20.4.16

Daniel's Birthday Interview.

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What's your name? Er, Daniel.
How old are you? Six!
What makes you happy? When somebody makes me laugh.
What's your favourite animal? A dragon, a meerkat, a cheetah, a snake and a gorilla. I have a lot of favourite animals. And I like dinosaurs too! 
What's your favourite food? Fish fingers and chips! 
What's your favourite toy?  The Toothless's
What's your favourite thing to watch on TV? Films. How To Train A Dragon films.
What's your favourite book? How to Train a Dragon. 
What's your favourite thing to do outside? Sit down in the sun and play with dragons.
Who is your best friend? Miles and Aiden. 
What do you like to do with Daddy? Play Lego Marvel.
What do you like to do with Mummy? Help you cook.

Bee.

19.4.16

Daniel Kyle turns 6!

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We celebrated our firstborn turning six with the help of a lot of dragons. The first year he has had a proper party, he originally wanted to go bowling but they didn't offer a party package that week because it was half term, so we booked Pizza Hut and then took the kiddos for a game of bowling just around the corner after, and it actually worked out cheaper! Daniel and his friends had fun making their own pizzas, eating their own body weight in chips and colouring at the restaurant before we hyped them up with slush puppies and cake at the bowling alley! My sister-in-law made that amazing cake, upon D's request! We also had a party for family and friends at our house with lots of tea and cake, he was super spoilt and had an absolute blast! I, on the other hand, am still not sure how exactly my baby is six already...

Bee.

12.4.16

Ten on ten. April 2016.











The closest I've got to tenon ten in a long time! Capturing the afternoon of my baby boy's sixth birthday, drink selfies and chipped nails galore. I spent the morning rushing out early for an assignment hand in and prancing around at uni, all of which was decidedly un-picture-worthy. Relaxing in the garden with my newly six year old and an iced coffee, listening to The Lumineers, was definitely something I wanted to document. 

Bee.

7.4.16

February Reads.

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A little late with this one, March is sitting in my drafts too, life is definitely running away with me. I'm genuinely only writing this now because I'm procrastinating writing an assignment and I'm too full of gummy bears! Despite that, I do enjoy writing these little reviews so I hope y'all enjoy reading them, they're definitely some of my favourite posts to read!
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The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine.
You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!
Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

**** Four stars, I enjoyed this book. It was quite light hearted, for younger readers (despite the obvious themes of child labour and stealing, these aren't described in a dark way at all) this books is fun and thrilling. It kind of reminded me of Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman, probably because of the strong, young, female character and maybe the era but don't quote me on that, I am an awful historian. I would like to read the next in the series too. 

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart ...

***** FIVE stars, this book is amazing. It had me on the edge of my seat throughout, I read it within days and have ordered the sequel. A bizarre new world, people separated by the colour of their blood, the magical powers almost makes it unrealistic but the characters sucked me straight in and I became hypnotised by their story. A definite recommendation.  

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo.
This guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this book featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

**** Four stars, some of the ideas were a little too bizarre for me but overall this book has had a drastic effect on our home. I haven't followed her rules exactly, just taking on a few ideas, and have thrown away countless bags of rubbish, unused bits & bobs and clothes. I like the 'only keep things if they bring you joy' manifesto, I have definitely incorporated that into my life and even my Mama has made comments about how much tidier our home is! I do, however, think I am somewhat addicted and am constantly thinking 'What can we throw away next?' I am itching to tackle Colin's side of the bedroom and the boys' toys! 

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How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer"...but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and become a hero!
*** Three stars from me, though the boys would probably give it five. We've been reading a chapter a night as a bedtime story and have since moved on to the second book, the boys think they're absolutely hilarious and are completely obsessed with dragons so this was a definite thumbs up. 

Also read, but not pictured:

  • El Deafo by Cece Bell. ****
  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne. ****
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. ****
  • The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence. ***
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. ***
  • One by Sarah Crossan. *****
  • The Worst Witch Strikes Agin by Jill Murphy. ***
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. *****
  • After You by Jojo Moyes. ***

6.4.16

Day trip to the Isle of Wight.

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Last week we took a quick day trip to the Isle of Wight to visit out Auntie Kay. We had a lovely experience on board Red Tunnel Ferries, as ever, a cute little cafe lunch and a windy trip to the seaside. The boys had a blast digging in the sand and even dipping their toes in the sand while the old ladies sat and watched from the bus stop. A sweet way to pass the day, something a little different.

Bee.

4.4.16

March Reads.

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The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone.
Moll Pecksniff and her friends are living as outlaws in a secret cave by the sea, desperate to stay hidden from the Shadowmasks. But further along the coast lies the Amulet of Truth, the only thing powerful enough to force the Shadowmasks back and contain their dark magic. So, together with Gryff, the wildcat that’s always by her side, and her best friends Alfie and Sid, Moll must sneak past smugglers, outwit mer creatures and crack secret codes to save the Old Magic.
With more at stake than ever before and the dark magic rising fast, can Moll and her friends stop the Shadowmasks before it’s too late?


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Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands Trilogy 1) by Alwyn Hamilton.
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.


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The Railway Children (Children's Classics) By E. Nesbit.
In this much-loved children's classic first published in 1906, the comfortable lives of three well-mannered siblings are greatly altered when, one evening, two men arrive at the house and take their father away. With the family's fortunes considerably reduced in his absence, the children and their mother are forced to live in a simple country cottage near a railway station. There the young trio — Roberta, Peter, and young Phyllis — befriend the porter and station master.
The youngsters' days are filled with adventure and excitement, including their successful attempt to avert a horrible train disaster; but the mysterious disappearance of their father continues to haunt them.
The solution to that painful puzzle and many other details and events of the children's lives come to vivid life in this perennial favorite, a story that has captivated generations of readers and, more recently, delighted television and movie audiences. In this inexpensive, unabridged edition, it will charm a whole new audience of young readers with its warmth and appeal.


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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai.
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.
Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
 


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Geek Girl (Geek Girl, Book 1) by Holly Smale.
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. 
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?


Also read, but not pictured:

  • The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell.
  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.
  • The Versions of Us by Laura BArnett.
  • Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman.
  • Nephro the Ice Lobster (Sea Quest #10) by Adam Blade.
Bee.