Monday, 18 July 2016

The 'Save The Goodreads Challenge' TBR


I feel like I'm being maybe a biiiit optimistic in giving myself a TBR list, but I'm really failing with my reading goal this year. Apparently, I'm 7 books behind schedule, which is really naff. Last year I managed to beat my target by 6 books, so I guess technically I'm only 1 book behind schedule, right? Right? I'm just going to tell myself that's how it works. 

I recently joined the Kindle crew, after years of having it drilled into me that *real* books are best during my degree, and I'm so glad I did. As much as I love buying books and adoring all the beautiful cover designs - a Kindle is just a million times easier to chuck in my bag and not feel weighed down by a hardback or an 800 page epic. I do find I need to keep myself away from the Kindle bargains, as I do already have 10 or so ebooks I haven't started, as well as a sizeable amount of physical books in my TBR shelves. 

I've picked out three physical books to read to save the ol' Goodreads challenge, and they are The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews and Asking For It by Louise O'Neill - the latter I forgot to photograph, doy. Asking For It is actually a lend from the library, so I should probably start that one first, and I'm hoping to head to Bath to see the author give a talk so yeah, need to read it. 

My Kindle TBR picks include It's Not Me It's You by Mhari McFarlane, Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson, The Muse by Jessie Burton, and The Yellow Room by Jess Valance. A good mix of books there, I'd say. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I'll enjoy all of these titles - I remember the publicity trail for It's Not Me It's You sparking my interest when it was first published, and I already know I enjoy Jonasson's style of writing. Jessie Burton's sophomore title has been hotly anticipated since the release of The Miniaturist and I'm already hearing good things about The Muse. I haven't read anything by Jess Valance before, but The Yellow Room is already getting 4.3 star reviews, which is pretty good going, and I love a gripping YA novel.

So, there we have it. Seven titles to get me back on schedule somewhat, and hopefully getting me out of this reading slump I seem to have found myself in. If you're on Goodreads, let's be friends and you can keep an eye on my reading progress too! 

What are you reading? Anything you'd recommend for my growing TBR pile? 

Chelsea x

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Monday, 11 July 2016

45 Days and Counting...


I'm pretty much freaking out on a daily basis that I've only got 45 days to go until my due date. Of course, that's not to say I'll have a baby in 45 days - Dylan made an appearance the day after his due date, but people often go two weeks overdue before being induced. But, for the sake of doing a countdown to freak myself out with, we have 45 days. That's not really a long time at all, is it? It also seems to have conspired that the next 45 days will the busiest days of my life. I wish I were joking, but take a look at my to-do list... 
  • swap the bedrooms around so Dylan and the baby can share a room (when big enough)
  • buy a smaller bed frame for our bed (it has weird wooden panels that take up loads of space) so we can fit a crib in our room
  • buy a crib/moses basket
  • build the cot (or buy a new one if we've lost the screws)
  • buy more baby clothes and bits & bobs - baby bath, baby chair toys etc
  • buy a present from the baby for Dylan 
  • buy a dress to wear to two weddings
  • attend two weddings
  • travel up North for a week to attend one of the weddings
  • celebrate our anniversary (lolz!)
  • buy school clothes for Dylan 
And probably a thousand other things I've forgotten. Did I mention that I don't go on maternity leave until 11th August? That basically gives us 15 days until the due date - and five days of that is spent up North. I'm not really oozing with enthusiasm right now, let me tell ya. But, I'm sure we'll manage somehow, and hopefully by the time the baby is here I'll be too exhausted to worry about small things like this - ha, the dream! - and just focusing on being a good mama to two. 

Does anyone else feel like time is against them? Do you think I'll get everything ticked off?

Chelsea x

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Saturday, 2 July 2016

TMTW #12 - June Fools


Can you believe I've been posting The Month That Was for a whole year? That's pretty wild, isn't it? I've already sort of covered my best bits of June in my recent 5 Good Things post, but I'm not going to let that stop me. Today my Dad is coming down to visit and yesterday I hit the 32 weeks pregnant milestone, so that's pretty exciting. Not a bad start to July, anyhow! Before I get ahead of myself, here's how June went...

Best bits? Daniel Kitson, meeting Doris and plenty of good food! 

