Nourishing You – for the Mamas who forgot about themselves 

After an extremely long break in the land of blogging but being active on social media, I thought it was an apt time to relaunch FTGB’s.

With new goals set for both my business and personal life, I wanted to share with you all  3 tips the last few years have taught me.

1. Fill your cup, and fill that thing as high as you can, with whatever brings calm or inspiration into your life.

 It could be as big as building a business that empowers you to live your life’s purpose, or as small as watching a trashy reality tv show or making the time to run, walk, dance or practice yoga.

 Self care and love is not selfish, it’s essential. Life is here to be lived not endured. By filling your cup, you can then deal with whatever life throws at you and things that once seemed like big issues generally become things you don’t bat an eyelid to anymore.

2 . Nourish your body. You wouldn’t send your kids to school without lunch, so why are you not putting in the same effort for you? Become a lunch box packer for yourself, regardless if you are a SAHM or are in the corporate world. Not only does it take the effort out of thinking about “What’s for lunch?”, but will save you a lot of money (have you looked at the price of takeaway food!!!) and time in your every day schedule. This is a commitment and like anything you commit to it becomes habit. Try it!

3. Learn the art of saying No. No is a complete sentence and no explanation is required.      If something causes you heart palpitations at the thought of it being done or having to be attended and isn’t an essential part of your life, give it the flick. I promise the world won’t end.

Running around to 7 different sport 5 days a week, on top of work and every day life isn’t my idea of fun, nor is it my kids and let’s face it unless you are raising the next sporting prodigy, kids just want to be outside having their own fun and 1 or 2 sports/extra curricular activities is enough. Same goes for relationships and friendships that drain you. It’s okay to say no to the unnecessary crazy.

I was guilty of not doing all 3 and suffered greatly. Having been through a separation and subsequent divorce in the last few years, throw in an interstate move, returning to work full time as a single parent and having two children with special needs with their health, I fast realised that the buck literally did stop with me and if I wasn’t functioning at my optimum, then what use was I to them.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and these 3 things would be my pearls of wisdom to share with my younger self.

Three very small but life changing acts that have changed my outlook of myself, my relationships, the way I parent my children, my wants and needs and most importantly finding myself again, as I am that Mamma who forgot about herself.

What is your biggest pitfall? Do you take on too much?

As always would love to hear your thoughts.

Much love and remember you are enough!

x

Kat

Optimum Health the Paleo Way by Claire Yates – “You’re not doing Paleo right unless you’re eating more vegetables than a vegetarian”

I love books (as many of you who follow my Facebook page would know) you can never own too many books.

When this book landed on my table to review I was excited.

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Why you may ask? Surely I have read every Paleo info/cookbook under the sun? Well not quite but almost! The major difference with this book is that it is written by an Australian author something that is pretty rare in the Paleo community at this point in time.

What does this mean for us? Apart from supporting a home-grown author and practitioner the book is full of practical all time favourite recipes that have been given the Paleo twist.

No converting measurements, wondering where you are going to find a Bison or elk to cook up (anyone else noticed that US authored books love their bison!!?) and any sauces/condiments used are easily found without having to ship them from the US.

This is a HUGE plus for me.  Even though I love all my US written Paleo books to be honest with you I am not a fan of many of the “Americanised” dishes  so find myself skipping those pages all together.

The recipes in Optimum Health the Paleo way also suit our climate and our seasonal produce. Claire also writes in a way that I think all Australians will relate well to.

A bit of background info on Claire Yates the author.  Claire is a Nutritional Medicine practitioner holding a Bachelor of Health Science. She is very passionate about the Paleo way of life and helps many of her clients in her private practice, Indi Nature in WA and you can also follow her on Facebook.

Now onto the book, it is broken into two parts.

Part one is about the Paleo Template which covers all of the below topics (see image).

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Everything you needed to know about gut health, things that cause leaky gut, food intolerances, inflammation, what Paleo is, how to tailor Paleo to you and the all important “28 day Reset protocol” including all the tools and meal plans (huge bonus the work is done for you so no excuses!!) you need to give Paleo a go for 28 days to see if you can get down to the real cause of your health complaints or working your way to optimal health.

Let’s face it everyone in modern day society has some health issue and most people have just learnt to ignore the symptoms and carry on with life. This doesn’t have to be the case! Eating Paleo and undertaking a reset program like this (or elimination diet as many would call it) removing all the problematic foods society consumes daily really allows you to listen to your body and work out all those foods that perhaps you have not associated with headaches, eczema, sinus issues, bloating etc.

“You’re not doing Paleo right unless you’re eating more vegetables than a vegetarian” – This is my favourite quote from this book which I now use EVERYWHERE when people say to me “ugh, I can’t eat that much meat, that Paleo diet is all about meat”.

This is the worst misconception about the Paleo lifestyle. It isn’t about meat; you build your meals around vegetables, then fat then protein.

I can safely say I eat more vegetables now that I follow this Paleo diet than my short lived vegetarian stint. My boys love their veggies and they are the main part of our diet (even above fruit, fruit should be eaten in smaller quantities – and yes this took me awhile to get my head around too!)

More veggies, less fruit, and LOTS more GOOD fats than we as a Western society are used to eating.

Fat is not an evil word. It is the basis on how your whole body functions. Your brain is largely made up for fats about 60% in total.  A newborns brain grows about three times its size in the first year of life. Starve the brain on a the recommended “Low fat “ Standard Australian diet as promoted by our Government eating guidelines and the Heart Foundation and we are a nation full of nutrient deprived people with diseases and neurological conditions popping up faster than Dr’s can diagnose them.

Claire covers many fascinating aspects of how the body works, what it needs to perform at its optimal level of health and many help topics along the way to help those already suffering from a variety of health conditions.

Part two of the book is recipes!

Over 100 recipes for meals, drinks, snacks and treats (yes there is no deprivation living a Paleo lifestyle, the right way of doing it is just enjoying these healthier “treat” options only occasionally – they are NOT every day foods as “treats” have become in our modernised world. When you eat a diet that satisfies you and your curb your cravings you don’t miss these “treat” foods at all. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a sweet (other than a home-made coconut cream based sorbet) and I don’t’ miss them at all!

The book hasn’t been written as a family cookbook specifically but there is something for everyone even if you serve it up to the kids a little differently. Some of the recipes only serve 2 so recipe would need to be doubled/tripled etc. for families.

It covers everything from condiments and Paleo essentials (home-made milks, pestos, dressings etc)soups, salads, granola, smoothies, juices, side dishes, Paleo pizza!!, lots of Asian inspired dishes, meatballs/patties, sorbets, slices, pancakes, good old fashioned warming winter meals, BBQ favourites  and lots lots more.

Many of the meals only have a handful of ingredients which is what real food should be about; you don’t need a thousand ingredients to create a fresh, healthy honest meal.

For those of you like us, who have allergies to consider there is nut & egg use in this book (as well as nightshades & FODMAPS foods) but with a few simple modifications you would be able to cook the vast majority of what’s in the book.

Claire and her publishing company have given the go ahead for me to publish a recipe from the book which I think you will all love and perfect at this time of year with cherries in season.

Chocolate Cherry Bites (makes about 25)

34 cherries, cut in half and pitted

2 cups of toasted shredded coconut

70g cacao butter

1 cup coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

200g dark chocolate (at least 85% cacao)

1 small handful of cacao nibs

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg Celsius (320F)
  2. Line both a baking tray and baking tin (approx 18cm x 28cm x 3cm deep with baking paper
  3. Place the cherries on the tray and roast for 20 mins. Set the cherries aside to cool slightly then place them in a blender with 1 cup of the shreadded coconut and coconut boil and blend until well combined. Press the cherry mixture firmly into the base of the baking tin and freeze for 5 – 10 mins.
  4. Place the cacao butter, coconut cream and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until the cacao butter has melted.
  5. Mix the remaining shredded coconut and cacao butter mixture and pour it over teh first cherry layer again pressing down firmly. Place the tray back in the freezer for another 5 – 10 mins.
  6. Over a double boiler melt the dark chocolate then pour it over the slice as the top layer. Sprinkle over the cacao bins and place the tray back into the freezer until set
  7. Cut the slice into bite size pieces and store in the fridge. (and try not to eat all at once! How fab do they look??!!!)

