April Book Reviews

Aside from the month going super quickly, I feel a bit meh about this month’s book reviews.  I just haven’t LOVED everything I have read this month which is a little disappointing and has meant I have struggled to swap my phone for a book in the evening.  For that reason I have about three books I am still wading through so they will now be on next month’s list.  Here are my reviews for this month.

Not So Stories

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The Blurb

Anthology of short stories from culturally diverse writers  writing in response to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.

Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. Beautiful, evocative and playful, the stories of How the Whale Got His Throat or How the First Letter Was Written paint a world of magic and wonder.

It’s also deeply rooted in British Colonialism. Kipling saw the Empire as a benign, civilizing force, in a way that’s troubling to modern readers. Not So Stories attempts to redress the balance, bringing together new and established writers of colour from around the world to take the Just So Storiesback, to interrogate, challenge, and celebrate their legacy.

Including stories by Adiwijaya Iskandar, Joseph E. Cole, Raymond Gates, Stewart Hotston, Zina Hutton, Georgina Kamiska, Cassandra Khaw, Paul Krueger, Tauriq Moosa, Jeannette Ng, Ali Nouraei, Wayne Santos, Zedeck Siew, and Achala Upendran, with illustrations from Woodrow Pheonix.

What I Thought

I was really excited to read this, having read many of the Just So stories as a child.  The foreword did not disappoint and had me excited for the stories to follow.  However, they were not all as enjoyable as I expected, and I sometimes struggled to pick this book back up.  I think my two favourites were How The Spider Got Her Legs and Best Beloved.  The spider one definitely struck a nerve with me as it told the story of a mother fighting for her children.

I thought this was going to be an alternative bedtime story type book, and at least in part, suitable for me to read to the boys.  That wasn’t the case, and I think even my avid reading 9 year old would struggle with this, if that was the intention.

I wouldn’t discourage someone from having a read of this if it interests them, but I certainly wouldn’t be pushing people to either unfortunately.  I love the idea of changing something like the Just So Stories to be more modern and relevant but for me, most of the stories just did not grab my attention.

“I’ve talked at length about why it’s important that we see ourselves in children’s books.  All of us.  Because for  a person from a marginalised background to see themselves in fiction, it shows them that their stories are valid and they are seen”

Nikesh Shukla

“It’s a brave choice to take something so much a part of the canon as Kipling and make it more inclusive, and yet that’s what has happened in the following pages”

Nikesh Shukla
Thankyou to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for the ARC of this book.  In return I was asked to provide a review but all opinions are my own

Where To Buy

Amazon

Waterstones



The Queen Of Bloody Everything (Audio) by Joanne Nadin

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The Blurb

And in that instant I fall in love. Not just with him, though he is the better part of it, but with them both, with the whole scene: the house, the garden, the magazine perfection of it. And I want very badly to be in this picture.

As Edie Jones lies in a bed on the fourteenth floor of a Cambridge hospital, her adult daughter Dido tells their story, starting with the day that changed everything.

That was the day when Dido – aged exactly six years and twenty-seven days old – met the handsome Tom Trevelyan, his precocious sister, Harry, and their parents, Angela and David.

The day Dido fell in love with a family completely different from her own.

Because the Trevelyans were exactly the kind of family six year-old Dido dreamed of.

Normal.

And Dido’s mother, Edie, doesn’t do normal.

In fact, as Dido has learnt the hard way, normal is the one thing Edie can never be .

What I Thought

I was a little shocked at some of the content in this book, I will be honest.  I am no prude but some of the things the young Dido talks about, observes and hears are not for little eyes or ears.  She shouldn’t be being exposed to it.  However, I am under no illusion that children have and do grow up like this.

This didn’t put me off however, I really did enjoy this book.  Poignant, sad, laugh out loud and written with such raw emotion – it certainly takes you on a ride.  The author does a beautiful job of telling Dido’s story with some wonderful characters and an interesting look into this strange and unique mother-daughter relationship.  She also did a great job of capturing the sense of time with some good references to popular culture.  I listened to the Audible version and felt the reader did a great job in conveying the story in this format.  I especially loved the voice she gave to Edie.

I highly recommend giving this book a try, it was certainly the highlight of the month for me.  I really enjoyed the Audible version but I think I would have also enjoyed reading the physical book just as much too.

