A Book Subscription: Book Lover Gifts

I’m an avid reader, and while it’s something I try to encourage in the children, it’s something that’s always come very naturally to me. I did a little tally the other day, and in 2017 I read 76 books, though technically you could say more, as I read some of them more than once! I may not ever have celebrity crushes, but I do have character crushes regularly (here’s looking at you, Peeta Mellark! *sigh*), and if I find a character I bond with on some level, I’ll happily read their story over and over.  When I came across this book subscription service, I thought it was a fantastic idea!

I always love the idea of subscription services anyway, because while it’s a gift given on one day, it’s a reminder month in and month out of the gift, and isn’t that just perfect?

Book Subscription

Read more: A Book Subscription: Book Lover Gifts

Eco Kids Planet Magazine Review

I love finding good stuff. I think it’s the feeling ‘normal’ women get when they find a killer pair of shoes or a designer dress at a bargain price – a bit of a rush, excitement and sheer joy. That’s how I feel when I find something that I think is just straight up GOOD. And that’s how I feel about the Eco Kids Planet magazine*.

EcoKids Planet MagazineAs a home educating family, I think this magazine is particularly useful, but at the same time I think it’s great for any child who might enjoy watching Animal Planet – and in fact most children do, given half a chance.

EcoKids Planet MagazineEco Kids Planet Magazine is aimed at 7 – 11 year olds, but my six year old enjoys reading through them too though she needs some help at some parts of it, and finds it a little wordy in parts – not a problem for someone who doesn’t have to concentrate on every word, I think.

Each magazine deals with a specific area of geography. Issue 11 was The Eastern Himalayas, and Issue 12 was India for example.

Within the general scope of the country there are different articles exploring things like the wild life, or specific things within that region. For example, in the Himalayas region, there’s a discovery article for Incredible Animals, an article on The Mystery of the Yeti, Honey Hunters of the Himalayas, and an interview with a snow leopard.EcoKids Planet Magazine

In the India issues, there’s a feature article on the Mighty River Ganges, an interview with a Bengal Tiger, an article on animals of the Ganges, an ancient folk tale from India and a Jungle Book ‘Fact & Fiction’ article.

Each issue also has activities like colouring, cut and play activities, crosswords and a science or nature project.

There are even pull-out posters, with world maps or animals or board games and so on.EcoKids Planet Magazine

From start to finish each magazine will probably keep a child busy for an hour or two, but obviously these are really only starting points – you could get them to read The Jungle Book, or do a project on what they’ve learned, or whatever is age appropriate and takes your fancy.EcoKids Planet Magazine

It looks like the next issue, Issue 13, is on Scotland, which is fantastic for us as there’s an easy ‘link’ there, with it being a country they are already familiar with, so it’s an easy starting point. And there’s an article on unicorns, so that’s an easy win.

I love this magazine for the same reasons I loved the StoryBox magazine from the same publisher – there’s no ‘free’ tat that comes along with it, the paper is decent quality and these feel like books you can put on the shelf and refer to again and again, but they provide bite-sized bits of information, so not as overwhelming as an encyclopaedia might be.  There’s no advertising, except for the magazine itself, and the paper is FSC certified and even the ink is biodegradable vegetable ink.

Eco Kids Planet also has a current offer on where you can pick up 3 magazines for £6, with their direct debit offer. There are no extra upfront payments, no need for renewal notices, and you can cancel at any time.  The magazines are normally £3.50 or subscribe and save £8, paying £28 for 11 issues with the code ISSUE11 here.

We really think these are a valuable, enjoyable and thoroughly worthwhile subscription.

I was given a year’s subscription in exchange for a review. Opinions are honest and my own. 

JORD And Thornton’s: A Perfect Father’s Day Pairing

My husband didn’t have a very good birthday this year. For a variety of reasons, including me having to work and Aviya not being in a great mood, his day pretty much sucked. So, I’ve decided that we were going to use Father’s Day this year to make up for it!

There are two gifts on my list for hubby for this Father’s day: A wooden watch from clockmaker JORD and a big hamper of Thornton’s chocolate.

Of course Father’s Day can be all about handmade gifts, but I thought we’d push the boat out this year, so let me tell you about the star attractions.

JORD Wooden Watches

(Click on the image to visit JORD)
My husband isn’t huge on jewelry, but  a decent watch is pretty nice, and can make an arm feel rather official and important, I think. It looks good too, so when I saw these JORD watches I knew I wanted one (for him, of course!). They are just so unusual and beautiful!

JORD watches are made from woods: bamboo, maple, sandalwood, blackwood, cherry, and teak. The glass is made from scratch-proof blue film glass. Each one of these gorgeous watches is hand-crafted from natural materials making each one truly unique.

Even the cleaning instructions just feel so natural and ‘clean’ – you mix olive oil and lemon juice and apply the mixture to a cotton cloth.

It took me ages to decide which one I thought my other half would like most, versus what I liked most, but in the end I think I found the perfect one – and on the off chance he reads this before Father’s Day, I’m not telling you which one it is!

I must say quite honestly that I got a lot more than I expected with this JORD watch. I don’t think I expected it to be so ‘finished’, polished, sophisticated and just simply beautiful.  For $120/£72, I am just blown away by it! Shipping in the US is free, but to the UK is an added $20 First Class.

Worth every penny, as far as I’m concerned.

Review 1

Thornton’s Best Dad Hamper

Review 1

My husband has a sweet tooth so sugary, it often gets him in trouble as he sneaks treats from the kitchen, so I know that a box of chocolates will never go amiss. But if that’s  the case, five  bits of chocolate will positively make his day.

I decided on the Best Dad Hamper (£27.99) because there’s enough chocolate variety there to keep him treasure hunting for a while, but there’s not so much that I need  a bigger size of jeans at the finish line for his expanded waistline (or worse, mine if he decides to share!)

Thornton’s have some amazing offers on their chocolate hampers from time to time, so definitely one to keep an eye out for. Our chocolate hamper contained a Milk Chocolate Beer Mug plaque, a milk, dark & white Classics box (which may or may not actually make it to Father’s Day as I see it looking at me every time I open the cupboard, despite being hidden in a drawer!), a smashing box of Assorted Special Toffee and not one, but two bags of chunky Dark Chocolate Caramels. The box of truffles has the hand-iced message ‘Worlds Best Dad!’ which completes the ultimate gift for him. It all comes wrapped in brown organza, with a chocolate ‘tag’ for icing his name on too.

This would work perfectly well as a gift hamper, but there’s so much of it that we will probably split it into treasures for him on Father’s Day.

We’re combining these two gorgeous gifts with an Awesome Dad t-shirt, a personalised whisky label from Famouse Grouse and a treasure map so he can go on a hunt for his gifts. If I can get my act together, there may even be some hand-print ceramics for his traditional gift too.

Introducing The Awesome FlatBox-LunchBox

I am in love with a lunchbox, totally. You know those ads on TV where someone has something that makes everyone else look at them like they’re so cool? This is that product. Every time I use it on our day trips, the people with me tell me how brilliant it is, and they are right. And the sad bit? This awesome product is a lunchbox. The Flatbox-LunchBox, to be precise.

The Flatbox-Lunchbox is a machine washable, heat resistant lunch bag that converts into a placemat providing a clean surface with each use.  You can pop your lunch in it, and when you sit down to your picnic, unzip all four sides, opening it up entirely to make a mat on the table, floor, grass, or wherever you’re eating.


If you don’t want to fold the whole bag open, but just want to get something out, you can just open one of the four zips partially like with any bag, but you can also open one side all the way – a great way to keep blustering sea sand out of your snacks. Solvetta2

The bag itself is large enough to hold quite a bit. On a day out we might put a bowl full Bliss Balls, two bananas, two clementines, 2 reusable yoghurt pouches, some sesame snaps – and that would leave quite a bit of space.



When you get back home, you can quite easily pop the whole bag in the washing machine with your clothes from the day to make sure it’s clean and ready for the next day. We tend to keep our Flatbox-Lunchbox filled with tubs so we don’t have to wash it to get food off it every day, but we have had it dropped in the mud, and had it on the beach, as well as having a drink spill out in it, and it’s super easy to wash and dries quickly too, good as new.

Another really handy feature is the handle. It’s big enough for an adult hand to hold comfortably, and I tend to unhook one side of my handbag, and hook the handle through it – saves me carrying another item around all day.

I don’t get excited about a lot of products, but this one has slotted right into family life, and is used a number of times a week.  It’s really brilliant.

You can buy a Flatbox-Lunchbox on their website, normally at £27.50, but currently available for £19.25

By the way – this was a crowd source project! How cool is that?!


The Essential Parenting Collection – 35 Products You Don’t Want To Miss Out On

Mindful Nurturing Essential Parenting Collection
Welcome to the Essential Parenting Collection, the biggest online collection of Mindful Parenting products! This digital bundle offers a wide array of eProducts, including eBooks, audiobooks, eCourses, workbooks, audio, coloring pages.

The Essential Parenting Collection is offered at $49.97/£30.45/AU$55.78, fractions of the retail value of $751.48/£457.98/AU$838.86.

