Friday, 26 April 2013

Original Sprout Hair and Skincare Range

For anyone who has been following the blog you’ll know that back in December during the run up to Christmas I entered a few competitions and I was lucky enough to win a few bits in the process. My biggest win thus far has to be £100 worth of Original Sprout goodies ! To say I was a happy bunny when I got the phone call from them telling me I’d won was an understatement. In fact at first I had to rack my brains to place which competition it was I’d entered. I don’t normally enter competitions but something in December made me go a bit mad with it all and it certainly paid dividends.

I have very thick hair. It has its blessings and its frustrations. Since my journey began sourcing free-from hair, skin and bodycare products, I’ve always struggled to find a shampoo and conditioner that suits my hair. It’s really frustrating so when I came across the Original Sprout competition via Green Parent magazine, I felt the urge to enter to see if their comprehensive range of haircare products would suit my hair instead.

Original Sprout was founded by Inga Tritt in 2007. She also founded The Original Little Sprout in 2003. The name Little Sprout was inspired by the birth of her daughter, Maya. Inga was born in Germany and was a successful hair stylist before selling her salons and spas, moving to the country and becoming a Full-time Mum to Maya. Her knowledge as a hair stylist, the fact that her own daughter had thick hair, and the want to only use the safest of products on her encouraged Inga to develop what is now a extensive range of hair and skincare products for children and adults.

All Original Sprout products are what they term as “Worry Free”, in other words they are:
  • Free of Phytoestrogens Lavender & Tea Tree, Phthalates, Clove & Musk
  • No Soy, Gluten, Honey, Peanut or Dairy
  • No Nanoparticles or Titanium Dioxide
  • Parfum with Natural Extracts
  • 100% Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • E.U. Compliant Ingredients
  • Biodegradable
  • Lice & Insects don't like Organic Rosemary but We Love It!
More information can be found on their ingredients page here

So my question was would they be up to dealing with my thick hair and how would all the products I chose fair on the girls too?

I chose the following products from their complete range:
  • Tahitian Island Bliss Shampoo
  • Tahitian Luscious Island Conditioner
  • Tahitian Hair Oil
  • Scrumptious Baby Cream
  • Face & Body Sunscreen
  • Natural Shampoo
  • Deep Conditioner
  • Leave in Conditioner
  • Natural Hair Gel
  • Cradle Cap Kit (Moisturising Hair & Body Wash, Cradle Cap Comb and Miracle Detangler)
So, where do I start?

Well, the Scrumptious Baby Cream is fab. It smelt gorgeous with lovely coconut overtones. The girls loved it. It made administering cream after a bath lots of fun, and it really did condition and moisturise the skin well.

The Cradle Cap Kit was a winner too. We still had some lingering cradle cap on my youngest daughter’s scalp, and this kit particularly the comb which is very similar to a comb for lice / nits was excellent. Within a few washes it has virtually disappeared completely. Joy!

The Miracle Detangler is awesome, really! You spray it on and it seems to melt the knots from your hair. It made hair wash night in our house so much easier. My eldest is always groaning about me combing her wet hair out despite the fact that I am particularly careful not to tug and pull too much. With this detangler spray all the tears and tantrums over knotty hair disappeared in one spritz. And it also worked for me too. With thick hair that’s a real bonus believe me.

The Natural Shampoo and Deep Conditioner worked well on the girls’ hair and again smelt great. However, it didn’t suit hubby’s hair so well.

The Tahitian Island Bliss Shampoo & Luscious Island Conditioner smelt great but unfortunately for me they didn’t suit my hair. It would be great if your hair is drier, but mine can get greasy at the roots and this shampoo and conditioner seemed to highlight this after a day.

I have to say that this is a problem in general for me with free-from shampoos and conditioners. They all seem to leave a slight residue on my hair which makes it feel like my hair’s not fully clean. My hunt for a free-from shampoo that works for me is still on which is a shame because I do like this range.

Hubby found the Hair Gel wasn't quite strong enough for his needs but I used it on my eldest when we needed to tame over zealous bits of hair escaping from our hair creations and it worked well for this purpose.

As yet I have not used the Leave-In Conditioner, Tahitian Hair Oil or the Face & Body Sunscreen. I’m waiting for that all important sunshine to stay longer than an hour or so before I’m able to test these out. I will report back to you when I know more.

All in all I liked the Original Sprout range. The competition win gave me the chance to pretty much try out the whole range which was really beneficial to us as a family. I’d definitely buy the scrumptious baby cream, miracle detangler, moisturising hair and body wash, and natural shampoo & conditioner again. The cradle cap comb has definitely been a great addition to our hair accessory box.

