Friday, 13 February 2015

The Book of You - Review

YOU wanted me, Clarissa.
YOU lied to me, Clarissa.
YOU left me no choice, Clarissa.
I warned YOU, Clarissa.

It is you..
Of course it is you.
Always it is YOU..

The Book of You is the debut novel by Claire Kendal.

A dark and gripping tale of obsession and deception. Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won't leave her alone and he won't take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. In the courtroom she will be safe. But as a violent tale of abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the woman on the witness stand.

Realising that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying then she could have imagined...

I was delighted to be sent this book to review, I love a good thriller, a story I can really sink my teeth into, a book that I can't put down. I stayed up till half 2 in the morning sitting on the bathroom floor so I wouldn't wake anyone just so I could finish reading. I couldn't sleep without knowing how it ended. It's very hard for me to put into words how captivating the story is without giving away too much, but I will admit that some of it was very hard to read, it is quite gruesome and violent in some instances but what scared me the most was how helpless Clarissa was in the situation she was in. I wanted to scream at her sometimes to ask for help but in the same situation could I? Would I want anyone to know?

Clarissa is falling apart at the seams throughout the book as she is continually dogged and harassed by Rafe, he invades every aspect of her life and cuts her off from everyone and everything. He invades her dreams, the thought of him makes her feel sick. A lot of the time I was reading I felt uneasy. There are a lot of references to fairy tales in this book but it only goes to show how far from a fairy tale life really is. Don't expect a fairy tale ending.. I was surprised by the end but I admire the authors will to create a reality.

This book is chilling, addictive, it will make you uneasy but it is masterfully written. It will leave you on edge. Don't plan on reading it before you go to sleep unless you are willing to stay up until the end.

Claire Kendal is already working on her next psychological thriller and I am truly excited to see what she has in store for us. If you are looking for something to keep you up at night I highly recommend this, it is well worth the read. You can keep up to date with Claire on Twitter.

(Disclosure : I received this book as part of the Mumsnet Bookclub for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Feeling sexy after having kids

After having 2 kids the last thing I ever feel is sexy but I am making great strides in changing my own perception of myself. Firstly let's face it my Bridget Jones just aren't doing it for me anymore, as comfy as they are and as much as I love myself now I just don't feel all that sexy in them, so this year for Valentine's Day I decided to do something for myself now that my self esteem is on the up and I am feeling good. I went to Penny's (Primark), because honestly where else would you go, and I had a look at their new fancy underwear range, I skimmed past the in your face valentines tack and came across this elegant and sexy set and I just had to have it for ME!

It has been so long since I wore anything like this. After I had my second child I carried a lot of weight and I felt rotten, I was in a very low place and I just hated the sight of myself. Even after I lost the weight I was still very self conscious and didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. With that I took a fit one day and gathered up all my fancy underwear and any clothing that wasn't black and baggy, bagged it all up and chucked it out! In the last year as my confidence has grown I have introduced colour back into my closet, I gave a thong a go only to spend the day fidgeting and picking at it! It was so uncomfortable and seemed like the only thing to come out of wearing it would be a bout of thrush! I honestly thought that was the end to that kind of underwear until that day in Penny's when I saw a packet of 3 G-strings for €3! Now surely if the thong was uncomfortable this would be like flossing my arse I thought but I said feck it and threw it in the basket anyway, cringing while the guy at the checkout fumbled over them looking for the tag and kicking myself for not going to a female cashier.

I realised of course when I got home that I would need to take a lawn mower to my nether regions before I could slip into anything, trust me a little razor just wasn't going to cut it, pardon the pun! That's probably too much info but anyway moving on.. I was beginning to curse myself all of this bloody effort but eventually I stepped into one, ready to take it straight back off, only to think "Ooo this is actually quite nice!" it's kind of like your butts naked but covered at the same time. Not something I would wear everyday but definitely better in skinny jeans then having my Bridget Jones all bunched up the back, the only issue I have wearing them out is my arse is cold but small price to pay for no knicker line or VPL (visible panty line) as they used to be called.

