Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wrap & Go With Tommee Tippee

However much I love and adore my son, there are times when I'll happily hand him over to his Daddy.  Such a time is when he has a loaded nappy!  The  contents of a toddler's nappy ain't pretty!  Nor does it smell sweet!  Dealing with nappies away from home compounds the problem...has anyone driven home with a stinking nappy in the footwell??

Thankfully Tommee Tippee have come up with an ingenious solution to nappy disposal, perfect when on the go!  The Sangenic Wrap and Go Dispenser is a stylish clip on dispenser that attaches to a changing bag, car door or buggy, containing hygienic, anti-bacterial, scented wraps.  They are on hand whenever you need them.  No more rooting around for an elusive nappy sack at the bottom of your handbag, whilst struggling with a wriggly baby mid-nappy change!

The easy tie handles contain the toxic toddler waste eliminating 99% of germs on contact and are citrus scented to neutralise any stinky smell!
The bright blue, pink and yellow bags tear off easily and are thicker than the average nappy sack.   They fit nicely in the dispenser and really do the job perfectly well!  They give real peace of mind in terms of combating odour and eliminating germs!  They are convenient and perfect for on the go nappy emergencies!

They are big enough for using with re-usable nappies, providing a smell free, germ free transporting solution to carry the nappy home for laundering.

With their good size, I think these will also be great for the early days of potty training.  If there is a toilet training related accident, one of these bags would easily and hygienically accommodate a soggy pair of trousers and pants. This will be so useful when away from home.

Fits easily to bag, buggy or in the car.
Citrus scented, pink, big and strong anti-bacterial nappy wrap!
All Wrapped up!
The Sangenic Wrap and Go Dispenser and Refills aren't the cheapest option for nappy disposal on the market, but they certainly are very different, well conceived, convenient  and easy to use.  

The Sangenic Wrap & Go dispenser is priced from £4.99 and includes 30 wraps (15 per roll), refills are also available  priced from £4.99 and includes 3 refills (15 wraps per roll).  The Sangenic range is available from Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Boots, Argos, Mothercare, Babies R Us, and
Find out more about the range or buy online at

Second Time Round

When my son Joe was born in 1988, I went from being young, free and single to being a mum.  The overwhelming responsibility that came with the birth of my child was immense.  He wasn't an easy baby.  After a traumatic birth he was an angry little boy, with clenched fists who stayed in the foetal position for weeks.  He was difficult to feed.  I had to give up breastfeeding and source a bottle that he could feed from.  It took a long time for him to feed happily.  I had to find nappies that didn't chafe his sensitive skin...disposables weren't as soft and well fitted 22 years ago.  He cried a lot and didn't sleep well for those early weeks. 

As a toddler he was extremely mischievous and energetic.  He got up to all sorts including flushing his new leather shoes down the toilet.  He was a really fussy eater, able to eject a piece of vegetable from a mouthful of food.  He always wanted the latest toys and I tried desperately to placate him with every must have that was stocked in Woolies!  I felt like I had to live up to my own high expectations of motherhood.  Being a young, single parent I tried even harder to prove to everyone that I could do it.  

I adored my baby boy and really tried extremely hard to compensate for the fact that I couldn't give him everything I wished for.  Being a first time mummy was hard...being a single, teenage mummy was harder still!

When Joe was 3 I had baby number two, Megan.  I had a horrendous pregnancy developing pre-eclampsia and winding up in hospital.  However, my little girl was delivered safely into the world.  It should have been the start of a really difficult time...two under threes on my own.  (I had just come out of a really unpleasant relationship...the odds were stacked against me.)

However, I remember the midwife visiting me and saying how well organised I was and that I was coping so well I could babysit a couple of others. I was relaxed and happy just to take things that had previously stressed me out in my stride.  I knew I could do it.  I knew that there was no need to panic because things end up OK in the end.  I was happier to accept help and had much more confidence.  I felt less judged as a mum of two than a mum of one.

So even though in essence it was double the workload, it was half the pressure.  I had well established routines and had learned tricks of the trade.  From a very early age I'd sit Meg in her bouncy chair and prop her milk bottle on the toy bar which was just the right height for her to drink it.  I got on with other things as she fed herself!!  I had no problem with her sitting with her brother watching the latest Disney movie on TV.  I never felt the need to buy everything to prove I was a good mum.  Days out with friends were more important!  I went back to college when she was a baby, and happily had her looked after at the creche.  I wasn't as over protective and stressful, even though I adored her, I was able to look to the bigger picture and do things for the benefit of our little family without feeling guilty.

Having baby number three was a breeze and really didn't cause me any stress at all. I was an accomplished young mum and was by now with my amazingly supportive husband.  My next two additions to the family altered the family dynamic for the better...just adding more love and fun to family life.  Having a big family is really not that hard compared to those days when I had just one baby to care for.

This is my experience of motherhood.  It is an interesting phenomenon that having more babies makes parenting easier and less stressful. 

Leading nursery brand Munchkin have commissioned a survey of 3000 mums investigating the difference between having one child and two.  

The study has revealed 75 per cent of mums feel more relaxed with their second child, and as a result are less likely to treat them with ‘kid gloves’. As such, the stats reveal second children will more than likely go onto solid foods slightly earlier with 26 per cent of ‘second time mums’ less likely to make the baby their own special meals after weaning, and simply blend whatever the family is having. When it comes to splashing out on purchases for the new baby, mums are more likely to accept second-hand clothes, and spend less money on toys and treats. In fact, a quarter of all mums admitted to being more relaxed and confident with their second child.

Five things mums admitted to doing differently with their second child

1.     Leave to entertain themselves for short period whilst they get on with some housework
2.     Started weaning them slightly earlier than six months
3.     More willing to accept second hand clothes
4.     Spend less money on toys and treats
5.     Let them watch ‘older television’ at a younger age than their older sibling

Dr Amanda Gummer is a leading authority on child development, play and parenting with over 20 years experience. Her aim is for every parent to feel comfortable and relaxed with how they parent their child. Amanda states: “These findings suggest that it’s the little things that mums do that are different with their second child. With two, mums naturally start to work smarter because they have so much to get through each day. Generally when the second child comes along, mums have become much more confident in their parenting abilities and developed their own style.”

So we should celebrate our experience and see it as the gift it is!!  Does your experience match these findings?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

My First Scooter by Ozbozz

Freddy is at the stage now where he wants to be whizzing around the garden on the latest wheeled toy.  Unfortunately for him though, a lot of the toys belong to his 8 year old sister, resulting in a few scraped knees as he takes a tumble as they are much too big for him.  Ozbozz has come to the rescue with the ultimate outdoor toy for toddlers.  My First Scooter is designed with little ones in mind and is an ideal starter scooter with the added bonus of it growing with your child.

Starting off with four sturdy wheels, toddlers can get a real feel for the scooter and get to grips with the speed and technique.  As they grow in confidence it can become a three wheeler until they progress to a super grown-up two wheeler!  The ability to adapt the scooter to meet the child's needs will save need to buy a new one for every stage of development!

My First Scooter comes ready to be assembled and includes instructions and a small tool kit.  It was quite easy to build.  The finished Scooter was sturdy and looked great.  Freddy got straight onboard!

Building the Ozbozz Scooter with Daddy.
Does this go there??
My First Scooter!
I was very impressed by the finished scooter.  The way  you can go from 4 wheels to 3 to 2 is really clever and simple to do.  It was very stylish in the blue and green colour (also available in pink!)  It is every bit as cool as a grown-up scooter so Freddy doesn't feel like he is being babied!  He zoomed around with his big sister. He quickly got the hang of the one footed action and was really confident.  The stability of having four wheels meant we had no accidents!

I love My First Scooter from Ozbozz.
Good Foot Action...ZOOM!!
The scooter has soft grip handles and a non slip foot plate making it super safe.  It can easily be folded down for ease of storage and transport.  That is a great feature.  I'm not surprised it won the Bizzie Baby 2010/11 Award for Best Scooter!

Available at all good toy shops it is priced at £19.99.  This is such good value as your toddler won't grow out of it will last through all the scooting stages!

Freddy really loves his scooter as this film will show!

Tippitoes Star Wrap Giveaway - CLOSED

There is nothing in the world as wonderful as snuggling up with your baby.  Infants feel safe and secure in the warm, loving arms of a parent.  Now with a Tippitoes Star Wrap, babies can feel that comfort and security by being gently swaddled in the uniquely shaped wrap.  It gives a modern twist on an everyday blanket, allowing baby's legs to be safely and snuggly covered while still allowing movement.

Tippitoes Star Wraps are designed to prevent overheating and are soft cotton lined to keep baby cool.  A sleeping baby can be moved into a stroller or car seat without being disturbed.  The harness fits around the wrap making it very convenient.  

Tippitoes Star Wraps are suitable from birth. They are available in pink, cream, blue, lemon and in a printed design for £14.99 from the Tippitoes website.

Inside the Wendy House and Tippitoes are giving away THREE Star Wraps in Lemon in this easy to enter competition.

To win one simply...

