Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Haircut

I've come to the conclusion that Drew's hair length is what held her up with her walking developing any earlier. No...really...hear me out! All her inner strength and motivation seems to have gone to growing her blond golden locks. Drew does have VERY long hair and for sometime she has looked like a cave woman (apart from when Nanna Sandra cut her fringe as an interim measure. Lucky that turned out okay...you should have seen what Barney looked like after his 'interim measure haircut' from Nanna Sandra...he nearly lost his manhood poor little thing! He's still in therapy now!

nyhoo...we couldn't avoid it any longer and I was having flashbacks of when I went to school with half my breakfast in my hair!

So, on 30th May 2009,
Drew had her first hair salon cutting experience and photos and a Certificate to prove it. My advice? Take lots of distracting toys and food!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Organix Review

Organix was created in 1992 by Lizzie Vann to campaign for better food for babies and children and to offer parents a range of foods that are a healthier alternative to home cooking without compromising on taste, quality and nutrition.

As a child, Lizzie suffered many ailments that now as an adult, she believes were linked to foo
d. That was one of her main reasons for setting up Organix. She wanted to make a real difference!

Organix asked me to review their products with Drew, so how could I say no???

Their product range provides healthy foods for babies, toddlers ('Goodies') and older children ('No Junk'). Their
babyfood range begins with simple baby rice, pureed fruits suitable for stage 1 (4 to 6 months) and stage 2 (7 to 9 months) moving on to finger foods for babies such as Rice Cakes, Crunchy Carrot Sticks and Crunchy Sweetcorn Rings suitable for stage 2 (7-9 months). The 'Goodies' biscuits are sweetened with grape juice instead of processed sugar and no nasty additives. All are made with wholegrain flour, to increase the fibre and vitamin levels, which so I'm told, is good for keeping poohs solid!

From speaking to my Community Midwife, I know that some toddlers eat too much salt, fat and sugar which can result in health problems later in life. Nasty nutrients which are found in many snacks including toddlers lunch box snacks, alongside all sorts of unnecessary food additives, preservatives and colourings.

The 'Goodies' snacks for toddlers come with Organix ‘No Junk Promise’. Each food they make will always be safe, pure and nutritious.

The Organix range is very cleverly packaged. Brightly coloured cardboard packaging, colours dependent upon the flavour and the cardboard is 100% recycled, so make sure YOU recycle after your toddler has finished playing with the box! The cereal bars for toddlers are covered in shiny foil wrappers in an array of bright colours and are easy to open on the run!

As soon as you open the cereal bars, you are hit with an amazing smell of fruits. Dark in colour, the bar is smooth and soft so can easily bitten into by a child with few teeth and it can be easily broken into small bite size pieces with minimal effort.

Drew LOVES the cereal bars, but rarely eats a whole one during one meal. However, they are a handy-sized snack to tuck into your handbag and a quick easy healthy fix for your child.

Okay, so dried fruit sounds pretty boring, BUT Organix have a range of different products that are lip-smackingly more-ish! Sultanas & Chopped Apricots, Raisins & Sultanas, Banana & Date Fruit Bar, Date & Apple Fruit Bar. Counting towards one of your 'five a day', these are a winner if you're out and about and you've got a whiny baby on your hands! Even better, Drew can be kept busy for a while with these dried fruit snacks in her nifty 'Snack Catcher'! Friends from my antenatal group introduced me to this product, bought from my local Asda store for about £3.00, made by Munchkin.

Organix also provide a range of packet savoury snacks which are very low in saturated fat. They are baked instead of fried and no artificial flavours either.

I should point out that I don't just give Drew a range of Organix products each mealtime. These products are given as additional snacks between meals or in addition to her lunch, dinner or tea. In fact, Organix recommend that any snack should be limited to a ‘treat’ and only fed on special occasions.

For babies, Organix offer several different fruit purees, veggie and meat meals, rice cakes, and packet finger foods. I tended to go for making my own fruit puree and meals once I'd bought my hand-blender as its THE cheapest option and you know exactly what your baby is consuming. However, these products for babies are a great addition to have in your kitchen cupboard... especially when you've forgotten to get one of your purees out of the freezer to defrost! Don't say it'll never happen to you...cos it will!!

I don't think there's any Organix product that Drew hasn't tried and tested and I would highly recommend their range, but in the end, you just can't beat REAL fresh fruit...BUT Organix is definitely the next best thing...and Drew would agree!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Money-saving Tips for Parents

Believe it or not, in 2008, the term 'credit crunch' was added to the latest edition of The Oxford English Dictionary!! So this just shows how much the current economic climate is affects us all.

Luckily, there ARE loads of ways that you can save some serious wonga without having to give up the things you love.

Below are just 8 Money-Saving Tips for you paents out there.Feel free to add your own ideas to this post too!

Invest for your child’s future
By claiming Child Benefit, you’ll be sent a voucher for £250 (£500 for low income families) to be invested for your child in their own Child Trust Fund. Anyone can contribute to the fund on their behalf, so it’s a good way for family and friends to buy a present for your child without cluttering up the house with yet another stuffed bear. There are many providers of Child Trust Funds out there, so have a look at an online guide for information on where to invest.

Make your own purees
Babyfood in jars is expensive and is often not as healthy as home-made food. Buy a hand-blender (from as little as £4.18 from Tesco) and start by pureeing soft fruit such as raspberries and bananas, before going on to blending whole meals. Cook your own meals as normal (without any salt added), reserve a portion for junior, blend and voila! A nutritious meal for a fraction of the price of a jar.

Buy second-hand
Your baby doesn’t care whether its clothes are brand-new or second-hand. Babies will often wear clothes just once or twice, so skip the designer shop and look on eBay or your local charity shop. Mother-and-baby groups often have ‘nearly new’ sales too. Also, when you’ve finished with your baby clothes and maternity wear, sell those on to make some money.

Claim Childcare Vouchers
If your employer offers Childcare Vouchers, be sure to use them. The first £55 of Childcare Vouchers per week come free of income tax and National Insurance contributions which will save you a tidy sum in tax.

Recycled Items
Don't be afraid to ask your midwife and/or health visitor for help, they visit lots of mums who are only too glad to give up unwanted items, also your health visitor can help with items such as safety gates, fire guards etc. Also, join the Freecycle website http://www.freecycle.org. It’s a n
on-profit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff FOR FREE in your own towns!!

Money-off Vouchers
Supermarkets have some really good quality cheap children's clothes and their own brand nappies aren't bad either. Don't waste money when your child will grow out of clothes faster than they can wear them out. Also sign up for all the baby clubs such as Boots Parenting Club and Tesco. They send out coupons and have lots of deals to get loads of extra points on your club cards.

Buy in Bulk
Buy those basic things, like nappies and baby food, or other regular purchases in bulk. It will save you time and money. You can save over 30% on buying the things individually each time you need them, and you won't have to make as many trips to the shops either.

Have fun for free
Take advantage of the free services offered locally such as the your library, local art galleries, parks and any special events organised by your council. You'll find loads of information on fun things to see and do on your local council's website.