Books I Have Read in August 2019

I know way back in May I said I was going to start a new series. Which was going to be sharing the books which I have read in that month However, since May I have only been reading maybe one book a month max of two so it did not seem worth it. In August I got the bug to read again I am unsure if that is to do with no longer been tired and nausea as a result of pregnancy. So on to the books which I have had my head in this month.

The Single Girl’s To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk 3/5 Stars

Plot–  Rachel finds herself single for the first time in 5 years. She makes a to-do list- The Single Girl’s To-Do List. Rachel doesn’t know it, but it will take her on all kinds of wild adventures. Getting her in some romantic pickles too.

My Thoughts- I have been a huge fan of the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk. So I thought I would give this one a go as well. There are some elements of this book which made me laugh inside not something which happens in a chick-lit kind of book. I could not warm to Matthew for some reason as one of the main characters he just kind of annoyed me. I also felt like the book was a little bit extreme how everything seemed to happen in a two week period. For sure this has not put me off reading more Lindsey Kelk even though this was not my favourite

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay 5/5 Stars

Plot– Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010. This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.

My Thoughts- This book had me gripped I think I finished it in 2 days. It only took me about 5 hours and I did not want it to end. I found it amazing to read about his experience as a junior doctor working in obstetrics and gynaecology. I found this so funny in parts some of it had me in stitches. This is not something which I would have thought.  This book for sure is not for the squeamish, be prepared for lots of blood, births, bad language, and assorted ‘implements’ stuck in places they really shouldn’t be. For sure I would recommend reading this if you have not already read it. I can not wait for his second book, I may also be going to see him live as well but unsure if I can due to it been so late in my pregnancy.

You By Caroline Kepnes 3/5 Stars

Plot- Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager in New York, who meets Guinevere Beck, a prospective writer, that he becomes immediately infatuated with. To feed his obsession, he soon turns to social media and technology to track her presence and eliminate any possible obstacles that stand in the way of their romance.

My Thoughts- I know this is a book is now a netflix show which people have become obsessed with. However, this is not the case for me. It took me a couple of weeks to the book. I will admit it is not from my usually genre. I found the book to be pretty slow to be honest I was unsure if would finish it at one stage. Some parts seem really drawn out. I could not relate or get a bond with any of the characters. They seemed to be all about themselves. I think the main message of You is it shows the endless amount of information that is readily accessible to anyone, within the social media accounts, that reaches out to it. Stalker or not. I have heard thought the netflix show may be better than the book so I might have to investigate this.

I am hoping I am going to manage a few more books during my pregnancy. Currently I have read 18 this year I would love to hit 24.

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

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

The Club You Want To Join: The Sock Club Review {AD}

Socks are something which we use every single day. I know if you are like Joe and I it can take you a long time to wear a pair out. I was interested to hear that the average UK male buys 5.6 pairs a year. It would be interesting to see what the figure is for women. You have all heard of the subscription boxes however, I have never heard one for clothing. Sock Club delivers a fresh pair of socks direct to your door every two months. This does mean that you get 6 pairs a year. This would be a good gift which you could gift for Father’s day or Christmas. After all men love socks and they are something which they use.

All of the socks are entirely British Made, even they Cotton that is used is spun in a Mill based in Lancashire, a county rich in Cotton Textile traditions. All of the socks are designs are done in York a place which is close to my own heart of course.Another benefit which I have found about the sock club is that they are shrink proof. This is amazing if you are not great at washing and usually shrink your own socks.

The socks feel a great quality which is something you want. Of course, you do not want them to wear out after a couple of wears. They are 100% cotton which is going to mean that your feet should not overheat when your in them. They actually feel really soft and thick but they are going to be able to stretch to your feet.

Joe has been my guinea pig for me for testing the sock club. He has been wearing them for a few weeks now and I have asked him his thoughts about the subscription and quality of the socks. They fit perfectly however, they are pretty large this could be due to been size 6-11. This is not normally the sizes which you can purchase on the high street. He commented on how much of a thick material they felt like they where going to be a premium sock. A lot better than ones which you would pick up on the high street. He also commented on the how they kept his feet warm but not too warm. These sound like a product which would be perfect in the colder months.

