Book Review- The Wish List by Ruby Hummingbird

Book Description


Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.

Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.

On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.

Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.

Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.

When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.

Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.

Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…

Book Review

It took me a little while to get into this and the main character (who at the start just wanted to give her big hugs) It made me think of how lonely it could get when older and that life just keeps going. But as the story grew, so did the plot and the idea of her blooming was heartfelt. It was lovely seeing what she got up to and how she found friendships- that she was living her life again. The flashbacks were a nice touch and again shows you how life moves forward with or without you. It shows us that we must make the most of it and second chances are always available.

Really want to know what happened at the end!!!

Lovely slow read.

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Basil DIY Toner

Hello everyone welcome back to my blog!

So many things/shifts have been happening while I took a long break from the blog (many posts to follow on all these things) but first I want to share with you a quick and refreshing toner using basil leaves!

I have been more conscious using eco friendly cleaners (made my own and again post on this soon) but I had a few basil leaves from pruning the plant and thought about skin care as recently getting spots from stress and mask wearing… so thought how about make my own? So first up a toner! What was there to loose? I have been growing the same plant for over two years now 🙂

Basil has always been known for its detoxifying properties. It is full of mild antibacterial compounds and following are its skin benefits.

1)Helps battle acne-prone skin

2)Fades dark spots

3) Soothes skin

4) Brightens complexion

5) Unclogs pores

So after a few times trying this -it actually is making my spots go down and my skin feel so fresh!

Basil toner recipe

Few fresh basil leaves

1 cup boiling water

I only had a few so used a small bowl

That’s it! Add basil to the cup or small bowl and press lightly to release the oils. Leave to cool down and transfer into a bottle (I use a spray bottle from an old face mist) then pop in fridge. Will last for 7 days and spray onto a cotton cloth when need.

Next up will try basil and cucumber scrub that I found the recipe for.

Let me know if you try this. Do you have any eco friendly recipes either cleaning or skin care?

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Author Interview- Lauren Gehringer

Hello and welcome back to my blog- and my 1st author interview for a long while!!

Today we have Lauren chatting to us about her book “From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty”. I found Lauren through Instagram and instantly loved her work and posts 🙂

Tell us a bit about your book

From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty follows the path of our digestive system. Simple rhymes are paired with illustrations by artist Maile McCarthy to make this complex, internal process accessible for little ones. It was important the book was as helpful as possible, so there’s also a back section for caregivers by my pediatrician mother in law, Dr. Natalie Gehringer, with tips for healthy digestion, along with a high-fiber food chart showing which foods offer the most fiber per serving.

What would say is the genre for your book (Age range)

It’s a non-fiction children’s picture book. The target audience is 3 – 6 year olds, but it’s received positive feedback from both older and even younger kids.

Where did the inspiration come from?

On the heels of potty training, one of my children got into a terrible cycle of anxiety, leading to withholding, leading to constipation. Trying to help reduce the anxiety, I explained, in very simple terms, what exactly happens inside (and comes out) of our body. It wasn’t an immediate fix, but there was an undeniable improvement.

Digestion’s an extremely impactful, unseen process that can be easy to take for granted. From the perspective of a young child with emerging body awareness, I think there’s a lot of room for misconceptions or fears to arise. Seeing the positive impact it had on my own child, I was eager to help others understand digestion as well.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I wish I had a better answer, but it seemed to just surface within the process of writing the book.

How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?

The first draft took only a few hours, but I lost count of how many drafts followed over the course of several months.

How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?

Being a first-time self-publisher, I struggled with imposter syndrome, and feeling like the investment in creating a picture book was self-indulgent. At launch I was hopeful but unsure if the book would resonate with other children, so my mindset wasn’t particularly celebratory. The dominant feeling was more ‘uh-oh,  how do I get this on anyone’s radar now?’. In retrospect, I wish I’d taken the time to celebrate the accomplishment of producing a book I was proud of, regardless of what happened next.

Would you care to give us an extract?

Sure! The book starts off with a question:

“What happens to food when you’re done chewing? Though you can’t see it, digestion’s been brewing. Digestion is what your body must do, to get fuel from food. The rest becomes poo. It’s started by chewing your very first bite, teeth grinding it down to a size that’s just right. With help from saliva (wet stuff in your mouth), food’s sent down your throat and keeps sliding south. Into your stomach is where it goes next. Here, your tummy’s juices are put to the test. Food’s turned into liquid at this stage of digestion, then moves from the stomach to your small intestine…” and on it goes, till the process is (ahem) complete.

How do you beat writers block? Any tips?

I have a lot of luck in the shower. There’s often a very wet sprint to jot stuff down before it’s forgotten.

Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?

Zoom school with the kids has drained me of all energy. Does Netflix count?

When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?

Total pantser, but to be fair, the “plot” in “From Chewing to Pooing” was predetermined.

Do you have any advice for fellow writers?