We have divided the products into 5 categories. Scroll down the page to learn more about ALL of these wonderful resources.

Each mini bundle is available for $19.97/£12.17/AU$22.29

  • Pregnancy and Birth
  • The Early Years
  • Child Development
  • Resources for Parents
  • Mindful Guidance
  • Free Gifts with purchase of the Full Collection

Dig into these amazing resources!

Pregnancy and Birth

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

From Maiden to Motherhood

maiden to mother book-preview Stephanie Brandt Cornais, Mama and Baby Love, 46 pages, retail value $6.99

It’s everything I know about conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. And I know a lot! I mentored hundreds of parents in childbirth classes when I was a Birthing From Within Mentor and in labor as a Certified Doula. I have also been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 14 years, specializing in pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. And of course, my sweet Penelope, my oh so wanted, but oh so difficult baby (now almost 4!) has taught me a thing or two as well.

This ebook is just good, fast, easy-to-understand information about everything you absolutely must know as you begin your journey to motherhood. I am giving you all the juicy tidbits and lessons I have learned from working with pregnant couples for the past decade as well as my own experiences with being pregnant and a new mom.

It’s everything I have ever told friends or clients, plus some things I wish I had known before getting pregnant with my daughter and other things I will do differently if I am blessed with another baby.

I have also included advice from my team of writers at Mama and Baby Love and some from other bloggers that I love, like The Pregnant Chicken, Code Name: Mama, Mother Rising, Dou-la-la, The Homeopathic Pregnancy, Naturally Knocked Up, Mommypotamus, and more.

As usual around here, I tell it straight, no beating around the bush or sugar coating things, which of course means there are a few curse words, but it’s a funny read. You will laugh out loud, I promise.”


The Postpartum Herbal Guide

Laura Schuerwegen, Authentic Parenting, 18 pages, retail value $2.99

The Postpartum Herbal Guide is an introductory booklet to herbs for new mothers.

Topics include: how to make a herbal infusion, herbs for the postpartum time, traditional chinese postpartum bone broth recipe, herbs and breastfeeding and how to make your own sitz bath mix.

Learn how to use herbs to support and strengthen your postpartum body and to heal minor ailments. Make your postpartum time a nourishing one.

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

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The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try To Sell You, And How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line.


Jennifer Margulis, audiobook, retail value $20

Why does the USA have among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world? Why do pregnant women who plan to breastfeed receive “free” samples of infant formula from American obstetricians? Why are American newborns given a vaccine at birth against hepatitis B, a sexually transmitted disease? This eye-opening work of investigative journalism exposes how our current cultural practices during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of a baby’s life are not based on the best evidence or the most modern science, revealing how American moms and their babies are being undermined by corporate interests.

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Birth Relaxation Kit

Jeremy Dyen and Mavi Gupta, Birth Relaxation Kit, audio and booklet, retail value $79

BRK FB Cover Test2The only hypnobirthing program by Board Certified Doctor; hypnosis mp3s, scripts, nutrition guide, birth music; less than half the price of most hypnobirth programs.

With all three Birth Relaxation Kit™ hypnobirthing programs you will overcome anxiety and fear so you can give birth confidently, feeling empowered and relaxed. You can enjoy a shorter, more comfortable and even pain-free birth!

Why Hypnosis For Pregnancy and Childbirth?

We are dedicated to serving moms and moms-to-be seeking an empowered, safe and more comfortable childbirth experience.  We Are On A Mission to empower you with real tools to birth confidently and without fear…And the movement is rapidly growing as thousands and thousands of women are successfully using hypnobirthing and self-hypnosis for birth, pregnancy and motherhood.

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

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Simply Natural Pregnancy

simplynaturalpregR200200Megan Kimmelshue, The Boho Mama, 40 pages, retail value $5.99

Simply Natural Pregnancy is a back-to-basics eBook for mothers who want to “go green” but are overwhelmed and stressed by all the alternatives available. Using concise information, actionable but powerful baby steps, and resources for digging deeper, Simply Natural Pregnancy is a transformative tool for every expectant mother.

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Stay at Home Yoga

Round Logo-1Jennifer Hoffman, Stay at Home Yoga, Every Breath I Take, 3-Month Premium Membership, retail value $23.97

Bundle purchasers will receive three months of unlimited access to four types of yoga classes and all membership bonuses! Your physical alignment plays a vital role in your pregnancy, labor and delivery, but very few prenatal exercise programs teach moms to restore healthy alignment. Each Stay-at-Home Yoga class is designed to provide you with both information and exercises to restore natural alignment, reduce pregnancy aches and pains and prepare you for a natural birth.

Buy the Pregnancy and Birth Module

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Parenting the Early Years

The Colic Solution ebook pinterestThe Colic Solution

Nicolette Roux, Powerful Mothering, 29 pages, value $9.95

The colic solution is an ebook to help new mothers with colic symptoms in their babies. I have detailed my experience with colic three times over, and given examples for what to look out for and how to start applying some tried and tested relief methods.

Every baby is different, unique, not one solution will work for every baby. That is why my ebook has many suggestions, angles of approach and views. One WILL work for your baby!

You will sleep again and you will be able to finely drink that cup of HOT tea or coffee that has been eluding you for weeks! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Manibreasto CoverTwin Manibreasto: A Success Story of Milk and Multiples

Mercedes R. Donis, Project Procrastinot, 54 pages, retail value $6.99

A first time mom reflects on her journey of breastfeeding twins. “Don’t judge your entire experience based on the first three months,” she cautions, as she shares the challenges faced during the ‘fourth trimester’ and beyond. Part memoir, part manual, Mercedes shares her story as well as suggestions on what gear to buy (and what to skip), recipes, links for further reading and a printable feeding log. Topics include: positions for tandem feeding twins, pumping and milk supply, and scheduling feeds vs. feeding on-demand.

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

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Oxytocin Parenting — Womb through the Terrible Twos.

Oxytocin ParentingSusan Kuchinskas and Bryan Post, The Post Institute, retail value $0.99

Did you know that a child’s ability to love and connect is shaped after birth? The way you parent your child actually influences the way her brain cells wire together to form the circuits she’ll use in social situations throughout her life.

A key to forming healthy relationships is the oxytocin response. Oxytocin is naturally released inside the brain when we feel safe and can open to intimacy and connection. The oxytocin response probably begins to develop in the womb, is influenced by the birthing process and then continues to develop in the first three years of life. It’s shaped by the love and care a baby gets in this period.

This book is valuable reading no matter how old your child is. Parenting understanding of oxytocin and advice for all ages (works with spouses too!).

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

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The Natural Parent’s Guide to Babywearing.

The Natural Parent's Guide to BabywearingLauren Wayne, Hobo Mama, 154 pages, retail value $11.97

Babywearing gives you a convenient way to carry along a little one, keeping your child engaged while allowing you as the parent or caregiver to continue with the routines of life — walking, using your hands for tasks, and even breastfeeding — while keeping your child secure.

This book is a Babywearing 101 class, giving an introductory overview of babywearing, along with troubleshooting ideas for special circumstances. We’ll talk about the benefits of babywearing, types of common carriers, how to babywear safely, pictorial how-tos for how to tie and wrap the most popular carriers, tutorials for making your own carrier, and a list of helpful resources for information and support on your babywearing journey.

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

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What Not to Say – Tools for Talking with Young Children

Sarah MacLaughlin, Sarah MacLaughlin, LSW, 96 pages, value $12

Whether parent, teacher, grandparent, or nanny, this book will help you see the importance of not only your role as parent or caregiver, but the relationship, too. Changes in your approach, words, and tone can have lasting beneficial effects in your relationship with a child and on that child’s behavior as well.

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Issue31_coverJUNO Magazine

Juno Magazine (e-magazine), 1-year subscription: 4 issues, retail value $24.74

JUNO promotes a natural approach to family life that inspires and supports parents as they journey through the challenges of parenting. We have an ethos based on conscious parenting, sustainability, social justice, non-violence and a commitment to personal growth and spiritual awareness and share fresh perspectives in this fast-paced technological world, creating a non-judgemental community for those who are keen to follow “a natural approach to family life.”

Buy the Parenting the Early Years Module

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Child Development

Reaching for the moon, an eBook about celebrating your daughter's transition to womanhoodReaching for the Moon

Lucy Pearce, The Happy Womb, 82 pages, value $3.99

Written for girls aged 9-14 introducing them to the menstrual cycle in simple, soulful language, taking the form of a gentle, meaningful initiation into womanhood.

Reaching for the Moon incorporates stories, real womens’ experiences of their first periods, and answers girls’ most burning practical questions about periods and their bodies in a loving, age-appropriate way. This is the guide that empowered and caring mothers, aunts and godmothers want for the girls in their lives.

Buy the Child Development Module

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25a6902_How Childrens Emotions Work coverHow Children’s Emotions Work

Hand in Hand Parenting, retail value $7

Your child has a vital need to connect with you. This booklet helps you understand your child’s emotional life, and how you can best fill his needs.

