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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

Tiramisu flavoured Haagen-Dazs: the queue starts here

Haagen-Dazs is adding to its Sensations range of super indulgent ice cream with a Tiramisu flavour. Now I’m not a fan of Tiramisu as a rule (cheese in dessert is a no-no for me) but when the opportunity arose to taste test the new offering which hits the shelves in March (pictured) it would have been rude not to. Sensations is the right name for the sub-brand. We’re talking pockets of gooey coffee and chocolate syrup and cookie dough-style pieces of tiramisu-ey cake in a really intense ice cream, and there’s so much packed in to the pint-sized tub you get a taste of it all in every scoop. I daren’t look at the fat and calorie content, so I didn’t (you’ll have to find that out for yourself). […]

By |February 24th, 2014|Family life, Food, Parenting, Reviews|1 Comment

‘Mummy and daddy gone onna mini break’

This is what BB has been telling anyone who’ll listen following our night away at Foxhills Hotel & Spa in Surrey at the weekend. ‘Mini break’ sounds so extravagant and self-indulgent, and I suppose it was (pictured). Luxurious rooms with king-size beds, a king-size bath (even Misery Guts, who’s 6ft 4, could lie down in it) and a health spa complete with a 20m pool with vaulted ceilings and ‘mood lighting’ all promised and delivered a restorative 24 hours away from being mummy and daddy. And all despite my reservations that the trip was going to go pear shaped when Misery Guts demanded 10% off the bill before we’d even left the house because the hotel’s restaurant was closed (a fact they failed to tell us when making the booking) even though we had never planned to eat there in the first place. […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Beauty, Exercise, Family life, Health, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|2 Comments

Recipes your toddler (and you) will love

I’ve suffered my triannual anxiety attack in which I fear we’ve come to rely too much on sausages and potato waffles and the same meals on the same day of each week. In a fit of renewed I-must-get-more-vegetables-into-BB I went in search of a new cookbook featuring meals I know she requests seconds of at nursery (when her little friends are sat beside her happily tucking in) like spaghetti carbonara and chicken curry but won’t touch with a barge pole at home. Nestled between the River Cottage baby and toddler cookbook with quinoa this and spelt that (too poncey pretentious for me) and the obligatory Annabel Karmel recipes (always far too time consuming) I found The Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book by Felicity Bertin and Emma Ogden-Hooper. As an advocate of baby-led weaning but with a toddler who now refuses to suck the tips from a tree of broccoli or peel the layers off a sprout I discovered a book packed full of normal, simple family recipes like cottage pie and fish cakes all with a healthy portion of ‘hidden’ veg. […]

By |February 3rd, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Reviews, Weaning|2 Comments

Happy Birthday crummy mummy!

It’s official: confessions of a crummy mummy is one today and I’ve been blogging for a whole year (if anyone fancies sending me some cake, or better still, some champers, please feel free). A lot can happen in a year, as a quick flick through the archives has revealed: Twelve months ago today, in my very first post, I declared time on the milk bar and began a five month task of giving up breastfeeding. This was surprisingly straightforward and culminated in me mourning the process far more than BB, which I recorded for posterity by composing my first poem since my schooldays – An Ode to BB. There have been funny times, like the day BB woke from a nap having fashioned an exquisite bouffant while sleeping. […]

By |January 20th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

Boobie Beanie: a breast feeding mum’s must-have

Yes you did read correctly. This is a Boobie Beanie, aka a breast feeding hat, designed – you guessed it – with boobies in mind. If you’ve ever wanted to stick two fingers up to the person (there’s always one) who insists on having a good look when you need to breast feed in public then one of these on the baby’s head is the way to do it. […]

By |January 8th, 2014|Breast feeding, Craft, Family life, Reviews|0 Comments

I’m going on a bar hunt…and other interesting stories

Only five sleeps to go until the big day! Which means it’s time to concentrate on stocking fillers, and you can’t beat a good book. Or app book (yes, there really is such a thing). These are my top three: 1) We’re Going On a Bar Hunt: A Parody by Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd  (RRP £9.99) Think ‘we’re going on bear hunt’ for adults, and instead of daddy carrying baby on his shoulders, he’s got a squiffy mummy instead. […]

By |December 20th, 2013|Books, Food, Reviews|1 Comment

Dreaming of a…German Christmas market

There’s nothing like a German Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit. I don’t mean a German Christmas market in England, I mean a proper one. In Germany. BB and I spent last weekend sampling the best West Germany has to offer, namely in the city of Trier and the cobbled streets of Bernkastel-Kues (pictured). I saw it as a bit of a rite of passage for her: as a forces child I spent a number of formative years living in Germany, and the Christmas markets of Trier and Bernkastel are a lasting childhood memory I’d like her to have too. We’re talking wooden huts quite literally decked with boughs of holly, sausages sizzling in great big pans and the unmistakable smell of mulled wine and sugared almonds wafting through the streets. We weren’t sent on the trip for the purposes of review, I just thought you’d like to know about it because there’s still time to hop on a plane and sample it for yourselves. […]

By |December 13th, 2013|Family days out, Food, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Peanut butter…without the peanuts!

