My favourite Children’s Books

I read a lovely blog post here on modernmrsdarcy about how to help kids love to read. I always loved reading as a child and still do now, although more time to read would always be a nice thing!

As a keen reader from childhood and a Nursery Nurse it’s fair to say I’ve read a lot of children’s books! So I thought I’d write a little guide to some of my all time favourite children’s books.

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All images courtesy of Amazon

I had to start with this book. I’ve owned Five Minutes Peace since I was 3 years old and I still have my dog-eared copy now. It’s been through some transitions with me from my Mum having to read it to me, to me learning to read it myself, to me reading it to children whilst doing my Nursery Nurse training. It’s a fun story of Mrs Large (pictured) trying to get Five Minutes Peace from her children but they keep coming in and disturbing her.

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Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?¬†is another book that I’ve owned since childhood and still have my original copy and again it’s been through the same life transitions as Five Minutes Peace. Little Bear is scared of the dark so Big Bear brings him lanterns but they still don’t get rid of the dark all around outside. This book is one I enjoyed from being a little older around 5-7.

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The Sneetches is a great story but what I’m going to tell you about is a story inside it called Too many Daves. Dr Seuss is a must on any child’s bookcase and Too Many Daves is the ultimate for me. When I read this story to children they laugh out loud. It has that marvellous language Dr Seuss uses and has a plethora of funny names in it that will make children belly laugh and the name Soggy Muff might even raise a smile from adults ūüėČ

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Judith Kerr writes the most beautiful children’s books and she illustrates them herself too. The Tiger Who Came To Tea is just so olde worlde and is magical. I love how they buy Tiger Food from the supermarket at the end like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

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Mog The Forgetful Cat or any Mog book for that matter is a must read to children. Mog is a forgetful cat who gets in to bother but everyone is happy when she saves the day.

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I’ve only discovered Grumpy Cat quite recently but it is such a sweet story. Grumpy Cat isn’t really grumpy, he’s just lonely but he doesn’t know how to approach the other cats. Then along comes Kitten who saves him from a life of loneliness.

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Disney X Cath Kidston

It’s almost time for the next part of the Cath Kidston X Disney collaboration. This is the one I’ve been waiting for as it features Minnie & Mickey! An email was sent out last week with a sneek peak and I thought I’d show you my favourites.

Mickey and Minnie cardigan and Minnie Polka Dot dress

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These are so cute. I love the cardigan with Mickey and Minnie featured on the pockets. It’s not overly Disney or Cath Kidston so if you just want a pop of Disney then this is the cardigan for you. The dress however is the opposite, it’s so Cath Kidston and has a large Minnie face on the front. It’s a classic style and won’t go out on fashion.

Red polka dot Mickey Book Bag and Red polka dot Mickey and Minnie Shoulder bag

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The polka dot bags for me are a must have. I love the polka dot print Cath Kidston do and it’s probably the print I own the most of in a variety of bags and colours! So to team this with Mickey and Minnie is perfection to me.

Cath Kids Mickey Mouse Bag

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I know this is part of the kids range but I seriously don’t know if I’m going to be able to resist this little beauty! Just look at it! It’s adorable.

The online pre-sale starts on December 2nd at 8pm and the collection is available in stores from December 3rd.

What are your favourite pieces?

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If I could spend an hour with…

I enjoy spending some of my free time reading blogs. I tend to read a range of different blogs. Like most people I have my favourite bloggers and the other day as I read one blog I thought to myself “Oooh if I could just spend an hour with them…” and then it got me thinking. In no particular order here are the bloggers I’d like to spend an hour with and why.

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Danielle Vanier

I first came across Danielle’s blog around a year ago when she was linked to by another blogger. Danielle is a plus size blogger with a truly unique style. I’d love to spend an hour with her and have her style me. She picks out amazing pieces and teams them with other gorgeous items to end up with a fantastic outfit. I just don’t have an eye for fashion like that so I’d love to see what she’d do with me. Danielle is also found on most social media platforms but her snapchat is absolutely brilliant. She parties hard, shows you her outfits and her battle with a neighbours cat!

