Pigeon Organics


Dressing up the kids you either love it or find it challenging. Ever since Jay was born I have been keen on  colourful, ethical and organic childrenswear. Based in the UK Pigeon Organics are devoted to producing organic and high quality, soft clothing for babies and younger children.  The cotton is of the highest quality possible and the designs are really special and eye-catching. I have friends who dress their children in the contemporary prints and there have always been nice compliments about the clothing. Jay was kindly sent two items and this was a lovely surprise as we have seen the gorgeous social media posts and the items exceeded my expectations.

I think it’s incredibly important to mention the brand’s impressive stance when it comes to the environment and helping organic farming families. Pigeon Organics is GOTS certified company, choosing organic cotton for quality products that are softer, kind to skin, better for the environment and the people that make them.

Organic Cotton production involves replacing the synthetic pesticides and fertilisers with natural ones, then using crop rotation and mixed planting. This means less exposure to chemicals for the farmers and in the environment. Any ‘seconds’ eg. garments with small printing faults and end of season stock is donated to charities working with vulnerable babies and children. I love that and glad to see a brand make every effort to help where they can.

Jay loves his viking print top and navy jogger bottoms both incredibly soft and wash/keep so well. He can be so fussy at times with clothes but these garments have that soft hand feel and really showcase ethical and responsible fabric. There is a range of products from hats, dresses, jackets, gilets, pyjamas, onesies and snuggle suits. Our items arrived beautifully presented and the quality is evident the moment you hold the fabric.

Pigeon Organics collection is colourful and contemporary. Great attention has been paid to the finished product, offering you a high quality range, comfortable to wear and practical to care for. I highly recommend the brand and wish them continued success.
Thanks for reading
Bella
~X~
* I was gifted two items in exchange for an honest review.

Living DNA

Like a lot of people I have always wondered about my ancestry. Over the years I’ve had chats with my parents who were both born in Gujarat in India about our roots and migration throughout time. I was recently offered the opportunity to find out more about my DNA and the ethnic and geographic origins of my ancestors.  I took the test offered by Living DNA and my results came through really quickly 5 weeks to be precise from the date I posted my sample (mouth swab) back. This was a lot earlier than the time specified in the kit. I was completely surprised to learn that my ancestry covers 26 countries going back thousands of years.

This knowledge has made me appreciate how we are all so very unique. I love watching programmes like ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ so this is probably the closest I will ever get to learning more about my past. It’s been a fantastic subject of discussion in our household. The test looks at your ancestry in incredible detail by looking at 3 types of DNA (Your Family Ancestry, Motherline Ancestry and, if male, your Fatherline Ancestry) and looking at not only where each piece of your DNA is from but how those pieces are related to each other, through proprietary technology.

Results will show ancestors movements at several points in time between 80,000 to 150,000 years ago from the point modern humans migrated out of Africa to where they moved through several eras spanning thousands of years. Living DNA uses the newest DNA chip and innovative software technology. It does sound so complex but all worth knowing.

How to use the kit:

  • Online order,through the option offered on the website. The test kit is then sent straight to the provided address.
  • Kit activation, which is also done online for the purpose of correlating your sample with the results.
  • Sample collection, with the provided easy-to-operate mouth swab.
  • Posting the kit back, using the provided free returns bag.
  • Viewing your results online within 10 to 12 weeks.

Within each of your cells, you have thousands of mitochondria, structures which supply energy to the cell. Your mitochondria has their own DNA, which makes it possible to trace the motherlines of individuals across the world and see how they connect. As our ancestors changed how they were living, from generations to generations, it created changes in the mtDNA which is shown as branches of the mtDNA tree.

My motherline signature belongs to the U2 group.  U2 and its subgroups are found across much of Europe the Middle East and Asia, but despite this it is still a very rare lineage. It is widespread, but found in low frequencies. So here we go my ancestry is varied. I haven’t gone into the percentages but there is a full breakdown on the online portal and much more detail which took me an hour or so to process!

Dravidian

Uttar Pradesh

Sri Lankan

Kamchatka

Pakistan

Gujarat

Andhra Pradesh

Kerala

Punjabi

West Bengal

Madhya Pradesh

Maharashtra

Thailand

Telengit

Kalmyk

Poland

China

Italy

Iran

Caucasus

Czech Republic

Saudi Arabia

Slovakia

Tibet

Libya

Armenia

Quite fascinating to learn that someone from India and someone from Europe are more closely related genetically than two men from adjoining villages in West Africa.  Living DNA presents the fact that we are more alike than different.

