Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Oh my.  I'm not sure if this is daft!  We've booked to go on holiday in May, a couple of weeks in Majorca.  I'm a bit nervous about it to tell the truth, but we chose Majorca because there've been tourists going there for longer than I've been alive, I can speak/understand enough Spanish to deal with anything major (in theory. Though the only Spanish I remember using in the hospital in DR were telling a nurse my age, and telling the anaesthetist that I was cold & deaf.  Both were true, I wasn't just telling him random things), and I figure we'll be able to find plenty of familiar baby kit out there if needed.

But of course babies have to have their own passports now.  Do you know how difficult it is to make a wriggly 1 year old sit in the right place in a photo booth, face the right way, and meet the super-strict criteria for passport photos?  Put it this way, it took 3 different photo booths, 3 lots of cash, and an awful lot of stress to manage it.  And if the passport people send it back, I'm going to have to go to Newport and SMASH them.  Or make them take the blinking photo themselves.

I'm looking forward to it, honestly, or at least I will be when the passport comes back!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sacla' Dallaglio Pasta Sauce Review

One for the adults this.

I'm trying to figure out a way to include that really bad joke about Sven Goran Eriksson's ex deciding that she preferred rugby to football, and if she married the right Anglo-Italian Number 8, she could be Nancy Dell'Olio Dallaglio, but I can't make it work.  Sorry.

Anyways, bad jokes aside, I was very pleased to receive a jar of the Sacla' Dallaglio Diavola pasta sauce to try out recently.  I've said before, we're a big pasta eating family, so this really tickled my tastebuds.  We had a recipe suggestion as well, but as SqueakyDaddy's a bit of a finicky soul, I went with my own variation, and teamed the Diavola sauce with some strips of quick-cook steak, a healthy splash of red wine, and half a dozen nests of tagliatelle.  Oh, and some garlic bread, but that's not on the photo.

GLORIOUS!!  I said at the start, it's one for the adults.  Seriously.  It's hot.  Not so hot that all you can taste is heat, but it's chilli-hot, and rich and far too good to share with small people.  FAR too good.  As long as you're sharing it with your beloved, then it would make for a great Valentine's Day meal, simple and easy to prepare so you can spend more time together, but tastes like you've spent hours slaving over a hot stove.  And if they think you've spent hours slaving away, then you're entitled to expect wine, flowers AND chocolates in return.  Hmmmmm... *plotting*

In short, delicious, but keep it away from the children!

Disclosure: I was provided with a jar of Dallaglio pasta sauce free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

Time Flies Like An Arrow, Fruit Flies Like A Banana

Somehow, and I don't quite know how it happened, Squeaky is 1!  Well, actually, she was 1 on Monday, and she's almost 1 and a week now.  Last Sunday we had a party in the village hall, with a lovely collection of her friends from the baby groups, plus other friends and their children.  Why didn't I realise how much hard work it would be to organise a party for a group of 1 year olds?  I wouldn't change it for a second, it was a wonderful day, and a perfect way to celebrate Squeaky's first year, but I'm STILL tired now, a week later.

 We had cake!  Look!  

I didn't get to take any other photos, and my video has too many other people's children on it to post online without a month of getting permissions, so you'll have to imagine a dozen rampaging 6-18month olds, plus parents, loads of buffet, Pass The Parcel & the CBeebies CD.
We're coming back to normality now, the buffet has all been eaten, and the toys we borrowed from the toy library have been returned, so the house is back to its usual level of chaos.

I can't quite comprehend where the last year has gone. It's positively flown by.  It only feels like 5 minutes since I was first handed this tiny little baby, with no idea what to do with her.  Now, she's desperately trying to walk, full of determination & personality, and makes me laugh a hundred times a day.  Her current favourite thing is playing tea parties with a singing tea pot she got for her birthday... I even caught her washing up the cups in her toy kitchen earlier.  I'm constantly amazed to see how quickly she learns, and to watch her figuring out something new.

Squeaky, I love you, little one.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Organix Meals

This is a sponsored post

I was very lucky to be sent some of Organix's newest Stage 3 meals for Squeaky to try out recently.  We received jars of the Organic Noodles with Fruity Chicken & Veg and Organic Spaghetti Bolognaise, as well as a pack of the Organic Multigrain Ricecakes.  As you can see, Squeaky was eager to get on with the important task of eating them!

First off, we tried the noodles with fruity chicken & veg (that's the one she's grabbing in that photo, by the way!)  The official Squeaky verdict is yum yum.  For me, it's lovely as she's getting older and progressing with eating, to be able to see the actual ingredients in food, rather than one-coloured mush.  This is a brilliant example of this, pasta sauce filled with visible red peppers, sweetcorn & raisins.  Seasoned with garlic & ginger, I managed to sneak a tiny sample away from Squeaky, and it's lovely.  Really tasty, like food should be.  Squeaky gobbled it down, without any messing (even though I was feeding her in a cafe & had forgotten a bib!) 

Then we gave the Spaghetti Bolognaise a try.  I have to be honest, I was hoping she wouldn't like it.  My spag bol is one of Squeaky's favourite meals, and there's a part of me that wants it to stay that way, as it makes fairly regular appearances on our menu.  But to prove me wrong, she loved it. No, really loved it.  Even more than the chicken, which was a great success.  I've never seen her eat so fast! Not even the first mouthful "what IS this" face, just straight into gobbling and smiling, and I think I even heard a little "nomnom".  Definitely a success, albeit at the expense of my wannabe Nigella pride.

