Lifestyle · Review

Beanies Coffee – A Review

A while back, we were sent a selection of items by Beanies Coffee to taste-test and review. For those of you who haven’t heard of Beanies, the company makes flavoured coffee, both roast ground and instant, in a wide selection of flavours. I opted for Cherry flavour and Maple Syrup flavour in the roast ground, and Amaretto Almond in the instant.

I would definitely class myself as a coffee drinker; I drink instant at home at least twice a day, and usually have a latte somewhere if I leave the house, plus Husband and I stick the pot on for a “proper” cup of coffee a few times a week, too. I also have a personal filter coffee machine which makes a thermally insulated flask of coffee for one person which I often take with me when I’m out and about. See – definitely coffee people!

I was worried at first that the sweet flavours of Beanies coffee meant that they had added sugar; being a diabetic means I have to avoid excess sugar, but I needn’t have worried. Beanies sweetness is explained on the website’s FAQ:

Your sensory cells for taste and aroma respond to the sweetness of the flavours and although they contain no derivatives such as dextrose, fructose, lactose or syrups the receptors tell the brain that the product must surely contain sugar. Therefore when you taste our coffee you in fact smell the familiar flavour notes and your brain is automatically tricked into thinking the drink is sweet. Clever eh!

Each of the three flavours I tried were very authentic – the cherry really tasted of cherries, while the maple syrup and amaretto versions definitely tasted of maple syrup and amaretto! All three flavours smelled amazing, too. It was almost worth brewing a pot just for the amazing aroma that permeated around the house! 

I have to admit, none were sweet enough for me, despite the Beanies claim that you shouldn’t need to add sugar or sweetener, but then I do have my coffee pretty sweet on a day-to-day basis, adding two sweeteners to a normal mug, so it may well be sufficient for someone who doesn’t like their coffee as sweet as me.

All in all, I was really impressed. I’m not sure that flavoured coffee could replace every mug for me, across the day, but it definitely makes a lovely mid-morning treat and I could happily see myself tempting a guest to try something flavoured rather than our usual brew!

If you want more info on Beanies, head to their website, or take a look at their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.

Parenting

Do We Expect Too Much From Our Kids?

As parents, there’s definitely a certain amount of “do as I say, not as I do” that we get away with on a daily basis, and it’s a natural part of child rearing, to an extent. However, there are certain things that I’ve observed other people saying to their kids that absolutely baffle me. Obviously, I’m not advocating letting your children behave badly, but sometimes I think adults really do expect too much from their kids. More, in fact, than they’re even prepared to do themselves. Here’s just five of them.

1. Cheer Up

As adults, we aren’t expected to be permanently cheery and it’s accepted that everyone has a bad day. But for some reason, when it comes to kids, we expect them to be constantly cheerful. I even hear people say to their kids “what have you got to be unhappy about?”. Sure, kids don’t have the stress of work or a mortgage on their plate, but they do have the stresses of learning and developing socially, as well as getting their little brains around day-to-day life. Everyone is entitled to an off-day, regardless of their age.

2. Stop Showing Off

It’s human nature to feed off of the rewarding feeling of other people’s praise or laughter. Kids will often exhibit behaviour that adults perceive as negative or “showing off”, but they’re simply soaking up the feedback they’re getting for their behaviour. As an adult, I guarantee YOU show off at times too, but you don’t have a larger adult around to belittle you for your behaviour. Everyone likes feedback. Full stop.

3. Be Nice

Kids are expected to be sweet and kind all the livelong day, and don’t get me wrong, these are great traits to instill in your babies, but are YOU nice all the time? Do you ever ring your bestie or your Mum to have a bitch about someone? Do you ever give major side-eye to the Mum in the school playground who’s dressed wildly inappropriately for the school run? If so, that’s YOU not being nice, and if you can’t do it, why should your child? Being unkind may not be a desirable trait but it is human nature.

4. Give Them a Cuddle

There was a fair bit of controversy around the article in The Guardian which said we shouldn’t be forcing our kids to hug grandparents, but I have to agree. As adults, if we don’t want to hug, kiss or shake hands with someone, we simply don’t; we’re afforded the agency over our own bodies and personal space to say no. Kids should also be afforded this right. If they don’t feel like being affectionate, we shouldn’t be forcing them to.

5. Eat What’s On Your Plate

I’m a firm believer that, if they like what is on their plate, kids will eat as much as they need and then stop. I know this doesn’t cover kids with food issues or extreme fussiness, but if a child has a good relationship with food, we should be allowing them to dictate when they’re full, rather than forcing them to overeat. Ultimately, this will ruin a child’s own sense of when they are full and lead to a poor relationship with food as an adult.

