Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us.  Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

For this week’s TALK OF THE TOWN, I am hosting a giveaway to win a copy of The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be reading this novel. I’ve read Alexandra’s debut last year and was immediately drawn in. It’s definitely one of these books that is not easily forgotten. I really hope that The Good Daughter will live up to my high expectations. Thanks to Avon, I have a spare copy to give away to one lucky person. To be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is follow the Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TALK OF THE TOWN is sponsored by Black and White Publishing who kindly support a monthly giveaway. Everyone who tweets with the hashtag #ToTT will be entered into this giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.   The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing. If you are sharing my weekly post please include @bwpublishing if possible. Thank you :-). January’s winner is Suzie (@suzannawriter). Congratualtions!!

Showcase book of the month: The Last Day I Saw Her by Lucie Lawrie.


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*Cough*, *Splutter*, *Sneeze* – yes, cold and flu season is in full swing. Don’t you just hate it when your child is poorly and you feel completely helpless? I always wish it was me instead of them. Our oldest one has been sniffing on and off for the last few weeks. No surprise really as there are so many colds making their rounds in school. We always try and distract her as much as possible when she is poorly. Here are a few things we normally do:

As a special treat, we let her sleep in our bed during the night. We find that being able to cuddle up to us, is definitely helping in making her feel better. I also love the fact that by her being close to us, I can keep an eye on her through the night (especially as she fevers quite quickly and quite high).

We let her choose the foods she’d like to eat for dinner. Yes, we do usually end up eating rather unhealthy choices and might eat pizza three times in a row, but I am certainly not complaining :-).

Or there is always the option of cuddling up on the sofa watching a film. Whatever we do, I make sure she gets plenty of attention and cuddles.

Vicks consumer reserarch showed that over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better. This was followed by medicine, which 40% of parents rely on and more than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC. According to Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.” 

We are huge fans of Vicks products. We are always well stocked up on Vicks VapoRub. This already goes back to my childhood. I still so vividly remember my mum going to her medicine cabinet to get a tub of Vicks VapoRub to relieve my cold symptoms such as congestion, sore throats and coughs. Just typing this, I can smell its distinctive scent. I loved it then and still do now. 

Vicks have created a range of magic trick videos to give parents some ideas of how to entertain their children when they are poorly. I love the sliced banana trick – so far, we have never used magic tricks to get our daughter to laugh when she was ill, but I’ll definitely be trying some of Vicks magic trick suggestions in the future.

How do you make your children feel better when they are ill?

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.

Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us.  Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

I’ve received some fantastic book post during the last couple of days. Thank you so much dear publishers! As part of today’s TALK OF THE TOWN post, I am sharing my next few reads with you.

ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS by Elan Mastai

This book is a little out of my comfort zone (it’s a cross over a few genres – from literary fiction to science-fiction and a few others), but as soon as I read the description for this book, I was utterly compelled and eager to give it a go. I am currently reading this book and am about halfway through. It’s amazing!! I will be sharing my review in the coming weeks.

LOST for WORDS by Stephanie Butland

It was the tagline of this book that drew me in straight away: “You can trust a book to keep your secret… Plus, the cover is gorgeous (I can’t share it on here yet, as it has not been revealed, but keep an eye out on 19th February :-)). I cannot wait to start reading this book.

When I Was Invisible by Dorothy Koomson

I’ve heard quite a few positive things about Dorothy’s writing, but so far, I haven’t read any of her novels so I am very excited to be delving into this one soon.

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

This novel is definitely one of my most anticipated reads for 2017. I’ve read Alexandra’s debut, Little Girl Gone, last year and was absolutely blown away by it. Such an amazing, compelling and thrilling read. I cannot wait to find out whether The Good Daughter will live up to my high expectations.

Which books are you reading next?

TALK OF THE TOWN is sponsored by Black and White Publishing who kindly support a monthly giveaway. Everyone who tweets with the hashtag #ToTT will be entered into this giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.   The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing. If you are sharing my weekly post please include @bwpublishing if possible. Thank you :-). January’s winner is Suzie (@suzannawriter). Congratualtions!!

Showcase book of the month: The Last Day I Saw Her by Lucie Lawrie.


 

Our little girl is already 5 weeks old. Where does the time go??? It feels like yesterday, our new family of 4 (it still gives me an utter thrill saying this! We are finally a family of 4), was bundled up together in the car on our way back from the hospital. But let me start at the beginning.

I had a feeling that she would arrive a little earlier than her calculated due date of 15th January. Our oldest daughter was born at 37.5 weeks. The midwives kept telling us that every child is different and that our previous birth would be no indication of how this one would go. Call it mother’s instinct, but I just somehow knew, I wouldn’t make it to the full 40 weeks with this preganancy either. And I was not wrong.

I started to feel a few contractions in the evening of New Year’s Eve, but they were by no means regular or particulary strong. Just a few here and there. Overnight everything had quietened down and I felt absolutely fine by the next morning. Throughout the whole day, there was no further indidcation that baby would arrive soon.

The next day we had planned a meet-up with some friends at our local zoo – but we never made it. My waters broke at 9am just after we had finished breakfast (we had a little lie-in on that day).

Although we were pretty much prepared for Baby to arrive earlier than her due date, it still took us by surprise. We phoned our friends who would take care of our oldest daughter for us and set off to our local midwifery unit. There, it was confirmed that my waters had indeed gone and that I was officially in labour. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t keep us there as our oldest daughter had a low birth weight and we would have to go to hospital after all. We were a bit aprehensive about this as we were previously told the low birth weight would not be a problem as this pregnancy measurements were always on point.

Oh well, off we went. By this point contractions were coming in thick and fast, but slowed down as soon as I got in the car. Our town no longer has a maternity unit (therefore, the midwifery unit was our preferred choice) and the nearest hospital with a maternity unit is approximately 30 minutes away from where we live. I phoned ahead, but was told that we should stop at home and wait for contractions to pick up again. Which they promptly did as soon as I got out of the car. We stayed at home for about 45 mimutes before we set off for the hospital, In the meantime, I had walked around a lot and even cleaned the house a little :-). I knew I had contractions, but to be fair, they were never that painful so I thought I still had plenty of time. However, they became pretty regular and were not far apart from another. Back in the car, things slowed down a little. My husband and I were hoping that the hospital wouldn’t turn us away, we were afraid that my labour might have not been established enough and that they would send us back home – but we couldn’t have been any more wrong…

As soon as we parked up (luckily the 2nd January was a bank holiday and there were not many cars in the car park – parking at the hospital can be a bit of a challenge sometimes) and got out of the car, I was in quite a lot of pain. We made it upstairs to the labour ward and were told to take a seat for a little bit and that a midwife would be with us soon. All I remember is thinking, the baby is coming NOW! I voiced my concern, and was immediately put on a hospital bed to be examined. The midwife’s face told me everything I needed to know – I was in fact 10cm dilated and ready to push this baby out. I was quickly wheeled into a labour room (they were afraid that if I did any more walking, this baby would be born in the corridor). It only took a few more minutes until we got to hold our beautiful baby girl.

I still cannot believe that this labour was so quick and uncomplicated. I know I am definitely one of the lucky ones. We managed without any pain medication (well, there wasn’t any time) and I didn’t get to go in the pool. I really wanted a water birth this time around (but again, there was no time to even run the bath). I always wanted to take some bump pictures in the hospital before she was born (but again, you’ll get the point by now, there was no time). I had no idea that I was 10cm by the time we reached the hospital. If I had known, we would have definitley panicked in the car, but as it was we actually had quite a nice car journey :-). The contractions leading up to this point were really not that painful at all. The “pushing part” completely made up for that though – I had very much forgotten just how painful this bit is!!

We were able to leave the hospital 6 hours after our baby’s birth which was so nice. Spending the first few hours as a foursome is a memory I will treasure forever! Since then, we have nicely settled into some sort of a routine (apart from sleeping). My husband I couldn’t be any happier and grateful for our 2 gorgeous girls. Being parents to these two is just the best thing ever!!

Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us.  Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

And just like that, the first month of the year is gone! January basically just passed us by – surely this was the quickest month ever. It’s been a very quiet few weeks reading wise for me, but instead I had lots of cuddles with our new baby girl. Holding her in my arms when she drifts off to sleep and holding a book at the same time is a little challenging. No doubt, I’ll use my Kindle a lot more in the coming weeks.

For this week’s #ToTT, I am sharing our thoughts on My First Mog Books.

This series comes in a pack of 4 little books. Our oldest daughter has been a fan of Mog books for quite some time and especially since watching the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert from a few years ago :-).

We bought these books for her a few week’s back. These are obviously aimed at a much younger audience, but we thought they were ideal as her first reading books. She started school in September and really enjoys being able to read books with simple wording by herself and these books are perfect for this purpose. The language is easy and there are only a few words per page.

She has read these books a few times (and to be fair, she knows them off by heart now – but still, intially she figured out all the words by herself) and very much likes reading them out aloud to her baby sister.

This little book pack really is fantastic for toddlers or for older children who are just starting to read. The illustrations are expressive. It’s quite surprising how much of a story can be told from such a short length. They’ve definitely earned a big thumps up from our family.

TALK OF THE TOWN is sponsored by Black and White Publishing who kindly support a monthly giveaway. Everyone who tweets with the hashtag #ToTT will be entered into this giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.   The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing. If you are sharing my weekly post please include @bwpublishing if possible. Thank you :-). January’s winner is Suzie (@suzannawriter). Congratualtions!!

Showcase book of the month: The Last Day I Saw Her by Lucie Lawrie.