Wednesday 27 February 2013

Remembering the Power of Touch - Massaging Our Babies

“Being touched and caressed,
Being massaged, is food for the infant
Food as necessary as minerals,
Vitamins, and proteins.”

Dr Frederick Leboyer

I have always loved cuddles and to be stroked. As a child I would seek out the family member who was prepared to stroke my hair for as long as I wanted, or who would give me the snuggly cuddle I so needed at that time. I’ve always been cuddly by nature and my Mum always told me that I taught her how to hug as it wasn’t something that came easily to her. She had to learn and fast as she’d produced a cuddle bug whose need for touch was great.

That need has never left me and having been a Massage Therapist for 9 years before having the girls I appreciate the impact touch has on people. I’ve had people fall asleep many times during my treatments but the reaction that always made me feel exceptionally humble was when a client would break down and cry. Touch does that you see. It gets to the deepest layers of our inner most being and when we feel loved, accepted and nurtured we finally feel able to let go of those buried feelings and what often occurs is a surge of deep seated emotion that needs to be released.

As we evolve along our journey as souls, there seems to be an ever growing group of emotionally detached individuals who think very much in the “I” rather than the “we”. Many children are becoming desensitized to so much in our modern world and we are moving further and further away from the “feeling” side of ourselves. We immerse ourselves far more in computers and the internet; an unreal world of virtual reality where we lose sight of actual events happening around us. And our kids are following our lead into this unfeeling, unreal world and that’s a worry.

Photo Credit: In Your Hands Massage

So what can we do to re-connect to that part of ourselves and to our children? Well one way is to connect with our babies and children through touch and massage is a powerful tool in doing that. I trained and qualified as a baby massage instructor with the IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) about 8 years ago now. I never took it further as I moved to France and circumstances took over meaning I never pursued the teaching side. However, I did use it on Sophia and it definitely helped me to bond with her when I suffered with my PND. For that I will be truly grateful.

My sister-in-law’s sister, Philippa visited us whilst we were living in France when her second son was still a baby. Her first son had been a very “easy” baby and they had attended baby massage classes together in addition to all the other things you tend to excitedly do with your new bundle of joy. Her parenting journey thus far had been a very happy, straight forward one but with her second son the arrival of reflux made this new journey with him much tougher and more emotionally challenging. It was whilst visiting us in France that Philippa and I talked about baby massage and how it could help his reflux and also help to strengthen the bond between them. It is so important to remember as a Mum that we need to take time out, and understand that for some of us that “rush of love” feeling doesn’t always happen straight away. Like myself, Philippa realised that back then she was possibly suffering with PND herself and it was the reconnection with baby massage along with support from family, friends and her health visitor that enabled her to come through the other side and thankfully for those of you living in the Salisbury and Test Valley area, Philippa went on to train as an Infant Massage Instructor with the IAIM too.

Philippa Thain from "In Your Hands" Baby Massage

Because of her own personal journey, Philippa has been able to bring a wealth of experience and understanding to her classes. As she explains, “Baby massage gives parents the opportunity to stop; to stop to listen to their baby.  The gentle repetitive strokes, the encouragement to talk, sing and hold your baby.  The confidence to listen to your baby’s cues, to realise that only you, the primary caregiver, actually understands this little one.  The peaceful environment, the calm supportive group and the unforced friendships between parents really do help. 

What has happened to our culture when we just don’t allow the time for this?  Is it sad that we have to have a “course” to learn to love? Possibly, but this is wrapped up in so many other reasons to attend baby massage courses that it doesn’t seem quite so desperate.  The benefits of baby massage include help for colic, reflux and trapped wind (I use the word “fart” with great gusto in the classes) and the application of moisturisers for dry skin and eczema. Each session flows with the group, but the facilitator encourages discussions about parenting; from how to handle the in-laws to local breastfeeding friendly cafes. 

Philippa demonstrating the leg massage sequence
Photo Credit: In Your Hands Massage

The discussions are managed carefully to ensure that all parenting styles are accepted and understood.  This is important with a group of parents who may be of different ages, cultures, religions and social economic sectors.  The sessions are quiet (no music, no sensory toys) and parents’ comfort is important. Parents have fallen asleep in sessions – a course leaders’ reward for making a relaxing environment.”

One of Philippa's baby massage classes in action
Photo Credit: In Your Hands Massage

So if you are looking to connect with your baby in this way, then what are the benefits for you both in attending a baby massage course? Well, a course run by an IAIM instructor covers much more than just baby massage. You learn about touch, movement, relaxation, interaction and communication. The course runs for 5 weeks and during that time you learn a new sequence each week which ends in being able to give a full body massage to your baby. It is a fabulous skill to have and I have to say that the sequence I have personally “pulled out of the bag” time and time again along my parenting journey and even now despite Sophia being 6, is the tummy massage sequence. It has been a life saver when one of the girls has been constipated or had trapped wind. And because the routine is fun and engaging, I have found that the giggles that often happen both during and after the routine have had the desired effect of releasing said “trapped” wind and the world has become a happy place once more! I think you get where I’m going with that one ;0)

Another baby massage class with Daddy's too :0)
Photo Credit: In Your Hands Massage

So what are the benefits for you and your baby?

The benefits for baby are:

·           Helping your baby to feel securely attached
·           Helping your baby to feel more loved, valued and respected
·           Reduced crying and emotional distress
·           Increased levels of relaxation and longer sleep
·           Development of body awareness and coordination
·           Relief from wind, colic, constipation and teething discomfort

And the benefits for You are:

·           Feeling closer to your baby
·           Gaining a deeper understanding of your baby's behaviour, crying and body language
·           Providing an enjoyable opportunity for you to spend one-to-one time with your baby
·           Feeling the relaxing effects of giving your baby a massage
·           Increased confidence in your ability to care for and nurture your baby
·           Learning a life-long parenting skill

I highly recommend Baby Massage as a way to bond and connect with your baby, toddler, child or teenager. The wonderful thing about learning a skill like this is that as your child grows you can still use it with them by adapting it to their evolving needs and their age. As they experience growing pains, or if they just need some special one-on-one time with you, massage can bring you both closer together and make the bonds between you stronger, and long lasting. In our ever changing world, that counts for a lot.

The IAIM have instructors all over the world running fabulous baby massage courses. They are all encouraged to further their training on an ongoing basis so are always adding to their skills. For more information about their courses or to find an instructor in your area, take a look at their website

For those of you living in the Salisbury and Test Valley area, you won’t come across a more experienced and compassionate instructor than Philippa. She comes highly recommended. Philippa Thain runs “In Your Hands” Baby Massage Courses and also runs short First Aid courses for parents too. You can find out more information about the courses she runs by visiting her website: and she is also on Facebook:

I’ll leave you with this thought:

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. If you’ve liked what you’ve read then I’d love you to follow Sophia’s Choice or subscribe to posts via email so you never miss an update. You can also connect with me on Facebook: and follow me on Twitter: @SophiasChoiceUK ( ). Until next time.


Wednesday 20 February 2013

Sotto e Sopra Fabulous Eco Chic Tops – Mother’s Day Competition Giveaway


If you’ve been following the blog so far, you’ll know that I love Sotto e Sopra’s gorgeous Eco tops. If you haven’t come across Sophia’s Choice until now then take a look at my review of their tops here. If, however, you know all about their soft, chic Eco wear then stay where you are because the lovely people at Sotto e Sopra are giving you the opportunity to win a top of your choice up to the value of £45.00 in our second Mother’s Day Competition. We really are spoiling you x

Sotto e Sopra’s tops are made from the new age fibre Tencel®. Tencel® offers quality, which doesn’t fade in colour. It is a natural, man-made fibre extracted from wood pulp and through its processing techniques offers minimal impact on the environment and an economical use of energy and water. It is renowned for it’s drape, is very flattering for the figure, exceptionally soft and really comfortable to wear. The tops hang beautifully, wash well, the creases just drop out whilst drying and the unique structure of the fibre keeps you incredibly warm in the winter months and cooler in the hotter months making the material exceptionally versitile. 

