Sólás Na Mara | Helbhic Seaweed Baths

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Growing up by the sea in  Co.Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland, I was always aware of the benefits of seaweed, unfortunately it has taken me 32 years and moving back to Ireland,this time the East Coast of Ireland, to fully appreciate it. I can still hear my mum telling us to rub the seaweed over our bodies as we waded into the sea every summer…..ya right! All we (my brother,sister & I) did was try and find a spot in the sea to swim in that was free of the “disgusting weed”.

I used to love when the “Peri-Winkle Man” was around the beach,selling bags of peri-winkles with a needle attached, to pluck the horrid things from their shell.He also sold dry seaweed,which  I loved, but have not had for years. I recently purchased this bread mix which is made locally,among other products using seaweed as a substitute for salt.Genius!

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Last week was I was kindly invited along to Solas na Mara | Helibhic Seaweed Baths,in the beautiful Gaeltact (Irish speaking area) of An Rinn,Co.Waterford. A short drive from Dungarvan,Co.Waterford and Yoghal,Co.Cork.  Sólás Na Mara, Heilbhic a seaweed bathhouse, have a new purpose-built, modern facility designed to ensure a relaxing and invigorating experience. The bathhouse was opened 1 year ago. Operated by two established practitioners Caroline Gordon & Cian Ó Conchúir, the clinic offers a range of treatments including Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage and much more, see here. The clinic also boasts a rehab gym to facilitate and aid a speedy recovery.It is well known that seaweed baths have beneficial effects for a vast range of maladies including rheumatism, arthritis and many skin conditions. This is something they have brought to the East Coast. It is an entirely natural product, making it a desirable treatment for the health conscious.

So what is a Seaweed Bath? As the name suggests it is a bath full of hot sea water with seaweed.Imagine that you are immersed in an enormous bath, luxuriating in expensive bath oils,tinted with an amber colour from the seaweed.The silky oils are those extracted from seaweed by a simple process, nothing is added, nothing is taken away – simply natures best.Seaweed Baths have long been a tradition in Ireland.

The seaweed is collected locally in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It is then thoroughly cleaned by hand and steam treated to ensure the highest standard of hygiene.

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Entering the bathhouse through the beautiful cafe,overlooking the ocean,with its boats & fishing trawlers docked at the harbour, I felt I was walking into a Spa. Piped music automatically puts you in relax mode, plus I was on my own, no husband,no baby attached or buggy to push!

I was immediately felt welcome when greeted by Kelly, who answered my 101 questions and then brought to my private room, where she explained in detail how to carry out my treatment.Each room is supplied with gently piped music creating a wonderfully relaxing environment. There is also a twin room for couples. Towels and water are provided, so you need not bring anything with you. Wear loose clothing to ensure you remain comfortable following your bath.

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I first started with a full body steam in this “steam box”, like your very own mini steam room, this process opens your pores preparing for the next stage. I found this really relaxing and spent 5 mins in my “steam box”. Excuse the terrible selfie!

Next up, I entered the warm seawater in a cast iron bath.Sea water is piped through straight from the Atlantic Ocean,and yes I tasted to check if both hot and cold water were salty (all for the sake of blogging)! I stayed steeped in the hot bath for 10 mins,this is meant to release the toxins from your skin,having had already opened your pores in the “steam box”. I sat back and relaxed,no crying baby,no knocks on the door,just me and the music (and a sneak peek at my phone). I’m not great at relaxing!

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On to the seaweed next! I tipped in the bucket of green seaweed and the oils almost immediately began to seep out. Kelly, who showed me around,had instructed me to make sure to rub the seaweed all over my body to ensure I get the best benefits from it.Flashback circa 1986, my mum saying the same thing on Banna Strand! So I obeyed, and my moisture starved skin loved it. I sat in my oily bath for a further 30 mins,this time I shut my eyes and really relaxed,topping up the bath with warm water when needed.

 

 

I was left with super soft skin,and completely relaxed, to the point I needed a coffee after, before I drove home as I was feeling sleepy. I sat with my coffee overlooking the harbour of An Rinn. I would highly recommend a visit,whether you are passing or on on holiday, try out a spa like treatment with a difference.I will certainly be back to sample some of their facials and another bath. Many thanks to Kelly & Solas na Mara.

For more information on Solas Na Mara, see here.

 

*Disclaimer:I was offered a chance to sample a Seaweed Bath for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sólás Na Mara | Helbhic Seaweed Baths

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Growing up by the sea in  Co.Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland, I was always aware of the benefits of seaweed, unfortunately it has taken me 32 years and moving back to Ireland,this time the East Coast of Ireland, to fully appreciate it. I can still hear my mum telling us to rub the seaweed over our bodies as we waded into the sea every summer…..ya right! All we (my brother,sister & I) did was try and find a spot in the sea to swim in that was free of the “disgusting weed”.

