Appy Kids Company Juice Review and Competition. 


See all this in the picture above? It could be yours but we will get to that later.

You may ( or may not) know that I have a munchkin, and I may have commented on the fact she loves Peppa pig and Paw Patrol once or twice.  I know I’m not on my own, most children go through a Peppa stage I think.

Anyway the lovely people over at Appy Kids Co contacted us asking if we would like to try these juices, not only that we have collaborated to offer you all the chance to try them to. If you hadn’t guessed already Appy Kids sell licensed character juice drinks, which are made with natural ingredients and in ranges such as Peppa, The Gruffalo, Minions and Paw Patrol.


We had the Orange Paw Patrol pouches and mixed berry Peppa cartons to try. They are all much lower in sugar, (see Here for typical ingredients list) suitable for most diets and contain added vitamins as well.  I was happy for LR to try these, I’m always conscious of sugar content, in terms of teeth health and diet but 3.75g per 100 MLS is around about what these drinks are, which is so much better than some on the market- it’s a win for mums, and kids alike.

So how to they taste? Im Pleased to say LR liked both, her favourite is Paw Patrol ( I suspect Chase on the front has something to do with it). Mind you she drank both and has gone back for more on different days. I take this as a positive- wild horses would not make her eat or drink something she doesn’t like. Her only criticism was that Rubble was missing from the front of the carton, but taste wise it’s all good. 

For research obviously I had a few sips to. Both are very tasty and refreshing. I like the fact they don’t leave that horrid artificial after taste in your mouth.  They don’t cause a sugar rush after either, so that alone is a thumb up from me. Perfect for the back to school lunch boxes.  ( yeah I know 5 wks- you’ve got this).

So how can you get your hands on this great prize of:

  • 3 x 5-pack of Paw Patrol Juice Drink Pouches
  • 3 x 3-pack of Peppa Pig Fruit Drink Cartons
  • 1 x Peppa Pig 9in1 Bumper Puzzle Pack by JUMBO GAMES

That is easy just follow the instructions in the box below ( just click the link) 

Winner will be drawn at random next week. Good luck to you all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How Does Your Garden Grow? 

At the beginning of 2017 I set myself some goals. Amongst other things expanding my vegetable plot/ gardening skills were one of those goals. So how am I getting on I can hear you asking? 

I’ve fended off comments from friends and family that I won’t do it. For the record I’m now called Percy ( Thrower) my comeback is I’m  too young to remember him- ha so there. I’m still shoe and fashion obsessed but I’ve added pretty wellies into the mix, and instead of heat magazine ( cause I no longer care about what Posh Spice is up to) I’ve been known to but Grow Your Own or Kitchen Garden magazines.  Anyway I’ve digressed a tiny bit. 

Well the chickens arrived in 2013 and the numbers have grown ever since ( we are up to 13 and due to get some more soon). They are free range which means I don’t have a slug or snail problem but I’m often faced with this. Nutella ( named by my daughter) has a bare patch, she is the lowest in the pecking order, we built her a new home next to the others, she’s much happier, and her feathers are really growing back, which is more than can be said for my lettuce which they got into and ate……

  
This actually shows phase 2 of our vegetable growing. It’s taken 2 yrs to get to this point as this area was so so over grown when we moved in. The soil is clay ( get me ) and we are working hard to improve the quality and texture of the ground. My compost bin is starting to work well, and I believe that mushroom compost over the autumn/ winter months may help. I’m still facing an ongoing weed problem, which I know I could use weed killer for, but we are trying to do without. 

So my growing aspirations this year are

  • Potatoes
  • Broad beans and Runner Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Garlics ( growing very well if I do say so myself) 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Radish 
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Courgettes

It looks like nothing, but im proud of this cabbage

Fruit wise we have: 

  • Apple trees
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants 
  • Blackberries ( brambles) 
  • Raspberries 

 

My Favourite Apple Tree

 
I cannot wait for the efforts of my labour to start paying off, I have so many recipies that I want to create with the home grown produce. You see what I’ve done there? In true free from foodie style, the home grown things are free from pesticides etc, and the recipes will be gluten, nut, dairy free as per usual. I thought you guys might like to see other aspects of my life ( possibly?) .

So I’m hoping to incororate regular posts of how I’m getting on, with my mini side kick obviously. Gardening with a three yr old does add another great dimension to the mix, but hey that’s all part of the fun of it. 

Any grow your own tips? Or pictures? Let me know in the comments below. 

  

Happy International Women’s Day. 

  
So today marks International  Women’s Day with the theme Be Bold For Change. I like this, I like it a lot. The message talks sense, sometimes we need that little bit of courage to make a change, no matter how big or small it is. 

  It got me thinking what have I done to make those changes. And I thought you- my readers might like to get to know “Me” a little bit more. Well I gave up a good job in retail ( store manager of a large shoe shop- and I love shoes) to do a 5 year degree in osteopathy, that was hard but it enabled me to achieve my dream of helping people and starting my own business. 

In 2013 mini me came into the world, and she is wonderful, and feisty and independent which are qualities that I’d hate for her to lose, but if I’m honest can be a pain in the bum as a 3 year old.  However for me personally, as soon as she was born we realised the responsibility we had to give her a good childhood and help her become the person she will become in adult hood- never let any one say it’s easy, it’s the hardest, most rewarding thing I’m doing at the moment. 

  So it brings me on to this year, my blog will be 2. I was told the other day by some followers how I’ve helped and inspired them- little me.  In my head I’m no one and nothing special, I had a normal upbringing, and I’d like to say I’m a fairly well adjusted individual so  I’m humbled that what I’m writing on my tiny space on the Internet can be helping someone who is on or starting a similar journey to us so thank you to you all. 

  I think that for me this year my bold thing is to start thinking more of myself.  I’ll be kicking the crappy guilt fairy out of my head ( warning to parents she sticks her ore in a fair bit if you let her) and thinking more along the “I can and I will” approach. 

Back to International Women’s Day, I think we all need to have dreams, and ideas and realise we all have the potential to make them happen. Come on ladies we’ve got this. 

Happy New Year

Well hopefully you have woken up fresh as a daisy on this New Year’s Day, if not ease yourself in gently and I hope the hangover subsides quickly. 

  
I’d just like to take the time to wish you all a Happy New Year.  I’d like to thank all my lovely followers for their support and positive words over the last year, I’m very humbled.  This little blog is growing I’m popularity and it fills me with joy that it might be helping others in similar situations as ourselves. 

This year little one will start school ( something I’m dreading if I’m honest – from an allergy perspective anyway) so expect some posts on how we get on. In fairness I’m sure mini me will love it, she seems to take everything in her stride. 

In other news there is the Allergy Blog Awards ceremony in February which we are looking forward to. You never know we may ever win an award ( there’s a sentence I never thought I’d be typing).  All exciting I’ll keep you posted on how my posh frock hunting is going. 

There will be more recipes posted this year to, and as part of resolution I’m hoping to dedicate a bit more time to creating more ideas and dishes to share with you all.  

So there you have it, a quick post I know but I wish you all the best for 2017, I hope it brings you all lots of laughs, love and success. X 

Allergy Friendly Cupcakes 

Welcome one and all ( old English christmas speak ) to Blogmas day five. I hope the new week brings you some more festive cheer, me on the other hand have a beauty of a cold and a three year old to entertain. It wasn’t fairing too well but we hit on a winner with baking cupcakes. 

They are easy to make and if your kids are like mine then the decorating will keep them entertained for a bit, then you get another 5-10 minutes for eating their creations – result. I take no credit for the recipe either, it’s adapted from your traditional sponge recipe just made allergy friendly. 

I’ll reiterate that mini me did a lot of the decorating, but to add on a more serious note Waitrose Christmas cake decorations are largely free of gluten, nuts and soya. B&M have gluten free cupcake toppers to. 

  

Ingredients 

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter ( or dairy free alternative) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream together butter and sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time. 
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Sift in flour and stir until well combined. 
  • Put in cupcake cakes and bake in the oven until well risen and firm to touch. (15 minutes roughly) 
  • Cool on a wire rack and decorate to your hearts content. 

After all that hard work, have a well earned 5 minutes eating one of these creations until your kids utter the dreaded words “I’m bored!!!” 

That’s it from me for now. Have a great evening and I’ll be back tomorrow x 

Naturelly Competition


You may all remember that I’m a big fan of these little lovelies.  I say me, but mini me really loves her juice drinks.  You can read our review of them Here. They are gluten, dairy and nut free, and only 36 calories. Perfect for an on the go drink.  

