Tuesday, 28 March 2017

On Moving House and Big Plans... ǀ Lifestyle

Living in a rented house pretty much guarantees that at some point you are going to have to move on.  I totally get that and it's something which we have resigned ourselves to over the years and yet each time we are forced to move on, it feels like the rug has been pulled yet again from under our feet.

We have been in the North West for just over 3 years now and were finally beginning to feel settled.  The cynic in me clamours for attention, shouting that this was absolutely the time when things would have to change whilst the realist buried somewhere underneath reminds me that long-term just doesn't mean long-term in the world of renting any more and we were never going to be truly settled whilst living in a house which was not our own.

Regardless of whether I choose to listen to the cynic or the realist, it doesn't stop the whole situation from being utterly frustrating and not something we were prepared to deal with this year.  2017 was going to be OUR year.  It's the year I turn 30 and we celebrate 10 years of marriage.  It's the year we see my brother in law and my sister get married (not to each other!) with James being best man at one wedding and me, maid of honour at the other.  It's the year we go to Tuscany for a romantic break without the kids and the year I go to Chicago on my own.  There was so much for us to look forward to but also the type of year where we really just had to fly by the seat of our pants as there is so much to arrange and organise but it was going to be amazing and we were going to spend the majority of 2018 recovering.  In all of that, a house move really wasn't on the cards.

Yet here we are.

If you had asked me two years ago whether we were going to stay in our current village I would have let out a resounding NO.  There were issues with school mums, lack of friends, a feeling of isolation and just so many reasons why I was practically begging James on a daily basis to let me look for another house.  But we practised patience, and I walked through the rubbish situations and I tried to learn from them and I waited and eventually things evened out and we felt settled.


Isn't that just the way?

There is pressure on us to make a decision about how we are going to handle this situation and currently we are considering a move which we have floated a few times but never really had the guts to go for (see above).  It doesn't mean moving far by any means but it would mean moving the kids into a new school, and getting used to a new area.  It would mean starting again with making friends and settling in.  It would mean another new house and another period of uncertainty.  But it would also mean an exciting new chapter and an adventure and just maybe and this is a very BIG maybe, the possibility of a house we could truly stay in for the long term.

It's the kind of decision which I would love time to mull over and contemplate and yet it is actually one we have to make in a fairly short space of time.  Which is pretty terrifying, but also kind of exciting.  The wandering spirit in me thrills at the idea of something shiny and new, the opportunities it might present and the chance to do things better.  I just need to hush the worrier in me which tells me the kids will struggle with changing schools and we will be back to square one with lack of friends and who will I drink wine with on a Friday night when I just need to let my mama hair down...

So rambling post and splurge of thoughts aside, we are definitely going to be moving house, but to exactly where and exactly when, I don't yet know.  With so much happening, you will have to forgive me if this little corner of the web becomes a bit sparse.  I will sit and write when I have the brain space but that may not be as often as I would like in the next few weeks.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

5 Reasons to Service Your Car Regularly

With winter officially finished and summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about giving your car a little love.  Spring is typically the time when people start to clear their homes out and get ready for the new season and we should take the time to do this for our cars as well.

Safety
Making sure that you get your car serviced regularly is a great to have peace of mind that everything in your car is working as it should and that your car is safe to drive.  Over time, general wear and tear issues can become larger problems if left unchecked, a regular service will highlight any potential issues and enable you to nip them in the bud.  Just because you don't have warning lights flashing, don't assume that everything is okay in your car...get it serviced to make 100% sure.

Save money
As I mentioned above, getting your car regularly serviced can bring to light potential problems which, if left unchecked could turn into bigger and more expensive issues.  Better to get something dealt with whilst it is only a minimal outlay than to have a seriously expensive matter on your hands.  Consider something as straightforward as getting your oil changed versus having engine problems because you've been driving without oil.  There are so many places which offer good value for money too these days, whether you need a new exhaust or a new car battery; for example, somewhere such as Ossett Tyres is a great option.  Your car battery is an essential part of your car; without it you won't be able to start your car, let alone do anything else so ensuring you have a well running car battery is essential.

In addition to this, cars which are well looked after are often more efficient, meaning you will spend less on fuel outgoings month to month too.




Get the most out of your car
A car which is well looked after is a car which will last longer so a regular service can ensure that your car really does go the distance, so to speak.  It might seem like an effort to take it to be serviced, or to get issues sorted quickly but if you factor the cost of getting a new car then suddenly it doesn't seem like such a big issue!

Retain its value
Although this might not necessarily be something you are considering right now, if the time comes for you to want to sell your car and get something newer then by getting your car regularly serviced you are going to have helped your car to retain some of its value, meaning you get more money for it when you sell it, and more to put towards new wheels.



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tips to Love Your Car Again

With National Car Care Month just around the corner, this week I thought I would share with you some basic tips on how to love your car again.  We have been quite lucky in that over the last few years we've had a number of new cars through James' work which we haven't had to worry about maintaining but for the school run I drive a little Peugeot run-around which has had its fair share of visits to the garage.

Cars are something we rely on a lot and yet sometimes it can be all too easy to let small issues fall to the side, which can then become bigger issues until you are faced with a car that doesn't run effectively or efficiently and maybe even one which is going to cost a lot to become roadworthy again (I've been there with smoke issuing from the bonnet as you drive down the motorway, it's not fun.  Trust me.)

So if you need some inspiration on how to give your car a little love over the next month then read on:-


Clean it up
It is amazing how a simple clean can make your car feel shiny and new again.  For a real winner, you are better going to a car handwash rather than through a mechanical wash and often the handwash companies will also clean the inside of your car for a little extra.  We have a great local company and they always do a good job.  I'm not just talking about the quick, surface level clean but a real deep clean with the upholstery getting a good scrub and all those hard to reach places too.  You will be surprised at the difference it can make.

Get new tyres
If you are anything like me, it only ever occurs to me to think about changing my tyres when the MOT is looming but to make sure your car is running efficiently, you should regularly be checking your tyres, and getting them changed promptly when you need to.

Change the sound system
This is something which I have been considering for a while now; my car isn't that old but the sound system is nowhere near on a par with new cars and this not only makes me feel like I'm driving an old banger but it also means I can't listen to the type of music  I want to with ease.  It's not a cheap thing to do but it's also not a ridiculously expensive endeavour and I'm sure it will make my car feel like it has a new lease of life.


Sort the exhaust
You should have your exhaust checked at least once a year; it's surprising how much effect an exhaust has on the smooth running of your car and you may find that it makes a huge difference to the way your car handles if you get exhaust repairs for your car; somewhere such as Dat Tyres is a good option.

Replace the rubber
One thing I have noticed which is a constant issue with used cars is the build up of grime in the rubber surrounding the doors and windows.  I think my last used car had a whole habitat going on in the green moss which somehow crept in.  It's a bit of a brain ache to try and change the rubber but it's fairly easy to learn how, and incredibly cheap to do so.  Not only that but replacing the rubber will ensure that your car is properly insulated and can minimise outside noise when you are driving too.  To get car rubber replacement done you can check Coh Baines.

So there you go, just some easy and fairly inexpensive tips on how to give your car a new lease of life.

Do let me know if you have any other tips to add!


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Next Stop: Tuscany ǀ Travel

Now I know I may have casually mentioned this once or twice but this year we are celebrating two very special occasions: the first is my 30th birthday in May and the second is our 10th wedding anniversary in August.

In thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday, I knew there were a couple of things I would like to do.  I'm not great with the pressures of a bucket list (so out went the '30 before I'm 30' idea) but I did have some things in mind for ways to celebrate and one of those was a combined birthday-anniversary trip, just me and James.

For my 18th birthday I went to Rome and I absolutely adored it, but I haven't been back to Italy since so it was the first place which came to mind.  Let's not also forget that Prosecco is also my drink of choice so heading to wine country seemed like the ideal option.

