Best Blogs to Read in #AllSortsofBlogs 72

Welcome to AllSortsofBlogs

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This is where I share #AllSortsofBlogs in my pick of the best blogs to read from recent weeks (or months!).

Firstly thank you so much for ALL 39 of your links!  Again, feel free to add any or all of your favourite posts to the linky.  I’ll share all posts across my various social media ~ twitter, pinterest, g+.

The door’s always open with a new linky starting on the last Friday of the month…


And if you’d like to add my badge, it’s at the bottom of this post.  Thanks.

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Now on to my best reads of recent months (as ever, it’s a varied and interesting list and some really are from the archives of my bookmarked reads!):

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Why a classic heroine earns my respect

Classic Heroine earns my Respect Empowered Confident Pride and Prejudice Adaptation

Why a classic heroine earns my respect

Recently, I’ve rekindled my love of reading again but there’s something about cosying up with nibbles to watch a good screen adaptation isn’t there?  There aren’t that many adaptations that get it just right though.  Yes, there are lots of fantastic period dramas out there but none top the adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice by Andrew Davis.  I mean written by Jane Austen obviously but adapted to the screen by Andrew Davis for the BBC.  I reckon I could hold my own in a pub quiz dedicated to this particular adaptation of ‘P&P’.  I studied the book at A-level (high school exams for my non-UK readers) and then wrote my uni dissertation on the adaptation.  Yes, I studied it for hours on my old VHS video recorder and my VHS video tapes were very well worn by the time I submitted my 10,000 word work.

A labour of love

When I moved house and came across the old videos, the happy memories of the labour of love came flooding back to me.  I kept the videos for old time’s sake but when I was supposed to be packing (!), I binge-watched the DVD and it was a whole different world!  Watching it on a modern TV like an hdr tv Panasonic took the viewing experience to a whole new level.  I wonder what Jane Austen would think?!

I also wonder what Austen would have made of the modern world, with empowered women being encouraged to be themselves?

Classic Heroine earns my Respect Empowered Confident Pride and Prejudice Adaptation

A mind of her own

There was a book that accompanied the adaptation which told of how important it was to get the casting right and I think they got it pretty spot-on.  Jennifer Ehle played Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine who stubbornly refused to wed the fop and dandy Mr Collins.  I say refused but really it was only her humorously daft mother, Mrs Bennet who was intent on the match.  Her father was right there behind his daughter cheering her on from the sidelines, never doubting that she had a mind of her own.

That’s what I love about how Jane Austen portrays Elizabeth Bennet.  In an age where social etiquette was assemblies and chaperones, marriage dowries and taking walks, Elizabeth was willfully opinionated and stubborn in a subtle way that kept her amused at all those assemblies.

I think I would have got on really well with Elizabeth Bennet.  Yes, I’d have made a good modern-day Charlotte Lucas (her friend) – just more empowered, more confident of my own mind and not married to Mr Collins!

Have you got a favourite classic (or contemporary) heroine who you respect?  I’d love to hear!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .

Thanks.

*This is a collaborative post

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The reading bug – a rare species?

Reading bug Bookworm Read Books Library Wellbeing Self Care

 The reading bug has well and truly bitten round here lately

I say ‘lately’ but it’s now May and I started reading again in January.  I was striving for some me-time, for some screen-free time (though I’m still toying with an e-reader of some form!) and to read something that’s, frankly, not blog-related!
Reading bug Bookworm Read Books Library Wellbeing Self Care

Yes, the reading bug has been a rare species around here.

I found a way to get back into reading when I stumbled upon Bookish Mamas (a reading group on facebook), got stuck into the first read and I was off!  I started reading that first book part way through January which gave me 2 weeks to finish it before the live discussion.  On average, I had to read 25 pages a day to be finished for the discussions.  And I did it! 🙂  I find that giving myself the goal of reading 25 pages a day works really well and spurs me on.  It’s manageable and I also feel like I’ve achieved something!
My book challenge is to read 12 books in 2018, so a book a month.  I’m smashing it and I’m loving it and actually addicted.  I’m something of a bookworm again.  The inconvenience of mundane, every day life can get in the way but I’ve managed to find time for my books.  I’ve only had to abandon one book because I wasn’t feeling it.