The Eco friendly fibre offers a reduction in bacterial growth as it absorbs moisture from the skin, so no water film remains that can often make the skin feel cold or damp. The fibre is chemical and irritation free, which is great news for people with sensitive skin. Sotto e Sopra have their standard range of tops and also have a great maternity range too. Tencel® makes the maternity tops a great addition to your maternity wardrobe as they stretch effortlessly with your growing bump. 

The material is similar to bamboo but much softer. If you choose just one Eco top for your wardrobe then I really would encourage you to try out one of Sotto e Sopra’s range. Their standard range covers vest tops, tunics, long sleeved tops, bolero shrugs and t-shirts in a full range of colours.

If you just can’t wait until the competition has finished to get your hands on one of these lovely tops then Sotto e Sopra have offered a 10% discount code for you to use at checkout if you "Like" their FB page or "Follow" them on Twitter @sottoesopramama or @sottoesopra. Just send them a message once you have "liked" or "followed" and they will email you the discount code which is valid until the end of March 2013. Sotto e Sopra also offer free delivery on all products purchased.

If you would like to browse their range then pop across to their website at You can also connect with them on Facebook: and on Twitter  sottoesopra or sottoesopramama.
So, to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous Mother’s Day competition giveaway all you need to do is click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions:

Leave me a comment below telling me why you would like to win this great prize

Answer the question about Sotto e Sopra’s range of Eco tops

And to be in with an extra chance of winning then you can “Like” Sotto e Sopra’s FB page or you can tweet about this fab competition giveaway too.

The competition will run from 20 February until 6th March 2013 and is open to UK residents only.

The prize is for one of Sotto e Sopra’s standard or maternity range tops to the value of £45.00 - no cash change given. You pick one top in the style, size and colour you like and this will be sent to you.

The winner will be drawn from all valid entries via on 7th March.

The winner will then be announced on the blog, Sophia’s Choice FB page and via Twitter and informed via email that they have won. Good Luck x


If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and would like to keep up to date with new blog posts then I’d love you to subscribe to / follow Sophia’s Choice blog. It would be great to have you here. Thanks for popping by. See you again soon x 

Wow, what a fantastic response to our Sotto e Sopra Mother's Day Competition ! 

From all valid entries, and using, the winner of our second Mother’s day Competition is: 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of Sotto e Sopra



Tuesday 19 February 2013

Orico London Little Love Baby Balm – Review and Competition Giveaway


Since my search began about 7 years ago to find toiletry products which were free from certain “chemical nasties” like parabens, SLS, petrochemicals etc, I never dreamt that the choice available to us as the consumer would be quite as vast as it has become. However, my one frustration is that although that list is ever growing, the majority of these great companies are not showcased in our high street and so many people just don’t know they exist.

Unless you decide to search online and internet shop, access to these great companies is often limited and unless you are organised, getting caught short of your favourite “free from” products can happen to the best of us, myself included. I really look forward to a time when many of the products I’ve come to love will adorn our mainstream shop shelves, rivalling the stuff that currently lines them; toxic, health hazards that we unwittingly slaver on our skin fooling ourselves that they are doing us good. However, if we bothered to dig a little deeper and read the label, we’d realise that most of the ingredients listed on the bottles we either haven’t even heard of before or can’t pronounce! That should scare you. We really should care more about ourselves and delve a little deeper to find out what we are using on a daily basis. When you understand that approximately 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it makes sense to choose wisely don’t you think?

That’s why I love coming across and connecting with new companies I’ve not heard of and also having the opportunity of trying out their products. Orico London is one of those. I linked up with them on Twitter and after taking a look at their website approached them to see if they’d be interested in me testing and reviewing one of their product ranges. Orico London have a baby and skincare range and I love the simple, yet chic packaging. My hubby says I’m a bit like a magpie in that I’m easily drawn to lovely, shiny things that also say “buy me”!

But in this case these lovely looking products are all free from the following: parabens, sulphates, DEA, PEGS, Petroleum, Propylene, mineral oils, artificial fragrances and colours, silicones, TEA, phthalates, glycol, formaldehyde releasing preservatives (quaternium 15, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-Diol). That’s quite an impressive list to be “free from” don’t you think? And getting back to my earlier comment about not knowing or being able to pronounce many, if not all of the ingredients which go into mainstream cosmetics, lotions and potions, I think it’s fair to say that companies like Orico London are a welcome relief.

