Tag Archives: Reviews

Unexpected Christmas treat

Whenever I write a review and share it on my blog, I do so because I’ve found a product or place that I’m impressed with and want to spread the word throughout the allergy community. Sometimes I’ve been fortunate enough to have received a freebie or two in advance for us to taste test and review – something you will always see declared on my posts – and I guarantee that we will always be honest with our opinions. It’s true that I rarely share things I don’t rate, although when I’m less than impressed with the service we’ve received, I will always make sure I shout that from the rooftops too. However, I never review with an expectation that we will receive something afterwards, though I’m honest enough to say that it’s always nice when we do!

That’s why, when I wrote about my discoveries at the FoodMatters Live conference a couple of weeks ago, I did so because I was just thrilled to have some new goodies for M to safely enjoy, which is always fantastic especially in the lead up to Christmas. What I didn’t expect was this marvellous parcel that was sent on to me just a few days after my post was published:

M spotted it propped up against the front door as we drove onto our driveway after school on Tuesday and was eager to be the first out of the car and to the door to pick it up and discover what had been delivered. His glee when he spotted the “Freedom Mallows” label on the front was unstoppable and he couldn’t wait to get it to the kitchen table and open it up. I had been in the know, as Elvin had contacted me asking for a postal address, but I’d only expected a small bag, or maybe 2, of mallows which I could sneak into their stockings on Christmas Eve. The treasures hidden within this box are immense and no stocking in our household is big enough to hold it all. Without a doubt, the excited squeals of both G and M which shook our house reverberated around our village and I just wish I could adequately capture that moment of absolute joy to share with you all.

A big thank you to Elvin at Freedom Mallows – you’ve made 2 not-so-small-anymore children very, very happy!

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Do you know LimbO?

IMG_0391[1]You might think that the possibility that a full leg cast would prevent regular bathing would bring joy to the heart of any small boy and, as far as my 10 year-old is concerned, you wouldn’t be far wrong. He spent the first night back at home pouring over the “How to look after your cast” leaflet that had been given to us on discharge and, having inwardly digested all the salient facts, made his opinions on the matter quite clear:

Mummy, it says right here that you absolutely must not get the cast wet, so I’m just not going to be able to have a bath or a shower until it comes off!”

before leaning back with a satisfied look on his face. I swiftly pointed out that, given his leg could be encased in plaster for anywhere up to 12 weeks all told, he would soon become very stinky, which caused many giggles before his face got serious once again and he reiterated that the instructions on the leaflet simply had to be followed:

They say I can’t get it wet and how exactly am I going to wash without getting my cast wet?”

Well, you wouldn't want to ruin this rather spectacular cast by *just* having a bath, would you?!

Well, you wouldn’t want to ruin this rather spectacular cast by *just* having a bath, would you?!

I’m not sure if he thought it likely that this Mummy was going to agree to spending 12 weeks in close proximity to a child living in a bath-free zone, especially given we’re currently sharing my bed whilst Mike has been banished to G’s room and G has taken up residence in M’s cabin bed; but I quickly disillusioned him and put him straight. Fortunately, or I suppose unfortunately if you look at it from M’s point of view, there is a fantastic product which solves that very problem for all those clean-freak mothers out there, the LimbO.

Six years ago when we experienced our first broken appendage with M – left arm with 2 breaks to the elbow and 2 to the wrist – we puzzled over how to keep his arm dry when near water. It was not so much that he couldn’t keep his left arm out of the bath water, but more that I doubted my active 4 year-old would remember to do so, let alone the problems of a hot summer and the desire to keep cool by running through the garden sprinklers. I can’t quite remember who it was who first told us about the LimbO, although I’m certain that it wasn’t the hospital, something which hasn’t changed in the time between our broken bones experiences. To put it simply, the LimbO is a little like a plastic bag – made from a thickened and durable plastic, which is latex-free, and with a tight-fitting neoprene seal that means the cover completely encases the cast and protects it from water. IMG_0409[1]What is even better is that the seal means that air is trapped around the leg and it becomes self-supporting, effectively allowing the leg to float in the water without any effort on the part of the child. That was the bit the M liked best!

