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Ultimate Football Heroes 📚⚽️ a book review

My boys are real boys. They love sports, wrestling and computer games. Of course they enjoy reading but they would much rather be outdoors kicking a football around than any other thing!

But I want them to read more books. I want then to immerse themselves in the pages of a good novel and keep turning the pages until they reach the very end.

They read the books they get from school as homework, but I am always on the search for books they will just adore to read.

So the other day my older son and I came across this wonderful set of books in our local WHSmiths, and they are a winner!

The Books –

Ultimate Football Heroes is a series of biographies telling the life-stories of the biggest and best footballers in the world and their incredible journeys from childhood fan to super-star professional player.

Written in fast-paced, action-packed style these books are perfect for all the family to collect and share.

Verdict –

My son has already read a lot of the books in the series – Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard to name a few. He has told me all about what he has found out. He has got a few more ordered coming soon.

So the key to getting kids to read more is to find books which interest them. Such a great series of books for any football fans out there!

You can buy the series in all good bookshops and on Amazon uk now!


Testament of Youth ❤️ a movie review 🎬

There are some fantastic movies available to watch on Netflix. We had some very snowy days over the past week and it was a perfect opportunity to look at the movies on Netflix more closely.

I love movies which tell a real story, and this was one of those. Amazing actors, super scenery and a story which is gripping from beginning to the end.

The Movie –

Testament of Youth is a story of love, loss and strength during the first World War. Based on the book Testament of Youth written by Vera Brittain, a true story of her life.

Vera Brittain is an intelligent, strong willed young lady from a well to do family. A loving brother, a handsome fiancee, and a place at Oxford University. Then World War changes everything. The men she loves all head to war, and are all lost one by one.

A true story of strength and courage.

Verdict –

I was extremely touched by this movie.

Alicia Vikander plays Vera Brittain amazingly.

After the movie I googled the real Vera. Such a heartbreaking story.

It is now available to watch on Netflix. Not to be missed! I look forward to reading the book.

Homemade Kimchi 💚

I have always loved pickles. Not just regular gherkins, but any vegetables pickled. I do understand it is an acquired taste, but I read recently just how good fermented vegetables are for you.

Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).

The most important fact about Kimchi is that it has been known to be the secret to a long life. South Korea is expected to be the first country where life expectancy reaches 90. Made with cabbage, kimchi is salty and spicy, and full of probiotics, and vitamins A & B. It also contains lots of lactobacilli – a good bacteria found in yogurt and healthy guts. Scientists think it is why South Koreans live so long.

So here is my simple Kimchi recipe my darling mother found in a magazine & tried. If you love pickles and spicy foods you will love it!

Kimchi –

Ingredients –

  • 1 Chinese Cabbage – quartered
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Method –

  • Remove the stalks from the cabbage. Cut it up into 4cm pieces.
  • Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt. Rub the salt into the cabbage with your fingers.
  • Cover the cabbage with cold water, cover and set aside for 2 hours.
  • Sieve the water, rinse thoroughly under water then leave to drain.
  • Place the garlic cloves, ginger and sugar in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste is formed.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cabbage. Add in the ginger, garlic paste. Add the chilli powder. Add a little warm water. Mix thoroughly.
  • Place the mixture in a glass jar with a lid.
  • Keep at room temperature for one week to ferment.
  • Then transfer to the fridge.
  • The Kimchi will keep for up to 3months.

Enjoy with anything really! I love it as a side to my avocado toast!

Yum x

Where Angels Fear to Tread by E M Forster ❤️📚 a book review

I am into all things Italian lately. Would you believe I have never been to Italy! A terrible loss on my part I know. But this year I plan to put that right. I am off to Rome in April to see the beautiful sites Ive read about. I cannot wait!

In keeping with the theme of Italy, Im also reading books set in Italy. And as classics are my favourite at the moment I decided to start with this one, recommended by my dear friend.

The Book –

E. M. Forster’s first novel is a witty comedy of manners that is tinged with tragedy.

It tells the story of Lilia Herriton, who proves to be an embarrassment to her late husband’s family as, in the small Tuscan town of Monteriano, she begins a relationship with a much younger Italian man – classless, uncouth and highly unsuitable.

A subtle attack on decorous Edwardian values and a humanely sympathetic portrayal of the clash of two cultures, Where Angels Fear to Tread is also a profound exploration of character and virtue.

Verdict –

After my deep love for the book and mini series Howards End, I was interested to find out if another Forster novel would interest me as much.

I was not disappointed in the least.

A much shorter novel, only 10 chapters, so lovely as its nice and light to carry around in your handbag.

So witty, fun and exciting all the way through. The descriptions of Italy are wonderfully put together in a way only a master author can.

Tuscany is next on my list to see. I cannot wait to explore and learn.

A fantastic read.

Penguin has the most wonderful covers for the classics. Available in bookshops Nationwide.

A kitchen tool everyone needs! ❤️

I have lots of tools in my kitchen. Some I use daily, others weekly, some very rarely. Ive always belived in saving time by using the right tool for the task. Why slave over a task for hours on end when there is a tool that can do it for you in minutes?

I adore cooking as you all know, but baking is my hidden pleasure. I have always loved baking since I was little. Cakes, biscuits, desserts are such a pleasure to put together.

There has been on kitchen gadget which I have always used when baking. It is amazing and I think every household should have one.

The Tala Cook’s Dry Measure

So what does it do?

The Cook’s dry measure is an invaluable kitchen tool. Simply pour ingredients up to the desired level for speed and accuracy without using weighing scales.

The measure is calibrated in both metric and imperial, making it easy to follow favourite old cookery books, and recipes passed down from a mother or grandmother.

The measure is also calibrated for fluid measurements and can be used to measure liquids for immediate use, but is not watertight. The cooks measure has been made by hand, in England, in which the production method remains the same since the 1920s.

If you haven’t got one get one asap! You will wonder how you lived without it.

No more messy scales, simply put in the dry ingredients up to the point stated and voila perfectly measured ingredients!

I think mine must be 10years old!

You can buy them pretty much anywhere. See below for more details –

The Forever House by Veronica Henry 💕🏡 a book review 📚

I think that everyone must have in their minds eye an image of their perfect home. A place, a haven for themselves, their family and loved ones.

Since I was a little girl I have loved drawing pictures of my ‘forever home,’ and country cottages seem to be where my heart lies. A pretty country home with a picket fence, cute and cosy. Especially old houses, because they hold so many stories.

So when I saw the lovely cover of Veronica Henry’s The Forever House I just had to read it!

The Book –

Hunter’s Moon is the ultimate ‘forever’ house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys’ home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there.

But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets – and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past. . .

An irresistibly feel-good story set in the Cotswolds from bestseller Veronica Henry, all about why home really is where the heart is.

Verdict –

Another wonderful story filled with the most interesting characters by one of my favourite authors.

Hunter’s Moon sounds like the most wonderful house set in the breathtaking Cotswolds. I love how it intertwines modern day with the past in the natural way only a very good author can.

Perfect read for the beach, in bed or on a long journey.

Available on Amazon & in all good bookshops now!

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s home in Antalya ❤️🇹🇷 a must see Museum

We are in sunny Antalya for the half term holidays! It was such a wonderful treat waking up late and seeing blue skies and sunshine. The sun just lifts your spirits, making the world look so sparkling and fabulous!

I took a long walk by the sea this morning. Breathing in the fresh sea air, it was so invigorating!

Every time I come to Antalya there are places I love to visit. Ataturk’s home in Antalya is one of my favourites, and a must see for anyone visiting Antalya!

The Museum –

Atatürk’s House (Atatürk Evi ve Müzesi) is a museum that displays the visits the first president of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, made to Antalya in the 1930s.

The current building is an exact replica of the original house where Atatürk stayed and the exhibitions inside are very interesting. Displays include original items of Ataturk’s clothing, books, furniture.

The museum is located in the center of Antalya right beside the ‘Kale Ici’ area by the port.

It is open daily and entrance is free.

A Must See –

The importance of Ataturk to Turks cannot be put into words. He is not only the founder of the Turkish republic, he continues to be an inspiration to Turks of all ages.

This museum is small but must be seen to just get a feel for what type of person this great leader was.

There is no oppulence in his residence. No glittering gold furniture or antiques that would be seen in the Ottoman palaces. The rooms are well furnished but sparce. Elegant and understated.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a man of the people. He was well groomed and took pride in his appearance.

A must see when in Antalya.

Homemade Super Simple Bircher Muesli with fruits & seeds ❤️😋

I have always loved breakfast! As soon as Im up, dressed, the dishwasher is emptied its time to get everyone fed.

At the weekends we love our family breakfasts with eggs, toasted breads, fresh pastries and jams. But during the week we are all in such a rush and to get to school and work, its the quick breakfasts which are the best.

My boys love cereals and porridge, I tend to go for bran flakes, but lately its been getting a bit monotonous and Ive been exploring other quick healthy breakfast ideas.

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Bircher Muesli’ in the press lately, Deliciously Ella has brought out her own ‘ready made’ variety which has had mixed reviews, but I always like to make things at home before I reach for the ‘ready made’ variety. Im not a big fan of dried up fruits which are hard and get stuck in your teeth in cereals. Why not use fresh fruits instead?

So here is my super simple ‘Bircher Muesli’ recipe. Muesli is a breakfast dish based on raw oats, and other ingredients like grains, fresh or dried fruits and milk of any kind. Bircher adds freshly grated apple into the mixture making it less dry, and more fresh and crunchy. Whats great is about this is it can be made the night before, like overnight oats, and so all you need to do in the morning is enjoy!

Ingredients – (makes enough for 2 jars)

  • 1 large eating apple peeled and coarsely grated
  • 50 grams rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon Chai seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 100grams Full fat natural bio-yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100ml cold water
  • To top with  – sliced bananas, a drizzle of honey, berries – anything really!

Method –

In a bowl add the grated apple, seeds, oats, cinnamon. Give the dry ingredients a good mix. Then add the yogurt and water. Mix until all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.

I then spooned the mixture into two glass jars with lids. These jars can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days. And voila! Ready made yummy Bircher Muesli!

In the morning all you have to do is open the jar, top with slices of banana, add berries and a drizzle of honey! I add more cinnamon too. Its gooey, creamy and crunchy! Yum!

Who needs dried ready made cereals, homemade always tastes much better!

Enjoy! xxx

The Post 🎬 a movie review 💙

I have never been hugely into politics, but I do like to keep up to date with this complex world that we live in. I like to know who is in charge of ruling our country and other if only to figure out why they make the decisions they make.

Politicians are very interesting indeed, they have very difficult jobs, and so much responsibility.

The same can be said about journalists. Without journalists, newspapers, news channels, how would we know anything about politics and the world we live it. In many ways I feel the journalists have the tougest job of all. Conveying the ‘correct’ news to us all so that we know the truth.

There are some instances however when the politicians do not want the public to know about the truth, thats when the problems arise.

The Post is based exactly on this, a newspaper tries to expose the wrong doing of the politicians, and the politicians try their best to stop it from being published.

The Movie –

Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper — The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers — and very freedom — to help bring long-buried truths to light.


This movie is based on a true story. The cast is top class – Tom Hanks & Meryl Streep.

It is very political though. The first hour was quite difficult to comprehend at times. But make sure you sit it through to the end when things get clearer. A good movie.

Lets see if The Post gets an Oscar! I think it deserves one for sure.

It can be seen on the big screen now at cinemas Nationwide.

Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley 📚 a book of poems 🦋

Ever since I lived and studied in Amherst, Massachusetts I have been interested in poetry.

My love of sonnets and poems actually goes way back to when I studied A-level English Literature. Then my time in Amherst, and visiting the home of Emily Dickinson reawakened my love yet again.

Poems are the most wonderful, romantic, selection of words and phrases. So beautifully put together.

So when I was asked to review a book of poems about butterflies I just had to find out more.

The Book –

Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley is a collection of poems inspired by butterflies, as well as the stories behind their often unusual and exotic names, and colour photographs.

In this charming collection, the poems evoke both the colourful lives of these lovely insects and the emotions that they arouse in us.

Each poem is unique, frequently inspired by the unusual scientific names given to them, which are often poetic in themselves. The poems lead the reader on a journey of discovery of these delicate creatures, each poem and each butterfly a new delight.

Profit from the sale of this edition of Papiliones will be donated to the Butterfly Conservation charity.

Verdict –

I have always loved butterflies. I love all wildlife, but the ones that visit my garden are extra special, they are my friends. Robins, ladybirds and butterflies.

This book is not only filled with beautiful poetry, it is very educational.

It is a breathe of fresh air. It isn’t a novel, it’s not a biography, but it is filled with wonderful facts about the most wonderous beautiful insects. The poetry is lovely and totally understandable.

I look forward to spotting the various species of butterflies that will visit my garden in the Springtime.

A lovely gift for anyone who likes poetry & nature.

Available on Anazon uk now.