Of midwives, blankets, and babies

Posted 30 January, 2015 by Kristilyn in Uncategorized / 1 Comment


Recently, I got completely addicted to the show Call the Midwife. I had intended to do a whole ‘Addicted To’ post about it, but I gobbled it up so fast on NetFlix that my internet provider didn’t see it coming! So I thought it would be fun, instead, to combine it with a few other baby-related things.

This show was one that has been on my radar ever since I fell in love with shows like Doctor Who and Downton Abbey. The British just know how to make darn good television! Call The Midwife is a show about being a midwife in east London in the 1950s and I love everything about it. The characters are all one of a kind — some that I wasn’t sure of turned out to be favourites — and even though they threw a wrench at me at the end of series 3, I can’t wait to continue watching.

What’s crazy to me about this show is how it depicts children of the 1950s. Babies left in prams outside of the clinic, parked like cars, not even watched over in the street? Leaving your baby out on the front step, all by themselves, to get some fresh air? It’s just nuts! These days, we watch our children like hawks … I found myself shaking my head quite a few times at how bizarre it all was.

What’s also crazy is all the births! If you’re a squeamish person, it might make you squirm a bit in your seat to watch. I mean, when I took prenatal classes before having my boy, I had to leave the room because I was having a panic attack over the videos they were showing. Surprisingly, I took the births in this show quite well. Maybe it’s the calm and encouraging demeaner of the midwives? Perhaps. They definitely gave me an eye opening on the whole birthing experience. Although, I’m still pretty sure I wouldn’t be having a baby in my own bed. There’s comfort in having a child at home, I can see, but there’s also comfort in knowing that help is at the hospital in case there are any issues.

Jenny Lee is my favourite character of the series. I loved seeing her come to the abbey a little unsure of what was to come. Chummy is also such a great character! And the nuns! It’s so fun to see the contrast between the midwives and the nuns and how they’re both so different but how they also compliment one another. I found that they both taught each other certain things, too.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a bit for the next season to come onto NetFlix, but I’m sure once it’s there, I’ll gobble it up as fast as I can! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my favourite characters! And if you haven’t watched this show, but plan to, have kleenex on hand! I cry during pretty much every single episode, sometimes multiple times. It can be both beautiful and heartbreaking. Highly recommended!

The boy and I were recently in the bookstore and I ended up buying the first book in the trilogy this show is based on (the memoirs of Jennifer Worth). I can’t wait to read it! I’m sure it will help me tide over my craving until the new episodes are available.


Meanwhile, before Christmas my cousin had her first baby. Unfortunately, she doesn’t live close to us, so I still haven’t gotten to see him, but I’m hoping we can make it out one of these days as a nice family vacation!

While it’s always nice to get a gift, it’s extra nice — I think — to get a handmade gift. When the baby came and we knew it was a boy, I ran out and got some yarn and started making a baby blanket to mail out to the new little one. Blankets, I’ve learned, are such a great thing to get after having a child because you use them for everything. We rotate crocheted blankets in the bed during naptime, and his other ones are downstairs for cuddles on the couch after naps, or when he’s not feeling good.


This blanket took about 4 weeks to whip up — not doing it every day and sometimes not getting very far when I did have time to sit down! — but I think it’s gorgeous. I love the simplicity of a granny square blanket and I hope the boy loves it as much as I do!

If you want to make your own, the pattern is from Daisy Cottage Designs. It’s originally for a lovey, but I just kept going until I used almost 3 full skeins of yarn to make a larger blanket. Perfect for cuddles and naps! We also included a book by one of our favourite authors, Oliver Jeffers, which would be a great bedtime read.

And of course I couldn’t forget about the new mom! When I tried to think of something to send, I automatically thought of tea, but then I thought why not something so mom can pamper herself? I so whipped up a set of three washcloths and some of Steeped Tea’s yummy Sleeping Beauty soap.

washcloths and soap

This is not only great for new moms, but it would also make a great quick gift for a babysitter or friend on their birthday! This pattern is courtesy of Creative Jewish Mom and I LOVE it. So quick to whip up!


