29 November 2012

Review: FunkyGiraffeBibs.co.uk


We were recently approached by the lovely Funky Giraffe Bibs to do a little review for them and as you can guess from the name they're all about the bibs. Logan is a little old for bibs at almost 3 but luckily Funky Giraffe Bibs also have other products such as hats, playsuits, rompers, t-shirt, dresses etc so we chose a couple of t-shirts to review instead.

Funky Giraffe was set up in 2009 by Yasmin Drury, having worked for a major retailer she was all too aware of the cost of production and the massive mark up charged by companies. As a mum herself, she knew what she wanted for her son and set out to produce funky designs at a reasonable price.

This is a true family business; Yasmin’s brother produces the garments in his factory based in Bursa, Turkey and she runs the business with her husband Solomon and their 4 year old son! Unlike many small companies in a similar position in Turkey, Funky Giraffe pay social security and insurance payments for their staff and ensure that they have broadly similar levels of health and safety to the UK. 

So what did we think of the t-shirts Logan was sent? Well they're great. Firstly Funky Giraffe Bibs have a good selection of t-shirts to choose from with simple striking designs. I chose the green explorer and white pure joy t-shirts for Logan to try. There are a range of sizes to choose from starting at 3 months and going up to 4 years. The t-shirts are very soft and hold their shape well especially around the neck thanks to a handy built in elasticated strip which I think is genius! Logan loved wearing the t-shirts due to their softness and there was plenty of room for him to move easily in them which is a bonus for a toddler who's becoming obsessed with Spiderman.

Funky Giraffe only use fabric made to OEKO-TEX standard 100 for baby garments.  They print their own items and only use water based inks. The company only use inks that are completely non toxic which is great to know. These t-shirts was really well at 40c and are beautifully stitched. I'm really fussy about the stitching on clothes and a loose thread of bad stitch puts me off. But I examined these t-shirts with a fine toothed comb and couldn't find a stitch out of place. One very happy mummy here.

You can purchase these t-shirts from as little as £6.50 however you have to bulk buy to get that price. If you're not bulk buying then they're £9 each. You also get free UK shipping, hurray!

With prices starting at under £2 for baby bibs, personalised items from £4 and playsuits from £7, these are quality products at very affordable prices, making them the ideal Christmas present. Due to popular demand the range is expanding daily so watch this space for more exciting products.

Overall I really like these t-shirts, they wear well and wash well so can't complain about that at all. Logan also enjoyed wearing them so he's given the thumbs up. Pricing is fair considering the quality of these t-shirts and they'd make a great present for that little person in your life.

Mummies rating - 9/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.funkygiraffebibs.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what they get up to on Facebook and Twitter. Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you!

27 November 2012

Win an Avengers Academy Day Out


Win! An exclusive Avengers Academy day out for you and your friends with Rubie’s

Ever thought about what  you’d you do if you had super powers? How would you keep the world safe in the face of danger? Children across the UK are being invited to share their best advice and tips on what they would do if they were a superhero for a day in an online competition launched by fancy dress manufacturer Rubie’s.

All entrants are invited to submit their words of wisdom for protecting the Earth along with a photo sporting their very best superhero outfits – homemade or official.

Showcasing an assemblage of super-beings, adventurers and crime fighters, all entries submitted via the Rubie’s Marvel Superheroes website will be uploaded to an online Pinterest gallery for all to see and included in a video on Rubie’s YouTube page. The best entrant will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be crowned the ultimate superhero. The lucky winner will receive the ultimate superhero prize, an Avengers Academy experience.

The winner and ten friends will receive a special invitation to the ultimate Marvel themed day out. They’ll be kitted out in the latest Rubie’s Marvel costumes and will spend the day at a local kids activity centre. In between tackling the exciting activities, the team will refuel with an Avengers themed party feast and will be entertained by a special party host. The day will be topped off with all party members taking home an exclusive Avengers party bag.

Launched by Rubie’s, one of the UK and Europe’s leading fancy dress costume manufacturers, the Avengers Academy competition has been created to share kids’ love for their favourite superheroes. In addition to the winning prize, the first fifty entrants will also receive a free copy of the latest Marvel movie, Avengers Assemble, on DVD or Blu-Ray.

