Water:A Basic Need We All Take For Granted

If you’re thirsty you fill up a glass from the tap, if you a dirty you pop into the shower, if your little one has a fall you rinse the graze with some fresh water.

It’s a basic human right to have clean water and sanitation and thankfully in the UK it is something we all regularly have access to.

Sadly in many third world countries clean, safe water isn’t as accessible and this has a profound affect on many people’s lives, and the tragedy and suffering it can cause has dire consequences.

Illnesses such as diorreha can be fatal simply because they don’t have the ability to keep clean.

For us illnesses like this are horrible to deal with but it wouldn’t even enter or heads that it could be fatal.

Thankfully there is the help of some fantastic charities out there to try and help this horrendous situation with Frank Water being one of them.

India has the largest amount of people in the world that don’t have access to clean water so Frank has set this charity up to provide gravity-fed water systems, watershed management, waste treatment, sanitation infrastructure and education programs that have all massively improved thousands of people’s lives.

Because of their fantastic work Mahi Leather have joined up with them by donating $1.50 from the sale of each of their outstanding bags.

They take their name from the River Mahi in India where 103 million people lack the provision of safe water. For a river that is thought to be so sacred it has bought so much suffering to so many.

Through these charitable donations Mahi Leather has helped raise $7439 (up to Jan17) and wouldn’t it be great if you could help towards those statistics.

Not only do you get the good feeling of making a charitable donation to a good cause through your purchase, by cutting out the middleman and buying online you are getting a hardy canvas of premium cow leather bag at a fantastic price made to order and even personalised if you wish.

It was their wearable duffle bags that really caught my eye and would be perfect for carrying around all the paraphernalia  that come with a large family like mine and would be a great reminder each time I filled it with bits for my children of how lucky we are and how by purchasing through Mahi Leather I have done a little bit of good.

In this busy day and age it can be really hard to find the time to give to charity so by including a donation in something you can simply purchase online is a great idea that allows you to get a top quality product whilst giving back too.
*collaborated post

Olsson Haircare Collection Review

We are a pretty sensitive bunch in this house with my husband and youngest two being eczema sufferers and psoriasis causing regular problems for me.

Over the years I have found plentiful products that deal with sensitive skin but not so much in the realms of haircare.

I found this particularly hard with the boys as I have always been very careful to keep their baths product free so when it comes to hair washing it always has to be done before they get in the bath which they hate and just adds extra time and stress to bath time.

We were asked by the Scandinavian company Olsson to try out their haircare range that has been formulated especially for sensitive skin.

Their products have been geared towards allergy and asthma sufferers but would be suitable for the whole family to use.

All additives, perfumes and parabens have been avoided, leaving a haircare range that would cover a huge range of allergies and sensitivities.

It is a complete collection that covers cleansing, conditioning and styling and offers shampoos, conditioners, mouses, hairspray and styling wax.

I am always a little apprehensive about trying new things on the children but given they all have the seal of approval from Allergy UK it put my mind at rest and was happy for us all to see how they stood up to the test.

The volume shampoo left us all with squeaky clean hair and I didn’t miss the fact it wasn’t scented like I thought I would be.

It caused no irritation to the boys scalp or their skin even though the suds were I the bath with them for a good while.

The wash off conditioner was a great addition to our haircare routine and the addition of aloe vera and B5 left all our hair really soft and conditioned.

Number three has very unruly, long hair that always need a little extra TLC so the spray in conditioner was easily combed though and didn’t leave any sticky residue like a lot of leave in conditioners can.

The styling products were left down to my to try and first up was the spray, lift and hold mousse. Instead of spraying into your hand and applying to your hair it is sprayed directly onto the roots.

It was a little watery for my liking but still gave me good hold and was easy to blow dry once on.

With my flyaway hair a good hairspray is an everyday essential for me and Olsson have created a medium hold hairspray that didn’t sting my scalp like many hairspray a can and controlled my straggly hairs perfectly all day.

I found the whole of Olsson’s range perfect for the whole family. No irritations and perfectly cleansed and styled hair for us all!

*we were given these products for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Should I Have Stepped In Or Was I Right To Turn A Blind Eye

A trip into town yesterday and what should have been an enjoyable lunch with two of my children will now always be etched on my mind as something completly different.

We had settled down to a lovely meal after attending an event yesterday. It was actually the best meal out that we have had in a long time as both the children had sat perfectly which is a rarity!

Sadly though just as we were finishing up our deserts a huge cloud came over the afternoon after what I witnessed at the table in front of us.

The table had infact caught my eye earlier on as I had seen a young couple with a baby of about a year old sitting enjoying their meal and I was astounded at how well behaved he was. Sitting quietly on a bench not making a murmur which is a far cry from what any of mine would have been like at that age!

Then all of a sudden there was a huge commotion, the baby had grabbed a glass that had hit the floor! The parents were screaming and staff came running over.

The manger quickly tried to calm the situation, but the father was furrious and was shouting at the mother.

Then the father proceeded to shout and hit the baby! I looked in astonished at first and couldn’t believe that he clearly found it acceptable to lay his hands on a child, let alone a baby who was barely a year old and had accidentally knocked a glass to the floor.

All went quiet but I couldn’t take my eyes off of their table. He then proceeded to strike him twice again whilst paying for his meal, all the tables that were a lot closer to me and the waiter who was taking his money were all witnessing this and nothing was being said.

By this point the mother was collecting together their belonging and my blood was boiling. 

He then picked the child up, shook him twice and grabbed at his face.

At this point I rose from my chair and made my way over to confront him. I then looked back at the worry on my own children’s faces and stopped myself.

In the past I have felt the need to put myself in other people’s situations that have made me feel uncomfortable and my husband had warned me that one day I would come unstuck.

This thought stopped me for the sake of my own children as I could have been putting them in danger by confronting a man like this.

A man that happily struck, shook and grab his tiny, precious baby in a packed restaurant without looking round once. Clearly so happy that his actions were justified and this is what worried me even more. 

Through this whole ordeal the baby didn’t make a noise, not one wimper and not one tear was shed and it is now killing me inside to think what this poor child must suffer at home if this monster thinks they kind of violence is acceptable in such a public place.

I will forever regret not going with my gut and confronting this man, but then if I had in reality what would have been done?

The police probably wouldn’t have deemed it as an offence and it happened in such a short frame of time I dont think this would have been an option anyway.

Would I have just caused unnecessary upset for my own children and put us in a dangerous situation?

All I do know is that my gut is now churning from what I saw and if a situation ever arises like this again I won’t be taking the British approach and turning a blind eye as my heart and conscience couldn’t take it! 

My Top Five Reasons To Visit Camp Bestival

You are probably all sick by now of me singing the praises of Camp Bestival but  with the headliner for Sunday has just been announced which looks like one not to be missed I just wanted to give you my top five reasons why we love it so much and why it is the perfect environment for you’re children!

  • Gaining New Experiences Camp Bestival is a the perfect place to experience a whole host of new and exciting experiences. Be it the first time the family has experienced live music (this years line up is below), new culinary delights to sample are in abundance, camping could be a first for you and what better place to try it out and finally a whole host of activities that are their for the children to enjoy and maybe find a love for.
  • Getting Outdoors With a sad decline in outdoor play this is there best place to spend an entire weekend in the open air and just realise what a wonderful place it is to be and hopefully take that love back home and make the most of the fresh air on a regular basis.
  • Learning New Skills There are lots of activities they allow the children to learn new skills in a fun and engaging way. I know that the circus skills last year were a huge hit with my teen and he didn’t put his Diablo down for the rest of the summer! The whole camping experience itself also meant that we had to find a whole new load of skill sets ourselves as well as the children.
  • Meeting New People This was something I didn’t think to much about before or stay last year but was one of the things I loved about our stay. We all lead such busy lives which can all be a little insular at times. The freedom of this festival allowed us to relax a lot more and left us open to engaging with people and letting the kids run free and make new friends which is something we wouldn’t do so much at home.
  • Making Memories For me this was the by far the most prolific part of our trip. I felt that we really bonded as a family and reconnected with our teen which I never thought would happen! We have created memories to last a lifetime and will have nothing but happy memories and funny stories to think back fondly of in years to come.

If this has got you thinking about taking a trip yourself then take a look ‘here’ for tickets to this years festival.

       

    Sunday Night Games With Yeti In My Spaghetti 

    Every year it gets to Christmas, all the board games come out, we have a fantastic time playing with them together as a family and they are then packed away again not to be seen for another year.

    This year however I made a pact with myself that we would dedicate one night a week to all get together as a family and take a few hours to connect through the fun of board games.

    We are so preoccupied with ourselves all week and get lost to the world of social media most evenings that I felt it really important to have some screen free time and just concentrate on each other.

    Sadly I think the days of relaxing Sunday afternoons filled with roast dinners and quality family time are dwindling due to the fast pace of today’s world and it is something I would like to try to keep hold of in our family.

    The only problem we have is our family spans such a large age group that it can be tricky to find something that everyone has fun playing and is going to keep everyone engaged.

    University Games kindly sent us a game called Yeti In My Spaghetti that seemed a perfect way to kick off our games evening.


    This game is aimed at over 4’s and is for two or more players. We had over eight of us all ready to get involved.

    The game is set up really quickly by laying the strands of spaghetti over the top of the bowl and then balancing the yeti on top.

    We then took it in turns to try and remove the stands of spaghetti one at a time without letting the yeti fall into the bowl.


    It was such a simple game but kept the whole family entertained, even down to number five who has only just turned three.

    The only issue we had was the youngest two got a little excited when the yeti fell and decided that that the person to make it fall the quickest was a much better way to play!

    This was a real all rounder that would be great to play as a family or so easy to follow that it could be set up and played by the little ones on their own.

    * we were given this game for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

    What If You Couldn’t Afford To Feed Your Baby

    All any mother wants is the guarantee that when her precious little bundle arrives she will be able to keep them safe, healthy and happy.

    We all go out of our way to give our babies the best start in life that we possibly can…but what if this taken out of our hands and problems arise.

    When I had number four as many of you will know we had a really tough journey after his was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.

    I had never really considered what a huge impact this would have on us and it took months of hospital visits and teams of wonderful staff that managed to get this issues under control so that we could go be safe I the knowledge that we could bring up our son so that he would grow and nourish like any other child.

    I was lucky enough to manage to breastfed for two years by excluding all allergiens from my diet, but as he got older his diet was so limited that he struggled with weight gain and up until the age of four he was prescribed a formula milk that was suitable for him.

    Along with this and up to the present time we also get safe bread and pasta for him that have been a huge help as they are so costly to buy and the bread alone that is only available online at the cost on nearly £5 for one small loaf.

    Sadly I have just heard that the Clinical Commissioning Group for the borough of Croydon are now going to stop providing infant formulas and gluten free products on prescription.

    Can you imagine having a newborn baby that needs feeding and having to find the money to pay sometimes as much as £45 for one small tin of formula.

    With an average of two tins being used per week I would struggle to find many families that would be able to find upwards of £360 a month to feed one baby, infact this amount would probably equate to what most families would spend on a food shop for their entire family.

    I fully understand that the NHS is under extreme pressure and cuts and changes need to be made so that this fantastic service can be kept for us, but taking food from the mouths of babes is a step to far and will have serious implications for so many families in this borough.

    If this affects you in any way or you feel this is unjust then please feel free to sign this petition ‘here’.

    Quorn Chilli Dogs

    Hot dogs are always something that most children will eat and are so quick and easy to prepare.

    I decided using a couple of great Quorn products to create a vegetarian chilli dog that allows you to sneak a few veggies into one of their favourite foods.
    Quorn Chilli Dogs

    Serves 4


    • Pack Quorn sausages
    • Pack Quorn mince
    • 4 brioche hotdog buns
    • 1 chopped red onion
    • 3 chopped cloves of garlic
    • 400g tin tomatoes
    • 400g tin kidney beans
    • 1 chopped red pepper
    • 1 vegetable stock cube
    • 300ml water
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp coriander
    • 2 tbsps tomato purée
    1. Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and then begin to fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
    2. Next add the red pepper and fry for a further couple of mins.
    3. Add to this the spices and and allow to release the flavours for a few minutes.
    4. Add the Quorn mince, tomatoes, tomato purée, kidney beans, stock cube, water and oregano and allow to simmer for 20 mins.
    5. Whist the chilli is cooking place the Quorn sausages into the oven for 15 mins.
    6. Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven and place inside the brioche buns and top with the chilli.
    7. Serve with a portion of skinny fries and a mini corn on the cob.