Orico London kindly sent me one of their ‘Little Love Baby Balms’ to try out. The balm arrived and just as in the pictures, the packaging in real life is as clean and chic as it appears on their website. Orico London describe the baby balm as “a perfect balance of all-natural ingredients including Neroli, Shea Butter, Castor and Sunflower Oils, this organic baby balm moisturises and protects delicate baby skin and creates a sense of calm. Smooth on to help soothe away nappy rash for a happy, relaxed baby and a happy you!”

The balm has a lovely, deep moisturising quality to it which is great if you are looking to keep the skin hydrated and also wish to keep moisture away from the skin. This is why Orico obviously promote it for the nappy area. Jess had a few small dry patches on her tummy and her leg which we have been using the cream on and they have responded really well. The Shea Butter is a great moisturiser which helps to nourish and repair the skin. It is rich in vitamins A, E and F and can aid in the treatment of skin irritations. The Sunflower Seed Oil has a high amount of the antioxidant vitamin E, and others; vitamin A & C. This oil can help in the treatment of inflammation and is known to reduce the risk of infection. Lastly the Neroli oil is a natural stress reliever and has a calming effect. It also helps to soothe and lock in moisture.

Jess loved the smell of the cream and loved helping me put it on her. She is also recovering from Chicken Pox and now that the spots have crusted over and are no longer itchy, it has been a great cream to use to re-moisturise her skin. The chicken pox coupled with her fevers has dried the skin out so this has been a welcome addition to our collection of creams for her. It’s really helping to re-hydrate her skin again and helping with the healing process of the remaining spots. I’ve also found it great for my dry hands. It does take a bit of time to be totally absorbed into the skin but once it is, it leaves the skin really soft and supple. The Baby Balm definitely gets a thumbs up from us, and in addition to trying their lovely baby balm, Orico London have kindly sent me a lovely giveaway prize worth £35.00 for one of our Mother’s Day competitions.

It’s their new “Jazzy” collection of skincare products and the trio we have for you are as follows:
  • Moisturising Body Wash – with orange and mandarin essential oils, rich in natural moisturisers Baobab, and antioxidants Kigelia and Hisbicus, to gently cleanse and refresh skin, whilst helping to regenerate cells, boost elasticity, revitalise and tone.
  • Moisturising Hand Wash – with orange and mandarin essential oils, rich in natural moisturisers Baobab, and antioxidants Kigelia and Aloe Vera, to gently cleanse away dirt and grime, whilst helping to promote cell renewal, condition and tone.
  • Ultra Moisturising Hand Lotion - daily skin therapy for hands, rich in natural moisturisers Baobab and antioxidants Kigelia and Hibiscus, which help to regenerate skin cells, hydrate, smooth and protect. This lightweight, fast absorbing formula leaves no oily residue, just the fragrant scent of natural mandarin and orange essential oils.
They all sound fantastic don’t they? In fact I’m quite envious that I’m not able to enter the competition myself. Maybe I’ll have to nudge hubby in the direction of the Orico London website before March 10th arrives.

In addition to the lovely products Orico London produce, they also support some great causes; the World Land Trust and Borneo Orang-Utan programme. I love it when companies choose to give back in this way in addition to making such lush, “free from” toiletries.

If you would like to know more about their product range then their website is full of information: or for the US They have a FB page: and are on Twitter: @Oricolondon


So my lovelies, if you would like to get your hands on Orico London’s fabulous “Jazzy” skin collection, then click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions.

You’ll need to do the following:

Leave me a comment below as to why you would like to win these lovely goodies. Make sure you leave your comment before clicking on the Rafflecopter link. Then all you have to do is tick this option as “complete”.

Then, answer the question on the Orico London Jazzy collection we’re giving away.

And finally, if you would like to be in with an extra chance of winning you can “Like” Orico London’s FB page and Tweet about the giveaway too.


