Ratatouïe baby & toddler food

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Helene Piquion, founder, chef and mum has recently (February 2017) launched Ratatouïe, the baby and toddler food company.

Anyone who knows me will know that I do not like pre made food, not for myself or for my little boy. That said, of course I’ve fallen into the pouch trap, which let’s face it, is a dream when out and about, but I know they’re not good food. 

However, I came across Rataouïe via Instagram. A children’s magazine, whom I had briefly worked for during uni, reviewed the food, and I was intrigued by the cute packaging it comes in. I did my homework, checked out their website and decided I was keen to give them a try too! It looked good!

So with that, I contacted Helene and discovered more about her and her amazing bew business.

Helene spent 18 years working in investment banking. She returned to work after her maternity leave but found herself utterly miserable as she did not see her daughter enough. Being a single mum, she knew it was even more important for her to be there for her daughter. The day she told her colleague off for being “too happy and giggly” was the day she knew she had to leave.

The idea of Ratatouïe was born slowly but steadily.  Helene had spent countless hours at night, after returning from a long and hard day of work, peeling, steaming and pureering for her daughter Adele. She remembers thinking to herself, “seriously? Is there nothing out there to help me out, that would be fresh, wholesome and flavoursome just the way I make it?”. 

RATATOUïE was born and became a full time job, with the full time risk that goes with entrepreneurship. Helene always wanted her own business and after a lot of thought she decided that she should try and solve the problem she found when she was a working mum and the fact that she knows how to cook made it all that easier a decision.

First things first, she had to find recipes and inspiration so she looked no further than books and magazines. Adele had started to eat more adult food and so Helene wanted to find dishes that would suit everyone in the family (adults, children, toddlers and babies) of course without the addition of salt or any nasties. With this in mind, she designs her seasonal menu (and yes they change every season) based on the big baby’s meals (which is a grown up meal really, though everything is cut in tiny bits and there is no added salt at all) and then she mixes, blends and adjusts the flavours, crushes, purees or mashes each dish to adapt the textures from 6 months ownwards.

Helene uses the following suppliers: Langridge Organics for the veg, Moen&Sons for the meat, and Moxons for the fish

Rataouïe deliver in SW postcodes for  £4.99 (minimum order of 6 jars), £3.99 delivery if you order more than 12 jars and free delivery if you order more than 18 jars. (Clients can also pick up from the kitchen, where she’s cooks, on Tuesdays and Fridays  in SW11 3SS).

Ratatouïe are also delivering throughout the rest of London on bulk orders. Helene’s idea is to deliver to working mums in different areas so that they can sort out dinner for their little ones as easy as possible and have it delivered to their desks.


BREAKFAST: Apple and pear compote

It smelt yummy, it tasted yummy and it made my little man smell delicious before I had to bathe him as he had enjoyed it so much that he was covered in it! Oh and it made him poo poo wonderfully ;)!

The apples and pears were cooked so the consistency was smooth and creamy and rich and sweet. But I liked that the skins had been left on and blended too.

LUNCH/DINNER: Chicken and garden vegetable stew (with some pancetta) and Curried root vegetable gratin.

I was worried my 15 month old would find the lumps annoying. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was able to pick them up with his hands or fork and he loved that. The taste, and yes I absolutely tasted it, was yummy. A simple but tasty, balanced dish that I would make for myself. 

The curried gratin was delicate and milky and really tasty. I think pictures can often say 100 words so here you go: (all finished!)

Please give this mummy a go! She’s got the skills, she’s got the ingredients and she’s one hell of a cook! 

Visit her website here: www.ratatouie.co.uk and fill io your basket! You will NOT regret it! I love you Ratatouïe!

Ten skincare

Born out of a mother’s desire to use only the best natural skin-pampering products, -TEN-® was the brainchild of Amanda Ling, mother and CEO of NOVA Medical Supplies. Created when Amanda had her first child, -TEN-® contains lab-quality natural ingredients, well documented for their skin boosting benefits. “I wanted a range of beautiful boutique skincare that used nothing but the best natural ingredients and thanks to my contacts within the medical world I was able to work with a leading skincare and cosmeceutical manufacturer in Italy to create -TEN-,” says Amanda.  

Baby bath milk £11.00 (200ml)

“Enriched with almond oil and aloe vera, the baby milk helps the skin retain its moisture. With a ‘tear free’ formulation, babies can enjoy and have fun splashing around as much as they want.”

The baby bath milk has a real baby scent to it. It’s cuddly and warm and makes you feel like your holding a newborn again. The bath milk doesn’t produce many bubbles but for me that’s not a problem as my little boy only eats them anyway!

Baby natural shampoo £11.00 (200ml)

“Formulated with chamomile extracts and wheat proteins, this no-tear shampoo has been specially made to gently cleanse and nourish your baby’s delicate and fine hair. The natural ingredients help maintain the natural balance of the scalp, keep hair shiny and soft and untangle messy knots.”

The shampoo smells gorgeous. Similar to the bath milk but even more softer and babyish. It foams up very well and comes off quicker than other shampoos I usually use on my little one. And completely tear free! It left his hair so soft and curly!

Baby cleansing foam £11.00 (150ml)

“contains natural oil extracts of calendula and chamomile, which gently protect your baby’s hydrolipidic film (the skin’s natural protective barrier) by helping it retain its natural moisture balance. The easy-to-use pump dispenser is perfect for mums on the move, -TEN-® Baby Cleansing Foam makes messes melt away with tiny bubbles that get right into those hard to reach creases and can simply be rubbed into the skin or wiped away with a tissue.”

The cleansers smell is slightly less attractive than the other two products above but by all means, it is not smelly! It just has a soapy after smell, which personally, I’m not keen on. But the foam does rub in very easily and doesn’t leave a sticky residue as I had imagined. I’m not so sure how I’d or when I’d use this.

Lenny love: unique British mini brands

LENNY LOVE. A collection of unique, British brands, for kids, all in one place. 

Melissa, an Australian living in London (Battersea) for almost twelve years, but born to British parents jokes to me that this is how she has her UK passport.

Melissa worked in HR for many years for some great corporations such as the BBC, but her true background lies in pattern making and design, which is what she studied.  (She does admit to me though that she hasn’t touched a sewing machine or designed an item of clothing since coming to the UK in 2005!)

In 2015, she had her first child (Lenny) at the ripe old age of 41, and really struggled to find funky clothes for him. She wasn’t keen, like myself, to dress him in cookie cutter Jo Jo Maman Bebe’/Mothercare etc style clothing. And with this dissatisfaction, alongside a lot of thought, the idea of Lenny love was born.

Melissa scoured the internet and social media for  amazing small British brands that were developed by mums in very similar circumstances to herself. Lenny love’s aim is not only to sell the cutest kidswear out there, but also to support mums who have gorgeous small businesses.

There’s a slight sadness to Melissa’s story though, in that she is so keen to raise awareness about miscarriage. Unfortunately when Lenny was just 5 months old, she miscarried soon after. 

2016 was a difficult year for her. She was pregnant 5 times and had 5 miscarriages (the last one happened over Christmas). She is keen for me to write about this as she feels people are timid on the subject. “No one talks about it. I’ve been open with some friends and family about what I’ve been through but not with all of them. But as soon as you open up to someone you hear a very similar story that they’ve been through. Waiting until you’re 12 weeks to announce your pregnancy is madness. It only perpetuates the stigma around miscarriages.” Watch this space as I’m sure she’ll support anything to do with the awfulness of miscarriage via her new business adventure.

On a more positive note though, here are my top picks on her gorgeous website:

A little something for mama

I’m not a fan of the traditional gift lists which are all over magazines and websites at this time of year- ready for the heavily commercialised Mother’s Day! I mean, a mama should have gifts every day right? Why just one day a year?? But then again, that’s completely unrealistic. But, mamas, take note of these spoiling gifts as it might be perfect timing to mention them to your partners! And yes, I realise this is a complete contradiction of what I wrote in my first sentence. :):)

Neom organics , in Wimbledon village, SW19, offers a 90 minute sleep treatment for £95. Neom promise this: 100% natural fragrances for the mind & body, made in Britain from ethically sourced, sustainable origins, only natural & organic ingredients, no petrochemical paraffin or mineral wax, no artificial perfume only pure essential oils and no harsh preservatives.

What’s not to like? Also the shop is a beautiful treasure trove of oils, creams, bubble bath, candles and more, with Alessandra, the store manager, guiding you through what scents are right for you. An absolute dream!

They also offer a 40 minute FREE sleep guide to anyone passing by the Wimbledon village shop, including a divine hand massage whilst talking you through the different scents to make you sleep better.

FOLKKE Espadrilles Bianca (€75) will be that touch of beach glamour that will make you feel just that much better about yourself! 

Tori at TBalance Has created the perfectly balanced bracelets which will be THE arm candy to have this summer! £12 please email her at Tori@tbalance.co.uk to order.

The Supercar event is the perfect day out for all the family, especially if you’re into vintage cars and racing cars! But most importantly, by attending the event in Surrey, on the 24&25th June 2017, you will be supporting The children’s trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with a brain injury. 

From helicopter and truck rides, mini tanks and Diggerland, to Caterham Sevens and hovercrafts, there’s entertainment for the whole family – not just dad. There is also the Lexus LFA and a 4×4 course. Younger guests can have their first driving experience with Stay Safe Driving School (age 14 plus), take a fire engine ride or try the Mini Monster Truck Mania!

Family ticket (2 adult, 2 children aged 4-16) £30, adult ticket £12, child and concession tickets £8 if pre-booked. To book tickets visit http://www.thesupercarevent.com.

For the mamas that just need to wind down after a busy day, why not try the following:

Sauvugnon blanc £7

Sensi prosecco £16.99

Tala home design, based in Greece, makes the most delicious baskets! I want all of them!! They ship worldwide thankfully!!

Desmond and Dempsey Pineapple pyjamas please!!!!! £95

Marloe London‘s precious scarf, blankets are exactly what one needs for any flight, car journey or even just perfect to cuddle up in on a summers evening! £75

Anne Lor jewellery workshops for you and your friends are a great escape from the kids whilst learning a new skill. Anne Lor comes to your home and teaches a group of up to 7 people how to make your own designed gold plated bracelet! £100.

Elina Linardaki‘s sandals are exquisite for that summer beach holiday!€230

TBalance : the new, harmonious you! 

It’s rare to find complete harmonious balance in ones life. Sometimes you get near to it but then often there will be something that encourages the balance to tip over. That’s just life. But then how many times do we unbalance ourselves? Our mind is the most precious thing we have but it can play havoc with us at times. Anxiety, depression…very common words nowadays unfortunately and still relatively little help out there sometimes. And all it takes, in some cases, is some balancing out in life. Not expecting too much from ourselves or trying to be someone we’re not.

Tori Boughey, founder of TBalance is your go to girl to find balance and harmony in your life. 

So here’s the deal… I’ve known Tori for the last six years. Not well at all but enough to be incredibly proud of her achievements so far. We worked in the same company and she was that sunshine girl that would come to my department and lighten up my mood if it was in a bad place or just humour me and make me laugh, which in my opinion is absolutely priceless. One of our last conversations at work, as she sat perched on my desk, just as she was about to embark on her travels and leave her old world behind, was her dream of being a “Coyote Ugly”, up on that bar, spraying water to those who ordered it. She is that girl that brings energy and good feeling to ANY situation without being sickly sweet! She has found her path, and a fantastically suited one at that, and for that I am ecstatic for her! So please don’t read this as a sponsored post at all, but as a proud “distant” friend who believes in this gorgeous girl and knows that she has chosen what is perfect for her. Not many of us do that. To be honest, I’m still trying to work out my career path so high five to her for doing so already! 

Me: You used to work at Conde Nast- a large corporate company…what made you change? 

Tori: I loved working at Conde Nast but I didn’t feel as though I was going to make a lifelong career there. By the end I was working in Digital, which I loved hugely but it didn’t inspire me like I knew life was supposed to. So I left to go travelling…

Me: How did you get into he holistic works? Was it instant or did it take quite a long journey?

Tori: It was actually a relatively quick process! It was when I was approaching the end of my travels, I was in Australia and had no idea what I wanted to come back to London for. (What I did know was that I didn’t want to be sitting behind a desk in a job that wasn’t fulfilling me!)

It was in the first week of January 2015, and I asked myself what it was that I really wanted out of my year. My response was that I wanted to be the happiest and healthiest version of myself, and that actually if I could make this my career then PERFECT.

I didn’t hang about, I remember being on the beach in Byron Bay, googling away to try and find myself a course! I stumbled across what sounded like an incredible Holistic Health Coaching course at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Within minutes of arriving back in London, I was enrolled!

Me: Was was the catalyst that inspired you to teach this?
Tori: When I started the course I did everything in my power to become what I knew health to be. I pretty much cut out sugar, bread, carbs, dairy, alcohol etc… I also upped my exercise routine massively and things started to change. I looked great and felt physically stronger than I ever had. BUT I was anxious, stressed, taking myself too seriously and not enjoying my life. I was confused because I was being healthy! This is when I then came to the realisation that I couldn’t live my life like this, and fair enough you do not want to be at the complete other end of the spectrum, but this to me was hell! I needed balance and surely so does everyone else?

