Review: The Backyard Cinema

Hello all,

Once again it’s been a while *face palm*. I’ve had so much going on that I’ve not had the chance to think about blog posts.

But I finally managed to carve out some time and actually have a day of fun and relaxation!

As a celebration for my sisters 19th birthday, I decided to take her to The Backyard Cinema – The Winter Garden.

I’ve never experienced anything like this before, but I had heard good things about it, and so I was very excited.

First of all, they have several options for food and drink at the venue. We went for Honest Burger which was delicious of course, before there were other choices.

But the real fun came when we entered the cinema area. The entrance was pretty special, and I’m not going to ruin it by giving you the details, but it was wonderful – completely magical.

The cinema itself was beautiful, the seating super comfortable and when the show was starting it was, well, show-stopping!

It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it. I will definitely be going again!

Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashley book review

Hi all,

As you may or may not know, I LOVE Trisha Ashley. I love her weather descriptions on Twitter (I’m still convinced that she should read the weather each morning) and I love her books.

Every Woman For Herself follows Charlie and her madcap family when she moves back in with them following a divorce.

First of all, I love the setting of this book and will immediately be searching the internet to see whether this is a real village.

Secondly, the characters are fabulous. I even love the ones that I hate.

Trisha Ashley has an incredible way with words that allows you to see every facial expression and hear every single word in the exact time of voice intended. Does that make sense? I hope so.

I gained many a strange look from my family as I read this book, as I couldn’t stop laughing out loud. My goodness, I wish that I had this comedic ability in my writing!

If you must buy a new book, ease buy this one, or any Trisha book. You won’t regret it!

The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jefferies blog tour.

Hi all,

I am so excited to back with a book review and the first blog tour I’ve taken part in for a while!

I don’t usually read books that are set in the past or in a different country, so this book was different for me already.

However, I do love to read about strong, determined women, and this book gave me that in spades! The characters were wonderful, I wanted to be friends with all of them, and to be honest, I found them an inspiration.

Of course, this book is based upon a war that really happened, and so I found everything written so much more poignant.

Despite the fact that the time zone and setting made this book one that I wouldn’t usually stick to, I actually found that I couldn’t put it down! Dinah Jefferies writes in such a way that you can’t help but read on and be sucked in.

This is the first book I’ve ever read by this author and I can’t wait to pick up another!

This book was sent to me for free in exchange of an honest review.

You Never Told Me by Sarah Jasmon book review

Hi all,

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for You Never Told Me by Sarah Jamson.

Charlie returns quickly from Thailand when her mother passes away. In doing so she has to face up to all of the things that she left behind.

Soon, secrets are revealed.

The first thing that I noticed about this book is how beautifully written it is. It flows so easily and it was really a joy to read.

I loved the characters, all of them, which is rather rare for me, and I could have carried on reading about them for ages.

I also loved the setting of the canal boat, it seemed so peaceful.

Though it was well concluded, there seems to be a possibility of a sequel??!! Sarah, sequel, please?! I really hope so!

I would highly recommend this book, really, go out and get it!!

This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

Fool Me Once by Harlen Coben book review

As you may know from previous posts, I love any Netflix series based on Harlen Cobens’ books.

However, what you may not know, is that I’ve never actually read one of his books. In fact, after watching Safe, I thought about reading one of his books, but for some reason I couldn’t summons the enthusiasm.

But since watching The Stranger, and finding Fool Me Once in a charity shop, I felt the urge to read one of his books.

And let me tell you, I’m so glad that I did!

Fool Me Once: If your husband was murdered, and you were a witness, how do you explain it when he appears on your nanny-cam? You thought you trusted him. Now you can’t even trust yourself.

So full of tension, characters that are multi-dimensional, even when you never actually meet them, and twists and turns that keep you guessing.

I implore you, if you are a fan on any series written by Harlen Coben, to please read his books.

Netflix Reviews – The Stranger concluded thoughts

So, I actually finished this just over a week ago, but couldn’t post his until today!

What I will say is this; if you have been wondering whether to watch this, but haven’t been completely sure, please do watch it. Its great!

There are so many twists and turns you just cannot guess what is going on! You hate someone then you like them. You love someone and then you hate them. Its an emotional rollercoaster!

My husband and I watched the last four episodes in one night, we just couldn’t stop watching!

If you have an entire night free, and a love for twisty thrillers (The technical term) then watch it!!!

