Thursday 30 September 2010

Trippin and Trappin

Remember way back when Blondie Boy was not even 3 months old and he reviewed the Stokke Table Top? Well we were lucky enough to be able to try out the fabulous and functional Tripp Trapp that it is an accessory for now he is big enough!

The Tripp Trapp chair adapts to the size of your child - and the child always sits at the right height at the table with their feet supported at the same time. This ensures a perfect fit for children of all sizes allowing them to sit correctly and comfortably while interacting with the family at the dinner table. The no-tray design allows the Tripp Trapp to pull right up to the table to encourage communication. Blondie Boy seems to like his doesn't he?

We put the Tripp Trapp in our dining room and tested it out while we had his Grandma over for dinner. He seemed to love sitting at the table and certainly enjoyed playing the drums on the table. He was content for most of dinner, but towards the end twisted and wanted to get out of the chair, but he generally doesn't sit still long no matter where he is!

The chair is gorgeous and I love that it will last Blondie Boy as he grows into a bigger boy and even an adult. It is certainly stylish and does not look out of place in our dining room. It was easy for NotBlondeHusband to assemble and the baby set slotted in easily as well. The only drawback I see is it is not practical for feeding away from the table. I have to admit most of the time we feed Blondie Boy in the living room; I know we are bad, but I aspire to eat in the dining room more as he grows older. I love that he will be able to sit at the table with us for his first Thanksgiving!

The Tripp Trapp is available in 12 colours and you can find your nearest retailer by clicking here.

Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product for review.

Wordless Wednesday

Crawling outside rules, staying inside drools....

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Totally Blissed Out

I love beauty products, especially ones that are pampering. I'd heard of Bliss before, as they are stocked in my favorite store, Sephora (why doesn't it exist in the UK?), and regularly listed in beauty magazines. I was super excited to try their products out and even roped my mother-in-law into helping me test as well.
I started first with the Bliss Vanilla and Bergamot Body Scrub which you rub on to your body BEFORE you get in the shower and then rinse off. I'm a big fan of exfoliating products and was interested to see how applying before you step in the shower would work. I expected since you started your shower with the scrub the scent would be gone by the end of your shower, but the scent lingered long after I'd finished showering. The scrub is effective, but not harsh and left my skin feeling smooth and soft. My only complaint is the scent and that is only because I am not a fan of musky smells and bergamot is a musky scent. That being said, it's not so strong that it's stopped me from using it.

After showering I followed up my scrub with Bliss Naked Body Butter Lite. Now I don't know about you, but when I see body butter I immediately think of thick and greasy--this is anything but! This moisturizer is light and refreshing and quenches dry skin without leaving you feeling like you can't sit down for the next twenty minutes. It has a light, fresh scent and I love that it comes in a pump; I hate having to dig into jars and getting moisturizer stuck under my nails. This is a random one, but the pump comes with a guard so you physically can not pump out any body butter when the guard is on. As someone who has had product spilled out in my suitcase several times I love this.

The final product we were given to test was the Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream which I gave to my lovely mother-in-law since she let Blondie Boy and I crash with her last week while NBH was in London. Here is what she had to say:

I have tried lots of hand creams and no matter what the companies say in their advertising, the problem is always the same - they remain greasy for far too long and you end up leaving fingerprints on clothes, work papers, in fact anything you touch. So when I was asked to try Bliss hand cream I was fairly sure I could predict what my reaction to it would be - I'd like to use it but my life is far too busy to wait 15 minutes for cream to soak in. I was completely wrong.
The tiny amount I applied left my hands feeling moisturised and softer. More importantly, the cream was absorbed straight away which means I can apply it anytime, whether I'm handling papers or about to fold washing. I also love the smell - fresh, clean and lemony. I'm now a complete convert to Bliss and intend to try out some of their other products. The hand cream definitely works.

If you'd like a bit of pampering in your own home shop Bliss online or request a catalog.

Transatlantic Blonde was provided these products for review.

You guessed it!

Y'all were correct! Blondie Boy's first tooth has finally broken through! Here is the creepy part--it is exactly the same age to the day that NotBlondeHusband got his first tooth! There seems to be a tiny corner of the tooth next to it poking through as well, but he's had that on the top for weeks now as well, so I'm not holding my breath for any more anytime soon!

Here are some attempted photos of Daddy Boy's new chomper:

I apologize for how crap they are, but it's difficult to take a photo of a 1cm tooth in a very busy little boy's mouth!

