Have you ever discovered a product or service that makes you want to let the whole world know about it? And when you do tell your friends, they say, yes I have been using that for ages! Each month the Mykidstime team recommends 5 things that we love. These are not things we have been paid to promote, but things that we genuinely found useful or got excited about! Read on to see what’s on our minds this month:
Don’t miss the chance to have your say! We’re looking for parents to get involved and give their feedback on all aspects of family life. Find out more here.
We love to share the weird, wonderful, useful and downright essential things we come across – and there’s nothing better than when other people love them too!
From apps, books and saving money to essential household tips and products we just can’t live without, check back regularly to see what else the Mykidstime team loves!
Mykidstime Loves List 2021
1. Uuni Feta Pasta
If you’re on TikTok, you’ll definitely have seen this dinner go viral. With lockdown in full swing and another few weeks before school returns, I roped my 11-year-old in to helping make dinner to see if the hype was indeed justified.
We made a few changes to boost the flavours of the original, but it was a huge success, very versatile and definitely one we’ll do again. Empty bowls all round and on the table in 30 minutes – a definite ‘win’!
You can see our version of uuni feta pasta here. – E.
2. The Searcher by Tana French
Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After 25 years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.
Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.
As always, Tana French books are a great read, and The Searcher definitely doesn’t disappoint! – C.
3. SkinnyDip AirPods Cases
My niece suggested an AirPods case recently when I asked her for gift ideas, as she was always getting hers mixed up with her siblings’ cases, and pointed me to the Skinnydip London ones. They have solids, ombres, glittery and marble effects, as well as a fun Disney collaboration. There are reasonable EU and international delivery charges so I’m tempted to buy this daisy one for myself! – J.
4. Butlers Hot Chocolate
We have really been enjoying a little decadence lately, thanks to Butlers Hot Chocolate. Sold in boxes of 10, you add to milk and heat up for steaming mug of hot chocolate that is just next level from normal ‘at home’ hot chocolates. We like to add mini marshmallows and whipped cream, but it is amazing just on its own! – M.
5. Wicked Kitchen Super Cinnamon Scroll
As a vegan and a giant foodie, I am always on the lookout for new products. One I came across this month was Wicked Kitchen Super Cinnamon Scroll, aka a gorgeously gooey vegan cinnamon bun that would satisfy any sweet tooth or sugar cravings. To my delight (and disappointment!), the non-vegans at home even loved them and they were gone before I could get my hands on another one!
I found them in my local supermarket and usually I would expect a big markup for a vegan product like this, however, I was surprised to find that they came in around €2.30. Launched earlier this year, they’re well worth a try if you can find them. – S.
ChessKid is a brilliant app/site for kids who like to play chess. There are lots of lessons for the kids to learn through and tournaments to play with other players. It’s very safe too – the avatar names are generated within the app and are funny such as ‘FlashyPaleMonkey’ and chat between players is also limited to a few phrases.
My nearly 8 year old loves it, and is hoping that the more he learns from this, the sooner he will be able to beat his Dad! – C.
2. Virtual Escape Rooms on Alexa
My 11 year old received an Echo Dot recently and has been having a brilliant time learning all the fun things she can do on it. One that we have both enjoyed has been the virtual escape rooms. Alexa describes the setting to you (e.g. a jail cell) and you say ‘look left’, ‘look under X’, ‘investigate X further’ and so on to get more clues. Great fun! – E.
3. Honey Extension for Chrome
If you use Chrome on your laptop, it’s worth installing the free Honey extension, owned by PayPal, for when you are shopping online. When you are shopping online it checks for discounts for you and applies them automatically to your checkout basket so you don’t have to go searching for discount codes – plus it also knows which ones are still active so saves you loads of time and hassle AND money!
Now, if I see something when browsing on my phone, I make a note and buy it on the laptop later to make sure to get the extra discount. – J.
4. Spinning at Home
Since it doesn’t look as if the colder weather or restrictions are going anywhere soon, I bought a spin bike to keep up my cardio. It only took me an hour to assemble it thanks to straightforward instructions, and I am pleased to say it is still standing!
It’s a brilliant buy if you’re looking to get in the exercise without braving the elements, plus you can do it in front of the TV. It’s very neat and fits comfortably beside my couch. – S.
5. How to Get Away With Murder
It’s been a while since we watched something binge-worthy, but last month we lost ourselves in the six seasons and couldn’t wait to get the kids to bed!
If you haven’t tried it yet, the American legal thriller is about a powerful criminal defence professor who selects a group of her ambitious law students to help her out at her law firm. They then become involved in a twisted murder plot that changes the course of their lives forever. It’s exhilarating with an immensely talented cast, and it’s worth a watch, I promise you won’t be disappointed. – K.
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1. Bold Bunny Cards and Prints
When I was looking for Christmas cards to give my immediate family members, I came across Bold Bunny. Describing themselves as a small Irish, sustainable and climate-conscious business, they produce a variety of quirky and cute cards, prints, calendars, etc. This will be my go-to place now for birthday cards as well, they’re just gorgeous (and hilarious!).
The cards arrived promptly and I was thrilled to get a nice email from one of the Bold Bunny team thanking me personally for my order. That’s when you feel really good about supporting a small business. – J.
2. Linkilonk Activity Tubes
I’m a big fan of craft subscription services and anything really that inspires the kids to be creative. That’s why I love Linkilonk, a new Irish start-up set up to inspire creativity at home, to encourage your children to use their imagination and enjoy hands-on activities while discovering and learning about Ireland’s landmarks.
Plus, it’s eco friendly too – the activity tube is 100% recyclable and plastic-free, the paper is FSC certified, and the tube is made from recycled board. Win! – K.
3. Sustainable Shopping with Kilogarm
Want to reduce your contribution to fast-fashion? Check out vintage clothes sales. I’ve always wanted to attend an event and rummage through the racks, but the thoughts of dragging a six-year-old into town and spending hours searching for my size completely put me off. However, Kilogarm are now hosting their events online and I shopped from the comfort of my home, with her tucked up in bed!
I bought a fleece and jacket for the impending winter weather. I am thrilled with the quality, look and style of the clothing. It was a fraction of the price, looked exactly like the online pictures, and arrived in less than a week.
My top tips are to know what type of clothes you want before you shop, and the filters are your best friend to find the right sizing and branding quickly to snap up the items before they’re sold out. I’m delighted to give secondhand clothes a new lease of life! – S.
4. Marie Kondo’s Joy at Work
Marie Kondo’s Joy at Work is an essential read as the whole world is working from home these days!
From tidying your workspace to tidying your digital space – there are so many useful and helpful tips that I’m hoping to implement for 2021! – C.
5. Eco Toys
I stumbled across Irish website Jiminy.ie when looking for Christmas presents and stocking fillers. I love the beautiful eco toys and gifts which are all plastic-free and locally produced. – M.
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Have your say! Have you tried any of the Mykidstime Recommends for 2021? What are your favourites? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!