The more you read, the more things you’ll know…

…The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. That very popular Dr. Seuss quote, and isn’t it the truth?

If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll see I’ve been posting in my stories quite a bit about reading with Israel over a long period of time. Reading, for me is an essential part of learning. Growing up, I read so many books and as I was born in Nigeria and migrated to England at a young age, it was important I learnt good English really quickly, I honestly believe reading is what helped me learn quicker and made it a lot easier for me. Nowadays, I don’t read as much as I’d like to but I do spend a lot of time reading to and with Israel.

Reading is an essential part of learning for everybody, but for children it’s even more important because this is how they learn new words which leads to the development of speech, gaining confidence in saying new words and being able to concentrate for longer periods.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

I try to read to Israel every night but of course sometimes we have a late night and he’s too tired to stay up for a story. When we do read, he loves it, we usually read a minimum of 2 books per night, sometimes we can have up to four, which honestly I don’t have a problem with because he learns so much from them.

Sometimes it can be difficult choosing which books to read to your little one and there have been days where he’s just not interested in the book I’ve chosen lol. So now, I let him choose, I get a collection of books and he picks out which ones he wants to read, this way I know he’ll enjoy our time reading.

I also try to read one book a few times in the week, so he really gets to know the story and by the end of the week, he repeats some of the words and ends some of the sentences. It is important to have books with rhymes and a little rhythm in them to encourage that, also pay attention to the length of the story (too long and they lose interest) touch and feel books are great too, for interaction. I also have books all over my flat so he has access to them throughout the day, I know sometimes as busy parents we don’t always have the time to sit down and read to our children so having books around is a good idea, then they can look at pictures themselves, talk about what they see and just show interest in books in general.

Because Israel’s been brought up on reading, he does bring me books to read to him even during the day, and we share stories whenever, not JUST at bedtime, so technically there’s always time for a story in our house!

Research shows that children who are read to are more likely to exceed in school which tells of the importance of reading to your children from a young age, even simply looking at the pictures in a picture book and discussing them will encourage some learning, reading shouldn’t be a chore, it should be fun! A chance to escape reality!

Here are a few essential books for toddlers, that I’ve used in teaching my kids at work and also some of Israel’s favourites;

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? By Bill Martin Jr.

Ten little fingers and ten little toes by Mem fox and Helen Oxenbury

The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle

We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Goodnight spaceman by Michelle Robinson

Where’s spot? By Eric Hill

I want my potty! By Tony Ross

Owl babies by Martin Waddell

There are so many books I haven’t even listed on here! But gosh I do love a good picture book myself, just thinking about all the picture books I’ve read over the years, there are too many to name! Now I’m also quite big on representation in stories, tv programs, media in general because it’s important for all children of all races and social backgrounds to see themselves being represented. Being able to relate to a character in a story is so important in this generation that’s literally being taken over by social media right before our eyes, so here are a few that we love:

Peekaboo morning by Rachel Isadora

Please, baby, please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Handas surprise by Eileen Browne

My mum is a supermum by Angela Mcallister and Alex T Smith

So much by Trish Cooke

Let’s have fun by Pamela Venus

Mad in the back by Michael Rosen and Richard Watson (I find this story so funny and relatable lol)

To name a few…

The next step in our reading journey is to visit the library more which I want to try and now incorporate into our routine but I really hope you’ve found this post helpful and if you have any books or know any authors you think we could do with reading up on, leave a comment below!

Happy World Book day!

Snowflake decorating

To continue our indoor activity for toddlers series, we’ve made snowflakes and designed them. This was a very quick and easy activity and was fun for both Israel and I. I thoroughly enjoyed making these snowflakes and playing with glitter lol.

What you need:

White A4 paper


Glitter (we used white, silver, gold and blue)

Confetti stars

Pva glue

Glue sticks/paintbrushes

To make a snowflake: fold your piece of paper into a square and fold that square in half, you’ll get a triangle, now fold that triangle in half again. Then you fold that small triangle from each point into the middle, in a 30 degree angle (shown in the picture) once your paper is folded there’ll be two pointy ends sticking out which need to then be cut off. This part has to be done by an adult but older kids can help, using child scissors.

