"Wow, have you seen all the yummy ingredients in here Mummy?"

Review: Yummy Ella’s Kitchen Baby Food for 7 months+

Clara is a massive fan of the Ella’s Kitchen pouches, and I never have any trouble getting her to eat them. In fact she usually finishes the entire pouch in a matter of minutes. So I was pleased when the lovely people at Ella’s Kitchen very kindly sent Clara some Stage 2 baby food to review. Her first ‘job’ at only 8 months old!

We received her favourite Spaghetti Bolognese plus the Chicken Roast Dinner, which is a product that we hadn’t tried before.

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“I think I’ll try this one first.”

The ingredients in all Ella’s Kitchen products are 100% organic, and each recipe is carefully flavoured and seasoned to create a delicious meal. I know they taste delicious judging by the speed and delight with which Clara polishes off the entire pouch – plus I may have had a cheeky taste myself. They always smell amazing too – quite often my husband and I will be quite envious that we are not having the pre-pureed version of whatever tasty sounding meal she is having that day, be it Moroccan chicken or veggie moussaka. Considering Clara has only been on solids for a couple of months the girl has been spoiled!

"Wow, have you seen all the yummy things they put in here Mummy?"

“Wow, have you seen all the yummy things they put in here Mummy?”

The ‘Lip Smacking Spag Bol’ contains 12 different ingredients, including beef, a selection of vegetables, cheese, garlic and mixed herbs. It’s the additional flavours and herbs which make Ella’s Kitchen products stand out from some of the other brands of baby food we have tried, which have seemed a bit bland.

"This Spag Bol certainly is lip smacking!"

“This Spag Bol certainly is lip smacking!”

The ‘Cheery Chicken Dinner with Stuffing’ was another hit with Clara. The breadcrumb and mixed herb stuffing added some texture to the food, and the variety of 5 different vegetables made for a healthy and filling meal. The Stage 2 pouches, which are suitable for babies 7 months and older, have small lumps of food in them so they are perfect for little gums and first teeth that are getting used to chewing.

"Do I have something on my face?"

“Do I have something on my face?”

I really like the convenience of the pouches – the food can be served straight from the pouch onto a spoon. They don’t need to be kept in a fridge (unless they have been opened) or warmed up so they are ideal for meals on the go. No messy bowls, no need to find facilities to warm up food – today we went to the park after picking Izzy up from pre-school and it was so handy to just pop a pouch (of roast pork dinner) and a spoon in my bag for Clara so we didn’t have to rush home for lunch time!

"What do you mean 'It's all gone'? Squeeze some more out of here Mummy!"

“What do you mean ‘It’s all gone’? Squeeze some more out of here Mummy!”

I like the fact that we can give Clara a convenient and healthy meal without compromising on taste. Seeing some of the different meals and the ingredients used have also inspired me to be a bit more creative with the kind of home cooked meals I make for Clara too.

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“Mummy, this is the best job ever! Professional food taster, that’s a thing, right?”

For more information about Ella’s Kitchen or to order some of these yummy meals for your little one, visit www.ellaskitchen.co.uk. You can also keep up with the latest news by following @EllasKitchenUK on Twitter or liking their page on Facebook.

Please note, Ella’s Kitchen sent us the featured baby food in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.

Our awesome Ella's Kitchen box.

Our awesome Ella’s Kitchen box.

Please like Kizzy, Izzy and Baby on Facebook or follow me @kizzy1984 on Twitter.

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Book Review: Alfie and Grandma, by Shirley Hughes

We were lucky enough to be sent the new Shirley Hughes children’s book to review by Penguin Random House.

The book contains three previously published stories – Looking for Winnie, A Journey to the North Pole and Lost Sheep – which have been brought together in a new collection focusing on Alfie’s adventures at Grandma’s House.

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We haven’t read any of the ‘Alfie’ series of books before, so I was pleased to try out a new book with my 4 year old daughter, Izzy. I read all three tales to her and she was interacting with the story, asking questions and pointing out things she could see in the pictures. When we finished she decided to play ‘teacher’ and pretended to read the book back to me, which showed she had listened and understood the stories.

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The detailed illustrations really brought the story to life. Izzy especially liked the map at the back of the book which showed all the places Alfie and his Grandma went on their adventures – to find Winnie, the lost tortoise, and help a sheep find its way home. Izzy’s favourite of the 3 was A Journey to the North Pole: “I like the pictures of the boy and girl jumping in puddles and playing in a tent… I want to make a tent!”

Most of the stories we usually read to Izzy are simplified and repetitive, whereas the Alfie series have more detail to them. I find a lot of books aimed at pre-schoolers focus more on images rather than words, so this was a good next step to introduce Izzy to slightly longer stories. The stories are long enough to have some substance and encourage interaction but short enough to hold the attention of a young child.

According to the press release sent by the publishers “Shirley Hughes is one of the nation’s most-loved and highly respected illustrators and story-tellers. She was honoured with an OBE in 1999 for her outstanding contribution to children’s literature.”

