More than just a change in diet: the challenge of Coeliac Disease for parents and how to survive it‏

From birthday parties to our daily breakfast, food plays a central role in our friendships and family lives. As we are inundated with Christmas markets and high definition adverts for festive foodstuffs, it is can be difficult and stressful for children managing Coeliac Disease, and their families.

Source
Researchers from the University of Birmingham are keen to explore ways in which more support can be provided to parents, in a way that understands the complex psychological effects of managing their child’s gluten free diet on a daily basis.
Coeliac Disease is an auto-immune disorder triggered by the presence of gluten, which leads to an immune response which damages the small intestine. Gluten is a broad term for proteins found in crops such as wheat, barley and rye. People with the condition experience a range of symptoms of differing severities; including abdominal pain, weight loss and exhaustion.
In the UK, around 1 in every 100 people has Coeliac Disease – although diagnosis of those with the disorder is worryingly low.
Dr Ruth Howard, from the School of Psychology, explained, “Having your child diagnosed with Coeliac Disease can feel a lot like a journey. And a lot of the parents we talked to say that the road to diagnosis alone was a really difficult experience. They often feel frustrated by primary care who often mis-diagnose the condition, and this is exacerbated by a sense of guilt when they find out what’s wrong with their child. It’s the idea that ‘I should have known’ and wishing that you could somehow take the condition away from your child, were it possible”.
After diagnosis, there can be a lot of stress and anxiety that comes with having to adapt family life, particularly around mealtimes. Gluten free food is improving, but there is still a limited choice and there is an issue with the cost. Staple gluten free foods can be obtained on prescription, but most foodstuffs are around four times more expensive than their ordinary equivalent.  According to Coeliac UK, this may cause difficulties for families on low incomes to maintain their child’s diet. 
Eating out brings further concerns around exposure; and an uncertainty around whether or not a restaurant is truly gluten free.
Dr Gary Law added, “It can be really hard for a family in this situation. Managing your own condition is tough; managing that of your child always heightens anxiety. The shift that people have to make to adjust can be considerable and we wanted to create a resource that can really help to support parents through this.”
The team have launched their second film created to support and inform parents coping with their child’s Coeliac Disease.
Dr Howard continued, “We know that Christmas can be especially difficult for parents. There’s so much that you worry about, party food can be a real concern – but you can feel a constant burden of guilt that comes with feeling as though you are restricting your child from being able to ‘fit in’ with friends and peers.”
“Our goal is to provide parents with more access to information about Coeliac Disease, so that they can understand the condition. It’s about knowledge, but also about sharing some ideas from those who’ve been along the same journey.”

U Star Kids Launches Personalised Word Pads for Reception & Year 1 Children

U star launches personalised word pads for reception children
U Star Kids Launches Personalised Word Pads for Reception & Year 1 Children 




We have been lucky enough to review this brilliant work pad created by U Star Kids. 
This is a personalised word pad.


Especially made for Reception & year 1 children.

London, United Kingdom - 28 November 2014 - U Star Novels the publisher of the largest range of personalised books for adults and customised classics for kids, has today announced it has officially expanded their range of personalised kids products with the launch of their brand new personalised Word Pads aimed at reception & year 1 children.
 
These fantastic, personalised educational products are perfect for introducing your children to the high frequency words that they will be taught once they start school. Each activity page is designed to focus on name recognition together with one very important phonetic keyword. They'll have fun learning these keywords whilst writing, colouring and creating pages they can keep or stick on the wall for ongoing word recognition.
 
Girl and boy themed word pads are available for reception-level children and a more advance pad is aimed at Year 1 children.  

I love the website very simple & a fabulous pice just £12.99
Designed to help your child with some of the tricky words, which are the high frequency words that don't follow the simple phonic code, our fully personalised Word Pads will help your child master some of these words through colouring, writing and fun activities. Fully customised with your child's first and last names, these new 20 page Word Pads will have them mastering the reception / year 1 high frequency words in no time.

Includes the following words: boy, girl, day, night, up, down, in, out, little, big, going, boat, walk, pull, push, first, dog, house, people, which


The word pad is perfect for a child like Emilyn as she has speech therapy this pad helps her writing the words she struggles to say.

She really enjoyed doing her 'work' today




Busy Busy Busy


I would say these are perfect presents for friends children or a stocking type filler present for your own children.


8 Questions to Emilyn :

1) Would you recommend this to your friends? Yes I would recommend it to all my best friends

2) Whats the best thing about the word pad?  I love that each page is different 

3) Would you change anything about the word pad? Yes I would remove the butterflies I couldn't draw them....

4) What else do you love about the word pad? The colours I love the different pad colours. 

5) How often would you use the word pad? - Her Answer was "100 times a week." She then added "just every day" - Both good answers I better stock up! 

6) What time is the best time of day to get the word pad out? When Mummy is getting Dinner ready.

7) Why do you love the word pad so much ? I love learning & writing

8) what rating do you give the word pad out of 10? 10/10 it's great.


Katie Olver, founder of U Star who designed these products to specifically help her children, said: “As the Mum of three, I know just how important it is to keep reinforcing the foundation words introduced in reception. These colour-in word pads are a fun way to practice handwriting and reading daily.”



The personalised word pads from U Star Kids will teach your child a new foundation word each day (20 words in total) and is also personalized with your child’s name on every page. An activity helps to reinforce the word making it that much more fun for your early reader.



 
The pads are £12.99 and available from: http://www.ustarnovels.co.uk/gifts-for-kids/personalised-word-pads/
 

So overall we love the U star kids word pad. 

Whats inside our Christmas Eve Box this year 2014


We all love a sneaky present before Christmas day am I right?
Last year my little family decided to start a new tradition. 
The Christmas Eve box tradition.
Last year I put :
Popcorn
Two Xmas films
New christmas tree decorations 



This year our Christmas Eve box contains :

Two new DVD's -Frozen being one of them
Lindt hot chocolate from Milan, Italy.
Lindt chocolate umbrellas for the hot chocolate
Two new christmas tree decorations
The yummy ginger biscuits from Lidl

Christmas Eve box 


You say Christmas I say ginger biscuits 

Lindt chocolate sticks from Milan, Italy



It's a family tradition in our house to get the children new christmas tree decorations yearly
Then when they are old enough to leave home & have their own tree they will have a sufficient enough individual decorations from around the world. 

Hot chocolate (from Lindt shop in Malan) 

Hot chocolate 


This is our Christmas Eve box 


So excited to give it to the Children on Christmas Eve


All packed up & placed under there Christmas tree (the only present under there)

What will you be putting in your Christmas Eve box ?
I'd love you to share.


Family days out to get you in the festive spirit 

We all remember our childhood Christmases as being full of wonder, magic, and almost unbearable excitement. However, as we grow up the responsibility of keeping that fascination alive for our little ones falls to us, which means hiding our Yuletide exhaustion under festive smiles, rounding up the whole brood and getting out there to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.  
But hey – it’s your Christmas too!  
We don’t see why the whole family can’t have a cracker of a day out, so here are some suggestions for fun days out that are guaranteed to fill you all with Christmas cheer.  

Westonbirt Arboretum 
Dubbed a nature trail with a difference, Enchanted Christmas is a captivating mile-long illumination of trees. Adults can enjoy exploring the beautiful variety of trees and the kids have a chance to meet Father Christmas himself, enjoy a merry-go-round and even take part in arts and crafts.  
All paths are accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and the event takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until December 21st.  Find out more here. 



Ice Skating, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens 
For frosty fun in the London area, look no further than Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. This historic location has been spectacularly restored and boasts a full size ice rink, London’s largest Christmas tree maze and a delectable Christmas food market. So get down to Vauxhall before the 4th of January, grab a mulled wine and take a spin on the ice while the little ones get lost among the baubles.
Bowood House Family Christmas Carvery 
You are cordially invited by the Marchioness of Lansdowne to enjoy a sensational Christmas Carvery at Bowood HouseBowood’s magnificent Shelburne Restaurant is hosting a traditional three course Christmas Carvery so it’s a great excuse to get the family together for a delicious meal with none of the washing up.  
Santa will be making a cameo appearance too, with gifts for all the good boys and girls. 
Finding fun things for kids is normally pretty straightforward but what about older relatives? They deserve to enjoy treats with the family too so why not look for ideas suitable for them?  
For some great inspiration, the McCarthy & Stone blog is an ideal place to look as it’s jam-packed with content aimed at retirees but the retirement specialists are also hosting a great competition on Pinterest that you might want to look at too.  
This gives you the chance to win a brand new Kitchenaid standing mixer and a copy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible – the perfect items to bring the whole family together in the kitchen this Christmas! 

