Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Read all about it

If you have read any of my tweets or visited my blog before, you will know I have huge love of books. For as long as I can remember I have been a dreamer and I love getting lost in books with amazing characters. Now that I have little Sofia I find myself reaching a new level of excitement and am taking a keen interest in children's literature.

Due to my love of books and education I have recently become and ambassador for Barefoot Books. Barefoot is an independent publisher that specialise in books that celebrate diversity and the wonders of our world, with a collection of books that offer something that little bit different. As an ambassador I want to share the lovely books barefoot has to offer and encourage parents and carers to read to their children more. As well as doing individual book parties I will be looking to sell and promote books and fun days  at fairs and markets etc as well as raising money for charities through various face to face or online fundraisers.

As well as Barefoot, I love to support independent bookstores both locally and online. Whilst I do admit that my local Waterstones is one of my favourite places to get lost in on a stressful day, I do try to buy from independents as much as possible. One great independent store you can find online is Mr B's emporium of reading delights, which is based in Bath and has a great selection of books for children and young adults.

If you love reading to your children but are stuck on what books to buy next then check out Babble about books, a great website that reviews children's books and all things educational.

It really is so much fun reading and sharing books with children, as all you mummies and daddies will know. For those of you who want to share a little more then check out Book Aid International to get involved in a great cause that helps children in Africa get the same joy from books as our children do.

So, if you haven't already done so today take a break, relax and pick up a book to enjoy some quality time with your little one!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Drip, Drip, Drop Little April Shower

A few weeks ago I was running out in a panic to buy suncream and sun hats for Sofia but now I find myself online searching for a raincoat. Many of you will have put your winter wellies and waterproofs away and have had to dig them back out again or some of you will be out searching for all the waterproof  paraphernalia that will keep your little one dry. So, whether it is preparing for a wet summer or anticipating taking the family to a festival this year, here are some of the fun bits and bobs that will keep your kiddies cosy

Spotty rain hat from Lavish and Lime
Stripy rain hat by Hunter from Amazon
Flower wellies from Joules
Dino wells by Mini Rodini from Nordic Kids
Butterfly raincoat by Hatley's from Wellies and worms
Red Rocket raincoat by green Child from Not on the high street
Space umbrella and Ballerina umbrella both from Kidorable

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Caramelised banana and cinnamon muffins

This is a post from my food blog, supper and scribbles, which has been popular so I thought I would post here as the muffins are easy to make so are a quick treat for all of the family.

I love to make muffins because they are so quick and easy to make and are a great way of using up fruit that is about to go off or bits and bobs that are lying about in your store cupboard. Whilst they are still heavy on the calories, they can be slightly better than a standard sponge cake, as you can get away with less butter and sugar! They are still a treat of course and I love to have them with a nice pot of coffee for 'elevenses' . White chocolate and cranberry, lemon and poppy seed and the good old blueberry muffin are all favourites of mine but here is a recipe for banana muffins, as I had a couple of bananas that were just a bit too squidgy to eat on their own. You can leave out the caramelising part, if you do want it a little bit healthier but it does make them a lot tastier and you could always go for a brisk walk afterwards.


Ingredients ( makes 12 muffins)

250g self raising flour
50g melted butter
25g butter (for caramel)
50ml water
10ml olive oil
150ml semi-skimmed milk
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 large or 3 small bananas
1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. First of all make the caramel by adding 50g of the caster sugar and 50ml of water to a small, heavy pan. Heat until the syrup starts to take on a golden brown colour then add in 25g of butter and stir gently, just until the butter is mixed in. Be careful not to stir too much as your sauce will become grainy. Add in your chopped bananas and cook until softened. The mixture will be very hot so please take care. Once softened take off the heat and allow mixture to cool whilst you make your muffin mixture.
  2. Heat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Melt your 50g butter and allow to cool
  3. In one bowl sift the flour and add the baking powder, cinnamon and sugar then mix.
  4. In a second bowl beat the eggs and add in the milk, oil and melted butter and stir
  5. Make a well in the dry mixture and add stir in the wet mixture until combined. Now add in your caramelised banana mixture and mix together, until you get a thick lumpy mixture
  6. Line a muffin tray with muffin cases and top each case 2/3 the way, to allow room for a high rise. Cook for 20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in the tray for 5 minutes then move to a wire cooling rack until ready to serve.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Go to sleep

