10 Tips for First-Time Parents

Looking down and seeing two lines, or the words pregnant.  These can feel like daunting moments everything building up to the birth of a brand new baby. Once your Son or Daughter has been born you may have feelings of what the hell am I going to do, I am never going to be an amazing parent or parents.  These are just some of the feelings and emotions I went through when Jess was born. I only had 14 weeks between finding out I was pregnant and becoming a Mum for the first time. You can read more about that here. Today I am going to share with you 5 tips for when you become a mum for the first time.

Batch Cook before the birth

This is going to be something which I am going to do should we choose to have another child. I remember not having a lot of energy to be able to do things such as cook. This could have been as a result of having a C Section. By batch cooking this means that there is enough meals for you and your family in. You will not have to worry about things such as cooking and having to do the food shop in those early days. Of course one less thing to worry about is of course a huge bonus.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a birth plan

This is something which I chose not to do. I saw it is as because a lot can change and your birth plan is the ideal scenario. I choose not to dot his then it did mean that I was not disappointed that I did not get the natural birth everyone wants. The feelings that I failed did not happen to me because I did not have my heart set on one way of giving birth. Jess ended up been born by C section as her heart rate was dropping a lot lower than they would have liked. I did not end up with the guilt of having the C section. So I would recommend not panic if you do not have a birth plan.

Get a range of size clothing

I was told that Jess was going to be a small baby should I have listened and been keeping her. I would have gone in to panic and bought a lot of tiny baby and newborn clothes. However, when she was actually born she was 8lb 2oz so this is not exactly small. I would recommend getting a range of sizes because the scans are not always accurate when predicting size. At least this way you are going to have clothes which fit your baby. Of course, even if they are a little bit too big for them they always have a bit of growing room.

Do things your way

People want to share with you the way that they did things and that you are doing things wrong. There were multiple things which people said that I was doing differently to how they would do this. For example, I would wash Jess’  dummy when she had dropped it on the floor.  Some people would have just given her it. There is a wide range of things people will tell that they will do different from nappies to how you feed your baby and weaning.

You’re still killing it even if the house is a mess

People see these celebs who snap back and look like they are doing everything they did before they have children. This is not the case for normal mums we do not have the time or the energy we did before children.  As long as your baby has been fed and they are clean. That is all that matters they are not going to remember the tidy house. This applies for when they are toddlers and children. They grow up so fast that you want to spend the time with them and creating memories.

Ask for help if you need it

If you feel overwhelmed by staying home all day with your tiny little baby, ask for help.  You can ask for help even if it is so that you can do something as simple as getting a shower or have a hot coffee.   You are new at motherhood and it is something which I do not think I have mastered at all and I have had nearly 4 years practice. I sometimes have to ask for help now because things can become too much.

Love Your Body

You have just birthed a baby no matter how you had the baby.  C section or a natural birth is one of the hardest thing you can do.  Your stomach is going to be baggy and squishy, you are going to feel flabby all over, and it’s going to take time. It has been home to your baby for 9 months, it may take 9 months or longer to get back to the shape that you were before. I am not back to the shape which I was before I had Jess and she is nearly 4.

Take your time before allowing visits

So many people will want to come and see your new baby. They, of course, are excited to meet your new arrival but they do not think of you and the recovery.  You may not want to have visitors as soon as you are home. I was lucky to be able to spend 7 days in hospital this does mean that I had a bit of time to recover before I had visitors.  Make sure you feel like your up to it before inviting them over. You can say no to people if you would rather stay in your pyjamas and enjoy the newborn bubble.  People if they actually care about you will understand and will come around when you want them to.

Don’t tell people the name you like

This is one which people have told me they would not do. This is due to people trying to put you off a name which you may like for your child. People have been known to air their views on names and try and make people change their mind. If you do not tell people this will not happen. Once you have chosen your name and your baby is here for some reason people seem less likely to tell you they do not like your child’s name. I am not too sure why this is the case but it seems to be.  Should we have another baby we will not be announcing the name until after they have been born.

Do Your Research Before Buying Products

This is one which I would recommend doing if you do not want to waste money. There are millions of baby products out there which the brands claim you need. However, for the majority of them this is not the case. You have other products which can do the job. Meaning that you are not spending as much money. For example nappy bins are one which some people tell you that you can not live without. However, for us we just used to put dirty nappies straight in our outside dustbin. This saved us the money of purchasing one and of course the space. There is a lot of reviews of different products. I always try and review things which we have that we love. By searching around reading reviews you can save money. You may find a better product which would work for you and for less money.

