Book Review – Goth Girl

goth girl book review

 

Meet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with. Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for….

 

If you have read through my blog you will know how much we love books and think that reading with your children is so important. Lately we have got into a routine again of reading stories before bed and it doesn’t stop there. BG1 constantly has a book in her hand, and LM – now he started to read more independently – is reading more often. I find myself when trying to choose books for the children that I tend to go for the books that I read as a child with the likes of Harry Potter, Narnia, and Tracey Beaker. There are so many more new Authors that I haven’t heard of or explored. BG1 being a little book worm that she is loves to find new books to read and new authors that she hasn’t come across.

So when we were given an opportunity to read Goth girl  and the ghost of a mouse by Chris Riddell we were both very excited. We hadn’t come across this series before nor had we read books by Chris Riddell.

goth girl book review

When the book arrived the first thing that caught my eye was the deep purple colour. Purple is my favourite colour and I knew from this moment that me and BG1 would love this book. Also on the edge of the book was purple embossed flourishes and skulls. It is a beautiful and clean presented book.

I then noticed that not only did Chris Riddell write the book but he also illustrated it. I love when authors also illustrate their books, BG1 has said for many years now that she can’t decide whether she wants to be an Author like Roald Dahl or an illustrator like Quentin Blake and I am always telling her that she can be both and like to show her work where authors are also illustrators. Chris Riddell is a great example that I now reference for her to be inspired by.

The book itself contains 219 pages, the paper is an off white, thick and durable. BG1 has already opened and bent every page of the book, folded the corners when BG1 couldn’t find her bookmark and slept with it under her pillow.

goth girl book review

The book starts by briefly giving a backstory into Ada goth’s life. Her mother dies from a typrope accident when Ada was a small baby and her father is very unhappiness and lives his days writing long poems. He believes a child should be heard and not seen so Ada ha s to were big clumpy boots so Lord Goth can hear her coming. Ada is left on her own for most of the time and her father avoiding her.

There are numerous sketches throughout the book which I love. There are so many interesting characters drawn throughout and I love that it has a map of Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The sketches through out are a big part of what makes this book so exciting. I cannot express enough how much I love the sketches throughout the book. They help with visualizing each character and add a humour to the book.

What I find especially charming is the added footnote on certain pages. It actually contains a sketch of a severed foot holding a quill. According to the book it is the severed foot of a famous writer who lost it at the battle of Baden-Baden-Wurttenberg-Baden. Fairly early in the book we also meet the Polar explorer that was made by a scientist from body parts left from the same battle.

Ishmael the mouse was killed by a mouse trap and meets Ada – Goth girl shortly after. Ishmael and Ada want to stop any more mice being killed by traps and set about getting rid of it. The traps were set up by the indoor games keeper Maltravers who was up to no good. Ada and Ishmael set about their adventure trying to find out what Maltravers was up too. Along the way they meet new characters and people that Ada had not met before. Including more children who she set up the Attic club with.

Don’t Let the title fool you. This book is not just for girls, LM enjoyed the book just as much when I read out loud to him.

What we liked about the book was the colourful and quirky characters. There were so many. Throughout the books the were a little humour about the story that parents would get. Characters that resembled well known characters from popular books such as the governess Jane Ear and there were the secret garden and the ever-more-secret garden.

Even though there were such colourful characters the story still had an element of realism. It didn’t feel so far fetched that you couldn’t believe a word of what was going on. It still felt believable. Vampires included.

We loved most about this book…..

Both Bg1 and I agreed that our favourite part of the book was the ending. We wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, you will have to read it and find out.

We enjoyed this book very much, and even though we tried to find something about the book that we didn’t like we really couldn’t. It was enjoyable and entertaining to read to BG1 and LM.

Have you read any Chris Riddell books? Which is your favourite? Have you read Goth Girl? What is your favourite part of the story?

