18 Things at 18 Months

Dear Bubs,

Here is a list of some of the things you do now you’re 18 months.

1. You want everything, all the time
2. You don’t like your high chair
3. You’ll eat anything if you think it’s mine
4. You keep asking for chocolate when we never have any in the house
5. You have acquired an obsession with peppa pig
6. You like to say “please” and usually blow a big raspberry for the “p” sound
7. You can use an iPad better than I can
8. I had to tell you that you can’t use the TV like an iPad
9. Your favourite songs are ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle
10. Your favourite saying is “it’s all gone!” Or “more please”
11. You like to pretend to sleep and then Jump up and shout “boo!”
12. Favourite toy – well gang of toys – is a Portsmouth FC Duck, Upsy Daisy and Spot the Dog.
13. Favourite books are Noodle loves bedtime (read so much it’s broken!) and a tiger who came to tea
14. You still don’t like eggs, at all
15. You love jumping around the room
16. You like to pretend to drive the car with Daddy
17. You love kicking a ball around the garden
18. You’re always so happy, and smiley. Unless it’s bedtime.

Love,

Mumma x

My Week on Wednesday

Well, this week seems to have crept up on me a lot quicker! Still not much going on with the blog, apologies about that. I am trying to work out what I want to write about. When Inspiration hits, I will be blogging away. I think August, a time of holidays and general slowness at work, and well, everywhere, I just feel its harder to start anything new. I like September, I like the feel of autumn and that ‘starting again’ feeling you get, which probably harks back to school days. Anyway, I blather on. Here’s what happened this week:

Me

I had a lovely weekend, when my partner was off work, and we managed to sort the house out and clean everything, put everything away, and get a few jobs done. We cleared the spare bedroom for my sister’s arrival (which will be this weekend), and also ready for his Sister who was staying overnight. We had a lovely evening, with a chinese takeaway and watching a film. Oh, and some red wine. Sunday, we all went for an adventure drive and found a pub to have a Sunday Roast. It was such a nice feeling to know my house was lovely and clean, things sorted and put away, it really helped me to relax and enjoy time with my family.

My phone is almost broken, and currently only works if its plugged in, and then that’s only if you’re lucky. Not taking a phone with me wherever I am, has been liberating. I am not checking my phone all the time, writing status updates, or even taking photos. My memories all all in my head. I like not having a phone, so much I am wondering if I really want to get another one – or maybe just buy a very basic phone with no social media. We can get snowed under by it, blogs are one thing but trying to keep up to date across twitter, facebook, etc etc – it takes over your life. I am glad that I have had this opportunity to change the way I had been doing things. I enjoy it all much more now I am not constantly on there.

Books

Slow week, and it’s just seemed to go crazy fast. I have felt really tired this last week so reading has taken a little back burner. I am about half way through The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva and it’s still good. The tension and suspense are reeling me in. I want to know answers but yet I don’t as it would mean the book would finish!

I also managed to pick up ‘How to be a Woman’ by Caitlin Moran for a bargain 50p at work, in a charity book sale. I love it when you see a book you have been looking for, half hidden amongst the piles of other books. It’s so exciting! I am hoping I can start reading this book when I am on holiday (I have a lot of high hopes about reading loads of books this holiday – you never know!)

Motherhood

Bubs has turned 18 months old this week. It’s pretty crazy if I think about it too much. I can’t believe a year and a half has gone by with her with us. She is just so amazing, and talking so much. She says ‘All gone!” “it’s gone”, “more please” “sleep” and just so many other little words. I can’t believe that soon she will be talking like you and me, it just feels so strange. She is also very accurately telling me when she needs her nappy changing – I am not ready to start potty training just yet, and I doubt she is, but it seems to be lurking on the horizon.

Bubs’ temper has calmed a little this week, she is screaming less and more now when she is just very excited. She will sit in the trolley now with some prompting from us, and seems to enjoy having a treat (a bag of dried fruit wriggly worms) once we have finished. She is also eating much better, and using her spoon and fork more. I have found she eats better if I sort of not make a big deal of dinner or of what she has on her plate, I put it down and just let her get on with working out what it is. She also enjoys eating things she thinks is mine, so I have used this a few times when she has refused to eat. She is obsessed with chocolate, no idea why as we hardly have any in the house, and don’t tend to eat it if we do in front of her, but there has been time over the last few weeks where she has demanded chocolate!

I have also started giving Bubs warm milk before bed. She used to just have cold cow’s milk, but warming it up seems to go down much better. She likes to read a story and then will go up to bed. She is taking less time to fall asleep then she was, and that’s good as we used to have lots of screaming and shouting before she finally went to sleep. So here’s hoping that continues.

Tea

Found my Gromit mug which I was very pleased about. No new adventures in tea this week.

 

 

My Week on Wednesday

My we

Well, this week has been a busy one. Things are changing a bit, but good change.

Me

This last week has disappeared really. With my partner on nights, the days and nights blur into one a bit. I have felt it a bit odd being on my own every evening, and it has felt a bit stressful dealing with Bubs’ nighttime routine, and waking up routine, all on my own. I went to see my Mum at the weekend, which was a nice change from the routine, and gave me a bit of a break. I was feeling quite low and emotional on Saturday. I helped my Mum to do her shopping at Tesco’s, and then she suggested we have a drink at the cafe. I was feeling OK by this point, but then I felt even worse when someone had a go at me for ‘taking their high chair’, when in fact I had taken it from an empty table. I went and got them another high chair, but this woman was so rude. I don’t think people realise how deep these things can go into someone; yes it was about a highchair, but having someone basically shout at me in a cafe, well, it nearly had me in tears. I held it together, and I was able to have a nice afternoon, but it still hurts me to think this happened, and if I am not careful my anxiety will replay this scene over and over again and I will pick myself apart.

Weight wise, I stayed the same last Friday, which was to be expected with a few dinners out. In fact I was rather pleased I’d stayed the same and not put any on! I think it shows how far I’ve come in that I’ve had a few nice meals out, and managed to make wise choices, which has meant I haven’t put weight on. This week has been less about meals out, and more about making meals at home. I love cooking and trying new things. I have started to make soups to take with me to work, to fill me up at lunch, and I started with butternut squash, which is a soup I have done before. I roasted the butternut squash and made a soup with red pepper, carrot, onion, garlic and a bit of chilli and stock. It tasted OK but was a little watery and plain, I am not sure why this was, but it was pleasant enough to eat for lunch. I can’t believe what a difference it has made to lunchtimes however, I feel much more full up and really has helped me keep my propoints until dinner. I have just made another soup, a spicy roasted vegetable one, which I have worked out as 2 propoints per serving. I am really looking forward to trying this one for lunch tomorrow!

Things will be changing a bit here soon. My sister will be coming to live with us for a bit, and I must say I am very happy about it. It will be lovely to have her around, and to have some company over the evenings when Dan works nights.

Books

I am currently reading The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva and it is a really gripping read. I just need to know what will happen next! I have been a bit slower with reading this week but I am hoping I can make a bit more time for it over this weekend! I have a few more lovely books lined up to review, which I am planning to read whilst I sun myself in Menorca. I have also had some interesting book-related news today which may turn into something exciting, so watch this space! What have you been reading over the summer, give me some of your recommendations.

Motherhood

Bubs is just being so…grown up. It is so unnerving at times! She is speaking more and more, and saying a lot of little phrases such as “it’s there!” “get up” and so on. She says “mumma” a lot as if she is asking me a question, and at the moment she is really enjoying reading her books.

She has started to make an ear piercing scream when she doesn’t get her way, when she wants attention, or if she is just happy and excited. It is a scream as if someone is being murdered. Out and about, it is very stressful as people just look at you as if you can stop her doing it! WE have managed to sort one thing out – she will stay in the buggy or the trolley now (she was trying to get out before) but she still makes this shrill scream. Distraction works and talking to her, but there are times when she just screams over and over again, not because she’s unhappy, it’s quite the opposite. I try my best to ignore her, or to distract her, but at night it is very draining. Any suggestions, please send on a postcard!

She is starting Nursery tomorrow, for a morning session. She went for an hour on her own on Monday, and had a good time, but was a bit clingy afterwards. I am sure she will have a fabulous time, and really enjoy herself. It is a little weird knowing a stranger will be looking after her, changing her nappy and feeding her. But She needs nursery, she needs to learn and develop and she needs the energy that I really can’t muster all the time. Let’s see what happens!

Tea

I am excited as I have some tea I am going to review, soon here on the blog. I love trying new teas so this will be lovely. This week I have just been drinking my PG Tips. I was rather excited to buy a PG Tips Mug from Tesco’s at the weekend. A perfect cup for my travel to work I think!

 

 

 

A Mother Dimension By Mink Elliott Review #bahlsenbookclub

So this month’s lovely book for the Bahlsen Book Club is A Mother Dimension by Mink Elliott. Mink has self-published this latest book after having other novels traditionally published. The book world is changing so much at the moment, and being to self-publish stories must be quite liberating! See the full chat with Mink over on the Bahlsen Blog.

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Here’s the blurb:

Kate O’Reilly, mother of three on the cusp of her 45th birthday, has got a thing about the past. Her husband, Seamus and long-standing best friend, Georgia, both call her chronic nostalgia an obsession – but Kate sees it as her safety harness, her private Prozac, her coping mechanism of choice. Because when being a wife and mother is weighing her down, making her feel trapped and overwhelming her, all Kate needs to do is take a quick trip down memory lane – to where the music was better, her social circle was wider, her self-esteem higher, her hair thicker and her waist much, much thinner – and voila! All is right with her world again. 

But when a freak electrical storm propels her back in time to 1996 for real, Kate can’t believe what’s happening. Soon, however, she’s elated, because this is the moment she’s been waiting for all these years – her chance to re-live those good old days and actually do all those things she’s been fantasizing about. 
Armed with little more than the optimism of youth, the benefit of hindsight, a taut-again tummy and just the one chin, Kate sets out to discover what might have happened if she’d only done things a little bit differently. And why some things really are best left in the past… 

I really enjoyed this book. This was a light hearted, fun read and I enjoyed reading it as much for the story as for the trip down memory lane! I am a big fan of everything 80s and have recently started to look back at the 90s just as fondly. I think there must be something about having a baby that does this to you, to look back to your youth, and the fun you used to have.

Kate, the main character in the book, is also looking back with her rose-tinted specs. A way to escape the monotony of the daily grind, Kate fantasizes about her past and what fun she had being a PR for a magazine company. A bolt of lightening sends her back to the 90s, and when the rose-tint has faded, Kate sees things in a totally different light. She needs to work out how to get back to the future, but also has an opportunity to right some wrongs, and make a few changes!

I loved the fantasy element to this book. I kept thinking what would I do or say if I had to go back in time to those days sans bebe. Although I am younger than Kate by 15 years, I could still empathize with her thoughts and feelings, and relate to her thinking about the past. I kept imagining what I would do or say if I met an ex-boyfriend, or if I knew what was coming up next in my life.

The story flows well, and I really enjoyed the other characters in the book too. I liked the element of mystery surrounding Kate’s parents and brother, and trying to work out what was going on there. I also loved all the 90s references to the Euro 96, and all the music, as I love it so much! I was really caught up in the moment with this book, I even wanted to break out my Oasis CDs and sign along to the Spice Girls!

I enjoyed the ending of the book, but a part of me felt a mind blown. I guess I feel the same about Back to The Future – if things have changed in the future, from what you know, is it really reality? There would be bits about your life you would not have a memory about, perhaps? Or the wrong memories? My mind boggles at the concept, and whilst this is not a criticism of the book, it just got me thinking!

Overall I felt this was a great read, and one I really enjoyed. The whole tone and way the book was written was refreshing and easy going. I will definitely read other books by Mink as I loved her writing style, easy going and most of all, funny! I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars

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I was sent an electronic version of this book as part of the #bahlsenbookclub. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

My Week on Wednesday

I have decided that I am going to write a weekly blog post, on a Wednesday, to sort of summarize my week and what I have been doing. I hope you find this insight interesting, and well, here we go!

My we

Me

I have taken a bit of a break recently from Tealady Mumbles, and it seems at the moment a lot of people are either on a blog break or changing their blog altogether. Me, well I am keeping my Tealady Mumbles hat, as I love it too much, but I have also expanded into another blog, Poetry Pickle, which is where you will find all my poetry and creative writing. I wanted to separate it out, as I felt that the poetry was getting in the way of the other things i was blogging about, and I quite like having the two to bounce from.

This means that whilst I have been quiet, I have been thinking about what and why I blog, and what matters to me, really. I am really not into the numbers game; I will admit I have been caught up a few times over the last 18 months but once and for all I am done with all of that. I am blogging what I like, when ~I like. If people read it, then great, and I know people do, so thanks. It matters more to me to have genuine comments and interaction about what I write, rather than blogging or tweeting to death, instagramming everything in sight just to get a few notches up a chart.

So, anyway, how has this week been? This week has been an odd one really, as my partner has just started night shifts, so having the TV, computer and the bed all to myself every evening has been something of a novelty. It’s meant that I have been able to sort out my blog, write a few poems, read a few books and catch up with Holby at last. I decided last week to give twitter a bit of a break, I felt a bit out of it to be honest, and i was getting sick of what I was seeing, and reading. I feel so much better for having concentrated on other things, and as you can see, I have been quite productive! I have submitted a few poems to a few websites and anthologies, so cross your fingers and watch this space! (or this space, more like!)

My weight loss has been continuing and I have felt really good about it. However, am having a bit of a wobbly week, which seeing as this is my 5th week, isn’t so bad, but I am not sure how well I can do this week. But I am still determined to get this weight off. I know a bad day doesn’t make a bad week, and 5 losses in a row is fabulous. I just need to remind myself of what I am doing and why.

In other twitter related news, I have given up my slot on a Monday night for #bepbb (be positive before bedtime). I’d been doing it a year, and I felt it was time to give someone else a go at hosting. It is such a lovely thing to do, and very enjoyable, and I will still take part, just not host.

We have booked a holiday to Menorca and I am so excited! It will be our first holiday abroad by ourselves and a little family of three. Lots of people have told me how great Menorca is, especially for families, so I am hoping we have a great time. This will only be the second time my partner and I have been abroad together alone, after a rather dodgy holiday to Turkey in 2007 where we almost broke up! I am sure Menorca will be much better, and that we have lots of fun together. I am really looking forward to using the pool and soaking up some sunshine.

I had a lovely time yesterday at my littlest sister’s 18th Birthday yesterday. I can not believe she is 18. We had a lovely meal, and it was lovely to see my family. She has had a few issues over her childhood, having been diagnosed with mild learning difficulties and possible Autism, but she has come out stronger, and better than ever, and she is doing ever so well at College. I really hope that adulthood will give her lots of opportunities and she gets to fulfill her dreams, any way she can. I am very proud of her, and of my Mum and Dad for supporting her as they have.

Books

Reading wise, I have just finished my Bahlsen Book Club read, A Mother Dimension by Mink Elliott, which was really good fun to read. In the book, a Mother is transported back to the ’90s, which I loved as I am a big 80s fan, but more recently I have found myself getting nostalgic for the 90s. Can you believe it was almost 20 years ago, that the Spice Girls were shouting Girl Power? I have also loved watching Dawn O’Porters Vintage clothing TV programme, and I loved seeing all the vintage clothes. As I am losing weight, perhaps soon I can fit into a few vintage numbers like Dawns, she really has a great style. Back to books, the next book I’m reading is one I am reviewing, Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva, which will be published on 12th September. It’s a gripping read so far, and I will be blogging my review as soon as I’ve finished it.

 

Motherhood

Bubs is being just lovely at the moment. Her speech is coming on so well, and it is really funny when we have a little conversation. We had a Health Visitor check today as we moved into a new area. She is doing well in every way, and the health visitor even said she was quite advanced – more like a 2 year old! I am obviously very pleased she’s doing well, but I want her to be able to enjoy her age and the stages she is going through, I don’t want people to assume she is older than she is. She will be starting Nursery in a few weeks for a couple of sessions a week. I think she will do really well there, and I can’t wait for her to make lots of friends and to learn and develop more. I am really enjoying this time with her, it is a lovely age, and being able to have little chats, and have her call me ‘Mumma’ is just so lovely. She is a very happy little girl, and we have so much fun. Her obsession with Peppa Pig is still strong, in fact she more or less chose a pair of Peppa Pig pyjamas when I was out the other day! I am having to buy DVDs in bulk as I can’t bear to watch the one DVD over and over again!

Tea

Not much tea to talk of this week, lots of my usual PG Tips and I do love a Moroccan Mint tea when I am at work. I want to drink much more fruit teas as at work, I hate buying milk and it just helps me to drink more water! Any tea suggestions appreciated!

Emily x

What I’ve Read….July

This month has seemed to last a long time! I’ve managed to work my way through 4 books this month, which I am very pleased about. I’ve read some fab books this month, too.

The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings

Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper.

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will’s painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husbands past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

I loved this book, it’s a book that was filled with tension and suspense, and I kept wanting to read more! The book starts in the aftermath of Harmony’s miscarriage and how this has affected her relationship with Will. At the same time, people and events from Wills past come to haunt him. The characters are really well described, you get to know them well and you can feel all the emotions in this book as it unravels. The book builds up the tension and you keep reading, keep wanting to know more! My full review as part of the Britmums book club is here. I would really recommend this book.

Paper Aeroplanes By Dawn O’Porter

I just can’t imagine me without you… It’s the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renee and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn’t be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renee But Renee and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo’s jealous ex-best friend and Renee growing infatuation with Flo’s brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renee and Flo it is the time of their lives. With graphic content and some scenes of a sexual nature, PAPER AEROPLANES is a gritty, poignant, often laugh-out-loud funny and powerful novel. It is an unforgettable snapshot of small-town adolescence and the heart-stopping power of female friendship

I got this book as a free download in iBooks, which I was very pleased about! This is a book about friendship – the friends you make in school, the groups that form and how it feels to be a teenager and all the emotion that being a teenager with raging hormones brings. This book really brought back memories for me of school and especially of being a bit like Renee, the not so popular person. How friendships can mean so much, how friends and literally make or break you. I loved the fact it was set in the ’90s and I really had a few flashbacks, although I was only just a teenager in the mid ’90s. This book was easy to read, and whilst a young adult novel, wasn’t overly cheesy or predictable. The characters were real, raw and made mistakes, which I found refreshing. They aren’t perfect and this makes them more likeable and identifiable to you as a reader. I liked the style of writing, the way you saw things from both Renee and Flo’s point of view, and the mix of serious issues and quite funny comical parts. I am keen to read Goose now, Dawn’s second book.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I have written before that I started Insurgent but at the time, I had to stop as just was not getting it. so, this month I picked it back up again, and just read it. To be honest, it got better as the book went on.  The initial first half of the book felt like wading through mud; and all the Tris/Tobias relationship stuff just felt a bit corny and cheesy to me. I did think the plot was going nowhere, but I felt that more of a story was forming towards the end, and I was really interested when it was hinted that there was more to the city and the factions than at first it seems. The conclusion of this book ends on a great cliffhanger, and I was interested enough to want to read the next book straight away!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I was keen to read the conclusion to this series, and in a way, this book did not disappoint, However, I felt that some details were hurried over and some not well explained. I still don’t understand the significance of the Divergent, or why they were called Divergent, or why they were seen as ‘bad’ in the city, for example – it doesn’t add up to what is said within this part of the book.

However, I loved the fact we find out more about the world that Tris lives in, and find out more secrets about the factions and why they exist. It is so hard to talk about this book without giving things away!

I wasn’t keen on the way this book was written, from two perspectives (Tris and Four) – it meant that Four/Tobias for me changed as a character, and one I am not sure I liked in the end! The overall conclusion to this book is a shocker and there is a twist, one that I didn’t entirely see coming. I felt it was a fitting ending to a dystopian trilogy and overall I enjoyed this book. I think for me, Divergent will always be the stronger book of the three, but Alligient would come second – I felt Insurgent lost the plot a bit.

Overall this month I would recommend The Judas Scar, as it was such a compulsive read, and one that I think many of you lot would enjoy! Please let me know if you read any of these books so we can have a good natter about them!

 

Me and my weight: update #1

So, I have been on a mission. It’s not been easy, and I haven’t been perfect. But I am so pleased with where I am.

I started back on weight watchers online on 27th June.

Many reasons why I have changed to weight watchers. I have done both over the years so know pretty well the ups and downs of both plans. For me, right now, weight watchers offers me the flexibility of being able to eat whatever I need to, in order to get through the day, and also help me understand my portion sizes better.

I was a little hesitant, having had a literal one day attempt last year, and then I just ate absolute shit and got even heavier. However, I logged back into my account, and I got on those scales. It wasn’t actually that horrific. Well, it probably was but I was sure I weighed more.

I was worried about sticking to points. The first two weeks actually, were super easy. I even had 4 or 5 points left over each night! I was pleasantly surprised at the portion sizes I could eat and things were not as high in points as I’d feared. I think my attitude to food has changed somewhat over the last year, especially having to feed Nancy. Fruit and veg are something we eat at every meal, so I am filling myself up nicely.

So, first week, I lost 3lbs. I was very happy with this! It seemed so easy.

Week two, I lost a pound. I felt good about this as it was a difficult week – difficult in that I had a few evenings out.

Week three, I lost 2lbs! Which I was thrilled about. It was a difficult week in that I was busy, didn’t have much time to prepare lunches and sometimes had to make food choices on the spot.

So in total, I have lost 6lbs so far.

Wobbles

I have had wobbles, and I have had 2 meals out which has meant I had to really think about what I ate. I have chosen a salad wherever possible and my choices have definitely changed in that respect – in the past I would’ve said “ah, sod it!” and just had whatever.

I had one day where I went to Costas and I stupidly chose to eat a muffin. It was 12 propoints! I then had to buy a prepacked sandwhich which was another 11 propoints. Without thinking, I’d nearly eaten my whole allowance on 2 items! It was tough, but I stuck to my points and got through the day. Those types of days are ones where I usually crack and again say ‘sod it!’ But I am trying my best to stick to the plan, and also be honest with myself.

Some people have said to me, doing it online and not going to a group, how can you be honest with yourself? And I think, well, if I can’t be honest with myself, on the scales, and eating what we need to on my own, then there’s no help, is there?

Snacks

Some of my favourite snacks and what I have been eating when we’ve gone out recently have been these:

Walkers Pops crisps 2pp per packet

Curly Wurly 3pp

Reduced fat houmous 60g pot 3pp plus crudités

Nakd Cocoa and Orange bar 4pp

Going Out

Nandos – Caesar Salad with 1/4 chicken breast 11pp

Pizza Express – Superfood Salad plus chicken approx. 11pp

McDonalds – sweet chilli chicken wrap 13pp

So that’s it! My recent update. I am determined to keep on and I am feeling so much better already. I have taken my measurements so hopefully now will be able to see the inches being lost too!

The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings – Britmums Book Club Review

The Judas Scar is the second novel by Amanda Jennings. I’d heard good things about this book and the plots really intrigued me.

Here’s the blurb:

Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper.

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will’s painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband s past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

I was hooked on this book from the moment I picked it up. The tension and suspense is created right from the beginning, and the relationships of the characters are very quickly revealed to be not as they seem. The fallout of having a miscarriage, and Harmony’s emotions following this tragic event, are played out alongside events when the past comes back to haunt Will. It almost feels quite intimate to be acquainted with these characters at such a raw time, and it is well described.  I felt like I knew these characters, I was invested in them and I wanted to find out more about them, and their actions caused me to be almost shouting at my book at times!

The tension is further increased when Will meets someone from his past, and this brings back memories from his childhood, which centre around his public boarding school and the bullying he and his friend Luke was subjected to. His issues regarding the miscarriage and the events of the past seem interlinked in some way, in that Will doesn’t feel good enough to be a father. It is also clear he has his own complex feelings about his own father. It soon becomes apparent that this resurfacing of old memories is affecting his relationship. As he tries to battle with his own feelings regarding the past, and as secrets are revealed, he pushes Harmony away, and both characters seem to be on a path of self-destruction.

It is very hard to talk about this book without giving a lot away, so I am trying my best. The decisions both characters make, whilst both seemingly out of character, you can see as a reader why they are making these decisions, and just know things will not run smoothly. I found the character of Luke to be dark, moody and you just know that it isn’t a coincidence that he has come back into Will’s life. All the characters add something to the story, and extra layers of personality.

All the while you are wondering what happened in the past, and why, and the tension builds to a great crescendo. I wasn’t disappointed by the ‘big reveal’, and there is something of a twist within a twist, which I also thought was good – I didn’t see it coming. The book ties all these ends nicely together, and the ending of the book, whilst nothing too explosive, did surprise me a bit. I like the fact that everything within the book is believable – it doesn’t extend beyond the realms of reality, and that is refreshing and also makes the book believable, and raw. You can believe that things like this actually happened.

This book is dark, there are parts that are so well described it is almost painful to read on. It really does conjure up the image of what the public school life and bullying must have been like and also the heartache of a couple who are torn apart by the things that happen to them in life. I was so engrossed by this book, I could have happily read it all on one go, it was compulsive and I would say, addictive.

I would gladly give this book 4 out of 5 stars, in my opinion it is a must-read. I am eager now to read Amanda’s other book, Sworn Secret.

I was sent a copy of The Judas Scar as part of the Britmums Book Club. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

How NOT to anger a toddler

And so it begins.

I have the makings of one angry little person on my hands.

Here’s 15 golden tips to make sure you never anger your toddler:

1. Never offer them crayons or pencils of any kind especially if they have to be put away at some point.

2. Make sure whatever you’re doing doesn’t ever end.

3. Don’t give them anything that can be squeezed or squished in an angry fist

4. Give them whatever they want, whenever they want

5. Don’t let them see any other child or what they are playing with

6. You must leave the cafe/restaurant as soon as they have eaten.

7. Don’t get them dressed. Ever.

8. Play the theme tune to the Tweenies on a loop all day

9. Know instantly what ‘bouga boyga da Gaga’ is

10. Never ask them if they are tired

11. Don’t put the giraffe on the train

12. Let them rifle through the kitchen cupboards

13. Don’t wear shoes

14. Don’t ever ask about the nappy

15. Make sure tables and other high furniture is available for climbing

Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits Review

As someone who loves tea, it is not unusual for me to have a biscuit at the same time. I have spoken before of my love of biscuits, so this is no surprise. When I was asked to review the new Weight Watchers Dark Digestive Biscuits, how could I say no?!

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These new biscuits are 1 propoint per biscuit or 51 calories a biscuit, compared with other digestives which are over 80 calories.

The biscuits come in a handy resealable packet, which did work (other resealable packets I have tried in the past have ripped or not been sticky enough!).

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I am not normally keen on dark chocolate, so I was a little hesitant when I tried these biscuits. However, they were really nice! The biscuits are thin and the chocolate layer is thin also, I got a lovely taste of digestive biscuit and chocolate, but the dark chocolate flavour was not overpowering as I have found with other biscuits.

The biscuits, whilst being low in calories, are not a teeny tiny size as you sometimes see! The biscuits were a good size and shape, and didn’t feel too ‘diety’. They were great for dunking.

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They went very nicely with my cup of tea, and as I have recently started back on Weight Watchers, the fact they are 1 propoint each means I can still have my biscuit fix and keep within my points.

I was sent a packet of weight watchers dark chocolate digestives in order to undertake this review. Al thoughts and opinions are my own