Tommee Tippee – For your little Prince or Princess

Tommee Tippee Bottles

For your little prince or princess

For your little prince or princess

As babies and young children my children have used Tommee Tippee product. I like the way it is designed both with parents and children/babies in mind. They are practical for us, don’t leak and work for the child or baby.

Even as toddlers the children have used and Bubbles still uses these with his bedtime milk so that he doesn’t spill it in his bed. I like the way they come apart for ease of cleaning and all go in the dishwasher too.

This week Tommee Tippee is celebrating the new royal arrival baby princess Charlotte with a limited edition Royal Baby collection available now exclusively in Mothercare.

The range from British brand tommee tippee® closer to nature® consists of 2 gift sets containing 2 bottles and 2 soothers in pink or blue- making it the perfect gift for any little prince or princess. There is also a 260ml individual bottle available. Each bottle has a unique celebration design with bunting and either the royal guard for boys or a royal carriage for girls, and comes in a gorgeous gift box.

If you or someone you know has just had or is expecting a baby around this time then it’s a lovely way to join in the celebration as well as having very practical and trustworthy bottles for your or a friend’s baby.

For more information visit their website

Meal Planning Monday – 18th May 2015

Meal Planning MondayI don’t think our children go to school on any Monday’s in May – Today is Victoria Day so the schools are off. Luckily I have an excellent holiday club who step in and offer childcare on most of the holidays otherwise I would be absolutely snookered.

This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

Slow cooked pulled pork

Slow cooked pulled pork

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork – I had the pleasure in reviewing and taste testing the slow cooker range from Schwartz and it was so tasty. I do have a few extra tips that I will share later in the week in the blog.

Pork marinated in chilli & lime – We didn’t have this last week, so it’s on the menu this week. I don’t think Grim really fancies it, but we’ll see.

Ragu – This is a staple in our house, everyone loves it and we have it weekly – here is my recipe from the lovely Nonno Guiseppe.

Chicken Curry – We have a choice of curry sauces this week. We have ChilliPappas and Schwartz to choose from, I’m thinking we will have the chicken balti and the boys will have the mild tikka marsala.

Gorgonzola pasta – When we were in Italy a number of years ago, G chose a pasta in one of Mom’s favourite restaurants and ever since then it’s an easy week night meal to pull together. We have adapted it over time and find that fresh pasta works so much better and only takes minutes from easy prep to eating :)

Baked Salmon – G likes sweet chilli sauce over the top of his salmon and I like just some spices, then we package them up in foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes and serve with boiled new potatoes and green beans. So versatile and again an easy weeknight meal.

Garlic Beef Stir Fry – I am lucky where I work as there is a butcher in the foodhall. He is fabulous, there are lots of things we have tried and have rarely been disappointed. This stir fry is just fillet beef in a garlic marinade which we always fry up with a little onion and green pepper and it is absolutely delicious.

And that’s us for this week. We aren’t trying anything new this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.

Petits Filous – Magic Squares Playdates

Magic Squares Play Dates

Magic Squares Play Dates

Play dates in our house used to be a regular thing but since going back to work full time, fitting them in has been more difficult.

These days we get dinner dates and try as much as we can to make sure the boys are mixing with lots of different friends. Play dates can be anything from a friend coming round to play with the toys in the play rooms, to a Saturday night cinema room where all the kids get in the PJs and come to our house, we close the blinds & get covers for the kids and they watch a movie. We give them popcorn, juice and other treats to give them a nice cinema like experience. This Saturday it was Buddy, Bubbles and their friend Disney that watched a movie and thoroughly enjoyed their burger followed by the Petits Filous Magic Squares.
Disney enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

Disney enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

Bubbles enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

Bubbles enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

Buddy enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

Buddy enjoying Petits Filous Magic Squares

The kids love it and play so well together, once the film is finished everyone is already for bed when they get home.
Petits Filous Magic Squares

Petits Filous Magic Squares

This time we tried out Petits Filous and they were fabulous. The kids loved the mix of flavours, it comes in raspberry/vanilla and strawberry/vanilla. To be honest, neither was prefered over the other. They all loved both of them. The pots are slightly bigger which is great for my kids who are now 3 and 5 (almost 6) and they can have three each of the smaller ones and still ask for more!

