Sunday, 26 July 2015

10 Things you didn't know about me!

I would like to thank The Simply Homemade Mum for tagging me in "10 Things you didn't know about me" I find these tags quite fun and I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little more!

1. What did you want to be when you were younger?

I often think back on this and smile as I don't think it really would've been a job for me. When I was deciding my subjects for the Leaving Certificate I chose primarily science subject as I believed I was going to be a Vet! Let's just say, Chemistry is not my strong point and being a Vet I don't think would have been the ideal role for me... I can be a little squirmish!!

2.Do you have any hidden talents?

I don't know would I call it a hidden talent but I'm pretty good at cooking when I get the time to stray from the normal family meals. I love to set myself challenges when we've people for dinner and try our new recipes. So far they've all worked out a treat so will keep my fingers crossed this keeps up! 

3. What do you love most about blogging?

Besides loving being able to enjoy writing again I think it is the people I've met that inspire me along the way. I've made some great friends who have given me fantastic support and not just with my blog. I feel very lucky already for the people I've met and also for the fun times that lie ahead. 

4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

There's quite a few places I think I would like to live and for lots of reasons. I love Curraun, Co. Mayo as it is where my mother grew up and it is very peaceful. I feel very relaxed when I am there. 

I'd love Melbourne, Australia too! When I visited there in January 1998 (my lord I feel old!), I loved it as a city, its very relaxed and so much culture. A bonus too is that one of my brothers lives there so it would be great to be close to him as it's nearly 7 years since I've seen him!
As a mid-point I think I would probably pick Italy around Sienna. While I've only visited Italy twice it is a country I really like. I love their food, style and culture. 

5. Do you believe that everything happens for a reason, that it’s fate?

I'm a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. So many things have happened within my own life not all good and not all bad yet the outcome has always been positive.I think I learned this more so when I came to terms with my mothers passing. I learned to take the good out of the bad and look forward. Life can be tough but it is what we make of it that counts! 

6. What makes you smile?

My Family! They always bring a smile to my face even on those crazy days! 

7. What is your middle name?

Damnait! This is pronounced Dow-nit! It was my mums first name and I'm proud to say is my daughters second name.

8. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

While I love all seasons for different reasons Spring is probably the one I like best. I love the new beginnings it brings. 

9. What song reminds you of a happy moment in your life?

This is the Day - Captain Beefheart! This song was not brings back wonderful memories of our wedding day as it was our first dance, it also reminds me of when my husband and I started going out. When I worked in Killiney he used to collect me when I'd a few days off and as we'd sit in traffic driving back to Kildare we would listen to this song along with other Captain Beefheart songs and Portishead

10. What would be your perfect meal?

When it comes to food it is always mood related! For comfort I love a steak sandwich with all the trimmings and homemade oven chips. 
For "posh nosh" I love Beef Wellington and Gratin Potato!

Thank you again The Simply Homemade Mum for the tag. I would like to tag:

All you have to do is add the 10 Things image from the top of this post, link back to me and answer the following 10 questions. Then if you wish to do so, compile 10 questions of your own and tag 10 of your fellow bloggers to do the same.

Here are your 10 Questions!

1. Whats your favorite room in your home?
2. What makes a perfect sandwich?
3. What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
4. If you were only able to wear one item of makeup what would it be?
5. Camping? Glamping? Self-Catering? Hotel? What would your choice be on a holiday?
6. What are your favorite flowers?
7. If you won a lotto of €1 Million what would be the first thing you would do?
8. Whats your favorite thing to do in Summer? 
9. Whats your favourite thing to do to relax?
10. Your perfect breakfast?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Review: Tropic's Superfood Hand Therapy

With summer trying to get into full swing it means getting outside as much as possible between the showers, doing some gardening and taking in the Turf! For me that means my poor hands are going to get some tough love and will need some TLC. 

When I received Tropics Superfood Hand Therapy to try I was delighted. Having already tried their Eye Refresh Roll which you can read about here I had high hopes and I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint! 

