Thursday, 31 October 2013

Speedo's Underwater World Event

Nate's dad has complained saying he doesn't get mentioned in my blog very often, if at all, so with this post I'll be mentioning him.

We were invited to the Speedo's underwater world event on Tuesday, there was a swimming lesson to begin with and then a free swim. The swimming lesson was very different to the swimming lessons we are used to and contained a few new ideas for us to try while swimming with Nate on our own. However, there were huge floats in the pool so Nate wasn't that interested in swimming he wanted to sit on an Orca. So when it was time for the free swim, I had to find one of the inflatables for him to play with.

Nate meeting the Sea Squad (he was terrified of them really)
In the pool as well as there being inflatables there were also other toys which were being used in the course of the lesson, the Sea Squad squirty toys were being used in Nate's lessons to get the children reaching for the toys as well as the Sea Squad Water Balls which they were encouraging the children to throw and swim for them, we really liked the Water Balls as balls to play with in the pool, so will be getting some of those for Nate's swimming sessions.

Enjoying the inflatables.

It was great to see how the bigger children were being taught in some instances it was 1 on 1 tuition and the children were doing really well with the instructors from what I could see. 

Have a look at Nate's dad's drawing that was inspired by this event. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

MomenTums Cookbook

Last week I attended an event launching a new website, my blog post on the event is here.

I have since had the chance to try a couple of the recipes myself at home.

The first one I had to try was the pancakes. We couldn't pick up the Doves Gluten Free flour used at the demonstration as they didn't stock it in the Asda we visited but it is stocked in our local health food shops. Below is a picture of all of the ingredients needed.

Not many ingredients.

I remember it being mentioned that the batter is quite thick, but my batter was very thin, so I had to add some more flour. In fact I found that I needed to measure the coconut milk and orange juice mixed to the 240ml asked for in the recipe. However, the pancakes were lovely an fruity, when paired with Sweet Freedom they didn't last long at all. 

Cooking the pancakes.

These pancakes aren't thin crepes, they are more like scotch pancakes however, I'm sure you could make them bigger than I was but they shouldn't be thin or they will crumble due to the lack of gluten. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

This week we had the chance to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and it was Nate's first time at the cinema watching a feature film. It has to be said that Nate kept the 3D glasses on for all of about 5 minutes but other than that he sat still and was quiet other than a couple of questions about things on the screen.

I don't want to ruin the film for anybody as it's out this Friday. So I will say that it was very enjoyable. There was one part in the film that Nate found slightly scary and had to cuddle up to me but he has asked several times in the days after watching the film to see it again so it wasn't too scary.

We have asked Nate what his favourite part of the film was and it was the foodimals. Which you can see on trailer here.

Waiting for the film to start
The film comes out today (25th October) and is a lovely thing to see during half term, there are some resources to create your own foodimals as well to make a day of it. 

Make your own foodimal

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cows Milk Allergy Resources

Yesterday I attended the launch of online resources for cows milk allergy. These resources are aimed at parents with infants at present, the website is split into three sections: baby (0-12 months) Toddler (1-3 years) and school aged children (4-10 years). The website is MomenTums.

There are a few resources up there that are relevant for all age groups, one of the most important if you haven't got a diagnosis yet is the food diary. Keeping a food diary is very important and is normally one of the first things you're advised to do but no one suggested to me to also keep a note of moods and other symptoms exhibited. Another one of the resources explains the differences between Allergies and Intolerances.

My favourite resource is the cookbook, at the minute it is slightly hidden on the website but if you click on the read more button on the main page there is a link to a book for children with allergies. This book is worth downloading, the recipes it contains are whole family recipes. A previous book I had found contained recipes that were mainly weaning recipes or recipes for one child, I cook one meal for all of us so cook something we can all eat. There was a demonstration by Andrew Kojima (Masterchef Finalist) of some of the recipes from this book and I really enjoyed all of the recipes I tasted, I don't normally like sausages so was surprised to really enjoy the sausage casserole. The Mango Lassi requires a special mention, made with four ingredients (Oatley milk, Mango, honey (Sweet Freedom) and Cardamom seeds) it was unlike a 'normal' lassi but lovely and refreshing.

All in all, hopefully with resources like these it will make getting a diagnosis and understanding allergies slightly easier.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Raspberry Pi

A computer for under £30. That's a raspberry pi, a basic computer built to run Linux and open source Operating System (OS).

