Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Eco Living starts from an early age!

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eBay. It can be THE most frustrating place in the world. You see something you like… you bid… you hope… and then at the last minute some REALLY ANNOYING PERSON pops in and outbids you, just as you were getting your hopes up.

Well, that’s mainly been the experience that I’ve had but the other week I hit the jackpot.

I know, I know – I’m going to use this post to crow about the bargain I got, but actually I want to share it with you as it was truly amazing and I’m sure that there are bargains just like this one to be had near you.

I bid on this doll’s house for our son, with a starting price of 99p for a local-ish pick-up.

I watched the item with bated breath. NOONE else was bidding on it.
I waited until the last day, fingers at the ready to up my maximum bid – determined that I’d win this thing, ready to pounce if someone outbid me.

No one did.

Not a single person.

I watched as the app processed the whole thing and I’d only gone and won it for less than a quid. I was astounded. I quickly messaged the lady and arranged a time to pick it up and actually paid her quite a bit more than I’d won it for as I felt so guilty for getting SUCH a bargain!

This house is beautiful – it’s not girly in the slightest, and that’s why I wanted it.
Its a Wonderworld Eco House which – to my utter delight – was one of the Independent’s top 10 eco toys and has won quite a few awards. Kind of suitable for us, really!

Small world play is so important for toddlers and young children. It gives them a chance to copy what they see in the world around them. To act out everyday life and to make sense of it. To mimic Mummy and Daddy. To go through their own day’s events in a more concrete manner by acting things out with the dolls.

Our little man loves it!
His little wooden family do absolutely everything that we do.
He’s just at the start of potty training so the little boy doll is often on and off the toilet, with lots of clapping and cheering.
He spends lots of time taking the family up and down the stairs carefully, copying how we’ve asked him to be when doing the same in real life.

But, the cutest thing about small world play that I found when I’ve worked with young children is that you can get a real insight into the child and the way in which their family operates. This is coming through really clearly in my son’s play.

When it comes to bedtime, he puts all of the family into one big bed! A co-sleeping bed!

‘Tuck Tuck eberybon’ is what he says to them!

Just far too cute!

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Beautiful Booties: theblueberryelephant review

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Recently I’ve been getting all excited, oohing and aaahing over teeny little baby things.

Little cute things.

Teeny clothes,
Teeny squishy toys,
All in gorgeous soft materials.

I’ve been getting ridiculously broody as I’ve been waiting for my lovely sister-in-law to have her baby and resisting the urge to go out and buy a whole shop’s worth of pressies.

So, it was rather amazingly good timing that the lovely Anja at theblueberryelephant contacted me, wondering if I’d like to review some of her beautiful items that she hand knits.

I respect knitters.
I honestly do.

When I get a pair of knitting needles in my hands, most people near me have to run for cover.
Not only do I have the amazing ability to stab and jab anyone and everyone within my local vicinity, but I create….um….THINGS.
Things that have holes in where they’re not meant to.
Things that can never, EVER see the light of day again.

So, when they sent over the most utterly gorgeous little pair of booties in a beautiful, neutral, soft green moss colour, I spent a very long time just staring at them in amazement.

I have to say that I’m really impressed and can’t wait to pass these little summer booties over to my gorgeous, new little niece! They have padded, soft inner soles which will make them really comfortable and little ankle ties to avoid that all-too-common lost shoe moment!

theblueberryelephant really do create gorgeous items that make the most beautiful gifts for new parents. They use merino wool to make their booties and they really do feel so soft (which is so important against a newborn’s skin). They come in a whole range of colours that are subtle and elegant, which is a nice contrast to the often garish and bright colours that you get on the high street.
Over on Etsy you can see a whole range of items, including gorgeous hats, mittens and booties plus items for adults made from both merino and cotton.

daisytheclothbummum was not paid for this review. I received a pair of booties to review and all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Splish, Splash Splosh! Cleaning Product Review.

When I look around my house and look, in particular, at the waste that our house creates there’s something that never sits well with me.