Anyway the big news is that Naturelly are winners- this clever product won Best Toddler Snack at the Loved By Parents awards.  They have also gone on sale this year in Boots.

To celebrate this, and to give all our lovely followers a chance to try this for yourselves, I have teamed up with Naturelly to give one lucky winner a months supply of Naturelly Juice drinks. Fear not 10 runners up will also win 10 vouchers to be used in Boots for free ( yes free) Naturelly pouches. Not bad hey?

To enter just click Here

The Great British Food Festival 

This weekend just passed saw another Great British food festival at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.  Having been in previous years we naturally decided to go again. It’s a great location, and affordable entrance with lots to do for the whole family. 

  
  Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, and decided to pour it down, so it was wellies and umbrellas instead of summer flip flops, but in true British style we enjoyed the downpours, and nothing stopped my little one wanting to ride on the teacups. There was a great mixture of stalls and I was impressed to see more allergies being catered for. Shock of all shocks I even found a couple of nut free products to. ( I know  amazing right?) 

The first is Briscoes Jellies – delicious jellies that are Apple based and then flavoured. My particular favourites were the mint and lavender jellies. They are all gluten, dairy free and nut free, they are also made in a nut/peanut free environment, so one to watch. 

My other favourite is preserves and chutneys from Mike’s Homemade the jalapeño and chilli jam is both amazing in its hot, sweet taste and gluten free as well. It’s great with a good cheddar. 

And lastly if you are a gin lover ( really who isn’t? ) then Masons Yorkshire Gin’s lavender gin is amazing, you really get then unusual combination of the lavender with the juniper berries, and by gosh it works. 

  
There were a great aray of stalls and a craft marque to boot. Also a children’s circus area which little one loved, and if the weather was better would have been 10/10. Let’s not forget the beautiful grounds of Ragley hall that you could wonder around as well as a children’s adventure playground in the woods. 

And last but by no means least you could be brave and take on a man vs food challenge, watch cookery demonstrations or enter a cake into a bake off competition. Sadly time was against me and I didn’t do an entry, but there’s always next year. 

All in all a great day out, I fully recommend it if your are planning you food festival visits for next year. 

Well that’s me done for now, I’m off the the BBC good food show this week, so will keep you posted about new finds I discover when I’m there. 

New Product Review -Naturelly Jelly Drink

  

  Parents behold, there is a new product in town , and it doesn’t disappoint. This is Naturelly jelly juice. The lovely people at Naturelly were kind enough to send me ( well mini me) some samples, so what follows is our thoughts. 

Naturelly is a jelly juice/ snack made from natural fruit juice And jelly made from a  dietary fibre called Gellan gum. This means its gelatine free and been approved by the vegetarian society and coeliac uk.   As a mum to a toddler with allergies I can see these being great for picnics, lunch boxes and days out as they are easily portable, great out the fridge and have a screw top to save for later. 

They are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and only 7.2g of sugar per pouch. For us ( and I’m sure many others) I see this a huge positives. For the record I also think the packaging is fun, colourful and appealing to all, but enough of my ramblings I hear you say- what about the taste? 

Well for that I pass you over to mini me. ( stand by your beds what follows is inspired). 

  
Following a horrid week of nut reactions and a bad virus mini me was having diva strops to make even Naomi proud. The sight of this new product stopped her mid squark. She eagerly waited for the cap to be removed and took a sip- then like lightening shot off with it in her hands. The verdict – “mummy it’s yummy” ( I told you inspired).  Even more impressive was she went back for seconds later and we had no mouthy ham inspired “yuck” at all. 

My verdict is its a winner. All 3 flavours have been a hit they are 

  • Apple and Blackcurrant 
  • Totally Tropical
  • Summer Fruits.

I confess I tried some to, the texture is half juice, half jelly and the flavours are true to what they are representing. I also liked the fact you don’t get that horrid artificial sweetner aftertaste that feels like it’s coating your teeth. All in all a great new product that I’m sure will become a lunch box regular. 

If you want to buy Naturelly you can do so by clicking Here 

Disclaimer: This product was sent free of charge. All views and opinions are my own, honest thoughts. 

Happy New Year 

As I sit here writing this, I’m sure a few of you are nursing sore heads, and swearing never to drink again. I have a toddler so we stayed in and had friends over so I’m raising a glass of bubbly now to the new year.

