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February 2019

No Second Chance by Harlan Coben – Book Review #5

I love Harlan Coben books. I read loads of them last year and enjoyed watching the series, Safe, on Netflix last year. I’ve just found out that No Second Chance has also been made into a Netflix series and I’ll be adding it to my list 🙂

No Second Chance

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter…

Shot twice by an unseen assailant, Dr. Marc Seidman lies in a hospital bed. His wife has been killed. His six-month-old daughter has vanished. But just when his world seems forever shattered, the ransom note arrives: We are watching. If you contact the authorities, you will never see your daughter again. There will be no second chance. With no one to trust, and mired in a deepening quicksand of deception and deadly secrets, Marc clings to one unwavering vow: bring home his daughter, at any cost.

My Thoughts

Harlan Coben remains one of my favourite authors and I really enjoyed No Second Chance.
I spent a lovely, relaxed Saturday afternoon reading the majority of this book because it was hard to put down; I just had to know what happened to baby Tara!

No Second Chance by Harlan Coben book cover

Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 5 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Top Tips for Planning a Summer Wedding

If you’re engaged or thinking about getting married, the early months of the year are a great time to be getting on with the planning stages. There are usually plenty of wedding fairs on for you to visit and see a wide range of wedding related services, from dresses and suits to flowers, cake designers, photographers, and entertainers. It’s also a much more pleasant way to spend your evenings when it’s cold and damp outside!

summer wedding - bride and groom's hands making a heart shape together

If you’re using a building or marquee for your wedding or reception, make sure there’s air conditioning, because it could get very hot – especially for people wearing suits. If the ceremony or reception is taking place outside, is there shade, or can the venue put up gazebos or canopies to provide shade if it’s a seriously hot or bright day?

Summer weddings are ideal for making the most of outdoor facilities, and there are many beautiful locations that offer wedding packages, such as Adlington Hall country wedding venue. If you live in the city, it’s a great excuse to venture out into the countryside and enjoy the views, and in Britain, there’s certainly no shortage of picturesque spots to host your wedding day.

outdoor summer wedding

You don’t need to limit yourself to the countryside; you could go for something a little different like getting married on the beach or on top of a mountain for example. Just be aware that if you go for a more energetic option, it’s likely to mean you’ll be getting a bit hot and sweaty, so you’ll need to take precautions to keep yourselves cool.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that adventurous weddings like these aren’t suitable for some of your guests, like the elderly or people with young children. Although your wedding day should be focused on what you want and not guided by the wishes or preferences of your guests if you want to share your big day you need to think about how you can include your loved ones. One idea is to film the ceremony as it takes place on the sand or in the clouds, and show it at the reception, which you have at a more accessible location.

beach summer wedding

The heat can also play havoc with your hair and makeup, so it’s worth talking to your hairstylist and makeup artist to see how they can fix your hair and makeup to resist the heat. Pinning your hair up might be a good plan because it not only helps prevent frizz if it gets humid, but it allows air to circulate around your neck to help keep you cooler.

Buffets are a great idea for a hot day, because people may not feel like hot food if it’s 28º outside. Food that’s not going to dry out in the heat is important, so sandwiches may be off the menu, and anything perishable needs to be kept cool to stop anyone getting food poisoning. A self-service ice-cream factory or an outside ice-cream seller might provide some welcome relief on a hot day, and cold drinks are essential.

Your wedding is such a special day, and ensuring it meets your expectations can be hard work, but it’s worth it when you experience the results.

This is a collaborative post

Give Your Home a Log Cabin Style feel with these 8 Ideas

Creating a cabin style cottage with an interior that looks carefree and inviting is exciting. For a home to have a rustic look with log cabin style interiors is like creating a dream house with all the aesthetics of a farmhouse. The log cabins look dreamy with the beautiful interiors and warm lighting creating an impact on the wooden logs. It is necessary to use many effective designs with more of the same wooden tones throughout rooms to give the place a simple and rustic look. The beautiful staircase made of logs and positioned well inside the living room complements the other rooms in the house. Decorating the home interiors with wooden and simple décor with an earthy color scheme with cozy and rustic textures adds to the rustic appeal.

log cabin

Walls and the Ceiling

The rooms can be painted or colored with neutral colors to give the place a contemporary look with the woody feeling. The home with wooden walls and beams and felt ceiling panels give the place a rustic appeal. The felt wall covering and the hanging felt panels add to the trendy style for the interiors of the house. The wooden walls with the exposed log beams look elegant and appealing. The light interiors help to give natural look to the exposed wooden beams. The felt partition and the wooden staircase adds to the natural look of the place. The felt for walls gives the place a rustic log cabin appeal.