All valid entries will be drawn using on Wednesday 6th March.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The Winner will be announced on the blog, on Sophia’s Choice FB page and via Twitter and informed via email that they have won. Good Luck.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and would like to keep up to date with new blog posts then I’d love you to subscribe to / follow Sophia’s Choice blog. It would be great to have you here. Thanks for popping by and I hope to see you here again soon x

CONGRATULATIONS ! to Amy Crumpler who is the winner of these fabulous Orico London Jazzy Skincare Goodies xx Enjoy your Mother's Day Amy xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I was given a tube of Orico London Little Love Baby Balm to try out, keep and review for this post. Orico London also supplied a Jazzy Skincare Set for the winner of our competition. All thoughts, feelings and opinions given are my own and no one else's. I always give my honest feedback.



Thursday 14 February 2013

Comfort Is Everything When Nursing Your Baby – Review of Cantaloop’s Nursing Bra

I’m probably considered by most people to be unusual, because at 2 years of age Jess is still breastfeeding. Our journey together has evolved and changed as the months have passed and she's now showing signs that it probably won’t be long before she self weans. And I’m happy to continue our journey this way until she’s ready to stop.

It wasn’t this way with Sophia. She cut her first teeth early at 4 months and used me as a teether ! Ouch ! It all came to a head when she was about 7 months old; she drew blood. My reaction to it was of shock and pain but sadly what then transpired was a baby who refused to breastfeed. I tried for weeks to reintroduce the breast but she was adamant; it was not what she wanted anymore so I expressed for as long as I could and she stopped having breast milk from about 9 months old. Some will say, “Well, where’s the problem? She was past the recommended 6 months stage.” Yes, she was, but it had always been my want to breastfeed my children until they were 2 years old (as set out in the WHO’sguidelines) if possible. That wasn’t to be with Sophia.

With Jess it's kind of bumbled along really with no specific goal in mind. However, I did almost give up breastfeeding her after 2 weeks. She fed every hour on the hour for those first weeks. It almost killed me. My breasts were so sore, but after chatting to a lactation nurse, expressing for 12 hours to give them a break, I managed to continue on and as tends to be the case, your breasts get used to this new regime, they toughen up and although I have suffered blocked ducts and mastitis along my breastfeeding journey with Jess, it has all been worth it when I now look at her; a fit, healthy toddler who is having her needs met on all levels. My breastfeeding journey with her has been a very intimate one, which I will treasure always. We giggle and share during our times together now. Those times are fewer than before, but they are special moments which I truly wish I’d had with Sophia. Breastfeeding a toddler really is very different and it has been great to experience the contrast in the developing breastfeeding relationship with my second daughter. I would encourage all Mums to consider extending their breastfeeding journey beyond 6 months if they can. It has huge payoffs both physically and emotionally for both mother and child.

So with this information in mind, it’s fair to say that I have definitely tried a nursing bra or three ! And boy do they differ. I’ve seriously yet to find one that is comfortable and doesn’t either lose its shape, end up digging in or just doesn’t give you any shape or support where it’s needed. It’s been a very frustrating journey for me since my days in France. I think I must have tried around 5-6 different makes and none of them have been completely comfortable and if they started off that way, as my breasts have changed through my nursing journey, they have become more and more uncomfortable.

So when I saw the new Cantaloop Nursing bra, I really wanted the chance to road test it, as it looked really comfortable with no seams to dig in, and unlike some seamless bras which seem to have no support at all, the Cantaloop looked to have the extra support required. I approached Cantaloop about the chance of trying one out and they agreed to send me one. I chose my size via their size chart and have to say that when it arrived I was dubious that it was going to fit and wasn’t going to be too small. Their sizing guide does seem to overlap somewhat and they only have 4 sizings: 1S, 2M, 3L, 4XL. However, I trusted my measurements and low and behold it did fit !

The first thing I noticed was how soft and comfortable the bra is. It is made from 91% Polymide and 9% Elastane. It’s true what Cantaloop say, you really don’t realise you are wearing it after first putting it on. At the end of a day, I’m always itching to take my nursing bra off, but I didn’t feel the same need with the Cantaloop. It doesn’t dig in, it gives good support under the bust area which can be lessened or increased as required. It has adjustable straps too, so you can change everything to suit your shape and personal requirements. It is lightweight and has washed up very well. You can wash it on a standard 40 degree C wash which is unusual for a bra. This means it can go in the wash with the kids’ clothes and doesn’t have to be singled out in a separate wash if you don’t want to. This is a plus for a busy Mum.

I’ve also noticed that it’s the only nursing bra I’ve ever owned which has given me a decent shape. Nursing bras tend to be functional, but because the Cantaloop gives gentle support where it’s needed, I get a lovely shape without the need for underwiring which I hate now anyway. My only gripe if I have one is the fasteners. They are different to the normal ones used for nursing bras. I’ve found them a bit fiddly at times, however I think this is really just down to the fact that I’ve had 6 years of wearing a nursing bra which fastens a certain way. Had I known nothing else but the Cantaloop, I wouldn’t be comparing it and would have learnt to use their fasteners instead. It’s a bit like when I changed my car to a left hand drive one in France. I spent several days hitting the window every time I wanted to change gear ! Eventually, your brain relearns and you make new brain connections that tell you to use the other hand. It’s been a bit like that with the Cantaloop nursing bra for me ;0)

All in all I totally recommend this nursing bra. It comes in a cute tub and you can buy them in Boots stores and they retail at about £24.00. Cantaloop also have a pregnancy bra which will be coming out into Boots shops in the near future. You can currently get this one online. Cantaloop also do other nursing tops and pregnancy accessories, so take a look at their website for more information They also have a Facebook page and you can follow then on Twitter: @CantaloopUK

Disclaimer: I was given a Cantaloop Nursing Bra to try out, keep and review for this post. All thoughts, feelings and opinions given are my own and no one else's. I always give my honest feedback.


Sunday 10 February 2013

Who’d Have Thought it? A Chuckling Goat with a starring role in what can only be described as, “The Midsomer Cream Mysteries” !

Goats. They’re unique creatures. They first appear like butter wouldn’t melt but experience has taught me that on occasions they aren’t quite as friendly as they first appear and are really rather cheeky little things with just enough bolshiness thrown into the mix to turn them into feisty, slightly intimidating beings ! I jest though, and mean them no disrespect. I always remember as a child being butted by the same one every year. The goat in question seemed to live outside in the car park of the disco venue my Mum booked for my birthday party when I was little. We’d all arrive in our party frocks to be greeted by this sinister looking goat who’s intent it was to chase us all screaming to the door. It was certainly a highlight to the party !

But not all goats are unfriendly, and the ones at the Chuckling Goat help to produce some fabulous natural soaps, skin creams, kefir and goat’s milk amongst the beautiful countryside in Wales.

Back in December 2012 I ordered 5 of their goat’s milk soaps for Christmas pressies, a pot of their Lavender Skin Cream, and several bottles of Kefir (a natural probiotic drink which is stronger than active yoghurt). I spoke to Shann Jones who owns the business with her husband, Richard. She was very helpful answering any questions I had and I eagerly awaited my package. When it arrived I opened the box and was hit by the most amazing aromas escaping from the package. The smell of mint was just awesome ! Shann had put a selection of their soaps in for me; Lavender, Lemon, Mint, and Honey & Oatmeal. They all smelt delicious and Sophia enjoyed helping me choose who would get which one in their home-made Christmas hampers and which one we were going to keep for ourselves. We decided to keep one of the 2 lavender soaps for ourselves.

The kefir was for me to try. I have a probiotic every day and also give the girls one to keep their good gut bacteria levels topped up. This is particularly important if you have or are taking antibiotics as even these good guys get killed off too and take quite a while to repopulate in your gut if levels are not topped up. The kefir is stronger than live yogurt and because it’s not in powder form it’s more effective and a great addition to a smoothie in the morning. I was very impressed with it, enjoyed it with my smoothies and as it arrives frozen and keeps for 3 months in the freezer, you can stock up.

The goat’s milk skin cream was bought as a general cream for us to use on dry, irritated skin. The lavender cream is designed to help heal eczema and other skin conditions and soothe skin, whereas the Thyme and Tea Tree is to help fight acne, heal spots and reduce redness. I tried some on my dry hands and it had a lovely soft, creamy almost fluffy texture. It sunk into the skin easily and didn’t leave a greasy layer on the skin. It isn’t overly scented, if anything I’d say it is more scentless. Hubby tried some on his dry, hard working hands too and again was impressed with how it felt.

