The sing-along nursery rhyme collection- what we’re reading

IMG_7976The sing-along nursery rhyme collection is a large (approximately A4 size), noisy, board book from M&S. My daughter was bought this for Christmas. Initially I thought it was too similar to this nursery rhyme book that I bought when I was pregnant and the first children’s book I wrote about here on the blog. However over the last month I have realised that the two books a different enough to both have a place on our bookshelf. Both books are by the same illustrator and I love the style. There are only a couple of nursery rhymes that are in both books so we now have plenty of nursery rhymes to choose from.

IMG_7978 IMG_7977Being a large board book, this book is very sturdy and able to withstand over keen little hands grabbing and hitting the pages. I also find that my baby finds it easier to turn the pages (when the book is flat on a surface or supported by someone else) than smaller board books. The large size also makes the beautiful illustrations even more eye catching to my baby.

IMG_7981There are 8 nursery rhymes in this book, with each one enjoying a full double page illustration, clear text for you to read/sing along and a button to press for the tune to be played along. You have to be quick though as once the button is pressed the tune starts and you can easily miss the first few words if you are not prepared. My baby loves this book. It’s not surprise to me really as she loves music and singing.

I’m linking up again this week with Carie at Space for the butterflies. If you’ve been reading head over there and link up or look for more inspiration.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

300 picture book challenge

Both baby and I are not feeling well this week so this post has taken rather longer than usual to write and publish. These figures refer to week ending Monday 27th January (I start my reading week on a Tuesday to fit in with what we’re reading). This week we have read 13 new books (the same number as last week). We visited the library one afternoon and collected a few more books to try and we also gained two new books for our own shelves. These two new books were from her book start pack (from the book trust) that we received at her 9 month check up with a health visitor. You can find the full list of what we have read so far (and a brief review of each) on my pinterest board.

300pb-wk4Number of picture books read this week – 13

Total number of picture books read in 2014 – 56/300

Number of trips to the library this week – 2 (one to pick books and 1 to attend rhyme time)

Number of books added to our collection this week – 2

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IMG_7950This was how I found my baby sleeping when I checked in on her before bed one night. How is it even comfy? I couldn’t resist taking a picture. I cranked my ISO up as her bedroom was dark and I had to use manual focus so the photo is a bit blurry and grainy. To compensate I edited the photo to black and white. Not technically my best photo but I still love the photo because I want to remember this moment.

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Dear baby…

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**Another post that’s been sat in draft for almost a month!**

Dear baby,

You turned 8 months just after Christmas. You are despartly trying to crawl but you are not quiet there yet. You can get pretty much any where you want though by rolling and you are still happiest when you are on your feet (supported by someone of course). You were weighed a couple of weeks ago and you are now 17lbs 7oz. You love your food but you also still love your milk. I am still feeding you milk myself and you are still easily distracted (and rarely feed if anyone else is around) but it is easier now that you are drinking water and eating solids. You seem to mainly want milk when you wake up and before bed. You will usually have one or perhaps two feeds during the day but they are short and if we are out you will usually skip your mid morning feed.

Weaning is going well. You eat most things that I give you. We still struggle to get you to eat white fish but you will eat salmon. Other than that you have eaten pretty much everything I have given you. You happily eat mashed food and cous cous mixed with it, you are not put off by texture at all. You are getting better at feeding yourself finger food too.

We have just enjoyed your first Christmas. During December we enjoyed many festive activities together. We went to a Christmas messy play party where you enjoyed playing with jelly. We sang Christmas songs at rhyme time at the library and enjoyed a festive special at your regular music class. You loved all the glitter, shiny and sparkling Christmas decorations and lights especially Grandma & grandad’s fiber optic tree that you reached out for every time you were near enough.

IMG_7465Father Christmas (and all your family and friends) spoilt you at Christmas with lots of presents. You got a wheely bug ladybird to ride around on and a little kitchen that is also a walker, both of which you are still a bit little for yet but you will be enjoying them in no time. You got a ball pool, books and toys such as stacking rings, shape sorters and stacking cups which you are enjoying already. We spent a few days before Christmas and Christmas day itself with your grandma and grandad in Yorkshire and then on boxing day we travelled back to Cheshire to spend a few days with your other grandparents. We saw lots of your cousin whilst we were there too and he loved playing with your toys and you seemed to enjoy sharing them with him.

You are still a happy and content baby and you sleep fantastically. Bed time seems to be gradually creeping later despite us starting bath time at the same time most nights. You seem to be taking longer over your milk feed perhaps because you take less in the day. It’s not the end of the world though as you are usually asleep by 8:30 and you will then sleep through until anywhere between 7 and 9am. Every couple of weeks or so you will have one or perhaps two nights where you will wake in the night for an extra feed but I know we are very lucky that you sleep so well.

Love Mummy xx

My magical M&S dining room

dining-roomM&S are currently running a competition for bloggers. To be in with a chance of winning £200 of M&S vouchers we have to create a blog post showing our dream dining room and how we would dress it for a special dinner party, using M&S products of course.

This is my dream dining room in more ways than one since at present we do not have one. I would love a dining room so that we could have family over to eat without us all having to squash round our kitchen table, or worse, some have to eat on their knees in our living room. At the center of the room of course would be a big wooden table. This extending one is just perfect (Padstow extending table, £449) and I love how it looks with these chairs (2 Alton dinning chairs, £199). I love how well they complement each other and how they are modern and light. I couldn’t put together my dream dining room without somewhere for my baby to sit/eat. Since M&S do not sell high chairs, I’ve included my dream high chair, the Stokke Tripp Trapp. Doesn’t it look perfect with this table and chairs? Of course because the dining table and chairs are so simple a statement light fitting is just what this room needs (Original BTC drop 1 group 6 drop ceiling lamp, £619).

I don’t dream of fancy dinner parties but relaxed home cooking shared with our extended family. I love to cook but I’m not one for making starters or overly fancy food. My style is more roast dinners or big pans of pasta or risotto put straight on the table for my family to help themselves to. Along side there would be home made breads and to finish I would bake something if I had time or perhaps a simple fruit crumble. So with this in mind these are the items I would choose to dress my table for a special occasion. As you can see I’ve kept it fairly simple except for a few splashes of bright blue. Here’s the full details of what I have chosen.

4 Maxim red wine glasses, £15
Indigo serving bowl, £25
16 piece Avalon cutlery set, £25
4 Acacia placemats, £25
Indigo side plate, £6
Indigo dinner plate, £8
Cast iron shallow casserole, £65
Large urn glass hurricane candle holder, £25
Oak salad bowl, £39.50

This is my entry in to the M&S my maigical dining room competition.

Farmyard Hullabaloo – what we’re reading

IMG_7895We’ve had this book out of the library now for a couple of weeks and it is becoming a bit of a favorite in our house. It never fails to get a smile and an excited flap of my daughters arms when it is picked up from the pile. It’s not hard to see why she likes it.

IMG_7897IMG_7901Farmyard hullabaloo is written by Giles Andreae and Illustrated by David Wojtowycz. The book is simply a poem about all the animals on the farm and the noises they all make. Each animal gets it’s own page with a lovely illustration and a short verse. The book is slightly bigger than A4 size so the illustrations are big. They are also simple and bright so they instantly catch the attention of my baby. It’s written in rhyme with a really nice rhythm to the words so I enjoy reading it aloud and she sits smiling and hitting the pages which is her way of showing she is excited or enjoying something.

IMG_7907As well as reading the poem on each page I like to make the animal’s noise and point out something on the picture too her. I suspect we’ll end up buying this book for my daughter, I can see her enjoying it for many years to come. What’s more we’ve discovered a new auther/illustrator with a whole back catalogue for us to explore. That’s why I love visiting the library and joining in with the 300 picture challenge (see further down to see how we are getting on).

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

I’m linking up again this week with Carie at Space for the butterflies. If you’ve been reading head over there and link up or look for more inspiration.

300 picture book challenge

As well as reading favorite picture books again, we have read 13 new ones this week. I’m finding it easier than you would think at the moment. As well as reading some ‘new’ (first read this year) ones from our collection and another visit to the library, we have also read a few whilst we have been at play groups. You can find the full list of what we have read so far (and a brief review of each) on my pinterest board. Other favorites this week were

Untitled-1Number of picture books read this week – 13

Total number of picture books read in 2014 – 43/300

Number of trips to the library this week – 1

Number of library books borrowed –  9 this week, 23 year to date
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IMG_7754This week has been an exciting week for my baby, who is now 8 and a half months old. She’s nearly got another two teeth, she’s almost crawling (she gets in to the crawl position and rocks back and forwards so I know she’ll crawl any time now), trying to clap and saying dadda. She pulled herself up to be on her knees in her cot on Monday (very conveniently for my blog you chose the side of the cot facing the wall, I have a lovely photo though of the cheeky grin you pulled when you turned your head and spotted me watching) and on Friday she pulled herself up to standing on an activity cube a couple of times at my friend’s house (not done it again since at home though). I can’t wait to see what this week has in store for us.

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Halos N Horns baby products review

IMG_7147Over Christmas we have been testing out a couple of bath time products from Halos N Horns. I was kindly sent a bottle of baby bath, baby moisturiser and kids zingy orange hair and body wash.

When these products first arrived I liked the packaging. They are bright, modern and I am happy to have them in my bathroom. They are also easy to open, use and close without spills or using too much or too little product. I love that Halos N Horns don’t put SLS, parabens or other ingredients that can potentially irritate babies skin in their products. The products I have tested smell great and perform well. The baby bath has a lovely smell that is not overpowering, it’s kind to eyes and washes my baby’s hair well. Although there is a separate bubble bath available, this product does form some bubbles if added to the bath when you are running it. Please bear in mind that SLS is the ingredient responsible for foaming so if you are avoiding SLS then don’t expect lots of bubbles unless you use lots of product.

The baby moisturiser again smells very similar to the baby bath so they compliment each other well. It is none greasy and is absorbed quickly. My baby doesn’t particularly have dry skin except this winter her cheeks have become a little dry. A couple of days of using this moisturiser has cleared this bit of dry skin right up.

I have not used the kid’s zingy orange hair and body wash yet (out of interest when do you switch from baby to kids toiletries?) but it smells fantastic. Halos N Horns products are available to buy from Asda, boots, waitrose, co-operative, independent pharmacies and toys r us (as well as online). I’ve just checked Boots and the baby bath and Kids hair and body washes retail at £2.10 for 250mls and the baby moisturiser £3.59 for 250mls which is very competitive and I would be happy to buy them myself.

Disclosure:  I was kindly sent a bottle of baby bath, baby moisturiser and kids zingy orange hair and body wash. I was not asked for anything in exchange but since we loved these products I decided to tell you about them. All opinions are my own.