March Beauty.

Today is Sunday 29th March and I am struggling. Lockdown is hard in the week but it seems so much harder at the weekend. The whole family still have that ‘weekend mindset’ and right now that just leads to disappointment. Every day is the same. It’s like being in Crimbo Limbo but without the turkey and with a terrifying pandemic. In fact, if at Christmas lunch someone had a crystal ball and said that this would be the state of the world come March I would have thought it was the synopsis of a bad channel 5 film.

Three kids under seven including an right month old who is still up three times a night. A month ago I thought I was bossing it. Tired but coping. Three kids under seven and a pandemic is a completely different scenario. Hats off to those who are managing it. I am struggling.

  • La Roche- Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream. ยฃ24.00.

This was my first frolic down Retinol Boulevard and I am now a convert as my skin is definitely brighter and smoother since using.

So Retinol/retinoids/vitamin A. There is not much that this bad boy doesn’t do. Acne, aging, pigmentation, scarring, rosacea…. retinol is the skincare golden ticket. I have to admit that I was always a bit wary. Gone are the days of a simple Oil of Olay skincare regime. Retinoids, acids, BHAs, AHAs, they all sound a little terrifying and make me feel like I am back at school struggling with chemistry. So even though this isn’t a doctor prescribed retinol, I was pretty careful. I applied it every other day, I avoided the creases round my nose and just applied to cheeks, forehead and chin. I had no irritation so after a couple of weeks I progressed to every night. You only need a pea sized amount so it will last you. This tube has kept me going for 6 months now. For me, this product has definitely made my skin smoother…no bumpy bits, my skin looks more even- fewer red bits, although my chin still needs work. I can’t say for definite that it has done a Benjamin Button on me and made me look 10 again but right now my skin is in pretty good shape so it’s defo a product that I will continue to use!

  • Yo Glow Wishful. ยฃ34.00 *

Yellow!!!! I LOVE yellow. I think if I was in advertising, I would put everything in yellow. It conjures up feelings of happiness, sunshine, warmth, lemons, freshness….basically all good things. The sun is shining permantly at the moment and it’s like Covid19 is giving us all the finger and doing a particularly evil laugh. My way of compensating this is to have daffodils in every room. My little bit of sunshine indoors. โ˜€๏ธ ๐ŸŒผ ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‹โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒผ. I was kindly gifted this product so I was already excited about using it and then Caroline Hirons said it was proper good….hopes were high. You apply it to dry skin (this is not a makeup remover) and massage in for about a minute. Scrubs often contain gritty bits but this uses cellulose which combined with fruit acids and the friction of massaging your skin makes little cellulosy balls. This is NOT I repeat NOT bits of your skin. It smells really nice and citrusy. When you rinse it off your skin feels so lovely and smooth. Mine skin felt smoother than a baby’s buttocks and not tight at all. My makeup went on like a dream.

*Kindly gifted.

  • L’Oreal Pro Glow Foundation. ยฃ8.35 Amazon Pantry.

Are you guys still wearing makeup?? One of the only good things about being in lockdown is that I am saving tons of money by not wearing any makeup. The other day I taught a singing lesson on Zoom so I decided to put a bit of slap on. Whambam my mood lifted. I felt like I was putting my game face on. Faking it in this instance really did make it.

Anyway, THIS FOUNDATION!!!!!! I love this foundation. Pre-Corona mornings in my house were totally nuts. Edie is always desperate for an intricate hairstyle with ‘no bumps.’ Ceci is usually livid that her Weetabix is too wet (honestly the weetabix saturation point is a big deal for Cill) and Maisie invariably is still wearing last night’s nappy. I have just about managed a shower long enough to wash off the ridiculous night sweats that I am coping with. I smear some makeup on my face, grab my trusty jogging bottoms and manoeuvre the massive buggy, grumpy cilla + scooter and Edie with her bump free hair to school. I am ALWAYS sweaty and stressed.

When I get home I get 5 mins to take my first look at my face. When wearing this foundation I am always pleasantly surprised. I actually look ok. In fact my skin looks…..(dare I say it without sounding like an arrogant tit)……good. Really good. It looks clear, glowy and not like I have been up all night feeding my ridiculous 8 month old who is still incapable of sleeping any longer than 2 hrs. As well as being a cleanser junkie I am a foundation junkie. I have tons of the stuff but hands down THIS IS THE BEST. Only available on Amazon at the mo. If you are haggard and knackered give this a whirl. Doesn’t feel too heavy, really glowy and lasts through a really sweaty and stressed school run.

