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e-newsletter 11 - December 2008 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 11

:::::December 2008::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
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Welcome to our festive newsletter!

The BIG news here is my exciting win at the Nursing in Practice inaugural awards ceremony at last month’s Birmingham NIP Event. I was invited to attend the awards lunch after being shortlisted in the Dermatology category. I had no idea I would end up the winner! Not only has my work on baby skincare been recognised but our Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet is also mentioned on the award. To see just how surprised I was check out the stop press page.

The TIPS Forum continues to grow at a steady rate. Membership is modest the number of visitors popping in and out for a look is phenomenal – do come and join in the chat when you can. Register at

An environmentally sympathetic theme...
Although this was not planned, our festive e-newsletter has an environmentally sympathetic theme. I often find that there is a strong link between good quality products, services, websites and eco-friendly, carbon conscious and above all ethical values. All the companies featured in this e-newsletter have shown they are doing their bit for mankind, and not just for commercial gain.

Please check out the TIPS website for information and advice on breastfeeding, baby skincare,cup feedingcord blood banking and of course the pages and pages of reviews for our latest TIPS award winning products. Read on for the reviews on featured products, websiteseventbook reviewsarticlepodcasts and extra special DVD

Read on to find out who the latest TIPS competition winners are. There are a lot of TIPS winners with the regular e-competition (drawn mid-month), the main e-newsletter competition and of course our numerous e-newsletter mini-competitions (six in this issue)! More wonderful new prizes on offer in this e-newsletter – good luck! And don't forget to check out the brand new TIPS My story....

Remember if you’re 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 products ::Mamaflage nursing poncho and Shampoo Rinse cup..tipsducktipsduck


While we have not had time to set up any large scale trials we are as busy as ever with retrospective testing and one-off trials with more to follow in the near future. The latest results to be posted online include the Mamaflage nursing poncho and the innovative Shampoo Rinse cup from Trendykid.
Read all about it here.



For your chance to win one of two Shampoo Rinse Cups by Trendykid check out mini-competition 1
For your chance to win one of two Mamaflage nursing ponchos (one of each design) check out mini-competition 2.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website :: www.jacksonreece.comtipsducktipsduck

Jackson Reece (


It was a chance meeting at the 2006 Baby Show in Belfast that led me to meet up with Colin and Janet Cordner, creators of the revolutionary herbal baby wipe called Jackson Reece® after their first two sons. I was so impressed by this product that I decided to include these wipes in the very first TIPS® trial of baby wipes. A total of seven natural baby wipes were sourced and the manufacturers were invited to submit their products for testing (all major brands were excluded as they did not meet the criteria for natural ingredients). Parent Testers loved the Jackson Reece® wipes which went on to scoop the Best of the best award in March 2007.
Colin and Janet explained the secret behind this innovative baby wipe which took many years of painstaking research and development. This is what they said:

“As the parents of babies with sensitive skin, we’ve drawn inspiration from nature to develop our herbal soothing wipes so that parents, just like us, needn’t worry about the many different ingredients that can potentially harm and aggravate delicate skin. Jackson Reece® Soothing Herbal Wipes offer parents a natural, healthier alternative. Our new Kinder by Nature Baby Wipes contain organic tea tree oil, aloe vera and lavender. Our formula uses a vegetable based preservative system suitable to vegans and ingredients from renewable natural plant resources. At Jackson Reece® we’re committed to helping parents improve the happiness and well being of their babies and children. Our unique herbal formula soothes and protects against common skin irritations such as nappy rash and eczema and contains none of the harsh ingredients that can potentially damage delicate skin. Our wipes are hypoallergenic and dermatologically approved for sensitive skin. The environment is important to us too. That’s why our wipes are bio-degradable, and our packs are degradable, specially designed to keep wipes moist. We are a carbon conscious company and our wipes are manufactured in the UK supporting local jobs. Jackson Reece® Herbal baby wipes do not contain Parabens, SLS, SLES, Alcohol or Lanolin.”

When the new formulation Jackson Reece® baby wipes were launched in 2008, they were tested by more than 20 TIPS Parent Testers. The introduction of biodegradable cloth, degradable packaging, naturally sourced preservative, and the fact that these wipes are now manufactured in the UK (guaranteeing a great carbon footprint) warranted a TIPS Editor’s Choice Award. This was added to the long list of accolades this unique wipe has received.
Our TIPS featured toddler is holding on to a pack of Jackson Reece® baby wipes - this is a total coincidence, but it does show how quickly and widely word is spreading. More products are in the pipeline and I predict that very soon Jackson Reece® will become a household name – watch this space!

For more details on how to get your hands (and face and nappy area and….) on the Best of the best Jackson Reece® baby wipe or to read the baby wipe reviews go to


See our mini-competition 3 for a chance to win a box of 12 packs of the award winning Jackson Reece Baby wipes.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website ::www.thebiggreenidea.orgtipsducktipsduck

The big green idea (



I was lucky to meet up with Brigit at the BabyGROE Awards weekend back in June this year when TIPS were shortlisted for two awards, one of which was judged by Brigit. We hit it off immediately and soon got chatting about our shared interests. She explained her amazing Big Green Idea project with an enthusiasm that is all too rare these days, so I wanted to let Brigit tell you all about this wonderfully simple but unique idea. This really could make a BIG difference, not only to people but also to the environment we live in. Here is what Brigit had to say: 
“Following the airing of the BBC2 programme It’s Not Easy Being Green, my family and I received thousands of emails from viewers telling us that they would really like to live more sustainable lifestyles but didn’t know where to begin. Significantly, many of these emails came from people on low incomes, living in flats or rented accommodation, and/or from people without access to land to grow their own vegetables.
Over the last few years I have met many inspiring individuals who manage to combine living on very limited budgets with living low impact lifestyles, and I believe that if only people could be shown how easy it is to make a few changes…whatever their circumstances…they might just give it a go.
So, last year, with the help of some wonderfully dedicated volunteers, I set up a charity - ‘The Big Green Idea’. 
The aim of ‘The Big Green Idea’ is to show people that sustainable living can be easy, healthy, inexpensive and fun. We achieve this in an innovative, accessible and hands-on way…using a specially adapted eco-bus which is ready to take bookings for 2009! 
Our Big Green Bus is equipped with a solar-powered cinema, a small library and a space for talks and workshops. We carry a range of energy and water-saving devices, green parenting, skincare and cleaning products and information, recycled items, clothing made from sustainable crops, composting systems and much more besides. As well as showcasing greener alternatives to everyday items and demonstrating how these can help us to reduce our impact on the planet, we also offer information about local environmental initiatives and support groups.
To date, with the goodwill and help of people from all over the UK, we have raised over £13,000 which I have used to help with the costs of refitting of the bus. However, we really need to triple that amount to meet the costs of getting the bus out on tour by spring 2009. I’m currently filling in grant funding application forms (I bet a few TIPS readers have been down that path!) and looking for appropriate sponsors/partners, but I’m also hoping that individuals and businesses will help by making donations.
Any help we are given, no matter how large or small, will aid our goal to get out there and start making a real difference. So if you have been inspired by what you have read here please consider taking out a monthly subscription, or making a donation online and become a part of this exciting project so that we can make it happen!
We are currently planning a route for the 2009 bus tour, which we will publish on our website before Christmas. For more details of where you can join up with The Big Green Bus, make a donation, or make a booking for your local area please have a look at
Thank you so much for reading this!”
Why not  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information?

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Stress-busting for childrentipsducktipsduck

Stress-busting for Children - the best kept secret since Father Christmas.
By Rita Sparks

Published by Evolutionary Pathways (1 Sep 2004) 
ISBN-10: 0954819500 
RRP: £7.99


What kind of life do you want for your child? The very best – of course!
We all want our children to grow up to be confident secure adults getting the very best out of life right from the word go, but sometimes life isn’t so easy. It brings with it any number of challenges that the young child may not be equipped to deal with and that can lead to worries, anxieties and sometimes even physical symptoms.
These challenges can lead to unconscious stress and this can have a marked effect on the child’s behaviour. It can lead to nervousness, anxiety, bedwetting fears, nightmares, aggression and many other unwelcome symptoms.
This can be a big worry for parents………. but help is at hand and we can now do something about this unconscious stress in a truly uncomplicated and fun way.
Rita Sparks’ book “Stress-busting for Children” provides a very down to earth explanation of how this stress forms as well as the means to do something about it, using a story. Her book is described as “the best kept secret since Father Christmas”.
Storytelling has been with us since time began and what could be nicer than the chance to tell your child a bedtime story specifically designed to make them feel better! 
Children have wonderful, powerful imaginations. Connecting with their imagination through storytelling (the book has a story for girls and one for boys) allows many unconscious anxieties to be released in a very safe way, and lets the child grow into a happy, confident adult…better equipped to fulfil their potential in life.
As a therapist, I’ve worked with many children but I firmly believe that there can be no better way to achieve positive results than through a trusting parent-child relationship, and with the help of this book and the little bit of magic contained therein…it’s easy!
Review by Elaine Brown

