Monday, 29 April 2013

Honour by Elif Shafak - A Review


I have joined a book club.
This has been on my to-do list for a very long time but I selfishly thought that I wouldn't have to time to read the nominated title and be able to fit in the books that I really wanted to read. Well funnily enough, even without being in a book club, I haven't found time to read everything that I have wanted to read so what had I got to lose.

Britmums launched a book club last month and I clicked on that link faster than the kindle sales of 50 Shades of Grey (which I haven't read).

Honour by Elif Shafak

Honour by Elif Shafak is the story of a Turkish family, their heritage, their secrets and their struggle to be at peace with themselves. The story steps between Turkey and London, and between different members of the family both in the past and in the present, putting down layers of misfortune and misunderstanding on which the youngest generation are raised. Three children, with very different personalities, try to do what they believe is right upholding the honour of their family through their mother. She has her own challenges brought from a difficult childhood as an identical twin and her large, all female family, and to her estranged marriage and her affair.

It is a beautifully written novel, evoking a sense of unease in places, tension in others and warmth. I particularly liked the sections of the book devoted to Turkey and the older generations, loving the colour and texture of the authors language. It wasn't at all difficult to read, and not too 'literary' but felt like a worthy read none the less. I am not belittling chick lit at all but I can't live off a diet of Prossecco without the occasional glass of wine or bottle of cider.

I would definitely recommend this book and am passing it on to a friend who kindly gave me Me Before You by Jojo Moyes as a gift for World Book Night.

And if you want to join in with the Britmums Book Club then follow the link and sign up.

Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this book by Britmums for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Sometimes responsibility can lie heavily on our shoulders. It can weigh us down with its gravity. The idea of shirking it, rebelliously dancing in our heads. And then you have the chance to do exactly that - throw it aside and skip all over it. Or in my case, wave it goodbye in the rear-view mirror.

It was only a brief adieu and I returned to my responsibility happily, refreshed and rejuvenated thanks to a day at a Bannatyne's Spa won in a Britmums competition.

Fivegoblogging 365project week 17 2013

The lawn is most definitely the Mr's responsibility
A day without responsibility at the Spa.
Responsible for ensuring the safety of art from the three amigos.
The tea urn is a great responsibility at toddlers group.
Responsible for the safe return of the bee to the garden who mistook my windowsill for a safe haven.
Responsible for watering the plants.
Responsible for safeguarding our history in the minds of our children.

Did you get a responsibility free hour or two this week? I can highly recommend it!

Join The Boy and Me to see what they've been up to this week.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 26 April 2013

Mess and manners

messy floor

If your child made a mess like this while having lunch at home, you'd clear it up.
If your child made a mess like this while having lunch in a restaurant, what would you do?

In the first instance, I would have been picking bits up as they fell. Who wants mushed food on the soles of their shoes? In the second instance I would pick up the worst of it with a napkin. There is absolutely no way I could stand up, brush myself and my child off (adding to the carnage that was lunch on the floor) and walk away.

But the two mums and their two children who sat at the table next to us did exactly that this week.

I think I may have gawped as they walked away. I was embarrassed for them. Then I was apologetic to the waiter who came to our table, on behalf of the rest of mothers who would have made an attempt to clear it up. I think to have left this kind of mess is just plain rude and arrogant. Yes you are paying to be waited on. But who do you think you are? For goodness sake, get some manners and show some respect!

Apologies to the Mr who I may have slightly embarrassed as I took this picture and apologies for the rant, but occasionally you just have to let off some steam.


Saturday, 20 April 2013


The sun shines and it is like the world is smiling at you.
So I am gorging myself on sunlight, soaking it in, hoping that it will see me through the inevitable dreary days that will come.

Five Go Blogging 365project week 16 2013

Morning sunlight pouring through the windows attracts boys who want to play.
Too busy playing in the sun to eat his first breakfast, so a second breakfast today.
Sunlight on my dining room floor.
Warmer evenings and a mysterious artistic duo are painting the town, literally.
The sun seems to be making his eyelashes grow longer.
My garden workforce.
Jigsaws on the dining room floor where the sun shines.

May the sun shine on your week.

Join The Boy and Me to see what they've been up to this week.

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Spring clean to Spring craft

Spring is the traditional time for a mammoth clean up isn't it?
Except I don't do housework willingly, so instead I am having a mini Spring clear out starting with clothes.

I don't have an extensive wardrobe and much of it is very last season. Actually last season before last before that one. Staring into its depths my wardrobe only serves to taunt me with its tired shrugging shoulders (padded) and its lazy crumpled pleats (unironed). I have some classics that I have had for years but are now so worn that they are only useful for the Scouts rag bag collection, and some fashion disasters that will likely reside in a charity shop for months.

I made three piles.

Pile 1 - classics not threadbare and/or wear often.
Pile 2 - too challenging for even the best make do and mender.
Pile 3 - hasn't seen the light of day for years.

Pile 1 was refolded, hung on wooded hangers and replaced in the (now more spacious) wardrobe.
Pile 2 was sorted into two more piles. One consisted of fabrics I might use for crafting or sewing and buttons I can reuse. The other was bagged up for the Scouts.
Pile 3 is heading to the charity shop.