What would you recommend to first time parents?

 

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Our Meal Plan 14th June

Today I am going to be sharing with you the meals which I have been consuming this week. This week I have actually been solo parenting which means that been making meals for one apart from the weekend of course when I have Jess. This does mean I have a lot of meals which has come out of freezer. I like to stock the freezer up so when times like this happen I do have meals which I can make. Of course, I do not want to be having ready meals and also I have meals which I would as if Joe was actually here which is always a bonus. I managed to do the two weeks which he is away this time.

Monday- Chicken Wrapped in Bacon with Soft Cheese in it and Salad. I wanted a super simple meal for the first night. It does mean that it easies me back into the swing of solo parenting life. This is a meal which I have made in the past a loved for sure. I may actually serve this with some new potatoes which we have become of the fact the weather is meant to be rubbish this week. I think it takes around 25 minutes to cook however, I do not have to stand over it while I am cooking.

Tuesday- Lasagna and Garlic Bread, this is a meal which I already in the freezer so this is going to be super simple for me. I think I may have to share the recipe which I used for this meal in the next couple of weeks. Due to the weather I think I am going to have it with garlic bread. I might actually end up sharing this with Jess. This is a meal which I have not had in a long time so I am actually looking forward to this.

Wednesday- Tomato Soup, this is a meal which I made a long time ago and froze.  For sure this is a meal which I loved I have some fresh bread which I am going to be able to have this with. I wanted to be able to use this up because it has been in the freezer for so long. This is a meal which is going to warm me up if it is still cold. I am going to be making this again should I have a lot of tomatoes left to use up. This is a portion of good comfort food for me to be honest.

Thursday- Chicken Kiev and salad, this is going to be a homemade kiev. Again I am going to be sharing the recipe for this in the next few weeks when I remember. I find this has a lot more flavour in it than the kievs which you purchase in the shops. This is so simple to make and for some reason. I managed to have all of the ingredients in so this is to be great. This may be served with a jacket potato it does depend on what I fancy however, I may actually have this with some salad.

Friday- Pesto Pasta, this is a meal which we did not end up having last week. Instead of having it with chicken I am just going to have it on its own. This is a simple meal because by the end of the week I never can be bothered to do too much so I think this is going to be perfect. This is a meal which I used to have at uni so this is going to bring back so many memories. I am unsure if I have had it since I left.

Saturday- Simple Cheesy Pasta, I am working on Saturday, this meal may not be something which I have. Depending on my mood I may change this however, I do want this to be something super simple. I think my Mum will be feeding Jess for me so she at least will be getting a good meal. No doubt this will be something pasta related because this is a meal which she adores so who am I to deny her this. I might even treat her to some garlic bread as well.

Sunday- Homemade Chicken Nuggets and Chips, of course, its father’s day, however, with Joe away this means nothing. So I am going to make a simple meal. Something which we may not have if Joe was actually home. I just want to make a meal which I know Jess is going to actually go to eat. I have some chicken breasts which I am going to use for this.  At least to make some room in the freezer which at the moment seems to be way too full.

Of course, like every meal plan this is linked up with the amazing Katy. I get a lot of the inspiration from her and the linky which she runs. If you are struggling and consuming the same meals I would recommend checking it out. You may find a meal which you love.

What meals are you planning on consuming this week?

Charlotte xxx

 

 

 

 

Potty Training – Our Experience

Girl Reading Book

Jess is now 3 and half which may seem late to have finally potty trained her. I think potty training was something which we were semi putting her off.  We have tried a couple of times to actually get her trained. I think the first attempt was around two years ago however, she was too young to be fully done. She got the aspects it and this meant Jess was not scared of the toilet or the potty.

We gave up because there was several signs of her not been ready. For example she was not telling us when she had an accident. Of course, this was fine with me at least we had everything which we had the tools to allow us to potty train. We had a step, a toilet training seat along side a potty. Jess occasionally would be using the toilet or the potty.

Last summer I was going to really kick start the potty training with her. I wanted her to be trained really before her 3rd birthday. However, as many of you may know our house move ended up getting delayed and this meant we did not have the summer. Instead I was having to take her on a lot of trains and a lot of travelling. This did mean that it was very hard to start potty training.

There was a lot of changes even towards the end of last year which stopped us been able to do it. For example of course we moved which meant that we no longer lived with my parents. Jess had to get used to this as well. Joe also went away for a couple of months around the same time my brother moved to university. Jess is very close to my brother they claim they are best friends.

Around the turn of this year Jess basically told us she was ready. She made us purchase her some underwear because she wanted to be a big girl now. We allowed her to use the potty when we was at home and wear the underwear. We spoke to nursery as they were on board and they wanted her to go in pants as well.  I think this was because they could also see the signs that she was ready. Jess was getting angry when she needed a nappy change I believe this was something to do with been embarrassed.

Of course, we kept her in pull ups when we was on days out and overnight. We chose to do this because of course, you do not always know where the closet toilet is going to be. When you first start training children do not always tell you much before they need the toilet. I think we kept her doing this for around 3/4 months. Once Jess was no longer having accidents when we was at home or nursery we allowed her to go on short journeys in big girl pants. We have not actually taken her on a couple day out without pull ups.

We ask her before we go out to try on the toilet and this then means that she reduces the amount of accidents. I think we have managed to do around 3 hours out of the house in big girl pants. We have not actually had any accidents when we have been out. Of course, I make sure that I have some spare clothes in my bag should any accidents occur.  I try not to get upset if she has an accident because Jess gets very embarrassed about it. This does mean that I have to reassure her.  I know it is going to be a while before we have Jess dry on a night. This is something which I do not have a problem with at all.

A couple of tips which I would give anyone who is going through potty training are allow your child to choose some pants. If you managed to do this your child will be more likely to want to wear their underwear. Make sure that you have the potty accessible to your child. This may be having it in the front room or wherever you child likes to play. This does mean that they then do not have to run to the toilet as fast. Then this does reduce the chance of them having an accident.  Do not put that much pressure on them they will manage to potty train in their own time. This is something which I did because you do not want them to get stressed about a lot.

What age did you potty train your child?

Charlotte xx

 

Preloved Finds May 2019

Trying to purchase less and if we need something can we get it preloved. Is what we are trying to do this year. Jess can grow out of clothes quickly. This means that I end up selling them on Ebay in order to make some money to reinvest in more for her. We have had toys and games for a fraction of their RRP.  EBay is somewhere where I get items which I think are going to be perfect for nursery. As we need clothes we do not mind getting a little bit ruined. Shopping preloved for us is to save items ending up in landfill and to save us some money.

If you have not seen what we have picked up in previous months you can see them here, February, March and April. This month we actually only made one trip to one charity shop.I did not purchase anything preloved from anywhere else.

This month Joe and I actually treated ourselves to a new book each. As you can see from the books which I have been reading this month. I have managed to finish 6 books so of course, I had to replace one seen am allowed one a month. This month I chose the one we fell in love with by Paige Toon. For sure I would recommend this book if you have not read it and you get the chance. To be honest I love any Paige Toon book.  In my local charity, all books are £1 which I do not think is that bad. Usually, I will either send them back for others to enjoy or I will put them on Bookmooch.

Joe purchased When The Eagles Hunt by Simon Scarrow. This is a book which took his fancy he does not read as many as me however, I am sure this is one which he will get finished when he is on an exercise. This seems to be the time when he manages to read the most. Again this was £1 like all books in our local charity shop.

Of course we could not leave Jess out when it comes to books so we picked her up this one. Which is a classic fairy story this has around 10 stories in it which means that we are not going to get bored for a long time. We tend to read a story every single night so we can get bored. These are quite long stories which means that this book may last her a long time. This is something we try to do so we are not having to replace her books all of the time. I seem to remember that this was either £1 or £2 for sure I did not think it was a bad price for what this book is.

Jigsaws, as you may remember, are something which Jess loves. Of course, they are not cheap so when we are able to pick her some new ones for a fraction of the price we do. This one is a 100 piece which is more pieces that she can currently do however, it will come in the future for sure. Winnie the Pooh is always a classic which is never going to age. We managed to get this one for the mere sum of 75p. I am going to keep this one back till some of the other ones which are currently is doing become to easy. I think this is something which Jess is going to have a lot of fun with.

