Monday, August 31, 2015

Stylish Changing Bags

My bag is a vortex. Hours have been lost rummaging through receipts, nappies, make up, banana's, toy phones and keys, and real ones; and of course Lyla's Peppa Pig teddy. I hold up queues up and down the city with my constant searching. 
The perfect way to disguise this unorganised chaos, as well as distracting from the other bags - under mama's eyes, is with a stylish, modern changing bag. 


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Our First Home

We are on the move! Again. From Bridgefoot Street to Manchester, then Christchurch, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Pimlico and Marrowbone Lane, we've moved quite a bit in our 5 or 6? year relationship. And now we are on the move again. Why? Because we love packing.

Not really, in fact I hate packing. But it looks like this will be our last time having to do it because we have just bought our first home!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

London With A Toddler

Small apartments for high rents, tube stations with no lifts and incessant crowds. London; not exactly somewhere you would consider child friendly. That was my opinion when we were booking a weekend away with our 15 month old. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thoughtful 30th Gift

As birthday's go, I think my thirtieth was pretty spectacular. 
Spent in London with my little family, in the sun, eating good food and drinking delicious champagne. 
I was absolutely spoilt with presents, cards and well wishes, but by far the best thing I got was this video my boyfriend put together for me. 
Nothing could have made me laugh (and shed a few tears) more than this...well maybe Scott from Five singing it to me himself, but whatever!
How lucky I am to have so many lovely in my life!?

If your looking for a thoughtful gift for a loved one this is definitely the way to go. 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

30 going on 16

I have a confession to make.
I’ve been living a lie.

I've spent the last ten years or so pretending to be an adult. Even going to the extreme lengths of having a baby and buying a house to convince you all that I am, in fact, a responsible grown up. Now as my 30th birthday approaches, I think its time to come clean.

I, Emma Coogan, am a 16 year old masquerading as an adult. And I had you all tricked didn't I?!

But if you look closely (past the wrinkles), you can see the signs of my enduring youth.

  1. The panic etched on my face as I prepare to buy alcohol: rehearsing my date of birth and star sign - just in case they ask. Then feeling as if I've gotten away with something when they usher me in without a second look. Eh hello? Don't you realise I'm underage and about to drink myself into an oblivion because I've yet to realise the one that's too many?
  2. When using public transport I head straight for the back seats. Because that's were all the cool kids sit obvz.
  3. Every time I go out for dinner, I order burger and chips. No matter the restaurant, setting or occasion, all I want is a burger drowned in ketchup.
  4. (This should really be 3a) When at home, I enjoy beans on toast or boiled egg and soldiers.
  5. I refer to my apartment as 'The Club House'.
  6. I live in fear of my Mam giving out to me for spending too much money on clothes or going out and when I step back into her house I automatically revert back to teenage mode, expecting her to make me tea and tidy up after me.
  7. And that constant teenager/first-job feeling of ‘I have no idea what I'm doing’ and 'It’s only a matter of time before I’m found out'
  8. Let’s not mention how long it takes me to respond to 'Mama'. It always takes a couple of moments before I realise I am in fact the Mama she is referring to. Eek. Or if a child calls me Lady or Woman. "That Lady"...Huh? What lady? Me? Nah.
  9. My conversations revolve more around Sabrina The Teenage Witch than current affairs.
  10. I don't understand taxes or politics and worry more about what my theme tune should be rather than my pension.
  11. My playlists consist of Hanson, Sisqo and mid-90s Celine Dion.
  12. I enjoy hopskotch, jigsaws, swings and making up dance routines.
  13. At toddler group the other day I noticed my outfit (dungarees) matched more of the kids than it did the parents.
  14. And when I hear Jamie talking business, I'm like...'Wow..such a grown up'.

Part of me is just waiting for that day I wake up caring about politics, but for now I'm happy out being a teenage mom. If I could just convince my parents to pay and cook for me, I would be sorted.
So, I guess I’m turning thirty but really.. 16 4eva. XOXO


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Patent shoes & Mama Stripes

Surrounded by bags, boxes and Lyla's toys I am taking a moment to appreciate where I am and the person I am here with, at this time in my life. My life is pretty sweet at the moment and I am beyond grateful for the people who have made it this way. 

Anyway, now to the actual post. Lyla got this dress as a gift for her birthday. At the time it was way to big for her, now it fits her perfectly, if not a little snug around her belly. (Baby bellies = beyond cute). It never ceases to amaze how much a baby can change in such a short space of time. She has about 10 words now, sings the Peppa pig theme tune and despite holding my hand in these pictures can take at least 8 steps unaided.

Her dress is from Gap and her adorable little patent shoes are from Penny's. I think my goal in life is to find a way of wearing patent shoes with socks myself, without looking like a twat. 
Until then I'm pretty happy with these little Zara ankle boots. They aren't leather like my 6387 other pairs of boots, so I feel like I'm progressing with being a bit more experimental sartorially. 

Although the stripes and black Mac style jacket might beg to differ.

The shorts are actually a play suit that I have decided is too young for me (THIRTY THIS WEEK!) but with a jumper covering the low plunge line you'd never know.

