We’ve been reading Caspar a bedtime story since he was just a few weeks old (when he reached that magical baby developmental stage where suddenly they have a notion of night/day and you can finally change out of your pyjamas). We started with picture books, the kind with bold black and white shapes, moving on to more colourful books with identifiable animal pictures and textures for him to reach out and feel. More recently though, we have started to introduce real story books, the kind with an actual narrative and characters, and I can’t tell you how much we’ve all enjoyed it. Sure, sometimes Caspar’s main aim is to stuff every page into his mouth, but I’m certain he is also listening to the words, looking at the pictures and, on occasion, attempting to turn the pages himself.

Although we have acquired a few favourites from our own respective childhoods (Peace at Last and Each Peach Pear Plum etc), we have also been exploring some of the relative newbies in the world of children’s literature, and a series of books by Jon Klassen has really caught our eye.

The series, currently containing three titles – ‘I want my hat back‘, ‘This is not my hat‘ and ‘We found a hat‘ – written and illustrated by Klassen, offers simple stories alongside beautiful imagery and a really dry sense of humour, which we love.

Although these books are really aimed at children a little older than Caspar, we wanted to add things into his routine which challenged him, and unlike toys that advise a minimum age for health and safety reasons, there really is no reason not to be a little more ambitious with story books – especially when they’re just as entertaining for the parents (if not more so!).

Do you have any favourite titles you’d like to share with us (new and old)? Please comment if so, we love a recommendation!

You may also be interested to know that Waterstones have a buy one, get one half price offer on lots of children’s titles at the moment – a great excuse to get reading.

 

I always compile a wish list in the middle of January, mainly because my family ask for one in time for my February Birthday, but also because it adds some frivolous cheer into an otherwise dreary time of year. And today being ‘Blue Monday’ – supposedly the most depressing day of the year – it seemed particularly appropriate.

  1. Zoeva Rose Gold Make Up Brushes
    I’ve always bought brushes in bits and pieces, picking and choosing from different ranges/brands because sets always seemed to include a large quantity of items I didn’t want. Not this one. Each and every piece of this set would easily find a slot in my make up routine, and the fact they’re easy on the eye doesn’t hurt, either.
  2. Pocket Pouch by Als
    These metallic accessories are all handmade in London and stocked exclusively by The Royal Academy. I would use mine to house all those loose odds and ends that float around at the bottom of my handbag – hair grips, lip balms, mints etc.
  3. Nomad Pouffe by Bombay Duck
    I love pretty much anything from Bombay Duck, but can see this embroidered pouffe sitting very nicely in our sitting room.
  4. Fresh Brown Sugar Perfume
    Aside from my trusty Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, this is hands down my favourite scent of all time. I first discovered Fresh in New York in 2009, and the smell of this perfume always takes me straight back.
  5. Bee Pewter Key Ring
    I love to have a pretty collection of charms attached to my keys, and this little fellow would be a lovely addition to the mix.
  6. Portland Mirror by The White Company
    To my husband’s dismay, I have a bit of a habit of moving furniture around and changing the layout of a room on a whim. Having recently got itchy feet with our sitting room, we now have a lovely section of wall that’s crying out for a mirror, and this would be just the thing.

 

I’ve written before about my search for aesthetically pleasing baby kit, and an appealing changing bag was without a doubt one of the most fiendish to find items on my pre-baby wish list. My issue with so many of the designs is that they are a) styled to look like a souped up laptop bag or b) seem to be geared towards the baby, rather than the parent, who will actually be carrying and using it day to day (I’m talking cupcake prints and chintzy bows).

After a fair bit of research and one too many YouTube reviews, I plumped for Baby Beau’s ‘Ellie’ bag – a simple black leather affair with tan details and gold hardware. What I love about it is that for all intents and purposes it looks like a regular handbag, but open it up and the contents are just as practical, spacious and waterproof as any of the more traditional designs. What’s more, the innards can be zipped up into a standalone pouch and completely removed, super handy for dropping off the essentials with grandparents/nursery etc, whilst you use the shell of the bag like any other handbag. As standard, the Ellie also comes with a range of removable accessories, notably a chestnut coloured bottle holder with humbug striped lining, and a matching changing mat. I’ve used mine almost daily for the last 5 months and have yet to fault it.

Other bags I have seen (but not tested) that seem to fulfil my particular criteria include the Noa from Storksak, pretty much anything from Jem + Bea and Tiba and Marl, as well as other products from the Baby Beau range.

 

Coming soon – My Changing Bag Unpacked | The Contents

We are gearing up to start weaning in the next couple of weeks, but whilst I am merrily stocking up on bibs, face cloths and spoons, I have to admit I am not really ready. Those who know me will know this is not like me at all РI am a meticulous planner through and through. 

On paper, I’ve done my prep – I’ve been on a short course, read the boomf, talked to friends who’ve just started and watched for the signs from Caspar that he’s ready. But I find myself flitting constantly between baby led and spoon fed approaches, debating the pros and cons of each in the middle of the night. I’m hoping all will become clear when we actually get going, and that I will look back in a few weeks time and wonder what I was fussing about.

In the mean time, at least I am confident with one element – these fab coverall bibs will ensure Caspar looks his best in amongst the chaos!

There are some days/weeks that are just sent to test us, aren’t there? For me, this appears to be one of them.

After an emergency doctor visit with Caspar last Friday, when his lips suddenly turned blue (luckily he’s absolutely fine, but the blueness remains somewhat of a mystery), today I hit an enormous pothole whilst driving which has completely blown my front tyre. Coupled with a particularly challenging episode of sleep regression, I am well and truly ready for a bit of better luck to come our way soon. Here’s hoping!