Where To Buy

Amazon

Waterstones

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Charlotte Betts

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The Blurb

Italy, 1819. Emilia Barton and her mother Sarah live a nomadic existence, travelling from town to town as itinerant dressmakers to escape their past. When they settle in the idyllic coastal town of Pesaro, Emilia desperately hopes that, this time, they have found a permanent home. But when Sarah is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, a deathbed confession turns Emilia’s world upside down.

Seeking refuge as a dressmaker in the eccentric household of Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Emilia experiences her first taste of love with the charming Alessandro. But her troubling history gnaws away at her. Might she, a humble dressmaker’s daughter, have a more aristocratic past than she could have imagined? When the Princess sends her on an assignment to London, she grasps the opportunity to unravel the truth.

Caught up in a web of treachery and deceit, Emilia is determined to discover who she really is – even if she risks losing everything . . .

What I Thought

I actually didn’t read this one this month, but at the beginning of the year and ghave just realised I didn’t let you know what I thought.  This one gripped me withnin a few pages and had me hooked.  I am a big fan of historical fiction and enjoy all the nods to actual events that happened during the time the book was set.

Emilia was a likeable lead, and this helped immensely as you read on to find out what happens to her.  It was also great to read about Caroline of Brunswick and I always love a book which inspires you to find out more about a character, as I have been with her.

A great read which combines history and mystery with a dash of romance.

Thankyou to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group for the ARC of this book.  In return I was asked to provide a review but all opinions are my own

Where To Buy

Amazon

Waterstones

That’s this month’s round ups!  I have an exciting post coming soon about a book I was sent and am LOVING so can’t wait to let you all know about that.  Fingers crossed I will be back with a bang and lots of great books next month.   As always let me know what you have been reading and would recommend in the comments below. Happy reading!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

This post may contain affiliate links.  These do not affect your purchases in any way, or cost you extra.  They may however, earn me some pennies if you click on them before purchasing an item.  Thankyou

 

February Favourites

Wow!  I can’t believe February has been and gone.  I t was over in a flash!  Anyone else feel the same?  Those couple or three days clearly make a lot of difference, although I feel this year is flying by pretty quickly.  As it is the end of the month I thought I would share the obligatory favourites from this month and let you know what I have been loving.

Max Factor Foundations

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I popped into Superdrug initially looking for the Loreal Pro Glow foundation which I had been recommended but when I couldn’t find it I decided to have a little browse and found these two.  The descriptions sounded perfect for my skin and as they were in a buy one get one half price offer I decided to grab both.  One is perfect for every day wear and one is better for when I have a long day or need a little extra coverage.  My skin is really dehydrated and I am trying my hardest to take better care of it and these have been fantastic.  Both help keep my skin looking glowy and fresh, don’t stick to the dry patches and last really well.  I am super impressed and will be repurchasing I am sure!

Mowgli Indian Street Food Restaurant

Me and Ste don’t often go out for food but after a busy morning in Birmingham with the Salts crew (see below) I needed to eat.  As we got back to the train station we talked about going to Ed’s Diner.  We spent our first weekend together in Birmingham and went there for breakfast before we had to leave for home so it hold’s a few memories!  Unfortunately it was packed so we went looking for somewhere else.  Did I mention I was starving?!  Ste then noticed a sign for Mowgli and was sending a photo to his Dad (it’s a family thing) and we realised it was a restaurant.  We had a quick look at the menu and decided to give it a try.  Our waiter was fab, the restaurant looked great and there was an amazing smell coming from the kitchen.  The waiter explained it was like ordering Tapas, aside from two dishes which would each be like one main meal for an adult.  We chose the cheese on toast (without a doubt the best cheese on toast I have ever tasted), chip butty (spiced chips rolled in a chapatti), the lamb keema and some roti breads.  Even Ste ate more than I have seen in a long while…he couldn’t help it, the food was absolutely stunning.  Would recommend this place to everyone I know, it was just outstanding and some of the tastiest food I have ever eaten!

Dog Lead

All you Instagram followers out the re will know about my gorgeous dog, Knox.  He is an 11 month old Staffie and we got him just before he turned six months old.  Unfortunately he wasn’t trained well as a puppy and so we are having to do a lot of work with him but he is an absolutely lovely dog.  I have seen a couple of leads like this one in the shops and always thought they might be a good idea but finally took the plunge after an Amazon search and purchased one.  As he can still get a little excitable and pull on the lead I have been worried that the arthritis in my wrists and elbows will start playing up.  These leads have a slight spring to them and I am hoping will absorb some of the shock so my joints don’t have to!  So far so good, and the lead is holding up well.

Passions Deli Sweet Popcorn from Aldi

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I have been trying to watch what I am eating this year as my snacking especially had got a little out of control.  I have discovered these small bags of sweet Aldi popcorn which are super tasty and a great portion size for a mid morning or afternoon snack.  I am really lucky as an ostomate to be able to eat popcorn without suffering major problems as long as I chew well and drink plenty

Canvas from Aldi

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This was definitely my bargain of the month!  The colours will go perfectly in our bedroom once the decorating is done and it was just £3.99!  Amazing!

Aussie Shampoo/Conditioner/Mask

My hair has been a nightmare lately.  The hair currently growing out was what was coming through during a Crohns flare and is in a really terrible condition.  The hairdressers I have gone to the last couple of times in Halifax are absolutely amazing and really understanding and have just been doing regular trims to get it under control, as taking off all the damaged hair would leave it short and I do not want to go that short all in one go!  I also went to Asda and spent a little more to get the Aussie hair shampoo, conditioner and three minute miracle mask.  They were on offer for 3 for 2 so that was a bonus and it has definitely been helping as well as smelling amazing.  Sometimes a little extra investment in products is definitely worth it in the long run!

Filming experience with Salts Healthcare

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Last week me and Ste had an amazing experience when we travelled to Birmingham to meet with the Salts Healthcare team to take some photos and record some video footage talking about their new Confidence BE bags.  I will be writing a full post about the day so you can find out more about what we did but it was absolutely brilliant.  Completely wiped us out but it really was worth it and I really enjoyed it.  Really love seeing how I am finally getting my confidence back after a few years of not quite being myself!

The Good Place (Netflix)

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I may have previously talked about this series before but I have now watched the whole of the second season and I just really enjoyed it.  It is a little bit wacky and different but I really liked watching what happened next every week.  I am gutted I now have to wait aaaaages for the next season but am glad to hear it has been renewed.  The basic premise is that Eleanor (played by Kristen Bell) dies and goes to heaven and gets told she has been taken to ‘The Good Place’ as she has earned her place there through being such a good person on Earth.  Thing is – she wasn’t and she realises she has been put there by mistake.  The story continues from there and it really is a funny watch, the characters are all fantastic and I could do with my own Janet!  And if you don’t agree just fork off!

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty (Audible)

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Audible is one of my favourite discoveries of the last six months.  When my Mum recommended it I really wasn’t too sure but it has become my best friend on long car journeys.  I still have a paperback Liane Moriarty book to read but this is the third or fourth of hers I have bought on Audible and I absolutely LOVE her books.  The lady who reads them also has an amazing voice which I find I could sit listening to for ages.  Even Ste ends up putting down his book and listening while we are in the car together!  This story takes place on a small, private island and is centered around a family with a big secret.  The major story line focuses on this mystery but the side story lines including about body confidence and post-natal depression were also gripping.

Loreal Glam Nude CC Cream

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I have been using this colour corrector before my foundation and it has really helped even out my skin tone.  It is also perfect for no make up days and helps me feel more confident about wearing less make up and no foundation as I always worry that my skin looks awful without any.  Will be another product I am repurchasing!

Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix

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Lastly, y new make up setting spray and I am currently using this Barry M one.  I bought it as I like the word illuminating but you have to be careful not to spray too much or too close or you can end up looking a little glittery and sparkly!  It helps keep my make up in place all day long and I love the finish it gives so a big thumbs up from me!  Also, it doesn’t smell nearly as bad as my last one so that is an added bonus!

That is all for February my lovelies.  Thankyou for joining me for another month and I am really looking forward to March.  My Monday blog series will be continuing through this month and we have Mother’s Day coming up which is really exciting!  Let me know what you have been loving and I should be trying in the comments below and I will see you for more favourites next month!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Summer Reading List

I was always known as the bookworm when I was young and reading is still a great passion of mine.  Recently I have been into Waterstones faaaar too much but I can’t resist a peek at the ‘buy one get one half price displays’ to see what I fancy reading.  I have now built up quite a stash of books so feel very prepared for the coming Summer!  I thought I would share my list and hopefully hear some of your opinions on the books I am reading or even inspire your Summer reads this year.

TRULY MADLY GUILTY by LIANE MORIARTY

This author features twice in my Summer Reading List and comes very highly recommended.  The blurb on the back cover of the book simply reads

“This is a story which begins with a barbecue… By the end of it a lifelong friendship will be in tatters, a marriage on the rocks and an innocent bystander dead.  In just one evening six lives will change forever”

The chapters randomly flip between the present day and the day of the barbecue.  There are lots of people praising her writing including Stephen Fry and Jojo Moyes. With those sorts of fans I thought it was worth a read myself!