It’s the amount of plastic we use.

Now, I try my best to reduce it by buying things that are packaged in a more environmentally-friendly manner and obvious recycling but in this day and age it’s REALLY hard to avoid.

Everything comes in plastic. Wrapped in plastic. Then often wrapped AGAIN in plastic.

It’s slightly bonkers.

So when I heard of Splosh cleaning products, I was really interested. There’s been a buzz about Splosh in the cloth nappy groups that I’m part of on Facebook and all I was hearing were good things.

I thought I’d better find out more and had a chat with the lovely man behind the company who really kindly sent me over a box of their products to have a play with.

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The concept of Splosh is really simple.

You buy a starter pack (these start from around £10)
These come with empty plastic bottles and sachets of concentrated cleaning liquid.
You add water from your own tap (thus avoiding paying money to companies for water!)
Then you’re ready to go.

It sounded almost too simple!

So I set to work and made up my bottles. This was really good fun and Monkey watched in fascination as the sachets dissolved.

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I have to be honest, I was a little sceptical about the handwash as it didn’t seem – well – goopy enough but it soon thickened up and I was proved very, very wrong!

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I got sent four different products and I have to say that they all smell absolutely gorgeous! My favourite has to be the Pomegranate and Melon kitchen cleaner that even Mr Clothbum has commented on (which is a first!). I also got sent a Blackberry hand wash and Cotton Flower laundry detergent and stain remover.

We’ve been using the Splosh products around the house now for nearly a month and I honestly think that they are fantastic. The laundry detergent has been brilliant on my son’s nappies, plus all our other clothes and both the kitchen cleaner and the handwash do their jobs really well.

What I love about Splosh is that not only are the cleaning products themselves environmentally friendly due to carefully-sourced and developed ingredients, but that all I have to do is go online and order some more refills that will be posted out straight to me.
No more throwing away of plastic bottles.
No more unnecessary waste.

I just hope that they bring out more products soon!

daisytheclothbummum was sent a starter pack of four bottles from Splosh to review but did not receive any payment for this review. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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bumGenius V4 review

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For those of you who know a bit about cloth nappies, you’ll know that there are some seriously heavyweighters when it comes to nappy companies. Those that people seem to always know the name of. Bumgenius is one of them!

Now, I’ve blogged about their nappies before as I send their V3 pocket nappies (the version before this one) to nursery for the ladies there to use on Monkey, so I was quite excited and rather happy when Baba Me offered to send me over a V4 Aplix nappy in ‘Sweet’ (a very soft green colour) to include in my demo pack for the cloth nappy library that I run.

The V4 is a big improvement on the V3’s in many ways. Firstly, it fits a bigger weight range (from 8lbs to 35lbs +) and there’s a clear difference when I put them on Monkey. He’s heading towards the top end of that weight range (chunky little Monkey that he is!) and our V3’s have been starting to feel a little on the tight side.

The leg elastic around the V4 is another improvement on the previous version and gives a really great fit whilst staying lovely and soft, which is so important as you don’t want to get horrible red rub marks on little legs (we’ve had those with other nappies and they’re really not very nice at all). An amazing bonus is that the elastic is easily replaceable, unlike many other pocket nappies/ wraps, which I was very impressed with. So no more having to get a new nappy or outer just because the legs have gone a bit. Brilliant!

They’ve also made the Aplix (hook and loop closure) a lot stronger, which is great if you have a wriggly toddler who is desperately trying to pull at his nappies. I actually have a few V4’s in a popper closing (which was a very welcome addition to the bumGenius range) and they are great! Aplix closure does allow you to get a perfect fit around the waist for your child, but the poppers are practically toddler proof, which gets my vote any day!

The bumGenius V4 is a very practical BTP (birth-to-potty) pocket nappy that comes in a wide range of colours and a few funky prints.

