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While I am breastfeeding our daughter, I still give her some expressed milk while at church as I am unable to feed in my choir robes! I therefore wanted something which would be obviously just for the baby's bottles so that it wouldn't be used by mistake for something else! I am, as it happens, using the tommee tippee closer to nature bottles but this wasn't the reason I chose this brush - it just happened to be the only one that tesco was selling!
The brush comes in two halves which you slot together. There is a very wide soft brush made from nylon bristles which is very effective at cleaning the bottles without scratching them. The handle has a good grip on it. As I said before, the product comes in two halves - this is so that the handle can be used as an extra brush to clean the teats with (there is an shaped bit on the end to do this) but this is where its' biggest design flaw is. The two halves just clip together but there is nothing to lock it in place therefore meaning that they fall apart while you're cleaning the bottle. ALL THE TIME!! It really is awful and something which would have been so easy to remidy by adding a simple twist when locking the brush together so that it didn't fall off all the time. But hey, what do I know, I'm a midwife not an engineer!!
The brush comes in two colours - blue and pink (surprise surprise!). I payed £2.85 in tesco but it is on sale in other places for as much as £3.99 in ToysRUs so do look around!
I honestly wouldn't recommend this brush at all, if we were bottle feeding and therefore having to clean lots of bottles each day then this brush would have already gone in the bin!
Packing your hospital bag is one of those big unknowns - you're packing a labour bag not knowing what kind of labour and delivery you'll have and packing a postnatal bag not knowing how long you'll be in hospital! I did have a little advantage in that, being a midwife, I had a little heads up on what is really useful and what could really have stayed at home!!
Firstly I tried to keep it as concise as possible, I knew that I was going to be in for a week to 10 days after our daughter was born as we were expecting some complications but I also knew that space in hospital is a premium and filling your bed area with lots and lots of bags is never good if we need to get to either the mum or baby in a hurry!
I decided to pack my bags by 20 weeks - early I know but I had a very severe spd which meant by 22 weeks I was bedbound on morphine and was actually admitted to hospital for nearly the last month of my pregnancy as I could no longer get downstairs. Anyone who has severe spd, do think about packing your bag very early - I was grateful I did as it meant I could get round the shops myself from 14 weeks (albeit very slowly, on crutches and just getting a couple of things each visit!) and therefore it was all packed by the time I was no longer able to leave the house!
I packed the bags in to two seperate bags - a small holdall for while in labour and a larger holdall for afterwards, containing both things for me and our daughter. The second bag, the theory was, could be left in the car while I was in labour so that the room on labour ward wasn't cluttered up with enough bags to make it look like we'd moved in! (As it happened, because I was already in hospital, the bag was already in and just transferred to the postnatal ward waiting for us to join it!). As above, I didn't take in many of any one thing, one thing I did do though was leave lots of extras of everything from things for the baby (nappies, muslins, babygros/vests etc) to things for me (more nighties, clothes, undies etc) in the baby's cot so that, if I did need more bringing in, hubby knew exactly where to look! I have seen before too many partners bring in a nightie that was worn pre-pg or thongs when people have asked for more pants (not helpful while wearing maternity pads!!) to realise that if it was somewhere my husband could just pick it up I'd get something that would be useful!!
I took the following things in to hospital
Coming home clothes - mat jeans, mat top, socks, trainers
Bottles of water
Cereal bars/snacks (useful for 3am bf hunger!)
Thank you card and chocs
Small bin bags for dirty washing
Pen and paper - birth announcement/thank you letters (As I said, I was expecting to be in a long time!)
Lansinoh (wonderful stuff!)
Babygros x 4
Vests x 4
Muslins x 2 (I used loads more, our daughter was born by section and was, therefore, quite mucousy for a few days!)
Socks x 2
Watch with second hand
Bean's first outfit + hat
One little tip - I had put our daughter's first outfit in a little clear bag along with a nappy and a cot toy (a giraffe, but that will be no surprise to the people on here who know me!) which meant that, when we went through to theatre, hubby knew that everything he needed for the baby was in this one bag! Much easier for him to find!
Hope this is helpful for somebody!
Emergency dinners take on two forms in our house - either something defrosted out of the freezer (see review on cooking on a budget for cheap meals which can be bulk cooked in a slow cooker with the remainder being frozen!) which therefore gives you a homemade nutritious meal in minutes or, as happpened last night, salmon and noodles!
We love this meal, in fact it was something we were both dissapointed to not be able to eat while I was pregnant but, even up until the day I had my daughter, even the thought of fish was enough to bring back my morning sickness let alone the smell of it! It takes around 5 minutes to make and is healthy too - a bonus for something so quick!
We always have a pack of salmon in the freezer, they defrost really well in the microwave and cook quickly too - as much as it says to cook the fish for around 4 minutes I find it dries up a lot if I do it for that long, usually just a couple of minutes does just fine! Our last microwave was a 1200 strength and that one would be even quicker!
While the fish is defrosting and then cooking, boil the kettle and then cook some noodles. We tend to go for Sharwoods Medium egg noodles. The trick with noodles is not to cook them too long - it stops them clumping! Noodles are great in that they last for ages in your store cupboard - we always have a packet of these in our house!
Also cook some veg of your choice - we tend to chuck on some broccoli or some spinach. We usually use fresh but it would equally work well with frozen veg which is very easy to keep in your freezer so you know you've always got some veg in the house even if it's near the end of the week!
Serve up and add some sweet chilli sauce for a nice spicy flavour! We usually get the Encona Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce rather than the Blue Dragon one, the latter being really very sweet and gloopy where as the Encona one is lovely with just the right amount of chilli bite and tastes great when added to noodles!
With having a new baby in the house I am finding that, whereas before she was born I had plenty of time to cook, I now have much less time to be in the kitchen - a shame as I do rather enjoy cooking! Subsequently I have now started using our slow cooker more as she is much more amenable to going in her playgym or bouncer chair in the mornings! There has been an added bonus on this though, our shopping bills have been much reduced as a result, something which is handy when you're on maternity pay! We cook all sorts of things in our slow cooker but I'll list just a few here!
Stews - the flavour in these is much nicer when everything is cooked slowly, there is nothing nicer than coming home after a day walking on the moors in winter to the smell of a stew which has been cooking away all day! Due to it being cooked for such a long time you can, if you wish to, use much cheaper cuts of meat as the slow cooker will make them as tender as more expensive cuts! A portion of stewing steak will cost anything from £2.30 for 500g value steak to £4 for braising steak! Add in some carrots, parsnips, swede, sweet potatoes, even Brussels sprouts if you like them (we love them!) and some stock and some gravy and you've got a lovely healthy meal - we fill our 5l slow cooker and get 10 good size portions from it for less than £10 which makes it less than £1 per portion!
Roasts - cooking a joint of meat in here is lovely, we also use whole chickens too - cover it with water and it is so tender that it almost falls apart! The meat can then be very easily shredded for a risotto if you want the meat to go further with the water you've used to cook it in making you a lovely stock! Add some leeks, peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn and peas and again, 10 portions will be around £6-7 if you don't use an organic or free range chicken!
Casseroles - we love sausage casserole! I tend to use the most expensive sausages that the supermarket sells because of the higher meat content in them but if you wanted to save more money then you could buy cheaper ones! Add in some onions, courgettes, mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn along with passatta and a few cans of beans (we use kidney beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, aduki beans, chick peas - what ever we have in the cupboard!) and you've got a great casserole! Tinned beans work just as well as the ones you soak yourself although will cost more so, if you're really looking to cut cost then soak your own! Again this casserole costs around £10 for 10 portions so that works out at £1 a portion! However if you used cheaper sausages then you could knock up to £4 off this, giving you 10 portions for £6 - 60p a meal!
Chilli - this is lovely when done in the slow cooker although I tend to lightly brown off the mince first to give it more flavour! We put all sorts in our chilli - mince obviously and onions, apart from that it's what ever veg we have in the fridge! Peppers, courgettes, mushrooms and sweetcorn are the 4 we usually try and add! Chuck in some deseeded chillis, some chilli powder, paprika and cayenne pepper (just remember to use a quarter of what you'd normally use if cooking in a slow cooker unless you want it reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hot!!) and some passatta and stock and leave for the day! This one always drives the dog batty for some reason, he always lays by the work top with the slow cooker all afternoon if we're having this! We usually get 11 portions out of this for around £12-13, the 11th portion usually ends up on top of a spelt pizza base, a little grated cheese added and then put in the oven for 20-30 minutes - voila, chilli pizza and garlic bread! If you've not tried then do, it is gorgeous!
We tend to bulk cook a lot of things, it does work out much more time effective that way and also cheaper. It is also so much more handy if we come home late knowing that there is a meal in the freezer which will cook in the microwave quickly - it's a lot nicer than a ready meal bought in a supermarket and works out cheaper too
Although I am breastfeeding our baby I do give her expressed milk if I go to church as I am in the church choir so can't feed while I'm wearing choristers' robes!! Therefore we needed a steriliser!
It is important to use a steriliser until a baby is 12 months old especially for all utensils which contain milk, there is some train of thought that if it's pureed veg etc then, from 6 months, a hot dishwasher would suffice for those items only but that is something that should be discussed with your health visitor and, personally, we'll be going by the sterilising everything until they're 12 months as the guidelines suggest! After this age it is thought their gut and immune system is strong enough not to need everything to be sterile!
The main reason we chose this particular one is that it goes in a microwave. It is therefore a much smaller piece of kit than a standard steriliser! This not only makes it much easier to store (we usually just keep ours in the microwave) but also to clean and, as an added bonus, it's also much more portable than a standard steriliser!
It is on the larger side so it's worth checking your microwave out to make sure it will fit, the measurements of this steriliser are as follows - 28cm x 28cm x 16.5cm.
The steriliser costs around £20 but can be as much as £25 in some online shops so it's worth looking around! Second hand ones sell for a couple of pounds, however given it only costs £20 to buy a new one we got ours new!
Putting the steriliser together is very easy and something that you could do quite easily if you needed to in the middle of the night! It comes in 3 main parts - a white plastic base, a green rack (which everything sits on) and then the clear plastic lid. It's quite handy that the lid is clear as it allows you to see through it (and therefore what's been sterilised!) but you need to tap the lid a couple of times to get rid of the water drops which have collected on it!
To sterilise your equipment you first need to wash it thoroughly in soapy water and rinse well. It is important to take bottles right apart in to as many components as you can as the steriliser doesn't clean off any old milk that's there so it defeats the object of sterilising really as you'll be growing bugs in the old milk! Once it's clean you can then put all the parts in the steriliser, add 200mls of water, pop the lid on and microwave for as long as your microwave requires! If you have a 1000-1100W microwave then allow 4 mins, 5 mins for 800-950W and 7 mins for 500-750W microwaves. Needless to say, the steriliser does get rather hot so leave it for a good couple of minutes to cool a little, preferably 10! The extra 2 minutes completes the sterilisation process too! If you don't open the steriliser immediately then don't worry, things will stay sterile for 3 hours as long as the lid hasn't been opened. It is important not to overload the steriliser! Likewise the amount of water should be measured accurately, too little water could cause damage to the steriliser or your microwave however too much means that not enough steam will be created and therefore your bottles won't be sterilised properly!
You do get a few extras in the box, 2 260ml bottles and a pair of bottle tongs.
The way the rack is designed is to take 4 avent bottles, I must admit we use Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles and these sterilise in here just fine! As long as things are arranged in such a way that steam can circulate around everything ok then I can't see why you couldn't use it with other branded bottles!
It is recommended that you rinse the steriliser after each use to prevent build-up of lime scale. It is also dishwasher safe!
We've been really pleased with this steriliser, as I'm breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding it, admittedly, doesn't get the usage that it would if I were sterilising lots of bottles every day but it has been used a fair amount and still looks as good as new!
1. Which do you prefer - shower or bath? And why?
Bath - I bath every morning with our baby!
2. What do you swear you'll never do?
Be a bad mother or wife!
3. What's the most embarrassing thing you ever done?
Wearing a new pair of stupidly high heels while living in London at 17, I was getting on a bus to go into the middle of Town on a night out only I misjudged the curb and toppled off it landing in a crumpled heap in front of the bus. The driver couldn't talk to me he was laughing so hard! Oh the shame!
4. What is your favorite quote?
Love me when I deserve it the least, for that is when I need it the most.
5. What was your favorite holiday? And why?
Our honeymoon in St Lucia, although our trip to Bruges while I was pg comes in a very close second!
6. What was your favorite childhood toy?
A teddy called BoBo and a dog called Sally!
7. Do you have any pets?
Yes, a dog called Hamish. We did have some chickens until we moved but our garden isn't big enough for them here sadly so they went to live with friends on their farm! I do miss them!
8. Savory or sweet?
Savory, without question!
9. Hot or cold?
Prefer being somewhere too cold than somewhere too hot!
10. What's your favorite drink? - Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic
Alcoholic: Pimms and lemonade, Non-Alcoholic: Apple juice
11. What's your favorite food?
I love good, simple homecooked food. Shepherds pie made with a bubble and squeak topping is just lovely!
12. Who do you hate the most?
People who neglect children or animals.
13. Do you have a crush on someone? If so, who?
14. What is your favorite colour?
Yellow but I'd never wear it! It was the main colour at our wedding, hubby is Cornish so he wore the Cornish tartan (yellow and black) and we had sunflowers everywhere which are my favourite flower! (Hence my user name!)
15. What did you do last night?
Not much, our daughter had her second lot of immunisations yesterday so was very sleepy in her sling so I took the chance to catch up on reading reviews I'd missed while being away for the weekend!
16. What's your favorite thing to do?
Walking along the coast path, Devon and Cornwall has some beautiful coastline!
17. Favorite movie, T.V Programme, Book?
Movie: The Green Mile and Bridget Jones
TV: I don't really watch much tv, in to Secret Millionare at the moment though!
Book: Derren Brown, Tricks of the Mind
18. who's your hero?
I am utterly, utterly phobic of spiders so that would be my husband as he always gets rid of them!!
19. Favorite song of all time?
ELO - Mr Blue Sky
20. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
Yes, while working as a nurse on a bank shift one day one of my patients was dying. She had no children and therefore had no one to sit with her so an HCA was sat with her. I was at the nurses station sorting some notes when an elderly gentleman walked up to me and smiled, then walked up the corridor towards the bay where this patient was (sadly there were no siderooms anywhere so she was being nursed in a bay with curtains round her). This reminded me to go and see how this patient was and check whether there was anything I could do to help. As I walked in to the bay the HCA came out of the curtains saying she had just passed away. While assisting in her laying out I noticed a photo in her locker which was taken some years ago, of the patient stood with the gentleman who I had seen. I asked the HCA where he was and didn't he want to be with his wife and she told me that he had died a few years ago but that the lady had often spoken of him with such love and fondness.. I like to think he had come to collect her and that they are now together again!
21. Favorite Sound?
Currently my baby giggling as this is her new skill!
22. Favorite Smell?
Fresh cut grass or lavender!
23. Favorite place to be?
On top of Sheeps Tor (Dartmoor) where my husband proposed!
24. Happiest moment in your life?
The birth of our daughter!
25. Saddest moment in your life so far?
Going through 3 miscarriages
26. What is your dream job?
I'm a midwife in a neonatal intensive care unit, it's a great job! I wouldn't mind doing my Health Visitor training in a few years though!
27. What would be your idea of a perfect date?
Our first date actually, meal out in a pub and then sitting on a beach watching the moon rise over a headland then sitting by a camp fire until about 4 am just talking talking talking!
28. What's your favorite Newspaper/ Magazine?
29. Which celebrity do you like the most?
Erm, changes from month to month!
30. What religion are you?
Church of England
31. Do you have any siblings?
Yes, one brother
32. Have you ever been in hospital? If so, why?
Yes, I worked with horses and had a penchant for breaking things, usually bones! Now I no longer ride young, silly horses anymore but let someone else get all the tickles out of their toes first!
33. Have you ever broken a bone or had stitches?
34. Do you believe in Angels/Ghosts/Demons?
Yes, see Q20!
35. Are you superstitious?
36. What colour eyes do you have?
Greeny/grey, they're quite a strange colour!
37. What colour hair do you have?
Very very dark brown, pretty much black!
38. If you could change 1 thing about your appearance, what would it be?
Instantly lose the baby weight, now that would be nice! Being bedbound from 20 weeks meant I put on waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I should!
39. If you could change 1 thing about your personality, what would it be?
Less sensitive when being teased!
40. What is your biggest fear?
Spiders. And rabbits for some reason, I can't hold them!
41. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?
Nope, only regret what you haven't done rather than what you have! At least you had a go!
42. Have you ever been in love?
43. What's the most important thing to you in the world?
My husband and my daughter!
44. What you're most treasured possession?
Oooh, not sure.. Photo albums I guess!
45. What's your job?
46. What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
People who extend true friendship!
47. What's the worst thing anyone has done to you?
Erm, not something I really want to share!
48. Dream car?
49. Favorite celebration?
50. Where do you hang out?
At the moment it's usually with friends with babies!
51. What School did you go to?
I moved around quite a bit so a fair few!
52. What/ who annoys you?
People not saying thank you!
53. Do you recycle?
Yes, as does my husband now after lots of nagging!!
54. What's your favorite sport?
Equestrian sports and running, I would love to get back into running half marathons again when my daughters a little older!
55. Who was the last person to upset you?
Someone in hospital
56. What are your hobbies?
Walking, singing, running
57. What was the last joke you heard?
It's too insensitive to write here!
58. What is the best joke you've heard?
A duck walks in to a bar and orders a drink. Bar tender asks his name and whether he's enjoying the rainy weather, to which he replies "yeah, been jumping on puddles all day! I'm Donald by the way!". The door opens and another duck walks in and orders a drink. The bartender asks him whether he's enjoying the weather too, to which he replies "I'm Daffy! Ive been jumping on puddles all day!" The door opens for a third time and a very sad duck wanders in.. The bar tender starts pouring him a drink and says "you don't look very happy mate, what's your name?" "Puddles"
59. What's the worst joke you've heard?
What's brown and sticky? A stick! (Still makes me giggle though!)
60. Name 3 places you have been on holiday:-
Last 3 have been in St Lucia, Bruges and Spain
61. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Hopefully as a Health Visitor and having had another baby!
62. Favorite Season?
63. What's your favorite website?
A forum I chat on
64. What's your favorite shop?
65. What's your worst habit?
My husband says nagging...!! (He did say that tongue in cheek!)
66. What's your favorite animal?
67. What is your ultimate fantasy?
A nice old rambling farm house like the one I grew up in with a huge veg garden and an orchard!
68. Can you cook?
69. What is the last lie you told?
I'm genuinely rubbish at telling lies, I always go bright red and fall over my words, something my husband finds incredibly funny!
70. Favorite flavor ice-cream?
Langage farm do a really lovely blackberry crumble flavour, apart from that Ben and Jerrys Cherry Garcia!
71. Favorite take-away?
72. What do you hate doing the most?
Ironing. We moved house 9 months ago and we still haven't unpacked the iron - I don't even know where it is! Put things in the tumble drier with something damp for a few minutes and all the creases fall out!
73. What do you like doing the most?
Walking on the coast path/Dartmoor!
74. If you were a Super Hero what would your name be?
Ooh, I have no clue!
75. What is your porn star name (take the name of your first pet and your mother's maiden name and put them together)
76. If you were an animal what would you like to be?
A wild pony on Dartmoor
77. What would your animal name be?
Not sure.. Our next puppies are going to be called Poppy and Zippy though!
78. If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?
I'd go right back to four or five hundred years ago and see what life was really like then!
79. Any person alive or dead - who would you meet?
Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandella.. Both know humility.
80. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New Zealand would be pretty cool!
81. Tea or coffee?
Neither! I have never liked either of them!
82. What was/is your nickname?
While pregnant my husband would call me puddleduck..
83. Have you been to college?
Yes, I have 2 degrees.
84. What is the wildest thing you've ever done?
I didn't really get in to the whole drugs/wild behaviour thing!
85. Can you play an instrument?
Yes - Piano and flute. I sing too!
86. What's your favorite Disney Character?
87. Favorite theme park?
88. What size feet are you?
89. If you were King/Queen for a day what 3 changes would you make to the world?
1, Try and break the cycle of benefits with children more likely to be on benefits if their parents are.
2, Share extra wealth around the world, some people really have nothing..
3, Stop below inflation payrises, 2.9% in one year is nothing given how much food/energy/petrol/etc prices have gone up!
90. What is your favourite Night Club?
Dont get chance to go to them now!
91. Name one thing that most people don't know about you?
I had two toes that were joined together when I was born, they were separated when I was 6!
92. When was the last time you cried? And why?
When our daughter was really screaming with colic and had been off and on (more on!) for a couple of hours and I was really struggling to settle her..
93. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
For my husbands' business to really take off, for another baby and not to be so poorly with my pelvis in my next pregnancy!
94. Would you ever have plastic surgery? If so, where?
A tummy tuck is appealing after having a baby!!
95. What are you most ashamed of?
96. Thongs or Knickers/ Boxers/ Pants - on you/ on someone else
Pants on me, trunks on him!
97. Blondes/ Brunettes or Red heads?
I prefer dark!
98. What do you find sexy?
99. If you could have a super power/ ability, what would it be?
I don't know, I think I've lost the ability to answer more questions!!!!
100. Did you enjoy doing this quiz?
Yes - but wow is it longer than I thought it would be!!
Q1. How did you discover Dooyoo?
Through a forum I use, other people were talking about it!
Q2. Why did you join?
I'm on maternity leave at the moment and have a baby who spends a lot of time breastfeeding - this seemed an ideal thing to do while feeding and will hopefully buy her a fisherprice rainforest jumperoo before too long!
Q3. What was your very first opinion on?
Nature babycare nappies!
Q4. Did you find it easy to get the hang of Dooyoo?
Yeah, I asked on the forum I mentioned earlier how it works so I had a bit of a headstart!
Q5. Did you read other opinions before you posted your first one?
A few, but not many
Q6. Do you write no/some/many comments?
Some - not many I suppose but every now and again I'll add something!
Q7. When you click on the list of Newest Reviews, do you read your friend's opinion no matter what they're on/according to subject no matter who has written it/preferably the opinion of new members?
Yeah, there are some people whose reviews I'll rate every day, to be honest there are so many of them (about 50 a day at least!) I struggle to read many new reviews from the list!
Q8. Do you write your opinions in one sitting?
I'll try and read new reviews in the morning and then write a couple depending on what my daughter's up to!
Q9. Do you use a spell check?
Only because I usually write in Word now after hitting the delete key once on the last sentance of a review which was over 1000 words long and going back a page - and losing the whole review.. Wasn't happy!!
Q10. Do you think you can improve your chances of a crown if you suck up to a guide?
Erm, a crown is nice but there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of consistency to awarding a crown, some people seem to get every review crowned where as other really good ones aren't.. I'm more pleased by a lot of good ratings!
Q11. Are you a member of a forum or chat room?
Q12. Does it get to you when members praise or condemn you?
Praise is always nice, one review I did recently was just my thoughts and opinions on something and most people rated it highly, a couple rated it really low.. Hey ho..
Q13. What did you do with your spare time before joining Dooyoo?
Read - although I dont seem to have spare time as such with a young baby anyway!
Q14. What do you wish for the future?
A happy and healthy family - and maybe another baby in a few years time!
Marmite - you either love it or hate it! I am firmly in the love-it camp!
Marmite was first developed over 100 years ago in 1902 and the product has changed little in that time - brewers yeast is broken down, concentrated and filtered and then vitamin, vegetable and spice extracts are added to make the final product!
Marmite was even included in soldier's ration packs in the 1st World War and was used in POW camps in the 2nd World War due to the content of B vitamins! In fact it was even sent to troops in Kosovo in 1999 to boost their morale with a taste of home!
It comes in 125g jars (£1.12), 250g jar (£2.00) and a 500g jar (£3.80). You can also get squeezy jars (200g at £2.39) and even marmite with champagne! (250g jar for £3.00)
I really craved this while in early pregnancy and found it really helped my morning sickness. I love it on toast (spread quite thinly) and also with cheese odly enough in a sandwich or spread on toast under cheese when making cheese on toast!
A jar lasts 18 months when open. Serving suggestion size is 4g for adults and 2g for children, I would imagine this is due to the salt content. It shouldnt be given to a baby under 1!
A 4g portion provides
Since having our daughter we wanted somewhere we could put her photos on line that would be able to be accessed by all our family, god-parents and friends! Initially I thought of using photobox but photobucket has a lovely advantage compared to photobox in that I can put videos on there, something I am unable to do with photobox! The albums can be made either public or private - if you make it private then you either have the option of making the main album private (which will automatically make each sub album private) or you can just make individual subalbums private. This way the subalbum(s) you've made private will not appear in the list of subalbums on the left and can only be accessed by others if they have the url of that album and the password. It does mean however that you'll need to send the address of each new album round, the advantage of making the whole album private is that people can automatically see when a new album is added so it saves you sending links round and wondering whether the link is appreciated! I only realised about making the main album private recently instead of just the subalbums, would have saved a lot of time if I'd realised this before! It is easy to post up pictures on forums too - there are lots of codes by each photo, Email & IM, Direct Link, HTML code and IMG code (use the IMG code for posting in forums!). The last one is great for posting photos without linking to the album itself! You can't do this with photobox.
As with photobox you can order mugs, photobooks, photos etc but the prices are in dollars, I havent tried this therefore as I guess the shipping wouldnt really make it viable in terms of cost!
On the whole I'm really pleased with this site, certainly both our parents really appreciate it as they can look at the albums every few days and see new photos and videos as theyre added, this way they can really keep in touch with how our aughter's growing and not feel theyre missing out as much for not being able to see her every week! Plus, as an added bonus, as much as we back up our laptop regularly, it's great knowing we have all her baby photos online incase something went wrong with our laptop!
Whether to have an abortion or not must be one of the hardest decisions a women can ever make and not one that she should be judged on.. When I did my nuring training I had to do a placement on a gynae ward and, therefore, had to care for women undergoing this procedure. I can remember the (very scary!) senior ward sister sitting us down and telling us that under no circumstances should our views affect our care. This is a sentiment that I have carried through both my nursing and midwifery career - that what ever my views are, it is not my job to impart these to women I care for but to support them. These women are making the hardest decision of their lives and they dont need me judging them or telling them I dont agree with abortion - I've formed my beliefs on what would be best for me and I have no right to enforce that on anyone else!
For the record though, I always strongly liked to think that I wouldn't ever have an abortion and this was born out with some unplanned pregnancies (despite best efforts!) - miscarriage was bad enough to go through, let alone an abortion.. Especially now I've gone on to have our daughter I couldn't abort a baby - but that's me and that might not be right for everyone.
Certainly I think the limit should be lowered but, one thing I have noticed, that to find 2 doctors who would agree to a late abortion - well, you'd have to have a pretty good reason.. Most doctors I've met are reluctant to carry out abortions beyond 12-14 weeks and I think this is right.
I am trying to lose weight after having a baby 3 months ago and so dont buy crisps any more.. However, if we are watching a dvd then I do still like to have some popcorn so we usually buy a couple of bags of the snack a jacks popcorn as it's healthier than more conventional popcorn which is covered in oil!
I normally buy the lightly salted one for me and the butter toffee one for my husband but I was in a hurry in the supermarket and picked up the salt and vinegar one by mistake!
Now I love salt and vinegar crisps so thought that it would be interesting to see whether it worked on popcorn too! First thing I noticed when opening the bag was the overwhelming smell of vinegar.. On crisps this would have been just fine (good in fact!) but on popcorn it just smelt wrong.. Likewise when tasting it, the vinegar just didn't go in my opinion - maybe there's a healthy dose of social conditioning for you but vinegar on popcorn is just wrong!!
I actually didn't finish the bag, after I'd had a few pieces of popcorn I threw them away! The popcorn itself is really light and there aren't too many of the popcorn kernels left in the bag that you find with some brands.. The other flavours of this popcorn are lovely - but this one lets them down somewhat!
0.8g fat (of which 0.1g saturates)
These will cost you £0.47 a pack (on average) but are on offer for 3 for £1 at the moment in Tesco!
Being very keen on the idea of co-sharing but a little apprehensive initially about having our baby sleep in our bed, this seemed the perfect solution! The cot allows you to have the baby right beside you at night and, with the fact that one of the sides is dropped right down, the cot essentially becomes an extension of your bed! This means that breastfeeding at night is much easier - you merely have to slide the baby across to you to feed and then slide back into the cot when she's finished! There is also a lovely element to using this this type of cot in that it further facilitates bonding - I must admit I loved having her within easy reach!
The cot is made from solid natural beech wood and looks a beautiful piece of furniture, it has slatted bars going down each side and an attractive curved rail along each end. It is a very solid looking cot - something which is appreciated when you consider the length of time the baby could be in it! As I mentioned before, one of the wide sides drops down entirely and folds away under the bottom of the cot. It can be slid easily into place if you wanted to use to cot in a conventional way for somewhere for the baby to sleep in the day - although we haven't ever done this ourselves! Cosatto do strongly recommend that your baby is never left unattended in the cot with the dropside down - but this seems basic common sense to me!
The cot measures 125cm x 67cm x 102cm and takes a standard 120 x 60cm cot mattress. The cot doesn't come with a mattress, this needs to be ordered seperately. There are 6 different height positions that the base can be adjusted to so that the cot fits level with your mattress and also for when it's being used as a standard cot! There are also safety teething rails to protect both the baby's mouth - and the cot (!) from harm when your baby is teething!
Overall we have been very pleased with this cot. There is only one small downside that I can think of in that the plastic attatchments in the locking mechanism for the dropside are dreadfully sharp and I had a huge scratch down my leg where I caught it one day while trying to settle our daughter in her cot.
The price for this cot varies hugely on line - I found it for £160 but saw it on some other websites for as much as £240, so it really is worth looking around! Comparitively, this bedside cot is somewhat cheaper than other cots but it looks so much more substantial, we do honestly feel we have got great value for money with it!
That said, our cot now is only really somewhere our baby lays in for maybe 10 minutes in the morning while watching her rainforest peek-a-boo soother (see review I have written for information about this, it's great!) as we have gone back to co-sharing since she started trying to wriggle over to find me for a feed but would get stuck in the area between the two mattresses which I had stuffed with blankets! We have found it very difficult to get the two mattresses completely flush and while this wasn't a problem initially, since she has started to wriggle to find me in the night it is safer really to have her in with us. I dont know if the mattress alignment is more a quirk of our bed or a general problem with the cot, I would imagine the former as a few friends of mine have used bedside cots with their children and have never had this problem. We weren't prepared to spend too many nights solving the problem (we tried for one night and she still tried to wriggle to us and got stuck again) so we decided she obviously wanted to be in with us and in she came! I must admit though I do strongly feel that this is a quirk with our baby, I would without hesitation use this type of cot with another baby!
We always have a packet of the regular Mcvities Digestive biscuits in our house! Although I was never really keen on them as a child (I found them rather dull!), I do rather like them now! However, now I'm trying to lose weight following the recent birth of our daughter I decided to try the Light version of these biscuits!
McVities Digestive are perhaps the most commonly known of digestive biscuit and, in my opinion, they are the best too! Created over 100 years ago by Alexander Grant, the large amount of baking soda added formed the basis of the name Digestive due to it helping with the digestion of food!
They are a very versatile biscuit - being good either on their own with a cuppa or, as I prefer eating them, served with some sliced apple and cheese for a quick snack! A good, crisp apple such as a Pink Lady and a good stinky cheddar do go very well with this biscuit! In fact, it is is almost better than most crackers in that respect! However, how do they measure up to traditional digestives? Not so well actually.. They are round, approximately 7cm across and 0.5cm thick, roughly the same as the standard version but slightly thinner. They have a soft wheaty smell but while the standard biscuit has a crumbly texture, the light version is very dry and lacking in flavour. In fact, it's so dry it just disintegrates into dust when you bite into it.. The packaging is similar to the standard Digestive but with a light blue band across the top and the world "Light" above the picture of the biscuits!
A 400g packet would cost around £0.97 from Tesco which makes them more expensive than the standard version which sells at the same price but for a 500g packet.
Each biscuit contains
There is therefore 25% less fat in these biscuits but not many less calories. There is slightly more sugar. In 2004 McVities reduced the amount of salt in their Digestive biscuits to 0.3g per biscuit (well within the recommended 6g maximum per day) and also there is no hydrogenated vegetable oil in their biscuits either! To be honest, for the few extra calories the standard Digestive wins hands down! Given the Digestive remain Mcvities biggest seller to date I'll stick with the original in future!!
Baked beans! Everyone loves these, they're a great source of protein and very versatile too!
We changed over to Tesco organic baked beans from Heinz organic while trying to reduce our shopping bill as a result of me being on maternity leave. I must admit I actually prefer these beans much more! The can is a standard 420g size and has the usual organic black label with Tesco organic written on it, a tree being present in the O of organic! There is also a picture of a jacket potato with some baked beans on top.
