Kiwi Mummy Blog review- Sunshine & Doodlebug Gluten free Play Doh

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I was given the opportunity by Kiwi Mummy Blogs to review Gluten free play doh by Sunshine & Doodlebug.

I received two colours, Canary Yellow and Perfect Pink. They came together in a small ziplock bag, with a nice colourful logo and it was clear to see what we had been sent. I noticed there was a note explaining the storage instructions- ‘we recommend you store your dough in the original bag, then place in an airtight container’. I was going to look after this play doh, as most play doh goes dry after a while.

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Sunshine & Doodlebug

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Canary Yellow & Perfect Pink, plus my son’s hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine & Doodlebug Facebook page has a lot of information about the play doh and photos of the different colours of play doh that are available and it is made with all natural plant-based food colouring.

  • Pistachio Green
  • Racing Red
  • Sunset Orange
  • Perfect Pink
  • Canary Yellow
  • Icy Blue
  • Wicked White

Play Experience

When we discovered we had been sent playdoh, my daughter and son could not wait to play with it, “open it Mummy, open it!” demanded my daughter! They have played with it every day since we received it, hours of entertainment, (ok, slight exaggeration there!) But it has proved to be a good activity to keep them occupied whilst I prepare their dinner in the later afternoon. My daughter chose the Perfect Pink (she’s a pink girl) and that left my son with the Canary Yellow one to play with.

We have collected quite a few cutters, and shapes to use with play doh, so we got those out and the kids got stuck in. They both used the play doh with ease and they love to show me their creations. My daughter is three, and I find play doh is really good for her and it is helping to develop her imagination.

My son is 19 months, I find his attention span is nowhere near as long as my daughters, but he does like to experiment with the texture and rolling it around. He is of course at the age that he likes to ‘taste’ things. So this playdoh has been sampled! I find having the knowledge that the playdoh has been made for kids and as natural as possible, I don’t mind if the odd bit is sampled. Plus, since it’s gluten free this will of course be ideal for children that have a gluten intolerance. And when playing with it they won’t be exposed to any gluten through their skin.

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Our Thoughts

I have noticed it is more firmer than your standard play doh, this is to stop the colours mixing together, I noted on the Sunshine & Doodlebug Facebook page. I like this as I find it really hard to watch when previously my daughter has mixed the colours together and made an horrible brown colour!

This playdoh, if stored correctly should last for several months, which is great as it is proving to be very popular in our household.

The play doh is sold individually and one piece weighs approx 200g and prices start from approx $8. I think this play doh is more than affordable and would be great as stocking fillers for Christmas and for birthday presents.

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How I’m feeling

Sharing my journey with depression or what I refer to as ‘the fog’ several months ago, was incredibly hard. I debated sharing the post, how would people respond when I shared with friends, family and strangers how I had been feeling. I felt like I had let myself and those closest to me down. Would anyone want to read it? In the end, I did what felt right and I clicked on the ‘publish’ button.

The response was overwhelming and for that I am extremely grateful. Originally I wrote the post for me, I needed somewhere I could share my thoughts and feelings. But I found people sharing how they were and had been feeling too.

Generally life has been getting better and better, I feel most of the time I’m in a good place. I get out of bed in the morning and actually want to get up and I look forward to the day ahead (most of the time). My days with both my kids, (Little Miss and Mr Happy), can actually be fun, although we still have our challenging moments, I find I’m always looking for new and different things to do with them.

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Mr Happy 19 months

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Little Miss

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Mr Happy 19 months

Of course the fog is always there, I accept that. It will probably be always there, hanging around and most definitely not welcome. But that’s ok. I feel more confident that I know, (at times) how to deal with the hours or days where I feel like running away. I have still been seeing my counsellor and this time it is almost a year since I started seeing her again. I’m pretty sure my next appointment with her is my last, and I’m kinda freaking out about it. Will I cope not having her to talk to every few weeks, will it send me backwards. When I next see her I will be sure to share my concerns. Has anyone else ever felt like this????? When I finished seeing her other times, I always felt ready. Does the way I’m feeling now mean I’m not ready? Or has seeing her become a part of life I’m not ready to part with? Ahhhhhh!!!!

