smile

The best thing about turning 40 has been the gift of a new camera from G.
E’s very comfortable with a lens pointed at him as long as he can look and laugh straight away at funny face he’s pulled! What a lovely surprise to discover these playful photos of E taken by G during one of their Daddy days when I eventually downloaded my birthday photos this week.
Smile_E 4B
Smile_E puckering up 4B
Smile_E looking down 4B

February 22, 2015 at 10:33 pm 1 comment

Nom Nom Kids food pouches

Nom nom smoothies_E close up 4B
When E was small and starting to try food we didn’t really go in for much pureeing. We’d give him pieces of fruit to suck or mashed up vegetables and if we were going to be out and about we sometimes bought pouches of pureed fruit.  I used to wonder why no one had thought to make a re-usable food pouch and I’m sure I wasn’t the only parent who would have preferred to pour home-made fillings into reusable pouches.  An environmentally friendly option seemed so obvious I thought as I recycled my shop bought pouches to raise funds for a local charity I volunteer with.
tropical-green-smoothie-blog_grande
It turns out another Gloucestershire Mum was able to turn her wishful thinking into a fantastic reusable food pouch.  Nom Nom Kids food pouches, devized by Mum-of-two Suzanne Moore, provide a savvy feeding solution for mums-on-the-go and a convenient and cost-effective way of storing home-made baby food, smoothies or yoghurts.  I was so excited when I read about Nom Nom Kids pouches in the local paper  and even more so when I contacted Suzanne and she gave an enthusiastic yes to my request to let my smoothie loving toddler review them.  Nom Nom pouches 4 pack
Suzanne kindly sent us some pouches last summer and despite being reminded every time I use them that I owe her a review time has marched on (as you can see from the changing hair length and T-shirts of my chief taster).  It turns out Suzannes’s been somewhat busy with the explosion of interest in her product over the last year too, winning 3 innovative baby and toddler product awards and attending baby shows.  Suzanne developed her food pouch to meet her own families needs and it’s now available worldwide via the Nom Nom Kids website or Amazon.

“As a busy mum of a fussy toddler and a weaning baby I found myself using a lot of pre-packaged food pouches while I was out and about.  They’re an expensive way to feed your baby and millions are thrown away each year a fact that really bothers me.  The re-usable pouches I found on-line weren’t very baby friendly, had small openings or needed a filling station to pour the food in.  There was nothing on the market that I felt did the job well so I set about developing my own brand of food pouch that babies and toddlers would enjoy feeding from and mums would enjoy using”.

Collage nom nom 4B
The great thing about using Nom Nom Kid pouches with a toddler is that E loves the process of making the filling almost as much as eating it.  Mostly we mix up smoothies with whatever fruit we have in the house and with the wide opening on the side of the pouch, and a little help, E can pour it in himself. The pouch seals easily using a double zip lock closure that claims ‘‘even the most determined toddler cannot open” (true!).  They’re perfectly sized for little hands and tummies and ideal for playgroup lunch boxes or mess-free eating in the car, stroller or around the house.  We find them really easy to clean and extremely durable having been turned inside out to wash by hand countless times now.  They’re dishwasher safe if you have one, can be frozen and are free from chemical nasties (BPA, PVC and phthalate free). After cleaning the pouches we now store them with the tops screwed on after making the mistake of filling them with an open spout too many times!
dishwasher_safe_a5120a4a-0bdb-42be-904e-c4f2de2f9a02_grande
If I’d had the pouches when E was a baby I would have used them for all sorts of savoury food as well as smoothies. Suzanne has a whole page on her website devoted to recipe ideas and quirky ideas on the blog like Weetabix on the go.
The weaning pack of 10 pouches plus spare caps and marker pen is a fabulous investment at £20.  Alternatively a pack of 3 pouches costs £6.95 (both packs can be ordered from http://www.nomnomkids.co.uk).
Nom Nom kids 4 pack
2015 is set to be an exciting year for Nom Nom Kids with the launch of this new 4 pack of food pouches exclusively available from Amazon.  To celebrate Suzanne has kindly donated a 4 pack to Gloucestershire Bundles, the charity I volunteer with, to host a giveaway and raise awareness of the work they do to support families in need in Gloucestershire.  To be in with a chance of winning pop over to the Gloucestershire Bundles Facebook page and leave a comment about what delicious filling you’d use in your food pouch.  E’s current favourite is banana, frozen berries, peanut butter and cocoa powder (and a handful of spinach leaves you can’t see or taste!Collage smoothie 4B)

Disclosure:  I was sent some Nom Nom Kids food pouches to sample.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

© Tropical Green smoothie by The Food Teacher image from the inspirational Nom Nom Kids recipe page

February 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm 1 comment

Gloucester Scrapstore

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Bliss on a rainy day for a would-be-crafter and a curious boy. 
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Gloucester Scrapstore, a treasure trove of scrappy delights which we raided for a craft table at E’s birthday party. Families can pay £7 for an annual membership and fill up a Tesco bag with materials for £5 each time they visit (community groups can fill a trolley for £12). It’s a much more creative (not to mention cheaper) way of crafting with kids. E was easily occupied with buckets full of bottle tops while I had a rummage through fabrics and rolls of paper.

If you’re short on ideas there’s a whole page of downloadable craft leaflets on their website. The Scraptstore is open Tuesdays 10 – 7pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 – 5pm and occasional Saturdays.
GRC-scrapstore-pic

February 14, 2015 at 9:08 am 11 comments

lordy, lordy, look who’s 40!

28-1-15 - E and Mummy at Nanas park 4B
That would be me then! It’s pretty great so far.