Monday 27 September 2010

Blondie Boy Trivia

· One in every 2,000 babies is born with one

· A squirrel and rabbit grow them continuously.

· Turtles and tortoises have none.

· A mosquito has 47.

· An elephant's can weigh more than six pounds.

· Lemon sharks grow a new set every two weeks.

What am I talking about and what the heck does it have to do with Blondie Boy?

Thursday 23 September 2010

Too Hot for Sesame?

So this video of Katy Perry singing a Sesamed version of "Hot & Cold" with Elmo has been making the rounds on the internet and today it's been reported that PBS have decided not to air the clip because of complaints about her cleavage.

I actually let Blondie Boy watch this because he love his Tickle Me Elmo and pop music. I don't have any problem with it. I hate when adults put their own issues onto their children. She's not wearing an overtly sexy dress or doing anything inappropriate. Is the dress a little low cut? Yes, but come on small children aren't concerned about anything sexy. Women have breasts and hers are vaguely on display, but she's an adult. We shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies.

She's in her "dress-up" clothes and I think there is nothing sinister about it. Would you let your little one watch this? What do you think of the drama?

Tomy Light and Sounds Baby Mirror

For the most part Blondie Boy loves the car. He babbles away to himself and stares out the window taking in whatever scenery is passing him by. Sometimes, when he's super sleepy he gets cranky and moany and just generally upset because he is tired, but is fighting sleep.

Luckily we were sent a Tomy Light and Sounds Baby Mirror and it is like baby Ambien. The Light and Sounds Mirror has a choice of seven different melodies, calming or entertaining and a scientifically developed “Baby Sshh” melody has been included to help turn a crying baby into a happy baby for happier journeys. Different characters light up in sync with the melody as well.
The best part as well is it has a remote control! So while you are driving and your baby is pitching a fit in the back seat all you do is press a button and voilà chilled out baby. You choose an entertaining or calming melody based on how long you press the remote and once your child is asleep you can press the button to turn it off again.

We learned the hard way that the remote will not work if the mirror is hung upside-down, so if you are setting off on a long journey don't be airheads like us and hang it upside-down!

The mirror is also designed so you can keep an eye on your child by looking in the rear-view mirror. I already had a plain mirror for that purpose which magnified Blondie Boy's face, so for me the regular size face in the Light and Sounds mirror didn't really work for me. I keep the big mirror above his car seat and the Light and Sounds Mirror to the side just for him to see. However, if you weren't used to a magnified face it would work just fine.

We haven't had any meltdowns in the car from a sleepy Blondie Boy since we've hooked up his mirror and I would highly recommend it to anyone for use from birth. The Tomy Light and Sounds Mirror retails for £24.99.
Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product to review.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

A Boy and his Balloon

Beth over at Laugh Until You Cry does a linky called "On a Positive Note" to start Monday and the week off with something to make you smile. Today I got Blondie Boy his first balloon and I'd say it was a positive.

On A Positive Note Button

Monday 20 September 2010

B.sensible Bedding

Blondie Boy has eczema. I've mentioned it in passing, I've got drafts of posts sitting to be finished, but I've never really talked about it. We are able to manage his eczema with prescription ointments, soap-substitutes and other things his doctor has given us.

We don't use fabric softener on any of his clothes and I prefer to keep him in breathable fabrics like cotton. When we heard about B.sensible bedding and that their baby line Suavinet could be beneficial for children with eczema we were keen to give it a try.

B.sensible’s bedding is made from Tencel a 100% natural fibre that comes from eucalyptus trees. Combined with a smart stretchable membrane that is virtually undetectable, it acts as a hypo-allergenic barrier against moisture, bacteria and dust mites. The smooth surface of the fibre and its extraordinary moisture absorption provides a really healthy environment for babies and young children. Another amazing feature of this new-age fibre is its ability to regulate body temperature, acting like a second skin. It also absorbs significantly more moisture than cotton and dries much more quickly.

The sheet was really soft and felt just as soft after we'd put it through the washer and dryer. I can't say that is has helped Blondie Boy's eczema, but it certainly has not gotten any worse and he hasn't developed any new patches on his face or any other part of his body which directly touches the sheet.

The bedding is also available in adult sizes.

Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product for review.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Sunday 12 September 2010

Rachel's Organic Yogurt

You might have noticed that I'm a bit particular about what I feed Blondie Boy. Whatever I can make myself I can as I don't like giving him additives and stuff he doesn't need or want. So I was super excited to try Rachel's Organic "My First Yogurts."