The library – an endangered species?

My current read, “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a library book.  We live in a small (but developing) town and I wasn’t sure if I’d have to pay to reserve a coy.  I didn’t, so I utilised my local library and am now whizzing through it!  I used to love taking our now 8yo to our library and love that I’m supporting our local again.  I love to do this because I feel like
Our 8yo is seeing me read every day/night and she does the same.  She’s got the reading bug too and what a great hobby to have!  We’ve just had the most glorious Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and I’ve taken a dive right into my reading.
When I was growing up, it was rare for my Mum not to have a book on the go.  In fact, I’d like to bet that there was never a time when she didn’t.
It’s such a great hobby to have.  There are so many genres out there; fact or fiction, long or short, different formats.  However or wherever you choose to read, whatever genre or format, it doesn’t matter!  In our fast-paced digital world, with so much online, isn’t it lovely to have a chance to slow down, even to stop, to breathe and to escape.

Let’s get reading!

Have you got the reading bug?  Did someone close to you read a lot when you were younger?  Do you like to read in front of your children to encourage reading?   I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.
 This post contains affiliate links.

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5 ways to get back into reading

5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

5 ways to get back into reading

 I’ve always loved reading.  I can remember sitting on a bean bag in my bedroom one Sunday afternoon aged around 8, reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.  I was totally absorbed in this magical story, my imagination working with the words that Blyton weaved, meeting all the magical tree folk.
As I grew up, I remember reading the box sets of St Clares and Mallory Towers.  Then there was Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High.  There came a time when I started to read some of the books that my Mum read (and still reads today) but I found the genre (war-time sweethearts tales and the like) too predictable.  They were probably the latter day version of what is today referred to as ‘chick-lit’ (which I’m not drawn to either!)
At A-Level English, I loved studying the themes of a play, poem or story and picking it all to bits.

Being inspired by reading to a child  

Then I had our now 8 year old and of course, I read children’s stories instead.  But this intrigued me too.  How the use of rhyme and rhythmn completely entranced her (and me), how she would ask for the same stories over and over and over again!
I was inspired to write my own children’s series which is still waiting in the wings for a publisher.
As I was saying, due to the time restraints of having a growing baby, working and keeping a home (and blog!) ticking over, reading just never happened for a good few years.

When it all changed

That has all changed this year though.  I stumbled upon a post on instagram from Lucy of Mrs Hs Favourite Things.  She was holding a book which was a read in the Bookish Mamas facebook reading group.  With just a couple of clicks on my phone, I was back in the swing of reading again.  And I love it!  I even like the fact that I’ve given up on the latest group read because when I really don’t like a book, I don’t see the point in going through the pain!  But I love that it’s opening up new genres to me.  Books that I wouldn’t even have considered, I have read since January.  I’ve got back into my GoodReads account, have a long list waiting to be read and bought a delicious new book last week – The Mitford Murders.  Don’t you love the feel of a crisp new book?
And I’m even ahead in my reading challenge!
5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

So if like me, you’ve let reading slack because of ‘life’, here are 5 ways to get back into reading

Join a reading group  – Bookish Mamas on facebook is a great place to start.  It’s useful to find one that does discussion threads on the books too, which helps to make sense of a book you didn’t get and also gets you involved if you did like it!
If you don’t enjoy a particular book, accept it, give it up and browse some more titles.  This happened to me just this month.  I was trying hard (too hard?), to get into the group read and ended up getting too distracted by all the things I could have been doing instead.  Not exactly condusive to a relaxing read so I gave up and started a shorter book which means that I’ll hopefully be finished in time for the next read!
Take part in a reading challenge.  I’m sure you can do this on your own or as part of a reading group challenge.  But I’m doing it through my GoodReads account.  I love that it’s a little community and that my reading list is ever growing due to the numberous recommendations that pop up every time I go on!  But that’s spurring me on to read even more 🙂
Set aside time for reading every. single. day.  Because that’s how habits are formed.  For me, as part of my screen-free commitment, having something to do apart from those little jobs around the house for half an hour before bed, means I get my reading time in.  Tricky if you’re got a very good book though!
Try different genres.  There are 2 sides to this.  The book that I abandoned was a memoir and not a genre that I’ll rush to again but now I know!  And I gave it a go!  And that’s what I love about getting into reading again as part of a group.
If you’re on GoodReads and would like to be my friend on there, I’m Carol Cameleon 🙂   It might be an idea to add a comment below so that I know who you are!
Do you enjoy reading?  Did you have a lapse and how did you get back into it?  Got any recommendations?   I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.
 This post contains affiliate links.