So being a Superfood Hand Therapy Cream what is is supposed to do? Well, it is an "intensive age defying treatment for your hands and cuticles". And it does this with the following;

Olive Squalane - Softens the most rough skin.

Mango Butter - Replenishes & hydrates.

Oatmeal Infusion - Repairs & soothes.

Papaya Extracts - Brightens & improves skin tone.

My first impressions was of the packaging. I liked that it was bright and simple. The lid too is great as you press it to open so it makes it very easy to close when you've cream on your hands. Many's a time I've been frustrated trying to twist caps on with cream on my hands but this is no more with this innovative lid! 

When I first used the cream, I was struck by the smell! It is just divine! This isn't surprising with ingredients such as Macadamia Oil, Papaya Extract, Grapefruit and and Bergamot to name but a few! 

Day 1 Before using Tropics Superfood Hand Therapy

Before I began using the cream, I noticed my hands were very dry as you can probably see from the image above. Between cleaning about the house, the garden, unloading turf and minding our two little ones my hands had seen better days! 

Not only do I love the smell of this cream, I also love how light it is. Many creams I've used in the past, I've felt to be "heavy" and almost look like a layer over my skin. The Superfood Hand Therapy absorbed well without my hands feeling greasy. With my hands being so dry it took a couple of uses of the cream to bring them back to life again! Once they were revived I felt the effects of the cream were long lasting. What I mean by this I never felt I needed to use the cream on a daily basis as I have in the past with others. 

My hands now!

After only days of using the cream my hands felt so much softer. I've noticed too with continued use that my nails feel stronger which is great. Overall for me, I found it to date to be one of the best handcreams I've used. 

Tropics Superfood Hand Therapy retails at £12 for 80ml (€17.21 approx) which you can buy here. I think for the price and the size it is well worth it. A little goes a long way so you get great value for money. 

All of Tropics Products are Certified "cruelty free",  Vegan Approved and Made with Natural Plant Extracts. You can learn more about Tropics Beliefs and Values here!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Keeping it Local - Marrons Pharmacy

There are many things in life that I am grateful for and one of those is where I live! While it is not where I was born or where I grew up it is where I call home and that is in Clane, Co. Kildare!
Since becoming a full-time resident of Clane nearly 12 years ago, I've been thankful for the people I've met with one family in particular coming to mind and that's the Marron's. Marron's I've known about 20 years (feeling old now!) and since moving here they have gotten to know me all the more and our family! 

Marron's own one of the local family Pharmacies in the village. Established since 1957 they are a big part of Clane not only offering their services but also helping within the community. Since their doors opened they have seen every lump and bump and have gained a great wealth of knowledge. For us and our family, they are our first point of call if we have something troubling us. 

Most recently I was in regarding our son who is 3. His dad was away for work and during those 5 nights our little man became quite anxious. I popped into the pharmacy to see if they could advise of anything that might help. I spoke with Máire and between both herself and her son Jonathon, our little man was sorted. Jonathon took the time to do a little research and we chatted in the private consultation room. As my son and daughter were there, the conversation contained lots of spelling so as not to make him feel more anxious. I came away that day with information on hand and a piece of mind too that all would be grand .... and it was. So many times we pop to "Dr. Google" for advice or pay to see our GP when a simple question to our local pharmacist can point you in the right direction! 

This is just one occasion on when Marron's helped us. Over the years there have been countless things that we've popped into them for and always received great advice and support when needed. 

We often see through social media and advertising the promotion of the larger pharmacy chains and we are led to believe that we are being offered better value but this is not always the way. 

Here's just one example of price difference given to me by Jonathon;

A now new patient living locally changed to Marron's for two reasons. One was because they look after his wife in Hazel Hall Nursing Home. The other reason was due to the price difference for his own medication. 

His subscription was as follows to give you an idea;

  • Amlode 5mg, 
  • Aspirin 75mg, 
  • Omeprazole 20mg, 
  • Symbicort Inhaler 
  • Teveten 600mg/12.5mg.

