Thursday, 29 March 2012

And the Crazy Soap winner is.....

After the first winner unfortunately didn't claim their prize congratulations now go to....

 Olivia kirby

who was randomly selected by RANDOM.ORG 
to win the Crazy Soap goodies 
in last week's .

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Guest post: Healthy snacks for family car trips

Sponsored post
Hunger has a way of creeping up on you when you’re on the road. And, as we all know, the options available en route – at garages and service stations – aren’t always the cheapest or the healthiest. By planning ahead and packing the right snacks, you and your family can eat well on the road.

Where to eat
If you’ve got the time, there’s nothing like taking a lunch break in a scenic spot. It’s a great way for everyone to stretch their legs and get refreshed before resuming the journey. If you’re passing through scenic countryside, you could schedule a break by the side of a river or near some woods. Make sure you carry plenty of paper plates and plastic cutlery and pick up any rubbish left behind.

If you’re running short of time, your family might need to eat on the go, but as a driver you should follow these safety tips:

  • The government advises drivers against eating or drinking behind the wheel as this may cause distraction. So pull over safely before eating or drinking.
  • If you’re behind the wheel, it’s best to avoid a heavy meal, as the AA warns this can lead to driver fatigue.
  • Drivers should never drink alcohol before driving, as it is illegal and dangerous. Any amount of alcohol can impair your driving ability.  

Good food
There are many options for what to eat on the road, but some are more car-friendly than others. Here are our suggestions for a healthy meal:

  • Dry crackers, rice cakes, dry fruit bars and fresh veg – such as cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks and celery – are all healthier options compared to high-fat, sugary snacks.
  • Home-made popcorn can be a good alternative to crisps and salted nuts.
  • Pots of yogurt and fresh fruits such as strawberries and grapes can make for easy-to-eat desserts.
  • Children can dip into packets of goodies like nuts, olives and berries whenever they want.

Always pack plenty of food to go around, and even take extra in case of unexpected delays and do make sure that young children are supervised when eating finger foods, to avoid the risk of choking.

What to drink
Fizzy drinks can be a temptation, but are best avoided. Doctors in the US have found that the caffeine in fizzy drinks can interfere with children’s sleep. Instead, pack plenty of water in a cool bag. You could also bring along milk for young children.

Pack it right
Pack your healthy treats into small zip lock bags or Tupperware pots, so that they can be easily and fairly distributed to each family member.

Consider packing all your food in holdalls so you can get to it easily, without obscuring your view of the road. Bags should be secured firmly: any loose piece of luggage can fly around in the event of a sudden halt and cause injury.

Make sure you pack plenty of waste bags and wet wipes to clean up any mess.

Plan well and you can rest assured that your family has something healthy to eat on the road. Choosing the right car insurance
for your needs can also put your mind at ease.


Author Bio:
Gargi Shastri writes for the Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food.

Bod for tea is part of the Sainsburys Bank Family Blogger Network and this guest post is sponsored by Sainsburys.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Silent Sunday

Inspired by...

Silent Sunday

See more Silent Sundays at Love All Blogs

Friday, 23 March 2012

Yep, I'm going to be there - Brit Mums Live II

Following on from the Brit Mums Live 2012 Meet and Greet linky that's being hosted by Stepford Wifey, Michelle over at has tagged me for the Ultimate Brit Mums Meme that was started off by Claire from A Boy With Aspergers. I may be slightly excited about attending Brit Mums Live. I'm hoping it doesn't show too much.

Q: What’s your blog title/URL and how long have you been blogging? I started hanging out on this little corner of cyberspace in Jan 2011. Wow, how time flies.

Q: Will Britmums Live be your First blogging conference?
Yes! I'm totally over excited about it wheeeee! *cough* I mean, I'm looking forward to the experience.

Q: Did you bag yourself a sponsor?
No, I'm paying for myself and just want to go and experience it for me without any pressure.

Q: Are you attending both days?
Nope, only Saturday. I'll be there in spirit on Friday though!

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the conference?
Finally meeting the lovely bloggers that I've been chatting to virtually for over a year! And be aware... I'm tactile...

