Tuesday, 10 January 2017

''Bróga Nua'' Enjoying Irish with Young Children....AND We have a copy to give away!!

I was recently introduced to the book/CD ''Bróga Nua'' by Aine Ni Shuilleabhain.  This is all about enjoying Irish with young children.  It includes 100 rhymes and songs, 2 C.D's and English translation.

It was a very easy book for Kerri and I to pick up and work through with our children in a fun way. I really enjoyed letting the CD run while we played in the playroom together. Every now and then I would take up the book and spend some time singing the songs with the CD. The girls would listen and turn the pages to look and discuss the images of the book.  I personally found it to be a very child friendly book.

It is suitable for children to use on their own or with parents, grandparents, teachers, crèche and preschool providers.
The book is aimed at all those who wish to introduce Irish in a fun and playful way. I loved that;
You do not need to be an Irish speaker to use this resource. All instructions are in English.

I liked that it included festival/ celebration songs such as Happy Birthday and Halloween songs.  I found it great for exposing my children to Irish vocabulary in an easy and fun manner.


Above shows how easy the book is to use, and how the cartoon images make it approachable for the non Irish speaker and introducing a young child to a new language.


The book is colourful, bright and enticing to the reader. I liked how it could be used by a playschool/Montessori or primary school. For example there are lunchtime songs/rhymes to sing. With repetition these songs would be learned in time and enjoyed by teachers and pupil.

I suppose it is worth mentioning that parents should not just expect children to speak Irish over night. Aine Ni Shuilleabhain was very realistic when informing me of how children learn language and that is through play.  There is a natural order to language learning: listening, understanding, isolating words, phrases and sentences. We can of course help our children acquire Irish naturally by joining the children in their work and activities and singing or reciting the many rhymes /songs that occur throughout the book.

The adult's job would be the introductory use of the language and bringing the children, through daily repetition, to the stage of understanding before they reach the actual stage of acquisition and mastery.  The children will most of all enjoy the new words and sounds and gradually make their own of the sentence structures and vocabulary they hear in daily use and of the songs and rhymes that appeal to them.

It is important to understand the 'Silent Period' in acquiring language.  We see this with our own children. Theorists believe that it can take one to two years before children begin to speak the new language. It also depends on the personality of the child. Krashen (1992) ''It is important to let children take time to 'simmer'. There is a dormant stage to language learning. First children absorb language. Later they begin to speak.''

We both loved this book! We get great use from it at home and in the car on our daily travels. We are giving away a copy over on our Facebook page, make sure to check it out!! #GIVEAWAY

To order your copy contact Aine @0876334084 or email: enjoyirish@gmail.com or broganua@gmail.com

Twitter is https://twitter.com/HowToEnjoyIrish

Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/BrogaNua

Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,      

Orla & Kerri Xx



Friday, 11 November 2016

Christmas toys that have caught my eye.....


I know it is still only November but I have seen a few children's toys which I really like, so here is my first blog on my Christmas Toy Picks....  I love Christmas and the whole Santa experience.  When you have small kids it is just Magic!

First up is the Osmo Starter Kit. 

It is a gaming system for the iPad. It encourages creative thinking and social interaction. Games can be played together by the whole family.

 I think this would be suited for age 6+, great for travelling with kids.
Check it out here for sale on Amazon;

I love the idea of Kinetic Sand. It is mess free.

A handy toy to pull out inside when it is too rainy to play in the sandbox outside.

Available at Smyths Toys;

Finally I love the idea of the Code A Pillar. Suited for 3+
The Think and Learn Code-a-pillar learning toy encourages children to experiment as they play. It can help them to develop skills like critical thinking, reasoning, discovery, memory, problem solving and experimentation.

It encourages them to arrange and rearrange the easy-to-connect segments in multiple combinations, making Code-a-pillar go forward, left, right or wherever they choose.

Check it out here;

Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,      

Orla Xx

Friday, 4 November 2016

Light is time thinking about itself.....


Happy Friday!  So delighted it is the weekend but sad it is coming to the end of Mid Term break. We will be on the Christmas countdown before we know it.  I hope the girls and I are off to a healthier month, October had us with a lot of doctor visits.  The joys of the return to school.  I am seriously lacking in sleep at the moment! The clocks changing last weekend did not go down too well with my two year old! On a positive note, last weekend was my brothers wedding, we were so thrilled and excited for them both. My girls did us proud walking up the aisle with the wedding party as flower girls on the day.  As part of my outfit I wore my gold bracelet Sundial Watch.

