’ but whilst also allowing to us to stay out longer in the evenings, go for meals etc.
I got lots of tips from my Snapchat followers before I left, all of which were brilliant help. Thank you ladies 🙂
So, first up, one of my big fears (and I know silly) was being seated next to a person who wouldn’t be tolerant of Anabelle and would be ‘tutting’ at us, I know, I know, I shouldnt have been worrying about that but I was. That’s just me. Anyway, the gentleman beside us, as soon as we were seated asked the air hostess if there was any free seats on the plane and if he could be moved to one, and he was. He was happy, as were we!! We had the whole 3 seats to ourselves – it was perfect. So I really advise just asking the air hostess when you are boarding, and I’m sure the person next to you would be more than happy with that arrangement too.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks! Genuinely, bring so many snacks, honestly this is the best tip we got and it worked. It preoccupied her and kept her happy – we brought lots of carrot sticks from Ella’s Kitchen (they are like crisps but healthy and she loves munching on them). In fact we brought mostly snacks from Ella’s Kitchen, as they are so handy. The other little snacks she loves are like mini flapjacks and they take a while to chew so they kept her going oh and raisins! Raisins are brilliant, she loves picking them out of the little box plus they take a while to chew. It’s the novelty of them I think!
Both mammy and daddy bring a bag on board – I had the changing bag, with plenty of nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, plus a mini hand sanitiser, your mini changing mat and mini anti bacterial wipes (got in Boots), nappy bags – You know yourself, general changing bag stuff.
Cormac (aka Daddy) had a bag with snacks, food, formula and bottles and toys. So what we did was, I bought her a few small, cheap toys that she didn’t see until the plane, we only gave her one a a time and there is always great novelty with something new, so we had a little book, a small bear that played music and a few small trinket toys. I mainly got them in Smyths Toystore and I also picked up some interesting stacking toys in Early Learning Centre. We also brought a sticker book and wow she loved that – we got great value from it, and must have killed at least a half hour – Even if Daddy’s face was covered in stickers by the end!
She slept for over an hour on the way out and back so that was great, she doesn’t normally take a bottle anymore during the day but giving her the bottle helped calm and comfort her and nod off to sleep.
I was really worried about her little ears popping. Tales of burst ear drums and screaming babies had me terrified!! So I made sure she was sucking her dody on the way up and down, she has a special little bunny (with a soother attached) that we only give her at nap time and bed time so when we brought that out as the fight was taking off she was only delighted! I also had Calgel (which I find BRILLIANT for teething) so I put a tiny amount on the soother to ensure she sucked on it, as I know she loves the taste so much. It worked a treat.
Clothes for Holidays
I mainly got her summer clothes from Next, Heatons, Sports Direct, Gymboree, Jojo Maman Bebe and Dunnes. I got sunhats and little pool shoes (which were a life saver) in Jojo Maman Bebe (online). The little all in one swimsuits I bought (which were brilliant) I got from Zoggs.ie – It’s a brand you can get in lots of places but their sun protection suits are great. I bought some things which she didn’t wear – for example, I wasn’t comfortable with her in criss cross or low back stuff as I was so terrified of her getting too much sun, it was a rookie mistake on my behalf, but I’ll know for next time that I am happier with sun clothes with a small cap sleeve…
I brought 3 little cardigans with me for her and they were great as they went with everything and kept her warm in the evenings – one from Hetaons and the others from H&M.
Sun cream we got a kids Ambre Solaire one which was I think Factor 50 and it was a spray so that worked well, even if she hated when we were applying it!
The float we got for the pool was one we bought over there and it was brilliant, she could stand right into it and walk around the baby pool – She was thrilled with herself!!
Supplies for Holidays
I did bring a supply of nappies, but just enough to get us through the first few days, so don’t over pack as they take up so much room. I also brought some swimming nappies, but again don’t over do it as you can buy all out there. I also packed formula, just a few bottles and I picked up these sterilising bags on Boots (got them online) and they were really handy. I know, most wouldn’t normally be sterilising bottles at her age, but I still like to, that’s just me! Moral of the story, do bring enough to last you at least maybe 3 days and everything else you can get out there. I have to say I did bring a few Ella’s Kitchen dinners (perfect when we went out and there was nothing suitable on the menu). And I also brought LOADS of snacks and I am so glad I as we could find nothing similar in the shops over there.
The stroller I have is the Babyzen YOYO, I got it from Bella Baby (you can see it here). I absolutely love it, it’s incredibly lightweight and folds up so neat, and even has a strap for carrying across your shoulder.
Trying to keep your routine
Anabelle Ivy is a fairly structured routine now (at long last!!) and sleeps very well. God I never actually thought the day would come when I would be writing that, but there you go. She takes a two hour nap during the day. I wanted to maintain some level of routine but also for us to stay out later in the evenings. Saying that we were still in bed/ up in the room every night by 9.30pm. My little lady DOES NOT sleep in the buggy, no way, she just won’t do it. If your little one does, the great, you can let them sleep in the evenings in the buggy but it just isn’t a runner for us. So I knew before I left I wasn’t going to stress myself out by trying to get her to do so over there. We had interconnecting rooms, which was ideal, so her room had the cot and it meant we could go into our room and watch TV and not be afraid of waking her. Plus we had the balcony off our room so we were able to sit out on balcony, have a few drinkies and chill out.
So, what we did was just each day we tried to extend her nap as late as we could. At home she goes for her nap from 1pm – 3pm, where as over there and because there was so much happening we were able to keep her up til 2pm or 2.30pm and that then gave us the chance to keep her up later in the evening. She also slept on later in the mornings over there which was great, so we let her at it, and mostly she woke around 9.30am/ 10am! Bliss!!!
So many people say they do grow up so much on holidays and I really agree. Every day she amazed me, she became more vocal, smiling and waving at strangers. It was a different holiday in so many ways, but I have to say it was far and above the best holiday we have had. She just made every day so much more fun! The flight home was a little tricky, she was overtired to begin with and by time we got on the flight she was so cranky, but we survived and I lived to tell the tale, so I won’t be as scared on our next flight!
So from now on, Heather and I will be bringing lots of gift ideas and inspiration on what to buy your loved ones this Christmas. I’ve a list as long as my arm of gifts to buy myself so if you’re anything like me, then it’s time to get started! I refuse to be last minute AGAIN this year.
This first gift guide is “For Her: Under €35” so it could be your sister, your mum, your daughter, your best friend, your KK, anyone special in your life, that loves all things glam!
Oh do we have a great competition for you…..To celebrate The Style Fairy reaching 50k on Facebook AND to celebrate the launch of our brand new website we have teamed up with the fabulous folks over at iClothing to offer one very lucky reader the chance to win a whopping €300 voucher to spend on whatever you like from the amazing collections at iClothing. Details on how to enter this fab competition are below.
With two really momentous milestones for me, firstly reaching 50k likes on Facebook and then also launching our new, shiny website, I really wanted to give something back, to say a big fat THANK YOU for all your continued support, so I was thrilled with iClothing said they would love to partner with me on this amazing giveaway.
I have always been a big fan of iClothing so trust me when I say the winner will have no problem spending this amazing €300 prize and wow just imagine what you could get – A complete winter wardrobe update with some sparkly numbers for Christmas thrown in there too!
Here are just some of my top buys from iClothing at the moment and REMEMBER there is 15% off everything for all Style Fairy readers with the code TSFNOV (month of November, one use per customer)
HOW TO ENTER
To be in with a chance to win a €300 voucher from iClothing simple: