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Cheesies Review and Giveaway

Cheesies Review and Giveaway

Cheesies Review and Giveaway. We were asked to give Cheesies a try and as a thank you to our readers we’d love to give you the chance to Win some Cheesies for yourselves. I loved the sound of these. We’re big cheese eaters in our house and one of my other favourite snack is crisps. Cheesies are crunchy balls of popped cheese which sounds rather intriguing.

During all three of my pregnancies I was quite sick and nauseous with cheese and crackers became my main staple. I don’t think I went a single day without eating cheese, in sandwiches, in chunks, on cocktail sticks with pineapple (one of my faves), with crackers, in fact any which way it came. Even when I had horrendous heartburn. I was pretty sure at one point that I was going to give birth to a baby shaped cheese sculpture.

Cheesies

Cheesies are pieces of popped cheese which are low in carbs, high in protein, gluten free and vegetarian. Each 60g bag contains three portions which vary in calories per cheese

  • Cheddar 122 calories per portion
  • Emmental 115 calories per portion
  • Gouda 119 calories per portion

Cheesies can be eaten on their own as a snack and can be added to salads and soups as croutons.

Our thoughts

My first and last thought are that these are my kind of snack. I love cheese and these little bite sized pieces are packed full of flavour. I might even hide them from Chris and Isabelle since I know they won’t last very long otherwise.

I don’t have a favourite taste wise, I really enjoyed all three flavours and am really looking forward to popping a few of these on top of some tomato soup which I think they would be perfect for. It’s nice to know that they aren’t particularly naughty as well so I would definately buy these again.

Cheesies can be bought directly from their website and are available on Amazon as well for £1.99 a bag.

Cheesies Review And Giveaway

Win some Cheesies

For your chance to WIN some Cheesies fill in the details below. Good luck x

Win A Selection Of Cheesies #10

*we were sent a selection of Cheesies for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

What would your 8 year old choose for Father’s Day?

What would your 8 year old choose for Father’s Day? How much do your kids play a part in picking a Father’s Day gift? I would say that I’m 50/50 when it comes to letting kids pick. I only say this as there was a bit of a showdown in a jewellery shop when our eldest was small. He wanted to buy the most awful gold football necklace that was horrendously tacky but also cost a fortune. I knew that Chris wouldn’t have chosen it in a million years so let’s say I used the power of gentle pursuasion to guide them to something a little bit more ‘Chris’.

We always make handmade cards which can be as elaborate and covered in a thousand stickers and glitter as they want.

Let them think it was their idea and jobs a good un!

However, we’ve teamed up with The Personalised Gift Shop and given Isabelle free reign to choose the perfect Father’s Day Gift for Daddy.

7 Best Sellers

Here are the seven most popular items bought for Father’s Day from the Personalised Gift Shop Range.

A Personalised Father’s Day Black Hip Flask – £11.99

A Personalised Happy Father’s Day Whiskey Tumbler – £9.99

Personalised Father’s Day Glass Keepsake – £19.99

Engraved Cut Crystal Whiskey Tumbler – £13.99

Personalised Father’s Day Photo Cushion – £16.99

Personalised Any Name Beer Glass Tankard – £9.99

Personalised Daddy & Me Photo Mug – £9.99

All of these are lovely gifts, and out of these I would say that Isabelle would choose the personalised photo cushion covered with pictures of herself.

What did Isabelle Choose?

I decided to give Isabelle total control when choosing her Father’s Day Gift this year with absolutely no subtle hints or gentle persuasion. I thought she would definitely choose something photo related. Any excuse to have things with her picture on it BUT I was wrong.

What she actually chose was this Personalised Retro Sweet Jar (£14.99) which to be fair is quite a good choice. Daddy likes sweets and tries (and fails) to have a hidden stash for late at night when he gets the munchies. He also likes to keep a stash in the car for when he’s driving and this jar is full of his favourites.

It took her quite a while to choose since the range is quite big but I think she chose well.

The Personalised Gift Shop has a wide range of gifts for all occasions including Wedding’s, Birthdays and the arrival of a New Baby with options to suit all budgets and tastes.

*This is a collaborative post with The Personalised Gift Shop.

Fun Kids Science Kits from Thames & Kosmos

Fun Kids Science Kits from Thames & Kosmos – Keep your child entertained this Easter and let their knowledge grow with MBE – a series of exciting science kits from Thames & Kosmos. Each kit retails at £8.99 and vary in activities from hidden gemstones to magic tricks!

Each kit contains a different activity which are perfect for a rainy day or used as a boredom buster for when they’re having a meh day.

Kits Available:

Amazing Minerals – excavate minerals like a real geologist! There are five different gemstones to hidden in the soft plaster material, with factual information on each in the colourful instructions.

Bouncing Planets – space fans will love making their own bouncy-ball planets in various colours. Create a coloured mixture, pour it into a spherical mould and dip it in water to solidify, and voila! A new awesome bouncing planet is formed.

Crystal Geode – this kit includes all the ingredients and instructions needed to grow your own crystals in a self-cast plaster mould, and transforms them into beautiful shiny crystal geode forms, creating a unique and mysterious spherical rock formation.

Crystal Growing – from white crystal salt and water, this pack shows children how easy it is to create their own fascinating crystals. Enclosed dye adds colour to each creation and there’s also a fun booklet to explain what crystals actually are and how their various forms develop.

Prehistoric Sea Dogs – an unusual ‘pet’ for Easter, this experiment kit lets kids breed their own prehistoric crustacean. Place prehistoric eggs into salty water and watch the larvae hatch.  Using the food included, keep them well fed, and watch the hatchlings grow into shrimps.

Molecule Beads – As if by magic, turn liquids into slimy giant molecules! Whether it’s balls, snakes or jellyfish, this kit lets children form and study all kinds of slimy giant molecules. A must for any budding slime scientist!

Monster Putty – make playful monsters or funky aliens with this amazing ‘Intelligent putty’.  The kit includes plastic parts to help with effects, but watch in amazement as the putty changes within a few minutes due to its special characteristics.

Magic Tricks – a slight side-step from science, this ‘bag’ of tricks will teach children how to perform magic in no time. Each pack includes a collection of magic ingredients and colourful step-by-step instructions, to enable children to put on their own performance.

Suitable for ages 8+ and available from thamesandkosmos.co.uk and Amazon.

Monster Putty

We were sent the Monster Putty Set as well as the Molecule Bead Set. The Monster Putty set was great for Isabelle to do whilst I was cooking dinner as she didn’t need any help with this kit.

The kit came with two eggs of putty, one green and one orange and a selection of googly eyes, arms, legs and tails as wekk as a plastic mould.

You can just make different little monsters, but there are a few experiments that you can do with the putty.

Watch your Monster Melt

Build your monster and then stand back and watch them start to melt. Isabelle had high expectations for this, and wasn’t very patient with waiting for it to change. It happens rather slowly and works best if you make a tall skinny monster.

Molecule Beads

This was the kit that Isabelle was most excited to use.

???????What you get in the kit:

  • A measuring cup
  • A spatula
  • A spoon
  • 2 Sachets of Calcium Chloride
  • 1 Red bottle of Sodium Alginate
  • 1 Yellow bottle of Sodium Alginate
  • 2 Collection pots

There were two experiments to perform in this kit, one was to make molecule beads and the other was to make worm like pieces. To make the beads you had to mix a sachet of Calcium Chloride into water and just had to drop little droplets of the red and yellow Sodium Alginate into the water.

Isabelle scooped the beads out of the water which felt like orbeez. She was quite impressed that they made a popping sound when you squeezed them.

Next we made the molecule worms which looked just like strawberry laces which she enjoyed snipping with scissors.

Our Thoughts

Blogger Board Game Club – Ticket to Ride Europe

Blogger Board Game Club – Ticket to Ride Europe

Following on from our review of Get Packing we were sent a copy of Ticket to Ride Europe as part of the Blogger Board Game Club which looks rather interesting.

What’s in the Box?

  • A huge board with train tracks all over it
  • 225 Coloured Train pieces
  • 158 Game cards
  • 5 Wooden game counters
  • 15 Stations

Ticket to Ride Europe is suitable for 2 – 5 players aged 8+ and retails at £37.99 from game retailers.

The Game

Ticket to Ride Europe is one of many games in the Days of Wonder board games. Each player has a different colour counter and matching train pieces. Each player is dealt a long route card and three short route cards.

The aim of the game is to get as many points as you can by:

  • claiming routes between cities
  • completing a continuous path of routes between cities listed on you destination tickets
  • completing the longest continuous path of routes to win the European Express Bonus card
  • for each train station kept in reserve at the end of the game

The person who has visited the most European countries starts first and on their turn can either draw a train card, claim a route, draw destination tickets or build a train station.

Routes are claimed by putting down your coloured train pieces.

The game ends when a player has two or less train pieces and scores are then calculated.

Our thoughts

The game set up took a long time as I had to keep referring to the instructions and reading through. I was unsure that this game would manage to keep Isabelle interested long enough to finish playing.

Once we’d set up I had to keep re-reading the instructions and we got ourselves into a bit of a muddle but we persevered and managed to complete the game, I think.

Unfortunately I don’t think this game was a good fit for us, and would say that even though Isabelle is eight and a half i think she was too young for it. I think my two teenage nephews would most likely like this game.

*we were sent a copy of Ticket to Ride Europe as part of the Blogger Board Game Club, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Blogger Board Game Club – Get Packing

We were very pleased to be asked to be part if the Blogger Board Game Club by Asmodee since this is something we can do with just Isabelle. Having a younger brother means that she craves a bit of one on one time with us, so playing a game can be the perfect way.

Blogger Board Game Club - Today we're reviewing the game Get Packing where you have to get a set number of objects into your suitcase and be able to close it in the quickest time. Suitable from age 6

Get Packing

Get Packing is a fun game for 2 – 4 players aged 6 and above.

Each player has a little suitcase and a set of objects such as sun cream, a pair of pants, a hat and sunglasses.

There are a set of destination cards, and each country card tells you the items that you have to fit in your suitcase.

The aim of the game is to be the first person to fit all of the items in your suitcase first, and be able to shut it.

It sounds simple, but the items have to fit in a certain way to fit and be able to close it. The first person to complete three suitcases is the winner.

It sounds simple enough, but our first attempts were pretty bad.

There is a sheet that you can look at which shows how the items fit in which we’ve let Isabelle use the first few times. Now that we’ve done it a few times we don’t need to look at the help sheet so much.

Our Thoughts

Isabelle really liked the look of this game, especially the little suitcases. Initially she found it quite frustrating until we realised that there was a help sheet.

Blogger Board Game Club - Today we're reviewing the game Get Packing where you have to get a set number of objects into your suitcase and be able to close it in the quickest time. Suitable from age 6

We played it so that once you turned the country card, you had to find the right suitcase on the sheet and pack it as quickly as you can. Once we had done this a few times it was only Isabelle that looked at the help sheet.

Isabelle thinks she’s ready to take it to the next level and do it without the help sheet next time.

We thought it was a great game and have played it several times now. You can buy Get Packing from Amazon and other game retailers for around £22.99.

*We were sent this game for the purpose of taking part in the Blogger Board ‘Game Club review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Knowing your Maternity Rights – My Journey

Knowing your Maternity Rights and making sure that you get a good deal during your pregnancy and your return to work should be high priority to put your mind at rest. Using this handy guide from Smart Cells ensured I knew when and what was expected of myself and my employer.

Knowing your Maternity Rights and making sure that you get a good deal during your pregnancy and your return to work should be high priority to put your mind at rest. Using this handy guide from Smart Cells ensured I knew when and what was expected of myself and my employer.

