Monday, 14 April 2014

New gluten-free snacks from Kiddylicious



Baby Girl has been a big Kiddylicious fan since we discovered their Smoothie Melts and Wiggles some time ago.

The Kids Food Co have  introduced two new ranges to the Kiddylicious family - Fruity Puffs and Flying Saucers; both gluten-free and both suitable for babies ages 7 months and up.

Kiddylicious snacks are designed to encourage good feeding habits and we LOVE them! As Kiddylicious say themselves, it is never too early to start stimulating taste buds and imaginations with exciting new textures, flavour and shapes and these yummy snacks make for perfect finger food and healthy snacks in between meals.

We were kindly sent some samples for Baby Girl to try and she adores the Flying Saucers especially. 

Kiddylicious Flying saucers are available in two delicious savoury flavours - Tomato and Cheese. baby Girl enjoys both of these snacks that are made with gluten-free rice flour and melt in the mouth.


They are easy for little hands to pick up, and they have a crunch for texture but they dissolve easily in the mouth which is great for younger toddlers. I've since bought more as baby Girl enjoyed them so much - I think they were 55p each which I think is very reasonable.

Not just for babies! They contain no added salt or sugar and no preservatives so they are perfect for lunchboxes and to take out on picnics or days out.

Kiddylicious Fruity Puffs come in three fruity flavours - Banana, Blueberry and Strawberry. They are each brightly coloured which seemed rather odd, yet incredibly inviting and although Baby Girl wasn't as keen on the berry varieties, she loved the banana flavours and Little One was more than happy to gobble up the rest! 



These are corn puffs made from gluten-free maize flour and twice infused with real fruit flavours for a strong and authentic fruit taste. They are shaped to encourage self-feeding, and I love the texture and taste combinations which help stimulate and educate young palates. 

Such great ideas!


We were sent some snacks to review. Our opinions remain honest as always.

Our week - birthdays and marathons



As I very rarely remember to take or post a photo for Silent Sunday or Project 365, I decided I'd write a round up of our week so I can document the good; the bad and the completely hideous ;)

Last week hubby was home with us on annual leave. It was so lovely having him home - with his long hours and shifts, we do sometimes start to feel like passing ships in the night, but that's life.... and it makes us cherish his time at home even more.

It's just a shame that he is in so much pain at the moment. As much as I'm dreading his next appointment, I'm also willing it to hurry up just so those that can fix him - do! 

We've been making the most of the lovely weather and have been taking the children to the park most days. We do have a garden but it's small and mostly concrete - there's nothing better than watching your children run in the open.....Forever green until the sky meets on the horizon.

Actually, it's given me a bit of a kick up the behind in the photography department too. The vivid gifts that Spring has to offer, are too captivating to resist, so I've been snapping away. The fresh scenery away from the same four walls definitely helps blow the cobwebs away and stops the brain from fretting; at least for a while.

(c) White lily Green

We also celebrated Grown Boy's birthday this week. It's funny how the hyperactive excitement that little people exude by the bucket-load, seems to simmer down to a modest contentment once they reach their teens. It's nice, but  fairly unexpected at the same time.  It's also quite strange that toys have now been replaced with gadgets and cold hard cash. I don't mind this, of course... but it certainly makes be feel a little sad that my baby boy is growing up - in a few years he will be an adult and that makes me feel very old. Where do the years go?

Grown Boy helped out at the London Marathon yesterday - a very proud moment :) He is growing up into a kind young man and I am incredibly proud of him. It was the first time he went on the Tube without one of us with him, so it was a very big deal (he did have a chaperone, but even so).

He commented on how amazing it was and how he is going to volunteer to help again next year too. What a fantastic experience for him!

The marathon also inspired myself and Grown Boy to start running again... I say again... it's been about 17 years since I did any proper running, but I'm really looking forward to spending time with my boy and (hopefully) getting fit at the same time.... so watch this space. You never know.... one day, maybe we could run a marathon.... or a half marathon....fun run.... OK,OK.. if I can run for the bus without dying, I'll be happy for now!

Whilst I'm on the subject of health, I'm going on a diet.... again. I am a Slimming World fan but I fall off the wagon so often, I wonder if something new would give me the kick up the rear that I need?  Hmm...

That reminds me, I finally got around to trying some new cereal from Weight Watchers  - Love Fibre which randomly arrived in the post (if you sent it to me....thank you) It's surprisingly tasty and the addition of raisins, sultanas and apple makes a nice change from plain bran flakes. Although hubby has got me into eating fruit and yogurt for breakfast....yum!