‘Alfie and Grandma’ is published on 26th February in paperback by Red Fox, RRP £6.99, available on Amazon.

Check out this video on YouTube of the author Shirley Hughes introducing Alfie.

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We received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

LarabeeUK

This Week… 16-22 February

It was half term here so I’ve been trying to entertain Izzy for the week which hasn’t been easy given the weather, being unwell and Izzy generally being in a wicked mood. On Monday she was hitting out and throwing toys around in a temper tantrum and we have spent most of the week trying to recover from that!

We baked…
Yummy gingerbread men. Izzy decorated the biscuits (and the entire kitchen floor) with teeny tiny sprinkles, many of which have evaded the vacuum cleaner three times already. We also finally assembled the world’s smallest gingerbread house, which has been hiding in the cupboard since before Christmas. While decorating it, Izzy announced “I love Christmas. It makes my heart sing”

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We went…
To the Metro Centre at Newcastle. It was a successfull trip of sorts – I bought a new dress for the first of 3 weddings this year but I still need shoes and a bag (another shopping trip it is). Izzy went on a ‘bouncaloon’ as she calls it (one of the bungee trampolines) and had a massive grin on her face as she kept telling the guy who was helping her that she wanted to bounce higher.

We painted…
Pottery at the Crafty Workshop. Izzy picked a lion, and her cousins (2 and 6) picked a rabbit and a squirrel. She picked the colours and painted it all by herself, though I did paint the eyes and nose. I particularly like the headband she has added. Then Izzy, Clara and their cousins decorated a mug for their Auntie by using their fingerprints to create flowers.

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We enjoyed…
A tea party with a tiger! Inspired by a post on Let Them Be Small, we decided to have a picnic of jam sandwiches in the living room and read The Tiger That Came To Tea. A lovely rainy day activity.

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We heard/saw…
Some cute new milestones from Clara – she has finally started to say Mama (as well as Dada and Clara) and has started clapping and waving this week. And she looks so proud of herself when she does it.

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I blogged about…
Our favourite pancake toppings and recipe
Being nominated for the Liebster Award
The Girl Who Lost Her Name – Book Review

I discovered…
Some new linkies, including the Weekend Book Club over at Let Them Be Small.

Quote of the week
Izzy: “Argh, there is a spider in my ear!”
Me: “It’s just your hair.”
Izzy: “Oh. Ok.”

*Carries on eating brioche, nonchalantly*

Please like Kizzy, Izzy and Baby on Facebook or follow me @kizzy1984 on Twitter.

The Liebster Award

Thank you to Cynthia at As Life Would Have It for nominating me for this award! The Liebster Award is a nomination by one blogger to another (well eleven others actually) to share the blog-love. It is recognition of other bloggers and it’s really nice to know that people are visiting our blogs and enjoying what we have to say!

So here are the questions set by Cynthia (read her Liebster Award here):

1. If someone were creating a comic book superhero based on you and your life, what would your superhero name and power be?
I would be super speedy then I could get everything done and still have loads of time to drink wine save the world. I’m not sure how being really fast would save the world. But at least we wouldn’t be late for the school run.

2. What would your kid/kids’ superhero name and power be?
Izzy would be The Chatterbox. She could talk people into doing whatever she liked, just so they could get 5 minutes peace. Except I think she would be more likely to use her power for evil, becoming a super villain and distracting people with her chatter while her sidekick, The Clara-Beast (as Izzy currently calls her) would be stealing biscuits for the two of them.

3. If you could have one wish but it couldn’t be for more wishes or anything impossible, vague, or requiring mind control – like world peace – what would you wish for?
This is probably quite a selfish answer, but it would have to be money. People say money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can do a lot of good. I wouldn’t have to work and could spend time travelling and creating awesome experiences for my family, as well as giving money to worthy causes.

4. What is your favorite junk food?
Chocolate. I could eat it all day.

5. You meet a talented inventor who can invent most anything that he sets his mind to. He asks you what you think he should try to invent next. What do you tell him?
A teleporter. Not a rubbish one like in The Fly that would leave us all horribly mutated. One that would actually work so we could get rid of the stress of travelling with kids and get everywhere faster.

6. If you had to be someone other than yourself, but you could choose anyone in the world, who would it be?
I was going to write Kate Middleton, because she is pretty and always dresses well, but then I realised I would have to live constantly in the public eye and would have to be married to Prince William. Not that there’s anything wrong with him but I much prefer Harry. I honestly don’t know who I would want to be!

7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A night owl. I certainly work better at night. Until I had children. Then I became more of a ‘middle of the day’ person. Now mornings are still not my friend, but I rarely have the energy to stay up late!

8. Why did you decide to start a blog?
To record memories of our family life and give me opportunity to try out some different types of writing in the hope that I may entertain some people along the way.

9. Do you ever talk to your television like the people on the screen can hear you? If so, what show are you more than likely watching?
All the time. Most likely I will be watching Criminal Minds or something similar and talking to the obvious next victim on the screen. “You don’t want to go down there. Seriously, its late at night, you are on your own, don’t head down that dark, deserted street… run! RUN!… Too late. Oh well I think you kinda deserved that as you are clearly AN IDIOT!”

10. Sing that song that’s always getting stuck in your head. Never get songs stuck in your head? Just start singing the first song that comes to mind. What song are you singing?
Everything is awesome, Everything is cool when you’re part of a team… [does robot dance]. Damn Lego Movie.

11. If you had to pick a reality television show to be a part of, which one would you choose?
This one is a tough one as I don’t really watch any reality TV. Probably the one where they are all on a nice sunny island (Shipwrecked?) as at least I’d get a holiday out of it.

Here are the ‘rules’. (I know, I know, it’s just a bit of fun. But fun with rules.)

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers, who have less than 200 followers and link to them.
  • Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

So here are the nominees! (I was also confused by the less than 200 followers bit as the number of WordPress followers doesn’t translate to real number of followers – via Twitter, Facebook etc). Please show some love for these bloggers!

  1. The Smoking Mum https://thesmokingmum.wordpress.com/
  2. Dear Jalen http://dearjalen.com/
  3. Dr Natalie Green https://drnataliegreen.wordpress.com/
  4. We’re Only Hsuman http://wereonlyhsuman.com/ 
  5. It’s Not Broken, It’s a Jigsaw https://itsnotbrokenitsajigsaw.wordpress.com/
  6. Bliss and Baby Brain https://blissandbabybrain.wordpress.com/
  7. According to Katie http://accordingtokatie.com/
  8. Another Day in Mommadise https://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/
  9. When My Brain Farts https://whenmybrainfarts.wordpress.com/
  10. Spicy Sweet https://spicysweet113.wordpress.com/
  11. Oh no! Not Another Mummy Blog https://onceuponatimesuburbia.wordpress.com/

And here are your questions:

  1. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. If you could do any job at all in the world what would you do?
  3. Which Disney character do you think you are most like?
  4. If you could live in any decade (past, present or future) which one would you chose and why?
  5. You can only read three books for the rest of your life. Which three would you pick?
  6. What talent/skill do you wish you had/could do?
  7. What are your blogging goals and aspirations for the next 12 months?
  8. What was your favourite childhood toy?
  9. Summer or Winter?
  10. If you had to live in any country other than the one you currently live in, which one would you chose?
  11. What is the last song or album you listened to?

Thanks again to Cynthia for the nomination, and I hope all the nominees enjoy answering the questions!

Please like Kizzy, Izzy and Baby on Facebook or follow me @kizzy1984 on Twitter.

Happy Pancake Day

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I love pancakes, and Pancake Day is the perfect excuse to have dessert as a main meal! We have had a couple of trial runs over the past few weeks already and we will be scoffing pancakes for tea after this evening’s swimming lesson. Though I must confess, I am tempted to make some for lunch too!

Pancake recipe

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil (and extra for frying)
  • a pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients then use some kitchen towel to wipe the frying pan with oil (this avoids putting too much oil in the pan which will make the pancakes greasy). You only need to use enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.

These are my favourite toppings

  • Nutella and marshmallows
  • Banana, chocolate chips and whipped cream
  • Apple, sugar and lemon juice
  • Nutella and fresh strawberries

What are you having on your pancakes today?

Please like Kizzy, Izzy and Baby on Facebook or follow me @kizzy1984 on Twitter.

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Book Review: The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name

The ‘Lost My Name’ books tell the story of a child who wakes up one day and has lost their name – so they set off in search of it meeting a host of wonderful characters along the way. Each one gives the child a letter which then spells out their name.

You can choose a book for a boy or girl from http://www.lostmy.name, and each one is personalised with your child’s first name and a message on the front page. We ordered one for Clara’s first birthday and it arrived within a week. I gave her a little sneak peek at her present already! The story is charming and original, and the characters are diverse – in Clara’s book she meets a Chameleon, a Lion, an Aardvark, a Robot and an Angel! The images are beautifully drawn and the artwork spans across both pages of the A4 sized book.

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Even though Clara is a little young at the moment to fully appreciate this book (she’s 8 months), I’m sure once we give her it for her birthday she will like to look at the pictures and then as she gets older it is a lovely story which she will hopefully enjoy for many years.

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At first I thought that £18.99 was a bit pricey for a paper back book but the personalisation makes it a unique and special gift, ideal for birthdays or christenings. Plus when you order your first one you receive money-off vouchers for any further orders. Another bonus is that when you enter your child’s name on the website you get an instant preview of the book so you can see what it will look like before you buy – and I’m pretty sure as soon as you see it you will want to order it straight away! In fact, we are already planning to order several more as gifts for upcoming birthdays.

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Please note that this review is my personal opinion – the product was purchased by myself and this review is in no way sponsored.

Please like Kizzy, Izzy and Baby on Facebook or follow me @kizzy1984 on Twitter.

 

 

Let them be small