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ABOUT LAST NIGHT by ADELE PARKS

I saw this book in the buy one get one half price sale in Waterstones but decided on two others at the time.  I ended up picking this up from the book swap stand in the Halifax town centre Tesco Express.  It’s a great place to look for books (there is also one in Huddersfield bus station) and it’s a shame I don’t know of any in Derby.  All they ask you to do is leave a donation in their charity box which is what I did.

The blurb reads

“How far would you go to save your best friend? For thirty years, best friends Steph and Pip have been through thick and thin.  Selfless and trusting, there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another.  Until a few simple words change everything.  I need you to say that I was with you. Steph, eternally solid and dependable, is begging her friend to lie to the police as she’s desperately trying to conceal not one but two scandalous secrets to protect her family. Pip, self-consigned to the role of scatty hot-head, is overwhelmed, she’s normally the one asking for help in a crisis.  Steph’s perfect life will be torn apart unless Pip agrees to this lie.  But lying will jeopardise everything Pip’s recently achieved after years of struggle.  It’s a big ask.  So what would you do?”

I am obviously intrigued into what she is asking her friend to do and wonder how it will affect their relationship.  It looks lie the book is centered over five days and there are several short chapters in each day.  At the beginning of the book there is a short section based thirty years previously, probably introducing the girls at the beginning of their friendship.  Then at the end there is a round up a few months after when the majority of the book is set.  This was a Sunday Times bestseller and also has some really good feedback from a range of newspapers and magazines.

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NOBODY’S SON by CATHY GLASS

I have read a few of Cathy Glass’s books and have always enjoyed them.  ‘Please Don’t Take My Baby’ was one of my favourites.  Cathy Glass was a foster carer for many years and her stories are all based on children she looked after.  She has sold over a million books and they are often those you don’t want to stop reading and put down so often keep me up into the early hours.

The blurb says

“Alex was a lovely little boy who had been in and out of care almost since birth and was looking forward to having a forever family of his own.  I was asked to foster him for a short while until he moved to his permanent, adoptive home, so I felt sure this story would have a happy ending.  But what happened next was truly shocking and called into question the whole adoption process.”

I will warn you that these books are all true stories and really tug on the heart strings.  Cathy writes freely and in an easy to follow way, which is one of the reasons you keep reading, as well as wanting to find out the fate of the children she cares for.

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MY COUSIN RACHEL by DAPHNE DU MAURIER

I ma not only excited to read a book by Daphne Du Maurier (got to love that name) but this has also just been released as a film and I always like to read a book before watching the film!  Most of the time I end up feeling let down at the film but there are the odd few exceptions.

The back of the book says

“Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his cousin, Ambrose.  Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing that he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate.  But Philip’s world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence.  There he falls in love and marries – and then dies in suspicious circumstances.  Before long, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – arrives in England.  Despite himself, he is drawn to the beautiful, mysterious woman.  But could she be Ambrose’s killer?”

I am looking forward to reading this one and then seeing how the film compares.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE by MARGARET ATWOOD

The blurb reads

“The Republic of Gilead offers Offread only one function: to breed.  If she deviates she will, like dissenters, be hung at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness.  But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offread’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.  Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to ,Margaret Atwood’s irony, wit and astute perception.”

This has recently been televised in a TV series and has had some rave reviews.  As I said with the previous book, I like to read before I watch so I was thrilled to see this in the bouy one get opne half price offer.  It looks different and an interesting read and I will let you know what I think.

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THE SECRET AGENT by JOSEPH CONRAD

I bought this book a while ago and had not realised it had been bought out as a TV series at the time.  I didn’t watch the show but if I enjoy the book I may catch up with it after I have finished reading.  There’s not a huge amount I can say about it but when I read the back cover I felt interested so thought I would give it a whirl.