I really liked the way the socks the socks are presented. They arrive in silver foil pouches which keep them fresh until they are ready to be worn. This makes the sock club feel even more luxury which is always a bonus. Even more so if you should be giving the subscription as a gift. The socks come in two size choices: 6-11 and 11-15 in UK men’s shoe sizes. Amazing if you know someone with larger feet who may struggle to get some socks.

I really liked that they deliver a fresh pair of socks directly to your door to replace the ones that you lose or wear out. A bi monthly subscription will cost you £9 a box with the annual one being £49 which is slightly cheaper. For sure this is a subscription which I could see me purchasing as a gift for my Dad or Joe’s Dad.

Have you ever heard of the sock club? Is it something which you can see yourself subscribing to?

Charlotte xx

 

 

Vax W86-DP-B Carpet Cleaner Review

Cleaning your carpets is not something which you think about doing often. I actually purchased a Vax Carpet Cleaner last year on Black Friday. I knew that when we moved into the house. The carpets were not the greatest in Jess’ room alongside the front room.  We actually have done the landing and Jess’ room and I could not believe the results. They had made a huge difference to the carpets so I thought I would take pictures of the front room. The picture above is the room before the carpet has been cleaned. Of course, I do not know if it had ever been done in the past.

The carpet cleaner which we have is the VAX W86-DP-B, I think we managed to get this for around £90. This was the cheapest which we managed to find. Currently, I think it is about £120-140 which I would still pay for it. However, of course, I love to save money where we can.

I think when we looked it was about £60 to hire a rug doctor which is similar to the carpet cleaner. However, when you hire a rug doctor, of course, you only have it for a limited period of time. Seen as we own our carpet cleaner. This does mean that we can clean the carpets as often as we need.  I am planning to do them every season or so maybe 3/4 times a year. So it will work out a lot cheaper hiring a rug doctor and hopefully, it will keep my carpets clean.

There is a lot of dirt which is hidden in your carpets, I could not believe the amount of dirt which I pulled out of the carpets. I found that this Vax carpet cleaner was not too heavy it weighs about 6kg which is about the same as a corded vacuum cleaner. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a hell of a lot heavier. This does have a 2.7L water tank which means you do not have to fill it as much as some of the others on the market. I did not want to have to do several trips to the tap to fill it up when trying to clean the table.

The carpet cleaner does actually have a rotating brush bar which allows a deep and thorough clean. This is something which I wanted because then it can remove as much dirt as possible. What is the point of having a carpet cleaner which is not removing dirt? There is also no worry about the dirty water been mixed with clean water because there are two tanks. This is a bonus because you can actually see how much dirt you have actually managed to get out. For sure this is something which I love. There is something so satisfying about this and I can not explain it.

Another bonus which I love is that it comes with a huge cord which means you can easily do a whole room. I think that it is longer than a standard vac cum cord this does mean you do not have to change plugs when cleaning the carpet. Something which would be a pain seen as you are using water to clean the carpet/  You can easily move the carpet cleaner around so if you have furniture which you can not move the carpet around it can always be clean. This was a huge bonus when we cleaned the front room as I did not want to move all the heavy furniture.

We do not know when the carpets in this house had actually been laid or if they had ever been cleaned. Jess’ room actually took 3 tanks full to completely come clean. However, the colour ultimately had changed massively, even my Mum commented when she came over.

Of course, we have a horrible brown colour carpet which looked like mud. I was unsure of the colour the carpet was going to be because we had not laid it. It has come a lot lighter than it was which is a huge bonus. We only needed to actually to fill the tank up a couple of times but of course, this depends how dirty and huge your carpet is. As I said Jess’ carpet is a lot smaller than the front room and this took 3 tanks to get the dirt out.

As you can see the water had gone from clean to like dirty almost chocolate milkshake. I knew there was going to be a lot of dirt in the front room. The reason this is because we do not have a no-shoes rule at all. I did actually use an Astonish Carpet Shampoo I think this was around £1. It did mean that it smelt amazing which is always a huge bonus. Who does not want rooms to smell clean? It did take about 18 hours to fully dry however, this may have been because the weather was not great. I would recommend doing this when the weather is nice and you can throw the windows open. The summer would be a great time to do this, I might even do our bedroom very soon.

The carpet is a little bit lighter now and I have noticed that is it more fluffy than it has been in the past. I wanted to clean it because Jess is always playing on the floor and I did not want it to be filthy. For sure I feel a lot better about the condition of the floor now. For sure this is going to be something which I will do again in the future. No doubt at the end of the summer. It will be interesting to see how much more dirt does come out of the carpet. I know this is going to be something which we use a lot when we have a small baby. I am so glad that we purchased this carpet cleaner.

For sure I would recommend cleaning your carpets, I find it amazing to see how much dirt does come out. I would not do it too often though because it can be a pain to dry. In the next couple of weeks, I hope to get my bedroom carpet done. There is a huge stain I want to remove from the previous owner. Hopefully, it will come out and look like a new carpet because this is not something we want to have to pay for at the moment.

Have you ever cleaned your own carpets, if so let me know in the comments what you used?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

Milkman Razors Rail Clear Shave Gel Review {AD}

Shaving is something which most males and females do. Shaving Gel is something which we get through a ton. I actually use conditioner on my legs because I think this is the best for me. However, Joe has to shave every single day due to work. This does mean that he gets through a lot of shaving gel. Of course, this does mean that he knows a good shaving gel when he see’s one.

Milkman is a grooming brand in Australia who’s mission is to transform male grooming with their specialist products. Their products are designed with men in mind right from the formula, packaging and the branding. They are more of a high end shaving gel. The  Milkman Razor Rail is a clear shave gel designed to leave your skin hydrated whilst making the shaving experience very easy. It has a peppermint fragrance which can leave your skin fresh and revived. The key selling point for this shaving gel is that it is soap and paraben free making it an ideal product to use for all skin types. Joe has been using the milkman clear shave gel for around 3 months on and off. He chooses not to shave when he is not at work because why not.

Claims

But before our thoughts I am going to share with you what Milkman say about the product.

  • It is ultimate shaving lubricant for people with sensitive skin. Whether you use a razor blade or a wet electric shaver to shave, this soap-free gel will absolutely change your life and make shaving as exciting as the first time you did it.
  • Our lubricated gel has huge advantages over shaving soaps and creams because you can see what you’re shaving.
  • Moisturises the skin as you shave and saves water as it rinses off the blade easily.
  • No parabens or sulfates. Not tested on animals. Vegan friendly. Made in Australia. No soap. Aprox 100 shaves per bottle when using 2 to 3 pumps per shave.
  • Contains Aloe Vera and Menthol to soothe the skin as well as Rosemary oil for its anti-oxidants
Thoughts

Joe loves that it comes in a pump so it is so easy to use. I have noticed that he makes less mess when using the Milkman clear shaving gel. One thing which he did state is that it hard to judge how much you are going to need when you are first starting to use the product. This is something which I think he has now mastered though as he has not complained since.

He also stated that you do not have to moisturise as much because of the peppermint oil which is in the shaving oil. However, something which he did state its that he does not wowed by the product. There is a wide range now of shaving gels on the market. You do not have to spend a lot of money. He claimed some of the cheaper ones are as good as this the milkman one.

They are a brand which I feel like are going to struggle to find. At the moment the only place I can seem to find them is on Amazon. Usually we need to pick up a shaving gel fast when the we are close to running out. I also feel like even thought the shaving gel is meant to last 100 shaves if you use 2-3 pumps. I also feel like this is expensive as a bottle is £20.

The other problem which Joe stated about using this shaving gel is that when you apply it to your face it can be hard to see when your shaving. This can mean that you miss putting it on certain parts which is not handy when you need to be clean shaven for work. I do not think that Joe would repurchase the milkman shaving gel because he said he does not think it is worth the money.

Have you ever tried the Milkman Razor Clear Shave Gel?

Charlotte xxx

This product has been sent for review however, all thoughts are my own.

Refreshing The Bathroom and Kitchen

*Gifted Item*

We have been in our house for nearly a year now this does mean we have found areas which need improving. The main areas which I find this can be a problem in is the bathroom and the kitchen. The grout in the upstairs bathroom has been a problem since we moved in. I have tried a range of different things to try and make it look a lot cleaner. Where as in the kitchen the sealant has become discoloured and it is also coming away. I know this is something which we may have to fix in the upcoming months.

I was recently sent two items from Rainbow Chalk, the liquid chalk specialists. Google and Google from Rainbow Chalk promise an affordable and quick solution when it comes to tired, discoloured sealant and grout. They do not even break the bank with the sealant been £3.99 and the grout pen £3.50. They offer precision application and are fast frying. There water-based pens which are non-toxic.

