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Mental health & Wellbeing Product Reviews

I am your friend. A book of Hope – Book Review


If you are ever feeling down or having a bad day, this wonderful little book is just what you need to pick yourself up. 

I am your friend a book of hope is packed full of colourful images with positive messages that burst of the page. They will leaving you feeling uplifted and inspired. 

This handy smaller pocket edition of the book is designed to be your perfect companion when you are out and about. You can pick it up and flick through it anywhere or share it with someone in need of cheering up. There is also a bigger hardback edition of the book. 

As soon as I opened the book I was drawn in, you can just feel the love, positivity and emotion that the author and illustrator Billie Bacall is portraying. She created this book to help lift herself out of a very difficult time in her life. In a short time period she suffered the sudden death of her husband and went through major surgery and chemotherapy. It is through drawing that she found solace and a way out of her a difficult period in her life. 

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Now she shares her drawings to uplift and inspire others to stay positive and to help them through dark times. 

After I finished reading the book I felt on a high reeling in the positive vibes. I straight away shared it with my girls and they loved the book too. 

I am your friend. A book of Hope is available to buy one Amazon

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

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Parenting Advice Product Reviews

Cool That Volcano – A self-help book for parents to help children achieve emotional intelligence

I had the pleasure of being asked to review Peter Black’s informative self – help book ‘Cool that Volcano‘. 

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Pete Black is a registered psychologist with over 16 years of experience working with troubled individuals. He has used his own professional experience and knowledge of emotional management skills, to create this self-help book for parents to help you achieve a emotionally intelligent children. 

Cool that Volcano’s core focus is on open communication between child and adult which Peter has then broken down into easy to follow sections explaining step by step how to achieve this and gain emotional intelligence. 

The book is broken down into the following sections – 

– Understanding Emotions

– Managing Emotions

– Processing Emotions

– Maintaining Emotional Balance

– Effective Modelling

Peter has used Metaphors to describe a child’s emotional state, hence the title of the book.  The Volcano is the child’s temperament and the Lava is when a child erupts spewing out negative emotions, he refers to these throughout the book and also uses icebergs as a metaphor for cooling your little volcano’s down. 

I found Cool that Volcano easy to read and understand. It is also packed full of helpful tips and advice that is broken down into small steps to help you follow and implement to effectively deal with your child’s emotional state. Peter has written the book in a understanding way that makes you feel at ease. He also sets realistic targets highlighting that changes won’t happen overnight but with a bit of time and practice emotional intelligence is achievable. As well as focusing on our children’s emotional intelligence Peter also talks about the importance of being a good role model by making sure we can control our emotions in difficult situations too and has included some tips to help parents with this. 

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If you are struggling to handle your child’s emotions then this book is definitely worth reading. 

Cool That Volcano is available on Amazon for £6.99 paperback or you can read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. 

Why not take a look at my other book review posts –

Playgroups and Prosecco

Escape from Nettle Farm

I am your Friend, A book of hope

The girl who refused to quit

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

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Product Reviews

Book Review of Hilary Devey as Bold as Brass memoir from Books2Door

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I was given this opportunity to review Hilary Devey Bold as Brass memoir by Books2Door

Books2door is an online bookshop offering a great range of children’s and adult books at reasonable prices, with great customer service and communication. 

Hilary Devey Bold as Brass is a very interesting read. We all know her from Dragons Den and as being an accomplished business women but to hear her story on the highs and down right lows that she has been through to get where she is today is inspiring. 

Hilary was taught the lesson of hard graft from a very young age when she was helping out in her family’s pubs from the age of 7 years old and even running shifts alone a few years later. 

She had a lonely and troubled childhood being moved around a lot, attending different schools, not having a lot of friends and also seeing her dad go bankrupt and her family losing everything. As well as her troubled childhood she also went through hell with an abusive partner.

She somehow managed to stay strong and through hard work and determination created her haulage company Pall-Ex and grew it to the multi million pound company it is today. 

Her story doesn’t end there though she faced a mother’s worst nightmare when she discovered her son was a heroin addicted and went through hell to get him back on the straight and narrow. Not only is she determined in business but when she suffered a stroke that almost killed her, she fought back and defied the odds. 

