Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chilli Papa's Mandalay Curry mix-review and competiton

When emailing around regarding my christmas post a few weeks ago, Chilli Papa's were kind enough to send out a curry mix of my choice for me to review. I chose the Mandalay Curry Mix but you can see the full range here.

As a family, we have my parents round on a regular basis for tea, and quite often i do homemade curry, so i was really interested to get a verdict from all the family.

The curry arrived, containing 2 mixes, and very clear, easy to follow instructions.

What you need :
  • 300-400g meat, meat substitute, fish or vegetables
  • 1 onion
  • garlic and ginger, fresh or ready chopped
  • 1 stock cube(depending on what your main ingredient is, either vegetable, beef, chicken or fish)
  • 200ml water
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes(optional)

Now the really easy bit.
  • Add all below ingredients together and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through.
  • Chop one medium onion
  • Chop 300-400g meat
  • crumble one stock cube
  • add 1 teaspoon of garlic granules or 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • add 1 teaspon of chopped ginger or about 1x2cm fresh ginger
  • add 200 ml water
  • add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes(optional)
  • add 1 mandalay curry mix

So that's how to cook it, now comes our verdict on the taste.
It was Yummy. We served ours with boiled rice and naan breads, and the blend of the spices worked so well together, with every mouthful i would notice a different taste. I'm no good with portion control, so always do huge portions, and when i was full i still carried on eating, something i do a lot when what i'm eating tastes so nice. It really was delicious.

I'll definately be buying chilli papa's curry mixes as christmas presents for the men in my life(Daz, my dad and my brother), and will definately be buying from chilli papa's again, i really need to try the other mixes in their range. The mixes are sold as a 2 pack, retailing at £1.99 with free shipping.

We have teamed up with Chilli Papa's to offer you the chance to win a curry mix of your choice.

For the chance to win, comment below telling us which curry mix you would like to win.(commenting can be quite confusing, so best thing is to do is comment annomously, but make sure to include your full name i.e " I would love to win a 2 in 1 Tikka Mix. Loren Peabody).
Winner will be picked at random.

For one extra entry like both Lorens Little Lovelys Blog facebook page and Chilli Papas facebook page, commenting "I would love to win a yummy curry with @Chilli Papas and @Lorens Little Lovelys Blog Page"

For one extra entry tweet "I would love to win a yummy curry with @Chillipapas and @LorenPeabody", and feel free to follow us whilst you're there.

Competition will be end on 15th October 2011.

* Due to lack of entries competition will run for longer, for a week, or until there is enough entries for us to draw, so spread the word*

Loren xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Dotty Bots Cloth Nappy-Review and COMPETITION!!!

As many of you know I'm addicted to fluff...or cloth nappies! So as you can imagine I wasn't going to be saying no when the chance came up to review one of dotty bots new bamboo nappies. After talking to the lovely Rebecca and telling her what a heavy wetter Jack is, she very kindly put a new charcoal bamboo insert in for me to test aswel. Perfect for night time use. I also got to choose (YAY) which design i wanted, and having always always wanting a camo nappy for Jack this was my obvious choice :-)

This is the nappy made up with the 2 bamboo inserts, and on the left is the charcoal booster.

For those who don't know, a pocket nappy is pretty much as simple as a disposable...except you wash it.
It consists of a layer of waterproof pul, or waterproof minky, with a top layer of fleece or bamboo, with an opening at the back where you add the absorbant inserts. You also have the choice of adding a flushable liner on top, so if the thought of poo in your nappies scares you, you literally just take your nappy, tip the poo and the liner into the toilet, flush that away, then store your nappy in your bucket or wetbag. Then wash your nappies with less then half of non bio washing powder and no fabric softener/conditioner, line or tumble dry, put your inserts back in, and use. It really is as simple as that.