What’s more, they Petits Filous also contain Calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones. In Scotland, we have had a recurrence of rickets, so I try to get my children to spend as much time outdoors as possible and ensure that our food has this included. So the likes of Petits Filous and fish are a main stay here.
Disclaimer: This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous.

Review: Birds Eye Fish Fingers

Birds Eye Wholegrain Fish Fingers Pack

Birds Eye Wholegrain Fish Fingers Pack

When I was younger fish fingers were something we got occasionally but they were not seems as very good quality and therefore Mom didn’t let us have them too often.

These days the fish in them is fillet and depending on the type can be anything from Atlantic Pollack, Cod or even Coley. We do check what is in them as I do think they taste different. Not sure the boys can tell though!
Fish fingers is something that I, like most mothers have in the freezer for the night that the kids are being fussy and you really cannot be bothered to cook from scratch. And the recently launched Wholegrain Birds Eye Fish Finger is helping mums to feed their children more fish with a healthy coating. It’s a bit more expensive at £2.50 (in our local Tesco) but they taste lovely, the boys wolfed them down and the coating was a lot crunchier than normal so I thought they were nicer to eat.
The boys have liked them so much that since we started reviewing these, we have had them a number of times and are now at the end of our second pack. I will continue to buy these as a back-up for the freezer. I like the fact it’s not just another development on the old one, it’s healthier for the boys and so for me this is a massive selling point.
Wholegrain Fish Fingers

Wholegrain Fish Fingers

I love fish fingers, it’s comfort food for me, so they win every time but now I feel that they are better for my boys too as they are wholemeal, so I will pay that wee bit more.

Have you tried them yet? What do you think?
Disclaimer: We were sent vouchers to purchase Birds Eye Wholegrain Fish Fingers in order to carry out this review.  All of the opinions are our own.

Throwback Thursday – 14th May 2015

Joseph Henry Fullard - ICI

Joseph Henry Fullard – ICI

I’m not sure when this picture was taken but I’m guessing it was the 80s. My grandad, Joseph Henry Fullard was a plumber for ICI and this was their new advert for plastic taps. I totally remember the kind of taps, it was a revolution, plastic rather than metal taps.

My grandfather passed away very recently and at his funeral, this was the picture that my Nana wanted on show – It showed his humorous side and I was always amazed he was wearing Led Zepplin on his t-shirt. Seriously, he’s my grandad and they are not fuddy duddy was what I always thought and believe it or not there are few pictures of my grandad that I can recall, yet this one sticks in my mind.

That’s why it’s my throwback Thursday picture.

RIP Grandad xxx

Let’s talk about Poo

Ok, well maybe that’s not the best title to get people to read this, but my children have both had childhood issues with constipation, so when asked if I wanted to get involved in this campaign, I thought it was useful for readers who perhaps are in this situation now or are worrying about these things. If not, please don’t worry, you don’t have to share your poo stories!!

Dr Ranj, from Cbeebies tackles the subject so well in this video. I like the way he tackles lots of different issues for children in his show in a lighthearted yet informative way. The ‘Let’s Talk About Poo’ campaign led by the children’s continence charity, ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence)

Here are some myths that we all think to be true, but in children, what we know as adults, does not apply, so it’s worthwhile having a read.

Myth #1. Children should poo at least once a day – Every child’s pooing pattern is different and some children will need to poo twice a day whilst others will go only every other day. A child is considered to be constipated if they poo less than three four times a week.

Myth #2. It doesn’t matter how or when a child sits on the toilet to poo – There is in fact a correct way to sit on the toilet to poo which will help the child get the poo out. The child should sit comfortably and relaxed on the toilet seat, using a child’s size toilet seat for extra support. If they have their feet resting on a step rather than dangling, their knees will be raised higher than their hips which is a good position for pooing. Gently rocking forwards and back on the toilet and encouraging them to rub their tummy in a circular motion can also help.

A good routine to get into is sitting on the toilet or potty 20 – 30 minutes after every meal, before bed and after a warm bath. It doesn’t matter if they don’t poo every time, but it will help if they get into the routine of sitting for a few minutes each time.