WE ARE ALL MADE UP OF US!

You can purchase your own Living DNA kit here for £99.00

Which also makes a fabulous gift idea for the person who has everything!

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

 

*The kit was kindly sent to me in return for an honest review.

Luxury Prestige Hamper Review*



’Tis the season to be indulgent!

There is one gift I absolutely love to give and receive you’ve guessed it a hamper containing goodies whether they be savoury or sweet! Gift hampers can be given all year round of course but for me Christmas ingredients for an indulgent and delicious festive period packaged up in a box is really special and fun. I was incredibly excited to receive a luxury Christmas hamper recently from Prestige Hampers, an online gift service based in Cheshire that specialise in hampers containing only the finest foods and wines.

I was genuinely impressed the moment I opened the box to reveal the beautifully decorated chest or trunk if you want to call it. I’ve always associated hampers to be wicker baskets so this was certainly different and caught my eye. If you’re looking for a brilliant gift idea for the foodie in your life this Christmas do have a look at the beautiful hampers in the range. There is an incredible amount of choice to spread some Christmas cheer this year. A gift hamper brings people together in my opinion and what better to share food and drink with the people who matter.

I am very tempted to donate this beauty of a gift to our local church for their annual Christmas dinner held for the elderly. Each quality item in the chest did not disappoint!

Gift Hamper £74.99

Included:
Water Stop Station Chardonnay 75cl
Water Stop station Shiraz 75cl
Red Velvet Crunch Biscuits 150g
English Breakfast Tea 40g
Milk, White and Dark Chocolate Classics 120g
Shortbread Festive Shapes 60g
Matthew Walker Classic Christmas Pudding 100g
Iced Fruit Cake 400g
Dark Chocolate Bar 60g
Mackays Christmas Marmalade 113g
Mackays Christmas Preserve 113g
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Yorkshire Crisps 100g
Handmade Smoked Oatcakes 125g

The perfect collection of foodie goodies at Prestige Hampers

Instagram – @prestigehampersuk

Twitter – @HampersPrestige

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/prestigehampersuk/ 

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

#TeenTalk with Gabby Logan

I recently got the chance to ask celebrity mum Gabby Logan some questions about the #TeenTalk campaign with Boots and P&G which provides parents with the tips and tools to have the #TeenTalk with confidence. Gabby has been fronting TV sport for 20 years, covering major tournaments and the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards.  I have always admired her interviewing and presenting style and think she is a great ambassador for this campaign. Both of us are mums in our forties except Gabby has teenagers and I have a toddler, can I still call Jay a toddler? Along with her 13-year-old twins Lois and Reuben, she sees the importance of helping parents and their children navigate this new life stage with confidence, and how to tackle the difficulties parents & teens can face.

From my own personal experience I never had the puberty conversation with my Indian parents. This doesn’t upset me as I understand it isn’t the easiest of topics to talk about plus I am from a generation where parents perhaps didn’t feel comfortable talking to their children about the process of physical changes through which a child’s body matures into an adult body.  Being a mum to a four year old who is about to start school I know I still have a few years left before the subject of puberty is discussed. I also feel that both myself and Mark will speak to our son about this and not expect it to be something in Mark’s domain just because we have a son.

How does your own upbringing differ to that of your children? 

I didn’t feel as confident approaching the idea of puberty with my parents as my kids! I think times were so different though. We talk about times when if we were naughty we got a smack, but Kenny and I would never dream of doing that to Lois or Reuben. They find our upbringing quite amusing I think, they can’t imagine a childhood without technology! I think generally things weren’t as openly talked about when we were younger. I remember feeling quite nervous and anxious about all the bodily changes that came with puberty but keeping those feelings quite hidden. I’d never want my children to feel they couldn’t talk.

What is your advice to parents who are unsure about starting conversation with their teens on the subject of puberty and sex? 

I think every teen is individual, so you have to be the judge of your own child’s existing knowledge and know what they are and aren’t ready for. I think it’s always best to put little hints out there, letting them know you are there for them if they need. I also found putting products that are great for teens like Always, Aussie shampoo and conditioner and Head & Shoulders or a new Gillette razor in the bathroom cabinets is helpful as they might not know how to ask in the first instance.

How have your twins reacted to the #TeenTalk campaign? 

Really positively! Last year I was a part of it by myself so having them by my side this year has been alovely experience. They’re not embarrassed about puberty at all and because we’ve kept such an openconversation going, I think they feel talking about it as part of the campaign is very normal! Thecampaign has just extended this conversation more for us, which can only be a good thing.