Buy the Child Development Module

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New version of why does heWhy Does He Do That? A Parent’s Guide to ASD

Stella Waterhouse, stellawaterhouse.com, 32 pages, retail value $3.23

This book looks at the difficulties children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have including lesser known problems such as sensory problems to anxiety and explores the effects these can have.

Buy the Child Development Module

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Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers

Hold On To Your Kids_DigitalEdition-2400x2400 Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, Post Hypnotic Press, audiobook (13 hrs 42 mins), retail value $26

A psychologist with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues joins forces with a physician and bestselling author to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time — peers replacing parents in the lives of our children. A phenomenon they term peer orientation, it refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. Peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity, in tragedies such as in Littleton, Colorado; Tabor, Alberta and Victoria, B.C. It is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident – as do the solutions, none of which are impossible or even costly to undertake.

Buy the Child Development Module

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The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School – Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More

Drama Years_S&S

Haley Kilpatrick, Post Hypnotic Press, audiobook, retail value $16; 6 hrs 39 mins

The Drama Years is a great overall primer for anyone with a young teen girl in there life. And the girls will love it too! I will highly recommend it to the parents, teachers, and girls I work with.” (Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes)

The Drama Years is the definitive guide to the pressures that middle school girls experience every day. Speaking to parents of both middle school girls and high school girls alike (and the girls themselves), it is packed with the voices of middle school girls, who share their experiences, anecdotes and thoughts on everything from stress to body image, from frenemies to getting along with parents. Throughout the book, high school mentors share their own similar experiences—and offer parents advice for how to help their girls survive this tricky time.

Buy the Child Development Module

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book coverGender Neutral Parenting: Raising kids with the freedom to be themselves

Paige Lucas Stannard, Parenting Gently, 134 pages, retail value $9.99

Our culture has strict rules for acceptable behavior for men and women. But what about kids who fall outside the boundaries of prescribed roles? This book is a guide for parents in the practical application of Gender Neutral Parenting – a parenting style based on respect for a child’s self-identity and providing latitude in exploring their own version of gender and gender expressions.

Buy the Child Development Module

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Mindful Guidance


Positive Parenting in Action

Rebecca Eanes & Laura Ling, Positive Parents, 180 pages, value $7.49

There is an abundance of resources available which tell parents why traditional parenting practices are not optimal, but few help parents learn what to do in place of traditional practices. In this book, we’ll discuss the principles of positive parenting, and then we will go through more than 40 scenarios to show you what it looks like when these principles are put into action.

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

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bd5ef04_9Setting_Limits_with_ChildrenSetting Limits with Young Children

Hand in Hand Parenting, 26 pages, retail value $7

What do you do when your child acts out? How do you tell a child “No” without triggering a power struggle? This booklet teaches you to set healthy boundaries, interact with both warmth and authority and create cooperation and closeness.

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

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ABCs2The ABCs of Conscious Parenting

Lori Petro, TEACH through Love, 47 pages + audio download, retail value $68

Create a stronger relationship with your kids by changing the way you speak. Lori Petro will show you how to create peace in your home without sacrificing your influence.

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Raising Mindful Kids ebook coverRaising Mindful Kids

Yvonne Woloszanskyj, Mindful Parenting Skills, 13 pages, retail value $27

Discover The Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Needs Your Child Has And How To Quench Their Thirst In Today’s Society, A Guide To Developing And Nurturing Mindfulness In Children

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Parenting Softly

Cover Parenting Softly FinalBryan Post, Post Institute, 44 pages, retail value: $9.95

Simple guidance for developing healthy attachments with your child from conception to age two, for raising a child who laughs lots, loves big, and learns exceptionally.

Taking a look at raising your baby from a neurological point of view, Bryan Post’s latest book will help by providing parents with what he calls “seven gifts of parenting softly.” It is guaranteed to provide insights you may have never considered.  A perfect gift for new or expecting parents!

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

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e375939b-2f9e-4afc-85cc-b943ff095054A Survival Guide. Positive Parenting for Children with ASD

Stella Waterhouse, stellawaterhouse.com, 35 pages, retail value $4.16

Following on from ‘Why Does He Do That?’, A Survival Guide suggests relatively simple ideas that, although they do not offer a ‘quick fix’ or a miracle cure, are easily implemented and can be very effective.

Buy the Mindful Guidance Module

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Keep Your Cool – How to Stop Yelling, Spanking and Punishing: What to Do Instead

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Flo Gascon, 157 pages, retail value $25

Your kids are your pride and joy, but sometimes conflict arises and it can be overwhelming. You lose your temper when you don’t mean to. In this guide, I break down an interaction into 5 manageable pieces, making your issues easier to define and act upon effectively. There is not a one-fits-all solution, so you have opportunity to customize your Cool Down and Help Strategy. This is about knowing your individual triggers and your individual child and getting on a path to a strong and peaceful relationship.

