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Meeting Up With Balham Mums & Discovering Some New Natural & Organic Baby Products

It was lovely to meet new mums and their gorgeous babies at Natures Purest Balham this Autumn.

Author and Baby Expert Sarah Beeson (my mummy) gave the all mums one-to-one free confidential advice whilst Shop Owner Elizabeth and I served up tea and cake (and I had lots of cuddles with everyone’s baby and started to feel very broody).

Sarah signed copies of Happy Baby, Happy Family and The New Arrival Some of the mama’s bought copies for friends who were expecting as well as their own.

Organic Skincare

We met Jennifer Feltham founder of Mia & Dom Organic Skincare and became fans.   

I’ve started using the spearmint and lavender lip balm as part of my skincare routine and we’ve given the bottom balm to new mums to try out too (LO’s way past the nappy rash stage!)

I couldn’t resist doing a bit of shopping

Natures Purest is one of our go-to brands when buying new baby presents. I’ve got my eye on some Natures Knits blue baby bootees and a hat for a friend’s new arrival due this Christmas.

Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist buying the Pure Love Bamboo Blanket and Greeting Card for another friend’s newborn baby. She said it was, “the softest blanket I’ve ever seen. He adores it.’ 

Always a pleasure taking some time out to talk to lovely mummies about their babies. Thanks Elizabeth for inviting us to your lovely shop filled with gentle natural products from Natures Purest. 

Amy x

Upcoming events

Find about events coming up with Sarah & Amy Beeson.

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch. Sarah Beeson is a former health visitor and author. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson.

The New Arrival is “Historical, funny and memorable” says book reviewer Anne Cater

 

Thank you to Anne Cater book reviewer at Random Things Through My Letterbox for her lovely review.

“Although the majority of books that I read are fiction, I do try to read at least a couple of non-fiction every month; usually biographies.

  

I’m not a nurse, but have spent a lot of time around nurses in my life. I worked at a psychiatric hospital for many years, and my long-term medical condition has meant that I’ve been cared for by a wide assortment of nurses over the years. I have the greatest respect for the nursing profession, and have a particular fondness for books and TV programmes, both fiction and reality that concentrate on this subject.

I was really interested to read Josie’s review of The New Arrival at Jaffa Reads Too as Josie herself was a nurse and I felt that her experiences would flavour her feelings on this book. Josie really enjoyed it and I can honestly say that I’ve really loved reading about Sarah’s experiences too.

Sarah was only seventeen-years-old when she arrived as a student nurse at Hackney General Hospital. Sarah was well-educated, from a fairly wealthy family, and London’s East End was a whole new world for her. The fact that she stayed and completed her training when so many other students left is an indication of her strength of character and commitment to nursing that shines through her writing in this quite poignant and eye-opening memoir.

Times have changed within the NHS so much since Sarah’s training in the early 1970s; changed for women, changed for nursing as a whole, and changed for the patient. Long gone are the Matrons who ruled with a rod of steel, yet many of the problems within society are still with us, some would say that these are worsening. In the days of unheated houses and poverty, many of the illnesses that Sarah treated were to be expected, yet some of these illnesses and problems remain with us today, exacerbated by the financial crisis and difficult choices such as ‘heating or eating’ experienced by so many.

The New Arrival is a real joy to read. Sarah writes with warmth and humour about her experiences, and yes, about her successes. Her determination to ensure that she used her training for the best of others, rather than just for herself is palpable, and we as patients should remember and be grateful to all of those dedicated health workers who continue, against the odds, to provide such a magnificent service to us.

Historical, funny and memorable; The New Arrival is well written memoir, I enjoyed it very much.”

10/10 – The New Arrival by Sarah Beeson is heartwarming, sad at times, good for a giggle and an overall fantastic read says #MummyBlogger

There is nothing like getting an unexpected tweet from a reader linking to an amazing review  on their blog and amazon. As authors it is what makes writing books so fulfilling and 5 Star Reviews make all the difference in helping to promote a book – if you’ve enjoyed a book the best way to thank an author really is to write a review.

author review

So a big huge thank  you to Blogging Mama for her beautifully composed review of The New Arrival Sarah’s heartwarming memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London. She discovered us during #mblogchat on Twitter and tweeted us a few days later to tell us she was hooked. Once again Twitter proves to be an incredible tool to connect mothers on parenting, reading and so much more.

THE NEW ARRIVAL medium cover image - CopySo over to the lovely @bloggingmamma86 for her book review and here’s a few quotes that gave us a warm fuzzy feeling.

