Have you heard of the Finnish concept of using a Baby Box as your newborn’s first bed? I had recently read an article about this and found the whole thing incredibly interesting. Studies have shown that putting a baby to sleep in a Baby Box can help reduce the causes associated with SIDS. When we were asked to try out the British Baby Box, I jumped at the chance of putting this concept to the test.

We’ve been using the Baby Box for the last few weeks and are absolutely in love. The standard box comes with a mattress and a fitted sheet. There is however also the option of upgrading the box to include blankets, bibs, sleep suits and much more. The Baby Box is extremely versatile and effectively so much more than just a box for baby to sleep in. Here is what we like about it the most:

  • the box is extremely sturdy and well put together (we’ve been carrying it about a bit – from room to room and also in the garden – it still looks as good as when we received the box)
  • the mattress and sheet are of very good quality
  • when baby gets too big for the box it can be used as a storage box 
  • the simple design (grey stars on a white background) is very appealing 

During the amazing sunny days we had recently, we took the box out in the garden a lot. Not only is our daughter very comfortable and content just lying in the box playing, but it also protects her. We have quite a few ants in the grass and I was never happy to just put her on a blanket – the box solves this problem perfectly. 

With the Baby Box we were also kindly sent a Baby Annabell. Zapf is a brand we’ve been using for ages. Our older daughter has quite a few dolls created by Zapf and loves every single one of them dearly.

Baby Annabell Newborn is the smallest and most lightweight doll in the Baby Annabell range and especially designed for babies and young children. This is such a perfect first doll for our baby girl. The body is soft and can be washed and the PVC face is easily wiped clean. Our baby girl particularly loves the rattle that is included in the doll’s body. 

 

If you are a fan of historic novels, I can highly recommend Jane’s books to you. There is plenty of romance and passion, but also a great deal of deceit and scandal. As part of the blog tour for The Tainted Love of a Captain, Jane has written a short piece on the setting of her latest book. Be sure to check out the other blogs on this tour for more exclusive content (I will add the blog tour banner at the end of this post).

The Tainted Love of a Captain: A great research break in Brighton by Jane Lark

I went to Brighton in the autumn of 2015 because if I can l like to go to the places where I am setting a book. But you can imagine the Brighton of today is very different to the Brighton of the 1800s so it took a lot of imagination to try to picture the scene years before as we walked along the seafront looking up at the illuminated pier and entertainments.

We ate, we being my husband and me, at the fish and liquor bar on the front, and looked out watching the sun set and listening to the sea at high tide as it washed up over the shingle stirring the pebbles. It made me think of the sounds of Brighton in the 1800s, the sea would be the same, the noise of people would be the same. Add carriages then and remove music. Yet perhaps someone might be calling out to sell something, or whistling. Gradually the imagination paints a different picture on a setting.

We walked up into the town to visit the one place that I knew was there without much research at all, The Royal Pavilion. Now there is something that is very easy to view aristocratic Regency life in, it is as pompous as ever; it’s like walking through the Harry Potter sets, only these rooms were lived in and used in real life. There are giant life-like dragons holding up the chandeliers with their claws, and serpents swooping over the windows, holding the fabric of the cornices. The whole place is designed to impress and amuse. By the time of my characters though the days of entertaining at the Pavilion were over so you will only see the outside of The Royal Pavilion in the book.

Another real setting that appears in the story is the Lanes in Brighton, to be honest I am not sure they would have been called that in Harry’s day but sometimes it’s better to use the words that people know today rather than confuse the reader. But the Lanes are a part of Brighton that would have been the same in the 1800s, a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets with bow windowed shop fronts. So, it was one place I could describe now as then.

If you ever go to Brighton, the shopping in the Lanes is great, it’s full of quirky, jewellery and antique shops, and all the above places are definitely worth a visit.

About the book

The sounds and scents of the Crimean War are strangling Harry Marlow, shutting him off and silently smothering his soul. But he is a soldier and that is his life, and he can see nothing else besides that. So why should he care when a woman watches him? His life is not one to share with a woman, other than for a few moments in his bed.

When a woman is already drowning so deeply in sin she is without any fear of judgement – what can it matter if she chooses to begin a new affair? It is like escape to choose her own man and Captain Marlow is the perfect candidate for a dalliance. All she has to do is obtain an introduction…

Here we are. Another month is gone which means it’s time for another siblings project post. For the first time since our baby girl was born, we were able to take this month’s pictures outside. Yay, summer time seems to finally be on its way. I am very much looking forward to spending more time in the garden.

I find it hard to believe that we are in May already. Please time, slow down!! Although I cannot wait for the summer holidays, I find it scary that my big girl will start year 1 afterwards. It feels like only yesterday she started reception. 

Our baby girl had her 3rd lot of immunisations this month. Luckily she coped with them really well, but I am so glad we are done with needles for some time yet.