So whilst still studying TBalance was born…

Me: Do you offer group sessions or private one to ones to help people find their inner balance?

Tori: I’m currently offering one to one sessions, to help individuals find their balance, but groups are something that I’ve been thinking about. 

When I say balance, I mean balance in all areas of life. Of course I cover food but I also focus a lot on everything else that ‘fills us up’. For example, relationships (with yourself and others), spirituality, exercise and careers. But I also focus on the importance of a healthy mind because at the end of the day, our happiness comes from within. 

After a lot of trial and error figuring out what it is that people are wanting help on I have devised two programs: 

Self Love and Sustainability: Self love because I truly believe that in order to make changes, they have to come from a loving place, rather than one of self loathing. So we work together on techniques that help one really get to know who they are, what they love doing and how to love themselves (in a non-narcissistic way!). Sustainability because changes that are drastic, unrealistic and unmanageable are not going to last! So in this course it is really about tapping into what works for the individual and tailoring the course to their needs (and working through all the areas – food, exercise, relationships etc.). 

Me: Do you have cheat days? 

Tori: I absolutely have cheat days! I think that people have a ‘golden’ view about the way that I eat or live my life and I think it’s important to highlight that I honestly eat whatever I want – I’ve just changed my attitude about what it is that I want to be eating… I now understand that a Pret sandwich will not be fuelling my body in the way that perhaps a delicious salad or a wholesome soup might! 

Please know that chocolate and cake are still two of my favourite foods!

Me: What’s the biggest mistake we do as humans on a day to day basis, in your opinion, that will throw us off balance?
Tori: Deprivation. When you deprive yourself of the things that you love because you think this will make you thinner or healthier you are heading down the wrong path. If the foods you love fall under the so called ‘unhealthy’ category it is important to change your attitude towards these specific foods and the way you consume them, but going cold turkey may not be the answer. 

When you control the thoughts you have over food and eating you have more control over what and how you put them into your body and in turn how it affects your body. If you are constantly thinking that the delicious, Italian pizzas you eat, are going to make you fat – then they most likely will! You are likely to binge on these foods and not think clearly/mindfully whilst you are eating them. However, if you appreciate the food (even when it falls into the ‘unhealthy’ category) your body will receive it as something ‘good’ and you are less likely to over eat and eat too quickly. 
Another thing that might throw you off balance is extremity. If your attitude towards the way you live your life is extreme then this is the something that needs addressing because even though you might be able to live your life like this for a while, it’s not sustainable for life because the subconscious pressure that you put on yourself will most likely result in illness. 
And one more thing – people so often confuse hunger with dehydration… So make sure you’re drinking 2 litres of water a day!

Me: On a perfect day, what would you encourage someone to do to stay balanced and happy? 

Tori: If you don’t do this already, then I would massively encourage you to tune into your physical body as early in the day as possible. Think about how it is feeling physically and be grateful for it. Then be mindful, pay attention to the things around you and the things that you’re putting into your body, with both thoughts and food. 

Listening to your body and what makes it thrive is the most valuable thing you can do – remember it’s all about you; what works for me might not work for you (and that applies to your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, child, sibling, friend etc.)

Rates: £80 for individual hour long sessions or £450 for 6 hour sessions.

For further information please contaxt Tori on: tori@tbalance.co.uk or 07788875723 and make sure to follow her on Twitter & Instagram @tbalance_ for daily wellbeing posts.

The dream that is: Isabel Fishlock 

Isabel graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 and started her work life designing prints, mainly for the fashion Industry for brands such as Paul Smith, John Galliano, Aspinal and Diane Von Furstenburg.
Recently she decided to leave it all behind and go off on her own, making luxury stationary and taking on wonderful commissions. Isabel has that envious talent of being able to paint virtually anything , any where. From large scale murals to tiny eggs cups, wedding invites to bookmarks.
Her experience working for such well known brands means that she knows most of the tricks of the trade and can source lovely papers, beautiful bone china and many other little things that can add to the beauty of the product.
Nothing is too big or complicated a project for this artist!

At home, in W6, London, getting ready for a sale. Get in touch with her for details of the next one.

Visit her website now: www.isabelfishlock.com

Here are some beauties that might be a lovely idea for Mother’s Day coming up soon!

Ceramic frog and fly plate £21.50

Frog mug £14

Framed lobster print £80

Bespoke murals POA

Tropical cards £21