In honour of world book day, I’ve listed my favourite books to read to and with my two year old. I’ve always been such an advocate of investing time into reading to your children, it’s so important! I’ve read to Leo since he was a newborn and now he loves books. He could sit at ‘read’ his books for hours and he loves our bedtime stories!
The Snail and The Whale – Julia Donaldson
This is one of Leo’s current favourite books so I thought I’d start with this one. He loves all the pictures in it and the rhyming element to the story. It’s got a beautiful message that no matter how big or small you may feel, you can still make an impact when it counts.
A Sick Day For Amos McGee – Phillip C Stead
We’ve loved this one since he was just a few months old. The message of friendship and good karma is beautiful!
Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
This book is a great one to read just before bed. For our bedtime stories, I like to fill him with love and positivity before he drifts off to dream land.
The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson
Hi could we not include one of the best children’s books ever written? This classic from Julia Donaldson will remain within our favourites for many years to come.
The Gruffalo’s Child – Julia Donaldson
The follow up to the Gruffalo, we love this one!
Giraffes Can’tDance – Giles Andreae and Guy Parker Rees
This story has a beautiful message which shows that everyone is different and everyone learns at their own pace! It also rhymes lovely.
Aliens Love Underpants – Claire Freeman and Ben Cort
Aliens love underpants is a book that always gets us giggling!
Goodnight Digger – Michelle Robinson and Nick East
We love to read this one just before he goes to sleep as our bedtime story, it’s a very relaxing book for little ones. Since he is a car and digger fanatic also, this one always seems to go down a treat!
A Squash and a Squeeze – Julia Donaldson
Another Julia Donaldson classic, this one gets us laughing but has a lovely message to appreciate what you have.
Pop Up Dinosaurs – Fiona Watt
Pop up books are so much fun for a day time read, toddlers always love an interactive story!
Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell
This is a classic story. We have the lift the flap version which he loves! It’s always lovely to get him involved in the reading of the story, even if he can’t read the words just yet!
The Lorax – Dr Seuss
This one is another repeat from last years post but with good reason! The story shows us the importance of loving and respecting our environment and the consequences if we don’t.
The Dinosaur Department Store – Lily Murray and Richard Merritt
This book is fairly new to our collection but we’ve really enjoyed it so far. The quirky illustrations and beautifully written narratives make great, fun reading!
We also love the Large Family books and of course anything Peppa Pig. I could go on all day but these are my top favourites. I hope this helps anyone who is looking for new books to read to their toddler – I know how repetitive it can feel sometimes!
Already in the festive mood? ☃️❄️ Here on beccalouisee.com I’m already in the spirit and we’re talking all things Christmas at Fenwicks 🎄
The instant the temperature drops and the summer is officially over, my mind is already on the festive season. To me, it’s the most magical time of the year, even more so now that I have a little one to share it with. Christmas is the ultimate family time season which makes it even more magical. Yes I know, Halloween hasn’t even arrived yet and my mind is already on festivities but for some reason, this year my Christmas spirit has definitely arrived early.
This week, I had a fabulous day out with my son and my best friend as we checked out the seasonal floor in Fenwicks, Newcastle. It really got me even more in the spirit of things and so I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you’re already feeling it!
In the heart of the seasonal floor is a to-die-for café with enough cakes to eat until your heart is content. The menu is dazzlingly festive with turkey sandwiches and Christmas lattes. There is also a specialist children’s menu, high chair availability and colouring pages for them. I always really appreciate when restaurants and cafes cater for children because as most parents will understand, eating out with children isn’t always easy!
Leo definitely enjoyed getting messy with a cupcake after his lunch before heading off for a spot of retail therapy!
It made me want to start planning the colour scheme for my tree already! This will be the first Christmas in our new home so I’m super excited to start decorating and buying our tree. I’ve already thought about where I’m going to put everything!
The seasonal floor is also filled with gift sections perfectly arranged for each recipient and a dedicated toy floor upstairs is also readily available. I managed to purchase a few bits to put away for Christmas for my little boy so I’m feeling pretty accomplished!
Fenwicks at Christmas really feels like a winter wonderland and something I’d definitely do again! I would recommend the cafe for sure, even just for coffee and cake to take a break from shopping!
Positive words of encouragement can have a long lasting affect on your child, even years after you have said them.