Furniture

The furniture for the log cabin style home should be kept simple and unpolished. The tables and cabinets made of unfinished and unpolished wood give a rustic appeal to the log cabin. The light color sofas balance the harsh features of the rustic look. The vintage rug makes the living room look warm and cozy. The wooden stools with the coffee table add to the simple and elegant furnishings. Wooden cabinets and floating shelves can be added into the corners for storing and displaying things. A wooden bookshelf in the corner can be added for the books.

The beds in bedrooms with big wooden frames go with the rustic theme. The cozy built-in wooden bunks are great for the log style cabin bedrooms. The dining table kept near the windows gives a beautiful view of the outdoors. The wooden cabinets and the table tops match the color palette of the rooms. The contemporary look is to combine various styles and fill the gaps amicably to make the place look welcoming.

bedroom in a log cabin

Big windows

Large windows in the rooms give a beautiful view of the place and also helps with natural light to play with interiors giving the place a nice cozy look. The large windows help to enhance the outdoor feel within the home. Creating a cozy seating space near the window with colorful cushions makes the place look inviting.

Stone fireplace

The log cabins or homes are not complete without the traditional brick stone fireplace. The brick stone fireplace and wood area are a common feature of log cabin style homes. The fireplace adds to the warm and coziness of the home. In fact, the living room with the fireplace is the coziest place in the entire home. The fireplace mantle can be decorated with photo frames, candles, and colorful wreaths.

log cabin stone fireplace

Barn door

The entrance of the log cabin style home can be complemented with a barn door. The barn door at the entrance gives a rustic appeal to the place. The entrance can be decorated with wire baskets and lanterns along the aisle. We can add a wreath made of artificial flowers on the barn door to add some color to the place.

Antique Trunks

The antique metal trunks add to the rustic vibe of the place. The antique trunks can be used as a storage for various things at home. It can be used for storing linen, quilts, bedcovers, and other items. Placing a vintage trunk in place of a table adds to the cabin style look. The trunks can be decorated with accessories like wire baskets, candles, and another vintage décor. The top of the wine barrel can be used as a tray for displaying antiques and accessories.

Lighting fixtures

The lighting fixtures on the wall create an impression within the room. The subtle lighting gives warm look and creates an inviting ambience to the home. The lighting fixtures should be good so that it enhances the look of the wooden interiors of the home. Hanging a chandelier in the open space from the ceiling makes it the focal point inside the room and gives the cottage a modern look. The lights fixed within the beams and the wall along with beautiful lamps and candles illuminate the place and make the place look bright and welcoming.

Art and Pictures

The pictures and art in their respective frames complement the rooms well and gives the place an aesthetic appeal. The colorful paintings and artwork add color to space and covers the walls well. The artwork with landscapes and nature sets the tone for the cabin style theme. Photo frames look good when they are made from wooden wall hangers for complementing the rustic look of the room. Vintage lamps and clocks also look good for a rustic décor for the living room. The living room décor can be enhanced with antique accents and wreaths made of branches and ferns.

Decorating a log home involves a lot of creativity with imagination for creating a place which is simple, aesthetic and rustic in appeal. Creativity is using a lot of rustic materials for designing the interiors effectively, for adding stylish decor to the home, while perfectly complementing each space. The interiors for log cabin interiors have a lot of elements that contribute to their natural and rustic looks. Since wood happens to be a natural insulator, therefore the interiors of the homes are well protected from the exterior environment. The log cabin homes can be styled aesthetically and made to look welcoming for the family and friends. The important element of rustic style décor is to mix quality with style to make it functional and give the place a welcoming look.

This is a collaborative post

Muller Jelly Delight – Slimming World Recipe

I had a Muller jelly delight most days when I first joined Slimming World. For some reason, I stopped having them and I don’t know why because I love them. I decided it was time to make some this week after seeing them at our taster […]

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Freelance Ideas for Busy Parents That Want to Earn More

Most people probably spend their days thinking about how they can earn more money. It can seem like one of the many mysteries of life that is hard to crack. However, you should know that earning extra money doesn’t have to be an impossible puzzle to solve as there are opportunities all around you. For parents, especially, it can be tedious trying to think about what you can do to make money during the few free moments that you have every day. Having said that, here are a few freelance ideas if you’re a busy parent looking to make extra money.

1.) Writing

For every parent out there with decent writing skills, this could create a perfect freelance opportunity for you. There are endless ways to make money as a writer, especially in this digital age. Companies and individuals are always looking for quality and interesting content, so you should be able to get income from this.

You could think about creating a blog and making money from ads or affiliate links. However, this takes time so if that’s something you don’t have, perhaps look for small businesses that need blog content and see if you can offer affordable packages. There are also larger companies looking for freelance writers which means you’d be able to work around your schedule as well.

