Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Book Review - As Good As It Gets? by Fiona Gibson


THE BOOK

As Good As It Gets?

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 26 February 2015

"“Midlife crisis? WHAT midlife crisis?!”

Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. With her 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency, and Will recently out of a job, things are changing in their household.

As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on.

So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, she starts to imagine what might have been…"

MY REVIEW

Oooh this was an easy book to read. I loved the style of writing, the humour and the relatable characters/storyline. For me it quickly became a case of just one more page turning into about fifty more pages!

I was nodding my head in understanding at the many familiar scenes: shopping trips, trying to mother a teenager and even mediating between father and daughter. These were all things that allowed me to easily relate to Charlotte's life.

The modelling side of the storyline was fascinating. I have to admit that I'm a big fan of the Next Top Model TV shows so I've seen that world from the model's perspective but never from the parents point of view. It was a real eye opener.

There were so many laughs, Charlotte was quite a character and often found herself in awkward situations. A salad cream incident had me laughing so much that I choked on my Pepsi Max and I couldn't stop giggling for ages after reading it. N even came in from her bedroom to see what was so funny.

This was such a charming read, it made me laugh yet it also made me think about how easily things can change in a marriage. I'll definitely be reading more from this author.

5 Stars
5 Stars














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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, 16 January 2017

N's Window Blind Design


Today's post is a little bit different because it contains our entry for a fantastic Order Blinds competition. 

We had to come up with a design for a child's roller blind and if we're one of the winners our design will actually be made and sold on the website. We'll also receive a blind in our own design.

It sounded like something N would enjoy doing so I mentioned it to her and she knew straight away what kind of design she'd like in her room if we won - gymnastics of course!

One of N's favourite items of clothing is her gymnastics hoody so this is where we got the inspiration for our design.

Gymnastics Hoody

N liked the idea of having gymnastics silhouettes as a recurring pattern on the blind and thought purple, blue and black would look very effective together.

She said every time she looked at this blind she would be inspired to continue working hard on her gymnastics skills.

Gymnastics Blind Design

Fingers crossed!

If you could design your own roller blind, what theme would you go for? 

Friday, 13 January 2017

When Your Children Argue


Parents who have more than one child will know all about today's subject...

When Your Children Argue

When you first have that second baby you simply can't imagine that your children will ever have an argument or not get on with each other, everything seems so perfect. Fast forward a few years and you'll struggle to even remember a day before arguments existed. By the time you've got to your fourth child you actually start to question your sanity and wonder why on earth you're putting yourself through all this again.

So how do I deal with it? I have a few different responses to the many arguments between our children and it all depends on the reason behind it.

If one child is clearly in the wrong then I will tell them that. This means that I'm 'sticking up for' the innocent party which obviously isn't going to make everyone happy because children never like their parents to take sides do they. This option makes you the bad guy to one of them.

It becomes more difficult when I haven't witnessed the cause of the argument. In this case I have to use all my detective skills to try to figure out what happened so I can decide who was at fault. This is always more difficult than it sounds because the two sides of the story never match up so I'm usually left as the bad guy to both of them.

Sometimes, when my patience is running really low, I'll tell them both off and send them in different directions. This inevitably makes me the bad guy in both of their eyes once again but sometimes I just don't have enough brain space to attempt mediation.

My final tactic is my favourite, I simply ignore the whole thing and pretend it isn't happening. I let them hash it out between themselves and then offer hugs and sympathy to anyone who might need it when it's all over. This option makes me the hero!

So now it's your turn, what do you do when your children argue? 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Bookbandz - The Ultimate Elasticated Bookmark


I recently came across Bookbandz and I'm so impressed with them that I just had to share here on V Family Fun (please note: this is not a sponsored post, it's simply a product that I've fallen in love with).

Bookbandz

As someone who reads a lot (or as much as I can now that I have four children), bookmarks are an important part of my life. I have built up quite a collection over the years but none as unique as the stunning Bookbandz.

Bookbandz

Bookbandz are the ultimate elasticated bookmark. They wrap around the book and hold your place even if the book is dropped. 

They are handmade to a high standard, you can tell that Karen (the creator of these fabulous bookmarks) really cares about quality and customer satisfaction. In fact she recently had a major operation on her back but still managed to make and send out orders - that's serious dedication in my book!

Bookbandz

They look so pretty on your book, I see them as book jewellery and particularly love it when the colour of the Bookband compliments the colour of the book cover. But that's not all, they are also really practical - no matter how much you shake the book or drop it, the Bookband does not come off which means no more losing your place in the book, woohoo! 

Bookbandz

I bought four (one for me and three for Christmas gifts) and I did this by messaging Karen through her Facebook Page. I was incredibly indecisive but she was so patient with me and I was thrilled with the final results.

Obviously there are many different designs to choose from or, like me, you can design your own. I'd strongly recommend a visit to Karen's Instagram page so you can get some idea of what you might like.

Bookbandz

Prices start at £5 each or 3 for £12 plus p&p. This obviously depends on size and the beads/charms you choose but Karen lets you know in advance of any extra costs.

Bookbandz

To all my fellow bookworms I simply can't recommend these Bookbandz enough. I wish I had discovered them sooner and I can't wait to order some more, I just need to decide which colours and charms I want this time - decisions, decisions!

Bookbandz

Did you already know about Bookbandz? Do you own any? I'd love to know what you think.


Monday, 9 January 2017

Book Review - The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne


THE BOOK

The Rest of My Life



















Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date: 7 April 2016

"Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?"

MY REVIEW

I'm a big fan of Sheryl's books (you can find my previous reviews on Me, My Books and I here) so I was really looking forward to reading this one, even more so because I'd heard a lot of good things about it.

Two very different characters greeted me during the first pages, it made me wonder how and when they would find their connection.

It quickly became apparent that Adam was living with some kind of hurt, his behaviour was too destructive for him not to be. Honestly, I really didn't like him much at that point but when Sienna witnessed something she shouldn't have, I couldn't help but giggle at the mortifying situation.

As the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place, my feelings towards Adam started to change. Although I still didn't agree with what he had done, I guess I could understand it and actually found myself wanting to help him! Sienna, on the other hand, seemed like an open book. I loved her honesty and naivety because it complimented Adam's closed-up personality perfectly.

The thing I loved most about this book was the variety - the author successfully created an atmosphere that was steamy, amusing and heart-wrenching all at the same time. It pretty much contained everything that would grab my attention and keep me interested.

The misty apparition was a fabulous addition to the storyline. It was something I hadn't expected but I think the character who was affected by it really needed that presence in their life, particularly during the tense scenes towards the end.

This was a very sexually charged read but it also had bags of emotional and even funny moments which, in my opinion, made it a perfect all-rounder.

5 Stars
5 Stars














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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!


The V Family would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. 

Happy New Year


Friday, 30 December 2016

Reflecting on 2016


2016

As the end of 2016 approaches I've been thinking about the past year and how our family has changed since the end of 2015.

I kind of feel like I lost most of 2016. I feel like it's passed me by as I suffered through a pretty rubbish pregnancy and then a not-so-fantastic birth. 

The children have had another amazing year full of achievements - T has had some great results in tests at school, if he keeps it up I think he'll end up with some fantastic grades when he moves on to college. N has won even more medals for gymnastics and also netball. E is learning new things all the time and is always so proud to show off her new talents. Finally Z, I know she's only a few months old but she's already able to do so much. I think I'd prefer her to slow down a bit though so I can keep my baby for longer!

With regards to blogging, I've been forced to take a step back this year. It's been frustrating at times because I've had to turn down some brilliant opportunities but I just couldn't manage everything with how I was feeling. On the plus side, it made me consider merging both of my blogs together and since I've been posting my book reviews here on V Family Fun instead of Me, My Books and I I've been much happier. I just love having everything in one place, it definitely makes blogging much easier for me.

So, looking forward to 2017. I'm hoping to find a bit more time for blogging as Z grows, T is going on a school trip to Belgium which will be his first trip abroad without us (worried mum alert)!  I have two children taking big steps at school - N starts secondary school and E will be starting pre-school. We have to make a decision about our living arrangements (do we extend our current house or move to a bigger one) and finally, now I'm definitely not going to have any more children, I'd like to get my weight down to a more comfortable level.

Have you had a successful 2016? Are you looking forward to anything specific in 2017? I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Book Review - Just Haven't Met You Yet by Cate Woods


THE BOOK


Just Haven't Met You Yet



















Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 11 February 2016

"Percy James has everything a girl could want: a comfy flat, a steady relationship and a truly lovely group of friends. 

Then she is approached by Eros Tech. Eros is 'the future of love' - an agency that brings together soulmates using phone data. Percy has been identified as a match for one of Eros's super wealthy clients. 

The only problem is she already has a boyfriend . . . but what if this is *destiny*? 

Would you - could you - pass up a chance to meet your one true love?"

MY REVIEW


The witty style of writing caught my attention straight away. Percy was an amusing and very likeable character who I connected with easily. I couldn't wait to see how she would react to EROS Tech's proposal.

What I loved most about this book was how the author managed to create tension whilst maintaining a comedic atmosphere. Some of my favourite moments included: a lollipop lady disaster, a girls night out, a very tense lunch and an ice wall adventure.

I was genuinely shocked (and amused) at the situation Percy found herself in, I really hadn't seen that twist coming and I couldn't stop flipping the pages to find out how she would handle it. Things kind of spiralled after that and it was gripping stuff, I just didn't know what was coming next!

The final twist came at the end and in my opinion it was perfect. It was completely right for the storyline and left me feeling satisfied that everything was how it should be.

Just Haven't Met You Yet was a fun and enjoyably unpredictable read. An absolute pleasure to curl up with.

5 Stars
5 Stars














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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas From The V Family

I would just like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! 

I hope you have a wonderful festive weekend. Spend it with those you love, eat too much, drink too much and laugh out loud at every opportunity. Enjoy each and every moment of this magical time of year.

Merry Christmas



Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Book Review - The Second Love Of My Life by Victoria Walters

THE BOOK

The Second Love of my Life
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 7 April 2016

"In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.

Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer...

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?"

MY REVIEW

The prologue set a warm and cosy scene and although I knew what was coming I liked the calm feeling it started me off with. Thankfully the initial sadness I had expected wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be. The author had a very gentle writing style which seemed to make everything easier to take in.

The characters were all likeable and in no time at all I felt like I knew them all personally. Robert, however, held a touch of mystery. I got the feeling there was something not being said, something just below the surface waiting to be revealed. I couldn't wait to find out what that was and when the revelation arrived I keenly wondered how it would affect the rest of the storyline. What an intriguing twist!

There was so much to learn from this story. The words 'life goes on' danced around my mind as I read through each scene and, while I could wholeheartedly understand why Rose was reluctant to move forward, in my mind I was egging her on.

The events that followed held my attention completely - I found myself thinking about Rose and her friends even when I was going about my everyday life.

This was a beautifully touching read that brought more than a few tears to my eyes. It got me thinking about life, those I love and how important it is not to take them for granted.

5 Stars
5 Stars
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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.