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baby buzz GROW London & Sutton Seeds start off our get growing season! A new guide to help young people with learning disabilities to manage their feelings better‌

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Editors Letter

B

London Company No: 8234631

Nickie Evans nickie@babybuzzmagazine.com 0208 361 0727 07944 240 321

Cindy Evans

Emily Hewett, I am Emily contact@iamemily.co.uk Dean Baxter, ChimpMySite Dean@chimpmysite.co.uk

I can’t believe it’s March already, where has the time gone! The views expressed in this magazine are not always those of the publishers. Neither the publisher nor any other person associated with the production and publication of this magazine makes any guarantee, warranties or claims as to the accuracy of any of the contents of this magazine. We include and use products and services that we believe to be of a reputable standard but we advise readers to make their own judgements. The publishers and magazine will not be held accountable and or responsible for any loss caused by errors, loss or negligence resulting from Baby Buzz Magazine Limited. We do not accept responsibility for any unsolicited material or photographs published. Terms and Conditions for our competitions can be found on our website at the time of being published. No section of this magazine is authorised for use or reproduction in any form without the prior consent of the editor.

No purchase is necessary. All prizes must be accepted as offered. For products that have been reviewed and then given away as part of a competition giveaway, it must be noted that there will be minimal wear and tear to that said product. All prize details and prices are correct at time of going to print. Winners shall be notified by email after the closing date with a delivery date to be agreed. All rights reserved ©

One of the benefits of being in this industry is that I get to learn so much about everything baby, children, parenting related (admittedly I can’t walk into a shop without giving advice on anything baby, toddler related!). With so much advice, tips and suggestions being given by professionals, family and friends, being a new parent, whether it be first, second or third time around can be a somewhat daunting experience. It’s worth remembering that nine times out of ten there isn’t a “right or wrong way” of doing things and ultimately you need to find a way that works for you. In this issue we have the usual fantastic stories, exclusives, fun facts, recipes and news and reviews and with amazing competitions and giveaways available on the website. If there is anything that you would like us to cover or think we need to research, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@babybuzzmagazine.com.

Nickie xx

Cindy Evans Arts Editor

Eve Tudor The Buggy Network

Emma Small Busy Bees Benefits

Jo Megilley JM Herbalist

Elizabeth Butler Lifestyle

Michelle Eskeri Birth Your Way

Bebe Jacobs

Abi Adams Oolong

If you wish to receive a hard copy, please email us at:

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CONTENTS

Lifestyle P.24 P.25 P.27 P.28 P.31 P.32

P.41 P.42 P.44 P.67 P.73

A Royal High Chair - Suitable for a Prince Getting dads involved - BabyList Bebe Jacobs - All my parents Dad 1 and Dad 2 Jodie Newman - Technokid To Bee or not to Bee - Beeutiful Friends of Life - Mentalhealth FEATURE A new guide to help young people with learning disabilities to manage their feelings better. FEATURE Sit Tight Campaign - With Ruby & Ginger FEATURE Tesco Mums of the Year Celebrating great mums everywhere! London Children’s Ballet -Celebrating 20th Anniversary Toucanbox - The importance of Art What’s On?

Regulars P.16 P.18 P.23

FEATURE Busy Bees Benefits - Paying Your Childcare - your questions answered The Buggy Network - A time to come together Little Signers Club - March Signs to teach your children

Travel P.70 P.71 P.72

An Easter Package you will never forget, Martinhal, Portugal Enjoy a taste of the real France, Canvas Holidays Step into West Lothian

Food & Recipes P.40

DumDum Donuts - Yep there’s a “Healthier” option! Suttons Seeds- Grow Your Food!

News & Reviews

P.40

P.47 P.48 P.52

Horoscopes

P.54 P.55 P.63 P.66 P.69

Toys & Game Reviews Book Reviews CYBEX Reviews, Hauck and Diono - the latest in car seats The Chicco Urban Product Reviews Restaurant Reviews Nature & Co Spa Review VW Beetle Design Review

P.5

Courtesy of Tracie at MagicandGlitter

Health & Wellbeing P.19 P.21 P.35

Michelle Eskeri - Birth Your Way Abi Adams - Oolong Shnuggle - Baby bath gets thumbs up!

Grow & Keep Your Own P.35 P.35

GrowLondon - a fabulous garden show coming to London in June Growing your own - where to start?

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Horoscopes - March 2014 By Tracie at Magic & Glitter

Pisces February 20 - March 20 Work starts to pick up for you mid month. New opportunities are now coming your way. Check your paperwork is up to date. Avoid gossiping, people will be watching.

Aries March 21 - April 20 Relationships are a bit tense. Find a new way to have fun together. Single people a new love interest may appear towards the end of the month. Avoid sulking you can’t always get your own way.

Cancer June 22 - July 22 You want to travel, and see new things. Take a chance and book a holiday. Somewhere different and exciting. Finances are looking good this month. Avoid putting work over family time. Virgo August 23 - September 23 Still your own worst enemy I see. Less thinking and more doing. You need to sort out your diet. Your family will like the new and improved you. Avoid being lazy.

Scorpio October 24 - November 22 Work is your main focus this month. You’re thinking of applying for a new job. Be prepared, presentation is the key. Your efforts will be noticed. Avoid making any sudden moves.

Capricorn December 22 - January 20 You would like some time out on the work front. Feel like you need to recharge your batteries. Take a look at new ideas, and locations. Someone has long distance travel in mind. Avoid over doing it.

Aries March 21 - April 20 Relationships are a bit tense. Find a new way to have fun together. Single people a new love interest may appear towards the end of the month. Avoid sulking you can’t always get your own way.

Gemini May 22 - June 21 Decide what you want from your relationship. You’re bored, you need the spark back. Make some time for fun and romance. Lights some scented candles. Avoid spending too much time on work. Leo July 23 - August 22 A nice weekend away is what you both need. Planning a new business venture. This month you need to network. A loved one with help you. Avoid being too bossy.

Libra September 24 - October 23 Still Juggling work and family. Take a day off and go shopping together. Someone has a secret that will be reviled. Try not to look shocked. Avoid asking too many questions.

Sagittarius November 23 – December 21 There’s a lot going on at home. Discussions need to be had with family members. Take one task a day at a time. Everything will get resolved. Avoid speaking your mind.

Aquarius January 21- February 19 You want to make some changes. Maybe it’s a new hairdo or some new outfits. Your happy spring is on the way. You love bright colours. Avoid over spending.

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Name: Bailey Harper Drake Date: 26 February 2014 Weight: 7lbs 2oz Parents: Lauren O’Kane and Perry Drake

Name: Mason Molla Date: 8th January 2014 Weight 3lbs 14 oz Parents: Joanne Xenophontos and Soni Molla

Name: RĂ­an Francis O'Sullivan Date: 27 December 2013 Weight: 8lbs 2 oz Parents: Eve & John O'Sullivan

Name: Oliver Simon Suda Date: 21 November 2013 Weight: 8lbs 6oz Parents: Dita Sudova and Tomas Suda

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Name: Louis Francis Long Date: 29 January 2014 Weight: 6lbs 11 oz Parents: Nicola Olympios and Damien Long

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Parents & Business

Sometimes it’s as simple as just finding the right path for you, believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Helping new businesses set up shop! Innovative Swedish e-commerce platform plans UK expansion Tictail (www.tictail.com) is an innovative, free-to-use DIY e-commerce platform that allows individuals and retailers to set up their own virtual store in minutes. Based in Sweden, Tictail has seen over 35,000 online stores created across Europe since its launch in 2012, including 10,000 in the UK. Dubbed ‘the Tumblr of e-commerce’ by Wired Magazine in 2012, when Tictail was listed as one of ‘Europe's 100 hottest start-ups’, the platform focuses on strong community integration, simplicity of use and attractive, customisable design. Tictail is revolutionising online retail by enabling anyone to create a beautiful online store for free, via a unique and accessible easy-to-use interface. A Free, Simple Platform with Everything in One Place When setting up a store, users can choose from a range of professional design templates, so while it is possible to create custom sites using HTML and CSS, there is no need for any in-depth knowledge of coding or web-design to build an online shop. The Tictail platform offers users a unique ‘dashboard’ system that acts like a marketing assistant by generating daily tasks tailored to each retailer through a variety of tools. Such guidance includes social media advice, reminders for when orders need shipping, as well support to help keep track of loyal customers. These tips aim to develop customer relations, help sellers keep on top of a growing business, and ultimately improve the store’s performance. With no hidden fees, retailers are able to sell items across the world in a variety of currencies, and with unlimited bandwidth, there is plenty of room for sites to grow. Apps to Enhance the Tictail Experience While the basic Tictail service (including PayPal integration and unlimited product uploads) is completely free of charge, in May 2013, Tictail launched a specialist app store that allows users to purchase additional tools to help manage and expand their store. Examples of these optional apps include: The Custom Domain App, which allows retailers to use their own domain name, instead of including Tictail in their store’s web address (for example the URL could be www.yourname.com as opposed to www.yourname.tictail.com). €1.00 per month (approximately £0.86 per month, free for the first 30 days)

Carl Waldekranz, 27, Tictail co-founder and CEO, comments, “Tictail democratises online business through a clean, simple and social ecommerce model, suitable for technophobes and tech enthusiasts alike, ensuring that entrepreneurs can bring their products to the wider market quickly and easily. Some of the greatest businesses in the world started in the UK, and we are excited about the potential for Tictail to open the door for thousands of new British online stores: bringing exciting, unusual, and remarkable products to the market.” About Tictail Created by Swedish entrepreneur Carl Waldekranz and co-founders Kaj Drobin, Birk Nilson, and Siavash Ghorbani in Stockholm in May 2011, and with its e-commerce platform launching in May 2012, Tictail (a fusion of the words ‘boutique’ and ‘retail’) is free-to-use and provides retailers – whether established businesses or new entrepreneurs – with all of the tools necessary to create a virtual store, ready to accept orders within a matter of minutes.

Baby Buzz Thoughts: What a great way of setting up your own online business! We tried the software to launch a Baby Buzz Retail site so that all the fabulous products we review and see each month we can create an online shop / connection too - this will be launched in due course. Free to use, although you do pay for additional extras that at best cost just next to nothing per month. A great and successful store set-up which used the Tictail platform is The Blueberry Elephant (www.theblueberryelephant.com) visit the website to see just how the finished product looks like. There are so many different style and layouts to choose from and they even have the Terms and Conditions, Returns policies in place, should you wish to choose them. Opening up possibilities pure and simple!

A Discounts App that allows specific items or all stock to be discounted. This amount can be automatically deducted at checkout, or via a generated promotional code that a customer enters during a purchase. €5.00 per month (approximately £4.28 per month, free for the first 30 days) Password Protection offers retailers a way to limit access to their store. For example, if a retailer wants to limit access to a new collection to certain members of the press, or alternatively offer exclusive previews to social media followers, this can be easily set up using the Password Protection app. €5.00 per month (approximately £4.28 per month, free for the first 30 days) Testament to the popularity and accessibility of the site is that in a recent survey of Tictail users, it was reported that 81% of stores were set-up as a result of direct personal recommendations.

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Parents & Business Who is behind the Product? Mumty Bumpty was set up by Kathryn Vint – a Belgian girl who married a lovely Geordie and decided to settle in York. Kathryn took the plunge and went self employed in 2010 offering Marketing consulting services. Kathryn soon realised there were a lot of people selling online who were making a decent living, so she wanted to create an online shop of her own. How did the company get started? The idea of an online shop was always there, but the concept of Mumty Bumpty came about a year and a half later. The idea was born out of so many conversations with pregnant friends and new mums who were frustrated by the availability of pretty, high quality maternity lingerie at a good price. We started doing some research and discovered how difficult it could be to source such items as the variety offered by most UK retailers was fairly small and limited. We wanted to change this and believe we have done just that. We wanted to be able to offer something a bit different to the norm. After doing lots of research about what industries are popular and then realising there was only a small selection of 'nice' maternity underwear for sale online, we found our 'niche' and decided to go for it. With my experience in Marketing, setting up an ecommerce website was pretty straight forward and http://www.mumtybumpty.com was launched in March 2012.

to being employed. But only hard work and a good product or idea will take off. It can be very risky and expensive to start off with, but it is exhilarating when things do work out. Getting the right support is also crucial, especially in the early days… be it by a supportive partner, a grant or loan, a business coach or a good friend. I was so lucky that my husband supported my (crazy) idea of starting another business as we are both self employed so it is not as straight forward as having the security of a monthly salary when being employed..

What is the company about? Mumty Bumpty is an online store selling beautiful maternity lingerie to new mums and mums-to-be's. Our products have carefully been sourced to ensure they are of the best quality, are comfortable, yet still very pretty to make you feel 'extra special' during this wonderful time. Mumty Bumpty sets out to give women a reliable choice of well-fitting I am also expecting my first child in June 2014 and I am so happy to maternity underwear in sumptuous fabrics and appealing designs. know that I can run my business around childcare and make my work What do you hope to achieve? fit in with family life as opposed to family life fitting in with my work. Although we have been in business for 2 years now, there is still so much to do to get the Mumty Bumpty brand out there. We want to be the online shop that women turn to when they think of maternity lingerie. At present we source our products from different suppliers, but in future we would like to manufacture our own products if possible as we believe the brand has such a lot of potential. Moving forward we hope to get more brand recognition, and hope to keep replenishing our stock and expanding our product range, in the maternity lingerie and maternity swimwear range. What has been the highlight of starting your own company? Coming up with a fun name, creating a great brand and getting fantastic feedback from new mums who are ecstatic with our products! Another highlight is when you mention the name to anybody, it often brings a smile to people's face! What has been the downside of starting your own company? I had underestimated how much work it would involve. Mumty Bumpty was set up on a shoestring budget and advertising costs, exhibiting and general maintenance of the website etc take up a lot of time, effort and money. It is also easy to get carried away at the beginning and costs can soon spiral, so it's important to keep a close eye on your budget to avoid any unnecessary costs. What would your advice be to any parent wanting to start up their own business? Research, research, research – to start with… online, but also talk to friends, family and even randoms or competitors if possible. Start off by setting up a great business plan and review it on a regular basis. Don't just 'go with the flow' and expect things to work out… you will only see results when you put in the effort in whatever you decide to do. But being self employed is fantastic – the flexibility you have around your family and the lifestyle you're able to lead is very different

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Maternity Lingerie for Mums & Mums-to-be T:

+44(0)1904 625 182 E: info@mumtybumpty.com W: www.mumtybumpty.com T: @MumtyBumpty

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Who is behind the Product? I am. After I had my daughter, I was frustrated by the lack of choice on the high street for classic styles for kids. While there is a wealth of sensible school shoes, sneakers and sparkles, I wanted to be able to buy shoes for my daughter that reflected how I like to see her dress. Spotting this gap in the market, I was driven to start my own business, using my 15 years experience as a shoe designer to create a brand to appeal to like-minded parents and kids. How did the company get started? Having a background in footwear design I was able to use my contacts in the industry to find a European factory to partner with. I was also lucky to have friends and family in business that could advise and help me to create my brand vision. What is the company about? Young Soles is about bringing retro-cool back to the kids. I’m hugely influenced by British heritage brands and retro styling, but could see that there was a gap in the market for higher-end designs for children. I wanted to mix British heritage styling with contemporary details to create a fresh approach to children’s classic shoes. Although my designs have a strong sense of style it is important for me as both a designer and a parent that my shoes are versatile and work with many different outfits. I’m also keen to ensure that I am offering a quality product to parents, a product that has all the benefits that a child’s shoe should have, lasts that follow the shape of the foot with a wide toe and narrow heel; comfortable soft leather uppers and linings that allow the upper to mould to the contours of the foot; and a light weight and flexible outsole. I chose to place development and production in Portugal, a country with a heritage in shoe making and which can boast some of the best shoe makers in the world. What do you hope to achieve? Like anyone with a vision, I hope that people will continue to love my product, I’m bursting with ideas for next season. It would be amazing to take the Young Soles British concept worldwide. What has been the highlight of starting your own company? There have been many. Firstly working for myself has meant I have had the flexibility of being able to work around my daughter, which can present a challenge when working for someone else. A highlight for me personally has been when I’ve been out and about in London and my daughter’s Young Soles shoes have attracted attention from people of all ages. Passers by stop me and ask where her shoes are from, and comment on how cool she looks and how her shoes have bought back a sense of nostalgia for them. Being able to see and hear first hand the reaction my product is causing has been truly amazing.

For more information, please contact: e: hello@youngsoles.co.uk w: www.youngsoles.co.uk @young_soles facebook.com/youngsoleslondon instagram.com/youngsoleslondon

What has been the downside of starting your own company? It’s always tough when launching a new business. Balancing work and family life is a constant challenge, especially at the start when you have to put many hours in to building your business up from scratch. I’ve quickly had to get used to taking on many different roles. What would your advice be to any parent wanting to start up their own business? My advice would be to never under-estimate the help and support you can draw from those around you. Those close to you want to see you succeed and are part of the journey. Do not let being a parent hold you back. I will always be a mother first and foremost, but I also feel it’s important to follow your passions in life. I hope by building my own business I can show my daughter that if you work hard you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.

Photography by: Flannery O’Kafka http://flanneryokafkaphotography.blogspot.co.uk/

I’m also of the philosophy that a happy parent equals a happy child.

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Parents & Business

Who is behind the Product? Harry & Jack’s was set up initially by my husband, Stuart and myself. I am a stay at home mom of three small children (5, 3 & 1). But to be honest the real stars are our two little Creative Directors –Harry & Jack. They know what they like and are not afraid to speak up.

What do you hope to achieve? In the short term we would like to get our Jetpacks out there as the response has been overwhelming and we seem to have hit on something unique and different. In the longer term, we want to build our brand and our product range. We have some really exciting pack designs in the pipeline. Stuart and I have loved the process so far and How did the company get started? are really enjoying seeing the bags out there and being loved by other The company and idea were born out of a simple request for a birthday children, we want that to continue. We want to keep enjoying this ride! present from Harry our eldest son. After several failed internet searches to buy him a Jetpack online, we decided to design their own. What has been the highlight of starting your own company? Initially we were going to make it ourselves but as we started to sketch There are so many good things but the highlights are you are your own boss – this is your business, your brand, your legacy – that is hugely out ideas we thought we may be onto something really special. empowering – not to mention fun. Our three young children have been our inspiration. They love to carry their toys and gear everywhere they go and we wanted to design What has been the downside of starting your own company? something that allowed for that but also embodied their imaginative I’m not going to sugar coat this one – it has been hard work and spirit. With our JETPACK, not only can they take all their gear and surprisingly a lot more work than we anticipated. We thought it would treasures with them but at any moment they can pretend to be be hard work and we were right! But as Stu would say if we really want this we will find a way and so far we have. transported into space or fly across the sky. How cool is that? After 14 months of hard work and working with a design house to make it ready for manufacture we landed our first shipment of JETPACKS in the UK. We created the umbrella brand of Adventure Packs™ as we had several designs in the pipeline – each pack back would represent another adventure to be transported on. At this moment we have the JETPACK for release, however, we have another 8 designs in the Adventure Packs™ range – the next will be ready for autumn this year – in time for Christmas! What is the company about? At Harry & Jacks we are all about creating imaginative designs for adventurous little minds. We are about fun and imagination and creating an experience. We want kids to feel like they can really go on an adventure with their Jetpack. If they want to zoom off into space or fly high in the sky hopefully our backpacks will go some way to enabling them to have that adventure in their heads – whilst carrying their snacks, treasures and toys!

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What would your advice be to any parent wanting to start up their own business? DO IT! Be clear on your vision and your brand and make a plan and get on with it. Little steps and little goals are important to keep you motivated and clear on where you are going. Most importantly, enjoy the ride and make sure you are having fun otherwise what is the point.

For more information, please contact: Harry & Jacks Ltd The West House, Cirencester Road GL6 9EL E: sales@harryandjacks.co.uk W: www.harryandjacks.co.uk F: Harry-Jacks-Adventure-Packs T: @Harryandjacks

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Parents & Business

Who is behind Talented Ladies Club? Talented Ladies Club was started by me (Hannah Martin, a freelance copywriter) and my friend Kary Fisher, a freelance designer. We met when we were pregnant with our daughters. How did the company get started? We were inspired to start Talented Ladies Club by the many amazing women we met who were struggling to make their careers work after having children. We couldn’t believe the amount of talent that was being wasted, and the frustrations of ambitious and accomplished women who just didn’t ‘fit’ into their old work life any more. We had the idea for almost two years before plucking up the courage and self-belief to actually start it. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the help of a business coach in December 2012, Talented Ladies Club may never have existed! Within a week of speaking to our business coach we had a basic business plan written, and in April 2013 we launched. What is the company about? We want to inspire and empower women to realise their career ambitions, while being the mums they want to be. We believe that you shouldn’t have to give up your dreams, experience and skills and ‘settle’ for any work that fits around your family. You may not be able to return to your career as you knew it before you had children, but you can still find work that is fulfilling, challenging and well paid – whether it’s a flexible job, or using your experience to launch a freelance career or business.

It’s also wonderful to hear from women that have already been helped by our articles and training courses. Knowing that you are helping to empower other people is incredibly rewarding. What has been the downside of starting your own company? There’s no downside as such. It’s a LOT of work – I work seven days a week, and am usually working by 5am – but it never feels like work. I love every minute of working on Talented Ladies Club. It’s been a steep learning curve so far. We’ve made plenty of mistakes, and will no doubt make many more. But mistakes are good because they teach you so much, and also enable us to pass on what we’ve learned to help others avoid the same errors.

What would your advice be to any parent wanting to start up their own business? Just do it! I was scared to start Talented Ladies Club for so long because What do you hope to achieve? I didn’t think that I had the experience to start a business. Now I realise We hope to help women realise that they still can have the career they that no one has business experience until they actually start one. want – on their terms – and help them to get it. The only way you get to be successful at business is by actually giving it Every day we publish an article with practical advice, or an inspirational a go. Maybe your idea isn’t quite right in the beginning (and you’ll real life story of a mum who has made it work. We also run face-to-face probably make many mistakes) but if you keep your mind open and are training courses, and are launching webinars and ebooks soon. They’ll ready to learn and adapt, every step you take will get you closer to be mini-training courses you can access online when and where you success. want. For more information, please contact: In September we’re launching a 12 month membership programme too. Over the space of a year, we’ll take mums from frustration to Contact details inspiration. We’ll help them understand what skills they have, and how Website: www.talentedladiesclub.com they can use them to shape a career, find freelance work or start a business. We’ll then get them to set a goal and guide them towards it Email: Hannah@talentedladiesclub.com with monthly lessons that incorporate inspiration, knowledge and Twitter: @talentedladies exercises from a wide range of experts. Facebook: www.facebook.com/TalentedLadiesClub It’s a really exciting programme and we can’t wait to share it with mums – and help them change their lives for the better. What has been the highlight of starting your own company? Feeling that I am finally doing something that I really believe in – that uses all the experience and expertise I have acquired over the years, and makes best use of my passion and abilities.

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Parents & Business Who is behind the Product? Based in the leafy suburb of Cannon Park is one of Coventry's best kept culinary secrets - Quadricakes. Individually prepared and packed with flavour Quadricakes are set to take Coventry by storm and shake up the cake market that has been for so long dominated by cupcakes. The brain child of qualified chef and all round busy mum come businesswoman Nikki Morris, these delightful more-ish treats are delivered to your door across Coventry boxed beautifully ready to be savoured down to the last crumb. To appeal to a wider range of tastes out there Quadricakes are now available in 8 mouth watering flavours from Chocolate to Fruit and Spice, and with the ability to mix the varieties to suit there really is a Quadricake for everyone! In addition to her signature delight of Quadricake, Nikki also produces bespoke hand made, hand crafted occasion cakes that taste just as delicious as they look. Everything is made from scratch even the delicate detailed fondant decorations. Whether you like a sponge filling, or chocolate, and whether you are catering for 6 or 200 guests all options can be catered for. To quote one client's feedback online "Tasted these last weekend.... Heaven! Such good value, and great for a mini treat... Highly recommended. Delivered on time, fresh, tasty and not too naughty" Quadricakes is all about bringing people together How did the company get started? The company was established because everyone kept telling me how good the cakes were. So I decided to research what was already available in the industry. I wanted to have a different, quite quirky product. Quadricakes took a lot of research and recipe experimenting. My friends always complained that cakes were produced to big and they wasted most of the cake. So I decided to make smaller cakes and they could choose what flavour they wanted in a box of four After a while people asked for Occasional Cakes while still using the flavours for Quadricakes. So the company diversified. We never use packet mixes and everything is always made to order and designed to what the customers require. What do you hope to achieve? I hope to learn more techniques and gain more experience in decorating cakes as I am self taught. I would like to achieve the best I can be in art of the cake decorating and get Quadricakes known for its quality and unique style. What has been the highlight of starting your own company? Learning every day how to run a business and to work in industry I have great passion about. I think if you enjoy what you do, you tend to work that much harder and achieve so much more whilst taking great pride in your work. What has been the downside of starting your own company? The only down side has been that there are no grants for people over 18 to help you at the outset. And people to take you seriously after being a mum for 9 years. What would your advice be to any parent wanting to start up their own business? My only advice would be to follow your dreams and research fully before you embark on your new adventure. Whilst you will love every minute of your business, you will worry how you will fit your life around your business. But I assure you, you will figure it out.

Next time you have the urge to fill that snack gap, or you need the cake to match the occasion think Quadricakes. Deliciously tasty, Loving prepared, and delivered to your door. For more information, please contact: Nikki Morris Email: enquiries@quadricakes.co.uk Ordering is simple call 07972 479 789 or order online at www.quadricakes.co.uk.


Features

Childcare Chief to receive prestigious University honour.. the idea of opening their own day care nursery that would meet all their parental needs. After selling their homes in 1983, John, his wife and his friends Marg and Pete Randles, moved into a property in Lichfield, turning the ground floor into their first privately-run nursery. John’s experience in teaching and helping children with behavioural difficulties has been instrumental in shaping the way they run their business; ensuring that each day care centre provides a caring environment and delivers good education. Now the largest childcare provider in the country, Busy Bees operates 213 nurseries throughout the UK and employs over 7,000 staff. The Busy Bees brand is set to go international after partnering with the Ontario Teacher’ Pensions Plan in 2013. Realising the financial burden of childcare that was placed on families, John was the brains behind the launch of Busy Bees Childcare voucher in 1998. The scheme, now run by Busy Bees Benefits, revolutionised childcare for working parents by allowing them to use vouchers as a non-taxable benefit to pay for childcare. The scheme has been utilised by organisations across the UK resulting in more than 500,000 parents in the UK making use of the Childcare Vouchers.

Thirty years after opening his first nursery, John Woodward, founding member of Busy Bees childcare, will be awarded with an honorary doctorate at a Birmingham City University graduation ceremony next week.

John has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of Estro Catalpa, the largest pre-school operator in the Netherlands and has been the Global CEO of Knowledge Universe Education, which has significant multi-site educational interests in Singapore, Malaysia and India.

Born in Walsall, John started his career almost 40 years ago as a school teacher and is now widely recognised by his industry peers for his major contribution to the nursery and early years education sector. Unable to find flexible and good quality day-care for their own children, John and his wife, along with their friends, cooked up

Natalie Klineberg m 07798 588 028 e natalie@littlebowpeepltd.co.uk w littlebowpeepltd.co.uk /Little-Bow-

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@NKlineb

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Busy Bees Benefits

Paying for Childcare – Your Questions Answered Q – When can I get them? A – You can start getting childcare vouchers once your child has been born. Q – How much can I save using Childcare Vouchers? A – Parents paying basic rate tax can save up to £933 per year. Higher rate taxpayers can save £624 and additional rate can save £620. These figures are per parent so if both parents have childcare vouchers, the savings can be even greater. Q – How are the savings calculated using salary sacrifice? A – Childcare Vouchers are taken directly from your salary each time you are paid (e.g. monthly). They are deducted before tax and National Insurance are taken. Q – So once an account is set up, what happens? A – Once your employer has a Childcare Voucher scheme in place, where it is operated as salary sacrifice, it works like this: ∙

∙ ∙ 

∙ Q – How can I make savings on my childcare costs? A – There are a number of ways that you can make childcare more affordable: ∙  ∙ 

Childcare Vouchers – you can make savings in income tax and National Insurance contributions. Childcare Tax Credits – in simple terms, to qualify you must be working 16+ hours per week and the total household income should be under £41,000 per year. However, there may be other factors which affect your eligibility. Free childcare for three and four year olds – for 38 weeks of the year, each child aged three and four is entitled to 15 hours a week of free childcare. Families on low incomes may also get free sessions for two year olds.

You can choose to deduct up to £243 per month (depending on your tax band) from your wages in exchange for the same value of Childcare Vouchers. Your employer deducts the amount you want to exchange. Your employer receives an invoice for all of their employees' Childcare Voucher deductions plus the childcare voucher providers’ service charge. Once this is paid, the value of Childcare Vouchers you have requested are available in your childcare voucher account. When  you  receive  your  childcare  bill,  you  log  in  to  your childcare voucher account and pay your childcare provider with the money in your account. If your bill is larger than the value in your account, you pay the remainder of the bill by whatever method the childcare provider accepts.

Q – What can I do if my employer doesn’t offer a Childcare Voucher scheme? A – You can contact Busy Bees Benefits with your employer's details and they will be contacted to be informed a parent at their company is interested in the scheme.

Q – Can I continue to get Childcare Vouchers if I go on maternity, paternity or adoption leave to have another child? A – Yes. Childcare Vouchers are a non-cash benefit which means that employers are required to pay this on your behalf if you only receive Q – What are Childcare Vouchers? A – Childcare Vouchers are a non-taxable benefit available via your Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay. If you receive employer. Most childcare vouchers are operated as a salary sacrifice enhanced pay when you are on Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave, scheme, where you can exchange part of your salary for Childcare Childcare Vouchers will be deducted from this. If this isn’t enough to cover the voucher, the employer will be required to pay the remainder Vouchers which are used to pay all or some of your childcare bills. to ensure the full voucher value is provided. Q – Who can get them? A – You can get childcare vouchers if you are employed, paying PAYE Q – Can claiming Childcare Vouchers through salary sacrifice during and are eligible. You will need to ensure that your earnings do not go e.g. my second pregnancy affect my maternity pay? below minimum wage once childcare vouchers are deducted. You can A – Yes, maternity/paternity/adoption pay and Working Tax Credits can be affected if parents use Childcare Vouchers as the salary calculate this at the following website: information you provide to calculate your eligibility is the amount after http://www.busybeesbenefits.com/parents/savings-calculator.php childcare vouchers have been deducted. Statutory Maternity Pay Self-employed parents cannot currently access the scheme. However, (SMP) is calculated on a parent's gross earnings during weeks 17 to 25 if you own or are a director of a limited company, you can take of pregnancy. To maximise SMP, Busy Bees Benefits recommends that advantage of the scheme, providing you are contributing tax under parents take a break from receiving Childcare Vouchers between PAYE. Company directors often operate the scheme known as “Salary weeks 17 to 25 of pregnancy. Plus”, where they pay for their childcare vouchers in addition to their salary. Salary Plus is obviously an extra cost to the organisation Q – What happens if I no longer need childcare? however it is tax-efficient for the company and can help to reduce the A – Any funds remain in your childcare voucher account. As they can company’s corporation tax bill. Please contact Busy Bees Benefits for be used to pay for any registered childcare, you can continue to use more information on Salary Plus.

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Busy Bees Benefits them to pay for things like after school clubs and holiday schemes as Q - Are there any other ways to save? A - The government is proposing a new scheme from late 2015 which your child grows. will eventually replace childcare vouchers. Tax-free Childcare could Q - I’m not working at the moment. What support can I get with save many more parents up to £1,200 per child per year. Some parents will be better off with the new scheme and some will be better off with childcare? A - You could get Child Tax Credit for each child. To find if you qualify, childcare vouchers, particularly those with one child and/or a you will need to provide information about your income and, if you household where only one parent works (unless it is a single parent have one, your partner’s income, details of any benefits you are household). If you are already using childcare vouchers, you will be claiming, the hours you work and the average amount you spend each able to choose the scheme which saves you the most money. So, it is week on childcare. To find out more about child tax credits, visit important to get childcare vouchers now to maximise savings and give yourself the option. https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit For more information about childcare vouchers, contact Busy Bees A - You can start claiming free early education from 1st September, 1st Benefits on 0330 333 9100 www.busybeesbenefits.com Q - What happens when my child turns 3?

January or 1st April once your child has turned 3. The free early education can be at a range of providers including nurseries, pre schools and playgroups. Talk to your child carer once your child is approaching their 3rd birthday to make sure you get your entitlement. If you are eligible for childcare vouchers you can use them to pay for any childcare you use over and above the free entitlement. Q - I’ve heard that I could get free childcare once my child is two. Is that right? A - It is proposed that from September this year more 2 year olds in England will be eligible for free early education. Talk to your local council to find out if your child is eligible.

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Family Focus

A time to come together! By Eve Tudor

Wasn’t it great that the sun shone through for International Women's Also we discussed that what we thought was really needed was for Day ! children to be able to accesses the nursery earlier that 3. A lot of us think that children are ready for nursery from shortly after 2 years old I spent the day meeting with our local MP Andy Love, along with a and not being able to take them without paying a lot of money for that group of working women that met through The Buggy Network and nursery is too difficult for most parents. The government through workshops that I've been doing for My Coffee Stop, to talk are thinking of upping the amount of hours that 3 year olds get from 15 about women's issues in the area, the main one being child care! to 25 hours which is great and that will help massively. But if we could start them a little earlier in age, I think that will help the children in Once all parked and in their offices in Edmonton myself and the their development. I can't afford to pay for child care but I hate the fact munchkin were greeted by some lovely familiar faces and then he was that I have to wait till my son is 3 to begin nursery when I know he off having fun (thankfully, or maybe not considering the excitement needs it now and I can't give it to him. Please don't make it mandatory that ensued, we were in their hall behind their offices so the kids were for my son to start school at 8 in the morning till 6 at night but his practically having a party). We had a great chat with Andy Love MP and younger brother can't start nursery till he is 3 but has to stay for a tiny his wonderful assistant Tessa who is also a working mother. The amount of time. How does that make any sense at all? Can't they help conversation was not really at any point soft and relaxed. We went those that need help with breakfast clubs and after school clubs as from discussing the possibility of having our children at school for 10 before but make that free or massively cheaper so that its affordable hours a day, which non of us were prepared to allow, to discussing the and let those little brains that are ready for learning in early when they two year old scheme which needed amending. need it too?? We were all pretty much united in our thoughts, which was great, even I vote for flexibility and putting children first, but helping mums and if it was not what the government were planning, but the fact that just dads with their lives too of course. speaking to our MP about what we actually wanted so that he could take back all of our thoughts to Parliament was great in itself! On a totally different note, we have just celebrated The Buggy We all didn't agree that our children should have to be at school for 10 hours a day just because working parents need these hours of child care. I work and I don't want my children at school all day! A lot if us said that we work for ourselves party because we chose to have children and wanted a life style that means we are with them more rather than working. I understand that some people don't have that ability in their jobs to be there for their children as much as I do, but child care in that amount should be an option not enforced.

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Networks 1st birthday. It’s very exciting times and I've got a lot of plans for the network and myself. So please eat some cake to celebrate along with me ! For more information, details of events or to join up, please visit:

www.thebuggynetwork.com 18


Feature

Having a caesarean: Understanding the impacts By Michelle Eskeri

A caesarean is not an easy option to avoid the physical impacts of labour and birth. Indeed, for many women, recovering from a major abdominal operation can result in an extended period of reduced mobility, pain or discomfort from the healing scar. It can prevent the women from doing basic baby care tasks such as nappy changing and bathing, impacting bonding opportunities and can also make breastfeeding more uncomfortable in the early days. Other risks include infection in the scar, uterus or urinary tract, adhesions (bands of scar tissue) which can make abdominal organs stick together and blood clots. There is also a higher risk of women requiring intensive care after the birth, a further surgical procedure or from becoming depressed after the birth. However, some women recover well from a caesarean, emotionally and physically, finding the whole process straightforward and without complications. It is not always easy to identify why some women sail through relatively unscathed, whilst others find it much more difficult.

Having a caesarean can also impact the baby at birth. Babies who have been born without experiencing the contractions of labour are more likely to need a little help to clear their airways at birth and to initiate autonomous breathing. There is an increased risk of the baby requiring admission to special care after a caesarean than a vaginal birth. Although there are many potential complications from a caesarean birth, we must also recognise that for some women and their babies, it is, without question, the safest way to have their baby. For those in such situations, who are not free to make a choice, antenatal classes April is Caesarean Awareness month. The International Caesarean need to present a non-judgemental viewpoint and help to prepare Awareness Network campaigns to “support a reduction in the number parents with a realistic approach to the risks and benefits. of caesareans in mothers who do not really need or who will not benefit from this procedure when compared to a vaginal birth.” [1] My local NCT colleagues and I always include caesarean birth on the (ICAN, 2014). The organisation also promotes Vaginal Birth after agenda of our courses, as we know that with the high caesarean rate at North London units, there is a significant chance that one or more of Caesarean (VBAC) the group will have this procedure. Courses give couples an Make no mistake – caesareans save lives. Without this procedure many opportunity to understand not just the process of the operation, but babies and some mothers might not survive the labour and birth how they might feel about it, where they might encounter issues and process and we are all thankful that this is possible with modern where they can go for support after the birth. medicine. However, the rate of caesarean birth has been climbing steadily since 1980 when the UK average was 9%. Latest statistics (December 2013) from one of North London’s larger maternity units, Barnet Hospital shows a caesarean rate of 33% (NHS England, 2014). The average rate for the UK in 2012-13 was 25% (Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2013). Consultant led care errs heavily on the side of caution: of course, everyone wants a well mother and baby at the end of the day, but almost without exception in my antenatal courses, there is at least one couple who has been told they have a high chance of needing a caesarean and some of the “reasons” given seem to be less than evidence-based. “You’re over 40”, “you are having twins” and “you had a caesarean before” are some of the reasons I have heard why couples have been told they will need to have their baby surgically. Sometimes, of course there are legitimate reasons, such as transverse lie of the baby or placenta praevia (where the placenta covers the cervix). In such cases, the couple can be prepared in advance emotionally and physically for the operation and the (usually) longer post-birth recovery period. But many couples feel inadequately prepared for the impact of an emergency caesarean. They may be ill informed about what happens during the operation and how life may be impacted afterwards, sometimes for weeks or even months, depending on the speed of recovery.

