I might have mentioned before that the reason I hadn’t written much (or published book reviews for a bit) was the fact that my daughter’s birthday was fast approaching and I was getting things organised. I was under the illusion that, being in June, I would be granted with a day like the day she was born – hot and bright and a lovely day to have a picnic in the park. So I invited her little friends to the park and made all this – only to end up having the party in my lounge, as it rained. A lot. But it didn’t stop us having lots of fun.
This is my desk. Not quite the picnic hotspot I had in mind. But it served us well. A bit too small, but not too bad.
The baskets were the hardest bit. I couldn’t find one that had a handle and was small enough for little ones. I ended up finding these and tying a ribbon to serve as a handle.
Cupcakes in a jar were found on Pinterest. I love the idea and everyone obviously love them too, as there were only 3 left (they were not hidden but in a different room for some reason, I found them after everyone had left). I am yet to try one but everyone keeps telling me they were wonderful.
Lily’s favourite drink!
The party bags: I could write an essay about party bags. I very much dislike the plastic things we normally get in a party bag. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort that goes into making a party, getting everything together and my daughter always loves whatever comes inside them, but when it’s my turn to make them, I feel like I’m wasting my money on things people will throw in the bin at the first chance they have. So this year’s favours of choice were sunflower pots, windmills and trowels, because Lily seems to be really into gardening, so I’m assuming every other 3-4 year old will be too. Everyone commented that they were so original (even though I’m sure it’s been done before) and different, so I’m happy. And they cost under £3 per bag, so not too bad for something that will last (at least a bit) longer.
Thank all our friends for the wonderful day! Lily loved her party so much she didn’t want people to leave. (And a special thank you to my husband, Mr Welshman, for putting up with me in the kitchen with a paper cutter for a couple of weeks. You’re a star! ❤❤ )
** This post might contain spoilers! **
Should I start saying why I should’ve been writing here but I wasn’t? Well, I decided holidays should be holidays and stayed away from the interwebs as much as I could. As soon as I set foot in this country, I starting planning/preparing/organising/panicking over my daughter’s birthday party (it will be next Saturday, expect photos). So I have a pile of book reviews to publish – I will try two this week and two more the next.
So, the book I chose to review first was Lisa Jewell’s latest offering, Before I met you. I had read two of her books previously, The making of us and The truth about Melody Browne (which I thought I had reviewed but I can’t find it anywhere so I probably haven’t) and I loved both of them, so I was expecting great things from this one – and I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.
It tells the story of two women of a similar age living their lives and discovering themselves in London. One in 1920 and one in 1995. Grandmother and granddaughter. Betty, the granddaughter, heads to London after her grandmother dies and a woman no one has ever heard of in is named in her will. She tries to find out who the woman is and ends up finding out this whole fascinating world in which her grandmother lived in.
I loved the book and sailed through it in a couple of days – despite the fact that the paperback version of it is well over 500 pages long. The chapter’s alternate between 1920-ish and 1995 and when one chapter ended and it returned to the other, it always left me wishing to jump to the next bit of that era – regardless of which one it was! But I must confess the 20s were my favourite bit, imagining how London was back then, just wonderful. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the love triangle. It was predictable, a bit meh – just like every other chick lit book about, that being one of the reasons chick lit is not a genre I’m attracted to. That being said, I find Lisa Jewell’s writing to be above most chick lit authors so she’s forgiven.
I honestly can’t wait to read her next book – or one of her old ones if I can find them at my local library.
** This book was sent to me to be reviewed by Random House. The opinion about it is entirely my own. **
We’re going to Brazil next week – taking advantage of the fact that L is still at nursery and we don’t need to pay rip-off summer holiday prices. It’s the 4th time we are going with Lily and she is normally very well behaved but you can never foresee how a child will behave one year on from their last long haul flight (11 hours, mind!). We’re preparing ourselves for the trip at the moment, so I thought I would share some tips that are the very opposite of some advice available on the web:
- You don’t need an iPad. It seems every single post-iPad collection of travelling with toddler tips includes one. Well, we don’t have one and we are definitely not buying one just for this single purpose. Rather than splashing money on a gadget, pick a good airline with good onboard entertainment. Last year, L had fun watching cartoons on the little tv – she couldn’t care less they were in French.