Freelance ideas - woman typing on a laptop

2.) Personal Training

For the parents who enjoy fitness, why not go down the personal training route? The good thing about this career path is that there’s a significant level of flexibility. If you have kids, you know how important this is as you likely have to balance school runs, meal times and homework with your personal ventures. To follow this path, you could take OriGym’s online Personal trainer course which will enable you to acquire relevant certifications. Another good thing about choosing this path is also that you could earn a lot of money if you’re good at what you do.

3.) Consultancy

In this day and age, people are always looking for expert knowledge. If you’re in a position to give it, this is something you could do while the kids are asleep or at school. Choose an area where you have authority as a result of years of experience or an array of reading. If you have enough knowledge about business, you could also consider becoming a management consultant which means that you’d be solving specific problems or improving efficiency.

4.) Tutoring

Children who need help in school often end up getting tutors. If you’re good at teaching, especially in one of the STEM subjects, you could give lessons after school or on weekends. To become a personal tutor, you usually need qualifications as well as experience in the area that you’ll be teaching on. Being up-to-date with the current curriculum is also a necessity too.

To get started as a tutor, look for ways to get the word out on your social media platforms by making digital flyers and asking friends and family to pass the message on.

tutoring

5.) Social Media Marketing

For any parents who happen to be experts at social media, this could be a golden opportunity for you. There are people out there who don’t know how to navigate their way around social media or simply don’t have the time and are ready to pay for someone to do it. From the comfort of your own home, you could create social media content plans, post content and help to grow your client’s online community. You’d simply need to learn the fundamentals and be able to show them that you’re capable of getting the job done.

6.) Start a Business

You may be interested to know that all of the suggested freelance ventures above can be turned into businesses. You could run them as a one-man show or decide to bring other people on board and grow your business instead. Other business ideas that can require little effort and resources include becoming an eBay seller or selling stock photography if you’re into taking pictures. The objective should be to look at what people need, or what problem you can solve with your skills or talents.

As a busy parent, making more money can be something that you hope to do for several reasons. Aside from giving your children the best, the more money you have the better opportunities you may be able to create for your family. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired by the list above to begin your own freelance venture.

This is a collaborative post

2 Fun and Simple D.I.Y. Gardening Projects for the Kids this Spring

Spring is almost here. Are you ready for the bumblebees, butterflies, and birds to dance about your backyard?

 

Now is the time to start planning for some outdoor fun for the kids, too. Why not beautify the garden while you’re at it? Look around your house and begin to think outside the box for ways to reuse your unwanted knickknacks or cracked plates in the garden.

child watering plants

With these quick and easy D.I.Y. projects, you can keep the kids smiling as the snow melts and spring arrives.

 

A Rock Garden for Blossoms on a Budget

 

One of the most exciting trends of 2019 is reducing water waste with drought-resistant plants and fun rock gardens.

 

One of my favourite DIY garden projects is to create a rock garden that can be brought indoors when the weather turns frigid. You can start this inside now and bring it outdoors when the weather warms back up.

 

I recommend using succulents because they’re easy to care for and can handle the kids petting their leaves and playing with them. They also propagate easily which can be another learning project for next year.

gardening projects - succulent garden

  1. Start with a container. This is where you have options. If you have a container you’d like to use lying around the house, don’t hesitate to turn it into a fun and funky planter. Some unique ideas include a scratched baking pan or even a cracked teapot.

 

  1. Fill the container about 2/3rds full with potting soil or whatever mix works best for the flowers you’ve selected. Succulents often do best in containers with sandy soil that drains quickly.

 

  1. Now, arrange your plants so they have some space to spread a bit. Remember to think contrast when it comes to size, shape, and color. If you have any porcelain figurines, you can add them now, too.

 

  1. Loosen their roots so your plants have the best chances. Kids usually love doing this part because it gives them the opportunity to get a little dirty.

 

  1. Add another inch or three around the roots and place your stones gently on top of the soil.

 

  1. A rock garden doesn’t require much water, but the plants will require sun. So, place your rock garden on a windowsill or somewhere sunny. You and the kids can also add crystals or clay creations to give your rock garden more character.

 

  1. Once it warms up, bring you planter outside and watch your plants soak in the sun.

 

The Perfect D.I.Y. Plant Markers

 

After you’ve planted your winter containers and organized your seeds, what can you do next?

 

As you ready your family for planting some fruits, veggies, and flowers in the garden, you can prepare some bespoke plant markers to the place where your seeds will sprout. This will keep the kid’s hands busy while the soil thaws.

gardening projects - homegrown vegetables

This project is perfect for helping you plan what you want to harvest this year, too.

 

  1. Decide what plants you want. You can time when your flowers bloom and when your veggies will be mature. I like to cycle my flowers for late spring to fall blooms.

 

  1. Find a set of items you no longer have a use for. Get creative. You can use forks and spoons for your veggies or old action figures. It’s really up to you and the little ones what kind of flair you want your garden to have.