From the moment you get the positive test or whilst your trying for a baby you should have a read of your employer maternity policy since it comes into play right from the word go when needing time off for midwife appointments and ultrasound scans. It’s totally up to you when you choose to tell your employer that you’re pregnant, and legally you aren’t required to do so until 15 weeks before your due date, but I would say that it also depends on the kind of job that you do as you may need to have reduced duties or extra support in place.

We did the usual announcement once we’d had the all clear from our twelve week scan. We told family and friends and then let work know which was such a relief as I felt totally rotten, and how they didn’t guess I will never know.

Maternity Rights

Once you have informed your employer there are four main legal rights:

  • Paid time off for antenatal care
  • Maternity leave
  • Maternity pay or maternity allowance
  • Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Once you’ve informed your employer they are legally obliged to perform a risk assessment which includes heavy lifting or carrying, sitting or standing for long periods of time, exposure to toxic substances and working long hours.

All I had to do in terms of getting time off for my midwife appointments and ultrasound scans was fill in a form with the dates and let my team know when I wasn’t going to be around so I never endeavoured any issues, even in the later stages where I was having physio and repeated blood tests.

Risk Assessment

I work in admin and although some days I can be sat at my desk for a long time, I have the option to be able to get up and walk around or change the task that I’m doing so I didn’t ever feel that this was a problem until the latter stages of my pregnancy when I had back ache. I had a risk assessment at the beginning when there weren’t any issues and then had this repeated around the 30 week mark when I was suffering with lower back pain. Whilst this was noted and I was given a back support which I didn’t find very comfortable, there wasn’t a lot that could be done other than getting up and down regularly. I was very sensible, making sure that I didn’t sit and suffer. I was also given pregnancy physio to help with this as well.

As with most things I get these confirmed by email so that I have a record to refer to if I ever need to should any queries arise. It may seem suspicious to do this, but it’s better in the long run if you have something to refer back to. Conversations taken place in a coffee room or corridor can sometimes be forgotten.

Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Thankfully this isn’t something that I’ve had to deal with but not everybody is so lucky. Employers should ensure that the work you do is safe for you to carry out, and if it’s not they should be offering alternative work or changes to your hours. In some cases where this isn’t possible they should suspend you on full pay.

If you feel that you aren’t being treated fairly you should talk this through with your employer in the first instance (don’t forget to follow it up with an ‘as discussed’ email) and if a satisfactory solution isn’t found then you can take this further via an employment tribunal.

Maternity Leave

Statutory Maternity Leave is anything from 2 to 52 weeks. It’s a personal choice how long you take and for most of us it’s dictated by our financial situation.

I opted to take the full 52 weeks with the final 13 weeks being unpaid, but was able to use some annual leave so not all of the 13 weeks is unpaid thankfully.

Of course this isn’t your only option as shared Paternity leave is now available so you can share this time between you dependent on your personal circumstances. This wasn’t an option for us as Chris was self-employed but if I’m being honest I’m not sure I would have wanted to give up the time off I’ve had with Freddie.

Paperwork

Around the 20 week mark you will be given a MAT B1 form signed by your midwife which you will need to give to your employer to enable to claim Statutory Maternity Pay.

It wasn’t until this point that formal discussions began regarding what maternity leave I was intending to take. I knew that I wanted the full 52 weeks, and also wanted to leave as late in the pregnancy as possible so that I could have as much time with my baby as possible. This isn’t set in stone as things do change. I struggled with my back towards the end but managed to last until 38 weeks. Every day I thought I was going to go into labour and kept having a recurring dream of going into labour in one of the meeting rooms where a senior work colleague had to help me give birth. Thankfully that didn’t happen!

Employee Rights

During Maternity Leave your employment rights such as pay, holidays and returning to a job are protected, this includes being offered a suitable alternative vacancy if you are made redundant during maternity leave. You also have the right to ask for flexible work and not be forced to return to work early, with the right to take your full 52 weeks.