We ummed and ahhed and wondered about leaving the kids for any great length of time; it's the first time the two of us will have been out of the country together, leaving the kids with their grandparents so it's a little bit stressful but I have to say that since we got our accommodation sorted I am really looking forward to it.

We will have three full days to explore, plus half a day when we land which we might use to see some of the main sights of Pisa before we head to our apartment and there is so much that I want to see and do.  We have yet to put our final plans in place but some of the things we are considering include:-

Visiting Volterra
We are actually staying somewhere near to Volterra and although I'd like to pretend that my love of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (it's my secret shame shhhh) has nothing to do with it, I'm actually pretty excited to go and visit.  There is plenty of history to be found in this walled town including Roman ruins which is something both of us will enjoy exploring.


Drinking Wine in Chianti
This may actually be the main reason we are visiting; the idea of sipping authentic Italian wine as I watch the sun set over the Tuscan hills with a good book in my hand is just about a dream come true and we will be right on the border of the Chianti region, giving me every excuse to consume as much wine as I can possibly get my hands on (reasonably and sensibly of course...)  There are countless wine tours to be enjoyed too and I've spotted a couple which are also combined with food tours; good food and good wine, what is not to love about that combination?!

A Day Trip to Florence
I doubt that it would be possible to capture everything that makes Florence amazing in just one day trip but it would be fantastic to try.  This historical city has been recommended to us by so many people that it would be a real shame to miss out on a visit here.  Attractions such as the Uffizi Gallery, San Lorenzo's Market, the Duomo and so much more...I really hope we can make it there, even if it's just for the day.

Taking A Dip in the Thermal Baths
Did you know there were thermal baths in the Tuscan region of Italy?  Me neither until I started delving deeper into things we could enjoy whilst on our trip.  Two such natural springs are located in Saturnia and also feature waterfalls: Cascate del Mulino and Cascate del Gorello.  Both these springs are open to the public and are free to enter which certainly makes them even more appealing!

Relaxing by the Pool
We are going to Italy in June so are fully prepared for the weather to be a little changeable but it would be nice if we could spend one of our days just chilling out by the pool.  As any parent will tell you, time spent with no interruptions is a precious commodity and to be able to spend quality time together, relaxing, well...the hard part for me will be not packing 20 books in my suitcase and then squirrelling myself away for 5 days!

If you've been to Tuscany then please let us know what you would recommend we see and do!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Hawaii, Wine and Feeling Proud... #LittleLoves

I spotted so many lovely spring related photos this week and I was so excited and then...then the rain came back!  We came so close though so actual warmer weather; it surely can't be too long before hanging washing on the line and sitting out in the garden become part of our every day again.

Read
I am currently reading a book called Moloka'i, which is set in Hawaii and is about the leprosy island they had during the late 1890's and 1900's.  I'm almost at the end and it has been a really fascinating look into Hawaiian culture and the history of leprosy.  I didn't know, for example, that Hawaii had no record of illnesses such as smallpox and leprosy before they began mixing with other cultures and that is why it hit the Hawaiian people so hard; as they had no natural immunity to it.  Fascinating fact for the day right there!


Watched
I've had such a lazy week, it has mostly consisted of putting the kids to bed and then going to bed myself and binge-watching Netflix.  I finished series one of Gilmore Girls and am well into the second series now.  We did watch Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them as well, James never got to see it in the cinema and as I am a huge Eddie Redmayne fan it just had to be done.

Made
I am so excited to announce that I have created an Instagram community for book related posts.  #ThatReadingLife is for anyone who wants to share what they are reading, or absolutely anything related to books.  If you've ever visited me on Insta you will know that I am a HUGE bookworm so I'm really looking forward to having people join in with me.


Wore
I'm not usually one for novelty clothing but I spotted this t-shirt a while back and absolutely fell in love.  As Eli kindly pointed out, I should wear it every day because that's how often I have a glass of wine in my hand*

*He isn't correct about that!