  • Follow this Blog and leave me a comment to say you have done so. (Required)
  • Tweet:  I want to win a Star Wrap with @TippitoesUK and @wendymcd83 Inside The Wendy House and leave a comment with your Twitter id. (Bonus Entry)
  • Like Tippitoes Baby Products on Facebook and leave me a comment. (Bonus Entry)
  • Like Inside the Wendy House on Facebook and post "I want to win a Star Wrap" and leave me a comment to let me know you've done so! (Bonus Entry)
Maximum 4 entries per person, using separate comments for each entry which include a way of contacting you.  UK only.  Winner drawn by Randomizer on July 18th 2011.  Winners' details will be sent to PR company for prizes to be sent.  Please respond to notification of win within 48 hours. Thank you :)

Good luck xxx

Monday, 27 June 2011

Don't Ever Feel Less Than Perfect

 My 15 year old daughter Ella has just blown me away with this music video she made yesterday.  Her cover of the Pink song Perfect is really just right for her.  Being a teenager can be difficult, so for her to see the joy and beauty in her life and her family makes me so proud.  (I only wish I'd known she was filming was the day after Cybermummy and I was trying to write up my post while totally asleep on my feet!!)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!    


My Psychology of Slimming

"I am someone who has previously suffered from an eating disorder.  I have starved myself.  I have pretended to eat, hidden food and felt proud of my deceit.

Over the years, my eating disorder took on a new tact...that of binge eating.  I have no stop button.  I can keep going, stuffing my face with food without ever feeling sick or full.

Clearly the binge eating was not good for the waist line and eventually the whole consumption of hundreds of calories in one sitting took its toll.

The emotional aspect of comfort eating is an easy excuse to justify why I had just eaten a family sized 200g bar of Cadbury's Wholenut, followed by a family bag of Tortilla Chips (yes I really did that).  But to me that excuse wears thin, becoming a vicious circle of  "I'm depressed so I'll eat. Oh dear I'm fat so I'm depressed.  I'm miserable so I'll hit the biscuit barrel!"  There is no escape from the spiral of destruction that goes hand in hand with that train of thought.

I've eaten because my "mouth has been bored"!  Before the days of this blog, I was a non-stop eater.  Boredom can be a complete killer in terms of calorie consumption.  The very fact I now have this little corner of Cyberspace to keep me occupied means that I would sometimes not think about food for longer periods of time.  But eventually the knowledge of the fact that my cupboards contained treats bought for the kids would filter into my conscious and the binging would recommence.

Attempting to eat healthy alternatives is just not an option.  How can a small handful of sunflower seeds and a peeled carrot compensate for not having the cream cake that you know is in the fridge?  It can' just eat both the healthy snack and the cake!

Not having treats in the house is unrealistic.  I was not about to deny my kids a lunchbox treat just because I couldn't control myself.  But one December I had bought selection boxes for the kids and I hid myself away and literally gorged myself on ten full sized choccie bars because I was feeling a bit down.  Shameful!

Being so tall meant I could get away with carrying extra weight, and it wasn't until I went to the doctor's and was weighed that I realised that I had crept into the band of the BMI chart that screamed OBESE!!!!  To me, obese people were those bed bound giants that lay in the prison of their own bodies.  The ones who ordered in pizzas and fried chicken as they grew their rolls of undulating fat.  Not me!  I couldn't be obese...but there I was according to the new fangled calculations of shame.

I'd diet with sterling will power and lose weight quickly, but eventually I'd tire of the feeling of self-deprivation and hit the bakery department of Morrisons with the wild abandon of Augustus Gloop in Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  It wouldn't be pretty.  I'd convince myself it was a one off glitch, but the dieting spell was was easy to 'slip' again and again until I was all slip and no diet!

The blogging journey thankfully lead me into the open arms of Sandra from Thinking Slimmer.  I agreed to do a trial of a new Slimpod.  I didn't have any expectations and although it seemed to work at first, something just made me give up and sabotage my efforts after the 21 day trial.  I thought that would be the end of my relationship with Thinking Slimmer but they don't give up that easily.  With a few tweaks of my programme, some supportive phone calls and Tweets, I was ready to try again.  I had a few false starts but when the time was right I committed to it. This time things have changed dramatically.

It was being at Cybermummy that really brought the difference in me to the fore.  All those cupcakes and chocolate bars available to munch on all day long.  That used to be my idea of heaven.  A cornucopia of sugar laden treats going begging...and all for free!  It was the ultimate temptation...but someone forget to tell my unconscious mind to crave them.  It didn't even occur to me to want to eat them.  I popped a couple in my bag thinking that my girls would love them.  I didn't pop them in my mouth!  It wasn't until 3pm when I made a conscious decision to have one because I was feeling a bit flaky due to only having a tiny lunch.  I recognised a need to eat something to keep me going and I enjoyed trawling all the cupcake displays in the main hall, looking for my prize.  I settled on Johnson Baby's offering and it was a good choice. Light vanilla sponge and not too much frosting.  I savoured my treat and no floodgate of food cravings was opened.  That to me is a huge success.

I want to be able to eat something delicious from time to me, having factored in the calorie content.  I want to enjoy it, relishing the indulgence, but confident in the fact that one will be enough.  I want to live my life without feeling that I can't go out anywhere because I'm afraid of temptation.   This door has finally opened up to me...I am at last free."

This is my Mumentum post.  Thank you to the lovely ladies and the wonderful Liska for making me not feel alone with my issues and triumphs.  Thank you to Sandra and Trevor for the opportunity to try something that I would never have considered doing myself otherwise.  My life is truly changing.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

My Cybermummy Experience

From the moment our Hyundai Santa Fe arrived, the Cybermummy excitement began!  I hadn't driven further than 20 miles for years.  I had developed a touch of agoraphobia and a total loss of confidence resulting in my self-imposed 20 mile radius of containment. But here I was with gorgeous vehicle that meant I had to drive to Central London without relying on my husband and personal chaffeur Ian.  This time last year I would have been rocking in the corner, rigid with fear at the prospect of having to come out of my comfort zone.  However, since I started my blog in September last year, miraculous things have happened.  My self-worth has grown exponentially, my confidence has increased, I have validation, purpose and self belief.  I feel like I really exist in the world, and not just within my four walls.  So the arrival of the Hyundai heralded an opportunity.  A chance for me to actually break out on my own.

Armed with a spanking new Sat Nav that Ian had bought for me especially for the journey, and with my co-driver Louise, I was raring to go.  Apart from the trauma of leaving my breastfeeding boy I was eager to take the bull by the horns and test out my newfound independence!

The three and a half hour journey from Shropshire to London was made all the more entertaining by Hyundai's challenges that had been set for all six of the carshare cars, and more satisfying due to the hamper of goodies that kept us going whilst navigating the M6!  The car itself was a joy to first foray into the automatic car market was something I thoroughly enjoyed.  The car was responsive, powerful and the steering was light for such a big 7 seater 4x4 vehicle!

Finding a parking space in Central London was a bit hair raising, and we ended up in a scary place up a narrow, steep ramp in the back of beyond.  But we had made it!

The Hoxton Hotel was a very modern and funky affair.  My room was amazing with modern decor and a huge bathroom with wet room.  Once I worked out the I needed to put the keycard into a slot by the door to activate the electricity I was fine (till then it was a bit dark!)

Being on my own for the first time in years was not at all scary.  I have really grown through the miracle of blogging!

We spent the evening with Sandy Calico and her dinner guests at a little Italian Pizzeria.  Bar being given bad directions and walking in the London rain for half an hour longer than we needed to, with Lou in her spiked heel party shoes, we made the rendez-vous to meet with some old friends and make some new ones!  We were slightly bedraggled but as soon as the food arrived all was well in the world! Our first goodie bag, courtesy of Sandy,  was very impressive!  Walking back to the hotel resulted in poor Lou's feet Converse may not have looked as sexy, but my feet were unscathed!

The night spent alone in the crisp white sheeted luxury of the Hoxton bed was devoid of any sleep.  I'm just not used to being free from the high alert state of wakefulness that co-sleeping creates.  However, it was a very comfortable sleepless night!

Next morning we took a black cab to the Brewery and felt very official with our lanyard and name card.  We had to go to hand in our Hyundai keys at their stand first thing, and the seductive nature of the other brands with their giveaway goodies and friendly banter was quite addictive.  Chatting to the PR ladies at Crocs, Butlins, the Portland Hospital and E45 made us lose all track of time, and before we knew it we had totally missed the opening speeches and Sarah Brown's Keynote speech.  Oops...note to a watch!!  I had no idea of the time but the lack of bloggers really should have given it away!  I was gutted to have missed the highlight of the morning....and pretty sad to have missed the Dodo Pads which were given away on the tables.  But this faux pas is very typically me.

We attended a Facebook and Twitter Workshop (we meant to attend a different one about marketing your brand but again, it is typical of me to go to the wrong place!!)  However it was imformative and I learnt all about bitly.

I also attended the Working With Brands workshop which was really informative and interesting (except for the last speaker...sorry, the sociology of parenting just wasn't a good fit to the proceedings.  Apologies if our sneaking out was offensive!)