Trying to choose words that will make them feel amazing from the inside out. As parents, we try hard to shape our children’s lives to ensure that they live their best lives possible. I’ve always believed that this starts with creating positive foundations in childhood that will develop their minds to be positive and thoughtful.
My son is my world and I never want him to forget how much I love and value him. It’s very important to me that he knows how deeply I care for him and so I try to give him positive affirmations everyday from a young age to secure our bond, learn right from wrong, understand how much I love him and also teach him to be kind to others.
Here are 38 positive things you can incorporate into your day and say to your child to make them feel happy, valued and loved.
1. I love you
2. Well done!
3. What was the best part of your day? (And the worst)
4. I’m lucky to be your mummy.
5. I’m grateful for you.
6. You are so good at …
7. You’re really kind / that was a really kind thing to do.
8. Thank you for being you.
9. We will tackle this problem together.
10. Your opinions matter.
11. I believe in you.
12. You did your best.
13. You make me so happy.
14. Don’t be afraid to be you.
15. I admire you.
16. That’s a lovely question.
17. I trust you.
18. I believe you.
19. You are beautiful, inside and out.
20. I’m grateful for you.
21. I love spending time with you.
22. I appreciate it when you …
23. I hope you have an amazing day.
24. I hope you have a lovely sleep.
25. I’m sure you can do it.
26. You make me smile.
27. I’m excited to do this with you!
28. You’re so creative.
29. Lets do this your way.
30. I knew you could do it!
31. I care about you.
32. I care about your feelings.
33. I’m proud of you.
34. Your words are meaningful.
35. You should be so proud of yourself!
36. You’re very helpful / that was a really helpful thing to do.
37. Thanks for being such a good boy / girl today.
38. The world is a much better place with you in it.
Here’s my thoughts on the best selling book MumBoss by award winning blogger HonestMum AKA Vicki Psarias. There’s also an interview from Vicki herself 👶🏻💁🏼♀️💓
For my dissertation this year, I created a baby and parenting magazine called Little Love and I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki Psarias, Director, film maker, blogger, mum and author of the book, Mum Boss for a piece on inspirational parents.
This was a book that I couldn’t put down once I started it and I found myself reading it at every given opportunity.
An Interview With Vicki Psarias, AKA Honest Mum.
I asked Vicki what her advice would be to someone who was struggling to manage their work and life balance and is feeling guilty about working. She told me that, “there is never an easy answer. Schedule quality time in with your kids where possible but remind yourself how your work nourishes you metaphorically and literally. My children are my motivators. I’m ambitious because of them. It’s always a juggle. Some days will seem easy and others will be tremendously hard. I think it’s key to be kind to yourself and have fun!”
Vicki said that, “Many women want and need to work. Stay at home parents have the hardest job of all! I believe in equality and support parents in whatever they choose to do. I understand that the guilt is there but I also believe it to be futile”
Vicki’s book, MumBoss, was published in 2018 and she told me that it’s publication made her feel both elated and scared but ultimately proud! I’ve written a review of the book below for you to find out a bit more what the book entails and why you should get yourself a copy!
When I asked Vicki to define MumBoss she said that it is the “honest mums guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home!”
A Mum Boss Book Review
Here’s my thoughts on the book.
One of my favourite things about this book is the normalisation of your feelings during pregnancy and after birth. So many people talk about an instant rush of love when you first meet your newborn but often it’s not like that.
For me, I was more relieved that we were both alive as I’d had visions of one of us dying during the birth or something going wrong. You’re in a state of shock and in a lot of pain and so you don’t really realise that the love is there straight away. This is something that personally I felt very guilty about but you have to remember, you’ve just been through a HUGE ORDEAL. Birth is no laughing matter, it’s not easy and it’s by no means a walk in the park, you’re not going to be in any mood to spread much love while you’re being stitched up, if you know what I mean. I love how this is normalised in the book because new mums need to know that feeling like that is 100% ok and natural.
“Yes there will be relief and joy that you have your baby safe and sound in your arms but it’s also totally normal and natural to feel anxiety, pain, confusion and shock – mostly shock – often before love gets a real look in. That emotional cocktail can make it hard to enjoy the ‘happy feels’ at first” – MUMBOSS
Vicki also touches upon post natal mental illnesses within her book which I think is so important to raise awareness and reduce the stigmas attached to it. Like she says, the whole notions of birth and motherhood are romanticised into a fairytale which can make it hard for new mums – as they feel lost and as if they’re doing it all wrong. This section of the book, I feel, normalises it all and tells it how it is in a crucially honest manner.
Vicki’s award winning blog was set up in 2010 after she suffered a traumatic birth of her first born son and felt there wasn’t enough support or advice out there for those going through it. Vicki told me that, “I felt isolated as a new mum in 2010 after my traumatic birth and I also feared that my feelings were completely abnormal as I found very little help online at the time. Blogging has naturalised motherhood and enabled women like me to seek support and help”
All about Confidence
“While you need to work hard to achieve results, a lack of confidence can result in others struggling to invest in you [..] you need to believe in yourself to make the most out of life and from business too, so make confidence building a priority” – MUMBOSS
‘Faking it til you make it’ has always been a favourite quote of mine and something that I live by. In the third chapter, Vicki states that you can 100% feign confidence until you actually feel it and I think that’s such an important message to put across.
This chapter also tells the readers to relish in your failures and use them to your advantage to push on, in the same way that you would with positive results and that’s the best way you can feel confidence and gravitate others towards you.
I love the sections about confidence as I think everyone, but especially new parents, can benefit from boosts of confidence. When you’re a new mum, You often worry that you’re not getting it quite right as you compare yourself to the mums you see online or around you. The truth is that everyone only posts the best versions of their lives and very rarely their struggles. Vicki states that, “one of the biggest zappers of confidence and one of the key contributors to the imposter syndrome is comparison” – page 81.
She tells us that although it is easy to compare ourselves to others due to the surge in social media, we must remember that a little bit of competition is vital for evolution but we shouldn’t let it destroy us, instead we must use it as it it motivation and inspiration to improve ourselves. Vicki tells us to turn our mindsets upside down and ensure that we are so wrapped up in achieving our on goals that we won’t have time to focus on what we don’t have or what other people are doing.
I think the book is perfect for any parent who needs a boost of confidence to remember what Mum Bosses they actually are. It’s a great read to make you realise that actually your goals aren’t out of reach and your life doesn’t stop once you give birth. The book also helps a lot with blogging and social media tips! If you’re looking to set up a blog or a side hustle such as an etsy site, a craft, anything, during your maternity leave then this will really be the ultimate guide to get you though it and ensure you that you deserve success and that you can achieve your goals with confidence.
“Speak to yourself as you would your best friend. When self doubt creeps in shout NO or STOP. Be the friend you need and value in your life” – MUMBOSS
I feel like this is such an important quote and often something I need to be reminded myself and probably many other do too.
Mum Boss also has amazing advice for returning to work after maternity leave as that can be extremely unnerving. You can also feel a lot of guilt, and nobody feels guilt like a mum.
Vicki recommends being open with your employer and to ease gently back into your role if possible. She tells us that the standard work day doesn’t suit parents as working away from their children can be heart breaking and obviously, we want to spend as much time as possible with our babies. She tells us that Lucy Griffiths told her to use her maternity leave wisely and this is what we should all do! Although we’re tired (exhausted) and drained, we should imagine how life could be without the 9-5 commute and therefore plan and create what we want to do to achieve our dreams. We’re all hustlers if we put our mind too it!
The book makes the dream seem achievable for anyone, not just the fabulous girls we see on social media everyday. It helps us to realise when we are ready to reach out, how to go about it and the challenges we will face during. I think this is an essential guide for any mother or even just someone who wants a shot at setting up a blog or online business as there is so much advice in there from Vicki herself and also a select set of other professionals.
She tells her readers to plan and to not feel too nervous in front of the camera, or atleast don’t worry about your nerves because everyone feels nervous on camera! There is so much helpful advice about blogging and vlogging and what kit to use, what to post, when to post and how to get hired in the blogging world with a lot of PR tips and advice on getting noticed on social media.
“Remember that your body is made from stardust, so you are designed to shine” – MUMBOSS
I can’t recommend reading this enough, I think Vicki will have empowered a lot of women and helped them through difficult times with their baby and reminded them that they are able to achieve everything. That’s definitely the message I took from this as it helped me realise my feelings are normal and that actually, I’m doing pretty good. She has made me feel like a total Mum Boss! This would make a great gift for a new mum.
I think Vicki is a very inspirational woman who makes an excellent role model to women across the world with her empowering nature. We could all learn a thing or two from her!
Also, her boys are very lucky to be raised by a woman like her.
Also while you’re here, do yourself a huge favour and check out Vicki’s award winning blog, HonestMum.com