Heard
So I've been banging on about the fact that I turn 30 this year and I am planning to milk it for all its worth, WELL, we finally heard that we have some childcare sorted for a few months time so James and I can go away.  It'll be the longest we've been away from the kids together so I'm pretty nervous but I'm also now frantically hunting for bargain flights!

And Lastly...
Meg got chosen this week to represent her school in a 'gifted and talented' gymnastics event and I could not be more proud of her.  I wasn't allowed to attend unfortunately, but I didn't want it to pass without noting that she had done something amazing.  She's an out and out perfectionist and we've seen her struggle when she is surrounded by people who are better than her at things, often just walking away and giving up.  But she came home yesterday saying that although there were lots of people better than her, she had tried her hardest and knew what she wanted to work on to improve which is massive deal for her and made me all the more proud.



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Bidvine App ǀ Review

If you've ever sat in front of your computer or smartphone and wondered how to find competent, local services then you are not alone!  I have done this countless times over the years wondering how to find everything from plumbers to photographers.  

The trouble is, you can often spend hours scouring the internet looking for a company local to you but still have to send out a whole bunch of emails enquiring about prices and hunting down links of companies which are local and not national and so on.


So when I was invited to review the new Bidvine service, I was intrigued.  Bidvine claims to be 'the easiest way to find and hire local professionals to help accomplish your projects.  From doing your chores to pursuing your passions, Bidvine makes hiring trusted local service professionals ridiculously simply.'


The website is very straightforward to use; you choose the service that you would like and enter your postcode.  I chose Italian lessons as we are hoping to travel to Tuscany later in the year and it would certainly come in handy to have a few phrases up my sleeve!


Following the initial search I went through a series of questions, trying to narrow down my exact requirements.  For the language lessons these were focused around my grasp of reading and writing, what I was hoping to achieve, how long I wanted the lessons to be and how often etc etc.  These questions were detailed, which made me feel confident that I wouldn't be faced with sorting through bids from tutors who weren't able to meet my needs, something I thought would be very useful.

However, there was also the option to select 'not sure' so that if you didn't have an exact idea of what you wanted, that was okay too, you weren't forced to narrow down your selection.

Although I didn't submit my request (as providers are charged a small fee to bid for jobs),  Bidvine suggests that the first bids should begin to come in within a couple of hours, from professionals ready to offer their services and that for most jobs there are a minimum of two professional responses.  Of course this very much depends on the type of service you require and your location.


Once you have your response you can then move forward with contacting the providers who most closely matched your requirements and discussing things further, before you decide whether you want to go with a particular professional. 

There are a whole range of services available through Bidvine, from language lessons to domestic cleaning, interior decorating to man with a van.  

Bidvine have over 500 reviews on Trustpilot with an average score of 8.8 which definitely gives peace of mind that people have been using this service and finding it useful.  It strikes me as the kind of service you would want if you were keen to employ the services of a local company but didn't know where to begin looking.

It's also a great tool for small, local businesses who perhaps can't compete with national companies when it comes to scoring highly on a search engine, but who are able to offer a more direct and personalised service by contacting clients directly instead.  As a small business owner myself I fully understand how tricky this can be!

It is possible to access Bidvine online or through the app which can be downloaded onto tablet or smart phone.

Overall I was very impressed and I know that the next time I need a professional service, I've got somewhere to begin the search.


This is a collaborative post.  Bidvine contacted me and asked me to trial and review their service.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Fairy Glen, Lancashire ǀ Day Out

Every year we say that we are going to take some time to explore days out close to us; being smack in the middle of Merseyside and Lancashire we have a lot of picturesque and exciting locations just a short distance away and every now and then, we actually make good on our promise!

The Fairy Glen is somewhere we stumbled across last year (after driving past it goodness knows how many times) and it is now one of our favourite local spots.  I actually chose to film rather than taking a whole load of photos so if you want to see more of a our day out then scroll down to the bottom to watch our vlog.