The blurb reads

“London, 1886 and Adolf Verloc runs a sex shop in the heart of Soho.  Bit unknown to his loyal wife, Winnie, Verloc is also paid by the Russian embassy to spy on an anarchist cell.  Verloc is given a mission to blow up Greenwich Observatory or be exposed as an agent.  Caught between the spy masters,. the police and his vicious anarchist comrades, Verloc sets his sights on Winnie’s beloved younger brother Stevie as his accomplice…”

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THE UNDERGORUND RAILROAD by COLSON WHITEHEAD

I was immediately drawn to this book when I read the blurb.  Since purchasing it I have seen lots of great reviews on it too which has increased my excitement to read it.  There is lots of praise for the book from newspapers here and in America, aswell as from Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

The back cover reads

“Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, an existence made even more hellish by her status as an outcast by her fellow Africans.  And she is approaching womanhood, where greater pain and danger awaits.  So when Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the underground railroad, Cora takes the momentus decision to accompany him on his escape to the North.  In this razor sharp novel, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form, a dilapidated box-car pulled by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can.  Thus begins Cora’s perilous journey, as she is pursued by a ruthless slave catcher called Ridgeway, obsessed with both Cora and her mother, who eluded him years before.  The Underground Railroad is the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history and the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”

This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017 and I am really looking forward to reading it and seeing if the story matches up to all the great reviews I have read.

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ROOM by EMMA DONOGHUE

This was given to me by a friend last year and I still haven’t got round to reading it so it’s definitely on my Summer list!  She thought it was great and my Mum watched the film and said that was brilliant too.  I will obviously only be watching that once I am done reading the book.

The blurb simply states

“Jack is five.  He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.”

It was a number one bestseller and shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize.  I think this book intrigues me and I want to know why on Earth this little boy has never been out of the one room in all his life and what possibly could force his mother to do such a thing.  It has often been described as compelling and profoundly affecting so I am expecting to shed some tears too.

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ANOTHER DAY IN THE DEATH OF AMERICA by GARY YOUNGE

This is a book I am currently reading and really enjoying.  I do enjoy true crimes book and feel quite strongly about the gun laws in America.  This book is based on a random day in 2013 when 10 children and teens were murdered by guns (or indeed, the people who carried them).  This is roughly the average of children and young people who get shot killed every day in America but are barely publicised as it is so ‘normal’ over there, which seems so very wrong.

The back cover reads,

“Saturday 23rd November 2013.  It was just another day in America.  And as befits an unremarkable day, ten children and teens were killed by gunfire.  Far from being considered newsworthy, these everyday fatalities are seen as a banal fact.  The youngest was nine: the oldest nineteen.  None made the news.  There was no outrage at their passing.  It was simply a day like any other day.  Gary Younge picked it at random, searched for the families of these children and here, tells their stories and explores the way they lived and lost their short lives.”

The stories are often heartbreaking but I admire Gary for his views and for giving these victims a facer and a name.  There is a real debate in America about gun laws and I think this seems so shocking to me as I am not from there and this does not happen on this scale in England.  I am really enjoying it so far and will do a full review once I am finished.

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MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by RANSOM BIGGS

I have started the first book in this series of three and am really enjoying it so far.  I love knowing that the photos printed in the book are real (and slightly odd) and that it was finding these that prompted Biggs to start writing these stories.

The blurb says,

“A mysterious island.  An abandoned orphanage.  A strange collection of peculiar photographs.  It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.  As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen year old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.  As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it appears the Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just a little peculiar.  They may have been dangerous.  They may have been quarantined on a desert island for good reason.  And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.”

I am sure many of you have seen the film but I am also waiting for that one till I have read the book.  I also believe the success of the first film means they are making the two further books into films aswell, and I also managed to pick those up from Waterstones in Huddersfield so I can read all three. I would love to hear your opinions on the books/film if you have seen or read them.

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I have also delved into the world of audio books. My Mum has been on at me to try them for a while so decided to give it a go and realised it was great! So far I’ve listened while driving back from Ste’s alone, cleaning and ironing! I have two books to start with on there. One is by LIANE MORIARTY (again) and it’s called BIG LITTLE LIES. This was recently made into a TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman among others so I’m expecting great things from it, and even better from the book (as they usually are!). The second book I’ve downloaded is HOW TO STOP TIME by MATT HAIG. This looks a little different and interesting and I haven’t heard of the author so will let you know how I get on with it.

Finally, is the Kindle book I’m reading at the moment. I have started it and it’s called STORMBIRD and is the first in a series from CONN IGGULDEN called WAR OF THE ROSES. It’s a historical fiction book which I’m really into but I’m sure isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! I have a pretty eclectic taste in books which I’m sure you have realised. Anyway, Ste recommended this book and I’m really enjoying it so far and will let you know how I found it when I’ve finished.

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Ok so I’m going to leave the list here as it’s getting longer and longer! I’ve bought four more new books last week so those will also be read and reviewed at some point too.