For some reason this time we visited the charity shop there was a lot of jigsaws. This just meant we picked up a number of them because they will come in. Of course, when you are looking to get things preloved it can mean that you have to pick it up there and then rather than when you need them. Of course, they are not going to stay there forever. This Cinderella one is another one which we are going to keep for a little while. 100 pieces may still be too hard for her however, I know it will come in because after all, it is a classic Cinderella. This only cost us 75p which is a steal compared to the RRP of this jigsaws.

 

The final item which we picked up this month was another jigsaw. They tend to be something which we pick up a lot of preloved. I think this is due to the speed which Jess can get through them. This is one which she may be able to do in the next couple of weeks. I am unsure how long this one is going to last her because it is actually a giant floor puzzle. It does have 60 pieces which are currently about 18 more than the ones which is doing at the moment. Jess has not seen the incredibles however, for her this does not matter she just loves doing jigsaws. Again this is one which I did not think was a bad price it was 75p.

Have you picked anything good up preloved in the past month? Let me know in the comments below

Charlotte xxx

 

 

 

 

5 Things Before You Own A Dog

It’s been a dream to get a puppy for the longest time.  But, many obstacles have gotten in the way that have prevented you from purchasing a new 4-legged friend.  You feel that now you are ready to make your house a forever home for your puppy.

Your only concern is making sure your child is safe. They will be so excited to have a new playmate, but you want to make sure the dog doesn’t accidentally hurt them.  Let’s look at some things you can do to prepare your puppy to meet your child.

Socialise as Much as Possible

The more you can socialise with your dog, the more comfortable the pup will feel around people and other animals.  Your dog needs to understand how to deal with children and have a positive experience with them. If you are going to introduce him to children, make sure you have well-behaved kids around.  If they are not well-behaved, your dog will have a negative association with kids. This would also be the ideal time to get out and walk with your dog. It is also a great chance to get out and exercise.

Puppy Training Classes

As soon as possible, enroll your pup in a training class.  Many of the local pet stores will offer a variety of classes or you can talk to your vet about some suggestions.  The sooner you can get them into the classes the better. These classes will go over commands to teach your dog, routines to practice with them, and how to make sure they learn to stay by your side at the most important times.  

Avoiding the Jump

One of the hardest parts of having a dog is training it to not jump up on people.  You may allow it, but other people could be uncomfortable with it. And, with kids involved, you don’t want to have a dog that jumps.  The best course of action is to never let them jump up at all. Teach the dog to sit when he jumps. It may take a long time to achieve this goal, but dogs are smart and will catch on to the fact that you are not allowing it to happen.

House Routines

You will want to create routines for your dog in your house.  Train them to go to the bathroom where you want them to outside.  You also want to make sure they are not jumping up on your furniture.  You should consider purchasing a dog pillow bed as a symbol of their own space.  They should also be taught to wait for their food as this can be a time that a dog exudes food aggression.  This is something you will want to have implemented from day one.

Stay Positive

Positive reinforcement is key.  When the dog is behaving, you want to reward them as much as possible. You can praise the dog, pat the dog, or offer up treats. But, they need to see that good things will happen to them when they are doing what you expect.  You should teach your children to reward them the same way. Rules should be implemented for your child to make sure that they are behaving as well with the dog. The more consistent everyone is with the dog in the family, the better off everyone will be.

And that consistency will bring the family the lovable dog they have always wanted!

Charlotte xxx

Meal Plan 7th June

I am back with another meal plan there was not one last week due to me been poorly.  Basically I was struggling to eat anything I barely ate for a week I think I was living on toast. I just let Joe fend for himself because for sure I did not have the strength to do this. However, this week I am feeling a lot better so I am back sharing the meals which we have been consuming this week.  This hopefully will allow you to get some inspiration should you be struggling to know what meals to add to your meal plan.

Monday- Nan Bread Pizza, we have some nan breads which need using up. We also have some topping from when we made pizza a couple of weeks ago. I have decided that we are going to use them up and have this as one meal. I have never made a pizza using a nan bread base so it will be interesting to see how this works.

Tuesday-  Spaghetti Carbanara, this is a meal which we have not had for one of the longest times. We need meals which are quick to prepare this week as Joe is working long hours.  We had a few of the ingredients in already from meals we had not made so this is the reason we are having this. There is a chance will throw the boat out and get a garlic bread as well.

Wednesday- Chicken Pesto Pasta, I know we had a jar and a bit of pesto in the cupboard which needs using. Again I though this would be a super simple meal which is what I am all about at the moment. Chicken Pesto Pasta is a meal which I used to consume all the time when I was at uni so it is like a throwback for me.

Thursday- Thai Chicken Noodles, this is a meal which I saw on someone who linked up last week. I am sorry I can not remember who it actually was. Noodles are something which are a firm favourite in this house so of course adding it with Thai is going to make it a winner. For sure this is something which I am looking forward to because we have not had a noodle dish in a long time.

Friday- Tex Mex Burger, of course, it is Friday which means fakeaway. This week we have decided that we are going to opt for a burger. This is not something which we have had in a while. I think I will be serving this with home made chips. By the end of the week I have a feeling I am going to need it. This may be a meal which I make Joe cook as well because it always taste better if someone else cooks.

Saturday- Chorizo and Haddock One Pot. We had some new potatoes which need using up. I actually was searching for a recipe to use them up and this is where I came across this meal. I am hopeful that it is going to be one which taste amazing. I love Chorizo anyway so I am sure I am on for a winner with this meal.

Sunday- Prawn Curry, Curry is something which Jess loves recently. I think it is because it is a meal which she does not get a nursery. We have some prawns in the freezer which we could do with using up. I think this Sunday I am just going to do a simple prawn curry with rice. After all some of the most simple meals are the best ones.

Of course, like every meal plan this is linked up with the amazing Katy. I get a lot of the inspiration from her and the linky which she runs. If you are struggling and consuming the same meals I would recommend checking it out. You may find a meal which you love.

What meals are you planning on consuming this week?

Charlotte xxx

 

 

 

 

Your Home Floor Care Guide

Everyone’s homes are different, from the wallpaper to the light fixtures and one important feature of any home that is commonly overlooked is the flooring. Flooring can come in a wide array of types and looks that can suit any range of uses. Keeping your floor in good condition is important to extend the wear ability and promote a longer life span. Here are some important factors to take on board when choosing or maintaining a floor in your home.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring can be durable and resists scratches and is easier to clean, meaning overall low maintenance. Depending on the type of wood that is used for the flooring.  Hard Wood Laminate flooring can add value to a property.  However, in comparison, it will be considerably more expensive than the standard pressed wood. Standard Laminate consists of several thin layers of material that are pressed together and then a printed paper layer that is covered by a protective clear coat for the pattern. The average lifespan for laminate flooring ranges between 15 to 25 years. The difference in life expectancy depends on the quality of the flooring, whether it was installed correctly. Also the severity and amount of traffic it receives. Because of this, the life span can vary from as short as 10 years to as long as 30 years. Poor maintenance such as using over cleaning or the use of harsh cleaners and failing to wipe up spills can reduce the floor’s condition. Some types of quality laminate flooring that is maintained consistently can last for more than 20 years.  Though, it will not outlive a hardwood floor.

Vinyl Flooring

On average, vinyl floors can last between 10 and 20 years. With proper installation from a flooring expert, topped up with regular maintenance. Vinyl floors can last well beyond their expected time frame. Vinyl Floors that are stylish and a cheaper alternative for that flooring product that may last a lifetime.

Carpets

The inexpensive range of carpet will typically last anywhere between 1 to 5 years. A moderate grade carpet can last up to 15 years, with cleaning and regular maintenance. The best of the best; ‘crème de la crème ’ grade carpet on the market, can last up to 25 years. A lot will come down to the owners care and on how they treat the carpet from how often vacuuming occurs to cleaning up spills. Check out flooring specialists such as Carpet One, they have an amazing range of carpets to suit a number of domestic needs.

Tiles

Tile floors can last hundreds of decades if provided you choose the right tile and take care of them. Even some Mosaic Tiles in Pompeii, Italy, survived the horrendous volcano eruption 79 AD. They can be seen after excavation. Most kinds of glazed porcelain, glazed ceramic, and terra cotta floor tile can last up to, and even over 50 years or more. However, if you want your tile floor to last you do need to take some considerations into account. Not all floor tiles can take heavy load demands, so It’s important to choose the right tile for your application if you want that tile to perform well over time. Some tiles may need to be re-sealed to protect your tiles from degenerating. For example, a terracotta tiled floor is commonly sealed when used indoors to help protect it. If you want your terracotta floor to last longer, it’s advised to reseal it roughly every 3 years.

