Category Archives: Books

Latest project

That’s right I’ve joined the legend that is Mamsaurus  in her new venture, Minibookworms which is a group of parent bloggers and their children who all love a good book. The children range from 6 months (mine) to 10 years (ooh mine again – trust me to have such a big age gap!) and they will be reviewing their favourite books, books picked up from the library and those sent from publishers and authors.

I love reading, the daughter is obsessed with Michael Morpurgo and the baby loves having a chew on any board book you just so happen to leave within grabbing distance, so it will hopefully be something we all enjoy and encourage us to read more as a family. Please pop over, have a look what we’re up to (there are lots of opportunities for bloggers to get involved with linkys etc) and say hi.

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One Perfect Summer

Ever wondered about your first love? The one that got away? I did, and to cut a long story short, it took ten years but we found each other again, met up, fell in love all over again and we now have a 5 month old baby. Another blogger once told me it was like my own personal fairy tale, I’m not sure fairy tales include the use of facebook to find eachother, but I guess you could call it that.

This book is pretty much in the same vein, Alice is 18 and about to start Uni when she goes on a 6 week holiday with her mum to Dorset. Convinced she’ll be bored out of her mind, she isn’t really looking forward to it until she claps eyes on Joe. Tall, slim, gorgeous Joe, who just so happens to work behind the bar in the local pub. It’s love at first sight and the two fall hard and fast, their happiness only shattered by an unimaginable family secret which sees them being ripped apart.

A distraught Alice finally manages to move on with her life, enjoying Uni, making new friends and even marrying what should be the man of her dreams, yet she can’t forget about the man who first captured her heart. Joe’s life has changed unimaginably over the last nine or ten years, does he still remember that summer all those years ago or has he moved on?

Well I’m not going to tell you! You’ll have to find out for yourself! This is a great book that I managed to read within a week (very impressive with a baby!), although this was due to being on holiday and travelling to see friends and family quite a bit so I managed to read in the car, on the plane and I finished it off in the early hours of this morning while feeling rather sorry for myself after coming down with the flu.

Although based at first around young adults it doesn’t seem too young for a slightly *ahem* older adult to read, which I was initially worried about incase it turned out to be a book aimed at late teens. It flows easily throughout the years that pass since you first meet Alice and follow the twists and turns in her relationships, some of which you would never imagine for a second. It’s a great book, with a lovely story and the ending leaves you wanting more – I was desperate to know what happened to the characters after the ending if that makes any sense!

Please note I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. For further information on my disclosure policy, please click on the Disclosure tab above. 

Bad Sisters

Three sisters, one deadly secret which one of them is determined to keep – at any cost. This book is a brilliant book, featuring a Nigella-esque cookery show hostess married to the hottest property the world of Rugby has to offer, the fake wife of a gay Hollywood star who finds herself out on her ear once her “contract” is up and she’s surplus to requirements and fiercely ambitious politicians wife Maxie. The story follows their lives, which are interesting enough until you realise there’s a rather sinister secret that is bubbling just under the surface and just how far one of them is prepared to go to keep that information quiet. With lots of unexpected twists and turns along the way,  love, intrigue and a real insight into a seriously dysfunctional family, it really is a must read for the beach this summer and I’ll definitely be reading more books by Rebecca Chance in future!

Please note I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. Should you wish to view my disclosure policy, please click on the Disclosure tab above.

An Autumn Crush

By the time you read this I’ll be on my way to the airport, so instead of leaving my blog for a week I thought I’d try to finally get round to putting reviews up of some books I received when pregnant and since having the little one.

First up is An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. I actually started reading this book while I was in labour on Christmas Eve and had finished it by the time I left hospital on the 27th. The midwives found it hysterical that I was so into my book that when I arrived at the hospital in the early hours of Christmas Morning at 8cm dialated I was still keen to keep reading my book to pass the time in the delivery room. After my gorgeous baby was born I carried on reading the book to kill time while my partner was back at home looking after our daughter and I was without any other visitors to keep me entertained what with living so far away from them.

