What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

The Collective SuckiesIt’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands.

Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long?

Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: I’ve gone over to the elastic side

Week 25Week: 25

Waist: 38 inches (+ 2 whole inches!!)

Feeling: Properly pregnant owing to new ‘over the bump’ jeans

My plan to make do with low-rise jeans for the duration of the pregnancy has been thwarted: the button on my Levi’s simply won’t stretch any further and, not wanting to ruin them, I’ve gone over to the elastic side. I’m talking full-on maternity jeans with an ‘over the bump’ elastic panel (below – I’ll spare you a picture of me actually in them – it’s not a pretty sight). Misery Guts laughed out loud when he saw them and I can’t say I blame him.

JoJo Maman Bebe maternity jeans

They weren’t what I intended to buy at all. I intended to find a non-maternity pair that simply fitted, but when the sales assistant in JoJo Maman Bebe enthusiastically encouraged me to try them on I was too polite to refuse.

Oh. Lordy. They are sooo comfortable I was instantly converted. I knew as soon as I pulled them up and before I looked in the mirror I had to have them – I didn’t care what they looked like. Like my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder maternity bra, which also isn’t a pretty sight. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Miscarriage, Parenting, Pregnancy, Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my story, Reviews | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Would you have a ‘Viking baby’?

Viking babiesHow far would you go to have your ‘perfect’ baby? Apparently more and more Brits are turning to Danish sperm banks because they’d like ‘Viking babies’ with blonde hair, blue eyes and a strapping build.

Online sales at one of the largest sperm banks in Denmark are up a massive 20%, with wannabe mums getting the stuff Fed-Exed to the UK with next day delivery. One can’t help but wonder if so-called ‘Nordic noir’ TV shows such as Borgen are to blame – I’m thinking actor Pilou Asbaek (although is he actually blonde?)

My curiosity piqued, and with my journalist hat on, I decided to try and find a mum who specifically sought out a Danish sperm donor to find out why she did it. I came across Jessica McCallin (pictured), who single and approaching 40 realised she was facing a now-or-never moment in life. Continue reading

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Shock horror: I’m running in pregnancy

Running in pregnancyWeek: 24
Waist: 36 inches (no change)
Feeling: Pretty good

Dare I admit it? I’ve been running throughout my entire pregnancy and with the sixth month almost upon us I’m still clocking up around 12 miles a week. It’s now clear I have a baby on board (pictured) and it’s amazing how many people I’ve been running past since we moved here 18 months ago have suddenly started smiling and saying hello. Which is heartening.

When I was expecting BB and carried on donning my trainers it wasn’t long before I discovered people seem to view pregnancy as some sort of illness, requiring one to sit on the sofa and eat crisps for nine months. I also discovered – and became increasingly infuriated by – people who dished out their advice on the subject despite having no medical knowledge whatsoever.

‘I’m not ill, I’m pregnant’ I would find myself saying over and over again. Having run six to nine miles at least twice a week for more than 10 years, there was no question in my mind that hanging up my trainers in favour of the sofa would be more of a shock to my system than continuing to pound the pavements. Every pregnancy book you find will tell you – assuming your blood pressure is ok – to continue your normal levels of activity as far as possible. What’s more, I love it. Why would I stop? Continue reading

Posted in Exercise, Family life, Health, Miscarriage, Parenting, Pregnancy, Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my story | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

‘Don’t worry, you can’t catch anything from the pool’

Council paddling poolsLiving in a fourth floor flat and with the temperature rising we’ve been spending increasing amounts of time at our local public cess paddling pool (pictured – the goggles never fail to make me laugh).

BB loves it – she splashes, she wades, she orders me to clap while does laps around the perimeter in the shallows and she fills up her watering can to ‘water’ my feet.

As she approaches three this is the first summer we’ve used the pool on a daily and weekly basis, and as the water trickles from the watering can over my toes I can’t help but wonder what’s actually in the stuff.

It’s probably best not to think about it. Being on the seafront, as we are, I know the first visitors of the day are seagulls who happily splash and preen their feathers. Then there’s a constant stream of pre-schoolers up until 3 o’clock, after which they’re joined by the bigger kids too. Continue reading

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Perhaps ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ simply wants to be a wife and mother

Licking a Kenwood KIf you could have two kitchens, a fully staffed and automatically stocked one with catering standard equipment and a ‘private’ one for when you fancy preparing a meal in bare feet without a professional chef peering over your shoulder, would you?

I ask because I’m becoming increasingly incensed by reports of ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ at 1a Kensington Palace. Apparently the Cambridge’s have put in an all-singing all-dancing kitchen, which presumably palace protocol dictates they have, and which  ‘scandalously’ cost £170,000 of taxpayers’ money (don’t get me started: it’s generally agreed the monarchy bring in as much tourist revenue as they cost, an industry which supports one in 12 jobs. And I bet the Cambridge’s are responsible for a large stake in that. Of course the methodology varies, but their wedding was said to boost London’s economy by £107m while the birth of Prince George boosted consumer spending by $383m according to Britain’s Centre for Retail Research) plus a smaller one for ‘Kate’s’ – why oh why does such sexism still wheedle its way into the British media? – own personal use.

I don’t blame her. What if she fancies making Prince George’s tea herself, and actually wants to be the one to scrape the peas off the wall and floor afterwards? Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week 23Week: 23

Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory)

Feeling: Chickeny

I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil).

I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) Continue reading

Posted in Family life, Food, Health, Miscarriage, Parenting, Pregnancy, Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my story, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments