A birthday gift that keeps on giving

We thought long and hard about what to buy Baby H for her first birthday.

I say 'we', actually I think I did most of the research and poring over Amazon reviews whilst my other half waited for me to provide suggestions, but thats how it tends to work for baby stuff anyway!

I managed to find things for the family to buy her (if they wanted) and these were added to Anya's Amazon Wishlist. (This was all a bit new to me until a few years ago but it definitely helps friends and family choose something as a gift that they know they will like). So, on the list we had a picnic set, a paddling pool, some mega blocks, cars and several books. Its hard at this age as its all about striking the perfect balance between finding gifts that she'll play with again and again.... whilst not filling the house with plastic.

But with all of that on the list we were struggling to know what we could get her. From her mum and dad. It felt like it should be symbolic, something that we could look back on in years to come and say 'Ahh, for your first birthday we got you this. And you loved it'. I'll also admit that there was a strong temptation (supported in a quick straw poll with friends) to not actually buy her anything- "its the only time you can get away with doing this!" and "she'll never know, she'll be too busy playing with the wrapping paper!"

So really, it wasn't until a week after her birthday that I came up the idea of getting her a book case for her room. She's always been fascinated by books- even as a babe in arms we would show her the big book case in our living room and the colours and textures of the spines would fascinate her. A quick search showed that were two main options- a 'Sling' bookcase made of cloth that stood on the floor (for approximately £40-£60), or a book case that could be attached to the wall, made by Tidy Books for £120.

I'll be honest, I really wanted the cheaper option to be 'the right thing' to buy. But reading the reviews it seemed that the cloth bookshelves didn't really last that long, or hold that many books. But there was still a big price gap with the Tidy Books bookcase being nearly twice the price Even despite the better reviews and the fact it could store more books, it was still a huge stretch of the budget.

So me being me, I spent the next few days trying to find it cheaper online. The RRR is £119.99. You can find it online for £99.99 on a few websites by doing a quick Google search and you can also find it on eBay. In the end I took the plunge and bought it from Amazon with free delivery as I had vouchers to use up.

So now that we own the book case what do we think?

Hopefully the photos will help explain, (ignoring the fact she's not smiling for the camera!) but from the minute she saw it Anya was thrilled. She could see her books, reach up to them, practise standing up and pick out the books she wanted, all on her own.

It came flat packed but was simple to assemble (with a little help from a nosey little person)

Its quite slim so you can position it behind a door if you're short on space in the bedroom or nursery.

Friends and family can now also see how much she loves books and they like the idea of adding to her collection ('here's one for your book case')

Would I change anything? The build quality is great and I love the letters on the front too. I wish I could have had a little more colour choice- maybe a bit more contemporary like lime green, hot pink, turquoise and purple. But I guess in other ways this is a classic that will last the years and look just as good in a boys bedroom too.

I've not been sponsored in anyway to write this post, I just wanted to share my views with people about it as its been such a great buy! You can visit their website here and I've just spotted they have 20% off in their summer sale. *gulps*

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