As I write this post I am due to return to work in a couple of weeks and currently haven’t finalised what job I’m returning to. I completed a Flexible working request to drop to two days a week which isn’t sustainable in my current role so negotiations are underway at the moment.

Returning to Work

You only need to inform your employer that you’re returning to work if it’s before 52 weeks. When returning to work after maternity leave of 26 weeks or less your employer must allow your return with the same pay and conditions as you were before. They can not stop you from returning to the same job because its considered dismissal and maternity discrimination. When returning after taking 26 weeks or more your employer must let you return to work and back into the same job role. They can only offer you a different job role with a strong reason. You cannot be dismissed after maternity leave if your job still exists, or it would still exist if you had not gone on leave, or if they offer you a new role if its something your not able to do or has worse pay and conditions.

Breastfeeding Mothers

A lot of mothers make the decision to wean babies from breastfeeding once they return to work, but your employer is required by law to provide you with a space to feed your baby or express milk. This should be discussed with your employer prior to returning to work. Provisions should be made for a comfortable place to feed/express and store the milk.

I will still be breastfeeding when I go back to work and have already discussed this with my Manager. I have a lockable room that I can use and the use of a fridge to store my milk. I’m anticipating needing to do express twice a day, once at 11am and again at 2pm. I’m not particularly looking forward to this but we’ll see how it goes.

So in a nutshell, I would keep the lines of communication open with your employer so that everybody knows where they stand. I recommend starting a folder either on your computer or a good old fashion paper folder for the following:

  • Print off a copy of your employer Maternity Policy which should outline all that is required and at what stage so that you can tick off things as and when you’ve done them
  • Make sure that you follow all conversations up with an email so that you have a record to refer to further down the line.
  • Keep a record of all appointments and time taken off for all pregnancy related appointments
  • Ask your HR department to confirm your maternity pay once submitted. They may be able to provide you with a breakdown of what pay to expect so that you can plan ahead
  • Know your rights so that you have a satisfactory and smooth return to work

*This is a collaborative post

11 Month Baby Update

11 Month Baby Update

11 Month Baby Update – Wahhhhhh Freddie’s nearly a year old which means back to work for me this month. I’ve had the best time off with him watching him grow into the awesome funny little dude that he is. I genuinely don’t know how I feel about leaving him, but with two weeks to go just the thought of leaving him makes me well up.

You’ve probably heard of separation anxiety where the baby doesn’t cope very well being separated from their Mummy, well I think I have it but it’s me that doesn’t cope well without him. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s my last baby or because I’m breastfeeding or it may be that we’ve literally spent the last eleven months together 24/7. I’m burying my head in the sand hoping that its all a joke that I have to go back to work. Surely they’re going to email and tell me that they don’t need me and no need to pay my maternity pay back right!

New Stuff

  • Climbing the stairs
  • Saying ‘up’ all the way up the stairs
  • Saying ‘Hayyyyyy’
  • Saying No to everything
  • Pointing and shaking his head
  • Worked out how to use a non-spill cup and then spits all the water out
  • Speech – he can say a few things now
  • Went his first toddler group

Loves

  • Just everything really except Nappy change time
  • Ride on toys

Hates

  • Nappy change time/getting dressed

Teething

We’ve had quite a few nights where he’s cried out in a painful cry kind of way as well as red cheeks but no new teeth at the moment.

Play

I took him to his first Toddler Group last week. He’s been to baby groups but not ones with screaming, running around 2/3 year olds. It was quiet to start with but then as more people came it got louder. His little face watching all the toddler race around was a bit unsure and I thought he was going to cry, but instead he banged the maraca that he had as hard as he could and joined in with the shouting.

I put him on a ride on car and that was it, he loved it and kept going back to find one so that’s pretty much what we spent the rest of the time doing.

He’s also stolen Isabelle’s kitchen and play food which he seems to loves bashing about.

