Win a bracelet from DeeBee jewellery ~ review and giveaway

Hello and welcome to a very exciting review and giveaway!

Yes, you can win this stunning bracelet from deebee jewellery.

3 deebee jewellery review giveaway bracelet buddha head hamsa feather peace sign wellbeing spirituality

I love the look of their products.  They are very ‘me’ and so I knew they would fit in very well with my blog. Why? Because I’m a very spiritual person and am very ‘drawn’ to the range of jewellery which includes feathers, peace signs, buddha heads and the Hamsa, all of which are beautifully simple in my opinion.

When my buddha bracelet arrived, it was well packaged, without being over-packaged.  It was in perfect condition and fitted snuggly on my wrist without being overbearing.  I’ve been wearing it alot and getting compliments too!  Not only does it look pretty and stylish but it’s well made with good quality beads too.  This doesn’t feel like a bracelet that will fall apart after a few outings.  If you’re looking for a little something for yourself or a little gift, then do consider this bracelet from deebee. 🙂

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Now, onto how you can win a buddha bracelet just like the one featured, from DeeBee Jewellery!  Just enter by using the rafflecopter (below).  The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 12th May 2016. Good luck to you 😉

Coming soon… a giveaway to win a lovely gem necklace, also from Deebee jewellery ~ subscribe to my blog today so you don’t miss your chance 🙂  Subscription box is in the right hand sidebar ‘Follow my blog by email’ >>>>

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

Book review : Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Book review Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty friendship bullying murder domestic violence discussion book novel fiction

I felt I could have written an essay on ‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty
when I’d finished reading it.  An essay about the genius of the themes interwoven through it: bullying, Domestic Violence, friendship.   (I had been rooting for one of the heroines from around halfway through.)  That’s why I loved the discussion points at the end and I’ve never come across this before.  I even discussed them with my hubby who doesn’t really read and had no idea what I was raving on about!   But I felt the need to de-brief myself after this powerful novel.

Admittedly, it wasn’t until a good few chapters in that I felt the novel really took off and I did get a bit impatient with it, due to the focus on the cattiness of the school run: humourous and ironic as it was.  Once the main themes had been introduced though, it really took off and I was hooked, making this a book that was very difficult to put down!

It really was one of those books that left me feeling a bit dazed for the rest of the day while I fully digested it.  In a good way…

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So tell me, have you read any of Moriarty’s books?  Does this sound like your cup of tea (with biscuit?)

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This post contains affiliate links, so if you decide to buy this book through this blogpost, I earn a few pennies… thank you.

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MamaMummyMum

A novel book storage idea

When our little girl unwrapped a cushion from her Grandma and Pop for Christmas, she was really excited… and so was I!

Book cushion a novel book storage idea reading nook library organisation

Having been to a Christmas Fayre, my lovely Mum saw these brilliant cushions that double up as a novel book storage idea!

When our little girl saw that her cousin had a similar cushion, she was even more excited.

When she unwrapped 5 new Rainbow Magic books, she slotted a couple into the little pockets on her new cushion.

What a neat idea!

The cushion now flits between her reading nook and her bed, as do the cats most days.  I’m convinced that the cats enjoy a read when she’s not there!  She’s even been known to take it in the car with her over the Christmas break!

Our little girl chose to spend some of her Christmas money on a Rainbow Magic bookmark, which arrived just after Christmas.

What I love is that our little girl is being so very patient (mostly) because she’s pre-ordered another Rainbow Magic book for delivery in March…

Whereas I… well I haven’t got a lovely book cushion but I have managed to explore our new (to us) library and brought a couple of books home 🙂

To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed with ‘Shadows of the Workhouse’ by Jennifer Worth.  Having devoured a couple of her other books, I had high hopes for this one but just couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters which seemed more like character studies than the interesting insight into history that I was expecting.

So I tried a different genre, recommended to me.  This one is by Liane Moriarty ‘Big Little Lies’ and I am enjoying it.  It’s hard to put down and I’ll hopefully report back in a few weeks 🙂

Book review : East End Tales by Gilda O’Neill

East End Tales book review Gilda O'Neill literally speaking history bygone days

Today I’d like to share with you a book review.  One of my favourite genres to read falls under the category ‘tales of bygone days’.  It feeds my intrigue of days when life wasn’t as easy as it is for many of us now.  Gilda O’Neill’s ‘East End Tales’ satisfied my curiosity.  The front cover alone drew me in: two young girls spinning around a lamp post, on a rope, skirts tucked into their knickers.  The look of sheer glee on their faces, the blissful ignorance of any health and safety or any grown-up decency.  Not an i-anything in sight!  No phone glued to their hands…

Just throwing caution to the wind and living in the ‘now’ (or then!) and enjoying the moment.

Despite the over-riding theme of hardship, poverty and squaller running through the ‘tale’, O’Neill manages to paint a wistful picture of East End London life.

These days it’s difficult to really fathom how financially restrained the majority of East Enders were.  Even more difficult to imagine the squaller.  To them, weekly baths (at best) were the norm.  They knew no different.  But to us, it’s ‘squaller’.

You can smell the smells, you can taste the grit as O’Neill touches on the main points of life back then.  I really felt that I’d lived a tiny part of her East End life with her.

As the front cover suggests, this is a ‘quick read’ and if you don’t read it quickly, then it’s very readable and perfect for dipping into when you get the chance.

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So tell me, do you like reading about the bygone days?

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This post contains an affiliate link which means that if you decide to buy this book through this blogpost, I earn a few pennies…

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Family Fever

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Books for children – developing speech and language

books for children to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years main abc pic final edit

I make no secret of my passionate belief that reading books to your children every day helps to develop their speech and language skills.  Right from when our daughter was born and was only just home from hospital as a newborn, I would read her cloth books while she happily kicked and gurgled under her play gym and at feeding time, in fact any time really.  Then she moved on to board books and took her abc’s and her 123’s in her stride.

Fast forward to 5 years later and there is no denying that all of this has stood her in very good stead with her literacy.  While in her first year at school, she has learnt her phonics, learnt to read and write and just recently her teacher told us that she is doing ‘fantastic’ with her spelling.  All of this reading to her and with her in the foundations of her early years can surely be no coincidence…

So, which books are recommended to develop your child’s speech and language skills?

From read-aloud, nursery rhyme and picture books like ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years 1

and books for the late talker like ‘The Einstein Syndrome’ by Thomas Sowell…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years einstein syndrome thomas sowell 1

to books about animals and classic stories like ‘Sammy: The Classroom Guinea Pig’ by Alix Berenzy…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years sammy classroom guinea pig alix berenzy 1

…and let’s not forget the role that letter blocks and flash cards play like ‘Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Fun with Words’…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years biff chip kipper flashcards 1

Indeed, we used flashcards when our little bear first started her reading and it helped immensely.  It also helped that we had picked up the flashcards through hubby’s work book club that happened to be the same series that our bear’s class was using – the Biff, Chip and Kipper series from Oxford Reading Tree.  By turning it into a game, our bear had no idea that she was learning!

Of course, along with reading books to and with your child, talking to your child is a great stepping stone to great vocab, literacy and speech.

So tell me, which books did you or do you enjoy reading with your child?  Were/are any of them the same ones that you read as a child?

Share in the comments below the link badges!

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The Twinkle Diaries

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Review: LovefulBeings ~ a Bowtique selling Head wraps

head wraps bowtique top knows big bows babies head wear cute Loveful Beings review sponsored post parenting style accessories accessory

…at LovefulBeings this weekend only!!!

Yes readers, as this beautiful picture tells us, Tara at LovefulBeings is offering you all 30% off her head wraps line for this weekend only…

That’s 30% off her Top Knot and Big Bow Headwraps at her Bowtique shop! (Promo code at the bottom of this blogpost.)

In her etsy shop, Tara tells us that:

One day when my little family was driving to the beach, top off the jeep, wind in our hair, my then 5 year old son said that being this happy is called being “loveful”. Loveful. I like it. We should all search to be “loveful” people. Hence, my shop name, Loveful Beings. One thing that makes me feel loveful is crafting and sewing things for my family. I started this shop because I was posting pictures on Instagram of things I was making and started getting lots of purchase requests. I love making things and people love seeing their children in my products!

She was once a working mum but while on her last maternity leave, she found a passion in sewing and she went into overdrive making headwraps!  Aren’t they adorable??

I love this pack of 4 top knots with the 2 vibrant colours and the other 2 pastels.

Grab bag 4 top knot head wraps lovefulbeings baby accessories

So what’s the difference between the two styles?  Well, the Top Knots are simple headwraps that can only be worn in top knot style. While Big Bows are longer, the bows are bigger, and they can be retied several ways. Either way, they’re both adorable! And both are 2-3″ wide.

Perfect for a contrasting polka dot patterned main outfit, or just as cute with a plain main outfit is this orange top knot…

orange you happy top knot loveful beings baby accessories

And then there’s this gorgeous pattern in a big bow in green, which is just right for Summer.

zebra print green top bow head wrap lovefulbeings baby accessories

There are many more designs and various colours to be seen over on the LovefulBeings instagram… and why not put in a cheeky follow too? 😉

Go on, you know you want to… and don’t forget there’s 30% off this weekend only.  Just use the code: Love30

You can follow Tara at LovefulBeings at her etsy shop and on instagram @LovefulBeings.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are my own.

All pictures credited to LovefulBeings.

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Review and Spotlight on ‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ by John Adams

Featured Author Modern Father Dad Blogger John Adams book review SAHM WAHM stay at home dad work at home dad parenting writing

‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ by John Adams

Since the term came into being, I’ve been intrigued by Stay At Home Mums (SAHMs) in the sense of ‘how do they do it?’  But I’ve been even more intrigued by Stay At Home Dads (SAHDs).  With various stigmas, taboos and ‘odd looks’, how on earth do SAHDs do it?

How do they do the whole house husband, SAHD ‘thing’?

‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ gives a fascinating insight into the world of John Adams, his wife and 2 young daughters.  In his book, he talks us through his experience of a maternity ward from a Dad’s point of view (the good, the bad and frank), he shares humourous accounts of times with his daughters – one being a visit to the dentist that had me chuckling away in acknowledgement (to a degree), the milestone of starting school and with it the baptism of being a dad at the school gate.  Also included are very personal insights into the sacrifices his wife makes, along with the judgement people make of her going to work.

The section that really stands out for me is ‘Sex and the Stay at Home Dad’.  The similarities between a SAHD and SAHM struck me.  In fact the similarities to parenting in general.  Meaning that when Adams scratches his head at the suggestion that SAHDs are more likely to play away (given the amount of women they comparatively encounter due to circumstance), he does so by concluding that he couldn’t possibly fit any ‘extra curricular’ activities into his day.  That is a statement that had me nodding my head in agreement (not that I have considered playing away I might add!)  Working in the traditional sense or keeping on top of housework and general family life leaves little or no time for bed hopping…  That is why this book is universal in the world of parenting and beyond.

Adams refers to several blog posts in his book and this may deter many of his blog followers from reading this.  I would encourage them to have a read all the same, on the basis that this is written in a very easy-to-read style, as his blog, and the sections compliment each other to give a balanced insight into his world.

You can buy A modern father (…and dad blogger) in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon.

You can tweet the author John Adams @dadbloguk and visit his blog at dadbloguk.com

Note: This book was provided to me free of charge but all words and opinions are my own.  Co-published by John Adams and CronxBooks.  This post contains affiliate links.

Picture credit: Ania Wilk-Lawton of Photography for Parents.

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‘Aprons and Silverspoons’ ~ a must-read!

papery peep aprons and silverspoons mollie moran 1930s kitchen maid

To say that I found this book fascinating is an understatement.  It’s fair to say that I’m intrigued with how people used to live years ago (not all that long ago in this case, in the grand scheme of things).  I love Downton Abbey (though I haven’t seen the whole series, sadly), I love anything and everything Jane Austen related, I love reading/watching well-researched fiction and non-fiction about the class divides and how people used to live.  Way back when I was at school, I have distinct memories of a programme called ‘How We Used to Live’.

This book most certainly did not disappoint.  How times have changed!  Mollie chose to work in domestic service against working in a shop.  The only other option being the Workhouse…  which was most certainly not a good option.  As Moran re-tells, domestic service involved starting at the bottom of the ‘food chain’, literally getting down on hands and needs and scrubbing and scrubbing, and scrubbing some more.  Pretty much from dawn.

While reading this book, I found myself shuddering at the conditions that Moran and her counterparts worked in.  But do you know what really amazed me?  That it was perfectly acceptable and there was relatively little whinging done out loud.  These people just got on with it… working their fingers to the bone!

Do read the book, it’s a very easy to read and goes really well with a nice hot cup of your favourite brew and a cheeky biscuit 😉

Consider if you were in Anne Frank’s shoes…

The theme game Anne frank outdoors

The bookcase door inside Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam

 Picture source: free-city-guides.com

When I was younger I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and the story of Miep Gies who helped to hide the Frank family et al.  I was in awe of this young girl who yearned and ached to go outside; yearned and ached to be free.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit The Anne Frank House and Museum in Amsterdam.  From the minute I stepped through that concealed entrance and walked up the steps into ‘The Annex’, I was walking in her proverbial shoes (and of the other people she hid with).

I saw where she had lived, saw where she had slept, felt the atmosphere still lingering, looked out of the high window and saw the same bell tower that Anne Frank had seen.

I was humbled.  I was intrigued.  I was sad.  I was claustrophobic.  I was privileged to experience ‘The Annex’ (though not in the same way, thankfully).  I unashamedly shed a tear.     And as our tour came to an end, I walked back down the stairs, back through the concealed entrance, back out of the museum.  I walked back outside.  I was free.

I was free to take in a  lungful of fresh air.  I will try to never take the outdoors for granted again.

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The Garden Gang

garden theme game

Picture source: Amazon

Penelope Strawberry

Benny Broad Bean

Lucy Leek

Gertrude Gooseberry

Out of all the characters in ‘The Garden Gang’ books by Jayne Fisher, these  are the ones that I loved the most as a child.

I found the stories that Fisher wrote to be enchanting.  They really captured my young imagination with the colourful drawings and the cheeky veggie names!  Little did she know how popular her garden gang books would be when she started writing them at the tender age of 9.  She was to be the youngest ever Ladybird author at the age of 12.  What an incredible achievement!

The inside cover of my own well-thumbed copy of ‘Wee Willie Water Melon and Betty Beetroot tells me that Jayne had:

“…her own little garden at home which gave her the ideas for these stories.  Jayne’s bold, colourful felt-tipped pen illustrations are bound to appeal to young children…”

So not only was she a talented young author, she also created the vivid, bold illustrations too.  I wonder what she is doing now?…

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