2015 was, for many reasons, probably one of my worst to date! I lost 8 weeks over late spring with my father being very ill and my daughters’ allergies coming to a head. It’s been a year of learning and adjustments. Learning about living with food allergies and letting little one have a normal childhood seemed daunting but wasn’t that bad. In fairness it helped a lot me being coeliac and my partner is a type 1 diabetic. I find its other people that make big deals about her allergies, I have to admit I wish they wouldn’t as I really do not want her getting a complex over her diet.

I love a new challenge, hence this blog. My friends will all tell you I’m not that techy but I decided to challenge myself with starting a blog- best idea I had for a while. The blogging community is great, I’ve gained followers and friends. My confidence is growing as to are my posts and style, all things I never really thought I’d even like doing.

So what are my plans for 2016….. Well to grow my blog further, experiment with new ideas and recipes. Get married to my best friend (October incase you were wondering) and have more fun everyday with my crazy little monkey (averting the odd diva strop as we go).   So Happy New year, I hope you all have a great one.

Nut Allergies  – The Story So Far 

 

It’s been a few months now since we discovered our daughter has a serious allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and my little girl since then as well. That fateful Saturday when she nibbled on the corner of my peanut butter on toast will haunt me for while, it’s frightening seeing your loved one swelling up in front of you, and even harder to convey a calming manor when inside you’re panicking. A start of an attack can be your child complaining that their mouth feels funny or itchy. L goes blotchy and her lips start to swell. At this point call for an ambulance. Be aware children can also have a second reaction after  a couple of hours.

What amazes me with children is how resilient they are. L took everything in her stride, although we are having a few confidence issues with her around tall,loud men as she thinks they are after more bloods. Like all things with kids- it’s a phase and it will pass. I should add this is getting better, her new trick is to do a slow  motion bottom lip quiver to make whoever it  is trying to carry any test feel terrible -it works.

Like all children L has her fav toys – Dog Dog (a foul smelling, now very ratty looking toy collie) and her medical kit came for a ride in the ambulance. It kept her calmer and helped with the hospital stay.  Holding your child while they take bloods is no walk in the park either, but frozen ( or what ever your child is into) on an iPad really helped.  Within a couple of days she was home and the fun really started. Between you and me I think she was wearing people out just looking at her, when normal service resumes she has endless energy. I personally find that a G&T works wonders ( for me, not her)

  • I have quickly learnt that nut warnings on food labels are everywhere, you need to read everything and some brands are better than others Marks and Spencer are very clear, as to are Ocado.  The” May contain nuts” are the most annoying, but some factories clean machines with peanut oil, or nuts are on the same production line so the are best adhered to.  With a toddler you have to develop a knack of reading labels whilst preventing them from tripping up old ladies, or calling random men “Daddy” but it gets easier, and online shopping is a god send.
  • You will eventually get annoyed when people tell you “she will grow out of it” often  not the case with peanut allergies. The doctors said to expect it to be life long.
  • I have already started teaching my little one not to accept food from others, this will get easier as she gets older, and schools etc are all well informed, but this can be a cause of a reaction if people don’t realise.
  • You feel guilty a lot, I mean this is normal as a parent but I’ve since spent many an hour wondering if I could have prevented her allergies, I’m good with this now, now I’m just back to usual parent guilt such as letting her play on the CBeebies app ( it helps in doctors).
  • You just have to do a bit more homework such as cooking from scratch, there’s no need for suffers to go without, that’s partly why I started this blog, to share ideas and recipes and hope it makes someone’s life that tiny bit easier.
  • A word of advice NEVER say to a parent or allergy sufferer ” I couldn’t live without…. Poor thing”  erm you could if said item could kill you.
  • Teach your child the restriction is to their diet, but not their life.  My daughter is a happy healthy little girl, she throws diva strops in the supermarket, she loves frozen and Peppa pig ( I can’t stand the mouthy ham but that’s another story). Nothing is different from any other two year old apart from her diet
  • Twitter is great, there is a brilliant allergy community for advice, help, research and just about anything else really.

I hope my ramblings help, either by letting other parents know they aren’t alone or for friends/ family or strangers as an insight into dealing with allergic reactions.

If you have any more tips, hints or want to say hello then leave a comment below. TTFN.