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 our team recommends 5 things that we love. These are not things we have been paid to promote, but things that have genuinely gotten us excited. These are the things the Mykidstime Team recommends:
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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!
We’ve started our round-up of favourites for 2020 – you can check out the post here and see what has us so excited!
You know you’re onto a good thing when you start recommending something to friends and family. And you trust recommendations you receive too, so every month we’re sharing 5 things that we love.
Things the Mykidstime Team Recommends in 2019
December 2019 Recommendations
#1. How Will Santa Find Us
“Homelessness is at an all time high this year and that’s why I adore the book “How Will Santa Find Us”. The beautifully illustrated book is an educational adventure for all telling the story of a little girl and her little brother who lose their home just before Christmas. The book follows the family’s journey as they are moved from place to place in an effort to find somewhere to stay all while their parents try and distract them from the reality of their situation. All profits from the book go to Focus Ireland.” – K
#2. La Roche Posay Effaclar Range
“My youngest daughter has oily skin and suffers from mild acne. The pharmacist recommended she tried the La Roche Posay Effaclar range and the results were amazing. Her skin cleared up in a few weeks and has left her feeling more confident.” – M
#3. Picture Hanging Strips
“No more drills or nails. These picture hanging strips are great, a little pricey but so worth it. Currently hanging lots of family pics from my daughters communion (18 months ago ahem) and they are handling large and small frames no bother. Lots of choice in the range so you can get ones to hang different sized frames. Again a lifesaver for the non diy-er!” – C
“We received the gift of a great board game recently, and it has brought out all our competitive streaks! In Qwirkle, each player has wooden tiles and the aim is to create lines of the same shape or colour – it’s simple enough for young kids, but still (very) challenging for adults!” – E
#5. PayPal Returns Refunds
“I recently discovered that if I use Paypal to order items online and then return them that PayPal will refund the cost of the return shipping. You get up to 12 returns a year of up to £15 of the costs. You need to keep the receipt from your postage method and upload a picture of that and you usually get the money back in a few days.” – J
November 2019 Recommendations
#1. Clue Period App
“If you have irregular, heavy or otherwise noteworthy periods, I really recommend using the free app Clue to track what’s what – especially if you’re going to be talking to your doctor about your cycle. It’s a great way to keep a record of bleeding, ovulation, sex frequency and how you’re feeling so you can see at a glance how regular (or not) your cycles really are. It’s available for both iOs and Android.” – E
#2. Lil & Izzy Organic Baby Wear
“Lately, I’ve been loving Lil & Izzy, a new Irish business specialising in sustainable organic cotton stylish products for baby all while being good to the planet. The small range includes stunning baby blankets, baby grows, pajamas, bibs and hats all at reasonable prices.” – K
#3. Book Bub
“Book Bub is an email service that sends you daily emails with book deals, it’s free to sign up. You choose the categories you are interested in and then get a tailored daily email with the latest ebook deals for those categories. The books are either free or heavily discounted.” – J
#4. HP Instant Ink (HP Smart)
“This has been a lifesaver for me, many a time now. This is a print subscription system whereby you sign up to so many pages per month e.g. I am signed up to a €9.99 a month subscription which includes 300 printed/photocopied pages. When your ink runs low your printer will send a message and a new cartridge will be sent out to you! No joke you don’t have to worry about ink again. I have not once been left short or waiting on ink to arrive.” – C
#5. Nike Returns Policy
“Did you know that if your toe pokes out of your Nike trainers within 2 years of purchase, you can return them? I am very impressed with the Nike defective or faulty product policy that extends from the date of purchase for up to 2 years on most items. Also as a bonus this Christmas, Nike have an extended 60 day returns policy on items bought between November 1st 2019 and January 11th 2020. Happy Shopping!” – M
October 2019 Recommendations
#1. LED Candles
“I am possibly very late to the party with these! Amazing things and I don’t have to worry if I forget to go around the house and blow out all the tealights – as they are all running from a battery! Super safe and look great too, am delighted with them.” – C
#2. TransferWise for Sending Money Abroad
“I just found out about TransferWise, if you are sending money to anyone abroad it’s significantly cheaper. They are on a mission to be totally transparent about these types of money transfer fees. I love the app because it shows you exactly what their fees are for sending the money as well as what you would have paid with other ways of sending the money including the main banks and PayPal. You can send money off your bank account or your debit/credit card, and it’s so easy to use.” – J
#3. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
“I hadn’t bought a parenting book since my daughter was born, but the tween years had me looking for some new ideas. Psychotherapist Philippa Perry hits the nail on the head with her latest book, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did).
I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t a ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ type of structure, but more a look at what’s needed for a good parent-child relationship, what really matters and what behaviour it is important to avoid.
Instead of mapping out the ‘perfect’ plan, Perry looks at understanding how your own upbringing may affect your parenting, breaking negative cycles and patterns, dealing with your own and your child’s feelings, and lots more.” – E
#4. Mermaids and Dragons Costumes for Kids
“We have had many dress up costumes cross our door and back out again due to crap quality but only one small Irish businesses costumes have stood the test of time. I cannot recommend Mermaids and Dragons handmade, realistic and gender neutral costumes enough. The range includes designs that reflect realistic roles such a Firefighter, Garda and even Scrubs. Each one is made with quality fabric and the attention to detail is next to none.” – K
#5. Aqueous Cream
“When my daughter was born the district nurse recommended using Aqueous cream to treat her dry skin. Now she is almost 16 we are still buying it. It can be used as a soap replacement and it is an excellent way to remove make-up without drying your skin. Great value too.” – M
September 2019 Recommendations
#1. Ecosia Browser Extension
“I have linked Ecosia to my search engine, so that every time I do a search, I am contributing to planting trees. Ecosia use the profit made from our searches to plant trees where they are needed most which in turn helps people, local economies and the planet. ” – C
#2. MAM Feeding Bottles
“I breast fed both my children for the first 6 months and then moved onto bottles. I tried lots of different ones and in the end settled on MAM anti-Colic bottles. They worked a treat and were so easy to clean as they come apart fully. I have recommended them to many friends over the years and all have found them wonderful. ” – M
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#3. Reading List App
“If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to track the books you are reading or have finished, I’m enjoying the simplicity of the Reading List app. You can add books manually, scan the barcode or search for a title easily, then organise them however you prefer. Plus, it’s free!” – E
#4. Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
“We have tried out a few toilet papers made of recycled paper but this one is the best so far. ‘Who Gives a Crap‘ toilet paper is eco-friendly. The double length rolls are super soft and come individually wrapped in fun, quirky paper rather than plastic. And best of all, the company donates 50% of its profits to help build toilets for people in countries who don’t have toilets.” – J
#5. Travel Up
“For holidays this year we took a multi city break. When looking for flights, I stumbled across Travel Up who offered great combinations and deals for all budgets and made booking multiple flights easy. The tickets were all linked too, which meant our luggage always routed through to our final destination and we didn’t need to collect them at each lay-over airport. ” – F
August 2019 Recommendations
#1. Best Pencil Sharpeners & Erasers
“Over the years we have bought tons of sharpeners and erasers, and in my opinion (and my kids!) the Staedtler pencil sharpeners and erasers are the best ones for school pencil sharpening and rubbing out. Look out for the packs that include 10 pencils, topper and eraser as they are the best value.” – J
#2. Lunch Box Tip
“My 2 love chopped apples as a lunch box treat, but I find they go brown quickly, which puts them off eating them. My tip is to cut the apple into quarters, then secure it back together with an elastic band. Perfect for little people to eat and stays fresh all day. ” – C
#3. Nuxe Golden Shimmer Oil
“One of my all-time favourite skincare products is Nuxe Huile Oils, an all-over skin treat which can also be also be applied to hair. To help prolong my sun-kissed glow into September I use Nuxe Golden Shimmer Oil, smells divine and gives my skin that glow that fades as the holidays end.” – E
#4. Reusable Sandwich Bags
“In a bid to cut down on waste, I am testing out these reusable sandwich bags from Reuzi.ie. They are the perfect size for a sandwich, bagel, fruit, cheese etc. and are machine washable too.” – F
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#5. Folders for Subjects
“My youngest is just starting secondary and has a mountain of books and copies for each subject. We bought oversized, coloured mesh storage wallets (Premier brand) for her to collate the books needed for each subject into a single folder. They have the added benefit of being waterproof! Now all she has to do is pull out one folder from her locker for the subject she is attending next. ” – M
July 2019 Recommendations
#1. L’Oreal Magic Retouch
“For when you’re nearing your next hair dye appointment but the grey hairs are peeking through, L’Oreal Magic Retouch really is magic. It’s not cheap (around €12) but it keeps you going for that last week or so with a quick spray that covers the grey until you next shampoo your hair. I find it lasts well as you don’t need to use much to cover.” – J
“Sudocrem – this really is magic cream. I recently had quite a bad steam burn on my hand, which I put Burnshield on for a couple of days under a dressing. Once I took the dressing off I struggled to keep the skin hydrated until my husband suggested I try Sudocrem! Worked a treat – kept skin hydrated at night and three days later skin is all back to normal.” – C
#3. Sprout Pencils