It comes complete with two inserts (one that can change size by poppering it up or down and a newborn insert) and is lined with a gorgeously, strokable, soft suedecloth inner that acts as a fabulous stay-dry layer. The inserts are made from microfibre and are very absorbent. The only criticism that I have is that my Monkey can pretty much outwee most pockets nowadays due to doing power wees (ones where toddlers start to get more bladder control and wee a lot of urine in one blast). Most pocket nappies find this kind of heavy wetting rather difficult to cope with and I would love to see more pockets coming complete with a bamboo insert as well (the stuff dreams are made of, eh!)

You can adjust the rise of the nappy by altering the poppers on the front, like most BTP pockets. By fully poppering it down, you have the smallest setting and then you gradually popper it at the next level, and then fully unpopper it for the older child.

When it comes to washing a bumGenius V4, it really couldn’t be simpler. Pull out the inserts if you wish (they do sneak out of the inner quite easily in the wash, but I prefer to separate everything just to ensure that it gets a thorough wash) and fling all of it into your wetbag/pail. Then, wash according to the instructions and you’ll find that the inserts come out of the machine feeling pretty dry already. The nappy is really quick drying and one that I know I can rely on to be dry in the morning if I’ve had it in the wash in a panic the night before.

Thank you, Baba Me for donating this nappy to my nappy library. I look forward to showing it off to a whole range of wannabe cloth bum mummies!!!

daisytheclothbummum was not paid for this review. I was sent the nappy as a donation for my nappy library and all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Best for Breast! Bamboobies

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If you’re a breastfeeding mum, there’s certain things that you probably can’t be without. Breastpads are one of them. I only know of a couple of mums who’ve pretty much managed most of their breastfeeding time without using pads but most ladies I know have found them essential, especially in the early days when you can soak through a bra in a heartbeat if you forget them.

Now, packets of good quality disposable breastpads are NOT cheap and you can get through quite a lot. I remember having to wear two pads in each bra cup at the beginning to ensure that I wasn’t soaking through. It wasn’t fun and, with being on maternity pay, every penny counted.

So I invested in some washable, cloth breastpads from a high street shop. The only problem with the ones that I bought was that they were, to be frank, rubbish. They didn’t really hold much liquid and the milk wicked through quite quickly. I resigned myself to paying for disposables for the rest of my breastfeeding journey.

Then as I discovered more and more brands of cloth nappies, I also discovered better made, better quality cloth breastpads that actually work! Recently, I was sent some Bamboobies from the lovely Ailsa at Bambooty nappies, and I just wish that I’d had them earlier on.

Bamboobies are gorgeous, soft and ultra-thirsty breastpads that come in two different thicknesses. They are the kind of soft that make you want to rub them against your cheek (yes, I’ve been guilty of doing that with a lovely, squishy new nappy – which cloth bum mum hasn’t done it…) and that softness is perfect. When a breastfeeding mum has got painful nipples through early latching on issues through to biting from an overzealous toddler, it really does help that the pad isn’t going to cause any other problems.

Not only are Bamboobies really nice to wear, they really do work. Brilliantly. I’ve not had a single leak from them, they wash really well and dry quite quickly, which is so important when you need to get on with using them again. I’ve worn them at work (which means that I was away from Monkey all day and not feeding him between 7am – 7pm) and they didn’t leak once. I’ve also worn them overnight, a time that is usually very leaky for me – but, again, no leaks. I really love these pads and they’re working very well for me!

At the moment, Bamboobies aren’t on general release, but if you’re interested in them – drop Ailsa at Bambooty a line at ailsa@bambootyrealnappies.co.uk

daisytheclothbummum was sent two pairs of Bamboobies for the purpose of this review. I received no payment and all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Kiddicare Lakeside: Review

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You know when you see things that you just wish had been around when you were expecting a baby? Something that would have made it all just that bit (or quite a lot!) simpler?

That’s how I felt when I went to visit Kiddicare’s amazing new store at Lakeside, down in Thurrock (Essex) recently. It’s a brilliant, absolutely ENORMOUS store that has the whole ‘shopping for your new baby’ thing nailed!

There are certain websites that I’ve found really helpful when I’ve been researching (and buying) things for my little man over the past couple of years and Kiddicare has been one of them. Their website, along with their fantastic videos that show how to use most of their products, have been godsends, so I was quite excited when I was invited (along with a lovely bunch of other bloggers) to visit their new store.

I was initially a little worried as I often get lost around the Lakeside area and I was quite concerned that I wouldn’t find the store or that I’d turn off at the wrong point, but I needn’t have worried. It’s gigantic (50,000 square feet!) and you just can’t miss it, which is brilliant. There’s loads of parking and when I pulled up I sat in the car, staring at the bright, modern building and I have to admit – I was ridiculously excited. This place would have been my idea of heaven when I was pregnant and, whilst hubby isn’t exactly ever particularly thrilled with going shopping, I know that it would have ticked lots of boxes for him as you can get pretty much anything and everything that you need under one roof. Bonus!

After being greeted at the ‘Hello World’ desk by some lovely ladies who were full of very helpful information, I headed on over to grab a coffee at the cafe, along with a bite to eat. The cafe serves yummy Starbucks beverages and I made use of the ‘Nursing nest’, which is a calm screened off area with very comfy nursing chairs in it as little Monkey had decided that he wanted a feed. With him happy, I was able to use the free Wifi to tweet that I’d arrived and enjoyed a few minutes of peach and quiet.

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We then inspected and used the toilets and changing facilities, which are absolutely brilliant. There’s a communal changing area that’s really clean and brightly-coloured, which Monkey loved. The toilets have been so sensibly-designed, with each cubicle having a toddler toilet in there, along with enough space for a pram. How sensible is that! It just made life that little bit easier and there was no queueing to use the disabled toilet, as is the case when we go to most places on our own.

Kiddicare is a great store that I could spend, quite frankly, hours in. Everything that you see in the store (apart from some of the larger furniture sets) is available for you to take home that day, should you wish to and there’s a brilliant electronic pricing tag system that is constantly monitored and updated, so that you get really good deals. The stock levels are also shown, which I think is such a sensible idea. There are touch-screen ‘Browse & Order’ points situated around the store, so you can get things delivered straight to your house if you so wish.

What I particularly liked about the store, was the ‘try-before-you-buy’ pushchair track, called ‘Walk in the Park’ This is a really large area with what looks like a fun racetrack down the middle, along which are pretty much every type of buggy that you can imagine. Further back you can find a huge selection of prams and pushchairs, including many twin (and even triplet) ones. Having made a few errors when buying buggies ( I hasten to add, not my pram – I LOVE my pram!) this area would have been fantastic for me. When Monkey was smaller I adored my slings but he’s just too heavy for me nowadays so we could have made great use of this facility to testdrive a good variety to find the ones that suit you best. Having a very tall husband, along with a very tall baby, this would have been an immensely useful thing for us to do.

Another sensible little touch, for me, was the area at the back of the store where they have all the bedroom furniture and furniture sets out on display. They’re set out in areas that are the size of the average box room, which I think gives people a really good realistic idea of what would work for them. Most people don’t have the vast open spaces that some stores use to display nursery items, so this little touch made a lot of sense to me. I would obviously like to see more cosleeping/sidecar cot options on display to give a more rounded view on how/where your baby can sleep, but what I found very useful here was the wide range of travel cots. It’s incredible just how much they differ in size.

The store has a Community Events room situated at the back of store. We took part in a fantastic ‘Jo Jingles’ music lesson, which my little Monkey utterly adored. This room can be hired our for parties and will have a range of classes taking place in it. It’s annoying for me that we’re not nearer, but could be a little dangerous on my pocket as the temptation to have a little shop afterwards would be rather great!

Another service that I think would be so handy for some parents-to-be is the Kiddicare VIB service. It’s like a personal shopping service and for those parents who either want to be pampered, or for those who are very short on time, it’s a great idea as a personal shopper can help you choose products that would suit you best, whilst you can sit back in comfort in the VIB lounge. You can also create your own gift list here, if you want to. Whilst this isn’t something that I would have done, I can see it being really useful for many parents-to-be and a facility that makes a lot of sense.

From a personal point of view, I was particularly pleased that there was a good selection of Tots Bots and MioSolo nappies in the store that were available to purchase. Obviously I would love to see an even bigger range, but as I get SO annoyed when I go to other baby shopping places and find pretty much nothing there in the way of cloth nappies, Kiddicare really made me rather happy!

I really enjoyed my day out at Kiddicare Lakeside. There’s just so much choice there and it really does make shopping for your little one very simple. I’d love to see a few other products making their way in there, such a good selection of ERF (extended Rearfacing) car seats (I was dying to see a wider range but the majority of the seats were FF only), a wider range of cloth nappies and more slings that hold a baby in the frog position (they stock the Close Caboo and Manduca ones at the moment), but overall I was very impressed by the range and choice of products that I found there!

They’re currently in the middle of quite a massive January sale! I think I might have to try to not spend tooooo much!

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The True Diary of Baby’s First Year: Review

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Now, I’m an absolutely avid book reader. Well, ok – that’s a lie. I USED to be an avid book reader but I seem to have waned over the years, especially recently. When I got pregnant, I thought that I’d read lots and lots of books aimed at mummies-to-be, but I really surprised myself. I just didn’t.

I think part of the reason was that I read a little bit of one (not to be named but astoundingly and annoying popular) book that got me so angry with it’s very prescriptive and, in my opinion, cruel methods that I decided to just follow instincts. The internet has been incredibly helpful and through it I’ve discovered a whole host of people whose books I might not have come across, along with books that have affirmed the way in which we have chosen to parent our little one (I’ve discovered names for the things that we’ve been doing just as they felt right!)

Charlie Plunkett is one of these people. She’s written quite a few parenting books/ diaries and I’ve actually contributed to her most recent book, ‘100 little words on Parenthood’ that I obviously think is well worth a read (not that I’m biased, or anything…!)

Her book, ‘The True Diary of Baby’s First Year’ is one of those parenting books that is just so refreshing. I’ve been reading it over the past month or so and it’s drawn me in beautifully. The book is written as a week-by-week account of Charlie and her husband, Dave’s journey into parenthood following the birth of their son, Cole. From the moment I picked up the book, I felt instantly very comfortable – there’s just something about the way in which Charlie writes that makes you feel as if you almost know her and can really relate to her. I’ve found myself really feeling for them as I have read about their battles with getting Cole to breastfeed properly at the very beginning, through to taking part in baby massage classes (we loved ours and it sounds as if Charlie had as much fun at hers as I did at ours!) as well as nodding in total agreement when I read about how emotional Charlie got on her first Mother’s Day (I was a bit of blubbery wreck on mine!)

What I really like about the book is that at end of each week, Charlie has written some simple, bulleted little hints, tips and ideas for new mums to pick up suggestions from. They’re really effective and I wish that I’d had that kind of resource easily to hand when I was starting out with little Monkey. There’s a particularly helpful section in Week 2 for new breastfeeding mums that has information on how you can include Dad (which, I think is so so important) and later on in the book I found her thoughts on Steiner-style education quite interesting (it’s actually led me to rediscover this way of teaching, which is something that I’m finding fascinating).

I’ve found the references to vegan recipes very interesting (and mouthwatering) and, again, really wish that I’d seen this earlier as I got to a stage where weaning Monkey (who has quite a few different allergies and intolerances) quite tricky. This has led me to Google more vegan recipes that I’ve been alternating with other meals in our house and he absolutely loves them. It’s been really useful for giving me alternatives to a lot of dairy-based meals which I was struggling with – so thank you, Charlie very much for inspiring me!