Situated in West Lancashire, close to Parbold Hill, Fairy Glen is an area of natural beauty which follows Sprodley Brook.  The brook has gradually cut through the underlying sandstone to create a valley which has waterfalls, cliff faces, plenty of wildlife and trees and...of course, lots of places for little fairies to hid out!

There isn't any designated parking for Fairy Glen but as you come down the other side of Parbold Hill you will find a layby on the left hand side, which is where people usually choose to park.  It does mean you have to cross the main road however, with cars going at around 60mph.


It was a lovely mild day when we chose to visit which meant there were only one or two spaces left in the layby but honestly, once we were in the Glen it barely felt like there was anybody else around us.  The recent Storm Doris and generally miserable rainy weather meant that it was quite muddy and the brook was gurgling along quite happily which the kids absolutely loved.


We have been in various seasons now and there is always something new to see.  Both Meg 
and Eli absolutely adore trying to spot 'fairy houses' (usually just holes in the bottom of trees) and wading into the water getting as wet as humanly possible.  It is definitely a place for wellies and waterproofs.


There are a number of different paths you can take and a couple of waterfalls to enjoy along the way.  On a drier day it would be perfect to take a picnic and soak up the fresh air; it honestly feels as though you are way out into the countryside and not minutes from a national speed limit road!


The kids are just utterly fascinated with the waterfalls and the brook in general and it's very safe for them to run off ahead which is just perfect for Eli who likes to do everything at top speed.  We passed a couple of other people walking their dogs but other than that we pretty much felt like we had the place to ourselves.

If you aren't too mucky after your wander through the Fairy Glen then there are also a couple of great places to eat nearby.  Back up Parbold Hill, right at the top (with some pretty stunning views) is Miller & Carter Parbold which is currently undergoing refurbishment, reopening on the 17th March and in the opposite direction in Appleby Bridge you will find Pesto which serves Italian food.

Overall, the perfect place to spend a mild day in March and definitely one we will be returning to in future.



Friday, 10 March 2017

Spring, Being Intentional and Laid Back Plans... #LittleLoves

Dare I say it...but spring feels like it has finally shown up!  As I write this I have washing on the line and the sun is beaming in through my study window and it feels as though we may have said goodbye to the grey storm clouds.  For a little while at least.

As it is Friday (again!) it's time for my Little Loves round-up post:-

Read
I am currently reading A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart.  It suddenly seemed to pop up everywhere with people really praising it so I included it in my last book order and so far it is living up to expectations.  It is based on the author's own experiences with his son and is about a father whose son has autism and how he has to learn to rediscover his son and at the same time find a way to live.  I've not found it particularly moving yet but I'm only 100 pages or so in but it's been very amusing so far.  I love the voice that the author is using and have found it to be very authentic.


Watched
I decided to go a bit retro this week and watch Men In Black.  I'm not sure why but I just felt like sticking a DVD on which wasn't going to be too taxing on my brain and which I had seen and enjoyed before and this one jumped out at me.  Will Smith at his best, definitely.

Made
For a while now I have been thinking of ways in which I can make my time working at home more intentional and less chaotic and I sat down this week and actually wrote down some ideas of how I can do that.  I downloaded a timer app to help me and although I only did it towards the latter end of the week, I can already see a difference.  So I guess you could say I made some progress in the right direction?!

Wore
Dare I say it but...I wore sunglasses this week and I went out without my winter coat!  Thursday especially was a gorgeous day and I really noticed the warmth of the sun when I was out walking the dog mid-afternoon.  There's something about the sunshine and the clear days which just lifts the spirits and I always think I'm so much more productive on days like that.

Heard
My loves all seem to be going along the same lines this week (you can tell where my focus has been...) but as part of being more intentional and making the most of my time, I've been looking at ways to have noise in the background which helps fill the silence but doesn't distract me into singing along.  I found these Harry Potter sounds after watching a friend's Youtube video on being organised and my favourites are definitely the Common Rooms.  Such a nostalgic but effective idea!