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For parents who are hoping for a VBAC, there are now more midwives willing to support women who have had one or more caesareans and doulas (non medically trained women who offer emotional support during labour and birth) can also help to increase the chances of a successful VBAC. More information is available at http://www.nct.org.uk and http://www.caesarean.org.uk This article was written by Michelle Eshkeri, CEO & founder of Birth-Your Way, a Barnet-based company which provides private and NCT group courses as well as tailored individual birth and parenting coaching sessions. For more information, email info@birth-yourway.co.uk or visit http://www.birth-yourway.co.uk. For more information http://www.nct.org.uk

on

NCT

antenatal

courses,

visit

References [1] International Caesarean Awareness Network, (2014) ‘Support’ [Online] available at icanonline.org/support/home [2] NHS England, (2014) ‘My Health London’ [Online] available at https://www.myhealth.london.nhs.uk/your-health/maternity/hospital/barnet-hospital [3] Health and Social Care Information Centre, (2013) ‘Hospital Episode Statistics: NHS Maternity Statistics 2012-13’ available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB12744/nhs-mate-eng-2012-13-summ-repo-rep.pdf

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DOGS AND NEWBORNS: HOW TO BUILD SAFE AND HAPPY FAMILIES

Good planning, expert advice and use of tools such as muzzles will around small children. If you are in any doubt about how your dog is safeguard children and help them bond with dogs for life, according responding to children, Dr Mugford urges owners to speak to their vet to leading behaviourist. and seek an appointment with a qualified behaviourist, such as those registered with the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association. With the child-canine bond dominating the headlines in recent weeks – ranging from tragic child deaths to debates about Simon Cowell Once your baby’s home, Roger believes parents should introduce the letting his Yorkshire Terriers lick his new infant son’s face at the other dog as soon as possible, under careful supervision and restraint, and – it is not a surprise that expectant parents may feel overwhelmed make sure the animal is always kept calm and practising its obedience. when trying to prepare their dog for a new family arrival. However, “Get the dog used to its new family member by involving it in your according to the UK’s leading pet psychologist Dr Roger Mugford, the baby’s everyday routine; whether it’s feeding, washing, play or, of solution is easy and any anxieties can be navigated with proper course, going for walks,” Dr Mugford added. planning, careful use of new humane muzzles, and guidance from all the excellent dog trainers the UK has to offer. Dr Mugford, a world- Helpful tools renowned expert in animal behaviour, set up his own pet supply and He also urged new parents to make full use of all of the effective training business, The Company of Animals, more than 30 years ago training aids available, particularly if they are in any doubt about the and is best known for inventing the world’s first dog headcollar, the behaviour of their dog. Modern muzzles, such as those offered by HALTI. He asserts that most problems relating to dogs and children Company of Animals, could be the answer. They are made of concern over-protective, rather than dangerous, dogs. However, he lightweight plastic and webbing, come in a wide range of sizes and urges expectant parents to undergo a pet “reality check”. Assess how colours and allow dogs to eat and drink normally, guaranteeing both your dog interacts with children and then implement easy and dog welfare and human safety. He said: “Anyone who has a new born practical measures to get the animal used to the new baby, both baby and is not sure what their dog might do, I want them to think before and after it comes home. about using a muzzle. Today’s muzzles do not present the same welfare challenges they used to and new products have been designed Dr Mugford outlined some of the vital questions for expectant families to be welfare friendly.” to ask themselves – including does your dog get on with the children of family and friends? If it is over-excited by an infant’s crying or Dr Mugford concluded: “Stories of children being mauled by the family threatening towards children then you may have to give serious pet make media headlines and serve as a salutary warning, but they consideration to whether it is possible to keep the animal when the are rare. As parents though, you have to be vigilant at all times, baby arrives. However, Dr Mugford believes relinquishment is rarely because at any age things just might go wrong between baby and dog, necessary and simple steps can help get dogs ready for life with a baby. and if you have any worries, seek advice from a vet or behaviourist immediately. Dr Mugford’s tips for new parents First and foremost, all parents of infants and young children must “However, planning and practical steps can help build the bond remember the cardinal rule, that despite how much you love and trust between baby and child, and as your child grows up that relationship your pet you must never leave your dog and child alone together. becomes a wonderful part of their development and life experience.” Some of Dr Mugford’s tips for preparing an animal pre-baby, as detailed in his new book The Perfect Dog, include making sure your dog has mastered basic obedience such as sitting and staying, putting up baby gates to get your dog used to restrictions around the house and spending time with family and friends to condition your dog

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As well as providing positive, tailored behaviour classes on a daily basis, The Company of Animals supplies revolutionary tried-andtested pet products, including fun and effective training aids, games and feeding accessories. For more information about The Company of Animals and its products visit www.companyofanimals.co.uk

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Abi Adams - Ooling

Plain Sailing into a sea of emotions.... YOGA - LESSON FOUR By Abi Adams

I had been living the pregnancy dream. No tiredness, bundles of energy, a glow that the LEC would have paid me for and a sense of humour to boot (there's only so many times you can smile at the greeting "alright fatty")! That is until last week.......

I now understand what previous pregnant mamas mean by the phrase "It's a tiredness words can't explain, but leaves you feeling void of everything". As of last Wednesday my HMS Babaroo set sail in gail force winds towards emotional fatigued seas (a destination I don't really recommend) and sunk! All sent over the edge by one request from my husband. Like the majority of the pregnant ladies out there, I've continued to work as normal because I have too. It's incredibly sweet, enduring and heartfelt when friends, family and people you don't really know tell you how you should be winding down and putting your feet up. I think we're all pretty aware of what to do, but if your preparing for time off work, it's completely understandable to want to save and prepare for any spontaneous events (although I doubt anything will compare to the spontaneity of birth)! Perhaps I've taken on too much prior to the birth of our first baby, what with overseeing the excavation of the garden which was in ruin and a danger to anything that walked its soil. I am now pro at ordering fences, concrete, ballast (don't ask), builders buckets and skips (have also invented a stress relieving breathing exercise for any future skip hire). So with all this going on as well as preparing the baby's excited arrival (I suppose you could call this nesting on a grand scale), I let rip at the hubby for asking to find insurance details that HE had filed away and couldn't be bothered to find the night before. And this is my point. If like me you've acted as normal throughout your pregnancy, the partners in your life can't comprehend the last stages of development and growth of the baby and the strain it puts on your body. They see the bump and all they hear is lullaby music and cherubs. As soon as I told my husband how I was feeling and why I had lost my temper, the look on his face made me want to hug the life out of him. He isn't psychic and I shouldn't expect him to know how I am feeling. That is what communication is all about. Talking is really easy once you get started, so why not give it a go? It will make things a hell of a lot easier in the long run and guess what? YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF! Amen sisters x MY TOP TIPS: Trouble sleeping? Try 5 minutes of inhaling through your left nostril and exhaling through the right. Take left or right hand middle and index fingers and rest between eyebrows. When inhaling through left close the right nostril with thumb and when exhaling through right close the left nostril with ring finger. Really helps to slow the brain down before bed and leave you feeling calm. Neils Yard Lavender Bath Crystals - OMG!!!! These have been an absolute gorgeous life saver for when your so tired, all you want to do is lay face down in the starfish position, but cant because of a bump is on your front, making you even more emotional through restriction of expression! You can also put some of the crystals in a hanky/tissue and carry around with you to smell when feeling stressed.

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Restorative Reclined Bound Angle Pose This pose is great for relieving that knotted up feeling in the abdomen as well as emotionally. It can be practiced at any time of pregnancy with care and attention. Come to sit comfortably, bringing the souls of the feet together and allowing the knees to fall out to the side, resting on pillows. If you have a yoga belt, please be careful when tying as when you lay back the feet will be pulled closer to perineum creating more of a stretch. If you don't have a belt, you can rest the feet against a wall to keep them still. Ideally use a bolster, or you can roll a blanket to make a sausage type pillow. and have it lay horizontally behind you. Gently lower yourself, bringing your chest across the bolster with the arms laying above them on the floor. Begin to focus on your breathing, staying in this position for as long as you need and just relax.

Oolong 07951 101 049 www.loveoolongtime.com 21


Features

Netherlands gives Shnuggle baby bath the thumbs up The Shnuggle baby bath has won an innovation award from Dutch parents and nursery industry experts. The Shnuggle bath was awarded the BabyStuf Innovation Award. The judges and parents praised the bath’s design which ensures the baby is kept upright and comfortable, and the material which insulates the water.

out to design a bath that keeps the baby comfy, secure and warm. This award shows that our bath is doing its job and making life easier for parents.” Shnuggle have developed a soft, light and strong baby-safe foam material. It is textured to allow for easy grip and to ensure the baby is secure while bathing. The supportive ‘Bum Bump’ and sloping back supports babies from birth up to six months. The Shnuggle bath comes in a range of colours, ensuring that it stands out from traditional plastic white baby baths. It is available for purchase from March at www.shnuggle.com.

Shnuggle have been supported by the Invest NI R&D Program. A record 15,000 votes for the 44 Innovation Award entrants The company have designed a Moses basket which sells were received from Dutch parents who – like parents throughout the UK, ROI and Europe. More information about everywhere – value baby products that are safe and innovative. Shnuggle can be found at www.shnuggle.com. A presentation will be made to all the winners at the Nine Months Fair in Amsterdam, which runs from February 20 to 24. Adam Murphy, Shnuggle co-founder and managing director, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have received this award. We’ve been working hard to ensure that our baby bath brings something new to the baby market. As parents ourselves, my wife and I set

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Out and about – Signing fun for Everyone! ‘Spring’

‘Flower’

‘Spider’

Place right hand behind left had with palms facing your tummy. Your right ‘open’ hand swivels from pointing down to being upright Make an ‘O’ with your finger and thumb and move from side to side under your nose Make a claw with one hand, with your palm facing downwards. Wiggle fingers and walk the hand forward or up and down.

Spring is around the corner! And if you have little ones they will want to extensively investigate every muddy puddle, blossoming flower and emerging mini-beast.... Gesture is one of the building blocks of speech (I Can) and using signing is a wonderful, fun and interactive way to help communication development for babies, toddlers and older children too. Children love being able to show off their developing communication skills and adding in just a few signs to everyday activities, such as a daily walk, can really help encourage higher level learning. Older children especially love to learn new signs and these can help develop gross and fine motor skills for some years to come. Signing children, by their very nature, tend to be more confident as they have the reassurance of a responsive adult who is able to understand AND meet needs without any difficulty. This leaves inquisitive little ones able to get on with the important things in life – climbing, gazing at butterflies, contemplating ants and eating daisies…. Signing has incredibly valuable outcomes for little ones. For example using signing: ● ● ● ● ●

could help to alleviate up to 90% of tantrums and tears gives your child a head start with communicating needs and wants helps with confidence to use spoken language and be understood reinforces learning helps children gain and use more language – to have a greater word bank

Children are kinaesthetic learners; this means that they learn most effectively by being able to ‘do’ things and using signing is effectively ‘language in motion’. Activities such as a Spring Nature Walk, interspersed with signing, can be a really effective way to get out and about whilst reinforcing language structure and word acquisition. REMEMBER: ● ● ● ●

SAY the word as you sign it SIGN in your child’s line of vision WAIT for a response REPEAT as much as possible

"Wow. What a wonderful gift to give a child. It’s saying 'I Love You' over and over and over and over and over again." Get started with signing for FREE! www.littlesignersclub.co.uk (e) info@littlesignersclub.co.uk (w) www.littlesignersclub.co.uk (fb) www.facebook.com/littlesignersclub (blog) www.littlesignersclub.wordpress.com

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© BSL sign graphics Cath Smith - the Let's Sign Series - www.deafbooks.co.uk

Sign descriptions:


Home & Decor

The Royal High Chair - A chair fit for a future king! The Furniture Makers’ Company is the furnishing industry’s charity. We support a thriving design-led British furnishing industry which offers careers to a talented workforce and supports those in need from within its ranks and those who have served it in the past. ∙

We provide help to those in need, through one‐off welfare finished, which allows for grants and pensions. flexibility of detail and ensures high quality throughout. ∙   We  help  to  safeguard  the  future  of  the  industry  by Her pieces can be found in public educating young talent, via our schools programme, and private collections apprenticeships, grants and bursaries, internships and worldwide. Her collection mentoring. comprises a number of signature pieces which are constantly ∙   We  promote  and  champion  excellence  throughout  the evolving and produced using the furnishing industry via our prestigious Design, finest materials, with meticulous Manufacturing and Bespoke Guild Marks, awarded to attention to detail. All pieces are furniture that meets the highest standards of design and hand made in the UK. She is a production. Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts; a member of Contemporary The furnishing industry is worth in the region of £20 billion to the Applied Arts; a trustee of the economy and provides around 250,000 jobs in the UK. Edward Marshall Trust and a judge for the Wood Awards. Katie lives and work in West Sussex and is married to Roland Whitehead. They have two daughters; Kinna who is eleven and As part of our aim of promoting excellence in the furnishing industry, Jemima who is seven, both are very excited about their Mummy the competition was suggested by a Liveryman last spring, and a meeting the Duchess. shortlist of five Bespoke Guild Mark designer makers were selected to submit a design – a Bespoke Guild Mark is for single pieces of work that meet the highest standards in design, materials and quality. Bespoke pieces can be reproduced in a limited edition of 12. The Royal High Chair

Katie’s design won for its modernity and originality. The chair is made in Rippled Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) supplied by Sutton Timber. Felled in 2001, the wood originated from the Longleat Estate and was selected by forester John McHardy. Ash was picked because it would be particularly white. The chair was finished with white tinted hard wax oil. The safety harness has been specially made and supplied by Clippasafe and has a webbing colour combination specifically produced for this chair. There is no set price as such – a client can commission a chair like this but may have other requirements, different wood etc, so the price will depend on that. But a Bespoke piece will always be at the high end of the market due to the high specification and work entailed. Katie Walker, Designer Maker Katie Walker studied foundation art at Kingston University, followed by a degree in furniture and product design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and then a Masters degree in furniture design at The Royal College of Art in Kensington. She graduated in 1993 and set up Katie Walker Furniture in 1994, with the help of a Princes Trust loan and a Crafts Council setting-up grant, so is celebrating 20 years of Katie Walker Furniture this year. Working with private clients, interior designers and architects, she has built an extensive portfolio of designs for both site specific commissions and pieces for production that have achieve considerable acclaim. Each design combines function with a strong sculptural interpretation of its structure resulting in furniture which has a unique contemporary style. The furniture, with its unique contemporary style, is made from selected timbers and hand

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Home & Decor

Move over mums, dads want to come too!

More dads than ever are joining mothers on shopping sprees for Anita Worlidge, founder of Fulham-based concierge service Babylist, their babies, with fathers proving to be the big spenders among agrees. “Very few mums now come alone to our appointments, although in the past it was often the case that dad was too busy – or parents, experts said today. really didn’t feel a need to be involved in the shopping aspect,” she According to two of London’s leading nursery specialists it seems says. kitting out the home for a new arrival no longer falls to mum alone, With a legendary reputation that has seen more than its fair share of with 80 per cent now shopping with their partners. celebrity clients, Babylist combines the best products available on Luxury furniture supplier Anaiza and elite shopping service Babylist the market with years of experience in matching this to each have both seen a marked shift in shopping habits over the last few parents’ budget. years with the majority of parents insisting it is a joint task to be done together. But while they may shop as a pair, the target purchases Anita continues: “We have dads who walk in, place two mobile very much differ between the sexes - mums preferring to bag the phones on the table and then say they’ve only got 10 minutes. Yet they quickly become engaged when it comes to deciding on what to pretty and practical while dads dig deeper for the big spend items. buy for the baby and often spend more than two hours with us. “It Kyra Algazi is the founder of Anaiza and she has just unveiled a new is lovely to see and very encouraging that they are starting their collection of unique nursery furniture for the ultimate children’s journey as parents by enjoying some of the more memorable bedroom. Kyra says dads wanted more involvement in the shopping moments together.” process, particularly when it came to the statement pieces. Anita said that dads were often more interested in the big-ticket “Fathers are certainly much more involved in recent years and items such as handmade furniture and high-value travel systems. actually have a good eye for the key pieces that make all the difference in a nursery,” she points out. “I think the likes of Prince William have also set a trend as they now talk openly about fatherhood, or what they have bought for their babies when shopping. “It is lovely to see fathers get involved and they are the ones who often want to invest in a significant and collectable piece for their children and something that they can hand down through the generations.”

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Feature

Trials and Tribulations of Motherhood The average first-time mum doesn’t enjoy motherhood until the baby is six months old, according to new research.

to the fact they couldn’t simply go out whenever they wanted to anymore.

Similarly, many mums lost their common interests with existing friends, while 52 per cent feeling as though they had to carve out a new circle of friends so that Rather than making they could socialise with people in the same boat. And just over half of the most of a new- those polled found it hard to accept the changes childbirth had made borns’ precious first to their body – which made them less confident in their own skin. few months, two thirds of mums are But the biggest challenge for women after giving birth was the lack of more likely to feel knowledge about their new role as a mother. Why the baby was crying, stressed out and why the baby wouldn’t sleep and how to get the baby settled into a struggle with the changes taking place in their own lives. As well as routine left many mums baffled. Knowing when the baby was ill, when having to come to terms with the inevitable sleepless nights, more than controlled crying was appropriate and understanding when baby was half of women were surprised to find they suffered a complete knock simply having a grumpy day also left mums feeling confused and bewildered. in confidence because they didn’t know what they were doing. New mums found they were baffled with many aspects of motherhood, including health, illness, feeding and safety. To top it all, just under half of those in the Nurofen for Children study felt their performance as a mother was being continuously judged by others. And only 56 per cent felt their partner provided enough support during those exhausting first few months.

While 27 per cent struggled to juggle housework and producing a hot meal with childcare and 24 per cent found breastfeeding a real challenge.

But despite having a few wobbles during the early days, eight in 10 mums say having a child is the best thing they’ve ever done, and the positive aspects of motherhood now far outweigh the negative. Incredibly, one in six mums didn’t really start to enjoy their little one Leading GP and mum of one Dr Pixie McKenna, commenting on behalf until they passed their first birthday. A spokeswoman for Nurofen for of Nurofen for Children said: “It is easy to under-estimate the impact Children said: “When thinking about motherhood we tend to assume having a baby has on a woman’s life. it’s the pregnancy which is the main hurdle, and that when the baby is born we’ll feel that first rush of love and then everything will be okay. “Before embarking on parenthood, many women are settled in a job, In reality, the really hard work starts when the baby enters the world. know what they are doing on a day to day basis, and are confident in They have There is a huge amount of adjustment for both parents, but for mums the role they have carved out for themselves. in particular as they go from being independent, career focused people independence, aren’t responsible for anyone but themselves, and their to having to spend 24 hours a day caring for someone else, and this can abilities and decisions aren’t questioned constantly. The minute a baby take a while to get used to – particularly as during the course of just 12 comes along a woman’s world is turned upside down – with that initial rush of love and joy comes the unknown, and it is this which can throw months a baby’s needs change so rapidly.” women completely off balance.” The study shows 52 per cent of mums really felt like they had lost their For further information visit: identity after having a child, and 35 per cent really missed leaving the www.nurofenforchildren.co.uk house and going to work. The loss of a social life is a big change for many women, and 55 per cent said they found it difficult getting used

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Feature

I call my parents Dad 1 and Dad 2… parenting "...clear benefits appear to exist with regard to: the quality of parenting children experience in comparison to their peers parented in heterosexual couple families; children's and young adults' greater tolerance of sexual and gender diversity; and gender flexibility displayed by children, particularly sons." Green’s 1978 study of children raised by lesbian mothers, concluded from the 37 children he interviewed that, apart from one, they all had sex typical preferences, peer groups, fantasy roles and vocational aspirations. Yet we have to ask challenging questions. Don’t children raised by two Dads lack the emotional sensitivity of a woman around the home and don’t children raised by two women lack the physicality of a man around the house? Do these children have enough variety of role models in their lives? Are they likely to be bullied by their peers? Is their own sexual identification going to be affected in any way?

The inspiration for this article came from a rather different experience for me this week. I was invited by my friends to join them and their son Eddie for breakfast. We went to a gorgeous café in a park in Tel Aviv, Israel and sat outside in the sunshine. It’s not the sunshine that was the unusual experience as most days are sunny in Tel Aviv. No, it was the fact that my friends are a married gay couple and all their guests who joined us were similarly, married gay men with children. So basically eight Dads, a medley of kids and me the only woman. This set me wondering –rather controversially, if there’s any difference being brought up by two men, or two women rather than a heterosexual couple? Do these children fare better, worse or just the same in terms of social skills, and psychological well being. So as I sat with all these Dads and their children (including two sets of twins), I was really curious as to their thoughts. Their conversation was at first exactly the same as you would expect from any gathering of parents – children’s colds, children’s friendships with other children (usual issues of bossiness and shyness) and of course food and eating habits. Interspersed with these common issues there was a difference. There was also plenty of talk about surrogacy and how laws regarding this are changing in various countries. They told a newly married gay couple to start the process as soon as possible as they felt that the options are diminishing not opening up.