Nothing as far as the writing process goes, but I would strongly advise any aspiring self-publisher to take the time to research best practices including professional formatting, editing, and detailed pre-launch and post-launch marketing plans. Coming from  someone who wishes she had.

I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?

I’m really excited about this one! Powerful You! The Wonderful Healing Your Body Can Do celebrates the body’s resilience. Playful, expository rhymes explain its inherent strength, so young readers can feel confidence and pride in their bodies despite global focus on our vulnerability. I think it’s really important to value the inner-workings of our bodies beyond the parts we can see; the earlier in life the better.

Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet? 

I’m most active on Instagram, @From_Chewing_To_Pooing; flailing on Twitter, @LaurenEFG; neglected website, www.chewingtopooing.com; full reading at, https://youtu.be/MahPBPujWdA , and available to buy on Amazon at, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1092184724/

Lauren Gehringer lives in Northern California with her husband, two kids and dog, Lola. Prior to being a primary caregiver, she was an entrepreneur. Highlights since launching “From Chrwing to Pooing” include festival readings, tv appearances and an opportunity to host an event at Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. Her favorite thing (pre-COVID) was visiting classrooms throughout the Bay Area for author readings.

Thankyou so much for sharing your answers! Looking forward to seeing your new book- and excited for our copy of chewing to pooing to arrive next week 😉

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Dimensions of Paranormal Anthologies – Cover Reveal

Here it is!!!

Eek look how lovely this cover is!!! Writers Unite have done it again with their cover designs.

Excited and thankful that my story is included 🙂

Paranormal. Does the word bring a shiver to your spine or cause you to think of ectoplasmic slime? You favorite group of authors from Writers Unite! invite you to experience their version of shivers and slime.

Pre-order kindle versions now from either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk (paperbacks available from release date)

Grab yourself a spooky read for Halloween!

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Book Review- Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Book Description (Amazon)

Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home, from bedrooms and kitchens to bathrooms and living rooms as well as a wide range of items in different categories, including clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, wallets and valuables. Charming line drawings explain how to properly organise drawers, wardrobes, cupboards and cabinets. The illustrations also show Ms Kondo’s unique folding method, clearly showing how to fold anything from shirts, trousers and jackets to skirts, socks and bras.

The secret to Marie Kondo’s unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something ‘sparks joy’ and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. When you surround yourself with things you love you will find that your whole life begins to change. 

Marie Kondo’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics of her KonMari method. It has already transformed the homes and lives of millions of people around the world. Spark Joy is Marie Kondo’s in-depth tidying masterclass, focusing on the detail of how to declutter and organise your home.

Book Review

Having watched all episodes on Netflix I instantly brought this book – and many new tips I found hidden inside!! Plus it was a good reminder of the other things from the show.

I love how easy this book was to read. I enjoyed how she puts her past experiences in and her previous client history. The images are clear for folding (have tried but unfortunately cannot keep up with this one)

She was the starting point for my decluttering and making my home better. This book taught me to surround myself with possessions that bring me joy and happiness and I’m finally starting to see the effort! Marie teaches you many practical strategies that work (for me at least).

I downsized my clothes and books due to Spark Joy and will continue (am onto photos at the moment)

If it doesn’t bring you joy then get rid of it!! Simple and effective 🙂 Thank the items you don’t want to give it life to someone else. A must have for any tidying fans or want somewhere to start on the decluttering journey.

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Garden Diary- September 2020

Hello everyone! End of September already!!

This month we had blackberries after 3 years!!

The ceanothus has now got some buds!

The Cornus I cut has rooted! Just left it in water for a week and it grew roots! I then repotted.

Autumn feel from the tree spinach
William wanted this in the fairy garden 🙂 chilli plant 😉

The clematis has bloomed!

I then made two little flower arrangements from the garden and two big ones (the first was 40p bunches I rescued from the reduced pile) for the table to bring extra joy to mealtimes.

Made my mum a hand tied bouquet for her birthday 🙂 First time making one and really enjoyed it!

September collection
Deweeded the hedge at the front

Harvested some seeds! These are from lychnis coronaria.

And these from sunflowers!

So September has been a busy one! Deweeding/deadheading and preparation of what cut flowers I want to grow next year 🙂 The tomato’s are starting to flower but not much crop this year veg wise 😦

The basil is still growing and producing so every few weeks I pick the top leaves and put them in the oven to make dried herbs.

I also tidied up the back and moved some of the containers 🙂

That’s all for this month 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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The Very Hungry Jessica

In the light of the moon a little Jessica was asleep in her bed.

Early one morning the sun came up and woke up a very hungry Jessica.

She started to look for some food.

On Monday she ate through one Pain au Chocolate but she was still hungry.

On Tuesday she ate through two waffles but she was still hungry.

On Wednesday she ate through three pancakes but she was still hungry.

On Thursday she ate four bowls of choc hoops but she was still hungry.