It was an incredibly exhausting day, but coffee, chocolates, pop, smoothies and other goodies (Johnson's Baby Cupcakes were so divine!) were on hand for caffeine or sugar hits when the energy levels sapped.  I was very good and ate next to nothing naughty....but with Sandra from Thinking Slimmer there, I wouldn't be anything other than virtuous would I!  She was as lovely and supportive in real life as she has been in the virtual world!  Meeting Trevor, the voice of the Slimpods, was a particular highlight of my day....he has been "with me" on and off since last November, helping me lose weight and keep on the dieting straight and narrow. (And he smelt really nice!)

The final crowd sourced speeches were a wonderful way to round up the official proceedings.  There were a range of subjects covered from the incredibly moving story of childhood cancer to the hilarious story of vibrator disposal.  They really showed the diversity of the blogosphere, which to me is its beauty.

Most of all to me, it was meeting the wonderful women from behind the words, that made Cybermummy 11 the wonderful experience it was.  Catching up with Blog Buddies from previous events was fabulous.  Having a laugh with Emma my fellow Graco Ambassador was such fun.  Meeting the lovely Mumentum ladies including  Liska , was a wonderful way to put faces to the names of the supportive bunch who have encouraged me along  my weightloss journey. Sitting with Working London Mummy who I first met through the Brit Mums Comment Group, as we watched Boris Johnson's sister get a bit of verbal abuse from the floor was memorable!  Super Amazing Mum lived up to her moniker...when we first met in the virtual world last year, due to both being finalists in the same national competition, we would never have believed our blogging would have lead to us both meeting at the biggest UK conference for Mummy Bloggers.  There are too many other people to mention by name, but I loved meeting everyone on my 'must meet' list.  I was just sad that I didn't get to meet Kate Takes 5...but I saw her up on stage, so that will have to suffice.

I was delighted, humbled and overjoyed when people recognised me and wanted to talk to me.  I felt proud of myself and my blog, and a little incredulous that I was actually at a conference in London, unthinkable just 9 months ago!

To top off a fabulous day, I won the top prize in the Cybermummy Prize Draw and will be off to a hotel with the family as a result.  I was thrilled to bits!

We drove home afterwards and arrived back in Shropshire at 1am...knackered but in a good way.  My baby boy and his daddy were sound asleep in our bed.  Freddy woke up at 5am and I couldn't have been more delighted to see my little man because by this time I was actually crying with intense boob pain from not feeding him for over 36 hours.  I hadn't anticipated just how bad I would feel...weaning by cold turkey would have worked for him, but not for me.  I had rock hard boobs and lumps in my armpits that made my toes curl with cringy agony! But I am starting the gradual process of weaning him now, knowing that he can cope without breastfeeding during the day.  Another step on my journey begins.

Cybermummy 2011 was an experience I am delighted to have had and I am grateful to Graco and Hyundai for making it all so possible!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 23 June 2011

In less than 24 hours....

In less than 24 hours...

I'll be hitting the road with Louise in our Hyundai Car Share Santa Fe.

I'll be trying my best to work out how to drive an automatic, convincing my clutch foot to stay redundant and not get the urge to interfere with the other pedals.  

I'll be doing my best not to dwell on the increasing number of miles I'll be putting between me and my baby boy, and hoping my boobs will cope with the separation.

I'll be hoping that my spatially challenged brain can deal with the Sat Nav's instructions to bear right and in 100 yards take the left hand lane, so that I will make it to the Hoxton in good time, minimally stressed and in time for the Eat, Meet and Greet party.

I'll be trying to remember everyone I have on my 'must meet' list and all the brands I want to chat to...Disney is an absolute must!

I'll probably shed the odd tear or two as I think about my baby boy who I've never left before.

I'll be hoping that my choice of clothing/footwear will make me feel happy in my own skin.

I'll be hoping that my technology doesn't let me down as I photograph, film, blog and tweet my way through the proceedings.

I'll be ready to embrace the wonderful opportunities that Cybermummy has to offer and I'll be ready to have an amazing time. 

I'll leave you with this quote from Thelma and Louise:

"You said you 'n' me was gonna get out of town and for once just really let our hair down. Well darlin', look out 'cause my hair is comin' down!"

Ryvita Crackers for Cheese

Ryvita have recently launched their new Crackers for Cheese.  Available in Golden Rye and Black Pepper flavours, they are light and airy with a distinctive crispy crunch.  They are perfect for your cheeseboard complementing the taste of both a strong crumbly, textured blue cheese, or a creamy, mild cheddar.

