Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tesco Real Food Cooking With Kids Event


At the weekend Isla and I went to an event for Tesco Real Food at Maggie & Rose (yes, I know, lucky to go there twice in one week!) and we both had such a good time! The theme was 'Cooking with Kids' and we were going to cook two yummy, quick and healthy recipes together.

Isla and I have done some baking together, biscuits and cakes being what we've achieved so far. The only thing that puts me off cooking with her is the amount of mess it makes! So the idea that we were going to someone else's kitchen to make mess really appealed.

Our trip to London went smoothly and we arrived to meet the other bloggers and their kids, everyone was super friendly and once all had arrived we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in!
First up was Super Spinach Filo Tarts (another post will follow with the two recipes we made on the day and some kids nutritional tips). These were so easy to make (especially when the onion is already fried, the spinach already cooked by someone else - hahaha!) and on tasting them later they were delicious. Isla got to spoon everything into her bowl and mix it up, she also crumbled the feta cheese (immediately wanting her hands cleaned!) and then finally used the brush to put the butter on the filo and wrapped it all up into a parcel and here she is proudly showing it off before it went in the oven....


Next up we made a beetroot and chocolate muffin and this was the tricky one. Not from the point of view that it was hard to make, but that it was difficult to stop Isla from constantly putting the spoon in her mouth or sticking her finger in the mixture knowing it was a chocolate cake we were making. The addition of beetroot to this muffin is such a great idea, chopped up really small (which ours wasn't as it was Isla doing the chopping!) no one would even guess it was in there, so a really good way of getting some five a day in your kids.

While we waited for the food to cook the kids got to make their own chefs hat:

Now I have to be honest and say that Isla didn't eat the Spinach Filo Tart. She's only just starting to venture away from her staple diet of pasta and I'm so proud of her when she tries new foods but this was just a bit too different for her at the moment. She did get stuck into the muffin though. For me, I loved both! Cooking with Isla was really fun and it's made me think that we can do a bit more than just biscuits and cakes. We could also make a few savoury things, homemade pizza is the first thing that springs to mind, we could make faces and really have fun with the toppings.

Tesco Real Food are encouraging anyone to upload their own recipes to the Real Food site and if you submit a Cooking with Kids recipe it at the moment you are in with a chance to win a cooking weekend at Augill Castle - it looks absolutely divine! I'm sure you've all got a recipe in you that could stand you a chance of winning such a fantastic prize.

Thank you to Tesco for inviting us to this event, I love getting to spend time with Isla on her own, a rarer thing now that Noah is on the scene and she really enjoyed the experience. She especially loved the little baking case that she was given at the end of the session:


And here are all the bloggers and kids looking happy after all that cooking!

I was invited to this event in order to help me write this blog post about Tesco Real Food. All opinions are my own.

Monday, 27 February 2012

*NEW* Johnson's Skin Perfecting Oil - HELLO ME!


Last week I was invited to the launch of New JOHNSON'S Skin Perfecting Oil. By the time I'd done all my usual morning rushing around, getting Isla to nursery, getting home doing mine and Noah's breakfast and then hurrying into the shower the minute he had a nap, getting him dressed, having a play, getting us both some lunch, I set off exhausted but happy as it was such a sunny day. Southern trains did it's best to thwart my afternoon in London but we got to the launch at Maggie & Rose on time and we had such a lovely couple of hours!
Noah was being all shy at first and then he just started majorly flirting with all the ladies! Here he is in the ball pit:

While we waited for the presentation to start we all chatted and there were some delicious things to eat. There were also two masseurs on hand to treat us to a massage. Noah is at that clingy stage where he gets all anxious when away from me, so I was just lucky enough to get half a massage before he made it known he wanted mummy!

After all that loveliness we got to hear about JOHNSON'S new skincare product. Skin Perfecting Oil has been developed to improve skin suppleness and help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and it is claimed that there are visible results in 4 weeks! I'm a big fan of using oils on my skin and I did this religiously during both pregnancies. I was lucky to escape stretch marks on my tummy when I was pregnant with Isla but with Noah my body gave me a few very tiny ones. The thing is these aren't my only stretch marks, I got some when I was in my late teens due to putting on weight when I took the contraceptive pill. These are now very faint silvery lines on my upper thighs and bum. I would be lying if I said they didn't bother me because they do and they probably always will but if I can use a product to get my skin feeling and looking better then I will always give it a try!
The way I feel about my stretch marks is so normal, and according to research 70% of mums with children aged 0 - 3 months experience stretch marks (vs 44% of the general population). JOHNSON'S understand that it can be hard for new mums to feel like themselves again and get confidence back in their own skin. With this new product they hope that women will say "Hello Me" to the skin they love, celebrating feeling good in life, body and self.

The oil contains some wonderfully beneficial ingredients, soybean oil, sweet almond oil, rose hip oil, blackcurrant seed oil, vitamin e, bisabolol. The oil is dispensed in a spray making it so easy to use and ensuring good coverage. The way it works is to moisturise, nourish, protect and smooth your skin and help it maintain an ideal condition. I'm really looking forward to using this product and seeing if it makes a difference to the appearance of my stretch marks.
Here is a video that was made of 4 new mums recording their experiences using JOHNSON'S Skin Perfecting Oil:

At the end of the presentation there was a draw to win a Spa voucher to enable one of us to mums to have a "Hello Me" moment of our own and I'm so over the moon that I won it - Sanderson Hotel here I come!! I had such a fun couple of hours, so big thank you to the PR team also the guys from JOHNSON'S and hello to the other lovely blogging ladies Liz, Sabina and Alice who were there and helped to keep Noah a cheerful little bunny all afternoon.

JOHNSON'S Skin Perfecting Oil comes in two sizes 100ml (£9.99) & 150ml (£14.99) and is available in stores now. Check out Johnson's Beauty for info on Johnson's skincare products

In order to help me write this blog post I attended a product launch event with the JOHNSON'S Brand team and received a free sample of new JOHNSON'S Skin Perfecting Oil to try.

The Day Baby Was Born


The Day Baby Was Born is a free service offered by Tommee Tippee that automatically gathers information about the day your baby was born based on your selections, to create a storybook that you can share with family and friends.

You start during pregnancy, recording bits of information and even scan pictures. It also pulls through well wishes from people on Facebook. Once you've had your baby you can add photos of him and all sorts of information is included like the headline news on that day and the weather! Information that I would love to have known about the day I was born, like popular songs of the day and famous people they share their birthday with. I wish I'd been able to do this with my two, it's such a great record to keep. Not only is it online you can also print it out.

It's so easy to do, you just sign in using Facebook and get started creating a digital memory book of your special day! Check it out here:

Thedaybabywasborn

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

How to Choose a Safe Car Seat for your Child


At the top of the long list of equipment needed for a new baby is a reliable car seat. Most parents remember the anxiety of their first car journey with a newborn. The responsibility of protecting a child in a fast-moving vehicle can seem daunting, so the first step is to find a baby seat you know is safe and complies with the law.

As your child grows, it’s just as important to make sure they are sitting comfortably and safely, whether it’s on the school run or a family day out.

Safety standards
Cost, comfort and colour might all be factors when it comes to buying a car seat, but it’s essential to put safety first.

There are strict safety standards for all child seats and restraints sold in the UK – from baby seats to booster cushions for older children. Double check that any seat you buy conforms to these official guidelines.

Which type of car seat?
If you’re buying a child seat for the first time, the choice can seem confusing. It is essential to know the weight of your child when choosing which type of seat to buy.

Babies up to around 15 months or 13kg, require rearward facing seats, as they provide protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine. They can be put in the front or rear of the car, but parents are advised to opt for the rear. Never put a child seat in the front passenger seat if there is an activated airbag.

Forward facing child seats are designed for children aged up to about four years, or weighing 18kg. These have an integral harness, which helps reduce the risk of injury if there is a crash.

When your child has outgrown a forward facing seat – usually at four to six years, or 15kg to 25kg – they can move on to a booster seat and, later, a booster cushion. These seats don’t have an integral harness – the child is held in place by an adult seat belt which goes around the child and the seat. The seat belt needs to be correctly adjusted, so that it is as tight as comfortably possible, with the lap belt going over the pelvic region and the diagonal strap resting on the shoulder, not the neck.

Accidents and insurance
Experts insist that any child car seat that has been involved in a car accident should be replaced, even if there is no outward sign of damage.

Some car insurance policies will cover the cost of replacements – make sure you find adequate insurance for all your family’s needs. 

This is a guest post by Sainsbury's Money Matters Blog

Monday, 20 February 2012

I ♥ Natureshop

I've blogged about Natureshop before here and when they asked me to pick something else from their gorgeous organic 'nature inspired' baby range, I had to go for this cosy Nature Baby winter sleeping cocoon. The blue and white stripes look so cool on Noah, and the other benefit is that he's not wearing another one of his sister's flowery or pink sleeping bags for a change!

The inner of this sleeping bag is 100% Merino Wool, which is an insulating fibre which absorbs body moisture and allows for maximum airflow. It means Noah will stay all cosy and warm but will not run the risk of overheating. This particular sleeping bag also features a seat belt slot, so baby can be transported without taking them out of the sleeping bag. There are also two zips running round the sleeping bag making it easier to do those night time nappy changes. It comes in a cute, matching drawstring bag.

And if you go over to Natureshop at the moment there is a massive 50% off loads of their baby items. Go on then, go......!

We were sent the Nature Baby Sleeping Cocoon free of charge.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Tiny Child, Tiny Appetite - Guest Post by Joanne Mallon


I've posted before about Isla's eating habits and how I felt her diet was a bit limited. I’m not going to lie it was a slight worry to me, but I always try to keep in mind that none of this behaviour will go on forever (although it feels like forever sometimes!), I apply this to all sorts of things like when she was a nightmare at bedtime, taking ages to go down for the night (she’s now fine). However there have been times where I’ve not been able to be so rational and some dinner times used to end in tears (mine) and anger (mine). So when Joanne Mallon offered to guest post an excerpt from her new book, Toddlers: An Instruction Manual: A Guide to Surviving the Years 1 – 4 I thought it would be really useful to lots of mums out there! So over to Jo….

Tiny child, tiny appetite

If your child isn’t eating much, what do you do?

First of all, ensure that whatever they do eat is the best possible quality you can get. Yes I know some of that organic, free range stuff is pricey, but at least you are saving on all the stuff they won’t eat.

Keep portions fairly tiny to start with – you can always add more. Look at your child’s fist – that’s how big their stomach is. It’s not a lot of space is it? I know they seem to expand like a snake when it comes to capacity for cake, but for normal meals even what seems like an eeny weeny amount can make a difference.

Praise whatever your child does eat, especially if they’ve tried something new, but don’t turn it into a major fiesta. Calm, disengaged but objectively interested is the attitude we’re going for, rather than watching every morsel that passes their lips as if your life depended on it.

Remember who’s in charge

Sometimes parents moan “Well, all he’ll eat is fish fingers/smiley faces etc”, but never forget that this is your choice, not theirs. Your child didn’t go down to the supermarket and buy that food with their own money, did they? And if you don’t get it in, if it simply isn’t in the house to cook, then they may have no choice but to try something else.

Don’t engage with it or let mealtimes become a drama (yes I know I said that already, but given that it’s easier said than done I’m going to say it twice). In a busy household, being fussy about food may be the only way your child knows to successfully gain your full attention. And this is why stopping drawing attention to it is often key to moving beyond this behaviour. So resist the temptation to try and cajole your child to eat. If my son refuses a meal I just calmly take the plate away, and he usually then wants it back. It was all a game really.

On reading that snippet I can safely say that I definitely used to let mealtimes become a drama on occasion and I find myself being a lot more relaxed second time round with Noah. Thank you Jo for guesting here and if anyone would like to see what other little gems she has to offer then check out Amazon here for her new book!

One - A fantastic Brand Really Making a Difference!

One of my favourite bits about being a mummy blogger is being invited to events and since I started this blog my favourite ones have been the cooking ones (Philly & Young's). I love food and cooking and so to be able to meet with other like minded people and to sometimes get to see a famous chef in action is really great! A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a cooking event where one of my favourite TV Chefs, Simon Rimmer (Something for the Weekend), cooked us some fantastic food using some really good quality ingredients.

The event was held by the 'One' brand, you may have seen some of their range in the supermarkets? It all started with a discussion in a pub between some Ad men about the fact that one billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. 'One' was born and from One Water they went on to create other One products: One Good Egg, One Clever Loaf, One Toilet tissue and One condoms and a few others. The idea behind it is that every One product funds a like for like project, so bottled water funds clean water projects in Africa and eggs fund chicken and egg farms. It's really simple! All profits from each of the One products goes to fund the afore mentioned projects. It is such a brilliant way to give back to society - these are all products that we use every day so why not use them and help others?

So on the day of this event, I skipped out the door leaving the OH to do the regular Saturday stuff with the kids - MAD Academy and soft play. I did feel slightly sorry for him but my pity soon disappeared when I arrived at the venue and saw what we were going to cook and caught sight of Mr Rimmer in some fetching bright green trainers!

Duncan Goose welcomed us all and explained how One was born and the ethos behind One. Check out this interview with Duncan here to find out more detail:



And then we got down to the business of cooking and Simon had created 3 recipes that were set to have us all salivating and wielding our forks to get a bite! He made the Chorizo Scotch Eggs with Pepper Chutney, Lamb Tikka with Curried Cauliflower Pancakes and Earl Grey Bread and Butter Pudd (recipe below), all recipes used One Products and they tasted bloody delicious!

After we watched Simon do all the hard work we all set to work to make our own Scotch Eggs to eat for lunch and they were so easy to make and so much more delicious that any shop bought number.

Having to really hold back from scoffing the lot!
If you want to make a difference then One Good Eggs are available from Tesco, The Co-Op and Ocado. You can also find out more about the brand by visiting
or by following @onedifference on Twitter and Liking One on Facebook

I really had a fabulous time that day and would like to say thank you to One for inviting me and also thank you to Simon Rimmer for some fantastic food and great recipes to go away with. I also got to meet some other excellent bloggers, amongst them Claire from A Boy with Aspergers. We had a lovely chat over a glass of vino and the delicious 'One Good' Scotch Egg we all made! 

Claire from A Boy with Aspergers, Simon Rimmer and little old me!
And finally here's a recipe from the day, this is the one of all the 3 that I seriously loved and will definitely be making at home soon!

EARL GREY TEA BREAD AND BUTTER PUDD WITH TOFFEE SAUCE


Ingredients

1 x One Clever Loaf (white bread)
75g butter
6 One Good Egg yolks
2 whole One Good Egg
150g sugar
Vanilla pod
250ml full fat milk
250ml double cream
100ml strong earl grey tea
25g each sultanas and raisins
100g prunes, soaked in brandy
demarera sugar for layers
100ml double cream
100g soft dark brown sugar
100g butter


method
  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar. Bring the tea, milk and cream to a simmer with the vanilla, sieve onto the eggs and whisk
  2. Butter the bread and layer up in a 9” x 4” x 2” ovenproof dish, with the fruit and sugar. Don’t put any fruit on the top layer
  3. Pour on the custard. If poss leave for 20 mins, sprinkle with lots of sugar then cook at 180c, 30 m ins
  4. For the sauce – simply bring the sugar, butter and cream to boil, then remove
  5. To serve – dollop a big load of pudd, drizzle some sauce round and top with a quenelle of mascarpone

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Video Monitor - Review


I was recently sent a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Video Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad to try out. I have to admit I'm a bit of a technophobe and I found it a bit daunting to work out how to use it! I got my OH to read the instructions and set it up and then explain it to me! I've found that as I'm getting older I'm easily flummoxed by things (ugh, old age setting in!). I was keen to see how good it was as it won an innovation award in 2011.

So what's it all about then?

As this baby monitor is digital it is said to have crystal clear sound and increased security. It has a range of 300 metres and relays every single sound and movement made by your baby to the parent unit. It is also a video monitor, with the parent unit having a 3" colour screen. Other features are:
  • It has an infra-red night vision camera
  • Baby's room temperature is displayed so parents can see if the room is too hot or too cold
  • A sound level indicator to monitor sound from baby
  • Remote controlled night light
  • Talk back function and a pager to help locate the parent unit if you happen to misplace it
The other main feature about this monitor is the sensor pad that is designed to sit under baby's cot mattress and will trigger an alarm if no movement is detected for 20 seconds, with adjustable sensitivity settings.

So what do we make of it then?

What struck me first was how sleek and design conscious both units were. They are black and white and really streamlined.

We've always had an audio monitor up till now for both Isla and Noah, so we've found that we really like having a video monitor! It's good to see Noah (I like seeing him with his cuddly Bobby the Dog, wrestling around when getting off to sleep!) and when he makes any noises we can see what he's actually doing. The picture quality is excellent, especially with the night vision camera.

The sound is crystal clear as promised, not that we wouldn't be able to hear the little darling as he is rather loud when he's belting out for his late feed!

We've always been used to our monitor showing us the temperature in the bedroom and so I was glad that this was also a feature of the Tommee Tippee monitor. It always helps us to know what tog sleeping bag to put him in before bed.

We used the movement sensor pad a few times but decided after a while that we didn't need it. The pad is designed to detect baby's movement and if none is detected for 20 seconds then an alarm will go off. The alarm is designed to alert the parents but it is also to shock the baby into moving. Personally I think that this is a great feature for first time parents who may be a bit nervous and need that extra peace of mind. We're not those kind of parents though. Noah is our second baby and we're not as nervy about him as we were with Isla. The video picture for us was enough to check on him. We also had a couple of occasions where the alarm went off and it was purely because he had been a wriggle bum moved around sideways in the cot and was completely off the pad! This is quite common for him as he is 7 months old and moving about loads, but for a newborn and maybe up to 6 months then I would say the pad would be great.

One thing that I would like to see if the monitor was revised in the future would be for the parent unit to be charged using a docking station, for ease of use really. 

All in all I would recommend this product, it is a little pricey, but you do get what you pay for and the audio, video and movement pad all combine to give excellent reassurance to parents while their babies are sleeping.
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Video Monitor is available now  at Argos, Amazon, Mothercare, Tesco Direct, Boots or online at tommee tippee for £199

This baby monitor was sent to me to review. My review is honest and the words are my own.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Spend Vouchers, Get Rewards

I have many loyalty cards in my purse and amongst them is my Tesco Clubcard. I do the main household shop in two big supermarkets and one of them is Tesco as it happens to be the one nearest to us within walking distance. I'm currently on maternity leave so a few times a week when I need to get out of the house and Noah is perhaps a bit grouchy I get him all wrapped up and we go for walk to town and usually pop into Tesco to get some top up bits of shopping.
What I love about using my clubcard is that every few months a letter comes through the post with my Tesco Clubcard Vouchers and instead of spending them instore (which you can do) we use them on Clubcard deals

 

For instance one of our favourite ways of spending our Clubcard Vouchers is on Pizza Express Vouchers. We've recently become a family of four, so money is considerably tighter than it was and meals out are rare. Tesco Clubcard Vouchers make it possible for us to enjoy a meal out, at such a low cost as for every £10 of Clubcard Vouchers you can exchange these for £40 to spend in Pizza Express! Fantastico! And Pizza Express is so family friendly too, Isla loves the kids menu, especially the big ice-cream and BabyChinno at the end of the meal!


Another way of spending Clubcard vouchers is on memberships and days out. Last year we used some Clubcard vouchers to buy an English Heritage membership. It lasted us a year and meant that we could go on days out without paying entrance fees and see some of the sights our country has to offer. Something that I know we will definitely do this year is visit Legoland and Tesco will enable us to do this too! The website is so easy to use and you can search regionally for days out and events local to you.

Don't forget that it is also Valentines Day coming up and there are many deals where you can treat your loved ones, from Choccies at Thorntons to some nice new undies from Figleaves.com. and check out these Valentines bouquets! So you see there are so many other retailers that you can end up getting goods and treats from. It's really flexible and your choices are not limited.

How it Works:
You can collect points on almost everything you buy in-store at Tesco.com, as well as when you fill up your car, buy your items from Tesco direct or use your Clubcard credit card.
Once you've collected 150 points these are converted them into a Clubcard voucher worth £1.50 which Tesco will send you in your Clubcard statement. The more points you collect, the more vouchers you'll get back!
You can spend your Clubcard vouchers in-store, at Tesco petrol filling stations, online at Tesco.com and at Tesco direct. Simply use them at the checkout and their value will be taken off the shopping bill.
Or you can get even more from your vouchers by spending them on Clubcard rewards. Like I've already mentioned Tesco have hundreds to choose from, ranging from holidays to meals out, hotels to cinema tickets. And look out for special offers from Tesco which change each month, but be quick: when they're gone, they're gone!


Sponsored Post
Viral video by ebuzzing

Monday, 6 February 2012

Photo When I Feel Like It...The Girls

I love this photo. It was taken at the Choccy Philly Event last week. Isla was the only little one there, so she was having a bit of fun with the masks, gloves and wigs. I love it when we get some time, just us girls.

Regis Hair Salon Review - Guildford

I was recently lucky enough to be asked if I would like to have my hair done at the newly refurbished Regis Salon in The Friary Centre in Guildford and given my recent post about my hair falling out after having Noah I thought it could definitely do with a revamp. You'll be pleased to know that my hair has stopped coming out in handfuls and and has really settled back down! Haircuts really feel like a luxury to be honest, it's a nice bit of time out from being mum, so when I dropped Isla off to my mums and drove off in the car, I felt really happy!

I explained all about the hair loss to Sherry, my stylist for the appointment and she was so sympathetic. I decided that I'd have my fringe trimmed back up (to hide all the hair regrowth round the front of my face) and have a good chunk cut off the rest. It felt like the appointment whizzed by as we chatted the whole time, kids, Croydon riots, teeth braces, and hair products, a real wide spectrum of topics!

I had a conditioning treatment on my hair and then Sherry set to work taking off the 3 inches that I asked for. And the result is the haircut above. I never have time to blow dry my hair properly at home, so I always love that part the best. It was a really pleasurable experience and the salon refit has really put life back into the place. It's light and bright and the staff were very friendly. I'm also a big fan of Kerastase products which are stocked at Regis. I walked out of the salon and felt great! I'd definitely go back there in the future, the haircut was a reasonable £35 and the conditioning treatment would have been another tenner on top. When I left the salon I took advantage of being child free, did a little bit of window shopping in the town and then rushed back home to be mum!

If you'd like to find out more about Regis and where your local Regis salon is then click here

The haircut and conditioning treatment were free of charge in exchange for this review. My review is given honestly and in my own words.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

British Chiropractic Association are Straightening Up Britain!


I recently went to an event held by Publicasity PR for the British Chiropractic Association. I really wanted to go because in the past I've had back failures that have really put me out of action and my most recent one happened in the last 3 months and I totally blame that cute but rather large son of my mine! Or I did blame him until I saw all the things that I could be doing for myself to make it easier on my back.

The idea of the day was to spread the word about the importance of caring for backs, a major issue during pregnancy and when you have children (as I well know!). It was a really nice informal get together with other bloggers, where Tim Hutchful got hands on and told us about the benefits of the perfect posture for those everyday tasks. The rooms were all set up with various items that all us mums are familiar with, cots, baby slings and we also popped outside (in the rain, that's dedication to the cause for you!) to talk about fitting a car seat.

As I walked to the location in Covent Garden I met Kate from WitWitWoo and her cool son Skig. We chatted on the way and tucked into tea and cake on arrival (Skig enjoyed quite a few skittles....). We were introduced to Tim and he got stuck in talking to us about how to look after our backs and talk about the things we're doing wrong.

One of the first things we discussed was putting the baby in the cot and this was where I had to admit that my cot is set at the lowest setting and every day I lift Noah in and out and the strain it put on my back one day a few months back was enough to have me walking around bent over like an old crone for days and I needed my MIL to come and help me with the kids. It was really not funny. The cot we have has 3 settings and at the moment we should really have it on the highest, but we have been incredibly lazy (and stupid) and left it set right down at its lowest since Isla stopped using it! I showed Tim how I lifted the baby out of the cot and he said it wasn't the worst way of doing it but that I could give my back a break by leaning my leg against the cot as I lifted Noah out.