Win a brand new iPhone 6! *Giveaway

       Win a brand new iPhone 6! 
It's really this simple. I've partnered up with Simply business to bring you this fabulous giveaway. 
Just enter the giveaway below.
The giveaway is open to all. We would love for more people to enter. *Sharing is caring & all that Jazz... We will email you if you win.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas bibs from just £1.50 at ZippySuit

It's almost Christmas.
*Jumps up & down excitedly*

I have covered the Best P.J's for children, The best jumpers for her & the best jumpers for the little ones. However I have not really covered the babies Christmas style.
Well here we are with these beautiful bibs from Zippysuit for as little as just £1.50 each.
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SALE ends tonight ! (15/12/14) So get them quick 


I love this santa sleigh flying bib £1.50
Here are a few of my favourites. Perfect presents for friends or spoil your little one....

Christmas range

Zippysuit

Do take a look on the Zippy suit site as there are the most adorable pieces on there for affordable prices.


Sandra Steiner Christmas Special book 1 & 2 to Giveaway

Sandra Steiner book giveaway.
I recently reviewed her books HERE

I really loved reading them, they're the kind of books that once you've started to read you just can't put them down.



So here is your chance to own these two wonderful books.

UK entrants only (Sorry)


A MUST read !! - Sandra Steiner Trilogy Books *Review

Book 1 Cherish the past:

The back of the book Blurb:

"Angie sighed, A small smile began to form as she recalled the moments that led up to this incredible feeling. Life was good-no, life was amazon. It hadn't always bee, but today at forty-six, it sure was. She had reached a good space in her life. She was content, in love, at peace with her past, and excited about her future. Tomorrow she was marrying her soul mate. She had nearly given up hoping she would find him. He had actually prayed that she would find him before his birthed. Or so he said,  and she had no reason not to believe him".

As she sat on the beach watching the waves roll in, the memories of a lifetime came crashing in, reminding her to cherish the past."

This book reminds you to live a life after a great loss and struggle.
This is a story about a woman's inspiring journey of cherishing the past.
Sanda Steiner has suffered a loss in the passing of her daughter and the loss of love. Throughout her life she has sacrificed to become the string and inspirational author that she is today.
In her new "spring island trilogy", book one "Cherish the Past" takes readers through a whirlwind of struggle, loss and sacrifice in love and relationships. When the protagonist, Angie, loses her child, her husband leaves shortly after. Angie could easily give up, but instead finds strength and hope on Spring Island where she lives her life to the fullest.

"the past makes us stronger and prepares us for the future," Steiner said. "This book is a reminder to cherish the memories of the past."

Steiner uses her experiences as a basis for her book, which gives hope to those who have shared similar incidents. With her positive outlook on life, she is proof that love and life can be great even after loss and sacrifice.

"I believe in focusing on the positives in life," Steiner said. "I choose to use my life experiences as a tool to help others."

Available from Amazon
Available in softcover, hardcover & e-book.

Sanda Steiner 


Book 2 Live for Today 

Empowering women through literature.
New book reignites battle for women's rights.

The back of the book blurb

"Lily looked over her shoulder, and seeing no one, began to relax. It was just her imagination. It had to be, didn't it? She could not remember a time when she did not feel as though someone was watching her.

Sitting on the beach watching the calm water always seemed to help to ease the panic. The waves were gently lapping against the driftwood on the beach. The sound of the seagulls was soothing. The smell of the salty ocean air was comforting. So why couldn't she just relax? Today, it did not seem to be working.

Last night the reams had kept her awake through most of the night. If only she knew what they meant. She was so tired of them. They had plagued her for her entire life, as long as she could remember anyhow. Today was a day filled with questions, and she just wanted answers. All her life she had worked at blocking memories. Maybe it was time for her to lay her past to rest. The idea of it terrified her, and she really wasn't sure why. She wanted to move forward in her life, it was time. "

Although there have been positive strides in the women's rights movement, current events such as sexist music, workplace discrimination and high profile domestic abuse have many wondering how much progress has actually occurred.
Author, Sandra Steiner believes their needs to be more strong female roles in modern literature and has made it a point to a position a brave young woman as the protagonists in her new "Spring Island" trilogy of books.

"young women are in need of positive female role models," Steiner said. "By increasing the number of inspiring female characters in modern novels we can improve the global perception of women."

Her newest book "Live For Today" covers emotional topics such as love, memories and moving past a loss. The book provides a suspenseful and exciting plot while addressing real life issues and emotions that impact millions.

