Weekend Book Club

Share your book loves (and hates) in the Weekend Book Club

Weekend Bookclub

Reading is very important to me and so I am always looking for new books to read. At the same time I am keen to find new recommendations for books to read with Molly.

The reason for the Weekend Book Club is so that you can let us know what you have been reading, or what your children has been reading. Do you have a book you love? Loathe? Think was okay? Then share your reviews with us here.

So welcome to the Weekend Book Club. Join in sharing what you have been reading with us each Saturday.

If you share your links on Twitter use #weekendbookclub or tweet @trainingmummy and I will do my best to retweet your posts.

Rules:

  • You can share as many links as you want, old or new.
  • Books can be for anyone from babies to pensioners.
  • Grab the badge below and post it on your posts.
  • Comment on at least two other posts.
  • A linky isn’t a linky unless you visit other people’s links, please do.

The linky will open each Saturday and will close on a Monday.

Weekend Book Club
Weekend Book Club

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What I have read

Some good, some bad but all read

I have set myself a goal of reading 50 books a year, as I do each year, and so these are the books I have read so far this year. I visited the library to take these out as I normally just stick to crime novels. After reading these I would still say that the crime books are my favourites but it is always worth reading a few others.

Revenge Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger

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I loved The Devil Wears Prada so when I saw there was a sequel I just had to read it.

The book follows the life of Andy Sachs (who worked for the “Devil” Miranda Priestly) ten years on from walking out on her job at Runway magazine.

Since quitting her job Andy has made friend with her former workmate and enemy, Emily, and have started their own magazine – The Plunge –  featuring expensive, you can only dream about, weddings. This includes her own, which until the morning of the wedding was one of the most perfect days she had dreamt of but she reads a letter that makes her wonder if her hubby-to be, Max, is really as into her as she was him. Oh and then she falls pregnant.

Then Miranda crops back into her life, with an offer to buy The Plunge from Andy and Emily. Of course Andy want nothing to do with the offer but Emily and Max are not so sure.

I enjoyed this book but the ending was pretty predictable which is a shame.

The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown

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I can’t write much about this book because I just thought it was absolute rubbish. I am someone who once started reading a book I have to keep reading to the end but this was a book that I very nearly gave up on. I did not let it beat me but it was a struggle.

The books revolves round a family with three sisters who have returned home for one reason or another. The family are a family of Shakespeare lovers so the author has taken full use of this to bump up the page and word count, by putting in quotes from Shakespeare because apparently that’s how the family communicate – by reciting passages from one play or another. To me if felt like the story (if you can call it that) was written round quotes rather than having a quote that fitted well into the story.

The narrator jumps from one sister to another which just confuses matters.

Ach I have written enough about this book. It was rubbish, please avoid,

The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

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I didn’t have much hope for this book as I had read some scathing reviews about it when it had just been published. I think this may have been because people were hoping for another Harry Potter book and were disappointed to get one about Barry Fairbrother. You have to forget about Harry Potter to enjoy this but enjoy it I did.

Fairbrother was a Parish councillor who died from a heart attack leaving a “casual vacancy” within the Parish council. This starts a whole stream of events as Fairbrother had dedicated his whole life to saving a run down area of the parish – The Fields – but many of his fellow councillors want nothing to do with it.

We then follow the lives of members of the council and members of the public who want to be elected onto the council. We also follow the antics of the teenagers of those who are involved on the council. Who will be elected? What trouble will occur whilst people wait for the election?

There is no real, who dunnits, or anything like that but getting into the lives of the families involves is interesting and J.K. Rowling paints such a good picture about everyone.

Strip Jack – Ian Rankin

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I love a good crime book and have only just started reading Ian Rankin books but so far I have been enjoying them.

A local MP Gregor Jack is caught in a raid of a brothel but Inspector Rebus smells a rat – the press had been tipped off about the raid but were only interested in picturing the MP, despite only the police knowing it was happening.

As Rebus attempts to solve this mystery Jack’s wife goes missing and is eventually found dead by the river. SO who killed her?

There are so many personalities featured in this novel, many of them who could easily be the killer. Was it Jack? Was it some friends? Was it an accident?