I can hardly believe it but I’m about to enter my third month of project No Nasties (alcohol, caffeine and dairy) in a bid to wave goodbye to not-so-new mum frazzle and fatigue and rediscover pre-pregnancy levels of health and wellbeing. I say no nasties: I must admit to falling off the wagon once or twice wine-wise, and the odd diet coke may have passed my lips, but overall I’ve had a pretty good stab at it. While I’m at it I’ve decided to embrace the whole free-from revolution and opt for gluten-free and whatever-else-I-can-get-my-hands-on-free at the same time. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. And you can now get peanut butter without the peanuts. Or any other sort of nut. And it actually tastes – and looks – like peanut butter (pictured). […]

By |November 29th, 2013|Food, Health, Reviews|3 Comments

How to be a mum with a clean slate

I’ve got a new secret weapon in my make-up bag: Clean Slate cleanser by Mama Mio. I haven’t been asked to review it or sent the product free of charge: I paid £22.50 of my hard earned cash for it, which may sound on the pricey side for a face wash, but Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is amazing. So I’m writing about it because I thought you might like to know too. I have never, ever, come across a skincare product that has actually delivered visible results instantly, but this one did. Here’s a picture of my clear (un make-upped) blemish free skin, two weeks in, to prove it. I’m not quite sure how they’ve done it: it contains a mix of high protein organic aloe leaf juice with probiotics and essential oils and omegas, and my skin felt more alive after the very first use. Even Misery Guts, who normally wouldn’t notice if I wore a paper bag over my head, commented on how good my skin looked just a day after I first used it. […]

By |November 13th, 2013|Beauty, Reviews|1 Comment

Read With Me Violet: mum’s best friend

BB has a new pet. She’s called Violet (pictured) and since she landed on our doormat last weekend they’ve been everywhere together. And I mean everywhere. I’ve found Violet perched on top of the toilet, sitting on the open dishwasher door and being ‘fed’ apple juice. I even had to wrestle her from BB’s arms at 9pm on Tuesday night because, despite having switched her off, BB had turned her on again and the pair were chattering away in the darkness to the dulcet tones of Frere Jacques. […]

By |October 25th, 2013|Books, Family life, Reviews|0 Comments

A talking etch a sketch…whatever next?

We’ve come a long way since the days of the etch a sketch. This week BB and I have got our hands on a new toy: LeapFrog’s all-singing, all-dancing scribble and write pad to practise writing letters and numbers (pictured). Think talking etch a sketch with flashing lights and music. My main reason for being keen to review this tool for 3 to 5 year olds is to reinforce BB’s numbers – she can count and recognise numbers 1 to 20 so now seems as good a time as any to start learning how to write them. The pad comes with a keyboard featuring upper and lowercase letters and numbers and a stylus attached to a cord which kids can use to write on the retraceable screen. Once they’ve pressed their chosen letter or number red dots appear under the screen and Mrs LeapFrog talks them through how to write it – ‘start at the top’, ‘draw a curved line’ etcetera. […]

By |October 11th, 2013|Reviews|0 Comments

Thomson holidays in Majorca: no more worries for a day or two

The kids are back at school, the nights are drawing in and flights are finally back to their term-time price tags. Meaning there’s no better time for some late summer sun. As a result BB and I have been on our first girlie holiday together: an all-inclusive package deal to Majorca where the temperature at this time of year averages a respectable 27 degrees. Envious? You should be. It was a week of firsts for us: the first time BB has had her own seat on a plane, the first time I have travelled solo with a toddler, suitcase and pushchair in tow, the first time BB has been without her daddy for more than two nights in a row, the first time we have visited the Balearics and the first time we have experienced an all-inclusive package holiday. When Thomson – which is targeting young families with its pioneering Family Resorts concept – first asked me to review its Majorcan offering, the Protur Aparthotel Bonaire in Cala Bona, I must admit I was sceptical about whether a holiday with obligatory wrist bands, buffet meals and evening entertainment was really for us. […]

By |September 25th, 2013|Family days out, Family life, Food, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Pink LEGO brick lunchbox? Yes please!

It’s been a week of reviews this week and I’ve saved the best until last. Feast your eyes on this: LEGO is branching into lunchbox territory and I’ve managed to get my hands on this pink little number complete with a lego man shaped drinking bottle. Isn’t he/she gorgeous? They come in a rainbow of colours from hot pink to sky blue from aplaceforeverything.co.uk and it’s such a clever – and simple – idea one wonders why the boffs at the lego factory didn’t think of it before. In fact a brand such as Lego, which would you believe it has existed in its present form since 1947, could easily have been left behind in the last century but with innovation such as this there’s no danger of that. Think lego brick but 100 times bigger. […]

By |September 13th, 2013|Reviews|0 Comments

I can’t get enough of…John Lewis

There’s nothing like climbing into a bed with fresh clean sheets or wrapping yourself in a nice clean towel, and if those sheets and towels are brand new, even better. Which begs the question: how often is it ‘right’ to update householdy things such as pillows and duvets and towels? Once a year? Every three years? Every five years? I’ve got no idea, but what I do know is that when it is time to (re) feather the nest, it’s not cheap. So when John Lewis asked me to review their new active anti-allergy pillows and a super duper lime green bath towel (pictured) I jumped at the chance. So crisp and plump and new, the pillows make our old – and by no means passed it – pillows look very sorry for themselves indeed. Now I hate feather pillows – spikey stemmy bits sticking out everywhere, the need for constant replumping and the thought of other people’s heads sweating into the feathers are just a few of my bugbears: the only good thing about them is that luxurious sinking feeling when one first lies down. […]

By |September 11th, 2013|Reviews|0 Comments