Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cleaning tips when one handed!

I recently had a run in with a soft mattress, not in the lying down position, but just pushing it into a car, I didn't even push very hard and my middle finger decided to snap the top joint, to add insult to injury I also tore the ligament.

I have had many people say its only a finger, it can't be too bad, well apart from the pain, it has caused some problems, as it has rendered my whole right hand useless for many tasks.

The family and friends have rallied round, as many of you know I care for my lovely Granny so I was concerned that I would not be able to care as well as I like.

But needs must, days on my own with Granny are made simpler by a bit of forward planning. 

So my tips are.

Salads and cooked lunches prepared by the family before they go. 

Main meals were my first priority, so any chopping of veg, meat etc is done by my glamorous assistants aka Chris and Paige. ( I have to say this they have just been so good) 

I find it easy to stir fry with my left hand so meals have become a little simpler. I cannot lift pans so cooking has to have somebody with me.

I am glad its summer as big casseroles would be unmanageable but a slow cooker is always an option. Though the above is a healthy ready meal from, very tasty too.

Th new Philly Simply Stir meals are good, I actually made this meal with arm in sling apart from the  chicken being sliced by somebody else and pans carried I made it alone.
Opening tins is beyond me, even the type with ring pulls,buttering bread is another, but I can melt it onto hot muffins and crumpets.

Meals now go to Granny in a slower process, I cannot carry a tray, but she has been moving about more to take a cup from me, help with small tasks, which her Occupational Therapist said can only be a positive. Granny said she feels more useful,having always had a really nurturing nature.So in helping me she has brightened even more, giving me more cuddles,our time together has lengthened as I am redundant mainly in the cleaning. So if anything my enforced slow down has been even better for us.

Light cleaning is doable, my tip invest in cleaning wipes, these enable me to clean up with one hand and save my splint from getting wet. I actually like the hygienic quality of these as they go straight in the bin in the kitchen, no harbouring of nasties on a cloth. Flushable toilet wipes in the bathroom are brilliant and will definitely stay when I have two hands.
Pump action dispensers are also good, I cannot squeeze certain bottles.
An apron with a pocket is great for storing cleaning stuff as you go about too.

The heavier jobs have had to be delegated and Granny keeps insisting we get help, maybe later when I tire.

I have managed the vacuuming once, but its foolhardy, you need a good vacuum cleaner one that is light, easy to manoeuvre mine is easy to move but too heavy to steady with one hand.Brushing floors is hit and miss, mainly miss, dustpan and brush just does not work.We have a nifty little handheld vacuum cleaner but I cannot work it with one hand.

Mopping is a nightmare, I get told off by Chris and Paige for trying, Mr Health and safety husband says wet floors and person already compromised do not go hand in hand. (Yes he does keep coming out with the puns.

Ironing, well I have not a single tip for you as I detest it and despite being stubborn and wanting to still manage the home, I happily give this loathsome task away.

Have you ever been unable to manage the house due to injury or confinement, sure you have? How did you get around the incapacity,any tips gratefully received. No ironing tips though, there's never going to be a single handed attempt from me,possibly not even a two handed attempt!

This is a sponsored post.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Chiquito Breakfast Review

A spicy start to the morning is something I may not necessarily relate to breakfast but when Chiquito invited me to try the new breakfast menu, I was curious. Now I have been known to tuck into a chilli for breakfast but its more likely to be toast!

Chris and I arrived on a sunny Sunday morning, our Chiquito is in Hampton, where several restaurants,large shopping centre and new houses have sprung up over the last few years.The restaurant filled steadily with couples and families and it seems a great idea to me,a leisurely Sunday breakfast that Chris or I do not have to cook.

While we waited for our chosen breakfasts we were served fresh tea and coffee which is refilled until you float if required, Chris was in coffee heaven.

Chris the traditionalist and up for the challenge opted for a Breakfast Feast, it was a beautifully laid out plate, I loved the fact the beans were served in a dish, I hate it when beans are served over the top of my meal,or have too much sauce and make other items soggy, is this just me? He loved the vine cherry tomatoes, hash browns and eggs cooked to his request.

I went for a more Mexican breakfast, the Brunch Wrap, I asked for mine minus the baked beans for reasons above!
I loved the lighter meal, the wrap made it totally different to usual breakfasts of rolls or muffins. The bacon was tasty, egg just right,sausages juicy.

We both loved the freshness of the food, all perfectly cooked,we both agreed we would have preferred just pork sausages,the leek seemed strange in a breakfast, nice but having a choice I would have chosen plainer sausages.I am hoping Chiquito may offer both soon.