I’d really recommend this book as one of those that you can either curl up and lose yourself in (as best you can with an ever-increasing bump if you’re reading this prior to having your little one) or as one that you can dip into for handy little hints and tips. By the end of the book you really feel that you’ve been allowed a precious insight into Charlie’s world with her beautiful little boy.

daisytheclothbummum was sent this book for reviewing purposes. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Charlie Banana Nappy Review

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I’m consistently amazed and so thankful for just how supportive most nappy companies are towards people, like myself, that are setting up cloth nappy libraries across the country. It’s tough when you’re on such a small (pretty much non-existent) budget and you’re trying to get a good range of nappies that you can show to people. It’s important to have modern cloth nappies that look nice, as well as easy to use, as people are usually genuinely quite surprised at how funky they are!

So, you can imagine how astounded I was at the generosity of Charlie Banana They sent over an incredibly generous amount of Charlie Banana nappies, some sized and some of their brilliant One-Size nappies. You could probably hear my squeals of delight from down the road when I got the package!

I decided that we had to give the CB’s a really good test and set about prewashing them. Then my little Monkey went and got bug after bug after bug. I decided to wait as I didn’t feel that the horrendous antibiotic mess that his body was creating was a good and fair start to testing them and he wasn’t really in the mood for Mummy taking photos of him!

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Luckily, he seems to be much more of his usual self now and everything has settled back down to normal, so testing commenced the other day! I have to say that I’ve been really impressed with these nappies.

Charlie Banana nappies are so simple to use. They are pocket nappies that you can slip either a reusable micoterry insert/soaker into or line with a disposable insert. They are lined with fleece that helps pull the moisture away from the skin and there’s a front panel where you can tuck a disposable pad into, if you choose to use them. The nappies I got sent didn’t have disposable inserts with them, so we only tested the reusable option.

The nappies are remarkably slim-fitting and I was slightly concerned that my mega-widdling toddler would outwee them very quickly, which is what we’re finding with most pockets at the moment. This, happily, wasn’t the case and he lasted a good 2-3 hours before I had to change him. We were out in town during two changes and the great thing about these nappies is that they packed down quite small in my changing bag, which is always a bonus!

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I got sent two different types of these nappies. The One-Size nappies have elastic on the inside of the pocket that you can pull to different settings as your baby grows, rather than have poppers on the outside of the nappy to adjust the ‘rise’. This gives a really nice, smooth finish on the front of the nappy and worked really well.

My little Monkey is towards the upper end of the nappy sizing, but I borrowed a baby from a friend (like you do!) and tried the nappy on a smaller setting, which was remarkably easy to do. It didn’t look too bulky and we managed to get it fitting really well.

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The other nappies I was sent were sized ones, which can give a better fit but obviously need replacing with larger sizes as your baby grows. Monkey is now in a Large size and they did give a really good fit and lasted very well indeed. He seemed to be especially taken with the hot pink one (!) and they were so slim that I could even put a pair of fairly skinny jeans over the top of the nappies.

I’m really impressed with the Charlie Banana nappies and I know that they’re going to make a great addition to our nappy library. They are funky, the prints that you can get are fantastic (they have a brilliant ‘fashion collection’ that you can buy) and they work really well.

Thank you so much to Charlie Banana for donating these nappies to the nappy library! They are wonderful.

daisytheclothbummum received these nappies as a donation to a nappy library. I was not paid and all word, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Jazzing up meals: Gourmet Garden Herbs.

Before I even start, I’m going to admit something. I’m not the best cook in the world. I mean, I try, but I’m not brilliant and I’ve had my fair share of disasters. You only have to ask Mr Clothbum about the peppered beef and he’ll start making really disturbing choking noises. Then, there’s a whole plethora of other things that I’ve disastrously mucked up over the years. The limey chicken that tasted so strongly of lime it made us sick… the lasagne that tasted of nothing but burnt pasta… the list goes on and on and on…

So, yeah. With that fantastic background I decided that it’d be a fabulous idea to take part in the Mumsnet / Gourmet Garden blog off/cook off competition! This is a competition where bloggers sign up to receive a goody bag full of Gourmet Garden’s brilliant tubes of herbs/spices that make cooking really easy and stay fresh in the fridge for 3 months. I’ve used their products before and loved them, so I knew that they would be simple to use and could really make a difference to my cooking.