And Lastly...
We don't have any plans this weekend but with the weather said to be reaching a balmy 14 degrees I am hoping we can get out and enjoy some fresh air.  And...like a true vlogger, maybe film some Day in the Life stuff as well!


Have a great week all.




Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Museum of Liverpool ǀ Day Out

With Storm Doris in full swing and nothing but rain clouds on the horizon, we decided to head into the city to take advantage of one of the fantastic free museums which are on offer in Liverpool.  We have visited most of the museums and galleries in Liverpool but somehow the Museum of Liverpool always seemed to escape our notice, so that is where we headed.

We couldn't escape a walk along the Docks before we headed in and although it was incredibly windy, the kids loved watching as the waters of the Mersey splashed up against the walls; with some force I might add!


The Museum of Liverpool is the newest addition to the National Museums Liverpool group and opened in 2011.  It sits right on the waterfront and offers an insight into the diverse history of the city with plenty of interactive galleries to keep children entertained alongside galleries which follow the development of Liverpool and how the current city was shaped by the port, the people and the geography.

There are three floors to the museum and although it isn't huge, it certainly took us a good few hours to wander round all the different exhibitions and if we'd not had the kids with us and had actually had time to properly look at each and every thing there, it could have easily taken us a lot longer.



The first thing we did on arrival (after exploring the Lambananas which are outside of course) was grab tickets from the Welcome Desk for the next Little Liverpool session.  This is a hands-on gallery which is solely for children under the age of six, although Meg still got something  out of it, and it allows younger children to engage with their imaginations whilst also learning something about the city of Liverpool.  The session lasts about 30 minutes and as there is limited space, entry is by free ticket from the desk as you enter the museum.

As you wander around the museum you can also look out for the character Winnie the Spider who is placed near interactive elements designed for a younger audience.



It would take far too long to break down each section of the museum but the parts which we particularly enjoyed included the Little Liverpool session, the Liverpool Overhead Railway and Wondrous Place which was all about the writers, performers, musicians, artists, comedians and sports people who have emerged from Liverpool.


Meg and Eli are both big Beatles fans so they were fascinated by this section of the gallery and spent a long time seeing what they could learn.

We paid a visit to the Waterside Cafe which was well priced; we arrived just as they were about to stop serving food so we didn't get to eat the freshest of foods but it was fairly priced and had a nice view out over the Lambananas so we weren't complaining.




From the top floor of the museum you also get a pretty stunning view across the Mersey and the Docks as well as towards the Three Graces (The Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building)  which are directly across the way.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit and got to discover some new and interesting things about the city.  I, for one, hadn't realised how long the docks actually were when Liverpool was at the height of the export and import industry, the docks which are still standing today are significantly shorter.


I would definitely combine it with a trip to Albert Dock or one of the other waterside museums if you had time.  You can see my post here for details of our trip the last time we visited.

Or take a look at our Day in the Life vlog if you want some more insight into what we got up to.




Wednesday, 8 March 2017

February Reads ǀ Books & Reading

I'm a little late in sharing the books I read in the month of February which I am putting down to the craziness of the last week or two.  I seem to have fallen behind in everything but when it comes to reading and the TBR I set for myself at the start of the month, I don't think I have done too badly.

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
At 864 pages I should probably have only chosen this book to read in the month of February, especially as it has long been my book nemesis!  I joined an online book club called MotherBookers and this was their first book pick so I decided to just get on and give it a go.  It took me an absolute age to get through and I can't say that I enjoyed it very much.  It's about a young boy called Theo Decker who loses his mother in a terrorist attack at the start of the book (so not a spoiler don't worry!), Theo's dad is an alcoholic and he doesn't have any contact with him so he is taken in by the wealthy family of a school friend.  We then follow Theo's life as he tries to make sense of his grief, becomes a teenager, makes some pretty poor decisions before we leave him when he is in his mid-twenties.  Threaded through this narrative is a connection to a famous painting called The Goldfinch which was/is important to Theo and his mother.

