Tackling Sleeping In Own Room As Toddler With Gloclock

As, I am sure you know by now we have just moved into our first family home which has meant there has been a lot of changes around here.  One of those changes has been Jess getting her own room for the first time, this is something which I was semi worried about. I know this may sound really silly as she is 3 years old and she has been sleeping through the night since she was very small. However, I was scared that the whole change of moving into an new area, getting a big girl single bed instead of a cot may be all too much for her. Jess usually is pretty good at going to be and always has been an early riser even on a weekend on the whole.

I decided that because I have seen so many people on blog or instagram use the glo clock which is a sleep trainer for toddlers. Jess in the few weeks before the move had been pushing and pushing her bed time to the stage that I was asleep before he for example some nights could see her still awake at close to 11pm. The constant battle to get her to sleep was something which was wearing me out and of course due to the fact she was not going to sleep on a night it impacted the time she woke up. Regular I would have to go and physically wake her up in order to make sure she did not miss too much nursery.

I knew when we got the house which would mean she got her own space this was going to have to change. I wanted her in a routine as such more during the week to make sure that she was less grumpy and had the energy to be able to complete tasks throughout the day.  Jess now goes to bed usually happily between 7-7.30pm on a week day of course sometimes, she does get longer on a weekend, we find she wakes around 7am. This does mean that she is getting the recommended 12 hours for her age group because she is not napping at nursery any longer.

Can I put the change and the increase in sleep down to the gloclock? Well it does make Jess want to go up the stairs to see if the blue Mr Star is on which indicates that it is bed time. You set the gloclock to night mode which turns it blue in turn the brightness goes down which of course you want because you do not want your child awake all night due to the distraction. When it goes into night mode it also has the starts around the edges which indicates to your child how many hours it is till they have to wake up again, for example if they woke at 4am and the sun was set to tell them they can wake from 7am it would have three stars. We have found that it does promote Jess to stay in bed a bit longer instead of trying to sneak out at 6am she will wait until it goes Yellow and Mr Sun rises.

We have found in the time which we have been using the groclock that Jess will sit and play in her room, reading stories or something similar till the time that she is allowed out. I have even debated setting it later on a weekend so I can have a lay in because she is still waking up around 7am when she does not need to be. I do wonder if she would notice if I did this?

You do not have to worry that the gloclock is going to run out of battery due it been connected to the mains, there would be nothing worse that it running out of battery during the night to be honest. The gloclock is so lightweight that it does mean you would be able to take it on sleepovers to grandparents houses or even if you go on a weekend away if this is something you would like to do it’s so easy to set up I think it took me under 5 minutes to do.  Another feature it does have is the option to add a nap time on it so this would be used if your toddler still naps this is something we have not done because she is out all day at nursery and then on a weekend she naps if she wants.

I found them so reasonably priced around the £20 mark because who can put a price on your toddler’s sleep, however, I regular find them on local facebook selling pages if you do not know how much use you will get out of one but fancy trying it.

Have you tried the gloclock if so what are you thoughts?

 

Charlotte xx

Celebrate Being Curvy With The Curve Fashion Festival

Being Curvy or plus size is something which has been shunned up on in the fashion world for a long time however, recently the tides have been changing. Since 2015 the curve fashion festival has been changing this celebrating all things curvy and plus size. Technically, I can just fit in some the plus sizes ranges due to big boobs and a mum tum the joys of what pregnancy has left me with. As most of them do start around a size 14 which is what I currently am.

The change in my body going from been really slim and athletic to curvy is something which I will admit I struggled with and still do to this day 3 years on. Events like the curve fashion festival show women who are not usually the kind of people who you would find walking the cat walk of London Fashion week instead normal every day women like you and I what looks good. I would love to attend the curve fashion festival because I feel like it would give me the confidence maybe to wear something which is a bit out of the norm for me. Improving my confidence and body positivisy  can only be a good thing surely.

