February 7th – I’ve booked a cottage in Hay-on-Wye for us to go away for our 10th wedding anniversary in April and I’m really excited! Hay is known for having lots of bookshops and is the reason I’ve wanted to go ever since I saw a photo on another blog 🙂
February 8th – I had loads of fruit and stayed on the Slimming World plan all week only to put on half a pound. I know it’s not much but it’s really got to me because I was expecting a good loss this week. I’ve let it get to me and I’ve now had a rubbish week and I’m dreading the next weigh in!
February 9th – Spring is coming….yay!!
February 10th – We plait Ella’s hair every night to try and help with the brushing the next morning because it gets very tangled. She doesn’t like me doing it any more, she always wants to do it herself.
February 11th – I found these mini vanilla and chocolate croissants at Poundstretcher. They’re a pound for 14 and the kids love them 🙂
February 12th – Ella was concentrating on her reading and I got loads of close-ups of her.
February 13th – I started with a cold the day before Valentines and didn’t have the energy to cook so Ant made dinner for us. The girls were at home and Ella wanted to make it into a special Valentines meal because she couldn’t wait for the actual day!
February 1st – Ant wants to get the kids trying different fruits so this week we bought a dragon fruit. They all loved it 🙂
2nd – Ella chose The Three Little Pigs to read tonight.
3rd – This was gone by the time the kids got home. They were very disappointed. We haven’t had any more since but we live in hope (well, Ant and Aiden hope we don’t get any so they’re not included the ‘we’!)
4th – Kaycee was torn tonight over which book to read. She’d had some homework that included an excerpt of Roald Dahl’s book called Boy and she really couldn’t wait to start reading it but she also couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next in Lemony Snicket!
I let her start on Boy after reading LS 🙂
Ant said he’s never known such an avid reader of her age.
She didn’t write in her reading book all week and she also forgot to take her PE kit to school so as punishment she had to stay in at playtime and read.
She said she didn’t mind at all because she wanted to read Awful Auntie by David Walliams and it was freezing outside so staying in reading was better!
5th – I’m quite pleased with this photo. I didn’t think I’d managed to capture it very well because I haven’t got manual settings on my camera but the auto settings did quite well 🙂
6th – One of my guilty pleasures is Big Brother and I was happy that Katie Price won celebrity BB yesterday.
Well I didn’t make my 100 book challenge. There’s no way I’m going to read another 65 books (still got 34 and 35 to write about) before the end of my day zero challenge next month!
Anyway, here are my thoughts on The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings. I got this book through the Britmums book club and it’s the first book from the book club that I’ve really liked and actually finished.
It came with a lovely postcard, same design as the cover with a note from the author. I loved this little touch and used it as a bookmark 🙂
Will and Harmony are seemingly very happily married but as you get pulled into the story, you find out there are a few cracks showing, mainly down to the miscarriage they’re both dealing with, or so we thought.
Harmony thinks they can try again, but Will told her when they got married that he didn’t ever want children and it’s not going to be as easy for them as Harmony hopes.
You’d think this would be enough for the couple to have to deal with but we find that Will is trying to bury his past, a past that is slowly shown to involve bullying at boarding school.
It’s all brought right back to him though when his one time best friend from school, Luke, suddenly appears in his life.
Harmony, Will and Luke’s lives become intertwined by present actions and past hurts.
I wasn’t prepared for the ending, I usually see the twists coming and know what’s going on for most of the story but this one kept me in suspense and made me look forward to losing myself in the story each night.
I was surprised to start feeling sorry for the bad guy and angry at the supposedly good guy. I had to remind myself that the good guy wasn’t a guy when it all happened, he was a child, a child with his own demons to deal with, at an age where he shouldn’t have had any at all.
I was sorry to finish the book because I knew I was going to miss it!
I now have to read Sworn Secret, Amanda’s first novel and I’m looking forward to future books 🙂
It’s mainly a garden post this week because I’ve been trying to spend more time out there 🙂
Saturday May 3rd – Not happy to have found a lily beetle. All the lilies in the garden are being eaten but the ones I planted in the pots a few years ago and brought here from the other house have so far remained untouched. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Sunday May 4th – It’s my sister’s birthday today….happy birthday Stacy 🙂 I didn’t get to see her because she’s in Derbyshire and I’m in Lincolnshire so today instead of a photo of the birthday girl, we have gorgeous lily of the valley flowers 🙂
Monday May 5th – It’s my cousin’s 18th birthday today….happy birthday Bethany 🙂 Again, she lives in Derbyshire so this is a photo of some tools and sunflower seeds I received the other day for a grow the tallest sunflower competition 🙂
Tuesday May 6th – It’s my brother’s and best friend’s Birthday today….Happy Birthday Jay and Jo 🙂
It was lovely to see Jo and her husband, Ian, yesterday…thanks for coming to see us and I’ll be down to see you soon xx
The photo is of 2 packets of seeds I got free with the gardening magazine I bought 🙂
Wednesday May 7th – No birthdays today, thankfully! I’m determined to find out what this plant this. It’s growing really quickly and I can’t wait to see if it flowers.
Thursday May 8th – The kitchen is very nearly done and we have the living room empty again. For how long I have no idea because it always seems that as soon as we get it empty it has to be used as storage and gets filled up again!
Friday May 9th – Last week it took me 4 hours to clean and organise Kaycee and Ella’s bedroom. They both helped and it’s fair to say they got fed up very soon into the cleaning but I wasn’t letting them away with it because I’m sick of having to clean their mess.
I missed a lot of April. I was so busy with the new kitchen and stuff that I just gave up.
