Tuesday, 17 May 2016

My Fairy Garden - Lilypad Garden Giveaway

A short while ago I reviewed the lovely Lilypad Garden by My Fairy Garden Interplay.  It's a really lovely set, helping children to learn about gardening and taking care of plants, while at the same time having fun building fairy furniture and using their imagination playing with the far house below.

Ours is still thriving and looking beautiful and Ruby loves to water it as she comes home from school.

Interplay are giving my readers the opportunity to win their own Lilypad Garden which retails at £19.99 by simply entering this giveaway. If you're looking for gift ideas, do check out the My Fairy Garden Range as there are some adorable items.

To enter, simply leave a blog comment stating which you think is your favourite item in the range and leave a comment below.  There are extra entries available for social following.  Closing date is midnight Sunday 19th June 2016, and this is open to UK entrants only.  The prize will be dispatched by Interplay.

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Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Special Bond Between Children And Their Pets

A brand new survey commissioned by The Baby Show has shown the importance of that special relationship between children and their pets.

Our daughter has grown up with a dog in the house, as did I, and when we sadly lost Ella last year, we only managed a few months before we felt we had to get another four-legged friend.  Once a dog-owner, always a dog-owner I guess.

The survey revealed that nearly half (47%) of new parents today have pets at home in the first three years of their child’s life, while 83% of parents believe that having a pet is beneficial for their child’s development. 

The survey also reports why parents think having a pet has a positive impact on young children with 60% saying it is good for them to interact with animals from a young age and almost a third (29%) believing it teaches them responsibility whilst 1 in 10 say it improves their social skills.  

Dogs were crowned king of the pets, beating cats, rabbits and fish as the nation’s favourite animal to have with young children:

  1. Dog (48%)
  1. Cat (30%)
  1. Rabbit (7%)
  1. Fish (6%)
  1. Guinea Pig (4%)
  1. Hamster, Gerbil, Mouse or Rat (3%)
  1. Bird (2%) 

Sarah Beeson MBE, expert speaker at The Baby Show and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family, says "it's no surprise that such a high number of new parents have pets.  We often practice our caring skills on our beloved animals before we embark on parenthood.

"It's always better  to be on the safe side when setting boundaries for the relationship between your child and your pet but it's a great opportunity for your little one to learn. The experience of pet ownership shows us how to be loving and respectful, and can give children a little bit of supervised responsibility.  The relationship your toddler has with your pet often starts long before they make friends at school or nursery; they really are part of the family."

Participants described  how their children and toddlers often confided in their pets and this helped them to build social skills and companionship.  Billy is a best friend to Danny Wong's child Laila (pictured), he says: "they love each other's company - we often find them under the dining table playing together!"

Families agreed that having a pet is the perfect way to help them prepare for interaction with other children.  Excercise with their pet was also a beneficial way to keep fit and talk through any issues the child may be having.

I couldn't agree more.  The positives of having a pet in the home are fabulous, and we really wouldn't be without one.

The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, is set to return to the NEC in Birmingham from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th May and they are offering a pair of tickets for one lucky reader. The ultimate pregnancy and parenting shopping event for new and expectant parents, it will be home to over 200 exhibitors, showcasing the very best baby and infant essentials. 

For your chance to win a pair of tickets, please complete the rafflecopter below.  One lucky winner will receive an electronic code to download free tickets which can be used on any of the three dates.  Giveaway closes on Monday 9th May 2016 at midnight. Open to UK entrants only.

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Easy Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Easy simple chicken nuggets recipe

Since our family turned gluten-free in January as an experiment for various physical ailments, it's been a bit of a journey of discovery.  We're all feeling so much better for it and it's been really positive for us.  I haven't found cooking too much of a problem, and eating out is relatively straight-forward nowadays with most establishments catering for allergies.  What I do miss are the naughty little treats,  the quick and easy meals I used to go to my freezer for.  I hanker for a sausage roll or a decent frozen pizza.  There are some go-to meals that I've yet to crack as a gluten-free option but I'm pleased to say I've come up with a delicious and very easy recipe for gluten-free chicken nuggets using Nutribix breakfast cereal.  These crunchy, moreish pieces of chicken are super-healthy - I use free range, skinless chicken breast and they are baked in the oven rather than fried so they are low in fat.  There's no added sugar in the Nutribix biscuits and I add only a pinch of salt for taste, but you could choose to omit that altogether.  Nutribix are also fortified with vitamins, so they include Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Folic Acid. Made with Sorghum, they are naturally gluten-free.

I've also made these using leftover  cooked chicken from our Sunday roast, you'll just need to reduce the cooking time to ensure the meat doesn't get tough and over-cooked.


2 skinless chicken breasts
1 egg (beaten)
4 Nutribix biscuits (crushed)
Pinch salt, pepper and Cayenne pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Beat your egg in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, crumble the Nutribix with your hands into crumbs.  Add your seasoning and mix well.

Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks or strips.

Dip each chicken piece first in the egg, then in the coating and ensure it is covered all over.

Lay out on a flat baking sheet and bake for approx 20 minutes. Cut one nugget open to ensure the chicken is white and cooked through.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauce as a snack or with vegetables as a main meal.