Saturday, 10 May 2014

Blog Your Heart Out - My Turn

I have been tagged by the delightful Emma, The Pr Mummy, to take part in Blog Your Heart Out
Blog Your Heart Out is like a modern day chain letter but on the internet. I answer 5 set questions  about myself and my blog/s, then tag in other great bloggers to give their answers. It’s a brilliant way of getting to know fellow bloggers by answering the questions you want to know the answers to.

Here goes...

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?
I started two blogs last year for quite different reasons.

I began to help me gain back the confidence in myself I lost when I had my beautiful daughters. To explain in brief, before my first pregnancy, I had a pretty high flying creative job: I used to lead presentations to roomfuls of people, demonstrate to crowds and felt in control of what I was achieving. Although babies were on the agenda, I am not what you would call a natural earth mother. I thought it would just evolve, but for me, it didn’t. I think the lack of control (I am a little OCD) shot my self-belief to bits and it has taken me years to claw it back. I started the blog to MAKE me get creative again, for me and those I love. It has driven me to find a little time every now and then which is ‘me’ time and it has helped me feel better in myself, which in turn has helped me be a better mother. – and that, at the end of the day -  is THE most important thing. evolved after both my youngest daughter and I were both diagnosed in the space of 18 months of having Coeliac Disease -  an autoimmune condition. To explain in brief, this is where the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This damages the surface of the small bowel, disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Gluten is a protein found in three types of cereal: wheat, barley and rye which in turn can be found in foods such as pasta, cakes, breakfast cereals, bread, gravy and so on. I started the blog to help increase awareness of the condition and to try and help any other sufferers. The symptoms we both suffered were hideous; Evie’s was particularly frightening, there is nothing worse than hearing your child screaming and watching them wreathing around in pain and being totally helpless.

Check out this fab info-graphic

How did you choose what to blog about?
I focused on two of the things which affected my life, and those of my nearest and dearest, the most.

What is something most people don`t know about you?
Hmmm, I am quite a private person so there is a lot I won’t post online! I guess the fact that I managed to have two happy and successful pregnancies whilst I was suffering with undiagnosed Coeliac Disease is one fact that is not out there!

“Coeliac disease also has been found in several studies to be a frequent cause of miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage. Miscarriage occurs 31% more in undiagnosed CD patients than the normal population.”

What three words describe your style?
Organised, Sporadic (borrowing that one from Emma!), Evolving (so new to all this still!)

What do you love to do when you are not blogging?
Well, I spend most of my time juggling lots of different balls and hats in the air and then I spend precious time trying to tidy up the pieces when I drop them! When I can, I love to go for jogs and bike rides with my family, read (mostly by torchlight late at night so as not to wake up my husband!), and create cakes or cards! I need to spend more time just hugging my girls – life is too short and too busy – they are the most precious things in my life.

Right then that's my 5 questions answered, now I tag;

Two fabulous gluten free bloggers who I have recently come across on Twitter

Kaila @GFLife247
New Celiac Mom  @NewCeliacMom

...and three of the fabulously creative docrafts Design Team

katie lamb @Katiel27
Keren Baker @CraftStampInk
Nikki Smith @purplenik 

Jill x

Monday, 28 April 2014

Fuel your day with a gluten free 9bar!

Okay, I always try to have a sensible breakfast with the kids but it doesn't always work out that way, sometime you just need to eat on the run! Living with Coeliac disease means that you have to be totally organised - it's not always easy to grab a gluten free snack on the go - which is why I am a convert to these new breakfast bars from 9bar...

I was lucky enough to be sent a selection to try out and I have to say, they now come top of my list for delicious tasting healthy snacks! There are four yummy flavours;
Almond & Raspberry
Cashew & Cocoa
Apricot & Strawberry
Peanut & Raisin (simply divine!)
One thing which really surprised me (apart from how nice they taste!) was how they really filled me up for hours after eating one - perfect for a busy day in the office when lunch can be a distant memory. The bars are packed with seeds, gluten free oats, puffed brown rice and soya crispies and are bursting with flavour. At under 235 calories per bar, you can afford to indulge and I for one will always keep a selection of them in the cupboards!
The new 9bar Breakfast range will be in independent health food stores nationwide from May and online at RRP 90p per bar. Visit for more information.
Thank you for looking and enjoy!
Jill x

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets using Udi’s Ancient Grain Crisps!