Thank you for reading. Stay safe!!! Wash hands!

March Kids Reads

Well. I almost miss the halcyon days of Brexit dominating the news. Day 1 of the UK being in lockdown and I have just finished day 6 of homeschooling. My kids were off last week as Ceci had a cough. I honestly feel a little broken and completely overwhelmed by the task ahead. I look through this post and see that my last entry was all about going back to work and now I have no idea when that will be. It seems like the world has gone mad. Teachers, you have my unflinching respect. You are all amazing.

  • The Spy Who Loved School Dinners by Pamala Butchart. Illustrated by Thomas Flintham.
  • Reading age 6-8.

Izzy is really pleased to have been put in charge of the new girl at school. Mathilde is French, and Izzy and her friends canโ€™t wait to show her the den and itโ€™s moth, and to help her avoid school dinners (also known as poison). But Mathilde loves school dinners and even has seconds! And thatโ€™s when they know. Matilda is a spy and she has come to find out their secrets. They must stop her before itโ€™s too late!!!

Like her mother, Edie is a sucker for packaging and this bright pink cover was a hit. This book won Best Story in the 2015 Blue Peter Book Awards. Edie lapped it up. She was overjoyed to discover that Izzy’s teacher was called Miss Jones which is the name of her current Year 2 teacher and she also has a friend called Maisie which is the name of Edie’s little sister. To be honest I think the colour of the cover and the coincidence of the names was enough to make Edie love the book….it seems that my daughter is easily pleased. As she got further into the story she kept telling me that is was so exciting and every chapter ended on a mountain. After probing this somewhat I discovered she means ‘cliff hanger.’ Edie also loved the fact that Mathilde is French so she loved impressing us with her knowledge of French vocab.

When I was finally allowed to read it myself, I was really impressed with how well Butchart captured the children’s voices:

Mrs Kidd always makes us eat stuff we don’t want to. And she’s always moaning at us. Things like “Take your coat off! Or you won’t get the benefit when you go outside!” (Which doesn’t make sense). Or: “Izzy were you born in a barn?” And to begin with I just said “I don’t know,” because I wasn’t sure. But then I checked with mum and I wasn’t.

This is a great option for KS1 who are confident readers. I have read reviews who say it is a little girly. I disagree. Although the cover is bright pink, there is nothing ‘girly’ in the storyline and Izzy’s friend Zach is great fun. We will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

  • Anisha Accidental Detective by Serena Patel. Illustrated by Emma McCann.
  • Reading age 6-8.

๏ฟผ
Help! My super dramatic Aunty Bindi is getting married tomorrow and she’s having a mega meltdown. But ssssh! I’ve just found a ransom note, push through the letterbox, saying Uncle Tony, Bindi’s husband to be, has been kidnapped, and will only be freed if the wedding is cancelled! I have to keep this a secret otherwise it’ll be panic centralโ€ฆ I guess it’s up to me Anisha- Accidental Detective, to save the day.๏ฟผ

This is the second book with a bright pink cover that Edie has read this month. She has decided that all bright pink books are brilliant….I fear she is going to be setting herself up for disappointment somewhere down the line but not this time!!!

In 2017, Reflecting Realities Survey concluded that only 1% of children’s books have BAME main characters, and that only one childrenโ€™s book published that year was a comedy. Thanks to this book, children from Hindu families will find a character they can relate to. Anisha is brilliant. She is clever, witty, funny and great role model to girls. Edith is a 6 year old who just loves love and the fact that this book was about a wedding really appealed to her romantic mind!!!! She loved Aunty Bindi and all her face masks, makeup and beautiful clothes. Serena Patel adds footnotes to a lot of the pages to explain elements of Indian language, food and customs. We learnt the meaning of Bhagavan, Didi, Saath saath and also wedding customs like Mehndi. We also learned a lot about lobsters….do you know they wee out of their faces?!?!?!?!

The story zipped along and was a really good mystery. Patel created some brilliant secondary characters….Granny Jas is my fave! Emma McCann’s illustrations are really funny. We look forward to reading more in the series.

Thanks to a Usborne for the copy.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

โ€˜But the next baby born was truly divine, a sweet little child who was mine, all mine.โ€™ Iโ€™m not a particularly sentimental person but reading this to Maisie this morning made me a bit tearful. ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข I am starting to think about going back to work so looking into childcare. I have been off the longest with Maisie and Iโ€™m due to go back in August which is obviously the WORST month with summer holidays. I know every parent feels torn about working and leaving their kids. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”. I adore my job. I love the people and feel utterly privileged to get paid to stand on the most beautiful stage and sing for a living. It has to be said that it is a tough job when you have little ones. Endless school pick ups missed, endless bedtimes missed. At the moment I feel utterly torn about what is the right thing for my kids, husband and myself. I have missed singing so much the last few months but I know my children have massively benefitted from having a parent at home. Argh!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข

I hope you are all staying safe.

Thanks for reading.

February Kids Reads

Hello all. Being a bit of a lazy bones this morning and writing this while sat in bed. Maisie in the next room asleep. I am listening to the wind giving our roof a battering. We are in the middle of roof angst as we seem to have rain pouring in!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ We only got our loft extension done a couple of years ago and it’s clearly not fit for purpose!!!

So this month all three books are faves of my eldest daughter Edie, who is 6. Next month I will make sure I include some of Ceci’s faves.

  • The Nothing to see Here Hotel by Steven Butler. Illustrated by Steven Lenton.

Welcome to The Nothing to see Here Hotel for magical creatures, where weird is normal for Frankie Banister and his parents who run the hotel. When a messenger arrives announcing the imminent arrival of the goblin prince Grogbah, Frankie and his family rush into action to get ready for their important guest. But it soon becomes obvious that the Banister family are going to have their work cut out with the demanding prince and his never ending entourage, especially and it turns out the rude little prince is hiding a secret.๏ฟผ…

The only downside of Edie having caught the reading bug is that she no longer wants me to read to her at night. She gets into bed with her torch and reads aloud to herself (and her poor sister) for a good hour every evening. I have to holler up the stairs every 15 mins to tell her to go to sleep….it’s true, we all turn into our parents. As a result, in order to write reviews for Edie-age books I have to read them myself. In all honesty this is quite good as it quickly ups my Goodreads total and it means Edes and I have a mini book club ourselves.

After finishing this book a couple of days ago, I went on Goodreads to update. I decided not to give it a star rating because it is written for kids and a middle aged woman is definitely not the target audience. Sadly, I saw a few low star ratings and negative reviews written by adults who felt the book was offensive because of the racial connotations. Indeed it’s true that Prince Grogbah wears a turban and has three goblin wives but do people really think that Steven Butler is trying to make a negative statement about people from the Middle East????I am loathe to succumb to this snowflake attitude where literally anything and everything offends someone somewhere. The bottom line is that this is a book written for children and it has to be reviewed as such. My 6 year old (and this 38 year old) loved it. The story is fast paced and hilarious with some brilliant characters. The Molar Sisters and Berol Dunch who is an old wrinkly mermaid who insists on wearing a tiny bikini top were our faves. If your kids love the film Hotel Transylvania, they will ADORE this book. Steven Lenton who we love thanks to his illustrations for Shifty Mcgifty has done a brilliant job. Nearly every page has a fabulous picture with tons of things to spot. Edith (and myself) will definitely be reading the rest of the series!

  • A Book of Bears by Katie Viggers.

Meet the bears! Learn all about the eight different their families, their likes, their homes and more. Who is the biggest and who is the smallest? Which one is the honey monster and which one has anti-slip feet? Fun facts combined with Katie Viggers’ charming illustrations make this the perfect introduction to bears around the world.

Hands down the nicest book I have bought in a really long time. Thanks @luggylibrary for the recommendation. Because of this book, what Edie doesnโ€™t know about Spectacled ๐Ÿ‘“ bears ainโ€™t worth knowing. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค“This beautiful hard back book takes you through 8 bear families – Sloth๐Ÿป, Brown ๐Ÿป, Giant ๐Ÿผ, American Black ๐Ÿป,

Spectacled ๐Ÿป, Polar ๐Ÿป, Asiatic Black ๐Ÿป and the Sun ๐Ÿป. We learn about each family – how well they swim, climb and run and also if they hibernate. Katie Viggers’ illustrations are absolutely brilliant – beautiful but also funny. Edie particular enjoyed the Sloth Bear hair salon….apparently sloth bears have a lot of thick, black, shaggy hair around their faces…who knew?!? I love that there is enough humour to keep a 7 year old entertained but also enough factual content to engage older children. Anyway this is an absolutely beautiful book to buy as a pressie or add to your collection.

  • Meet the Twitches by Hayley Scott. Illustrated by Pippa Curnick.

Meet the Twitches, four tiny toy rabbits who live inside a Teacup House. 

They belong to a girl called Stevie and she loves playing with them. But guess what? These toy rabbits have a secret. They come alive when Stevie isn’t looking! 

Open up the Teacup House – and meet four little rabbit heroes with big ideas!

I had one of those soft-focus mum moments the other night when I found Edie (6) reading this book. I remember reading it to her a couple of years ago and now she is picking it up and reading it herself. I had a quick skim through to remind myself of what happened but the gist is that when Stevie moves house she is gifted a teacup-shaped dolls house with 4 little rabbit dolls. They come to life, get lost, need rescuing….you know the drill. Edie loves the illustrations. I think this book satisfies her need to read ‘big girls books’ but also appeals to her little girl head because it is full of colour illustrations. Hilariously when asked what she likes best she replied “the quality of the paper.” It’s nice paper to be fair….kinda glossy if you know what I mean. Edie loves the descriptions of Stevie’s outfits, and the detail of the teacup house. I remember loving the fact that Stevie’s mum is a single parent. Refreshing to read a book that isn’t about a mummy, daddy, son and daughter.

Anyway, if your 6 year old is in the market for a book with lovely paper, about little rabbits, cute outfits and fried egg jelly sweets, you should pick this up!!

Thanks for reading. X

January Kids Reads

  • Happy New Year. Apologies for the lack of post in December. December was completely nuts. We decided to have our first Christmas at home. Until now, Christmas involved packing the car to the rafters and driving either to the midlands (to see my parents) or to the Wirral ( to see Ozzie’s parents) and then repacking the car on the 26th December to visit the other set of grandparents before heading back to London in the New Year. 2019 was the year we said “enough” and requested EVERYONE come to us. We had 13 for Christmas dinner and had to fashion an extra long table with the addition of a couple of desks. Anyway it was bonkers, mad and exactly the way Christmas ought to be.

    • Witches in Stitches by Kaye Umansky.
    • Kaye Umansky born 6th December 1946.

    Kaye Umansky is probably best known for the Pongwiffy series. My little sister loved them. I however was a big fan of Witches in Stitches. Published in 1987, this was in the format of a magazine for witches and ghouls complete with recipes, lonely hearts and a classified section. It was great!

    I managed to find this book on eBay and snapped it up for a mere 99p. This is one of those books which conjures up really funny memories. Each year in my secondary school we would all have to write something to put into the school magazine. Always keen to find a shortcut I decided to brazenly plagiarise a poem from Witches in Stitches. The poem in question was I’m Sick of That Hansel and Gretel….I also traced the illustration. I remember being asked to see the teacher, she was obviously deeply suspicious but hadn’t had the pleasure of reading Witches in Stitches so I managed to get away with it and my’ poem and illustration made it into the school magazine. How completely arrogant and utterly stupid was I???? Actually not as stupid as my best friend who plagiarised the oh so famous Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith. Unfortunately for Holly, our English teacher had obviously come across Stevie Smith so not only did she not make it into the school mag but she also got a Saturday detention. Ah the arrogance of youth.

    • Lifesize Dinosaurs by Sophy Henn.