Rainbow Chalk promise up to 60m coverage for narrow grout joints. This is great for us as we have a lot of tiles in our shower cubicle.  The sealant pen is water-resistant, and boasts up to 30m coverage. For sure this is going to be more than enough for me. The pens whiten and prevent regrowth of any mould, with its anti-fungal formula. Which means that you should not get any mould or horrible things. On your grout or sealant.

The pens could not be more easy to use. All you need to do is shake them when the lid is on and press down on the nib till the ink starts to come out. Then you simple need to follow the grout/sealant. It takes around a couple of hours, to be dry and waterproof. I have found the trick to do it in the morning then it’s ready for when you need it.

I can not believe how much difference there is in both the grout and the sealant. I can not wait to see how long both stay whiter as a result of using these pens. I am hoping they last a while for sure I have plenty of product left in these pens which means I can do this several times. For sure I would recommend these because they are so cheap and effective. 100% this is cheaper than actually having to regrout the tiles or doing the sealant again around the sink. It is also something which I can do even when Joe is away.

Have you ever used sealant or grout pens in order to whiten or restore them?

Charlotte xx

I was sent across the Grout and Sealant pens from Rainbow Chalk, however all words and images are my own. 

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

 

Days Out- Hamerton Zoo {AD}

Over the Easter period we were kindly invited to Hamerton Zoo in order to give a review. Hamerton Zoo Park is just on the outskirts of Peterborough it is very well sign posted from the A1. So do not worry if you are like us and not local to Peterborough.  I have to admit I’d not heard of it before and speaking to the other people I am not the only one.

As we pulled into the car park I did think it looked more like a little farm. But it is actually a lot bigger than it looks. Hamerton Zoo is actually home to 100 different species of animals within the 25 acre zoo park. There are some which are exclusive to them in the UK. So there are going to be animals which you have not see at other zoo’s you have visited in the past. It may not be home to Lions, Rhinos, Giraffes and Elephants but do not let that put you off if you are thinking about visiting.

We arrived at Hamerton Zoo at around 11am we had planned getting there early but as you know with children this does not always work. We found it very easy to get into the zoo there was a short que but we did not have to wait for very long. Of course, because we visited during the Easter Weekend this could have meant that it was a lot busy than a normal weekend.  Hamerton Zoo is open every day except Christmas and boxing days and tickets can be brought at the gate or in advance online. Tickets are £14.99 for adults and £9.99 for 3-12 year olds. This is a fraction of the price we have paid for similar zoos and wildlife park.

One thing which I would recommend is purchasing a guide book. This is something which we did not do and we did not realise the only way to get a map of the zoo was to do this. In turn this did mean that we did miss some of the animals when we went around first.

One thing you will notice as you walk around is the space that the animals have to roam around. One thing Hamerton Zoo does try to make clear is that the animals are not shut in or out. They have the freedom to be either inside or outside if they choose. This does mean that some of the animals may not easily seen because they may be hiding in their houses.

Lemurs

When you arrive one of the first animals you will see are the ring tailed lemurs.However, there was a lot of people around this area. They could have been more people because there is more of a one way system in the zoo. The reason behind this is because if you turn left you would end up in the shop, cafe and play area.  They had just been fed which always attracts people. I noticed that one of the lemurs looked like it was pregnant as well. So in the future there may be more additions to this enclosure.

Wallabies

The first animal we spent a lot time at was the wallabies. As you can see they some Joey’s which is amazing because baby animals are so cute. There was a number of them which they looked like they could be pregnant. So if you manage to go in the next couple of months they may have even more babies. There was such number of wallabies they were a pleasure to watch. For sure I think they are one of my favourite animals on show at the Zoo.

Tigers

The big cats are always my thing when we are visiting a zoo. Hamerton Zoo is home to 2 beautiful Malaysian Tiger and 2 white Bengal Tigers.I found I learn at fair bit at Hamerton Zoo for example about the white Bengal Tigers. All white Tigers in the world are decedents from one called “Mohan” who was captured and kept in a Palace in India. It wasn’t until Mohan was paired with his daughter did they have more white cubs. The white of the Bengal tiger is just a colour mutation. This does mean that all of the white Bengal tigers are direct descendants from this pair. It a nice to see the shear size of the tigers. Usually you do not get to be up close and personal to a tiger.