Cubs Corner: Things To Do With The Kids This Valentine’s

It’s Friday again, and so time for another post about things to do with the kids this weekend. And since it’s the week of love, I’ve decided to make them Valentine’s themed.

1) Baking biscuits. I won’t put a recipe here’s as I only ever use recipes created by other people, but you can find some really easy but tasty ones online. You could ice them too, and since they made them themselves, they will taste even better.

2) Create Valentine’s Cards. This is a simple, easy thing to do, but if you have enough card, paints and glitter it can keep them happy for hours.

3) Date Day. Valentine’s is all about showing the people that you love, that you love them. But we only ever do that for our partners. Show your munchkins that you love them by treating them to a date day. That could mean taking them out, their choice, or it could mean laying a blanket out on the floor whole you watch films and eat junk, or creating a fort in the living room.

I hope that some of these have inspired you, and if you have any suggestions, please do comment below.

Those People by Louise Candlish : Book Review

Hi fellow readers,

As promised, here is my second book review in total on this blog, and my second Louise Candlish review.

Those People follows the lives of the residents of Lowland Way, a peaceful suburban street, as they are encroached upon by Darren and Jodie – who are definitely not the right sort of people.

I hate to sound like I’m repeating what I said in my last book review, but I loved it! It was so gripping, and I honestly could not guess what was going to happen at the end.

I loved and hated all of the characters in equal measure, which is quite a feat, and I read it in a matter of days.

I couldn’t recommend this enough. If you love a brilliantly written, twisty psychological thriller then please, read this one.

Happy reading!

Claire

Valentine’s Day On A Budget

I love Valentine’s day. And usually I love the idea of going on a ‘proper date’ with my husband.

But this year we have decided to be real adults and save money, so we are staying in and making the best of it. So I’ve decided to share some ideas for a Valentine’s night without spending any/too much money.

1) Cook a romantic dinner. Now for us, this depends on when the rugrats decide they want to go to bed and stay there. But if you have plenty of time, or if you are free of children, then his is a fairly simple one. You can cool something that you already have the ingredients for, pasta always seems a good shout. Or you can pop to Tesco, or M&S if you’re feeling a little bit fancy, and get a meal deal. You can usually get a main and dessert for two plus a bottle of wine for a really affordable price.

2) Watch a movie. If you don’t quite have the money to go to the cinema, then just create one at home. You could pick a film that you know you both love, or pop onto Sky movies where they may have more current films. Grab blankets, popcorn, turn off the lights and there you have it! Your own personal cinema!

3) Picnic. I haven’t had a picnic for ages. This is a nice one if you want to keep costs down, but don’t want to be stuck in the house for Valentine’s day. You can either do this in the garden if you can’t find a babysitter, or you can venture to a nice field to river local to you. Take a few blankets – one for sitting on and a couple for snuggling since it’s February. You can make sandwiches, pack fruit, whatever you want to eat and your favoured beverage. The amount that you spend on food and drink is up to you, so this can be as low cost or as expensive as you like.

Also, it’s worth looking out for deals and offers that restaurants and other places are doing for Valentine’s day, as you may still be able to get that date night at a price that you can afford.

I hope that some of these are helpful to you, and inspire you to celebrate the special day affordably.

If you have any suggestions, please comment below!

Cubs Corner – Salt Dough

Every Friday, I will endeavour to post something, anything, that you can do with the kids to stop them from driving you crazy!

Recently, we made salt dough. Which was fun, messy and the measurements from the recipe that I found were in cups, which I always find rather ambiguous. How big is the cup?!

The recipe is:

• 1 cup of plain flour

• half a cup of table salt

• 1/3 cup of water.

You then mix it up and knead it a bit. It should be a bit sticky and a bit grainy.

Then, the world is your oyster! My five year old of course had to make a dragon. A bloody dragon! And not any dragon, the most complicated one that he could find online.

My four year old, however, was happy with a big, fat worm.

You then pop them either into the oven at 180 degrees or into the microwave. It usually takes around 3 mins in microwave, but pause it regularly to check on its progress. In the oven, you just have to keep checking it, but it took us about 30 mins.

Once this is done, the children can decorate them. Most people paint them, which would look much nicer, but it depends on whether you have a space in which you are happy for them to paint.

We don’t live in our own home, so we coloured them in with felt-tips, which they were very happy with.

This keeps them occupied for hours, get a their creative juices flowing, and gives you son peace and quiet! What’s not to love?!