Myth #3. Constipation is only caused by a bad diet – Childhood constipation is not always linked to diet. It can be as a result of a child passing a painful poo and then withholding through fear of a repeat experience, or not drinking enough fluids. An underlying physical reason and some medications can also cause constipation. It is a treatable medical condition, but encouraging your child to eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and drink well (6-8 glasses of water-based fluid a day) will all help to keep poo soft and on the move.

Myth #4. Children that soil their pants are too lazy to go to the toilet – Constipation is the most common cause of soiling and happens when fresh, overflow poo leaks round a hard poo blockage (known as impaction) or bits of dried out poo break away into the child’s pants. The longer the poo stays stuck in the bowel the harder it gets to push out and the overstretched rectum stops sending messages to the brain telling the child they need to do a poo. The child isn’t able to feel poo leaking or breaking away into their pants or have any control over this happening. They might not be keen on going to the toilet, but they’re not being deliberately difficult or lazy! It is really important to get your child seen by a doctor or the school nurse if they are soiling so that they can be prescribed enough medicine to clear the blockage.

Some younger children may have poo in their pants and appear to soil because they are still learning to recognise when they need to poo, or can’t yet wipe themselves properly.

Myth #5 My child can’t be constipated because they’re doing lots of soft or runny poo – Soiling is often mistaken for diarrhoea because it’s possible for a child to be doing lots of runny or soft poos but still have a back-up of hard poo. A doctor or school nurse will be able to assess the child for constipation by taking a full history of their pooing/soiling pattern and feeling their abdomen.

Too much laxative can also make a child do runny poo so it may be necessary to adjust the dose to produce soft, sausage-shaped, easy to pass poos.

Myth #6. Laxative treatment makes soiling worse and the bowel muscles can become reliant on it – If a child is chronically constipated and has impacted poo they will need to be given increasing doses of medicine (most commonly a macrogol laxative to soften stools with a stimulant laxative to work on the pushing action of the muscles) over a period of 5 – 7 days to clear the blockage. This will result in some soiling but this is a natural part of the clear out process. Many parents worry that the laxatives make the soiling problem worse, but it is important that the child continues with the clear out programme as stopping the medication too soon can result in the constipation building up again.

A lower dose of medicine is continued once the impaction is cleared to ensure that the poo remains regular and easy to pass. It can take for as long as a child has been constipated to get them pooing regularly and without pain. There’s no evidence or medical research to suggest that laxatives make the bowel become ‘lazy.’

Myth #7 Children will grow out of constipation as they get older – If it goes untreated, chronic constipation doesn’t go away or get better on its own as the child grows up. Children who have been constipated are likely to become so again in the future and may need the help of laxatives even as adults. Keeping a close eye on how often they are pooing and what the poo looks like will help alert parents to the early warning signs that their child may be becoming constipated again and need further treatment.

I have to say that despite my, albeit limited, medical training, I didn’t know all of this so it is definitely worth sharing.

For more information about the campaign visit Eric


Meal Planning Monday – 11th May 2015

Meal Planning MondayI can’t quite believe it’s Monday again! The weeks are passing by so quickly and the weekends even faster. I need to get in a better routine with the meal plans as I’ve got out of the way of batch cooking. I WILL start this again this week as I have a few slow cooking blogs that need written.

This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

M&S ready meal – as I said I’ve been lazy and not been batch cooking and as Monday’s are all about work then swimming & home by 7.30. It’s all a bit hectic. So I am rewarding myself with a healthy dinner from M&S

Chicken Balti – we have been sent loads of Schwartz sauces so we’re going to have chicken balti one night & let you know how we get on

Pork marinated in chilli & lime – a Tesco BBQ product that I got a few weeks ago when we had friends round. We’ll just have it with peas & new potatoes with this. Hoping that it’s good, it looks really nice. G isn’t so sure.

Pasta with pesto & rocket – we love this and I’ve got some wholemeal pasta that I got from work and it’s really tasty. We quite often have this for lunch too.

Slow cooked pulled pork – slow cooked pulled pork & salad. This is a favourite of mine & I can’t wait to try it :) This is another Schwartz product, so far we’ve liked everything we have tried from them.

And that’s us for this week. We aren’t trying anything new this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.