I used to love when the “Peri-Winkle Man” was around the beach,selling bags of peri-winkles with a needle attached, to pluck the horrid things from their shell.He also sold dry seaweed,which  I loved, but have not had for years. I recently purchased this bread mix which is made locally,among other products using seaweed as a substitute for salt.Genius!

image

Last week was I was kindly invited along to Solas na Mara | Helibhic Seaweed Baths,in the beautiful Gaeltact (Irish speaking area) of An Rinn,Co.Waterford. A short drive from Dungarvan,Co.Waterford and Yoghal,Co.Cork.  Sólás Na Mara, Heilbhic a seaweed bathhouse, have a new purpose-built, modern facility designed to ensure a relaxing and invigorating experience. The bathhouse was opened 1 year ago. Operated by two established practitioners Caroline Gordon & Cian Ó Conchúir, the clinic offers a range of treatments including Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage and much more, see here. The clinic also boasts a rehab gym to facilitate and aid a speedy recovery.It is well known that seaweed baths have beneficial effects for a vast range of maladies including rheumatism, arthritis and many skin conditions. This is something they have brought to the East Coast. It is an entirely natural product, making it a desirable treatment for the health conscious.

So what is a Seaweed Bath? As the name suggests it is a bath full of hot sea water with seaweed.Imagine that you are immersed in an enormous bath, luxuriating in expensive bath oils,tinted with an amber colour from the seaweed.The silky oils are those extracted from seaweed by a simple process, nothing is added, nothing is taken away – simply natures best.Seaweed Baths have long been a tradition in Ireland.

The seaweed is collected locally in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It is then thoroughly cleaned by hand and steam treated to ensure the highest standard of hygiene.

image

Entering the bathhouse through the beautiful cafe,overlooking the ocean,with its boats & fishing trawlers docked at the harbour, I felt I was walking into a Spa. Piped music automatically puts you in relax mode, plus I was on my own, no husband,no baby attached or buggy to push!

I was immediately felt welcome when greeted by Kelly, who answered my 101 questions and then brought to my private room, where she explained in detail how to carry out my treatment.Each room is supplied with gently piped music creating a wonderfully relaxing environment. There is also a twin room for couples. Towels and water are provided, so you need not bring anything with you. Wear loose clothing to ensure you remain comfortable following your bath.

image

I first started with a full body steam in this “steam box”, like your very own mini steam room, this process opens your pores preparing for the next stage. I found this really relaxing and spent 5 mins in my “steam box”. Excuse the terrible selfie!

Next up, I entered the warm seawater in a cast iron bath.Sea water is piped through straight from the Atlantic Ocean,and yes I tasted to check if both hot and cold water were salty (all for the sake of blogging)! I stayed steeped in the hot bath for 10 mins,this is meant to release the toxins from your skin,having had already opened your pores in the “steam box”. I sat back and relaxed,no crying baby,no knocks on the door,just me and the music (and a sneak peek at my phone). I’m not great at relaxing!

image

 

On to the seaweed next! I tipped in the bucket of green seaweed and the oils almost immediately began to seep out. Kelly, who showed me around,had instructed me to make sure to rub the seaweed all over my body to ensure I get the best benefits from it.Flashback circa 1986, my mum saying the same thing on Banna Strand! So I obeyed, and my moisture starved skin loved it. I sat in my oily bath for a further 30 mins,this time I shut my eyes and really relaxed,topping up the bath with warm water when needed.

 

 

I was left with super soft skin,and completely relaxed, to the point I needed a coffee after, before I drove home as I was feeling sleepy. I sat with my coffee overlooking the harbour of An Rinn. I would highly recommend a visit,whether you are passing or on on holiday, try out a spa like treatment with a difference.I will certainly be back to sample some of their facials and another bath. Many thanks to Kelly & Solas na Mara.

For more information on Solas Na Mara, see here.

 

*Disclaimer:I was offered a chance to sample a Seaweed Bath for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Olives & Applesauce Baby Carier Review

The benefits of using baby carriers, aka babywearing, has been scientifically documented since the late ‘80s. Carrying babies, whether in your arms or in a carrier, reduces crying, provides comfort and convenience at the same time (baby is happy to be held and you can continue being a pro at multi-tasking with both hands), and there are health benefits for babywearing. Studies show that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster than babies who are not . It’s still the norm for many cultures around the world. I have been on the lookout for a new baby carrier/sling recently, as my “BABYBJÖRN  carrier which I have used since Amelia was born ,was getting uncomfortable, her weight was starting to hurt my back when I carried her for long periods of time, as there is no back support. I loved the “BABYBJÖRN when she was smaller.   image   This time round, I wanted to find a sling that would work from Birth to Toddler and that I could carry Amelia on the front,back and on my hip. I came across this beautiful carrier, Free Bird Garden by Olives & Applesauce, on Koalacubs website,  Ireland’s largest specialist baby sling shop.They are dedicated to providing a wide range of baby slings, carriers and accessories to suit Irish families. From the versatile wraparound sling to the convenient soft structured carrier.They have a carrier to suit everyone, whatever your choice. I chose Olives and Applesauce because the straps can cross over your back offering extra support, the body is larger and wider than other slings on the market, which is great as Amelia is getting bigger and heavier, and I use the carrier a lot. I loved the print, bright and something different from the usual black or grey of traditional carriers. image A unique feature about this carrier which I loved, was the adjustable length side straps. When you’re wearing baby on the front, you want the side straps short. When you’re wearing baby on the back, you need them long. I don’t think I would use this for a newborn baby, as I feel they would be lost inside it, as the body is so large. The Olives and Applesauce has an interior pocket, that you can clip baby into, for extra support and it also makes it easier for transfer from adult to adult. I used this initially, but Amelia got too hot, so now I use it without the extra pocket. image image   image I have worn this with Amelia on front, and on my back, I have still to try it on my hip, she loves it on both positions. Pros of this carrier is the wide and tall body, making it suitable for the bigger and taller baby/toddler, the buckles are big and strong, making it easier to use the carrier on your own.The only negative thing I have to add is that you cannot have your baby front facing, this is one position Amelia loved in the Baby Bjorn Original.The Olives and Applesauce carrier has an attached hood. This is great for a younger child,however it is too short to cover Amelia’s head, and I doubt she would leave it on. I have my eye on another few carrier on the website, there are so many beautiful prints and designs to choose from. To see more information on the Olives and Applesauce range, visit http://www.koalacubs.ie

Hello Canvas Print Review with 20% discount

When you walk into my home, it is easy to see that I love pictures. I have loved taking pictures since a young age,long before picture phones were around. I was always the one with a camera on a night out,holiday or weekend away. Yes my friends would roll their eyes, and say “not another one T”, (actually they still do!),but they always came looking for the pictures after. They even gave me a nick-name after a local newspaper photographer at home!Pictures are by far my favorite way to personalise my home.They are my memories.

 

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So with this in mind, I was delighted to review a canvas print when offered. Of course it had to be a picture of Amelia,and I chose my favourite picture, that I took of her on her first birthday.

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When picking my canvas,I chose a print, that wrapped the image around the sides,so that if I choose not to frame it,it will still look good.The ordering process was quick and easy,upload from your computer, or if you are not sure about doing it this way,there is also the option to post in your picture,which they will transfer on to a canvas, with prices starting from €18.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. Our beautiful canvas picture, has been printed using the most advanced printing techniques that exist today and the inks used are UV resistant therefore never fade in the sun.Our canvas print arrived within days of ordering,wrapped in a protective foil and packed in a sturdy custom cardboard shipping box. This reduces the risk of damage during transportation.

I have previously had pictures put onto canvas prints,and the end product has not been great,with blurring of the images even when standing away from the print. This print looks exactly how the original picture did.I have my new print mounted on the wall at the top of the stairs.I love it,and I am proud to add it to my ever growing collection of pictures around our home.

Hello Canvas have kindly offered all my readers 20% off all orders until 14.06.14. To claim your 20% discount enter “LittleLondoner” at checkout.

T & A xxxx

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent our canvas print free of charge, for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

*Review* Little Bowtique Nenagh

This post is for all you mummies of little girls & for those looking for “the perfect gift” for a little girl.

A few months ago we were very kindly sent a selection of bows and bands from Little Bowtique Nenagh. I have fallen in love with them and now want one in every colour. Packaged in pink net bags,with fast delivery, we were thrilled when they arrived.Below is pictures of Amelia wearing the bows and bands that we selected.

Michelle Sherlock, who owns Little Bowtique Nenagh, came up with the concept of making and selling her own bows,bands & ties after her daughter was born in 2012. She always had a love of making her own bits and pieces,and after months of buying similar bands from a girl in Dublin,she figured she could probably make them herself. She started off with simple bands with flowers attached or a small bow and has progressed from there.While she works full time, she makes all her bows,bands and ties in her spare time when her daughter has gone to bed. I like that you deal personally with Michelle, when ordering, so you can talk about exactly what you want.Message her on Facebook and she will talk you through what you want.

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Little Bowtique stocks a wide range of headbands (elastic & metal),clips,ponytail elastics,flowers and bows, which can be all made to order. Future plans are to design flower brooches for kids cardigans and shoe clips.

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I love the concept of the Interchangeable Headbands with Bows or you can choose flowers. See picture 1. It is designed to give you a band to match every outfit.I had previously seen these on US websites,but not in Ireland or the UK. Each bow can be swapped around and put on a different coloured band. Or wear the bow alone. The bows and flowers are set on alligator clips which are covered with the fabric used to create the bow. Finished to a high standard,the material is high quality and durable.We have loved putting bows in Amelia’s hair for a while now &amp, she has a lot of thick hair and these are perfect, you also feel you are getting far more than what you paid for,as two bow/bands can make up four when interchanged.

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Little Bowtique also stocks and designs clips,bows, flowers, headbands and ties with One Direction, Peppa Pig,Sofia The First and many more.See here for more details.

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Photo Credit: Little Bowtique

Little Bowtique has kindly offered my readers 10% discount by quoting A Little Londoner on ordering.

Bows and bands are €5.00, buy 4 or more €4.00 each plus (10 % discount)
Bows – €3.50 each
Bands- €1.50 each

Customised Bands will be quoted on ordering.

For further information on prices and more from Little Bowtique Nenagh,contact Michelle Sherlock here.

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.All opinions are my own.

*COMPETITION* GAGABIBS

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Would you like to win some funky bibs? We have been sent these bibs from Gaga Bibs. Made from 100% cotton, with funky logos,they can be personalised or add your own design.

Gaga Bibs, whose slogan is “Rock The Highchair” was set up recently by couple Yvette and Sean, a nurse & administrator. They had seen a gap in the market for a product that could be edgy and a bit different from the 100’s of bibs that say “I love mummy’. Sean has the creative skills and the graphic design background,setting up the business and website.Recently they had a large amount of friends and family have new babies and when looking for gifts,they were unable to find a company who made silly,funny and sometimes un-PC slogans or picstures to print on clothing.

AMELIA'S PERSONALISED BIB BY GAGA BIBS

AMELIA’S PERSONALISED BIB BY GAGA BIBS

“We bring to life funny, silly, funky, and modern designs and print them onto babies’ bibs. What we bring is a breath of fresh designs into a market that doesn’t seem to have enough of them. Our bibs stand out from the rest, and there’s a reason why: we make unique products, and customers appreciate that.”

I love the idea that it’s something very different,and being able to have whatever you like on your bib.Add another cool accessory to your baby’s wardrobe.

Enter this GAGABIBS-PROMO at checkout to receive 15% discount off your first order. One per customer. Valid until 30/06/14.

Shipping is free on all UK orders over £10.

Check out their website for a wide range of their products. www.gagabibs.com

I have 6 Bibs from Gaga Bibs to give away.

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Click Here To Enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck

T & A xxxxx

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name – Book Review



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A few weeks ago Amelia was kindly sent a book from the Lost My Name team. A beautiful illustrated book depicting the story of  a child who has lost his or her name, and bravely sets off to track down the missing letters. Your child’s name is not just in the book, it is what the story is made of, which makes this book stand out from the rest. It’s written as a rhyme, which helps keep your child’s attention.Well as a family, we love an adventure & exploring, so it was right down our street.Fun, surprising, occasionally scary, mostly marvellous and intensely personal. In fact I would say more personal than any book I have seen yet.

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Along the way the child meets lots of weird and wonderful characters, who each give the first letter of their name. This is a brilliant way of teaching your child how to spell their own name, without it being boring and mundane. The books target age range I would say is two plus,but you are never too young to start reading & learning how to spell.

 

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The book is written by three dads (David, Pedro & Asi) and an uncle (Tal). They went about writing the best personalised book ever, and I have to say, it’s fantastic. Well done Dads. They found out when first writing the book that there are  over 14,000 childrens names. So in order to make sure they have a story to suit each name, they have written 30 different stories with illustrations.

 

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In our book the little girl wakes up to find her name missing from her door & did not know what her name was.She set off on a trail to find her name, on the way meeting loads of different creatures & people who help her find her name, such as an Aardvark, Mermaid, Elephant, Lion,Inuit,Angel, who all give her a letter to make up her name.

 

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Books and reading are so important, start from a young age. We love reading to Amelia, and though she has not a clue what we are saying, it’s the practise of reading that is important. “A book is a gift, that you can open again and again” and nothing could be more true for this book. We loved reading it to Amelia & seeing what adventure the next page led to.   I have always said,no matter how much or little money we have, there will always be money for books, and for those who don’t, then utilise your public library.

 

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To create your own book go to http://www.lostmy.name for £18.99 & Free P&P worldwide,I think it’s a steal & would make a beautiful gift.It is so easy to order,what are you waiting for?

 

I have x 2 15% discount codes.Please like ,share & leave a comment under this post on Facebook,like & share my page A Little Londoner or retweet @alittlelondoner.Winner will be chosen at random on Friday.

 

Disclaimer: This book was sent to is for the purpose of this review. All opinions are all my own.