Toddler’s Lemony Birthday Cake


It’s Joss’ Second Birthday tomorrow and I’ve decided to use that day to blog about an important campaign, so this is a birthday-eve Birthday post complete with Toddler’s Lemony Birthday Cake. She and I adore lemon curd so this is a cake fit for my darling girl with handmade paper flower decorations and two little ladybird candles.

She has had a whale of a time today as we planned a little pre-Birthday tea party, tomorrow will be a day just for the three of us.

She was really excited about presents and about her cake, lovely to see these ‘firsts’



Personalisation in Health – They Remembered Us

R: “Well hello, how are you?”

A: “I’m fine thanks, you?”

R: “Hasn’t she gotten big, she looks so like your brother now, it’s amazing the likeness, her hair is beautiful and blonde”

A: “Thank you, she loves a compliment!”

What came next? Sounds like a fairly common conversation between old friends or neighbours perhaps?

R: “well have a seat and we’ll see you shortly”

Yep, it was the dentist’s receptionist who we see every six months for ten minutes

I am astounded that they remember us every time we go in but the level of personalisation in the service, though we’ve used the surgery for years, is pretty amazing. She remembered my brother’s name and that I gave birth the day after my Sis’ wedding, so it was clear my parents had been chatting to the team when they were in, it felt friendly and welcoming and I feel bad that that was unexpected.

We often hear about services being faceless but this is an exemplar that really surprised me, our GPs are great but we see them more frequently and they don’t have that same recall and friendliness. Just a musing but I wanted to mention it ahead of a post I am writing tomorrow about a service that didn’t listen.


Competition Time: The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women Reviewed

I have many books from publishing house Pinter & Martin, they “publish authors who challenge the status quo and specialise in psychology, pregnancy, birth & parenting and health”

The Roar Behind the Silence and Rediscovering Birth featured in my research dissertation and I’ve recently been given Kiss Me by a friend, these are books that appeal to my interest in health, wellbeing and loosely to attachment parenting too.

I was delighted to receive a copy of The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women by Lehla Eldridge and am happy to have a copy to offer to another Wonderful woman so do enter using the Rafflecopter, dear readers!


This book is essentially a gorgeously illustrated guide to seeking health and wellness for women, it’s full of ideas for treating yourself kindly and don’t we all need a bit of that from time to time? There were some suggestions that I found hugely appealing:


Others reminded me to take action, to call a friend and to take off my chipped nail polish and treat myself to a spot of pampering


The illustrations are beautiful:


I have one copy of the book to give away, enter using the Rafflecopter and comment on this blog post telling me about a wonderful woman you know

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you would like to buy your own copy do so from and use code lbblog20 and you’ll get 20% off and free post and packing

T&Cs apply, UK entrants only, random choosing of a winner via rafflecopter will be announced within 24 hours of closing, P&M are responsible for sending out the prize, there is no cash alternative.

Helen Stephens’ Betsy Makes A Splash Review

“My name is Betsy and I have a mummy, a daddy and a Rufus”

Egmont UK sent us the most glorious book to review; Besty Makes a Splash! by Helen Stephens. A sign of a good book is that I can’t photograph the cover for little hands!


Helen Stephens has written and illustrated lots of books for babies, toddlers and older children, remember Michael Morpurgo’s JoJo the Melon Donkey? Helen illustrated it!

I just looked up her beautiful website too, you know some illustrators just appeal to you? Well for me her work just ‘sings’ – she captures expressions beautifully!

WP_004869 This is just one of the books in a lovely series about Betsy, they’re all about first experiences, swimming and school, visiting the doctor, and with more to follow in 2015 it’s clear these books are aimed at preschoolers getting to grips with new things, seeking reassurance and dealing with lots of emotions.

Joss often says to me ‘I’m not sure’ when we’re doing something new so it was lovely to read Betsy saying ‘I wasn’t sure’ about jumping into the pool!

She soon sees that swimming is fun and of course she doesn’t want to leave.

Joss is really pondering this page whilst I was getting my work bag ready today!


Look how brilliantly Helen captures this moment that we’ve all experienced, bet they’ll be stood their for half an hour popping 10p pieces in!


With a soft padded tactile cover and well spaced text, lots to look at and spot on each page and a new experience to chat about I see the Betsy series growing with Joss; one for us to read together and chat about as well as for her to pore over!

Disclaimer: We received a copy of this book for review purposes, all views are my own

#107days Mumslist

Real Life

This week has seen some real weather ups and downs so we’ve gone from outdoor exploring for minibeasts including Joss’ first ladybird and ‘caterpillow’ to jumping in muddy puddles, to staying indoors after getting a soaking and engaging in some rather amusing family ‘dinoselfies’

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Sleep has evaded us a lot of this week, it’s either teeth and she’s just not bothered during the day or its something to do with outgrowing the cot and being ready for a big girls bed, not sure which but I’m also not sure I’m ready to let go of the cot bars just yet (not until we child proof the nursery once and for all anyway!)

Blog Life

Popular posts this week have been two crafty ones here and here

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On a more serious note, I have been following a campaign called #107days which you can read about here. Next Tuesday I will be adopting one of the 107 days and blogging about advocacy and the importance of having a voice and being heard in care settings (and in any settings)


Related to this and following this week’s Panorama expose of yet another care scandal in yet another care setting the #107days campaign has sparked off a huge read round of brilliant blogs that appeal to my work life as well as my personal interest in social justice so I want to share these with other readers and encourage you to learn more about the condition of health and care in the UK today:

Sara’s blog

Mark Neary’s blog Love, Belief and Balls and 107 days

Sally Donovan

And many more you can find linked in on the 107 days of action page

Eco Friendly Fashion Upcycling Ideas in 30 Mins

This is the first post in a series of Eco Friendly Fashion Upcycling Ideas in 30 Minutes (or less!)

We’re starting with a simple brooch


For cash and time poor crafters like me it’s nice to put old fabric stash items to good use

This brooch is made from fabric scraps cut into different sized circles and layered up. You want to get loads of different textured fabrics going on here!

Stack your circles and machine or hand stitch four lines to attach them as shown, then cut through all the layers at a midpoint between stitches as shown being careful to stop short of the centre


Ruffle up your petals and pinch them in the centres to give more texture

Add a simple safety pin and pop on a coat or bag


Washi tape ideas 101 – Summer Garden Lanterns Tutorial

We’ve been working on our back yard for a while now and decided to buy a wooden bench so that we can sit out and enjoy the summer evenings.

As well as making some robust cushions I’ve been working on some little garden lanterns made from jam jars, to light the way on summer nights. I’ve posted a lot of washi tape ideas lately but this is my fave!


Want to make your own?

You’ll need:

A clean sticker free jam jar

Some fine wire

Washi tapes


(Optional beads)

A tealight

Start with your jam jar


Add washi tape in rows or stripes, you can leave a gap for the night to shine through or cover the whole jar, whatever takes your fancy


I’ve done stripes


Take your wire and cut roughly half a metre, folding in half


Wrap the wire twice around the jar and twist at the side, then create your handle, tuck the handle wire under the wire wrapped around the jar to secure in place and twist firmly to make a sturdy handle (I added beads but you don’t have to, just be careful to make a long enough handle so it doesn’t get really hot!


Slip a lit tea light in there (carefully!) and enjoy!