I finished my meal with a lovely fruit salad. This was beautiful, I definitely will be popping in for bowls of this when shopping!

Another dish that caught my eye was the Mexican ranch eggs, a tortilla topped with chorizo, sweetcorn,jalapeno,onion, black beans, salsa , cheese and two fried eggs. I really will be back to try this but possibly choosing it later in the morning. I hope that Chiquito add some other authentic mexican breakfasts to the menu. I looked around and people were tucking in heartily. 

Chris finished with more coffee,he definitely was starting to float! 

I was given a voucher to cover the cost of a breakfast for two, my opinions are my own and not affected by the offer of the voucher.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Crispello Bag Review

Cadbury launches the Crispello Bag, filled with delicate crispy shells with a creamy chocolate filling, covered in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate.

  When they kindly offered me some new Crispello's to try I of course said yes. Individually wrapped may stop me from eating a whole bag,it may allow me to savour the chocolates one at a time,putting them aside to nibble on after a finished blog post, at the end of a long day.

So I opened them up, paused briefly to admire the wrapping, am I fooling you yet?

I swiftly uncovered the prize,  each chocolate is nice and big,that lovely Cadbury honey scent wafting up, the first taste brings the satisfying familiarity of good chocolate, eaten for years and never disappointing. The light crunch of wafer is a treat and I am afraid I ate half the bag to try to ascertain if the sixth one was as good as the first. The research concluded by me, is positive. 

My only quibble is Cadbury have launched this as a sharing bag, ahem, you may have to fight me for them!!

The delicious Cadbury Crispello double chocolate is now available in a sharing bag as Cadbury launches the new Crispello bag.

The Cadbury Crispello bag contains twelve little pieces of lovely naughtiness; delicate crispy shells with a creamy chocolate filling, covered in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate.  Individually wrapped, so you can throw them in your bag and enjoy any time of day – or perfect to share amongst friends as you chat over coffee, after dinner, or on the sofa with your favourite film or TV show.

The Crispello Bag (RRP £2.03) includes 120g of delicious chocolate - twelve individually wrapped pieces of Crispello.  Crispello Bags are available in supermarkets nationwide from April 2013.  Why not visit for more details. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Philadelphia Simply Stir

I need meals like the new Philadelphia Simply Stir even more at the moment, its very frustrating not to be able to cook. I broke my middle finger two weeks ago and I cannot use my right hand for at least 6-12 weeks,though I'm still managing to get my hand in,one hand.
I have gained two sous chefs,namely Chris and Paige, they chop and as long as the meal is just a stir I can do it. I like to keep if I can, its a love more than a chore.

 As you know I use the tubs a lot, I have used them to make meals as a sauce and a thickener,when I was losing weight with Slimming World they kept me going through a time where cheese and cream based sauces were off the menu and they have stayed as its so much more healthy.

I was pleased to see the new Simply Stirs are relatively low in syns for a family meal,13 and 1/2 syns (serving 4 they work out at 3 and 1/2 syns), now some may consider it high but for a girl on target and I do not use my syns up most days its good.

Meals in minutes is definitely the order of the day, I chose to use fresh chicken,once that is cooked the sauce is added and meal ready,think how fast with cooked meats and fish. On top of a baked potato just run through cooked pasta or boil in the bag rice these will be great.

I used four chicken breasts, the sauce is enough to coat the chicken, I envisage using two pouches and maybe adding fresh mushrooms as well. We all loved the taste and I Paige commented she will be using these when she goes to uni.

Sorry about the blurry image one finger camera under chin,is not advised.
I can't wait until my hand is back in action,I have all sorts of plans for these, I can see a big chicken and mushroom pie, a garlic and herb chicken lasagne. Mmmm!

New Philadelphia Simply Stir is available in most supermarkets with an RRP of £1.99 for a 200g pouch. You can find it next to the current Philadelphia products in your supermarket’s refrigerated cheese aisle.

Philadelphia Simply Stir should be kept in the fridge – and can be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods including meat, fish, vegetables, rice or pasta.

Disclosure I was given two pouches of Philadelphia. I was under no obligation to receive the samples or talk about Philadelphia. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Dreambaby Essentials Grooming Kit Giveaway

DREAMBABY have a very special giveaway to mark the arrival of William and Kate's baby. We all know that the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time and parents want the best for their new arrival whether royal or not. 

One of my readers will win a Dreambaby Essentials Grooming Kit to make sure your own prince or princess will be ready for their public appearances.

Read on to find out more about the prize and how to win.



