#Giveabook

Books, books and more books this is my kind of personal heaven. Let me escape between the pages to far away lands on dangerous adventures. Books have been my refuge, my escape for longer than I care to remember. So it was a foregone conclusion that any child of mine was going to grow up surrounding books and hopefully growing up with the love of words as I do.

I honestly think reading with your child is one of the most special times you can have together, watching a child’s face as they follow the character’s adventure, watching them trying to work out the what’s, the where and the why’s. Just the closeness and the togetherness you can get from reading a story together is simply priceless. Books cover all ages, all abilities, Livvy was severely disabled but loved nothing more than to cuddle in my arms for a story, “We are going on a bear hunt” never got old for her.

Now my new son who is blind may not be able to see the words but he follows the story getting excited at his favourite part, I think I may have read “The Gruffallo” so many times I actually may not need the book anymore.

Yet our family special book and the one I gift to all newborns in our family has to be “Guess how much I love you’. This book holds such a special place in our hearts even my twenty year old still texts, “I love you to the moon, stars and back again” its so special to us all that these words are actually engraved on Livvy’s grave.

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Giving books is one of the greatest things for me, my nieces and nephews can always count on a book or two from Auntie Sara. My dad and stepmom love nothing more than a gift card for books and me well I am never disappointed with a book or two.

This advent I have even made a book a day for my new little one and he is loving getting a new story way more than a piece of chocolate.

Can you tell how much I love books??

So I am super excited to share with you the fantastic Christmas campaign being run by Scholastic #Giveabook, by visiting their website and purchasing books through the Scholastic Gift Guide they will then donate 20% of orders over £10 back to a school or nursery of your choice, allowing schools etc to get free books. You buy a book and they give a book, how awesome is that.

The gift guide has a wide variety of books to choice from for all ages, for my little one I would love the

Tales from Acorn Wood Box Set Award-winning author/illustrator by Julia Donaldson (author) and Axel Scheffler (illustrator) I am a lover of Julia Donaldson work so these look fantastic.

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For my older daughter Hero by Sam Angus (author) looks like a story she would enjoy.

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So if you are after that special book to gift this Christmas pop on over to Scholastic and buy a book whilst giving a book, its like getting to give a gift twice over.

How truly special xxx

Pretty please

When I first found out I had been nominated for a UK Blog award I was completely surprised and a little nervous. You see competition scares the pants off me and often you will find me running in the opposite direction of anything that leaves me open for judgement.

Then I spoke to my husband who in his own endearing way told me to “get over myself” and accept the nomination in the way it was given. Recognition for the hard work and the heart I put into my blog.

I do have to be honest though, you see these pages here, the words written here have never really been for the benefit of others. Here in this little place in the virtual world I share my heart and my soul because I simply love it.

I get to share my life with all my readers people who I may know and many I don’t but I allow them in to see me warts and all. It’s actually something I really struggle with in real life. Yet here on this blog I share all, sometimes, well often I may actually over share.

Still for the last 8 and a half years I have found kindness, support and friendship in my readers and for that I am extremely grateful.

So why should you vote for me?

I still have no idea, if I could vote for each and everyone of you I would because it’s been your comments, your emails that have gotten me through some incredibly hard times. It’s been your shared joy that has made some of my special times more special.

So please it’s up to you guys, please vote for me if you want as I honestly would love to win this award being nominated has been rather special but winning well that may just make my year.

Vote here 

But more than that please keep showing up, keep coming over and reading and keep being the best people I have the pleasure to know or not know as the case may be. My life is a little hectic right now and I know for a fact that next year is certainly going to rock so let’s carry on walking through this crazy thing called life together.

Vote for me in the UK Blog Awards 2017

Reindeer memories

Have you ever had a day that just exceeds your expectation, a day filled with magical memories and maybe even a little bit of elf dust.

Yesterday was one of those days when we visited Blithbury Reindeer Lodge.

 

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“Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, Blithbury reindeer lodge is home to England’s largest working Reindeer herd. Over 150 Reindeer roam freely across the beautiful 30-acre site, which opens to the public for special events throughout the year.”