I have heard so many people wax lyrical about this book and I can certainly say that Donna Tartt has a beautiful way with words but I thought the book was far too long, I couldn't connect with Theo as a character AT ALL and I felt as though I dragged myself through the 800 pages.  But I've read it now and can finally tick it off the list!

Walking Wounded - Anna Franklin Osborn
I then read an e-book which I had been sent and which I reviewed in full in a separate post.  You can read that here.  This is a family saga which covers a vast period of time from the end of the First World War through to the 1950s and the Ten Pound Poms.  It was an incredibly short read and I did quite enjoy it.


I'm Travelling Alone - Samuel Bjork
I needed a book to redeem my reading experience and this book was just that.  A debut novel this is the first in a series about detectives Holger and Munch.  It is classed as Nordic Noir and is a psychological thriller set in Norway which sees Munch's team of detectives trying to catch a serial killer who is abducting and murdering young girls.  It was twisty and spine-tingly and I loved it.

A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah
This is a memoir of Ishmael Beah's time as a boy soldier in Sierra Leone in the 1990s.  It was moving and insightful and I was horrified by some of the information he puts across.  I had expected it to cover more of the experiences Ishmael Beah had whilst he was a boy soldier but this was more about his personal journey to redemption and self-forgiveness which I completely understand as I can't even begin to imagine how it must have been to be 13 years old and conscripted into the government army after being displaced from your family and village.  It was incredibly short and I'm so glad I read it.

Do let me know what books you have been reading this month or whether you have read any of these.


This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Favourite Books, Great Covers and Wellies... #LittleLoves

I sat down to write today's Little Loves post and realised that I haven't updated the blog a single time this week...it has literally been that crazy!

Eli was off school ill on Wednesday and Thursday which totally threw me and had me working until the late hours so I could keep on top of my work which hasn't helped but thankfully he is back to school today so I should be able to get some serious writing time in.

All this means I'm a little light on photos for this week's post but I didn't want to miss the chance to share about some of the smaller things I've loved this week.

Read
I mentioned 'I'm Travelling Alone' last week and can I just say it was AMAZING.  If you like super creepy, spine tingling books then I would highly recommend it.  After that I picked up 'A Long Way Gone' by Ishmael Beah which is his memoir about his time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone.  It was an absolutely devastating read and reminded me so much of the people I met whilst I was out in Uganda who had also been affected by war.  I knew it was going to be a tough read and would probably have me in tears and I wasn't wrong.

I'm currently reading Empire of Storms which is the final book (currently out) in Sarah J Maas' Throne of Glass series.  I'm not loving it but I am happy that I've made it onto this book and can get onto a different series afterwards!


Watched
I don't feel like I've had time to watch much this week as I've been working so much but I have squeezed in a few episodes of 'Whose Line Is It Anyway US'.  We binge-watched the whole nine series from the UK a while ago so I've been enjoying having it back in my life.  It's so stupid but it does make us laugh.

Made
One day I promise I will share something that I have physically made when it comes to this category but for this week I am once again going off piste and I'm going to share a video I made for World Book Day.  I asked a group of vloggers to share their favourite books from childhood and although the video ended up being way longer than I thought, it's actually really lovely to hear so many people talking and sharing about their favourite book and what it meant to them.




Wore
It definitely has to be wellies for this week.  The weather has just been crazy again this week.  We weren't lucky enough to get snow like some parts of Manchester and Liverpool but we did get rain, rain and more rain.  The sun snuck out yesterday morning and I felt quite giddy as I hung my washing on the line, only for the storm clouds to roll in an hour later.  On the plus side, I do love being inside when it's hammering down, tucked under a blanket with a good book.  Bliss.


Heard
Shape of You by Ed Sheeran is currently one of my favourite tracks so when I stumbled across this alternative version I was immediately a fan.  It's so, so good.



And Lastly...
I made it to my 900 subscribers on Youtube which I am overwhelmed and so thrilled about.  More and more I am veering towards vlogging more than blogging and it's lovely to have so many people behind me.

Have a great week all!