Anyway, I'm rambling even more so than usual, so I'll leave it there. 

Have a great week peeps!

T x

Last call to help the Tinyme Name Blocks Kickstarter project!



With less than 2 days left I am asking all of you to consider helping Tinyme reach their Kickstarter goal.

Tinyme is a brand we love and I would be delighted to see them reach their required total!

What is about?

Well, Tinyme have been working on a contemporary version of the timeless wooden name puzzle for over a year. Their design is customisable, has hidden educational superpowers and looks awesome (their words, but I have to agree!)


 
Tinyme Name Blocks allow you to choose from different font, symbol, colour, pattern and design options to create a truly unique puzzle and come in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 block versions. The puzzles are made from durable, sustainable plywood, printed with non toxic inks and include a matching felt pouch to make pack up time easy!
The puzzle comes with two slide-in cards custom-printed to match. The first allows the child to create their name by matching letter and colour. Once they've mastered this step, simply slide out the card to reveal the black and white text version. With no colour prompt, matching then needs to be based only on the letter. Educational superpowers indeed!
“A child recognising their own name is an exciting first step in opening them up to a whole new world. A world of letters and words,” added Mike. 

Tinyme’s passion for creating premium quality, beautifully designed and well thought-out products for kids is evident in the new puzzles. Crafted from plywood, sealed with clear protective paint and printed with non toxic ink, the Name Blocks have been independently tested and comply with toy safety standards for Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.  

Those who back the project via Kickstarter will be the first to receive the brand new product following a successful campaign. With a $20,000 goal, the project must meet this minimum for production to commence.  

With a Facebook presence of over 170,000 fans, a strong email list and healthy traffic to its three websites, Tinyme is hoping to leverage its already strong customer base to spread the word and make the project a reality. 

The Australian based company expects to commence production at its Melbourne location in June, with the first puzzles being dispatched to early pledgers in July. A successfully backed Kickstarter campaign would see work begin immediately on finalisation of design options, production tweaks, website integration and full-scale production. The puzzles will eventually be available to the general public later in the year. 

 If you would like to pledge and back Tinyme's Kickstarter project (there are rewards to be had!) Please click here and help if you can!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Introducing The Brit Pack: A New Voice for British Made Children’sBrands - WIN a beautifully crafted Bunny Ears Egg Cup from Hop and Peckworth £18!






If you haven’t already read about The Brit Pack let me tell you more…   It’s a collaboration formed of brands that design and manufacture quality goods here in the UK, specifically within the children’s arena.  The collaboration is the inspiration of Grubbies - the ‘dungaree evangelists’ – made Great in Britain!

The premise for the initiative is to help support and build recognition for brands that not only design, but also manufacture their goods in Britain. By working together, The Brit Pack aims to generate greater awareness for British made children’s brands.


The Brit Pack are celebrating the collaboration with an eggciting Easter Blog Hop.  For 15 consecutive days in the run up to Easter, you’ll have an opportunity to WIN delightful children’s products, made with love, here in the UK. 

WIN, WIN, WIN…

The fifth prize on the Easter Blog Hop is from HOP & PECK who have provided an exclusive opportunity to WIN a beautifully crafted bunny ear egg cup worth £18 RRP.


What better than an Easter bunny for your boiled egg? The award-winning egg cup is typical of the ingenious design skills of Hop & Peck. Sure to brighten up any breakfast table, the egg cup makes a fabulous, and very original gift, year round.


Lovingly handmade in England using solid oak sourced from sustainable forests and finished with Danish oil, it comes beautifully presented in a branded grey gift box.


For further information visit: www.hopandpeck.co.uk.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

For your chance to win, simply complete the entry criteria below:

For an opportunity to WIN the next prize on #TheBritPack Easter Blog Hop, head over to BERICEBABY on Friday, 11 April ’14!  

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Scrumptious snackage from Taste Inc.

Review

I have a confession to make. I have a guilty pleasure....I enjoy microwave burgers. There, I said it.

Not all the time, you understand, but as a 'treat' or a quick bite to eat when I'm rushing about here and there, and fancy something hot.... they really do hit the spot.

Taste Inc. sent me some snacks to try recently and I have to say they were very tasty indeed! You have probably seen Taste Inc. microwavable snacks in the chiller departments in your local supermarket, but just in case you haven't, let me tell you a little about them.

Taste Inc. snacks can be ready in 90 seconds and are all under 500 calories, but most important of all....they taste great! The brand wanted to "seriously shake up microwave snacking to deliver an incredible-tasting experience for kids and adults alike."..... Well, I honestly think they've done that. Their range of healthy quick and easy microwave snacks includes subs, microwave burgers, hot dog and baguettes...Simply Open. Heat. Eat.

We tried the Flamed Grilled Quarter Pounder which came with a sachet of tomato ketchup and a cheese slice. It was yummy and was a perfect snack after a really busy morning where I had no time to eat breakfast and by 12pm, I needed something that I could grab super quick.



The burger didn't taste like it had just emerged from a microwave; it was juicy and flavoursome and if someone had told me it had just been cooked on a barbeque, I'd have believed them - you may have gathered, I am a BIG fan of this one! ;)

Secondly we tried the Southern Fried Chicken Sub which comes with a sachet of Chilli mayo. I didn't try the mayo as I'm sensitive to chillies so I tried this plain. This didn't look as appetising as the burger, but it tasted pretty good. The whole mini chicken breast fillets were surprisingly good for a microwave snack and the southern fried coating was spicy but not overly so.



The buns/subs did seem slightly soggy when they first came out of the microwave and I was a bit concerned, but once they cooled down enough to eat, they were fine - not soggy at all.

They RRP at £1.99 each but if you hurry, Morrison's have them on sale at half price! Fill yer boots!


I was sent these snacks for review purposes. My opinions remain honest as always.

Sufferers Build National Campaign Through Social Media To Raise Awareness Of Crohns And Colitis with #GETYOURBELLYOUT




Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past month, you will have seen the widespread cancer campaign #NoMakeupSelfie which has been covered online, in press and on TV. Women have been ‘sharing’ their natural skin 'selfies', in a bid to raise awareness for Cancer.

The amazing NoMakeUpSelfie campaign raised a staggering amount of funds and awareness for Cancer sufferers and their families; it was fantastic and demonstrated just how phenomenal the power of social media really is. 

Following in their footsteps, a small team of people have decided to do the same for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), namely Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis - both of these diseases are debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, often humiliating…..and very few people have heard of them or know anything about them. 
This was to change with the #GetYourBellyOut social media phenomenon! 

It all began on March 23rd, when Derbyshire based Marketing Manager, Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford decided she needed to do something to raise awareness of IBD, she wanted to make a difference.

Along with some of the other members of the team working on this campaign, Sahara suffers with Ulcerative Colitis. This is a relatively unknown and ‘invisible’ chronic condition which affects the colon, the large intestine (bowel) and rectum, which often becomes inflamed, causing severe ulcers on the lining of the colon. It is an auto-immune disease which can trigger complications such as infections and long-term health issues. Sometimes surgery is the only option, sections of the intestines are often removed, especially in regards to Crohns disease which affects the entire digestive system. The symptoms are downright nasty. 
Someone who has Colitis or Crohns can expect to spend vast amounts of time either searching for or being stuck in, a toilet. Imagine the nastiest sickness and dihorrhoea bug you've ever had and imagine dealing with that on a permanent basis, with the addition of blood loss so severe it can cause anaemia. If you're lucky, doctors find medications to manage the disease and the symptoms become controllable - if you're not lucky, the only route available is surgery. Often the medications have serious side effects that can be as upsetting as the disease itself.

Unfortunately these diseases are often confused with IBS which is a much milder and overall manageable condition. Colitis and Crohns Disease are totally incurable… to date. Colitis issues can be eased if a colosotomy bag is used to bypass the bowel, although the malfunctioning immune system can still lead to further symptoms such as chronic arthritis, to name just one.

Crohns and Colitis is the UK association for IBD; providing information, support and guidance to sufferers and their families. They also work hard to raise funds which they hope will eventually lead to a cure for IBD. The problem is, how to raise funds for, and awareness of, a disease that so few people are willing to talk about because of the horrible nature of IBD and its symptoms. Early in the campaign, Sahara decided it would need to be a campaign that got as many people as possible involved, and it had to be something that didn't involve financial outlay. Small enterprises cannot afford huge expensive awareness campaigns.

So, they decided on something simple and effective. 


Everyone from the IBD community was encouraged to upload a photograph of their ‘belly pics’ alongside the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut onto social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They were also asked to text and donate IBDA99 to the dedicated number 70070 if they so wished. The goal was to raise awareness and to support research into finding a cure. People without IBD who had a passion to help find a cure and to tell other people about it, were also asked to join in.

A dedicated team of people joined Sahara and we have all worked very hard to co-ordinate this project. Gemma Willingham, and Lorna Haymes both have Crohn's disease and Victoria Marie and my dear friend Kay Wilkinson have Ulcerative Colitis. Despite the daily struggles we are all deal with, we have fought on with the #GetYourBellyOut campaign and have helped so many IBD patients come together with a common cause in mind: A cure for IBD and to tell people about what it's like to have Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Sahara says of the #GetYourBellyOut campaign, which has now gone global “What started out as a campaign to raise awareness of an invisible illness that so many people suffer with in silence – has now become a unifying and inspirational campaign!"

“So far we have raised over £2,000 which will help fund research to find a cure for these debilitating and so far, incurable diseases – Crohns and Colitis – as well as helping the community find a voice!”

Here is how you can help:
  • Visit the Just Giving page to donate or text code IBDA99 (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness). You can also text donations to 70070!
  • Please join the team in their efforts to raise money to find a cure for IBD and to raise awareness for IBD, upload a belly photo with the hashtag, post a blog, tweet about the campaign, follow them on Twitter @GetYourBellyOut.

1st Annual CMV ACTION Awareness Month - June 2014





As a woman who thanks her lucky stars to have had four healthy babies, I want to highlight an important campaign being highlighted by new charity, CMV ACTION. It's aim is to raise awareness of Congenital Cytomegalavirus (CMV) which is the most common birth disorder in the UK, and ultimately help save babies lives and stop children suffering from defects caused by this disorder.


This June will see the very first annual CMV ACTION Awareness Month and so I am writing this post to spread the word and help support this cause.

CMV (Cytomegalovirus) is a very common virus that is harmless to most people but can be very dangerous to unborn babies. I will be completely honest here and tell you that before I heard about this campaign, I had never heard of this virus.
"Congenital CMV infection occurs when a mother is infected with strain of CMV she has not previously come in contact with and is passed to her unborn child. Despite being one of the main causes of birth defects in the UK, pregnant women are not routinely warned or educated about CMV - nor told of simple precautions they can take to lower risks of contracting CMV during pregnancy."

CMV is the most common birth disorder in the UK, which can cause a devastating range of physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities. Each year around 900 children will be born in the UK  with permanent disabilities as a result of the virus. 
CMV will affect most of the population at some point in their lifetime - in fact 50-80% of people in the UK are carriers; yet most have near heard of it.

Symptoms can be easily mistaken for a cold and healthy adults will often not realise they’ve contracted it. The virus was discovered in the 1950's by the same team of doctors who discovered polio, measles, mumps and chicken pox - yet CMV continues to spread without warnings, vaccination or treatment. 

It is thought that up to 25% of young children will have had a CMV infection, which means they are at risk of passing it on to pregnant women in their bodily fluids. This means that pregnant women who have young children or work with young children should be especially cautious when it comes to hygiene.

Some key facts about CMV:

• CMV is more common than Down’s syndrome, Toxoplasmosis, Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis
• 1 in 150 newborn babies are born with CMV, though many will not have symptoms
• 1 in 1000 babies in the UK will suffer a severe disability having contracted CMV in utero
• 1/3 of the babies who appear healthy at birth go on to develop permanent disabilities over time
• CMV can be a cause of miscarriage and stillbirth
• CMV problems include hearing loss, autism, physical and motor impairment, learning difficulties and visual impairment.



CMV is a "stealth virus" which evades the immune system. This makes developing a vaccine more difficult. However, international experts and government representatives are now positive that it can be done

Once you contract CMV, it stays in your body for life but it does not protect you from catching a different strain of the virus. CMV is spread through bodily fluids such as saliva and  nasal discharge, but with greater awareness, pregnant women can take simple precautions to protect their unborn child. 

Simple ways to reduce risk: 

• Wash hands with soap & water after changing nappies, clearing up food or wiping a child's face
• Avoid sharing dummies, cutlery, drinks or food with anyone
• Avoid kissing babies & young children directly on the mouth or near nose/cheek - give hugs or kiss on forehead
• Wash any items that have been contaminated by bodily fluids with soap and water
• Use condoms during sexual intercourse after conception

CMV ACTION is staffed by volunteers - the majority of whom have CMV children. Their aim is to educate women in the UK about the virus and, more importantly, the very simple steps that can be taken to prevent this devastating virus.

FIND OUT MORE:

CMV ACTION WEBSITE:  www.cmvaction.org.uk

CMV ACTION TWITTERhttps://twitter.com/cmvactionuk

CMV ACTION FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CMVAction

STOP CMV hand campaign  http://www.stopcmv.org/hands_campaign
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