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Resources for Parents

The Sane Parenting Challenge

saneparentingsmileAmy Phoenix, Presence Parenting, 6-week eCourse, retail value $50

Parenting kind of crazy? The Sane Parenting Challenge is a six week journey to transform how you respond when parenting feels intense. Each week you are invited to incorporate a simple, yet effective practice into your life to gradually begin choosing your response when parenting feels crazy so you can experience more ease – and still keep the joyful crazy parts that only parents can understand.

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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The Transgender Child


Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper, Post Hypnotic Press, audiobook: 8 hrs 11 mins, narrated by Michael Puttonen, retail value $20

“This beautifully written, meticulously well-researched book is a godsend for parents and professionals in search of clear, reliable, and up-to-date information about all facets of parenting and caring for transgender children. Combining real life experience with the latest research, Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper have written an indispensable guide that will save lives and empower families to ensure that transgender children receive the love and support they need to thrive.” — Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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Liberation Parenting Program

TItle Page Guide to Liberation ParentingTeresa Graham Brett, Parenting for Social Change, 131 pages plus 2+ hours of audio, retail value $47

The Liberation Parenting Program is a multimedia e-course that helps parents to do the inner work needed to move through blocks that keep them from sustaining relationships with children that are grounded in trust, respect, and freedom. Using tools for transformative learning, parents will experience greater wholeness and connection for themselves and support the children in their lives to do the same.

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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Calm Authority for Fathers

WhatNowDadMarcy Axness, Parenting for Peace, audio coaching session, retail value $19.95

Parenting can blindside us when it pushes our buttons from how we were treated as a child. “Calm Authority for Fathers” is an easy, relaxing way to harness the latest scientific finding: the more you can make sense of your own past, the healthier and more successful you child will be! The bonus: It cultivates an inner calm and self-possession that’s essential for effective parenting, and that makes most discipline issues evaporate before they ever appear.

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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Embracing a Child-Centered Divorce: Because You Love Your Children

Rosalind Sedacca, Child-Centered Divorce, retail value $9.99

Embracing Child-Centered Divorce ebook cover-1As a Divorce and Parenting Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, Rosalind Sedacca shares valuable advice, tips and insights for divorced parents on helping children cope with divorce and transition after divorce with the best possible outcome. She helps parents understand the emotional effects of divorce on children and how to protect their children from hurt, anxiety and long-term damaging consequences. Learn how to co-parent more effectively and become aware of your child’s needs at differing ages and stages during and after divorce.

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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12 Steps To A More Natural Family Home Image12 Steps To A More Natural Family Home

Emma Weatherall, So Natural Baby, 15 pages, retail value $8.17

Many of the materials used in household items can leach chemicals into the air that we breathe and onto our children’s delicate skin, causing problems and health issues that can affect your family’s quality of life. This eBook will help you identify the ‘nasties’ in your home and give you ideas on what you can easily do to replace them or reduce their effects.

Buy the Resources for Parents Module

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Free gifts with purchase – exclusive to the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Gentle Parenting Coloring Pages

Hugo Smits, retail value $2.99

Buy the Full Essential Parenting Collection

Conscious Communication

Lori Petro, TEACH through Love, 17 pages, retail value $20

Mindful Mondays: A collection of language examples exploring everyday parenting challenges using the process of compassionate communication

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Dr. Joe Rubino, highselfesteemkids, audio, retail value $147

Learn the tools to champion children to build soaring self-esteem as a Certified Coach in Self-Esteem Elevation for Children.

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tandem4Mama is Having a Baby – A Journey to Tandem Breastfeeding

Joni Rae Latham, Tales of a Kitchen Witch, coloring book, 15 pages, retail value $3.99

This is a 15-page coloring book with line drawings by Joni Rae Latham. The drawings depict a story done in coloring pictures of a nursing toddler who still spends much of his/her day breastfeeding, and the new baby that is suddenly in the house.

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Method Eco-Friendly Cleaners Review

I’m a huge fan of making my own cleaning materials, and using natural products. Especially with children either on the floor, or having a fetish for spray bottles, using water and essential oils for cleaning has become the norm for me.

Unfortunately, it’s all too simple for my husband. It seems he can’t get his head around water + essential oil = powerful cleaner, and he prefers to use commercial cleaning products when he cleans anything. (Which he does, and for that I’m grateful enough to not kick up too much of a fuss.) Unfortunately he’ll pretty much always go for the cheapest thing he can find, which I’m pretty sure correlates directly with exactly how bad it is for the environment, and for the children and us, breathing it in or absorbing it through our skins.