After just one prewash(usually nappy companies recommend at least 3 prewashes, which helps increase absorbancy, but i couldn't wait to get this on Jack) I was eager to try out our gorgeous Dotty Bots Bamboo Nappy.
Jack has always been a very heavy wetter, which was the whole reason we started using cloth, as he was outweeing every brand of disposable out there.
I first tried him in the bamboo nappy at night, using the 2 bamboo inserts that came with the nappy, and also using the charcoal booster. I was very dubious that we'd wake up to a wet babygrow, as we usually use heavily boosted 2 part nappies at night, but i awoke to the lovely surprise that Jack was dry. The nappy was very wet inside, yet his skin was dry, thanks to the fabulous top bamboo contact layer.
After that i had no doubt that it would also make a fantastic day time nappy.
I think we got to a little over 3 hours before i changed Jack, but the back of the inserts were still relatively dry, so i know that if we were out or on a long car journey, without a doubt this nappy would keep him dry for as long as needed.
We also had a not so nice pooey nappy, and there was definately not going to be any leaks happening.

Whilst the nappy and bamboo inserts were in the wash after using as a day nappy, i used the charcoal booster on top of one of jacks night nappies. When teething Jack gets really bad nappy rash, but after using the charcoal booster-which is known for its anti-bacterial properties-i was amazed to see a huge improvement in his nappy rash. I will definately be ordering more of these, i am still shocked at just how good they are.

Dotty Bots nappy's are birth to potty nappies, which adjust in height with poppers on the front. They are then fastened around the waist with various popper settings.
They are also cheaper then most brands on the market, with their Original nappies, that come with a micro terry insert AND a super bamboo booster costing only £8.50, The Bamboo nappy, that we reviewed is £12.00 and the stunning couture range, supplied with the same inserts as the Original nappies are only £9.50.
The wetbags retail at £6.50 and fit 5-7 wet nappies in. They can all be purchased here, along with extra inserts and boosters.

To use cloth nappies full time it is recommended to have between 15-20 nappies. If you had 15 Original Dotty Bots nappies and 1 wetbag(although i would recommend 2) it would cost you in the region of £134. Compared with other companies where for the same you would be paying £240, this is an absolute bargain.
Bear in mind, if in disposables you were paying £20 a month, that would cost £240 a year. On average your child will be in nappies for 2 years, if not more, so over 2 years you would be spending £480 on nappies. Definately makes £134 from birth to potty look really appealing doesn't it.

We have teamed up with Dotty Bots to offer you 2 fantastic prizes.
We are giving away a girls set and a boys set. Both Sets contain a nappy and a wetbag of your choice.

All you have to do is head over to Dotty Bots facebook page and say "I want to win fluff with Dotty Bots and Lorens Little Lovelys" and also head over to my facebook page saying the same. Then pop back here to let me know you've done it, and if you would like to win a girl or boy set.

There is also a chance to gain extra entries by:
  • Heading over to twitter and saying "I want to win fluff with @dottydonkey and @LorenPeabody" and feel free to follow us while you're there. Again coming back here to let me know you've done it.
  • Following my blog via the networked blogs on the right hand side of your screen.

Three chances to win a super prize, so why not enter now. Competition will end on 8th October 2011.

Loren xx


Organic Monkey Massage Oil-Review

We were sent a sample of Organic Monkey massage oil to review.
I love the smell of most essential oils, and this was no exception. "Our Hello Mellow Massage oil comprises of a delicate blend of nourishing organic oils to moisturise the skin with a hint of organic sweet orange, lavender and roman chamomile essential oils to aid well being and help soothe restlessness and hyperactivity."

With Eva and Jack being 16 months and 3 and a bit, i was certain they weren't going to lie down and let me do "baby massage" on them, but Eva enjoyed me rubbing some onto her legs, and rubbed some onto the backs of her hands saying "mommy, i'm going to be relaxed".

As well as being calming and relaxing, this oil is also good for delicate skin, and a little of this oil goes a long way. It is perfect for using when doing baby massage, which amongst other things, is a great bonding experience.