Q: Are you wearing Branded Clothing (your sponsors brand)?
Errrrr... nope. Unless Gucci wants to send me something?

Q: What is your planed style for this event?
I'm planning on rocking my new trimmer, fitter, leaner figure thanks to the . Failing that I shall wear a sack and sit at the back.

Update 30 May 2012: Ermmm... ok so now that I'm 15 weeks pregnant, I'm not going to be pulling off the new learner figure thang. So I'll be the one in a maxi dress with an already-too-big bump.

Q: Are you hoping to be nominated for a BiB award?
In all honesty? I'm not expecting it. I didn't even get round to nominating myself!

Q: If so what category?
I refer my honourable friend to the answer I gave some moments ago.

Q: Will you be looking to network with Brands?
Perhaps, depends who is there. I'm fussy who I link up with. I have to really like the product or brand to work with them. My main focus is meeting some fab people to share a coffee with.

Q: What do u hope to walk away having gained from the conference?
*Leans over Claire and Michelle's shoulder and copies* New ideas, inspiration, contacts and new friendships.

Q: Will you be dressing up in the toilets for the Friday night BiBs?
Ha ha! This question made me laugh. But I'm only going on Saturday, so no.

Q: Are you speaking at the conference and if so when, where and how do you feel about doing so?
Heck no!

Q: Will you be joining in the early morning bloggercise on the Saturday?
At coffee o'clock? Not likely.

Q: What speakers are you most looking forward to listening to?
Sarah Brown and Andrea Stuart, but I'm sure they'll all be interesting.

Q: What workshops will you be attending on the Friday (Day 1)
Errrr... none.

Q: What Workshops being held on the Saturday (Day 2) have grabbed your attention?
Beginning Blogger Essentials, because there's always more to learn, Secrets and Lies and How to create an ebook.

Q: Are you booked into a hotel for the Friday night, if yes which one?
Chez Bod for tea.

Q: Will you be looking for after party drinks
Wish I was but I will be running to catch a train home and hug my lovely husband for babysitting for the day.

Q: Are you worried about not knowing anyone or being confident and socialising on the day?
It's funny, I know I should be, but not yet. I guess I will nearer the time, but I feel I already know so many people going even if we haven't actually MET yet.

Q: What’s are you most likely to be found doing while attending Britmums Live?
Drinking coffee. And chatting. And possibly squealing. A lot.

Now here's the rules... basically copy the questions and answer them, link back to A Boy with Aspergers and there is a linky there so we can all find each other and learn a bit more. Then tag a few more people to join in.

So I am tagging *looks around*:

Image credit: the absolutely fantabulous cartoonist Cathy Thorne at Everyday People Cartoons

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Guest post: Potty Training Tips for Busy Moms

You are a mom, wife, employee, maid, cook and chauffer. You have plenty of things on your plate. Every mother knows that potty training takes a lot of time and patience. You have to be committed to the training and be prepared for the frustrations that come with it. Here are a few tips that can help you along the way: 

Be sure they are ready: First and foremost make sure they are ready for the potty. This will save you tons of time if you find out they are or not ready. A lot of times parents push their kids to sit on the potty, but the child has to be right in the physical and mental state to start this process. Here is a list of things that will tell you that your child is ready for potty training:
  • Regular bowel movements 
  • Staying dry for at least two hours 
  • Wanting big girl/boy underwear 
  • Poppy and wet diapers make them uncomfortable 
  • If they can undress and dress themselves 
  • Able to listen to instructions and comprehend 
Keep positive: Approaching the potty training with stress and rush will only make it harder on you and your child. It’s best to make time in your schedule for the mornings and the evenings to focus on the potty training. Do not force it. Asking your child 52 times if they need to go potty will only annoy and frustrate them. Look for different facial expressions and watch them if they start to hold themselves. Once they do, casually ask if they need to go to the potty and walk with them. Keep calm and positive at all times.

Make it fun: You can start by reading them books at bedtime about potty training. There are tons of books about this subject. You can also make potty training a game, some parents tell the kids to ‘make rocks in the potty’ and that flushing is for ‘big kids’. Have fun with the names and the procedures. Reward them once they have done so and they will want to keep doing it.