I asked Sammy Fugler who runs an unusual nursery in Tel Aviv. Not only is it bi-lingual (Hebrew/English) but it’s called the Rainbow Nursery for obvious reasons –it welcomes children from diverse family set ups. So I asked him NOT about the differences between heterosexual and gay/lesbian parents, but if he sees any differences between children raised by two men as opposed to two women? First of all, he believes the most important qualities for children to experience, is that they are truly loved and feel secure. These qualities are never to be taken for granted but he feels that gay and lesbian couples make complicated decisions re parenting and generally have thought it through deeply before committing to having children, which in most cases means they went through a lot of stress (and no small amount of financial commitment) to have their children, so loving them is high on the agenda. So is giving them a strong sense of security. Beyond that Sammy argues that gay / lesbian couples will have as diverse personality traits as any parent so children may experience the whole range as they would in any family. What he does suggest, is that men are less emotional on the whole and worry less about the smaller details. So in general he finds them to be more relaxed and laid back parents. Women he suggests often express anxiety more openly so two women may over worry, over analyze, without having the balance of one being the worrier while the other is more laid back. This he says can lead to children being wrapped in cotton wool and experiencing separation anxieties. An example he gave is when children still sleep in their Mum’s bed all through the night at ages 4 or 5. (But then I do know a heterosexual couple where their child was in their bed until at least he was 10 years old………)

I asked how they’re telling their children about their rather unusual beginnings. Without obvious emotion, I concluded as they explained how they talk about it naturally and show them pictures from the start. They all expressed surprise that I was asking if this was a difficult topic for them to discuss with their children, since they had all spoken about their children’s births with them from the start. So the children know their birth stories, but are they going to be any different because of their parenting stories?

I agree with Sammy that love and security seem to me more crucial in parenting than sexual orientation. What struck me as I sipped my lemon tea sitting in the park with all these Dads, was the way each Dad in his own way seemed to realize that the most crucial aspect of parenting is the relationship you build with your children. Surely it doesn’t matter if you have a Dad and an “Abba” ( the Hebrew for Dad), two Mums, or a Mum and a Dad, as long as the most important people in your life raise you with love, security, listen to you, and are aware of your physiological, social and emotional needs.

What does research tell us? Not much! But the Australian Institute of Family Studies carried out an analysis into the question of children's psychological outcomes of being raised by same-sex parents and concluded in 2013 that "there is now strong evidence that same-sex parented families constitute supportive environments in which to raise children" and that with regard to lesbian

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Feature

Technokid

by Jodie Newman

My son obviously saw the pain on my face as I tried to recall all the planets, and said: "Shall I get the iPad, mummy?" Which is basically child-speak for: 'Call yourself a parent? You haven't got a flipping clue, have you mummy? Let's call in the experts.' So there we are, huddled around the font of all knowledge and time wasting: the internet. I find an appropriate video on You Tube to teach us both a thing or two about what is going on far above our heads and press play. E reaches out and placing his thumb and finger on the screen and widens them to make the video full-screen. How the hell did he know how to do that? I didn't know you could do that... so who taught him? Even more depressing, perhaps he didn't need to be taught...he just knew. There was nothing left to do: I crawled off into a I thought I was pretty on top of things, darkened room to sob quietly to myself and mourn my with my iPhone and my iPad. Oh, and my iPod. And iTouch. Or, as they technoincompetence. could be collectively described, iStuff. But when you see your child pick up said gadget, and with no instruction or pointers, swipe and tap their However, there is a faint light at the end of my tunnel of technology way to a Peppa Pig game without so much as one false finger-twitch, desperation. I cling onto the memory of when my son had just you know your relationship with tech is on the slide. Once, we were familiarised himself with my iStuff, around the age of two. We went to intimate, tech and me, intuitively knowing what each other needed. a friend's house and he wanted to change the channel on the television Now, it seems an uncomfortable silence has developed between us, - so he walked up to it and swiped the screen with his fingertips. Ha! usually when I have jabbed the wrong app for the fourth time in a row, Got you there, technoboy. Look, this is old technology, involving a small or over-swiped the phone screen so that I end up on that bloody search controller that often gets lost in the sofa cushions and runs out of batteries at the most inopportune moments. You might want intuitive, iPhone page. Again. motion-controlled TV, but look what we have instead! And whilst our My sons now routinely call the iPad 'my iPad'. Where once I was owner houses are full of slightly crappy, user-unfriendly items, no boy will and sole operator of aforementioned gadgets, it seems my function ever get the best of me. Because for as long as I am the only one of the has been relegated to that of gadget carrier, gadget finder, and warner two of us who knows how to change the station on the radio, or work of low battery status. I feel old and lacking control of my gadgets, and the microwave, or set the toaster to the bagel setting, I am not too old I blame Apple. If they had not made their products so bloody intuitive and irrelevant: I am in charge. In fact, I might look in the loft for my to navigate, we would still be relying on my PC, and I could happily be dad's old Betamax with buttons the size of brake pedals and an eject involved in their technology interactions, given the level of that could jettison a small rocket into space. Ha. That'll bloody teach coordination required to saddle up a mouse and get it under control. him. But now, I am not required. They will happy sit and play, and I am only summoned when a particularly tricky manoeuvre on Sonic is reached, or a message comes up asking if they would like to purchase a hundred http://www.jodienewman.co.uk- for exclusive extracts from jewels for only sixty of mummy's shiny hard earned pounds. Womb with a View and to purchase the book I feel old. Not just because of the five years of sleep deprivation, although I will not deny that has added a whole new load of wrinkles - I look in the mirror these days and staring back at me is a heavily creased duvet cover with panda eyes and smudged eyeliner. No. I feel old primarily because I can feel myself drifting slowly and inexorably away from the latest technology and how to bloody use it.

And it is when I hear myself saying things like 'he doesn't know how lucky he is to have things like this to play with' that I realise that I am nearer to a free bus due to being an OAP than getting one by being under 16. The final nail in the glass-screened, touch sensitive coffin of me and technology came one afternoon last year, as my son and I were looking for a You Tube video to explain the solar system. He had asked me about the planets, and about five seconds into an explanation, I realised that I really didn't have much of a sodding clue. Because there is nothing like parenting to highlight your intellectual inadequacies.

www.motheringfrights.wordpress.com: One mother. Two kids. And no bloody clue whatsoever. www.facebook.com/mothering.frights - be my friend (said in high-pitched, desperate voice) and never miss a mothering frights blog again www.twitter.com/motheringfright - more words, sometimes even arranged in the right order Get Womb with a View in paperback at www.jodienewman.co.uk or Kindle version from www.amazon.co.uk

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Feature

Who are you to judge me! When I had my first child I thought I was picked on for being a young mum. I was 19, looking a couple of years younger and on numerous occasions people made some horrendous assumptions and were unreservedly nasty. But since then... I've become friends with a woman ostracised for being perceived as "too old", women criticised for going out too often whilst I recall a time I was warned repeatedly of the dangers of abandoning my social life altogether. It was said that my breastfeeding till fairly late was going to lead to emotionally retarded children- in addition to being downright antisocial in public- but I know that the decision not to breastfeed meets even more vitriol. Working mums are selfish, stay at home mums are lazy... Every single decision from how bedtimes are handled, to what children eat, how they are disciplined, what they wear, what they do and don't do is going to get someone's back upmore often than not a perfect stranger and a lot of people are perfectly comfortable letting mum's know exactly what they think. It's a truism for mum's that the more involved you become in play groups and cafe-society then nursery and school the more intense the pressure becomes. Because, the real venom tends to come from other women which is disappointing, if not altogether surprising. It strikes me that we live in a competitive society and when you suddenly find that you can't prove your worth through nailing the interview and beating the other candidates to a job or proving yourself smarter and funnier in social situations (for example. Then, possibly) convincing yourself that you're one of the best mums can become vital to your self esteem. The most well intentioned origin for the habit of making ruthless value judgements is rooted in the array of books, websites and approaches to child rearing. Gone are the days of community led parenting where mum's take their lead from family and friends, now there are more ideas and perspectives than you can ever keep up with and the road is lined with pitfalls that will 'ruin your child's life' if you fail to anticipate them and conflicting, sometimes not immediately obvious, 'needs' that must be attended to. It's a stressful place to be. So you mix and match a couple of doctrines and cultivate a fanatical zeal in your method because the thought that you could be anything less than 'doing it right' is too terrifying. Then, to defend your self image, you may begin systematically invalidating the opposition. And that's so easy! Because bitchiness is bred into us from an early age and nurtured in adulthood through media. Glancing over headlines in celebrity magazines reveals women who

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give their children silly names, women who are (shock, horror) out drunk when they should've been at home with their apron's on- or devoting themselves to their careers leaving their children in abject misery with other women who are only paid to like them- or, even worse, women who are so wrapped up in their kids they're neglecting their partners who will surely have no choice but to stray and break up the family... Judgement comes as easy as breathing. And all this wonderful derogatory gossip bonds women, it's fun, it's something we can all potentially have in common (which can be handy when you find yourself in a crowd of women who otherwise share only their maternal status). And, most importantly, if you and your friends are perpetuating gossip about someone else you know you're not in the firing line! How utterly secure, right? But the thing is that in this climate it's very hard (if not impossible) to avoid judgement altogether and a single critical comment about your parenting can ruin your day, your week, your month... It can stay with you forever always ready to rear it's ugly head during moments of self doubt... And what will you do then? Strive desperately to reassert your superiority over another woman? How about break the cycle? Because while hurtful comments stick, compliments do too. I remember the spontaneous words of praise and encouragement that I've received just as vividly as the harsh ones and recalling them can really refocus my mind into a positive state of being from whence I can be the best mum that I can be. That's what we're all ultimately aiming for: to be the best that we can be. And that does involve being better than other mum's at some aspects of the joband not so good at others, and having to make different decisions (not because they're necessarily 'right' but) to accommodate our strengths and weaknesses, the personalities and dynamics within our families. All of that is fine but realise that obsessing over negative comparisons- whether it's about where you're failing or where other women are- really isn't going to help. A sincere and well placed compliment however can be so beneficial to a mother. So, that's why I'd like to see, this Mother's Day, some women being nice to each other and making each other feel a little more confident. Why not do it now? I'm sure you can think of a mother to text or connect with on social media that you've always admired for some reason but never told? You might just give her kid's handmade card a run for it's money! Written by: Elizabeth Katherine Hobson Twitter: ElizabethHobso6 Blog: http://elizabethkhobson.wordpress.com

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Health & Parenting's 'Pregnancy +' App Available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Health & Parenting, a leading independent developer of healthcare and family-related mobile applications for expectant parents, has updated its highly rated ‘must-have’ pregnancy essentials app, ‘Pregnancy +’ for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with a 3D image engine. Developed in partnership with a team of healthcare professionals, including obstetricians, midwives, dieticians and paediatricians, Pregnancy + is now the most complete pregnancy App for women and their partners who are anticipating a new addition to the family. The only pregnancy app on the market with interactive, full size, high quality images for every week of the pregnancy, Pregnancy + is the only app expectant parents will need to get ready for the new baby. The App’s unique user interface can be personalised easily so that moms, dads or even grandparents can track the progress and growth of the baby week by week and get access to important information and straightforward advice to help them prepare.

No sponsorship or advertising also means that our screens remain uncluttered. We are an independent company, which simply wants to give the user easy to digest, unbiased pregnancy information, accompanied by high quality tools and graphics. Key features of Pregnancy + include: • Interactive, full size, high quality images for every week of the pregnancy along with size guides so you can experience the weight and length of your baby week by week • Unique user interface that can be personalised easily • Daily tips and actions including what to eat, how much to eat and what to stay away from, to keep the growing baby safe and healthy • Timeline of important medical appointments including ultrasounds, gender scan and tests that should be scheduled • Organizer to keep track of important doctor visits, to-dos, phone numbers, shopping lists, hospital bag necessities and more than 2,000 baby names to choose from • Kick counter to enable moms to track their baby’s movements, and a contraction counter for when the big day arrives

“We’ve worked hard to provide the very highest quality, unbiased content to expectant moms and their partners to help support them and guide them through one of the most important times in their lives,” said Amber Miles, Founder and COO, Health & Parent- More details of Health & Parenting’s suite of apps can be ing. “More than one million pregnant women and their partners found at: http://www.health-and-parenting.com. have relied on our suite of pregnancy apps to prepare for the big day, and we’re proud to introduce Pregnancy + to give new parents the ability to try the App for free for the first 13 weeks.

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Features

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE… Why are bees in the media and what can we do to help them? Bees. Some people love them some people hate them, others are totally indifferent to them and most people do not know very much about them at all. I have been in the latter category for most of my 36 years, however not any more! If someone had told me a few years ago I’d be keeping bees and loving it I would have laughed…….very loudly! However I am now a fully-fledged beekeeper, have kept bees for over eighteen months and passed my beekeeping Basic examination, and yes I do get a buzz from my hobby! So, why are bees so important and can you really love this buzzy little insect? Bees and other pollinating insects are essential to the natural world, enabling plant reproduction and in the UK alone it is estimated that honey bees are worth £825 million to the agricultural economy and that every third mouthful of food we eat is reliant on the honey bee. In addition bees provide us with honey, wax and propolis all used in many different industries. With the existence of Colony Collapse Disorder in the USA where whole colonies of bees simply die out, and the decrease in numbers of wild flowers here, plus the increase in the Varroa mite which stresses a colony and if left untreated results in colony death, honey bee existence is under threat. It’s an insect! Bees are indeed insects, belonging to the Hymenoptera order with three body parts, three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. They have five eyes, yes really, two compound and three simple plus two antennae. There are over 250 species of bee in the UK, some live alone and others such as bumble and honey bees live and work together forming a super-organism that enables their harvesting honey…….oh yes, did I not mention honey! Nature’s colony to function. natural anti-allergenic, a sweet naturally occurring sticky substance that you can consume yourself, give away or sell on to others, bonus! But bees sting! Yes they do but only if they feel under threat. Bees away from their hive foraging i.e. on plants in your garden, will rarely If you do not want to be that involved then you could plant bee sting unless handled roughly i.e. swatted or stepped on. Bees use friendly plants in your garden. Wildflower numbers in the their sting to defend their colony and therefore a beekeeper will countryside have declined significantly due to pesticide use in accidentally be the most likely victim of this, thus a beesuit and veil farming and reduced availability of wild, natural growth spaces. The is worn. When a bee stings you they can not retract the barbed increase in smart, neat gardens and hedgerows planted with annuals, stinger from the skin they have pierced and therefore die, not good bedding plants and other cultivated garden flowers all of which for the diminishing bee population! Bees do not sting if treated provide little pollen and nectar to honey bees means there is little for gently and you are calm around them. Do not confuse them with them to forage on. Therefore a traditional cottage garden of native wasps who are after your sticky summer treat, bees are far more wildflowers which incidentally need far less care and attention than interested in the pollen and nectar containing plants in the neat bedding plants, or not chopping down every “weed” as soon as surrounding area than they are your child’s ice cream! And how do it makes an appearance in your garden will benefit the bee you tell the difference? Bees are smaller than wasps and more black population. And surprisingly once you become interested in and than yellow, they are also hairy, almost fluffy. Wasps on the other thinking of ways you can help, you will discover fears of stings and hand have bright yellow stripes, are not hairy and are bigger than weeds in your garden will disappear and be replaced with thoughts honey bees…….oh and will be hovering around your summer picnic of “oh look there’s a bee, great I am helping” and you may find whilst the honey bees are busy foraging on your lavender plant or yourself developing a distant affection for the little fluffy buzzy things apple tree! that we do actually need to help our world go round. How can we help bees? You could become a beekeeper. In aiding For further information on all things honey bee, whether that be bee’s survival by helping protect them from environmental factors planting appropriate flowers or beekeeping visit www.bbka.org.uk that are contributing to their declining numbers you are helping their numbers and helping the agricultural industry which we rely on, to Happy bee spotting, Carly Hooper continue. Bee keeping is not hard, isn’t that time consuming, an hour www.beeutiful.co.uk or so a week in the summer and maybe a weekend when it comes to

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Features

New guide to help young people with learning disabilities to manage their feelings better. 23rd January 2014- Today the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has produced a guide on ways to adapt the internationally recognised and World Health Organisation endorsed FRIENDS for Life programme to help children and young people with learning disabilities to manage their feelings better.

peers without learning disabilities yet research shows they have less access to services and support.

Although children and young people with learning disabilities have higher rates of emotional and behavioural problems than their peers without learning disabilities, research shows they have less access to services and support. The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities worked with Rowena Rossiter, Clinical Psychologist, in collaboration with Hazel Court School and the CAMHS-LD Family Intensive Support Service in Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust on a small development project to enable the FRIENDS for Life programme to be accessible for children and young people with learning disabilities. The adaptations were planned to consist of simplified materials with high visual and low verbal content to make the sessions more meaningful.

“By adapting the FRIENDS for Life programme we hope that more children and young people with learning disabilities are able to better manage their feelings and achieve a greater sense of wellbeing.”

Developed in Australia, the FRIENDS and Fun Friends programmes build resilience by helping children and teenagers cope with feelings of fear, worry, and depression by teaching cognitive, behavioural, and emotional skills in a simple, well-structured format. Based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy the programmes enable children and young people to learn about the links between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

The guide is based on our experiences of trialling some of the FRIENDS for life activities with a group of young people with learning disabilities. It also includes what we learned so far from the adaptation. It is aimed at all professionals working with children and young people with learning disabilities in: ●

Jill Davies, Research Programme Manager at the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, said:

“We know that children and young people with learning disabilities have higher rates of emotional and behavioural problems than their

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Education (e.g. teachers, learning support assistants, learning mentors, educational psychologists, speech and language therapy assistants) Health (e.g. school nurses, community nurses, clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, communication assistants, mental health practitioners) The voluntary and community sector.

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Grow & Keep Your Own

GROW London, a new contemporary garden fair, will burst into bloom for the first time on Hampstead Heath, 20-22 June 2014 www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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Get Growing with Baby Buzz Magazine

The Baby Buzz “Get Growing (and Keeping) Guide 2014 This week has been glorious! So much sunshine that lifts the spirit and GROW London is the brainchild of Will Ramsay, founder of the hugely makes you smile. It also gets me thinking that perhaps its time to start successful Affordable Art Fair who has teamed up with industry expert getting the seeds sown and the veggie patch underway. Thérèse Lang of TJM Associates. The marquee is located in an easily accessible area of Hampstead Heath, close to public transport links and Last year saw a huge increase in people wanting to become self serviced by a complimentary shuttle bus to and from Hampstead sufficient and learn how to grow their own and so for the next good underground. Whether visitors grow herbs on a window sill, plant pots few months we are going to give you as much information to try and of peonies on their balconies or are looking to jazz up their gardens help you on your way. Whilst some people may be limited with space, with furniture that’s a cut above the norm, GROW London will ensure finances and knowledge, this is something that everyone can do they leave with everything they need to create the garden of their whether young or old. dreams! Before we start, I must let you know about a fantastic fair taking place in June called GROW London. A fresh, innovative approach to gardening arrives in London this Summer when GROW London launches its first show on Hampstead Heath. A destination event, where design lovers are as inspired and stimulated as passionate plantspeople, GROW London is an exciting sourcebook of all that’s best in the world of contemporary gardens. Around 100 national and international exhibitors have been handpicked by GROW London to showcase an unrivalled selection of garden products. The interior of the 5,000 square metre air-conditioned marquee will be beautifully designed by Shane Connolly, famed for his decoration of Westminster Abbey for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, while outside, architect Roderick James will be presenting a futuristic oak building which will be surrounded by a stunning pop-up garden. The three day show offers a varied programme of free talks, demonstrations and workshops packed with ideas on how to transform your outside space, no matter how large or small. Speakers will include landscape designer Chris Beardshaw, designer and broadcaster James Alexander-Sinclair, Otter Farm’s Mark Diacono, community gardening expert Naomi Schillinger, award-winning garden writer Val Bourne and children’s gardening expert Dawn Isaac. Traditional crafts such as trug and basket making will be given a contemporary twist, with demonstrations running throughout the show. A stylish café and bar hosted by Laithwaite’s Wine and featuring English champagne and wine, will offer visitors a chance to relax while they plan how to transform their outside space.