The new Dreambaby® Essentials Grooming Kit (F330) is a perfect purchase for new parents and makes an ideal present from friends and family members attending Baby Showers or as a gift once the bundle of joy arrives! 

It is important to promote healthy teeth and grooming habits early on and this set from Dreambaby® has all the items you need to ensure your baby is well-groomed from when it is small right through to being an active toddler.  It neatly comprises;

Ø Dreambaby® Hair Brush - Soft and gentle on the scalp and with an easy grip toddler sized handle, a great first step to personal grooming.
Ø Dreambaby® Comb - The non-scratch, rounded teeth will help detangle hair without tears.
Ø Dreambaby® Toothbrush - The compact head and soft bristles ensure great oral hygiene for developing teeth. The easy grip handle encourages your toddler to learn correct brushing techniques with ease.
Ø Dreambaby® Nail Clippers - Sized and curved for safer trimming of little finger and toe nails.
Ø Dreambaby® Emery boards - Great to gently file any sharp or jagged edges on little nails.
Ø Dreambaby® Scissors - With comfortable handles, these scissors have a rounded tip for added safety.

Ø All these items are stored neatly and conveniently inside the durable, transparent Dreambaby® Storage Case, ensuring your entire baby’s grooming essentials are neatly organised and hygienically stored.

The Dreambaby® Essentials Grooming Kit retails for about £9.99 and is available online,  or 

Visit the Dreambaby® web site at or call 01383 749 588.

Win B-Sensible Travel pillowcases

I am very fussy when it comes to pillows and take mine wherever I go, obviously not abroad, but it has been to Ireland, mine is a comfort thing and in hotels it also is for me a matter of hygiene,I sometimes take sheets too. . If you have ever seen the photo of a dust mite its enough to have you wrapping yourself up in polythene for the night. Dust mites are the largest contributors to allergies, cleanliness and hygiene in many hotels, levels of dust mites are very high. So  for allergy suffers a barrier to these main causes is a good help. Plus the feeling of cleanliness means you can relax.

B-Sensible have just the pillowcase for reassuring you of a clean fresh night, they have teamed up with Given To Distracting Others to make your two readers travel a little fresher, read on for more information and to find out how to win.

Take The ‘Dream Trip’ Of A Lifetime…
With B-Sensible bedding – the perfect travel companion
Travelling doesn’t have to mean compromising your comfort. With B-Sensible you can be reassured of a cosy, relaxing and refreshing journey with their range of breathable, hypoallergenic pillowcases.   
Whether you’re backpacking around Europe, on business or enjoying a family holiday, staying fresh whilst travelling is key to feeling comfortable during your trip!
B-Sensible has created unique, revolutionary hypoallergenic, waterproof pillowcases to ensure that you stay feeling fresh whilst sleeping on your travels thanks to the innovative fibre Tencel. Tencel is known as the “new age fibre” as it absorbs moisture naturally.  The eco-friendly fibre is made from the wood found on the Eucalyptus tree, and has natural cooling mechanisms to control temperature and humidity. This also means the pillowcases are more breathable, thus very hygienic for those long, hot journeys.  
The B-Sensible range also includes 2in1 sheets, which have all the same benefits as the pillowcases. The range is available in a variety of colours and sizes so there is something to suit everyone from babies to adults!
So rather than using a pillowcase which has been used by many travellers before, take a B-Sensible pillowcase for complete freshness on your journey, and you can also use it in the hotel when you arrive!

Take The ‘Dream Trip’ Of A Lifetime… With these top travel tips brought to you by B-Sensible 1. Personalise your luggage – putting your personal stamp on your belongings will make them easier to detect and identify. 2. Budget, budget, budget! Even if you do not necessarily have a budget, it is wise to take care of your money in case something unexpected arises. 3. A checklist is always useful. You can use this from the moment you book your journey, ensuring everything is in order. 4. Pack wisely, do not overload as this may end up costing you at the airport – plus you will have less room to bring back any new purchases that you may acquire on your travels. 5. Keep your important documents in a file. This will ensure that you have all essential papers organised, avoiding any unnecessary panic. 6. Plan some things to do ahead of time. Research the area/s you will be staying in so you don’t miss out on any hidden gems and attractions! 7. Padlock your suitcases – safety is essential. 8. Wrap your soaps and shampoos in plastic bags to avoid spillages onto your other belongings. 9. ALWAYS read the small print, this will save you any nasty surprises. 10.‘B-Sensible’ and purchase a brightly coloured breathable pillowcase from the B-Sensible range for your travel pillow; this should ensure that you never leave without it!
B-Sensible RRP:
(75 x 50) - £13.00
(90 x 50) - £19.00
(65 x 65) - £14.00
(40 x 40) - £9.00

2in1 Sheets:
Single 2’6 (75 x 190)- £30.00
Single 3’0 (90 x 190) - £31
Single 3’6 (100 x 190) - £33.50
Small Double 4’ (120 x 190) - £37.50
Double 4’6 (135 x 190) - £40.50
King 5’ (150 x 200) - £44
Super King 6’ (180 x 200) - £50
Other sizes vary in price

Dust-mite barrier.

