Keep your kids warm and help refugees with Smalls’ National Woolly Vest Week

If you haven’t yet discovered the miracle of merino base layers, then chances are you haven’t discovered the miracle of being able to send your kids out in all weathers without complaint.

Merino wool is not only lightweight and gentle on the skin, but it regulates body temperature and allows skin to breathe – meaning toasty warm kids in the Winter, but as they don’t sweat, you don’t need to wash merino items as frequently.

Smalls – makers of wonderful merino base layers for little ones – have teamed up with High Wycombe Helping Others to create National Woolly Vest Week (23-29th Jan) encouraging parents to wrap up kids and help others.

For every two vests purchased from Smalls, they will donate a free one to refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Greece.

Emma-Jane Adam, Co-Founder of Smalls explains, This is one of the coldest times of the year in the UK and we believe that it’s really important to wrap our kids up warm so they can focus on important things like having fun. As we all know, there are unfortunately millions of children around the world, particularly refugees, who simply don’t have the same luxuries that we take for granted everyday. We therefore really wanted to support High Wycombe Helping Others this National Woolly Vest Week because of the amazing, valuable work that they’re doing to help refugees around the world”.

Find out more at Love My Smalls.

Super Yummies add to their breadstick range…

Super Yummies, the toddler range from Cow & Gate have added a new flavour to their mini-bite-sized breadsticks. Pumpkin and Rosemary now joins the existing Spinach and Tomato and Herb varieties.

Our office little ones couldn’t keep their mitts of them – they scoffed a whole packet in one go – but as they are high in fibre and were created by nutritionists, we could hardly tell them off…

Available now from Asda, Superdrug, Boots, Tescos and Sainsbury’s. More info online. 

Cooking with Kids: Valentine’s Biscuits by Piccolo

Need to feel some love in the kitchen? Get the little ones baking up hearts with this recipe, created  by Alice Fotheringham, the Infant Nutrition Expert at organic baby food brand Piccolo

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter
60g (3oz) caster sugar
60g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
80g dried cranberries, chopped
60g white chocolate chips plus 60g white chocolate for drizzling

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
  2. Cream together the butter and both types of sugar, then break in the egg, add the vanilla essence and mix well together.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the creamed mixture until a dough forms. Lastly stir in the cranberries and chocolate into the dough.
  4. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for half an hour to an hour. Flour a surface and roll out the dough until it is around 1 ½ cm thick (if the dough is too wet, sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough). Using cookie cutters, make shapes out of the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden on top. Leave on the sheets for about 10 minutes to cool and set before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. Melt the white chocolate for drizzling, and once the cookies are cool, drizzle over with a spoon.

Makes: 8 cookies Cooking: 10 minutes Preparation: 20 minutes

Read our interview with Cat from Piccolo in the current issue of Slick Mummy Magazine too…

 

Buggy Love: Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System

If you’ve seen the current issue of the magazine you’ll have seen that our latest Buggy Love came in the sunshiney yellow form of the Aurora from Ickle Bubba.

We agreed this is a versatile little lightweight buggy, ideal for toddlers who mostly-but-not-always want to walk (or those who’ll skip all the way to soft play, but sleep all the way home!)

Whilst it does operate as a travel system (with the help of the Galaxy car seat) we think this one comes into its own in the ‘just walking’ gap as it is light enough to carry on your back as well as fitting into the tiniest of car boots.

SM reviews…’Bella and Bentley’ by Suzanne Lees

SM reviewer writes: ‘Bentley wanted to sit on Mummy’s lap and kiss the baby, but was told ‘No’. Bentley felt lonely and sad…he just wanted Mummy…’

Does any of this sound familiar? 

Yes – except that in this case, Bentley isn’t a hipster older sibling, but an adorable French bulldog, hereby exemplifying that a) a new arrival can be explained to a toddler via the medium of lapdogs and b) the family pooch needs love too. 

This is a lovely story and a wonderful alternative to many of those ‘new baby’ titles (which my sons, for example, found a little ‘sappy’) and the ending is delightful. 

In our own case, the family dogs preceded the children, so this book served as an apt reminder to my husband and I that once upon a time our world was theirs alone… Which was enough of an incentive for us to get our hiking boots on and take the dogs out to the woods whilst the kids were at school…

Bella and Bentley is published by Suzanne Lees and is the first of a series. 

#GinFriday: Roses in the Snow

Thanks to Serious Eats for this one. The perfect girlie tipple for Snow-mageddon.

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce rosewater
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

  1. Add gin, lemon, simple syrup, rosewater, and eggwhite to a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (without ice) to incorporate eggwhite, about 30 seconds. Fill shaker with ice and shake until frothy, about 30 seconds longer.

  2. Double strain by pouring through a bar strainer into a fine-mesh or conical strainer set in a highball glass filled with ice. Top drink with club soda and bitters. Gently stir and serve.

 

In Praise of… Grown Up Neon

If you yearn for those days when the height of fashion meant mis-matched luminous socks, then brighten up a grey Winter’s day with some grown-up neon touches.

How much is spent on baby’s first year? According to Koochi it’s around 10K

British parents spend a staggering £10,000 on their baby – BEFORE their first birthday, according to a new study.

Researchers took an in depth look into how much the nation’s mums and dads spend, before birth and up to the first birthday of their child, with the average Brit shelling out an eye watering £10,039 on all the things a baby needs.

But according to the survey, 29 percent of parents admit they completely underestimated how much they would have to spend, while a further 13 percent were forced to ask family to help out with money.

As a result parents admitted they had to cut back on other things with 29 percent saying they gave up on holidays, while 26 percent said they stopped going to the pub and a further 21 percent confessed they stopped spending money on clothes for themselves.

Natalie Crisp, brand manager at pushchair specialists KOOCHI which commissioned the study, said: “It’s not surprising to see the increasing amount spent in the run up to, and during a baby’s first year as there’s so much choice on the market, with some products costing much more than others.  

“However, key items such as push chairs, prams and car seats needn’t cost the earth. The key factors to consider when buying a product are versatility, longevity and value for money, that doesn’t break the bank. 

“While having a baby is not cheap, there are lots of ways to keep the cost down. We pride ourselves on our quality and product offering, with some designed to grow with the child.”

According to the study parents can expect to spend £6,053 getting ready for baby’s arrival splashing out on things like cots, prams, clothes, car seats, not to mention furnishing and decorating the nursery.

After the birth, mum and dad then fork out a further £3,986, which includes buying on average 129 items of clothing for their little one.

Unsurprisingly 14 percent of parents were unable to buy everything they wanted for their child, with the average parent admitting they only managed to save £1,027 before their new arrival.

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