So there you have it; my take on the range of free-from products from Original Sprout. If you want to find out more, then pop across to their website: for more information. You can also follow them on Twitter: @originalsprout and they have a Facebook page too 

Have any of you had experience of the Original Sprout range of products? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts so please do leave me a comment as I love to hear from you. Until next time my lovelies x


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Monday, 15 April 2013

Natural and Organic Products Europe Exhibition 2013

Well, a week has been and gone already since I visited the Natural & Organic Products Europe Exhibition on 7th April. The exhibition which ran for two days on Sunday 7th and Monday 8th April at Olympia, London was apparently the best show they’d experienced in their 17 year history and saw a 20% rise in visitor numbers this year and I’m not surprised. The place was buzzing from the time I arrived mid-morning until I left mid-afternoon. It was mind boggling at times wandering around looking at all the amazing stands and all the fabulous products on display.

I had to keep myself very focused on the people & companies I was keen to connect with during my visit. I’m awful in shops when it comes to bright, shiny, beautiful things that draw my eye in. My husband says I’m an advertiser’s dream! And even though I was exceptionally restrained, I still didn't get around to seeing everyone I’d wanted to. The time just flew by. I did however meet up with some really lovely people who run some exciting free-from companies.

I was there for two reasons; firstly to connect with people face-to-face, which I believe is so important in developing lasting relationships with the “real” people behind the products, particularly the smaller businesses, and secondly, it gave me a chance to research potential options for the online shop I ultimately wish to have running alongside this blog. It was always my intention to have a small online shop which would sell some of the products I had tried, tested and recommended on Sophia’s Choice. I’m one of those people who believes in selling products I am passionate about. I don’t just want to sell something because everyone else does. I want to sell products because I have trust in them and I have used them myself or on the girls.

Attending an exhibition like this also gives you the opportunity to gather up a few samples to try out of all the products which interest you. It astounded me the people who literally came armed with a small hand luggage case on wheels! How many samples were they expecting to take home? In fact there were a couple of times I witnessed some people just diving into the sample bins to grab a freebie! Samples, particularly for smaller businesses are expensive to produce. It really surprised me the bullish attitude of some who obviously weren't there to necessarily sell these products or make connections with the companies concerned but just in it for a freebie. I suppose it’s horses for courses, but let’s just say I wasn't dragging a heavily laden case behind me. Maybe I’m the fool !

However, I did pick up some samples from some of the companies I’d like to look at selling in my online shop. The benefit of this too, is that you, my lovely readers will also get to benefit from what I think of them all over the coming weeks. For those of you who may be interested in who they are, we have:

Childs Farm Natural & Organic Children’s Toiletries
Pitta Patta Organic Baby Skincare Range
Naturally Cool Kids Children’s Free-from Skincare Range
Keep It Kind Deodorants for Kids and Teenagers (age 8+) containing natural ingredients
Jack 'n Jill Natural Toothpaste for Kids
Mary Elizabeth Natural Organic Skincare
GreenFrog Natural Soap Products (using soapnuts)
Ecozone Household Products
Living Naturally Soapnuts Products
Organic Burst Superfood Supplements
Sun Chlorella Nutritional Supplements

So it would appear that I am going to be a busy bee in the coming weeks, trying out some of the above company’s products and sharing my findings with you all.

I’m really very excited about what the coming months have in store for Sophia’s Choice. It is slowly but surely growing and evolving with time. The blog will remain as it has always been. I've a lot to share with you here so stay tuned for lots more interesting posts which I hope you’ll enjoy.

So, until next time my lovelies x


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Calming Colic - Book Review and Competition Giveaway


Definition of Colic taken from the NHS website:

“Colic is the medical term for excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy and well fed. It is a poorly understood yet common condition, and affects around one in five babies.

If your baby has colic, they may appear to be in distress. However, the condition is not harmful, and your baby will continue to feed and gain weight normally. There is no evidence that colic has any long-term effects on a baby’s health.
A baby with colic may have several crying outbursts a day, a few times a week. The crying pattern usually begins within the first few weeks of life but often stops by the time the baby is four months old, and by six months at the latest.”


As a new parent the one thing we want for both ourselves and our baby is that they are happy and healthy. We spend 9 months preparing for this new bundle to arrive and it is our hope that everything will go according to plan and there won’t be any complications or issues surrounding the pregnancy, the birth and afterwards.

However, the reality is often quite different for some. We can end up having complicated pregnancies, difficult births, and then once our little ones have arrived safely into this new and strange world some of them develop Colic ! Oh the joys of navigating through this often confusing journey. From the off we are getting to know our new baby, learning their cues, what each cry means and then all of a sudden things change and we are left wondering what went wrong.