Stroll through Safari

There is also a stroll through safari which allows you to touch the animals. This is home to Pygmy goats, Alpacas, Camels, Chickens and Sheep. You can pay 20p for a handful of feed which you can share with these animals. This is something we opted against because there was so many people feeding them we thought they would not be that bothered. Jess actually decided that she was going to stroke the Pygmy Goats.

Train

There is an Express Railroad Train which runs every weekend and everyday throughout the school holidays. You can catch it from the Donkey Enclosure  and it runs to the tiger enclosure and back. You can actually walk this route and it does not take that long at all. The train does not go that fast that you could walk next to it. We did see a mum who was walking alongside the train and her daughter was on the train. The train is £2 per person and I will be honest I found it a little overpriced for the length of time you are on there. It doesn’t cover the entire park, I think this would have been better if it had done.

Cheetahs

There is also a number of cheetah’s I think we saw a three at least, however it is home to 7 cheetah’s.  Hamerton want to be one of the first zoo in the UK to actually breed cheetah’s most are unable to do this due to space. Hamerton actual have 5 enclosures which they have access to and then they are planning on building 3 more. This is going to help aid the breading programme which they have.

Another criticism I would have of the zoo is that it is does not tell you the name of the animals which you can see. It tells you where the animals are from and a bit about them however, I do like to know the name of the animals I can see in front of me.

Picnic/ Cafe

There is a lot of picnic benches which you can sit on and have a picnic. It is undercover should you not be as lucky as us when you visit and have nice weather. If you do not want to bring your own food like we did you can actually purchase food from the Cafe. Later in the day we did purchase a Ice cream which allowed me to look at the prices. I seem to remember that a rollover hot dog was around £3.90. It would cost you the same as meal out to eat at this cafe.

Play Area

I was unable to take any pictures of this area due to other children been around. There is a couple of parks on is aimed at under 6’s and the other over 6. However, Jess decided that she was going to play in the bigger one. There is a climbing pyramid,zip wire and a climbing frame. For sure this is an area which she spent a lot of time in. She loves the park and this is the way she burns a lot of energy. I think if we went back Jess would love to be able to go on the zip wire but she is a little bit too small.

Gift Shop

The Gift Shop sells a range of merchandise, cuddly teddies, toys, stationery and more. There is a wide range of products which if like us you do not mind purchasing a toy at the end of an amazing day out. They do have a range of items which could purchase. We did not actually purchase anything because we have enough cuddly toys. There was nothing that stood out which we had to purchase.

Toilets

Beware if you are going with little ones there is only one set of toilets. They are not that far off the enterance so it would be worth going when you pass them as there is no more. The toilets are old and really could do with a bit of an update. I think there are only 5 women toilets and a baby change. I seem to remember Joe said that there was one in the male toilets to.

Overall

We spent 5 and half hours at Hamerton Zoo. This was enough time to walk around the park twice. On the second lap we did it later and we saw animals which had not been out on the first time. This could have been as a result of it nearly been feeding time. Again we did have the a picnic and also we managed to spend a lot of time in the park as I have mentioned. I know Jess’ grandparents left after around 3 and half hours so we may have stayed longer than most people.

Have you visited Hammerton Zoo? If so what were your thoughts

 

Charlotte xx

Landal Sandybrook Review

Just before Christmas which now seems like a lifetime ago. We had a four-night break close to Ashbourne in Derbyshire at Landal Sandybrook Lodges. This is the first time we have taken Jess to a lodge usually we have gone on our own for a weekend to Forest Holidays. We made this choice because it was a fraction of the price which we would be paying. I feel like this holiday to Landal Sandybrook was around £350 for four nights. Where on the other hand a trip to Forest would have cost us around the £700 mark. We actually stayed in the Tissington Classic Skyline Spa 2.

Today I am going to be sharing with you our views about the our stay at Landal Sandybrook Lodges. They are described as luxury self-catering lodge holiday accommodation. I will warn you that if you want one of the hot tubs in your cabin you have to book a spa one otherwise you will just have a balcony and a table and chairs. For us the hot tub is something which we do want. I know this may not be the case if for everyone, of course,this does reflect in the price of your stay.

For me I would not describe the lodges as luxury for me there were elements which were missing. These may have made it more luxurious for us. I know I am comparing it to a very expensive cabin in Forest however, they do both claim to be luxury cabins.