Hilary Devey Bold as Brass is an interesting and inspirational read delving deep into her trials and tribulations and showcasing her amazing can do attitude through anything that life throws at her. 

To order your copy take a look at Books2door 

Why not take a look at my other book review posts –

Playgroups and Prosecco

Escape from Nettle Farm

I am your Friend, A book of hope

The girl who refused to quit

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Inspirational People Product Reviews

Dementia Awareness Week – Cassandra Farren’s heartbreaking story ‘I’ve Lost My Mum’

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It is Dementia Awareness week and with over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia it is a topic that needs to be discussed more. With 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 getting dementia it is likely it could affect you or someone you love one day.

I remember when I was about 11/12 years old and I went to visit my great auntie in a care home. She was at the ripe old age of 90 and she kept telling us that her dad was coming along any minute to pick her up to take her for ice cream. I was baffled surely her dad couldn’t still be alive and if he was I am sure I would have meet him before. What confused me more was my dad went along with it. It wasn’t until we got outside my dad explained that when people have Dementia they revert back to the past believing they are still living in that time. I didn’t know my great auntie that well so I didn’t see the full devastating effects that Dementia has on a person and their family.

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To get more of an insight into the effects of dementia on both patient and family I have been reading Cassandra Farren’s heartbreaking new book ‘I’ve Lost My Mum’. Cassandra shares with us the devastating effects of how dementia affected her mum and how tough it was on her and her family. Her story is heartbreaking, she was so close to her mum that she truly had to dig deep to be able to stay strong while at times her mum didn’t even know who she was.   

We are always told that honesty is the best policy but for Cassandra she had to make the heart wrenching decision to tell her mum what she describes as ‘Love Lies’ to try and help her mum cope better in testing situations. Even though Cassandra knew that these love lies were beneficial for her mum’s welfare they took a lot of strength and courage to go through with.

This book is a very insightful read, it highlights what worked well in the care of her mum and what didn’t so if you have someone you know who is suffering from dementia reading Cassandra’s story will give you lots of great first hand advice.

You will however need to have tissues at the ready to be able to read this book as it is so raw and emotional you will not be able to read it with dry eyes.

You can purchase a copy of Cassandra’s book  I’ve Lost My Mum from Amazon

Why not take a look other inspirational interviews –

Interview with award winning glass engraver Steven Lee

Interview with Cat at Cat Creation

Interview with children’s publisher Justin Davis

Lisa Norman shares her story of the premature birth of her son Neil

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought

Categories
Product Reviews

Book Review of Cassandra Farren’s ‘The Girl Who Refused To Quit’ and ‘Rule Your World

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I have been reviewing the touching and motivational books “The Girl Who Refused To Quit” and “Rule your world” by author and Reiki master Cassandra Farren (Cassie Farren).

Her first book “The Girl Who Refused To Quit” is so raw, down to earth and touching as Cassie shares the highs and lows of her life and how no matter what was thrown at her she refused to quit.

Throughout the book you can really feel the emotions through her writing and although you can feel her sadness when she hits rock bottom (not once, not twice but three times) you can also feel the determination she has to carry on. The love she has for her two son’s provides her passion to push on through the sad times to not let them down.

Despite the heartache you feel for Cassie at her low points this book is so uplifting and positive that it shows with the right mindset you can get through anything that life throws at you.

Cassie also shares her issues she has had with work, from working stressful jobs and having to leave her son in childcare (something I am sure a lot of Mums can relate to) then giving it all up to work happily as a part time cleaner for years until being made redundant to then start on her journey of being self employed and building a business which was not without its setbacks.

Cassandra is a strong and truly inspiring lady and has showcased it by writing this powerful and motivational book that makes an aspiring and uplifting read.

You can order your copy from Amazon by clicking here.

In Cassie’s second book “Rule your world” she has used all of her past experiences and knowledge to create a self-help book that combines her real life stories with scientific studies to provide the readers with the 7 rules that will help you raise your self-awareness to empower a calmer and more fulfilling way of life.

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The rules are very simple but are so often overlooked and pushed aside as we are all often too busy to implement self-care. If you are looking to de-stress and regain control of your life this book is for you. 