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Ross A Little Miracletipsducktipsduck

Ross A Little Miracle
by Eileen Granger

Published by Westward Media Ltd (2006)
ISBN: 0954047478
RRP: £5

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The proceeds will be divided between CLIC Sargent and Schiehallion Ward, Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.


I recently attended the Yummy Mummy event in Glasgow as a thank you from May Gilchrist for my work as a member of the Ayrshire fundraising Committee for the charity CLIC Sargent. I have been helping out for the past four years and I am ashamed to say had never managed to speak to fellow member Eileen Granger. We had met a few times at the local events but hadn’t had the chance to chat. Thankfully our drive up to the Glasgow event allowed us to compare stories about why we were involved in this very worthwhile cause. 
My link to this charity was the launch party for my book in May 2004. May Gilchrist, fundraising Manger at CLIC Sargent House (close to where I held my party) was a great help to me at the time and I wanted to say thank you by donating the proceeds of my event. Having lost our own first son Calum to cot death we were all too aware of the heartbreak that losing a child can have on a family.
Each year CLIC Sargent provides 500 families with a child affected by cancer a much needed holiday at Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick. The running costs of Malcolm Sargent House are £500,000 per annum and they receive no lottery or government funding relying solely on donations from the general public and fundraising groups such as ours to help them achieve their aim. 
Eileen’s link was similarly poignant having been through the trauma of seeing her baby diagnosed with rare kidney tumours and the resulting years of treatment. Her book called Ross A Little Miracle is a heartbreakingly honest account of this journey for her and her family. She eloquently describes the devastating effect this had on everyone involved but the overwhelming message is one of hope. I would encourage you to buy this book and know that your contribution will make a real difference to others going through the same experiences. 
Thankfully the story has a very happy ending as you can see from our recent picture of Ross (above) who is now a happy and healthy schoolboy just like any other.
Eileen has gone on to work tirelessly for the CLIC Sargent charity and to date has helped to raise over £65,000. She was rewarded for this great achievement in the West FM Community Awards night in September 2008 where she was crowned the ‘Ayrshire’s unsung Hero’.
Many congratulations to Eileen and her family and all the very best for the future.
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For your chance to win one of five copies of Eileen Granger’s book check out mini-competition 5

tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Wholefoods Market - Mummies Morningtipsducktipsduck

Kensington Store, The Barkers Building,

63-97 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5S

15 December 2008 10-11.30


WholefoodsLogo Weleda Logo blue 90px (1)


Established in 1980 with one small store in Austin, Texas, Wholefoods Market is now the world leader in natural and organic foods, with more than 270 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. 
I am delighted to be joining my friends at Weleda for an informal Mummies Morning at the Kensington store where we will be giving away copies of my award winning Babycare – back to basics ™ leaflet as well as answering any questions from parents regarding baby skincare issues or anything else that might be troubling them.
I look forward to meeting you so please come along and say hello.


For your chance to win a set of award winning Weleda Baby products check out mini-competition 4

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Breast feeding 'cuts cancer risk in mothers'tipsducktipsduck



I am continually surprised that the protective benefits of breastfeeding, especially in reducing the risks of breast cancer, are not more widely publicised. This is why I have decided to feature the Nicole Martin's article published in the Daily Telegraph on 29 September 2008. Not only does she raise awareness on this vital piece of health promotional advice but she also highlights research findings that speak for themselves. All new mothers have the ability to reduce their long term risks of developing breast cancer by feeding their baby. The longer they breastfeed the more this risk is reduced. And their babies get the perfect food and the very best start in life so it’s a win win situation! You can read this article here.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: From bump to breastfeedingtipsducktipsduck


From bump to breastfeeding – following  real mothers' stories to find out how
Directed by Jacqui Smith and edited by Sasha Olswang Brain child of Alison Baum, Founder of best Beginnings and in collaboration with NHS England, NHS Scotland, Welsh Assembly Government and Health Promotion Agency
Available in English, with English subtitles, British Sign Language, Urdu, Bengali, Somali and Polish
Free for all pregnant women in the UK

Distributed by
Watch the DVD online here

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This DVD has a beautifully designed ‘two-hearts’ logo which looks like the baby is kissing the breast. Featuring video clips of real mums’ - and dads’ - experiences of breastfeeding presented in a realistic and down-to-earth way this DVD is truly exceptional. Additionally, navigating to every section of the menu is child’s play. This DVD is without doubt a pleasure to watch.
The simple and concise format refreshingly covers all aspects of breastfeeding from preparation during pregnancy, through the early days and beyond. All scenes are shot locally - either in the mums’ homes or at breastfeeding peer support groups. The emphasis on ongoing support demonstrates how important this is to long term success of breastfeeding. 
The only topic not mentioned in the DVD is relactation (either after a period of artificial feeding or when a combination of breast and bottle has been used) but I can forgive them for this. 
You will have to watch the DVD to enjoy its many pearls of wisdom. My particular favourite was the practical demonstration involving a group of mums drinking tubes of fromage frais with their heads in an upright position. This explains perfectly why it is far easier to drink if you just tip your head back - showing viewers why a baby needs to be able to do this when feeding. This demonstration explains positioning and attachment without any need for confusing diagrams or descriptions. I also loved the analogy of a baby being born with its very own ‘lunchbox’ of fat deposits to keep him going until the breast milk is fully in. This would reassure any new mum that baby only needs tiny amounts of food (alongside the correct advice that formula top-ups are definitely not needed) at the time when mum and baby get to grips with this new found skill we call breastfeeding.
I am more than happy to endorse this excellent DVD as a ‘must have’ for all pregnant mums, even those who have breastfed before. The stories are not only uplifting and sincere but also overwhelmingly positive and empowering. This proves to the viewer that breastfeeding really is for everyone and not just a determined minority. 
Don’t just take my word for it because I also asked Nicola,a TIPS parent Tester to review this DVD and this is what she had to say:

"Just finished watching the DVD for the second time and I love it - think it’s absolutely great. It made me feel really proud of the fact that I breastfeed and also really emotional about it (in fact I really wanted to wake my baby and feed her again!). I could relate to so many of the comments made by the other mums and thought it was definitely very motivational for mums considering or just starting to breastfeed. 
I really liked the extra film "the first few days and weeks" which explains about the size of the baby's stomach and the very small amounts of milk needed - which is why breast is best. It also explains that bottle fed babies are probably overfed and only go longer between feeds because they are absolutely stuffed!! I think this topic should be explained in greater detail at the ante-natal classes. Surely more women would breastfeed if they fully understood the reasons and benefits for doing it. I don't even remember feeding being mentioned at all during my ante-natal classes with my first child. I didn't bother going to them this time, as I felt they were a bit of a waste of time. The DVD also mentions that one of the mums trained to be a breastfeeding support peer which is something I'm quite interested in and will definitely look into once I have more time. 
One of the mums is still feeding her child at two years. She said how she'll be upset when it stops and I feel the same way. I think I'll cry when that day comes because I just love doing it and the special bond that it gives you with your baby. I just wish I'd known more about breastfeeding with my first child. I now know that I shouldn't have supplemented with formula, as this probably affected my milk supply and is perhaps the reason why I thought he was such a hungry baby. In fact, if I'd just ignored a lot of the advice I was given and persevered with exclusive breastfeeding we would both have been more content in the long run! 
Overall I cannot rate this DVD more highly and would highly recommend it to all new mums whatever their past experiences may have been".


If you are pregnant and unable to access this DVD please enter our mini-competition 6

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured podcast :: My baby radiotipsducktipsduck


Sharon’s interviews about breastfeeding, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby baths, cuddle towels and decongestants are regularly broadcast on at 10am and 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (in the ‘ask an expert’ slot). Click on the logo at the foot of our homepage and follow the link to ‘Today’s shows’ then click on ‘Tune in’ to listen online

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tipsduck : :New : :My Story : :New : : My Story : :Newtipsduck


This brand new feature will be included in each TIPS e-newsletter. So if you have a story that you would like to share, find out how to do this here. Every two months, the best story will be published on the TIPS website. The author of the winning story will receive a small prize as a thank you for sharing it. So get writing and we look forward to reading your entries.
For the first ‘My Story’ Pamela our Advertising and Sales Assistant has kindly agreed to tell us what happened to her when her first son Adam was born three years ago. Read Pamela's story here.