- If your child likes books, buy some new ones. Not only they will get excited by the novelty of it, but also remember you are going to be reading the books you take. For 11 hours. Over and over again.
- Last, and possible most controversial, don’t be afraid to pick day flights. Specially if you are not sure your child is a sleeper. During the night, people just want one thing: sleep. If you are not sure if the excitement will be too much for your child to sleep, pick a day flight.
Well, these are the things we are doing this time. On Tuesday – or maybe Wednesday – I will come back and tell you if my plan worked. Wish me luck.
Hello, everyone… it’s been a while *hides in shame*. Well, I have spent the last month or so dealing with myself, wondering if I really want to do blogging any more. I wasn’t sure and was on the verge of giving it all up when Random House gave me a kick on the backside and sent me FOUR books to review. And I really like reviewing books, so how could I stop blogging? Here I am, writing again. I’m trying to make this place look like me – somewhere I would really like to come and write, not just a random piece of webspace. So, I’m tidying up. And reading. And I promise I’ll be writing much more, starting now.
I shall be doing something silly for money later – sillier than my hair! It involves doing three things I can’t do: playing the guitar, singing and speaking Spanish. Wait and see!
You know, sometimes there is something you really love doing. And then you are there doing it and then something happens and it’s like a brick wall. That’s exactly what has happened to me and reading. “Rumours”, Freya North’s newest book (I think?) happened. It’s not that it’s a bad book. It’s just that sometimes reading doesn’t flow. It’s been 3 weeks now and I’m still on page 30-something. I think I will just skip to the next one and write about cooking and cleaning or something. I might come back to it after the next. Watch this space.
Sometimes you try to be positive. You use all your energy and the cognitive behaviour stuff you have learned from therapy. Still not enough to turn a truly rubbish day into a slightly better one. You’ve got a massive headache that paracetamol won’t fix. You realise the saved draft of your 1,000 word blog post in fact only contains 2 lines. Then you find out your aunt passed away. I guess that’s pretty bad by anyone’s standards. So I’m gonna go and deal with it. There will be no book this week – not because of today, more because of the fact Freya North and I didn’t get along very well on the first try, I will try again.
I would like to write something nice but I can’t think of anything. The words will come, I am sure. Eventually.
I didn’t have to open this book, or even read the back cover, to know it was chick lit. The cover says it all and chose it deliberately. I needed a light read.
After reading about half of the book, I was sure how it was going to end. And I was very right. So it’s that predictable. Is it a bad thing? Not necessarily. Sometimes we just want a happy end.
The book tells the story of Alice, a Assistant Editor (or is Editor Assistant? I already returned it to the library!) that finds herself responsible for a major project when her boss falls ill. She’s then shipped to Italy with a world-famous Hollywood to get his autobiography finished. Do you know how it’s going to end already? Probably not the way you think, but close enough. The book is written in first person, in the present. Not my favourite, to be honest, I quite enjoy knowing what is happening to other characters when the narrator is not around. It works though, you “become” Alice and sort of empathise with her. But how believable are the other characters? Not at all and that sort of makes the book. It’s like a romantic comedy film in writing.
Despite all of its small flaws, I found it well written enough and most people who like chick lit will like this. A very quick read – took me 24 hours from start to finish, and I did sleep 8-ish hours, cooked two meals and did all my housewifery duties. I am not a fan of the genre but would recommend the book if that’s the kind of literature you enjoy. I wouldn’t buy it though as I find it very unlikely that anyone would want to read it more than once. And I would definitely read Nicola’s next books (this is her first, I think) if that was the sort of read I was after.