We then tried it on Sophia’s nose which had been quite dry and sore from the cold weather we were having. I’m not sure why but I didn’t do a patch test. I suppose I thought that as I’d used it and so had hubby with no ill effects that there was no need with the kids. We used it on Sophia’s nose and she liked it as it didn’t sting like other creams had, for example calendula. Anyway, we thought nothing more of it. A few days past and I’d tried a couple of different creams with Sophia and her nose but it seemed to be a little redder than before. Anyway, I couldn’t really work out what was going on as she kept rubbing it etc so just decided to stop all creams for a day or so to see how it developed.

Meanwhile, little Jess managed to get hold of the pot of skin cream, opened it up and happily smeared some on both her cheeks. I took said pot off her and put it away in a much higher place than before ! She is so resourceful and I’ve learned now that if she wants something she’ll do anything to get it, the little minx. About 10 or so minutes went by and I looked at Jess’ face to find two very flushed, reddened cheeks looking back at me. Mmm, what was that all about? I then made the link to the cream and wiped any residue off with some damp cotton wool. We then made the connection with Sophia’s nose getting redder too and linked this back to the cream as well.

I contacted Shann by email and she said to stop using the cream if the girls had reacted to it and send the pot back to her. At this point it really wasn’t clear what they were reacting too especially as hubby and I had had no reaction at all. Before sending the pot back to Shann, I tested it on the girls again, this time on their arms. And low and behold their skin again became pinky red. There was no soreness, itching, just redness. So, I posted off the pot. From this point onwards, as Shann & I called it, “The Midsomer Cream Mysteries” began!

Shann got in touch with her natural cream and soap expert, Shawn Dritz at her Soap School in Huddersfield and together they tried to find out what could be causing the problem. I sent Shann pictures of the girls’ skin reactions and we agreed that it was definitely dermatitis, so the girls were definitely reacting to something in the cream. We discussed possible ingredients that they may or may not have been allergic to; goats milk, lavender, macadamia oil and crossed many of them off the list. Shann’s natural expert thought maybe as Sophia and Jess are sisters that it may be a genetic reactivity, but this was later eliminated from our investigations when Shann tested some of the cream on her 7 year old son. He too reacted the same way as the girls, however Shann did not. The plot thickened ! It really was like being part of our own little mystery drama ;0)

Shann went back to the drawing board on the ingredients she was using and changed certain aspects which may have been making the cream slightly more acidic in its make-up. This may have been causing the cream to have slightly more exfoliating qualities on more delicate, young skin which the kids were reacting to. A new batch of cream was made up, tested on Shann’s son with no reaction. A pot was then sent to us to try on the girls. Would they react or like Shann’s son be ok? Drum roll please ........... Whoop whoop ! No reaction. The new batch had worked. I was impressed. This new pot of the lovely goat’s milk cream was now working for all of us. It was a real success.

I have to say that I applaud Shann’s commitment and passion to what she does. I could have easily not said anything and blogged here that the girls reacted to the cream so best not buy it, but I was intrigued how something so pure could cause a reaction in the girls but not hubby and I. By contacting Shann, and working together, we solved the problem and now know the new formulation of skin cream is fine for us all to use without a reaction.

“The Midsomer Cream Mysteries” had finally been solved and in the process as Shann pointed out, we had learnt a lot about ingredients, particularly live, natural ingredients which unlike dead chemicals have a “life” in them which can sometimes make harnessing their natural properties a bit of a struggle. But perseverance pays, and I would recommend Chuckling Goats products without hesitation. Their soap is gorgeous, smells wonderful and even has lovely lavender bits in it. Everything about Chuckling Goat’s products is real and pure. A lot of love, time and dedication have gone into making them what they are and I now understand why they won Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum award in 2012.

If you would like to find out more about Shann & Richard’s lovely Chuckling Goat products, then their website will tell you all you need to know: They also have a FB page: and you can follow them on Twitter @ChucklingGoat

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