But it's not just for babies, after a stressful or tiring day, get your partner to give you a massage with this oil, or as i do, gently massage it into my hands when winding down when the little ones are in bed.

Jack gets a little bit of eczema on the back of his knee's, so i've been rubbing it into there, and it does seemed to have calmed it down.

This lovely organic oil is £12.00 for 125ml's, which will last, as like i said before, a little goes a long way, and it can be bought here.

It's a lovey buy, and would make a perfect baby shower or new baby gift, or just to treat your baby, and yourself.

Loren xx

Organix Mighty Meals-Review

Jack, being 16 months, usually eats what we eat, but i always keep a back up of some 12 month plus baby food in the cupboard, as sometimes we eat after the little ones are in bed, or having something Jack can't have.

We were sent 3 mighty meals, Pork Meatballs, Spinach Falafals and Tomatoey Beef Bolognese.
All were meals i wouldn't make myself, as I don't like pork or bolognese, and would have no idea how to make falafals, so these meals are a nice way for Jack to try foods that he otherwise wouldn't get to.

This is Jack eating his Pork Meatballs

I think out of the 3 the Tomatoey Beef Bologonese was Jack's favourite, but he enjoyed them all.

Organix brings to us, what i'm sure every parent wants, which is "organic, natural ingredients. Food that doesn't have anything unnecessary added and nothing important taken away."

They make it quick, easy and very convienient for us mom's to feed our children, knowing they are getting something delicious, nutricious, and organic.

The Organix range consists of
  • From 4-6 months
  • From 7 months
  • From 10 months
  • From 12 months
  • and a range of yummy snacks and drinks.
There really is something for everyone, Eva is 3 and a half and me, Eva and Jack often sit and eat a bag of rice cakes together. The drinks are also really handy for keeping in your bag when out and about.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My baby starting school.

Well the last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.
The 6 weeks holidays have never meant anything to me since leaving school...until now.
If you know me, you'll know i didn't go back to work after having Eva, and have got to do so much with her, things that if i had gone back to work i wouldn't of had the chance to do. As Eva keeps saying "mommy, we are best friends" and in a way that sums it up perfectly.
So all through this 6 weeks holiday i kept putting to the back of my mind, that actually it was only x amount of weeks left until Eva was going to be starting nursery school.
At her school they gradually settle them in, so it's been a confusing "faffy" couple of weeks. First we got a home visit, then the next week on the Tuesday an hour and a half visit with me there, and the Thursday an hour and a half on her own. This week she's done Monday and Wednesday, 12.45-3.15 and is going Friday too.
From next week she'll be doing 5 afternoons, then starting mid October she will be going 1 morning aswel.

Since last November Eva has done one afternoon a week at playgroup, but nothing prepared me for how I'd feel leading up to this September.
I kept pushing to the back of my mind that my baby girl was starting school. Every time i thought of it i felt physically sick.
Actually the dread and nerves in the lead up to her starting school have actually been worse then her actually going.
OK so so far I've not had chance to think about the fact shes not been here, so I'm sure next week it will hit me like a tonne of bricks.
But i can't be selfish, I've not once said I've missed her while shes been gone, but using phrases such as, I've been looking forward to coming to pick you up. If i was to say i miss her, then that would be it, she wouldn't want to go, as Ive made the mistake of saying that once before.
She comes out each time, with paintings, and pictures that shes drawn, or done gluing and sticking that shes done all by herself. To me, they are the most fantastic pieces of art I've ever seen in my life. She proudly writes her name on each picture as well. So although i miss her hugely, and my best friend has gone, i am filled with so much pride that i feel I'm going to burst. And the excitement in both our faces as i pick her up, the huge cuddle, and her telling me what she's done as we walk home is a feeling i cannot describe.

I also think it will do both her and jack good, within their relationship. 2 and a half hours a day Jack gets me all to himself. Something that he has never really had the privilege of. I can't wait to actually see him, spend time with him, sitting and watch him as he learns new things.
Eva getting to do what she wants, without her "annoying little brother" trying to snatch something off her, or copy her.

So all in all I think it will do us all good, especially Eva and Jack.

I've gone on long enough now, and if you've got this far, well done. Sometimes it's just nice to have somewhere to get things off your chest.

Loren xx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Scuttlebug Review

When I was asked if I would like to review Mookies Scuttlebug I didn't even have to thing before replying "yes".
Having already seen these, and having heard they were good, I couldn't wait to try it out...Ok for Eva and Jack to try it out. I will admit I did try, but nope, these are definately not a toy mommy and daddy can steal.

As soon as our bumble bee scuttlebug arrived Eva and Jack were both eager to test it out. And bless them they are slowly getting there with the whole taking it in turns and sharing thing. With the weather not being brilliant, we got it out in the lounge. The box it came in was really compact, which was good, as i'd been expecting it to be a lot bigger.
The scuttlebugs are so portable and easily fold and unfold with a 3 step system, and once folded are light and take up no room, so really can be taken anywhere.

So did Eva and Jack like it? A resounding yes.
Eva, who can peddle her smart trike, i think loved it as she didn't have to peddle, and could glide around really fast on the wooden floor. Jack was just amazed that he could do it himself. Jack being clumsy (sorry son, you inherited that off mommy) has fallen off a few times, but he falls so gracefully, he doesn't even go "BUMP". For those of you that know Jack, he's not exactly dainty and graceful. And he bounces straight back up and gets back on.
They both find it so easy and "Great fun", as Eva says, to use, scooting and gliding around in pure delight. I am seriously considering purchasing another scuttlebug so they have one each, even though Eva is already 3, she finds it such fun, I really think she would get the use out of it.

We love our scuttlebug, and honestly, if you have a child thats aged 1-3 I would highly recommend getting one of these. They retail at around £25, and are available from amongst many places, Argos and Amazon.

For those starting their christmas shopping, this is a must have on your little one's christmas list.

Loren x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The new Quinny Moodd

After days of teasing on the Quinny UK facebook page this morning they unveiled the new Moodd.
With very little details yet released, all i can say is WOW. As a pushchair addict, I am in love, Sleek and stylish yet practical and functional.
I can't wait to find out more details, such as other colours, price, accessories etc.
Click here to see the new Moodd.

Loren x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Baby Massage Experience with My Father: Book review

When i was asked to review "Baby Massage Experience with My Father" i jumped at the chance.

My Personal Experience
When Jack was born, for the first, at least, 6 weeks of his life he cried all day and all night, and didn't or night.
Then Eva started playing up at bedtime(until we cut out her day time nap) so i would have to leave a crying Jack with daddy, while i put Eva, just turning 2, to bed, and because we were getting her into her big girls bed ready for Jack going into the cot, i had to sit with her until she was truly asleep.
My mom bought us some bedtime lotion for Jack, which contained lavender, to help aid with sleep.
So Daz started to get Jack ready for bed while i sorted Eva. He would gently rub the body lotion on Jack, change his nappy, and get him into his pjs. When Jack was about 8 weeks, by the time i got into the living room, he would be asleep in daddy's arms. Before doing this, Daz always used to say how Jack didn't like him, whereas in reality, Jack only ever settled on me, and as soon as being passed on to anyone else would start crying. The difference in them was amazing to see, watching them form an amazing bond.

The Book
The book, even though i'd read the info, wasn't what i was expecting.
Mary Kay appreciates that every journey into parenthood is different, and no baby or parent is the same.
As opposed to a "how to manual", it's a story, high lighting how baby massage can help in all sorts of instances, such as post natal depression, dad's feeling sidelined, and colic in babies amongst other things.

The story is about Mike's journey into parenthood, and how, as a father he felt that there was no support offered to fathers, in the same way it is offered to mothers. After all, it's not just a mother who becomes a parent, but a father too.
He feel's useless, due to lacking confidence, as he's never really been around children.