The girl’s bond seems to grow stronger by the day. Both are equally in awe of one another. Our recent purchase of a bath support for our baby girl means that our daughters can now enjoy bath time together which they both love.

We were afraid of jealousy issues, as for nearly five years, our older girl was an only child and completely used to having Mummy and Daddy’s undivided attention. Luckily these fears were unnecessary,  she copes with being a big sister so well and is (a good 90% of the time) so kind, caring, understanding and protective towards her little sibling. Just today we were out meeting some friends at the playground.  The girls were jumping on a trampoline and I was sitting on the side with our baby girl. It made me so proud when our older daughter kept reminding her friends to be careful around her little sister.

I have no idea why our littlest one pulls a grumpy face on each picture, but as soon as she only as much as spies my phone or my camera, her happy smiley face is being replaced by a frown. Not quite the blogger child just yet :-).

The Me and Mine Project

I have a confession to make. When I heard that there was a follow up to Riika Jäntti’s charming Little Mouse, I was as delighted as my daughter. The second book in the series continues the adventures of Little Mouse, as he helps Mummy Mouse in preparation for a visit from his friend. The book is beautifully illustrated with sublimely coloured pictures and lots of detail that could be missed on an initial read. Little Mouse’s big personality once again makes an appearance, to which parents will easily be able to relate! As always, Mummy Mouse prevents any tantrums from becoming full blown in her gentle and easy manner.

The facial expressions that Riika creates for her characters are incredible and they are exactly that; characters with character. Not only can parents relate to the story, but children can too due to the characterful depictions of the mice. It is comforting to see that Little Mouse is praised for his contributions helping round the house, which will encourage young ones to want to help their parents, too. He doesn’t always get things right, but he definitely tries his hardest.

To conclude, Riika has once again created another perfect book for children that is fun to look at and enjoyable to read. I, I mean, my daughter will be looking forward to more books from this talented writer.

I am kicking off the blog tour for Teresa F. Morgan’s newest release, Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage, today. As part of the blog tour stop, Teresa has kindly written a short piece about her writing process.

My writing process by Teresa F. Morgan

I suppose I’m a bit of a seats of pants writer. I’m not great at plotting, I tend to find my best ideas come to me as I type.  I know A needs to get B etc. And I know what certain scenes I want in the storyline, but the rest really does flow from my head, down my body and out my fingertips. I have to type too. I can’t write the story, only jotting down notes. But even then, I like to put my notes into OneNote. The more I write, the more characters develop too, so I find myself going back through the novel to edit these titbits in. 

 Unfortunately I can only write part time, as I work Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, so I’m left three days midweek to crack on with the writing. If real life doesn’t get in the way too much, I make sure I write these days. 

I have from about 9am until 3pm while the boys are at school. I can’t write for a whole six hours – it would cripple me (I suffer with RSI – repetitive strain injury) – and there is housework (boo!) and a budgie, Rio to attend. 

A lot of writers give the advice of writing 1000 words a day. I just can’t do that, especially because of the days I’ve worked plus at weekends I want to make sure I enjoy life. It’s where we get our inspirations from after all. Living is research! 

Therefore, I’ve set myself a target of 3000 words a week. This is doable for me, and I’ve worked out that a 90,000 word novel (which is approximately what I write) should take me 30 weeks to generate a first draft. So that’s my aim! Some weeks I’m getting more than 3000 words, so it’s all a bonus. 

If I put too much pressure on myself I’ll make myself miserable and stressed about the day to day stuff. I want to aim to get a book written a year, and this word count target makes it achievable.

About Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage

After her house is set on fire and her love life is left in tatters, Maddy Hart can’t believe her luck when a friend offers her the temporary haven of Wisteria Cottage. Overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Cornish coast, the fresh air feels like a fresh start for her and her broken heart.

Peeking out of the cosy cottage windows, Maddy’ssurprised to see her gorgeous but insufferable neighbour Harry Tudor has been employed to landscape the garden. But as the wisteria winding its way around the cottage begins to bloom, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom…

About Teresa F. Morgan

Teresa F Morgan lives in sunny Weston-super-Maretrying to hold onto her Surrey accent where she originates from.

For years she persevered with boring jobs, until her two boys (and a budgie called Rio) joined her nest. In an attempt to find something to work around them, and to ensure she never endured full time boredom again, Teresa found writing.

Family holidays in Cornwall have lead to the scenic Cornish coastline and the city of Bristol being the back drop for Teresa’s novels.

She’s at her happiest baking cakes, putting proper home cooked dinners on the table (whether the kids eat them or not), reading a good romance, or sitting at her PC emptying herthoughts onto the screen.

Teresa loves writing contemporary romance, stories with a touch of escapism and creating heroes readers will fall in love with.

@Teresa_Morgan10

https://www.facebook.com/teresafmorgan12/

http://www.teresamorgan.co.uk/

Make sure you check out the other stops on this tour for more exclusive content from Teresa.