The cardboard outer packaging contains four individual plastic wrapped packs of crackers.  This keeps them fresh and makes them perfect for picnics or lunchboxes.

The Golden Rye Crackers are made with wholegrain rye and olive oil.  They are low in fat, high in fibre and just 27 calories per cracker.  The Black Pepper Crackers have the added kick of black pepper!

I was sent a box of each flavour to try out.  I was impressed with the texture of them.  I really liked how crispy they were and they didn't disintegrate into a pile of crumbs! I particularly enjoyed the Black Pepper flavoured crackers.  The peppery warmth and aroma were just right and they made a great alternative to bread.  They are a perfect vehicle for cheese and I also had them with mushroom pate! Very nice.

Don't expect them to be like an original Ryvita in cracker form...these are a completely different beast!!

Crackers play an important part in any cheeseboard and Ryvita have worked closely with cheese expert Juliet Harbutt from the British Cheese Board.  She has developed wonderful cheeseboards for every occasion with Ryvita Crackers for Cheese as the perfect partner.  Her top tip for these crackers is to serve Ryvita Black Pepper with a runny Camembert, and a strong, hard cheese like Cornish Yarg with the Ryvita Golden Rye.

They are available in major supermarkets priced at £1.25 for a 175g box.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bratz...All Glammed Up!

My 8 year old daughter loves Bratz.  She loves the Bratz film, she loves the Bratz books but most of all she loves the Bratz dolls.  She loves dressing them up and shares their passion for fashion!  She was over the moon to find out that she had been sent one to test.  She was thrilled to have the chance of trying out the new Bratz 'All Glammed Up' Yasmin Doll!

The super stylish dolls have had a glamorous new make-over and have fabulous hair that is ready to be styled using their own styling tools. Special memory hair can be crimped, waved, spiral curled and straightened over and over again.  Cool hair accessories and sparkling glitter complete the look.

After we battled her out of the packaging, my Tiny Tester set to work on styling her hair. The hair styling tools were very cute...tiny replicas of the real things!

She loved curling and crimping the special hair.  The result was not quite as impressive as the illustrations on the box, but she was perfectly happy with the waves she put in Yasmin's hair.  The brush straightened the hair ready to style again.  She applied glitter and put on the hairband and was as chuffed as if she was a stylist to the stars!

Yasmin, Jade and Cloe are available in the new All Glammed Up range and are priced at £19.99.  Each one has a code to unlock secret surpises at  They are suitable for ages 6 and up.

Curb the Carbs with Dreamfields Pasta

Yes, I'm on a diet again.  So the idea of consuming carbohydrates seems like I am just asking my body to lay down fat and bloat my tummy.  Pasta is such an amazingly versatile and tasty meal time option, but if you are trying to curb the carbs it becomes a big no-no. Thankfully though, there is now a way to enjoy a variety of pasta shapes, safe in the knowledge that it isn't hindering your diet attempts.  I have discovered Dreamfields!!

Dreamfields Pasta is great tasting and healthy, containing only 5g of digestible carbohydrates and twice the fibre of regular pasta.  It has a low Glycaemic index, in fact it is 65% lower than ordinary pasta.  This gives it significant health benefits!  It contains inulin which promotes digestive health and supports a healthy immune system, whilst enhancing calcium absorption. It is cholesterol free and contains no trans fats.

Dreamfields Pasta is made from quality Durum Wheat with no fillers, so it is really tasty.  It comes in seven mouthwatering varieties making it perfect for a whole host of dishes from Spaghetti Bolognese to Lasagne.

Dreamfields sent me a multi pack of their pasta to try out and I've used it in place of my regular pasta.  It really doesn't taste any different to my usual brand, in fact I think it held its texture better and didn't go starchy, so I was very impressed.  Some low GI pastas taste like cardboard but not is really delicious.

I particularly liked the "Elbow" shaped pasta as it held the sauce really well. My children enjoyed eating the Dreamfields Pasta making it suitable for all the family.

The reported benefits of a low GI diet include protection from chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.  It helps keep blood glucose levels under control which is essential for diabetics.  The carbohydrates in Dreamfields Pasta are digested slowly, making you feel fuller for longer.  Many weight loss diets are based on the consumption of low GI foods.

We are vegetarian so we eat our pasta with veggie or Quorn based sauces.  This is our green lentil, red onion and tomato sauce.  It was an extremely healthy dinner!

Dreamfields Pasta is a guilt-free way to enjoy your favourite comfort food and is the perfect choice for health conscious pasta lovers.  It helps you beat the bloat and can help weightloss.  There is no longer any need to miss out on pasta even if you are curbing the carbs!