I’ve started again though and will take my year from April 28th instead of January 1st! 🙂
April 28th – Can you believe these are the flowers the kids bought me for Mother’s Day? I took off the dead flowers and was left with all these. They must be the longest lasting flowers I’ve ever had! It’s May 3rd today (Mother’s day was on March 15th in the UK) and they’re still going strong! They’re from Asda in case anyone was wondering 🙂
April 29th – It was our wedding anniversary the following day and Kaycee wanted to make something special for dessert. Here she is mixing up the cake batter.
April 30th – Our wedding anniversary special pudding….a gorgeous knickerbocker glory. Unfortunately we forgot that Ant wasn’t going to be here for dinner because he took his mum to the hotel she was staying at the night before she flew to Canada to visit her sister and he didn’t get back till around 11 that night. Kaycee was a bit upset but soon cheered up when I said she could make them again on bank holiday Monday 🙂
May 1st – Absolutely love my apple tree 🙂
April 2nd – I found these a few weeks ago when we were sorting through the attic boxes. I fell in love with them and knew I had to have them in my new kitchen 🙂
I haven’t updated my, ‘read 100 books’ challenge, I set myself as part of my day zero challenge recently so I figured it was about time I did, especially as I’ve got quite a few to add!
Gone Series – Book 1
Aiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he’d done he said I should read it. The last time he’d said that to me was after he’d finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.
Here’s a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can’t really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!
Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. In the blink of an eye, all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.
It’s not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I’m not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I’d say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.
Book 2 – Hunger
When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness. An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning. For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.
Book 3 – Lies
It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.
Book 4 – Plague
The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.
Book 5 – Fear
Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.
Book 5 – Light
All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?
The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I’d lost friends with whom I’d been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!
I’ve been helping Ant get his garage sorted. We have about 300 VHS tapes that Ant was going to put on the computer but we decided it would probably never get done because he’s always so busy. We decided to get rid of them and was going to send them to the tip but thought we ought to offer them up free for collection in case anyone wanted them. It seemed such a shame to bin the lot, especially as they contain all complete seasons of Buffy and Angel. I’ve listed them on a Facebook group, free for local collection and if no one wants them, we’ll ask granddad to take them to the tip.
Ella and her doll (actually, I think this one may be Kaycee’s doll!) and lots of bracelets she found while helping sort the bedroom.
An attempt to make a den. The wind was very strong however and kept blowing it down. Excuse all the mess on the patio, it’s from the garage and it’s taking a while to sort through everything!
My first ever Scrabble game! I played with the girls and didn’t know until Ant came home and pointed it out, that we’d put a word on backwards and that wasn’t allowed! I was working with Ella and Kaycee was on her own until Ant sat and joined her team. It was a really enjoyable game and I hope we get time to play it again soon 🙂
The girls ‘helping’ to paint the arch!
The girls have been pestering to have Aiden’s tent out for a while now and I kept saying no because I didn’t want them to break it. I gave in and said yes and they broke it! We found this one left in the attic by the previous owner. Ant said it’s really old but it’s in excellent condition so he put it up for them and they decided to sleep in it that night! None of us thought they’d actually make it the whole night because they were scared once it got dark but they did it and were pleased with themselves the next morning 🙂
For some reason, my laptop can’t see my iPhone anymore and I spent hours trawling forums and websites trying to find a solution. I stayed up till 2 am just trying to get my photos off my phone and onto my laptop. I gave up and used Ant’s laptop the next day and I’m leaving the problem to the super wonderful husband to fix. It is his job after all!!
I’ll be so happy when we’ve finished getting the boxes in the loft and when the bookshelves are are up so I can get all these boxes of books put away. Not only will we be able to move around the house like normal human beings (by that I mean not having to go everywhere sideways like a crab to fit through and having to watch where you put your feet all the time because the walking space is so small!) but I’ll have time to blog properly again! As it is, I’m playing catch up!
March 8th – Perfect to peg the washing out.
March 9th – Found 2 frogs under the leaves 🙂
March 10th – The sun is really lifting my spirits 🙂
March 11th – Finally got the Wii set up again. The girls were very happy!
March 12th – My bleeding heart plants are growing really fast 🙂
March 13th – Found this little fella on my washing
March 14th – Charity shop bargain….20p each!
March 15th – Making cake pops 🙂
March 16th – A lovely sunny Sunday morning in our wonderful garden; the girls are colouring and Ant’s fixing a puncture on Aiden’s bike.
March 17th – Ella shouted, ‘mum, come quick, it’s shepherds delight!’ 🙂
March 18th – Ella 🙂
March 19th – Completely surprised and delighted to find rhubarb growing in the garden 🙂
March 20th – Forget me nots 🙂
March 21st – Ella was really excited when she saw it was sunny and raining at the same time. She was even more excited when she saw the double rainbow 🙂
1st March – Kaycee’s working on her brownie skills badge and had to pack a suitcase for an overnight stay at a friends 🙂
March 2nd – Cluedo has become one of our favourite games.
March 3rd – Lots of food pictures this week! This was slimming world chili and jacket potato. Syn free and delicious.
March 4th – Kaycee’s pancake 🙂
March 5th – Aiden had to cook a meal for the family as part of his cooking homework. He made gammon and tomato pasta with garlic bread (I made the garlic bread and used a little too much garlic!). Everyone really enjoyed it 🙂
March 6th – Spring is coming 🙂
March 7th – Kaycee’s school celebrated world book day a day late. Kaycee went as the saucepan man from The Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton. Ant made the saucepan hat and Kaycee thought it was brilliant, as did we all 🙂