Growth

Freddie has just had his 10 month/12 month check up with the Health Visitor. We were sent a questionnaire for both age brackets and he was weighed and measured. He now weighs 20lb 7oz and measures at 75.5cm so is apparently tall for his age.

I didn’t feel like I had any concerns. The emphasis seemed to be in getting him to have half a pint of cows milk a day from 12 months, but I’m still breastfeeding and anticipate still doing so at 12 months. Sleep was mentioned and as usual I mumbled through this as co-sleeping still seems to get the disapproval of most people. We were offered a referral to the sleep clinic which I politely declined.

Weaning

We’re still enjoying our food journey. He loves trying new foods and likes a wide variety. He’s loving the sandwich thins for sandwiches which are the perfect size for little ones with his favourite filling being cream cheese and strawberry.

He has a drink of water with every meal and the little monkey loves to suck the water in and dribble down his front or just sprays it all over the place!

Feeding

All going well. Still breastfeeding and thankfully he’s cut down the night feeds which is much better. I’m going back to work at the end of this month so I’m hoping this is t going to cause him too much upset.

Sleeping

He’s finally cut down on his night feeds so sleeping a lot better. We’re still co-sleeping but we’re going to put his cot in our room first of all with the sides up to see if he will go down and if not then we’ll attach it to our bed as a bit of an extension so that we all have a bit more room.

It’s the putting him down that we struggle with. You can do this in as much slow motion as physically possible and he still knows and wakes up. I know that you’re supposed to put them down awake but he just looks at you with a ‘don’t be silly’ look on his face!!

As I said l, we’re happy to co-sleep so it’s not something that I’m going to push too much.

Lisa x

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

Modern living means open plan homes. It’s light, breezy, and allows for a modern sense of space and design. It does however take a bit of design work to get right. Whether you’re living in an older home, and looking to create a greater sense of space, or you’ve got an open plan layout you want to make better use of, there are tips and tricks you can use to keep the space feeling modern, and open, while still keeping everything in its place. Embrace open plan with these top design tips.

1. Brighten It Up

Open plan is all about making your space feel light and breezy. The best way to do that is to let in more light. Adding texture to your lighting, by mixing up wall sconces with hanging lamps and floor lamps will give your lighting some dimension. Using similar fixtures throughout an open plan layout, such as using round ceiling lamps in the kitchen and round floor lamps in a living space, can also help you bring the space together and feel more unified.

2. Let In Lots Of Natural Light

Of course, what to do with your lamps is only part of your lighting options. Use some lighter curtains on your window and arrange furniture to take advantage of outside lighting when you really want to add some brightness and freshness. Adding mirrors to bounce the light not only helps your space look bigger, but it also helps keep the room bright.

3. Create Zones With Furniture And Colour Palette

Any interior designer will tell you the most effective way to organise an open-plan layout is to create zones. Think about how you want to divide up the space. Kitchen work area in one space, entertaining in another, and a cosy spot for family time can flow into one another nicely, depending on how you arrange the furniture. Get creative. Use bookshelves as room dividers. Make use of accent colours to designate spaces in separate ‘rooms,’ and create a sense of flow with multi-function furniture like a coffee table that can double as a desk, or a kitchen island that can work for entertaining, or as a worktop.

4. Pop With Some Color

Speaking of color, just because you’re going with something open-plan and modern doesn’t mean you should feel the need to stick to neutral tones. Have some fun with brightly-coloured furniture and accents here and there to tie the room together, or designate space by function. Bright kitchen appliances that lead into matching bright chair cushions for your table helps provide some flow from a kitchen workspace to an entertainment space. Get creative and mix and match a bit.

5. Soften Things Up

Of course, you want your nice, bright, open plan space to be welcoming. Welcoming means keeping things cosy. Stay away from monochromatic colour palettes and harsh lines. Add some soft furnishings, like throw pillows. Light, bright cotton curtains add personality and privacy while giving a touch of softness. Finish up with a gorgeous area rug to tie the room together. Remember to keep at least three pieces of furniture to anchor the rug to one area. It’s a cosy way to divide the room!