And last, but not least, a little bit of news over here at Reading In Winter … I’m expecting baby #2! This one will be a summer baby, but hopefully they’ll inherit their mom’s love of winter. :) All I can say is that we’re very excited … and the house is going to get a whole lot busier!

Have you fallen in love with a TV show lately? What are your thoughts on homemade gifts? 


About Kristilyn

Kristilyn is a Canadian book blogger, music listener & creator, proud mama, and general lover of life. Her necessities include fuzzy socks, a library full of good books, a fully charged Kindle, copious amounts of tea, and chocolate. Swoon-worthy book boys are also welcome.


{Crafting} Those first (messy) art projects!

Posted 28 January, 2015 by Kristilyn in Crafting, Uncategorized / 2 Comments

Before I had my little boy, I knew that we’d have to eventually make time to have FUN. Sure, we play a lot and read a lot and bond a lot, but I’m a musician, so I know that we have to make time for actual ART. Banging on the piano is fun, but it’s also fun to make keepsakes!

Another mom friend of mine was having fun with some sensory activities (more on that later!) and I was inspired to do something sensory myself … painting!

Painting with a child is a lot of fun … and slightly scary if you’re not a messy person. I’m one of those people that is okay with messes, but contained messes. No running around the house with fingers covered in paint!

We set up shop at the highchair and discovered the “paint”:

Yup. That's messy! But he's having fun!

Yup. That’s messy! But he’s having fun!

The paint is a recipe I got from another blog, The Imagination Tree. It’s a mixture of cornstarch and water, with a few drops of food colouring. It’s super gooey and so much fun!

After we played a bit, it was time to make some art! We got some paper, taped it down, and he went to town making a surprise for daddy!

I’m sure eventually we’ll have to find another way to showcase the boy’s art, but for now we get to see it on the fridge every day!

Have you ever used edible paint with your children? What are your favourite things to do with it? 



About Kristilyn

Kristilyn is a Canadian book blogger, music listener & creator, proud mama, and general lover of life. Her necessities include fuzzy socks, a library full of good books, a fully charged Kindle, copious amounts of tea, and chocolate. Swoon-worthy book boys are also welcome.


{Book Talk} Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2) by Tessa Dare

Posted 26 January, 2015 by Kristilyn in Historical, Romance / 4 Comments

{Book Talk} Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2) by Tessa DareSay Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #2
Published by Avon on December 30, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

Tessa Dare does it again! I will admit that I still have one series by Tessa just waiting on my to-buy list, which one day I will buy and read when there is a big lull in between her publishing dates because I love her books and if too much time goes by and I haven’t read a Tessa Dare book, then I know something is wrong. I’ll go into withdrawl!

This book just came out at the end of December and is perfect! Clio is a great character. I felt sorry for her in the beginning, after learning that her betrothed had kept her waiting for so long that people call her Clio Wait-More. Eight years had gone by and they still weren’t married! However, Clio was just so amazing — she’s one of those headstrong females who knows exactly what she wants that it’s hard not to like her. The problem with Clio is while she knows what she wants, she’s also been formed over eight years to be the perfect society lady.

In comes Rafe, super sexy brother of Piers (the man who kept Clio waiting), who has been in love with Clio since they were young. I love how he brings Clio out of her shell and really shows her how to say no to people and stand up for herself, society be damned. It was always cute seeing Rafe and Clio together since they had such chemistry. But of course, Rafe has his own demons, stemming back to his father, so it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

The thing I love about Tessa Dare books is that nothing and no one is ever what they seem. They all seem to have some quirk to them that makes them so much more human and likeable (or sometimes unlikeable) and when you think that one character is going to follow a certain path in life, they share something that makes you take a double take. I love it!

Tessa Dare really did blow me away with this second installment of the Castles Ever After series and I really can’t wait to see who we meet in the next book! She knows how to make things serious, but fun, and always has amazing characters. Her books are highly recommended!


About Kristilyn

Kristilyn is a Canadian book blogger, music listener & creator, proud mama, and general lover of life. Her necessities include fuzzy socks, a library full of good books, a fully charged Kindle, copious amounts of tea, and chocolate. Swoon-worthy book boys are also welcome.