One of my favorite things about them has to be the organic ingredients:
Banana: organic yogurt , organic banana purée (15.5%), organic pear juice concentrate, organic rice starch, organic lemon juice
Mango: organic yogurt, organic mango purée (12%), organic apple juice concentrate, organic rice starch, organic lemon juice
Only 5 ingredients and no sugar, colourings or other nasties. HOORAY!

Blondie Boy freaking loves them. He'll eat an entire pot in one go, no problem. My only complaint would be the composition of the pack. The pack comes with mango, banana, strawberry and raspberry. Most doctors do not recommend giving your baby berries before 6 months and as Blondie Boy has eczema he's not allowed them until 9-12 months.
NotBlondeHusband and I gladly eat the berry flavors ourselves, but since Blondie Boy loves yogurt so much it is just disappointing he can only eat 2 pots out of a four pack.
If your baby or child is okay to eat berries Rachel's Organic has a whole range of children's products called Taste Explorers with yogurt squeezies, rice pudding and other mixed fruit yogurt combinations. All organic and all free of nasties.
Rachel's Organic has loads of other organic dairy products including their new pouring yogurt. NotBlondeHusband used it to make his famous Greek Nachos and it's also great over cereal or granola.
The My First Yogurts are currently on sale for £3 for 2 packs at Tesco. I looked for them at my local Morrison's to price compare, but unfortunately they are not stocked at my store; you can find a list of online retailers here.

Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product for review.

Friday 10 September 2010

Feminist Friday V: The Internet

My post coming soon (Blondie Boy does *not* sit still, ever).....

The Internet

Here's how it works. Write a blog post about being a feminist mom, raising a feminist child, a rant or anything that falls under the realm of being a feminist mom based or the theme for the week. Come back and link your post and post the button on your blog.

That's it.

You don't even have to be a blogger to take part - just send me your post and I will publish it on my blog for you. You don't even have to include your name if you prefer.

When you've published it, come back on Friday and via a widget thing you can add a link to your post and share it with everyone. The link remains open for 7 days.

Visit others, comment if you like them or feel inspired by them. Just go out and encourage and support other feminist Moms.

The more support you give, the more you will get back! I can't wait to meet and interact with other feminist moms around the world!

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Tuesday 7 September 2010

NBH's Cottage Pie

I love to bake and make appetizers, but I do not cook meat. Yes, you read that right, I do not like cooking meat as I'm vaguely paranoid I will poison someone by not cooking it all the way or it will end up dry and nasty from being overcooked. So when we decided it was time to introduce Blondie Boy to meat, it was NotBlondeHusband's job to do the cooking.

So today's post is a guest post of sorts by my very own NotBlondeHusband:

When introducing meat to BB’s diet, cottage pie seemed like the perfect way to go. It has minced beef but also the more familiar tastes of mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, so it’s not all new.

When I looked for a recipe I found plenty for older babies but, since he’s only just 8 months and has eczema, tomatoes, garlic, fried onions and fresh herbs are no goes right now, so I invented my own. While I was making his it seemed to make sense to make an adult friendly version for us too, so I did. For both I used:

• 500g (17.6 oz) organic minced beef
• 700g (24.7 oz) organic new potatoes, peeled
• 400g (14.1oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
• 1 small carrot, chopped, 4/5 roughly for you, 1/5 finely for the baby
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 small white onion, diced
• 60g (2 oz) frozen peas (roughly, I used a generous handful)
• 1 low salt vegetable stock cube, or approx 400ml of low salt vegetable stock ( I used Heinz baby stock cube)
• 60g (2oz) mashed turnip (What we call turnip in Scotland is called swede in England, or rutabaga in the US. You could substitute butternut squash or any other root vegetable puree if desired, even a pre-packaged one)
• 3-4 tablespoons milk
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
• ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Firstly split the minced beef, 4/5 in a large saucepan for the adults, 1/5 in a smaller pan for the baby, and brown it.

Once browned, take the smaller pan off the heat for a moment. To the large pan add the diced onion, then crush and add the clove of garlic. Sautee for a few minutes until the onions are lightly browned.

Make the vegetable stock and add 300ml to the large pot and around 100ml to the small pot, basically just enough to cover the beef. Add the carrots and the peas to both.

Add the tomatoes and herbs to the large pot and season with salt and pepper. Since tomatoes are off the menu for BB I had to find a substitute to thicken and enrich his. We cook and freeze vegetables for BB anyway so I threw in two cubes of frozen mashed turnip, which worked perfectly. As mentioned above I’m sure pre-cooked, store bought vegetable puree would work just as well.

Bring both pots to the boil and simmer uncovered for 35 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about a quarter.

Boil the potatoes and drain. No need to split them!

Add the milk and butter and mash. No salt or pepper!

Pour the contents of the two pots into appropriately sized oven proof dishes and cover with a layer of mashed potatoes. If you wanted you could use more milk in the potatoes to make them thinner and easier to spread but I prefer to keep them thicker to make sure it doesn’t seep into the gravy below.

Forget about them! I made mine in the morning and we ate in the evening. They keep fine in the fridge.

Adult version

Baby version

When you’re ready to eat preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Grind sea salt and pepper on top of the adult dish. Cook the adult one for around 30 minutes and the baby one for around fifteen minutes, until you can see the liquid bubbling. I then turned the oven up to 220c (425F) and put the adult one back in for another five minutes because I like the top brown and crispy but this is optional. It has the added benefit of giving the baby version some time to cool.

Enjoy! I found that the adult version was plenty for four good portions. We split the baby version into eight portions, gave BB one and froze the other seven to reheat later.

I think Blondie Boy liked it, what do you think?

Sunday 5 September 2010

8 months

Age - eight months

Weight - 19lbs

Height - 28"

Sleeping habits - He sleeps from 10-11pm to 8-9am roughly.

Eating habits - Eating 8oz 4 times a day, but we've started cutting one out in favor of more food today. He's also had toast and homemade cinnamon rolls. He's going to get to try some organic ground beef/mince later this week. He still loves rice cereal but is almost equally as fond of banana yogurt and mango yogurt.

Favorite activity - Splashing, crawling, singing, talking, skyping, phones and general naughtiness.

filmed on a Kodak Zi8

Milestones - He's started crawling and repeats sounds like "boom boom boom," "da da da," and "ma ma ma" back to you.

Firsts- crawling, owie (see left of his head below)

Saturday 4 September 2010

Wake me up

For the past two weeks I've been trialling Olay Total Effects Wake-up Wonder moisturizer (it was just me, NotBlondeHusband hasn't been using it at all, I swear). I was excited to try it out because my make-up maven Nancy at Brideface has recommended Olay products in the past. First here is what Olay has to say about it's new product:

WonderDiscover its Wake-me-up formula, with Mint Extract, for instant moisture refreshment!

Olay total effects Wake Up Wonder addresses fisrt signs of ageing with 7 age defying effects to wake up creased tired looking skin.

■Minimises lines: Visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as they start to develop
■Nourishing Moisturisation: Intensively hydrates the skin as it begins to show signs of dryness
■Tone Enhancement: Balances colour & visibly evens skin tone
■Gentle Exfoliation: Smoothes and evens skin texture
■Pore Refinement: Minimizes the appearance of pores as they become slightly more noticeable
■Brightening: For a radiant healthy glow
■Reduces the appearance of skin imperfections

Well let me start off by saying that I pretty much exclusively moisturize my face at night as that is when I wash my face, so I don't really know if it gets rid of creases. I obviously didn't pay attention and thought it just woke up skin rather than was to be used after you wake up!

The moisturizer is really light and fresh, but I was expecting it to smell like mint and to even be a bit tingly in a refreshing sort of way. I'm sure the mint extract is doing something, but it isn't contributing to the smell or any invigorating feeling. It smells nice, but isn't overly perfumed and not that I'd know or anything, but it's pretty safe to say that men built like linebackers would be happy to use it too.

My skin does feel really nice and smooth and NotBlondeHusband thinks it's evened out my skin and even calmed down some of my redness. It seems to be on sale at Boots and you can register here to request a free sample and try it out yourself!

Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product for review.

Friday 3 September 2010

F-up Friday

So I f-d up. The way I remember Haraway is not how it reads in reality. I've heard from a lot of you that it was really difficult to read and understand and after re-reading it again, I agree. In fact I think I've smooshed Cyborgs and another article into one idea in my mind.

So, no Feminist Friday today. I will extrapolate what I was looking for and make that the theme for next Friday. Basically I want to talk about the internet. How your life online is an extension of reality and how virtual communities can be created and just as valid as tangible communities. Talk to me about women's power through the internet whether it's the rise of the mommy blogger, mompreneurs, campaigns for change, etc.

I promise if I give homework in the future it will be way, way, easier. I hope I haven't discouraged y'all from participating.