For more information about Rubie’s Marvel Superheroes, or to enter the competition please visit http://www.rubiesmarvelsuperheroes.com/ Like the Pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/rubiescostumes/?d  

14 November 2012

Giveaway: Win a £50 Voucher to Spend at Sweetpea


Win a £50 voucher to spend at new baby and children’s website Sweetpea

Sweetpea is an online boutique that brings together a collection of easy-to-wear stylish fashion for babies and children aged 0-6.

Sweetpea offers parents a real alternative choice from the high street and other popular online destinations with each of their collections carefully selected for its great quality, wonderful detailing, simple styling, gorgeous colours and prints, and, most importantly, really competitive pricing.

At Sweetpea, parents will discover up-and-coming new designers such as Beau Loves and Tappa Nakki alongside well-loved brands such as Toffee Moon and Week-end a la Mer not to mention exclusive access to designers not yet available in the UK such as Nice Things Mini, who will be introduced this Autumn.

Alongside the baby and children’s fashion, Sweetpea have put together a small collection of imaginative toys and gifts by Kiko , gg*, Chimen and The Black Rabbit.

All Sweetpea orders are packaged in eco-friendly canvas bags, which can be re-used for anything from carrying home the groceries to an overnight bag. Sweetpea also offer free returns and free postage on orders over £50.

You can view the Sweetpea boutique at www.shopatsweetpea.com

To enter this competition like Sweetpea on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sweetpea/122598577818291
and fill in the entry form here http://form.jotformpro.com/23182799920968

12 November 2012

Make a Pledge with Medela


Medela are very excited to announce the launch of their new campaign; Make a Pledge.  The campaign gives families a unique opportunity to make a special and personal promise to an important child in their life, through a dedicated microsite www.makeapledge.co.uk

Medela provides the most technologically advanced breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world.  A long-time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world’s leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela’s breast pumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and facilities worldwide
There are plenty of things to think about when a new baby will soon be joining the family. Everyone hopes it will be loved and cared for, but beyond that every parent and family member has a special wish for that child. Whether it’s something simple like promising to teach them how to bake their Grandmother’s chocolate cake, or to take them swimming every Sunday, it’s certainly nice to make a note of that treasured promise. Medela themselves have pledged to support new families in the precious breastfeeding months.
With so much excitement when a new baby arrives, it’s easy to lose sight of things you always imagined you would pass on. The pressures and expectations new families face are enormous, and parents may be overwhelmed by the wealth of decisions they need to make such as; what nappies to use, feeding choices and later down the line what school to select? With these on-going and important choices parents’ can easily forget about the little things. Maybe they’d always dreamed of making a family tree with their child, or going blackberry picking at their local farm. With this in mind Medela have set up a dedicated microsite where parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, siblings and even godparents or family friends can make their individual and personal promise to a child they love, however big or small!

A promise can be absolutely anything, and best of all everyone who makes a pledge gets a lovely personalised certificate to keep. Dad may promise he’ll be there when his little one scores his first goal, or Mum might pledge to teach her little one her native language. Whatever you pledge, it’s a lovely thing to be able to share with a child when they are older, and you can even keep it in their baby book.  It’s also a brilliant way to let a sibling bond with their little brother or sister. Of course you can pledge to any baby or child whatever their age!

To celebrate the Make a Pledge campaign, Medela have created a video that is sure to give everyone a warm fuzzy feeling! It shares the thoughts of expectant parents and even a little sister talking about her dreams for their new arrival, her pledge was to share her sweeties!

So if you have children, are expecting a baby or just have a special little someone in your life make them a personal pledge at www.makeapledge.co.uk

Giveaway: The Snowman 30th Anniversary Edition


Academy Award nominee The Snowman has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation of families across the globe. Now, this timeless classic is available for the first time ever in high definition as The Snowman: 30th Anniversary Edition is released on Blu-Ray and DVD from November 5th 2012.
To celebrate, they've teamed up with master snow sculptor Duncan Hamilton (www.icesculpture.co.uk) from Hamilton ice sculptures to help you create your very own snowman!

