What I’ve Read…August

This month has seemed to last forever but I have only managed 2 books! I am hoping this month I will get a few more under my belt as I have 2 weeks off work! Here is what I have read in August:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The blurb of this book intrigued me, I must admit I hadn’t seen much of the hype around this book, so wasn’t sure what to expect. The book is written in a different style, almost poetic and the way the sentences are structured are different. It is like seeing the thoughts inside someone’s head.

This book centres on the Sinclair Family, namely, the four older grandchildren nicknamed the ‘Liars’ by their family. The Sinclairs are an old, traditional aristocratic family who have that stiff upper lip and don’t take to outsiders. They have a family name to uphold. They spend each summer at their own family island. Each family has a house on the island, and this is where the Liars meet each year and spend their summers together. One of the Liars, is Gat, who is a friend of Johnny, the oldest grandson. He is an outsider, and there is definitely a marked difference in how he is treated by Cady’s Grandfather,the head of the family.

Cady and Gat meet, and a friendship grows and develops into a romance. This is not what Cady’s grandfather expects, and their romance seems to start the chain of events which lead to Cady’s accident, where she is found on the beach in her underwear. She can not remember the details of her accident, and suffers amnesia. Her treatment is long and she doesn’t return to the island for two summers. When she at last returns, and wants answers to her questions, she finally learns the shocking truth.

I feel like I may have missed something with this book. As soon as it ended, I had a sneaking suspicion perhaps I’d missed the point or that there was another subplot I hadn’t worked out. The plot builds tension and suspense well, and the final reveal is one which I didn’t see coming until right up until the end. I enjoyed this book, it was short, snappy and to the point, which also added to the detached and unemotional tone of the Sinclair family. I felt the book worked well, and the big reveal is quite a shock. It made me rethink what I thought of most of the characters.

I am not sure I liked the character of ‘cady’ or cadence well. She narrates the novel, and so we see things from her perspective. Things are muddled and confused, and this sense of confusion is heightened by her use of hyperbole and exaggeration in her descriptions. None of the characters are particularly likeable but I felt drawn to them in some way. I didn’t feel there was much character development of the Liars which I felt was a shame – I didn’t feel very much for these characters. But then maybe that’s the point.

This is a gripping, not to long read and I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva.

This is a great book, a really interesting plot and the tension is kept going throughout. I wanted to know what had really happened and the story is slowly revealed until the ending. I liked this book, the ending was different and I liked the way the book was concluded. It was a different approach to this kind of book which I liked.

Full review of The Stolen Girl can be found here.

Time for Tea!

I was recently sent some wonderful Pukka Tea by the Nutrition Centre to review. I love trying new tea, and love having herbal tea at work, as it keeps me focused and alert.

I was also sent this really useful information about different herbal teas and their benefits, and I thought my readers may find this interesting too! I have Clean Green Tea and also Morning Time to review which is a mix of roobios, honeybush and red ginseng. I’ve found it really interesting to read the benefits of this tea, and also some great suggestions for other teas to try.

I’m currently getting my kettle boiling and a review will be on the blog soon so keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime, here is the article by The Nutrition Centre for you to enjoy:

Time for tea: The 7 best herbal teas

Drinking tea has been a British tradition for decades, from the traditional dark builders brew to ‘new-age’ herbal teas.
We all know a good cuppa makes you feel warm and relaxed inside, but there are also significant health benefits associated with certain types of tea. Here are a range of herbal teas and their benefits:

• Peppermint Tea – Peppermint tea has a lovely minty, refreshing taste and has many health benefits. Peppermint tea is a great natural treatment for stomach ailments such as bloating and gas, it also acts as an appetite suppressant and helps to boost your metabolism. On top of all this peppermint tea acts as a natural stress reliever and the menthol present in the tea acts as a muscle relaxant, helping relieve stress. Drunk before bed, it can help aid sleep and make you dream more vividly than normal! Try crushing fresh mint leaves into hot water and adding sugar for a lovely reviving drink.

• Camomile Tea – Camomile tea has a gentle, calming and sedative effect. Perfect for aiding sleep and relaxation, this tea is made from flowers and is great for people suffering from insomnia. It is also used to aid digestion post meals. Chamomile is recommended for cases of bronchitis and bad coughs or for a cold or fever, as it’s soothing effects help ease tickles. Try Clipper Organic Camomile tea for the best night’s sleep of your life.

• Ginger Tea – Ginger tea is a great digestive aid and is used to curb feelings of nausea, vomiting or upset stomachs due to motion sickness. Ginger tea can be created by simmering a piece of root ginger on the stove for 10-15 minutes and adding lemon and honey. The addition of lemon and honey is a powerful germ-fighting combination and can be used to help with the symptoms of the common cold. But if boiling root ginger seems a bit too much like hard work, give Pukka Three Ginger Tea a go to soothe belly ailments.

• Green Tea – Green tea has a slightly bitter taste, but is more delicate in flavour when compared to black tea. This tea contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup and is jam-packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants are called catechins and can help protect against some types of tumours and cancers. Green tea is often dubbed the ‘wonder herb’ and has been used for centuries to help with brain function, weight loss and prevent diseases. Try Pukka herbal teas Clean Green Tea to give yourself a quick boost.

• Liquorice Tea – liquorice tea is one of the most underappreciated teas with so many of its health benefits generally unknown to most tea drinkers. Mainly digestive, liquorice tea works as a mild laxative and helps relive constipation, it also helps protect the stomach lining. It has anti-inflammatory properties which ease the pain of arthritis and significantly eases pre-menstrual tension as well as being a substitute for St Johns Wort which is used to treat low blood pressure. Try Teapigs Hush Liquorice tea for a little lift.

• Rooibos Tea – This tea is high in vitamin C, as well as other minerals. An easy drinking tea with a light flavour, it is largely grown in South America and has been touted for its antioxidant properties. The antioxidants are claimed to help ward off disease and the signs of aging. It has also been shown to help common skin concerns such as eczema. Give Clipper Organic Rooibos tea a go and reap the benefits.

• Black Tea – Black tea is the most common variety of tea and accounts for about 75 percent of global tea consumption! Black tea has a slightly bitter taste and contains the most caffeine (about 40mg per cup). It has a high concentration of the antioxidant compounds called theaflavins and thearubigins which have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol. Try East India Company’s black tea and ditch the coffee for that caffeine boost!

Clare Galpin is the MD at Nutrition Centre, an online health supplements brand who’ve recently celebrated 40 years in the industry!

I was sent some Pukka Tea by The Nutrition Centre in order to undertake a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own

My Week on Wednesday. On Friday. Ahem

 

My we

Well, this week seems to have flown past. I also can barely remember what I have done this week! As you may have realised, today is Friday, not Wednesday. Everything has taken twice as long to do this week for some reason (mainly Bubs related – see below!)

Me

I have started a new job this month, well, it’s a secondment but its in a role I haven’t done before. I am quite excited by this, there are a lot of changes happening at the moment and it’s been good to get involved in something new, and to challenge my brain a bit.

My sister has moved in with us as a temporary measure.  She has moved from London for various reasons, and I am glad I could help her out with my spare room. It is nice to have her around, actually. Having someone else in the house though is a big change and trying to get used to her, and all her stuff, is a little trying at times! It’s been a first good week though, and I am looking forward to having a few girly nights in with her (and hopefully a few nights out!). oh, and hopefully she will babysit for me too!

I am still going strong with my weight watchers, and whilst I have lost weight this week, it is still only a small loss (half a pound). I don’t mind as long as the numbers don’t go up, but I really would like to see a few more knocked off the scales soonish! I haven’t started any activity yet but it is high on my list of things to get sorted as soon as possible. I need to move!

Books

I have read a great book this week, We Were Liars. It is a book about a family, and the main narrator of the book is Cady, who is one of the grandchildren, whom everyone calls the Liars. After an accident occurs, Cady tries to put the pieces together as to what happened to her in Summer Fifteen. A great read and one that kept me thinking and wondering until the end! I feel like I need to read it again now though!

I also finished reading The Stolen Girl – and I have written a review here. I really enjoyed this book, another one with tension and wondering what has happened until the end!

Another exciting book related thing is that I have been invited to a real life book club! The Library on Cheltenham Road in Bristol is a lovely new wine bar, and they are keen to start a book club! Wine and books sound like a fabulous combination to me! The first book club is on 3rd September at 4.30pm so if you are local, then please come along! Read more about the book club here.

Motherhood

Bubs is amazing me every day with her words. She is using two word sentences and it seems like new words are added to her vocabulary on a daily basis. With new words, and new learning, comes new frustrations, and new challenges for us.

This week, it has all been about naps. Not napping, or napping and then not wanting to sleep in the evening. We had two days with no naps, and then 5pm bedtimes. We have had days with two hour naps, and then 9pm bedtimes. I feel completely tired, and knackered. I don’t get any time in the evening to blog, or to do anything I want to really.

One good thing, is that the last few days she has started to eat better, we have had a few weeks now with her being ultra fussy with food. Yesterday she just picked up her spoon and ate all her dinner! She has had a good day today with food aswell,

Tonight, I am lucky. She has gone to sleep before 8.30pm – so we’re making progress. I am just sticking to the routine, being consistent, not bringing her downstairs at all, and it seems to be working. Hence why I can write my wednesday post on a friday night!

Tea

I have some lovely Pukka Tea to try and review on the blog soon, and I also have another tea-related drink coming soon. Watch this space!

The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva Book Review

I was so happy to review the next book by the wonderful Renita D’Silva. After reading The Forgotten Daughter, I am a big fan of her style of writing.

The Stolen Girl Cover

Here’s the blurb:

Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. 

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.

Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?

The book starts off right in the middle of the action: Diya’s Mum is arrested for kidnapping Diya; Diya is taken into foster care and from here she has to try and figure out what has just happened with her life. She is told that her real Mother is here in the UK and wants to meet her – she feels a whole range of emotions as she tries to come to terms with her past, and also, her present. We see this event from three perspectives: Diya’s, Vani, whom she knows as her Mother, and Aarti, who claims to be her real mother. We get flashbacks of the past and the book keeps the tension tight throughout, as the secrets of the past are revealed.

Again, as with The Forgotten Daughter, this book is just poetic and so descriptive; you really feel part of the moment. Each character has opportunity to develop and you get to know them as you read on. I found the story of Vani and Aarti really interesting – the dynamics of the relationship and how two people could feel ‘bound’ to one another. It is easy initially to feel you could predict what has happened but I found I was surprised by parts of the story. I enjoyed the way the story is told in different perspectives, and using this method just makes you want to read more as extra parts of the puzzle are put together.

A few comments I would make are that Diya is 13 years old; however I felt her ‘voice’ at times to be a little older. This didn’t matter to me as part of the story, just an observation I made as I read – she is a mature 13 year old but her vocabulary at times just sounds older. I also felt at times, things were slightly repetitive, which was a little frustrating as I just wanted to find out more! These are just little comments however and the book was still really engaging and readable.

I really liked the ending of this book; it takes you by surprise, and I felt it was a different approach to these types of stories. I felt that it was a positive ending, from something that could have been quite negative, or feel a little one-sided. I could understand why the ending could be this way.

For me, this book is all about Motherhood, having a child, what you would do for your child and also how you can influence your children. It is also about letting go of the past, forgiveness and moving forward.

This book is a great read, and would give it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read more from Renita in the future.

The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva is published by Bookouture on 12 September.

I was sent an electronic version of the book in order to undertake this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Weight Update: Week 7

I am really enjoying my Weight Watchers at the moment.  7 weeks in, and I am still going strong. I feel very happy and really in the moment. I have been cooking a lot more meals, and I am trying my best to count every thing I eat. I have my little blips, though, and I am starting to see where I have gone wrong in the past. I have bad days, though, not bad I guess but just more foody than others.

So, I have now lost 11lbs. I am down into a new stone bracket, and that feels fab. I had a bit of a disappointing weigh-in today as I stayed the same this week, after I thought I did well. I can only think that I have nibbled a little too much and not counted this, as sometimes I do pick a little. I am very pleased I haven’t put any on though, in 7 weeks. I sometimes think that when I go down a stone bracket, it’s as if my body needs some time to adjust!

I also need one thing I need to do: Get off my arse and excercise. I need to move around more. I have moved jobs recently and I am definitely not as active. I would like to start running, or jogging, or something (free) to do. I quite like swimming as well. I just need to plan a time to go, and make time to get active. I’m pretty sure this is a big reason for staying the same this week.

I’m looking up Simple Start, and think I’ll give that a go next week, for a week. I was going to try this week, but I know I will have a few lunches or meals out this bank holiday weekend and I can manage this better with the propoints.

Body wise, I am losing centimetres! I have lost 3 centimetres from my hips, 8 from
my bust, and 5 from my thighs. I can feel my clothes are looser, and I can see my face looks a bit thinner in the mirror. I have a long way to go but this is a good motivator to me.

Meals

I’ve made some lovely healthy meals this week, so glad I am back to cooking from scratch, a few weeks ago I had a bit of a bad week where most of the meals were out of packets, and I can say I really did not feel good at all. We’ve had:

Tofu stir fry with noodles (12pp)red-pepper-lentil-chilli-5pp-propoints

Veggie curry with noodles (10pp)

spicy Roasted vegetable soup (2pp a portion)

lentil and red pepper chilli (5pp a portion)

veggie fajitas (including 2 tortilla wraps, cheese, refried beans, sour cream) (15pp)

 

 

 

Snacks:

As usual, my favourite snacks this month have been some great findsweightwatchers-friendly-snacks-propoints

Fab Ice Lolly – 2 propoints

Freddo – 3pp

Mikado – 1pp for 4 sticks

Mini Twister Ice Lolly – 1pp (bargain!)

Percy Pigs (1pp each)

I really find having a little treat in the evening helps, stops me feeling deprived and once I have had it, I don’t want to eat anything else! Having a 1pp treat in the freezer I think is a great way to ward off any thoughts of sabotaging yourself – with 1pp you feel you have had something but it hasn’t done that much damage!

I am still very motivated, and although it is disappointing I stayed the same this week, I know that next week I can get a good loss. I know what I need to do, so I am going to do it!

If you have any hints and tips, or have started on Simple Start, I’d love to know!

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.

A Mother Dimension_low-01

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