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tipsduck :: TIPS::Competition winnerstipsduck


15 September – 14 October 2008
Q : When did Sharon visit the Sure Start Baby café in Manchester?
A: 28 August 
WinnerMatt from England

15 October – 14 November 2008
Q: Name the range of baby skincare products tested by TIPS in September 2008
A: Earth Friendly Baby
Winner:Marica from England

e-newsletter 10 main competition

The lucky winner of the Orgasmic Birth DVD is Kat from England

e-newsletter 10 mini competitions:

  • The lucky winners of the one decongestant set from Baby Nose Clear® worth £18.99, six Snufflebabe Vapour Rub and six Sterimar® Original Sea Water Microspray are:Kathleen from Scotland, Rosaria from Scotland,Marica from England, Joanne from England, Catherine from England, Julie from England
    Sarah from England
    from Scotland,Rabea from Scotland, 
    from England
    from England
    from Scotland, andVivienne from England
  • The six lucky winers of the Bawbags boxer shorts sets (worth £9.99 each) are:
    Helen from UK, 
    Nisha from England,
    Miles from Scotland, 
    Ingrid from Scotland,
    Mary from Scoland, andMitchell from Scotland
  • The lucky winner of the two Korres mum-to-be products is:
    Susan from England
  • The lucky winner of the copy of Fit to Bust is:
    Pip from England
  • The three lucky winners of the Fathers-to-be handbooks are:
    Matt from England,
    Sarah from England, andCarolyn from England
  • The lucky winner of the DVD, cards plus Fathers institute toolkit is:
    Jenny from England

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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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Read TIPS reviews...

- article

- book


- events

- products

- podcast

- websites

- Late News

regular features....

- advice line


- TIPS Testers' pix!


- My Story NeW!

new competitions

- Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


Here is a delightful picture of baby Millie cuddling in close to her Mummy Joanne. This perfectly shows the benefits of ‘baby wearing’ as the very best form of travel!
TIPS toddler


Aisha is looking very cheeky here and purely by coincidence she is pictured playing with her pack of the TIPS Award winning Jackson Reece baby wipes. Obviously her Mum is a shrewd shopper!
TIPS family


We just couldn’t resist this Nativity scene for our festive newsletter. Here is the Smyth family complete with new baby Michael. What a treat!
TIPS bump


Here is a picture of Audrey’s very glamorous bump. This picture was taken at her sister’s wedding a few weeks before baby Seth arrived. As you can see he was well worth the wait!
If you would like your baby or todder to feature in the next issue of the TIPS e-newsletter, just email me their picture.
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 7) – out now!


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.

We are working on the draft for version 8 - so watch out for updates on the TIPS website.

TIPS top tips!

Colocynth 30c granules are an excellent natural remedy for infant colic. They can be ordered from Freeman's Homeopathic Pharmacy.

TIPS competitions
TIPS Hamper -competition

We have a real treat for you. This unique prize but will be a wonderful gift for any new parent. The TIPS Hamper is full of not one but 17 TIPS Award winning products worth more than £150! Find out what is in the TIPS Hamper here.
For a chance to win the hamper, answer this question: What award did Sharon win at the recent Nursing in Practice event (see stop press for a clue). To enter, email your answers to Brigitte here. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 12.

Trendykid mini-competition 1

We have two Shampoo Rinse Cupsby Trendykid to give away. To enter email the word 'Trendykid' to Brigitte here
We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.


shampoo rinse cup2

Mamaflage mini-competition 2

We have two Mamaflage nursing ponchos (one of each design) to give away.To enter email the word 'Mamaflage' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.


Jackson Reece mini-competition 3

We have a box of 12 packs of the award winning Jackson Reece baby wipes to give away. To enter email the words 'Jackson Reece' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.



Weleda mini-competition 4

We have a set of award winning Weleda Baby products to give away.To enter email the word 'Weleda' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.

Weleda Logo blue 90px

Ross - A Little Miracle mini-competition 5

We have five copies of Eileen Granger's book to give away. To enter email the word 'Ross' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.


Best Beginnings mini-competition 6

We have 10 copies of the Best Beginnings DVDTo get your copy email the words' Best Beginnings' to Brigitte here. We will announce the recipients' names in the TIPS e-newsletter 12.



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