Monday, 23 April 2012

Juniors Pantry Review - Chicken Pesto Pasta

I'm currently struggling with Blake - he's going through an awkward eating stage (again!!!) and I am really drawing a blank at what to actually cook for him!

I spent an hour making homemade star shaped chicken nuggets completely from scratch right down to paprika breadcrumbs! The kitchen was a mess, I'd used every gadget I had - particularly my blender (always fun to clean!) and my darling little man wouldn't even touch them - let alone try one!

Junior's Pantry dishes collection Even as a play at home mum - I don't have time to spend experimenting in the kitchen, or the money to waste - home made might mean better value in the long run, but it cost considerably more to buy all the ingredients needed to make those nuggets, than to buy a pack of ready made supermarket own brand frozen ones!

I wanted to make my own because I'm fed up with the "nasties" in "bung in the oven" foods to feed my kids when I'm short on time to cook something wholesome.

I was sent a tub of Junior's Pantry chicken and pesto pasta to review.

Junior's pantry is just what busy parents need - and a godsend to kids in that fussy eating stage (seriously, Blake will currently only eat chocolate, crisps and cereal!- or at least that's what it seems like!).

Created by Kate Finch - "a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Kate has baulked at the quick fix culinary solutions for daughters Olivia 9, and Lucy 7, who have become used to mum's
wholesome range of suppers."

Designed for quick and easy after school foods for primary aged children, junior's pantry can be found in the chiller section on Ocado, our chicken pesto pasta costs £2.89

Chicken with pesto pasta: A light pasta dish using orzo pasta (like large rice) and a delicious pesto and green vegetable sauce.

Other dishes in the launch include:

Chicken, prawn and chorizo paella: A delicious paella with a hint of smokey paprika from the chorizo RRP £2.89

Beef ragu: A vibrant beef ragu with lots of hidden veggies, served with wholemeal fusilli RRP £2.89

With more dishes coming soon!

"All dishes are approved by a nutritionist as suitable for children of this age and include at least one portion of vegetables, a serving of protein and a starchy staple for energy. Salt and saturated fat levels are also within dietary recommendations. It was important to Kate that no preservatives or ‘nasties’ were used in the dishes, so mums can be confident that they are just as good as homemade!"

The products are now available to purchase from www.ocado.com.

Like Junior's Pantry on Facebook www.facebook.com/JuniorsPantry

Follow Junior's Pantry on Twitter @juniorspantry

www.juniorspantry.co.uk

Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Peppa Pig Funtime camper van review

When I was a child, we had an orange and white camper van that we adored! I have fond memories of a tour of the continent for the school 6 week holidays in our lil' camper and it certainly had an impact on my sisters and I as my sister Kellie has bought her own camper called Valerieee and both myself and my sister Jo hanker after owning our own ones too!

I was very excited to be sent a Character Options Peppa Pig Funtime Camper Van to review with Blake as he likes both Peppa Pig and camper vans too!


This sweet yellow retro free wheeling camper van has a lift off roof which reveals four seats, a folding picnic table and a Peppa Pig character.

The seats are removable so you can set them up at the folding picnic table for a true camping experience and the Peppa Pig has moving arms and legs so she can easily stand or sit at the table.

Blake loved this set so much - he even carefully placed a rice crispy on each picnic plate at breakfast time!

Good value at rrp of £9.99 for this set (age 3+)
Would have been good to have had a few more members of the Pig family but further sets and figures are available too at £4.99 for a pack of two figures.

Blake will be 3 in June and has already hinted at further Peppa Pig Funtime sets!

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday, 20 April 2012

Stuff Every Mom Should Know book review and giveaway

I was recently sent a copy of "Stuff Every Mom Should Know" by Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss.
It's a sweet handbag friendly sized hardback book full of handy tips for all stages of motherhood from Baby to Tween and beyond!
stuff every mom should know review and giveaway
The Baby section includes things such as how to swaddle (Baby Origami!), travelling on an airplane, how to meet other mums and my favourite - Make a Boo-Boo bunny!

Little Kid Stuff is full of really great things from photography tips, building blanket forts, getting rid of bedroom monsters, how to raise a good citizen and fun animal facts! One of the sections here is about Potty Training which I'm finding really useful as its something I'm attempting to do with Blake at the moment!

I really enjoyed the bit on comebacks for unsolicited parenting advice and halloween costume ideas in the section for Big Kid Stuff and it made me think about things to come when I read the dealing with lice page!

The Tween stuff includes tips about keeping them safe online and covert hugs! There was a section on foods they should be able to cook and at the end of the book is a bit about what you should know that the book couldn't tell you!

There were a few bits that were quite American such as the section on being a Soccer Mom but I found that the tips were things that could easily transfer to other areas!

Its little pages are packed full of helpful ideas and the writers are the ladies behind RookieMoms.com - Overall I thought it was a handy little book and would make quite a sweet little gift for any mums or mums to be!

£6.99 published by Quirk Books available on Amazon

I'm lucky enough to have five copies up for grabs for my lovely readers!

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning one, please leave me a comment below telling me what your top parenting tip would be!

For bonus entries, please feel free to
Tweet about this article (include me @Beachpebble)
Like my Facebook page
Pin this post on Pinterest

Please let me know in a separate comment if you have made any bonus entries too so I can count them.

Winners chosen using Random.org (1 copy each, 5 winners) and the books will be sent out directly by the company providing them! Closes at 12noon on 30th April 2012
Open to the UK only.
Please include a way of contacting you if you win such as @twitterid or an email address.
Emma in Bromley xx


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cake lingerie licorice nursing bar and knickers review

I'm currently breastfeeding my second baby and I was sent a beautiful nursing bra set from award winning Cake Lingerie to review.

This was my first underwired nursing bra - actually it's the first underwired bra I've worn in about three and a half years as I've been back to back in pregnancies and breastfeeding!

Cake Lingerie Flexible wire nursing bra and knicker Licorice maternity braUntil the opportunity came to do this review, I didn't even know you could get underwired maternity and nursing bras - I think these must have been something that came out between my pregnancies!

Cake Lingerie carried out research into underwire bras and have found their flexible wire offers superior support and shape when properly fitted (suitable for months 3-9 in pregnancy and after week 3 post birth) I was hesitant as I've suffered from the odd blocked milk duct here and there but the better fit of the flexible underwire is less likely to cause mastitis than the restriction of non- wired traditional nursing bras.

I've been wearing boring old plain t-shirt nursing bras (I bought a twin pack 1 black and 1 grey - honestly! Why do these bras come in grey marl cotton!) - I like a thin layer of padding as I wear reusable breast pads (these are thicker than disposable breast pads but comfier, cheaper and greener!) and I'm self conscious that you can see the outline through clothes! I found this was the case with the Licorice bra as it hasn't got any padding but only with some tops, I was surprised my pads weren't as noticeable as I felt!

I really loved the style of the drop down cups on my Cake Bra, not fiddly at all and the straps aren't ridiculously wide like I've found on other brands.
I love the detail, the way these look, fit and feel like a "proper" bra and are a reasonable price for the set... and the underwire meant the bra fitted better in the cleavage which resulted in a noticed reduction in "crumb collection" at the end of the day!
I've washed my set several times in a net lingerie bag on 30 and it's washed well!

Cake Lingerie Flexible wire nursing bra and knicker Licorice set I was very very happy to be sent something pretty from Cake Lingerie - its good to see that they're are beautiful maternity and nursing options available and I'm loving the special flexible underwiring!

My set is the Licorice set - black mesh and lace with a gold pattern, but I also have to say I admired the new "cotton candy" and would recommend it not only as a sleep bra but for those days after birth when your milk comes in! I knew what to expect after the birth of my daughter because she was my second baby, so smug me had bought a sleep bra in a size up for my milk coming in - but what I hadn't bargained for was to be in a solid sore swollen state so bad that I couldn't actually get a larger size on! I ended up wearing a vestie with a shelf support! The "cotton candy" sounds like it would have been a welcome solution!

I'm hankering after more from Cake Lingerie!

Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Run Faster Mummy!

One of my lovely Bromley "yummy mummy" friends is running 10k on 1st July 2012 in Blackheath for Cancer Research UK and deserves your support!

Louise is an awesome young mum to two beautiful boys and is a very kind person who I'm proud to support in this adventure!

Please help her achieve her goal for cancer research uk by visiting her sponsorship page

http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/louise-ellensinnock

You can also read her progress on her blog, run faster mummy.

http://runfastermummy.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Runfastermummy

Friday, 6 April 2012

Making an Elephant tee for Blake

I bought some plain tees for Blake in the greenbaby sale with the intention of appliqué- ing them myself!

I'm not very good at crafty things or sewing (or much else really!) but I'm learning as I get great enjoyment out of it and I believe arts and crafts, creativeness and imagination are important to toddlers!

For my birthday in September I got a set of Cath Kidston books and in the "sew" book there is a cute template of an elephant which is where I drew my inspiration from.