Do you think there is enough information and support available to parents struggling to connect with their teens?

This is why I think #TheTeenTalk is so great. Having been a part of it for two years now I think it is so good for helping navigate what could potentially be a very tricky time! It’s here to support teenagers and their families and I think the guide that’s available at Boots in-store and online is so supportive of  that.

How do you feel about teens spending time on social media and do you encourage a family digital detox?

We actually only allowed Lois and Reuben mobiles a few months ago. Social media is a way for them tocommunicate with their mates. I do keep an eye on them though! I want to make sure their social pages aren’t going to cause any issues and that they understand what they’re putting out there. Again though, I think this is down to open lines of communication. I hope that trusting them with these accounts means they will respect that trust.

Thank you Gabby!

 

So there you go Teen talk isn’t just for teenagers. Whether your children are still pre-tweening, tweening, teening or twentying, building and maintaining that open and honest ongoing conversation with your child is increasingly deemed by parents as an absolute priority, especially when your kids today face so many external pressures including, of course, social media.

P&G and Boots have teamed up for this campaign and created #TheTeenTalk Guide, which includes tips and advice.  Products from P&G brands such as Oral B, Tampax, Braun and Aussie will also be on offer at Boots throughout the campaign as well as Boots’ Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Collection and 48hr Protection deodorants.

 

Thank you for reading

Bella

~x~

 

Nb. A collaborative post.

Dining at Saffron Summer


As a resident of Greater London, I’m not far from a fantastic choice of eateries that the Big Smoke has to offer. However these days with a toddler in tow I opt for restaurants much closer to home and Saffron Summer fits the bill when it comes to Indian cuisine. Recently my Indian parents were staying over with us and my dad kindly wanted to treat us all to a restaurant of my husband’s choice. (I appear to have slipped down the pecking order on the favourites list). Mr M who would normally choose a Thai restaurant decided to stay with the eastern vibe and suggested a visit to one of his favourite curry houses but this isn’t your ordinary curry house.

This was actually our second visit to a haute cuisine restaurant based in Chessington and rated among the top 3 Indian restaurants in Surrey according to Trip Advisor.  The moment we arrived the staff were again friendly, polite and the restaurant was nicely laid out with beautiful decor. The service is also excellent without being invasive.

Executive Chef Awanish Roy trained at the famous Oberoi hotels in India and has spent time working at the legendary Cinnamon Club in Westminster which showed in the quality of the dining experience. Ralph Sousa the restaurant owner has owned restaurants in Portugal and Goa and with this experience has a successful team here who take pride on their work. The restaurant staff are wonderful and special thanks to Nacito who kindly took the time to explain the dishes.

I’m a huge fan of Indian street food and tapas style dishes which were great especially to share and they certainly didn’t disappoint.  I think I will be back soon for the special Sunday Indian roast lunch!  My parents are vegetarians and were impressed with the choice offered. I have to say I normally don’t bother with starters but they all looked so good! I’d eaten light all day so that I could enjoy three courses.

Dal makhani with lotus seeds crisps.

You can expect a lovely twists on classic dishes which work brilliantly and I can’t wait to return. I only wish I had the cooking skills to match Chef Awanish!

Gol Gappa a ‘street food’ spicy shot accompanied with stuffed puri.

Hakka Chilli Paneer, fiery Indo-Chinese paneer from the popular China town of Kolkata.

Okra do Pyaza Stir fried bhindi with onions.

Calamari Banjara Gosht.

Elwy Valley lamb simmered and cooked in a specially grounded Rajasthani recipe.

Butter Chicken a household dish also known as Murg Makhni. Tandoori chicken thighs, tomato and fenugreek sauce, truffle malai.

Sticky toffee pudding with an infusion of ginger caramel & served with vanilla ice cream.

Pistachio Kulfi.

Coconut ice cream.

I can genuinely say we left the restaurant with happy and full tummies.  There is a good variety of  fish, seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes in a relaxed informal setting. The food has incredible flavour and I love the modern twists to traditional dishes. It may sound very silly but my favourite part of the meal was the herby naan bread which alone I would have been very happy with!

Saffron Summer has a lovely neighbourhood feel about it and I highly recommend a visit here. This isn’t your typical indian restaurant and I thought the prices reflected the high standard and quality of the food. The meal worked out to £40 per head including drinks. If you live near or in Surrey and like indian food make sure you visit.

Thank you for reading

Bella

~X~