 

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So there you have it, not only is this book packed full of information in an easy to understand format written in a manner that makes it a pleasure to read, but it also provides you with the tools such as meal plans (which let’s face it when you’re new to a way of eating or elimination diets /reset protocol are always handy to have or even when you are simply too busy to meal plan on your own) as well as the recipes to go along with it whilst supporting a local author. What more could you ask for?

I highly recommend Optimum Health the Paleo Way for a range of people, from people new to Paleo, those who are trying to work out intolerances, for those who follow the Paleo diet and just need some inspiration or even people who are just after some “clean”, wholesome nutrient dense foods the way we as humans should be eating for optimal health.

You can buy the book in hard copy from here  and also as an EBook if that is your preferred way to read books.

So what have you got to lose? Try the 28 day reset and reap the benefits of the Paleo diet – hands down the best “lifestyle diet” I’ve ever eaten.

In health

Kat

I’d like to thank Claire and Exisle Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to review this book and for my complimentary copy.

Not really CADA

This variation of CADA (for those of you who are not familiar with it check out the original recipe here  ) was born on a morning where I discovered we where out of dates, dried apricots and I needed to come up with breakfast fast and there wasn’t too much left at the end of the week in the fridge.

I looked at some pretty ripe bananas  in the fruit bowl and thought this could work and low and behold this version of “not really” CADA was concocted!

You will need 

1 apple quartered (I used an organic granny smith in this one)

Small handful of coconut (be it shredded, flakes, dessicated)

(just make sure it’s organic to avoid the nasty preservative 220 which is linked to asthma and eczema and behavioural conditions!)

1 banana (ripe but not dead) roughly chopped in large ish pieces

Optional – handful of activated pepitas and sunflower seeds or any combination of activated nuts if tolerated (Do not use seeds or nuts if following Autoimmune Protocol   )

Method

Place all ingredients in Thermomix and on Turbo pulse once or twice till combined.

You can also do this in a blender/food processor you will just need to judge how long to process till it looks similar to the photos.

Serves 1 in our house but we are big eaters especially at breakfast.

Just double or triple the recipe to serve more if required.

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With all fruit /veggies you should serve it with some sort of fat so that the fat soluble vitamins are absorbed and you are getting the most out of your fruit & veggies

A sliced avocado is normally how we finish off this dish meeting the above requirement.

Good fats also keep you fuller longer therefore avoiding the 10am munchies many people have.

If you turbo or puree this to a finer consistency (without the seeds/nuts) and add the avocado to be processed at the same time this would make a very filling babies breakfast/snack that is full of beneficial fats from the coconut and avocado which is essential for brain development and the potassium, B vitamins (its the best fruit source of B6), carbohydrates and fibre from the banana and apples are an antioxidant powerhouse!

We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

In Health

Kat

Change – it really is much easier than you think!

Everyday of our lives we are surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of toxins and chemicals that affect us in so many ways.

What if I told you it was possible to reduce your intake of these chemicals by just making some simple changes?

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  • Eat organic – You are what you eat, eats.

But let’s face it eating all organic is not feasible for everyone (nor can you buy everything all organic to begin with) but if you use the EWG Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen listing as a guide this can help you prioritise your spending.

Whilst this is a US based group this list is recognised around the world. One item to add to the Dirty dozen which is listed on the clean 15 for me would be corn also as the majority of corn these days is GMO (yes even in Australia we are no longer safe from Monsanto).

There is also lots of pesticide free produce available at growers markets where the Farmers do not have the funds or want to do the paperwork to become certified organic as it is a very expensive process. This also helps you save some money as it tends to be cheaper than certified organic.

