Love2read “Our Daddy” book | Book review & giveaway (CLOSED)

The boys take after their Mummy and love it when we get a new book to review. Recently we received a personalised ‘Our Daddy’ book from Love2read. I have admired these books from afar for a long time but have never got around to ordering one so as well as the boys, I was really excited when this one arrived on our doorstep (even though it was gift for Daddy!).

With Love2read you combine keywords with photos to create a beautiful book that can be treasured forever. There are so many categories to choose from to create your book but the Daddy selection is perfect for Father’s Day, which is just around the corner.

A Love2read book is so simple to create – you just choose your colour, upload your photos, and add your short sentences and the rest is done for you. I love that there is one photo on each page (with a collage on the front and at the back) so it is easier for the child to identify the sentence or keywords that go with it, and also that there are ‘corners’ on each photo so it looks like an actual photo album.

None of the males in this house can sit still for long at the same time so Daddy read the book with the boys one at a time. It was so lovely to see them sitting and reading a book about their Daddy; J has really taken to attempting to read the sentences with each photo, and N loves looking at the photos.

The quality of the book itself is excellent; the pages are thick so much harder to tear than a usual paper book, and the print quality is much better than I expected as some of my photos I uploaded were blurry on the preview but came out fine in print.

This is a book that all three of them can treasure forever and sit and read over and over again – I want a Mummy one now! It is such a wonderful gift idea for so many occasions and we will definitely be purchasing more at some point in the future as we wouldn’t be able to afford them for every occasion.

Love2read personalised books retail at £14.99 each, but the more you buy the cheaper they get!

Our rating – 4.5/5

We were sent this book free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & our own.

If you fancy winning one for yourself (or for your children to give to Daddy for Father’s Day!) then just fill in the Rafflecopter below – good luck!

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Terms & conditions
Open to UK residents 18 & over.
Entries must be received by 11.59 pm on 11/06/2015.
The winner will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter/ when the giveaway has ended and will be sent an email informing them they have won.
The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be drawn – it is a short time frame as last order for Father’s Day are on the 16th June.
I will send the winner’s details on and the prize code will be sent directly from Love2read.

Kids Don’t Come With a Manual | Book review & giveaway (CLOSED)

When I was pregnant with J I never read any ‘parenting’ books – there were just so many on the market and it was a bit overwhelming. I’d had lots of advice from friends, and I knew I had lots to go to for advice once he had arrived. I’d heard of lots of parenting ‘experts’ and their books though and there were many differing opinions on all of them – I decided that we’d just go with the flow and we’d get it, somehow!

When we came home from the hospital though I joked that I wish they’d sent us home with a manual – we had absolutely no clue between us and we kind of just muddled through for those first few weeks! (Doesn’t everyone?…) The truth is though, there is no one type of parenting manual fits all, as all of them are different (as are parents – our ‘styles’ are very different and we’re always rowing about how to deal with certain behaviours).

I posted a while ago about trouble we were having with J’s behaviour and it had led to quite an unhappy family life of which we have been ‘suffering’ for the past few months and we were trying absolutely everything to deal with it, but not much of it was working. When I heard and read about a new book on the market, Kids Don’t Come With A Manual, I thought that I may as well give it a shot – what did I have to lose?

This isn’t the usual “from birth-what babies should be doing-what you should be doing” kind of book. It’s more of a toolbox on various methods of dealing with challenging behaviour from toddler-hood onward. The authors of the book, Carole & Nadim, also don’t claim to be parenting experts, they have just drawn on their many years of experience and research of dealing with children, to put together this ‘manual’. There are seven chapters with various tools in each one; just a few of the chapters are ‘how to prevent power struggles and other issues’, ‘how to listen so children will want to talk’, and ‘how to talk so children will want to listen’.

Not all of the chapters apply to us right now but I dived straight in there and read it all as I thought I would then be prepared as & when those situations arise. Each chapter has a blurb of what the child may be thinking, then each tool has the voice of the strict parent (Nadim) and the voice of the all-heart parent (Carole) telling us how they each applied the tool and worked together for a more harmonious household. Some of the tools have already started working for us though I think some may take a little more time. For example using ‘Uh-Oh & time-Away’ instead of the ‘naughty step’, after only a couple of days J has been telling me before I ask, that he wants the door left open. Limited choices is a good one for us too and (mostly) it saves meltdowns. Some of the tools I found we had already been using, so really the book is just about picking & choosing tools that apply to you. There is a handy troubleshooting section at the back for quick reference too. The only thing I’ve found is that some tools are easier to remember how to use than others, but after using them a few times I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem (hence the handy troubleshooting section) – plus there are even pages at the end of each chapter to write your own notes.

Overall I would really recommend this book if you are encountering challenging behaviour. It is really down-to-earth and Carole & Nadim aren’t telling what you should be doing, more what you could be doing differently. For us, so far, it definitely shows to be a worthwhile investment of £12.99 for a happier family life.

If you fancy winning a copy for yourself, I’m happy to be able to offer one to one of my readers – just complete the Rafflecopter below!

I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions
Open to UK residents 18 & over.
Entries must be received by 11.59 pm on 26/04/2015.
The winner will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter/ when the giveaway has ended and will be sent an email informing them they have won.
The winner has 28 days to respond to the email or a new winner will be drawn.
I will send the winner’s details on to the PR and the prize will be sent directly from the PR.

Zip It & Train! | Book review

As an avid reader and now writing my own book review blog, I want to make sure that my boys love reading too. J is at that stage now where he is starting to want to read them himself and sometimes reads to his brother too (when he’s feeling in a sharing mood). At the minute though it’s the case that I read them a few times and J memorises it so is able to repeat, which I think is wonderful! We were recently sent two new books from Little Tiger Press which he has really taken to, they are his new favourites at the minute.