“My daughter received one of these Sprout pencils recently, and I was so impressed that I bought more as gifts. The pencil itself is sustainable and made from FSC-certified wood, natural clay and graphite – but the best bit is that when it gets down to a stub, you can plant it upside down and grow your own flowers, fruits or herbs. There are 10 different non-GMA seed pencils, including sunflower, daisy, basil, coriander and cherry tomatoes. Needless to say, there’s lots of writing and drawing happening in our house as we’re eager to plant our pencils!” – E
#4. Robies Changing Robes
“We love to go swimming in the sea, lake and pool over the summer months. This year I have purchased us all Robies Changing Robes. They are perfect for getting changed quickly and privately. They are soft, absorbent and dry quickly too. Often the kids & 1 just travel home from wherever we are wearing them.” – M
#5. The Woman in the Window
“The Woman in the Window” by AJ Finn – a great read, brilliant twist at the end that I did not see coming! Great holiday reading.” – F
May 2019 Recommendations
#1. 20×20 Campaign
“Loving the 20×20 campaign which is all about promoting role models for girls for sport. “If she can’t see it, she can’t be it” – J
#2. Claude Books by Alex T Smith
“My little man who is 6 was recently given a present of a Claude book by his aunt. His reading has completely transformed as he just revels in Claude’s Adventures with his best pal Sir Bobblysock – they are fun to read and he is tackling all sorts of large words aswell!” – C
#3. Listen Notes
“I love a good podcast and it’s a great way to get bite-size entertainment on everything from money and mindfulness to comedy and crime. I came across Listen Notes recently – which is basically a search engine for podcasts, and a quick way to find something new by topic, person or interest. You can make your own playlists to enjoy later, as well as see what’s popular around the world. Definitely worth a look.” – E
#4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios dermo-kids Sun Lotion
“I love La Roche-Posay Anthelios dermo-kids 50+spf Sun Lotion for kids so much, I even use it on myself! We are all fair skinned and it offers lasting protection (50+SPF, UVB & UVA), it’s waterproof, good for sensitive skin and smells divine. Buy the 250ml bottle if you can find it!” – M
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#5. Freezing Glass Jars!
“If you’re looking to reduce your plastic use, did you know you can freeze food in glass jars? Make sure the jar is tempered (like canning jars) and has a wide-mouth, then leave 3-4 cm from the top to allow for expansion.” – F
April 2019 Recommendations
#1. Loof Co Washing Up Products from Earth Mother
“In an effort to be more environmentally friendly I just bought this Loof Co Washing Up Pad made from loofah plant (€3.49) and Loof Co Washing Up Scraper made from coconut husk (€3.25) in place of the green scrubby things I was buying that are made of plastic. They’re both excellent especially the scraper – my grill pan grill is really looking shiny again.” – J
#2. Aldi’s Miracle Cream
“I’m currently loving Aldi’s Miracle Cream, it is a dupe for Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. Just like the Eight Hour cream it protects, soothes and moisturises the skin and provides instant relief for my ever-growing itchy 36-week pregnant belly. It’s also great for cracked heels, chapped lips and dry cuticles so its an all in one and at €4.99 a tube it costs a fraction of the Eight Hour alternative. It is a special buy product but they always have them hidden amongst the shelves so it is definitely worth rummaging for.” – K
#3. Our Planet Documentary
“Currently running on Netflix, the Our Planet Documentary is sometimes uncomfortable but necessary viewing for everyone.” – C
#4. By Post Postcard App
“My daughter loves to send postcards when we’re on holidays, but sometimes finding the local post office for stamps is a bit of a challenge (or we forget to post them and they end up coming home with us!). So we started using the By Post Postcard app, which has the added bonus of using your own photos for the card.
Start by downloading the app and loading up some credit. Then when you’re ready to send a postcard, you can upload your own photo, type in a message and the recipient’s address – and, hey presto, a personalised postcard is on its way!.” – E
#5. Stardrops The Pink Stuff
“Recommended by a friend, I am loving The Pink Stuff for cleaning all those tough stains around the house. It works especially well on the glass on my oven and is available to buy online or at discount stores nationwide.” – M
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March 2019 Recommendations
#1. Momondo App (Apple & Android)
“I have used both the Kayak and Skyscanner apps to check flight prices but then someone recommended the Momondo app. So far it’s coming up with the cheapest flight prices and I did a little check comparing the 3 apps and Momondo is definitely finding the cheapest prices. It covers hotels and cars too although I’ve only tried the flight comparison yet.” – J
#2. The Seven Sisters books by Lucinda Riley
“Great tomes to get lost in about seven sisters all adopted by a rich Swiss man and how their lives unfold.
Brilliantly written and a joy to read – I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t enjoyed them!!!” – C
#3. Trunki BoostAPak
“The Trunki BoostAPak is such a clever invention, a hardshell, lightweight backpack for children aged 4 to 11 years that turns into a car seat. It is ideal for after school activities, car pooling and holidays when you hire a car or if you have to take a taxi. It can also be used as a handy booster seat in restaurants.