My favourite thing? Dylan received his first ever 'school' report from his childcare place, ready to pass on to the big school he starts in September - I know, hold me *sob* - and it was sooooooo adorable. He's in the 40-60+ section for all but two things, which my primary school teaching friends tell me is great news, and the report just glows with what a kind, funny and thoughtful chappy Dylan is becoming. 

Any regrets? Putting my trust in the country to do the right thing. 

What's in store for July? My dad is visiting! I'm fiiiiinally having my hair did, I get to hang out with Leona twice!! and another midwife appointment. I've also booked another Monday off work to spend some more time with Joe - as well as hopefully tackling the spare room as it hasn't changed in the slightest since we tidied it in May... whoops! 

How has your month been?

Chelsea x

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

5 Good Things

There's been a bit of a lull on this here blog, and to be honest I'm a bit surprised I'm even typing this now - what with the UK in turmoil, the Conservatives falling apart and some needless infighting in the Labour party too - but then, surely now is the time to need to look on some good things happening at the moment? So, stick with me while I share 5 good things that have happened (to me) recently. 

1 - I managed to use the 'but I'm pregnant!' card in order to secure Pete the Pony. You may remember Pete from my Third Trimester wish list, and in the middle of the month we went to a Mothercare Expecting Mothers event which gave you a voucher for 10% off whatever you bought on the night. There was a goose version (called Gladys if you're wondering) which had £10 off - but I pouted until Joe relented and let me buy the slightly more expensive pony sit me up baby cosy thing. 

2 - Dylan and I went to Bristol on Saturday to see his uncle and aunty, and to meet their cat Doris. Although initially a bit weary of Dylan, they soon became best buds and Dylan was pretty delighted when Doris would bat a pingpong ball across the room. We were hoping to have a nice picnic, but the weather's been pretty crap down in Somerset recently so we stayed indoors. Still - picnic or no picnic, we had mini sausage rolls, freshly baked bread and a muffin to top it all off! 

3 - We saw Daniel Kitson and had dinner at Pizza Workshop in Bristol on Tuesday. Might as well move to Bristol the amount of times I've been there in the past week, but it was suuuuch a good evening. Joe picked me up after work, so I didn't have to get the bus home - bonus, and we drove off in search of somewhere nice to eat. Pizza Workshop came highly recommended and did not disappoint at all! Joe had seen Daniel Kitson before, but I hadn't, so I wasn't sure what to expect but I honestly haven't laughed so much in ages. If you have a chance to see him, I'd say go for it! 

Vanilla cheesecake, Pimms jelly and clotted cream ice cream from Clavelshay Barn
4 - I went out for Sunday lunch, which is something we never do, and had the most amazing meal. We went to Clavelshay Barn, which is a local hidden gem, and I'm hoping to review it on here soon! 

5 - It hasn't happen yet, but my dad is going to visit this weekend! Dylan's really excited as he's coming down in his motorhome and we're going to stay in it overnight - I'm less excited about that bit,  I won't lie! I'm hoping the weather will be nice and we'll get to venture out and explore the local area a bit more. 

C'mon, share the good stuff! Anything nice happen to you lately? 