The beautiful case it's in cost £10 and the SD card containing the OS costs £5 so a computer for under £50. However all of the above are optional. You can download the OS for free and go without a case (I wouldn't) 

Next to an iPad so you can see the size
I've had this sitting on our table for over a year thinking about what I should do with it. I still haven't decided what to do with it, I'm thinking I should build a laptop/computer for Nate.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Great British Bake Off Free From episode

I've sat on this post for a little while to think about it and whether my first reaction was valid. I stand by my first reaction so here I am writing this post.

It's always great to see dairy free foods being spoken about, so the free from episode was perfect for us or so we thought. The first two bakes were wheat free/gluten free, cue slight disappointment from me. The last bake was a novelty vegetable dairy free cake, huge disappointment here. The novelty factor was a big annoyance for me in fact, most people seem to think it's 'just' a lifestyle choice to not eat dairy and I think the usage of a novelty cake cements that 'fact' in peoples minds. Then added to that the bakers had to make a vegetable dairy free cake, which in its own way should have been a challenge as vegetables will affect the bake it's almost like creating a dairy free cake wasn't hard enough.

There were also a couple of misconceptions; margarine contains dairy in fact most olive oil spreads contain dairy as well. There are a handful of spreads that don't contain dairy, we currently use Pure Sunflower. Eggs are not dairy, I'll use a friends anecdote "I've yet to see a cow lay an egg."

Please can we have a serious dairy free bake, a technical challenge maybe? All of the technical challenges are so dairy laden It seems like a challenge to remove the dairy from them. Alternative milks don't behave in the same way as milk does when cooked so it'd be great to see a technical challenge it isn't used in.

As an aside, Nate has recently changed his mind and wants Frances and Kimberly to win.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Made my day

It's the little things that make a Mother's Day; a smile at the 3am wake up, hearing your child say mumma the first time, getting an early night.
The list is never ending. Children always know the best time to charm you. Today, Nate has been unhappy, pre-illness grumps we think. He has been refusing to go to sleep just generally not being easy going which he generally is. At bedtime  I went downstairs to get myself a drink and have two minutes away. 

When I go upstairs Nate has stopped crying and is quietly asking for me. We have a little cuddle and he whispers to me "I missed you so much mummy" I was only gone for a maximum of five minutes but it was enough for him to miss me. We had a little chat about mummy coming back in which I told him I loved him to which he replies "I love you too mummy" that was enough for my heart to melt. My day/week was made by five simple words from a 27 month old. Simple pleasures. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Nonabox is a new subscription box company for pregnancy and toddlers.

This is our second box, I subscribed straight away on launch day and waited patiently for our box to arrive. It finally arrived in the middle of September, a bit late no problem with that. 

However, we were sent bright pink things for Nate. As shown in the picture above, we also received teething things which weren't that appropriate but they may come in useful in the future. 

Now the second box arrived. 

Opening this months box

Bursting with 'goodies'. Our box contained: 
A sample pack to water wipes
Halos n horns moisturising lotion
Zoo biscuits 
Cloud-B Burp cloths
Pasito a pasito rattle
Two teapigs tea bags
Two pebble uk foot files
Ella's kitchen Thai curry
Cloud-b sleep sheep 

The rattle is very pretty but I'm not sure it's suitable for a 2 year old or a nearly 2 year old.

Nate loves the Cloud-B sheep we already have to this one will sit nicely on his bed, although the heartbeat sound is rather odd it sounds very fake, and isn't as nice as his mobiles heartbeat sounds. Although the rain sounds are very nice, we normally use rain sounds or heartbeat as they seem to keep him calm.

We used to use Halos N Horns after swimming and still use Waterwipes now so waterwipes are always welcome here just wish it was a full size packet.

I'm not sure why we got sent two foot files, although we were promised something extra in this box so that maybe why.

The zoo biscuits we were sent contain butter so aren't any good for us but I'm sure we'll find someone who would like some biscuits. 

All in all I'm not sure about this box, if Nate was a newborn I'd probably be a lot happier with it. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The strange things toddlers say

Nate has been talking for what seems like ages, I can't really remember a time when he couldn't speak. However, we've noticed more and more he comes out with really funny/strange statements, I've been making a note of some of his funnier statements. Yesterday he came home from nursery and said to me:

"Mummy bought me a birthday party"

"Mummy buy me a pig and a snake tomorrow"

I have no idea where the party idea came from, unless it is something they have been discussing at nursery. The animals, relates to a local shop that sells mini animals and we sometimes let Nate choose an animal to buy but in true Nate style the first time we bought him one he told us he needed two because "they need to cuddle" much to the amusement of those in the shop. We now buy pairs of animals.