From the moment we began our visit at Blithbury the staff went out of way to make sure our visit was special. They had noted from my booking form that my little man was blind so they made sure that he had many opportunities to feel and smell his surroundings, they were truly lovely.

 

The reindeer were so cute from the old souls to the newly born this year they were just spectacular to see.

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We attended Elf school which little man decided to sleep right through, but I learned all about the anatomy of a reindeer and how they don’t like their antlers being touched but loved their nose being rubbed. Also did you know that reindeers knees make a clicking sound when they walk, this lets the herd know that they are not a predator, how amazing is that.

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Visiting Santa didn’t go as planned,  Santa knew that Little man was blind and he was so happy to hold his hand and speak gently to him. This made me so emotional as it was just so lovely. Unfortunately we only managed a quick photo before the little monkey screamed to be back in my arms, but hey I got one photo anyway.

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We then had a story with Mrs Claus which was all about a little boy who grew up to be the reindeer man. It was interesting and I enjoyed it anyhow.

We then went on what I think was my favourite part of the day, our sleigh ride, wrapped up in reindeer pelt with Alfie the reindeer leading the way we had a lovely ride.

 

Little man loved the vibrations of the sleigh and we even got a giggle.

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It was then time to visit the toy shop to get our certificates for attending Elf school and our driving licence for the sleigh.

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We had a wonderful visit to Blithbury Reindeer Lodge, the staff were so fantastic, Santa was amazing and the sleigh ride drivers so caring. The whole team made a real effort to make sure little man had a memory making time.

It was a beautiful day and I am so thankful for the memories we got to make,  I cannot wait to visit next year, when hopefully little man will not scream at Santa Claus again.

What’s your decision?

Being awake in the early hours with a teething baby gives you a lot of time to think. Something which I’m still trying to decide if it is a good or bad thing.

You see no matter where you are in the world right now it all seems a little crazy.

With the austerity measures effecting so many here in the U.K. The rise in Child poverty levels, homelessness and the devastating effects the cuts are having on a local level. Social care cuts, libraries closing and so much more.

Over in the USA the realisation of the what is coming in the next four years. Are we heading into an area of bigotry, hate and discrimination.

The awful attacks that are still happening in Syria, the lives being lost day after day.
It’s beginning to feel like hope is leaving this world.

Yet as I sit here with this precious little one in my arms I am reminded by something.


Reminded that these events do not define who we are.

As my little man places his hand in mind I am reminded how hope brought him to me. That from darkness came light.

It also hits hope the personal choices we all have to make. Do we allow this to continue or do we stand up and fight?

Fight against the darkness

Fight against the dark by being light.

I wish I had the answers, I wish I knew how to make it all okay.

But I don’t

But I know what I can do.

I can continue to love on people, to reach out to those who need some reassurance some hope.

I can stay fighting locally via the political landscape hoping and praying to make the impact of the austerity cuts less.

I can make sure I raise my children to believe in people, that love comes in many ways. That your gender should never define your decisions or your expectations. That your sexuality is never different or wrong.

I can email, protest and pray for the end of the persecution of all. Religion, your place of birth should never be a reason for hate.

I can be hope, live hope and breathe hope.

Love will always win.

This is something I will never lose hope in.

So that’s my decision, I guess the question is what’s yours?

Major event, major disappointment..

This weekend was supposed to be a major event in the plus size fashion world with the British Plus Size awards 2016. From what was advertised it was supposed to be a star studded night celebrating brands,bloggers and all from the plus size world.

So as you can imagine many were excited for this event, excited to see if their nominated brand, blog won one of what is seen as a truly recognisable award.

Now I do have to personally put my hands up and say I don’t know much about these awards as its not something I have ever attended but I know of many who have invested hard earned money into attending this awards, from ticket prices to outfits to accommodation it certainly wasn’t a cheap evening, so imagine the disappointment when on Friday evening this notice hit social media.