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Third Trimester Wish List

Considering I didn't want to bombard you guys with baby news or pregnancy stuff, it would seem that whenever I fancy posting a wish list, it often has a pregnancy theme. Maybe because expecting a baby is super expensive as they need a whole load of stuff. Seeing as we recently made some pretty big purchases - the pushchair and car seat! - I thought I'd post a wish list of some nicer, cute things. 
So yeah, I'm in the third trimester now. It's kind of scary knowing that in 12 weeks or so I'll be a mother of two, but let's not dwell on that right now. I've seen a few milestone cards over on instagram and they just seem like a really cute way to share big moments. It's no secret that I'm a big Peter Rabbit fan, so these milestone cards really jumped out at me. I'm really not one for over-sharing child updates on Facebook or the like but I think 30 milestone photos in a year wouldn't be so bad, amiright? 
We had a cow version of this Blossom Farm Sit Up Cosy when Dylan was a baby and it was so, so cute. It's suitable from birth as a little nest to rest the baby in, and then support them as they get bigger and start to sit up. Plus it's a pony, and I've always wanted a pony. 
I've got a growing 'saved items' list on ASOS for cute dresses and the like, but as I'm now pretty pregnant, I'm trying to curb the amount of 'maternity' clothes I own. Luckily, ASOS have a 'nursing' range, which can also accommodate a bump, so I'm hoping to purchase a few items from that range to ensure I can wear them for more than two months. This pinafore is something I've wanted to incorporate into my wardrobe for a while now, but I've never actually made the plunge into buying one. Although this one isn't strictly 'nursing', I think the straps will make it easier for that sort of thing. The next item for me is this amazing Good Yawning sweater from Parent Apparel. I'm torn between buying this one and the one that says 'Parenting the shit out of life' but I'm not sure how the grandparents would feel about that one, ha! 
I had originally spotted a different Lamaze toy in my local Boots, but after finding this incredibly named Sir Prance A Lot, I had to pick this guy! We had a few different Lamaze toys for Dylan when he was wee, so I've tried to learn by past mistakes and checked that this one doesn't have any music, ha! The next little toy I liked the look of is the donut rattle from Little Maldod, which is a store I've started following on instagram. It's crocheted and just looks really adorable, way better than any other rattles I've seen about! 
Lastly, I've included the latest copy of The Fourth Trimester. I know, I've not even had the baby yet, but I really wish this was available after I had Dylan. I struggled a bit and felt quite alone so I think to have had articles and what not telling me I wasn't alone/a bad parent etc would have helped a lot. I'm not sure how often the magazines come out, but you can buy digital downloads of previous copies, so I'm going to give that a go when I'm a bit closer to the ol' due date. 
Sorry for the length of that one! But this should hopefully keep me occupied for a couple of months, until I start typing up the new mam wish list, anyway ;) 
Chelsea x
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Monday, 6 June 2016

TMTW #11 - Just Another Manic May Day..?


Really stretching my creativity with some of these post titles, so I apologise for the above! 

Best bits? May was pretty great, actually. I went to see Busted with Leona and Zoe, we went to London Zoo for the first bank holiday, saw Manic Street Preachers in Swansea and had a BBQ with friends as May actually started showing some decent weather. 

My favourite thing? Getting to spend some extra time with Joe and Dylan as I'd booked the day off work and we had two bank holiday Monday's together! We sorted through loads of boxes under Dylan's bed (not my favourite thing to do) and sorted through some clothes to give to charity. 

Any regrets? Um, nothing jumps out. My skin has been really bad this month so I desperately need to start eating a bit better, damn hormones messing everything up! 

What's in store for June? June is actually pretty quiet in comparison! I've got another midwife appointment next week, and then we're going to see Daniel Kitson in Bristol near the end of the month. My Dad has mentioned that he might drive down for a weekend, which would be lovely! 
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Friday, 3 June 2016

Dylan Reads #1


There's no secret here that I love all things books - I even based my degree around them - so it's probably not a shock to discover that I've shared my love of reading with Dylan. There's nothing sweeter than curling up together before bedtime and reading a new story together or an old favourite. Although this is something I always make time for - even after an exhausting day - I'm trying to be more conscious of making extra time to be together before the baby arrives. Dylan will start school in September - don't ask me how - so I'm trying to make sure that these big changes go as smoothly as possible, and reading together it just one way I'm attempting that. 
Dylan loves a story before bed, but to him any time is prime for reading - it could be once we get home from childcare, or halfway through a Saturday afternoon and he'll pick up a collection, and decide it's time for a story. And I love that. I really hope he never grows out of his love for stories. My favourite story we've currently got in line up is The Bumblebear* because, I mean, look how cute he is?! I love that little bear in his little bee costume with his little pink nose. I think Dylan's favourite at the moment is a tie between Don't Call Me Sweet! because it has monsters in it and The Story of Alison Hubble* because clearly my love of Allan Ahlberg has rubbed off on him! If you grew up reading The Jolly Postman, then please do give this book a read - it's so funny! Dylan enjoys counting all of the Alison Hubbles who have sprouted out, so not only is this super educational but it means that the book reading can go on for hours. Come to think of it, maybe that's Dylan's genius plan to stay awake for longer at bedtime... 

Any picture books caught your eye recently? Are you a big Ahlberg fan? 

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*some items have been sent for consideration, but all words and thoughts my own - we love these books!*

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