Blog Tour Book Review – The Baby Detective

The Baby Detective by Sarah Norris

The Blurb

The only parenting book that offers a unique, step-by-step guide to enable parents to solve baby care problems for themselves.

The Baby Detective is the only book of the parenting genre to develop a unique, step-by-step investigative process that will enable parents to solve their own baby care problems.

It puts them firmly back in the driving seat, giving them the tools to do away with sometimes conflicting and confusing expert advice, and to face parenting challenges using their own intuition.

Drawing on case studies of Sarah’s previous clients, the book is based around her unique principle of AIM, in which parents are guided through the process of Assessing a problematic situation, Investigating the possible causes and Modifying behaviour in order to resolve it.

It provides insight in to how and why environment, biology and personality interact to affect your baby, as well as suggesting numerous tips and strategies for remedying problems.

What I Thought

Where To Buy

Amazon

The Author – Sarah Norris

With 25 years experience Sarah is one of the top maternity nurses and Baby Care Consultants in the UK, and is the author of the exciting new parenting book ‘The Baby Detective’ with Orion Books.

In her role as The Baby Detective, Sarah employs her unique investigative approach, based on clear thinking, common sense and compassion, to empower and encourage new parents, and to help guide and support them through the confusion that is modern day parenting.

Sarah is passionate about her work and is dedicated to providing advice that is non judgemental and unbiased, is equally supportive of all parenting and feeding methods, and is always respectful of the parents choices.

Social Media

Website

Twitter @Baby_Detective

Blog Tour Book Review – From Mum With Love

AD | Gifted

When I got the chance to join the tour for this one, it couldn’t have been more perfect – a book about a new mummy blogger. Yes please!

From Mum With Love by Louise Emma Clarke

The Blurb

Full-time mum Jess has had enough, and her husband, Chris, has just the solution to vent her frustrations – a blog.

Jess loves her daughter more than anything, but sometimes she just wants a little bit of freedom – some time for herself. Queue a laptop, a glass of wine and the beginning of a life-changing journey.

Overnight Jess’s inbox is full of notifications and before long she is officially a ‘mummy blogger’ but this new life comes with its own set of rules and regulations. With Queen of the Bloggers, Tiggy, blanking her in public, people recognizing her on the street and her life decisions suddenly judged by strangers Jess’s idea of ‘me time’ is slowly becoming a full-time job.

Will Jess be able to find the right life/work balance? Or will she wish she’d never turned to a world online?

What I Thought

Well this book didn’t let me down, I really enjoyed the read. The author herself writes her own blog and has three young children, which inspired the story. I am now following her on Instagram and look forward to reading her blog posts.

I really loved the honest way she wrote about the first year of motherhood and the troubles Mums so often face. I felt like I could identify with so much of what she wrote – the nerves of attending the mummy and baby groups for the first few times, the loneliness, the feelings towards your partner after they have gone back to work and you get that dreaded text – I am going to be late home!She balances this nicely with the pure elation that being a Mum brings, which I really loved. I felt a part of her and her group of mummy friends – some lovely people who I couldn’t help feeling that I would be friends with as well.

I did feel the blogging part was a little bit rushed. I suppose to be able to fit in with the timeline of the book, it had to work out pretty quickly. I am sure there are some bloggers that experience this immediate and amazing success as soon as they begin blogging. However, in my experience, it starts slowly and takes a lot of work and patience to build a successful blog. I enjoyed reading about the experiences she had with the blogging community though, and feel this could be a definite reflection of the way thugs can be. I am lucky enough to have met some amazing people through my blogging work, but have heard of some people experiencing issues.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to book two. Definitely worth a read!

Where To Buy

Amazon

Google Play

Kobo

iBooks

The Author – Louise Emma Clarke

Louise’s blog, Mum of Boys and Mabel has over 100k followers. Having moved to Dubai with her family she’s now back in the UK and is enjoying writing. From Mum with Love is her debut novel.

Follow Louise

Facebook: @mumboysandmabel

Twitter: @mumofboysmabel

Follow Aria

Website

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Thankyou to Aria for including me on this blog tour. I was gifted the book in return for my honest review. Check out other reviews oat the blogs below

Children’s Book Reviews

Good morning! Today I wanted to share with you a selection of children’s books we have recently read. I absolutely love reading with my children and encouraging them to enjoy books. Both my boys have inherited my passion for reading which I am so happy to see!

The Cow Said Neigh! by Rory Feek

The Blurb

From New York Times bestseller Rory Feek, one half of the singing duo Joey+Rory, comes The Cow Said Neigh!, a fun and humorous tale of farm animals who wish they were like the other animals . . . which leads to a farm-full of confusion! This delightful book will be a family favorite for years to come.