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Best Blogs to Read in #AllSortsofBlogs 71

AllSortsofBlogs Best Blogs To Read Blog Linky Party Blog Hop Grab Badge 70 Poem Parenting

Welcome to AllSortsofBlogs

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

AllSortsofBlogs Best Blogs To Read Blog Linky Party Blog Hop Grab Badge 70 Poem Parenting

This is where I share #AllSortsofBlogs in my pick of the best blogs to read from recent weeks (or months!).  Feel free to add any or all of your favourite posts to the linky.  I’ll share all posts across my various social media ~ twitter, pinterest, g+.

The door’s always open with a new linky starting on the last Friday of the month…


And if you’d like to add my badge, it’s at the bottom of this post.  Thanks.

~

Now on to my best reads of recent months (as ever, it’s a varied and interesting list!):

Continue reading

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Why you should get on your bike

Why You Should Get On Your Bike Wellbeing Mental Physical Outdoors Biking Cycling

Why you should get on your bike

Before we moved house, I used to bike to work.  It took around 30 minutes and although I would often feel sluggish and have the can’t-be-bothered mentality before I started out, once I’d arrived I felt great.  There’s nothing like a good bike ride to wake you up!

 

That feeling of being invigorated from biking before you start work is something else.  I used to be cautious being out on the road on my bike, concerned about that car or van that was just a bit too close for comfort.  But when I heard about the general accident contact number, I got my confidence back.  The benefits of biking pushed me to get back to pedalling too.  It helps to lower your blood pressure and therefore reduce stress for starters.  I’d cross paths with colleagues in the corridors after locking my bike up in the secure bike shed and they’d be heading straight to get a coffee.  Not me.  No need with all that fresh air pumping through me!  If you could bottle the ‘just biked’ feeling, you’d never look back.  Once you’ve started biking and you remember that feeling, it makes getting into gear so much easier.  You don’t have to go far to get kitted out either.

Why You Should Get On Your Bike Wellbeing Mental Physical Outdoors Biking Cycling

Admittedly, it took me a while to get used to biking after however many years of driving.  First there was getting used to the saddle, which I changed to a more comfortable one.  Boy do you know about it when your saddle’s too hard!  Then there’s making sure your helmet’s the right fit and is actually fitted on your head properly.  Not forgetting the lights of course.  It’s useful to get the sort that you can easily snap on and off, making them portable and not open for the taking…  talking of which, you can get kits to security mark your bike too.  Very handy and good to know.  The security markers are often only visible under infra-red but you can of course put a visual deterrent on your bike too.  A good lock is essential for any bike owner.

 

You can accessorise with a pretty bell and you can even get bluetooth speakers for your bike now too… with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes!

It’s a good idea to build your bike ride into your routine if you can, that’s when it becomes a habit.  And what a great habit to have.  There’s no easier way to build a bike ride into your routine than pedalling to and from work!  That habit loop lifts your spirits and is the perfect antidote for our busy lives, helping to keep us in top condition, mentally and physically.  All in all it’s great for your wellbeing.

 

Why stop at the weekend?  With a range of bikes for men, women, kids and also unisex, there’s really no reason not to get out and get into the fresh air!

Have you got on your bike lately?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .

Thanks.

*This is a collaborative post

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Best Blogs to Read in #AllSortsofBlogs 70

AllSortsofBlogs Best Blogs To Read Blog Linky Party Blog Hop Grab Badge 70 Poem Parenting

Welcome to AllSortsofBlogs

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

AllSortsofBlogs Best Blogs To Read Blog Linky Party Blog Hop Grab Badge 70 Poem Parenting

This is where I share #AllSortsofBlogs in my pick of the best blogs to read from recent weeks.  Feel free to add any or all of your favourite posts to the linky.  I’ll share all posts across my various social media ~ twitter, pinterest, g+.