The key to potty training is not to make it a big event in you and your child’s life. Making it part of your daily routine will help you juggle life and help your child climb the potty faster. Keep calm, make it fun and make sure they are ready. Good luck and happy training!


Author Bio: Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to hire a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be contacted at H.smith7295 [at] 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Red Box

He sat for a moment, not waiting for the silence, but for the roar. The red box sat on his lap and he drummed his fingers on its supple leather top, soaking up the atmosphere and raising an eyebrow at his smirking opposite number. Finally, his adrenaline peaked, he stood, placed the box on the lectern in front of him and opened the two brass locks with a satisfying click. As he lifted the lid to pull out the new budget his hand closed upon a slinky-silkiness that he really hadn't expected. "Damn," he thought, his bluster extinguished, "wrong box".

This week's prompt in the 100 word challenge for adults is '...the red box...'. Read the other entries over at Julia's Place.

Image credit -

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


I’ve been tagged in a Mother's Day Meme by Not my year off. It was originally created by Loretta over at More Than A Mum who thought it would be a nice way to celebrate Mother's Day by answering some questions. And why not? So here goes…

Describe Motherhood in three words
Amazing, challenging, enlightening.

Does your experience differ from your mother’s – how?
Yes... we needed fertility treatment to get pregnant and we conceived, were pregnant and gave birth in China where OH was working at the time. And no... all babies and children are different but a lot of our experiences are essentially very similar. My Mother's advice is ALWAYS relevant.

What’s the best thing?
Everything and nothing. The amazing fact that she is even here with us, against the odds, and the fact that she learned to say 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' yesterday. And the cuddles. Oh those cuddles.

How has it changed you?
I've had to learn some patience. I've learned that good enough is usually enough. I've learned that the direct route is not always the quickest way to get things done and that distraction is the best tool in the box. But as a person, I'm still a control freak and I still write lists. Same 'ol, same 'ol.

What do you hope for your children?
That she is healthy and happy, because in the end that is all that matters.

What do you fear for them?
That modern life won't let her stay a child for long enough and that I won't always be there for her.

What makes it all worthwhile?
At bedtime she cuddles on my lap with her favourite toy, her head snuggled into my neck, her soft breath on my skin. The day just melts away and there is nothing but us; Mother and child.

Now I have to tag some mummy’s so I tag:

Monday, 19 March 2012

Crazy Soap Giveaway

The moment we breach the top step as we venture upstairs after tea DD engages her second wind. It really is a sight to behold and a miracle of energy consumption. There's probably a biological equation that explains it better but basically a sleepy toddler downstairs consumes a small amount of food, wearily climbs the stairs to Befordshire and then proceeds to bounce off the walls like Tigger on crack. I wouldn't mind so much if she lived on a tea-time diet of Coca-Cola and chocolate, but Marmite on toast, diced pear and yoghurt? Mmm...

So with all this energy floating about you can well imagine that bath time, which in the cycle of our day falls neatly between tea and bed time aka the battleground, is a pretty crazy affair. It was quite fortuitous therefore that the nice folks (well, I assume they're nice folks, one likes to think positively of people one has never met) at Crazy Soap dropped me a line and asked if we'd like to review their range of children's bath products.

When the box arrived DD was immediately taken with the bright packaging and when I explained that the blue tube and the red tube were paint that she could play with in the bath she all but swung her towel over her shoulder and donned a shower cap. It was only lunchtime though and so a useful lesson in patience ensued.

DD: Is it bath time yet, Mummy?
Me: No, not yet.


DD: Is it bath time now, Mummy?
Me: *Checks watch* No, in the last ten seconds five hours haven't magically passed.

DD: *puzzled expression*
Me: *Sigh* No, not yet.

And such was our afternoon sprinkled with doses of me playing the Fat Controller and being perpetually cross in a northern accent (that guy must have serious digestion issues); DD needing the loo (mad dash), then not needing it, then needing it again (mad dash again) and us colouring in a Wiggles print-off poster purple because Jeff is clearly the best Wiggle and he's always asleep (oh how I envy him).