Whenever he’s been cleaning, I have to open windows to let the toxic fumes out.

So when I was offered a variety of Method cleaning products to review, I thought that sounded like an ideal place to look for a good compromise.

Method use plant based solvents and surfactants that are non-toxic and biodegradable to pack a cleaning punch.

Today I decided was a good day for some serious housework, and embarked on a seven hour deep cleaning – late spring, actually summer – clean. I started with the Method Multi-surface cleaner and decided to really put it to the test, using it on mirrors, laminate flooring and even the walls and I can tell you straight up, I’m impressed. It cut through all the marks and sticky stains and everything with no added effort on my part. Ameli cleaned her art table herself – it definitely does what it says on the tin, as it took all the crayon marks off with a 3 year old’s strength behind it. Not bad at all.

Also, my mirrors were amazingly clean. Seriously, I still look at them every now and then just to remark on how clear they are.

Next up was the bathroom.

Normally, I leave the bathroom to my husband and his industrial cleaners, because, well… because.

Tonight, however, I put the girls in the bath, and took to the sink and toilet to see how Method would handle it. A couple of sprays from the Eucalyptus Mint Method Bathroom Cleaner actually brought the sink to a gleam I haven’t seen in a while. There’s no residual chemical lines or soapiness or anything. I’m quite impressed. The taps actually sparkle. With that I’m equally impressed, especially because normally getting them to shine involves a dry cloth and some shining.

One thing it doesn’t do is remove lime scale, but then it’s not a lime scale remover, so fair dues.

The toilet cleaner is really nice too, although not a miracle worker. Let’s just say a friend’s little boy left traces of his visit a few days ago, and it still needed a toilet brush. The bowl does pretty much sparkle though, so I’m not complaining.

The best bit though, is that it took me a couple of minutes while the girls were bathing to clean everything, and it looked like I had put loads of time and effort into scrubbing, which I really didn’t.

My husband is the regular kitchen cleaner in the house, and he gave the Kitchen Cleaner a good rating. He thinks it had a nicer fragrance than his regular product, which was very strong and chemically, but worked as effectively. He also mentioned that it seemed to make everything shine more than he was used to, which I thought was great! He also used the all-purpose cleaner to clean one of the metal trays that had been used to roast potatoes, and he was quite happy with how easily it cut through the grease.

The fact of the matter remains that while these products are made from plant derived ingredients, they still undergo more chemical treatments than my water and essential oil, so I think for the normal mopping up after the children things, I’ll probably carry on using my own products, but for deeper cleaning, and for whatever my husband cleans – and for windows and mirrors – we’ll actually be sticking to Method now. At around £3 a bottle, they’re also quite affordable.

I’m really pleased, because it means we can bin the toxins he has hidden on a high shelf in the study, and we can instead come to a compromise of home made and Method, which sees us both happy.

*We were sent these products to try. Opinions are my own.

Galt Toys Playnest Review And Competition

I am such a fan of Galt Toys, that I could, quite frankly, feature their products every month and not run out of things Iove for both Ameli and Aviya. This week, however, it’s an Aviya toy that we’re raving about: The Galt Playnest

At only 12 weeks old, we’ve no where near gone through the full potential of  uses of the Galt Playnest, and we’ll have plenty of use out of it still, but I’ll tell you what we love so far.

The Farm Playnest is an inflatable donut covered with bold, bright and colourful washable nylon cover. Galt says that it’s suitable from birth, and depending on your use of it, tend to agree.

With Aviya, I’ve put a thin pillow in the hollow of the ring and put her on her side to sleep during the day while we’re in the living room. I’ve also been using (and in fact recommending in baby massage class!) the playnest for tummy time from birth. Because you can put the baby at an angle, they can have gentle pressure on the belly while still having somewhere to rest their heads*.

Aviya’s been holding her head up pretty much since birth, so it’s been easy for us to do. Also, since the ring is inflatable, it is soft against the belly which I think would be ideal for babies who ‘don’t like’ being on their tummies* (they don’t like it because they’re not used to it. If put on their tummies from birth, most babies will prefer it as a sleep position as it continues their natural womb like positioning.)

I’ve also used it without the pillow for her to lean back on so that she can look around and be part of what’s going on in the room. I particularly like that if Aviya slides over to the side, she can’t fall off anything, like the sofa. It’s a nice, contained, safe space, and because she’s not flat on her back or in the same position for too long, I don’t have to worry about flat head syndrome either*.

