Monthly Archives: February 2012

Love2Read Personalised Picture Books

Are you looking for a special gift for your Mum or Grandma? Or perhaps you just want a special book to read together? How about a personalised picture book from Love2Read?

Love2Read offer books to inspire your child to read by adding the familiarity of family photos to your very own special book with easy to read phrases which will help you child learn to read. “My Mummy” starts with the prefix ‘My Mummy…’ but then you can add your choice of phrase, so if you have a photo which clearly shouts ‘My Mummy loves chocolate’ you can add it! There is also ‘My Mum’, ‘Our Mum’, and ‘Our Mummy‘ in the series as well as a variety of other titles including my favourite My Hero!

The keywords of the books are based on ‘High Frequency‘ words which children are expected to be able to read by the end of their first year at school, so offer you the chance to really boost your child’s literacy in an easy and fun way! If you want one in time for Mothers Day UK orders are being accepted until the 13th March for delivery in time for the special day!

Love2Read have offered one reader the chance to win their own personalised book! Just follow the easy steps on the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I reserve the right to re-draw the winner, in the event that winners do not reply within 72hours 
Winners will be selected at random
Contest Closes on 9th March 2012. 
Only entrants who complete all required entry steps will be eligible to win.
Only one prize per household.
Winners details will be passed onto Love2Read for prize fulfilment.
Sorry, this competition is only open to UK residents

Post Baby is there too much pressure to be perfect?

After a fantastic afternoon spent with FirstTimeMum1 and the combination of intellectual conversation with that of the usual Mummy conversations regarding poo and sleep (or rather the lack of it!) I got thinking about how much we expect of ourselves, especially after our first child. 

Now in my opinion, FirstTimeMum1 has got it sussed, she radiates confidence and baby H behaving like an absolute star while we nattered and ate cake with Boo and Elvis suggesting she really is doing something right! But we very quickly got on to the topic of weight, and how we’re both more *ahem* curvy than we used to be. Now, realistically, I have no excuse, Elvis is One! I have had over a year to recover from his birth, and Christmas was great but really no reason to be such a glutton. H is only 4months, and his Mummy looks like a young Nigella, fresh faced and feminine, she’s doing far better than I did after I had Boo! In fact I’m not sure I made it out of a tracksuit until 6months after his birth!! 

I looked at pictures of Ulrika Johnson last week, and was slightly stunned at how aged and almost frail she looks at the moment, I couldn’t help but seek out older photos of her, and look at this curvaceous woman who looked considerably younger and certainly looked much happier – do not think I am criticising her for being thin, I’m just expressing my opinion that she looked utterly gorgeous curvy.

 Do I feel pressure to be slim? Yes, indeed I do, I work in an environment where appearance is everything. I do believe that I’m healthier when I weigh less, and I certainly have a lot more energy. But is there really anything wrong with a Mum treating themselves to an extra bar of chocolate if it gets them through the sleepless nights and the sudden realisation that you cannot even go to the toilet without it being a military operation anymore? Surely it is better to comfort yourself with those extra calories than by other means?

Toddler Tantrums..I can scream louder!

Right, own up, which one of you has replaced my gorgeous baby boy with a screeching monster?? 


Over night, I have it appears been left with a monster! He bully’s his big brother, snatching, hitting and shrieking if he doesn’t get his own way. For example food, haha! He’s not going to eat the food he’s given! Not when there is much tastier looking food on someone elses plate, and as for the bowl his brother has…he wants it.. So, I feel as though I’m constantly either trying to ignore his temper or saying NO! I am not going to muck around with food, if he won’t eat it..fine, I’m digging my heels in and not backing down, especially as he perks up as soon as the fruit and custard appears.. yes..clearly he has his Mummy’s sweet tooth! Today after a battle of wills I won, and he ate his cheese sandwich, but the biggest battle was with myself, I hate seeing him upset and wanted to give in and let him just eat a banana or something! His canine teeth are just emerging, and that combined with his new acrobatic skills are leading to plenty of fun and games!

Say cheese!!!! – Magpie Monday!

I have been having withdrawl symptoms, I haven’t been hunting through the treasure trove of charity shops or even been to a carboot sale (although that was mostly as I believed they weren’t on until Easter!).
On Sunday, we braved the bracing wind and icey roads to go on a outing, on the way to our destination we passed the venue of our local carboot and I screeched 
“Stooooooooop!!!!!!!” There were only about 10 cars, and only Boo and I braved the cold to investigate! Initially I looked on disappointed as it all seemed to be things being cleared from Christmas, with the odd baby related item thrown in for good measure. Just as we were leaving I noticed a box of old books, and hidden in the box was:

The condition isn’t great, the strap is missing and the paper label from the bottom is torn, but the mechanism works, the pictures can be seen clearly and they are so kitsch! I’ve proudly added it to the growing collection of vintage Fisher Price toys I’ve been collecting! For 50pence it has provided a huge amount of entertainment already!

Happy 1st Birthday to #MagpieMonday! Check out all the other second-hand finds at Me and my Shadow!

Can’t sleep, won’t sleep?

I have become accustomed to sleep. The boys have been sleeping well for months, with the exception of early waking the night has been peaceful and I’ve not been disturbed over night. This is in stark contrast to the first 20months with just Boo, he would wake reliably at 2.30am, and we’d spend the next 45minutes settling him for him to then get up at 5am..they were long days and I was a zombie! We never complained about it to anyone, accepting it was part of parent hood, but I realise now some people have more success with their child sleeping and some have less! I used to sit and listen to one ‘friend’ in particular who would spend our weekly catch up complaining that her baby didn’t sleep..(…it turned out her baby actually went to bed at 9pm, got up at 7am..) and she would constantly add the words ‘You have no idea what it feels like to have your child refuse to sleep’. Did I feel like bashing my head on the table? Yes!

 Over the last few weeks, E has started to wake at about 1am and cry so much that he wakes Boo up. Boo is very good natured and after a drink and trip to the loo he settles back to sleep, E is more determined he’ll continue screeching until he is exhausted and falls asleep. Last night after carrying him and trying to calm him for 10minutes, I resorted to letting him cry in his cot for 2 or 3 minutes (more than anything as I needed to calm myself down as sobbing Mummy isn’t the best way to calm baby!) and he fell asleep before I could pick him up again. As I’m sitting here writing this and watching him chewing on a piece of toast, it occurs to me that he is probably teething his big teeth. I wonder if a dose of calpol before bed may be the solution to a sound nights sleep? 

So hands up, who else is still having a broken nights sleep and do you have any tips to keep going even though you’re shattered?

I have no useful tips other than..fresh air makes everything seem better!


I came across PiggyBankKids quite by accident on twitter a while back. Their name intrigued me as I’d never heard of them before, and when I learnt more I had to share.

PiggyBankKids was set up in 2002 by Sarah Brown after the death of her daughter Jennifer aged just 10 days, who had been born 7 weeks early. After the tragedy of losing her own daughter she made a decision to set up a charity to fund research to try to prevent other families suffering such terrible losses.

PiggyBankKids helps to fund the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory which undertakes research into why labour is triggered early in some pregnancies and the causes and consequences of low birth weight. This video explains the research and introduces you to one of the many people who are benefiting from the work of PiggyBankKids:

So what can you do to help? First of all follow Piggy Bank kids on twitter, and help raise awareness that they are out there! If you are on Facebook ‘Like’ this photo and give PiggyBankKids the opportunity to have their charity mascot run in the special charity mascot race at the Olympic Stadium!

As it is 2012 and the year we in the UK are hosting the Olympics why not challenge yourself (and friends!) to take part in a Gold Challenge for Piggy Bank Kids? You don’t need to be an Olympic Athlete to get out there and challenge yourself to take part in any of the 5, 10,  20 or all 30 Olympic sports and get your family and friends sponsoring you! Who knows you might even discover a new hobby in the process? Too energetic? Why not treat yourself to something from the PiggyBankKids Shop I love the disco piggy bank

PiggyBankKids also support a range of other projects with several other fantastic children charities offering them small grants which provide them with invaluable extra support.
Remember every donation really is vital to the amazing work that this charity is supporting. To think that some babies are born weighing less than a bag of sweets and stand a better chance of survival thanks to this research is really quite special.

Win Tickets to Crufts 2012!

The Kennel Club have kindly sent me two pairs of tickets to Crufts 2012 to give away! Crufts takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 8th – 11th March. The tickets will enable you and a friend to visit the show on your chosen day,  and remember that accompanied under 8’s go free!

To enter to win a pair of tickets please tell me in a comment below which class at Crufts you’d most like to see and why?

Please remember to leave either your twitter name and/or email address so I can contact you if you win! 

Competition Closes at 9am 22nd February 2012

Terms and Conditions:

I reserve the right to re-draw the winner, in the event that winners do not reply within 72hours 
Winners will be selected using 

There will be two winners, each will win one pair of tickets to attend Crufts on their chosen day. N.B tickets are NOT valid for Best in Show.
Only one entry per person. 

Only entrants who complete all required entry steps will be eligible to win.

Only one prize per household. 

Winners will be required to provide their postal address in order to be sent their prize.