Business All-Star

I am so proud to accept a Business All-Star Accreditation for Clever Little Handies and the title of Business All-Star Irish Early Learning Entrepreneur 2024 from the All-Ireland Business Foundation. 

It is a huge honour to be surrounded by so many inspiring people and a bigger honour still to serve my fantastic clients. I'm delighted to be part of the AIBF TRIBE and very proud to display the AIBF Marque as a powerful symbol of trust and quality.

Hello to all our new subscribers and loyal readers,

Find Me at the RDS & Book News!

Excitement abounds as we gear up for the RDS Baby Fair this weekend! You can find us near Johnnie Cupcakes, and we'll have the last box of books available for purchase.

While we take a brief hiatus from classes, we're focusing on the next Clever Little Handies book! With illustrations and text finalised. Keep an eye out for pre-orders launching soon!

Busy April Schedule - Rhyme & Sign Storytimes & New Classes!

April is shaping up to be quite the whirlwind! Join us for Rhyme & Sign Storytimes in Roscommon:

  • Friday, April 5th, 11:15 AM: Castlerea Library
  • Saturday, April 6th, 10:30 AM: Boyle Library

Back in the East, we're kicking off new 4-week terms:

  • Mondays: Tallaght Library
  • Tuesdays: Naas Library (their brand new library!)

Can't join us in person? No problem! Dive into our online term on Wednesdays.

Little Buds Kildare - Introduction to Baby Sign + More!

Looking for a comprehensive program? Join us at Little Buds Kildare in Yogra, Maynooth, for a special 4-week series starting April 12th, every Friday from 10:00 AM-11:30 AM. Each week features a different expert!

Only 2 spots left! Reserve yours here.

More April & May Events:

  • End of April: New 4-week term at Clondalkin Library
  • April 27th: Rhyme & Sign Storytime in Grand Parade Library, Cork
  • May: Launching Clever Little Handies licensing opportunities!

Thinking of Bringing Baby Signs to Your Community?

Ever considered bringing baby sign language to your area? Attend one of our information sessions about mini-franchise opportunities on April 11th & 18th (10:00 AM) or April 22nd & 29th (9:00 PM). Pick the session that suits you best—all sessions cover the same information. Spaces are limited, so book yours here.

Please share our posts with any new parents who might be interested in joining a baby sign session or with parents contemplating returning to work after maternity leave.

Exciting Updates and Events: A Glimpse into 2024 with Clever Little Handies

It's my pleasure to bring forth some exhilarating news and upcoming events that are set to make this year truly unforgettable.

Three's Grant for Small Business:

We kicked off the year on a soaring note as I was honoured to be among the ten businesses nationwide chosen for the esteemed "Three's Grant for Small Business." This recognition not only celebrates hard work and dedication but also stands as a testament to the unwavering support of our incredible community.

Lama All Ireland Business and Council Awards Finalist:

I'm overjoyed to share that I've been named a finalist in the Lama All Ireland Business and Council Awards. This nomination underscores the passion and commitment driving our work, and I eagerly anticipate the unfolding of events in this prestigious competition.

New Terms and Locations:

This month marks the commencement of three new terms, brimming with exciting opportunities for learning and connection. Join me at Lucan Library on Tuesdays at 10 am, Athy Library on Wednesdays at 10.30 am, and for an online term every Monday at 10 am (booking opens on Monday, February 5th here).

Introduction to Baby Sign with Little Buds Kildare:

I'm thrilled to announce my collaboration with Little Buds Kildare at the Leixlip Youth Community Centre to offer an introduction to baby sign. Booking for this special event opens on February 8th here, and I'm eagerly looking forward to sharing the joy of communication with you and your little ones.

Rhyme & Sign Storytimes Tour:

Embark on a delightful journey of discovery as I visit various libraries around the country for Rhyme & Sign Storytimes, featuring an introduction to baby sign language. Here's the schedule:

Sligo Library: Friday, February 9th & 16th, 10 am

  • Contact Sligo Library at 071 9111675 or to book.

Tobercurry Library: Friday, February 9th, 11.30 am

  • Contact Tubbercurry Library at 071 9111705 or to book.

Roscommon Library: Saturday, February 10th, 10.30 am

  • Booking: 090-6637277 or
  • Ballymote Library: Friday, February 16th, 11.30 am

Strokestown Library: Saturday, February 17th, 10.30 am

  • Booking: 090-6637227 or
  • Blackpool Library, Cork: Saturday, February 24th, 11.30 am

Please spread the word to any new parents in these locations, and I'd be thrilled if you could join us for one of the sessions along the way!

As always, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support, and I eagerly anticipate sharing these remarkable moments with you.

PS: My book is now available in over 50 locations! You can find the list of stockists on my website here.

Exciting Updates and Events from Clever Little Handies


Hello, Clever Little Handies community! We hope this message finds you in great spirits. We're thrilled to have all our new subscribers on board and want to extend a warm welcome to each of you. As we embark on this exciting journey together, we have some fantastic news and upcoming events to share. Let's dive right in!

Join Us at Ireland's Pregnancy and Baby Fair!

We're absolutely delighted to announce our debut as an exhibitor at Ireland's Pregnancy and Baby Fair, happening at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday, 30th September, and Sunday, 1st October. You can find us at Stall B11, which is located down the back left-hand corner, next to IFS and Sheena Griffin Photography, across from Wonderbuz and Tickle Tribe. We have some special offers waiting just for you! Don't forget to check out the event's full lineup and guest speakers here.

Exciting Classes for the Autumn Season!

We're gearing up for an exciting autumn season with a series of baby sign classes at Kildare Libraries. To learn more about these classes and reserve your spot, simply click on the links below:

Leixlip Class

Newbridge Class

Celbridge Class

Introduction to Baby Sign with Little Buds Kildare

We're thrilled to collaborate with Little Buds Kildare at the Ardclough Community Centre for an introduction to baby sign. Use the code "littlebuds10" to enjoy a 10% discount. And here's a tip – you can save an extra €8.23 by paying through Louise's website to avoid eventbrite fees!

Clever Little Handies' ISL Baby Sign Book Is Here!

The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived! Our much-anticipated book is now available for order on our website. You can grab your copy and explore the wonderful world of baby sign by visiting this link.

Nominated for a Mums & Tots Award 2023

We're deeply honored to share that Clever Little Handies has been nominated for a Mums & Tots Award 2023 in the Best Baby Class category.

Every nomination enters you into a draw to win an overnight stay at Druid's Glen Hotel & Golf Resort.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredible support! Please don't hesitate to share our updates on your social media channels:



Warm regards,

Claire -Clever Little Handies

Celebrating The CAP Awards:

Join Me on a Literary Adventure!

Welcome, fellow book lovers and literary enthusiasts! Today, I have some exciting news to share with all of you. I am beyond thrilled to announce that my book has been longlisted for The Carousel Aware Prize for Independent Authors (The CAP Awards). It's an honour to be recognized among such talented authors, and I couldn't wait to share this journey with you all. So, fasten your seatbelts, grab a cup of tea, and let's embark on this exciting literary adventure together!

The CAP Awards: Celebrating Independent Authors: The Carousel Aware Prize for Independent Authors (The CAP Awards) is a prestigious event that acknowledges and celebrates the remarkable achievements of independent authors in the literary world. This recognition holds a special place in my heart as it highlights the dedication and passion that independent authors pour into their work.

Being longlisted among such exceptional authors is like riding the carousel of literary greatness. It's a thrilling experience that showcases the diverse range of storytelling and the remarkable talent present within the independent author community. I am immensely grateful to The CAP Awards for considering my book and providing a platform to showcase independent voices.

Summer Classes for Mums and Babies:

While the summer season brings a break from classes for me personally, I'm more than happy to share some exciting recommendations for local summer classes in the area. These classes are perfect for mums and babies to enjoy together, providing valuable bonding experiences and learning opportunities.

Here are a few recommendations:

Baby Massage: Discover the wonders of baby massage and the benefits it brings to both you and your little one.

Baby Massage.Caroline

Reflexology: Experience the soothing and healing effects of reflexology, specifically designed for mums and babies.

Geal: Healing Therapies with Eleanor

Mum & Baby Yoga: Strengthen your bond with your baby while practising gentle yoga poses that promote relaxation and well-being.

Louise Doula Yoga

Baby Sensory Classes: Stimulate your baby's senses with engaging activities and interactive play sessions.

Gymboree Celbridge

Moo Music Kildare

Messy Play: Embrace the joy of messy play, allowing your little one to explore different textures and materials in a safe and fun environment.

Twinkle Kids

Mucky Picnic

Workshops for Mums-to-Be: Expecting mothers can join workshops tailored to their needs, providing valuable insights and support during pregnancy.

Beyond Birth

Little Roo

Don't miss out on these fantastic opportunities to create memorable moments and connect with other mums and babies in your community.


As I continue on this thrilling literary adventure as a longlisted author for The CAP Awards, I am grateful to have your support and enthusiasm. Remember to check out the recommended summer classes for mums and babies✨

The Thundering March of Time


Welcome to our blog post, where we dive into the precious world of baby sign language and the bittersweet journey of parenting. Join us as we reminisce about the stages that pass by all too quickly, cherishing the memories and reflecting on how fast it goes.

👶 So here’s my little man in all his signing glory. Not the first time I’ve shared this, but there’s some new followers 🖐️, and I’m adding it to Instagram and TikTok now too. Ah sure, I’ll make it a blog post for good measure.