I don’t think my two girls had colic per se, although having read the book, “Calming Colic”, I do wonder if my eldest daughter perhaps did. But they did both suffer reflux. Sophia was worse than Jess. So many of her feeds ended up covering her sleep suits but they both gained weight well and were healthy despite this condition. I had very little help in France so battled through this alone. I only really understood that Sophia was suffering reflux much later on. With Jess I knew what it was and just went about dealing with it slightly more confidently (as you do with a second!) but I have to say that having read this book, I have a deeper understanding of why they both suffered and what I could have done to help the situation had I been armed with more information at the time. This is where Christian’s book comes into its own.

I found Christian Bates through my Facebook page and I was intrigued by his book, “Calming Colic”. Christian is a qualified Osteopath, Cranial Osteopath and Naturopath and has over 15 years experience of treating babies, many of whom have come to him with colic. This wealth of experience and knowledge initially found its way into a pamphlet which he would give the parents who came to him so they could implement his suggestions at home and wouldn't forget what to do. This pamphlet then grew in size as Christian gleaned more information from his research and treatments, and then became “Calming Colic; How to Help the 10 Causes of Colic”.

I emailed Christian after seeing his book and asked if I could read and review it here for Sophia’s Choice. We chatted and decided it would be great to also offer you all the chance to win one of 2 copies as a competition giveaway. More on that later.

The first thing to say about “Calming Colic” is how accessible, easy to read and filled with common sense it is. It was really refreshing to read a book for parents, which was realistic, filled with proper advice, with achievable goals parents could implement straight away. You feel empowered into being able to actually do something to help your baby and everything is backed up with a comprehensive research reference list at the back of the book. You can confidently share this book with your GP or health professional knowing that the information being shared has been properly researched and isn't just hearsay. This coupled with the years of experience Christian has “on the job” means that the book has real credibility.

Calming Colic is a book that I would recommend to those who are currently pregnant, already have a baby, are looking to have another and their first suffered colic or are in the midst of that space right now. There is something for you all in this great book.

Christian shares the 10 causes of colic he has found to be evident in his 15 years of practice, giving logical, achievable ways to alleviate them. The book includes information on how your birth, imbalances in the gut flora of both Mum and baby, food intolerances, stress amongst other things can be contributing factors in your baby’s colic. Everything makes logical sense and as a Holistic Therapist and also someone who has a keen interest in nutrition it is great to find a book which looks at things in a very holistic way. This isn't about a “quick fix”. This book is there to empower you with the information you need to address the possible causes of colic for “your” baby. No baby is the same and Christian’s book makes this point clear. Your baby may have colic due to one or more of the causes outlined in the book. What’s important is that Christian has found simple yet effective ways to calm your baby’s colic.

My two girls both had cranial osteopathy which is one of the things discussed in the book. It comes highly recommended. It is my belief that every baby should be given a course of cranial osteopathy on the NHS as a matter of course. It would really make a profound difference in helping newborns become or remain calm, balanced little beings from the start. Maybe one day we will see that possible.

If you would like to find out more about Christian and Calming Colic then pop across to his website You can also follow Calming Colic on Facebook and Twitter:  

Here are some of the testimonials including parents of babies suffering with colic who have been helped by Christian and what he shares in his book:


So my lovelies, to be in with a chance of winning one of the 2 copies of “Calming Colic” I have to give away, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below and do the following:

  • Leave me a blog comment telling me why you would like to win a copy of this book. (Leave your comment before clicking on the link, then just click the box saying you have done this part).

And if you would like to share this great competition and the love further then you can:

 “Like” Sophia’s Choice and/or Calming Colic’s Facebook Pages, follow @Sophia'sChoiceUK and/or @calmingcolic on Twitter and finally tweet about the giveaway to spread the love to others all via the Rafflecopter link below.

The Competition Giveaway will run from Tuesday 9th until Friday 19th April. The 2 winners will be announced from all valid entries via on Saturday 20th April 2013 on the blog, via Twitter and on Sophia’s Choice FB Page. The 2 winners will also be notified via email too so your books can be posted to you. This competition giveaway is open to residents Worldwide.

Good Luck xx


Congratulations to our two winners; Amy Crumpler and Molly Bussler who will get a copy each of Calming Colic.

I really hope that you find this book helpful and valuable to your current situations. It is a great read.

If anyone would like to buy the book, then click this link to Calming Colic's website for more information:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of “Calming Colic” to read, keep and review for this post in addition to the 2 copies for the winners of the competition. All thoughts, feelings and opinions given are my own and no one elses. I always give my honest feedback.

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