Grass fed meats and free range or pastured poultry are a far healthier animal eating what these animals should be eating   – grass, insects etc not the disease causing grains some livestock is fed. Yes it’s slightly more expensive and a little harder to source but well worth the extra cost. This is where learning to use the cheaper cuts and organ meats in slow cooker style meals with lots and lots of veggies makes using grass fed meats more affordable.

Let meat be the side dish and veggies be the star of all your meals.

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  • Eat REAL food. E numbers, preservatives and additives are not real food; they are man made chemicals and have been linked to behavioural issues, allergies and many health conditions . If you turn over a packet and see a bunch of numbers and names you can’t pronounce your body isn’t going to know what these things are either.  To make things worse most of these additives are made using GMO’s especially in the case where the additive is of corn or soy derivative. More info here.

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  • Clean your house with natural cleaners such as bicarb soda, vinegar, eucalyptus & tea tree oils etc. Not only is it cheaper than buying the super expensive cleaning products that are full of carcinogenic chemicals it’s better for your family and the environment too! See here  to start you off with some chemical free cleaning solutions. Your health and pockets will thank you!

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  • Adopt a no shoes inside rule. Take your shoes off and leave them outside/in the garage etc when you get home. This alone can eliminate up to 50% of outside pollutants/dust.

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  • Use glass or stainless steel for food storage – even BPA free plastics have been found to leach toxic chemicals into our foods.  See our post here for more info.

Also consider BPA in canned foods, use fresh wherever possible to avoid leaching BPA’s or find companies that use BPA free cans.

Ditch the plastic wrap and use food covers such as these from 4myearth and you will also reduce the amount of plastic that’s put into our tips which takes hundreds of years to decompose. 

Swap children’s melamine plastic plates, cutlery and straws and opt for proper plates, glass or stainless cups and real cutlery. To avoid breakages make the meal time rule – you must sit down to eat. We have used glass and proper plates for quite some time and are yet to have anything dropped or broken.  I think we do children a disservice by just assuming they are not old enough to sit still and eat a meal with proper dinnerware!

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  • Do a stocktake on your personal hygiene products and beauty products. Ask yourself do you really need that many? The average woman applies 500 chemicals to her face/body everyday find out more here . Scary isn’t it?

Actually read the ingredients of your products and analyse them.  Also don’t fall for the just because its organic skin care/body products it must be safe for you marketing. Really get to know the decent products out there and not the companies out to cash in on the organic market. Use the EWG’s skin deep cosmetic database to make some informed decisions on your products. Use natural products like coconut oil which itself has hundreds of uses both for beauty and medicinal purposes.

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  • Filter your water – there are quite a few different options available on the market it’s just finding one that suits your needs and living arrangements (owning/renting a home) and your budget as they can vary in price.
  • Use safe cookware – Teflon /non stick pans might be handy but are full of toxic chemicals. Instead use cast iron and stainless steel which can be picked up at reasonable prices online and homeware shops during the sales.   Ditch the microwave. Reheating food in a saucepan or oven might take a little longer but much safer. Read more here on microwave hazards.

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  • Wear natural fibre clothing (100% cotton, silk, wool, bamboo or linen).  ALWAYS wash clothing after purchase as fabrics (especially man made synthetic fabrics)  have been treated with chemicals such as formaldehyde which cannot be washed out of clothing. Read more here.
  • Seek out natural remedies before taking antibiotics as they kill all the good gut bacteria. Of course modern medicine has its place in society, but many things such as colds and flu’s can be treated with things such as olive leaf extract (we use this daily as a preventative), probiotics, essential oils, rest and nourishing foods. If you do require antibiotics take a course of probiotics and eat some fermented foods to recolonise your gut with all the good bacteria it needs.
  • Invest in a decent HEPA vacuum cleaner. According to Nicole Bijlsma (from Building Biology and the author of “Healthy Home Healthy Family” who I recently had the pleasure of hearing speak at the Mindd Foundation seminar I attended) a HEPA fitted vacuum cleaner is the most  important household appliance you will ever own.  Floorboards/tiles are a more allergy friendly option to carpet especially for eczema and asthma sufferers so something to consider if you own your own home.

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Now I could keep on writing for hours but it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with information especially when starting out so I will stop here.

Apply this rule to life, less is more especially when it comes to harmful chemicals given the increase in cancers and disease in society today. Our lifestyles and the products we consume all play a part in our overall health and wellbeing.

Start with one or two from this list and work towards making your family home environment as safe as possible.

To get you started making some changes Jane of Organics On a Budget  is offering all Feeding Two Growing Boys readers an exclusive $5 off at her online store (for orders over $30  – expires Tuesday the 10th September) when you use the code “CHANGES”. The online store stocks everything from fresh, chilled and pantry food items to cleaning and beauty/body products and much more!

It is literally  a one stop organic shop which is very handy for us Mums wanting to shop online at some of the best prices I have seen and very reasonable shipping costs for those of you in remote places where organic products or a variety is hard to find.

Would love to hear what you would add to the list?

In health,

Kat

Safe non toxic school lunchbox solutions

 

School lunchboxes. Love them or loathe them, they are a necessary part of our day to day lives as Mums and Dads.

Not only is the nutrient dense food that goes into them an essential part to raising happy healthy kids it is what they are made of that also needs to be looked into.

A recent study found that most plastic products leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals even if they’re labelled “BPA-free”.

Scary isn’t it. We have all been lead to believe BPA free plastics where safe for so long only to be now told by scientists  that 70 percent of common plastic products tested positive for estrogenic activity, and that number rose to 95 percent when the products were subject to real-world conditions such as dishwashing or microwaving.

Time Magazine reports:

BPA is particularly worrisome simply because it is so common. Nearly every American has some amount of BPA in his or her body, in part because plastics are so ubiquitous.”

You can read Dr Mercola’s full article here for more details and also read the full scientific documented report this article is based on.

 

Given the rise in autoimmune disease, cancers and other immune related allergies in todays society, these toxic chemicals are the reason to search for safe alternative materials for storing our foods in.

Glass is a great option but as Mums & Dads we all know kids can be a little rough with their school bags and safety at school can be a concern with glass smashing. Up until now Master 5 has been taking glass Pyrex to preschool without incident but with Kindy on the horizon next year I know the structured environment of sit down lunch breaks currently had at Preschool will be a thing of the past so a safe non toxic alternative needed to be found.

One excellent choice I kept coming across in my search was food containers made of stainless steel, an alloy composed of natural elements. Stainless steel poses no health risks, is widely used in the food industry, and will not impart peculiar tastes or smells to your food.

Knowing my love of  all things non toxic Shelley & her team from Lime Tree Kids generously sent me some Lunchbots to try and to post a review on my thoughts and how they fared with the boys and our busy on the go lifestyle.

Lunchbots is a family owned business which started in 2008 out of necessity when the founder Jacqueline Linder couldn’t find a product that suited her needs. Big ideas start in small places (her home garage in California!) and they have grown to be a worldwide success as people move to eliminate toxic plastics and chemicals from their lives.

We were sent the Lunchbots Trio (in Turquoise), the Quad in Stainless as well as the Insulated Thermal in Green to road test.

The Lunchbots collection comes in a range of sections from one to four depending on the use you require it for. This is also handy for children who don’t like their foods touching /combined with other items –  something I know many of my blog and facebook followers face especially those with children on the spectrum.

Master 5 has been taking his Trio sectioned Lunchbots container for his morning tea which as part of preschools requirements is fresh fruit (or veg).

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A typical morning tea for preschool

The container is compact (much smaller than the container we were previously using yet still holds the same amount of food so it’s a win for us space wise in his lunch bag (especially only being 5  years old –  school bags can get pretty heavy!!) It is easy to open and close and the bonus is when I pack it the night before and put it in the fridge being stainless it keeps cool till morning tea time perfect for our climate in Australia.

(On really hot days especially and if you’re going to put food that spoils like dairy/cheeses or meats etc I would still put a small icepack/brick to ensure it stays cool – we don’t want any food poisoning now!)

Master 3 is not yet at preschool but I find his Quad sectioned Lunch bots container just the perfect size to throw into my handbag for “just in case” snacks whilst we are out and about running errands during the day.

For a child with so many allergies and intolerances finding safe store bought snacks (other than fruit) are not worth the risk, plus I prefer my children eat home cooked foods. I haven’t had any leaks and it is once again compact for his little hands to be able to hold and lay in his lap whilst we are on the go.

They are also great for early Saturday morning growers market starts where I can prepare the night before pop the boys in the car and they can have smorgasbord breakfast on the way.

If you follow my Facebook page you will know my boys are big fans of hot lunches (leftovers mainly). The Insulated Thermal Lunchbots container is the only child friendly thermos I have found with a wide enough mouth to make eating out of it easy. We have owned other cheaper tall cylinder style thermos before and the boys found it very difficult to eat out of (especially Master 3) but he has had no issues with the Lunchbots bowl like version.

Its 450ml capacity also means it’s a decent size meal as well for my sometimes bottomless pit boys. We love that its leak proof meaning taking nourishing soups (which we eat a lot of) isn’t a problem anymore when we are out and about and it keeps them warm for up to 5 hours.

Insulated thermal perfect for hot or cold meals

Insulated thermal perfect for hot or cold meals

The trick to keep food warm is to boil the kettle and fill the thermos with boiling water whilst you heat up the leftovers (I tend to heat them up a little longer than you would if youweree serving them straight away) in a saucepan on the stovetop if a soup, casserole etc or in the oven in a Pyrex dish at 180 deg for about 5-10 mins depending what it is) and then empty out the water and place the piping hot food into the thermal container.

They are perfect for pastas, risottos, and slow cooker style meals.

They also double in that you can use them to keep food cold (like yoghurts, fruit salads, or our popular chicken patties which are nice snacks cold). Pack the night before put it in the fridge and they will keep cool until morning tea/lunch time once again great in our climate.

All products are made of the highest quality 18/18 stainless steel, are super easy to clean (hand washing is recommended) and virtually unbreakable (which is important when dealing with kids!)

Now kids aside for just a minute, these products are great for us adults too. I recently “borrowed” these from the boys and took them to an all day seminar and had my snacks and lunch for the whole day. I loved how compact they where (I travelled part of my trip on public transport so didn’t want to be carrying bulky glass containers around all day) and loved how my food stayed intact the way I packed it the night before.

Not only is the Lunchbots range practical you have to admit it is visually appealing too!  There are lots of funky colours to choose from and also available in the full stainless colour as well.

It is something that is going to last you a very long time and when the time comes you no longer need it you can pass it down or simply recycle it, as stainless steel is one of the most recycled materials on earth.

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The possibilities are endless!

Cost wise, yes they are slightly more expensive than your average lunch box but the many years of use you will get from them and the fact your food isn’t coming into contact with hormone disrupting chemicals is priceless in my opinion.

Now for the exciting part!

Lime Tree Kids has generously supplied us with a Lunchbots pack to giveaway to one lucky winner!

All you need to do is LIKE Feeding Two Growing Boys and Lime Tree Kids on Facebook and go to the Lime Tree Kids website and check out their awesome range and on this blog post leave a comment below telling us which product YOU like the best!

This competition closes Monday the 2nd September at 7.30pm when a winner will be drawn at random and notified on this blog post. Once you have made contact with us your details will then be forwarded to Lime Tree Kids in which you will have 48 hours to respond to their email as part of their contest policy.

A huge thank you to Shelley and the super helpful team at Lime Tree Kids (one of my favourite online Kids stores) for choosing Feeding Two Growing Boys to receive and review the Lunchbots range and being able to educate everyone on finding safe non toxic food storage solutions. The online store also has lots of other non toxic food storage solutions including my new love Mason Jars which have been recently added as well as everything you could possibly need for life with kids! So put the kids to bed, grab a cuppa and browse the website it won’t disappoint!

 

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER IS KYLIE HANSON. CONGRATULATIONS KYLIE 🙂