I reasoned with myself that it’d give me the kick that I needed to stop making ‘safe’ recipes that I know I can do well. I signed the digital form and started thinking about what I might make. Then I promptly forgot about it, due to lots going on at work and Monkey being rather sick.

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When a cute little bag full of their products arrived on my doorstep, I was really excited as it was almost a surprise due to my rubbish memory, but then I started to panic. I had all these amazing products and absolutely NO idea what I was going to cook! There’s nothing quite like being prepared.

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Now, I could have sat down and thought things through carefully – plan my assault on the culinary experience of my family. Plan how I was going to use each tube in great detail and then go shopping for appropriate ingredients.

But I decided not to!

I decided that as the competition wanted us to make our everyday cooking even more delicious with the products that I was going to do just that.

Starting immediately!

So I went and had a nosy in our fridge. I’ve been rather boring and organised in our shopping recently, so most of our foods are in the freezer as I’ve been buying things that we can keep for ages or batch cooking and freezing. So, in the fridge and around the house I found:

A 450g packet of lean steak mince
A sweet potato (one of the white ones)
Some frozen veg
An onion

I decided to make some burgers and use the Gourmet Garden Fresh Blends Thai tube. This is a really gorgeous, fragrant mix of lemongrass, chilli, garlic, ginger and coriander. Our little Monkey absolutely loves garlic so I thought this would be an interesting experiment! Here’s what I did:

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I heated up a saucepan and fried the mince in it, not adding any oil. Once the mince was browned, I drained off most of the fat.

Whilst the meat was browning, I put some of the frozen veg (I would have used fresh but didn’t have any in) in a bowl, added a tablespoon of water and microwaved it for 4 minutes, as per the instructions.

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I then chopped up an onion fairly finely before peeling and grating the sweet potato.

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I squeezed about a third of the tube of Thai herbs/spices into the saucepan and then added the onions and sweet potatoes to the pan. I fried these until the vegetables became soft and then added a splash of Oatly oat milk to the pan to help the sweet potato to soften further.

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Once the mince/veg was cooked through, I put everything (including the cooked frozen veg) into my blender and gave it a couple of pulses to make the mince a little easier for a toddler to chew.

I added one egg to the mix to help it all bind together and pulsed again.

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When I got the mix out into a bowl, I noticed it was a little too soft to hold together as a burger so I improvised and added a small spoonful of plain flour, which made a massive difference.

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I then used the teeniest amount of oil in the pan to fry the burgers with. They would have fallen apart on a grill, so a pan was a good option. They firmed up really well and I cooked them slowly to ensure that the egg was cooked through.

Using a cookie cutter, I cut small burger shapes out of muffins and added the Toddler’s burgers to them. They looked pretty good and he started licking his lips!

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I then cooked our burgers in the same way and added them to muffins, along with a nice dollop of mayo

I cut the Toddler’s up into quarters and squished them down a little with my hand to stop them falling apart. He often throws ‘new’ foods straight over the side of his highchair onto the floor, but there was no stopping him with these burgers (much to my relief!) He tucked in straight away and polished off the lot remarkably quickly, making VERY loud lip-smacking noises.

Mr Clothbum and I also tucked into our adult versions and really enjoyed them. They were very tasty, nice and spicy but in a subtle way. I think I could have added more of the Gourmet Garden Thai spice/herb blend to ours but as this was a family meal I had to keep it from being too much for little man to cope with. Next time round, I’ll split the mince mix and only blitz the Toddler’s portion as it was a little too smooth for us and could have done with a bit more ‘chew’ to it.