Once this is done, you can cut shapes into it, open it up and it creates a symmetrical shape. Remember no snowflake is the same so you can cut lots of different patterns if you’re making more than one snowflake.

The next part is the really fun part; just decorate your snowflake, this is where toddlers really enjoy this activity because once they have some glue and glitter, magic is made!

I let Israel use a paintbrush to put glue on his snowflake and sprinkle some glitter on it, we also put some stars on ours. I modelled the activity so Israel would see and he pretty much decorated his own snowflake independently after watching me.

This activity is good for developing fine motor skills, learning about patterns and shapes, making decisions and working independently. The finished snowflake can also be used as decorations around the house, hanging off some string.

Look out for our next indoor activity for toddlers!

Indoor fun for toddlers – A Christmas series 🎄

I’m back with another fun Christmas activity you can do indoors! Easy to make and so much fun for babies, toddlers and even the older kids!

This week I made a Christmas themed sensory tub for Izzy, with some coloured pasta and some Christmas props. It was so fun for him to play in and he loved all the different things he could feel and hear. This sensory tub is good for their sensory development, fine and gross motor skills and communication and language, as they learn about some colours, talk about what they feel, see and hear. It can also be used to discuss and explain the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it to older children, who are able to understand.

It’s so easy to make and really doesn’t take long at all, although mine did because I made a silly mistake, haha! I’ll explain as I go along…

What you need:

A small tub/messy play tray


Green and red Tempera paint

A dash of PVA glue (so the paint sticks)

Carrier bags/ziplock bags

Christmas props



Christmas felt shapes


Snowflake confetti

Pine cones

(All these things can be bought from Poundland or you can even use decorations off your tree.)

The process:

Put pasta in two separate bags; now I’m all about inexpensive ways to entertain my kid so I used food bags that I had lying around in the house. Then, put green paint in one bag and red in the other, add a little pva glue in both and shake shake shake! Make sure all the paint is mixed in well with the pasta and all of the pasta is covered.

Let the pasta dry overnight by pouring and spreading it out onto a flat tray, put some foil paper on the tray first, again, another thing you can find lying around in your kitchen. It should be dry after leaving it overnight. However here’s the mistake I made, I laid all the pasta out on a tray but didn’t spread them out enough and it took three days to dry! Three days! I think I might have put too much red paint on the pasta too because it was the red pasta that took the longest. I usually use rice for sensory play and it dries in a few hours so this was highly annoying that it took so long to dry but we got there in the end!

When the pasta dries, pour it in your tub (I used a bowl I had at home) both colours on either side and throw in your Christmas props and, voila! You have a Christmas sensory play tub. I placed the props in and made the tub look pretty and inviting so Izzy would play in it, I also put in a cup for him to place the bits in.

Izzy wasn’t too sure of the tub at first, so I let him hold the pasta and I told him what colours they were, he repeated them after me, then obviously tried to eat them! I quickly told him they weren’t for eating and once he saw me playing with them, he didn’t try eating them again. **there is a baby friendly way of making the pasta with food colouring in case you have any little nibblers!**

The bells were his favourite, he loved putting them in the cup and shaking it, listening to the sound they made, he eventually added some of the pasta and continued shaking the cup, listening to the sounds. It is safe to say his favourite sensory experience were the sounds.

The good thing about this sensory tub is, you can keep it for as long as you want until your child gets the full play experience from it, after they’re done, you can still store the pasta away for the next time you want to play!

Have a go with this indoor fun idea this Christmas season and let me know how it goes!

Hannah xo

Indoor fun for toddlers – A Christmas series 🎄

Glitter winter sensory bottle

As it’s Christmas season and the temperature has dropped, Izzy and I have been doing a few activities indoors after work and on the weekends. This is the first in my series of Indoor fun for toddlers; Christmas edition. Enjoy!

Making a glitter winter sensory bottle was very quick and easy, the hardest part was probably collecting all the bits we needed and trying to keep Izzy from pouring the glitter and beads everywhere! (Which he still did eventually! Ugh! lol)

This activity is great for toddlers’ fine motor skills development and also communication and language because it requires focus and listening skills as they follow instructions and copy what the adult does. Kids also find these bottles calming and they just love watching how everything moves around and how the substances mix, there’s a lot you can put in your bottle but we used 5 substances.

