>And the winner is…

>

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my competition and especially for the lovely messages about the necklace. I appreciate them all and you have made me feel a bit more confident about trying to sell them!

And the winner is…..Laura @lauracymft
Congratulations Laura, please DM me your e-mail on twitter.

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>The Power of Love, through scent

>Today the Man and I took a day off work, sent the Boy off to his childminders and had a day of fun – tennis, massage, swim, sauna and afternoon tea, you get the idea. It was lovely, and now we are just waiting for the babysitter before we head off to the cinema.

This morning, I got ready as usual to go out but instead of using one of my everyday perfumes, I sprayed on my wedding perfume and closed my eyes while the memories flooded back. The apartment where I got ready before the wedding with my best friend pulling the corset, waiting outside the ceremony room for my dad to bring me my bouquet (which I forgot). Then my darling husband came downstairs wearing his scent, put them together and they are the smell of my happiness (alongside the smell of the top of the Boys head). Our amazing and beautiful wedding and stunning honeymoon in Hawaii. 
The point of this post is not to show off about my wonderful day or special wedding and honeymoon, although so far it may appear that way, but to highlight the power of smell and how it can evoke memories and feelings as though you were back when they happened. I am so grateful that someone (can’t remember who) recommended this to me and that during our wedding day and honeymoon we only wore these perfumes to cement the memories. Now we only wear them for special dates where it is just the two of us.
As if we were a fashion magazine:
She wore: Body Shop, Vanilla
He wore: Mont Blanc, Starwalker

>Sharing an obsession

>My name is ChocOrangeCityMum and I am a bookaholic.

I love reading and I want the Boy to love reading which is why, at the tender age of 2, he has about 100 books in his room. I can’t help myself: I see, I want, I buy. We do not discriminate against purchasing location so we buy them from Waterstones, Smiths, Independent Bookshops, Library sales, eBay, Amazon, charity shops but we only accept good copies. I’m not entirely sure why as they often end up with raisins stuck between the pages or over-zealous tears in the middle but I have book standards.

I prefer to buy books on recommendations so I thought I would list of our favourite books to read:

The Gruffalo

I love all of Julia Donaldson books but this is the Boys absolute favourite book and we have a lovely video of him reading the whole book (with a few prompts). The story is a brains over brawn tale about a clever little mouse who outwits a fox, an owl, a snake and a scary-big but somewhat dim Gruffalo. Personally I like rhyming books best as they flow off the tongue so easily. The Boys second birthday party was a Gruffalo theme and I was rather proud of this cake I made.

Little Beauty
This story is a lovely story about friendship, the Boy loves the beautiful pictures where the gorilla and the cat do everything together. It highlights the differences in the two animals but brings them together as they are united in their friendship. I love the way the pictures relay the feelings of the animals so clearly.

Don’t Let Go
I love this book, the Boy really enjoyed it too but this was one of my bedtime choices again and again. The story is about a girl learning to ride a bike and her dad teaching her, but when she learns to let go and ride on her own, her dad realises that he was also scared to let her go. It is such a clever book about the relationship between parents and children and the very real fear that I feel that the Boy will one day not need me. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be one of those overprotective, you can’t leave me type of mothers but I’m still not looking forward to the day where I am not his number one person!

Hug
If anyone had told me that I would enjoy reading a book with only one word in it (almost) I would question their judgement so I probably wouldn’t have bought this book, but we got it as a Christmas present and it is fantastic. It is a beautifully told story about a monkey who wants a hug, he sees other animals in the jungle cuddling and he just wants one. This is a lovely book to read with the Boy and he really understands the storyline and simple joy of the monkey when he finally finds his mum and gets a hug. This is a book he often chooses to read on his own, and he can read it all by himself!

The Ravenous Beast
This is a story about a very hungry hungry hungry set of animals who each explain why they are the hungriest animal of all by eating all sorts of non-edible items such as circus tents, ringing bells and buckets and spades but are all beaten by the Ravenous Beast who gobbles them all up. The repetition of the theme throughout is good for small children to keep them hooked and uses a lovely variety of animals (a mouse, elephant, crocodile, cat). The ending is simple but effective with big words splashed across the page for impact and a very full and contented beast. A very satisfying story.

So, if you love reading or would love to read more, I hope this list helps in some way.