And finally, the ricecakes! I've been looking all over for plain ricecakes.  Our local supermarkets only stock the sweet ones, and I wanted to give Squeaky something to have as fingerfoods when I'm feeding her main meal.  OK they stock adult ricecakes, but they're all salted or flavoured which isn't suitable.  So I was really chuffed to get these. Squeaky's a very tidy self-feeder with snacks, she'll sit and eat a biscuit or banana quite happily, but she has a habit of just throwing things around at mealtimes, so I'm trying to get her to associate the self-feeding with mealtimes as well as snacks.  She loves ricecakes, though she was a little bit confused when she sat in her highchair & then the ricecakes came out.  The multigrain gives them more flavour & texture than the simple rice ones, as well as looking more interesting (and I'm sure if I was a nutritionist, I'd be able to tell you all sorts of things about the additional nutritional value of the buckwheat & millet).  All I know is Squeaky likes them, and even if she does throw them on the floor, they're easy to clear up.  It's serious business eating them, mind you!

I said at the start of this post that they were new, didn't I? Very very new!  The jars go on sale in Tesco on 14 Jan (that's yesterday!), Asda from 7 Feb & Boots from the end of Feb, at £1.15 a jar.  The ricecakes also go on sale in Tesco on 14 Jan, Sainsbury's from 30 Jan, and Asda from 7 Feb, at £1.19 a bag.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Wrapping Up

It's almost the end of our trial of the Graco Symbio, and barring some kind of time-travel related miracle, this will more than likely be the last of my Symbio Advocacy blog posts.  We've got a busy few days coming up with Squeaky's 1st birthday party on Sunday, and the big day itself on Monday.  The house is currently awash with toys borrowed from the Toy Library and buffet items to assemble, plate up or cook.

So, I wanted to sum up the whole experience of the last couple of months with the Symbio.  I still can't quite believe I was lucky enough to be one of the finalists.  I had a million & one ideas that I wanted to do in these 2 months, but thanks to the weather, life in general, and the fact that 2 months in reality is nowhere near as long as it sounds, I didn't get to do all of them.

I tried to take Squeaky & the Symbio on as many forms of transport as I could.  It's such a light & easy travel system to use, I thought this would be fun.  So we went in the car, on the bus, on the train & on a steam train. I had hoped to get on the water bus/boat thing too, but it didn't work out, and no-one was prepared to lend me a milk float or horse & cart.  It did get me out of the house, and going places I'd never been before though.

I did hope to be let loose for a wee while on SqueakyDaddy's Sunday morning radio show, but the bosses said no, sadly.

I've honestly fallen in love with the Symbio, if Squeaky was due THIS year, not last, I'd buy one.  That's how much I've enjoyed it. The Symbio won Gold in the 2010/11 Mother & Baby awards for Best Travel System, and Silver for Best Pushchair, and I can understand why.  The design catches people's eyes, I've had any number of compliments on it when I've been out & about.  And talking of out & about, we got solidly rained on today, but thanks to the easy-to-fit rain cover, Squeaky at least stayed dry.  The same can't be said for me - drowned rat springs to mind.

So, in conclusion, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Graco for choosing Squeaky and I to take part in the Symbio Advocacy competition.  And we'd like to offer you a piece of birthday cake...

Thursday, 6 January 2011


It was my birthday on Tuesday, and seeing as no matter how many competitions I enter, no-one seems to want to let me win a Flip, I bought myself one.  Consider this a warning, I can now make better videos than the ones on the camera.

But that's not what this post is about.  As SqueakyDaddy & I were going out for a meal, my mum & dad came over for the day, and to babysit Her Squeaky Highness for the evening.  And to have a look at the fabled Symbio, of course. Unfortunately I didn't get to take many photos, but here's one I did manage to sneak while my dad was trying not to look at anything in the sales, in the hope it would stop my mum from shopping.

As for the Grand-parental verdict?  Grandma says "It's ever so easy to steer" and "I didn't think it would be this light".  Grandpa, as a retired tyre salesman was more interested in the pneumatic tyres, which he tells me are why it's so light & easy to drive, and more comfortable for Squeaky to ride.  He also mastered the art of assembling, collapsing and fitting the Symbio into the back of the car after only one demonstration, so it officially passed the Grandparent Test.  We managed to negotiate our way around the electrical store (I can't remember which this one was, but there was one of each of the ones that begin with a C), and a couple of clothes shops without hitting anyone or anything we shouldn't, and only spending money that needed spending (see earlier comment about buying a Flip)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year Folks

Happy New Year, from the whole Squeaky family, and the Symbio!

SqueakyDaddy did his annual run at Nos Galan, which meant we had to stand around in the cold & dark in a big crowd waiting for him.  Thank goodness for cosytoes & manoeuvrability!  Up & down the pavements, over the power cables & through the crowds, the Symbio made it easy.

And Squeaky had a new toy!
You are feeling sleepy

We also got to watch the fireworks before the race started.  So here's your festive NewYear's firework photo.
New Year Fireworks