All of us mums and dads learn all about sleep deprivation very quickly, once our precious little ones arrive, but just how bad can sleep deprivation get ? This issue is explored by Helen Walsh in her novel ' Go to sleep '. Personally I feel quite lucky that my little one has developed a reasonably good sleep pattern and I have had no signs of post natal depression but I certainly know how much of an emotional roller coaster being a mum is. As a counsellor, I have heard just how difficult the roller coaster is for some mums and have seen the relief in peoples faces when they simply share some of their deepest darkest thoughts. The central character Rachel shares, with raw emotion, her journey into motherhood and the unexpected effect it has on her. From very early on in the book I empathised with Rachel and, despite the sometimes difficult reading, I could not stop turning the page in the hope that everything will be ok for her and her baby, Joe. Through real grit and honesty, Walsh helps bring awareness to the reality of what it can be like to me a new mum and unravels the stigma of post natal depression.  I have read many reviews, some from mums who have found comfort in the book as the can identify with Rachel and understand that they are not alone in their extreme feelings.I came across this book as I am a fan of Walsh and her previous two books. ' Brass ' and ' once upon a time in England '  and by chance I read it when I had just had Sofia and had just got past those tearful first few weeks. Despite my not suffering from depression or anywhere near the sheer desperation we see Rachel go through, the book touched me in a way that I think only parents can truly can feel. Whatever stage of the parental  roller coaster you are on, this book is a fantastic read that I think you may relate to in one way or another . I came across the book again at the weekend when tidying my shelves and thought I would post a little word about for those who have not read the book  as it really is a heartbreakingly honest read

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Bringing breastfeeding into the spring

I am sure many breastfeeding mums will agree with me in saying that it is so difficult to find clothes that are both stylish but practical for feeding your little one. In general, I think that maternity and breastfeeding wear is dull and frumpy, despite the odd few sites out there that offer something a little different. However clothes that are specific to breastfeeding mothers can also be expensive, hard to get hold of and have a limited shelf life, unless you have lots of babies that is!

My baby is now 6 months old and so far I have managed wearing jeans and baggy tops or shirts, that hide my modesty when feeding in public but as we move into spring I want to jazz my wardrobe up a little. Again, it has been easy to find nice tops to go with my jeans but have found it more difficult when it comes to finding something a little more feminine. I think skirts will be a no no as I find most need a tighter fitting top, which just doesn't work for me when breastfeeding. So, off I went in search of dresses and boy was it hard. I managed to find a lovely wrap dress from Topshop, pictured below, which is both colourful and light whilst giving me easy access to Sofia's milk supply. I have had a little look around on the internet and have found a few dresses that I think will be suitable and that other breastfeeding mummies may like too ( of course all you non-breastfeeding mummies may like these dresses too).

Floral wrap dress Topshop,  long sleeved red wrap dress Fever London, printed Tunic Zara, Orange sleeveless shirt dress by Sessun at Liberty, butterfly wrap dress Oasis, vintage floral print dress Not on the high street

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My April Barefoot book of the month

I am an ambassador for Barefoot Books ( see more about barefoot and my passion for reading in my last post about international children's book day). Barefoot have lots of amazing books for children and I will be highlighting one as book of the month, that I think you and your little ones would love.

As it is St Georges day this month, I thought I would go for a dragon theme and pick A DRAGON ON THE DOORSTEP as my April book of the month.

Play hide- and -seek with a dragon, a crocodile, a gorilla and all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. The rhyming text explores the familiar rooms of the house and encourages imaginative play. The book comes with a sing along cd to enhance your little ones fun and for you!

I would love to get some reviews from children on this so please feel free to add comments or send an email or even a pic to add to little scribbles and share the fun.