The book focuses on Juliet, a headstrong divorcee who advertises for a flat mate, after a few unsuitable candidates Floz comes along who herself has been through the mill relationship wise. They get on like a house on fire and when Juliet’s twin brother Guy meets Floz he develops a crush on her that turns him into a gibbering wreck. Every time he so much as opens his mouth around her he manages to put his foot straight into it and leads Floz to believe that not only is he rude but that he can’t stand her. It couldn’t be further than the truth of course and he sets about trying to win her heart. Guy of course has a best mate in the form of Steve, a wrestling fanatic who has adored Juliet from afar for as long as he can remember, not that Juliet has ever thought of him in that way, infact she can’t stand him. They do however end up becoming “friends with benefits” until Juliet makes a series of discoveries that turn all their lives upside down. Can their friendships survive and do Guy & Steve get the girl? You’ll have to read it to find out!

I loved this book, if I couldn’t put it down while contracting away without any pain relief it must have been a bloody good read to say the least! It was easy to read, had a great story line and I couldn’t resist reading more. The book made you care about each of the characters and really want to know how things turned out for them. I would definitely recommend it to anyone – contracting or otherwise!

Please note I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. For further information on my disclosure policy, please click on the Disclosure tab above.

Photo Books from Pixum

Having recently had a baby the chance to compile an album of photos of him and his big sister was something I couldn’t wait to do. As with all new mums I’d gotten rather snap happy with my camera since the little ones birth, yet due to the age of the digital photo (which wasn’t around when I had my daughter 10 years ago unless you could afford the astronomical prices for a digital camera back then!) they were all on my netbook, rather than in an album or in frames.

I’ve since rectified that by creating a beautiful photo book of my gorgeous boy, incorporating photos of him from birth until he was 14 weeks old and it is something I will always treasure.

The book itself is a large 26 page hardcover book, in powder blue with 4 photos of my baby boy running down the length of the cover, along with his name and date of birth in the centre. Inside the pages are a mixture of powder blue pages and patterns in the same colour, with groups of photos arranged exactly how I wanted them. I really am pleased with it and the quality of the photos and the finish of the book are fantastic, it looks like it should cost a fortune, yet it was just £24.99. I could have just bought a normal photo album and ordered prints of the photos, but it would have cost the same and wouldn’t have the same professional look. A photo album would be at least £10 – £15 for a proper baby one, plus £9.36 for the amount of photos I had to be printed and that’s not even factoring in p&p so I think the price is pretty good when I compare the two options.

As readers of my blog will know I don’t feature images of my children here where they can be identified. This photo has therefore been taken from the Pixum website.

The photo books from Pixum would make an excellent addition to any family album collection. Whether, like mine they are to capture the first few months or year of your new baby’s life, your favourite family photos, holidays, your wedding or even just an amazing day out, they’re perfect to capture those all important memories within and so they aren’t just confined to your computers files and folders. They’re also easy to put together, with a step by step guide to help you arrange your photo book exactly how you want it and if you’re worried about photo quality there is even a widget that will tell you if the photo quality of a certain sized photo will be too low, which is handy. There are plenty of editing tools available too, along with themed pages, not to mention different sizes and styles of photo book. Plus they start from just £5.99 so suit pretty much any budget!

Another image from the Pixum website – makes me fancy a trip to Ibiza actually!

Please note I was given a voucher to the value of £25 with which I purchased the above mentioned photo book for review purposes. For further information regarding my disclosure policy, please click on the Disclosure tab above.

My Christmas Wishlist

When you have a baby on the way it’s hard to think about what you want for Christmas. It’s something I keep getting asked but everything is all about the baby’s imminent arrival or making sure my daughter has a wonderful Christmas despite a screaming newborn taking up a huge chunk of the proceedings. I’ve been having a look online and come up with a few bits:

Fenn Wright Manson Silk Slip in Carnation. £64.50. John Lewis

I love snuggling up in bed with a gorgeous silk nightie on, although the effect is often ruined by my rather fetching fluffy bed socks. Of course having been rapidly expanding over the last 9 months my nighties have taken a bit of a bashing and although they still fit me (shocking considering the size of my huge bump!) I think I deserve a replacement!

Penny Kennedy Slippers Journal. £8.95. John Lewis

I love stationary. I’ve always said I have a historical novel in me, not that I expect to ever be able to start or finish one with a newborn on my hands, but a beautiful notebook like this may just be the thing I need to write ideas in.

Christmas Hamper. £80. Choccywoccydoodah

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This gorgeous hamper including a delicious cake and plenty of chocolate goodies by chocolate artisans Choccywoccydoodah is something I would quite happily diet off in the New Year!

Boxing Day Beauty. £44.50. Benefit

I used to have a huge stash of gorgeous makeup, these days I’m lucky if I treat myself to the supermarkets own brand gunk and hope it does the trick. This year I’m dreaming of this gift set, a great foundation that instantly covers flaws and leaves your skin looking amazing, a bronzer and a highlighter so I don’t look like the undead after all the sleepless nights and a mascara that will instantly make me look more awake than I no doubt will be.

Touche Eclat. £24.50. Yves Saint Laurent

Lets face it, an industrial strength concealer will be needed to cover up the black bags under my eyes from all those sleepless nights so it may as well be a luxury one!

Home Planner Calendar. £10.99. Organised Mum

Something I ask for every year without fail. I love these calendars and diaries, they have plenty of space to write things down for busy families and I just couldn’t live without mine.

Bootcamp for tummies. £67. Mama Mio

I’ve only heard good things about Mama Mio, who make gorgeous skin care products. They have a great pregnancy range and this set caught my eye while I was browsing their website for a little treat for myself for after the baby arrives. Perfect for new mums like me (well I will be once this baby gets a move on and decides to put in an appearance!) who have to squeeze their pregnancy ravaged body into a bridesmaid dress just 5 months after giving birth!

I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could come up with, I’ll be needing some new clothes once the baby arrives as they’re all either stretched by late pregnancy or too big for me (yep, weird!), some new boots and shoes as I don’t think I even own anything with a heel these days after binning everything following 3 moves to make room for everyone else’s stuff (the waddle doesn’t do so well in heels either!) and a nice perfume wouldn’t go a miss. I would say books and a magazine subscription, but lets face it when am I going to get the chance to read with a newborn to look after, a 9 year old’s busy social calendar to contend with and a man and a house to sort out!?! I’d love a smart phone to keep me entertained during all those late night feeds, but resent paying for an internet package when they are all wifi and practically everywhere I go has wifi these days, so it kind of rules that one out and a few dvd box sets would be nice to watch while attached to the sofa feeding the baby would be quite nice too.

Just watch, I’ll get a box of chocolates from a petrol station if I’m lucky!

Please note: This is not a sponsored post, I’m just being indulgent!

Miracle on Regent Street

Fancy a great feel good read perfect for Christmas? Then this one’s for you!

Set in a beautiful old department store that time has long passed by, Ali Harris spins a story that is simply magical and has you turning page after page. (Before I knew it, I’d polished this book off in just one sitting it was that good!)

The story is based around our heroine, Evie, who has lost all of her joie de vivre following the breakdown of her relationship some two years previously and has spent her time in London being as invisible as she possibly can. Evie is so invisible it seems that she can have a hand in turning the fortunes of Hardy’s department store around right under the noses of her colleagues and bosses.

Punctuated with romance, wonderful new friendships, the magic of Christmas and the emergence of a more confident Evie, this story is simply a must read this year for anyone who needs a little sparkle in their life!

Please note: this is a sponsored post for which I received the above mentioned book for review. Please click on the disclosure tab above to view my full disclosure policy should you require further information.