Skip to content

French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain ❤️ a book review 📚

I am writing to you sitting in by favourite coffee shop enjoying a frothy cappuccino in sunny Antalya on the Southern coast of Turkey. It’s half term so the boys are off school and we needed to get some sunshine and escape the freezing February weather of London.

I love to read on the plane and when looking through my library at home on what to take on the trip, I always prefer shorter novels, and when it was a novel by one of my favourite authors Antoine Laurain, the choice was easily made.

The Book –


The arrival of a letter delayed by 33 years sparks off a quest that leads both on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and right to the heart of France today. 

Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter – thirty-three years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar. Overcome by nostalgia, Alain is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed…where could his quest possibly take him?

Verdict-

I don’t know what it is about Antoine’s books, but there is definately a sprinkling of magic dust in there! They just make me happy, bring a huge smile to my face.

The Red Notebook, The President’s Hat and now French Rhapsody. They are special books, unusual, fun and definately full of love.

Set in Paris, Antoine’s hometown, his books transport you away to the beautiful city of lights. And what makes these books so special is the originality of the stories told.

French Rhapsody does not disappoint, it is the story of a failed musician, now a doctor, amd his quest to find his long forgotten band members. 

I finished it in one sitting amd could not wait to see what happened next.

I absolutely recommend it as I do all of Antoine’s other novels. I cannot wait to read more in the future.

Also follow Antoine on his Instagram page for the most gorgeous pictures of Paris – 

antoinelaurainofficiel_writer

French Rhapsody is available to buy at all major bookshops & on Amazon now!

Help build a new Hunterian Museum! 💙

Any budding doctors out there? Then your kids will love this museum !

What is The Hunterian Museum in London?


The Hunterian Museum houses one of the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens in the UK and is based on the items assembled by John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist (1728-1793).

 The collection comprises more than 3,500 anatomical and pathological preparations, fossils, paintings and drawings and also includes specimens donated by Edward Jenner and Sir Joseph Banks. 

Exhibits at the Hunterian Museum include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish giant’ Charles Byrne, a collection of surgical instruments dating from the seventeenth century, carbolic sprays used by Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery, the tooth of a megatherium (an extinct giant sloth) donated by Charles Darwin – and Winston Churchill’s dentures.

Looking for something fun to do this half term?

The Hunterian Museum in London is looking for families to take part in valuable audience research this February half-term.
If you are a family who hasn’t visited the Hunterian museum before – but would like to – and you have at least one child in the 7-11 age range, would you be happy to work with the museum and use your family visit to help them find out more about your visitor experience as a family – so that the museum can put this information towards the new museum that will open in 2020?

The museum asks that you allow up to 2 hours for the visit, though you won’t need to stay the full time – unless you want to! Your visit will be observed by one of the museum staff researchers and then they will give you some refreshments and ask you about your time in the museum.

All families get a ‘goody bag’ and museum guidebooks worth £5 each to say thank you.

Observations will take place from Tuesday 14th-Saturday 18th February 2017, 10am-5pm

If you would like to take part, please contact Beth Astridge on bastridge@rcseng.ac.uk to timetable in your visit.

The perfect marshmallowy treat 😋

With the weather being chilly I seem to crave sweet things even more, especially when Im having coffee mid morning. I don’t have a super sweet tooth but when I do I like to choose snacks which are either home made or those that are filled with natural products.

The Product –


Mallow & Marsh was launched off £250 and no sleep and has kept up that approach ever since. The geniuses at Mallow & Marsh have spent hours perfecting and experimenting with their recipes in order to create these awesome culinary delights. A melt in your mouth, light as a feather, delicious experience.

They don’t make normal marshmallows. They make creamy bundles of gooey deliciousness. On a scale of jelly to nougat they sit as close to nougat as is marshmallowy possible. Using the highest quality ingredients from 100% natural raspberry to organic and fairtrade vanilla extract and they have made sure there are no additives or preservatives. They melt in your mouth and people are encouraged to experiment when they eat them.