Emma: Playsuit - Urban Outfitters, Jumper - Zara, Jacket - H&M, Shoes - Zara
Lyla: Dress - Gap, Cardigan - Pennys, Shoes - Pennys

Did I mention I'm THIRTY this week!?!?

Monday, August 17, 2015

turning 30 giftguide

My birthday is approaching and its a big one. So I thought I would treat myself to something, I could give this list to Jamie to make his life easier but I kind of like to make him suffer... Joking, he's already got me the best present ever, a house! (Ok he didn't buy me a house for my birthday, but we bought a house, so I'm pretty happy with that)

Anyway here's a little look at the pretty (fashion-y) things that have been catching my eye.

1. Selected Madrid Kimono Top/. 2. Cos Red Dress/. 3. Self Portrait Lace Dress/.

4. Velvet RayBans/. 5. Jord Wooden Watch/. 6. BDG Suede Bag/.

7. Cos Mesh Bag/. 8. Fred Perry Bomber Jacket/. 9. Cos Rope Belt

If you like my style, there's plenty more on my Pinterest and if you have Bloglovin I would really appreciate a follow! I'm very lonely over there!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Baby Friendly Eateries Dublin

Third Space 

In case you hadn't noticed, going for coffee and scones is my idea of a dream afternoon out. I know, I know, I am absolutely wild. 
When treating ones self to such luxuries when in the company of a toddler there are a number of considerations to be made. Space for a buggy, a high chair, changing room, staff that wont get upset about a child throwing food on the floor etc etc. 
At least once a week Lyla and I go for lunch or coffee, so I have been sussing out the best places to sip and eat in Dublin. We wouldn't be into the usual types of eateries listed as child friendly, Nando's, Milano's etc. We like something with a bit more life and a bit more style so I thought I may as well start reviewing* the places we go in terms of child-friendliness. Obviously just an excuse to keep going on lunch dates, but whatevs. 
So here is my first!

Third Space, Smithfield. 
"Third Space is a place for local people to gather & eat easily, inexpensively & regularly, with space for creative, cultural and community activities."
We first went to ThirdSpace when Lyla was just 8 weeks old. I had joined a mother-baby group in Stoneybatter and afterwards all 8 mama's and babies headed here for a coffee. When the staff cleared a big table for us and  helped bring our buggies up the two steps, I knew I had found where I would be hanging out with my baby for years to come. 
Third Space isn't overly spacious, but it is bright, warm and friendly. It has high chairs, a changing room, and even toys for kids. The staff are so friendly and have never once given out about the mess Lyla makes. In fact they are all smiles with her and go out of their way to say Hiya back to her 14546 times. 
The decor is modern and trendy but not over the top, and the clientele is a nice mix of locals, business-y types and stylish young people working away on their Macs.
They cover all basis with the food, with sandwich's, hearty meals and cakes - something for everyone and the coffee is great, with decaf on the menu for any pregnant ladies, or breastfeeding mums. 
It gets quite busy between 12.30-2 but before and after tend to be quiet enough.

*I have no idea how to actually review, so its more just a list of places, with what they have and pictures...everyone loves a good picture. 

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Life Lessons from a Toddler

*Silly Mummy Moment*

Getting a little bit emotional about Lyla learning to walk. Not because it means she's growing up (which, by the way, is happening way to fast), and not because parenting is involve a lot more chasing; but because of what I'm learning from her. 

Toddlers have so many traits we all aspire to as adults. Motivation, courage, perseverance; no matter how many times that child has fallen down she will get right back up again. 

Failure is not part of her vocabulary (admittedly that stretches to about 5 words at the moment!). She wants to walk, and she is going to keep on trying until she does.
Same with using a spoon. I spend an inordinate amount of time scrubbing weetabix (which is a motherf-er to clean) off her face; my face; the floor; the wall; the window... but the lack of food going into her mouth doesn't even deter her from trying. 

I was at an up styling class yesterday and I couldn't get the hang of one of the styles. (A vintage wave

After about half an hour of trying I was ready to give the mannequin a crewcut. I took out my phone and started scrolling through Instagram, I looked at my latest picture, the one above with Lyla walking holding my hand, and got a bit of a reality check. 

I am the worst for letting failure get to me. I have an awful habit of giving up when I find something too difficult and have thought to myself, on many occasions, that I hope Lyla isn't a quitter. Failure, or fear of failure has held me back from doing so many things I could have been great at. It is something I am acutely aware of, and have been proactively trying to fix. This quote is repeated in my head on a daily basis.

                                                                                                                                           Image via Lucy & Lola Creations

Anyway, I put my phone away and tried the style again. And again. And again and again and again, until I created something that vaguely resembles the wave. (Here it is) It was far from perfect, but I was happy enough to have overcome my difficulties and gotten the technique down. Now its about practicing that technique to perfect it. I'm not there yet, but I will get it.

And I have to thank my 15 month old for teaching me this important lesson.

This is the theme tune to this post...if you ignore Aaliyah's dating advice (and diamante choker) and just listen to the chorus. Anyway, tune. 

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