Guest post: healthy meals that don’t bust the budget

I couldn’t survive without my slow cooker. Whoever invented them deserves a medal. It doesn’t matter how cheap the cut of meat (pig cheeks make a mean chilli) if you cook it long enough you’ve got at least two separate – healthy – meals everyone will love that doesn’t bust the budget (Saturday night’s pulled pork, pictured). So for everyone who has a slow cooker lurking in the back of the cupboard which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while, or if you fancy the idea of slow cooking in the oven but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from mum-of-two and keen cook Susan Jameson offering top tips on how to prepare great tasting, money-saving family meals: […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting|0 Comments

Nairn’s oat biscuits up for grabs!

Given that I’m trying to eschew gluten (and the type of gluten found in bready things) I’ve been consuming rather a lot of oat biscuits lately. When I first went hunting for them in the supermarket I expected to find a choice of two, possibly three different options. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There’s been an explosion of oat biscuits apparently led by category stalwart Nairn’s, whose range includes everything from seedy and fruity to biscuits to biscuit breaks (aka breakfast biscuits) and a raft of gluten-free varieties. I’ve been dunking, spreading, dipping and munching my way through them for weeks now, and in a bid to share the love I’ve teamed up with Nairn’s to offer one reader the chance to win three lovely boxes of the stuff. […]

By |March 28th, 2014|Competitions, Food, Health, Reviews|0 Comments

Specks get into the most annoying crevices no matter how well I rinse the damn thing

I am sick of our cafetiere (ok, I know there are greater problems in the world). And I don’t even drink coffee. No matter how well I rinse the damn thing before putting it in the dishwasher after Misery Guts has left for work, by the following morning specks of coffee have still managed to work their way into the most annoying crevices of everything else in the dishwasher, like the teats of BB’s beakers. I’m so fed up with picking them out I think it’s time to join the rest of the coffee-drinking world and invest in a no-mess home coffee machine in time for Misery Guts’ birthday (I’m banking on him not reading this post, obviously). The only problem, apart from the fact that I don’t drink coffee and couldn’t tell you the difference between a skinny latte and a macchiato, is that I have no idea where to start. And Misery Guts is exacting when it comes to his morning coffee hit. […]

By |March 19th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

The move from cot to big bed: 5 tips for a smooth transition

We’ve done it. We’ve finally turned BB’s cot into a bed. With her bedroom officially hazard free (the freestanding bookcase [...]

By |March 17th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, Potty training|0 Comments

Poor Michelle Heaton…

There’s a line I never thought I’d write. This week the pop star, who had a double mastectomy in 2012 when she discovered she was a carrier of the mutated BRCA2 gene and had an 80% chance of developing breast cancer, revealed she was in tears just hours after taking her new born son home because he was rooting for her breasts but of course she was unable to breast feed him. As a mum who loved every moment of breast feeding I can’t imagine what this must have felt like, watching a tiny mouth desperate to latch on but being physically unable to give him what he was so naturally searching for. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the star was then blasted for not breast feeding her baby and ‘promoting’ bottle feeding by an (ignorant) Twitter follower after she tweeted a picture of a bottle sterilizer she had received as a gift from Tommee Tippee. […]

By |March 14th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, News, Parenting|2 Comments

Spring days out in Dorset: head for Farmer Palmer’s

Bottle feeding a lamb has got to be a rite of passage when growing up and determined that BB shouldn't miss [...]

By |March 10th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

How to childproof a bedroom (aka death trap)

We’re about to reach another milestone in the crummy mummy household: it’s time to turn BB’s much loved cot into a bed. The only reason she’s still in it at two and a half is because she flatly refuses to sleep anywhere else, but it really is time to get her out of nappies and onto the loo by herself at night, so the sides have to go. Which means I’ve realised just how much of a death trap her bedroom really is. Aside from the fact we live on the 4th floor of a block of flats with nothing but a sheer drop onto concrete outside her window, there’s the draw cord for her blind which dangles dangerously because we’ve never fixed its holder to the wall, a 6ft freestanding bookcase just waiting to be climbed and toppled when I’m not looking and a radiator which gets burning hot despite being off thanks to a heating system shared by all 49 flats (all pictured). […]

By |March 7th, 2014|Books, Family life, Health, Parenting, Potty training|0 Comments

Crushed: a healthy snack you’ll love too

You can always rely on a mumpreneur to find a solution to a problem. One vexing me lately is what to give BB to eat on the go when we’re charging between home and Talking Tots or the supermarket and nursery. Bored of snack packs of apple and grapes from Tesco and constantly being harassed for Milky Way Magic Stars, I’ve been on the hunt for something in bright packaging that looks like a treat akin to magic stars, but isn’t. Cue Crushed (pictured). Technically designed for hard-to-please seven to 11-year-olds, these Ella’s Kitchen-style pouches of 100% fruit contain no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives and come in apple and banana and apple and strawberry flavours. With screw-top spouts there’s no mess and no spoon, perfect for on-the-go consumption – in our case the pushchair. […]

By |March 5th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews|1 Comment

Gluten and dairy-free Paleo pancakes: it CAN be done

With Project No Nasties still going strong (I’m doing my best to avoid gluten, dairy, caffeine and anything generally considered not very good for you, excepting Haagen-Dazs in light of last week’s special consignment) I’m determined to still enjoy pancake day tomorrow. How hard can it be? The plan is to substitute plain flour for gluten-free flour, and milk for soya wholebean instead (pictured). I think I’ll be on my own: Misery Guts turned his nose up at the mere mention of soya milk, and I have resolved not to foist my own diet lifestyle plan onto BB, so hers will be made using the traditional ingredients. But for those of you interested, here’s my recipe for the batter: […]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting|0 Comments