My first book club: Keeping my resolution to read more books

One of my resolutions for this year is to read more books. To help me push on with this and stick to it, I am going to write a monthly book club post, so here is Januarys!

So far, so good. I have managed to read not one, but TWO books this month, (I have lost out on sleep though), but it was worth it.

First up on my 2018 reading list was ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ by Giovanna Fletcher
I have enjoyed some of her romantic fiction whilst on holiday, so I was more than happy to give her new release a read. ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ isn’t a romance as such, it is more about learning to be on your own, to love your life and yourself.

Lizzy is our main girl in this story, she is desperate for that ring on her finger and sadly it becomes all too clear that isn’t the way her story is going to go, but in my opinion it is better! This book shows all kind of relationships and how they form who we are and what direction our life takes; friendships, family relationships, co-worker relationships, just to name a few. Lizzy’s story feels honest and in many parts extremely relatable and funny. Giovanna is much more daring with her writing in this book than her other books, which sets it apart in a great way.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 14.12.16

Pack it in your suitcase or use it to brighten up your February.
I am going to give it 4 out of 5.

Second up we have ‘The Cows’ by Dawn O’Porter. I LOVE Dawn O’Porter, I have loved her since watching her documentaries on BBC3 and now after reading her books I love her even more.

‘The Cows’, what can I say, it took me from laughing out loud to feeling physically sick from most unimaginable cringeworthy situations the characters find themselves in.
This book explores many types of women and how their actions are viewed by others.
I like a book with a few twists and turns and it certainly has that. I was just about to put it down at 1am one night, knowing my ticking time bomb of a toddler could get up at anytime, but then BAM a twist had me gripped and I couldn’t even be mad at myself the next day as it was well worth it.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 14.12.54

It has some really interesting themes, and its brilliantly thought provoking.
Stick with it, you won’t regret it.
I am going to give it a 5 out of 5. For plenty more laughs follow Dawn on social media.

If you have any suggestions for my next reads comment them below. Here’s hoping I can fit two more in during Feb.

Follow:
Share:

Summer holiday booked: Why we LOVE the Princess Andriana

We have beaten the January blues by booking our SUMMER HOLIDAY! We have kept it simple and booked somewhere we know we love, the Princess Andriana in Rhodes. We took Hallie there when she was just 4 months old, (yes we know it is not going to be quite as easy this time round), but we are way too excited to be going back to this dreamy place.

Why Rhodes?
I have such a love for Rhodes, ever since I spent a summer there many years ago. Matt and I had our first holiday there, so we have spent time there as a couple and as a family – it is perfect for both.
When you are out and about in Rhodes, people cannot do enough for you. We went to a family owned restaurant in Lindos and Hallie needed changing, urgently (no need for me to elaborate further on that), the waiter picked up on this and found a table, pulled it into the back and placed cushions on it for me to change her, he also helped make sure she was safe whilst I did so – I mean how amazing is that? The owner then popped out to get Hallie a toy to play with, and this wasn’t a one off, she got gifts in nearly all the restaurants we went to! To say its family friendly is an understatement.

Q. What do we want when we go on holiday with our kids?
A. Great kids club so we can get boozy! Well yes it might be nice to have a glass of wine whilst chillaxing, but thats what I am taking my sister for. So my main list is…

  1. Clean & spacious rooms
  2. Somewhere that is nicer or equal to my house
  3. Reasonable flight time
  4. Not too pricey & worth the money
  5. Good food with plenty of variety
  6. A beach within close proximity
  7. A sheltered kids pool
  8.  A shop for when I forget to pack the nappies

Oh and lots of sun loungers…

IMG_9940

So you can imagine our delight when we found Princess Andriana, as it is all those things and more! We have been twice, around the end of May/beginning of June, when is hot but not too hot for Hallie. We stayed at a different hotel last year, and it was nice, but the Princess Andriana really is another level. It has…

  • All inclusive food & drink (and some minibar items!)
  • A Spa (lush)
  • A pool bar AND a beach bar AND an all day food bar with unlimited ice cream (yum)
  • Evening entertainment in the hotel bar AND family friendly entertainment on the other side of the hotel in the amphitheatre (no need to hear it or go there unless you want to)
  • Large pool and sheltered kids pool
  • A shop
  • Table tennis, tennis, mini golf, water polo, aerobics, archery etc…
  • A lovely main restaurant and a moonlight top floor restaurant that you can eat at for free once a week
  • Friendly staff
  • Clean, clean, clean! (spotless)
  • Nice places to eat near by but also a quiet atmosphere
  • A fountain show every evening
  • A kids club and a play park

This list could go on, it is family friendly whilst still feeling like a relaxing holiday environment, as there is plenty of space and the kids stuff is away from the pool area.

DSCN0008

Booking works out cheaper if you book the hotel direct, they give you a discount and some extras thrown in usually. We booked flights directly with the airline also, with flight times to suit us. I find the price very reasonable for the five star environment you get. You won’t want to leave so go for at least 10 days (like we are this time)!

Take a look at the website, it is a true representation.

Oh and we have had the ‘shared pool’ option before with the swim up pool, it was fantastic! However the main pool area is also amazing and has the kids pool so the ‘pool view’ rooms are also just as good and cheaper.

If you want to know more feel free to ask 🙂

Follow:
Share:

My Christmas Gift Guide| Let’s shop!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is HERE. Let’s Christmas shop!

I really wanted to do a gift guide post this year, as I really enjoy buying gifts and found some presents that I absolutely LOVE and think your loved ones will too. There is stuff for children, parents, grandparents, friends, well everyone really!

So Merry Christmas, here we go…

Books-Final.jpg

Above we have…

Zoella Journal
£14 and currently on 3 for 2 at Boots, she has had a bit of bad press recently, but I like her range @ Boots and they make excellent gifts. This Jot pad is great, it is a nice big size, and very pretty. It is of good quality – so it isn’t going to drop to pieces in your bag. The perfect item to organise your 2018!

Fearne Cotton, Cook Eat Love
£7.99 on Amazon, I LOVE this cook book. I have made so many cakes & savoury items from this book, it isn’t just a one recipe wonder! Importantly they are healthy recipes that you can share with your children, excellent gift for the cooks in your life.

Giovanna Fletcher, Some Kind of Wonderful
£6.49 on Amazon, this heart warming book is perfect for the Christmas period. If you haven’t read any Giovanna before this is a great place to start. Great stocking filler.

Joe Wicks, Cook for Family & Friends
£7.99 on Amazon, I think I have all his books now, they are all good and this one doesn’t disappoint. Bigger recipes for families and dinner parties. Again healthy cooking but still absolutely delicious. Bargain at £7.99. This would make a great gift for anyone looking to impress in the kitchen with minimal effort (or to drop a hint that someone should be cooking more).

M&S Shortbread Tin
£5, this is my number one bargain as it is full of surprises…

Zoella Shot

Up next we have…

Zoella Stationary Bento Box
£12.50 and currently 3 for 2 at Boots, it contains a notepad, ruler, pencils, rubber, sharpener & tape. It is a must have for any stationary lover. Decorate your work desk with these golds & greens. Do you have a stationary fanatical friend? Then here you go.

Urban Veda Ritual Travel Set
£11.99 @ Urban Veda. All their stuff is vegan friendly and they currently have 3 for 2 across all their gift sets on their website. A great travel set for a bit of luxury whilst you travel. **Stocking filler alert**

Kate Spade Thermal Mug
£15, is there anything better than Kate Spade stationary & accessories? Nope. The striped gold mug (flask) is ideal for commuters. It also brightens up a dull desk.

Final toddle.jpg

And finally…

M&S Paddington & the Christmas visitor
Only £3 and £2 goes to the NSPCC Childline! So it’s cheap and you’re giving to charity. Winner. Great gift for your friends children.