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All in all, this was actually a really great success! Monkey LOVED it and ate loads, which is great considering that for the past week he’s had no appetite due to being ill and has refused anything new. Mr Clothbum loved it and didn’t have a bad word to say about the burgers and I really enjoyed them too.

I’ll be making these again. Thank you, Gourmet Garden , for such a delicious addition to our meal!

(P.S. We don’t often have burgers at lunch – but you’ve got to live a little!!!)

daisytheclothbummum was sent the Gourmet Garden goodie bag as part of the competition. I wasn’t paid and all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Review: the new Baba+Boo exclusive collection

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If you’ve read my blog before, then you might know that I’m kind of a massive fan of Baba+Boo nappies. I’m going to hold my hands up here and say, straight off, that I love them! They are fantastic pocket nappies that come in a great range of funky colours, patterns and fabrics and withstand pretty much anything that my toddler can throw at them. I really do take care of my Baba+Boo’s and get almost a little upset when they’re in the wetbag and rendered unusable for a short period of time!

So, you can imagine how intrigued and excited I was when the lovely Eve asked me if I’d like to review one of her new nappies from the exclusive range that she’s just released to the public today! I sat around, drumming my fingers impatiently and waited for the nappy to drop through my letterbox.

When it did – I wasn’t disappointed! Along with the beautiful new Robot nappy, there was also a matching wet/dry bag – which I wasn’t expecting at all! As usual, Eve has designed a gorgeous nappy that my little Monkey instantly adored. So much so that I couldn’t actually get it off him for a good few hours as he was walking around the room, hugging it close against his chest and getting immensely upset if I DARED to touch it! So I left him to it for a bit…

Once he’d lost a bit of interest in the new ‘Naaa Naaa’ I grabbed it and had a closer look. The nappy that Eve sent over to us is a really uber-soft PUL outer, with cute little robots printed all over it. The outer is much softer than previous Baba+Boo’s and I know that Eve is very proud of it. She’s got every right to be as it feels so much nicer than someof the PUL outer nappies that I own (I generally prefer minky, so that speaks volumes) and it’s not gone crunchy, yet, in the wash – which is always a good sign.

The wet/dry bag is a medium sized one that holds about 4 or 5 nappies (we got 5 in it without any problems at all. I slung it into our changing bag and took it out for the day. It performed brilliantly, keeping in smells perfectly and we had absolutely no leaks – which is what you want from a wetbag. It’s not too big, but big enough to hold a day out’s worth of nappies – which is brilliant. I slung it in the wash when we got home, as I had a load to do, and it washed up well – again, staying very nice and soft (this is pretty important in a hard water area, like mine, where we get that horrible crunchy feeling on a lot of things). There’s a little separate zipped section for keeping an unused nappy or some wipes, which makes it very handy indeed.

For those of you who haven’t encountered Baba+Boo nappies before, they are a birth-to-potty (BTP) pocket nappy that comes with two microfibre inserts. You can use the nappies from around the 7/8lb mark up to potty training. Some babies don’t always fit them straight away (this is the case with most BTP nappies) but grow into them after a few weeks, so they last a long, long time!

I personally love Baba+Boo nappies as they are very VERY thirsty nappies that I’ve never had a leak from. They fit my Monkey really well and are nice and easy to put, which probably explains why I never have any left on the shelves after I leave Monkey with his Daddy! He always reaches for them first as they are just so straightforward!

The new nappy didn’t disappoint at all. It was a great fit, really soft to the touch (Monkey kept on stroking it throughout the day – he has a habit of pushing down his trouser waistband when he is wearing a nappy that he likes!) and lasted for ages, even withstanding a mega toddler wee! The new print has a really fun, playful side to it and Monkey sat on the floor with the (clean) wet/dry bag for ages, pointing out all the little characters and chuckling to himself!

I can’t wait to see the rest of the new collection that Eve has just launched!

daisytheclothbummum was sent the Baba+Boo nappy and wet/dry bag for reviewing purposes. I did not receive any payment and all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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