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For the March issue we’re getting started with the help of Suttons Seeds. Established in 1806 and having held the Royal Warrant since 1858, Suttons have earned the right to call themselves experts in the field of home gardening. With a product range including seeds, plants, bulbs, fruit, potatoes, ornamentals and gardening equipment they are a one-stop shop in terms of gardening requirements. With a seed testing laboratory and 9.5 acres of trial grounds their customers are guaranteed a quality product that will do what it says on the packet. Our heritage is important and we continue to provide trusted favourite varieties however we are also keen innovators. One example of this is the work we are doing with RHS Gold Medal winner and TV botanist James Wong introducing a new generation of exciting exotic foodie crops that can easily be grown in the UK. Ever since John Sutton founded us in 1806 we’ve shared our love of gardening with the world. Little Green Sprouts is designed to help today’s “little green sprouts” fall in love with the miracle of nature themselves. Learning how things grow and where food comes from isn’t just an essential part of the curriculum – it’s a lesson in the satisfaction, pleasure and good health of growing your own which we hope your youngsters will carry with them throughout their lives. And if we get a few more parents involved along the way, then all the better! Read on to see how to get involved:

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MONTH ONE: THE BABY BUZZ CHALLENGE, GETTING STARTED! This month we are starting from scratch! I’ve never been one to have much joy with growing my own fruit and veg but this year I’m on a mission to show my girls just how easy it can be and also how much fun it can be. With amazingly easy to follow instructions and kits from Suttons Seeds and a couple of fun grow your own kits from www.prezzybox.com there really is no reason why we can’t reap the rewards this summer. For the next few months I will be featuring step by step progress on our fruit and veg seedlings, plants and ultimately produce and if you would like to follow our lead and show us your progress please do email us at info@babybuzzmagazine.com with your pictures, which we will share on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Suttons have a fantastic online Vegetable Garden Planner (which is free for the first 30 days!). The Vegetable Garden Planner makes it easy to draw out your vegetable beds, add plants and move them around to get the perfect layout. Either metric units or feet and inches are supported and any shape of garden can be created. Whether you use traditional row planting, raised beds or Square Foot Gardening the Vegetable Garden Planner adapts to suit your gardening style. Produce the Garden PlanPerfect The Vegetable Garden Planner has over 130 vegetables, herbs and fruit and detailed growing information is just a click away. As you add vegetables the space they require is clearly shown by the coloured area around each plant and it calculates how many plants will fit into the area. Crop rotation is easy as the Vegetable Garden Planner warns you where you should avoid placing each vegetable based on what was in your previous years' plans. Adapts to Your Location The Vegetable Garden Planner adapts to your own area using our database of over 5000 weather stations. Print your own personalised planting chart showing how many of each plant you require and when to sow, plant and harvest them.

Twice a month the Vegetable Garden Planner sends email reminders of what needs planting from your garden plans. So where do we all begin? - We will begin with the simple seed… Why grow from seed? Growing from seed is the lowest cost and most rewarding method of raising your own plants. Whether you are sowing into seed trays and propagators, or directly into the ground, there is nothing more satisfying than a glorious display of colour and scent, or a bumper crop of tasty fruit and veg, that you have grown yourself. There are two methods to start your seeds growing: 1. In a greenhouse/conservatory or indoors on the windowsill (usually known as half-hardy seed), then potting on and planting outside at a later stage when the danger of frost has passed. There are lots of easy to use indoor seed propagation products available, such as Suttons "Sow & Grow" seed starter range, available in all good garden product retailers. 2. Directly into the ground where they are intended to grow – the quick, easy and very low cost way to fill your garden with vibrant colour and tasty vegetables. Where to grow You might be surprised to know but you really don't need a big garden to start growing your own vegetables; any space will do as long as it's a sunny open spot. If you have a garden or allotment, be it big or small, you can make a dedicated vegetable patch. Alternatively, you can grow within a mixed bed with flowers, in pots on the patio, in outdoor window boxes and even your kitchen windowsill will provide you with a lovely crop of herbs, tomatoes and peppers.

Come on Mums & Dads, get your child’s school involved! Little Green Sprouts is a new Suttons online gardening store aimed at helping schools (primary and junior) to introduce the joy of gardening across the whole school community whilst raising funds at the same time. For every £10 spent by parents and supporters at the store, the school will earn 1 sprout (new currency) which it can then spend on some exclusive products or redeem for cash. In addition the school, parents and children will benefit from: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Free interactive games for the children (and parents and teachers!) to play Access to a resource centre with lesson plans and learning activities Cassroom kits to inform and inspire the children, e.g. create your own Jurassic park, Jack-and-the-beanstalk, grow a poppy avenue, classroom tomatoes, etc. Term by term guides of what to grow and when Home activities for those “I’m bored” moments Prize draws, e.g. a school visit by James Wong or Simon Hulstone Free 3-month trial of the vegetable garden planner To register your school, please visit And more!

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March Issue - Baby Buzz “Get Growing” Shopping List Below are the following “Grow Your Own” kits we will be featuring over the next few months. To follow along, you will find the suppliers details and purchase information.

www.suttons.co.uk

www.prezzybox.com Have you ever wanted to keep chickens or learn how to keep bees but didn’t have the foggiest idea where to start looking. From keeping chickens or bees to learning about wine, The Ideal Life Collection introduces you to a variety of hobbies and pastimes which make life more rewarding. Each DVD in The Ideal Life Collection is unique in style but all of them have an infectious enthusiasm that exists among the experts and a sense of achievement and fun shared by the celebrity ‘students’. The result is a level of knowledge which you pick up surprisingly fast. Each DVD is so inspiring that the pleasure of learning will quickly be matched by doing when you put your new found knowledge to the test!

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Features

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Features

Have you joined the Dum Dum Revolution? If you like doughnuts you will love this! Have you heard the craze spreading over London about the healthier donut? We had the opportunity of interviewing founder and creator of the dum dum donutterie, Paul Hurley, to see just what is going on: 1.

2.

What made you think of creating “healthy” donuts? We aren’t trying to create “Healthy” doughnuts. We are 5. trying to create the world’s best doughnut. When doing this you have to take into account taste, flavor, satisfaction AND ingredients, nutritional values etc. We create amazing doughnuts using great natural ingredients and then control how much oil is used to tick all of the boxes. It’s a doughnut 6. for 2014. Just how healthy are the Dum Dum donuts in comparison to the recognised brands? When our doughnuts are freshly baked they contain less than half the fat of an American deep fried doughnut. We think 7. this is the optimal amount of fat for a great doughnut. When we add chocolates or fillings etc this obviously increases fat and sugar levels but our doughnuts will always be lower in fat than a fried version.

My business partner and I also have an artisan commercial patisserie in Essex that produces bespoke deserts and pastries for some of the best restaurants in Essex and London. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps? Take inspiration from people but don’t try and follow in their footsteps. You can only do things your way. So take advice and then believe in yourself. What do you hope to achieve with the Dum Dum donut? To make beautiful doughnuts. If we do then hopefully people will like them and we can grow naturally.

What’s next in the pipeline? We have some really exciting announcements to make over the next few weeks including some ground breaking new products and a possible new collaboration.

Also, the ingredients that we use are a lot better as we make our doughnuts from scratch not using a premix. Krispy Kreme Dough ingredients: Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Vegetable Oil (Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil), Water, Sugar, Wheat Gluten, Egg Yolks, Yeast, Skimmed Milk, Salt, Emulsififers (E471), Preservative (E282), Stabiliser (E466), Flavourings. Krispy Kreme Glaze: Sugar, Water, Acidity Regulators (E170, E339), Thickeners (E406, E410), Emulsifier (E491), Corn Starch, Salt, Flavourings. Dum Dum Doughnuts ingredients: Milk, Sugar, Yeast, Flour, Unsalted Butter, Salt, Vanilla, Sunflower Oil Dum Dums Glaze ingredients: Icing Sugar, Sugar, Water 3.

Who is your chef idol? I like chefs who love food. I loved watching Keith Floyd, Raymond Blanc and Rick Stein when I was younger.

4.

What is your background history – where did you train / learn your skills? I originally started working with doughnuts at the original UK Dunkin’ Donuts in the 1990’s. We had shops around central London and kiosks all over the south east. After breaking away we continued to supply major retailers across the UK with premium fried doughnuts while beginning the task of creating “The World’s best doughnut”. It’s a grand idea but it is at the heart of what we do. As part of the journey I moved to France and Italy for several years while creating the baking process and creating Dum Dums.

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For more information on Dum Dum Doughnuts visit www.dumdums.co.uk Dum Dum Doughnuts are the first brand to create the baked croissant doughnut. 40


Child Safety - Keeping your children safe…

Millions of British Babies at Risk because of Poor Car Seat Safety · · ·

More Than Half of UK Parents Don’t Realise Coats and Snowsuits Can Compromise Car Seat Safety 80 per cent of Carers aren’t Using Seats Safely New Sit Tight Campaign Aims to Help Parents Protect Kids on the Move

We all want our little ones to stay warm and safe when we’re on the move. But parents are being warned that putting babies in car seats wearing coats could prove fatal. According to recent research*, more than half of all British carers – a staggering 56 per cent – are unaware that snowsuits and bulky outdoor wear can squash down in an accident, making straps too loose to keep their child secure. As a result, experts at the Department of Transport** say up to 80 per cent of us aren’t using car seats safely – with poor harness tension the number one failing. And with more than three quarters of parents – 76 per cent – regularly dressing little ones in coats before Cover has been designed to do just that – keeping children snug setting off in the car, the scale of the problem is huge. without compromising safety.” Now a new campaign is being launched to make carers aware of the dangers and offer clear advice about how to keep babies and young Ruby and GINGER’s Sit Tight Checklist: ● Dress your child in their usual coat children safe and comfortable. ● Strap the child into their car seat and tighten to ensure a snug fit. The Sit Tight initiative, backed by Child Seat Safety Expert, Kat ● Take the child out the car seat – unlocking the clasp but Furlong, gives clear guidance to help parents test the safety of their without loosening the straps. car seat. As she says: “All parents want to do the best for their babies ● Take the child’s coat off and strap the child back into the but this is one area where changes need to be made. “Making sure seat – without adjusting the straps at all. children are comfortable and safe is of utmost importance. Following ● Do the Two finger test. If you can fit more than two fingers the Sit Tight guide is an easy way to test the effectiveness of your car underneath the harness at the child’s shoulder, the harness seat and make sure you get it right.” The campaign has been tension is too loose and the clothing too bulky. This is launched by baby accessories company, Ruby and GINGER who offer potentially the gap that could be created between the a range of practical travel solutions, including their own Cosy Car Seat harness and child in an impact. Cover – a 3+ tog product that removes the need for bulky coats and snowsuits altogether. Now director Liz Rhodes is urging people to follow the Sit Tight checklist on their website to make sure their The Ruby and GINGER Cosy Car Seat Cover · No snowsuit required children stay safe and secure all year round. · Allows correct harness tension Recently shortlisted in the Best Safety category in the Mother&Baby · 3+ tog rating awards 2014 and tested and approved to rigorous European R44 · Prevents overheating standards the Ruby and GINGER Cosy Car Seat Cover allows parents · Universal fit to tighten harness straps as needed. As Liz says: As she says: “Our · Unique British design easy test guides takes a matter of minutes but in the event of an accident it could save your child’s life. “We work hard to offer a Find more information about Sit Tight at: range of solutions to make parents’ lives easier and our Cosy Car Seat www.rubyandginger.co.uk/sittight

For your chance to win a gorgeous Ruby & Ginger Cosy Car Seat Cover, just answer this simple question: What percentage of carer’s aren’t using car seats safely? (Answers are in the above feature) (Email your answers to: info@babybuzzmagazine.com) www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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Features

Choosing just six inspiring mums from the 6,000 nominations we received for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2014 was never going to be easy…

The Tesco Mum of the Year judges gathered at London’s iconic hotel, The Savoy, to choose just six winners from our shortlist of 35 incredible mums. All of the judges admitted to being awed by the women’s incredible stories and agreed that every single one of the mums on the shortlist is worthy of recognition. Radio DJ Sara Cox said: “Mums are the lynchpin of their families. So many of the remarkable women we have heard about today also work tirelessly for charity, their communities and to make a difference to other people’s lives. They never put themselves first and they deserve to be recognised for everything they do.” Fellow judge, TV presenter Gabby Logan, agreed the decision to pick just one winner in each category was difficult. She said: “There are some mums who stand out immediately, but the quality of the nominations is so high that it really isn’t an easy process. Sometimes you are swayed by the sheer weight of argument in favour of another mum.” The judges were: Sara, Gabby, Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis, Deirdre Saliba of Diabetes UK, Susanna Scott, founder of blogging network Britmums, Cedar CEO Claire Broadbent, Cedar content director Helen Johnston, Tesco group corporate affairs director Rebecca Shelley, Tesco brand communications director Tash Gladman, Tesco senior marketing manager Emma Arnold and Tesco Mum of the Year manager Debbie Chernin. It took the whole morning for the panel to reach decisions everyone was happy with. Denise, who was judging for the third year, said: “As ever, it’s been an exciting day. It has been heated at times as we all had such different opinions, so it’s great we all came together for those final choices.”

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Features

… Six Deserving Winners …

Charitable Mum of the Year Laura Young

Achieving Mum of the Year Margaret Hughes

Enterprising Mum of the Year Ranu Mehta-Radia

Laura was inspired to set up The Teapot Trust after the devastating loss when her daughter, Verity, who passed away from cancer, at just eight years old. Verity also suffered from Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosis or SLE) and had a life based around tests, medication and hospital, even before the cancer was diagnosed. Verity took comfort in art as a way to escape the constant round of blood tests and treatment and Laura wanted to help other children in the same position. Last year the trust provided 3,000 art therapy sessions to children in hospitals and is currently the only Scottish charity dedicated to providing art therapy to children and young people coping with chronic illness in a medical environment.

In 2008, Maggie’s son Rob was viciously attacked and left for dead while on holiday in Crete. The 27-year-old was so badly beaten he went into a coma and had to have two lifesaving operations. Rob, a former Oxford United player, had been outside a nightclub when a group of men kicked him to the ground and stamped on his head. To his family’s disbelief, because of a legal loophole, the five men arrested over the attack were allowed to travel back to their homes in the UK without charge. Under Greek law, as the attack had not been officially reported within 48 hours, the men could be freed. Maggie fought for four years to change the law to improve victims' rights across Europe. The law which will be brought in by every member state by 2015 means there is a legal requirement to offer victims and families similar levels of help and advice as well as access to medical and legal services.

Ranu, although not born in the UK, has a deepseated passion for this country and has tirelessly worked for 30 years to make a difference on a local and national level. One of Ranu’s biggest achievements is the establishment of the Sai School of Harrow, a unique free Saturday citizenship school. Ranu’s philosophy is that charity begins at home, especially in the country where you live, so she decided to start the school. She realised there was a lack of awareness amongst immigrant families about issues, charities and disadvantaged communities in their local areas. The 300 children at the school are matched with local initiatives and charities, in order to support them and raise funds. Over the years, numerous charities have been supported and many have become long-term partnerships.

Campaigning Mum of the Year Jane Plumb

Supportive Mum of the Year Diana Golding Diana’s passion for women’s football began when her daughter Lucy started playing. She is now Chairperson of Bury Ladies and Girls Football Club. Her hard work and determination has led to the number of teams and players at her club doubling fro 75 members, to 13 teams with 150 members.

Community Mum of the Year Lynn Mcmanus Lynn has two adoptive daughters and two foster daughters who all have special needs as well as five natural children and four grandchildren. On discovering there wasn’t a play centre to take her girls, she set up charity “Pathways4all”, leased an empty hospital from the local council, raised £400,000 and opened The Tim Lamb Children;s Centre in 2013.

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Jane founded a charity called Group B Strep Support (GBSS), just four months after her son, Theo, died from the infection. Every year in the UK around 500 babies become ill because of the infection and around 50 of them will die. Since her son's death in 1996, Jane has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and improve medical practice around Group B Strep in the UK. Her efforts contributed to the first national guidelines on Group Strep B (GSB) being published in 2003 and a public consultation on screening for GBS in 2012.

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Features

London Children’s Ballet marking its 20th Anniversary with Nanny McPhee Team. The team is led by Founder and Artistic Director Lucille Briance, who first conceived the idea of the charity through her personal experience with her daughter who had a profound passion for ballet: “I felt that 10 was a very early age for her to make life decisions, so I set about trying to find high level dance opportunities where she could develop her skill and see how good she was before making this life commitment.” Twenty years on and with hundreds of success stories behind her, Lucille feels passionately about encouraging children to explore their creativity and realise their aspirations: ‘If you give children confidence and self esteem at an early age, they will go on to be active participants in society. It is good for children to be given the time to gain perspective on their ability and commitment to a particular dream; it gives them a chance to make a wise decision over their own future without having an adult close the door on them.” As Artistic Director, Lucille has now directed, produced and written scenarios for 19 narrative ballets from popular children’s stories introducing thousands of families, new to the world of dance, to their first ballet. The decision to produce the first ballet of Nanny McPhee, the blockbuster film originally adapted from the children’s series Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand, demonstrates LCB’s commitment to engage with the new audiences of tomorrow and offer opportunities for young composers and choreographers to produce new work. Additionally, the Ballet for £1 Programme will enable approximately 2,000 inner-city school children and elderly people to attend a matinee production of the annual LCB production. Auditions for the 20th anniversary ballet were launched in October 2013 by the LCB creative team which includes returning LCB choreographer Erico Montes (dancer with The Royal Ballet) and Musical Director Philip Hesketh. Importantly, LCB dancers come in all shapes and sizes, as the judges search for children with a special stage quality, regardless of physique. ‘The work of the London Children’s Ballet goes beyond teaching ballet; it’s an invaluable experience that will stay with the kids forever.’ Erico Montes, LCB Choreographer.

London Children’s Ballet (LCB) will mark its 20th Anniversary by commissioning a new family ballet of Nanny McPhee. Emma Thompson and Universal Studios have given LCB permission to produce the first West End production of this family blockbuster. LCB provides a unique, life changing opportunity for children to perform in a professional West End ballet involving over 170 hours of free tuition which this year will be given by Royal Ballet dancers. A world leader in creating new narrative ballets from popular children’s books, LCB’s shows are a highlight of the UK dance calendar and sell out year after year. LCB is a charity that campaigns to showcase the broad social appeal of ballet, dispelling the myth that it is the preserve of children from high income parents by encouraging fresh audiences, new to the world of ballet and classical music, to attend the annual LCB productions. To mark its 20th Anniversary, London Children’s Ballet (LCB) with the support of Emma Thompson, has turned the blockbuster family film Nanny McPhee into a West End ballet, to be performed as a world first at The Peacock Theatre in April 2014. Since its founding in 1994, LCB has been committed to providing children from a broad social spectrum the opportunity to perform as part of a professional ballet production

LCB aims to dispel the widespread myth that ballet is a niche, middle class activity for today’s younger generation. Over 500 children audition for the LCB production, of which 3% are on income support and 55% of the successful dancers come from low/very low income families. Drawing excellence from every corner of the community, the cast consists of a rich and diverse group of characters, essential to creating a credible narrative ballet. The life changing impact of the charity’s work is illustrated through the stories of past LCB dancers such as Anna Rose O’Sullivan, who was first chosen to play the lead in A Little Princess at the age of 9. It was during this LCB performance that the extent of her potential was identified and Anna Rose went on to The Royal Ballet School with an LCB scholarship and grant support to afford the fees. She is still with the Royal Ballet and in her own words: ‘It was the LCB that gave me the inspiration to pursue classical dance as a career’. The 20th Anniversary production of Nanny McPhee will be performed at The Peacock Theatre between 24th and 27th April 2014.