If you have not heard of the curve fashion festival previously let me to you a little bit about it.This year it is been held on the 17th November 2018 at  St George’s Hall, Liverpool. There are catwalk shows, celeb meet and greets, Q & A’s, a V.I.P area, loads of celebrities including this year Gemma Collins and influencers, the opportunity to shop all your favourite brands.

Instead of been limited to a couple of stores which you may find stock plus size fashion on the high street there is a wide range Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, New Look, River Island, Yours Clothing, Marks & Spencer, and Matalan and Debenhams who are focusing on beauty this year.  There is going to be a chance to purchase items from all of these brands so make sure you take some money because for sure you are going to want to purchase some of the amazing clothes on offer.

On the stage it has been confirmed that there is going to be sessions as well for example one of them is been ran by Debenhams who are a sponsor this year they are having How to sessions. As well as bra fittings and we all know that it is so important to be wearing the correct size bra, and been measured is something which we should all do in order not to have a bad back in the future.

The organisers of the curve fashion festival are constantly announcing new and exciting events which are going to happen within the festival. For more details and to see what and when these events will be happening within the festival check their facebook page.  You can buy tickets through their website but currently their site is not working so you may have to message them through facebook.

Have you been to the curve fashion festival if so what was your experience?

 

Charlotte xx

 

This post is in collaboration with Debenhams

Jess at Three

Dear Jess

Today you turn three, how is it that three years ago today you came into our lives. It doesn’t feel like two minutes ago since you was a baby not much bigger than Daddy’s forearm and now you are a full of life three year old. You are so boisterous I do not know how you have not actually caused yourself a serious injury yet. Walking is something you don’t know how to do you have to run and travel everywhere at 100mph.

You are always talking sometimes I wish you would go back to not chatting so much. You tell us everything and sometimes you tell us it multiple times. Like for example if you are telling us something which happened yesterday you will always say last week. It just goes to prove how long a day must be for you if you think it lasts a whole week. You have been so excited about moving into the new house it is all you have been speaking about , I think you are just so excited to have your own space something which you never have had before.

You love exploring and seeing what you can find we are finding it harder and harder to keep you indoors, we must have spent hours at the park this year. Thank god the new house has a garden which means you are going to be able to do even more exploring than you already do.  You have been really using your imagination recently this is something which I can only see improving now you have turned three. Roleplaying with the paw patrol pups, cars and even food seems to be some of your favourites at the moment. I am sure once we crack out the lego there is going to be even more for your brain to explore.

Jess you have turned to a lovely little girl from the one who did not want to go to nursery when she first started to the one who never wants to leave. You have just left your first nursery due to us moving house and everyone said how much they are going to miss you because you are always there and life and soul of the party. I am proud to say that you are my daughter the majority of the time apart from when you do have tantrums over nothing. I can only become prouder of you as you grow and develop I know at the moment it is hard for you because of the fact that you are having to make new friends and find out where you fit in. It will not be long till your begging me to let you go to nursery on a weekend again so you can be with your friends.

I can only imagine the adventures we are going to have now you have become a bigger girl. I for sure am looking forward to all memories which we are going to be creating, i know there is going to be a lot more now you can do more.  Don’t forget your always going to be mummy’s little girl no matter how tall or old you are.

I love you so much

 

Love Mummy xxx

Top Tips for Fancy Dress As A Student

Doing fancy dress is not something which we do a lot as adults but when we do we want to make sure that everything is perfect.  As a student, I have managed to have a fair few great times which have included fancy dress as socials most Wednesdays have a theme if you are part of a sports club. This is not forgetting freshers along with when friends have fancy dress parties. At the moment is hen and stag do season because everyone is getting married.  Today I am going to share with you some of my top tips for making sure your fancy dress is in top form as an adult.

Make sure you know your theme

There is nothing worse than getting the theme wrong and standing out like a sore thumb. Make sure you read the theme completely to avoid this for example if your theme is 1950’s research that era making sure your outfit is suitable rather than going something you think is from that era. Only to find out that your fancy dress is actually 1920’s or something this could be very embarrassing.

 Work on make-up/face paint

Using makeup or face paint can help you transform into the character who you want to be without having to splash the cash on fancy dress. This also does mean that you may avoid having an uncomfortable costume an example of this is if you want to go as the Hulk face paint could make a huge difference to how good your fancy dress looks.

Reuse/ Repurpose

A great idea if you are a student is to get things which you are going to be able to reuse for a number of different fancy dress outfits. For example, this old lady fancy dress wig could be used for any fancy dress which includes a grandma so I know we had a night where we went out as Grandma’s it could also double up for Halloween and I am sure plenty more occasions. There multiple other ones which work like this, for example, green spray painted torso  Hulk can be repurposed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell; reuse that Where’s Wally top for a Pirate or Sailor theme, and those red shorts you had for 118 118 can be repurposed as part of a lifeguard outfit. The possibilities to recycle your outfits really are endless.

Charity Shops

These are a great place to visit as you can get things for dirt cheap. Grandad socials are hard because you don’t usually have things which older people would dress in however, charity shops can be loaded with them.  The same can be said for Hawaiian shirts you can still save money and look amazing.

Share

Just because you live with someone does not mean that they will be attending the same socials as you. Neither does it mean that those on your course will be in the same social which means that you will have different themes to them. Something which we did when I was at uni was to share fancy dress and accessories which meant that we were saving money all the time. If we could borrow us would I think I saved loads on swords, handcuffs and other accessories doing this.

What are your memories of fancy dress at uni or as an adult?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

 

 

Spending Family Time Together At Sporting Events

Spending time together as a family can be hard due to all been busy people. I know since I have had Jess it can be harder to find time to spend with my parents even though I have been living with them for a period of time. One thing which allows me to spend a lot more time with my Dad and Brother is that we all have a shared passion for sport . This does mean that we can spend a couple of hours sometimes at a home match watching our beloved Hull FC or even travel to a different part of the country to see our team.

I know I am super lucky to have shared passion or hobby I guess you could call it with two of my family member. Sport is not something which really interests Joe or his side of the family even thought they may watch it if I am around because they do not want to deny me watching it. Sport does not have to be played to mean that it can be a shared passion there is many nights where it will be spoken about at the dinner table.  This is as well as been able to spend some quality time together as a family how many Dads for example can say they spend a few hours together every fortnite with there teenage son and adult daughter. This is something which my Dad can enjoy as a result of us spending time together watching sport.

For us as a family it does not have to be rugby league we have a wide array of sports which we enjoy. These include football which my brother is season pass holder for the local team, horse racing which they travel all over the country to visit other racecourses to see top quality racing. We have attended a range of other sports as well including Cricket which I really enjoy the twenty twenty or the one day format of the game. While the boys enjoy all formats of the game which can be too long for me to focus.

Next year, the cricket world cup is coming to the UK, with 48 games of one day internationals to be played between 30th May and the 14th July.  There are games all over the country which hopefully we are going to be able to attend to a number of them. With Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Chester-le-street all been in travelling distance. With my brother home from university in the summer it is going to be the perfect time to spends some quality time together. There will be matches on a weekend which means that you could spend some time at the cricket and have amazing time. I might even take Jess to her first game of cricket next year you do not have to be an expert of the game there is even a handy family guide for the world cup.

As you can see from the promotional video it for sure is going to be a carnival/ party atmosphere. For sure this is going to be one sporting event which you could create so many memories at for sure. I even still remember the first time we went to see England play at Old Trafford several years ago now these memories say with you for a long time. Who knows it could be the start of more family time and memories created as a result of sport.

Are you planning to attend the cricket world cup?

 

Charlotte xxx

This is a sponsored post

 

 

Book Review- Wilde About The Girl

It is rare for me to have a book on preorder now because of the fact that I have a ton of books which are waiting to be read. However, when I read Louise Pentland’s first book Wilde Like Me I went straight on to Amazon and preordered Wilde about the Girl. I need to know what was going to happen to Robin and Layla luckily because I had waited so long to read the first book I did not have as long wait for the second book only a matter of around 6/8 weeks.  I will admit I have pushed this book to the front of the to be read pile when it came because I was that desperate to know more.

Blurb

After the year from hell, she’s pulled herself up and out of the Emptiness, her love life is ticking along nicely, single motherhood is actually quite fun and she is ready for whatever life throws at her. When a thrilling opportunity at work arises, Robin is more than excited to step up and show everyone, including herself, what she’s made of.

But her best friend Lacey is increasingly broken-hearted about struggling to conceive, and her daughter Lyla is starting to come out with some horrible attitudes she’s learning from someone at school. Is Auntie Kath hiding loneliness under her bubbly, loving veneer? And can Robin definitely trust the people she must depend on in her fab new role?

But Robin has her girls. And her girls have got her. Together they can handle any crisis. Can’t they?

Life is about to throw quite the curve ball at Robin Wilde, and she’ll need to make some pretty brave choices if she’s going to stop everything she cares about falling apart . . .

My Thoughts

One thing which I find complete different about the Wilde about series of books is that there is a lot of strong dominate women who feature heavily in the book. There is a few male characters but they do not dominate the book at all and the women all seem to have each others backs and seem to be very determined to even make the best of a bad situation. There are a number of bad situations which occur through out Wilde Like A Girl , some of them if you are a little bit like me may have you on the verge of tears.

Within this book there is important issues raised within the book which a number of stories which I have read have failed to speak about. The first is loneliness this is something which I think the majority of adults can suffer from at one time of their life. It it for sure is something which needs to be taken more serious as it can be a huge problem and we all needs to spot the signs so is Auntie Kath lonely in this book or not. There is also elements of infertility which again is an issue to many people this teamed with the miscarriage which could be triggering to some readers are all issues which as a result of been included in this book may get spoken about more in day to day life.

I think to be honest I enjoyed the second book more than the original one, there is still the ups and downs because nothing can be smooth sailing for poor Robin. In this book I for sure felt like I connected more to Robin and her family and they almost came like best friends to me. For sure, I will admit I was disappointing when I finished the book I am hoping there is going to be a third book because I know for one I am not ready to say good bye to Robin, her family and friends.

Overall

If this is not a book which you have read what are you waiting for it had a number of laugh out loud moments, tears and all kinds of other emotions. It is a book which I managed to polish off in just under a week so this shows to me how much I was invested in the book. I had to know what was going to happen next, if you are going on holiday or want a cosy book to read while the weather is changing get your hands on wilde about the girl you will not be disappointed.

Have you read wilde about the girl if so what did you think?

 

Charlotte x

 

 

Preparing To Move House

Keys

As you may know, if you have been reading my blog for a while we have purchased our first home. We purchased it way back in June and are looking to move within the next month. It is all systems go here so this means that we have been doing a lot of decluttering, packing and all sorts. Today I thought I would share with you some of the things which we have been doing in order to be prepared when we do finally move in . If you do not know we are actually purchasing our first home together so this does mean that we are combining two houses at least. So we are not moving as you may traditionally and we are actually moving around 1 hour away from my family home and around 40 mins from York which is home at the moment for us.

Make a list

Making a list of what we needed it something which helped me so much because this meant that I did not purchase things which we did not need. Even though we did by some bits which I am sure we have more than we need of. I know there are only a small few bits which I need to order now.  I also found that making sure that I have the Quidco cashback toolbar on has helped me manage to get a chunk of money back. For example, on our washer and fridge we got £17 back and of course, every little bit helps.

Sell what you don’t need

This for sure is something which we have been doing because of the fact that we had all of Jess’s things from when she was a baby down at the grandparents. This has meant that we do have several things twice so it has allowed us to be able to sell one of the highchairs for example so of course, this does mean that we have been able to get more pennies. We have been able to sell a 3/4 bed which we no longer have a need for because of the fact that it is way to small for to adults to share and it is so low. This does mean that we do not have to move this and end up storing it in the garage someone is actually getting some love out of this. I have also been able to put this money towards something else which we need for the house.

Make sure you’re getting the best deal

This is something which we have been doing before moving into the house. We have made sure that we could get the best deal for the things which we need on sky because what is the point of having things which we do not need. For example, the cinema package is something which we would not get the best used out of so we might as well spend the money on the sports package which is something for sure I know I will be using. We made sure that we go the fastest internet as this is something which we need because Joe is always gaming using the internet. While of course I like to spend a lot of time doing things on my blog.

Pack slowly

This is something which of course we have had had the luxury of doing because it has taken so long for us to be moving into the house. This has meant that instead of having the stress of packing everything in the last few weeks we have been able to spend time slowly making sure that thing is in boxes related to the room which they are going to be going in. For example all of the things which are going to be in Jess’ room are in a box which says Jess on it. This is something which is going to be able to help so much when we move because we are going to be able just to take the boxes straight to that room.

Have an essentials bag

This is more for when you do actually move into the house on the day you get the keys you do not want to have to be opening every box to find a phone charger for example. This is something which I am going to create in the next couple of weeks before we do move. In this bag/ box I am going to make sure that we have our phone chargers because of course, we need them to have power. We will end up making sure that we have our kettle to hand when we move because of course who can live without coffee. This is something which we are going to make not long before moving and making sure that we have them to hand. I think the plan is to actually put them in the car boot because then there is no way where we actually end up losing the box on the day of the move.  I think also in the box we are also going to have some loo roll and some snacks. The fridge we have ordered does not get delivered for a few days after we actually move in so we can only have small shops till it is in.  We have choosen this so that I do not have too many people coming with deliverys when we first move in.

What tips do you have to someone moving house before they actually move?

Charlotte xx

 

 

Days Out- Cannon Hall Farm

 

I realised that I had done a review of Cannon Hall Farm which we visited way back in May however, I had not actually got around to posting. So today I am going to share with you my thoughts and feelings about Cannon Hall Farm which is close to Barnsley so this meant that it was not too much of a trek for us. We decided that we was going to visit Cannon Hall because I had found out that Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol were going to be there and Jess loved both Paw patrol and animals.

The first thing which pleased me about cannon hall was the fact that they did not charge extra as a result of having an event on. This is something which we have found does occur at other places so this is such a big thumbs up from us. The pups you could meet every hour and we did actually manage to get to meet both of them because Jess loves them so much, we did not choose the best place to wait though which meant that we did have to wait a whole hour nearly.

Something which I think may be unique or different to other farms which we have visited was the fact that cannon hall had sheep racing as well as ferret racing. Sheep racing is now something I know which occurs at York Maze as well but I am sure people are screaming at me saying other places that do these events. You could have a free bet on which animal was going to win at both the sheep and the ferret racing and you won a prize if your colour and raffle ticket number was called. I seem to remember the prize was something like being able to return to Cannon Hall for free. Both types of racing occur several times a day which means that there was plenty of opportunities to see these events.

You are able to purchase animal feed when you can actually purchase when you arrive. Bags are only around 50p I think this is so cheap because it does mean that you can feed the animals you are unable to hand feed the animals but you do put them down the shoots which do allow feed the animals. This is one thing I do not think that you are able to do at other farms so well done to cannon hall for making you feel more hands on. For sure I know this is an element which Jess loved to be able to do. I would recommend saving some feed thought and not giving it to all the cute sheep and goats because we regretted it after we ran out before visiting the cows. We managed to go when the lambs were still very cute as well which for me is always a bonus.

Around this area, there are also shetland ponies and goats which are very adorable. I think anything that is small is very cute apart from rats, to be honest. You can be very close to these animals if this is something which you like if you are like Jess your children will adore this. Sercetly I think she wanted to ride the pony but this is something which you are not able to do.

Talking of cute little animals there were some little piglets we saw some which were only one day old. Pigs are not something which you think that are going to be cute but there are. There were hundreds of little piggs spread over the three sheds which are home to the pigs I could not believe how small some of them compare to how big they actually become in the end. This was an area in which Jess seemed to enjoy she loved watching what they were doing something that all ways interests me as well. They were a couple who were due to have some babies any time so I am sure if you go now they may have some new arrivals as well.  The pigs are actually one of the animals which you can not actually feed if I remember correctly and do remember it is natural for the pigs do not have the best smell something which Jess dealt with really well when we as at cannon hall farm.