I had 2 for when my children were younger and have passed them onto my sister now that they have outgrown them. The backpack is large enough to hold all their treasures and is easily transformed into a handy spare car seat. It is not suitable to replace regular car seats but is perfect for occasional use.” – M
#4. An Post’s PostFX Card
“We started this year with a goal of being more money-savvy, and the first big change we made was to use a prepaid credit card going to the US. Just the thought of a scary credit card bill when we got home was a big incentive, so we opted for An Post’s PostFx card which is a prepaid MasterCard.
We started by putting a few hundred dollars on it, and then topped it up online a few times while we were away. Each time you top up you lock in the exchange rate on that day, which could be a good way to maximise your holiday spending money in advance.
The card isn’t just for use in the US – we are going to use it for Sterling on another trip to avoid bank charges when we use the ATM.” – E
#5. Rascal & Friends
“This month I’m loving Rascal & Friends, a new start-up diaper company from New Zealand. Founded by brother and sister duo – Grant and Louise, who were passionate about creating a new diaper with no nasties. It’s just been announced they will be launching in Tesco soon and they are currently developing a premium eco nappy but for now, their standard nappies have no latex, chlorine bleaching, fragrance or lotions, and they only use water-based inks.” – K
February 2019 Recommendations
#1. Bloom In A Box Flower Delivery Service
“The doorbell chimed on February 14th and the postman had a parcel for me. It was a sturdy cube with the words open me. Intrigued yet? It certainly got my attention! Once I opened the box, there was a 2nd royal blue box and on removing the lid, a beautiful red Gerbera, the flowers we had on our wedding day. Brownie points for himself! Really though, what a simple idea, a single bloom, delivered by post and still alive almost 2 weeks on. No maintenance, no vase needed and everyone who has seen it has been wowed by it. Simple and clever and Irish, it is my pick for this month” – M
“I recently bought iKydz after a pretty scary incident with my 7 year old – completely by accident we discovered her under the covers at 9.30pm with her sister’s ipod on youtube with no security parameters in place. We had been feeling completely overwhelmed until we discovered ikydz. It’s amazing and it’s Irish. And not only did one of our team recommend this product but two did independently of each other!” – F & E
#3. Learn to Crochet
“Have you or your child learned how to crochet? Knitting is my passion and this month I want to recommend learning to crochet. Learning how to crochet is wonderful for stress reduction, creativity and it’s fun! And here’s a great video to get you started.” – C
#4. Cable Bites from Urban Outfitters
“I bought these really cute cable bites from Urban Outfitters for my daughters. They are little animal accessories that clip around cables to prevent breakage.
They sit over the end of the bit you plug into your smartphone so helping to keep it fixed in place when you are charging. Plus they’re fun. In fact I had to go back and get myself one in the end I liked them so much!” – J
#5. The ByeByeBlankie
“I’m loving the byebyeblankie newly launched in Ireland.
It’s an affordable blanket retailing at €29.99 and as your child gets older you trim the blanket until they are left with a small rectangular piece. It’s comes in three gorgeous prints and helps elimate blanket attachment.” – K
January 2019 Recommendations
#1. Marie Kondo’s new series on Netflix
“A must for new year decluttering! I read the books ages ago but it’s great to see it on the screen. I love the way she does one thing – e.g. all your clothes – mayhem for a few hours but sure then it’s done!!” – C
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#2. The My Disney Experience app
“We’re planning our Orlando trip and I’ve been using the My Disney Experience app. My tip is to familiarise yourself with the My Disney Experience app (and website) before you go to book anything so that when it comes time to book your meals, fastpasses, etc you know how it all works.” – E
#3. Val Mullally’s book “Baby & Toddler on Board”
“I’ve been recommending Val’s new book to anyone who has a bump or new baby AND a toddler. It’s mindful parenting for when a new baby joins the family. It is also an inspiring read for anyone with an interest in parenting and childcare.” – J
#4. Smoothie Mix Bags from Aldi
“Like most children, mine love fruit but getting a good variety of vegetables into them can be tricky. But I have discovered Frozen Smoothie Mix bags from Aldi in 3 varieties, Energise, Invigorate and Recharge. Each has a mix of fruit, veg and linseed and make 5 smoothies. My girls now have one every day and love the taste, veg and all. Happy kids = happy Mum!” – M
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#5. The Clevamama Memory Baby Pillow
“Love the pillow as my daughter was developing flat head as she had a preference side when sleeping. So the pillow reduces the pressure on the skull and her flat head is so much better! She seems to be sleeping better on it too.” – A
Over to you now. Are any of these things ones you would recommend too? Tell us in the comments below.