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Lydia Millen

If you haven’t heard of Lydia Millen before she is a blogging superstar. Her blog is full of beautiful images of her home, outfits and cat Lumi. She has such a sharp sense of style, I keep finding myself using the mantra “Would Lydia wear this?” I’d love to spend an hour with her¬†because I’d¬†be intrigued to see¬†how she’d transfer her sharp sense of style over to a plus size girl. I’d also ask her to teach me photography! Maybe we’d need two hours.

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Corinne from Skinnedcartree

Corinne runs a trio of blogs that range from fitness to blogging tips and this is where I would spend my hour with Corinne. I’d ask her to sit with me and help me sort my blog, get me everything I need to have a fully functioning self hosted blog. I’d¬†ask her to explain SEO and all those other complicated parts of blogging that newbies just¬†don’t know about.

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Anna The Apple

I’ve read Anna’s blog for the longest time. When we moved to Hampshire I started recognising places Anna mentioned on her blog and it turns out she’s local to me. I’ve met her a couple times at parkrun and she is as nice as pie! Anna’s blog is a mix of her running, food adventures and awesome gym selfies. If I had an hour with Anna I’d ask her to work me out a kick ass gym routine like hers so I can get myself sorted…but we’d do it over cake of course haha!

Which of your favourite bloggers would you like to spend an hour with?

 

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Why I Love Autumn

Blogging about why Autumn is the best season is a bit of a blogging clich√© isn’t it. However I genuinely do love Autumn…and Winter. I prefer the colder months, maybe because I was born in Winter? Who knows but it’s definitely my favourite time of year and here’s why:

The crisp cold weather and changing colours

It’s the first glimpse of things to come. You feel that little bite in the air and can start layering up clothes. Everything looks pretty as it starts to change colour.¬†¬†I love walking in the woods in this weather crunching through the leaves, or now, going for walks along the beach. You can finally get out and about and not have to worry about sun cream and coming back a hot sweaty mess! What’s not to like?!

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The Coffee shops up their game

Coffee shops really up their game in Autumn starting with Starbucks. I’m a Costa girl through and through but for those couple of weeks that Pumpkin Spiced Lattes come out I switch allegiance (but only for those few weeks) They also change their cups and then the Christmas ranges start. I’m not going to comment on that just now though as that’s a whole other post.

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The warming food

Autumn is the perfect time to make use of your slow cooker to make casseroles, stews, soups and chillis. All those warming foods and you can actually make them pretty healthy too if you add lots of veggies and butternut squash! Then when you’ve eaten all the veggies, you can drink more hot chocolate! Autumn is great because you can drink hot chocolate guilt free because hey, you’re just using it to warm up right?!

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It’s the start of the celebrations

Halloween, Bonfire Night, Black Friday hey we don’t celebrate it but I’ll take the sales it brings any day and then the lead up to Christmas, it’s just the best time and the decorations are fun.

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My Mickey Mouse pumpkin

And now let the countdown to Christmas begin!!

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I am a Unicorn!

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Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

 

 

Last Saturday as we uploaded the parkrun results my friend informed me she had signed up to a Unicorn race. I was intrigued and then she told me the medal was a unicorn medal and I was definitely wanting to find out more.

She went on to tell me it was a race hosted by Virtual Runner UK. I’ve used Virtual Runner before when I actually used to run and their medals are awesome and well priced. I decided to look in to it and you have to run or walk 10km throughout January. The beauty of it is, you can make that 10km up through as many separate runs or walks as you like just so long as its completed before January ends.

So I signed up. I can walk this (or run¬†parts of it)¬†and it’s throughout January, the typical lets-get-fit-and-healthy month so it will help with that, as like the rest of the nation I fall in to this trap every year.