Duncan says: "The traditional way to build a snowman is to pack snow together by hand, roll it to form balls and pat snow on to the surface to make the shape. This is quite limiting in terms of design and is not how the pros do it! To make a really strong snowman with lots of extra detail, why not try the following tips. But make sure you get a grown up to help you!"

#1 Get four equal sized sheets of wood. Arrange them to make a box with an open top and run a strong rope around them to keep them steady.
#2 Now shovel fresh snow into the box.
#3 Stamp or push it down carefully to compact it and carry on until you have filled the whole box.
#4 Leave it to stand for at least a couple of hours.
#5 Now remove the rope and the sheets of wood to reveal a perfectly compacted block of snow.
#6 You are now ready to carve your snow. Use any tools you have to hand – knives, saws, even spoons. You should find the snow quite easy to sculpt.

#7 Think carefully about your design and make sure that it is heavy at the base to prevent it collapsing or falling over.
#8 Be ambitious and have a good time!

Another idea…
In cold weather leave a tray with 1cm of water in it outside overnight to freeze. In the morning break the frozen sheets of ice up into bits and drill a small hole in each one, run string through the hole, then hang them from a tree to make a hanging ice installation.

Some facts:
  • Compacted snow has approx ½ the density of water, so a 1m cube will weigh about 500kg.
  • Snow melts more slowly than ice.
  • You can easily colour snow with food colouring and add it in layers to get different effects.
  • Michelangelo is reported to have sculpted Hercules in snow in Florence one winter for the Medicis.

Now my lucky readers can be in with a chance of winning 1 of 3 of these fantastic 30th Anniversary Edition DVD's of The Snowman.

How To Enter:
Basically all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to follow The Breastest News on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you have done so. As simple as that! If you'd like an extra chance of winning then simply follow The Breastest News on Twitter as well and leave a comment telling me you have done so. That's all you have to do, very simple.

This is a UK only giveaway, closing date is 2nd December 2012 at 12 noon.

Winner will be chosen at random by my 2 year old son.

Good Luck everyone!!

10 November 2012

Breastfeeding After Surgery

Today we have a great feature for you all from the very lovely (and gorgeous) Marc Pacifico, a consultant plastic surgeon who specialises in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and works at McIndoe Surgical Centre in West Sussex www.mcindoesurgical.co.uk. I'm asking him about breastfeeding after surgery so here's what he has to say.

So first things first Marc, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a consultant plastic surgeon, with both a reconstructive and cosmetic practice. My reconstructive side is predominantly breast surgery - both post-cancer reconstruction and surgery for women with developmental breast problems (such as breast asymmetry or tuberous breasts). On the aesthetic side of my practice, apart from surgery to the face and body, I do a considerable amount of cosmetic breast surgery, including breast enlargement, breast lifts, breast reductions and nipple operations. I really enjoy my work, but have two small children at home, so my rule is to work very hard during the week, but wherever possible keep my weekends free for family time!

Breastfeeding after surgery is not something often discussed at antenatal groups, maybe due to lack of knowledge? So is breastfeeding after, say a breast enlargement, possible?
Breast feeding after a breast enlargement (augmentation) is possible as the milk ducts are not damaged during the operation. Furthermore, it is also safe - in fact a study some years ago looked at the amount of silicone found in the breast milk of mothers with breast implants and compared it with the amount of silicone in formula milk from the bottle of bottle-fed babies. Surprisingly there was less free silicone in the breastfed group! In both groups the amount of silicone was so small it was not at all clinically relevant in any case.

What about after a breast reduction or nipple surgery?
Regarding breast reduction, the answer as to whether breast feeding is possible is - possibly. It really depends on the size of reduction, the technique used, and also an element of chance. So although I would never say never, I would say that a breast reduction may affect breast feeding in the future. I would always recommend trying to breast feed, but be prepared for it not to work after a breast reduction. The important thing, however, is that you will do no harm trying.

Are there any increased problems such as mastitis when breastfeeding with implants or any other form of breast surgery?
The short answer is no. Theoretically there may be a slightly higher chance after a breast reduction as the ducts may have been partially damaged, but this has not been borne out in reality. Therefore, I would still recommend trying to breast feed if you can.