  Sundial watches are a state of the art timepiece that incorporates modern watchmaking technology and the simple purity of art. Sundial is a collection of light powered watches with contemporary styling and a high level of fit and finish. For me what is so special about these watches is that they do not have batteries, you simply leave them in a well lit location and they charge themselves.  With the extensive use of glass in my house it is so easy to incorporate this type of watch into my life.

I recently teamed up with some local Limerick fashion professionals to create an Autumnal/Winter photoshoot. The shoot features my favourite Sundial watches from their collection and how I wear them with my own wardrobe at this time of the year.

Make up by Shauna created a very natural Autumn make up look.  

Being a red head a lot of make up doesn't suit me or show how I naturally look.  Shauna is fantastic at creating a make up look that suits you, she's great at listening to the client. Shauna is based in Limerick. To contact Shauna for bookings : 0879727581. Check out her Facebook page 'Make Up By Shauna'.

Hair was done so quickly and professionally by Kate Enright at Purple Rain Hair Salon.  

Purple Rain is located in Croom Co Limerick.  It is a favourite of mine. Purple Rain can be contacted on 061 600785.

Photography was created by photographer PJ Corbett. His photography studio is located in Adare.  
I first came across PJ through his newborn photo shoots.  I have his work of both my girls displayed in my house, they are like pieces of art.  PJ covers weddings, family portraits, fashion, newborn photography to name but a few.  If you have little ladies watch his Facebook page for upcoming Fairy photoshoot days, he creates magically pieces. PJ can be contacted at 0879208229

I styled the photoshoot myself, using my own wardrobe.  My focus was on the Sundial watches of course.

The brown strapped watch is 175e http://sundial.watch/product/a38lyw/

The gold watch is 225e http://sundial.watch/product/a38brw/

Sundial brand is owned by Calcul, a watch company based in Shannon, Co Clare.  Check out their exquisite watches.  Perfect for a special Christmas gift. To view all their collection click on www.sundial.watch

Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

This post is in collaboration with Sundial Watches but all views and opinions are 100% my own.

Thanks for reading,      

Orla Xx

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Visit To Pumpkin Patch


Today we got to visit Halloween Pumpkin Patch at The Curraghchase Garden Centre, Co Limerick.  I have never been to a Halloween event like this before so I didn't really know what to expect.  It was great to see the garden centre had gone to huge efforts.  An area of the garden centre was dedicated to the Halloween event. It had a shop selling teas, coffees, candy floss etc, there was a pumpkin carving area with all the utensils provided.  There were bubbles, face painting and numerous Halloween photo opportunities set up. The main event was the huge selection of pumpkins available.  

It was lovely to roam around the hay field and pick the pumpkin.  You could pay for the pumpkin and bring it home or for an extra 3e you could carve it at the Halloween event. The prices were reasonable. Obviously it is more expensive than buying a pumpkin in the supermarket but it is all about the experience and how the kids enjoy it. There was no charge into the event. I booked a few weeks in advance and some time slots were already booked out.  We got a 10am slot, early on a Sunday morning but the weather was lovely and sunny which made the whole experience memorable.  It was a beautiful Autumn morning. 

The grounds were brilliantly decorated which added to the magic of it.  The kids were so inquisitive of the various scary set ups. 

We came across the unusual white pumpkins there, the girls wanted to carve one.  It ended up with a Hello Kitty being carved into it.  Dad got caught for this particular arts and crafts session!

Hello Kitty Pumpkin! :-)

I would highly recommend a day out at Curraghchase Garden Centre for Pumpkin Patch. Leave the buggies at home, too hard to push them through the hay.  Bring the baby carriers.  Bring wet gear.  Although the sun was out, the field, pumpkins and hay were wet. Also bring the wellies.  
If you go let me know how you got on...

Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,      

Orla Xx

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Flapjack Idea for the Little Lunchbox


I am always on the look out for lunchbox ideas for my girls attending playschool, I am sure other parents are too.  Everyone loves something nice after their lunch and as parents we are encouraged to only give healthy lunches. I have been experimenting with flapjacks.  I recently made these and they were a hit.  These are very simple to make and contain protein and fibre.  I store them in an airtight container. 


360g Oats
2 Bananas
6 tbsp Honey
6 tbsp smooth peanut butter
4 tbsp coconut oil plus extra for greasing


Preheat the oven to 180 fan.
Place the oats in a mixing bowl.
Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan with the honey, nut butter and coconut oil.  Allow to simmer until a smooth paste forms.
Pour the liquid over the oats and stir well so that they are fully covered.
Grease a baking tray with some coconut oil.
Transfer the flapjack mix into the baking tray, press it down firmly with a spatula so it is compact.
Bake for 15-20 mins until the top starts to brown.
Once it is cooked remove from tray, leave it fully cool before slicing into flapjacks.


Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,      

Orla Xx

Monday, 25 July 2016

Sunrise Childrens Festival @ St Bridget's Garden

We recently set off to experience the Sunrise Children's Festival at St Bridget's Garden in Co Galway.  It was the first of this festival and it did not disappoint.  It was a weekend event.  Full days of children's activities on Saturday and Sunday. To attend the festival it was 140e this included free camping on the Saturday night.  We arrived at St Bridget's Garden at about 1pm on the Saturday.  

We had to head straight to the camping site to set up our tent for the night.  The camp site was already really full and we had to keep our spot firmly before another family claimed it.  If there was one piece of advise for the organiser's I would give, it would be to let people head to the venue the night before on the Friday evening to set up.  Setting up camp on the Saturday takes time with smallies, hence time out of enjoying the activities on the day with the children.  

When our tent was ready, beds blown up and all unpacked we made the short walk to the festival.  The festival was fabulous for children.  There was an itinerary given to each family on arrival and you could visit each area to experience what you wanted with the family.  The earthy arts and crafts really inspired my girls.  

The craft leaders were very patient and helped each child no matter what age  to produce a lovely piece.  Crafts the girls made included stick instruments, twig disco sticks and wood fairies.  We watched bands, puppet shows, magicians, held bearded dragons and met The BFG to name but a few. We finished up on Sunday evening at the kiddies disco which had an enthusiastic girl showing all the children dance moves.  Just what they needed to keep up the atmosphere.

A highlight for us was the parade on the Saturday evening which led to the bonfire and fire dancers.  It was dress up as 'Superheroes and Goddesses'.  The girls loved this.  It was very well run and enjoyed by all.  

Points to think of - Please open the camping site on the Friday evening.  It would make the whole experience a lot more relaxed if we could set up on the Friday evening and enjoy a full weekend of camping. 


  -A bit yuck but necessary sorry....Bring a camping travel toilet with you.  The power was down a few times over the weekend and the main loos were closed.  I brought a camping toilet because I am in the throws of toilet training with my youngest so it is just easier to have it close by.  You will understand if you have toilet trained a 2 and 5 month child before!! After experiencing a camping children's festival I will never go to a festival again without it!!

                             -The cafe could open earlier on Sunday morning for breakfast.  There was a huge queue waiting at 9am in the rain to get in.  We all know young children wake early, and in a tent they wake even earlier and want to be fed.  

All in all a great weekend away that was all about the children experiencing art and culture.  Well done St Bridget's Garden.  My girls loved it.  We really enjoyed it too.  I hope it becomes an annual children's festival.  It was a sold out festival on both days which goes to show that parents in Ireland want family entertainment and festivals.    

Thanks for reading. If you were there let me know what you enjoyed about the event.

Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,

Orla Xx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

My New Gym Tote


 Hey Guys, 

Over the last few months I have been trying out the Gym Tote whilst attending the gym and checking out how it serves as a changing bag.

The Gym Tote as a gym bag is an amazingly functional and stylish bag.  I seriously could have used a bag like this studying to be a PE teacher 10 years ago!  The Gym Tote looks stylish enough to wear and complete your work outfit or make you look sleek attending the gym.  There are many hidden, spacious pockets in the Gym Tote.  Lots of space for runners, toiletries , towels, change of clothes and all your other gym essentials like water, mobile and keys.

I have used this gym bag as a weekend bag and it served me great.  The space this bag provides you, really needs to be seen to be believed.  I found this bag to be a very cleverly manufactured product. They knew what women want and they created it. I have not seen many Gym Totes in Ireland yet but it is certainly a bag that I see hotel gyms stocking and members/tourists snapping up.  Girls, these bags just make sense.

As a mother I decided to test it as a stylish changing bag.  I am out and about with the kids more than in the gym so it was a no brainer. I know there are so many changing bags on the market but the Gym Tote matches my style so I enjoyed having it on my arm whilst out and about with the girls.  I took the bag with me on various outings to see if it was a functional mummy bag.  I found there was space for nappies, wipes, spare clothes, snacks and water bottles as well as my own mummy essentials. I especially liked it on swimming trips with my ladies.  With 3 girls swimming we have so much stuff, towels, clothes etc.  It all fitted in and looked a lot better than my old Nike gym bag!!

Stand out features - The colour  

What I Love - The gold chunky zips

Whats stylish - The Logo, not one you forget.

Gone are the days of the massive gym bag, Gym bag envy is here, thanks Gym Tote.

Check out all the Gym Tote styles available @

Gym Tote is one to follow on all social media channels #GYMBAGENVY




Don't forget you can keep up to date with Countryside Mumsie on our social media accounts facebook and instagram.

Thanks for reading,

Orla & Kerri X