But wait! There are more from Goth girl:

Goth girl and the fete worse than death

Goth girl and the pirate queen

Goth girl and the wuthering freight

And new!!! Goth girl and the sinister symphony out September 2017

We were sent this book for review. All opinions and words are my own.

This post contains affiliate links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2017 Bucket List

May 2017

 

Whoa whoa whoa! Hold the phone, and put down the biscuits I have just realised. Not only did I not do an April bucket list which would have contained Easter and chocolate goodness but I have yet to post a May one too. This is unacceptable and should be rectified immediately.

Quick round up of April.

If I did have an April to do list this is what it would have looked like.

  • Decorate for Easter. – We didn’t get as festive as I would have liked. I worked all Easter weekend and it really didn’t feel like Easter at all. The only decorating we had was an Easter plaque and a bunny bunting.
  • Have an Easter egg hunt – The kids loved their Easter egg hunt and I enjoy watching their little faces trying to find all the eggs.
  • Make Easter Bonnets. – We didn’t get round to making Easter bonnets this time round as I was working a lot during the holiday. But the kids didn’t mind.
  • Tidy the garden- We did tidy the garden and the lawn is soon to be laid. It will be ready in time for the summer holidays.

So here we go a tad late but better late than never

 

May 2017 bucket list

  • Start a skillshare course
  • plant some flowers
  • wash the windows
  • Have an alcoholic drink over the bank holiday! YEs really an alcoholic one.
  • kill some bloomin flies that keep entering my house!
  • create my first surface pattern design
  • finish the current book I am reading

 

What does your May look like?

 

Time For a change

time for a change
The sun has been shining over the weekend, and we went for a lovely walk Sunday morning. We came home and spent the afternoon in the garden planning tomatoes and strawberries.
The garden is slowly coming along with a path set in place and the gravel is down. BG1 had a lovely time dancing all over the gravel helping the hubby to compact it down. She truly is a little nutter. Sometimes I would go as far as she isn’t really human but some weird alien, but then I remember that I was just as weird at her age (and just as bad a dress sense).
So I haven’t been writing many posts of late, I have been busy with work and un motivated. Plus my laptop broke – yes the one I kept writing about that was a pile of rubbish. I have, with some persuasion from the hubby bought a new laptop. So I am now back online and able to write my posts faster.
My work life is also changing. I handed in my notice at work two weeks ago and now am working at a bar. It is a complete change from working in an office answering phones and emails helping people book a holiday. From now on I will be pulling pints, serving food and looking out over the beach.
It is a change of pace that was long overdue. Since going back to work after my maternity leave in September I have not been settled at work. It felt more of a chore and stressful as the weeks went on. I love my job and the people there but I no longer enjoyed it. It was time for a change.
A few weeks ago, I was offered a bar position that not only offered me more flexible hours and more money but the break and freedom I need. I wanted a more relaxed atmosphere and something that didn’t use up the very few brain cells I have left (mummy brain).
I have been doing the odd shift in between working at my current job until my last shift next week.
It is different, I had never pulled a pint in my life and the first one I did pull was not a disaster which was a nice surprise. But I am not alone, it is turning into a little family business, my uncle has leased the bar. My Mum, Little Sister, Aunt, Uncle and s few of my cousins all work with me.
I am hoping that this new job will lighten mood, work load and give me more time with my family.

I am looking forward to a happier work/life balance.

Get the garden ready for the summer.

 

 

Garden

*This is a collaborative post.

The garden was a big part of our home to do list. We started it last summer and made a big difference removing the gravel, adding flower beds and laying a patio.

Now the weather has picked up again over the last week, we finally have sunshine and longer days to get back to the garden and finish it before the summer.

I have to admit I was never a keen gardener, dirt and bugs just aren’t my thing. However last summer we went flower shopping and we picked up some beautiful and bright flowers to add a pop of colour to the garden. We enjoyed planting them in the garden as a family. The kids love digging in the mud, getting their hands dirty. They also enjoy choosing the plants at the garden centre.

gardening

We plan on picking up more bright flowers during the May half term to plant. But first we need to get the garden ready. We have finally picked the rubbish up in the back garden that was left from Christmas. You know all those boxes that can’t fit in the recycle bin so you put them outside and forget about it.

The kids have been riding their bikes around after school as they can finally move out there. They have been enjoying their weekend lunch on their picnic table and BG1 has even sat on the garden furniture to read her new books.

gardening

Next week the hubby is turning the mud ready for the grass. At last we will actually have a beautiful garden to sit in during the summer. Or at least that is the idea. We still have a way to go until it is completely ready.

The grass still needs to be laid and the wall/bench still needs rendering. But we are slowly getting there.

The Secret Garden

And lets not forget about the front courtyard. It looks like the secret garden out the front. The hedge is so over grown you have to fight your way through the entrance getting attacked by over grown foliage.

If I have my way (and usual I do) the hubby will get some chainsaw gloves and cut the hedge down. That would be the best scenario, to just have the hedge taken down and a little fence put in it’s place. However in reality the hedge will just get trimmed back and we won’t have a mouth full of leaves when we come home.

Weeds are also taking over the front yard. One measuring in at around three feet tall. The hubby will be spending a few evenings after work digging them up and tidying the front yard.

The recent change in weather is the perfect timing for us. And the perfect timing for you too. Take a few evenings from now until the summer to tidy up your garden. Lets all get green fingered and plant some bright flowers.

I love gerberas, and am planning to plant bright pink, orange and red ones.

garden

Having a garden is important for us. It gives the kids the outdoor space they need for the summer time when we can’t get out. There are days when we can’t go out for walks or on day trips and having a tidy and pretty garden is a major advantage for us.

Gardening tool box

  • Plant pots
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • garden gloves
  • Chainsaw gloves
  • watering can
  • seeds
  • pruning sheers
  • strimmer

What are you planting? Does your garden tidying like mine? Is it so over grown you have your own secret garden? Do you have a hedge you want to get the chainsaw to? whats in your gardening tool box?

 

 

 

 

Unpredictable week

I have been pretty in active online for the past couple weeks. Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball and you end up of course. I hadn’t been feeling great – I felt like I had swallowed razor blades. I just didn’t have the motivation to get writing.

To top the end of that week the hubby ended up having an operation and was on bed rest for the week. Which meant everything was left to me. I am so glad he is feeling better and has gone back to work today. But now it is also my week back to work and that really depresses me.

In fact I have lost motivation for everything. The weather is horrible, my writing has taken a back seat. Everything just seems un interesting to me.

This week I am hoping to get written and published an update on BG2 development. It’s LM’s parents meeting tomorrow and I would also like to do an update on him, and then by the end of the week get an up to date post on BG1 too.

Let’s see if I can get motivated this week.

Happy birthday my big girl

happy birthday

It’s official! I am the mother of an 8 year old. Seriously 8. It has been 8 years since I lay in that hospital bed with my little 5lb 3oz baby girl. She is my eldest and my mini me. She is smart, polite, caring and an incredible little girl.

I find myself smiling everyday as I watch her crazy ways of life. She is loud and entertaining yet shy and quiet at the same time.

Today she woke at 6:20am eager for her birthday celebrations to start. After school we will be heading to McDonalds once again for her birthday tea with her brother, cousins and her best friend.

If I could freeze time and stop her from growing up I would do it in a heartbeat. She is at a lovely age. The age where they still believe in magic and fairy tales but also at an age where you can have a more grown up conversation with.

When it was LM’s birthday I did the birthday interview, now it is BG1’s I am doing the same.

My big girls birthday interview – aged 8

Who is your favourite person?

Daddy

What is your favourite colour?

Pink & Purple

What is your favourite television show?

Supernanny

Whats your favourite cereal?

Weetabix

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A dentist

happy birthday big girl

Whats your favourite book?

Roald Dahl

Where do you want to go on holiday?

Disney world

What would you spend £1000 on?

Fancy dress

What vegetable to you hate?

Broccoli

What would you wish for?

Lots of money

happy birthday big girl

What’s your favourite ice cream?

Vanilla and chocolate

Who is your biggest hero?

My Brother

What would you like to get to do before your next birthday?

Dress up

How old are you?

8

Whats your favourite thing to do?

Dancing

happy birthday big girl

Whats your favourite food?

Steak pie

What do you like to do as a family?

Dance together

What is your favourite toy?

Lucy dog

What makes you happy?

My teacher

What makes you sad?

I don’t really know what makes me sad

happy birthday big girl

What do you think about when you fall asleep?

Living in a castle

What is your favourite song?

Justin Beiber – sorry

What scares you?

I don’t really know

What is your favourite animal?

cheetah

Whats your favourite dinosaur?

triceratops

March 2017 Bucket List

march 2017

March,March,March. Easter is just around the corner. Mother’s day is edging closer and BG1 turns 8.

This month yet again is set to be a busy month.

So how did we get on with our February 2017 bucket list.

February 2017 Bucket List

  • Home date night for valentines day. One marked off February list! The hubby bought me a silver rose that I could keep forever and shopping trip with my sister. I had instructions not to come home until I had bought something for myself. A bag, pair of shoes, underwear, and 3 tops later I arrived home to a home cooked 3 course meal. It was beautiful. Not bad going Hubby.
  • Go Cinema to watch 50 shades!!! Seen it. Loved it. Much better than the first.
  • Put down wood flooring in the hallway. We now have wood flooring in the hallway. YAY!!! But I didn’t do it. My dad came to rescue and put the flooring down for me.
  • Clean out small bedroom for BG2 to move into. I tidied the room and then LM went and messed it again. It needs painting and the she can move rooms.
  • Try something new (anything!) I was going to try felting this month as my try something new, but each month moves faster than the last and I don’t seem to get anything done.

What’s on our march 2017 bucket list

  • Celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary
  • Prepare for Easter
  • Celebrate mothers day
  • Try something new (2nd attempt)
  • Work our way through the February 2017 bucket list

Let’s not forget the year bucket list!

2017 bucket list

I have done a years bucket list in addition to my regular bucket list.

  • a night away with the hubby
  • girlie night at the cinema
  • date night We had a date night  in January and went to a Chinese restaurant. It was lovely. I love using chopsticks. The hubby can’t use them so I also got to make fun of him.
  • finish first draft of book
  • refurbish the bathroom
  • go ice skating
  • see a comedian
  • BG2 Christening
  • have a cocktail night
  • save enough money to move house
  • go on a family weekend away
  • take a trip to Boscastle
  • Finish the garden
  • Lose 2st
  • Organise the downstairs cupboard
  • Watch a theatre show
  • visit the zoo
  • see fireworks
  • try upcycling
  • sew something
  • read a new book every month

Birthday Gift Ideas for an 8 year old

BIRTHDAY GIFT IDEAS

 

*This post contains affiliate links

I can not believe it is my big girls birthday on Friday. Where have these 8 years gone. It seems like only yesterday since she was born. She is growing and changing everyday and is well on her way to becoming a beautiful, caring and smart young lady.

Her thoughts and mind are completely her own. And even though there are days I don’t quite understand her logic she still entrances me with her ideas and mad ways.

Each year I find it more of a struggle about what to get her for her birthday gift. It seems that children these days – or maybe it’s just mine – have everything. This year I asked BG1 what would she like for her birthday. Her response – Surprise me! SURPRISE ME!

This year I really had to think hard about what to buy an 8 year old for her birthday. When it was LMs birthday in December, that was easy. I had no problem buying toys for him. However BG1 is that much older now, and although she loves toys she has grown out of many things she used to play with. That and the fact I think she could open her own toy store already.