It’s hard to believe he’s going to be starting big boy school soon... I’m soooo not ready! How is it that my heart can be so full and so broken at the same time?! Ah no, not broken, that's too harsh... but looking back on this little video has really pulled on my heartstrings and reminded me how fleeting all of the stages are. Even the baby sign window seems so short now when looking back on it.

We used baby sign with all three of our children, but I can’t tell you when they stopped signing. Just like I can’t tell you when they stopped saying "lellow" and started saying the correct "yellow." When their words came, the signs fell away, making way for garbled versions of words. When I look back on videos and hear their little infant and toddler voices, so estranged from their young child voices now, I wonder, when did it change? How did I forget?

The thundering march of time, never ceasing, never slowing, always racing, always making us look back and think, "My god, how fast that's flown." And the real sucker punch is recalling the number of times I looked at the clock and thought, "Fml, how much longer till bedtime?" or thought, "Feckin’ hell, is it only Tuesday? When is it Saturday so I can have a morning off doing the breakfast malarky?" Even turning to the calendar, wishing the weeks away till mid-term... or months away till back to school!

It’s a constant juxtaposition; in the thick of it and wishing to be out of it. Then, once you’re out of the fog, looking back with longing to go back, bursting with Mum guilt that you didn’t appreciate it fully when you were at that stage. Urgh, why is the Mum guilt so cruel?! Perhaps that too will fade in an instant, and I’ll look back and think, "Wow, when did I dislodge that baggage?!"

One can hope, right?!


As we conclude this journey down memory lane, we invite you to share our "handy" baby sign video. It serves as a testament to the power of love and patience in nurturing early communication. Share the joy with your friends and family—it's simply too adorable not to spread! Let's celebrate the milestones and appreciate each fleeting moment that parenting brings.

Let go of the Mum guilt and cherish the present, knowing that in the future, you'll look back on the beautiful journey you've embarked upon.

#babysign #babysignclass #motherandbabyclass #babysignlanguage #cleverlittlehandies #irishmumgroup #irishmumcommunity #irishmums #mumgroup #mumcommunity #mumtribe #daddyandmeclass #mommyandmeclass #parenthood #newbaby2023


Celebrating Inspiration and Achievements: A Remarkable Week in Review


Greetings, dear readers! We hope this post finds you filled with happiness and excitement. Today, we take a joyful leap back in time to recount the incredible experiences of the past week. From the Kildare Business Woman Of the Year awards to a heartwarming family celebration and a delightful trip to the National Stud and Japanese Gardens, there's plenty to be grateful for. Join us as we relive these moments and embrace the anticipation of upcoming events. Let's dive right in!

The Kildare Business Woman Of the Year Awards:

Hard to believe it’s already been a week since I had the privilege of attending the esteemed Kildare Business Woman Of the Year awards as a finalist at the Curragh racecourse. The event was a celebration of women's accomplishments and a showcase of remarkable talent. Though I didn't take home the coveted prize, the experience left me feeling incredibly grateful and inspired. Congratulations to all the deserving winners, highly commended individuals, and my fellow finalists. Your achievements shine brightly!

A Memorable First Holy Communion Celebration:

Amidst the excitement of the awards, my heart was brimming with joy as my family and I celebrated my daughter's First Holy Communions over the weekend. It was a truly memorable day filled with love, laughter, and cherished moments. Our cosy backyard provided the perfect setting to share this special milestone with our loved ones. Together, we created beautiful memories that will be treasured for years to come.

Captivating Moments at the Japanese Gardens in Kildare:

On Sunday, we embarked on a delightful journey to the enchanting Japanese Gardens in Kildare. The serene ambiance and breathtaking beauty of the gardens made for a picturesque backdrop as we enjoyed a charming picnic and indulged in countless photo opportunities. This experience not only mirrored my own Holy Communion but also allowed us to appreciate the continuity of traditions across generations. If you're seeking tranquillity and natural splendour, a visit to the Japanese Gardens is an absolute must!

Celebrating Achievements at Intel Pride of Place:

As the week progressed, I found myself immersed in the celebratory atmosphere of the Intel Pride of Place event at Castletown House. Thrilled to be amongst such esteemed contributors to our local communities, my excitement soared as I had the honour of receiving a brand new lenovo laptop. The event served as a platform to recognize and applaud the outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations dedicated to making a positive impact. It was a truly remarkable evening filled with gratitude and joy.

Upcoming baby sign classes:

Looking ahead, we have exciting news for all new parents! The upcoming term at Mullingar library is fully booked, showcasing the immense popularity of the baby sign program. However, fret not if you missed out this time. You can secure your spot for the online term in June, ensuring that you and your little one don't miss out on the journey of communication and connection.


And there you have it—an incredible week filled with celebration, inspiration, and anticipation for what lies ahead!

Stay tuned for more updates! Sign up to our newsletter.

Thank you for being a part of this vibrant community.

Celebrating Success, Overcoming Challenges, and Embracing Life's Adventures


🌟🎉 I'm thrilled to share the exciting news that I won the FaceBook small business sockie award 2023! 🥇🥈 Congratulations to The O'Brien Press and Dingle Sea Safari Ltd for their placements. Being recognized for my Social Media Strategy with a silver award is truly an honor. It's inspiring to be among such talented and creative individuals in the industry.

Photo credit Debbie Hickey

Acknowledging Remarkable Talents:

I had the pleasure of meeting Elaine and Sean from Hotel Woodstock at the awards ceremony. Their creativity and talent left a lasting impression on me. If you haven't experienced their hilarious shenanigans promoting their hotel, you're missing out! Their place is now on my bucket list, and I highly recommend checking them out. 🎭🎪

Not forgetting Val, the magnum lady and winner of the Social Media Campaign category! As a fellow solopreneur, her thank you speech resonated deeply with me.

Taking a leap and running a business alone is no easy task. I wear so many hats as a solo businesswoman: social media mogul, trainer and developer, lead generator, business planner, market researcher, product/service developer, sales and marketing expert, budgeter, bookkeeper, invoicer, website wizard... the list goes on! The never-ending work that goes into it is both challenging and fulfilling. To receive recognition and an award for it is truly overwhelming.

Gratitude and Encouragement:

I'm immensely grateful for everyone's support and encouragement throughout my journey. Each and every one of you reading this has played a part in my success story, and I can't thank you enough. Your positive energy and good vibes have carried me through challenging times and fueled my determination to achieve more.

Photo credit Paul Reynolds and Debbie Hickey

Upcoming Adventures and Challenges:

On Friday, the 19th, I'll be eagerly attending the Network Kildare Business Woman of the Year Awards at The Curragh racecourse. It's an absolute honor to be named a finalist in the Solo Business Woman category. I'm counting on all your good vibes and positive juju as I compete for this prestigious award. Cheering on all the finalists, wishing them the best of luck! 🎉🎉

Incredible Personal Achievement:

Before concluding, I want to share a personal milestone that holds tremendous significance to me. This past Saturday, I embarked on a remarkable journey with my family—we climbed the Sugar Loaf! 🏔️👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 This achievement surpasses any business milestone or award I've received. It symbolizes resilience, strength, and the power of embracing life's adventures.

A Battle Against Invisible Diseases:

Throughout the past year, I've faced the challenges of an adenomyosis diagnosis, undergoing three surgeries within six months (with the first occurring shortly after my wedding). Endometriosis and it's evil sister adenomyosis are invisible diseases, so to the outside world everything looks grand and dandy. It's important to recognise that social media often presents an unrealistic portrayal of constant happiness. I've had to endure an incredibly tough journey, with flare-ups that leave me bedridden and feeling awful for days. The struggle intensifies as I worry about my ability to care for my children, unable to go on adventures, or provide for them. I'm fortunate to have an amazing husband who supports me during these difficult times, but the overwhelming sense of mum guilt and self-doubt can still be challenging. It's a reminder of that inner critic I had as a moody teen that belittled my self-worth, a voice I never thought I would hear again. Nevertheless, I gather my strength for the sake of my children.


While the good days may be measured, I continue to put on a brave face. I manage the pain and battle the fatigue and celebrate the victories along the way.

Before I go down the hysterectomy route, I have a few more consultations ahead of me. In the meantime, I'm trying to be kinder to myself during flare-ups, I’m trying to be kinder all round really, and more tolerant, things might not be done my way and that needs to be ok, I mean, I need to be ok with that. And I’m learning to roll with it, and when even the tiniest smidge of energy is within me, I’m embracing it and we’re off up a mountain, reclaiming the joy of the journey. 🌟

Unleashing the Power of Baby Sign 

A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to our blog, where we unlock the wonders of baby sign language and its profound impact on communication development. As parents, we understand the importance of effective communication with our little ones. In this article, we will explore the incredible benefits of baby sign language, provide useful tips on how to start signing with your baby, and highlight some valuable resources to enhance your signing journey.

The Magic of Baby Sign Language:

Baby sign language is a unique form of communication that allows babies to express their thoughts, needs, and emotions before they can effectively communicate through speech. By using simple hand gestures, babies can bridge the communication gap between themselves and their caregivers, leading to improved understanding, reduced frustration, and enhanced bonding. Research has shown that babies who use sign language tend to have larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and higher self-esteem as they grow.

The Benefits Unveiled:

Accelerated Language Development:

Baby sign language stimulates early language development by introducing visual cues alongside spoken words. This dual approach enhances cognitive skills, strengthens memory retention, and promotes faster language acquisition. As babies master signs for common words like "milk," "eat," and "more," their ability to communicate expands, setting a solid foundation for future linguistic abilities.

Enhanced Emotional Expression:

Imagine the joy of witnessing your baby's face light up as they share their excitement, point out their favorite toys, or express their needs with a simple sign. Baby sign language empowers babies to convey their emotions effectively, fostering a deeper emotional connection with parents and caregivers. The ability to express oneself from an early age can also reduce frustration, tantrums, and meltdowns, leading to a more harmonious environment for both baby and parent.

Strengthened Parent-Child Bond:

Baby sign language creates a unique bond between parent and child, built on trust, understanding, and effective communication. As parents learn and use signs alongside their babies, it deepens the connection and strengthens the relationship. The shared experience of learning and growing together creates a nurturing environment that fosters love, security, and mutual respect.

Getting Started with Baby Sign Language:

Start Simple:

Begin by introducing a few basic signs that are relevant to your baby's daily routine. Words like "milk," "eat," "sleep," and "more" are excellent starting points. Consistency is key, so incorporate signs consistently into your interactions with your baby.

Repetition and Reinforcement:

Repetition is crucial for your baby to grasp and remember signs. Practice frequently and reinforce signs by using them in context. For example, when feeding, say "milk" while simultaneously making the sign.

Resources to Support Your Journey:

To aid you on your baby signing adventure, here are some valuable resources and websites to explore:

Benefits of baby sign

(BSL baby sign) beginners guide

A guide for the science-minded parent

The benefits of teaching your baby signs

How can I practice baby sign (ASL)

Parenting forums and communities for shared experiences and support:

Baby sign language classes or workshops in your area


Baby sign language is a remarkable tool that opens up a world of communication possibilities for both babies and their caregivers. By incorporating signs into your daily interactions, you can witness the joy of effective communication, foster early language development, and strengthen the bond with your little one. Embrace this journey and explore the multitude of resources available to enhance your baby signing experience. Start signing with your baby today and watch the wonders unfold!

Remember, every child is unique, and their progress with sign language may vary. Patience and consistency are key. Enjoy this incredible opportunity to connect with your baby on a deeper level, and cherish the moments of shared understanding and love.

Sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date.

Happy signing!

Weekly Review:

Earth Day at Earth Baby Fair, Baby Sign Classes, and Maternity Leave Solutions?...

Welcome to our weekly review where we'll cover the latest updates from Clever Little Handies. This week has been exciting for us with the arrival of our new book and the success of The Earth Baby Fair.

Book (Soft) Launch and Discounted Pre-Orders

We're thrilled to announce the arrival of our new book, which has already received positive reviews from parents and experts in baby classes. We have sold out, but you can still pre-order the book at a discounted price of €14.99 on our website. The regular retail price will be €16.99 once it's back in stock.

Networking with Other Small Business Owners

The Baby Fair also provided an opportunity for us to connect with other small business owners outside of the virtual world. As entrepreneurs, we understand the importance of supporting one another, and this was a fantastic opportunity to network and exchange ideas.

New kids on the block and my table neighbours:

Caroline Michniak who does Baby Massage and Eleanor from Geal Healing, a brand new baby (and grown ups!) reflexology service. Both of these fab mommas are Clever Little Handies alumni! Caroline from one of my online terms and Eleanor from an in person term.

Another of my past pupils and new to the baby business scene is Greencubs, a fab new business that allows you to pick and mix your baby gifts to send to any new bundle of joy across the country!

There were loads of new vendors but I only got to chat to a couple. The Nappy Market seemed to be all go, all day! And the amazing Lisa from FatJoy Fine Art, was so lovely to talk to...even if I did mistake your Clare/German accent for Cork!!! LOL

Back once again...(like the renegade masters!) were HipBaby, Siobhan at Earthmother, Rainbow Kids Boutique and Sew Tea Dough to name a few! I finally got to meet in person the amazing and lovely Sandy from Sandy Connolly Doula and the minder of many mammies during lockdown, nurturing that virtual village, something all lockdown baby mommas very much needed!

It was great seeing my old pal, Oksana, from Little Comfort...who I introduced to cloth nappies about 8 years ago, when our middle kids were babies! And now she has her own cloth nappy business! She now has a new addition to the family and has been able to join my baby sign classes, the multi-tasking master!

I also had Rachel from Sleepydust slings as my table neighbour (on the other side), who I met about 5 years ago as she was starting her doula journey and has just been going from strength to strength! Hard to believe how fast the time is flying!

Monika from Kids Love Cotton and Sinead from Refillz also had their stalls. I know Monika from the Castletown Markets and Sinead from Network Kildare. I really do get everywhere!

Successful Baby Sign Classes

This week, the Baby Sign classes are flying!!! This mornings class at Clondalkin Library was a great success, with a lovely group of Mammies and their babies.

Castletymon Library (Tallaght) is now fully booked, but you may be able to register for their waitlist.

Online Classes Still Available

If you missed out on the in-person classes, don't worry, there are still places available for the online class tomorrow. Classes are designed to teach parents the fundamentals of baby sign language and provide a fun and interactive environment for babies and parents to learn together.