In my opinion this book is ideal for parents to be to read leading up the birth of their baby/babies. To give them the information about baby massage, and how it can help. It also high lights the fact that sometimes it's all too easy for new dad's to be sidelined. After reading this, i think as a new parent you would be more concious, as a mother to involve the new dad more, and as a father, to get involved more, and to ask if you're not sure you're doing something right.
All in all a good read, and something that covers many topics in one story.

This book is due for release 24th September 2011

Mary Kay
Mary Kay said, “During my experiences as a midwife, health visitor and more recently a baby massage instructor, I often see fathers feeling alone and unsure of their role after the birth of their child. This is often because the bonding between mother and baby is taking place 24/7 when dad is often at work and can’t always be around. I’ve found that fathers who use baby massage experience improved confidence and self-esteem due to the increased involvement with their new-borns. Babies benefit due to more eye-contact, smiling, and vocalising with their daddy. Of course, a father's involvement through baby massage can assist in giving a much needed break to mum which can ease stress on the parents’ relationship too!

Baby Massage
If you are interested in baby massage, ask your local GP or HV and they should be able to give you the information on dates and times of your nearest sessions.

Loren x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Beautiful Poem shared by my lovely friend

When I am ready, I will smile,
You'll have to wait a little while.
Its one of the first things I learn to do,
I want it to be just right for you.
When I am ready, I'll sleep through,
There may be small things you can do,
To help me do it, but you'll soon see,
That in the end, it's down to me.

When I am ready, I will crawl,
And then you'll have no peace at all.
Into everything I'll be,
No time for your nice cup of tea!
When I am ready I will walk,
And when I'm ready, I will talk.
Then that's it, big milestones done,
Though you will still cherish ones to come.

And when you're old and up I've grown,
And maybe perhaps children of my own,
You'll look at them and you will sigh -
How fast the time has passed you by!
Was I really as small as that,
Helpless and tiny, in booties and hat?
And much as you tried to enjoy each part,
There was that wish inside your heart.
"Will you ever get there?" You used to say,
As you wished my babyhood away.
"The others are doing it, why aren't you?"
Because it's not my time – if only you knew,
That all the worry was a waste of time,
The decision of when, was always mine.
I did it all in the end, nice and steady,
I told you I'd do it when I was ready!

Loren xx

Friday, 2 September 2011


OK, so it feels a million miles away, but it soon comes around.
So I've got some tips, and brilliant gift ideas to make Christmas a little less stressful, and alot more enjoyable.

Be Prepared
Start by writing a list of who you need to buy for.
Then look at it again, and check who you actually need to buy for. Is there really any point buying for someone you haven't seen for over a year? Mutually agree with friends on whether or not you're going to buy for them/their children and vice versa? If you are going to buy, set a price limit.
Now think what you want to buy for them? Not sure what to buy, ask their parents/them. There might be something they really want, and if you have no idea what to get, its worth asking.

I like to spread out my buying, so work out how many pay days til Xmas, and what your going to buy each month. If you like buying all in one go, then put some money away each month, so you don't break the bank in December.

Gift Ideas
Here are some pages that make some lovely things that make fab presents:

Loren's Little Lovely's-(Yes it's me)Handmade baby and children gifts, including bibs, bags, blankets, tag blankets. All items can be personalised with embroidery. Also working on personalised stockings.

Truly Madly Baby/Truly Madly Kid-Essex-Lovely Baby and Children items, from high quality toys, to feeding and safety equipment. (You can order from anywhere in the UK, not just Essex)

Soximals-Hand-made sock animals,custom orders taken.

Daydreams and Daisies- Unique gifts and cards including amazing handmade custom canvases.

Kidz Plaques- Hand cut and painted letters perfect for bedroom walls, and now also doing mini letters and large freestanding letters.

PrettyRaine-Pretty Raine baby hand and foot print keepsakes, including inkless kits.