Let me know what is on your Summer reading list in the comments below, and if any of these appeal to you too.

 

 

 

 

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Lush Jelly Face Masks

Haven’t done one of these in a little while but thought I would share this new Lush product I purchased the other day and let you know what I think!

It’s my brother’s wedding on Saturday 5th so I’m trying with all my might to get my skin and everything in a semi decent condition ready for the big day. Me and Ste were in Lush picking up the face scrub that he likes and I noticed the new jelly face masks on the side. I love trying out new things from there and especially with the added novelty factor of it being like jelly!

There were five different ones to  choose from. I decided to go with ‘The Birth Of Venus’ which offered ‘toning fresh seawater, relaxing lavender and calming chamomile blue for perfectly balanced skin’. My skin is normally dehydrated with a slightly oily t-zone. Lately I’ve had a few spots on my chin so the balancing aspect seemed like a good idea. I normally do my face masks at night and lavender is always good at bedtime and my skin is occasionally sensitive so I didn’t want to risk anything harsh that would affect my face.

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I started off by cleansing my skin with my Nivea micellar water. I then read the instructions which said to take a section of the jelly out of the pot and rub it between my (dry) fingers to turn it into a paste before massaging it on my face. This was easy enough to do and it smelt absolutely amazing! I then had to leave it for five to ten minutes. Dodgy Smurf selfie time!

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The mask felt lovely on my skin, it didn’t sting or bother my skin in any way. After nearly ten minutes I went to the bathroom and used a warm, wet, muslin type cloth to remove it. The mask had begun to sink in and dry a little but it wasn’t hard to remove. After I had washed my face my skin was left feeling really clean, refreshed and smooth. There was no redness and I couldn’t have been happier with the immediate results. I smoothed over a layer of Nivea night time moisturiser and settled into bed feeling very happy with my new find!

Update – this morning my skin looks even, my dry patches haven’t appeared and my chin, although still a bit oily is clearing up! Very happy with this product and a sure fire hit with me! I will definitely be using again and will look at purchasing some of the other jelly face masks they offer.

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Phew!

Hello lovelies! I hope you are all having a good start to the week, I didn’t sleep very well but pushing through and getting some jobs done. So pleased to see the sunshine and it’s set to be a lovely weather week!

I was added on Twitter by Phew! a couple of weeks ago.

Take a look at Phew! (@Phew_worldwide): https://twitter.com/Phew_worldwide?s=09

I had a look at their recent tweets and they have just released a new, natural toilet freshener. I requested a sample as was interested to see how it compared to other, similar products. The person I communicated with was very polite and friendly and the spray arrived really quickly which was impressive.

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I read the instructions which said I was to spray the product in the water three times before or after using the toilet. I first tried out spraying it prior to using the toilet. As I stand to empty my ostomy bag, I place toilet tissue in the toilet to prevent ‘splashback’. This was the major issue with this product and method, as my output didn’t enter the water. It is supposed to work by creating a film over the water and ‘trapping’ the odour. The fragrance is pleasant, it smells clean and fresh and not too chemically.

I next tried to empty my bag while sitting on the toilet. I find this awkward but I thought without the need for tissue in the toilet, it might help. Unfortunately a lot of the output still went around the toilet bowl so didn’t go into the water. Experiment two fail!

The other option is to use the spray after using the toilet. Again, it suggests three sprays. This worked really well! The fragrance took the smell away almost straight away, replacing it with the scent of fresh lemon.

I’m not sure I would use this product at home as I have air fresheners which work well for me currently which are cheaper, but I do think it is going to be a staple product in my handbag for out and about! It will help give me more confidence when emptying my bag in other people’s toilets and when using public toilets. The size is great for this and the fact it works so quickly and is a nice, clean scent is perfect. I also think for people without a bag the option of being able to spray prior to using the toilet would be useful. It’s a great product for people with IBD and anxiety when using public toilets.

A big thankyou to Phew! for my sample, I’m impressed! I’m also looking forward to the new Marine Mint fragrance coming out and will be trying that out once it does! I’ve included the link to Phew’s Twitter account above so you can check it out and there are the links to order from Amazon. The bottle is £4.99 and contains around 80 sprays which is almost 30 toilet trips! It’s also natural and eco-friendly which always makes you feel better for using it.

Let me know your thoughts on this product if you place an order. You can also let me know in the comments what you already use and how it works for you.

Hope you enjoy the rest of this gorgeous, sunny day.

💜