LCB Tours Since 1994, LCB has continued to expand the outreach of its annual programmes across the UK; the LCB Tours travel to 20 venues around the country with a LCB Touring Company of 30 performers; the LCB Dance completely free. The 20th anniversary production of Nanny McPhee Summer Schools are attended annually by 100 children and over £1,200 in celebrates LCB’s reputation as a leader in commissioning new narrative grants and scholarships is provided annually to help students afford weekly ballets and pays tribute to the hundreds of lives that have been enriched and weekend classes beyond the LCB studio walls. through the charity’s work over the last two decades. LCB is first a performance company and not a school, and unlike any other dance organisation in the UK, it offers young girls and boys aged between 9 and 16 a free, five month audition-to-performance experience open to all. The aim of the training is to realise each dancer’s potential and boost their self-confidence through the care and support of the LCB Creative

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To support LCB’s 20th Anniversary Appeal, text LCBD20 £3 to 70070 www.londonchildrensballet.com 44


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News & Reviews - Entertainment

Each month we review an amazing selection of new and innovative products, fashion wear, baby and toddler essentials and travel systems and this month is no different! In fact this month I get to review two of my favourite baby equipment brands Cybex and Hauck and neither have disappointed. This month we have also extended the range to the numerous books being released and also a range of fashion wear suitable for teenagers (gosh who knew how hard it was to find nice, suitable clothing for teenagers!). As always, if you would like to join our focus group and join our review panel, please contact me at info@babybuzzmagazine.com. Oh my gosh, we all absolutely loved this movie! I haven’t been to watch a movie in such a long time and couldn’t believe it when we were sent the pre-release DVD to watch such a recent hit! We had every age group watching this moving from two years old to seventy four years old and we were all gripped! The fun element and the sadness at the start really had you hooked from the moment the music started playing. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the story is about a heart-warmingly icy tale, when fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey, teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven, to find her sister Elsa whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. Absolutely brilliant film and one for the whole family. Baby Buzz Rating: 10 / 10

From University Games is this fun spot the difference game that can be played on your own or with family or friends. With over 40 cards (double-sided so actually 80 games available) there is hours of fun to be had. A great one to take away on your travels to as the game comes in a tin case that takes up next to no space and keeps everything all tidy together. Definitely a game for over eight year olds but the age limit is endless, thoroughly enjoyed playing some of these when the girls were asleep! Available from many online and in-store retailers. Prices from: £ 7.84 (Amazon)

Baby Buzz Rating: 8 / 10

From University Games again comes Don’t Rock the Boat, a balance based game that requires more than a little determination and patience! With three adults and a twelve year old we really struggled to get to grips with this game concept and the boat never stayed upright! Whether that was the point, I’m not sure. We read the instructions quite ardently and still couldn’t quite get past 2 or 3 pirate penguins being balanced in precarious places. Seeing as the game is designed for five to eight year olds, unless we were doing something really wrong, I think they would struggle. Sadly, not a game for us. Available from many online and in-store retailers. Prices from: £ 10.55 (Tesco)

Baby Buzz Rating: 4 / 10

Puzzles are becoming a staple in our home at the moment and so when we received these, it was a welcome relief to that of Peppa Pig! I also love the new packages that have different size puzzles all within one box, so that as the child gets more able in completing the easy puzzles they can move onto the more difficult ones! Available from many online and in-store retailers. Prices from: £ 10.55 (Tesco)

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Baby Buzz Rating: 8 / 10

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News & Reviews - Children’s Books

This month has seen a real influx of books for children, parents and even professionals. We’ve given our thoughts on the following books below and these will also appear online, please do visit our website and click under News & Reviews/Books. Full details on where to purchase the books are available on the website. My littlest one seems to have taken a real liking to reading at the moment and whilst I can get her attention away from electronic gadgets I’m all for sitting down and teaching her the importance of books. As she is almost three she doesn’t quite grasp the phonics or phrases and so to get fabulously illustrated books that capture her attention are really important. We were sent two great books by Maureen Nwachuku, who sells books on behalf of Barefoot Books and I was really interested to see how my little girl would take to them. The first book “How Loud is a Lion” was a real hit, as you can probably imagine with the large roar at the end! The book is a great way of learning about different animals whilst keeping it fun and the illustrations are beautifully done and certainly kept her attention. (£5.99) The second book was more prolific due to the story behind it. It was only once finishing the story did I understand that it was about adoption as told from two different perspectives. This was a really touching book and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to parents of adoptive children as a gentle opening to, what can be,to a very sensitive issue. I think perhaps this is suitable for the slightly older child but again beautifully drawn and well written. (From £4.99)

Due to be released at the beginning of May is this wonderful picture book written by Allan Ahlberg, author of the award winning ‘Burglar Bill’ and ‘The Jolly Postman’. The book is a great way for parents to sit down with their children and enjoy what combines a mixture of short statements with poems. Allan Ahlberg takes us on a journey from childhood to fatherhood full of humour, warmth, friendship . . . and football. The story is beautifully illustrated by Sebastien Braun and he really brings the pages to life. Every parent will be able to immediately relate to the simple joy felt by a boy simply kicking a ball, and how there is nothing else quite like it. Although the book is aimed at children between two -five I thought it may be better suited to slightly older children. Overall, a fantastic story! (£6.99) We love, love, love this book! Author Chris Haughton has created a fabulous picture book. It has such a quirky story and the pictures are fantastically drawn without being too stereotypical! Although the book is aimed at children of five and upwards my almost three year old loves it and clearly points out the birds and the little people and if I read it in just the right way, she giggles hysterically and always asks me to read it again! I would definitely recommend this to parents of children from about two years old as you can really bring the story to life and your children will love it just as much as you!. Fab read!!! (£11.99 Hardback)

I wonder how many people would know who Eric Carle was? Yet if I were to ask how many people had heard of the Very Hungry Caterpillar the hands would be up in their droves! Eric Carle has released a new picture book which is stunningly designed and captioned with poems and stories and information. The book fourteen beloved picture book artists draw their favourite animals and tell us why they love them. A great read to capture the imagination. Suited for older children. (£12.99)

World Search is an exciting new children’s book series from Lonely Planet, which introduces a new generation of future travellers to the wider world around them. Aimed at readers aged 5 and up, these fun titles let kids lift the lid on a range of topics including Amazing Jobs, Incredible Animals and Busy Places. Packed with fun illustrations to bring the books to life, each book in the World Search series also features over 50 sturdy, easy to lift flaps to help children explore places, people, and cultures; and really get under the skin of each destination. Busy, colourful scenes will keep young readers engaged, whilst search-and-find activities on each page help develop concentration skills. An extra menu of items to find on the last page will also give kids a reason to go back through each book again and again. A much more child friendlier option to “Where’s Wally” or similar and this actually provides fun and factual information for children to learn as they turn the pages. A great fun way of learning. (£9.99) What a beautiful way of teaching your child about culture! Books are also available for A Walk In London, A Walk in New York. These aren’t just picture books although they have been fantastically drawn and are detailed in every way. On each page you will find either historical information, french words and their meanings or just the story of one little girl and her grandfather exploring Paris. Towards the end is a pull out of the Eiffel Tower which really encapsulates the exploring that they have made through the City. A great, great book and looking forward to reading the others. Aged from five upwards. (£12.99)

www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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News & Reviews - Parents Books A few years ago, before I started up the magazine and clearly had a lot more time on my hands, I used to read, and read a lot. Needless to say the magazine takes up an awfully large amount of my time these days but with so many amazing books out this year I had to put a stop to the late nights and sit down and read…

£9.99

The first on my list was a book called On Becoming a Mother, written by Brigid McConville but including secrets from TV Presenter Davina McCall on her home birth, Fashion designer Donna Karan on the idea of mothering, Writer and broadcaster Emma Freud on the funny times, Actor Rebecca Front on the important of listening and explaining and Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis on the restorative power of friendship. This book for me is unique, I have yet to read anything like it. From country to country, there are so many different traditions and rules and ideas on what you should or shouldn’t do the best thing about this book is it is almost like an encyclopaedia giving you the inside scoop on what women go through all over the world. It’s almost impossible to describe the contents of this book as I would have to rewrite every page, it is an enlightening capture of tales given from each women’s perspective. There are sections that will make you laugh, especially page 170 when in Vietnamese tradition they used to (and I think still rarely) call their newborns an ugly rat! Now whilst I ask you all to not condemn me for saying that, if you read why they did that, it becomes almost accepting (I said almost!). I found the book to be really enlightening and can only suggest that you get a copy for yourselves to see what I mean. A thoroughly enjoyable read that doesn’t chastise you or make you feel that you are doing anything wrong, in fact highlights that we are all different and choose to do what’s right for us. Fabulous read!

Baby Buzz Rating: 9/10

The Music Miracle is a product of passion by mum of one, Liisa Henriksson-Macaulay, in her quest to help her son develop. We have all heard that music plays a vital part in our children’s development, but how many of us actually do something about it. Liisa began researching the best methods for teaching music to children and came across one study that showed how music learning helped develop the connection between both halves of the brain. Excited by what she had found, Liisa delved further into other fields of research, all of which demonstrated a magical connection between music training in early childhood (between ages 0 - 7) and boosted brain development, highlighting this method as the only activity that can increase a child’s biologically determined IQ. Whilst Liisa was delighted to discover how much music could benefit her own son’s development, she realised that for many busy parents the concept of sifting through stacks of research simply wasn’t practical or realistic. Under the guidance of a number of respected professors within the field of education, child development and music education, Liisa set about collating and analysing over 1,200 scientific studies to create a slim lined book that parents could easily digest, the result was “The Music Miracle”.

£16.99

Whilst the above might sound quite daunting, it really is a fantastic insight into how music can benefit our children. Whilst many of us don’t know where to start looking or really understand the benefits, with a little time, effort and reading the Music Miracle really can help you to achieve what’s best for your child. At times it can be a little arduous but persevere and you’ll see the rewards at the end of it. Understanding music and the benefits it can bring to our children can only be a good thing! Baby Buzz Rating: 8/10 As any new parent will tell you, the first year in your baby’s life will pass in a blur! Gina Ford, Britain’s bestselling childcare author, whose first title, The Contented Little Baby Book, has sold over a million copies and keeps going, has created this beautiful baby record book which will enable you to document each milestone in your babies life. Chart everything from the date and place of birth; baby’s first smile, words and steps; their christening, first Christmas and their first birthday. Baby Buzz Rating: 7/10

From: £9.99 (Mothercare) www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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News & Reviews - Parenting & Healthcare Little Swimmer by Magdalena Dabrowska and Angnieszka Peszek provides information on how to prepare children between three months and four years for their first visit to the swimming pool, and over time, improve confidence. Brimming with illustrations, the book is full of fun games and activities that help parents familiarize their children with an aquatic environment and promote excellent behaviour around water. Chapters such as Lets go to the pool and Exercises in the Bath look at how to begin the experience at home, exploring what a parent should do and know before taking a young child to a swimming pool. Chapters such as Safety, written by swimming teacher Ewa Zielinski, list the principles of safe bathing, including first aid. This visual guide is also an informative source for parents whose children are already swimming, and offers information on what to remember when going to a swimming class, and how to make each visit a safe one.

£12.95

I was very intrigued by this book as I thought what could be easier than teaching your child to swim (says she who is petrified of the water and does not swim at all!). What I really loved about this book was the simplistic way in which you are guided towards teaching your child to swim. Don’t get me wrong, this book does not give just step by step instructions but it gently eases you in starting from the basics at home with exercises to try out in the bath to basic principles of safety that perhaps you just wouldn’t be aware of. This book is a must, must, must for all parents who want to start their child of swimming but also a way of encouraging their development both physically and mentally. A fabulous book that points you in the right direction! Baby Buzz Rating: 10/10

Having a baby is one of the most daunting experiences a parent-to-be can have and when you are faced with the barrage of information from well meaning professionals or advice from family and friends, it can get somewhat terrifying! In The Blissful Baby Expert, Lisa Clegg draws on her own experience of motherhood and her professional life as a nanny and maternity nurse to share her essential, trusted advice. Gentle, reassuring and practical, her book guides you every step of the way from birth to two years and includes tips and advice on: equipment, coming home, sleep, feeding, weaning, Q&A’s and development.

£10.99

What I liked about this book was that the book didn’t force it’s opinions down your throat and just gave you a guide on what you could do to make things a little easier, some parts were more detailed were they needed to be and overall it left you feeling a lot more at ease. I wish I’d known about this book when I was having my two! Baby Buzz Rating: 10/10

I’ve always been a little doubtful when it came to hypnosis and whether it works but I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading recently with many people claiming that it has it’s benefits. Hypnotherapist and experienced doula Sophie Fletcher experienced a traumatic birth with first born that resulted in post natal depression. Sophie was intrigued when she saw a piece on a television programme about using hypnosis for a calmer, pain-free birth. After using this method for the birth of her second son, Sophie Fletcher is now the founder of hypnobirthing company Mindful Mamma, which teaches expectant mothers hypnosis and mindfulness techniques for birth. Surely any helpful way of creating a calmer and more relaxed approach to birth can be a good thing. I will be asking my readers to give me their views on this and post up the results over the next few weeks on the website. Baby Buzz Rating: 8/10

£12.99 www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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News & Reviews - Mums We were introduced to a gorgeous new company called Organamam, still in it’s very early days but with so much promise that we had to tell our readers all about it. Organamama are the very first subscription box company in the UK to offer exclusively green products just for mother and baby. We have seen quite a few “Mother & Baby” boxes over the last year, each a little different from the other and this is by far the most unique. I loved that the box came with a little mini magazine inside called “OrganaMag” which detailed each product that had been included, whilst giving a detailed breakdown of the product and the benefits that it had. Currently the boxes available are for new parents and babies up to 12 months old, but future expansion sees Mama-to-Be and Mama & Baby (13 - 24 months) boxes about to launch (we will of course let you know when)..

http://organamama.co.uk/join/ £26.00

Our first box contained a gorgeous array of products ranging from organic bubble bath (that I may have to keep for me, sorry bubby), Jack N’ Jill natural toothpaste with a silicone toothbrush, liquid wash detergent, Cheeky Cherub Balm, a natura cotton fitted cot sheet a beautiful little wooden Damaru Prayer Drum (which still takes pride of place on my mantle) and of course the quality cardboard box which can be reused, or in my case become a toy box for the little one to hide her things in! All in all a fabulous gift either for yourself or for something you know who has just had a baby and you want to give something special. We love it and can’t wait to see what the new boxes have to offer! Baby Buzz Rating:

9/10

Organic cotton brand Organyc has announced the launch of two new baby-friendly products in its personal care and hygiene range. Organyc’s products are free from chlorine and harsh chemicals, and the 100% organic cotton used in the range is grown without the use of pesticides. The first new Organyc product to be launched is the super soft organic Cotton Squares (RRP £3.99 for 60 squares), which are suitable for sensitive skin, and particularly well suited to cleaning babies’ delicate skin. These are super soft and so gentle on your little ones skin (great for mums to). Also new from Organyc is their Cotton Pleats (RRP £2.99 for 100g), perfect for daily face and body care for both mother and baby. As with all Organyc products, the pleat is made using 100% organic cotton and is suitable for sensitive skin. As most mums will tell you, they want the best for their child and with so many organic products being brought to the market, it can get a little complicated knowing which one is really best for your child. Simply visiting Organyc’s website, you can see exactly what the products are, with no hidden surprises! They also stock the Lavera range of Baby & Children’s products including the Neutral Wash Lotion and Shampoo (£9.00) and Kids toothgel (£3.45). All happily endorsed by the Baby Buzz family! Baby Buzz Rating:

9/10

www.pravera.co.uk

I am so glad to have come across Mamamoosh recently after seeing some of the gorgeous nightwear they have available for expecting and new mums. Nowadays, falling pregnant and having a baby doesn’t mean that you have to look dreary or frumpy and Mamamoosh have proven exactly this. With the gorgeous camisole pyjamas set (at just £59) mummy-to-be or new mummy can look gorgeous whilst, just as importantly feel comfortable. These are our best find so far this year and one product we will happily recommend to all! Another of their fantastic products is the all important cover that many mums choose to wear when wanting to cover up during breastfeeding. The Milkscarf (at a fantastic price of £29.99) does so much! You can wear it around your neck as a scarf and when you want to use it as a breastfeeding cover simply place the neck strap over your head with the semi-rigid neckline protruding from your chest. It's that easy! There's no messing around, adjusting straps, tying knots or even getting it out of your bag - just complete privacy for discreet feeding in seconds. The Milkscarf has flexible boning along the centre of one edge (the semi-rigid neckline) which allows you and your baby to continue that all important eye contact during breastfeeding. The design allows air to circulate and the soft, light jersey prevents your baby getting too stuffy or overheated. The neck strap is a discreet, narrow length of fabric made from the same material as the scarf which is attached to the edge of the boning to make a loop. When you put this loop around your neck the boning holds the fabric slightly away from your upper chest/neck area so you can see your baby feeding, but no-one else can (as in the picture below). Baby Buzz Rating: 10/10

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Two Car seats in one From birth – approximately 4 years old

2-in-1 booster seat: (can be used as a backless booster) From approximately 4 to 11 years old

The Varioguard is an amazingly flexible car seat complete with Isofix base. It is pioneering in design and provides your child with the latest technology and the highest level of safety.

High-back booster seat designed to fit a growing child up to 36 kg. Deep, reinforced sides lined with energy absorbing EPS foam for side impact protection. A dial on the back adjusts the width of the expandable seatback to fit a child’s shoulders up to 50.8 cm wide. 11-position headrest adjusts up to 16.5 cm in height with one hand for an easy, precise fit. As a fixed-position booster, integrated ISOFAST connectors and a front adjuster allow for a safe and secure installation in seconds (ISOFAST use is optional). The seat bottom has extra length for leg support and features thick AirTek™ foam and tapered sides for total comfort. Dual cup holders are extra deep and angled to keep drinks upright. Monterey packs flat for convenience.

The Varioguard - unlike many other car seats of the group 0+ - offers a 5-point harness system as well as energy-absorbing belt pads, which guarantee maximum security. Thanks to the additional use of memory foam in the head and side regions of the seat, excellent test results in front and side-impact tests are possible. This feature and the use of high-quality, breathable seat fabrics also contribute to the well-being of our young passengers. The standard seat minimizer offers optimal support for your baby during the first months of life. The Isofix base of the Varioguard can be locked by the pedestal and be attached easily to the Isofix connectors in your car. If your car does not offer Isofix connectors, you can secure the base with the 3-point belt in your vehicle. The Varioguard can be used from birth. When using the Isofix connectors in your vehicle, you can use the Varioguard up to Group I - i.e. from birth up to 18 kg – rearward facing. At a body weight of 9 kg, you can turn the seat forward facing - depending on the position you or your child prefers. Using the Varioguard with the 3-point belt in your vehicle you can use the seat rearward facing as group 0+ (from birth up to 13 kg). At a body weight of 9 kg - 13 kg - the Varioguard must be turned to forward facing. Baby Buzz Views (Reviewer: Nickie): An incredibly economical car seat that sees your child from birth to approximately 4 years of age. The isofix and seat unit are incredibly quick and easy to install and our little one loved that she was sat so high up to see out of the window. She was extremely comfortable in this seat which was great to see as she was always falling forward when she fell asleep. With the Varioguard, the seat simply tilts back to a safe point to ensure she remains comfortable. Great, great option for those wishing to save money whilst not sacrificing safety or comfort.