6. Know When To Leave Well Enough Alone

Open plan is great, but before you go knocking down any walls, think practically. What will you use the room for? Don’t do anything without consulting with a contractor, especially in an older home. Once you’ve determined which walls are safe to come down, think about storage space. As beautiful as open-plan is, you might consider keeping cupboards, closets, and pantries. Does your open-plan living space open out to the front or back doors? And if so, would you want to leave a mudroom in the space to keep everything organised, tidy, and ready for entertaining? It all depends on how you want the room to function.

7. Personalise To Pull Everything Together

It also depends a lot on you, and what you want in your home. Personalise your open-plan space to stop it looking too modern and sterile. An accent wall, photo wall, or scattered shelf displays throughout the space add personal touches that stop your open-plan space from looking too bland. Avoid the cluttered look by keeping photo themes together along your walls, and keeping any collections together. You don’t need much to add a memorable personal touch.

If you want to upgrade your interiors, the best way to modernise is to go with open-plan. Opening up your floor plan takes some work, and some thinking, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You don’t need to scale down to the bare essentials to create a sense of openness and keep your home from feeling too cluttered.

Lisa x

*This is a collaborative post.

Be prepared with a Baby First Aid Kit

Be prepared with a Baby First Aid Kit

Be prepared for all Baby Ailments with a Baby First Aid Kit – As parents of three kids we’ve been through everything from teething to chickenpox, and we’ve learnt from past mistakes that it’s best to be prepared for literally every common childhood illness under the sun as you’re guaranteed to need something at three o’clock in the morning when it strikes!

Be prepared for all Baby Ailments with a Baby First Aid Kit - As parents of three kids we've been through everything from teething to chickenpox, and we've learnt from past mistakes that it's best to be prepared for literally every common childhood illness under the sun as you're guaranteed to need something at three o'clock in the morning when it strikes!

I’m all for treating illnesses and prevention can often be the key, but I hate taking medicines and am the same with my kids. If there’s a more natural approach then I’m more likely to give it a go.

This is a list of what we like to keep a supply of for as and when we need it:

  • Plasters – loads of different sizes
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Arnica cream
  • Teething Gels and powders
  • Baby Paracetamol
  • Baby Ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • Cotton wool
  • Calamine lotion
  • An icepack (kept in the freeze)
  • Cough medicine
  • Cream for stings and bites
  • Antihistamine medicine
  • Tweezers
  • Bandages
  • Mepore tape
  • Scissors

Treating at home

Obviously there’s a time and a place for treating babies and children at home, and if you have any concerns you should seek medical advice but minor illnesses such as coughs and colds can be treated effectively at home.

Let your instincts take over, if you feel that something isn’t quite right or is out of the ordinary for your baby then get help. There’s a lot to be said for a mother’s instinct.

You should always seek advice should your baby’s temperature be higher than 39C (38 or above for 0 – 3 month olds).

Alternative Treatments

Choosing alternative treatments such as homeopathic treatments is a personal choice but can offer relief from minor illnesses such as teething, coughs and colds and can be used by the whole family.

Hyland’s Baby Cough Syrup for dry tickly coughs can be used from six months onwards to relieve symptoms – just one in their extensive range of treatments for babies. children and adults.

Let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed something off or if you have any tried and tested tips for treating babies and children.

Lisa x

Having fun with BabyLed Foods

Having fun with BabyLed Foods – We started our Baby Led Weaning journey a couple of weeks short of Freddie turning six months. He showed a LOT of interest whenever we were eating and would grab anything that was in his reach.

Although Freddie is my third baby, he’s the first that we opted to try baby led weaning with. I’m not sure why really, other than not really being ‘in the know’.

I did a lot of reading and a lot of searching on pinterest for ideas of what to give him which was suitable for his age range. We started off with single vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato and broccoli followed by single fruits before we got a bit more adventurous.