When I looked the race up again to write this post I saw that a picture of the medal has been released and it’s pretty awesome!

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Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Fancy signing up too? Or to one of their other races then just visit Virtual Runner UK and sign up!

I’ll let you know how I get on come January!

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October Roundup

My October roundup is going to feel sparse. I feel like October passed me by in a blur and now here I find myself in November already!

October started whilst we were still in Wales but it was soon back to business and back to work. We had our Christmas meeting where we decide what sort of things we’ll be making with the children over the festive period. We had the meeting in Costa (yes!) and I had a scrummy Toffee Apple Hot Chocolate. If you’ve not tried this, its a must!

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I was ill with a terrible cold and chest infection in October too, I still don’t feel completely over it if I’m honest but¬†Costa is always guaranteed to cheer me up. It’s beginning to look¬†like my October is sponsored by Costa!

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I went shopping with a work friend in October in Portsmouth. We were looking for the Disney Primark hats for us both and another work colleague. Absolutely gutted to say we couldn’t find them (and still can’t) but it’s cute right?

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Speaking of cute, we went for a coffee. We tried Starbucks but their coffee machines weren’t working (??) and then went to Costa which was absolutely rammed. I’m guessing because of Starbucks being a no go so we went to Debenhams coffee shop where we had cute Gingerbread Lattes with a little chocolate Gingerbread man in the top! So cute and a fraction of the price.

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October ended with me going to the Great South Run with one of my volunteering friends from parkrun. So many of our parkrun runners were participating in the race so we went along to cheer them up and hand out jelly babies. I made this sign and posted it on social media so they knew where and how to spot us.

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It was so much fun and we managed to spot so many of our parkrunners but it was difficult as there were so many runners. I’ve never been to a race like it but it was a fantastic atmosphere and I saw one of my favourite athletes Tirunesh Dibaba who won the women’s race. Afterwards I watched it back on TV and managed to spot myself taking this picture of her!

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Not the greatest photo but you can see it’s her. Such an amazing athlete.

I think that’s it for my October roundup. Below are my other October posts, have a read if you missed them first time round.

A Holiday to Wales

September Roundup

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A Holiday to Wales

I’ve reached the grand age of 33 and have never been to Wales! So last week we spent 4 nights in Pembrokeshire just outside Narberth in a log cabin that we booked through Hoseasons.

We’ve booked holidays in log cabins before with Hoseasons when we have stayed in Scotland. We’ve always booked an Autograph lodge which is their premium range of lodges.


We spent our time there exploring the area. We visited Tenby which is a lovely little seaside town with a harbour. The houses are so pretty and colourful too. We walked for miles all around the town, harbour and beach.

We also visited Freshwater West which is also known as the beach where Dobby dies. That’s another Harry Potter location visited. We’ve visited a few in Scotland too.

We went for a walk around the grounds of the lodge where they have a golf course, more lodges to rent and also private lodges which are owned. They had a beautiful garden and this lovely waterfall.


We spent lots of time in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park too. Pembrokeshire has a beautiful coast line and lots of lovely sandy beaches.


We had a lovely 4 days there and managed to fit lots in despite the weather being a bit grey. The lodge had a hot tub too so that was great to relax and unwind in.

When I next visit Wales I’d like to visit North Wales to see what it has to offer.

Have you ever been to Wales?

What is your favourite part of Wales?

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September Roundup

September seems to have been and gone in a flash and as a result I don’t feel like I’ve done much but never the less. Here is my September roundup!

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Firstly in September I won a competition! I’ve never won anything before in my life so I was pretty amazed when I won this gorgeous palette on a giveaway over at Sophie’s Blog

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One evening after work we decided to go to JoJo Gelato in Fareham. I had this scrummy Nutella and Cookie supreme crepe. It was so good, especially after a hard day at work.

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We also visited the Waitrose Farm Shop. Here is the post about our visit.

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In Lee-on-the-Solent there was a super low tide on 18th September. I’m still discovering new things about living by the sea and this was one of them. The photo doesn’t do it justice but the sea really was a lot further out than usual.

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At the end of September we went to Wales for 4 nights. I’ve never visited Wales before so it was nice to explore somewhere new. There’s a more detailed post to follow.

In September I did 8 blog posts which I think might be a record for me! If you missed any, they’re linked below:

Smart ForFour

August Roundup

Learning to drive with AA Driving School

I Am Team GB

The Waitrose Farm – Leckford Estate

Fantastic Mr Fox

Disney X Cath Kidston – Winnie The Pooh

Gelish by Nail Harmony Review

Now we’re in to October which is my favourite time of year!

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Gelish by Nail Harmony Review

Recently my work put in place a new policy. No nail varnish to be worn unless it is a gel manicure! Imagine my horror. You know I love my nails to be done but now having to spend anything up to £25 a fortnight at a salon to get them done?! This was going to get expensive and quickly.

I began googling and saw a home gel nail kit. To be honest I didn’t have a clue about doing my own gel nails and needing UV lights etc. I googled more and more and eventually decided I’d give it a whirl. I ordered everything I needed from Amazon.

What I ordered:

Mylee Lint Free Wipes

Harmony Gelish Nails in Pink Smoothie

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Harmony Gelish Mini Basix Kit

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Bella Nails UV Lamp

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eBoot soak off clips

The order came to just under £80 which, if I could actually manage to do them successfully, was a good bargain compared to going to the salon. When everything arrived there were no instructions with the Basix Kit. I googled again and came across this great post on Lulu & Sweetpea.

I followed the tutorial to the letter and that is why there are no progress pictures. Melissa is very strict about not touching things like your phone until you are done completely. If anything touches your nails it means they won’t turn out correctly and I definitely didn’t want that.

The tutorial actually uses the Gelish Basix kit I had bought and so it made it a lot easier. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and I found it all went well. It didn’t turn out perfect but for my first attempt I was more than happy.

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I have nothing to compare the Gelish products to but I’m more than happy with the way they applied, looked and lasted. The nails stayed on for a fortnight and had just started to chip on my two pointer fingers which is good going.

Also on Lulu & Sweetpea is a tutorial to remove your nails which I followed and again was pleased with. There are also other tutorials on how to fix a nail or how to add glitter. If you’re thinking of doing your own nails at home I’d definitely recommend the Harmony Gelish nail kit and Lulu & Sweetpea’s blog for showing you how it’s done.

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Disney X Cath Kidston – Winnie The Pooh

So the first of the¬†Disney X Cath Kidston¬†collaboration has launched and already some of the items are sold out. They’ve released the Winnie the Pooh prints first. I’ll not be ordering anything as I’m holding out for the Minnie and Mickey items but here are my favourites from the range.

Balloon spot raglan dress and elasticated waist skirt

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The dress is ¬£75 and the skirt is ¬£40. I love the cut of the dress and the cute cap sleeves but also love how if you have just the skirt you can team it with a plain top so it’s not as much print all at once.

A Day in the Hundred Acre Wood Placement Sweat £35

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A cute design on a sweater that’ll be perfect for keeping warm now the days are turning chillier. This is Limited Edition so be sure to keep your eyes out for it coming back in stock.

Balloon spot mini reversible messenger bag £35

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I have a couple of this style of bag from Cath Kidston and they are so perfect for when you have a lot to carry. They’re surprisingly roomy and with it being reversible, its like having two bags in one!

Bramley Sprig modal PJ set £40

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I love the flowers on these and it’s a true Cath Kidston print. These are Limited Edition too so grab them while you can.

Balloon Spot Breakfast Cup & Saucer £16

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Cath Kidston crockery lasts so well. I have a few cups and saucers in various London prints and they look lovely on display but wash well and are sturdy.

There are also home ware and baby items available but these 6 are my favourites. I’m so excited to see what they release next!

 

 

 

 

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