Although the all time funniest statement was:

"The cat ate mummy"

I love hearing what he has to say especially when he comes out with such funny statements.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Me&i review

Nate was very kindly sent a lovely pair of trousers from me&i to review. A few bits about me&i, they pride themselves on being ethical providers of fashion for women and children. There cotton is all organic cotton. On to our package  the first thing I noticed when I opened the package was how lovely and soft they were.

Excuse the quality of the picture someone was jumping up and down.
Nate loved the hamster so happily put his new trousers on. Even though the hamster was on his bottom.  There is a lovely pocket on the right knee, which is perfect for tissues and other detritus little boys collect when in the park. At the minute Nate is collecting conkers, and the pocket is the perfect size for a few of them although things can easily fall out of this pocket.

Monkey socks and hamster pants.

The thing I really like knowing that winter is around the corner is the elasticated cuffs around the ankles as it means we can easily tuck them into his boots and wellies...

The trousers feature an adjustable waistband which is very important for us as Nate as an itty bitty waist and his trousers fall off otherwise. Although this waistband is slightly different to the other trousers we have which have a button on each side these only have one at the back. 

The adjustable cuffs tuck nicely into wellies
We went up a size in these trousers so he had some growing room as they are designed to be more fitted and unlike other clothes in which you can tell they are a size too big these look stylishly baggy and I think this is down to the elasticated cuff as you normally would have to roll up the trousers which is a giveaway on them being way too big.

Check out their website here to find the rest of their collection.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

H is for Hummus

H is for Hummus is an alphabet book for modern parenting.

We found this in our local bookshop and had a quick look through. I thought it was rather funny so it came home with us. 

There are a few mentions for mumsnet: m is for mumsnet and u is for unreasonable. 

The illustrations are simple but effective at conveying the message across. It's a very funny take on modern parenting. If you'd like a giggle it is a book to pick up. Nate thinks it's a story book for him and we have read him the book a couple of times while giggling but the jokes (obviously) go over his head.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Living with possible allergies

Nate as you might have gathered suffers from an intolerance to Dairy and Soya. At the minute we are waiting for a referral to the paediatric allergy specialist because we have had several instances of him coming out in hives and we have an interesting family background with all things health related. Recently, just over a month ago we had a week long bout of hives. They were coming up within half an hour of eating so after this happening while eating his breakfast we decided to see the GP. Which is why we are now waiting for our referral to come through although she was very honest and said we never know what is/was causing the hives.

Around the time he came down with croup we'd also noticed something strange, we'd been out for supper and had prawns, Nate's first time trying them. As soon as he'd had a bite he complained about his lips feeling funny. We gave him a big gulp of water and swore not to try prawns again for a while. With the hives and the funny lips we had decided to ask about seafood being an issue for Nate.

This leads me to yesterday I made supper, normally Nate doesn't eat with us as he has tea at nursery however, he didn't eat much at nursery yesterday. I made pasta puttanesca and put an anchovy paste, which had come with an order, in the sauce (not thinking) as soon as Nate took a bite he complained about the heat and burning in his mouth. It took a moment for me to fully realise what I'd done. I didn't think anchovies were an issue but I hadn't looked at what the ingredients which contained butter along with other potential allergens. This I had to look up on the internet as in opening the pot (last week the first time I used it) I had to take off the ingredients list.

Why have a container that you have to remove the ingredient list to open it? I can't be the only person who has foods their toddler can't eat in the house?

Monday, 7 October 2013

iChild F&C Saving Superstar

I have recently been sent a huge folder of resources relating to money. The pack I was sent from iChild was for under 5's and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of activities there were to do. All of the resources tie in with the National Curriculum (while it still exists) and in this case the EYFS (Early Years). The resources were produced by iChild in conjunction with F&C Investments.

Lots of activities
Nate enjoyed the first activity in which we looked at the different coins and notes and spoke about their colours and as we had a discoloured pound coin we put the two of them together and asked him if they matched. I think we slightly confused him with that but it was great to watch as you could really see him looking at the two coins and trying to figure it out. Some of the activities were a little hard for Nate to do but then he is rather young but the discussion activities such as talking about the different types of shops he loved as it meant he got to talk about his favourite shop. 

Cut out coins

There are even printable cut out coins so you can talk about and look at the coins without the risk of them going in mouths. 