It is easy to follow and showcases that making a few small changes to our lives can make a big impact on our health and well-being. You will be given the steps to create your own “toolbox for life” that will help you focus on yourself and give you ways to help bring you out of the darkness on to a path of empowerment and self-discovery.

You can order your copy on Amazon by clicking here.

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Product Reviews

Book Review of Jo Middleton’s Fabulous New Book Playgroups & Prosecco

I have been reviewing the brilliant new book Playgroups and Prosecco – The Mis-adventures of a Single Mum by Jo Middleton. Jo has been writing her blog ‘Slummy Single Mummy’ since 2009, she lives in Somerset with her 2 daughters and this is her debut novel and what a book to kick off her career as a author.

The book is funny, witty and so relatable. It is written in a diary format by the character single mum Frankie about her daily life. Frankie shares all from the ups and downs of motherhood with her 2 daughters Flo 14 and Jess 3, about work, friendship and finding love or more to the point the troubles with Tinder.

I really enjoyed reading this book and was drawn in very quickly. Frankie is so relatable and it did feel like I was reading a real life diary rather than a fiction book. There is so much to Frankie’s life that all parents can relate to especially the Jaffa Cakes, they are the saviour of parenting.

The story is written in a very funny and uplifting way and you will find yourself laughing along as you read it, especially when it comes to the Tinder messages and the poo in the fountain.

The beginning of the book starts off with Frankie being new to the area where they are living  and not really knowing anyone however she soon meets other mums through playgroup and they become close friends. I really liked how the book shows their friendship and how they are always on hand to support and uplift one another.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a funny uplifting book. If you have read ‘Why Mummy Drinks’ then you will love this book.

You can order your copy here Playgroups and Prosecco

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Categories
Product Reviews

Review of the Stylish Laptop Rucksack from Estarer

I have been gifted this beautiful and very practical satchel style rucksack laptop bag by Estarer to review. It is made of eco-friendly PU leather is filled with compartments for all you need to carry and comes in Black or Red.

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When I first looked inside the bag I was so excited to see how much room it has and how many different compartments there are within it. Inside the bad you have the padded compartment for your laptop (this will hold a laptop 15-15.6 inches) which has a strong elastic velcro strap to keep the laptop held down.

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In front of that there is another smaller padded compartment that will fit a tablet or a kindle, then in front of that there is a long space that you can put a A4 notepad, paperwork, folders or a few books and to finish off a small space for cards or pens at the top, I even used it to fit my purse in.

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If you think this is a lot of space I have only covered above the main part of the bag there is still so much more to this roomy bag.

At the very back there is a small zipped pocket that is a good size for carrying a phone or purse, although I would suggest whatever you carry in there make sure it is flat shaped as you will be able to fill this pocket on your back when carrying it. I used it to carry my phone as my purse was rounded and with the weight of the bag I felt it on my back as I walked.

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At the very front of the bag there is one more compartment that has zips either side so you can open it up to make more room if needed. This part of the bag has 2 pen holders a small elasticated compartment, which I could also fit my purse in and then the main pocket which you could use to carry notebooks. Again it is big enough to carry an A4 notebook.

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As well as its practicality this bag is so sleek and elegant it has lovely tassel details on the zips and the front and has a stachel type look to it. It has thick adjustable straps to help you carry the bag on your back and a small handle at the top so you can carry it. The whole bag looks and feels sturdy and very well made.

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I love the idea of a rucksack laptop bag as it distributes the weight more evenly and doesn’t hurt your shoulders or make you lean more to one side like traditional laptop bags do.

The main compartment is protected by the PU leather fold over top but there is a slight overhang of the bag and a small gap on either side where if you are caught out in a huge downpour the contents of your bag could get a little wet.

The other thing to consider is if you live in an area that is high in crime the bag unclips easily and someone could get there hand in there.

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Conclusion

I think this is a very good bag, it is fashionable, cute and so practical at the same time. I love the idea of carrying my laptop in a rucksack. The company also offer 365 day quality warranty and 30 day return policy. I will be using my bag regularly to carry my laptop to work from now on. 