I am so happy that the gluten free offering now available to coeliacs in the UK is expanding at such an impressive rate. When my brother was diagnosed over 5 years ago, there seemed to be a fairly limited selection of pre-packaged gluten free foods on the shelves – and to be honest, some of it was pretty ropey. But luckily for Evie (my coeliac 6 year old daughter) and I, things have changed in the past few years! Not only are supermarkets manufacturing their own really good GF products, but there are now some fabulous new brands jumping on board with some exciting, innovative bakes, cereals and snacks.
Take Udi’s Gluten Free for example, which is set to revolutionise the lives of the growing UK gluten-free community with 19 new products from its award-winning US range recently hitting the shelves in Tesco! Bringing its 20 years of baking expertise and innovative recipes to the UK, Udi’s aims to show shoppers how they can enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle without compromise.  The full range includes freshly baked gluten-free bagels in three delicious flavours, soft brown and white sandwich bread, classic white rolls and finger rolls, tasty muffins, toaster pastries, granola, fruity breakfast bars and mince pies as well as a number of UK firsts including some extremely tasty Ancient Grain crisps which are full of quinoa, flax, sesame, millet and black seed. The Jalapeno Crisps are quite simply HEAVEN (and go very well with a glass of full bodied red!).
The Aged Cheddar Ancient Grain crisps are also perfect for creating the speediest chicken nuggets ever! Simply dip strips of chicken breast into beaten egg then coat in the crunched up crisps and bake for about 30 minutes at 180oC until golden brown, turning after 15 minutes. I used about half a packet of crisps, 1 egg and 2 chicken breasts to make 18 substantial nuggets – enough to feed a hungry bunch of girls!
Served hot, they got the thumbs up – we also ate them cold as part of our picnic
when we were out and about – still good!


Simon Hazlett, managing director of Udi’s, said
“Those who enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle no longer need to miss out on or compromise on the foods they love, as we are offering the widest choice catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
THAT is what we want to hear!

Here’s looking forward to our next day out with plenty of Udi’s gluten free energy snacks at the ready!
Thank you for stopping by!
Jill x
To find out more about Udi's, click here

Monday, 17 March 2014

Nature's Path - Product Review and Exciting News for Coeliacs!

Gluten free living is a way a life for our family. I, my 6 year old daughter, my brother and my Grandma all have Coeliac disease – planning our daily diet and being completely (and I mean completely!) organised is something we all have to make a conscious effort to do, especially having a gluten free child.

Searching for energy snacks which I can keep in my bag has been an on-going process since Evie’s diagnosis eighteen months ago. Fruit is great but always gets squashed (unless I remember to box it up!) and raisins just don’t cut it on a long, activity focused jaunt in the sun.

So, thank goodness for Nature's Path’s Berry Bobbly and Choco Knobbly Rice Bites! We were sent a box of each recently to taste test as a completely independent party, and I have to say, we loved them...

With the main ingredient being Brown rice flour, they offer a great boost of energy and whilst the dried raspberries and blueberries in the Berry Bobbly bars really set the taste buds tingling! Evie really enjoyed her snack in the sun this weekend and it kept her going until teatime...

I am also REALLY EXCITED to read that Waitrose will be also be stocking three new gluten free offerings: 2 x Nice & Nobbly snacking bars (Trail Mix & Choc Chip) plus Hot & Steamy (3 x flavour porridge multipack) from mid-April...

PLUS!!! The sumptuous Nice & Nobbly granolas that Evie and I both LOVE LOVE LOVE (and used to buy from Tescos until they stopped stocking them – ahhhhhhh!) will now be sold throughout the entire Waitrose estate! I don’t have a Waitrose near me, but trust me, I will be making a special journey to stock up on all these goodies next month!

Nature's Path are a family-run, passionately independent, sustainably-driven, deliciously-healthy organic food company that believes in a "leaving the earth better than we found it” policy. I asked the Head of UK Marketing at Nature's Path what he thought their most important value was...

“Enthusiasm - what you see is what you get - we are a Canadian, independently-owned family business who actively champions an organic way of thinking.”