When bath time finally popped it's head around the door we were up the stairs like a dose of salts. I used the yellow goo to make a mass of bubbles in the bath and then, using the fab set of that White Step sent us a few weeks ago, I measured out some of the blue paint, the red paint and the light green bath foam into pots and DD set to work painting the bath with an old toothbrush. Then she painted her other bath toys, her tummy, her arms, her face (yep, not really supposed to put it on your face but try telling that to a toddler in the throws of an artistic episode), my arm and anything else that came within range. After a few moments I left her to get on with it and pottered about doing some chores. When I returned the bath looked like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. Or a domestic nightmare.

Thankfully, as promised, all traces of the paint were quickly removed from DD and the bath with a quick rinse and the bath foam, which has a yummy fruity fragrence, got her squeaky clean. Specially formulated for children, Crazy Soap Foam, Paint and Goo are mild and gentle on the skin with a fruity fragrance. DD absolutely LOVES the whole range and has jumped into the bath with no fuss ever since they arrived. They smell lovely, are easy to clean up and are suitable for children aged 3+ under adult supervision. (Note: they should not be used on the face, mouth, eyes, ears or broken skin.)

Here's the details of the full range:

Crazy Soap Foam (RRP £2.00 225 ml)
It’s soap in a can that can be squirted, moulded and bounced into any shape. Get everyone to use their imagination and try animals and funny shapes before using it to get squeaky clean.

Crazy Soap Body Paint (RRP £2.49 150 ml)
It’s a soap that’s a paint and it’s available in blue or red. Try painting one hand blue and one hand red and then rub together to make purple before washing off to reveal clean skin underneath.

Crazy Soap Bath Goo (RRP £2.99 250 ml)
It’s soap that looks like yellow goo. Scoop it and squidge it under running water and turn it into fruity fragranced bubbles for bath time fun that cleans kids as they play.

The Crazy Soap range is available from Tesco and Morrisons and Lloyds Health Village Thurrock, but I've got one pot of Bath Goo and one can of Foam to giveaway! Just leave me a comment below with details of your little one's favourite bath time toy (yep, I'm looking for new ideas) and the first person drawn at random next Monday will be the lucky recipient of more bath fun than you can shake a stick at.

The small print: We were sent the full range of Crazy Soap bath products to review. We received no other compensation and all opinions are my own. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household, and will be open until 6am (ish) on Monday 26 March 2012. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random. You don't have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry. (But I wouldn't complain if you did!)

Cartoon Image: Simon Howden / 

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Silent Sunday

Inspired by...

Silent Sunday

See more Silent Sundays at Love All Blogs

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

But I turned it off

It shrieked five times before the answerphone kicked in, soaking up whatever message had spilled into it. I should have answered it, jumped to it, sated its desire for connection, lifted the burden it was so eager to put down. I hesitated, teetering on the brink. A step forward, a step back; the telephone two-step. Then it beeped once, twice, the flashing yellow light summoning me. A question. A task. A signature. A request. Another bullet on a never ending to-do list. But I turned it off and sauntered into the playroom to skip-to-my-loo with abandon.

100 word challenge

This week's prompt is the phrase 'but I turned it off'. Read the other entries in the 100 word challenge for grown ups over at Julia's Place.

Image: dream designs /

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Silent Sunday

Inspired by...
Silent Sunday

Join in the Silent Sunday linky at Love All Blogs

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Fussy Eaters Support Club - March 2012

Last week DD had her first afternoon at what we're calling 'big nursery'. It's linked to her current morning nursery but instead of being in a village hall with only 2-3 year olds, it's at a proper primary school with 2-5 year olds. Big difference. Huuuuge difference. We were told that as she starts at lunchtime she can bring a pack lunch and eat it with the other toddlers.

Now here's the thing. DD doesn't do normal packed lunches. She won't eat sandwiches, she frankly doesn't want to eat at all unless I'm there reminding her to take another bite and we're gotten into the habit of watching a DVD while she eats as it keeps her in one place for a period of time and heck, she just eats more food. I KNOW this is not a good habit to get into. But I have an theory. If she can see other children eating and see that it's normal and fun to eat, she might do the same of her own volition.