I loved how the story unravelled and kept me guessing until the end.

Weekend Book Club

We braved a toddler group but will we go back?

My first but maybe last toddler group

For sometime now, well for almost a year since Molly was born, I have been talking about going to a mum and baby/toddler group but for numerous reasons I have not really managed yet, that was until this week.

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Where we stay all the groups seems to take place at 9.30am which has been problematic for us as Molly hadn’t been getting up until 10am, so by the time we are ready to leave the house the group has almost finished.

There have been times that Molly had been up but nerves for the better of me and so I ended up finding something else to do, rather than to go to the group. I am shy. I hate meeting people for the first time. I can be socially anxious. I have used these as excuses.

Regardless of how I felt I decided that it was time I got out and took Molly to groups as she is brilliant around adults, and other children (if they are out with her personal space) but she can get upset and anxious when babies or toddlers get too close up to her.

So off I went to the first group and at first it seemed fine. I was uncomfortable being in a room of strangers but Molly seemed to be enjoying herself. She chose to play in the small ball pit and was happily playing with the balls when another girl took a run and dive into the pit landing right on top of and toppling over Molly. Her mum said nothing even when Molly got upset and was crying. This same girl then used Molly’s ankle as a tool to push herself to standing. Even when I asked to her to move her hand she wouldn’t and I had to remove her hand from Molly’s ankle as I was scared it would hurt her.

Molly then went to play with a box of toys that no-one else was playing with but a boy who was playing at a toy beside her decided he didn’t want her there so stood up, went over Molly and pushed her over! She fell and banged her head against a wooden dolls house. His mum also said nothing!

This has totally backfired on my plays to make Molly realise she doesn’t need to be worried about other children and that they won’t hurt her. These were the only two kids who she had any interactions with and each interaction ended in disaster.

Thankfully the two hours eventually ended and we went home. I went home wondering if I would go back and having slept on it I am not sure I will. Maybe this it is the case in all toddler groups that mums don’t feel the need to control their children or reprimand them if they hurt a baby but I am not happy going back to a group that I know it can happen in.

I am a mum who hovers around my child. I have read blog posts that would describe me as being a “precious parent” but I know Molly can be a bit heavy handed when excited so I would rather be precious than have Molly hurt another child. I wish more parents would be like that.

Frame it FridayStopping at two

Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks – for any time of the day

Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks shouldn’t just be for bathtime

Bathtime is a very important and enjoyable time in our household so when we got a chance to review some Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks by H&A I quacked at the chance!

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The Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks is a pack of four rubber ducks that squirt water from their mouths. As Molly is only just about to turn one I fully expected the ducks to be played with  like normal rubbery ducks but I was wrong. To squirt the water you barely have to use any pressure and so it is perfectly suitable for little hands – or mouth as Molly seemed to enjoy the most.

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Molly took to them instantly and played with them for the entire bathtime.

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But why should the Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks be used only during bathtime?

Here are a few ideas on what to do with your Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks:

  • Mix up food colouring in water then use the Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks to create a squirty picture.
  • Use as a teether toy – Molly showed me just how to do this.

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  • Teach colours using the Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks.
  • Use the ducks for songs such as “Five Four little ducks”.
  • Teach about animals – what better way to teach ducks then having some Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks.
  • Make bubbles by dipping the head of the Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks and sqeezing.
  • Use as target practise in the bath by drawing on the bath with bath crayons and shooting with the duck.
  • Take swimming with you to encourage your child to swim towards it.

What alternative ideas do you have for using your Bathtime Buddies Squirting Ducks?

 I was send these free of charge but all opinions are mine and mine alone

Frame it Friday

Share you proud moments with Frame it Friday

It is that time of the week again. Time to celebrate achievements, shout about proud moments and link up with Frame It Friday, the linky that allows you to post about something you think is “frameworthy”. This Linky is hosted alongside the wonderful Sarah from letthembesmall.

Frame it Friday gives you the chance to choose something that you would put in a frame – your favourite picture taken during the week, a fabulous piece of artwork/craft that you or your child made, a certificate of achievement. It could also be a personal achievement such as running that extra half mile, losing that extra 3lb of weight, passing your driving test. Simply put, Frame it Friday, is a way to showcase anything that you think is frame worthy!

The linky will open each week on a Friday and close on a Tuesday, so please pop along and add your own frame worthy post. We can’t wait to see your posts and share your frame worthy posts each week.

Each week Sarah and I will choose our favourite post that was shared with the linky and will showcase it in our showcase the next week.

Rules:

  • Link up any post of something ‘frameworthy’ – a favourite picture from the week, a favourite piece of artwork/craft that yourself or your children have done. It could perhaps be a personal achievement, running that extra half mile, losing that extra 3lb, passing a driving test bascially ANYTHING you think is frame worthy.
  • Grab the badge below and add to your blog post
  • Add your linky
  • Visit some of the other linked posts – that’s what makes linkys such good fun
  • Please comment on at least two other linked posts.

Remember if you tweet is your links to myself @trainingmummy or to Sarah @MsSburns or use the hashtag #frameitfriday we will do our best to retweet it.

Frame it Friday
Frame it Friday

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Clearing the cobwebs with the Osprey Poco Plus carrier

High up views and extra comfortable

Sometimes you just need to get out into the cold and blow away the cobwebs, especially if you have been stuck in the house with illness for the past few weeks.

So since my hubby was off for the first time in what felt like ages, though was only six days, we decided to make the most of the dry day by putting on her coats and heading to the beach.

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With two dogs this is an ideal place to go, and even though there were loads of other dog walkers  around you can still feel like you are the only people on the beach, so we felt like our little family were on our own private beach.

As Molly is still not walking we strapped her into the Osprey Poco Plus back carrier which is our carrier of choice when out walking the dogs as it means she is nice and high up and can watch her dogs runs to her hearts content. She always seems so chuffed to be up there.

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We were not sure whether to get a rigid back carrier of a soft structured carrier and ended up getting up one of each. We thought we might feel like we had wasted money by getting both but I think there is a time and place for both. Our Tula we use when out shopping – great as you don’t knock stuff off of shelves like you would if you had the Osprey on. The Osprey Poco Plus we use, as I have said, when we are walking the dog on trails or places that a pram can’t go, or that we just fancy carrying her.

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During the duration of being in the carrier Molly will not stop looking about, watching people who are walking about near her, watching to dogs run after a ball and bring it back, just to do it again. She also loves singing in it. She never stops. It is a delight to watch and listen to her when she is in her carrier.

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One of the great features we love about the Osprey is that at the back, at the bottom, there is a big storage area. It is big enough for us to pack a picnic lunch, nappies and wipes. It can also hold, with ease, the car keys, a DSLR camera, two dogs leads and a shops worth of doggy bags. Great as it means we don’t have to take an additional bag when we go out for longer walks. There are also a few other pockets (some much bigger than others) dotted about that you can put water bottles, phones etc. There really is no need to take another bag with you.

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When we first picked this up to try it on I had almost instantly dismissed buying it. It was so heavy! It wasn’t just under 7lb) but I was used to a cloth carrier not a structured carrier. No need to fear, although it feels heavy, once you adjust the waist, chest and arm straps to your size the weight vanished. I was surprised when the man said in the shop that the weight would vanish. Haha what a silly sales trick. I was wrong to laugh though. So to really test out how comfortable it was I hiked  up a local hill, which had quite a few steep parts including a huge but with rock steps, and made it to the summit without having to take her off, something I would have said would not have happened when I first tried it.

Even when we stopped for a quick drink, or wee sit down to enjoy the scenery, it we could just take Molly off our back and place her down on the ground where she would be able to balance in the carrier, without us needing to take her out. Great if you want to have a quick break but don’t want to have to balance a baby on your knee when eating, drinking and controlling two dogs.

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There is an in built sunshade but being from Scotland, we have not had much chance to even contemplate testing that out. Hopefully in the summer we can try that.

This is generally more the carrier that my hubby will carry Molly in, thought it s quick and easy to adjust so it is just as easy, and comfortable for me to carry her.

The straps are comfortable and well padded so you really don’t notice it on you. Yes there is some extra weight on you but not what you would expect. As for Molly? She loves it and seems perfectly comfortable in it.