Books, Books, (Boons) Books!

DSC_0755

DSC_0760

DSC_0768

If you follow me on Instagram (if not you’re missing out on a whole heap of baby spam! Scroll down on your phone or peek to the left on your laptop to find me) you’ll have seen that last weekend we made a trip to Lewes where we stocked up on even more books for Little Ored.

It’s funny how Ored and I won’t buy LO any more toys, truly believing that he has more than enough (which he does). But when it comes to books it seems that all three of us just can’t get enough!  Reading was the first “activity” we introduced to LO when he was just weeks old. It was a great way of getting Ored more involved with the bedtime routine, which has (and still does) largely revolved around breastfeeding. It also gave me a chance to share my love of books, gleefully strolling down memory lane to relive the books I used to read as a child. But above all it gives us the opportunity to connect as a family. To switch off and completely immerse ourselves in a world full of imagination.

Needless to say we love books, but they can be pricey, so I’ve started scouting charity shops. This is one tip I’d really recommend to other parents as I’ve found some great bargains including a Roald Dahl treasury, along with copies of The Midnight Library and The Haunted House by the relatively unknown Kazuno Kohara, who is without a doubt my favourite discovery in the world of children’s illustration.

But charity shops don’t always stock newer titles and by and large you end up seeing the same books again and again, so I gave myself a HUGE pat on the back when I first discovered Boons Books. Located in Lewes, East Sussex, Boons sell discounted books that are either remainders or overstocked titles. All of which are in new/near perfect condition yet sold for a fraction of the price compared to the RRP!

Their selection of children’s books is vast, stocking a huge range to suit every age including activity, learning and picture books. Best part? They stock the more cooler, current titles on their shelves! More The Bear and the Piano and less Meg and Mog (although I have to admit that in our house their both loved equally).

The stock rotates regularly so you’ll always come across new covers sitting pretty on the shelves. Likewise, be sure to snap up anything that takes your fancy as it might not be there on your next visit.

Annoyingly Boons don’t have a website but they are well worth the visit, as is Lewes. We’ve discovered some real gems- books that we probably wouldn’t have come across in somewhere like Waterstones- and for next to nothing!

Here are three of mine and LO’s favourites.

  1. Four Seasons In One Day- The Story Orchestra (£7, RRP £14.99)

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are reimagined in this magical storybook, complete with ‘press me’ buttons which play a small sample of each piece. The pages are beautifully illustrated, with so much for your eyes to explore. LO absolutely loves this so it’s become a firm favourite of ours, and not just at bedtimes!

2. One Day On Our Blue Planet, In The Artctic – Ella Bailey (£4, RRP £11.99)

Teaming vivid and imaginative illustration with engaging non-fiction, this book follows an Adelie penguin chick as she navigates her way through the magnificent if dangerous Antarctic Ocean. This is a great way of bringing wildlife and animal species into the home in a way that is both fun and educational. LO is obviously too young to appreciate the latter part but I love that he points to all the different types of Antarctic animals at the beginning and end of the book.

3. The 50 States  – Gabrielle Balken (£10, RRP £20)

Ok so this is one of my favourites as LO is far too young for this at the moment. But WOW, what an incredible compendium of facts (ranging from statehood dates and capitals, famous faces to key moments in history) about all fifty states of America. Presented in quirky, colourful illustrations that make the knowledge within its pages and engaging, not boring.

As someone who knows only a basic level of American history, I’m looking forward to discovering new things with a curious young mind beside me.

 

cc-tag

Advertisements

2018- New Year, New Goals

First post of a new year!

January, that time of year for self reflection. Resolutions set in order to make changes that will hopefully make us happier and healthier people, and I of course am no different.

2017 was an exceptional year (and will be a tough one to beat) as it brought Ored and I our bright, beautiful, kind, nosey- and let’s not forget- noisy babe. Motherhood has given my life more meaning than I could ever have imagined, but it has also made me hungry. For the first time in my life I’m starting to think of the future and what that means for our family, because there’s nothing quite like the refocus you have once you have a child.

Maybe you could call it a movie lightbulb moment (ding!) because suddenly, with total clarity you realise just who/what is important in life and who/what doesn’t deserve a second thought. And so I’ve entered the New Year with a spring in my step determined to achieve my goals and make 2018 a year full of love, happiness and success.

  1. Get in front of the camera

It’s difficult to admit but I have struggled with my post pregnancy body far more than I thought I would. It’s not a question of weight, it’s just that everything is different now. My old clothes may fit like a glove once more, but now my face seems a little…off and my hips still seem adamant to show just how wide they had to be to carry a babe…

And so if I’m really honest, this has played a big part in avoiding being photographed. Despite holding our son, I’d actively grimace whenever anyone dared to point a camera in my face and utter the word “smile.” Looking back I’ve come to realise that, rather sadly, I’m the only one missing out. These moments of babyhood will be gone in the blink of an eye and when I’m 60 looking back at photographs, it’ll be hard not to notice how little I appear in them.

So as of now, I’m making a promise to get in front of the camera. No matter how bad my hair may look or how terrible an angle Ored is taking them from. And guess what? The above photos were taken on the 1st so I’m already off to a good start!

2. Exercise

Since turning vegetarian last July my diet has never been better. I can now say I actually cook from scratch (hurrah) and even Ored is more involved in the kitchen, relishing in making homemade pesto. Opting for a baby lead approach to weaning meant that as a family, we all had to be on board, sitting together, eating together and making mealtimes a fun, but healthy, experience.

But having a baby on in my hands 99.9% of the time leaves little time to do anything else and so exercise has fallen to the bottom of that never ending list all parents – but especially Mamas- have of ‘things to do.’

And so it’s for both health and post-pregnancy confidence that I’m vowing to incorporate regular exercise back into my life, be it walking, running or swimming.

3. Write

I made significant headway with freelance writing before falling pregnant. I managed to keep the blog relatively up to date and at the tail end of last year I embarked upon writing my first novel (6,000+ words and counting). But the momentum has slowly ebbed and I know I have to pull it back before I find myself back in that most feared and loathed of spots- writer’s block.

4. Read

I love books and whilst I’m devouring a ton of children’s novels (its something we really enjoy doing as family before bedtime) I’d quite like to read some for myself again. Every year I always set myself the completely unrealistic goal of reading a book a week, and so fail miserably. So now I’m aiming for a book a month, utilising the evenings or breastfeeding sessions instead of being on my phone/tablet (can I add using less technology as a 2018 resolution?) But I’m flexible. Even if I only read a book every two months it’ll still be significantly more than last year!

5. Try something new

I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I don’t have to return to work once my maternity leave finishes. That said I’d love to find something I could do working from home that allows me to be creative whilst spending time with Little Ored. Who knows what will be this time next year- but I’m excited to find out!

6. Be kinder

To myself, to others, to the planet.

So here’s to 2018- may it be a wonderful, magical year for us all!

cc-tag