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Home news eNewsletters e-newsletter 17 - December 2009
e-newsletter 17 - December 2009 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 17

:::::December 2009::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

Like me, I am sure you are rushing around trying to get organised for the festive season.

And at TIPS we have been busier than ever - sending 53 skincare products out to Testers. Covering a total of eight categories, this is the largest TIPS trial of baby skincare products to date. The results of this trial will be published to sometime in the New Year - they will replace information about the original trial carried out in 2007.

This is one of the reasons we must regrettably announce further delays to the launch of our new website. There is so much content to move across to the new site it is going to take us longer than we first anticipated so you will have to watch this space for a little while longer…sorry!

Staying with the theme of baby skincare, our first featured website is - this features the Epicuren range which is brought to you in association with artist Anne Geddes and her unique images of newborn babies. Epicuren Baby is the brainchild of founder Kim Walls. This range uses only 100% natural and safe ingredients. As well as being 75% organic, all ingredients are free from preservatives, petroleum, synthetic dyes and fragrances. is the second featured website. My Baby Radio has become a firm favourite with many of parentsalready. I have now recorded more than 17 interviews for My Baby Radio. These cover many topics, including breastfeeding, baby skincare , baby-led weaning, allergies, sun protection and winter skincare (just out) so tune in and find out more.

Our product reviews include the latest one-off TIPS trials for the Swimava Swim Ring and Baby Pool plus the 'Must-have' toy sanitiser from Bentley organicRead all about these here.

We are delighted to bring you a new and delightful selection of photos sent in by TIPS Members and Testers including the most obscure 'bump' shot we have ever featured. We also have gorgeous shots of our latest TIPS baby Sofia and toddler Izzy gazing adoringly at her own new baby sister Eliána. And don't forget to check out the brand new TIPS My story about antenatal expression of breast milk.

Have you ever heard of tongue-tie? This is quite a common problem. I have personally referred three babies for treatment in the past year. Unfortunately it would seem that there is little support or information currently available for parents. This is why I have decided to design the TIPS Toolkit for Tongue-tie. This guide brings together all my top tips, and includes a list of resources for further information.You can read more about it here.....


Check out our e-newsletter competitions: see how you can win one of two sets of the innovativeBoobie Buddie breastfeeding dolls... and don't forget our six brand new mini-competitions. Get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a TIPS winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!


sharon banner

Dedicated advice line: Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064006215* if I am unable to answer immediately, press 1 and you will receive a free text to alert you when I am next free.

My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

*£1.50/min from a BT landline. Calls from Mobiles and other networks may vary.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured product :: TIPS Awards tipsducktipsduck

Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring - October 2009

swimava-logo AW_innovation_award_SMALL

The Swimava active baby bath and swim ring are unique. These products could be extremely useful in helping and encouraging the development of early water skills for babies. Our Testers were so impressed with these products that we awarded them a TIPS Innovation award. You can read the full review, and Testers' comments here......


For a chance to win one of two Swimava Swim Rings check out mini-competition 1

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured product :: TIPS Awards tipsducktipsduck

Bentley Organic toy sanitizer - October 2009

Bentley_organic_logo AW_must-have_toy_sanitizer-

Unlike other antibacterial sprays, the Bentley Organic toy sanitizer is a natural and environmentally friendly product. When used on hard surfaces and toys, the Bentley Organic toy sanitizer kills 99.9% of household germs. This gives parents peace-of-mind, and is achieved without potentially hazardous ingredients which can irritate young skin. Our Testers were so impressed with this product we decided to award it a TIPS Must-have Award. You can read more about this trial here.....


For a chance to win one of six six Bentley Organic toy sanitizers check out mini-competition 2

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured websites :: tipsducktipsduck

Episencial ( )


A representative of Epicuren Baby products contacted me back in April 2009. They wanted to introduce this innovative American range and find out more about the TIPS Award Scheme. I was very impressed with their formulations and excellent advice on baby skincare which are in tune with my own philosophy of 'less is more'. Epicuren Baby products more than fulfil our strict criteria, and I would happily have included them in the 2009 baby skincare trial but sadly they are not yet available in the UK.


Kim Walls is the CEO of Episencial® and creator of the Epicuren® Baby skincare products and philosophy. She is a second-generation skincare expert from the family that developed the world-renowned Epicuren® anti-aging skincare products. An environmental activist, and clinical skincare and nutritional science expert, Kim now develops green, effective skincare for pregnant women and children.

Epicuren Baby products, a baby lotion, baby wash and diaper spray, are safe. They actively support immunity and vitality, and are manufactured with sustainability in mind – for example using renewable energy: solar power. The formulas are filled with targeted nutrients, aromatherapy, and organic ingredients to address every-day issues including immunity, mental focus, creativity, and bonding.

eNews17_web1KimWalls eNews17_web1EpisentialLogo

The foundation of Episencial's product development philosophy is based on five facts:

  1. Skin is a window into the body's internal condition and mirrors its external environment.
  2. Removing exposure to toxins, surprisingly prevalent in personal care products, reduces the workload of the body's immune system.
  3. Skin is a large and complex organ which, when properly cared for, has the power to boost the body's entire immune system and enhance overall health.
  4. The mother-baby bond is an essential component to the cohesiveness of the entire family unit and can be strengthened through the intentional practice of infant massage with specialized skincare products.
  5. For effective protection and nourishment, baby skin, which is not fully developed at birth, requires a specific approach to care and treatment.

Episencial believes its products and business practices are opportunities to effect positive change for our world. Sustainability is at the very core of how they conduct business and they achieve this by:

  • using botanical, sustainably farmed, and certified organic ingredients;
  • supporting alternative energy development with the use of solar-power for manufacturing;
  • using food-grade, non-leaching recycled plastic containers free from residues of dioxins, phthalates, or other xenoestrogens;
  • featuring FSC certified, recyclable and sturdy packaging to encourage re-use and re-purposing; and
  • employing paperless systems for inventory management, invoicing, and marketing.


New products for infants and toddlers…


Skincare products for infants and older children including sun protection creams, lotions, balms, foaming wash and bubble bath are also available as part of the brand new Episencial actively healthy skincare range featuring the beloved artwork of The Very Hungry Caterpillar from The World of Eric Carle.

For more information about the Epicuren Baby and Episencial Actively Healthy ranges go to:

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured websites :: tipsducktipsduck

My Baby Radio ( )

MBR logo (120x120)

Launching on DAB digital radio in March 2010 - Broadcasting to 1.9 million UK adults 15+ across Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales

My Baby Radio is a digital online radio station for families and new parents that you can listen to online at - just click on TUNE IN.

The brainchild of broadcasting couple Joanne and Peter (who are young parents themselves) this exciting new concept in parenting support is available at the touch of your mouse! This service is live on air from 7am to 7pm with chill-out music played all night (very relaxing it is too!).

The station has regular interviews with experts about many questions parents have on raising their children. The station also includes regular weekly interviews with celebrity mums, health experts and real mums and dads. Past interviews are available online as podcasts and videos and blogs. And there are competitions online too!

My first interview for My Baby Radio was recorded in November 2006. Sincethen I have done many more on a number of subjects, including breastfeeding, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby-led weaning, allergies, decongestants, to name but a few. Podcasts of some of these interviews can be downloaded here.

Festive shows to look out for in December include the man himself 'Father Christmas' with a special show and requests on Christmas Day. If you have a request, email the team at My Baby Radio and you could be on Santa's special show!

You can find out more information on how to leave a message for Santa on Christmas day here....


For a chance to win a copy of the Annabel Karmel' cookbook 'Mummy and me' check out mini-competition 4 – Annabel is a regular presenter on My Baby Radio

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Living with Max tipsducktipsduck

Living with Max


By Sandy Lewis

RRP: £12.99 (hardcover) & £7.99 (paperback)

Publisher: Vermilion (29 May 2008)

Visit Sandy's blog here....


Sandy Lewis was born in Singapore in 1964, raised and educated in Germany, Wiltshire and Somerset. She worked in finance for nine years before becoming a full-time mother. She lives in North London with husband Paul and sons Max and Charlie. This is Sandy's first book.

When I was asked to review this book I knew instantly from the gorgeous cover photos, showing Max as a baby and with his family, that I would enjoy it. 'Living with Max' is an excellent and heart warming book about Max – a boy who has Down's syndrome. It tells the story of the many hurdles Max and his family had to overcome before Max could realise his full potential and become an accomplished actor. Written by his Mum, this book is refreshingly honest. It includes many extracts from her personal diaries since Max's birth in 1992.