Award Shortlisting

I'm excited to share that Clever Little Handies has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Social Media Sockies Awards in several categories, including FB Small Business, Instagram Small Business, Video Campaign Small Business, and Social Media SME. I am honoured to be recognized for my efforts in promoting the importance of baby sign language and making it accessible to parents. Last year I took home an award for best video campaign

In addition, I'm thrilled to announce that I've been shortlisted as a finalist for the Network Kildare Business Woman of the Year Awards in the solo business woman category. This recognition means a lot to me, and it's a testament to the hard work and dedication that I put into the business.

Big News Coming - Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We also have some big news coming up for parents who are wondering what to do when their maternity leave ends. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on this exciting announcement.

That's all for the weekly review, hope to see you at the next Baby Sign class or online session. Remember to follow on social media to stay updated on the latest news and events.

Earth Baby Fair Blog Post

Since I’m supposed to be updating the website regularly I’ve created a blog post ahead of the Earth Baby Fair this Saturday 22nd April at the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth. There are still some tickets available and with kids going free what's not to love?

These are my top tips for attending a market as a stall holder.

  • Registration confirmation: This is usually sent via email or can be printed out after registering online. It confirms your attendance and provides all the necessary details about the event.
  • Name badge: This is often given to you at the event and should be worn at all times. It identifies you as an attendee and helps you network with others.
  • Comfortable shoes: Trade shows, markets and fairs often involve a lot of walking and standing, so comfortable shoes are a must. Make sure to wear shoes that are supportive and won't cause blisters.
  • In the words of U2 “Elevation”! Something to create various heights to your space, upturned boxes or crates, Light boxes etc.
  • Business cards: These are essential for networking and exchanging information with other attendees, vendors, and exhibitors. Even better, save the environment and get an e-business card! I got mine from TapiTag, a local business (that was in Leixlip but is now in the midlands).
  • Notepad and pen: These will come in handy for taking notes and jotting down ideas or contact information.
  • Map or event guide: This will help you navigate the event and locate the booths or exhibitors you're interested in.
  • Charged smartphone or tablet: This will allow you to stay connected, take photos, and access any event apps or resources.
  • Snacks and water: Trade shows can be tiring, so it's important to stay hydrated and have some snacks on hand to keep your energy levels up. Or in my case Coffee and Chocolate!!! - I bought my Klean Kanteen from Earthmother about 5 years ago and haven’t been without it at any of the markets I’ve been to!
  • Any relevant materials or samples: If you're attending as a vendor or exhibitor, make sure to bring any relevant materials or samples to showcase your products or services.
  • Positive attitude: It can be overwhelming, but a positive attitude and willingness to learn and network can go a long way in making the most of your experience.
  • Card paying capabilities, be that a sum-up machine, paypal or revolut, not everyone carries cash.
  • Bring a float with enough change and small coins for those that do carry cash.
  • A box of bits... mine consists of pens, markers, tape, stapler and staples, scissors, measuring tape, blu tac, pritt stick, strepsils and tissues. 

What would you add to the list?

Easter Blog Post

Anyone else feeling the sugar crash? 🤮 From my fam a lam to yours, Happy Easter 🐰 😍 and I hope you’re getting a minute to escape the chaos. I’m taking a break to get some work done and update my blog 🙄 needs must - it’s for the algorithm!.

During the week I brought my lot to Clonfert Pet Farm. They had their easter event which was fantastic as always! You can have a look at my Blog for other places we love to visit: 

I’m hoping to get to Kildare Maze during the week (if the weather plays ball!).

Another great spot is Lullymore Heritage Park, mind you,  it’s usually Halloween when we visit, the ghost/zombie train ride is terrifying!

Another great train ride is at Rathwood in Carlow. I was there years ago for a teddy bears picnic event, but they host different events throughout the year, they also have a fantastic maze.

If you haven’t had enough chocolate from their easter egg hunt you can always pop into the Chocolate Garden almost nextdoor: 

Back closer to home and Malahide Castle has lots going on.

Or in Wicklow you’ve got lots to see and do at Kilruddery house and Avondale house with Beyond the Trees at Avondale. We were there last summer but it was a bit rainy so they didn’t have the slide open.

Newgrange Farm is another summer trip of ours, but they do have Easter events too.

And way out west you could check out the egg hunt at Sligo Folk Park. Or for something a bit different the Birds of Prey at Eagles Flying Centre which has just reopened on Friday after their winter break.

A hidden gem we discovered last summer when visiting family in Sligo was Westport House in Mayo, it has a fantastic little adventure park with a log flume ride and everything. It was absolutely perfect for my just turned 4 year old, 7 and 8 year olds, and I wasn’t fit for much walking either, so suited us perfectly. I highly recommend it!

