January Favourites

Can’t believe it is that time already, January has flown by!  Hope you have all enjoyed the first month of 2018.  It is typically known as the most depressing month but I have come into the new year with a positive attitude and am really looking forward to what I can experience, achieve and accomplish this year.  On with the post and here are some of the things I have been loving this month!

First up is a new series I have been watching on Netflix.  I am a bit late to this one as most people I know watched it when it was shown on the BBC, but I am really enjoying Doctor Foster.  Suranne Jones is amazing as the lead character and definitely deserves the awards she has received for this role.  I am about three quarters of the way through season one.  Without spoiling too much she plays a doctor who finds out her husband is cheating on her but rather than confront him straight away, she starts to plot her revenge while still acting as the dutiful wife.  It is really interesting and I am not sure I would be able to be as controlled as she is.  A must watch if, like me, you didn’t watch it when it aired on TV.

Doctor Foster (Netflix)

 

Sticking to a TV theme I also advise you all to check out Bad Moms Christmas.  Me and Ste watched it a couple of weeks ago and it is fab!  I really enjoyed the first one and so was looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint.  A great cast and storyline, sometimes sequels can be a bit of a let down but I throughly enjoyed this one.

Food next!  I have been trying to eat a little more thoughtfully this month as the steroids have definitely taken their toll this last year.  I am now on a reducing plan with them and can’t wait to be rid of the them for good.  I discovered these and thought they would be a bit of a healthier snack and I can just grab a handful when I fancy something to munch on.  They are the Jacobs Cracker Crisps and are so delicious and a few always fill me up enough so I can last until my next meal.

Jacobs Cracker Crisps

I have also discovered the Just Tasty packs of sandwiches from Aldi and am in love with the smoked cheese ones.  Think I have had about four in the last couple of weeks!  It is nice to find tasty sandwiches on plain bread (this bread has sundried tomatoes in but I mean without the seeds).  With my stoma I am unable to eat the multi grain breads so often the only choices are plain cheese or ham on white bread!  This is super tasty and they also have a pulled pork, stuffing and apple sauce one which is yummy too (but not as much as this one).

My next couple of things I have been loving in January were a couple of things I have ‘treated’ myself to.  The first is these Blom Cards.  I have been following Anna (aka Mamas Scrapbook on Instagram) for a while now and she keeps me highly entertained with her Instagram stories.  She is a psychotherapist and has created Blom Cards with one of her designer friends.  They contain 30  cards, each with a psychologically grounded insight or challenge and I have really found them helpful.  I keep them on my make-up desk so I can see them every morning when I am getting ready for the day.  I do not aim to complete one a day but stick with a card until the opportunity presents itself, or just bear the advice given on it for that whole week.  You can purchase your own over on the Etsy shop by clicking here

blom cards

The other treat came from the lovely ‘The Mummy Club’, who sent me their January subscription box to try out.  The boxes contain treats, support and pick me ups for mums and mums to be.  My box was filled with some amazing things but I won’t spoil it too much by going into it, as you will be seeing a complete review of the box very soon.  You are able to sign up for the monthly boxes, get a ‘mini’ box or even send one to a friend as a treat which is a lovely idea.  Check them out on Instagram and look out for the full review coming soon.  I have now signed up for a monthly box which shows how much I loved it!  I really love supporting small businesses and love the ethos of mums supporting mums.

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The Mummy Club January box

One of my favourite beauty treats this month has been these Essence nail polishes.  They are super affordable (£1.60 each in Wilko) and the nail SOS treatment was just £2 and has really been helping to strengthen my nails.  They come in a huge range of colours, apply nicely and last well.

Essence nail polish

My other beauty treat came from a Christmas set Ste bought me.  I try and use the hand scrub from it at least twice a week (normally on my face exfoliate and mask evenings).  My skin can become dry and dehydrated very quickly and the last few weeks I have even started to get splits and sores on my knuckles but using this gives my hands a real boost. I follow it up with the hand cream which I use every night.  Keeping it next to my bed helps remind me to do it!  I had never really thought of using a scrub for my hands but it has really helped with the dry skin, particularly on my knuckles.

champneys hand scrub

Lastly, my favourtie book of the month has to be Giovanna Fletcher’s Some Kind Of Woonderful.  ‘Chick-Lit’ books aren’t typically my favourite style to read but I do enjoy the odd one now and again as I find them easy to read and uplifting.  This one however, eschewed the typical everything suddenly falls into the main characters lap and she lives happily ever after and just seemed so much more real.  It showed the struggle of ending a long term relationship and how you begin to pull your life back together.  Highly recommend this one and will be checking out her other books too.  You can still sign up to my book club, check out my post about it here

I am pleased to announce I have teamed up with a fantastic company called What2Buy4Kids.  They sell educational and unique toys and gifts for children from birth to 12 years and the customer service is second to none.  You can visit their website by clicking here and I have a discount code which will give you 10% off any orders placed which is SPOONMU218.  Happy shopping!

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Last but not least I had to mention the boy’s and their fun in their ‘Gelli Baff’.  If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the photos.  The boys each got one in their stockings, this was Leo’s and Riley has the ‘Crackle Baff’ which we haven’t tried yet.  They both absolutely loved it and spent an hour playing in the bath and having fun.  They come in different colours and wash out really easily, so no mess afterwards.  I wasn’t sure how Riley would react at first as he can be funny with different textures, but after five minutes of getting used to it her was having as much fun as Leo.

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So those are my January favourites for you this month, I hope you enjoy checking out the ones of interest to you.  Let me know anything you have been loving this month in the comments below and here is to an exciting February.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

My posts may contain affiliate links.  Clicking on them will not affect your purchase in any way but I may get a few pennies from them.  Thank you

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January Book Reviews

I have decided rather than splitting them into separate posts (which can clog up the blog as I read quite a lot) I would do a monthly post reviewing the books I have read.  My Reading Challenge/Book Club is still accepting new readers so check out my post here on how to sign up!

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

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The Blurb

When the love of your life says you’re not The One, who are you? Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since the first week of university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they’re about to get engaged. Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future. Lizzy is heartbroken – but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she’s been missing while playing Ian’s ideal ‘better half’. But how much has Ian changed her, and who should she be without him? Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and, in the meantime, have a little fun

What I Thought

If you follow me on social media you will have seen my thoughts on this book already – I loved it!  Chick-Lit is not my go to genre, but I do enjoy the occasional one as a light, fluffy, easy read.  This however, was not run of the mill, everything land’s in the main characters lap and she lives happily ever after.  This book showed a real journey for the main character.  After leaving a long term partner, who you believed you would spend your life with, you have a lot of work to do.  You have to re-find yourself, possibly move house, find things to fill your time again, get used to being alone.  This book shows that journey for Lizzy and it was like a breath of fresh air for this style of book.  As a woman who has gone through this I was relieved to see something that represented the true struggles after a break up and thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lizzy’s journey.  I will definitely be checking out some of Giovanna Fletcher’s other books after reading this one.



 

Part Star Part Dust by L. M. Valiram

Part Star Part Dust

The Blurb

A millionaire, a widow and a monk. A plane crash. Three destinies linked for eternity in a tale narrated by Time.

Meet Radha.

She was left in a dumpster on the side streets of Mumbai to die as she was born; premature and undernourished.

Meet Mira.

At sixteen she is to marry a man she has never met before. On her wedding day, she carries a knife.

And Gaurav.

People say love is more important than money. But what happens when having one means you can’t have the other?

Scattered across India, these three are intertwined in unlikely ways: the flower shop owned by Mira’s husband employs Radha’s boyfriend, Mira and Gaurav become partners in business and most importantly, an ill-fated trip to Delhi links them all in death and life. Set in the sensuous worlds of Bombay and Delhi, Valiram’s dazzling novel explores the deep meanings of love, family, and time.

What I Thought

As soon as I read the blurb I wanted to devour this book, and it did not disappoint.  Learning about the three central character’s lives, following them over time and seeing how their lives intertwined through time was fascinating.  I loced this quote towrds the end of the book and think it sums up the book really well and gets you thinking –

‘Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in destiny?  Or are you ohne of those that believe in choice alone?

Do you make your choices or do your choices make you?’

It makes you think deeper about the book and you wonder if fate was in control all along or whether the choices you see these characters make control what happens at the end of the story.  A stunning read and highly recommmended.

Buy The Book

https://www.waterstones.com/book/9781788038973

The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

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Read the full review for this here

I currently have two more on the go and hope to have them finished by the end of the month but as I am posting this a little early, I will include them in February’s round up and review!  Let me know what books you have been loving in the comments below as I always like to check out a good recommendation.  Happy reading everyone!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

My posts may contain affiliate links.  Clicking on them will not affect your purchase in any way but I may get a few pennies from them.  Thankyou

BlogMas Day 23 – December Favourites

So with it being BlogMas I haven’t done a Five Friday Favourites post in a while, so I thought I would round them up in a monthly favourites post instead. There is a whole range of different things to share so I hope you enjoy reading through and maybe get some inspiration to give some of them a try yourself!