One thing I had done right was the choice of baby carrier. It's always best to use one that criss crosses over your back and not one of the sling types that go over one shoulder. This is in fact bad for the person carrying and also not great for the baby's spine either.

One of the key pieces of advice I took away with me that day was that it's always best to keep things close to your body when you are carrying them, as this will cause less strain on your back, so while we all like our baby change bags to look pretty (stroking Pacapod as I type...) we should probably be using a rucksack as this spreads the weight evenly! As it's impossible to avoid carrying the baby around, it's important to try and remember when lifting them to keep your spine straight and BEND THE KNEES! And as if to prove the point, right at the moment when Tim dropped his pen on the floor to show us the best way to pick things up, one of the kids that was there on the day stopped, crouched at the knees and picked it up for him. Just goes to show that it is the natural way of doing things.

I also spend a lot of my day playing with Noah down on the playmat and the advice there is to try and use a cushion to sit on to keep upright and support your back. Try to remember to change position as well while you're playing.

Tim also kept repeating that we should remember that our spine is straight when our ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all in line. A plumb line should hang straight from head to foot if we are standing properly. The way to a healthy back is of course good posture!

Check out the British Chiropractic Association site for more information about the Straighten Up Programme

Apart from being a really informative event it was also really social, other than Kate, I also saw Liska from New Mum Online and Mari from Mari's World. I ate rather a lot of crisps and I also won a fabulous foodie hamper. Thank you Aaron for having me at the event, a good time was had by all I think!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Philadelphia with Cadbury - Choccy Philly!


This week I was invited to the launch of the new Philadelphia Flavour. It was all top secret before I got there and I had no idea what to expect, honestly I thought it would be another savoury flavour. We've recently been eating and loving the Sweet Chilli one.

So Isla and I set off to London to go and meet everyone and find out what it was all about. The location for the launch was fantastic and on reflection was a slight clue to the unusual new flavour to hit the Philadelphia range. It was at Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. I've not been to Piccadilly Circus in ages and I'd not heard of Ripley's, but its a brilliant museum full of exhibits, some unbelievable, some extraordinary and others unusual.

When we were shown into the room where the launch was taking place, all was revealed and you should have seen Isla's face. It was almost wall to wall chocolate! There were digestives with Choccy Philly on, Brioche with Choccy Philly, Choccy Philly with Strawberries, Choccy Philly on rice cakes, croissants etc etc. It was everywhere and I couldn't stop Isla from sticking her finger in it wherever she could (sorry everyone)!! As she was the only little one there at the time, she was in danger of stealing the limelight from the Choccy Philly, the photographer kept snapping away at her and for once she was getting really into having her photo taken, unlike when I try to take a snap of her!


Mmmm which one shall I eat next.....
What did we think? Isla loved it. Rather too much. The fact that it is a cheese/chocolate combo would never even occur to her as she's too young and I think that just shows if you have no notions about combining the two then you won't even hesitate to try it. For some people though the very idea is a turn off but let me tell you, it's only really like cheesecake. To me it tasted delicious and the idea was mentioned about using it as a cake frosting which really makes sense. It's got a great consistency and would be perfect for that. I also think that it does give a good hit of chocolate, so say when you haven't got any Dairy Milk in the house, Choccy Philly on toast would be good.
After a while I decided that Isla had lingered around the chocolate for long enough we went off to explore Ripley's except by that time she was tired and had caught sight of a moving dinosaur exhibit that scared her enough to want to go home. So we whizzed round really quickly and I caught sight of two things that really interested me:

Made with gumballs!

Piece of the Berlin wall
 Our verdict is that it was delicious! Thank you for inviting us, we had a great time!

The facts: At 86 Calories per serving, Philadelphia with Cadbury is less than half the fat and has less sugar than many other chocolate spreads. It is available from this month in the shops and is £1.62 per 160g tub. Packs of 4 mini tubs are also available. It is a refrigerated product unlike other chocolate spreads.