Easter is a great time of year, feeling that stretch in the evening and a bit of warmth in the air (although today isn’t a reflection of that). But for the default parent (you know who you are!) it can also be a time of stress and chaos as you try to balance busy schedules, sugar overload, and the pressure to make the holiday perfect.

One of the biggest challenges of any midterm is the overwhelming sense of busyness that comes with the holiday. Between Easter egg hunts, family gatherings, and other activities, it can feel like there's never enough time in the day. This can be particularly challenging for families with young children, who may have trouble keeping up with the fast pace of the holiday.

My tip is just let stuff go. Let it slide, leave the laundry till tomorrow, let them have the chocolate, have a bit yourself ;) get into your pjs and have a movie night with them. Mine don’t wear the cute little matching outfits anymore and I anticipate the older 2 will be helping me hide the eggs next year. So, looking back I wish I wasn’t as strict as I was with them when they were 3, 4, or 5, I regret restricting their chocolate intake, I should’ve just left them to it, because the magic’s fading here, they’re questioning the authenticity of the Easter Bunny 🐰, and I wish I had just let them have their fill while it was still magical.

Blog Post

Last month I celebrated my birthday and realised I never celebrated Clever Little Handies 4th birthday in January, so it's time to reflect on the last year... Wow, what a year it's been!

In just two weeks, I'll be attending the LAMA All Ireland Business and Council Awards as a finalist in the Best Micro Start Up Category. This recognition means so much to me, and it's a testament to the hard work I've put in over the past year.

But the LAMA Awards are just one part of a year filled with accomplishments. In February 2023, I received a LIFT Ireland (Leading Ireland's Future Together) Award for determination. In October 2022, I received a Micro Business Award for the second year in a row. In June 2022, I attended the Network Kildare Business Woman of the Year Awards as a finalist in the Emerging New Business Category, and while I didn't win, being shortlisted is an incredible honour. I was also invited to attend the Intel Ireland Pride of Place Awards and was awarded a brand new Lenovo laptop.

In May, I was shortlisted as a finalist in the Social Media Sockie Awards across 5 categories and took home Gold for Small Business video campaign, placed Silver for Social Media SME and was awarded Bronze for Facebook small Business and Social Media Non Professionals. And in April last year, I won Gold in the LAMA All Ireland Business and Council Awards for Best Micro Business.

But it's not just awards and recognition that make this year special. I attended a writing course with award-winning author, Emma-Jane Leeson of Jonny Magory Books. I got the prototype of a baby sign book printed. I passed my ISL signature level 1 and QQI level 4 exams. In November 2022, I received a QQI L5 certificate from The Entrepreneurs Academy for completing their start your own business course.

Throughout the year, I ran sessions in Kildare, Dublin, Laois, Offaly, and Sligo. And I was lucky enough to have the support of my family and friends throughout it all. They are the cheerleaders that have my back, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

Of course, it all wouldn’t be possible without the supportive people around me! The libraries that book me, the mammys and daddys that sign up to the classes and the other entrepreneurs and business owners that network helping to grow our business’ stronger together.

Looking back on the past year, I'm grateful for all of the opportunities, support, and growth that have come my way. Here's to another year of learning, growing, and making a difference in the lives of families and communities.

Thanks for being a part of the Clever Little Handies journey. Let's see what the future holds!

Blog Post

On this day 6 years ago I shared some picture perfect snaps and also released the below rhetoric to go along with it (for reference I brought the girls to the beach on my own, they were just gone 1 and nearly 3, thats them in their matching togs and hats, because I used to do that back then!). 

6 years on and I’m reposting it alongside a picture from today to remind myself of how challenging I found it back then. Yes it’s still challenging, but in such a different way. They’re a bit more grown up, but the tantrums and meltdowns won’t be appeased by grapes anymore 😢 - on second thoughts, the fermented ones help! 

I don’t think it’s talked about enough; how those early years can be incredibly difficult. What blows my mind is that I now know that I was not alone in my aloneness. There were countless other new Mums also struggling. Lonely but never alone. 3am feeds because of a sleep regression, or new teeth, or just cause it’s a full moon and we don’t know what's wrong. In the fog of those early, sleep deprived years, where I lost myself and found myself, I found a mum group and then another with #2 and again the next new mum tribe when #3 arrived, I learned that having a sound board of other mothers was soooo important to me.

Granted it’s not for everyone, and some new parents have their own Mothers in with them frequently to help out, or they’ve got siblings with kids the same age and they’re in the throws of it together with all the cousins practically raring each other and for those Mamas the thoughts of hanging out with strangers is horrifying. But for me those strangers were my therapy! And Gymboree or Baby Massage or Baby Yoga was our processing room! I dare say those strangers ended up knowing me better than some of my closest friends and family. All of us lost in the fog together, fumbling our way out, emerging sometime in the toddler years? Was it when they started playschool that the dust settled? Hard to tell now, it’s all just a blur. 