What floor do you have in your home? Let me know in the comments below

 

Charlotte xx

 

 

Affordable Removals Service

Moving house is one of the most stressful things which a person can do in their lifetime. However, this does not stop us on average we move every 23 years if we own our own house. In some areas this is more frequent such as Midlothian, Scotland your likely to move every 15 years.  On the other hand Powys, Wales your more likely to stay in your property for 33 years.

As a result of these people moving it is not surprising that removal services are a big business. After all we are all so busy and need people to help us move into our new properties. We even choose removal men when we moved into our new property last year. However, because we was actually moving from one city to another. We found it hard to get a company within the budget we wanted.  In the end we ended up getting a fixed rate price which meant it did not matter how many hours they were on the job. It did not work out to expensive thankfully.

Another element which I did not love was having to ring people up. When you are moving house of course you do not have a lot of time to be spending on the phone. I wish there was more companies which I would have been able to get a quote online from. This would have meant that I could have do it any time of day rather than having to try and remember during office hours to give them a call.

Recently one of my friends was looking for a removal company as they are moving from London back to the North. They were telling me about the company which they used which was The Man Van. They do allow you to get a quote online which is great when you are busy. Another thing which surprised me about the company is that they are based in London however, if you are moving from the capital to somewhere else in the UK or Europe. They are willing to do the job I am sure this is something that a number of companies would not be willing to do.

You do not have to be moving house to use The Man Van if you are moving offices. This is something which they can help you with as well. Even if you have purchased a large item which you need delivering this is another service which they offer. This is very handy because how many times do you see a bargain on Facebook Marketplace. Then realise you have no way of been able to get to get it to where you need. I do not think their are many companies which would offer this service.

They also claim to be a cheap removal service in London with friendly and careful support. To make your removal as safe and tireless as possible. This is always something which you want when your moving because it can be stressful worrying if they are going to break something. Or is something going to go wrong while your moving these are all worries which I had when we moved.

Have you ever used removal men when you have moved properties?

Charlotte xx

This is a sponsored post.

Some Advice On Creating A Garden Paradise

Not everybody is a gardening enthusiast, but everybody wants their home to look and feel comfortable. Like it or not, your garden is a part of your home. And no matter how good your interior design might be, your household will feel incomplete if it has a shabby exterior design. You need to focus on your outdoor area if you want to make sure your entire abode looks good. It’s a practical improvement as well as a visual one. Still, if you need some help getting started with such a big project then here’s some advice on creating a garden paradise. It might just prove useful.

Focus on the natural side of things first.

In order to create a garden paradise, you need to focus on the natural side of things first. A few garden gnomes aren’t going to magically transform this outdoor area. You need to give it some TLC. You wouldn’t renovate a room in your home without decluttering and tidying up the place first, and it’s the same story for your garden. You need to mow the lawn, trim back the shrubbery, and plant some fresh flowers and plants. Your goal is to make this outdoor space feel bright and vibrant once more. You need to breathe some life into your garden. Let the beauty of nature shine through it. You could even consider planting some trees to add an extra dimension to your outdoor area. Perhaps you might want to install a pond in the centre of the garden to serve as an intriguing focal point. Get creative – this is supposed to feel like a paradise, so it has to be much more than a patch of grass.

Make a statement. 

If you want to create a garden paradise then you need to make a statement. Planting some fresh flowers and trimming overgrowing weeds are examples of things that will tidy the place up and freshen its appearance, but that’s only the start. You need to make bold statements; bolder than the vivid colours of your fresh plants and flowers. This is why it’s so beneficial to combine manmade and natural design. You should create a cosy patio area with some nice decking. It’ll be an aesthetic and practical addition to your outdoor space. You might want to consider getting some garden furniture for this area. That’ll really make it feel comfortable and inviting. You should treat your garden as if it’s your outdoor living area. In turn, you’ll start to create a paradise which you can enjoy for many years to come.

 

Spruce up its appearance with a lick of paint.

When you’re putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece, you should consider painting or repainting the manmade aspects of your garden. This could entirely transform your backyard and make it feel brand new again. For instance, repainting your fence or your shed could make a massive difference to your outdoor space. It’s a low-cost solution to improving woodwork that’s looking a little tired and worn-out. Plus, a new coat of paint could help your woodwork in the future. It’ll provide a layer of protection against the elements, so it’ll serve your garden well in the long run. When it comes to improving your outdoor space, you’d be surprised by the impact that small details can have on the appearance of your garden.

What do you do to your garden to make it a paradise?