It was with some trepidation that I packed a lunch of cheese and bacon with pasta in tomato and basil sauce, a yoghurt, fruit smoothie pouch, banana and some yoghurt raisins that morning. But following  to fussy eating I decided to go with the flow. The set up at nursery was lovely, all the toddlers going for the afternoon sat around two small tables on little chairs and ate their sandwiches out of their pretty lunch boxes. My hopes lifted. Then DD took one look at the room full of toys and headed in the opposite direction to her lunch without even a backward glance. My hopes deflated again.

When I picked her up later that afternoon the teachers were full of apologies that DD hadn't eaten a single bite of her lunch. They thought it was their fault. But I had a sneaking suspicion that actually, it was mine.

Have your little ones got any bad eating habits? How have you tried to conquer them? Any hints and tips to share since we last got together? Link up and share your stories...

Here's a reminder what the Fussy Eaters Support Club is all about...

One of the things I love most about blogging is knowing that I'm not alone in the the trials and tribulations of mummyhood. A problem shared is a problem, well not quite halved, but it's certainly a lot less stressful knowing there are some other rowers in the same boat as you. My current trial du jour is the seemingly never-sending saga of DD's fussy eating habits. 

I got to thinking that there must be other Mummys and Daddys out there who have the same goal that I do; for DD to eat as much as she wants of what we're eating as a family, but to at least eat some of it. Perhaps we can support each other? And so the Fussy Eaters Support Club was born. Each month (or so) I'll post up a linky thingy for anyone with a fussy eater to air their story, share recipes and their tips for what works (and what doesn't), to celebrate their fussy eater successes or to just have a good old fashioned whinge about it all.

The Fussy Eaters Support Club doors for MARCH are now open!

Image: Stoonn /

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Not drowning, just drifting

They'd been drifting for a long time before she realised it. 
The reality hit her hard in the gut, sickening her with it's twisty growth. 
Land was nowhere in sight. 
They weren't searching for the same desert island. 
They weren't even clinging to the same life raft. 
So she stopped paddling. 
Rain drops raced towards oblivion as she walked through the house acknowledging each room with a nod, some with a smile, others a frown. 
She paused at the bathroom to straighten a towel. 
Then she left her key on the sideboard and her past 

This week's prompt is this photograph of a sculpture made entirely from recycled driftwood at the Eden Project in Cornwall. You can read the other entries in the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups at Julia's Place.

100 word challenge

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Silent Sunday

Inspired by...

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Hello I'm going to Brit Mums Live

The ticket is booked, the babysitter is arranged (OH with both grandmothers on speed dial), the transport is figured out and the itinerary is planned. I am officially going to Brit Mums Live *squeal*. And now I realise that I haven't actually met any other bloggers before. Like in the flesh. Scary Mary. Thankfully Carly over at Stepford Wifey is holding a Meet and Greet linky so I can see that (most) people are (fairly) normal human beings. Phew! So now I guess it's my turn...

Hi *waves* I'm Bod for tea and here is my meet and greet:

Name: Bod for tea

Blog: *points upwards*

Twitter ID:

Facebook ID:

Height: 5ft 4in-ish in my stocking feet (although I don't wear stockings)

Hair: Curly. Mad curly. Usually tied back. And grey chemically enhanced.

Eyes: Bluish green when it's sunny, dark circled at all times.

Likes: Wine, family time, me-time,, wine (did I mention that already?) sunny days, people watching, foot massages (ahhhh), t'internet in all it's loverly forms, trying to write, trying to paint, coffee, savoury rather than sweet, looking younger than I am.

Dislikes: Looking younger than I am, being in a perpetual rush, tabloid junk, losing my temper, when the coffee runs out, not seeing the bigger picture, scary monsters.

Random fact: I can wiggle my ears. Honestly, look *wiggles ears*. See?

Are you going to Brit Mums Live? Write a post introducing yourself and link up at Stepford Wifey. See you there!

P.S. Want to get fitter and more toned before Brit Mums Live? Got 15-20 mins to spare a day? Join in the .
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