The first one is Zip It! (which is party of the My Little World series). J isn’t the only one who loves this book, I’ve taken quite a liking to it too! It’s a great little – well, big really – book with lots of fastenings to practice on and little animal stories to go with them. The fastenings include a zip, a button/hole, velcro, a snap button (this one the only one which is a little tough, even I have a little difficulty getting it open), and laces. The stories are rhyming which I think is great for children as they are easy to remember too. The book also includes pictorial instructions and J has managed to follow them fairly easy. When we go on a car journey he often wants to take this one with him.

Zip It!

The second book we received to review is Train! This one is all about a little elephant who loves his toy train, but his friends – penguin and rabbit – like to play with their plane and car. They don’t really want to play together as they much prefer their own toys but will a trip on a train encourage them to? Their arguing over their toys introduces a great rhyming part to the story and J loves reading along with this bit. When I’m reading the book to them, both boys are full of giggles so even though N doesn’t really understand it at his age, the rhythm of the story is funny for him. This is also a great story for teaching about friendship, and sharing too. Since we’ve had this book there has been more than one day where I’ve had to read it more than once so it’s another new favourite for us!


Both books can be purchased from Amazon. Zip It! is priced at £8.99 and Train! is priced at £4.99. I would definitely buy both of these books at this price, they are very much worth it, especially Zip It! for the educational as well as fun factor.

Our rating – 4.5/5

We were sent these products free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & our own.

Organix Little Book of Weaning

As you may know, we have recently started weaning N. Unlike with J, we have been much more relaxed about it this time and we haven’t hit any obstacles yet! In fact, I’m finding it much less stressful and much more fun this time around.

I think as a first time parent it is going to be one of those things that worries you from the off, from even starting to think about weaning. The when, how, what? We tried weaning J earlier than he was ready so I panicked that he wasn’t getting enough food, but really he just wasn’t showing all of the signs, and we did it just because we were ‘supposed to’. With N I just knew when he was ready so it has been easy this time, really.

When you start to think about weaning though, there is so much help out there for you. Organix have just released The Little Book Of Weaning which is free to download. This book has been written with the help of four mums just like me & you – who are also experts in their own fields, but they have been there with the anxiety and questions – so it really is a great help.

The Little Book of Weaning has various chapters on deciding when your baby is ready, how to approach it, discovering new foods, top tips, and a handy guide on what & when to introduce different foods. If you feel overwhelmed and are looking for somewhere to start, then this is it.

We decided to baby led wean from the beginning with N, but we have fed him a couple of foods from a spoon (though he tries to do it himself!). It was an easy decision for us to take this time but some parents struggle to choose between BLW and traditional weaning. Organix believe that there is no need to choose if you don’t wish to:

“Rather than feeling that you have to decide between traditional weaning or BLW, why not combine the two then you’ll get the best of both worlds? You can start off with puree, then when you feel ready pop some finger foods in front of your baby so they can squash, squeeze and taste the finger food.”

As this is the second time I’ve been through the weaning journey, here are my top five tips for you:

  • let baby take the lead. They will let you know when they’re ready, and you will know when they show you.
  • easier said than done, but try not to worry if it looks like they are choking. They are just practicing their gag reflex which happens to be further forward than ours.
  • give them a spoon to hold (or play with!) from the beginning – even if they don’t use it, it’s great practice!
  • don’t worry about how much they’re eating. It’s mainly just fun up until one year old whilst they are mainly having milk.
  • following on from above – don’t worry about mess! It’s fun for us parents too!

*PR collaboration

Breastfeeding Made Easy | Book review & giveaway (CLOSED)

I know it’s a little odd me writing about this book as I’m not breastfeeding any more, but I received the Breastfeeding Made Easy book just as I was switching to the bottle – it would have been so handy for me beforehand but I thought it would still be great to review it as I could maybe help someone in the future, even if only on something small, and I could recommend it to people in the future too. Obviously it’s also taken me a long time to get through it, as it is a long book; but in turn that means it’s very informative.

Anything that can help you find out more about breastfeeding is great; whether that be friends, peers on social media, peer supporters, midwives, or books. This book literally covers everything. There are 23 chapters covering subjects such as [actually] breastfeeding, facts about babies, problems with the breast, weaning, illness, fertility whilst breastfeeding, and many many more.

It is written by Carlos Gonzalez, and he writes with both seriousness and humour. Though at some points I did feel he was being critical towards formula feeding mothers, but obviously if you are going to read this book you are planning on breastfeeding anyway so it wouldn’t particularly bother you, and he is of course promoting breastfeeding (I read some of these parts at the point when I was still a bit sensitive; later on it didn’t really bother me).

There are lots of useful images so as well the written word of his advice, you can actually see what to do or what he is referring to. At the end of every chapter there are also references to other literature which has been mentioned so you can seek further information if you wish to do so. Carlos also includes links to support, which is fantastic.

There are some really interesting facts in this book which I had absolutely no idea about and I have come away with a whole new mountain of knowledge which I may be able to pass on to someone else at some point – you never know when that little thing could come up in conversation and a light bulb comes on – “Ooh, I read about that in this great book!”.

It is currently retailing at £9.59 on Pinter & Martin. I think that for anybody who wants to breastfeed, that it is a must buy at this price and I only wish I had read it before N arrived.

My rating – 5/5

I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

If you like the sound of this book, I am giving you a chance to win it. All you have to do is complete the entries in the Rafflecopter below and you’re set – good luck! (None are mandatory, complete as many as you wish).

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