I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve always wanted to be sent a Christmas Hamper. Those tantalizingly gorgeous baskets filled with Christmas goodies that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy for myself have always looked so exciting, so thrilling.
So when John Lewis asked if I’d like to try one of theirs this winter in time to tell you all about it for Christmas I practically bit the poor chaps hand off.
I was so excited when it arrived. Other than the fact that it was one of their hampers, I had no idea what might be in it. The gigantic box arrived and I was leaping around like a small child on Christmas morning.
What was in it? A Treats and Temptations Hamper that included all of this lovely stuff.
The hamper was a stylish leather trug with a metal buckle on the handle and looked fantastic – it will make a great magazine holder or handy carrying case for use in the camper van when I’ve devoured all of its contents. Much more useful than a wicker hamper I think and was of really great quality.
The lovely things inside the trug were:
- Cabernet Sauvignon Kintu Maule Valley Chile 2013, 75cl
- Stag Bakeries Stornoway Cocktail Oatcakes, 125g
- Silver & Green Chilli Pepper Olives, 220g
- Convivial Yorkshire Tomato Basil & Mozzarella Crisps, 50g
- Hawkshead Relish Co. Seville Orange Marmalade with Whisky, 227g
- Ooh! Chocolata Dark Chocolate ‘Let it Snow’ Star, 46g
- Arden & Amici Soft Amaretti, 150g
- Montezuma’s Organic Creamy White Chocolate Buttons, 180g
- Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Brazilian Coffee, 113g
The vast majority of which have been eaten (the chocolate star was lucky to survive long enough for me to take pictures) and I can honestly, hand on heart, say that they were all fantastic. The olives were amazing, the chocolate buttons had to be eaten sneakily with my head in a cupboard (other parents will know why) and the oatcakes were delicious with my Apricot and Wensleydale cheese and the coffee and amaretti I’m assured (as a none coffee drinker) were sublime.
All in all, I was really very impressed with the John Lewis Treats and Temptations Hamper and at £65 I think it’s a great price for sending to relatives as a Christmas treat. I had no idea that John Lewis did Christmas hampers but now that I do, and I’ve seen the quality of the trug and the contents, It’s where i’ll be getting my hampers, happy in the knowledge that what I’m sending will be of good quality and well put together.
For a slightly lower budget I also love this Snowflake Stacker Hamper at £35 which contains lots of yummy treats.
Thank you for the lovely and delicious hamper John Lewis, you completely made me week.
Image: Amber McNamara
Unless you want to become pregnant again, you will need to start thinking about contraception soon after having a baby. If you have given birth in hospital, a family planning advisor, doctor or nurse will be able to discuss contraception options with you, and again at your six weeks postnatal check-up. However, you can speak to a healthcare professional at any time to help you decide which method will be most suitable.
What are my options?
When it comes to having sex after childbirth, it’s very much a case of whenever you and your partner feel ready. Male and female condoms and the progestogen-only pill can be used straight away after childbirth. If you choose not to breastfeed your baby, the combined-pill, implant and vaginal ring can be used 21 days after giving birth. However, if you are breastfeeding, be careful to note which methods of contraceptives can interfere with your ability to produce milk. The progesterone-only pill is safe for breastfeeding mums and will not affect milk flow.
An intrauterine device, more commonly known as the coil, may be fitted within two days after the birth. However, sometimes this is not possible, in which case it will usually be fitted around six to eight weeks later. After six weeks, you can usually use a diaphragm or cap or have the contraceptive injection. If you used a cap or diaphragm before pregnancy and are considering using it again, it’s important to consult a medical professional to determine whether you require a different size after giving birth.
If you are certain that you will not want any more children in the future, you may also want to look into long-term solutions, such as male or female sterilisation.
When will I be fertile again?
It is possible to become pregnant very soon after childbirth. Even if your periods have not started again or you are breastfeeding, you can still be fertile. Usually, your periods will start again around four to 10 weeks after giving birth, although it can be much later if you are breastfeeding. With that in mind, it’s important to not take any risks and decide upon what contraception you will use as soon as possible.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby, you will not have periods and are less likely to become pregnant. Although breastfeeding is used by some women as a form of contraception, this method is not entirely reliable and will only last for up to six months. It is therefore advised to use additional methods of contraception while breastfeeding to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Which method is right for me?
When choosing a method of contraception after childbirth, there are a number of things you will need to consider, including how effective it is, whether or not you are breastfeeding, possible side-effects, future pregnancies, your health condition and, of course, your personal preference. If you are thinking about having another child in the next year or so, it may be easier for you to use a more short-term contraceptive method, such as the oral contraceptive pill.
Not that I spend the vast majority of my life procrastinating over those deadlines or anything, but 2 days ago I discovered the art of swearing via the medium of the emoji.
It made my fecking week.
But when I sent some of them to my friends, they couldn’t get them. I thought they were pretty obvious but I got a bunch of messages back saying ‘chicken mouse?’ and ‘horse hat?’ and on one particular instance ‘who the hell is this? Never contact me again!’.
So I thought I’d see how well you lot did with them.
1. 2. 3.4.
5. 6. 18.104.22.168.
We’d been away for a few days to a lovely hotel in Norfolk. The four and a half hour journey there had taken seven and a half hours and included a call to the AA and a £120 repair bill for some bit in my engine. The bit that caused the fault in the expensive doodad, a spark plug I was cheerfully informed by the AA man, only costs £4 to replace.
We had a lovely few days but I wasn’t looking forward to the drive back. I wasn’t sure I could afford it, quite frankly. But we made it back unscathed and even managed to pick up some shopping and remember to collect the dog on the way past.
We were home. The kids were faffing in the car, I opened the front door to the overwhelming stench of gas.
Yelling at the kids to stay in the car and repeating ‘don’t turn on any lights, don’t turn on any lights’ to myself under my breath I walked through the house. The smell got stronger and stronger until I got to the kitchen. Where the gas was freely whizzing out of the unlit hob, the cat sat on the counter next to it, meowing, looking rather pleased with himself.
Leave me alone for 2 days will you? He seemed to be saying. Well, I’ll just blow your bloody house up then!
God only knows how he’d managed to do it but somehow he’d managed to turn one of the switches for the hob on. Shouldn’t they have a safety aspect to them? Christ.
Thankfully, after turning it off and having all the doors and windows open for about 5 hours, the smell and the gas left without incident and we are all still standing. Freezing, cause the house still hasn’t warmed up from having all the doors and windows open for 5 hours and after having gas whizzing out of my hob for God knows how long, I’m not sure I can afford to put the heating on again until March, but alive nonetheless.
Bastard fucking cat.
I’m human so obviously I love cake. I’m British so obviously I enjoy a hot beverage or two. so when someones says ‘Hey, Heather. Fancy trying some of our lovely cakes? We’ll even send you a couple of new mugs and some tea so you can enjoy them with a brew’ the only obvious answer is ‘Hell yes!’
So cakes. Kate’s Cakes in fact. Boxes of yummy cake slices all individually wrapped so they won’t go stale (ha ha ha. Yeah, cause that was going to be an issue). I have to say I was mightily impressed. They were delicious – soft and tasty and just perfect with a cuppa. But they also look great – not something most individually wrapped cakes can brag about, let’s face it.
The chocolate fudge cake and the lemon drizzle cake look so good that you could totally pass them off as slices of home-made cake. Not that I would ever do such a thing. Nope, not me. Ahem.
And the most super bit is that Kate’s Cakes are just £1.99 per box of five from Tesco. So cheap it would be almost rude not to pass them off as home-baked the next time you’ve got guests coming round. Just saying.