These stylish Laptop rucksacks are available to order on Amazon click the link to view.

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Categories
Product Reviews

Review of ‘Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt’ by Wonder Adventures

We have been reviewing the ‘Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt’ by Wonder Adventures. The Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt is an interactive hunt for children using online videos to give children clues to find the treasure.

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The website is easy to sign up to and everything you need for the interactive hunt is easy to access. The instructions are simple to follow and the hunt doesn’t take too long to set up.

At the beginning you will need to print of the dinosaur puzzle pieces and the clue cards then hide them around the area you are using for the hunt with a piece of the dinosaur bone puzzle underneath each clue card. There is also certificates that you can print off to give to the children at the end if you want to. After that you have printed and hidden the clues you just need to gather the children to watch the interactive videos.

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For younger children aged between 3-8 years old this is a great interactive hunt and if they are into dinosaurs then they will really enjoy the activity. The first video is the longest and has an introduction and shows the children how to walk like a dinosaur the rest of the clue videos are short to ensure that the flow of the hunt is kept up. After all the clues have been worked out and the puzzle pieces found the children then need to work out putting all the bones together to make the dinosaur.

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To finish off the hunt there is the Dino rap interactive video to get the children moving like a dinosaur and rapping along.

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This interactive hunt is good fun, easy to set up and children can follow along. This interactive hunt would be great for a party where you could divide the children into teams or partner them up to work together. The package costs £12.00 so for a party activity it is inexpensive and will keep the children entertained and active.  

I used my laptop to play the videos and that worked well but if you have a big group of children, you may want to consider putting it on the TV instead.

Categories
Children's Books Product Reviews

Spy Danger by Justin Davis – Book Review

We have been reviewing Spy Danger the follow on book from Escape from Nettle Farm by Justin Davis.

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Spy Danger is about the adventures of the Baker family when they go for a weekend stay at Castle Arden. The Baker children Millie, Jamie, Zach and their Dog Harvey uncover a plot to steal the forgotten treasure that is hidden in the castle.They become real spy’s and have to decode the clues and try to outwit the thieves.

My girls enjoyed reading this book, it is a wonderful adventure story with drama and excitement. Although it is a follow on from Escape from Nettle Farm you could read this book on its own and still understand the story, however both books are a good read so it would be worth reading them as a series.

It is a great book for any children that love adventure, clues and spying. It is perfect for young readers and has detailed sketched drawings throughout the book to bring the story to life. It is a good length to keep them going for a while and it is easy to read and follow the story. My 7 year old was able to read the story herself.

You can also read my review of Justin Davis other book Escape from Nettle Farm.

You can also read my interview with author and children’s book publisher Justin Davis.

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Why not take a look at my other children’s book reviews –

A Pirate Song by Justin Davis

Oscar the Orgo by R J Furness

Escape From Nettle Farm

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Books Product Reviews

Review of Escape from Nettle Farm by Justin Davis

What a lovely book for children to read. I read it with my 7 year old and 9 year old every night and they really enjoyed the book. They would get into bed and have the book ready for me to read and sit quietly engrossed in the story. Some nights my 7 year old did the reading and we listened to her.

Escape from Nettle farm by Justin Davis is about a puppy called Harvey who didn’t have the best start to life, he was living with his brothers and sisters at Nettle Farm with the grumpy old farmer Greaves. All his brothers and sisters found new homes leaving him behind. Until one day he manages to escape and finds himself a lovely family however that isn’t the last he sees of Farmer Greaves.

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This book is a great size for young readers it has easy to read chapters and beautiful colourful illustrations by Claire Adele, throughout the book to bring the story to life. The story is written with lots of description giving children the sense of being in the story and helping them to learn descriptive words. The book has action and adventure to keep children entertained and is easy to follow along and get into.

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Escape to nettle farm is available on Amazon

Find out more about the Author by taking a look at my interview with Justin Davis.

I was gifted Escape to Nettle Farm to be able to do the review, I have also been given Justin’s new follow on book Spy Danger which we will be reading and a review will be coming soon.

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Why not take a look at my other children’s book reviews –

A Pirate Song by Justin Davis

Oscar the Orgo by R J Furness

Spy Danger

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.