I intended to appliqué correctly but seeing as I've had the tees and book for several months and haven't had a moment to learn, I decided to cheat - well cheat isn't a nice word so let's say that instead of cheating, I did stitch free appliqué - that sounds much better!

Here is my stitch free appliqué tutorial!

What do you need:
A tee shirt.
Felt or fabric.
Paper.
Pins.
Pencil/fabric pen.
Scissors.
Wonder web.
Fabric glue.
Button.
Iron.

I don't have a printer so I simply traced my template elephant. - it would have been a heck of a lot  easier to photocopy or print it out. (Maybe one day I'll get a printer!)

Cath Kidston Elephant Template from the book "Sew", paper and felt templates and outlines
Then I cut out my template and pinned it to the felt Blake had picked out (we bought a 15sheet value pack and some loose patterned sheets from hobbycraft in Orpington- it wasn't very soft felt but it did the job) I'm not sure why, but I'm struggling to find sheets of felt that actually feel like proper felt and I suspect our felt isn't even made from wool at all!

I drew around and then cut out the elephant shape from the main felt and Blake selected a spotty felt for the elephant's ear which I also cut out.

Felt elephant shapes, button eye and pieces all ready for sticking
We decided on a star shape button for the elephant's eye from my button jar (this button came from Textile Garden) - I stitched the button on after I'd completed the tshirt but in hindsight I should have stitched or glued it on at this next stage!

deciding where on the tshirt, the elephant will go, what direction, where his ear should be.
Blake decided which way and where he wanted his elephant to face and once that was sorted, I glued and wonder webbed the ear to the elephant and then the elephant to the tshirt!

Make sure you get glue to all the edges of your elephant so there aren't any lose bits.
glue, and wonderweb used to stick the elephant pieces together and then onto the tshirt

I ironed over the top to secure the wonder web - I put a tea towel over the top so I don't get any glue or wonder web on the iron plate.

I left it over night before Blake could wear it just to be sure the glue had set and everything.
Finished tee left to dry!

There were a few crunchy patches where the fabric glue had soaked through to the front of the felt elephant but they're not very noticeable and nothing had soaked through to the inside of the tee so I'm not worried about any irritating bits next to Blake's skin.
close up on the star eye, spotty ear and finish to the green felt elephant

Overall I'm pleased with the outcome - not quite perfect but that's ok - was fun to make this with Blake's help!

Blake Preston Clement wearing his finished handmade elephant applique toddler tshirt
What's next? Maybe a Robot or Setgasaurus! We have two more plain tees to decorate!

Emma in Bromley xx


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Nick jr Easter 2012 round up

You may have noticed by now that we're big cartoon fans in our house! I love watching them just as much as my little boy so we often snuggle up and watch something together - it's lovely to chat about what we are watching and I could never get bored of watching him act out his favourite bits.

We're excited by the special entertainment Nick Jr are planning for Easter!

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Easter Adventure. First shown on Friday 30th March at 4.30pm and repeated over the Easter season,
7 year old bilingual Dora and her monkey, Boots must rescue the hip-hop bunny's basket of eggs from Swiper the fox before the big Easter egg hunt. Their adventure takes them through the Rainbow Garden singing Easter songs and riding on a giant rubber duck to save the basket!

Team Umizoomi: The Umi City Egg Hunt.
In a race against time, the team use their maths skills to find and save the special rainbow egg from being scrambled, this adventure takes Milli, Geo and Bot down a rabbit hole and into an amazing world of rabbits. I love the use of maths and patterns in Umizoomi and Blake, at almost 3 often is capable of counting along or, with a little help, figuring out the patterns.

Tickety Toc Launches Monday 23rd April at 8.15am (Mon - Fri 8.15am throughout April)
Brand new Tickety Toc, twins Tommy and Tallulah are fast paced and energetic and help children laugh as they learn. This is a special clock on the wall of a shop, Tommy and Tallulah pop out  of the clock as it chimes every hour but the cartoon is all about what happens when they go back in! We already love the puppy dog train, Owl and slapstick comedy this sweet CGI cartoon delivers and looking forward to watching more episodes!

Tickety Toc: Exercise Time. 11mins
Tommy and Tallulah race around finding people to exercise with including a ping pong playing cow who's moovellous!

Tickety Toc: Bubbles. 11mins
I have this to thank for Blake demanding I blow extremely large bubbles! If only I could produce bubbles as large as these!
Promo video here: http://www.nickjr.co.uk/watch/tickety-toc/tickety-toc-promo/

I love the colouring in and Easter activity printables on the Nick Jr website http://www.nickjr.co.uk/shows/easter/

Sky 615
Virgin 715
TalkTalk 318


Emma in Bromley xx