The birthday gift

I thought long and hard and this is what we have bought our 8 year old this year for her birthday.

The World of David Walliams: Bumper-tastic CD Story Collection £17.99

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Colouring-Book Adventure (Colouring Books) £4.99


The Midnight Gang £5.00

Ravensburger Disney Eye Found It £14.99

Write Your Own Storybook £6.99

Creative Writing Book £3.99

Sing Your Heart Out 2016 £7.98


Don’t Say It £8.99

birthday gift ideas

Little Loves 1

I can’t remember where I first seen the little loves post. When I find it I will link to the page.

This may not be a weekly post but a when I remember to do it kind of post, but none the less here is post 1.

Read

I have been reading Being Brooke by Emma Hart for a couple months now. I read a good third of the book in a couple of days but have been so busy that I have only managed half the book since Christmas. I am determined to finish the book by next week. I love Emma’s books and have read almost all of her novels.

Watched

Netflix has taken over a lot of my tele time of late. This week I watched don’t trust the B***h in apartment 23 again. Once I had completed that I found a tv program I hadn’t seen before. The witches of east end which I am quickly getting through. It is only two seasons so I am sure when it is finished I will be left disappointed with un answered questions of what happened next. I am a sucker of supernatural programs like Charmed, The Originals, Lucifer, and Supernatural. Talking of Supernatural that was back last week and I am so excited to get stuck into that series over the next cold and rainy months.

Made

So I didn’t make this as such, however I have been spending the week putting together the kids Playmobil sets they had received for Christmas. There was loads and I decided to wait until the kids had gone back to school before I made them. That counts as my mad for the week right?

Wore

I am a big fan of nail wraps. Although I have ye to buy Jamberry they are my next treat. I have however tried a few nail wraps from my local beauty shop. This week I am sporting some funky blue spot/stripe nails. After biting my nails over Christmas they are now long enough to wear wraps once again.

and Lastly

BG2 took her first few steps this week It is so exciting. She is still very unsteady and not sure of herself but it is the cutest little thing I have ever seen.

My Top 5 # Vicks Tricks to help your kid feel better

Vicks tricks

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks Campaign.

Is it me or does it feel like cold and flu season just doesn’t end. It seems that once you have gotten rid of one nasty bug a new one makes it’s appearance. Or when one child get’s better the other becomes sick. And all hell breaks loose when they are all ill at once.

If you have been reading my blog you may remember at the beginning of it’s journey I wrote a post about being a nurse to three children. Since then it has been a constant battle with the bugs, LM taking some of the biggest hits. From September 2016 he has had 2 chest infections, the start of pnemonia and endless colds and coughs. Let’s not forget when the whole house got hit with the sickness bug. BG2 hasn’t faired much better with her chest infections either. And most recently the kids were hit with slapped cheek.

As a mum I know all too well of the stress that having a poorly child can bring. But fear not the more sickness bugs we face the more tools we gain to deal with them.

poorly

 

My top five tips for keeping the kids comfy during cold & flu season

  1. Duvets on the sofa. I don’t know about you but when I was a child being stuck in bed all day when you were sick was such a drag. Sofas are just as comfy as beds when you are sick and mean your child doesn’t get left out. The duvet and pillow gets pulled off the bed, dragged down the stairs and piled onto the sofa. You should be able to make out your childs head somewhere inbetween the cosy-ness.
  2. Disney Movies! A sick day is not complete in our house hold without a pile of Disney movies to make our way through. No ordinary movie will do, it has to be Disney!
  3. Snuggle time with Mummy. I will take every chance I can get to snuggle with the kids, even at the cost of getting sick myself. Having them snuggled up under your arm, drifting off to sleep while you stroke their hair beats cleaning the house any day. I always remember my own mum doing this when I was sick.
  4. Let them eat Ice cream. Yes Ice cream! Any food is better than no food even if it is full of crap. When your child is suffering from a sora throat and doesn’t want anything to eat, I am sure they will be tempted with Ice-cream. Not only will it sooth the throat on the way down, they will also feel like they are being really naughty and can get away with it.
  5. Kick Daddy to the Curb! Or Sofa! Kids love sleeping in their parents bed and not only will feel more comforted next to you, it also means you may actually get some sleep because you won’t be worrying about them from the next room.

vicks tricks

Vicks is in my house

When I think of Vicks I instantly think of Vicks VapoRub. Doesn’t everybody have a pot in their medicine cabinet. My mum always used to say that if you had a cough you are supposed to put vicks vaporub on the soles of your feet and then put a pair of socks on. Anybody else’s mum swear by this? Well I now do this with my children.

But Vicks doesn’t stop there. Products also include Vicks first defence nasal spray and Vicks Vapoease patch for children.

Vicks Vaporub Infographic

Vicks Research

According to Vicks research on British Parents common at home remedies:

  • Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better.
  • Followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on.
  • More than a third of parents (36%) believe in TLC for a cure

And how do these parents keep their poorly children entertained:

  • Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or DVD
    Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
  • 1 in 10 parents get really creative telling jokes (8%) or doing magic tricks (2%)

 

Vicks have launched a series of #VicksTricks magic videos that are simple for you to recreate at home to keep your child smiling while they are poorly.

 

Vicks Tricks

House To Do List 2017

house to do list 2017

At the beginning of starting my blog I wrote a To Do list for the Hubby. We had bought our house about a year before and there were many things left unfinished. Before the summer arrives (I know its like six months away but hey it will probably take that long to complete the list) I want to get the house looking finished in the hope that we can put it up for sale and move to a bigger place. That’s my hope for 2017 atleast.

Living Room

  • Paint back wall
  • Put up wall lights
  • Paint Ceiling
  • Clear out the toy cupboards
  • Put up the mirror

    Kitchen

  • Clear out and wash cupboards
  • Paint walls
  • Wash window and replace window sill
  • Lay new floor
  • Add new cupboard doors
  • Add Plinths

Garden

  • Buy dustbins
  • Tidy crap out
  • Lay grass
  • Clear out the shed
  • Finish the wall/seat

Master bedroom

  • Have a clear out
  • Paint the window wall
  • Fix window

    BG1/LM’s bedroom

  • Fix window
  • Put curtain rail up
  • Clear out toys
  • Buy new toy storage unit

 BG2’s Bedroom

  • Paint window wall
  • Have a Clear out

Bathroom

  • Wash walls/ceiling
  • Paint
  • Fix light
  • Put in new suite
  • New floor
  • New tiles

Other

  • New floor in hallway
  • New floor in toilet
  • Paint downstairs toilet room
  • Sort hallway cupboard
  • Gloss and tidy downstairs doors
  • Sort/tidy loft
  • Wash inside windows above the doors
  • Plaster and paint around front door
  • Put up netcurtains/ blinds
    Wash outside windows

Blog Goals 2017

blog goals 2017

So I am finally feeling in the blogging mood today, and maybe I should have wrote this at the beginning of january. But better late then never right?

 

I have set some blogging goals in some of my past bucket lists. But now as I have now been blogging over six months (that past unnoticed – and without a bloggaversary post) and it is a new year I felt like I needd to set some blogging goals for the year. I am still not very confident and don’t feel like I have the courage to go to a blog event just yet but this will be on my blog goals for 2018.

 

2017 Blog Goals

  • Reach 3500 twitter followers
  • Reach 500 followers on pinterest
  • Reach 500 followers on instagram
  • Reach 250 followers on Bloglovin’
  • Reach 1000 likes on facebook
  • Have a DA of 28+
  • Earn an extra £100 a month by the end of the year.
  • Write at least 2 posts a week
  • Join 3 link parties a week
  • Host more giveaways
  • Write a review a month