I also asked if it was possible to replicate a gluten free version of cereals such as Oatibix and Shreddies as this is one of the cereals that I miss the most and he answered:

“Curiously we have a gluten-free style of Shreddies undergoing tests at the mo - it’s not quite right at present and unless it’s stunning we won't waste our supplier’s time (this line is a personal mission of mine).”

Oh yes please! We love personal missions in this house especially if it means breakfast becomes and easier, more varied meal. We are waiting your 2014 and 2015 product launches with much anticipation Nature's Path!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

Jill x

If you want to find out more about Nature's Path’s click here

This opinions in this post are mine and mine alone. No payment was recieved.

Monday, 3 March 2014

World Book Day Inspired Book Marks by Beth and Evie

Share your World Book Day ideas and add them to #docraftsmonday!

This Thursday sees the worldwide celebration of everything related to books – authors, illustrators, stories and most importantly, a celebration of reading. My youngest will be going into school dressed as a character from a book (a rabbit onesie to represent the Hare in the Tortoise and the Hare!) and schools everywhere will be marking the occasion by organising a wide range of activities inspired by all things book.

This weekend, the girls and I got creative making bookmarks (click here to see my hedgehog ones!). Evie made the crocodile, tiger and frog bookmarks (see template below) and Beth spent hours designing the 3D bow one…

Share your makes with us, we’d love to see them!
Thank you for looking

Jill x

What is #docraftsmonday?

#docraftsmonday is like a weekly crafty 'show and tell'.

To get involved on Facebook:
On Monday, post a photo on of your recent craft project and add the hashtag #docraftsmonday.
You can see all #docraftsmonday projects by visiting the page and viewing the 'Posts by Others' section, clicking on the #docraftsmonday hashtag, or searching '#docraftsmonday' in the Facebook search box. When you see a #docraftsmonday project you like, make sure you comment or give it a Like!

What is World Book Day? (extract from

“World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 17th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 6th March 2014 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why we will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.”

Visit worldbookday.com to find out more!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Gluten Free Hedgehog Cake by Bethany Pryor

Well, it' #docraftsmonday again and this week, I am posting about the Hedgehog cake my daughter designed for her 9th birthday (which is today, Happy Birthday Beth!)
Beth has a 'special' toy hedgehog and she asked if we could make a cake which could be a 'friend' for it! It had to be chocolate and it had to be gluten free (as there are four of us in our family!).
 We sifted 8oz of Orgran Gluten Free Self Raising Flour into a bowl, then
simply added 8oz Caster Sugar, 8oz Soft Margarine, 4 Large Eggs (at room temperature)
and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mixed it up. Here's how we made the Hedgehog...

The malteser Beth chose for the nose is not gluten free - as she can eat anything, the nose section is for her! We had such a lovely afternoon making this - the memory will stay with me as a very special big girl and Mummy time.
Needless to say, there is not much left already!
Thank you for looking!
Jill x
#docraftsmonday is a weekly 'show and tell' of your craft projects. On Mondays, post a photo of your recent craft project on the docrafts Facebook Page and add the hashtag #docraftsmonday.

You can see all #docraftsmonday projects by visiting the page and viewing the 'Posts by Others' section. When you see a project you like, be sure to comment or give it a Like!
N.B. The Cadburys chocolate buttons do carry a 'May Contain' warning as they are made in a factory which handles gluten - both my and Evie's consultants have said that unless we suffer any side effects from eating these sorts of products, they are okay to include in our diet -
you must decide for yourself on this point.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sugar Crafted Gluten Free Lalaloopsy 6th Birthday Cake

Well, it's been a while since I had a moment to blog, but the kids are outside playing and I have a few spare minutes so here goes!
It was Evie's birthday on the 13th July and she asked for a Lalaloopsy cake - I had NO idea what she was talking about and had to google it! We brought her a Lala dolly, so I was able to use that as a guide for scale and shape. It was a challenge and I learnt more things along the way but I got there in the end! As I was so pushed for time, my lovely Mum made the actual cake and base iced it so it was a combined effort - and gluten free!

As you can see, the doll has strange dimensions, a very large head and
spindly legs (plus the button eyes!). Mum made two layers of vanilla sponge and
decorated it with pale pink icing.
I made large sugar paste letters, a number six and a variety of simple
flowers to decorate the cake edges.
Anyway, Evie loved it and that's what counts!
Happy birthday sweetheart xxx

Thanks for looking!
Jill x