Charlotte xxx

Books I Have Read in May 2019

I have decided that I am going to make a review of the books which I have finished in the month. I have done some book reviews recently however, I have been finished more books than ever. This means that I am unable to single reviews because I would be having them up constantly. Instead I am going to be doing a review of the books which I have finished in the month. Of course, some months I may not have as many books as others it does depends what I am doing. On to the books which I have been reading this month.

Breakfast at Darcy’s- Ali McNamara

Plot- Darcy inherits a small island! Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn’t been lived on for years, but according to Molly’s will, Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit.

My thoughts- This is a plot which I have never seen in a book. This is a fresh story line for me which I found very refreshing. I feel like I really connect and enjoy Darcy the main character in the book. We also actually meet and build a relationship with the other characters who live on the island. I would have liked there to be a bit more build up to ending. I did not see the twist coming. However it did see a bit rushed, for sure I was not ready to say goodbye to the characters. I would love a follow up book I want to know what the characters are up to.

Lucy in the sky- Paige Toon

Plot- Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone from a woman claiming to have slept with her boyfriend, James, four times in the past month. She finds herself having doubts and is keeping an eye Nathan. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy with no prospects, no place to live, and an almost-girlfriend in tow. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself caught between two distant continents and two very different men.

My Thoughts- Paige Toon is an another who I love I think I have read 4 of her books this year now. I actually managed to finish this book in a couple of days. Lucy is an amazing character however, sometimes I do want to smack her and tell her to pick of one of the men. I feel like we get a good feel for Nathan and James rather than just one of them. I love the stupid jokes between Lucy and Nathan it did make me giggle. For sure this is a page turner I did not want to end. However, I did predict the ending of this book before I finished it. For sure this is one which I would recommend.

Queen Mum- Kate Long

Plot- Ally has everything she ever wanted: a husband, a child, a lovely house in a pretty neighbourhood. Her glamorous, dynamic next-door neighbour, Juno her best friend. But Juno has made a surprising decision; she has signed up for Queen Mum, a reality-TV show. For two weeks, she will live with another family in another town, while her opposite number will be moving in next door to Ally. Juno is excited about the prospect of seeing life from a different perspective. Ally is nervous. She doesn’t like change, and knows from bitter experience how something precious can be lost in a moment.

My Thoughts–  Looking at the cover the book I would not have thought it was going to be like it is. The book is more about Ally than Juno who takes part in wife swap. She is struggling with her own identity and with where her life is. She compared herself to her neighbour and best friend, whom she sees as perfect. This book was not that interesting for me I wouldn’t recommend. The characters to me could have done with a little bit more work. I feel like they needed more building. To be honest I struggled to finish this book I was not bothered what happened to the characters.

Petite Anglaise – Catherine Sanderson

Plot– Living in Paris with her partner, the workaholic Mr Frog, and their adorable toddler, Tadpole.  Catherine decides to alleviate the boredom of her routine by starting a blog under the name of Petite Anglaise. As she lays herself bare about the confines of her stagnant relationship with Mr Frog, about Paris life and about the wonder and pain that comes with being a mother, she finds a new purpose to her day. As Petite Anglaise, Catherine regains her confidence and makes internet friends.

My Thoughts-  A someone who has their own blog this book interested me. This is a non fiction book which I did not realise until I started reading. Catherine came across selfish and very self-absorbed something which I really did not like. Her treatment of Mr Frog and Tadpole really wasn’t great. I couldn’t have cared less if her relationship was failing she could have handled the situation a little bit better. For me it was very unrealistic what actually happened to Catherine as a result of her blog. This was a book I was not bothered if I actually finished or not because I was not gripped. I am glad I found out the ending though however, I will not be running to read another Catherine Sanderson book.

The Doll’s House- M.J. Arlidge

Plot– A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

My Thoughts- This is a book which I read for the book group. I will be the first to admit this would not have been a book which I would have chosen. However, I am wiling to read more M.J. Arlidge books because it had me gripped.  I had not read the others I would not says you have to however, you might actually want to read the ones before this. The Doll’s House is the third book in the series. I found this a book which I could not put down.  The story being told by different perspectives which makes it easier to understand and get to know the characters. I enjoyed the chapters told from the serial killer’s perspective. Usually we do not get to see what the killer is thinking and what their deep dark thoughts are. For sure I would recommend picking this book up I will be reading more of crime stories.

What have you been reading this month? I am always looking for more books to read.

Charlotte xx