Mallow&Marsh bars are –

  • 100% natural
  • Wheat, gluten & egg free
  • Under 150 calories
  • Low in fat
  • Handmade in the UK
  • Packed full of flavour

Verdict –

I think I’m in Marshmallowy heaven! When I was little I used to eat these marshmallow balls covered in a thin layer of chocolate, I have been on the lookout for something similar, and I have found it!


The Mallow & Marsh bars are just scrumptious! I had the Raspberry Marshmallow Bar, which is coated in 70% dark chocolate with my cappuccino and it was so yummy. Light and fluffy with a naturally sweet taste of raspberry.

My boys loved the Vanilla Marshmallow bar which I cut up into little pieces and they dropped into a steaming cup of hot chocolate for the most deliciously vanilla treat.


You can buy Mallow & Marsh bars in most supermarkets Nationwide & I have also seen them in my local Starbucks!

Find out more below –

https://www.mallowandmarsh.com

 

My favourite fashion magazines ❤️ 

Since I was very young I have loved magazines, especially fashion magazines. It is one of my most anticipated pleasures to bring home a brand new magazine and open the glossy cover.

I have several favourites – Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Elle. But my favourite by far is Red Magazine.

For those of you who are new to the world of fashion magazines you have to understand that each type of magazine has it’s own type of readership. Almost like a blog or a television programme, each magazine will have articles inside which will interest different types of people. 

So for example if I read Cosmopolitan Magazine in my teens, it was because Cosmopolitan Magazine had articles I would have found interesting then. But now I am 40 and a mother, I have different interests. I want to read about celebrities in my age range, I want to read about fashion and trends specifically aimed to me.

Red Magazine is a favourite because it is such an all round magazine but with class and elegance. There are recipes, stories from 40 somethings like me and great fashion & beauty tips! 

Vogue is another but my favourite has always been French Vogue. It is pure elegance in a magazine.

Give them a look next time you are in a book shop, you will see what I mean! xxx 

Keep Scooters off the floor & out of the way! ❤️🛴

These days pretty much everyone with a child seems to have a scooter.

I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with scooters, they can be very dangerous but then again the kids love them, and with the right precautions – helmets for safety and not going too fast, they are super fun and seem to be an essential part of a family’s day out these days.
My boys both have a scooter each and my younger son rides his to school everyday.


For me the most annoying thing has got to be is when after a day of cleaning the house, my kids arrive and put the muddy wheels of their scooters all over my shiny clean parke floors. It’s just heartbreaking.

So when I heard about a new product on the market which enables you to put the scooters “on the wall, off the floor, out of the way” I could not wait to give in a try for all you lovelies!

The Product –


Scooterpeg is designed specifically to clear some of that clutter, enabling you to keep your kids’ scooters tidied away and free up some of that precious floor space. It even means you can use the scooter deck as a handy shelf for their shoes when their scooter is hung up.

The new solution by Scooterpeg is designed to help clear the clutter by keeping kids scooters on the wall, off the floor and out of the way, and restore a little bit of your sanity, not to mention reducing the incidence of stubbed toes and sprained wrists.

When a scooter is hung on Scooterpeg, the scooter deck then becomes a shelf to put shoes and wellies on, and the handle a hook for their helmet meaning everything is in once place and makes getting back out the door for the school run, trip to the shops or just a scoot around the block that little bit quicker and easier.

It comes in four signature bright colours;

  • Brighton Blue
  • Bubblegum Pink
  • Sunshine Yellow
  • Fake Grass Green

With some more grown up colours too –  limestone, regency blue and cornish slate – for the more interior design conscious who want to keep their hallways more grown-up looking.

Scooterpeg is proudly Made in the UK from high quality prolypropelyne which is suitable for use both indoors and out. It is currently patent pending.

Verdict –

All I can say is ‘Thank you’ to the genius’s at Scooterpeg! What a simple yet super affective idea. Especially for those of us living in the UK where homes are not huge and space is always an issue.

I am not super handy when it comes to putting things up around the home but this was so easy to put up! Simply drill in the two solid screws to keep it securely in place, to give you a clearer home and hallway, and give your kids somewhere to put their stuff.  


There are also some super cute extras – a discreet little wallguard to protect your wall from muddy wheels, and a cute fitted name label so no arguing about which peg is whose.

My boys are going to love hanging their scooter up!

Super cool! Buy yours & find out more here –

http://www.scooterpeg.co.uk/

 

 

Lion ❤️🎬 a movie review

One of the greatest nightmares of any mother on earth has got to be the fear of losing a child.

Whenever I enter a crowded place I seem to instinctively hold my kids hands tighter. I cannot even imagine the devastation of losing one of my children.

So when I read an article in The Times recently about the latest movie adaptation of a true story, the story of Saroo, a 5 year old boy lost in India, I had to find out more.

The Movie –


This movie tells the true story of 5 year old Saroo, who gets lost. He gets on a train which takes him thousands of miles away across India. When asked the name of his mother, he replies simply,”mum.” Saroo must learn to live alone in Calcutta , before being ultimately adopted by an Australian couple in Tasmania.

Twenty-five years later armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination and a revolutionary technology called ‘Google Earth’  he sets out to find his family and home. Eventually finding his birth mother and family.

Verdict –

My younger son is more or less the same age Saroo was when he got lost. So watching this movie touched me in an unbelievable way.

My friend and I cried pretty much through the whole movie; tears of sadness, shock and joy. This movie will take your emotions for a rollercoaster ride unlike any other.

The biggest factor I think is that it actually happened, Saroo is real and at the end of the movie we see the real Saroo and the emotions swell up even more.


A fantastic movie, with perfectly cast actors. Nicole Kidman plays her role as Saroo’s adoptive mother with perfection. She has always been an amazing actress and the feeling in this very emotional role fits her perfectly. 


Dev Patel, who was born and lived very close to where I live today, is an amazing actor, and plays Saroo very well. He is very different from the Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire; older, more manly, a definate change.

A movie not to be missed, and I think it needs to be watched on the big screen to be experienced fully. I am hoping Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman get the Oscars they definitely deserve.


I just read that Dev Patel is taking his mum to the Oscars and Saroo is buying his birth mum a house. How lovely is that! If Dev does win the Oscar, he will be the first actor of entirely Indian heritage to win!

I have ordered the book behind the movie “A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly” which I cannot wait to read.

Lion is now showing at cinemas Nationwide. Don’t miss it! 

 

 

 

 

My favourite biographies ❤️📚

Like my parents, I love reading autobiographies, they are the perfect way to delve into the lives of people you admire and find out more about their lives. Film stars, politicians, historic figures. 

Reading about their lives makes us see that things are never as they seem and everyone has problems no matter how rich or famous they are.

So here are a few of my favourite biographies to date about people I have admired.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Barbara Leaming


Who doesn’t know Jackie Kennedy, and with the movie now showing on the big screen, I am reading this book again. 

My Life in France by Julia Child


Julia Child is a person I have loved for a while now. I must admit I watch the movie Julie & Julia first. Then I bought Julia’s cook books and because of her love for Paris I just had to read about her life. It was a wonderful book full of adventure, love of life and wonderful food. 

Coco Chanel by Axel Madsen


Coco Chanel is my style icon. Elegant, strong and extremely feminine. Her life was definately an exciting one. There are many books about her on the market but this one is by far my favourite.

Even if you are more of a fiction kinda person, give a biography a try, you might be plesantly suprised ❤️

Magical, Musical ‘La La Land’ ❤️ a movie review 🎬

I think it is fair to say the world we live in at the moment is not the nicest of places. Too many horrible things on the news, things we can’t seem to do anything about.

So when I get an opportunity to escape from all this for an hour or two to another world, filled with wonderful music and a magical story of love, I can never refuse.

The Movie –


La la Land is a musical story of love. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

Verdict –

To be honest I was apprehensive about sitting through a musical on the big screen for 2 hours and 8 minutes. I have always admired Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as actors and loved their on screen chemistry in Crazy, Stupid Love. But I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

All I can say is that I was very pleasantly suprised. So much so that I am definately going to see this beautiful movie again.


Let’s start with the music, it is all so good – the singing, the jazz, the instrumentals – that after each performance I wanted to get up and applaud as loud as I could. The storyline is pure magic! Romance, a love story and what ifs all rolled into one. And the suprise addition is humour in the most unexpected places.

Watch La, la Land with your friends, with your other half and have a super fun few hours! For me it is a musical up there with Mary Poppins and The Phantom of the Opera. Just pure magic!

Here is the official clip taken from youtube for you to enjoy-

https://youtu.be/cZAw8qxn0ZE

Fabulous Fresh Flowers delivered straight to your door ❤️💐

There is a saying that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ but I disagree, I tend to be of the belief that ‘flowers are a girl’s best friend.’

There is nothing nicer than answering the door to be gifted with a beautiful arrangement of fresh, fragrant flowers. 


There are many companies out there who can send flowers but I have had a lot of trouble with some big brand names in the past.

Prestige Flowers is different, they specialise only in flowers and online gifting, so are experts in their field.

The Company –

Prestige Flowers are an online flower delivery service based in the UK that prides themselves on customer satisfaction. They are able to deliver flowers to every corner of the UK.

They understand that flowers are an emotional and personal gesture, therefore the importance that the recipient is delighted with their flower arrangement is imperative, and their number one priority. …and all of their orders are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What more could anyone ask for?

Verdict –

Sending flowers as gifts to celebrate birthdays, moving to a new home, a graduation, is such a wonderful thoughtful gesture. But if the trust put in company is repaid with a bouquet of wilting flowers which look nothing like the ones in the picture, everythibg can be ruined.

Prestige Flowers are definately a company you can trust to put a smile on someones face.

I was sent the most exquisite bouquet of 12 long stemmed red roses nestling in a bunch of fresh white lillies, expertly arranged with hypericum berries.


The flowers came in the most rustic white metal milk jug which added so much charm and beauty to the gift.

Delivered in a tall strong cardboard box the flowers were immaculate on arrival. Not one single petal or berry was out of place.


I have had them for over a week now and they look just as fresh, smell just as fragrant.


So anyone looking to suprise their loved ones this Valentines Day or on any day for that matter, visit Prestige Flowers now –

https://m.prestigeflowers.co.uk/valentines-flowers

A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer 📚 a book review ❤️

I am a very emotional person, I can cry in movies, even while watching a sad story on the news.

I think its a lot to do with empathy, putting yourself in the persons position and empathising with their situation.

So when I saw this book full of emotion and feeling I had to read it. Not because I wanted to cry but just feel empathy for other situations.

The Book –


Your husband took his own life. Tell the truth and destroy what’s left of your family. Or keep a secret that will tear you apart. What would you do? 

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete. 

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger. 

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she? 

From the bestselling author of The Secret Daughter and Me Without You comes another emotionally gripping and gut-wrenching read about love, loss and the strength of a mother’s love.

Verdict –

Me without You was one of my favourite reads last year. I love the way Kelly Rimmer writes and how easily the story flows, keeping the reader mesmerised and wanting to know what happens next.

A story told by the two women in David’s life – his mother and his wife, both loving the same man but in very different ways. The same man not being the same character to these women in his life.

I just cannot give the story away but be prepared to shed a tear or two along the way. Being a mother myself I emphathised with the characters, but I did feel extremely sad and grateful for my own life.

A very good read. Cannot recommend it enough.

You can purchase A Mother’s Confession on Amazon UK now. Published by Bookouture.