Neverland Creations-Silver imprint Jewellery and accessories(can be done from anywhere as all done by email or post).

Crafty Mama-I make Dummy Clips,Pandora style charm bracelets, healing gemstone jewellery and other handmade items with a few other things added too.

Corlog Crafts and Celebration Cakes-Specialising in Baby Shower nappy cakes, New home/ engagement cakes, Christmas cakes, handmade cards, beaded wine charms and more. (Also going to be doing men's cakes, perfect for the man/men in your life).

Candy Bath Co-A selection of yummy goodies for your bath/body all hand made.

Bathtime Twists-Make your Bathtime a magical experience with our handmade products made from the highest quality ingredients.

Cake Pop Princess-Delicious handmade cake truffle lollipops by post, made to order in a variety of flavours and styles and posted to your door, anywhere in the UK (and beyond!).

Chilli Papas-Using our spice mix, you make the curry from scratch, you take the credit for a great meal!
No oil is needed so you make healthy curries that taste amazing!

Chocolate Madness-Bespoke chocolates for all occasions.

The Bespoke Dog Bakery-Some treats perfect for your pet.

(please note these are facebook pages. If you don't have facebook, leave a comment or email me at- and i can give you their direct website or email address)

Make your own cards
Last year me and Eva made our own Christmas cards, we got our cards from eBay, we got 50 cards with envelopes for around £5ish. We cut out a Christmas tree hape out of a potato, and a pot shape separately, and then dipped the tree shape in green paint and printed it, then the pot in red paint and printed that at the bottom of the tree. You can add fingerprint baubles on, and a star at the top. They can be as simple, or creative as you want.
I then wrote Merry Christmas in silver and gold pens on the front.
This year we will be doing more designs, trees, snowmen, penguins. Get artistic. And a lovely personal touch. You can search online for little verses to put inside, or we just wrote Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

You can even make your own wrapping paper. Get a long roll of brown or white paper, and print it to match your cards. Or just let your little ones get messy with it. No one will mind it's not "perfect", because if your little ones made it, it will be perfect to them.

We also made gift tags, we just cut up the left over cards and i let Eva paint and glitter them.
Don't leave wrapping you presents til the last minute. Do it in advance, as A, You(well I know I)never realise how long it's actually going to take, and B, If you suddenly think, oh no i forgot "so and so" you have got chance to go out and get them something.
When it comes to wrapping children's presents, I always open the boxes, spend the 5 minutes to get the things from off the cardboard they are tied to, add batteries if need be, then put back in the box and wrap.
This just means that on Christmas day, presents can be opened and played with straight away, making Christmas morning that little bit less hectic.

Plan in advance what food you need.
Farm shops are brilliant for buying fruit and veg, and we always get our veg for our Christmas dinner from our local one. They tend to be a lot more value for money, and really yummy.

We prepare all our veg on Christmas eve, so that it's one less thing to stress about on the day. Lay the table the night before as well. Much better to have a hectic, stressful Christmas eve then make Christmas day any more hectic than it already is.

Will you be having get togethers where your catering for guests? Plan in advance what your going to cook, and what you need, and shop around to get the best possible price. Buy easy to cook things, and prepare in advance where you can. I find Iceland is brilliant for frozen food, especially with their party food ranges.

Out with the old, In with the new
In the run up to Christmas, it's worth sorting out toys, and either passing on, selling, or taking them to the charity shop.
No doubt when you've got children you are going to have lots of new toys, and if you're anything like us, we're already bursting at the seams with toys. So it's the ideal time to get rid of the old, not been played with in a while, toys to make room for the new ones.
I usually have a clear out before and after Christmas. Get rid of a few before, and a few after. The trick is to do it when your children aren't around, as if they are there, anything you try to get rid of will inevitably be their favourite toy that you can not possibly get rid of, even if its been say unplayed with for months.

So there's a few of my tips on a stress free, enjoyable christmas.
Feel free to comment your own tips and ideas, the more the merrier :-)

Loren xx