Soft touch.
Machine washable and tumble-dryable.
Natural and sustainable fibre.
100% European product.

Two readers will win one travel pillowcase each,just fill in the easy peasy rafflecopter form.

DANCE DANCE BABY Could your little one star in new advert?


(19th June 2013) Cow and Gate, the baby feeding brand, is searching for little ones to be the personalities of a new advert, who will be found through the brands new campaign, Dance Dance Baby.

Whether it’s bouncing on their bottoms or whirling around, little ones love moving to music as a way to express themselves, and Cow and Gate wants to celebrate seeing their personalities come to life.

Following up the hugely popular 'Supergroup' TV ad, Cow and Gate is putting out the call for UK parents to share videos of their little ones personalities.

Parents are invited to upload videos via Dance Dance Baby of their little one, aged between nine months and three years, for the chance to be featured in Cow and Gate’s new advert.  They'll pick their favourite clips to use in our new advert, which we'll launch on our YouTube channel later this year. All videos must be uploaded by 15th July 2013.

Bruce Newman, Cow and Gate Marketing Manager comments: "At Cow and Gate we love it when little one’s show their personalities, which is why we're really excited about our new brand activation to find little personalities to star in our new advert.”

For more information visit

Friday, 21 June 2013


Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the charity that provides life changing services to the lives of deaf people, is set to launch a nationwide campaign from June, ‘Deaf for the Day’.  

Fronting the campaign are ex-Eastenders actress Pam St Clement and television presenter Tim Vincent. With hearing loss on the rise and one in six people in the UK suffering from some form of deafness, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People hopes the campaign will highlight this relatively misunderstood impairment.

Celebrities will spend a morning wearing a specially simulated hearing device, provided by Specsavers hearing centres, to experience being deaf and understand first-hand the feelings of loneliness, isolation and the inability to interact socially, which deafness can bring.  In the afternoon, they will be partnered with Steven Taylor, a hearing dog recipient, to appreciate the difference a hearing dog can make in a deaf person’s life; not only through the day to day assistance of alerting Steven to sounds, but also bringing visibility to his disability and providing life time companionship.

A Just-Giving page is open to the public, encouraging people to sponsor celebrities. In addition Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is asking the public to host ‘Paws for Coffee’ mornings, to help raise the vital funds the charity needs.

Steven Taylor, Hearing Dogs recipient says, “Having a hearing dog has transformed my life.  Some years ago I became deaf suddenly.  I had a serious accident and lost my hearing overnight.  My original life disappeared from me, I struggled to adapt to my new ‘silent’ life. I felt cut off from the world and lost my confidence.  Echo, my hearing dog, has given me my life back and the confidence to go out in public again.”

Michele Jennings, Chief Executive at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People comments, “By experiencing going deaf for just one day, we hope our celebrity supporters will understand just some of the feelings deaf people are affected by. By celebrities sharing their experience with the public, the campaign aims to help us raise essential funds needed to create the life-changing partnerships Hearing Dogs for Deaf People provide.”

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a non-government funded charity and makes a lifetime commitment to each partnership.  Since 1982, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has created over 1,600 partnerships and relies on the support of the public.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Amoy Special Selection Winner

Sorry for the massive delay in posting my winner, I had intended to try and recreate a few of the recipes to narrow my choice, I could eat all of them, however loved three enough that I want to cook them and blog my findings.  

Alas as I was going through the recipes, I was stopped by a request to help load a mattress into a car, not a dangerous pursuit you may think. For me it was, as I pushed, not very hard at all, my middle finger end joint popped upright with cracking sound. I looked at it, my tidy nature not liking the look of the out of place digit and I popped it back down.
It went back but sickenly  dropped downwards. 

I have broken the end joint and torn the ligament, it was argued at some length, on a dislocation as its rare for it to snap upwards, several hours later and various methods of trying to stabilise it over the last 9 days I am now in a mallet finger sleeve and sling to rest it. 