The lodge itself was ok but quite small, I am guessing it would be a squeeze for 4 people. I would have liked more room which would have allowed us to spread out to relax. In the main room there is not a lot of space and the bed is not actually a full size double bed. For me it was not comfortable either however, we have a very good bed at home. I may just be being really pick.  One thing which I did not like was the fact that our bedroom looked straight to the road which people were travelling on. This meant anyone travelling early may wake you up. When we visited we could hear work men from 7.30am, not ideal on a relaxing week away.  At least there was a lot of storage which mean that we could put things away.

Jess had her own room which had two single beds in a wardrobe and a bedside table. She managed to sleep in there which is all that matters. This would be fine if you had two young children if you had teenagers they may struggle however, this did for us. I even slept in one of the beds one night and found it to be more comfortable than ours.

The bathroom had a shower over the bath. It was handy to have a bath in case Jess needed one because she is still not a huge fan of the shower. I am sure this is something which will change over time. We found that there was enough space for everything we needed. This included if we had all three of us in the bathroom. I have no faults when it came to the bathroom at Landal Sandybrook.

Of course, with it been self catering there is a kitchen and a table which you can easy eat at. We found that the kitchen was well stocked and this is something which we were glad about. We managed to do some baking as well as cooking meals there.  There was nothing which we would not be able to cook I am sure you could manage a whole week using this kitchen. There is also a fridge and a freezer should you need them this makes it so easy for semi catered people.

We found the lounge to be cosy however, the sofas were not that comfortable. I wanted to be able to snuggle up and watch films when there weather was rubbish. You had to sit more straight which is very annoying they were. Again they were pretty low and this is something which I did not love however, I am sure if you visited in the summer you would not spend much time inside.

The hot tub was also over looked which is not always great when your in your swimming suit. For sure this is not something which I liked. I would have had a little bit more private maybe this is just because I am not that confident. Plus it is supposed to be luxury I do not want to be over looked but hey.  The outdoor area would have been great in the summer for eating or having a BBQ. Something we may have done had we have gone in the summer months.

The site has some good facilities including a indoor swimming pool, restaurant, games room and also a playroom for children. This is a nice touch because it was nice to be able to take Jess somewhere to play. Of course, because we did not have a lot of toys with us. Also because we went in December it did mean that there was some days where we could not use the park because it was horrible weather. I think Jess managed to play in there for an hour our two during our 4 day stay. We did noticed that some of the toys had become broken over time, I understand that this is something which happens.

There is a nature walk however, it is really quite small. There are no trails which link to the park which is a little bit disappointing because we wanted to do some more exploring when we visited. Usually we would have a walk of an hour or a little bit longer. I know we could have drove and then gone for a walk however, we do not always want to be in the car when on holiday. For sure it would have been nice to be able to walk from the lodge and into the nature. I have read this is something which you can do at their sister site.

There is free wifi however, this is something which I wouldn’t recommend using. For it is kept disconnecting I found it a lot easier to use the 4G. I know you shouldn’t want to spend a lot of time on your phones when your away however, I wanted to be able to do a few bits. For example checking our food shop which we had done and what to do in the area. The day we actually checked out we went to White Post Farm and I needed to know the price and also opening times.

I would recommend doing a click and collect food shop this is what we did. There is a small shop which is part of reception. However, this only sells milk and drinks. Due to it been self catering we did not want to always eat out. We like to be able to have some meals which are home cooked. We did eat one night at the onsite restaurant and we was actually really disappointed. The meal was not that warm which is disappointing because for sure it was not cheap. Joe and I also both chose coke to drink and it was completely flat.  I would not recommend this restaurant I would go eat off site if I was you. Your more likely to have a better meal.  The staff seemed more bothered about their friends who were in the bar section than us the paying customers.

Overall Views

We enjoyed our stay at Landal Sandybrook however, we would not return. I feel like we had everything which there was to do. I feel like the park does need a bit of a fresher up if they are going to charge this price. We would not have enjoyed it even more if we did not have Jess. I do not think I would recommend this for December stays.

Have you ever stayed at Landal Sandybrook? If so what were your thoughts.