There are a few activities that involve matching but most of them involve discussion about things such as shops, what you like to buy and where the money goes in shop. There are activities that involve drawing a £5 note, or colouring in a money bank, the activities are well suited to the under 5's although in the case of Nate some of them he will have to grow into. We have really enjoyed the activities that we have attempted and also have adapted some of the activities to suit us, they are a very good base for discussing money with young children.
All of these resources are available free here

I was sent the ready printed resources and provided with a Gold membership for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Tree Fu Tom

We were very kindly sent a goody bag full of Tree Fu Tom goodies.

Nate sat down to watch the new DVD which is due to be released on 28th October while I started to look at the Christmas gift guide. There are lots of gift ideas ranging in price from £1.99 to £29.99 at the bottom you have posters and art materials to a Ready Bed. 

Looking at the DVD Tree Fu Snow, it has all of the elements we love Tree Fu Tom for, getting kids active not just sitting watching the television although Nate needs a little encouragement to get him to copy the movements. I'm very glad our living room isn't overlooked as both Nate and I were dancing along. As a Dr Who fan Nate's dad enjoyed the fact the Doctor was a voice over (David Tennant) but was equally impressed by the action packed stories.

Tree Fu Tom Magazine issue no 1 there were lots of free gifts on this. The wind up toy Nate needed a little help to wind up, and as always crayons are always welcome on magazines. We try to keep a box of crayons with us when travelling for the colouring pages but there's always a time when you forget. The stickers, Nate's second favourite part of any magazine there were quiet a few of these which is always a good thing however they were a little blurry (I'm told that they are what is known as out of register so it could be an early or late copy) not that Nate seemed to notice. There is one story in the magazine but lots of things to do that Nate enjoyed doing and then sticking his sticker down to say he'd done it. I especially liked the make your own Holopax which then collected stickers as you carried out various activities in the magazine.

We were sent a goody pack to review but all opinions are our own.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dairy free ice cream

We have discovered Yonanas which is an ice cream maker with a difference.

Yonanas machine

You have to freeze two ripe bananas and 3/4 cup of other fruit although that's optional for at least 24 hours before you want to make the ice cream. The fruit has to be taken out 20 minutes before. Then push one banana through first and then the optional fruit before the last banana goes through. You then have lovely creamy ice cream, no added sugar and no dairy. 

Ice cream

Our favourite flavour combinations are:
Banana, raspberry and strawberry
Banana and mango

It gets a huge thumbs up from us. This was discovered by Nate's Uncle and is now used for every dessert while we are at grandma's. There is a freezer drawer full of pairs of bananas and frozen fruit for yonanas ice cream.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

NFL takes over regent street

This weekend we were up in London and happened to be wandering past Regent Street and we saw all the inflatables. Nate saw the huge tiger and wanted to go to it. The whole of Regent Street was taken over by NFL, there were several activities to take part in including: a Bouncy Castle and various American football type trials. There were lots and lots of places to eat as well, the queues were very long for the food.

The best bit of the takeover for Nate was the children's area to have a go at playing Football. As we were walking past the area we were asked if he'd like to take part, Nate said "I need to play football" (at the minute he needs to do everything) so we signed him up and then continued to wander around. At the specified time he was T-shirted up and taken to the field.

This t-shirt looks suspiciously like a dress.

Lining up to have a go

Off he goes

Nate didn't quite understand waiting for his turn after he'd had his first run so continued to run up and down the field with a football for a long time. Until we grabbed him and took him out, he was probably the youngest on the field and left to get on with it, but he absolutely loved it and all the way home asked to play football. 

Bump he goes.
A big thank you to the NFL for this, we have finally found a sport Nate loves although it is one that I have no experience of playing. (I played a little rugby when I was at university)

Here's a Video of Nate having a go.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

First concert

We are unlucky enough to not really have anyone to babysit for us. This means we do everything with Nate if we're doing something together. Nate's dad won tickets to the iTunes festival to see Katy Perry.

So off we trot to the Roundhouse in Camden to see Katy Perry. The security weren't sure about Nate coming in but as we had ear protectors for him we were allowed in. 

Testing out his ear protectors on the way to the concert

Nate loved Icona Pop, one of the support acts, he's been singing "I don't care, I love it I love it" all morning.

Enjoying Icona Pop

However the second support act came on, Iggy Azalea, and he really didn't enjoy it. Nate asked to go outside and then eventually to go home. We didn't get to see Katy Perry. I'm glad Nate's first concert experience was at the Roundhouse and part of the iTunes festival.