BabyLed Spreads


When Keith from BabyLed Food got in touch to see if Freddie would like to try out his BabyLed Spreads I was intrigued by the grown up sounding flavours and the versatility of how you can use them.

BabyLed Spreads were created by a dad who liked to experiment with meals for his daughter which are packed full of flavour whilst being healthy and quick to prepare. The flavours are what drew me in and we were sent:

  • Green Pea, Rocket & Dill
  • Red Lentil & Sweet Potato
  • Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea
  • Ricotta & Bean
  • Avocado, Red Pepper & Tomato
  • Carrot, Apple & Hummus

The spreads come in tiny 41ml glass jars which seem teeny but they’re the perfect size for a baby portion so there’s no waste, and due to the ingredients they must be eaten within two days of opening.

What can you do with the spreads?

There are lots of lovely recipe ideas on the BabyLed Food website but you can of course use them as sandwich fillers or as a dip for breadsticks or vegetable sticks. We really liked the idea of using them as a pasta sauce which is such a quick meal to make for your baby and seems to have a big thumbs up from Freddie.

What did we do with our spreads?

I was really excited for Freddie to try these and struggled to pick which flavour to try first. I wanted to keep things simple to start with so most of Freddie’s meals were finger food type foods.

Babyled Foods

Green Pea, Rocket & Dill

We made the Green Pea, Rocket and Dill spread into a pasta sauce. I just cooked some pasta (is it just my kids or do they like some shapes more that others?) and then mixed into the pasta. I didn’t heat it through since the pasta was hot.

babyled_foods

Red Lentil & Sweet Potato

Again we made the Red Lentil and Sweet Potato spread into a pasta sauce this time with macaroni pasta served with red and yellow pepper slices. We don’t give Freddie the bowl as he just throws it everywhere so we put a few bits on his tray which he can pick up and we sneak a few spoonfuls in as well which seems to work well.

BabyLed Foods

Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea

The Spicy Pumpkin and Chickpea Spread was my absolute favourite spread. It smelt gorgeous and having looked at some of the suggestions decided to make freddie a toastie for his lunch. I did this in a pan by melting a little bit of butter in a frying pan, spreading bread with some butter of both sides, spreading on the spread and adding a bit of grated cheese. Sandwich the two slices of bread together and fry in the butter. I used a fish slice to squash it down a bit so that it stuck together and then cut it into strips. This was so yummy that I used the rest for myself in the same way to dip into my tomato soup. Totally scrummy!

BabyLed Foods

Ricotta & Bean

We used the Ricotta and Bean spread as a filling for wraps. We buy the mini ones which are perfect for little ones lunches. I just spread it on the wrap and then rolled it tightly so that it stays together before cutting into little bite sized wheels.

BabyLed Foods

Avocado, Red Pepper & Tomato

We used this as a pizza base on muffins. I toasted the muffins first, spread on the Avocado, Red Pepper and Tomato spread and added grated cheese then put in the grill to melt. This went down so well that I used it the following day as a sandwich filling with grated cheese.

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Carrot, Apple & Hummus

The Carrot, Apple and Hummus spread was a lovely sandwich filling using sandwich thins which are quite small so perfect for making little ones sandwiches and went down a treat.

Our thoughts

I’m a huge fan of these spreads and am looking forward to trying out the rest of the flavours in the range. I wasn’t very adventurous with the use of the spreads since little Freddie doesn’t really allow me much time for anything other than quick meals, but already have my eye on the Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Giant Cous Cous and Spicy Chickpea and Pumpkin Patty recipes.

The BabyLed spreads can be bought from Amazon in different multiples and work out at around 77p per jar.

Oh oh oh…..I forgot to say that they also do sweet jars such as Rhubarb & Fig and Raspberry & Beetroot. Yum

For more inspiration on how to use the spreads and see what others are doing head on over to the BabyLed Food Instagram feed.

*We were sent a selection of BabyLed Spreads for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.