Do you have any more to add? Leave me a comment below.

Anger · Parenting

Personal Responsibility

RibenaI’m guessing by now that everyone has heard about Tesco banning Ribena and several other products from its shelves? In fact Ribena is just one brand that the store has axed, also choosing to shun brands such as Capri-Sun, claiming that both are contributors to the childhood obesity epidemic. According to the newspapers, health campaigners are lauding the supermarket chain for its decision and is urging other retailers to follow suit.

Am I the only person who thinks this is absolutely BONKERS?

What happened to parental responsibility? Should it not be down to the parents of these obese children to say “No”, when they try to pour litres of sugary drinks down their necks? Should we not be teaching our children moderation, rather than an outright ban?

Let’s look at other things that Tesco sell – seriously; take a stroll down the confectionery aisle and browse the HUNDREDS of other products which have high fructose corn syrup as their main ingredient. Why is Ribena worse than ANY of these? In fact, let’s go one step further – what about the tobacco kiosk or alcohol aisle? Do we need to eradicate these, lest irresponsible parents allow their kids to drink or smoke? Or, do we rely on the fact that there are people out there with an IOTA of common sense?

The fact that Tesco has chosen to be so specific about one particular product smacks of outside lobbying; someone, somewhere, within a very wealthy company has told Tesco that they’ll make it worth their while if they drop certain brands. How long will it be before we’re bombarded with adverts about some amazing new brand of sugar-free drinks that are ONLY available from Tesco? Something, as they say, is rotting in Denmark.

The fact that Tesco has taken it upon itself to supposedly tackle childhood obesity seems like an overly grandiose gesture to me. Who the hell asked them to make themselves The Juice Police? Especially when they continue to sell other items high in sugar, alongside processed meat, high fat convenience food, confectionary, alcohol and tobacco? In fact, isn’t it Tesco which has a franchise option with KRISPY KREME DONUTS? Excuse the caps, but I’m getting incredulous.

The absolute, glaring hypocrisy of Tesco for pretending to be the shining light in the fight against childhood obesity makes me sick to my stomach and I think it’s a seriously sad measure of modern society when we ban things rather than allow people to moderate themselves or display any sort of personal responsibility. When the litigious culture which prevails in The United States started to creep over here to the UK, anyone with any sense knew that it would lead to bad things, and here we are, in 2015, banning sugary drinks. Is the move so that Tesco can’t be named in lawsuits by parents looking to make a buck off of their wildly unhealthy child?

Am I looking at this all wrong? Should we be applauding Tesco for its responsible action? Or are you with me in thinking that this is a bullshit move and that there’s probably more to it than meets the eye?

Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Baby · Family

I Used to Hate Myself…

I used to hate myself.

I hated my annoyingly-too-large hands…until I realised that they were the hands my daughter reached for when she was nervous.

I hated my tummy, covered in stretchmarks and seemingly permanently distended…until I realised it had provided a safe place for my babies to grow.

I hated my ears…until I realised that BB has held onto my ear to comfort herself since she was tiny.

I hated my arms…until I realised that they were the arms which had held on to Sausage and BB for thousands of hours, never letting go.

I hated my smile…until I realised that my girls are what make me smile, a natural reaction to their wonderful personalities.

I hated my hips…until I realised they were where my daughters have sat whilst being carried around when little legs were too tired to walk any longer.

I hated my eyes…until I realised they were what allowed me to watch my babies develop and grow.

I hated hearing my voice on video…until I realised that was the voice which had read stories, sung songs and whispered comfort to both girls for the past 7 years.

I hated so many things about myself. Until I realised that my babies loved those things about me, and if they could love them, all of my perceived flaws, then maybe I’m not too bad after all. I hope that other parents can take a moment to see themselves through the eyes of their babies and realise that, once you strip away all of the self-criticism, there’s someone in the world who thinks you’re pretty perfect.

Baby

Making Space for a New Baby

Before Burrito Baby came along, Husband, Sausage and I were living in a little 2-bed bungalow. We knew that finding space for a new baby would be tricky but we wanted to wait a little while before moving, so we made do for just over a year, which meant finding space for a whole new human being in our tiny house and utilising every nook and cranny possible!

The infographic below has got some great tips on how to maximise your space when baby comes along and we thought we’d share it with you in case you’re ever in the same predicament as us!
The Best Ways to Make Room for a New Baby

Provided by Alligator Storage

Have you got any top tops for finding space? Share them with us below.