Even though I’m generally happier in myself I still have some shit moments and days, but I don’t seem to get as overwhelmed. It does of course depend on what is happening that day. I keep myself busy and work is always a good distraction for me. But I have been thinking lately if some of my friends feel pushed away? I never meant to do that, I don’t mean to isolate myself at all. I have felt at times that I wasn’t a good person to be around and I have probably distanced myself with knowing. If you are reading this and you feel I have pushed away, believe me it was intentional at all.

Do you have somewhere you like to go when you feel overwhelmed? For me it’s the cemetery, I visit Alex. I will sit with him and feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair and I’ll allow myself to be with my thoughts. It’s often quiet there and a good place to think and reflect.

So I think I’m done, I’ve put my thoughts out there. Thanks for reading.

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The Gift

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Photo courtesy of The Gift Facebook page

Some of you may of already heard of the ‘The Gift’ on Facebook, if you have, have you put together a box to gift? If you have great, you are a star! If you haven’t , would you like too?

Recently, thanks to some of my awesome Facebook buddies sharing ‘The Gift’s’ facebook status letting people know about this cause, I came across it. What a FAB idea, for the few weeks leading up to Christmas if you can add an item extra to your groceries to help someone out who may be struggling. For me and many others the thought of Christmas feels me with love, happiness and i especially like to give more than receive. One of my favourite things about Christmas is watching people open a present I have given them and hoping the look of their face is a good one!

What I really like about the idea of ‘The Gift’ is you can put together a present for someone whom I’m sure will really appreciate it. Sure, I won’t get to see the individuals face when they open the box I have put together, but to me that is ok. I’m happy this is a great cause and I trust my gift will really help someone.

When I first saw it, I checked out the Facebook page immediately and messaged the lovely Michelle who organises it all and asked if I could mention ‘The Gift’ on my blog. I asked Michelle some questions so I could share more about ‘The Gift’ and how it all started. In italics are Michelle’s own words.

What made you start doing The Gift? And when did it start?

Michelle explained in 2013 she did a Community Masterclass. The Masterclass pulls together community minded people who want to see communities get back to helping each other, looking after each other and creating new initiatives.

And in 2014 I took part in a Incubator project and I basically just took what was in my hand and created something that would connect people who had something they wanted to give with someone who was in need and needed a hand up but maintaining full confidentiality at the same time.

The Gift was birthed in December 2014.

Is this just in New Plymouth, or is it happening in other places around New Zealand?

There are little pop ups of things like The Gift over NZ. My main aim is always to see families helped, but I have made sure that the people who are helped through this process are being supported by a social worker to help them get out of the rut they have found themselves in. Its very much a hand up rather than a hand out.

What can people do to help this amazing cause?

When a need arises, the basics of the need are placed on the Facebook page and if the people who belong to the page decide that they can meet that particular need, then they make contact with me and I arranged for pick up, and then drop it off to the family.
A number of the families that we meet the needs for, are families who are under a social worker or whanau worker at Tu Tama Wahine.

Who receives the boxes?

The Gift boxes for mums was an initiative we started last Christmas amongst the staff, but when members of the community found out about it, they all wanted to participate. Putting together a box of goodies is such a simple and easy way to lighten the load of a mum/dad or grandparent over the Christmas period, and the generosity of spirit that exists in the New Plymouth area is often overwhelming!

What else can people donate if they didn’t want to fill a box?

Over the past 6 years Citywest church have provided Christmas presents for children. Over that time more and more businesses and people have come on board with this initiative as well, and last year we were able to give away presents to 300 individual children, so if someone would like to provide a child’s present, that would be awesome.

So, what can be put into a box, preferably a shoebox sized box,  just general everyday items that lighten their load.

  • Roll on
  • Moisturizer
  • Shampoo 
  • Conditioner 
  • Body Wash/soap
  • Disposable shavers
  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrush 

 

There we go, what do you reckon of ‘The Gift’? If you want more information check out the Facebook page.

I have been putting together a box to be donated. I have followed the list of items that Michelle suggested and I have been able to do it for around $20 which I thought was pretty good. Usually I would spend more than this on a gift for a friend or a family member, so I found this quite achievable. I know for some people Christmas is the time of year that can be tough for people financially. I just wanted to help spread the word about what I think is a fantastic cause.

The box I have been putting together

The box I have been putting together

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Remembering and Reflecting

October can be an up and down month for me. It’s getting closer to Christmas, I’m already planning what to buy and how we will celebrate the day and the weather is starting to get warmer. The clocks have gone forward so summer is officially around the corner. I find the the beginning of the month is pretty busy and an incredibly emotional time, remembering Alex. There are a couple of big events during this month. The 9th-15th is Babyloss awareness week. For me this was the first year I helped to organise the events to symbolise this important time.

As I am now the Secretary of our local Sands group. I realise now as I write this that some people may not know what Sands stands for. It used to be an acronym, Stillbirth and neonatal death support (I think!) but nowadays pregnancy, baby and infant loss support is how New Zealand describe Sands. Geez, I hope this is making sense. Here’s the link for . I have a lot of love for Sands, I truely believe if it hadn’t been for Sands, I’m sure my grief would of taken me down a very, dark path…..

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Love this xxx

Back to Babyloss awareness week……. I volunteered to contact the local paper to ask if we could advertise our events in our area. I got in touch with the paper towards the end of September and received a yes quickly and then waited to hear back from them.

I was contacted on the first Monday of the month, (which is actually the day when we have the Sands monthly meeting in the evening), we arranged to do an interview for the newspaper the following day. Whilst I was at the meeting , I received a phone call from the reporter who was going to be during the story and she asked if there would be someone willing to talk about Stillbirth. I discussed with he group about the phone conversation and I said I could share my story about Alex.

For me four years into my journey, I felt I had the strength to share my story. For the first few years I felt I had to hide the fact my first baby had died and I had a stillbirth. It sounds a bit strange to me now, but I felt I had to protect myself and him. Plus, I also found the tears would come nearly every time I spoke of him. But now, I feel very privileged to share my story, I’m a proud Mum of three. Speaking about him, does take me back to the events of four years ago,  but it’s ok. They are extremely important memories and it’s a pleasure in include him. Read my story here

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Stuff.co.nz Friday 9th October 2015

I had such an overwhelming response to my story being in the newspaper and a massive THANK YOU to those of you who took the time to message me, leave a comment, I even heard from people I don’t talk to much these days, it I was really pleased to with the way the article turned out. The reporter was lovely and as I shed a few tears whist talking about certain parts, it was comforting to not feel awkward about crying in front of someone I hadn’t met before. I now know allowing the tears to flow are good, they are a good and healthy release.

Our balloon release last Sunday the 11th went well and it was featured in the local paper. As much as I am proud to share my story, I am mainly pleased about raising awareness for Sands and hopefully helping others. I would anyone to feel alone in their loss and grief. Link to the Taranaki Daily News article discussing the balloon release Balloons released to remember lost babies

October 15th is when we remember our precious babies by lighting a candle at 7pm, and letting it burn for an hour. This is done all around the world and therefore it is referred to as ‘Wave of Light’. There was a service at the chapel at the hospital, and myself and a few other mums arranged songs and readings. I actually did a reading this year, those who know may know I’m not a public speaker but I felt I wanted to read something. When I thought about what to read, the only thing I thought of was a reading I read at Alex’s funeral. I hadn’t looked at it since I read it out over four years ago, but it seemed the right time to share it. So, I got up and read it, had to read through the lump in my throat in a couple of places, but I did it. When I sat down, I cried. Reading it out loud again took my mind back to his funeral. But I’m glad I read it and I had some lovely comments from people afterwards.

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‘Wave of Light’. Candle lit at 7pm, burned for one hour.

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Individual candles lit to remember our babies

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All set up ready for people to light their own individual candles

 

 

I’m pretty pleased that part of the month is over, it’s emotionally exhausting but worthwhile all at the same time.

This month I was also the feature blogger for AskingMums, check out my blog post if you haven’t already. It has been a real honour to share some of thoughts and ramblings with people. Here is my first submission to AskingMums Mummy Guilt

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I also have a few more things planned, so watch this space!

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