This was the difference:

  • Previously paid €123.13 for 30 days supply in a local Pharmact (outside of Clane) 
  • Tesco's was €107.27 but was for only 28 days supply (28 days supply is 93% of 30 days, the value doesn't strictly work like that but it should be borne in mind that like was not compared with like). 
  • Marron's price then for the same medication was €94.07 for 30 days supply. 

Pharmacy Services offered

  • Blood pressure monitoring - Free
  • 24 hour blood pressure monitoring - €45 which goes to the company that produce the report for us
  • Asthma clinic - Free. This service includes inhaler demonstration and technique, communication of peak flow monitoring principles and demo. It is aimed at empowering patients to take control of their asthma, especially children.
  • Full cardiac screen - €45. This service includes cholesterol screen, hemoglobin screen, blood pressure check, diabetes screen, BMI and lifestyle exam. You receive your results before leaving and all equipment used is lab standard.
  • Hemoglobin testing - €10 (test for anemia)
  • Urinalysis - If someone thinks they may have a UTI, Marron's will do a urinalysis and refer them to the doctor if necessary.
  • Influenza vaccination Free - €30. The charge is dependent on health and medical card or not.
  • Blister packing of medicines - Free. this is for people who are unable to cope
  • Home delivery - Free. This is a service provided for those who are unable to get out and about.
Marron's are also involved in any National Health Promotion campaigns and are experts on all medicines including specialist ones like fertility medicines, anti cancer regimes, convalescence.

Marrons are experts in dermatology in children. As Jonathon says himself "with all of us being parents ourselves and we're not afraid to look at a rash, mole, wound, sore, nappy area gone wrong or funky feet and we can generate referrals to the right people where necessary"

Beauty, Fragrance and Bling!

The Lovely Edel showing some of their fragrances! No better woman to help you with your needs! 

Not only do Marron's offer fantastic service and options on the medical side, they have some fabulous treats in Skincare, Beauty, Fragrance and Gifts departments. In skincare they have wonderful brands such as Clarins, Vichy, La Roche Posay, The Works, Nuxe and L'occitane to name but a few.

When it comes to Beauty they stock IsaDora, MeMeMe, Catrice and Rimmel.

In perfume, they have a fantastic range including Chanel, D&G, Gucci, Hermes
Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, Boss, Armani,Thierry Mugler and special offers from €12.95 on brands such as Benetton and Ted Baker!

And for gifts there's a fantastic range for the little ones, Jewellery, Designer Sunglasses and Orla Kiely to start you off!

Other Services Offered

  • Ear piercings - €25 - Minimum age 7
  • Make Up - Available Fridays and Saturdays (booking is advised)
      • Free when you spend over €50 on cosmetics 
      • €25 if you'd just like to treat yourself to a makeover! 
  • Passport photos - €6.50
  • Gift Wrapping - Free

Awards / Winnings!!

  • GSK Health Promotion Pharmacy of the Year 2014 
  • Actavis Business Development (independent) Pharmacy of the Year 2014 
  • Jonathan won the Patient Nominated Pharmacist of the Year 2014.

Jonathan proudly sharing his award!

  • Edel was All Ireland finalist in the Counter Assistant of the Year (2014) 
  • Won numerous National Window Competitions over the years. This year already winning 3, Nupo, Cocoa Brown and Roger and Gallet and awaiting to hear back on hopefully a fourth! 
  • Nominated by the Irish Times for the Best window display in Best Shops competition!

Edel at the Vichy Excellence Awards

When I spoke with the Marrons about writing this piece I smiled when I read this sentence from Jonathan "you could quite easily get a song sung to you whilst filling your prescription or picking up a Lemsip (depending on Des and Edel)"
This is something I smiled at as I witnessed this myself to customers who were on holidays and while they waited were sung to by both Des and Edel!

Who's on the Team

  • Des Marron: Pharmacist (Grandfather and Father)
  • Jonathon Morrissey: Supervising / Superintendent Pharmacist with a Masters in Pharmacy (Grandson to Des, Son to Máire)
  • Máire Morrissey: Consumer manager (Daugther to Des, Mother to Joanthon and Genevieve)
  • Edel Marron: Consumer manager (Daughter to Des)
  • Sandra: Clinical Pharmacist with a Masters in Pharmacy
  • Roisin: Senior Technician
  • David: Technician
  • Genevieve: Technician and 4th year Pharmacy student (Granddaughter to Des, daughter to Máire)
  • Shauna: OTC* Sales Assistant
  • Jordan: OTC* Sales Assistant (Granddaughter to Des)
  • Olivia: OTC Sales Assistant
  • Victor: Delivery Driver (hospital, nursing homes, homecare) (son to Des)
* OTC - Over the Counter
Within the Team there are 5 Permanent Full-time member (Des, Jonathon, David, Victor, Shauna)
The rest of the team are then Part-time with Máire and Edel working 4 days and the others varying 2 - 4 days. 
The man who began is all, Des Marron

Marrons Annual Coffee Morning which raises over €3,500 each year for 

St. James Hospital! 

While this may seem an unusual post for my blog, I felt it was an important one. We often forget what business' are on our doorstep and to me I think having a relationship with your local pharmacist is so important. If I was to stop and think all of the times Marrons helped both my husband (who's 100% Clane), myself and our children I think we'd run out of fingers and toes!

Keep it local when you can and if your in the area pop into Marrons .... Tell them Chirps from a Little Red Hen sent you and you might get a song ;-)

Pop over to their Facebook page here where they have a fabulous La Roche Posay Competition and all for a good cause, Temple Street Childrens Hospital

I was not asked to write this post and all information above is of my own writing unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Competition: Alflorex Summer Giveaway worth €200!

The blue skies seem to be peering through today here in Kildare so why not have a competition! 

Aflorex would like to give one lucky reader branded Alflorex Bobble Bottle and six month supply of Alflorex PrecisionBiotics all to the value of €200

Sometimes we can underestimate the importance of hydration and the problems it can lead to. 
Our bodies function far more efficiently when properly hydrated. Muscles, skin, immune system and brain all benefit from proper hydration and so too does our digestive system.Increasing water intake can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of IBS. Water helps supply important nutrients and also helps eliminate waste from the body too. Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day is important particularly during summer months

Alflorex is the only PrecisionBiotic daily supplement that contains the unique and precise culture Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 to support digestive health.

If you'd like to enter just like & share my Facebook page which you will find here! 

Best of Luck! 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Making time to breathe!

The last few weeks have brought a few changes to our coup and over the last few days I've been reminding myself of two recent posts "Being positive pays off" and "Being Honest to you".  While we've had some "crazy" going on, now that the dust is settling, I feel its time for me to reevaluate me!

While summer may not be as we'd hoped for so far it is time for me to bring the sunshine back but this time for my body. Over the last few months I've let my emotions rule my eating habits and my waistline and body are suffering for it. I know the ideal would be to literally cut out all the bad things as I've done in the past but what I also know is, if I do that within a week I will be back to square one. 
It has to be a lifestyle change at a pace that suits me. I need to get back to the frame of mind I was in June 2014 when my weight loss journey began and add some #BeTheBestYou to enjoy it all the more! I know when I began to make small changes that it made a difference so I think this is the best way for me to go. I need to be clever in how I substitute things and in those things I really don't want to give up, how I can have them without suffering as much for it. 

While exercise too is key, I know for a fact I wont be able to give this the time I'd like to. While on dry days (which seem rare lately) I will be out for walks with the kids I know the evenings will be taken up in the office (aka our spare room!) and having family quality time! I don't believe they are bad excuses to have as they are both very important things. I have however spoken to the lovely Claire of Volta Fitness and got advice on an exercise or two to do that I can get done during the day so it's not all bad! I'm hoping if the weather picks up there will be a lot more running around with the kids so here's hoping! 

One of the most important things I seriously need to look at is the right TLC for me! As some of you know I was looking to find some products to finally get a proper skincare routine in place! I was delighted with myself when I picked up some Nivea the next day which was on special so thought "its meant to be"! Unfortunately while I thought the initial breakouts I was having was from my skin finally getting some love it was in fact a reaction! 

I stopped using all the products and began using Bioderma Micellar Water, Holos Toner and Ziaja Natural Olive anti-wrinkle Cream which I'd received in my fab #IrishBLBInspire goody bag which you can read about here. Hey presto within a few days, I was clearing up! 

Stupid me though got brave! I wanted to pick up a BB Cream as I like to wear less during the summer. All they had in the chemist I was in was Nivea ..... yes, silly me bought it and thought "sure maybe this will be different" After only 2 days, my skin was worse. 
I have to say it is something I'm not used to at all and it has knocked some of my confidence. I know this may sound silly as I've never had perfect skin but the sensation I've had on my face feels like I'm burnt. I've now scaring that I'm hoping I can clear but so afraid to try anything. For now I'm keeping it very basic and using Natural Face masks such as Honey and Cinnamon to help reduce the redness. 

With these "setbacks" the most important thing I've learned I need to do is to relax more and breath! I've a lot of great things ahead of me at the moment and that's where my focus is going to lie! I'm going to keep the positive mind I have moving forward and remembering along the way to take time out every once in a while and breathe! 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

#MeetTheBloggers - Trés-Belle Blog

Things have been very busy in the coup here so much so that I'm introducing today's #MeetTheBloggers a few days late, sorry. With all the crazy goings on in mind, I'm going to hold off on any further #MeetTheBloggers for the time being so I can concentrate on some things at home and also, on getting back to regular posts to you! 

So #MeetTheBloggers is going out in style today! I'd like to introduce you to the lovely Grainne of Trés-Belle Blog. I hope you enjoy learning more about Grainne as I have. 

1. Why did you begin Blogging?

I decided to start up a blog after a few friends had said I should look in to doing one as I loved sharing beauty ideas and bargains with everyone. I am so happy I started now. It has really helped me identify myself in so many ways and being able to speak out about mental illness in a recent post really proved to me that I was right to start blogging. The fact I can share my story with everyone and bring people the courage to speak out about their own mental health issues is truly amazing. 

2. Describe your blog style in five words

Pretty, helpful, honest, informative and happy. 

3. Have you any other blogs?

Nope this is the only blog I have. One is enough for now!

4. What makes you follow / read other Blogs?

I love to read about beauty tips and real life stories. I love a blog that has a bit of humour in it to and is easy to read. Not overloaded with too much info either is always an attractive blog to me. Also pictures is a must for me. I am a very censorial kinda person haha! I Pictures really attract me to a good read.  

5. What would prevent you from following / reading another Blog?

Constant negativity or bad reviews. You don’t want to just read something full of complaints. I like a blog to have a personal touch to it too. 

6. Who would be your top three Blog recommendations?

BeIbhinn Wynne Judge from , Lisa Murphy from and I love your own blog Eimear, . All three are fantastic blogs and I love sitting down with a cuppa catching up on all the blog posts. 

Myself & Belbhinn

7. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Just do it. If you feel that you have something to offer and want to share your interests with the world then just go for it. What have you to lose? It is the best thing I ever started. I never would have imagined I’d have been able to do it and here I am 3 months on with over2000 likes on Facebook and over 6000 views on my blog. So I am pretty happy with those results J and to top it all off I have met some amazing people through the blog too! All it can do is bring some positivity to your life. A lot of people say it’s very hard work and time consuming, that is no doubt true but it is so enjoyable that it doesn’t seem like hard work at all.

8. A fun thing your readers don’t know about you?

I have never had a pedicure!!! It’s sad but true. I don’t particularly like feet so that would be a big reason as to why I never got one. Maybe one day!

I'd like to thank Grainne for taking part in #MeetThe Bloggers. You can follow her blog via the links below. 

Facebook :
Twitter :

I've really enjoyed getting to know some amazing bloggers via the #MeetTheBloggers series and I hope you have too. If you missed any just click here
So for now #MeetTheBloggers says goodbye but hopefully when things settle, I will begin it again.