It is available to purchase from health food and specialist shops and online.  The multi-pack including one of each variety is available to purchase for £18.20 at the Dreamfields website.

I would highly recommend Dreamfields Pasta for its taste, texture and health benefits.

Toyology....Waterwheel Playtable


Freddy, like most children, loves playing in water.  He loves pouring it and splashing it and generally having fun with it!  So when Toys R Us sent us the Waterwheel Playtable by Step 2 to test, we couldn't wait for a sunny day to try it out!

The Waterwheel Playtable was very easy to assemble, it simply required the three legs to be slotted into place to make a sturdy, elevated water activity table.  It came with a jug, a cup/funnel, a waterwheel and two little sail just add water and away you go!

I loved how interactive it was with the harbour, a canal and a deep section to sail your boats in.  The water wheel worked really well with the funnel and whizzed around much to Freddy's amazement.

My only criticism is that it did not come with a lid.  Even an elasticated, plastic lid (like a giant shower cap) would be a brilliant addition to the set.  The toys all fit into the table, but without a cover it is left open to the elements when not in use so we were fishing out dead flies by the afternoon.  

The Waterwheel Playtable is currently on sale at Toys R Us for £34.99.
This is a very good price for such a good sized water table that comes with a nice range of accessories.

Freddy has loved playing with the Waterwheel Playtable.  Due to it's size it lives outside, if it was to be used indoors you would need a big splash mat!


Kiddiebase Review Part 2

I have reviewed the Kiddiebase website and was given a £25 budget to purchase items in order to complete the second part of the, postage, customer care and the products themselves.

I spent quite a long time pouring through the different stores that feature on Kiddiebase's site.  I eventually decided to buy a selection of items instead of one big item.


Kidz Klobber is a store that provides high quality, price conscious alternatives to childrenswear on the high street alongside a selection of traditional toys and gifts.  

We chose a Funky Monkey T-Shirt in a Spaceman design which was £10.  This bio-washed, premium cotton, supersoft T-Shirt is of an excellent quality.  I loved the picture and the "Ground Control to Funky Monkey" slogan and the detail on the back was a nice touch.

The Wooden Animal Clacker  is an absolute bargain at just £1.89.  It is part of a range of traditional wooden toys being sold at great prices.  I got the frog design for Freddy and he loves clacking it.  It is a great introduction to music and rhythm.

Baba + Boo stock a range of accessories for little ones including some very funky training pants in cool designs to help with the transition to potty training.  They have an absorbent gusset and waterproof layer keeping clothing protected in case of accidents.  They are suitable for ages 2-3 years. We chose the Bee design . They are a lovely quality and a good size.

The service was excellent.  Although the order goes through Kiddiebase, the individual stores contact you to confirm your order by email.  They were very friendly and approachable.  I was kept up to date with delivery times and even received a personal message wishing me well with the potty training!  It was very friendly service.  Both individual packages arrived quickly and well packaged.  The independent retailers really make shopping online a pleasure by going that extra mile for their customers.

Overall, the experience of shopping at Kiddiebase was very positive.  The extensive range of unique products means you will be able to find some really original and interesting items.  It is nice to see independent online retailers being given the chance to reach a wider audience, and it is nice for customers to have a marketplace for discovering exciting new shops.   

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My Breastfeeding Journey

This week is National Breastfeeding Week and so I am writing this post to share my experience with other women.

Freddy is my fifth and final baby.  I always intended to feed him myself as I had fed his four older siblings before him.

As soon as he was delivered he was placed in my arms and immediately started to feed.  It was pure instinct for this little baby who was just moments old to seek sustenance and comfort at my breast.  It was a real defining moment in our bonding.

Newborn's Instinct to Breastfeed
It wasn't plain sailing though.  My milk did not come in straight away.  Within a few days Freddy had lost a whole pound in weight...but as he was 9lb 10 oz at birth it was not putting him in any immediate danger, so I persevered.  The midwife was not very helpful, telling me it could be down to my age.  I felt terrible and inadequate being told that, like I shouldn't be having a baby at 40.  She suggested that perhaps I was doing it wrong, which after successfully feeding four babies I seriously doubted.  Thankfully my health visitor was far more helpful.  She explained that because my labour was so quick, my body didn't have the slow build up of hormones needed to trigger lactation.  She suggested some different positions to try nursing Freddy to try to stimulate the milk production.  Whether it's because I stopped stressing about it, or maybe it would have happened at that time anyway, but the next day my milk came in.  Freddy was a happy boy and soon put the weight back on.  We never looked back.

I had a few bouts of mastitis,  but nothing that some paracetamol and a Savoy Cabbage leaf didn't cure!  I love that nature produces its own custom made, boob shaped relief!  They also make good hats!!

Breastfeeding a baby ties you to your child so that you do sacrifice certain freedoms.  However the benefits are huge.  I loved bed sharing and breastfeeding from a purely lazy point of view.  I've never had to get out of bed at 3am to make feeds or warm up bottles.  Snuggling up and dozing while my baby fed was (and still is) a real joy.

When Freddy started teething I did endure a couple of nips that made my eyes water...but baby soon learns that nipping a nipple leads to mummy withdrawing the milk supply while she swears loudly.  They don't want their milk abruptly taken away and quickly learn not to do it!

I have breastfed Freddy wherever he has needed to be fed and thankfully have never received any negative comments whilst feeding him in public. In fact I have been congratulated for still feeding him by a woman who told me she gave up at six weeks and regretted it.  I have written about breastfeeding in public and strongly believe in a woman's right to nurse her child without feeling uncomfortable.  I love the Breastfeeding Flash Mobs that are going on this week.  It is great to provoke discussion and show breastfeeding as the natural and normal thing it is.

I am now waiting for my son to self-wean.  There are no signs of him giving up yet, although he has started drinking a cup of milk at bedtime in addition to his breast feeding.  So I'm hoping this will herald the start of him making the decision to stop.  He is two next month so we have really given him the best possible start in terms of the health benefits of breast milk.  I have written about my fears over my Cybermummy Stress as this weekend will be the first time I ever leave my son overnight.  I am very nervous about it, but feel it is something I have to do.  It might be what he needs to help him make the decision to wean.  I know that our breastfeeding journey will soon be over, but I will look on this time as hugely rewarding and something I am proud to have achieved.  Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to breastfeed for whatever reason, and some woman choose not to feed their baby this way...but for me personally it has been a wonderful experience!
Breastfeeding my toddler.

B Record Plus Trial

When I was offered the opportunity to trial the new energy drink B Record Plus, I thought I was going to be sampling a bottle of fizzy pop with added caffiene that would give me wings!!  When the 10 day supply arrived I realised that this was something quite different.

The medicinal package contained 10 vials of the energy drink, one of which is to be taken every morning on an empty stomach.

B Record Plus is specially formulated with amino acids and vitamin B12, which help your body produce energy to support you both physically and mentally.

If taken for ten days it can provide a much needed energy boost for new mums, busy women, people recovering from illness or injury or stressed business people.  In fact anyone who could do with a dose of extra energy.  Results should take effect after 2-3 days.  The specific blend of micronutrients support the metabolism, helping you meet the demands of a busy life.

A survey of 1000 women showed that 75% of them kept their tiredness a secret for fear of appearing a failure.  71% admitted to feeling the stress of everyday life and motherhood.  I'm happy to tell everyone that I am exhausted much of the time, running around after my toddler and doing school runs!  I guess I'm in the minority!!  Nell McAndrew is the poster girl for B Record Plus endorsing the positive effects of this liquid food supplement.

I started taking B Record Plus following a throat infection, so I was quite low.  I have taken the full 10 day supply.

Did I feel more energetic?

This is a tricky one to answer.  Because I was recovering from an infection I don't know how tired I would have been had I not taken it.  I won't say that I felt full of life because I didn't, but I certainly didn't feel any more tired than usual.  I didn't have the debilitating fatigue that I sometimes feel first thing in the morning following being poorly, so that could well be down to the B Record Plus.  It is always tricky to quantify the effects of a food supplement.  However, knowing that I was getting micronutrients and vitamin B12 was really reassuring. 

It is good to know that it was caffeine free as it is a chemical I try to avoid.  The energy boost with B Record Plus is more sustained and not short lived like the hit you get off caffeine.

From a completely personal point of view, I really didn't like the Wild Cherry flavour which was very sweet and concentrated, which was a shame for me.  I love the idea of an energy supplement but the taste just didn't work for me.  I did persevere by knocking it back in one gulp...all in the name of the trial.  If it had been available in a different flavour I'm sure my experience would have been more pleasant...but I do stress this is down purely to my own personal taste.  (I don't even like Blackforest Gateau because of the cherry layer!!)

B Flavour Plus currently retails at £12.99 for a ten day supply.  

It is completely natural, vegetarian and suitable for ages 12 and up (perfect for teens taking exams!)

Nell McAndrew said:

“I’ve definitely felt the benefit from using B Record Plus. Unlike energy drinks, it helps build sustainable energy and all the ingredients are natural.”  

Find out more at


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