You can order LimbO products via their website and the step-by-step process ensures that you buy the size that will best fit the person who needs it. I was impressed with the speed of delivery too as M’s full leg protector arrived within 48hours of ordering it, meaning that his normal bath-time routine could quickly be resumed. I do wish I had spent a little more time perusing the site as I noticed after processing my order that they now also sell a range of other products designed to make having a cast that little bit easier. From outdoor weather protectors to toe cozys and Sealskinz outdoor socks, there really is something to protect the cast in every possible situation.

I don’t know why there isn’t more information readily available about this fantastic product through A&E, fracture clinics and hospitals because it is, to be frank, a complete life-saver. Anything that makes the challenges of coping with broken bones even a little bit easier is invaluable and this is one product that is definitely worth the investment.

Mark: 10/10 from us both – though M gave bonus points for the fact his leg floated when in it!

Can I Eat There?

Over the years, Mike and I have tried to nurture a growing passion for good food in both G and M, very much based on our own love of food, eating out and experiences of a variety of culinary delights from around the world. M has become a real foodie and has never been afraid to try something new, be it oysters at age 4 or E028 at age 9! Whether it’s because of the lengthy presence of T1D in my own life, or due to identifying food allergies in G from an early age, we have never been afraid to go into a restaurant and challenge their menu options to make sure there’s food there that we can all eat and enjoy. Not everyone is as confident in making these demands and I frequently see requests for ideas for safe restaurants in the many FB forums that cover the topic of food allergies. These anxious parents trust the experiences of others in the same shoes and appreciate the advice that is so freely and gladly given; but what do they do when there’s no-one else on-line to share their tips or with the knowledge at their fingertips? Up until recently, the answer was probably to wait it out, especially if they were too nervous to step out of their comfort zone and give somewhere a try, but thanks to a fellow allergy Mum, last March an amazing new website was launched to help the allergy world share their experiences and highlight restaurants that really can cater for food allergies.

can-i-eat-there-logo

Can I Eat There? is the brain child of Nicky Granger, whose young son, Gabriel, lives with 9 severe food allergies. Nicky and her fantastic team, who have an impressive amount of allergy experience between them, have set up a website that gives “…people with food allergies the information they need to make sensible choices about where to eat. Like menus you can filter by allergy. Customer reviews from other people with food allergies. Forums for chatting and sharing experiences and advice. And the opportunity to put your questions and concerns to our expert partners…” – a completely new venture that is unlike anything else I have seen out there and that really answers a growing need.

The premise is simple: the initial search engine on the site allows you to enter your location and then apply any filters you wish from a choice of: allergy, cuisine, rating, dietary or allergy awards, to suit your individual needs. Once these have been selected, the results are brought up, showing all restaurants in your chosen area that meet your requirements. At the most basic level, the restaurants listed will provide information about the restaurant type, the food offered and which food allergies they feel they can cater to. Some will have provided the CIET? team with a more detailed menu as well as full contact details and their website.

What makes this website so fantastic in my opinion, is the ability for users to add their own reviews and experiences of the restaurants listed and give them a star rating for their attitude to catering for food allergies. These reviews are easily accessible under each restaurant’s listing and give the anxious diner an honest review of just how well the restaurant managed to meet someone else’s needs. This really is a unique resource for families living with food allergies and one that I hope will continue to go from strength to strength. The success of the website is, of course, dependent on not only spreading the word that it exists, but also encouraging people to take the time to add their thoughts and reviews about the restaurants they’ve visited, goldstarsespecially if they would recommend them to others or, indeed, warn other food allergy sufferers against going there. Needless to say, as soon as I first heard about CIET?, I contacted Nicky to find out how I could become involved with her new venture and am proud to be one of the allergy ambassadors and partners delighted to be working with CIET? as much as I can. It really is a 5-star website and I wish them every success for the future.