#childrens #bookreview “that’s not my monkey” and “busy train book”

It’s book review time!

Usborne “That’s not my” touchy-feely books are such a lovely way to introduce your child to books 🤗

My boy has been enjoying them so much – he has that’s not my… Unicorn, squirrel, duck, and now Monkey!

He has enjoyed learning to turn pages and interact with all the different textures in the books – we started when he was very young and now at 14 months he still thinks they are great 💕

There are 56 titles (£6.99 each) as well as colouring books (£4.99) and gift sets (£16) which include a soft toy.

You can buy them here: https://org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/karen_sbooks

The “Busy train book” review 🤗

This is such a lovely book! Not only will your little one have hours of fun playing with the train, but it will be a perfect opportunity to chat all about what the train is passing.
And of course eventually as they read it themselves, they can explain it all to you 💕
A book that keeps on giving. (£14.99)

You can buy it here: https://org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/karen_sbooks/

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New cookbook, new #vegan recipes to try…

I was in The Works the other day getting craft stuff for work and lo, they have lots of vegan cook books!

I bought this one:

So many recipes seem to have a list of ingredients so long it makes your head hurt and I was really attracted to the 7 ingredient thing.

If the first recipe we tried is anything to go by, the book is a winner.

We had “Indian sweet potato rosti with onion salad” … And fishless fingers 😀

It didn’t bind at all so I put it all in a baking dish in the oven, with a little oil added to the mix.

It was SO NICE. We will definitely be eating it again. The “eight to ten” rosi’s made a meal for my husband and I… And our 6 month old son (with a little coconut milk added).

I’m really looking forward to making a few more meals from this book.

Its a #soup kind of day

Its cold, its wet, what more could you want than comforting soup and bread.

I made walnut spelt bread with doves flour and pea, butternut squash, carrot and red lentil soup:

Half a butternut squash
2 carrots
2 cups of frozen peas
1 cup red lentils
Enough vegetable stock to cover the veg.
Cook until soft and then blitz with a hand blender.

#timetotalk @timetochange

So around it comes again, time to talk day. As a youth worker, I deal with and talk about mental health issues all the time.

I am also open about my own mental health, having suffered five major depressive episodes in my life, and now, permanently on antidepressants.

Really, you are supposed to talk to people face to face today, but to talk in depth would feel too exposed for me, so here it is in a blog post.

The medication and my own self care, which includes prayer, mindfulness, healthy eating, regular dog walking and sleep (as much as a new mum ever gets) keeps me well.

But there in lies the thing.

I have found that talking about mental health, people tend to see it as “my thing” as in, they don’t mind me being passionate about the subject, and will listen to me talk about it… But that’s as far as it goes. People generally, I find, don’t really want to take action.

Secondly, people are great when you have a crisis. So five, nearly six years ago, when I was too depressed even to leave the house, people were very kind to me.

But when it comes to living with clinical depression, if you are well enough to work, and you look cheerful, people forget you have a chronic illness.

No one sees how much effort, how much energy it takes, just to be normal.

If I slip at all with my self care, particularly at this time of year (between December and March), I would become unwell.

And I see other people able to do so much in their lives and I think of all the things I could fit in my life if I were mentally strong enough… But I’m not.

Keeping the discipline of a balanced life is what keeps me well enough to work and to take care of my son properly.

Its so hard, actually. You don’t get medals for ordinary, even when it takes extraordinary effort to get there. People don’t realise that their starting point is my mid point.

So next time you see people being ordinary, remember, for some of us, that, in itself, is a daily achievement.

#veganuary day 25

Today, chipolte stew and cheesecake for afters.

We had lovely people round for dinner last night. They aren’t vegans, actually they raise sheep, but they like our food all the same.

I made the stew with mixed beans potatoes and a variety of veg:

And a bought sauce along with nutritional yeast, vegetable stock and tomato paste.

We ate it with extra roast potatoes, garlic naan and a salad of avocado, tomato and cucumber.

Then for afters we had cheesecake which was coconut cream and cashew nuts with an Oreo base, mango to decorate: