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Falling by Jane Green 📚 a book review 🌞❤️

I am writing to you from sunny Turkey! It is officially the summer holidays and two days in I am enjoying a fantastic book poolside in the glorious sunshine!

It is a bit of a tradition of mine to save a new book by a favourite author for the holidays. So I actually bought this book a while ago but saved it especially for this vacation. 

The Book – 

From the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of Summer Secrets comes a novel about finding a home – and family – where you least expect them.

Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life – and rather dull boyfriend – and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn’t want.

Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work – lots of work. But it’s the perfect project to satisfy Emma’s passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.

To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he’s a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he’s comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.

From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn’t come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .

Verdict –

Yet again Jane Green does not disappoint! A lovely read, her words flow so easily and by chapter 4 you already feel you know the characters as if they were living in your own neighbourhood.

Not up there with my favourite of Green’s books but entertaining all the same.

Available on Amazon & in all major bookshops now! 

Happy Summer reading x

The joy of growing fruit & vegetables in your own garden ❤️

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts when eating a home grown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard (American writer)

I read this quote recently and completely agree. Growing your own fruits & vegetables has to be one of lifes most pleasurable things!

With Summer here and the weather heating up we are harvesting our own homegrown fruits, vegetables & herbs. Next Spring why don’t you all try to grow your own. You don’t need a garden, a balcony or even a window sill will work perfectly.

I have found the vegetables and herbs which are easiest to grow and maintain are mint, chives and tomatoes.

Mint grows very fast, all it needs is watering and some sunshine and they are off! Perfect to tear into salads, add a few leaves to boiling hot water for a refreshing fresh mint tea or add to tomato soup for an amazing taste.

Chives are perfect cut up into a fresh potato salad.

The joy of eating homegrown tomatoes is just amazing. I have found growing tomatoes to be much more successful when you plant tomato plants rather than seeds. Use tomato feed and with plenty of watering and sunshine you will have success.

Get the little ones involved and you will all have fun next Spring!

The Summer House by Jenny Hale 🌞 a book review 📚

Our countdown to the Summer has begun. Sports days are done, boys got their school reports last Friday. Its now the final week of fun and completion of the term. The boys are absolutely ready to relax, as are we.

So in the interest of preparing for some much needed relaxation by the sea, I chose a fantastically Summery book to share with you all today.

The Book –

Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast. 

Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks. 

Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets… secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor. 

Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them? 

Verdict –

Around this time of the year, when the Summer holidays are only a few days away, I adore reading books set by the seaside. Not onlt do they help get me ready for the long lazy sunny days that lie ahead, they help me cope with the last few days of rushing around trying to get everything ready.

The Summer House did not dissappoint. Jenny Hale writes wonderfully and the story is set in the perfect Summer location.

Callie and Olivia are best friends and they have a plan to convert this beautiful beach house into a b&b. Boyfriends are really on her mind, but it’s always at times like this, when you arent looking, that love turns up on your doorstep.

A beautiful read which will transport you away to the beach, filled with love and relationship dilemmas.

I look forward to reading more by Jenny soon.

The Summer House is available to purchase now on Amazon uk. Published by Bookouture.

Frankie & Johnny ❤️ My all time favourite movie 🎬

There are some movies you watch and once is enough, but then a movie comes along that you watch, then watch again, and again.

Everytime you watch it you see something different, you learn another fact or see another viewpoint. 

I think the two major factors to a movie like this is a good storyline mixed with fantastic acting. 

I actually have a few movies like this. A few movies I can watch over and over again, without being bored. But this movie has always been that extra bit special.

The Movie –

When Johnny (Al Pacino) is released from prison following a forgery charge, he quickly lands a job as a short-order cook at a New York diner. 

Following a brief fling with waitress Cora (Kate Nelligan), Frankie develops an attraction for Cora’s friend and fellow waitress Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer). 

While Frankie resists Johnny’s charms initially, she eventually relents when her best friend, Tim (Nathan Lane), persuades her to give Johnny a chance.

Verdict –

For me this is an amazing love story not to be missed. Al Pacino & Michelle Pfeiffer have such a fantastic on screen chemistry, it is breathetaking to watch.

The movie is about lonliness, finding love and the fear of losing love. 

It is almost like you are watching a documentary about life in New York. 

My favourite scene has got to be when Johnny takes Frankie to the flower market, its just magical! 

Its available on dvd now. 

A weekend in Copenhagen with the kids ❤️🇩🇰

For anyone who has seen the movie Danish Girl, you will know what I mean when I talk about the amazing scenery. 

The colourful high ceilinged buildings that line the beautiful canals, the costumes and the history. The Danish Girl was the true story of Lili Elbe, the world’s first receipients of sex change surgery. The movie was set and filmed in and around Copennhagen, amd ever since watching it I have wanted to visit this magical, theatrical city for myself.

Here are some amazing facts about Copenhagen –

– Copenhagen’s metropolitan area has a population of just over 2million people (comparitively London is estimated to be at 8.6million in 2017)

– The UN World Happiness Report has rated Danes as the happiest people on earth two years in a row.

– Danes have a special word “hygge” for that cozy feeling of togetherness. It means relaxing in great company.

– LEGO is Danish!

– 50% of Copenhageners commute to work every day on bicycle – come rain come shine.

– The Copenhagen harbour is clean enough to swim in!

– It is where the first ‘Joe & the Juice’ store opened up

Where we stayed –

As a family we love Radissons, so in Copenhagen it was the Radisson for us. We had a lovely pair of adjoining rooms at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia, which a short walk over a bridge from the main attractions.

What we saw –

  • The Tivoli Gardens – a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Its a wondeful place for adults to be kids again.

  • The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen – is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. My boys spent a good 3hours exploring this fantastic space. Its very kid friendly & the coffee shop does these great huge sandwiches! Perfect for kids & lunch. It has exhibitions from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History. 

  • Boat trip – A definate must to see the whole city. You can catch the boat all along the waterway. Its also a fantastic way to get a glimse of the infamous Little Mermaid from the sea.
  • Nyhavn – is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured buildings. We sat by the water in one of the many lovely restaurants and just watched the world go by.

Where we ate –

  • Wagamamas- I know! Go all the way to Copenhagen and go to Wagamamas! But with kids sometimes whatever makes them happy works.
  • Nyhavn 17 – A great place to enjoy Herrings on a bed of fresh bread. Its delicious! Washed down with a cold beer.
  • Cows & Cocks – A chain of burger restaurants in the city. Chargrilled burgers o& ribs with homemade sauces in a trendy venue with booths & brick walls. 
  • Bagt – another chain of fantastic bakeries. Fresh Danish pasteries & great cappucinos! Beats hotel breakfasts everytime.

Top tip-

  • Do not get a taxi from the airport! Save money & time by getting the metro straight to the city! My boys loved sitting at the front of the train, there are no drivers so they lived the adventure! Getting tickets is super easy from the machines near the trains, a short walk from the airport arrivals. There are even stewards on hand who speak perfect English to help!

Enjoy Copenhagen! We loved it!  xxx

🌟Win🌟 A pair of fantastic books for Summer by Jan Ellis 📚

It is officially Summer! Although June feels like Summer in my household the countdown to the holidays begins in July.

Only 3 weeks to go, or 15 school days as my son tells me, until end of term and we can relax in Antalya by the blue sea.

I normally start buying the staples for me few weeks away around now. I make lists and start stocking up slowly to avoid the last minute panic. This year is extra hectic as we are extending our living room, so more to plan.

I always try to take a few good books with me to Antalya. I find summer is the perfect time to read.

This year along with some new titles which I cannot wait to read & review for you all, Im taking the lovely Jan Ellis’s latest two books with me to enjoy again whilst overlooking the Mediterranean sea, with a tall iced tea on the side.

The Books –

These books are one and two in The Bookshop by The Sea series.

Book 1 – A Summer of Suprises & An Unexpected Affair

Book 2 – The Bookshop Detective

Both set in beautiful Devon around the lives of the residents of Combemouth. Eleanor is the main character who we loved in the first book, and with a mystery to solve in the second book things get even more exciting.

Jan ensures that her cleverly created eccentric characters make us smile and want to find out more. Her words flow so naturally that whilst reading, the story is brought to life infront of your very eyes.


On the back of ‘A Summer of Suprises & An Unexpected Affair’ I am honoured to be quoted.

A lovely set of books to take away on holiday with you & read whilst relaxing on the beach or on a large comfortable sofa”

I still agree! And here is your chance to win the two books in the Bookshop by the Sea series! Simply click on the rafflecopter link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition is open to International & UK residents & the winner will be picked at random. The competition ends on Sunday July 16th at midnight!

Good luck lovelies 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Top 5 things to do in London this Summer! 🌞🇬🇧

I love London! It is such a wonderfully diverse city filled with so many great things to do! And when you have the added benefit of sunshine in the city, there are even more lovely ways to spend your time.

I lived in central London for most of my life, but a few years ago we decided to move to the suburbs with our boys. But a trip to the city is always a great adventure for us, and only 35minute train ride away. I love to plan things for the weekend for my family to enjoy. London is a city that is always alive, there are things going on for all ages at all times of the day.

Here are a few of my favourite things to do in beautiful London this Summer –

1.A Picnic in Victoria Tower Gardens –

London has some amazing parks – St. James, Green Park, Hyde Park to name a few. But I always find them to be far too crowed in the Summer months and at weekends. So for my family and I a lovely peaceful park is the Victoria Tower Gardens. Located right next to the Houses of Parliament, it not only has fantastic views of the London Eye and the River Thames, it has a recently modernised playground kids of all ages will enjoy. A huge sand pit, water feature, swings and slides. And a great new snack serving kiosk. All you will need for an escape from the crowds of London, right in the centre of the big city itself.

2.A Visit to The Wallace Collection –

The Wallace Collection is an art collection in London open to the public, housed at Hertford House in Manchester Square, London, just a stones throw away from Baker Street station. This beautifully noble townhouse is filled with the most amazing antiques and paintings from all over the world. It has some lovely classes and tours which are aimed for children of all ages. What is great is entrance to the museum is absolutely free.

3.A Boat trip down the Thames –

The Thames is such a wonderful river to ride down in the summertime. My boys love to catch the Thames Clipper service from just under the London Eye on the South Bank. You can use your Oyster Card to ride the boat and it stops at several major attractions along the river. For an extra special treat for the whole family why not sit outside on the boat and enjoy the sights al fresco.

4.A Visit to the Sky Garden –

London in the Summer on a clear day is just amazing and the best way to admire the city is from up above! The Sky Garden in the City of London is a place over three storeys and with a 360 degree view across London. Visitors can wander around the landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden. Entrance is free but you need to book the visit in advance.

5. Sensational Butterflies at The Natural History Museum –

My kids love to visit museums, and London is filled with the most famous museums in the world. When the weather is warmer however my kids love to do more things outdoors. The Natural History Museum has a great exhibition that kids and adults alike love every year from March to September. Based in the gardens of the museum, it’s a perfect family day out wandering among hundreds of free-flying moths and butterflies from around the world. There are booklets available for kids to fill in and enjoy a picnic in the gardens afterwards.

 Enjoy the sunshine 🌞🌞🌞🌞  (when it comes out! 😜)

A Noble Intention ❤️ a movie review 🎬

Big blockbuster movies are really not enticing me to watch them these days. I don’t know whether they are overdoing the special effects, or overdoing the ‘big name actors,’ the storylines are just so boring and predictable at times.

So the other day whilst zapping on Netflix I decided to take a look through the International Movies section. A selection I randomly go for mainly because I just cannot be bothered to read the subtitles! But that night I was willing to do anything to watch something remotely interesting. And this movie was just mesmerising from start to finish.

The Movie –

Set in 1888 in Amsterdam, a stubborn violin maker and his pharmacist cousin face hardship and tragedy as they oppose the powerful businessmen who plan to force him from his house and erect a luxurious new hotel in its place.

Verdict –

The luxurious hotel in question here was The Victoria Hotel, the exact hotel where we stayed with my husband on our visit there last year! And the story told is a true one, of a shop keeper who refuses to let the powerful businessmen force him out of his business to build this hotel.

The hotel is instead built around the little shop, and exists there inbetween the hotel today. It is now a super cute little gift shop. You can see it in the photo above.

If you are due to visit Amsterdam you must watch this movie to get a feel for the city in the 1800’s and you must visit the gift shop on your visit.

A Noble Intention is now on Netflix! Dont miss it x

Wonderful Diamonds for those special occasions…💍

This year my darling husband and I will be celebration our 14th Wedding anniversary. Over the past 14 years I have had gifts of jewellery from my husband, but the one piece of jewellery I cherish most is my engagement ring.

An engagement ring is not just a piece of jewellery, it is a symbol of your love for each other and in my opinion should be chosen by the bride. It is a very romantic gesture for the groom to choose the ring, but it is the bride who has to wear it and enjoy wearing it for the rest of her life. So either the groom has to very cleverly ask the right questions to find out the bride’s favourite style of ring, or just let the bride choose.

My engagement ring is a round cut sapphire, surrounded by diamonds all mounted on a platinum setting. I fell in love with my ring from the first moment I played eyes on it, and  14 years on it still gives me butterflies when I look at it.

When choosing your ring, be it as an engagement ring, wedding band or a ring to celebrate a special occasion, make sure you look in shops and online. There are so many great online jewellers who offer very reasonable prices and amazing styles.

The Company –

Wonderfully Diamonds prides itself on producing magnificent jewellery in a wide variety of original and stunning styles. With a wealth of experience and supreme artisanal expertise, they can transform your jewellery dream into a sparkling reality.

Wonderfully Diamonds, can provide a vast array of certified diamonds, ranging from 0.3 carats, up to 5 carats. They also offer a variety of cuts to suit every taste – from the popular, timeless Princess or Pear cut, to perhaps something more quirky and completely original. Experts are happy to work with you to design and create a beautiful bespoke wedding ring that will perfectly complement your engagement ring and captivate all who see it. The ‘Wonderfully World of Bespoke Experience’ includes a design consultant who will expertly guide you through the whole process, from choosing the perfect diamond or gemstone to helping you to create a unique piece that embodies your personality and uniqueness. Free of charge, you can view a CAD image of your design. Once you are completely satisfied with the image, they’ll provide you with a free quotation before you commit to ordering.

Verdict –

The Wonderfully Diamonds web site is so easy to use and the product range available is amazing.

Diamond Engagement Rings, Rose Gold Engagement Rings, Platinum Engagement Rings, White Gold Engagement Rings, Diamond Wedding Rings, Sapphire Engagement Rings, Women & Mens Wedding Rings.

Wonderfully Diamonds launched their e-commerce brand just last week on June 15th.

Sapphires have always been a favourite of mine, I think any girl growing up in the UK had a love for Princess Diana’s beautiful sapphire engagement ring. Deep blue is also my favourite colour.

I am now looking for a sapphire eternity ring to accompany my engagement ring and diamond wedding band. It is very fashionable now to stack rings. Looking on Wonderfully Diamonds website finding my style of eternity ring couldn’t have been easier.

So if you are looking for that special ring or piece of jewellery and are short on time to visit jewellery shops, Wonderfully Diamonds is a great place to shop online –

The Portrait by Antoine Laurain ❤️📚 a book review

Summer has definately arrived in London. My idea of heaven is sitting in my garden in one of our super comfortable rattan chairs, with a cold drink and a good book!

What could be more relaxing? Well a good book and a cold drink by the sea would also work for me, but sadly our school holidays are a few weeks away yet, so the garden will have to do.

When a favourite author brings out a new book the anticipation of starting it makes my day even more exciting.

The Book –

A collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man uncannily like him. 

While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-François Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him. 

Much to his delight, Chaumont’s bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance. 

Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life…

Verdict –

There are certain authors whose style I love. Authors who bring out new books and I just cannot wait to read them.

Antoine Laurain is one of my favourites. I also follow his Instagram account avidly for breathtaking images of Paris.

The Portrait is another super original quirky tale unlike any other. What I love most about Antoine’s books are their ability to suprise you with something new unlike any other book on the market. The storyline is always fun and will keep you very entertained.

The Portrait is available for purchase now on Amazon & in all bookstores nationwide.