It made me realise that just because I have kids doesn't mean I can't feel sexy anymore, yes I am more conscious of the clothes I want to wear because I do tend to think, how will this look at the school gates? This however has given me a boost and I know it's OK to try new things (or go back to old ones) and be able to have a laugh at myself along the way. This year I want to get a bit more adventurous with the outfits that I choose and not just stick to jeans and a T-shirt all the time, I am more comfortable in myself now than I have ever been. It has taken a lot longer then I expected to get this confidence back but I am making the most of it now.

You can change your clothes and your style anytime but you wear your body every day, you need to learn to love it..

So with that I am looking forward to Valentine's Day so I can wear my sexy new set for MYSELF because it makes ME feel good and sure if himself is lucky he might even get a look in!

Did having kids affect how you feel about yourself?

Monday, 9 February 2015

Meal Planning Monday 9th February

I'm slowly running out of ideas when it comes to dinner! I like to have easy things to cook that are packed full of goodness, someone send me some inspiration please! This weeks meal plan is fairly simple because I'm not feeling great so I know I won't be up to cooking much.

Monday : Pasta with tomato and red pepper sauce with cooked chicken.
Tuesday : Pizza and salad

Wednesday : Beef Stir Fry

Thursday : Chicken Fajitas

Friday : Spaghetti Carbonara

Saturday : Valentine's Dinner for 2

Sunday : Anything goes because I'm going shopping!!

That's our menu for the week, what will you be having?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A reminder to look after myself

Last Friday I had a little pamper night for myself, I lit some candles in my room, poured myself a glass of Kopparberg (I had no wine!!) put on a face mask, did my nails and just chilled out. I felt so refreshed and relaxed afterwards and it was a real reminder that I need to look after myself more. So today when I was doing the shopping I did a little beauty haul just for me.

My skin is in need of refreshing so I got the Garnier Body Tonic Smoothing Scrub and Firming Hydration Lotion. These were both on sale in Tesco. They smell amazing real zesty and fresh, they make me think of summer. I'm really looking forward to trying them out and hope they put some life back into my skin.

My face hasn't suffered too badly this winter especially since I started using the Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day and Night Creams, but I needed a new face wash to help combat breakouts as I found the one I was using was too harsh on my skin with my dermatitis and seemed to be irritating it. I thought I would try the Simple Spotless Skin triple action face wash to see if it will be tough on spot fighting but gentle on my skin.

My roots need doing and my colour needs a freshen so a new bottle of colour was in order. I have nearly always used Schwarzkopf Live Colour but last time I used a different brand and it dried my hair out awful. It has felt like straw the last few months and I've tried different hair care products to help get it healthy again. I have found the Aussie Colour Mate range really good and my hair is starting to feel sleeker again. I'm going back to the Live Colour XXL in Real Red and hoping for a return to super shiny sleek hair. I have been blow drying and straightening my hair more often so I picked up a bottle of VO5 Nourish My Shine Bedazzling Oil Heat Protector.

I want to get back into the habit of painting my nails as I love how they look when they are done, I usually paint them pink or black but wanted a change so I picked up a new one, Rimmel Lasting Finish Azure. I love it, it's a bright pop of colour and has a bit of sparkle in it. Abigail said I'm like Elsa from Frozen with it on.

I also picked up some Sanex shower gel zero% the only one I have found, so far, that doesn't aggravate my skin so it can be used daily and a new tooth brush (pink of course) you have to look after your teeth.

What do you do to look after yourself? Do you make a point of making time for yourself?

Monday, 2 February 2015

Meal Planning Monday 2nd February

I'm late getting my meal plan put together because last night we stayed up watching the SuperBowl, it was great I have to say, I didn't really know what was going on half the time but it was very entertaining. I made some nice snacks to keep us going, loaded chicken nachos, pretzels and popcorn, we were stuffed!

So here is the plan for this weeks meals:

Monday : Chicken Korma

Tuesday : Meatballs and spaghetti

Wednesday : Lasagne and salad 

Thursday : Stir Fry

Friday : Steak, chips and pepper sauce

Saturday : Sausages, eggs, beans, toast

Sunday : Hoping to go visit my Nanny

So that's the plan for the week, I'm off to the shops in the morning list in hand, hopefully it will go as well as last week.