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First up is the current book I’m reading, Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher. I am only just over half way but it’s a real can’t put downer and I’m sure I will have it finished very soon. I will be sure to post a review once I have completely finished to let you all know what I think, but if you are looking for an easy, enjoyable, girlie read, this one is for you!

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Next up is the six part series of Alias Grace I’ve just finished watching on Netflix. Set in 19th century Canada, it’s the story of Grace, who was found guilty of murder in her teens. She is visited by a doctor, employed to see if she can be released on grounds of insanity and she tells him her story. I really enjoyed the series and was completely sucked in from the first episode. There was a slightly unexpected twist near the end for me but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable and although left with questions, I’m happy it ended the way it did. So did she or didn’t she?!

 

 

Next up are these two, my wonderful parents. They have been there for me through another difficult month with having Ste in hospital as well as the boys not being here every day to keep me going. They are currently going through a lot themselves, which I will go into at another time, yet they still make time for us and make sure we are all ok. I don’t tell them enough I’m sure, how lucky and grateful I am to them so here I am, telling everyone – my parents are amazing! Love you both!

 

 

I received this amazing artwork as a gift and it is truly beautiful. It’s going to go up in our bedroom which we are currently getting sorted and decorated as I want to use touches of pink and purple in there to go with the cream and light grey for a pop of colour. It is the first piece of ‘proper’ artwork I have owned and it is all marked up as only so many of each one is reproduced so it has an exclusivity about it. It comes from a website called Stag & Raven (which you can visit here) who specialise in tattoo art. Me and Ste both have tattoos and they are pretty popular in the IBD community. Many of my friends have some beautiful pieces, covering up scars and around their bags etc. The prices are super reasonable for what you get and they come well packaged and are very high quality. Definitely a good one to check out if you want some amazing pieces for your house at great prices, or are looking for a special gift.

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I was super pleased to receive my cards through the post this month. I’m planning on attending some events next year and want to be able to make the blog bigger, well known and trusted amongst mum’s, ostomates and spoonie’s alike. I’m looking forward to some exciting opportunities and these will help me be able to connect with more people, more easily. I also got a matching pen for when I’m out and about so everyone knows who I am!

 

 

We have all been really impressed with the Wilkos Blox Advent Calendar. So much cheaper than the Lego version at only £8 but some great little models which the boys have really enjoyed putting together. They have now had a few sets of these (and Santa may be bringing some more). The price is so much more reasonable than Lego but they do connect with the Lego bricks so the boys can put it all together and play as one toy. The castle is pretty epic (and only £20), Leo enjoyed putting the bus together for last year’s Advent and the dragon family was another favourite. Definitely worth checking out if you have a Lego fan!

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I had to include my new mug in my favourites! Those of you who follow me on Instagram (check out http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy) will have seen it already but I couldn’t resist. It came from B&M and was only £1.50. It is a good size and covered in my favourites – flamingoes!

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I got one of my Christmas presents from Ste early as it was my advent calendar. I was so pleased he got me this one, as although he sometimes moans about the amount of candles I buy, he knew I would love it. The scents are gorgeous and Christmassy and Yankee really are one of the best at making your whole house smell amazing. Did you have an Advent this year? Let me know which one in the comments below.

 

 

I am so pleased my local Asda has started to stock the ‘wonky veg’ boxes. They are just £3.50 each and you get plenty of veg for the whole week in there! It’s supposed to be the stuff that is less aesthetically pleasing but for the most part I see nothing wrong with it and the taste is certainly no different! The only extras I’ve needed to buy are more potatoes and some garlic and I’ve had two now. Brilliant bargain for families so make sure you keep an eye out in your local Asda.

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And last but not least, me and Riley made our front cover debut on the Winter edition of Respond’s magazine, Connect. This was a gorgeous photo taken by my mum last Winter. We had such a great day, seeing a Christmas show and then going ice skating. The boys hadn’t done it before (and neither had I since being a teen) but we all had an amazing time. Check out the online magazine here and you will be able to find details on the website about how you can receive your copy through the post. The magazine is full of great content and also features my lovely co-host of The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, Louise and her story.

So there’s a round up of some of my favourites this month. From January I will be doing a monthly, rather than weekly round up of my favourite things as I am planning to change around my schedule a bit. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite things this month have been and I look forward to reading them.