When Max was born Sandy Lewis sadly encountered a lot of negative reactions. Prejudiced people found it acceptable to make unbelievably shocking comments, including a nurse in the hospital advising to 'put him in a home, go on holiday, come back and have the baby you want'. This has continued over the years, with a so-called 'friend' making an exceptionally cruel and hurtful comment about 'producing a child with such a poor gene pool'. Thankfully, Sandy also found some treasured friends who have helped and supported her along the way. Many professionals, including classroom assistants, occupational and speech therapists, and an amazing theatre group called Chickenshed who 'achieve some magical results with children with special needs' have also provided wonderful support over the years. Attending Chickenshed helped Max gain some valuable independence and develop a sense of worth and inclusion. This enabled him to develop his natural ability for acting, eventually breaking into the Hollywood film industry – even working alongside Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench!

After reading 'Living with Max', you can't help but have total admiration for Sandy and her family, and for what Max has achieved. They have had to fight hard for Max's rights, especially with their local education authority, and have all had to make sacrifices along the way - Sandy gave up her own business and career aspirations. Yet despite all their trials and tribulations, they are a happy and loving family who have every right to be proud of their amazing son.

Review by Nicola (TIPS tester)


For a chance to win one of five copies of this wonderful book check out mini-competition 6

tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Molly - our breastfeeding relationship tipsducktipsduck

Molly - our breastfeeding relationship by Doris O'Connor.


I was sent a copy of this article by one of our Testers. She thought it could really help mums experiencing the inevitable highs and some lows of baby-led breastfeeding. You will undoubtedly smile and nod in agreement as you read Doris's story. In this article, she shares her heartfelt experiences with you, and I am sure you will find it as enjoyable as I did. Molly - our breastfeeding relationship was first published in the Spring 2009 issue of Juno magazine. You can read the article here.

For more information visit the Juno Magazine website

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tipsducktipsducknEwtipsduckFeatured blog :: fathers role tipsducknEwtipsduck

A father's role in the breastfeeding relationship: part of the Aruban breastfeeding Mamas blog

Having heard that the reason some people chose not to breastfeed was that the father could not get involved, I felt I really had to share this blog. It addresses the issues and gives many ways that a father can be more involved and shows how important a father's support is to successful sustained breastfeeding. There are also some lovely pictures, enjoy! Visit the blog here....

by Soshanna (TIPS tester and Moderator on TIPS Forum)

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tipsducktipsducknEwtipsduck Hot Topic tipsducknEwtipsduck

TIPS Tongue-tie Toolkit…

Having personally referred three babies for treatment of their tongue-tie I was surprised at the lack of support and advice available for parents. I have pulled together a short but informative guide – the TIPS Tongue-tie Toolkit. This guide includes a list of useful resources for further information, and a wonderful selection of pictures showing the day by day journey from diagnosis to treatment. You can download the toolkit here.......

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured video clip :: hypnoBirthingtipsducktipsduck


Being a hypnoBirthing mum and now a hypnoBirthing Practioner I have watched many births but this one in particular makes me smile. I love how the little boy is playing in the pool while his mother breathes through her surges in the earlier stages of labour. It shows how birth should be, calm and peaceful. HypnoBirthing allows the mum to be completely in control, aware and yet also able to go within when necessary. It is not too graphic, concentrating mainly on the mum with a beautifully controlled second stage when you clearly see the baby being born. There is minimal interference, just the midwife checking to make sure that the cord is not around the baby's neck. Although hypnoBirthing teaches it is not necessary for the mother to push, some women will still feel the overwhelming urge to bear down which reinforces the importance of listening to your body and going with the flow. Sit back and enjoy a wonderfully calm and real birth...

by Soshanna (TIPS Tester and Moderator on TIPS Forum)

Watch the clip here.....

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured My Story :: antenatal expression of breast milktipsducktipsduck

This is fast becoming the 'must-read' section of our newsletter and we are thrilled that so many of you are willing to share your experiences with us. From the feedback we receive, we know that these stories have been extremely helpful to others and the process of writing them has also been incredibly beneficial for authors.

So far the My Stories have been about various aspects of the breastfeeding journey (newsletters 12, 13 and 15), finding the right regime to treat dry baby skincare conditions (newsletter 16) and the incredible story of a severe birthmark with all its repercussions (newsletter 14). 

This time, My Story is about the antenatal expression of breast milk to help avoid the need for teats or formula feeds in the early postnatal period. This simple yet uncommon option really does work, and it is much easier to do than you would expect.

To find out how this can help you become a successful breastfeeder and reduce the potential for stress just after the birth, read Rebecca's story here.

