The Bones of you

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help be drawn to a beautiful book cover. So when this little beauty arrived in the post I may have done little happy dance……

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Such a beautiful cover and coupled with its alluring title, “The Bones of You” by Debbie Howells, this book had me intrigued from the onset. This is not a book that treads lightly, it punches you in the stomach from the first page; with complex emotional characters, secrets being uncovered and carefully crafted plot twists.

The story is set in an idyllic village in the countryside but with the discovery of the murder of a teenage girl, the plot unravels and pulls the reader through some heart wrenching chapters. I was instantly pulled into the story and could not put it down, as each chapter (told through varying perspectives) was uncovered, I simply had to read further into the tangled lives of the characters and was desperate to reach the conclusion.

I loved this book; the writing style is wonderfully simple and understated, which is balanced in sharp contrast, to the agony of the characters and the darker side to the novel. Absolute must read!

What are you reading lately? I would love to hear any recommendations!

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells was kindly sent for review. As always all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review. 

By the Sea

Welcome to my first little fashion post…..

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The tiniest glimpse of sun broke through the grey mass in the sky and we practically leapt out of bed. The promise of a reasonable day of weather had us very excited and we could not miss out on an opportunity to take Baby B for a little trip to the beach. We immediately visited one of my favourite cafe’s ‘MG’s’ and had a quick brunch. We strolled down the seafront, just in time to catch the little Carnival floats, spend 2p’s on the arcade machines and eat ice-cream on the beach. The wind was a bit snappy but we didn’t let that bother us!

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What I wore:  Dungarees/Topshop (sold out online but several washes still available) – T shirt/Topshop  (old) – Sandals/Miss Guided – Bag/New Look (old) Sunglasses/Sorrento

Bare those pins!

Summer brings a lot of wonderful things; ice-cream, seaside trips and floaty dresses (any excuse!) Of course this means bringing those pastey pins out and baring your legs (which if your anything like me will have been hidden away for the rest of the year.)

To ease myself into the transition of baring my little legs, I like to treat them to a little pamper session.

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First up, we need to deal with the hair….Yes, we all have it and bare summer legs call for extra maintenance. There are a number of options; Laser Hair Removal is quick, effective and more permanent, Veet offer some great waxing kits/ creams or a simple razor (my sensitive skin likes the soft cushiony bars on the Gilette Venus Breeze blades best.)

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Scrub, scrub, scrub….Time to exfoliate with your favourite scrub. Lately I have returned to an old favourite, The Breakfast Scrub by Soap and Glory. This is a great budget buy and contains some lovely ingredients like honey, almonds and maple. It actually smells good enough to eat (Baby B has been walking around with the pot since I bought it, smelling it and saying “mmm!”) – couldn’t agree more!

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Then it’s time to slap on some moisturiser to soften and hydrate. I am guilty of not really moisturising my body so this always feels like a real treat! I am loving this deluxe sample I’ve been using from Clarins – but use your favourite, or you know what ever you have lying around…

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And for an extra little pick me up, apply a little oil; to firm, nourish and add a healthy sheen. I love the Clarins Firming Body Tonic Oil (this is at least my 5th bottle – also great for stretch marks.)

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And there we have it perfect pins for summer!

What are your favourite products?

Stay Happy!

Summer lovin’

Hello everyone,

This is one delicious post! One gorgeously sunny Saturday morning, we sleepily set off early, driving through the beautiful Welsh countryside in search of some sun and of course good food. We went for a little trip up to Llanelli and to sample the new summer menu at the Beefeater. I have to admit I haven’t been to a Beefeater in years and was unsure really what to expect.

Upon arrival we were seated promptly, by friendly staff and took in the quirky/ modern surroundings. I really liked the decor and ease about the place. We ordered some drinks and Baby B got stuck into some colouring with her complimentary book and crayons.

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After getting extremely excited and a little overwhelmed by the amount of options on offer, we decided to order the Baked Camembert to get things started. The presentation was beautiful and the Camembert came with dipping bread, chutney (which Baby B seemed to want!) and Garlic Butter, which oozed into the gooey cheese when the skin was broken. So. Very. Good!

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For mains; Aled decided on the double Cheese and Bacon Steak Burger, with Monterey Jack Cheese. I went for the 8oz Fillet Steak, which had a lovely juicy and smokey taste. Both were cooked to perfection and were excellent quality/ cuts of meats. The mains came with a choice of skinny or chunky chips, with an option of making them spicy. We both chose skinny fries and Aled went for the spicy option, which he said was mild but gave them just a little kick.

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We also ordered a creamy mushroom sauce for the steak, which complimented the smokey flavours well, along with some side options to nibble on in between. We went for the Cheese and Bacon Mac n Cheese and Onion Rings. Everything was so delicious we just kept grazing, but there was still room for dessert…..

