Monday, 26 January 2015

How much sugar is inside your kids lunch box?

Have you ever thought about how many spoons of sugar are in your kids lunch box? I was actually quite shock when I discovered the difference between two lunch boxes below.

I will definitely think twice before deciding what to put in the kids lunch boxes in future. Can you imagine their little teeth from all this sugar if their lunch box contains the not so healthy option!

Water / Milk
Ham / Cheese Sandwich / Wrap
Hummus / Low Sugar Nut Spread
Rice Cake / Cracker
Fruit - Grapes / Apples
Vegetable - Carrot Sticks / Cucumber
= 3.5 Spoons of Sugar (approx.)

Actimel / Capri Sun /Juices
Nutella / Jam / Honey Sandwich
Granola / Chocolate Bar
= 29 Spoons of Sugar (approx.)

Take great care packing 
the lunch box! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hotel Break at The McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co Mayo

There is no denying it, everyone loves a night away in a hotel...especially after a busy week in the office or going here and there with the kids.  But for some reason we always put it off, somehow we always find an excuse not to go.... "sure we have no babysitter", "the electricity bill has to be paid this month", "who's going to take the kids to soccer in the morning" etc.  I bet this sounds familiar.

So I decided... NEW YEAR ... NEW RULES... The McWilliam Park Hotel here we come.

The McWilliam Pak Hotel is located on the N17 main route Sligo - Galway in Claremorris, Co Mayo. The hotel has a quiet country charm and is a perfect venue for a leisure break (it is also ideally located for us to drop the kids to their Granny's along the way).

The Hotel is centrally located for Westport, Castlebar, Ballina, Sligo & Galway and is 15 minutes from the Royal Theatre Castlebar. But really all we wanted was to take advantage of the leisure facilities and to enjoy a fabulous meal without it going cold.

The 4 Star McWilliam Park Hotel Mayo has 103 beautifully decorated Bedrooms. Our room was top class...there was a big bedroom with plush carpet, comfy bed and soft atmospheric lighting.  There was a living area with big screen TV, luxury couch and a table set beautifully with a bowl of fruit and water. The bathroom was huge and it had the most amazing power shower ever and a fabulous jacuzzi bath. 

Dinner was delicious and there was such a great variety on the menu. It was so lovely to relax in the beautiful setting of the John Gray's Restaurant.

Afterwards we went for drinks in the Bar... there was such a great buzz around the Hotel with live music both in the Bar and the Ballroom.

The Guinness was great and we even got to catch up with some old friends!
No hotel stay would be complete without breakfast in bed followed by a dip in the pool and a relax in the Jacuzzi, Steam Room and Sauna.  Bliss!!!

The McWilliam Park Hotel is only 10 minutes from Knock Shrine and 20 minutes from Ireland West Airport Knock.  It is ideal for a golfing holiday, equestrian activities and hillwalking and Co Mayo is a Surfers paradise with the hotel located just 25 minutes from Enniscrone. 

Whether its a romantic night away or a family break, I would recommend the McWilliam Pak Hotel.  There is a kids club and lots of things to see and do in the area and they always have amazing offers.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Insight Coloured Hair Shampoo - Product Review

I get such a buzz from trying out new products...especially when it comes to my hair. My hair is naturally frizzy and the grey strands around my hairline are now a regular feature. Arraghhhh!!!

I'm so grateful that my sister Elaine is a hairdresser and I take total advantage of her good nature and talent. I usually get my hair dyed every six weeks. If your looking for an amazing hairdresser in Galway City I would highly recommend my sister Elaine in Valair Hairdressing.

So with all this dyeing going on I was more than delighted to try some products I was gifted. The Insight shampoo from is ideal for colored hair or highlights. It comes in two sizes 500ml €7.50 and 1,000 ml €10.50 (shop here) and I just love the pump bottle. It's so easy to use in the shower - wish every shampoo bottle would come with a pump!!

I believe what you put in your hair and skin is just as important as what you put in your mouth. This shampoo is natural and organic and if you suffer from sensitive skin and other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis these organic skincare products work better due to the lack of synthetic chemicals.

After using the Insight Colored Shampoo for the past few weeks I have to say I noticed a difference. My hair fells very nourished and looks soft and smooth. I still need to manage my frizz with other products but I'm happy to have discovering the Insight range of shampoos and hair masks. is a new innovative online retailer specialising in the sale of natural, organic and niche brands for skincare, haircare, bodycare and associated lifestyle products. Go check it out!
You can shop the full range on


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Are You In Control Of Your Money?

As some of your may know already I have worked in the Financial Services Sector for 14 odd years.  My degree is in Financial Services and I am also a Qualified Financial Advisor. When it comes to managing my cash flow, this comes easy to me...I know how much comes into my account each month and I can estimated how much goes out of my account each month.  But for others this can be a difficult task so let me assist those of you who don't know where to start.

Lets get started......

I have set up a Household Income and Expenditure spreadsheet ( to request a copy).

Firstly, insert your monthly income from January to December, this could include your salary, your partners salary, children's allowance and interest mortgage relief (or any other income you are in receipt of).  So this should be easy!!!

Next estimate your monthly expenditure, some of your outflows will be the same each month like your mortgage/rent, SKY, Childcare, Bins, Home Insurance.  Other outflows such as food, fuel, electricity, car insurance etc will differ and may fall due during certain times of the year.  By completing this cash flow it will give you a full picture of your highs and lows during the year so you will be able to plan ahead to make sure you have adequate cash flow to pay your bills as they fall due.

Its important to keep a record of actual expenditure each month.  Log your actual monthly spend and remember to keep notes of everything you spend money on, receipts, or print out mini statements.  If you are spending more than you receive, think about which area you could spend less. What items do you absolutely need and what can you do without?   Remember you might want to spend on things like birthday gifts and treats for other people or go on holiday.

By knowing where your money goes, you will have better control of your finance: you will be able to make informed decisions on what you spend money on, avoid running out of money when
you need it, and maybe even save up for something nice.

Hope you find this helpful and feel free to ask me any further questions in the comment box below.