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How blooming devastating for all those attending, how blooming wrong of the organisers.

Now I am not going to go into the speculation as to why this event was cancelled, to be honest it does seem to have been done in an extremely underhand way, but as I know non of those involved in the organising I am just going to stay quiet.

What I am going to do is jump on to a fantastic idea being spread via social media for us to use our platforms to give a big shout out to those affected by this cancellation, those that really matter in all this.

So thats what I am going to do.

My first shout is to the brand

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Silly Old Sea Dog sell handmade vintage inspired clothing here in the UK, which is available in sizes 6-24.  Dresses, playsuits, skirts, shorts,petticoats and some of the cutest accessories you have ever seen.

I am so in love with this

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It would be perfect for Christmas party and Christmas day.

 

My second shout of the day goes the beautiful Tanya from the blog Secret Plus Size Goddess, Tanya was nominated for an award and is devastated by these cancellations.

If the awards had gone ahead Tanya would have wowed all in this stunning dress.

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Tanya you are utterly beautiful inside and out and I although you didn’t get to find out if you had won that award on Saturday you are always a winner in my eyes.

 

These two I have mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg  when in comes to the number of disappointed, financially down and emotionally let down people from Saturday night. This cancellation effected a lot and whilst I was never going to attend I am truly gutted for all those that had been so excited for their evening. I really hope that they receive some financial compensation at least.

All I can say though is this event is not what makes the plus size community so amazing. Its the people and brands that are breaking down the barriers and reminding the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. You people, you rock …..

Friendship #lovegiving

I have been thinking a lot about friendship and how its supposed to be. Any regular readers of this blog would know that its something I struggle with, I have often let my insecurities and lack of self confidence become a barrier to true friendship. Thats not to say I don’t have some amazing friends because I certainly do, but this year has definitely been a year of progress for me in the area of friendship but also self belief.

I was asked by very.co.uk to take part in their #lovegiving campaign, anyone who hasn’t seen the advert have a watch here.

As well as this super lovely Christmas video you will see that Very took to the streets and  has been handing gifts out in random acts of kindness.

 

So when they offered me the chance to do this I absolutely jumped at the opportunity, I love getting to bless people especially when there is no real reason other than to remind them how amazing they are.

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This week I got to give a gift to a friend who I find inspirational. I have only known her for a couple of years but her friendship has blessed me in so many ways. Besides her crazy love for life her spirit is just so open and warm. She certainly hasn’t had the easiest of years but her strength of character is something I really admire. Her courage to say yes when many would say no is something I truly love.

What really makes this friend special to me is that she loved me enough to call me out, she ignored all my excuses and told me straight that “ I was scared of friendship”. She cared enough about me to risk me walking away and this is something I will be forever grateful for.

Her call out gave me clarity, it allowed me to see that I wasn’t been rejected by people but that I was doing the rejecting first rather than risk getting hurt, rather than trust in myself and in others.

I have to say that this revelation has tested me at times and as always I am still a work in process but I am so thankful for my friend and so happy that I got to treat her thanks to very.co.uk.

 

 

Christmas style from Lovedrobe 

It’s that time of year when invitations start coming through the door for Christmas parties, work do’s or the general let’s use any excuse for a night out invites. 

I love Christmas and this year is going to be rather special as it will be our first with our new son. So it’s time to sort out my outfits for this seasonal time. I am actually more excited than usual to step out of my day to day snot covered clothes into something special.

Lovedrobe is a UK fashion brand for curvy clothes they have a wonderful selection with some beautiful dresses. 

I have fallen in love with this one. 


Jacquard detail midi dress.


I am loving the midi style as it covers my knees a feature I’m personally not happy with. I love this dress as it’s perfect for the season but it still has a edgy feel which is perfect for me.


*please ignore my expression, little one has kept me up this week.

I just love the pattern on this dress. The fitting needed me to size up a little but besides that the quality is beautiful.


I will be styling with my heels and sparkly bag for the party season.
* I did get to choose this dress for the purpose of the review but all my opinions are honest and my own.