I was a bit concerned initially that it would pop if Ameli tried to get on it with her sister, but after a few weeks of both of them in the playnest, and her bouncing in, out and on it, I no longer have that fear. It’s pretty sturdy and stands up to toddlerhood.

As for activities, we’ve not had to pay too much attention to what it offers yet, as Aviya’s not there yet, but it does have things like a squeaker in the duck bill, crinkly ‘flaps’, a squishy pig’s nose and fluffy sheep’s head. I think for a younger baby, I’d prefer it to have arches as at the moment there’s not much on it to entertain her, but then, she is 12 weeks old! As she gets older, sits up and becomes more engaged in her environment, I think she’ll love the playnest and I’ll love the security it offers.

On a slightly different note – I was concerned this would have a playpen feeling, like she’d be trapped in it, which I wouldn’t like. Having it inflated and in use, however, I don’t think that will be the case at all. It’s not something that could be used to ‘contain’ a crawler, so it should definitely be used with adult supervision, especially if you have a cuddly toddler and a baby and especially if baby is sleeping in it.

Overall, though, we love this Galt Farm Playnest.

*These are my thoughts, not Galt claims.


If you’d like to win a Galt Farm Playnest, visit the Galt website, then come back here and let me know what other Galt product you like.

For an additional entry, (which is not compulsory, and is not sponsored by Facebook and which has nothing to do with Facebook or its employees) you can like Galt Toys on Facebook, and leave a second comment below saying you have. Also, leave a message on their wall telling them I sent you!

This competition finishes at 23:59 on 18 June and the winner will be randomly drawn. Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.


Please read the competition rules.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS  or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!

AnyBook Reader Review And Competition

You know how every now and then, you find a product, look at it, dislike it, and then on closer inspection fall in love with it?  Well, this is one of those.

The AnyBook Reader is basically an electronic-pen-slash-voice-recorder-and-player-backer.  The premise being that you read your child’s favourite books while recording yourself and they can listen to them at any time, in your voice.  Initially, I have a problem with this in so many ways. If used as a replacement for time with your child, for example. But, after a while of thinking about it, I realised that there are examples of where this would be wonderful – like when a parent is deployed, away on business or otherwise unavailable. It’s a great way for the non-custodial parent to still get to be part of the bed time routine, for example.

And the more I thought about its potential application in our lives, the more I loved it. I decided to try it out and came up with this: I typed up a book, and emailed it to my parents. They then read the story into their phones, recording it on Whatsapp. They sent it to me and I recorded it into the reader and just like that, Nana and Oupa can read Ameli a story from across the world.

I’ve done a little video clip to show you how it works, so watch this:

[youtube M231T9qWZMk nolink]

But in short, click a button, record, hold the pen to a little sticker you’ve applied and listen.  There are no cables to connect, nothing to upload or download, and no new stories you need to buy or keep adding to.

In your started pack you receive 200 reusable stickers, which you can attach to each new page or to the front of the book. You also receive character stickers – faces – that we’re using to identify who reads each book. (So a book read primarily by Nana has the little face with glasses on it, and my parents have added a ‘we’re going to read a story now, so settle down and snuggle up’ type welcome message.) There are also some sound stickers you can use in stories – a cow, bell, ringing phone and so on. You can also buy another 600 stickers if you need them.

The AnyBook Reader is so simple and easy to use, and I think when a parent or other family member isn’t available, it’s perfect for keeping a connection alive.

The AnyBook Reader is available in the DPR-4000 (£69.99) model can store up to 60 hours of recordings and the DPR-3000 (£49.99)which can store up to 15 hours of recordings.

We have been shortlisted in the MADS awards as best pregnancy blog and best new baby blog. I would be so grateful if you would take 1 minute and vote or us to win in those categories.


If you’d like to win an AnyBook Reader, leave a comment below telling me the name of your favourite story that you’d like to record for your (or another) child.

For an additional entry, (which is not compulsory, and is not sponsored by Facebook and which has nothing to do with Facebook or its employees) you can like Any Book Reader, and leave a second comment below saying you have. Also, leave a message on their wall telling them I sent you!

This competition finishes at 23:59 on 11 June and the winner will be randomly drawn. Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.


Please read the competition rules.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS  or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!


Expressiva Nursingwear Review And $30 Voucher Competition

**This competition is for readers with US delivery addresses only**

Summer has finally graced us with its presence here in the UK, and it’s time to hit the swimming pool.  But have you ever tried to breastfeed in a swimming costume? It’s a rather exposing and somewhat difficult experience! So, when Expressiva Nursingwear contacted me about doing a review for them, I immediately fell for the double – layer nursing swim tankini.Read more: Expressiva Nursingwear Review And $30 Voucher Competition