In November last year I featured a review for a brand new television show on CBeebies called Kazoops. The show features a young boy called Monty who, along with his pet pig, must solve various problems faced in every day life. This week CBeebies have aired some brand new episodes and we were excited to see what new challenges Monty would face and overcome.
Monty has a big imagination and this comes through in the way he views the world and deals with the issues he faces. The show is aimed at both boys and girl aged between 4-9 years and covers a number of different topics which children may be curious about.
For example, in Friday’s episode (which is currently available on BBC iPlayer), Monty is faced with a dilemma when playing with his cousin Flora. Flora is a quiet child and doesn’t play in the same way as Monty; something which initially puzzles him.
After an adventure under the sea, Monty realises that it takes all kinds of different people to make the world the wonderful place it is. What makes the world such a great place is that we are all different; variety truly is the spice of life!
I love the way the messages are put across in Kazoops along with some catchy musical pieces at the same time. The characters are bright and friendly and the animation really draws the eye.
I can also appreciate as a parent, that the themes featured in the show open up an opportunity to talk with your children about various topics. The show is a bite-sized way to introduce these topics to kids and we enjoyed chatting with Meg and Eli afterwards about the ways in which are different from our friends, but how that it such a good and exciting thing.
Just because someone doesn’t see things the same way as you do, doesn’t mean that you can’t get along!
Well done to Kazoops for another informative and fun episode. If you haven’t come across Kazoops before then you can see the new episodes which were aired this week on BBC iPlayer.
*This is a collaborative post.
I have to admit that I haven’t managed to get up a Little Loves post for the last three weeks because life has been so crazy busy. We have had lots of new things going on which has thrown us all for a loop but in a good way, if that makes any sense at all?!
Of course I will go into all that in much more detail as I cover the things I have been loving this week (with a few bits stolen from the last three weeks as well!)
I finally finished Mad Ship by Robin Hobb in September and immediately picked up The Host by Stephanie Meyer which I was really looking forward to, having heard such great things and being such a fan of Twilight. Unfortunately it threw me into something of a reading slump and took me an absolute age to get through. I was in this strange situation where when I was reading it, I was really enjoying it, but as soon as I put it down I felt no inclination to pick it back up again. So…the part that I LOVED is that I managed to finish it this week and despite all my feelings I actually cried at the end! So I guess it redeemed itself. Sort of.
When we had the house rewired a couple of weeks ago we stayed with some friends and were introduced to some fab new series’ on Netflix including The Good Place which stars Ted Danson and Kirsten Bell. I think we managed to binge-watch around 5 or 6 episodes in one day! Alongside this we’ve also been watching Timewasters which is just the most ridiculous show but has really made us laugh out loud and we found time to watch Wonder Woman as well which I enjoyed.
I have recently started a new part-time job which has meant being out of the house a lot more than I used to whilst I learn the ropes. The kids have been in after-school club for four evenings a week since I began so I wanted to make them a treat on my day off and got some baking done. I have this really nostalgic memory of the days my mum wasn’t working, walking through the door and being able to smell that she had baked and I wanted to do something similar for Meg and Eli, particularly as it has been a tough adjustment for them. The cakes went down extremely well with all four members of the family if I do say so myself!
I am still loving the black pleather jacket I mentioned in my recent Lookbook vlog. As long as it isn’t chucking it down it goes with just about anything and is so comfortable to wear.
I’ve been really enjoying the Mellow Pop playlist on Spotify this week. Something about it has just seemed perfect for the truly autumnal weather we’ve been having and I’ve enjoyed not only working with it on in the background but also curling up with my book and listening to it quietly playing on. I’ve found some new songs too such as Silhouette by Aquilo and Hoping by X Ambassadors which I’ve had on repeat a few times.
We are in a real season of adjustment at the moment with the new house, new school (although I’m not sure I can keep saying that any more!) and now a new job. It feels like we are constantly on our toes and although I am exhausted come the evening of every single day, I am also really loving it. We are making progress with the house and Meg and Eli’s rooms should be done in the next week or two (we have a date for the carpets to be fitted so are working to a deadline!), we have some time booked away as a family in half term, and we are really just doing our best to embrace this season of new things!
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Although I am a particular fan of lazy days spent reading in the sun, I also think there is nothing greater than curling up under a blanket and losing myself in a good book, preferably with a cup of tea in hand and the sound of the rain hitting the windows outside. Living in the North West of England means that throughout autumn (and also spring, summer and winter) there is no shortage of grey and rainy days to enjoy reading.
I had planned to pull out some of my favourite reads to show off but as my books are still mostly packed away *sob* you will have to make do with copies of the covers instead! One day really, really, really soon I will get all my books out and displayed once again.
The main criteria for the perfect rainy day read for me is that it has to be a book I can get swept up in. Although with the kids I don’t often get the chance to sit and read for hours on end, I still crave the possibility that I could find the time to read a book from cover to end in an entire day.
The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult
No surprises here that a Jodi Picoult book is my first suggestion but if you haven’t yet picked up The Storyteller then you need to sort it out! I am a big Picoult fan anyway but this is hands-down my favourite book. A dual timeline, a World War Two mystery, the usual conflict and grey areas all mixed together with a love interest which ticks along gently in the background but complements the rest of the story perfectly…this is a book which will have you drawn in and turning the pages to find out what happens next.
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
If atmospheric, family-sagas with a strong focus on book lovers are your jam then you will love The Thirteenth Tale. This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far and I have recommended it countless times since I put it down. Again it’s a dual timeline story with an historic mystery and a present day setting but I LOVED.THIS.BOOK.
Harry Potter – J.K.Rowling
I feel as though you could pick up any of the seven Harry Potter books and devour them on a rainy day. If you can get some HP common room music going in the background as well then you will really be onto a winner. Adult or child alike, these books are just so so good and you can easily find yourself caught up in the story; imagining the rain hitting the window pane as you curl up in front of the fire in Hogwarts and not in your living room.
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Fantasy is one of my all-time favourite genres when autumn comes around as I love the idea of diving into another world, preferably one with a kick-ass magical system. I ummed and ahhed over which fantasy series I would recommend as there are so many I could have chosen other than Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology; the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, the Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead, the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb…but this series just pipped the others to the post. Morally grey characters, an impossible heist, an interesting backdrop and a clever magic system…if you haven’t yet read Six of Crows then I would highly recommend you do this autumn.
Station Eleven – Emily St.John Mandel
Station Eleven may seem like an odd choice because it happens to be one of the bleakest books I’ve ever read but it is because of the writing style and the setting that this is the perfect book to read on a grey and cloudy day. Of course, I should probably also mention that this post-apocalyptic story is laced with hope and humanity, and although there are dark moments there are also plenty of moments which fill your heart as well.
What are your recommendations for books to read on a rainy day?
Don’t forget you can purchase any of the books mentioned here using my affiliate links (it won’t cost you anything extra and it helps support my book buying habits!!):-
Currently reading:- Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
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I absolutely love autumn; it is by far my favourite season of the year and I think perhaps the thing I love the most is when the season first starts to turn from summer; when you begin to get the gradual changing of the colour of the leaves, the weather becomes noticeably cooler (offering lots of opportunity to bring out those boots and skinny jeans!) and it feels like the perfect time for fresh starts.
I don’t think you get such a clear transition between seasons at any other time of year which is partly what makes it my favourite!
With the kids starting a new school year it just feels natural to make space for out with the old and in with the new and although it is usually the time of year when we have a big clear out, we’ve made bigger changes to our family life this year. Not only did we move house and the kids change school but I also started a new part-time job. It has been a big adjustment for all of us, one that we still haven’t quite got a handle on yet if I’m honest.
Despite the changes that have taken place, it is also a really exciting time of year for us with lots of things going on. We’ve been making the most of the slightly milder weather with trips to the park after school and time spent in the garden…it won’t be long before we can’t go out without being wrapped up to the nines so we’ll wring time outdoors for all its worth over the next few weeks.
I am hoping for some down-time in between now and Christmas but who really knows whether that will happen?! Every time I think we are ready for a quiet period, something else happens which has us running around again.
I also have lots of ideas of blog posts I want to write which are all autumn related, vlogs I want to film and things I want to share but finding the time is proving a little trickier than I thought so I hope you will bear with me through it all!
Now that the nights are drawing in, it is time to go out and buy everyone a new coat. Without a good jacket getting out and continuing to enjoy yourselves is impossible. So, I thought a quick coat fashion piece would be a good idea.
Men’s coats and jackets for 2017
First I am going to start with coats and jackets for men. This year, it looks like the parka is well and truly back in fashion. Parkas look good and are very practical coats. They always have a sturdy hood, so are ideal for wearing to sporting events and for drizzly days. This year, they are available in a big range of different colours and patterns, so there really is no need to buy a boring old green or grey one.
For those men, who are not that keen on parkas, a bomber or Harrington jacket could be a good option. It has been a while since this style of coat was last in fashion, but both these traditional cuts suit most men. This time around the colours are brighter and it is quite easy to buy padded versions that will keep you warm on an autumn day. For the colder months, it will probably be necessary to buy something longer, like an overcoat.
Gilets and fleeces are also worth buying because they are very versatile items of clothing. In the mornings, when it is really cold they can easily be worn under another coat. At lunchtime, when it is warmer, they are ideal for wearing when you slip out of the office to buy a sandwich or run a short errand.
Women´s coats for 2017
Parkas, bombers and Harringtons are also available for women, as well as plenty of more feminine cuts. Military style coats are set to be especially popular. They look just as good with jeans as they do when worn over the top of a suit or dress. Plus, they are usually made from wool, which means that they are extremely warm.
In addition, padded jackets are still widely available. These are particularly good for wearing on the weekends, to walk the dog or go to the park with your children.
Kid´s coats for 2017As usual, most of the kid´s coats that are available are really just scaled down versions of the ones that are available for the adults. However, there are also a few coat trends that relate almost exclusively to the kid´s coat market. For example, packable jackets are widely available in children´s sizes, but quite hard to find for adults. These versatile jackets are ideal for sticking in the boot of the car, so you have them to hand if the weather suddenly turns nasty. Most of them are waterproof, despite being extremely lightweight.
As you can see, there is plenty of choice. So, kitting everyone out with winter coats and jackets that they like should not be hard. If you want more advice about what to look for when buying a winter coat, all you need to do is to click this link.
*This is a collaborative post