 

Charlotte xxx

Book Review- A Spark Of Light by Jodi Picoult

As you may remember way back in January, I stated I wanted to read more books this year. So far I have managed to read 7 I actually aim to read 24. I think I had read 6 by the middle of February so I for sure have slowed down. Today I am going to share with you a book which I have recently finished. It is a spark of light by Jodi Picoult. It was actually the Book Group book for March however, it has taken me this long to finish it. I told you I have seriously lost my reading mojo.

The Blurb

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

My Thoughts 

The beginning of this one was just that, an explosive, heart-stopping moment that immediately grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, for me, the main body of the book slowed considerably and was more about abortion than the hostage situation. I also enjoyed reading the individual stories about the circumstances that brought each person to the clinic that fateful morning. But the story line lacked the momentum to hold my interest throughout the bulk of the book . I really struggled to get to the end. I have a feeling that this could be why it took me so long to get this book completed.

The story is also written with the chapters in reverse order. The most recent events are at the beginning of the book and going back in time. I didn’t care for this format as we learn the story ends in chapter one. This could have been another reason it took me so long to finish the book. I knew the ending I was not that bothered how come it happened. I am unsure if I have ever read a book where we have been told the ending at the start of a book it seemed strange to me.

A few people have suggested that you should  try reading it backwards, starting with the last chapter headed by a time. Then maybe A Spark of Light will actually make a lot better. I have a couple more books by Jodi Picooult and this book does not make me want to reach for them.

It is very unusual for a book to take me 6 weeks to finish. When this is book is only around 350 pages. It would take me around a couple of weeks maximum. I found it to be very against the anti-abortion, pro-life people as well. I feel like these arguments could have been more researched. There was a number of characters in a spark of light who I felt where there so it had more characters. They needed some more development they felt like they had almost been rushed.

Another element which I was not a huge fan of was the characters telling us the same things over and over again. This occurred because the different characters within a spark of light did the different hours in the book. By the end I was unsure if I was bothered.  They had bored me that much repeating the same story.

These are just my thoughts, I know other people have loved this book. Have you read a spark of light if so what where your thoughts on the book?

 

Charlotte xxx

Glasses Repair Kit- Snapit Review and Giveaway

Recently I was give the opportunity to try out a glasses repair kit called Snapit. As someone who wears prescription glasses all the time even sunglasses’s. I know how easy glasses can become broken even more so when you have a bouncy three year old. Put the fact that Joe also wears glasses this increase the risk of there been a broken pair of glasses.

I need something which allows me to repair glasses fast. I now don’t have a spare pair and it can take days to get them fixed. You can not always wear sunglasses because everyone knows Yorkshire is not always sunny.  So Snapit is ideal for me. I have had similar kits before in the past they have usually contained small screws which I have ended up losing. This usually means that my glasses are not properly fixed. Over the years I have had to have them fixed a lot and a lot of DIY jobs. I have been wearing glasses since I was 4 which is nearly 20 years now.

Snapit are different they have 1.5cm long screws with a snappable end. This means  you do not have to hunt for small screwdrivers. Usually the only way you can get one small enough is if you get them in a Christmas cracker.  Usually you have to hunt through the random draw in the kitchen where all the junk is stored to find them well you do if your anything like us.

The snapit is so simple after a couple of seconds your glasses will be as good as new. All you need to do is insert the screw into the part which is missing. Screw in with the provided screwdriver, tighten the screw and snap off the end.The screws can easily be inserted from the top or bottom this means it is even easier to use right. Then the job is done which is always a bonus because it take longer to get to go out and get them fixed. I like that these are so small you could have the packet in your junk draw. Ready in case your glasses do break because you never plan on this happening.

The Snapit Kit comes with 5 screws of varying lengths & thickness this means that it is compatible with over 99% of glasses and sunglasses. This is a huge bonus for us because we have several pairs so no matter which one should become broken we can get them fixed. They are all kept together in a small container which is ideal because this means it is harder to lose in the junk draw.

Snapit kit is available to purchase on Amazon, It’s really affordable. They are lower than the amount you would spend on a meal deal for your lunch. Considering the cost of new frames, this fab little glasses repair kit is a great buy and worth having. I am actually giving away some snapit kit to a lucky winner this means your going to be sorted should you have a glasses emergency.

Win A Snapit Glasses Repair Kit #13

Do you have something to hand should your glasses break?

 

Charlotte xxx

This post is sponsored by snapit

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