Also for the women out there already breastfeeding but having to undergo surgery (not on the breasts), how long should they wait before breastfeeding their baby again?
For women who have breast fed and seek elective breast surgery (such as a breast lift) I would wait a minimum of 6-months after breast feeding. However, for surgery during breast feeding, such as for an abscess, breast feeding should be continued as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of further mastitis, infection and abscess formation.

Is there anything women can do to maximise their breast milk production after breast surgery?

Unfortunately, apart from eating a balanced and healthy diet, nature will dictate how efficient your milk production is!

How do Brussels Sprouts Taste to Babies?


- Ella’s Kitchen masterminds a new gastronomic experience to let adults taste the same intense flavours babies taste when they try new foods –

The world’s first ‘baby taste’ menu marks the biggest revolution in the British culinary scene since Heston introduced molecular gastronomy.  The Big Tastes Menu, created by baby and toddler food experts Ella’s Kitchen, is designed to let adults experience the big flavours tiny tots taste when they try new foods.

Based on academic research revealing that babies have three times as many taste buds as adults, and even additional taste buds in their cheeks, the Big Tastes Menu includes ‘taste-amplified’ Brussels Sprouts and super-strength strawberries. 

The Ella’s Kitchen Big Tastes Menu includes foods recreated as babies might taste them, with a flavour intensity of up to ten times what a seasoned adult palate would normally experience.  The big taste sensations make sweet foods even sweeter but exaggerate the bitterness of other foods, such as Brussels Sprouts, helping to explain babies’ extreme reactions of delight or dislike of new foods. 

 The research shows that there are major physiological differences between the way babies and adults experience food.  Whilst babies are born with around 30,000 taste buds in a tiny mouth, many of these are lost with age and the average adult has only 10,000 taste buds which are largely restricted to their tongue. 

Chris Lukehurst, Taste Psychologist, comments: “Babies experience a significantly higher volume of taste than the average adult.  Evolution has also prompted them to develop an innate preference towards sweet flavours and avoidance of any bitter tastes, helping to explain why babies accept or reject certain new foods.  We have worked with Ella’s Kitchen to create the Big Tastes Menu to demonstrate to adults the same intense flavours babies experience when they first try foods, including the deliciousness of Ella’s Kitchen’s foods which are developed with babies’ taste buds in mind.”

Paul Lindley, Ella’s Dad and founder of Ella’s Kitchen, comments: “By creating the Ella’s Kitchen Big Tastes Menu, we are trying to help parents understand what babies really taste and explain why they have such strong reactions to new foods.  We are passionate about making sense of tiny tots’ taste buds so that we create the best quality food, just right for tiny taste buds, encouraging little ones to enjoy eating healthy foods from a very young age.  Believe me, the taste of a strawberry multiplied by ten, just like a baby experiences, is amazing.“

The menu was developed by specialist chefs at Molecular Bubble to allow adults to experience the combination of big tastes in Ella’s Kitchen baby food in the same way their little ones do.  Whilst different techniques were used to create the big tastes featured in the menu, Ella’s Kitchen goes to great lengths to ensure all of their products taste as good as homemade using only top quality organic ingredients with real herbs and spices, such as coconut and ginger, and no added water or refined sugar. 

Ella’s Kitchen’s vision is to help babies and toddlers eat healthier food and develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.  Set up six years ago by Ella’s Dad Paul Lindley, the company prioritises health and nutritional value, but never at the expense of taste or convenience.  Ella’s Kitchen strive to be Good in every sense, offering healthy, handy and fun food that doesn’t cost the earth.  

Since 2009 Ella’s Kitchen has ranked in the top 25 fastest growing companies in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and secured a variety of consumer, trade and business accolades including Best Food and Drink Brand in the 2010 Grocer Gold Awards, International Business of the Year at the Fast Growth Business Awards 2011 and Best Organic Baby Food at the 2011 Prima Baby Awards.  Ella’s Kitchen has a 13.8% share of the UK baby food market and their products are now present in 30% of UK households with children under three.

The brand launched in Scandinavia and the US in 2009 and opened their second office in New Jersey, USA in 2011.  International expansion is continuing with the Australia launch in March 2012 and now every second of every day someone around the world is eating an Ella’s product.


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