Why I love reading (and hope my children will too)

Malory Towers books - favourite books I loved to read as a child

I can clearly remember the first reading book I was given at school – it said ‘Look’ on every page and I was outraged that I had been given something so easy to read. I don’t know if it was because I had an older brother, or because my mum loved to read (and still does) but she taught me to read before I started school. Read more

World Book Day with Milly & Flynn

We’ve reviewed some books and toys from the lovely Milly & Flynn before so when they got in touch again and asked if we would like to join in their 10 minutes book club (#10minsbookclub) for World Book Day I was very happy to agree. (And I know World Book Day was two weeks ago now but bear with me!)

We read to Toby every bedtime (the number of stories he gets sometimes depends on how late it is and how well behaved he’s been though!) and in the last month or so Gabe has really started enjoying books too. He’s not so much one for sitting and listening to a story but we have plenty of books that he likes to look at. He’s started bringing books over to us when he wants us to read to him, or sometimes he’ll even just sit and look at them himself.

The boys weren’t at nursery for World Book Day so we didn’t do any dressing up – I’m sure I won’t get off so easily next year when Toby is a school though! Read more

Review: Milly & Flynn books

Toby loves books and we have loads but there are always room for some more on our shelves so we were very happy to receive some new ones from new pre-school retailer Milly & Flynn.

milly & flynn books

We were sent four books from their range; Bigger and Bigger Wheels; My Astronaut Adventure; Little Sliders Shapes and Flippety Flaps In the Garden.

I loved how all the books have something a bit different about them. Toby loved peeking through the holes in My Astronaut Adventure and sliding the tabs in the Shapes book.


The Flippety Flaps book is a perfect size for Gabe’s little hands and is robust enough to withstand his sometimes less than gentle play!


Both boys love the Bigger and Bigger Wheels book – Toby really enjoyed the story and looking at all the pictures. I think Gabe mostly just enjoyed the different sized pages but at that age anything that is easy for them to handle and turn the pages is great.


There are lots of different titles available from the same ranges as the ones we received, as well as lots of others. Milly & Flynn also sell a range of toys and games – I’ve got my eye on some of the jigsaws for Toby for Christmas!

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

We're going on an adventure

Living Arrows 19/52 (2016)

We have, at last, all been relatively well this week (well, at least after Barry recovered from the bug that Toby had the week before). Nobody has got a cold for, I think, the first time since about February!

Gabe is still teething though and he has been having the most horrific teething poos ever – nearly every one leaks out of his nappy and requires a full change of clothes. The one at 2 am the other night that went right through to his sleeping bag was a real treat! He’s been OK in himself though – off his food a bit but I can’t say I blame him. I’m just hoping these next teeth come soon and we can all have a break.

I haven’t had the big camera out all this week though so both Living Arrows photos are iPhone snaps – I took this one of Gabe when I was pushing him up to the shop. He isn’t the easiest of babies sometimes but when he looks at you like this it does make all the sleepless nights worthwhile.

Gabe giving me a cute smile in the buggy

And I took this picture of Toby and his daddy at bedtime the other night. Toby has got really into his books in the last few months and we always have a bedtime story (or three!). Usually we end up reading the same stories over and over again for a few weeks and then he’ll have a change of heart and move onto something else, but the other night he chose a Noddy book for his daddy to read. This book actually belonged to me and my brother when we were little and I’ve had it (along without about six other Noddy books) for years, ever since I left home I think. I don’t know if you’ve ever read a Noddy book but they’re quite long so he’s been having one chapter a night. I wasn’t sure if he’d have the patience to sit through a longer story but he seems to be enjoying it…and I just love watching my lovely husband and my biggest boy enjoying time together.

Toby and his daddy reading Noddy at bedtime

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 44/52 (2015)

The last week has been a hard one for me. If you read last week’s post you’ll know Barry did his back in last weekend. He was in a lot of pain with it all week and so couldn’t go to work. He couldn’t bend down or lift anything which meant I had to do everything with the boys. I know I’m always at home with them on my own during the day but it was tough having to do all the bedtimes and night get ups by myself too. At least having him at home meant he could keep an eye on Toby while I was trying to get Gabe to nap upstairs (still a work in progress but we’re getting there), and he did a lot of washing up and making bottles but I’m glad to say he’s on the mend and almost back to fully functioning dad duties.

Last week saw Gabe turn 10 weeks old (although as I write this he’s now 11 weeks) and I managed to get some pictures with his milestone card. I can’t believe how quickly the time is going. He’s getting so big already, he doesn’t feel like that tiny, fragile baby any more.

44_52 15 G

As I mentioned in our October Me & Mine post Toby is definitely starting to like having his brother around a bit more now. The kisses and head stroking are back and I managed to get this lovely snap of them together.

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Apparently Toby has been playing in the home corner at nursery quite a lot, including looking after the ‘baby’. The other day he told me he wanted to get the house out, it took me a while to realise he was walking about the pop-up travel cot/ tent that we have. So we got it down, put some cushions and a blanket inside…and then he wanted to read a book to his baby. So cute.

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He’s been loving his books a lot this week actually which I’m delighted about. I’ve always loved reading, although I don’t get much chance to do it these days, and I really hope both the boys will too. Toby hasn’t shown a huge amount of interest in books up to now though so I’m really pleased he is starting to. In fact he’s loving them so much that he had a bit of a tantrum about not being allowed to take his ‘story book’ to nursery with him yesterday! We’ll make a bookworm of him yet.

Living Arrows

Daddy time (The Ordinary Moments #3)

I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’.

My husband works in Edinburgh and so has quite a commute every day. This means that during the week he doesn’t get to see much of Toby. He usually leaves before Toby is awake in the morning so he only sees him for half an hour or so before bed time in the evening. Toby and I go and pick Daddy up from the train station at twenty past five and then there’s half an hour for cuddles and playtime before bed.

Daddy and baby

It’s so lovely to see the two of them together in the evenings. Toby clearly adores his Dad and always has a big grin for him when we get home. I know it’s hard for hubby not too see very much of Toby during the week so I’m really glad that his work is flexible enough that he can at least get home for bedtime – it’s a luxury that a lot of working parents don’t get.

Daddy and baby reading

As well as some cuddles we usually try and fit in a story at some point before bed. In the last week Toby has really started engaging when we read to him. He reaches out and touches the pictures and even tries to turn the pages.

So there we are, another Ordinary Moment in our daily lives.

mummy daddy me

Toby goes to the library

We’re lucky that our local library is only a 10 minute walk away (although I must confess I hadn’t been there until Toby was born). There is a great children’s area in the library and the first time I went they said ‘don’t worry, we don’t shush here!’. They also run a weekly Bookbug Baby Rhymetime session which is half an hour of songs with 5 minutes in the middle to look at a book. Bookbug is a scheme run by the Scottish Book Trust which includes sessions in libraries, a library challenge (Toby has already got his first sticker for taking out some books!) and free books for all children in Scotland. There are four Bookbug packs which are given out and Toby should be getting his first one soon.

I think the library sessions are a great idea – and evidently so do lots of other people as there was a waiting list to get in the group! We went to our second session today; I think Toby was probably the youngest baby out of the 15 or so that were there but they all really seemed to be enjoying themselves. We do quite a lot of different activities during the week with Toby but only because we are lucky enough to be able to pay for them, so it’s good that there is something available locally for babies (and mums and dads) which is completely free. Added to which getting kids interested in reading as early as possible can only be a good thing.

Toby might have been the youngest baby at the session this morning but he’s getting so big now. At the weekend I cleared out all the 0-3 month clothes and got out all his 3-6 month ones. Everything was a bit on the small side but also I was just getting a bit bored of the same clothes so now we’ve got a whole new wardrobe of clothes to choose from every morning! So here’s Toby today – looking particularly autumnal I think…

Toby goes to the library