The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like other animals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig, the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!

With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will have kids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.

This delightful picture book is sure to be read time and time again.

What I Thought

A great book that young children will love. I really enjoy books for this age that rhyme and this one has some really lovely illustrations to go with it. Perfect for little ones who are learning farm animals names and sounds. Perfect bedtime reading!

Where To Buy

Faithgateway Store

Clean Up, Up, Up! by Ellen Mayer

The Blurb

It is cleanup time, and Daddy and his little one are putting away books, blocks, teddy bears, and train cars, washing hands, and preparing for dinner—all while having fun with math! As Daddy talks with his toddler, he uses spatial-relationship math words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under to reinforce his young learner’s understanding. When it is dinnertime, the little one proudly demonstrates an understanding of down when helping to set the table and up while enjoying the first delicious bite!

A playful story that models engaging conversations between parent and child, Clean Up, Up, Up! includes a note by early childhood education expert Susan C. Levine that shows parents and caregivers how everyday activities offer rich opportunities to teach early spatial math concepts.

What I Thought

This is great for learning about positional language (up, down, under etc) and will help encourage and give ideas for tidy up time. The interaction between the parent and child in the story is lovely. The text is in both Spanish and English which I love to see. It also has notes for parents about reading the book and how to extend your child’s learning from it.

Where To Buy

Ellen Mayer website with links to buy

Spacekid iLK by Andrew Hammond

The Blurb

iLK is a Glubwark from the planet Glub and his dad has just invaded Earth.

iLK isn’t keen on being involved in the invasion, but his dad, BiLK, quickly decides that Earth is useless and hands the mantle of ‘Emperor of the World’, down to his son.

iLK becomes responsible for ruling Earth and soon grows to love it. So when he discovers his father isn’t interested in caring for the planet he is confronted with a difficult choice. How will iLK save Earth whilst also trying to fulfil the responsibilities assigned by his father?

Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is an illustrated novel for ages 8–12. At an age where children are learning about different points of views and about taking responsibility, this book aims to not just extol the virtues of doing the right thing, but also asks why one would and what that choice involves.

Using entries from iLK’s journal and comic pages throughout, Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is likely to engage even reluctant readers.

What I Thought

I loved this and I am sure the boys will too. Although it is aimed at 8-12 year old I think good readers aged 6 -8 years would get on well with this too. It could also be read to this age group by the parents and enjoyed. I liked the diary style layout of the story and the illustrations were good. The book is funny but also teaches children about choices and different points of view. Highly recommended!

Where To Buy

Amazon UK – paperback

Amazon US – paperback

Change The World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good

The Blurb

Written in simple, engaging rhyme, this story takes an inspirational look at how the little things in life—a smile, a kind word, a simple deed—can help change the world in a big way. Through 21 stunning illustrations featuring a diverse group of young dreamers, children will read about eating right, cleaning up the Earth by recycling and conserving, helping the sick and those less fortunate, and working in a group to make bigger miracles. Even an ordinary kid can be a superhero before bedtime!

What I Thought

I really loved the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Full of ideas to make the world a better place that can be done in our every day lives. Perfect bedtime reading for 5-8 year olds it provides a lot of further discussion prompts for parent when reading. The rhyming text doesn’t flow as well as in most books but I think with the lively conversation starting points this does not really matter.

Where To Buy

Amazon – hardback

Buzzing Bees by Melissa Higgins

The Blurb

For ages 4-8 years

What makes a bee a bee? What are the buzziest bees from around the world? Carefully leveled, engaging text supports life science curriculum related to classification, behavior, life cycles, and more. Smithsonian Little Entomologist feeds kids’ natural curiousity about the little critters in their world to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Fans of augmented reality will love to buzz beyond the printed page with up-close bee videos, accessible via the Capstone 4D app or on your web browser. 

What I Thought

A great little non-fiction offering for kids and perfectly set for the recommended age group. This book is informative and full of great, bright and clear photos to illustrate the information. I love that they offer extra content online and check out the website for other great non-fiction books about other insects

Where To Buy

Capstone website

The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman

The Blurb

Posy the penguin is scared of many things – snowstorms, loud noises, the dark – but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him. After an intrepid journey, Posy finds an injured Percy in a dark cave. She rescues him and brings him home, realising in the end just how brave she can really be. A heartwarming story about friendship, being brave, and overcoming fears when it really matters, this picture book is sure to delight and entertain.

What I Thought

A really charming story, perfect for bedtime reading. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, the story shows you can overcome your fears and be a great friend. Leo (aged 10) is a huge penguin fan and even at his age enjoyed this little story! Gorgeous illustrations compliment the story well and there are ideas for further discussion for parents/teachers at the end of the book.

Where To Buy

Amazon – kindle, paperback and hardback versions available

I hope you enjoyed this selection of kids books I would recommend this month. A huge thankyou to NetGalley for my ARC of these books in return for an honest review. I hope you and your little ones enjoy them as much as me and mine did. Happy reading!

My Top Ten Posts Of The Year 2018

So it is the time of year we start rounding up and reflecting.  I thought I would start this years top ten posts with a collection of my favourite posts which I have written throughout the year.  Hopefully you will have already read and enjoyed these, but if not I hope you have a read and let me know what you think!

Handy Hacks For People With Arthritis

There aren’t many bloggers talking about arthritis and it is something I definitely want to focus on more next year.  It is still so often associated with old people, yet I was diagnosed at just 15 months of age.  This post was really well received by my readers and led to a fantastic opportunity with Ecovacs Robotics (see post).  There are so many more things I do to try and make my life that bit easier so keep your eye out for more hacks in 2019!

Date Night Ideas For Spoonies

I have a lot of people contact me and see a lot of posts on the online support groups about relationships when you are chronically ill.  It can be a real worry – so many think having a chronic illness makes them unlovable which is just not true!  This post showed some of the ideas you can do when you are flaring and not feeling great to keep your relationships spark alive.  Me and Ste got the chance to do an Instagram takeover this month of Gutsy Dating – it is a dating app designed for people with digestive health problems.  Such a fab idea and I hope it is a great success and lots of my fellow chronic illness warriors find their someone special!

Better You Iron Spray Review

I wrote this for Jenna over at A Balanced Belly.  I feel really lucky to have made some amazing friends in the blogging world and to get the chance to write for one of my favourite blogs was amazing.  I have been really lucky working with Better You this year as well.  It is a fab company with some really amazing products which I have had some brilliant benefits from.  This iron spray and the magnesium bath salts are two of my favourites.  Definitely take a look if you are a fellow spoonie!

Back To School For £50 or Less?

Anybody who follows me on Instagram will have seen my #ootd posts.  I created the hashtag #whatostomateswear as I hope to show others with an ostomy that they can still wear what they want, regardless of having a stoma.  Pep & Co is one of my go to places – their high waisted jeans and jeggings are my absolute faves!  When they contacted me about working on a post with them, I was over the moon!  They challenged me to kit one of the boys out for the new school year for less than £50 and this post lets you know how I got on.  A blog highlight for me this year for sure!

FAQ – The Flu Jab

Having been ill for basically, all of my life, I have learnt quite a lot along the way.  I don’t claim to be an expert but I listen, read and ask questions a lot.  I really hate it when I see false and sometimes potentially dangerous information being passed around support groups and online.  I like being able to create posts like this to help people make more informed decisions about their health.

The Top Ten Things About Getting My Stoma

This post has been shared alot and I think it has helped people who have just had, or are about to go through stoma surgery.  For some reason an ostomy is still often seen as the very last option and something that nobody wants, even by many doctors.  But my stoma has given me a new lease of life, I can’t begin to explain the positive changes it has made to my life.  This post is about celebrating my ostomy and the great things it has bought to my life.

Advocacy

I was asked by my lovely friend Stephie of Colitis To Ostomy to write a piece about being an advocate for the Comfizz blog which she runs.  It was great to write about and share the pros and cons of what we do.  I love being able to help people at all stages of their chronic illness journey and it gives me such a sense of joy to be able to help them in any way I can.

Blog Tour Book Review – Leo’s War

I am going to do another round up featuring my favourite books of the year but had to include this one in my favourite posts.  I love to read and enjoy sharing what I read and what I thought of them with you.  This year we have been lucky enough to be sent some amazing children’s books as well.  Both of the boys love to read and this one was Leo’s first review this year, which made me so proud.  

Recipe – Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne

My recipes section of the blog has been a little slow during the second half of the year but this was one of the favourite things I created earlier on in 2018.  I am a massive pasta fan (should have been born in Italy) and this was a great twist on an original.  Hopefully this section will be updated more regularly for you in the coming year.

Stinky Stanley – Coping With Smelly Output

There had to be a place for my most successful post I had written this year – this one has been viewed nearly 1000 times!  I am glad it was well received as it took a lot of research!  Every time I thought I had tried all the products available I cam across another one.  Hopefully lots of you found this helpful.  I know from my own experiences that coping with the smell of output, especially when out and about, can be really worrying so it was good to find things that worked!