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Aled chose the Cookie Dough Sundae (absolute Sundae heaven!) with chunks of brownie, cookie dough and lashings of chocolate sauce.

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Of course, I went for the Chocolate Fudge Brownie – it did not disappoint; dense, chocolatey goodness!

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Baby B nibbled on a little of everything from our meals, but I picked her out her own dessert. I chose the Mr Men Carnival Cookies and Ice Cream, which she was completely delighted with! Although you may notice she has pinched the wafer from Aled’s Sundae. We took the cookies home, which she has gradually finished and thoroughly enjoyed.

We loved our little trip out and all that delicious food. All in all, the Beefeater surpassed all my expectations; the food was delicious, the staff were friendly and the welcome was warm and any place that is so family friendly is always a big plus in my book!

Thank you to the Beefeater for inviting us down to try the new summer menu, we will definitely be returning! I was not paid for this review and as always all opinions are my own.

REVIEW: Coming Home

IMG_4389Summer is here! Or at least it’s meant to be (someone tell the weather please!) I love a good book all year round but since baby b’s arrival I rarely get the chance and am admittedly collapsed on the sofa by 9pm. So for a book to be worth reading for this tired mummy it has to be good.

When this book arrived I was not immediately drawn to it, it just wasn’t the ‘sort’ of book I would usually go for. Wednesday morning came, baby b went for he nap and I found myself all caught up on chores and blog posts so I decided to sit in the conservatory with a cup of tea and give it a go.

This book surpassed any preconceptions I may have held and within a few chapters I was utterly hooked (just as well I had a little free time I read over 100 pages till baby b woke up and was desperate to return to it that evening!)

‘Coming home’ tells a gripping tale by Evie who returns from her new life in Dubai upon the death of her father. Through sorting out the old attic of her parents house and helping her grieving mother, an intensely complicated family dynamic unravels pulling with it dark secrets and painful betrayals. 

The story is narrated by Evie, with alternating chapters of her childhood counselling sessions providing carefully constructed plot twists as the story develops. I instantly connected with the voice of Evie and shared in her emotional struggle which is so effortlessly real and touching.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. It’s a classic summer read with a little more punch! 

Coming home by Annabel Kantaria was kindly sent for review. As always all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review. 

Part time Mummy

The end of this week marks a small but significant passage of time for me. I will officially have been back at work for one whole year. Looking back at our vlogs from the first time I dropped Martha off and trotted back to work, I can see that I have mixed feelings about my new (albeit) temporary life.

Leaving Martha has been without question so very hard; I have hated it, every second and if I’m honest that has at times torn me to pieces. The plan was always for me to return to work full time, but after several issues with finding childcare that we were happy with and Mummy being reduced to a quivering wreck, we weighed up our finances (and my personal well being) and made the decision that I would reduce my time at work temporarily, to 3 days. It has been the best decision we could have made; we have struggled with our money, but the snippets of time I have treasured with Martha in between my time at work, have been such a blessing to me.

I have found it hard to be ‘part-time’ in every sense of the word. I am a part-time worker; I miss out on things, I have to re-adjust every time I have days off with Martha and get my work head on, I have to work bloomin’ hard when I am in work, knowing I won’t get chance to finish things later and I try at all costs not to work on the days I am home with Martha, but work commitments have meant I have had to go into work during several evenings on my ‘home’ days.

The guilt that comes with being a part-time Mummy has also been a bit awful; I’m here and Martha is happy and settled and then I’m gone again. There is no doubt that Martha has to constantly adjust to a different routine between myself and the childminder, which inevitably interferes with her sleeping and eating pattern. There are days when Martha seems so content with me I worry about what I’m missing out on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought about doing something with Martha for the first time and thought “I’ll save it for the weekend” only to come home and read in her little daily book that she did it that day.

Working part-time is sometimes the best of a bad situation, there are times I feel so thinly spread between trying to do my job (the way I did when I was single and it was everything) and being a good Mummy; one who isn’t stressed about working, has time to play and dance around to the Peppa Pig theme tune.

Martha has had some great experiences with her Childminder (who she utterly adores), she thoroughly enjoys her spacious garden, trampoline and room full to the brim of different toys every day! I remain very grateful to have found our Childminder, she made the hardest battle I have ever faced just that little bit easier.

The battle of course remains internally within me; I know I need my career, it matters, it is stimulating, bloody hard and ridiculously rewarding at times. It awakens a part of me I like about myself. Being a Mummy still remains the most overwhelming part of my life; it is the part of me I never knew was there, it nourishes my soul, pushes me to breaking point and blesses me every single day. It is difficult to let go of either – it is hard to be just ‘part-time’ not fully present in either side of my life, but constantly pulled between the two and often not feeling adequate in either.

I’d love to hear your comments !

Stay Happy x

Mami 2 Five