My culinary skills are now non existent, banned from anything using two hands normally, though I cooked an omelette for Granny's lunch two days ago,I feel bereft watching others cook for us, but failed to butter toast adequately. 

My camera skills never that good are terrible now, a blurred dark pic of my finger taken by balancing camera under neck and pressing with one finger on left hand shows the lack of skill.

So trying the Amoy Special Selection recipes I liked will have to wait and I go to my imagination and if these were offered to me in a restaurant which I would opt as being the one I wanted to try most.

Claire's Baked lamb, Jane's Chinglish Beef and Lynthia's  Stir-Fried Beef with Mixed Vegetables and Peanuts were my top three, for inventiveness, ease and use of the soy sauce to enhance the flavours. 

The winner,the dish I most want to eat is Jane's Chinglish Beef, I adore steak and her suggestion that fillet steak be used will be taken up. I will deserve it after I get over my cooking ban. 

Jane well done, I will be emailing you soon.

To see my top three and all the recipes checkout the original post 

For the details about the Amoy Special Selection Soy Sauce  

Stylfile Nipper Clipper

Hot foot from the review of the Stylfile S-Ped (read my review here) for gruesome feet ( I refer to mine of course, not inferring anything  about my readers digits) I am now moving on to cute chubby toes and fingers of babies, or more specifically their nails!

Tom Pellereau has 'nailed' it again with his latest invention. A nail clipper for babies, this man is so clever! 

I used to sweat over cutting my twins nails, it was often a case of either biting their nails off as I was too scared of  snipping off any skin or flesh. 

My blog may be named Given To Distracting Others but I never managed the art of distracting my two into sitting still and me cutting their nails  I usually just firmly held them and cut a few at a time until they wriggled too much.

Tom has come up with a great design, the Nipper Clipper has a peephole at the end of the top clipper, so you can see the finger and avoid it, just going for the nail. I used scissors which was a pain, but I could see more where I was going, I wouldn't have dared use clippers. 

Also he  has provided a baby file, I would never have got this far in the process, a couple of nails and Conor especially would be threatening a super explosion of tears and wails.

To further make this a pleasant experience for baby and parent, Tom has avoided this parental drama is by a distraction app of Timmy Tickle. 

Download here for a free

Very very clever.

Trimming babies' nails is a universal problem and a daily struggle for parents but Stylfile's new product has entered the market to provide a much-needed solution. The new Nipper Clipper is the world's first baby nail clipper with a safety spy hole, baby nail file and distraction app that allows parents to trim nails safely and correctly. The innovative safety spy hole allows parents to see exactly what they are doing, while using a clipper that is sharp enough to trim and cut nails.

Cutting babies nails is often a daunting and traumatic experience which can result in injuries to both baby and parent. The scissor like action of the Nipper Clipper is smooth, sharp and almost silent, the baby file softens sharp edges, and the unique spy hole means painful accidents will be a thing of the past.

As any parent will know, keeping babies still whilst cutting their nails is a struggle. Stylfile has teamed up with a children's app developer and an Education and Child Psychologist to combat this, through creation of the first nail clipper distraction app, Timmy Tickle-Baby.

Timmy Tickle-Baby is a distraction app designed to take babies attention away from the routine and unpleasant task of nail clipping by using a fun, colourful and animated octopus called Timmy. The app has three different control options that are designed to suit babies of different ages so the experience can adapt as they grow.  Newborn babies will enjoy the Auto Control, which shows animations of Timmy pretending to be different fruit and characters, and as children start to speak Sound Control is designed to engage them as they make sounds of their own. Finally the Voice Control setting is designed to recognise the parent's voice to create a reaction on screen and encourages children to copy the sounds themselves.

By adding three original elements to the standard nail clipper; the spy hole, the baby file and the Timmy Tickle Baby distraction app, the all new Nipper Clipper allows parents to trim and cut their babies' nails in a safe and fun way and prevents nail clipping being a stressful and much dreaded task.

Tom Pellereau Quotes:
‘As a new Dad, I am very excited to have created the new Nipper Clipper as I think there is a real gap in the market for a nail clipper that can cut babies' nails in a safe and controlled manner. By combining our original spy hole feature, baby nail file and distraction app together we think the Nipper Clipper will take out the stress out of cutting your babies nails and make it a fun and easy experience.”

The ‘Nipper Clipper’ will be available for RRP £9.99 in:
-       Sainsburys ( from June)
-       Amazon ( from June)
-       Mothercare (from August)
-       Boots (from October)
-       Local Pharmacies (from July), Truly Madly Baby (June),