In the last barn, there was a lot of cows which you can watch been milked at various times of the year.  There is also some misc animals in there was well these do actually include the donkeys, a horse, and Llamas. These again you can pour the feed which you have purchased down the tubes in order to feed the animals.  This is why I would recommend saving some of the feed because these ones may be more interested in having some of the treats which you are giving them as fewer people feed them.

Cannon Hall also have a tractor ride which is free for you to go on there may be a long wait. I think in total we waited for around 30 minutes this is because of the fact that the there is only one tractor and then this does the whole tour. The ride is around 30 mintues and this does allow you to see all of the animals in the barns which are open and learn a little bit more about the farm. This is on top of being able to see the amazing views at cannon hall.

We did actually have food here as well because we did not have time to pack a lunch up before we left. This is something which I wished we had done because of the fact that there was a long queue for food and also a wait which occurs after, I think in total it took between an hour and an hour and a half for us to be able to eat. This is not always the greatest when you have a hungry toddler in tow.  The food was of high quality though and a reasonable price compared to other attractions which we have visited in the past.  I think that should I return may take my own food due to the fact that the wait can be that long.

Another bonus which we liked about cannon hall farm is the fact that it has a number of parks. Which allows your little ones to run off some of the steam which they have this is something which we took full benefit of Jess does love to be able to play in the park. There is a couple of them and we managed to spend a fair amount of time in them. This did mean that we did not get to go to the reptile house because it was closing as we were going to have a look around. This is something which if you are visiting I would recommend you check to avoid disappointment.

There is also a soft play area which is included in the price which is another way to make your kids tired which is always a sign of a good day out.  They do have an area which is designed for the under 5’s which is Jess spent the majority of her time. It has several layers which means that it is bigger than your average soft play.  This was something we only did towards the end of the day and it did mean that Jess was tired and was not happy when a child pushed her.

Overall

We enjoyed our day out at cannon hall farm and for sure it is a place were we may return next year. If Jess continues to love animals I do not see why it should not be a be place we return to there is always something new at the farm and it is not too far from our new house either, the price does not put me off returning either. With it only costing £9.95 for an adult and I seem to remember around £7.95 for a child but they regularly have offers which will save you money. One think to note though is that you do pay for parking which I did not really appreciate

If you have visited Cannon Hall farm what did you think?

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Preparing for University

Now you have got the grades which has meant that you are able to go to university you think that the works starts. There are so many small jobs which you can do before freshers week which will make your life a lot easier and when you are miles away from home this can be a massive bonus. Today I am going to share with you some tips which I would recommend doing to make you so easy.

Start learning to wash your own clothes

I actually brought 6 weeks of washing home when I was in my first year however, since then I have actually had to do my own. I would recommend learning how to wash your own clothes because then it means that you can wear what you actually want. Instead of wearing what is clean and there is always your parents to help you out if you get stuck before you got to university.

Learn how to save money

Everyone states that as a student you are going to be super poor but if you learn how to save money this is going to help. You will be able to get a NUS card which helps you save money on the high street and at restaurants if you want to be spendy. While at university, there is a lot of apps which you can use which have discounts codes on. I am going to do a post on this very soon.You can even put money on gift cards for supermarkets which means that you do not spend your food money on a crazy night when you do not have the funds at university.

Learn to cook

This is one which is going to help you massively because of course you do not want to have to spend a lot of money on takeaways and ready meals. I think that been able to cook for your family before you go helps massively because it gets you used to cooking and allows you to ask for help before you leave and live on your own. It also may allow you to be able to get recipe’s from your family which will help the more meals you can cook the less likely you are to get bored of eating the same food. It will also let you get used to batch cooking which helps because we all want not to have to cook when you have a late lecture.

Update your CV

Money is going to be something which you need to have, now if you can update your CV to make sure that it has everything that it needs to have on it.  Things such as your new address, those a levels which you have just completed. I got a job at McDonald’s when I was at university and it was so handy having some more money. I would recommend starting to look for part time jobs now because they are advertising soon and most people do not think of looking until fresher’s week.

Join Facebook groups

You can meet people who you might be able to make friends with on Facebook who you can meet up with when you get to university. For example I know there was a page for the halls which I lived in my first year and I met some of the people who I was going to be living with in this group. There is also usually a group for your university course and this is going to be with people you are going to see so much. It does matter if your friends are on your course or not because there is a lot of time to socialise.

Get a railcard

As a student you are more likely to be between the ages of 16-25 which means that you can get a young persons railcard. You never know when you are going to feel homesick and actually want to come home to see people or explore new places. If you get one of the railcards it does mean that you do actually get 1/3 off travel which we all need because train fairs can be so expensive, they actualy only cost you £30 a year. With Santander you can get a 4 year one with a student bank account.

Sort your stuff out

You do not realise till you are about to move out how much stuff you have actually got in. There will be some things which you may not longer want but that someone else will be willing to pay good money for. I recommend actually sorting things out early and trying to sell what you can on eBay or similar ways. This will give you money to buy things which you might actually want in order to move or it gives you more money for when you are at university.

If you have been to university what would you recommend people do before starting their fresher’s year.

 

Charlotte xx


			

Book Review- Faithful By Alice Hoffman

It is rare that I get to go and purchase a book in a book store at the moment due to the fact I have so many to be read on my pile at home. However, a few weeks ago I found that I had finished the book which I was reading and time which I could be reading in. So I decided that I was going to read Faithful by Alice Hoffman, this book is something different to which I would normally read to be honest but this is something which I did enjoy.

The Blurb

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion–from dark suffering to true happiness–a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls–including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

My Thoughts

Wow . . . talk about a punch to the gut! This is not something which I thought was going to happen. This story is an emotional journey, from the first few pages to the final few words, it was kind of draining, but so thrilling. Sometimes a sad and poignant read just hits the spot. And much like life, there is tough times and better times.

It’s so easy for anyone sitting on the outside of a situation to pass judgment and say what they would do differently in your life. This is what happened to Shelby’s life. After a horrific accident leaves her best friend in a comma (this is a little bit of an odd situation) surely they would have not let her  be in a coma for this long. Shelby is able to walk away virtually unharmed, Shelby has tremendous guilt. Guilt that makes her jump into a pool of extreme self-destruction and not come up for air – for quite some time.

“I think I lost my soul.” 

She lands in New York, with a guy from high school, but she’s just going through the motions. She knows deep down, she doesn’t love him the way she should and it’s impossible to escape the niggling feeling that she’s destined for so much more. But does she deserve it? Everyone needs to figure things out at their own pace though and that’s exactly what lent this story credibility. Shelby made a ton of mistakes and pushed people away; until she couldn’t ignore what was right in front of her face. It was little things, coming together at just the right moments, that gave her the strength to find her way to the surface and let go. To forgive herself. Well, and a combination of tough love, angsty teenagers, stolen dogs (if you’re an animal lover, you’re in for a treat), anonymous postcards and a diet of chinese food, sans the fortune cookies.

“What is behind you is gone, what is in front of you awaits.” 

My favorite part of the entire story was the postcards, of course. All with different messages urging her to do things like – say something, do something, be something, feel something, want something, save something, believe something, love something. Those little cards gave this heartbreaking story a touch of mystery. I was anxious to figure out who was behind the words. I would be lying if I said the love story junkie within me wasn’t completely smitten. I kind of thought things were headed in a different direction, but it just goes to show that things come along where or when you least expect them to. And might be even better than what you initially hoped for.

“Love is a mystery. It’s like an alien abduction. You think you’re on earth, and there you are among the stars.” 

Final Thoughts

This for sure is one of those books which I would recommend this is one which I would not have picked but for sure this is one which I have enjoy reading. I think I did actually manage to read this in a few days which is a sign which that it is one which I could not put down because at the moment time to read is something which I have been neglecting.

Have you read this book if so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xx