 

  1. Let the kids practice their writing or drawing skills. Use a fine-tipped permanent marker to write the names of the plants on small scraps of paper. Torn edges can give these tags a fun look. Little kids also have a blast if you let them name the plants. Who doesn’t want a cactus named Fred?

 

  1. Place the paper over the plant markers and affix them with Modge Podge. Let them dry overnight.

 

  1. In light strokes, spray a sealer over the paper so it will stay on all spring, summer, and fall.

 

  1. Keep them somewhere safe so when spring is here you can pop them into the ground beside your freshly planted flowers.

 

When it comes to gardening on a budget. D.I.Y. projects are perfect! They will keep the kids from going stir crazy and give your garden a fresh and fun look. This also makes a perfect project to leave with the babysitter or nanny.

 

Help your kids develop green thumbs while reducing waste. A vegetable garden will also encourage your little ones while teaching them about the natural world. Most importantly, have fun while you wait for spring to arrive!

This is a collaborative post

The Trap by Melanie Raabe – Book Review #4

I’ve been looking forward to reading The Trap since I came across it in the charity shop. I looked it up on Goodreads and saw that it’s not very highly rated, but I decided not to read any of the reviews as I wanted to make my own mind up.

The Trap

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

In this twisted debut thriller, a reclusive author sets the perfect trap for her sister’s murderer–but is he really the killer?

For 11 years, the bestselling author Linda Conrads has mystified fans by never setting foot outside her home.

Haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister–who she discovered in a pool of blood–and the face of the man she saw fleeing the scene, Linda’s hermit existence helps her cope with debilitating anxiety.

But the sanctity of her oasis is shattered when she sees her sister’s murderer on television. Hobbled by years of isolation, Linda resolves to use the plot of her next novel to lay an irresistible trap for the man.

As the plan is set in motion and the past comes rushing back, Linda’s memories–and her very sanity–are called into question. Is this man a heartless killer or merely a helpless victim?

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed The Trap. It kept me reading because I just had to know if Linda was right about Lenzen or whether all the years she’s spent as a recluse since her sister’s murder had messed with her mind.
I liked the way the chapters alternated between the book Linda had written about the murder and back to Linda in the present day.

If I see more books by Melanie Raabe I’ll be buying them 🙂

The Trap By Melanie Raabe book cover

Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 4 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

For more book-related posts, click here

Shanghai Chicken – Slimming World Recipe

This Shanghai Chicken is going to be one of my go-to favourites, I just know it; I LOVE Chinese 5 spice! I’ll have to have it for lunch, however, because KayCee’s not a fan of Chinese 5 spice and will not be happy if we […]

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Frosty End To January – My Sunday Photo

I love snow and I’ve been looking forward to getting some snow this past week, but it kept passing us by. Thursday, however, was very very cold and I awoke to a lovely frosty landscape. It looked so pretty. I have to say, I think the frost on the trees looks even nicer than snow would have done!

Frosty Day

frosty trees

I wish now I’d have gone for a walk and taken my camera. I could have taken some really lovely photos at Whisby Nature Reserve or Hartsholme Country Park. There are some great photo opportunities at both places 🙂

For more Sunday photos, click here

February 2019 1 Day 12 Pics

For those who don’t know, 1 day, 12 pics (#1day12pics) is run by @emmadaviesphoto on Instagram. On the first Saturday of each month, you take a photo every hour until you’ve taken 12 photos. Here are my photos from the first Saturday in February 2019

February 2019 1 Day 12 Pics

February 2019 1 day 12 pics 01 - snowing, finally!
Photo 1 – Finally, it’s snowing in Lincoln 🙂
February 2019 1 day 12 pics 01 - reading Harlan Coben No Second Chance
Photo 2 – the 4th book of my 2019 Goodreads challenge
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - still reading
Photo 3 – Still reading
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - the snow has gone
Photo 4 – the sun is melting the snow 🙁
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - ella's cake
Photo 5 – Ella made a cake for our pudding tomorrow after Sunday lunch
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - Sudoku
Photo 6 – Took a break from reading to do a sudoku puzzle
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - finishing my book
Photo 7 – Finished my book just in time to get ready to visit Nanny
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - Peter May book The Lewis Man
Photo 8 – This is my next book for my Goodreads Challenge
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - mocha coffee
Photo 9 – enjoying a mocha at Nanny’s
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - Watching Ghost Whisperer
Photo 10 – Watching Ghost Whisperer with Ella. I’ve seen them all before, but it’s her first time and we love watching them together 🙂
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - beef and aubergine bake Slimming World dinner
Photo 11 – Ant made beef and aubergine bake for our dinner
February 2019 1 day 12 pics - Breyers Delights ice cream
Photo 12 – Delicious, low calorie ice cream 🙂
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