On Friday she ate through five pieces of jam on toast but she was still hungry.

On Saturday she ate through one cupcake, a packet of cheese and onion crisps, one chocolate cake, one bowl of popcorn, a packet of raisins, a cheese sandwich, a lollipop, a bowl of pasta, one yogurt and one slice of watermelon (which she hated). That night she had a stomach ache.

The next day was Sunday again and she ate through a plate of half cut grapes, strawberry’s and bananas- and after that she felt much better.

Now she wasn’t hungry anymore!

She put on her unicorn onesie for the day. Then she took it off and…

She became a fairy!

The End

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Silent Sunday

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September Goals

Hello and welcome to my blog!

So last month I took a break from writing as Camp Nano took it out of me! (Worth it though).

This month both kids are back to school (William starts reception!) so what better way to restart the goals! The goals are-

1) Finish 2nd draft of Dino Will

2) Finish 1st draft of Jess-The Eco Warrior

3) Start edits for magazine story

4) Write a chapter or two for the Murder Mystery series

Let’s see what gets done! I have nearly finished The Very Hungry Jessica – Jess found it hilarious 😉 (Will post here soon as well as A-Z book and Williams Tamatoa birthday)

What’s your goals for this month?

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Book Review- When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley

Book Description (Amazon)

Statistics don’t lie. Moms today are more fatigued, burned out, and overwhelmed than ever. Smartphones constantly ping and alert and demand our attention. And social media can eat up hours of our days with mindless scrolling and tapping while leaving many feeling empty and lonely. Add to that family commitments, work that is accessible around the clock, and overscheduling, and you have a life that can feel unmanageable and frantic . . . even running on empty. Bestselling author and founder of Simplified (R), Emily Ley shares how to live a life of more in a world that often overwhelms to the point of burnout in When Less Becomes More. Emily empathizes with mothers in the throes of exhaustion and provides tools for nourishing their spirits and achieving a life where less becomes more. In this book, Emily Ley, author of the bestselling Grace, Not Perfection and A Simplified Life, takes readers on a journey out of that empty place and shows them how to fill their wells with the nourishment that only true connection can provide. She also presents some radical concepts that push against the tethers of modern life, with the promise that more of the good stuff comes when we say yes to less of what keeps us empty: Less Rush, More Rhythm Less Liking, More Loving Less Noise, More Calm Less Distraction, More Connection Less Frenzy, More Soul Rest Less Fake, More Real Less Fear, More Community Less Great, More Good Less Chasing, More Cherishing Less Stuff, More Treasures Getting to more might require some outside-the-box changes, some unraveling of the patterns readers have adopted, and some reworking of the day to day. Readers can build a life based on their core values instead of slipping into a life dictated by society or what’s “normal.” Because we weren’t made for normal. We were made for more–for a life of fullness, dreaming, and lasting joy.

Book Review

Emily’s words are a breath of fresh air. In our over-stimulated, rushes, and chaotic world, the permission to slow down is exactly what we all need. She has given touching and heartfelt truths as well as lovely simple quotes to help calm and be still. Sometimes good is beautiful- and great can be a little exhausting!

I love the different chapters (especially the social media one) and feel like Emily speaks for all of us at some point (her openness and honesty shines through the book) and this book has changed the way I’m thinking – that it’s ok to say no!

Very good book (in general and for slow living guidance) and definitely worth a read! Will be re-reading and picking it up as and when I need it and has a place on the coffee table!

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Drawings

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My love of drawing is back as during lockdown Jess and I started watching drawing tutorials on YouTube.

I then done an A-Z book for William (a separate post coming soon).

I then started drawing these after watching a YouTube video and I love this style art (kinda manga/anime)

Drew this for our 3rd wedding anniversary
Our family 🙂 Quick drawing
Me!
A possible character
Potter
Slothicorn

So that’s some of my drawings I have done during the month – I took a break from writing due to testing from July Camp Nano 🙂

I’m loving my new pens!

Which drawing is your favourite? Do you draw? What do you like drawing?

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Book Review- Murder In The Choir by Liz Hedgecock

Books Description:

When Pippa Parker joins the village choir, she doesn’t expect anyone to die… No-one thinks the death of a soprano is anything but a tragic accident; everyone in the choir is too busy rehearsing for SingFest UK. With no help from the police, Pippa must investigate alone. If anyone finds out what she is up to, she risks losing both her friends and the respect of the local community. And speaking of friends, what on earth does best friend Lila see in her new man? Murder in the Choir is the second book in the Pippa Parker cozy mystery series, set in and around the English village of Much Gadding.

Book Review:

I enjoyed getting back into Pippas life and how this book easily flowed from the last one (and this could be a stand alone in itself). A good fast read where I again failed in knowing who done it (but when you go over it to find the clues it’s then more obvious!)

Looking forward to reading more from this series and see what else Pippa gets upto!

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