Here’s the post from 6 years ago though:

June 7th 2016

*PSA the truth behind the lens is:

It took an hour to get from the car park to the entire hour, (that's the same length of time as the frickin drive!) it's brittas it's like a 5 min walk in normal life but with children....pft! I had to lug the double buggy, laden down with children and bags, (i had to bring it because do you think either of them would nap on the drive?ha! The littlest cried the whole way - reminder: that's a 1 hour drive!)

The buggy then got stuck in the doorway of the toilets. Once freed, I'd to pee with the door ajar because both girls were freaking out (having been stuck in the doorway hearing mysterious noises from inside i.e. voices, toilets flushing, hand dryers etc. The usual normal noises from bathrooms that render toddlers to quivering messes) and I'd to peek a boo with my toes to calm them.

Once that mission was complete, mission mountain climb was afoot, ok sandy knoll but f*cksake it may aswell have been Everest for the effort it took me. I ended up dragging the buggy (again double buggy...and most certainly not all terrain) backwards through the thick sand (that's where the wooden walkway ends after about 30ft) anyhow I eventually land at the beach it's almost 2pm so it's past lunchtime...oops, they happily eat the sand sandwiches I brought, no no, that's not a typo, literally the blanket, their hands, the bags, the food, the buggy, my a$$ crack were covered in sand instantly, like I still can't comprehend how it happened, it was all consuming but they weren't bothered and ate all the food I'd brought for!

So after a paddle and a splash (with one on each hip because neither actually likes the water...or walking in the sand for that matter) we return to the obsolete blanket and sit on its sandy surface. I pop the tent up for them so that they might have a nap....wrong! Super cool vw camper van tent is far too exciting for napping (mental note made...pop the tent on arrival next time).

So after more play and sand throwing, I look at the time and think hmm 3.40pm, I should probably start getting packed up.

While the youngest is NOT sleeping in one half of the double buggy and the oldest is climbing up a sand dune behind us, I gather all of our crap and I say a silent prayer that I get the feckin tent down in one go because it's a bit like parallel parking and if on the first go it doesn't work you may forget about it, abort the mission and peel away...but thank Christ that wasn't the case and I got it safely tucked into its bag with about 2 tonne of sand.

Onward, and I've packed and 're packed the bags I dunno maybe 5 times (which is about 10 times less than the number of times I packed and repacked in the 2 hours it took to get out that morning) and littlest still isn't sleeping and oldest is still climbing and sliding in the sand and I give her a million notices we'll be leaving soon. I gather the bags (5 - there’s 5 bags, for 3 people for no word of a lie 90 minutes at the beach, they were; a picnic bag, a tesco bag with potty in, nappy bag, rucksack with towels and sunscreen and the tent bag) and I sprint the hill to leave them at the top and return to lug buggy and not sleeping little one to the top and some lovely ladies help and now I just have to retrieve the oldest and hope we manage to avoid a meltdown with any kind of defcon rating, and I've got strategically placed grapes at the top of the nappy bag that I can use as bribery but don't want to resort to those too early as I might need them for the car, so I tell her there's an adventure, that gets her attention, and she dutifully follows in search of this adventure.

We almost lose it when at the end of the walk way she needs to go in the buggy or put shoes on, but she has to go in the buggy cause I don't have strategically placed shoes, only strategically placed grapes...but I need them dammit, but once I tell her the grounds too warm for little feet she seems satisfied with that and on we go, but she won't use the bathroom (yes we got stuck in the door again) and no amount of toe peek a boo calmed them, so we were all grumpy when we got back to the car at about 5 o'clock (that's a full hour n 20 after I started packing up)! And before we go, one needs a potty, one needs a nappy, so all this gets sorted at the car and I need a massage and eventually...eventually we get in the car and head home.

It's a longer drive home and I have to stop in a petrol station for demands of the potty were great, and that woke the other one so I'd to sing again and I'm really not very good at singing at all, so that upsets the other one, but the strategically placed grapes finally get their chance to shine and finally we get home and they freak out in the bath cause there's sand in the water and I hate suncream now cause that crap just doesn't come off and they hate having their hair scrubbed and bedtime comes but they don't sleep cause they slept at obscure times so we abandon bedtime for a while and try again, and abort, and try again and by 9.30 when they're both asleep and I have a cuppa I collapse on the couch and am too tired to even scroll through the pics to see what I'll post! So 4 days later here's what you get... No snots, no tears, no meltdowns, just the edits. Fab day though, can't wait to do it year lol!!! Oh and  this isn't a dig at anyone who has put up their pics lately, it's a nod to everyone that hasn't , and it's a message to all silent observers of facebook land, the ones that are struggling, the ones that look at all the picture perfect edits and don't see beyond that... real life happens behind the lens, it's just no-one posts about it x


Throwback to that first class January 2019

© Copyright