On opening the can, a nice beany smell comes out - some baked beans smell really sweet but these ones don't, something to bear in mind if you're trying to keep your sugar intake down! The beans are a good size and are nice and soft too without being mushy! The sauce is, as you would expect, a tomato flavour and it's nice and thick. We probably eat baked beans a few times a week - whether with a jacket potato for lunch or on toast or to go with bangers and mash for supper, there are lots of uses for this food! With it being classed as a "low G-I" food, baked beans will also keep you feeling full for longer as they release their sugars slowly - leaving you less likely to be reaching for a snack soon after a meal!
Baked beans can either be heated gently on a stove in 4-5 minutes (stir frequently to stop them catching on the bottom!) or, as we do, in a microwave in 2 minutes! Any beans not cooked (so if you only use half the can) should be stored in a suitable covered container (not the can) in the fridge and eaten within 2 days.
The following nutritional information has been taken from the Tesco website. A serving counts as half a can! It is worth noting that a whole can gives you half of your maximum recommended salt intake for the day so if you eat other foods high in salt you may want to look at low salt alternatives for your baked beans!
The can is also able to be recycled along with the rest of your green waste!
Price 45p for a 420g can
Pennywell Farm is in Devon, near Buckfastleigh (between Exeter and Plymouth! We visited there yesterday to take our 3 month old daughter on her first trip there!
The farm has the slogan "Devon's friendliest day out" and this was certainly borne out - from the friendliness of the staff at the entrance right the way through to the animal handlers and the staff in the cafes, everyone seemed to be really happy in their work and chatting to the public!
The farm has a wide variety of animals - horses, ponies, donkeys, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, ferrets, turkeys, ducks, hedgehogs, alpacas, rabbits, guinea pigs, geese, chinchillas and deer; many of these can be fed with food purchased at the entrance (£1 for a cup - quite a big cup and goes a long way!) and, if they cant be fed, they can still be stroked or at least got up close to if your child is a little unsure!
There is a wide variety of activities through out the day (listen for the cuckoo, followed by an announcement detailing the next activity!). These start at 10 am and run every 30 minutes, they were the following
10.00 - Meet the Pennywell farmer
10.30 - Egg collecting
11.00 - Goat kid feeding
11.30 - Deer feeding
12.00 - Meet the hedgehogs
12.30 - Piggy cuddles
13.00 - Falconry display (well worth watching!)
13.30 - Goat milking and dairy demonstration (kids (and big kids!) can have a go too!)
14.00 - Pond dipping
14.30 - Falconry display
15.00 - Ferret racing
15.30 - Goat kid feeding
16.00 - Round up (help take all the animals back to their fields for overnight!)
16.30 - Calf feeding
17.00 - Lights out Z Z Z z z z
These events happen in different places across the farm, the ones we went to were in the Theatre! There are also Pony rides (fee payable), Run Rabbit Go Karts (8+), Farmer Quads (6+) and Rainbow Railway Rides!
There are quite a lot of different play areas around the farm too - including an adventure assault course by the main cafe which looked huge amounts of fun and seemed to be greatly appreciated by the parents of children who were running off lots of energy on this while they could relax over a leisurely lunch!
A variety of different cafes will keep you well fed and watered and there are plenty of seating areas if you bring your own picnic! Henny Penny's cafe serves lunch, the Coffee Cabin serves coffee, icecreams and muffins and, in high season, the Piglet's take away serves Devonshire Icecreams!
If it rains while you're there then a good amount of it is under cover - even if that is just the extended eves of the pens of the ponies/alpacas or whether it's inside one of the many barns!
The farm, as you would expect, is very child friendly but with an extra touch - every child wears a name sticker which is given to them at the entrance, this has both their name and the childs' age. If a child goes missing (as indeed did happen while we were there) then an announcement is put out over the tannoy every couple of minutes detailing that a child is missing, giving name and age and where to take the child to if found.. The exits are also shut at this point too and no one is allowed to leave the farm until the child is found - a reassuring point for the parents no doubt!
Admission prices are £9.65 for an adult and £7.65 for a child (3-16). Under 3s are free! If you wanted to buy a season ticket (which we definitely do once our daughter is old enough to appreciate it!) then an adult is £42.50, a child £32.50 and a family (2 adults and 2 children) is £135.00. All tickets can be bought on line! On the sheet given to you when you arrive (with all the activities on) is a Pennywell Certificate, if this is stamped with 6 different activity stamps then that named child can return for free when accompanied by a full paying adult! I honestly think children would love to return here too, with such a variety of thing for them to do it would be an exciting day out whether it was the first or the tenth trip there that school holiday!
The farm is open from February through to the beginning of November and again at Christmas time, with a Nativity play with a cast of many animals and a visit to Father Christmas, it would be a wonderful day out for a child!
The website is great and gives a lot of information - http://www.pennywellfarm.co.uk/ and tickets can be bought on line too!