Toddlebike2
£23.95 You are going to be hearing more about this from me as Hallie LOVES it, so it deserves it’s own post. There is very little time that she isn’t on this balance bike. It is so light & bright, we just shove it in the car wherever we go. If you are looking for a balance bike this Christmas for your little one, look no further! Suitable from 18 months.

Early Learning Centre Vegetable (cutable)
£14 Crate of cut and play fruit & vege. This is a great gift for the little ones. Not only are they fun, they will be learning whilst playing. Also ideal if you are introducing a play kitchen to your toddler. Great price for what you get.

That’s not my snowman
£5.24 on Amazon, who doesn’t love these books, the whole collection is great. Touch & feel book and don’t forget to play spot the mouse (he is there on every page)! Hallie has already received this as a gift and she loves it.

So there are some ideas! I am about 3/4 of the way through my shopping (I hope), so going to go and read other gift guides! 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Follow:
Share:

My top 5 home accessories: H&M, Next, Tesco & Oliver Bonas

We bought our house in Feb and spent a few months doing it up. We managed to keep some money to the side for accessories to make it more our own. We got some mixed budget items, some more expensive than others as a treat, but most very reasonable.

We have gone for the wall colours of grey white and some light pinks throughout, to keep it simple and used our accessories to lift it with blocks of colour.

1. I love this vase from H&M, I have it sat on the windowsill in the living room to add some colour. I also have a throw from there with similar colours in blocks. The rest of the room is decorated with quite neutral colours so this just adds a splash of colour.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20171025113323_COVER

H&M Home

2. Pineapple & watermelon candles from Tesco, there were about £1.50 each and sit either side of the vase for a hint of fun and pleasant scent, we never actually light them they just look cute! Also hours of fun for a toddler to stick their fingers in, if your windowsills are low enough 🙂 (obviously not whilst lit or hot, it is just naturally soft wax!)

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-14,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E:Y

Tesco Home

3. Oliver Bonas vase, this is a light green/grey colour and sits in the kitchen, but could pretty much go anywhere. It isn’t that big so is more for show, or Hallie and I like to pick the large daisy flowers that we grew and put them in there.

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-14,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E:Y

Oliver Bonas Homeware

4. Oliver Bonas doormat, so good I bought it twice (for the front & back door). The colours are bold with pinks, blues & greens and everyone comments on it when they come in. Practical for feet wiping but also adds colour to the hallway & kitchen.

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-14,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E:Y

Oliver Bonas Homeware

5. Oliver Bonas Carafe, this comes with cute matching glasses, I like to keep it sat on the dinning/kitchen table. Can be used for your favourite wine, water at dinner or just for decoration.

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-14,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E:Y

Oliver Bonas Homeware

I find buying home stuff addictive, especially since we bought our own place. I rented flats in London for years and spent hours on Pinterest planning my home for the future, so this year has really been a dream come true. Next year we will be concentrating on the garden and artwork for the house, it would be great to have a wall of art in the office and kitchen. We have decorated the whole house but will be adding accessories bit by bit as we save up again.

I love looking at other people’s houses and their decor, so planning on a home series of posts! I would love to see yours so make sure to link to them in the comments!

 

Follow:
Share:

AOL, Outlook, BT, Sky – the list goes on, but it always surprises me when people don’t use Gmail, when the fact is you are getting so much more than email and all for free. I could count the reasons for days why I love Gmail, but I have listed but a few. If you want to ask me more about it, or how to get started, just drop me an email!

It’s for freeeeeee
15gb of storage and it is all for free! That is for your mail, but also docs and photos. You can upgrade your storage for very reasonable costs!

There is so much more than just email…

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 18.02.31

Collaboration
You can share the docs your create in Drive with other people, great if you are working on content together, or simply planning a trip or organising an event!

Easy access
Download the apps your phone and devices – and yes it works offline!

Why are you paying for Skype?
When you can use Google Hangouts for free, free chat and video calling.

It is powered by Google Search
Don’t waste time looking for emails or docs, use the search and save yourself minutes at a time!

Seriously take a look. You will not regret it.

 

Follow:
Share: