Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Finding an Unusual Gift for Grandad

I know I said I wasn't going to go on about the C word until after Guy Fawkes, but I have already been searching for some out of the ordinary gifts, so thought I would share them with you.  There are some people who are just so difficult to buy for, aren't there?  They don't fit the usual mould for interests, yet you know that the standard socks or smellies will see them turning their noses up too.  Steve's dad is one of these, and every year we struggle to find something nice for him.

Win a Hamper with Keogh's Crisps

Back in July I popped along to the Bord Bia Christmas show in London and sampled some delicious Irish food and drink brands.  Yep, whiskey and Irish cream liqueurs at 8.30 in the morning.  (What can I say, it was the start of my busiest Christmas in July day, the booze helped!)  But luckily there was some food available to soak up the alcohol, and the lovely chap from Keoghs crisps was very helpful, and generous with the crisps thank goodness.  I will be telling you more about all the fantastic Bord Bia brands as our Christmas features unfold from 6th November on, but right now I have a lovely giveaway for you from Keoghs, including lots of their scrumptious crisps.

Monday, 20 October 2014

An Autumnal Picnic with Vita Coco Kids #vitapicnics


The lucky smalls have been sent some more delicious Vita Coco drinks, and a selection of fun goodies to play with.  In return we were challenged to share a favourite picnic spot, and prove that picnics don't have to stop when the mercury drops below 20 degrees.  A very nice challenge for us.  Regular readers will know we aren't exactly averse to a day out, and that we are HUGE picnic fans!

How to Earn a Little Extra To Help With Those Xmas Bills (and more!)

Christmas is coming, and we all know what that means! As well as potentially having to cater for the extended family and having to queue for hours for the big toys of the year – there’s also a raft of bills coming up. Think food, presents, drink, party outfits, travel – it all adds up.

Many mums are turning to work from home schemes to pay their bills. Often, if something is advertised as a work from home opportunity it’s normally a scam. If something is too good to be true, often it is. However, there are legitimate ways you can earn yourself a little extra money to help you through the season. And who knows, if it goes well it could turn into something bigger!

The First 6 Weeks After Birth: The Truth

After a few shocking conversations with mums of newborns recently, I thought it was about time someone came out and told the truth.  Here's my guide to the first six weeks.

1. Human babies, like all animals, are designed to be breastfed on demand.  Period.  Ignore any advice which suggests the odd bottle of formula, or even expressed milk, is OK.  It's really not, persevere with the breastfeeding, get whatever help you need, every extra day confers immeasurable health benefits on both baby and you.  Offering rubber teats and fake milk will, by definition, contribute to the break down of your breastfeeding relationship.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Are IFAs Extinct?

Once upon a very long time ago, I had a proper fancy grown-up job, in a very posh office, in London's prestigious Mayfair no less.  Between my first degree and my Masters, I was a researcher in an executive search company, a kind of upmarket headhunters.  I wore suits and heels, had a very decent expenses account, dined in Conran restaurants (it was the '90s), and spent cocktail hours in fancy hotels.  At Christmas we were gifted Tiffany and Bollinger, and handed rather large bonus cheques; and in those days of plenty a significant large salary like mine necessitated the services of an Independent Financial Adviser.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Lakeland Supports Children In Need

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Lakeland have produced a special recipe book by sourcing favourite recipes from their loyal customers.  All were taste-tested and the list was gradually whittled down, a few contributions from favourite chefs, including Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jr, and the Hairy Bikers, added in, and the book was born!

Friday, 17 October 2014

How to Keep Allergies at Bay

Steve watched a fascinating Horizon programme on BBC2 a while back, Allergies: Modern Life and Me, about people with severe allergies.  Apparently all the studies quoted showed that the sharp increase in allergies, especially the more severe cases, could be attributed to Caesarean births, formula feeding, use of chemicals in the home, parents who smoke/d, and other less natural* practices.  Any one or a combination of these meant a deficiency in gut flora that meant the children studied were more prone to allergies and asthma.


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