What you need:

A bottle: we used a ‘smart water’ bottle because I find them quite sturdy and the size was perfect.

Baby oil

Gold glitter

Yellow food colouring (to mix with water)


Decorative glass shards (frit) – we got these from Flying Tiger

The process –

Put a few drops of the yellow food colouring in the water and mix with a spoon, set aside.

Pour baby oil into your empty bottle up to half way, mine was a quarter way up because I didn’t have enough baby oil, but it still came out amazing!

Pour some glitter into the bottle to sit on top the oil, then put your beads in (we only used white and clear ones to make it look a bit more wintery) then I added the glass shards.

Pour your water into the bottle all the way to the top, leave a tiny bit of air space at the top.

Glue the lid on the bottle to avoid disasters of spillages, I used a glue gun but you can use super glue.

When adding all your substances into the bottle, get your toddler to help, this is where they use their fine motor skills, and show so much concentration. I however, avoided letting Izzy put in the glass shards because of his delicate little fingers, but they’re actually not sharp at all.

It’s beautiful how the substances mix and it literally looks like liquid gold in a bottle! The beads and shards also make a lovely sound like rain when the bottle is moved side to side slowly. What’s also beautiful about this activity is how cheap you can get the stuff you need, perfect!

Izzy loves playing with his sensory bottle, I find he gets more fascinated by it everyday, it’s like he discovers something new every time he plays with it!

I hope you have a go making one of these and if you do, leave me a comment and let me know how it went! Also keep a look out for my next Christmas Indoor fun activity!

Hannah xoxo

Our Summer 2018

Hey guys!

So this year I planned to make the most of mine and Israel’s summer, having the whole six weeks off (teacher privileges). So I started planning activities for us to do since way before the holiday had even begun and I was determined to get everything done even if it was just me and Israel on our little journey.

I basically did research on all the places I could take a newly walking toddler and he would still enjoy himself, I really wanted him to have an amazing experience wherever we went and to learn and make new friends where possible. I planned to take him somewhere at least once a week because he still had nursery two days a week, so that’d give him time to rest for a day before heading off to nursery.

After doing some research, I found a couple of places that we could go, not too pricey, not too far and some even free, e.g. the park.

Freightliners farm

The farm is in the heart of Islington, it’s quite small so perfect for a first visit to the farm, it wasn’t too overwhelming and small enough for Israel to walk around by himself. There were so many learning opportunities at the farm, Israel learnt some new animal names and sounds. He enjoyed having the independence to walk around the farm relatively on his own. We actually visited Freightliners twice, first time with family and the second with colleagues and their kids and both were lovely experiences, there’s also paradise park right outside so had a little play there afterwards. Entry is also free, as it’s a charity farm.

ZSL London Zoo

Who doesn’t love the zoo?! This was another first for Israel and he loved it! We went with my cousin and her daughter and it was so nice watching them both learn and interact, my cousins daughter is 2, almost 3, so there’s a little age gap between her and Israel so there was so much learning going on as Israel listened to her talking and saying all the animal names. We know tourist attractions in London can be quite pricey but I was determined to not spend too much on keeping my kid entertained so I got my ticket on a discounted price on, a great website for finding cheaper ticket prices for attractions in London.

Bluewater beach

Every summer, man made beaches are set up in and around London at big shopping centres, I think they’re such a beautiful idea for people who may not have the means to go abroad or are just looking for a fun day out with the kids. We took a big family trip out there and the kids had so much fun swimming and going on the rides. There are rides for adults as well. It was £3 to get in for adults and the kids under 3 were free.

Discover Children’s Story Centre

This was definitely a highlight of the summer, the story centre is based in Stratford so we had to take a train there but it was so worth it. The venue is beautiful and they offer famous children’s stories (e.g. The Gruffalo & Room on the broom) being told throughout the day, it’s perfect for children of all ages, there are sensory spaces, outdoor play areas, a reading garden and a lovely little book and gift shop. I loved this place because of the variety of things for kids to do also because it was an indoor space, it was okay to let Israel run around and explore. A day pass is £6.50 and there are additional shows you can book for (most are free) and if one requires payment it’s like an extra £1.50. So worth it!

Clissold Park

This was easy access, free, and close to home which is why I loved it. With a paddling pool, mini farm, children’s play area, cafe and lots of open grass space it’s perfect for letting your kids just burn some energy. To think that this park has always literally been at my doorstep and this summer was the first time I really explored it. Izzy loved it, he loves having freedom to walk around and climb and run so this was perfect, we had a play date with my friends daughters and they had so much fun. Unfortunately we didn’t go on a super hot day so couldn’t use the paddling pool but we got to do everything else and the kids enjoyed themselves which is what really matters right?

The Play Spot @ Finsbury Park

I loooove this place! The play spot is an indoor soft play area for kids up to 8 years. Izzy and I have visited before and he had so much fun (he was only about 7 months) so there was no doubt we had to go back for another visit. As soon as we stepped in, he wanted to get out of his buggy and go and play. I blame the bright colours, the vast majority of activities and all the other children who were clearly having fun! The space isn’t huge which I found amazing because, no matter where your child is, they can be seen. It offers opportunities for climbing, running, playing instruments, there’s even a sensory room for smaller kids and lots of ball pits! Just £3 to get in and you can spend the whole day if you want, there’s also a cute little area for rest and a snack.

This is literally some of what we did over the holidays, some weeks, we had spontaneous trips to the parks around my area (always a perfect idea) play dates with friends kids and family, walks down the lake and cute little days spent indoors just doing activities like painting etc. I can definitely say we had a brilliant, inexpensive summer. I didn’t even know there was so much for kids to do in London especially at such a young age. A little goes a long way and everything for Toddlers is a learning experience. No matter what you do with your kids, just remember they are learning and having fun, you don’t need to spend loads of money to keep them happy.

Being a working mum is hard but having the summer off to spend time with Izzy is definitely a blessing, I wonder where else we’ll be going on some adventures…

Keep you posted,

Hannah xo

Love your (new) self!

Hey guys,

I decided to write this blog post because I myself have been struggling with loving my new body and self-confidence in general. I’ve never been ‘skinny,’ always been chubby, and I definitely went through a fat period when I was younger lol but even then I had so much confidence! You think I cared about what people thought of me? Nope. Growing up, I’ve gotten a lot more self-conscious, and I can honestly say it’s probably because of the huge role social media plays in my life these days.

Before I got pregnant, I didn’t mind my body, I was doing all the right things, trying to eat healthy, exercising and all that good stuff, when I got pregnant I loved my body! I carried quite small and it took ages before I actually started showing and even when I did, I loved my bump and I loved how the rest of my body was just ‘together’ everything looked good.

Now?! Gosh, now I’m really struggling, I went through a period where after I gave birth, I was pleased with myself, the weight shifted pretty quickly, but now I feel stuck. Not because I want to look how I did before, but because I just want to get to a place where I’m content, and just happy with myself. I’m usually one for self-love and self-appreciation but recently I haven’t been feeling myself, and I recently posted a picture on Instagram saying I’m learning to love my flaws and all, because life is too short, but it. is. hard.

Harder more so because I’ve actually birthed another human and I’m allowed to look like this but I just can’t seem to accept that LOL. Like now, I have ‘problem areas’ that I worry about all the time, when I look in the mirror or at pictures and I’m so picky with what I wear because I don’t want my belly to show or I don’t want my arms to show, or my back rolls, or my double chin, the list goes on… LOL *sigh* Then my cousin said something to me one time that really just made me think, ‘yeah you need to get a grip mate’ she said, “NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM AREAS BUT YOU.” And you know what? It’s true, so why do we find it so hard to be confident in our own bodies? Why are we always comparing ourselves to other people? We are our own enemies you know.

Body confidence is so important especially in this day and age where all we see are ‘perfect’ women and men all over our screens, but what is the definition of perfect?

It depends on how YOU define perfect, we live in a world where we are so hell bent on living for everyone else, but the most important person to be confident for is yourself, so if your ‘perfect’ is number one by all means go for it, if it’s number two, then focus on making yourself happy, be complete, be real to yourself, don’t worry about anyone else, stop comparing!

‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt

This is the realest saying in all reality because it is so true! Comparison is a horrible, horrible thing, if we keep doing it we’ll never be complete, and that is my definition of perfect, to be complete, to feel whole, to love one’s self. And honestly this is what I strive for, this is what I want my ‘perfect’ to be, I just want to be happy in my skin, this person I am now. This body I have now, just be happy at wherever I’m at, at whatever point I’m at in my life and not worry about what the next mum who got ‘snatched’ a week after giving birth looks like. It’s a journey I think most women (even men!) are on and I do love how I’m seeing more and more people bang on about self-love because it is so important.

So guys, love yourself, love the new you, as I strive to.

All my love,

Hannah x

Sneak peak into…

Izzy’s new bedroom

Israel and I got a place of our own quite recently (beginning of this year) and it has taken me this long to write this post because truth be told, it’s been a busy couple of months trying to get settled. I’m still not done! There are still a few things I need to do within our flat, especially in my bedroom and the living room. But one place in the flat that I was determined to fix up and make sure it looked amazing, was Israel’s room. I wanted it done up completely before we even moved in and I’d say it’s nearly there now, I’m still chopping and changing a few things but it’s definitely my favourite room in the flat so far.

I had a theme in mind when I planned Israel’s bedroom, it’s like straight away I knew I wanted to do a space theme, I love space for a kids bedroom and I didn’t want anything too baby-ish either because well, he’s gonna grow up one day isn’t he? Ultimately, the whole space theme idea came from Israel’s favourite song, Zoom, zoom, zoom we’re going to the moon! When he was really little he used to love it when I sang it to him and when I would count down from 5 to 1 and throw him up in the air, he used to smile and giggle so much and it melted my heart every time, he still loves it!

I did my research on google and Pinterest and found loads of images of space themed bedrooms but they were all quite dark and aimed a lot at older kids. Then I remembered that when israel was born, he had a Moses basket bought for him from Mothercare which had the space theme and it was a lovely light blue colour; that’s when I decided to buy all the wall stickers, bed sheets, covers, and space rocket wall lamp from that range called the ‘space dreamer.’

I wanted it all to match as well, so it made sense to get everything from the same range and when everything was up, it looked so amazing, I felt so proud of my vision lol. There’s just one thing missing from his wall which I haven’t yet been able to get, these are personalised wall stickers with his name on. I’m torn between getting wooden letters or just wall stickers at the moment which is why I haven’t yet got them. I’m also trying to find something that will match the colours of the entire room, I chose the colours light baby blue and dark blue because his room has a divided wall.

My absolute, absolute favourite part of Israel’s room has to be his reading corner! This was another idea I saw on Pinterest, using spice racks from Ikea as book shelves. I’ve always made an effort to read to Israel since he was born so it’s no surprise he loves books now but I want this to be something he grows up to continue loving and have access to. And what a perfect corner to have the perfect reading area!

As I said before, I did these with Ikea spice racks, which come in plain wood so I had to paint them white then had them put up on the wall, and it was so much cheaper than buying actual book racks. Painting them didn’t take long either, it was definitely worth it. Israel knows when it’s bedtime now so after his bath he goes over to his bookshelf and starts pointing at which book he wants to read!

I got Izzy’s space rug from Amazon (I think) or a website called ‘the rug shop’ I really can’t remember for the life of me, and I think that’s because I looked at so many different ones before I made my decision to get this one and I had to buy so many other bits for the flat. It’s a lovely soft rug and he likes to sit on it when he occasionally plays in his room, I love the bright colours and how simplistic it is. His curtains are definitely from Amazon, however, they’re a lovely grey colour with silver stars, I didn’t want it to be blue as well (would’ve been too much blue overload lol) His lamp shade is also grey with stars on which I think just adds to the theme perfectly.

You’re probably thinking, but why is your kids bedroom your favourite room?! I love this bedroom the most because of all the hard work I put in, the whole thought process of how I got to our chosen theme, making sure I stuck to my vision of how I wanted it to look and I like that he can go in and access everything himself, he’s got little pull out fabric drawers with his little toys in them, the bigger toys are in the living room in a separate toy box, I’ve tried to make sure his toys are at his reach so he can facilitate his own play. I love that I’ve made the room personal for Izzy, with pictures of him and us together, I do want to put more pictures up but I’m again, still trying to figure out how I’m going to do that. And one last thing; he said his first word in his bedroom, while looking at the stars on the wall after bath time he pointed at one and said, ‘star,’ it was just such a beautiful moment and now whenever he sees a star, he says, ‘star!’

