Instagram Inspiration

Kids get bored of toys so easily so a great Instagram page to follow is @clever_tots_toy_club. It has a monthly subscription where parents can sign up for age-appropriate, sustainable, high-quality toys to assist with their child’s learning and development.

Each month, four age-appropriate toys are delivered to your child, while the old ones are collected for sanitisation and redistribution.

Clever Tots Toys Club wants parents with little ones under three years to try out the service and share their experiences to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Parents need to post a picture of their little one playing on their Instagram or Facebook profile, tagging Clever Tots Toy Club and using the hashtag #CleverTotsBrandRep2022. Ten winners will be selected.

Memory Lane

When news broke last week of Jessie Buckley’s Oscar nomination, the Irish Country Living team delved into the archives to find our cover feature with the unassuming Kerry actress from April 2009.

Photographed by Valerie O’Sullivan and interviewed by Maria Moynihan, the then-19-year-old was just making her West End debut in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the time.

“I’m still pinching myself,” she admitted. “Little did I know last year that I’d be doing what I’m doing. It’s a dream.”

In the interview, Jessie spoke about finishing second in the Andrew Lloyd Weber show, I’d Do Anything, which was searching for a new star to play the role of Nancy in a revival of Oliver Twist.

“I know I didn’t win that part for a reason,” she reflected. “When you get that far, you’re going to be devastated and you’re going to cry your eyes out. But in a way, I think it’s been the best thing in the world for me, not winning. In the long run, I couldn’t have asked for a better result.”

And despite her rising star, Jessie still had her feet firmly on the ground. “I’m still a normal 19-year-old girl in London and I have to worry about water bills and taxes and all that craic!” she laughed. “I always like to learn more and keep growing as a person.”

Katherine’s Home Management Tip

Cooking in bulk is a great idea for managing time when you know you will be busy. Breads, shepherd’s pies, curries, lasagnes, stews, quiches and fish pies are some of the dishes that freeze really well.

If you are going to the trouble of making a meat pie or vegetable dish, make two and freeze one. It is better use of your time. Before you know it, you will have a revolving stock for emergencies or when you know you are going to be tired. Use oven-friendly containers where possible.The tinfoil ones are great and if minded can be used over and over again.

Ensure to put the date and contents on them. It can be difficult to identify contents of dish when frozen. Include status such as gluten-free also.

If you have a family member on a special diet, store that food in a particular section or basket to avoid cross contamination or mistakes.

Picture of the Week

Kellymarie McGrath on her grandmother Betty's farm in Oldtown, Co Dublin, giving the first feed to a newborn lamb on 8 February. \ John McGrath

Tweet of the Week

Number of the Week

54.2% – The percentage change by which house prices in Kilmore Quay increased pre- to post-pandemic.

Read more on House in the Country.

Quote of the Week

From the president of the ASTI Eamon Dennehy on this year’s Leaving Certificate format:

The OECD publication Education at a Glance 2021 found that Ireland is 36th out of 36 countries in terms of investment in second-level education as a proportion of GDP. Schools are continuously cash-strapped