So what do you think of my favourites?  Do you agree?  Are there any other posts you would have liked to see in the top ten?  Let me know in the comments below!

Autumn Activities For Kids

Thought I was all clever and organised getting this scheduled didn’t I?  Not realising that I would wake up poorly after a lay and realise it had already been sent out to my email subscribers unfinished!  Urgh!  Life with chronic illness is unpredictable to say the least!

Today I wanted to share some of our favourite Autumn activities with you.  Not being able to get out and about as much can be really difficult.  Children have so much energy they still need to use up, but the weather, particularly here in the UK, can be unpredictable to say the least.

Autumn Walk

This is definitely one of our favourite things to do in the Autumn and the kids love being able to get outside.  It really is one of the most beautiful seasons isn’t it?

We were lucky enough to be sent this amazing Nature Exploring Kit from the lovely people at Anthisan.  They had seen that we like to get out and about, especially with the dogs and after both Ste and Leo getting wasps stings within a week of one another this was a perfect collaboration for us!

 

They have been running a fun campaign celebrating the great outdoors and encouraging people to enjoy insects in the outside world and not be fearful of them.  Although Leo was a little cautious after his sting, the boys really enjoyed getting out and about looking for bugs.  I don ‘t know about where you live but we saw LOADS of ladybirds here, they seem to be everywhere at the moment!

anthisan

Anthisan can be used on insect bites, stings and also on nettle rash so is brilliant, especially for nature lovers and dog walkers like us!  It can be used on adults, the elderly and children over the age of two.

Find out more about Anthisan on their website including where to buy/buy online options
Nature Explorer Set available in Marks & Spencers

Leaf kicking and collecting, photographing, conker and acorn collecting are some of the other activities we love to do in the Autumn.  Autumn treasure hunts are also great fun and kids love them, especially if you tell them they can have a treat if they can spot everything on their list!

Crafting

After a walk why not turn the leaves you have collected into an amazing piece of artwork?  You could use them to collage with, do leaf rubbings of and lots more.  Pinterest is great for inspiration and you can follow me over there by clicking here.

We also had a fun afternoon painting some rocks that we had collected.  Spray them with yacht varnish to seal (you can buy this for £1 in Poundland and similar stores) and hide them while out and about for others to find.  I am a member of the Derbyshire Rocks Facebook group and there are ones for all different regions on there!

I recently did a Halloween craft post – 10 Halloween Paper Plate Craft Activities For Kids

Puddle Jump

Sometimes (especially in England) it just does not stop raining so just embrace it!  Get your coat and wellies on and go for a walk, letting your kids jump and splash to their hearts content!

Home, clothes in the washing machine, hot shower/bath and a hot chocolate for after!

Burning energy – Play Centres and Trampoline Parks

Yes I know, I know!  I hate them too BUT in the winter they can be a godsend.  When you have spent a couple of days stuck inside because of the weather and everyone is getting cabin fever these places can be brilliant.  And the joy of your kids being that little bit older means you can go sip on a nice cuppa while they play!  If you have younger ones, yeah you might be OK skipping the gym that day!

Cinema

We all love going to the cinema.  The last film we went to see with the boys was Smallfoot and we all loved it!  We can’t wait for The Crimes of Grindelwald (huge HP fans in our house) and also The Nutcracker film.  Think we will also go and see The Grinch in December – Riley is a massive Dr Seuss fan!

Board and Card Games / Jigsaws

We all love a board game and have got quite a few!  Firm favourites include Frustration (we have the Minion version), Game Of Life, any Top Trumps (Leo got a footballer version and Riley a Horrible Histories version for their birthdays) and Uno.

I am a bit rubbish at jigsaws but the boys are great and we do enjoy a challenge.  Our current one that we are doing is a 1500 piece London one.

We also have a JigRoll which means the jigsaw does not have to be left out on the side, they can be rolled up and put away and then taken out again when we want to carry on!

Toasting Marshmallows.

Marshmallows – tasty treat, great for ostomates for thickening their output and even better when toasted.  We love sitting by the fire outside, chatting, snuggling and enjoying a sweet treat.

Baking

Leo especially loves helping out in the kitchen – whether its helping with breakfast or the Sunday Roast or conjuring up something sweet for us to enjoy.  Again, Pinterest is great for ideas and to make it even simpler you can get the box kits from the supermarket (usually around £2 or £3) in loads of different varieties.

I hope you have enjoyed reading through my ideas and they have inspired you a bit!  Let me know in the comments what your favourite things to do in Autumn are!

nat