I’m pleased to say with age comes the ability to let people be kind and generous with their birthday wishes and gift giving! I turned cartwheels (cough, metaphorically not literally) when I opened the new camera G bought me with money earned from selling his drums. Once upon a time I would have insisted ”you shouldn’t have’‘ and felt a burden of guilt and responsibility at receiving such a generous gift).

I think this could be my best birthday yet. E sang Happy Birthday and helped to open all my cards and presents (not before suggesting Jingle Bells was the song to sing people on their special day). I may not change much from year to year but E certainly does – recalling past birthdays with him is a nice measure of how our little guy is growing up. Life doesn’t get better than this.
Collage - E on my birthdays 4B
L to R: 16 days old, 1 yr 14 days old, 2 yrs 16 days old

February 5, 2015 at 4:35 pm 8 comments

a third birthday party

18-1-15 - E with cake 4BA wonderful day celebrating with a wonderful little boy.
Such fun and enough cuteness to make you pop!
18-1-15_E in tent landscape 4B
We partied with 2 monsters, a monkey, a Ninja turtle, a donkey and two rabbits. E was going to be a lion, then a gorilla right up until the day before when he found the Sully monster costume.  We played and laughed and drank green jungle juice and ate safari snacks.   Cheetah chunks, baboon bogies and twigs proved to be most popular.
Collage - birthday food 4B
E’s birthday cake was a Wonka bar – a lovely joint effort by me as baker/decorator and G cutting out the fondant lettering and making the golden ticket.  More on the making of the cake another day but it was a recipe using beetroot, dark chocolate and honey to create a less sugary option for the kids post party food. For the grown ups a lemon curd sponge cake decorated with frosting and blueberries was my usual go to easy-peasy birthday cake option.
18-1-15 - birthday cake_wonka bar 4B
18-1-15 - E birthday cake candles 4B
”I’ve got a golden ticket Mummy”. All he needs now is a Wonka hat!
Collage - golden ticket 4B

February 1, 2015 at 10:14 pm 2 comments

loveit loveit loveit

loveit logo22-1-15 - E jumping on the sofa 2 4B
‘My cloud jumper makes me jump Mummy”
22-1-15 - E jumping off sofa* 4B
”It’s tiring jumping. I’m going to rest and get my cloud power back”.
22-1-15 - E jumping on the sofa_resting 4B
‘Would you like a cloud jumper Mummy?”

”I would, it would make doing the house work more fun.
Does it help with brushing your teeth Euan?”

22-1-15 - E brushing teeth in cloud jumper 4B
”No”.

And there ended E’s cloud powers for the day! This Boys&Girls organic cotton cloud sweatshirt has become a firm favourite with E and is a perfect fit sized 3-4 years. Comfy and hard wearing, it’s a great practical playgroup day option. With it’s cool cloud motif, contrast yellow stitching, raglan sleeves and deep, ribbed cuffs, collar and waistband and free jumping powers there’s nothing not to like!
Lego brights clothes
E’s cloud sweatshirt was a gift from Ruth at Loveit Loveit Loveit, home of ethical, funky and unisex children’s clothing.  Ruth explains

‘Clothes designed for the High Street are typically pink for girls and blue for boys. There’s nothing wrong with pink or blue, but they’re only two colours out of a whole beautiful spectrum. We say that all colours should be for everyone. Childhood should be a time of freedom, joy and expressing individual personalities through their clothes. Let’s stop trying to pigeonhole children by gender and give them choice.”

‘We stock a wide range of organic and ethically made baby and children’s clothes.  Organic and sustainable materials help the planet at the point of production, last longer and reduce waste because you don’t need as many.   Our unisex clothes should last well enough to be handed down to younger siblings, cousins and friends”.

29-1-15 - E lipfish top 4B
Loveit Loveit Loveit stocks 19 different brands and I particularly like the vibrant colours of the Scandinavian brands.  For example, this bright orange Lipfish Punk-o-saurus dinosaur top. Sized 2-3 yrs/98cm it’s roomier than other tops in this size but doesn’t look big because the organic cotton is heavy weight and hangs well – it’s a good length for my long bodied boy without having long sleeves to turn up.  Even though its been a chilly January I’ve not felt the need to double up his tops like I usually would and it’s lovely and soft.   E and I chat to Punk-a-saurus and E sweetly strokes his velour tail like he would the cats!  This is my go to top now for visiting indoor play centres as he’s so easy to spot!
wpid-photogrid_1422715378641.jpg
Lipfish tops are in the sale at the moment along with several other brands including Retro styles if you’re looking for something a bit different. With free shipping in the UK what’s stopping you? Retro style clothes
Disclaimer: I was sent these tops to try. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

January 31, 2015 at 10:55 pm 1 comment

Christmas tree recycle

Christmas tree 2014_returned to over farm 4BWe bought our pot grown Christmas tree from Over Farm Market and as E handed over the cash we asked the grower if he ever re-planted trees so that families could have the same tree each year.  Not often he said, though some people return their tree simply to dispose of it conscientiously.  We explained our lack of garden and he kindly offered to plant it back out in his garden for us to collect next Christmas if it survived the year.Christmas tree bud 4B

When E and I finally got round to returning it last week it was heartening to see it had started to sprout new growth and was looking as healthy as when we bought it (hardly any needles had shed and not a single spot of sap had dripped on the carpet unlike last year!)  I’ve every hope it will thrive under the care of a seasoned grower and it’s lovely to now have a new family tradition for picking up our Christmas tree each year (though I doubt we’ll always be able to keep the same tree – it’ll soon outgrow our living room!) Christmas tree 2014 4B

January 27, 2015 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

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