I have done the same with the Mr's shirts and the kids clothes too and this provided a rather opportunistic pile of fabric that shouted "Make something with me!!" So I did.

Shirts for upcycling

All over my Instagram feed I see quilters using shirt fabric for projects but not being a quilter I sought inspiration on Pinterest and came up with this.

Pinned from Not on the High Street
Credit: Not on the High Street

Three shirts, a bit of ribbon and a rummage through the button stash later, I knocked up this heart decoration.

Happy Home Happy Heart shirt upcycle

Happy Home, Happy Heart x

Linking to the Pinaddicts

PinAddicts Challenge

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Remember when all you had to worry about was if Mum had put a chocolate biscuit in your lunchbox?
If you would be allowed to watch Coronation Street?
If you would get the new Barbie for Christmas just like the one your best friend had?
If you would be allowed to get some pic'n'mix in town?
If you could sneak the liver from your plate to the dog without Mum noticing?
If it would be butterscotch (bleugh) or chocolate Angel Delight for pudding?
If you would ever be allowed to get your ears pierced before you left school?
If blue eye shadow suited you better than green?

If you swung higher on the swings you would actually take off?


As I get older the worries multiply but for this moment, when I went on the swing at the park, all I worried about was what my daughter must be thinking of me to have such an appalled expression on her face!

Oh to be young again...

Joining in with The Gallery and the theme Youth.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Mums Show Live

Mums Show Live

As a (once upon a time) retail professional, one of my perks was to attend trade fairs. Now I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea, on your feet all day, making small talk, but to me they were a fabulous opportunity to see all things new, bright and shiny. The trick was getting there before your competitors did and nabbed all the best stuff for an exclusive.

Then I went on maternity leave and the Baby Show was my substitute. I have three babies so my Baby Show days were extended but with a three year old as my youngest, I don't think I qualify any longer.

But I am saved!

There is a new show on the block, Mums Show Live.

Not for Mums of babies, but Mums of school age children. I cannot believe it has taken this long for something like this to come about.

It has brands exhibiting their wares of course, but it also has Conversation Theatres where you have an opportunity to listen to and chat to experts in all sorts of areas of parenthood including primary school education, negotiation and discipline, online security, wine (I've signed up for that one!), travel, sex education, careers and 'you time' and many more.

There is also an Inspiration Theatre to, well, you know, inspire you. It could be blogging, jam making, beauty or photography. The challenge will be how to fit it all in.

Mums Show Live runs over four days, 16th - 19th May at Alexandra Palace in London so that as many Mums can get there as possible. There is also room for Dads and kids too with the Tree House where kids entertainment is on every day.

The ticket price for Mums Show Live is £10 in advance or £15 on the door but .... *drum roll* ... I have a pair of tickets to give away.

All you need to do is visit the Mums Show Live website and tell me which session at either the Conversation Theatre or Inpsiration Theatre is your must see. Leave a comment on this blog to tell me which session you'd love to attend along with an email address, use the rafflecopter thingy widget below and you will be entered into a draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends on Sunday 21st April at midnight and the winner will be advised on Monday morning.

Right I'm off to try to work out how I can fit in all the brilliant seminars. A spreadsheet may be involved ;-)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring is springing

This week felt has like the first week of Spring.
Hell, I even cut the grass!
So my self imposed (retrospective) theme, is Spring.

Fivegobloging 365project week 15 2013

They had a spring in their step to get to their sleepover.
Daisies are springing up in the lawn.
The Burghley deer can spring into a trot in the blink of an eye.
The sprung suspension on her micro scooter is being tested.
Spring cleaning the Mr's wardrobe and some old shirts are upcycled into a heart decoration.
Watching while the car has a spring clean.
Healthy eating for Spring.

Hope Spring has shown itself where you are x

Join The Boy and Me to see what they've been up to this week.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Seven Cures for a Confectionery Overdose

School holidays and confectionery overdose.
There is only one possible solution - throw them outside (suitably wrapped up) and let them burn off the sugar.

Five Go Blogging 365project week 14 2013

Yorkie Bar Egg = climb a tree
Bag of marshmallows = ride scooter around the patio in ever decreasing circles whilst wearing shades.
Two bags of Maltesers = over generous Grandparents and a walk around the allotments.
Mini Caramel Eggs x 2 = competitive bunny hunting at Burghley
Moshi Monsters Egg = make funny shadows in the garden
Chocolate Bear = self portrait I'm saving to show her therapist (JOKE!)
No more chocolate = cinema and Wreck It Ralph in Candy Land!

Hope you managed to keep some chocolate for yourself this week ;-)

Join The Boy and Me to see what they've been up to this week.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Five Go Bunny Hunting at Burghley

Hip hop happy days.
Cold? Yes.
Fun? Yes.
Hop(p)ing the bunnies are at Burghley Sculpture Gardens to stay? You bet.

Burghley Sculpture Gardens

Think we'll be getting a season ticket again this year :-)