The door’s always open with a new linky starting on the last Friday of the month…


And if you’d like to add my badge, it’s at the bottom of this post.  Thanks.

~

Now on to my best reads of recent months (as ever, it’s a varied and interesting list!):

Continue reading

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Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make

chocolate egg heads

For a chocoholic, this is the ultimate heaven isn’t it?  Layers of chocolate all melted together to make a chocolate egg!  Yum!

We tried out a pack that came with full instructions, a mould, a cute little chef’s hat. decorations and, importantly the belgian chocolate drops.

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

I could have eaten these quite easily on their own but ‘luckily’ our 8 yo daughter was there to keep me on the straight and narrow…

So we started off melting the chocolate and because it was good quality, it was a smooth operation.  We then followed the instructions and added a layer to the moulds.

When I read the instructions, I thought it sounded a bit complicated, long-winded and far too techy for a chocoholic mum and her eager 8 yo.  Layering, leaving to cool, layering again and again…  I was a bit sceptical at how our egg would turn out.

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, I was pleasantly surprised.  I mean, we’re not going to be chocolatiers anytime soon but the layers actually worked!  We had made our own chocolate egg.  Very impressive… er so impressive that we broke a bit off to try and ended up devouring the whole lot before my camera had a look-in!  Now that’s a testimonial to the taste of the chocolate.  I don’t ‘do’ cheap, tacky chocolate.  Life’s too short and I’d rather have good quality stuff that melts in your mouth and leaves you licking the inside of your mouth deliciously.

On that basis alone, I’d highly recommend the chocolate egg kit as a fun activity.  It goes great with a decaf.  Oh and wine too!  It’s often the case that with kits containing sweets or foodie things, that you don’t quite get enough, or ‘just’ enough to do the job properly.  In this case, we got generous helpings and even had enough to stick with tradition and lick the bowl.  I say ‘we’ but you know that never happens when you’ve got an 8 yo in tow!

At £12 a kit, this is really good value and I’d highly recommend doing this.

You can visit ChoconChoc’s website and follow them on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and you tube .

What about you?  Have you tried making your own chocolate eggs?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.

Thanks.

*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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5 reasons pets are good for a child

5 reasons pets are good for a child

Being a household with 2 pets, I don’t need any convincing as to the benefits of our pets on our 8 year old daughter.  They have and continue to teach her very important life skills.  I’d like to share with you 5 reasons pets are good for a child (with a little help from some lovely blogging friends):
5 Reasons Pets are Good for a Child

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Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

You know when you just want to get snuggly and cosy?  If your home is anything like mine, you’ll be all snuggly in one room, off you go to bed and you get into your cold bed!  Well, not anymore!  Our old hot water bottle had been well-loved, well-used and become unsafe because the rubber had perished.

Enter stage left, this cute owl hot water bottle from The Hot Water Bottle Shop!  I mean, just look at it, begging to be cuddled and snuggled!

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing 2

What I love about it

What I particularly love about this cover is that it’s quirky.  It’s not just any old cover you might get from your local chemist or from a hardware store.  It’s inviting, it’s easy to open, easy to slide your water bottle inside and easy to do up again.

This one has a button which might appear fiddly but it’s not.  It not only keeps your hot water bottle ‘hot’ but it keeps is secure too.  Over the years I’ve found that some covers stretch and you wake up stuck to a hot water bottle that’s now tepid and has left an imprint in your thigh!  Not so snuggly!

What about the price?

At £18.99, this is very good value in my opinion.  The cover is well made and has stood the test over several months in my clutches and through the Beast from the East (if you’re reading this in ‘archive mode’, do you remember that storm?!).  You really can’t get a better test than that!

As the product description says, this: uses an ultra-modern, thermoplastic rubberless design which does not only make it easy-to-use and comfortable but eco-sustainable too. This product is made from 80% renewable materials, is PVC free, recyclable and unlike may other hot water bottle odourless.

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Not only is the bottle odourless, but you can freshen up the washable cover too.  Win, win!

You can follow the Hot Water Bottle Shop on twitter, facebook and instagram.

What about you?  Have you snuggled up with your hot water bottle lately?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.

Thanks.

*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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