Baby Buzz Views (Reviewer: Eve): As we have an older car, we don’t have isofix clips as standard. Using the seat belt to fix the unit in, we were surprised as to how easy it was to secure and how much sturdier it appeared to be than our other car seat (for our younger son). This did make us think that perhaps the other car seat wasn’t as protective as the Diono and we needed to look into replacing it. We love the comfort of this car seat as it fits our 4 year old son perfectly. It also has nice little extras with the cup holders on either side and also a recline function for sleeping in the car, which is quite unusual for car seats designed from 4 years old and upwards. One of the benefits of the Monterey 2 is that it has a width adjustment mechanism for the upper section which means as he gets bigger the chair will increase accordingly. The great thing about this seat is that the isofix clip is on nylon strapping, not rigid as in most car seats. So if you can’t use them you can tuck them away and if you can it’s simple to install. It also means that we can use it in any family or friends cars being so adaptable.

Available in Black, Red/Black Hauck Varioguard – Available in Blue, Red, Pink, Grey & Black Grey

Available in stores nationwide and online Mothercare, Tesco or click online www.hauckuk.com to find local stockist www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

Available at many retailers, our price was found via www.Amazon.co.uk

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We’ve had the opportunity of reviewing quite a vast selection of the car seats and pushchairs from the CYBEX brand and can confess to it being one our all time favourites. Each time they launch an updated model or a new product altogether, we are eager to get out hands on it and try it out. This month we are reviewing two of their latest updated products the Aton Q and the Solution Q-Fix. CYBEX are one of the few brands that have a rainbow of colours available to pick from and so it’s no surprise that upon delivery we find we have the stunning Lollipop Solution Q-Fix (mix of dark and pale purple) and the Ocean (gorgeous mix of pale and dark blues) Aton Q.

The Aton Q is the gorgeous new carseat from CYBEX that is suitable from birth up to approx 13kg. The Aton Q combines safety with ultimate style whilst ensuring your baby is both safe and super comfortable. New safety features, e.g. the height-adjustable headrest with integrated harness guides, which improve the excellent accident safety of the energy absorbing shell in combination with the crash test proven L.S.P. system even further, and new comfort features, e.g. the huge XXL sun canopy, add up to a perfect infant carrier for premature babies and very small newborns. A new function allows an ideal sitting angle and ensures that small babies lie with their head, neck and chest perfectly aligned. The risk of suffocation by the head falling forward is thereby significantly reduced. The infant car seat can be used belted or with one of our optional bases for easy installation. Baby Buzz Views (Reviewer Nickie (with the help of baby Sophie): We love, love, love this carseat. The simplicity and design of the carseat actually make it super, super stylish and the canopy is incredibly sleek whilst doing its job and covering a large part of your baby, protecting them from the elements. The cushioning is easy to adjust from the lie-flat positioning to lengthening the padding in accordance to your child’s size. The variety of colours available are just incredible and really create a wow impact. With the help of a simple adapter, all CYBEX infant car seats can be easily turned into a practical travel system with the CYBEX Callisto, Onyx or Topaz strollers. They are also compatible with other brands of strollers, including Bugaboo, Baby Jogger and Mamas & Papas etc.. Age Suitability: Birth - 13kg approx Size: H: 56 x W: 44 x L: 65cm approx. Weight: 4.6kg

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The innovative Solution Q Fix provides the highest level of safety and comfort for your little one. Most children reach 55% of their total height by the age of 3 and by the age of 12 have completed 89% of their growth. This results in an average growth rate of 60 cm during the period in which the car seat is used. In order to provide the best possible protection and comfort for the entire duration of use, the CYBEX Solution Q-fix car seat features an integrated height and width adjustment - a new safety function for flexible and optimal alignment of the seat to the child's size. With a one-handed mechanism and 11 adjustment possibilities, the height and width of the seat can be adjusted simultaneously. The seat can grow up to 8 cm in width and up to 20 cm in height. The child thereby always remains in the optimal protection zone of the head and shoulder protectors and never feels constricted, even towards the end of the usage period. Baby Buzz Views (Reviewer: Sue) A fantastic car seat that combines value for money as well as ultimate safety. The carseat is extremely easy to install thanks to the inbuilt isofix fixtures, creating a stable and safe environment for your child. Great value for money when you consider all the safety aspects taken into account ensuring your childs safety from toddler to pre-teen. An amazing array of colours that mean you don’t have to be boring! Age Suitability: 15kg - 36kg approx. Size: H: 61 x W: 52 x L: 41cm approx. Weight: 7.1kg

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News & Reviews - Out & About

HITTING THE TOWN WITH THE SERIOUSLY STYLISH CHICCO URBAN STROLLER! Well I wasn’t expecting that! Having been familiar with the Chicco brand for the past 12 years or so, I had the opportunity of reviewing one of the latest in their range of travel systems. Many people, like me, will know that they make the smaller strollers and also equipment to suit everyday life for babies and toddlers but I hadn’t expected such a stylish and sleek travel system that held its own compared to some of the more expensive ‘luxury’ brands currently on the market. The stroller itself can be bought as a standalone pushchair or with the added adapters and car seat etc it transforms easily and elegantly into the full travel system unit (main unit £349.99). The chassis and pushchair unit come as one piece and you need to buy a Colour Pack (£49.99 per set) to customise to your own specific taste. The Colour Pack (five colours available) includes hood, soft seat reducer, apron (which can be attached to pram mode and pushchair mode) and safety harness pads. The unit assembles extremely easily with a very fluid motion, with the handle bars extending to a more than acceptable length. To convert the stroller into a full travel system you need to purchase the car seat adapter (£24.99) and the Chicco Auto-Fix Fast Group 0+ car seat (£119.95). The exclusive “Clik Clak” system allows you to install the car seat directly onto its safety base (included) with just one hand, and release from the base just as easily. The car seat can be installed in the car with or without the base for maximum ease of use. The clinically tested booster pillow / padded insert (included) is perfect for smaller babies as it provides the best possible “nest” for baby’s head, preventing occurrences of “Flat-head syndrome” and the likes. The car seat also comes with strap and buckle pads, a one-pull harness adjustment, 3 height positions for the shoulder straps and an adjustable sun canopy. The Chicco Urban is very agile and easy to manoeuvre whilst maintaining a safe, solid ride for your child. The storage basket is a pleasant surprise with ample room for shopping and/or baby essentials. Features and benefits for the Chicco Urban Stroller include: suitable from birth to 15kg (approx 3 years), Includes chassis and seat unit, easy to switch reversible seat, 2 recline modes and 3 recline positions, with comfort liner, which zips into the seat unit in pram mode, adjustable leg rest and removable bumper bar, lockable front swivel wheels, all round suspension and linked rear brakes, 4 position handle, large shopping basket and rain cover, lightweight frame, super compact fold with integrated carry handle, compatible as a travel system with the Chicco car seat adaptor (available separately), free 2 year guarantee.

Baby Buzz Rating:

A great stroller / travel system option to rival those at the top end of the market without paying ‘luxury’ prices!

www.chicco.co.uk

www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

9/10

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News & Reviews - App’s & Gadgets As a busy mum, I am always trying to make life that little bit easier and save time. Within this industry, and no doubt every other industry, there is new technology constantly being introduced on to the market and whilst I can’t try them all, I like to look for the ones that I think will help me out the most. In this issue we are reviewing a gadget that has really taken the market by storm over the last year, not just by parents but by individuals and gadget freaks alike - the Soup Maker. We also tried out the latest in Baby Monitors with the SmartCam courtesy of Samsung.

What the company says: The Automatic Multifunctional 7 in 1 Soup Blender is a fantastic kitchen gadget to assist you with all your cooking needs. The seven different features make it stand out from any other type of soup maker and include: Soup Maker; Food Blender; Coffee Grinder; Ice Crusher; Vegetable Steamer; Egg Boiler and Food Warmer. The Soup Blender comes with two different programmed soup features which can easily be selected. The chunky soup option leaves small diced chunks of vegetables in the soup, while the smooth function makes a smooth and creamy soup, perfect for small children to eat. Improve your family’s health by producing your own healthy recipes and retaining more of the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables which are usually lost in manufactured soups. With the Food Blender function you can make delicious fruit juice, milkshakes, refreshing smoothies, tasty sauces, fancy cocktails and nutritious baby food in seconds.

www.andrewjamesworldwide.com £59.99

The Coffee Grinder attachment makes light work of grinding fresh coffee beans, nuts and spices, thanks to the powerful motor and serrated blades. The Ice Crusher function is perfect for making Slushies, Mojitos, Daiquiris and Iced Lemonades, ideal for a party or barbecue. The Steamer Basket allows you to steam all types of food from vegetables to fish with delicious results. With the Egg Boiler attachment you can effortlessly boil eggs in minutes. The Soup Blender also comes with a Food Warmer function which is perfect for warming soups, sauces and even drinks. The non-stick heating plate is easily cleaned and a detachable heat proof jar allows for easy serving and added safety. The product comes with a manual that includes recipe ideas to get you started. What we thought: The excitement to try this out was immense and it certainly didn’t disappoint! With such straight forward instructions to follow, anybody could whip up a tasty soup or two in the space of no time at all. The soup maker literally does everything for you! One little gripe we found was that once the soup was ready it tended to leak a little bit at the bottom almost as if it were too full (even when it wasn’t past the maximum line!). This was easily remedied and if you left it in the base of the unit, there were no leaks. We have a few more recipes to try (namely the Mojito’s and Daiquiris - well it would be rude not too) and then once we’ve finished with the unit, it will be donated to the nearest soup kitchen. A very fun gadget that is cost effective and oh so easy to use! Baby Buzz Rating:

8/10

The Smarter, Stronger Home Security Solution With its cutting edge technology and contemporary sleek design, Samsung SmartCam provides clear and sharp color video day and night, aided by IR Cut Filter technology. With night vision, images are deteced in low light and you will be alerted you to any events.. Event videos and images are automatically uploaded to the user's YouTube / Picasa account. Security For Your Home or For your Work And because you can view your camera on your PC, MAC, and smartphone, you can keep a watchful eye on your home or business at anytime and from anywhere. What we thought: This little camera is amazing! Accessed through your laptop or via your iPhone (which is what we did to monitor the little lady whilst she slept) was incredible. Being able to utilise your own phone to keep a check on your children especially if you go out and you have a nanny or other looking after your child, this camera is perfect and invaluable! The Samsung SmartCam SNH-1011N is available online at eBuyer and Maplin and in store soon.

www.samsungsmartcam/com

www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

Baby Buzz Rating:

10/10

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Red Stripe Dress £45.00

Dress, Taupe & Lemon £49.00

Bird Print Blouse £39.00 Iridescent Cardigan £55.00 Camel Belt £45.00 Fushsia Trousers £45.00

www.vertbaudet.co.uk

www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

Jacket, Iridescent £49.00 T-Shirt White & blue stripe £19.00

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1. Bunting Tee £4, Shorts & Tights £7 | 2. Red pirate T-shirt £2, Elasticated jeans £8, Grey dog T-shirt £2 and Blue chinos £6 | 3. Loopback Stripe Zip Thru £8, 2PK LS Tops Giraffe £6, Rib Waist Jean £10 | 4. Basic Cardi £5 | 5. Opp Friendship Tee £2/3, Aztec Legging £¾ | 6. Opp Panda Tee £2, Bow skirt and legging set £8 White basic cardi £5, Twofer stripe dress £8, Basic legging £2.51 www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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Fashion - Teenwear

Teenwear - Girls Fashion £14.99 £9.99

£7.99 £14.99

£12.99

£9.99

£12.99

£17.99 £7.99 £17.99

www.newlook.com www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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1. Prestat Rose & Violet Cremes, £11.50 | 2. Lime Polka Dots Conical Shape Mug £4 - Cargo | 3. Blossom Group Filofax, £23 - £26 | 4. Pink Spot Scarf, £40 - Isabi | 5. Floral Micro Scooter White and Grey, from £169 - Micro Scooter | 6. Chemise, £8 - Nutmeg, Morrisons | 7. Dressing Gown, £10 - Nutmeg, Morrisons | 8. Rose Pink Frame, £6 - Cargo | 9. PJ Set, £10, Nutmeg, Morrisons | 10. Cyto Luxe Collection, £89 - glo minerals | 11. PJ Set, £12, Nutmeg Morrisons

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News & Reviews - Babies & Toddlers As any parent will tell you, when it comes to feeding your child the equipment you can get is endless! With so many brands launching new products on a frequent basis, you really can just keep buying more and more until in the end your child has more crockery and dinnerware than you! I’ve learnt over the years that what you really need to do is get a good quality item that will last your child and withstand the throwing, the heating and the stirring. Fisher price have just launched their innovative feeding range which comprises of Baby’s First Sippy cup (£4.99), 3-in-1 Spout Sippy Cup (£4.49 - 6oz / £5.49 - 8 oz), Stack n’ Store Sippy Cups (£7.49 - 2 pack), Two Grip Travel Sippy (£4.49 - 8 oz / £4.99 - 10 oz), Learn to Scoop Spoons (£4.99 - 4 pack), Soft Grip Spoons (£4.99 - 4 pack), On-the-Go Fork and Spoon (£2.99), Wrap Around Spoons (£5.99 - 4 pack), Heat Sensitive Bowls (£9.99), Multi Grip Suction Set (£9.99) and the Tote Along Snacker (£4.99).

www.boots.com

We sampled a few of the products and found that the Soft Grip Spoons were perfect for our little one to hold and were just small enough for her to have a comfortable grip. The Heat Sensitive Bowls are just brilliant - our constant problem is that the food becomes too hot in the middle and when you think the food is fine, there is still the risk of her burning our mouth due to the hidden heat. A definite must for all parents. The new range is available exclusively at Boots from this month. Baby Buzz Rating:

9/10

Most mums will tell you that when you feed your child their lunch or dinner, nine times out of ten it will go cold due to the time it takes to eat! Whether it be distractions, fussiness or just them being a slow eater, it can be quite off-putting trying to encourage your little one to eat cold food. That could well be a thing of the past thanks to a fabulous little dish called the Warm-a-Bowl which has a small hole which you fill with hot, but not boiling water. This in turn creates a constant warm base keeping your little ones food nice and warm. The innovative triangular design also means that the dish is easy to hold and makes scooping up the food in the corner that much easier. Brilliant concept and a design that actually works! Could you make one in adult size perhaps??

www.vitalbaby.com

Baby Buzz Rating:

10/10

We have a fantastic range of clothing being reviewed in time for the April issue, from the following childrenswear brands:

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News & Reviews - Restaurant Reviews Every month we review a selection of new and innovative products and clothing and this month is no different. This month we have a fantastic selection of children’s books and health and wellbeing books, new food products, children’s eating utensils, car seats from Cybex, Hauck and Diono’s new Monterey 2 High Back Booster Seat as well as the Concord Neo travel system and Joovy’s Caboose Two. If you would like to join our review group or if you have a product that you would like us to review, please contact us at info@babybuzzmagazine.com.

We’ve all been there, visited different cafes and restaurants which have claimed to be family-friendly only to be faced with somewhere that at best provided semi-comfy seats and at worst sold cheap coffee and store bought cake (that has been sliced into tiny portions and then charged at the full price of the entire cake - what a bargain). Like most people, whether parents or not, finding a nice place to eat-out with friends that provides quality and affordability is always hard but when you add children into the mix and offering them the same quality of food it becomes almost impossible. Therefore, over the next year I’ve made it my mission to find truly family-friendly venues that don’t skimp on the service and quality and lave you feeling like you’ve actually had a good time. The first on our list of family-friendly restaurants is Mojo’s Kitchen. Located in Ashfield Parade, Southgate, N14 just behind Southgate Station is this little hidden gem! Owner Gary is very straight forward about his motto, and it’s quite simply “we don’t have one! Our menu features dishes from all around the globe but one thing remains constant, carefully sourced British ingredients, cooked simply without fuss but with loads of taste”. Our first impressions was that it appeared light and airy with a clean crisp décor and lots of colour. There is a mixture of eclectic artwork and stripy wallpaper and lots of space which straight away made me think space for buggies for mums who would perhaps want to meet for coffee and a chat. There are also two large sofas to the rear with a play area for the children. The bathroom facilities are really nice and clean and well thought out with baby-changing facilities available. The menu is simple but oh so very effective with a good variety available with a number of gluten free options also available. The meat is also organic produce that can be traced back to its source. The one thing we would recommend is to put a little symbol to show what includes nuts as this wasn’t so clear. For our starters we opted for Coconut Prawns with a Homemade Peanut Sauce and Spicy Crumb Chicken Breast Strips served with a Sweet Chilli dip and a JD dip. The Spicy Crumb is actually a combination of gorgeous spices and flavours from the delicious Bims Kitchen, who make the most heavenly creations of sauces, dips and marinades, but that’s for another time. The chicken breast strips were by far the tastiest, succulent and juicy we’ve ever had and were divine. We actually swapped the peanut sauce for the sweet chilli, but that was just our personal preference. The Coconut Prawns are delicious and we could have just kept on eating them. The coconut coating was simply scrumptious and the prawns juicy, plump and so full of flavour. It seems that Mojo’s Kitchen are focusing on their extensive burger selection although there are many other options available from ribs and salmon to fish & chips and sausages and mash. One little niggling point was the lack of gluten free bread buns as one of our party couldn’t eat wheat, but we didn’t let that deter us and ordered one of the hamburgers without a bun, a request duly taken care of. Nothing could have prepared us for the arrival of our burgers! They are the biggest and juiciest beef burgers and all handmade on the premises, the burger buns are artisan rolls and toasted to give a nice crunchy texture. All the beef burgers are served with a generous portion of skin on chips. The red onion chutney within my beef burger complimented the brie perfectly and I wished I ordered more.

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My oldest daughter had the Chicken Schnitzel which was again a very large, very juicy piece of chicken coated in tasty Panko breadcrumbs and topped with a fried egg again served with a generous portion of skin on fries. After all this food, we unbelievably found the space to order dessert and weren’t disappointed. The homemade apple pie with vanilla ice-cream is to die for and oozes crispy pastry with a sweet apple filling and the American pancakes with the selection of fillings were dreamy. You could happily order these with just a coffee or tea and leave more than satisfied. OVERALL What a fantastic family-friendly venue. Mojo’s Kitchen is suitable for everyone not just parents, at our point of visiting there were older couples, young families, workers on their lunch break and a chap working away in the corner. You really can’t get any more varied than that. From the comments we’ve heard from other people we are sure that Mojo’s Kitchen will continue to be a huge hit with everyone who visits, so spread the word…

Baby Buzz Rating: 9/10

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News & Reviews I’m pretty sure that most of my readers will have heard of the Rainforest Cafe but also sure that many won’t have been to experience it. With restaurants located all over the world they are one of the few restaurants / venues where reputation far exceeds itself. We were given the opportunity of reviewing the London restaurant recently and were interested to see what all the fuss was all about. Our party consisted of two adults, a twelve year old and an almost three year old. Bearing in mind the littlest of the group is terrified of anything in character costumes or lifelike creatures, we were a little sceptical as to how she would handle the noises and the lifelike creatures located throughout the restaurant. At first our fears were realised when the elephants started trumpeting and the thunder started to roar but miraculously after the first 20 minutes or so of clinging to mummy for dear life, she began to enjoy it and actually really warm to all the creatures, which was a massive relief and a real joy to see! Our first impressions were mixed, mainly due to the fact you had to walk through the shop to get in and out of the restaurant, which as any parent will tell you, the last thing you need is an upset child wanting to have something from the shop and you having to tell them sadly, they can’t have it. We were very lucky that the atmosphere and buzz of the place distracted our little lady and she walked straight through it. Upon arrival, we checked in at the little booth and were warmly greeted by two servers giving us the instructions to go down the stairs and a server at the bottom would direct us to our table. One small issue with this is if you have a buggy, the stairs are quite steep and there doesn’t appear to be a lift (whether there was a concealed one I’m not too sure), a few parents were witnessed taking babies / toddlers out of buggies and one walking with child and the other carrying said buggy. Once we were seated we were again warmly greeted by our host who would be attending us for the duration of our lunch. She was absolutely lovely and we couldn’t have asked for a more attentive individual. I did notice, that there were a lot of staff on duty and whether this was due to half-term holidays or that it was Central London and diners would be coming in their droves, I don’t know, but it certainly didn’t hinder our service and we were served promptly for each course. The food is what you would expect, ribs, burgers, salads, fish etc a general collection of everything, bound to suit everyone’s taste. The children’s menu is vast and provides a great variety, unlike many others which provide the usual fish fingers, pretend nuggets or spaghetti. The portion sizes are also large for the little diners. Children are also given fabulous activity packs pertaining to all things jungle / animal based and this went down very, very well! For our meal we had the full three courses, with each being varied to give an idea of what was available. Our starters were the Buffalo Wings, the half portion of baby-back ribs and calamari. My oldest daughter absolutely loved the Buffalo Wings and were a little surprised as they had a good spicy kick to them and she still devoured them! The calamari was also a real twist as it wasn’t covered in the usual thick batter and the www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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News & Reviews seasoning was done to perfection. We all agreed, however, that my option had been the best with the most heavenly coated ribs we had ever eaten! This takes some beating as I’ve eaten a good portion of ribs over the last few years and these were far superior! Our main course consisted of 21 day aged char-grilled steak, braised lamb shanks, the Classic burger and Mac & Cheese for the littlest one which came with a side portion of vegetables. The burger was enormous and “seriously tasty” according to my oldest, with my sister open-mouthed at the sight of her char-grilled steak, which had been cooked really well. Sadly the lamb shank wasn’t the nicest I’d had, and as much as lamb can taste somewhat fatty, this went a little too far whilst not having enough sauce to accompany the meat. I did, however, pinch pieces of steak and burger from my family so all was well! The smallest ones Mac & Cheese was delicious and I would strongly suggest adding this to the adults menu - it was so cheesy and creamy and, well yes I did eat some of this too! My littlest one is also a very keen veggie eater and so after polishing off her little bowl of veggies, the manager very kindly replenished it and she wolfed that down too. Dessert was a struggle! We were so full that the thought of having anything else was just painful. However, as it was my birthday the staff had very kindly put a candle in my ice cream (which of course came with a banana and toffee crepe - it would have been wrong not too) and had the restaurant diners in close proximity all sing Happy Birthday! This was clearly a very popular day as numerous diners all had their turn with a pudding they had chosen and a candle for them to blow out too - a very nice touch even if I must say so myself! So would I recommend it to my readers? Absolutely, it is a really fun experience and whilst it may not be something we could all afford to do on a regular basis, it certainly is a fun place to celebrate birthdays or just as a really nice family treat! Remember this is Central London so whilst the prices aren’t your local and easily affordable restaurant prices, they aren’t hideously expensive either and you get what you pay for. Well, I’m ready for another visit - are you?

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Features

The Importance of Art . . . Kids enjoy making art. Whether it's paint, crayons, glue or glitter, art can provide hours of entertainment and joy for the young (and the young at heart). Is there more to art, though? What are children really learning through the process of creating art?

While art is fun and full of educational opportunities, mess seems to be a deterrent when parents consider an art project with their children. It is important to remember that mess can be managed. For example, don't have all of the materials out at once. Try only a few materials at a time to help manage the mess if you are worried. Many parents find it best to define the art area by covering it with plastic or newsprint. Make clean up a regular part of the process. After all, learning to clean up after making a mess is a necessary life skill. Also, make sure you budget more time than you think you will need for art projects so that clean up can be managed without feeling rushed.

Let’s start with the physical aspect of creating art. Young children develop dexterity as they play; manipulating a paintbrush, scribbling with a crayon, cutting with scissors and squishing and pulling play dough help strengthen the muscles in the hands and fingers. All of these motions are preparing young hands for writing tasks. Art inspires creativity. Creating an art project involves risk, problem solving and innovative thinking. From choosing the necessary materials for bringing a vision to life, to testing a new colour, texture, style or material, thinking outside the box becomes the norm.

It is also important to remember that while many art projects come with set instructions, your child should be allowed to explore and investigate on his or her own. If the instructions say to use red, blue and yellow paint but your child wants green paint, then let them experiment and see what happens. How could they make green paint? How does the project look with the new colour? Let the creative process reign supreme as the fun, joy and discovery begins!

Problem solving and critical thinking skills are developed as children make decisions and choices in the process of creating art. They look at a lump of clay and must determine how to turn that clay into a sculpture. If a chosen material doesn’t work for a project then they work to discover what could be used instead.

About Sara Barokas Sara Barokas is the VP and Product Designer at toucanBox. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and is a certified Early Childhood Montessori Teacher, spending over a decade as a lead teacher and Head of School in a variety of Montessori programmes. She is excited to help parents and children learn and play through toucanBox each and every month! toucanBox is an arts and crafts subscription to engage and inspire children between the ages of 3-8. Each toucanBox contains all the materials and tools to make fantastic projects, encouraging all manner of creative investigations.

Perseverance, patience and focus are important skills in life and art can help children develop these skills. Many projects require learning a new technique, which takes time. Through repetition, children work to perfect these techniques as they engage in creating art. In addition, most art activities have multiple steps that need to be followed, which further develops focus (What step should I complete first?). Often, projects must be left to dry or harden before they can be finished. Seeing a project through to the end helps children develop a sense of follow through. Art education teaches kids how to interpret and use visual information that is so ever present in these times. Visual information is being taken in at a very young age now; even young toddlers spend screen time on iPads and smart-phones. Spatial skills are acquired through drawing, painting and sculpture. Art helps to develop visual discerning and understanding. Even science and geography can come to life and be taught with a hands-on art component for very young children. As children imagine and produce a giraffe and the landscape it lives in, lessons about the different continents and their natural resources can be included.

We have an exclusive offer for readers to claim their first Petite toucanBox for free. Visit www.toucanbox.com/taster and enter the code MH4561 to receive your free box. www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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Car Reviews

I am in love… with the Love Bug!

It’s official! There is no doubt about it… I am in love… with a car! Not just any car mind you, but the most I know the old Beetle’s had the engine in the back and the boot was in gorgeously, scrumptious and brilliantly designed new creation from the front which gave less space, but even still, this is seriously Volkswagon, the Beetle Design. impressive! Let me just clarify something, for me a car is a convenient object on four wheels that gets you predominantly from A to B (maybe C if it’s long distance!) It is by no means meant to make you smile just by looking at it and then feel euphoric when you sit behind the wheel! I will be truly heartbroken when this little car has to go back! I will be honest that when the new designs were launched I wasn’t impressed! I thought that they had detracted away from the original “Classic” bug that we had all been brought up with and grown to love. That thought was rapidly thrown out the moment I set eyes on what can only be described as the most amazing little car I have ever driven! The new shape actually has a more vintage feel that you just don’t appreciate in a passing glance, a fleeting moment. The main things I look for in a car, especially family friendly cars, is space, ease of use, practicality and cost efficiency. I have heard so many times over the years that as soon as you have a family, you have to sacrifice fun (when it comes to vehicles / transport that is). Having had the opportunity of reviewing numerous models from the VW and other ranges, I jumped at the chance of reviewing the new Beetle Design. I can safely say this was the best thing I’ve done in a long, long time!!

Beetle Design 1.2-litre 105 PS 7spd DSG Basic ‘on the road’ recommended retail price* £19,570.00 * includes £730 (delivery, number plates, VAT, £125 ‘first year rate’ VED (band E) and £55 registration fee)

Engine capacity (litres/cc)

1.2 / 1197 (4 cylinders, 16 valves)

Power output (PS @rpm)

105@5000

Max torque (lbs ft / Nm @ rpm) 129 / 175@ 1550-4100 Top speed (mph)

112

0-62 mph (seconds)

10.9

Fuel economy (mpg)

Urban – 39.2; Extra-urban – 54.3; Combined – 47.9

What you don’t realise is that although this is a “small” car, it really does provide ample space! Whilst it may not be suitable for the family with a baby under the age of one who has to be in a car seat that is taken in and out with every journey, the moment your child is able to sit in a car seat that stays in the car - then this is the car for you! There is so much room, almost like Doctor Who’s tardis! My little girls first reaction to this car was “it’s very beautiful mummy” and she’s only two, clearly takes after her mummy in knowing a good thing when she sees it!

CO2 emissions (g/km)

139 (Euro5)

Insurance group (1-50)

11 E

Warranty

3 years / 60,000 miles; 3 years paint; 12 years body protection;

Breakdown assistance

1 year Volkswagen Assistance (UK & Europe)

My first experience of driving this car saw me pull up at a set of lights and watch a man at the bus stop mouth to me how much he loved the car! Admittedly, the colour option on my test drive of Denim Blue (although I’m sorry VW I have renamed it as Powder Puff Blue - it seems more suited) is just stunning and is the nicest colour option I’ve seen so far. With the sun shining on the car it really does bring a smile to your face! The model we test drove had built in touchscreen navigation but you can purchase many more additional extras to make this super chic.

Final Thoughts:

Another thing I couldn’t believe was the boot space! You could easily fit a large travel system into it as well as space for many shopping bags,

Baby Buzz Rating: 10 / 10 - Perfect in every way!

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I’d always thought bigger was better and I’d had my sights firmly set on the Tiguan. I can honestly say that I want a bug, I want this bug, I want a Denim Blue (sorry Powder Puff Blue) bug. A great, economic option for families who don’t need a big car and who really aren’t fussed with having a three door car. We loved every minute of this test drive and just wish we had it longer, possibly forever ???

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Travel Guide

The Baby Buzz Travel Guide

Easter holidays are a welcome break for stressed families, but travelling with your whole family can be quite complicated even usually mild-mannered offspring can morph into little rascals that require your constant attention. However, Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel comes to the rescue with their Easter holiday package for all the family. Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is the finest luxury family resort in Europe. Its wonderful location in Sagres on the Western Algarve will enchant every member of your family. April is a particularly magical time in Sagres with Meadows carpeted with wildflowers, turquoise waters, and the scent of eucalyptus permeating the air. You can discover some of the most spectacular beaches and enjoy a wide range of sports and leisure activities with your family: wind and kite surfing, kayaking, biking, horse riding, a Jeep safari, or our family Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday.

There are five different kids’ clubs that cater to children from six months to teenagers. There’s a crèche for the little ones (with one child-minder to every three children), various playgrounds, video games and table football for the teens and tweens, and activities such as tennis, surf and padel tennis for the older teens (and during Easter children under 12 stay for free in a village house!). Besides, there are several other family focused facilities that make Martinhal the perfect choice when planning a family getaway: The spacious accommodation will work for any family set up and is equipped with stair-gates, baby proofing, pool guards and sterilizers. Martinhal also offers a baby concierge service, where you can pre-book buggies, bottle sterilisers, or cots and have them ready for your arrival. All restaurants have a children’s and even a specially designed baby menu as well as a dedicated children’s play area where the kids can play on i-pads and games while the parents enjoy their meal.

From £285 per house per night based on 2 Adults, 2 Martinahl also boasts its very own VW Camper Van at their children under 12 years and a baby.

Family Coffee Shop and Surf Bar, M-Bar which provides hours of entertainment for children (and adults!). New for M-Bar this MARTINHAL’S EASTER PACKAGE INCLUDES; year - a new Kid’s Corner with a Kid’s Bar and iPads where the ● 4 or 7 night stay in two bedroom Village House Kids Carer will keep children busy, while parents can enjoy their ● One meal per day (dinner or lunch - 3 course menu, drinks coffee and cake, as well as a cocktail in the evenings. not included) ● ● ●

Easter Egg Hunt for the whole family on Easter Sunday 1 hour padel tennis lesson or 1 hour complimentary tennis You don’t believe a family Easter break can be as relaxing as this? You’d best visit Martinhal this April and find out. court hire during the stay (*) Children under 12 stay for free in the Village House and are entitled to one complimentary children meal per day (maximum 2 children per house)

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www.martinhal.com

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Travel Guide

Enjoy a taste of the real France from just £230 this May Wine tasting, French cuisine and stunning scenery – add some ‘Je ne sais quoi’ to your May with French camping breaks from £230 with Canvas Holidays. The five-star Chateau des Marais, Chambord, France is set in the stunning grounds of an old manor house and is the perfect escape for couples looking for a country retreat in the sun. Spend lazy days chilling by the pool or relaxing in the jacuzzi, before indulging in an evening cocktail or two at the site’s bar. Head off site and take in the sights of Loire along one of the many cycle paths or take to the river by canoe. Sample regional specialities including goat’s cheese, tarte Tatin and Vouvray wine at the local village of Muides-sur-Loire. A little further afield, guests can visit the impressive Château de Chambord – the largest château in Loire, or visit the picturesque town of Amboise to enjoy a romantic evening meal, admire the Gothic and Renaissance architecture and enjoy a riverside walk. Seven-nights at Chateau des Marais costs from £213, staying in a Maxi Tent (sleeps up to six people) and arriving on site on 18 May 2014. Escape to the idyllic Domaine d’Oléron, Ile d’Oléron, Royan, France – perfect for groups of friends who want to relax poolside, enjoy some friendly tackling with a game of five-aside football or challenge each other to a game of tennis, before indulging in a drink at the bar. The local beach is just over a mile away offering holidaymakers the chance to top up the tan with stunning views out to sea. The tranquil campsite is the ideal island retreat for a break, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Oléron Island, set in Bay of Biscay, is ideal for cycling enthusiasts – guests can hire bikes from the campsite and explore the Island. Head to the Médoc wine road and visit renowned vineyards along the route such as Château Lafite, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Latour and ChâteauMargaux. Enjoy a trip to the nearby town of St Pierre d’Oléron and wander round its medieval churches and monuments or pick up some local produce at the town’s popular market. Seven-nights at Domaine d’Oléron costs from £220, staying in a Maxi Tent (sleeps up to six people) and arriving on site on 18 May 2014.

For more information on Canvas Holidays or to book, visit www.canvasholidays.co.uk or call 0845 268 0827. Please visit the website for full terms and conditions. www.babybuzzmagazine.com | Twitter: BabyBuzzMag

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Travel Guide

STEP INTO WEST LOTHIAN THIS SPRING! Step into spring in West Lothian and discover the beauty of central Scotland’s playground. With nature walks, Highland Games, owl flying displays and family crafts there is something for everyone to enjoy. For the animal lovers…

treating to the comfort of a heated wigwam. With a play park, games room and fully equipped kitchen on site, and a variety of walks and cycle routes surrounding the area, it is the perfect weekend getaway. To book please visit www.hillycowwigwams.co.uk.

During springtime Almond Valley is alive with the cheeps of newly hatched chicks, the bleats of baby lambs, and all sorts of other noises from all manner of new arrivals on the farm. Even if the sun isn't shining there's more fun to be had indoors, exploring imaginative play areas and interactive museum displays, or enjoying a tasty treat in Morag's Milkbar. During the school holidays there will be further games, trails and Easter crafts.

Mid Lodge Cottage is the ideal place to spend a weekend with family or friends this spring. The self-catering holiday cottage sleeps six people and is located in the beautiful parkland in the exclusive Hopetoun estate within walking distance of Hopetoun House, which re-opens on April 18. To book visit www.hopetoun.co.uk/holiday-accommodation.html. Dates for your diary…

Take a visit to Five Sisters Zoo and see how many animals you can spot! With lemurs, lynx cats, parrots, meerkats and bears there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. If you’re looking to get up close with the animals go along to one of the feeding sessions which take place twice a day, not only will you get the chance to hold some amazing animals you’ll also learn more about their eating habits.

Bathgate 2014 will take place on Saturday 31st May. Comprising of the world’s second largest pipe band event, the British Pipe Band Championships, and the long-established West Lothian Highland Games, the day is set to attract thousands of people to the town with one ticket covering the Meadow Park and Borough Muir festivities. International singing sensation, and local lass, Susan Boyle is Chieftain on the day and there will be Highland dancing, caber tossing and shot putting, as Visit the Scottish Owl Centre at Polkemmet Country Park and discover well as pipe band playing to enjoy throughout the day. one of the largest collections of owls in the world! Get up close in one of the daily indoor flying displays or book your own private Owl En- Come along to Howden Park Centre during the month of March and counter. Capture the moment you held Africa's biggest owl or have fun get in touch with your creative side. Take part in the illustration workshooting down the giant owl slide. Discover fascinating facts about the shop run by Gary Dewaron March 23and uncover your inner artist. Do habits and habitats of these breath-taking birds. you think you know The Adventures ofRobin Hood? On 18 April join For the lovers of the outdoors… Put a spring in your step and join the Ranger on a walk through Hopetoun’s beautiful grounds. Discover the natural history of the beautiful flowers which signal the arrival of spring and enjoy a picturesque walk with the whole family. Enjoy a visit to the Stables Tearoom afterwards where you can treat yourself to some delicious soup and sandwiches followed by some tasty homemade treats.

internationally acclaimed Visible Fictions for a silly and unexpected family show full of chases, explosions and a flaming baguette! This year the Scottish Birdfair will be taking place at Hopetoun House during the weekend of May 10-11. With talks, workshops and fun filled children’s activities there is plenty to entertain the whole family.

Test yourself this May and take part in the Bing Blazer! The 5km event will see participants set off from Capers Farm, Armadale on May 17, Visit Polkemmet, Almondell & Calderwood and Beecraigs Country Park before testing themselves on the mystery obstacle course. With the this spring and discover the outdoors. With mountain bike trails, orien- destination and the course route remaining under wraps until a few teering and fly fishing available at Beecraigs Country Park and golf, a weeks before the event you will need to train for the unknown! bowling green and a play area at Polkemmet Country Park it is a day out the whole family will love. Get running for charity on May 11 and raise money for Prostate ScotFor the fashion conscious… Banish the winter blues by indulging in a new spring wardrobe!Take a visit to The Centre, Livingston and explore the latest catwalk trends at high street stores including Topshop, Debenhams and River Island. With Nandos, Wagamama’s and Chiquitos all open late every evening you can enjoy a bite to eat after a bit of retail therapy.

Escape to West Lothian… Treat yourself to a break at the Mercure Livingston Hotel with their Love Spring offer, where you can enjoy a two night stay with a delicious three course dinner. For more information and to book visit www.mercurelivingston.co.uk/love-spring.html.

land by taking part in the Baw Bag Baw Buster Duathlon. The duathlon begins with a cross country 3k run, then a 10k part off-road cycle finishing with a 3k off-road run which ends at Hilly Cow Wigwams. With prizes for the best pants it’s time to embrace your inner super hero and wear your pants on the outside!

For more information about all the great things to see and do in West Lothian please visit: www.visitwestlothian.co.uk

For an idyllic peaceful retreat why not enjoy the perfect escapeat Hilly Cow Wigwams. You can take in the fabulous views of the Forth Valley and the Pentland Hills while relaxing around the campfire before re-

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Profile for Nickie Evans

Baby buzz march issue final  

A complimentary parenting magazine for parents everywhere. If you would like a hard copy, please email me nickie@babybuzzmagazine.com

Baby buzz march issue final  

A complimentary parenting magazine for parents everywhere. If you would like a hard copy, please email me nickie@babybuzzmagazine.com

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