    Discover how you measure up against some incredible life-size dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. Try on a Utahraptor claw and a Pteranodon beak, compare your nostrils with a Diplodocus, wear a Stegosaurus plate, and watch out for the giant Tyrannosaurus rex mouth when you open up the foldout pages.๏ฟผ

    My kids are crazy wonderful little weirdos. I think when my husband realised we were only capable of creating the fairer sex I think he was terrified his life would revolve around pink and bunnies. Dainty flowers my daughters are not. A lot of the time we both find our girls a little baffling. How do you explain Edie’s obsession at 2 years of age with the Lion King?? Ok ok a lot of kids are into The Lion King. Edith however only really liked one bit which we had to keep rewinding for her….not Hakuna Matata, not Can You Feel The Love Tonight. No, no, Edie’s most favourite part of The Lion King was the bit when Mufasa gets trampled by a stampede of wildebeest. Thankfully now 6 she has grown out of this blood lust and is now much more obsessed with her hair and her hamster. Ceci’s interesting little quirk is her love of Jurassic Park…particularly the bit with the T-Rex and the ‘fitter’ she means Spitter. She loves nothing more than watching the film with us or her grandparents and explaining what is happening while we pretend to be afraid. As I’ve said before, kids (or my kids) love nothing more than thinking they know more about a subject than you do. As a result, both my girls love this brilliant book by Sophy Henn. I have bought it for tons of the girls friends and everyone thinks it’s great. Ceci is obsessed with the pull out T-Rex mouth and I am feeling fully confident if not a little smug about Edith’s up and coming a Dinosaur school project. #bossingit.

    • Dinosaur Juniors by Rob Biddulph.

    High fives, fist bumps, big hugs, applause…..for disco-dancing dinosaurs!

  • Nine dino eggs but little Greg hatches later than everyone else. The story follows Gregosaurus trying to make some prehistoric friends when everyone has already found their best bud. It all ends well with the dinosaurs throwing him a Happy Hatch Day Party. ๐Ÿฆ• ๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•
  • This is a proper value for money book. By this I mean that as your children get older, this book that keeps on giving. For really little ones the pictures are colourful and not so crazy busy that your children will suffer from sensory overload. Ceci at 4 is a massive fan….mainly because it is about dinosaurs but also for children of Ceci’s age there are things to count and plenty of things to spot. Older children can take advantage of the detail in the pictures – types of dinos, musical instruments. The story is told in rhyme which keeps me happy….I love a rhyme!!โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ
  • This would be a great book to give to a child who is starting a new school/nursery halfway through a year, when they are the only newbie and everyone else has settled into a routine.๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–
  • Also, slightly terrifying picture of Ceci. She is looking a little sinister. Edie is holding Daisy her new hamster. This is the new addition to the Andrews clan. All going well so far….making Edie clean her out every week is proving challenging but we are persevering. ๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน
  • Thank you all for reading!

    November kids reads

    It is December!! Woohoo. I love Christmas. In London, people have started earlier than ever this year. I actually saw some trees up last week.

    I went to a reading workshop at a Edie’s school this month. The teacher read this wonderful quote (see below) from Lola Okolosie:

    • Poo in the Zoo by Steve Smallman. Illustrated by Ada Grey.

    There’s too much poo in the zoo! Zookeeper Bob just can’t keep up. Then one day a mysterious glowing poo appears! Could it be an alien poo from out of space?๏ฟผ

    Little Bob McGrew was a keeper at the zoo. Looking after animals was what he loved to do. But it wasn’t always fun, because Bob was the one, who had to push the cart around and shovel up theโ€ฆ Poo!๏ฟผ

    You could substitute Bobโ€™s name for mine at the moment. Right now there is a plague on our house. All are ill but the worst illness is definitely my husband who ate the hummus and got salmonella. Just awful. ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ’ฉ. Hideous. I can cope with ill kids, ill baby, ill me but ill husband is THE WORST. Anyway Edith hasnโ€™t been ill and has kept me semi-sane. The highlight was being woken up by the dulcet tones of Ozzieโ€™s morning ablutions to find Edie sitting outside the toilet door reading this tremendous book to her father who was sat on the loo. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Anyway, since having kids, poo gets discussed in our house almost as much as brexit. There is no escaping the ๐Ÿ’ฉ. My kids think all things bums, willies, boobs and poo are hilarious so this is a favourite book. I love it too. Brill, pacy rhymes, opportunities for good voices and ENDLESS chats about the size and shape of ๐Ÿ’ฉ. Buy this book and donโ€™t buy Sainsburyโ€™s hummus.

    • Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy by Daisy Meadows.

    Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy’s special magic gives people the confidence to believe in themselves. But when Jackfrost kidnaps her magical mermicorn, everyone starts to doubt their inner strength! Can Kirsty and Rachel stop him and save the day?๏ฟผ

    A few weeks ago I took Edie to the book shop. She said she was desperate to buy a book that her friend had recommended. She headed straight over to the Rainbow Magic section and eventually settled on this. She proudly took her book home and read it cover to cover in 4 days.