Blogging Mama“Within the first few pages I was already hooked. Rhodri was down for his morning nap and I read quicker than I’ve ever read taking in every word that painted a vivid picture of Sarah’s surroundings and the people she met…I kept reading, trying to swallow the book whole. I just wanted to take in as much as I could and genuinely didn’t want to put the book down.”

“The book itself is very well written, it’s easy to read and not at all over complicated like some memoirs can be. I love reading but often find books littered with long words that seem to be there for the heck of it. Like a neon sign saying look how intelligent I am, but it’s a big turn off to me. This book isn’t like that at all. It’s written as someone would tell you a story from their past and with vocabulary you can imagine the author using normally.”

” I recommend this book to you all. It was a pleasure to read. When part two is released [She’s Arrived!] I will definitely have to limit my self to a chapter or two a day!! You can pick up a copy of The New Arrival from Amazon, Ebay (signed 1st edition, really wish I’d noticed that before I ordered my copy and not 2 days later!), Whsmith, Waterstones and Foyles. You can also get the E-Book.” Read the full review

In a few month’s time you can also reading Sarah and Amy Beeson’s parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby which includes some funny and warm reminiscences from four decades of working with thousands of mothers and babies.

Illustrator for ‘Happy Baby, Happy Family’ Helen Braid is a fresh talent in print and digital

Helen BraidWe are really thrilled to announce that the illustrator for Happy Baby, Happy Family will be Helen Braid from Ellie Illustrates. Anyone who’s anyone in Mummy Blogging will know Helen’s work as @EllieAllAtSea – the designer to go to for parenting blogs.

“I’m so thrilled to be working with Sarah and Amy Beeson, creating their images for Happy Baby, Happy Family,’ said Helen. ‘Capturing some of the earliest moments with baby from the visual perspective of the mother is a real first and I’m more than a little excited to be entrusted with such a special project.’

Helen has over 14 years experience. We just loved her style as soon as we looked through her portfolio and felt her images would connect with today’s parents’ experiences. Her work uses a mix of graphics, illustration and water-colour painting, and together we’re hoping to create something very special.

Helen is a working mum, running her own business from a small studio on the West Coast of Scotland. As working mums ourselves it is so nice to be collaborating with another Mumpreneur not only for her talent but because it is important that women support each other. We first connected with Helen on Twitter, and I’m sure she’d agree, there is a very powerful network of mums who offer each other professional and personal support on social media and that often translates into the business world.

We hope our readers will be as delighted as we are at the illustrations Helen has created for Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby published by HarperCollins May/June 2015 RRP £9.99. 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 20 Tunes of early 1970s as featured in ‘The New Arrival’ by Sarah Beeson MBE

Listening to the chart music of Britain certainly helped us find our 1970s groove. Here’s the music that features in The New Arrival during moments of love, laughter and regret. There’s also a bit of good old-fashioned East End Musical Hall but that’s for a different music list altogether.

The New Arrival Top 20 Tunes

In order as they appear in The New Arrival.

Sugar, Sugar – The Archies

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da The Beatles

Band of Gold – Freda Payne

She’s a Lady – Tom Jones

A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head – B.J. Thomas

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

It’s Too  Late – Carol King

Aquarius – Paul Jones

Octopus’s Garden – The Beatles

Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones

I’m a Believer – The Monkees

Delilah – Tom Jones

By the Light of the Silvery Moon – Doris Day

Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones

Get It On – T. Rex

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

I Am the Walrus – The  Beatles

Waterloo – ABBA

When Will I See You Again – The Three Degress

What would be in your Top early 1970s Playlist? Comment, tweet or write on our facebook wall. It’s all groovy baby!

5 Stars and blog review from Jaffareadstoo

Thrilled with 5 stars from Jo and Jaffa “An undeniable warmth pervades The New Arrival and Sarah writes with great conviction and real compassion for those in her nursing care. Her sharp and canny social observations really bring this era to life in a lively and informative way which neither patronises nor sensationalises the nursing profession but which gives huge insight into just what life was like for young nurses during this time. The book is populated with a rich array of characters; all based on real people whose lives intertwined and whose stories become deeply personal and immensely moving…” continue reading on Jaffareadstoo blog.

Weekend isn’t just for reading #WorldChocolateDay

Ever indulged in a box of Weekend Chocolates?

weekend chocolate

For World Chocolate Day here’s an extract from The New Arrival when Nurses Hill, Maddox, Lynch and Wade are enjoying a rare evening of gossip, Monty Python and chocolate.

“‘Wade, you’re blocking the telly,’ Maddox shouted at Wade who was springing about as usual in the front the big black and white television.

‘I knew it, I knew it. I’ve put on so much weight since I started midwifery; all those boxes of chocs from grateful parents – here don’t give me anymore,’ she shouted, chucking a huge box of Weekend at me, the chocolates and candies scattering into my lap and onto the chintzy sofa in the nurses sitting room.

Lynch scooped up a big handful, ‘She’s not saying you’re fat, she’s saying you’re blocking our view of the telly.’ She popped a toffee in her mouth. ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be starting in a minute and we don’t want to miss it. If I wanted to see a musical hall act I’d have gone to the Palladium.’

‘More of your hippy anarchist rubbish I suppose. I want to watch Randall and Hopkirk on ITV. I don’t know what the BBC’s thinking giving these posh lefty lads a slot on the telly. They’re traitors to their own class.’

‘Where did you hear that load of old twaddle?’ chimed in Maddox, probably sticking her oar in because of Wade’s hippy bashing.

‘I read it in the Radio Times as it happens,’ said Wade primly and unconvincingly.

‘Oh, then it must be true,’ snorted Maddox.

‘Don’t you laugh at me, girl. I’m old enough to be your mother; my son’s your age. You students should speak to us professional nurses with a bit more respect.’

‘You may be as old as my mother, but you act like my thirteen-year-old sister at the best of times,’ crowed Lynch.

‘How dare you?!’ screamed Wade.

‘Now steady on you two,’ I interjected my eyes flitting from Wade to Lynch, neither looking like they were going to back down. ‘You’re quarrelling over nothing. Wade sit down, come on.’

‘I’ll not stay where I’m not wanted,’ spat Wade.

But Lynch couldn’t resist, saying calmly, ‘It’s never stopped you before.’ Wade stormed out of the room shouting, ‘You’re nothing but a bunch of silly little girls.’

‘What’s got into her?’ said Maddox as she got up to change the channel on the television set.

‘Who cares,’ said Lynch. ‘She’s nothing if not a drama queen. A woman her age should have a bit more self-respect.’

‘I like her,’ I said quietly.

‘Hill, you’re as soft as butter, you like everyone,’ Lynch chortled.

‘That’s not true.’

‘Oh, no. So how do you feel about Dr Freddy MacDonald then?’ Teased Lynch taking a long stylised drag on her Consulate cigarette and blowing the smoke out over my head.

‘Oh, yes. You went on a date with that Hooray Henry last night,’ said Maddox joining us on the sofa. I had Lynch on one side, Maddox on the other – there was no escape.

I shoved a chocolate in my mouth. ‘He took me to see Forty Years On,’ I told them, munching hard.

‘Did you see John Gielgud?’

‘No, it was somebody else. It was very good.’

‘And how was Freddy?’ said Lynch tucking her feet up underneath her on the sofa and leaning in for every detail.

‘Nice. Bit of a show off. Tried to make out how expensive the tickets were but I was worth it and all that tosh.’

‘But hospital staff get them for free!’ Lynch told me.

‘I know,’ I said.

‘What did he do when you told him he was a liar?’ asked Maddox.

‘I didn’t,’ I replied.

‘Why not?’ She said, disappointed I’d failed to unmask him.
‘Because I won’t get anywhere by showing him up. But, now I know.’

‘What do you know?’ said Maddox reaching into my lap and taking a handful of Wade’s chocolates.

‘That he’s not entirely on the level.’

‘Hill, where does that get you?’

‘It gets me rid of a pest, eventually. A pest who happens to be a favourite of Sister Skinflint and could make life difficult for me on Infants Ward before I’ve even begun my Practical Training. If I just wait, he’ll show himself up, his sort always do, and then he’ll be the one avoiding me, just you wait and see.’

‘Sounds like a funny strategy to me. Why don’t you just tell him to get lost?’

‘Just not my style,’ I told them. ‘Now, Monty Python’s starting so stop with the interrogation, would you?’”

 

The New Arrival Part 1 (Chapters 1-9) is FREE on ebook. See where you can get your hands of the rest of Sarah Beeson’s heartwarming memoir as an ebook or paperback on her website http://sarahbeeson.wordpress.com/latest-deals/

Thank you #WorldChocolateDay #BookadayUK for celebrating chocolate in books!