For more information please Visit Sandra-Steiner




Milan, Italy break away with the Mr.

Firstly, let me apologise for being quiet over the last few weeks. 
After having this magnificent long weekend away, I was then hit by the awful sick bug. 
Urgh I hate hate hate being poorly, I suppose know one enjoys being poorly. However I hate not being able to do anything. No energy zero, zilch. The house turned into a complete tip, Mr.H tried his best to help but with him working full time he does what he can then dashes out. 
Enough of me talking about being poorly. 
Let me tell you about Milan (Heart Eyes)

Secondly yes this is the second time this year I've been to Italy without the children (I'm getting good at this 'me' time thing) 
Milan was somewhat totally different I think being in Winter changes it, totally different vibes with all the Christmas Decs about. 

Once we arrived in Milan after the early morning flight Thursday, we went to the information centre at the airport & bought travel cards. So for the following next few days we could use any transport to get around Milan. 
We got on the Coach & headed to Milan Central, just over an hour drive. 


Then I decided to be stubborn & walk to find our hotel. It made sense really. 
We arrived in Milan Central around 11am we couldn't check into our Hotel till gone 2pm, So if we jumped into the extremely over priced taxi, we would of wasted money, missed site seeing, we wouldn't of been able to get into our hotel & then we would of wanted to go back out of the hotel to go look around. 
SO we walked & walked & walked. 
Of course with walking we done some major site seeing. 
PERFECT when we are new to a city. 

Whilst walking to our hotel, we had to walk across the centre of Milan. Bonus. We stumbled across the main designer square. 


Moschino
Dolce & Gabbana

We found the Duomo Cathedral (we took a rooftop terrace tour)


After I think something like 3 or so hours we finally found our Hotel
If we had jumped into a Taxi we would of missed this little Italian beauty ;) - i *think* it's meant to be Lightening McQueen???
View from our Hotel.
Once we got our room key, both our feet were almost falling off us. Oh my goodness the pain!.
We were both asleep by 6pm & then slept through till gone 7:30am ah the luxury. 
Oh boy did I take this child free break away seriously. 

We spent our first full day in Milan (Friday) SHOPPING of course. 
Waiting for the bus.

To get to the Fidenza Outlet shopping centre (In partnership with Bicester  Village) we had to get on a train & then a bus, Fidenza Village was about an hour & half away from Milan.
on the train to Fideza



Fidenza Village :)








We had the most amazing Lindt coffees, from the Lindt outlet store.





Waiting for the train back to Milan



Exhausted wasn't the word fro Friday night, my goodness. Who'd think shopping could be so tiring.

Saturday we decided to be full on tourists & jumped on the Underground several times to just look around places.


The underground was ALWAYS busy.



We started each day with the most beautiful coffee.


So we done the tourist thing & looked around,
Searched though the Christmas Markets (They were all so beautiful by the way)









We had the most beautiful lunch outside with heaters on. 



We then waited for our Duomo tour to start & took in the Atmosphere around us. 



We spent Saturday Evening on top of the Duomo Cathedral. On the roof terrace.
Words can't really describe it.
Breathtaking views.
We booked our own private tour & learnt some amazing things about the Duomo itself. 


As you can see Mr.H was getting bored with my 'Selfies'? Ha! 







The Duomo took 600 years to build. 













We were also lucky enough to be there for the Christmas tree lights ceremony,

Pretty spectacular to watch. 






The atmosphere early evening in Milan



**Loads more photos on my Insta** Incase you wanted to see more... ha.


Pictures from the balcony of our hotel
Last day in Milan

Last day in Milan





Breakfast time in the hotel







Hotel Bar





Hotel


Fabulous coffe in this great little coffee shop

Pizza



Our last coffee in Milan Central 





Christmas Tree

This was it. Amazing break away. To have some Husband time, It's strange we live together, share a bed & see each other everyday yet, we kind of miss each other constantly as life is such a whirlwind we barely actually speak.? 
Difficult to explain unless you understand yourself. 

We had such a brilliant time. 
We had the most amazing welcome home - 
Emilyn & Hugo SURPRISED us at the airport. 
With my parents... of course. They didn't joy ride in Mr.H's Audi. 
They had a little 'Harding' sign !! 
Someone say 'awwwwww'!!!

To be honest I almost walked straight past them.... I just wasn't expecting to be greeted by our babies. 
There little faces when I did finally see them. 
Really annoyingly we then had to say goodbye again & go to collect our car parked at Gatwick Parking. 











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