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tipsducktipsduck*** latest news***tipsducktipsduck

The Pregnancy book

published by the Department of Health


You can download the Pregnancy or Birth to Five guides here..... You can order printed copies of this book here remember to quote: 286153 The Pregnancy Book.

I am thrilled to announce the Department of Health have updated their advice on baby skincare in their brand new edition of The Pregnancy Book. The following advice (taken directly from the TIPS Award winning Babycare –back to basics leaflet) can be found on pages 124 and 125 in the 'Getting to know each other' section of this classic publication:

  • "At birth, the top layer of your baby's skin is very thin and easy to damage. Over the first month (longer in premature babies) your baby's skin matures and develops its own natural protective barrier.
  • Vernix (the white sticky substance that covers your baby's skin in the uterus) should always be left to absorb naturally. This is nature's own moisturiser and gives added protection against infection in the first few days.
  • Premature babies' skin is even more delicate. Staff in a specialised neonatal area will advise you on skin care.
  • If your baby is overdue, their skin may well be dry and cracked. This is to be expected, as the protective vernix has all been absorbed. Don't be tempted to use any creams or lotions as they may do more harm than good. The top layer of your baby's skin will peel off over the next few days, leaving perfect skin underneath. Wash your baby with plain water only for at least the first month".

Coming soon...Diary of a student midwife…

…follow the real life drama as it unfolds week by week, month by month…. First instalment in our e-newsletter 18…

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tipsducktipsduck Featured Forum ::themidwiferysanctuary.comtipsducktipsduck -

an evolving online community for midwives and students alike!


When the popular Student Midwives Sanctuary website had to close in September after six amazing years online, its forum members needed a new place to call home. As well as maintaining the philosophy of the original site, the new site - The Midwifery Sanctuary - also reflects the changing nature of its members, many of whom are now qualified midwives - students and midwives alike are welcome to join!

We are busy updating the information and resources on The Midwifery Sanctuary, so please bear with us as we add more! Information about courses and universities will be published as well as information for everyone from 'wannabes' to qualified midwives! A new team of moderators is in place to support the new admin team.

The forum, always the life blood of the site, is up and running. The ethos of light or self-moderation is still very evident - the forum is lively and challenging, just the way we like it. We like to think of it as 'The bikers bar' of the online midwifery world! On the forum you will find heated debates; discussions that allow opinions to form and change; passionate threads about evidence base, normality and women's rights, this is a place for us all to learn to challenge and develop our practice.

On the forum, we also find time to support each other and 'socialise' in the 'Time Out' section of the board. At the moment, we are busy organising our famous annual charity auction for the third year running!

The site will remain free from any commercial interest, advertisements, endorsements or formal input from any official bodies such as universities, NHS bodies, trade unions, publishers or regulatory bodies. We are a self-funded, not-for-profit online community.

To find out more, visit our forum here and join our community. We look forward to welcoming you!

Check out our charity auction on the 1 December 2009. This is to raise funds for maternity worldwide - 80 per cent of the funds go to the charity and 20 per cent towards the costs of running our site.


For a chance to win a £5 Amazon voucher (courtesy of Midwifery Sanctuary) check out mini-competition 5

sharon banner

Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064 0062 15* if I am unable to answer immediately, I promise to call you back. My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

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TIPS winners...


21 Aug  – 14 Sep 10

Q: What is the name of the parenting magazine that has just featured two TIPS award winning product ranges in adverts?

A: Green Parent Magazine (issue no 37)

Winner: Lucy from Ayrshire

15 Sep  – 14 Oct 10

Q: How many mini-competitions can you enter in the TIPS e-newsletter 20?

A: 7

Winner: Donna from Lanarkshire

15 Oct  – 14 Nov 10

Q: Where was Sharon on 24 October?

A: Earls Court Baby Show, London

Winner: Keri from Hampshire


The lucky winner of the Flexibath is Jennyfrom Lanarkshire

The two lucky winners of the TWIG / Maternitrees Rowan trees are Heather from Hampshire and Pipfrom Kent

The lucky winner of the Maxie and Teddy wipeable books Sarah from Sussex

The lucky winners of the Leap Frog DVDs are Morag from Lothian, Cheryl from Sussex and Sarah from Yorkshire.

The lucky winner of the Epi-no device worth £80 is Soshanna from London

The lucky winners of the Jason Products gift sets are Liz from The Netherlands and Juliet from Sussex

The lucky winner of the Wooden Duck pull along toy is Helen from Lanarkshire

e-newsletter competition

The lucky winner of the Cariboo Crib is Danielle from Yorkshire

Read TIPS reviews...

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regular features....

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Diary of a student midwife

- My Story

latest news

- TIPS Testers' pix!

new competitions

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Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


Here is baby Sofia just a few hours old weighing 3.55kgs. She joins her Mummy Daddy and big brother Yacine who is now 20 months old and has been a TIPS Tester since before he was born!


TIPS toddler


We think you will agree this is indeed a poignant picture featuring big sister Izzy as she gazes lovingly at her new baby sister Eliána. Thank you so much to Mum for sharing this cherished moment with us. Your copy of Breastfeeding: the essential guide is on its way.
TIPS bump


We just couldn’t resist this mums-eye-view of her bump which we thought was very clever. Thank you to Elle (pictured below) who chose the following caption: “Is it a solar eclipse?! my belly growing and my feet disappearing before my very eyes! Oh toes...I will miss you most of all!"
We hope all goes well with your planned hypnobirth next month and we look forward to the baby pictures!


TIPS family


This is Rebecca's family, recently completed by the welcome addition of baby Lewis. You can read Mum’s ‘My Story’ in this newsletter.
TIPS breastfeeders


To continue the theme of baby-led feeding (see our featured article) I have decided to feature a picture of me feeding my youngest son, taken when he was almost three years old. This was one of the last feeds we shared together before he self-weaned. There are never enough pictures of older babies feeding which is why I decided to go public with this treasured shot.

Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 7) – out now!


Version 7 (updated in line with the latest research) out now! Sponsored by TIPS award winning company Halos N Horns this award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information. As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like a free copy.
TIPS top tips!
Festive chocolate bars with a twist…
Get your own personalised chocolate bars from My Little Wrapper — whatever the occasion they can make a wrapper for you.
TIPS competitions
e-newsletter competition


Boobie Buddies was founded by Pip Wheelwright, a mum to two breastfed boys now aged 10 and 4. Pip wanted to design a product that could help children become more aware of the natural feeding choices - what better way to do this than through natural play?

Toy dolls are often sold complete with a baby bottle or a dummy - this can be misleading. With the Boobie Buddies breastfeeding dolls, children soon understand how babies can be fed, and more importantly nurtured, while they are breastfed. Hopefully this will help them understand  that breastfeeding is the perfectly  natural way to feed a baby.

Good life habits develop early so this is an ideal toy for toddlers and children. Handmade to the highest safety specifications these dolls have several magnets so the ‘baby’ doll can kiss, hold hands and breastfeed with its ‘mummy’ doll. These ingenious dolls would be an excellent present for your toddler as you welcome your new baby – the older childcan play at breastfeeding while you nurse the new baby. The Boobie Buddies would also be extremely useful in toy libraries, play groups and similar organisations.

Boobie Buddies Ltd - "The NATURAL way to role play!" For more information visit the website here....



For a chance to win one of two sets (one blond and one ethnic) of these innovative educational breastfeeding dolls email the words ‘Boobie Buddie to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS eNewsletter 18.


mini-competition 1


For a chance to win one of two Swimava Swim Rings email the word ‘Swimava'’ to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18.
mini-competition 2


For a chance to win one of six Bentley Organics toy sanitizers email the words ‘toy sanitizer’ to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18.
mini-competition 3


The Hydrant is a personal, hands-free drinking system for people who are bed or wheelchair-bound. With the Hydrant it is easy to get a drink without calling for help. This is especially useful for women in the postnatal period and ideal while breastfeeding. A unique clip mechanism enables the Hydrant to attach easily to beds and chairs, 
giving the user instant access to fluids without having to reach out.Visit the website for more information about this product.

For a chance to win one of five drinks bottles by Hydrate for Health email the word ‘Hydrant’ to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18


mini-competition 4

MBR logo (120x120)

For a chance to win a copy of the Annabel Karmel (a regular presenter on My Baby Radio) cookbook ‘ Mummy and me’ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18


mini-competition 5


For a chance to win a £5 Amazon voucher (courtesy of Midwifery Sanctuary) email the words ‘midwifery sanctuary’ to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18
mini-competition 6


For a chance to win one of five copies of Sandy Lewis's wonderful book email the words ‘Living with Max’ to Brigitte here by 26 February 2010. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 18



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