I love everything about Izzy’s bedroom and I just hope he grows to love it as much as I do!

Hannah x

Our bath/bedtime routine

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a long time but because our bath/bedtime routine has changed so much over the year I just haven’t had a chance to but we have one now and it seems to be working great for us. (Finally!)

First of all, the reason our bath time routine changed so much was because of Israel’s sensitive skin. As a first time parent, my first instinct was to use Johnson’s baby products on him when he was first born, initially they were okay but as he got older his skin became so much more sensitive and he just started to react badly to the body wash and moisturise, his skin got really dry and he had a ‘rash’ all over.

So I started doing some research and found Aveeno products were really good for sensitive baby skin. So I tried their baby daily wash, and creamed him with Aveeno daily care baby moisturiser, this worked fine for his skin. I used oilatum bath additive in his water also to moisturise his skin a little more. Israel later developed eczema all over his body and I just didn’t know what to do, this was at six months when he started weaning so I put it down to the new foods he had started trying. I continued using Aveeno products a little longer but decided to go to the GP about the eczema, and they prescribed Cetraben moisturiser and a whole lot of other stuff for him, I was also told to stop using anything with soap on his skin and stop giving him dairy! Stopping dairy was really hard for me because out of all the things Israel started eating, he absolutely loved dairy.

We went ahead anyway and a lot of it was trial and error but we now have a routine that works for us.

Our bath time routine:

I usually give Israel his dinner before a bath at 7pm, after he’s fed, he has a bath at around 7.30/7.45pm

I put oilatum bath additive in his water, and let him have a little play and soak in it, I still use Aveeno products but I switched to the baby cleansing milk and stopped using the soap.

I rub that all over his skin and use a face towel to rub it in and wash it off then use water again to rinse it off. I don’t use a sponge on his skin to avoid scratching the eczema. To wash his hair, I use Dermax therapeutic shampoo because I found his scalp used to get very itchy, also due to the eczema. Dermax helped a lot and the itching has stopped after a few weeks of using it. Basically if your child has eczema, avoid using anything with soap in it and remember lots and lots of moisture.

After having a bath, in the daytime I use Cetraben to moisturise his skin and at night I use Ovelle emulsifying ointment all over his body (also prescribed) this is a thicker consistency, which is why it’s better for night time use. After washing his hair, I use Cantu kids conditioning detangler to comb through his hair and Vita coco coconut oil to moisturise his scalp. After, I use Shea moisture kids curling cream to give his curls definition (I only use the Curling cream in the daytime.)

Bedtime routine:

After a bath, it’s straight to bed (usually by 8pm) I try to read Israel the same story before bed for a week so he familiarises with the story, although he does have his favourites and if he doesn’t want to read a particular story he lets me know (by pushing the book away and having a little moan lol.) I then read him a prayer from his Baby prayer book, which I got from Amazon and I say a little prayer of my own for him.

While we read a story we usually have nursery rhymes playing in the background which is courtesy of his BT Baby Monitor 450 with projector which i got from Boots, which plays nursery rhymes, classical music, scenic sounds and even white noise. He usually falls asleep after listening to stories with the music still playing… bliss!

This bedtime routine has been working for us for a month now and the products we’ve been using for bath time, we’ve used consistently for about 3 months and they’ve been really helpful, Israel’s skin has definitely cleared up with the odd occasion of eczema flare ups.

As easy as this may sound, bath and bed times can actually be hard work and can take a while to get into a routine that works for parents and their children. There isn’t a specific way to do it, this is just what works for me and Israel, sometimes though, the routine does get thrown out the window and you get Israel going to bed at 10pm because he decided to have a late nap or not have dinner before falling asleep. Parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of journey, there will be lots of trials and lots of errors, just find what works best for you.

Please feel free to ask any more questions in the comments section!

Hannah xoxo