    I decided to do some research to find out more about Daisy Meadows who seems so popular with six year olds. SHOCK HORROR….she doesn’t exist!!!! Daisy Meadows is a pseudonym and books are written by several authors. There are over 170 titles and over 20 million books have been sold!!

    According to The Telegraph, these books are pretty unpopular with parents. They are unashamedly gender specific. Pink, glittery and vomit enducing. Skimming through the first few pages of the book Edie describes as “THE BEST BOOK EVER” I was amused to see the two central characters (who are probably around Edie’s age) enjoying a quiet spot of embroidery before bed. Is this anything like bedtime in your house???? No screaming mum, no screaming kids….nope, just quiet sewing. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    So what do I think???? I am just happy she is reading and enjoying reading. I don’t want to force books that I want her to like down her throat. Right now I am just happy she has caught the reading bug and long may it last. I remember loving Sweet Valley High and Point Horror as a kid. They weren’t Charles Dickens but I enjoyed them and I think at this age, enjoying a book is the most important thing.

    • Whizz Pop Granny Stop by Tracey Corderoy. Illustrated by Joe Berger.

    My granny is quiteโ€ฆ different, of that there is no doubt. In a world jam-packed with grannies, you’d always pick her out! Granny just loves to help and a little bit of magic always speed things along. Sometimes, though, all her granddaughter wants to do is spend some normal(ish) time with her beloved granny. But will her birthday party go with a pop without any magic?๏ฟผ

    We are the kind of family who accumulate books. I have books literally pouring out of cupboards. You know that scene in Friends when Chandler opens the cupboard in Monica’s house. Well yes. That. That is my house. We had a new sofa delivered last week and when we had to move the old one, there were even Sainsbury’s bags crammed with books, rammed under the sofa. I had forgotten about those. ๐Ÿ™„.

    Anyway, this is a book that we got from…..somewhere. We have had it now for about 5 years and both of my girls love it. Particularly Ceci. So why?? Well, kids love a witch story don’t they? There is a mention of poo so that box is ticked. It rhymes and the pictures are brilliant and it also reminds children to accept people’s differences.

    Anyway see you next month.

    Thanks for reading.

    October Beauty

    I had my first proper night out since Maisie was born last night. Ozzie came back from work at 6 to look after the kids and I went out on the razzle. My trip out was heading into work to watch the first night of a show. The getting ready process was LONG. Trying to get yourself presentable when you have to keep interrupting your beautifying time to breastfeed, restart The Greatest Showman for the oldest one and cook bolognese for the middle one meant the whole ‘getting ready’ process took about 4hrs. Anyway, come 6pm I sprinted for the front door with my newly straightened hair shiny and my lips a glossy red. I was even wearing a normal bra. BOOM.

    After the show I decided to go to the first night party for a glass of Prosecco. All going swimmingly until this was pointed out to me……

    Yes, my left breast had been leaking milk all night. MORTIFIED!!!!

    • Little Aurelia Sleep Time Pillow Mist. ยฃ22.

    I am stealing my 12 week oldโ€™s posh products….I mean anything that arrives in a bag from Libertyโ€™s is too good for a baby. So, it is now in my sleep time arsenal. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š To be honest I donโ€™t need help sleeping but this does mean I fall asleep in a delicious haze of Rose Quartz Crystal Water(!๐Ÿ˜‚) which is a lot better than my usual Febreze. Really lovely gift for anyone you know who has just had a baby!!

    • Kรฉrastase Elixir Ultime Radiance Beautifying Oil. ยฃ29.99.

    I bloody love an oil. Face, body, hair, I don’t care, I just slap it on. I invested in this stuff after moaning to my hairdresser that my hair colour was fading. When asked which products I used I guiltily admitted to using anything that was handy (I’m embarrassed to admit, I have even used my daughter’s cradle cap shampoo if it’s the only bottle in the shower ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ). So after being made to feel suitably guilty, I invested! This oil came in a pack with a shampoo and conditioner and I have been using it since Easter…that is a long time people…..so yes, the price may be a little punchy but it lasts. In conclusion, listen to the advice of your hairdresser: IF YOU HAVE COLOUR TREATED HAIR YOU NEED TO USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS!!! My hair laps up this oil. I use it to smooth and protect when I straighten and it smells lush!!

    • Avene Hydrance Aqua-Gel. ยฃ13.33. *
    • Avene Hydrance Hydrating Emulsion. ยฃ14.50. *

    For a more ‘budget friendly’ brand, these two products are wicked! I have been using the Aqua-Gel for a few weeks now as a night cream. It is completely non irritating and I smear it all over my face, eyes and neck. It takes a while to sink in (which is why it’s best for night) but once absorbed my skin looks plump and feels brilliantly hydrated….so much so that I haven’t been using an oil afterwards. I also love the smell of it. I can imagine it would be completely lush out of the fridge on a hot summers day.

    I must admit, that I usually avoid creams that are labelled ‘light.’ I wrongly assume they won’t be moisturising enough. This Hydrating Emulsion left my skin moisturised all day but non greasy. I have also worn it under makeup and my slap has stayed on all day.

    As a fan of acids and retinol I like to use a moisturiser which doesn’t do anything fancy but is just gentle and moisturising. These fit the bill but the Aqua-Gel is my fave.

    *Kindly gifted.

    Thanks for reading people….and remember:

    BREASTPADS ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

    Spooky October Kids Reads

    I’m writing this sat in the car heading back to London from my parent’s house in the midlands. It was lovely to spend the last week in the countryside. This is without a doubt my favourite time of year. The leaves are changing colour and there is definitely the winter chill in the air. Family chat has shifted from beaches and suntan lotion, to Halloween, bonfires and CHRISTMAS!!! Love it. Clocks go back tomorrow and the days get shorter. Woohooo!

    • Mrs Blackhat by Chloe and Mick Inkpen.

    Mrs Blackhat’s cat is obstinately ginger. She needs a special spell to turn him black. So she logs onto her Shopalot account…

    I wanted to put on some spooky kids reads for October. ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธMrs Blackhat is by father and daughter team Chloe and Mick Inkpen. Mrs Blackhat loves the colour black. EVERYTHING is black except for the ๐Ÿˆ….which is ginger. As an internet savvy witch she decides to shop online for a potion to turn the moggy black!๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป I love reading this book. Itโ€™s really fast paced with great rhymes. Have you seen that vid where the dad raps the Gruffalo???? Well I sound just like that in a very uncool south west London kind of way. Anyway the girls think itโ€™s hilarious!

      Usborne touchy-feely books.

    Now I know Maisie is my last child, I feel the expiration date of these brilliant Usborne books is looming on the horizon. I’m generally not a particularly sentimental person but these books have been staples in my house throughout all three of my daughters baby years – trying to uncurl their little chubby fists so they can stroke the different textures and saying in my upbeat-mum-voice ‘can you find the mouse?’ Maisie is a little too young to do anything apart from dribble on them but what has been particularly special this time around is now Edie can read them to her sister whilst doing a very good impression of my upbeat-mum-voice. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. Right I have to stop now as I’m welling up…..get a bloody grip woman. Anyway thank you to Usborne and your touchy-feely books, you have been epic!

      Steve Backshall’s Deadly 60.

    Ok, so this might be a bit of an unexpected entry for my month of spooky kids reads but I had to include it because Edie LOVES this book and she loves it because she loves the terrifying spiders, bats and snakes. The other day I asked my friend for some book recommendations for 6 year old boys. She suggested non-fiction in particular. Without a doubt she is right. What 6 year old doesn’t love showing off their random fact knowledge?? Edie has been learning about the Fire of London in school and you can’t shut her up with her Samuel Pepys banter. The bottom line is that kids love a good showing off session so give them a non fiction book and they will devour it.

    I had my proudest mum/book worm moment at Parents Evening last week when Edie’s teacher commented on Edie’s love of reading. I told Edie what was said and since then there has been no stopping her….reading all the time….if there is an audience. I think Edie is competent enough to read pretty much anything now. Anything she can’t read she tries to sound out. Suddenly reading has clicked and she is enjoying trying out lots of different books. The Steve Backshall book is perhaps a little old, with quite a few tricky words but Edes loves a challenge. It did take us 45 mins to read the section on sloth bears but we are now world experts so its all good!

    Thanks for reading. Happy Halloween!