The Supermum Myth | Book Review

We were sent a copy of The Supermum Myth for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Have you ever felt as a mum that you aren’t good enough? Do you strive to be a supermum and often feel that you are falling short? Anya Hayes and Dr Rachel Andrew, the authors of this book, wants us to have more confidence in our parenting. #

I know I have struggled with confidence since having my children. I started to regain some confidence after having Jack but then got pregnant with Olivia, put loads of weight on and lost confidence in myself – and my parenting skills.

I want to dwell on the good stuff rather than the bad and make happy memories without feeling rubbish about myself. This book serves to help us parents using CBT, mindfulness and other established therapies to help us rebuild our confidence. This book helps walk you through your parenting, giving you solutions to any problems you may have.

With this in mind, I took my time reading through the book, taking on board what the authors had to say. I am the queen of negative thinking so needed something that could help me become a little more positive in my thoughts. Every mother thinks they need to be supermum – perfect with endless patience but that isn’t the case at all – it is a complete and utter myth. We are acing it in our own way – but we do become slightly frazzled along the way and may rely on freezer food a little more often than we care to admit.

This is such a handy resource for me to have when I am feeling a little down about myself as a person and as a mother. I simply need to take notice of the different techniques given and I am able to feel a little bit better about myself. This is a great book to help us parents when we are struggling to keep our confidence – it happens to us all and we get caught up with the whole ‘Keeping Up With The Jones’ thing – thinking we need to be perfect constantly. This isn’t the case – we should just be who we are and keep ourselves positive.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who sometimes struggles with their confidence – you can pick up a copy from Amazon here on Kindle and in paperback {affiliate link}. I’m going to be keeping this to hand for whenever I feel my confidence start to dip.

The Birthday Thief | A Book Review

We were sent a copy of The Birthday Thief for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We have previously reviewed the The Kingdom Of You and Lost My Name books from the team at Wonderbly and we were recently asked to review their latest offering, The Birthday Thief. This is the latest release and yet again can be personalised to suit the person you are buying it for.  Wonderbly used to be known as Lost My Name but with the extension of their products has come the extension of their brand and so a new name was needed – and I think it is great, don’t you? They have even got an exciting collaboration going on with the Roald Dahl estate this September where you can get a My Golden Ticket book – I’ll definitely have to pick one up for Jack.

The Birthday Thief is a personalised story that changes based on the birth date of the child it belongs to. When their birthday is stolen, our protagonist follows a mysterious trail to find it. This is a book designed for a child’s birthday that will show them how special they really are, on this day and beyond.

As always, I was given a code to order my book so I could personalise it perfectly to suit Jack. You simply start by adding their name and whether they are a boy or girl (choosing a illustration that best suits the person you are buying for) and click preview. You then add in their birth date and Wonderbly do the rest – you can even add in a personalised note at the beginning! So what did we think of our book?

As always, the illustrations are fantastic – really helping to tell the story. As the title probably suggests, the story tells of a birthday thief who steals all of Jack’s birthday away. Cake, candles, presents, everything is gone – and Jack has to go searching for the thief to get it all back.

The story is very twisty and turny; you never quite know if Jack will manage to get his birthday back on track – but he does and he teaches the thief a valuable lesson too. Jack, as always, has loved this book as he has all previous Wonderbly books and can’t wait to see the books they have to offer in the future.

If you want to grab a personalised copy of The Birthday Thief for just £16.99, all you need to do is head over to Wonderbly here and put the required details in. It is perfect for a gift; it shows a lot of thought has been put into it and will be a unique gift that they won’t receive off of anyone else.

Have you ever read any of the other Wonderbly titles?

Review | Isla Fisher’s Children’s Books

We were sent the books for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Isla Fisher has been one of my favourite actresses for as long as I can remember. Not only did I love her in Home and Away but she also stars in the film adaptation (Confessions of A Shopaholic) of one of my favourite series of books and she also stars in the incredible first Now You See Me film – seriously….if you haven’t seen it, go watch it! I also remember owning both of her 90’s novels, Bewitched and Seduced By Fame when I was younger so you could definitely say I was a huge fan!

When I was contacted asking if Jack would like to review her children’s book series, I think I was probably most excited. Jack is a little bookworm and is starting to branch out into slightly longer books so these seemed perfect to keep his love of reading alive.

 

Isla has so far released three children’s books – all in the same series. These are Marge In ChargeMarge and the Pirate Baby and Marge and the Great Train Rescue – you can order them from Amazon here {affiliate link}. The series is about an unruly babysitter and each book is divided into three stories.  Isla said she wrote the books for her kids “just to have a laugh with them”.

So what did we think?

David Baddiel describes the series as ‘Charming, funny and delightful‘ and I would have to agree. From the very first page of the very first book, Jack was hooked. The characters are described so well and he gasped when Marge took her hat off to reveal her long multi-coloured hair. I think every child dreams of an unruly babysitter who lets them do what they want that their parents would never let them do and Marge certainly is mischievous!

The illustrations really help the books come to life too. These are well drawn and really convey what the text says. With each book containing three stories, they are long enough to keep the child entertained but short enough not for them to get tired. A story a night is perfect!

Jack loves the character of Marge – he thinks she is incredibly funny and yes, he would like a babysitter like her! He thinks he is more like Jemima than Jakeypants but thinks the character of Jake is very funny too. When I asked for his thoughts on the series, he said ‘Good….No, BRILLIANT!‘ and I can tell he is a big fan already. Here’s hoping there is more in the series as Isla Fisher has created some fantastic characters who we can’t to read more about – even Olivia has been enjoying listening to us reading the stories!

We are definitely impressed with these books and these make a great addition to Jack’s bookshelves. What have you or your children been reading recently?

Mum Hacks by Tanith Carey | A Review

Book sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Described as ‘Exactly what every time-starved modern mum needs‘ by Fiona Phillips, I had high hopes for this book. I usually read a lot but since I gave birth to Olivia, I hadn’t even managed to finish just one book. That was until this book came along.

I am exactly what Fiona Phillips describes – a time-starved modern mum. Working from home, I am juggling my work, housework, a baby and the school runs among all the other things that come with being a mum, partner, daughter and friend and sometimes it can all just get too much. Especially when your child likes to push you to the limit. Now I know I am by no means the only person who has this – all mums have so much on their plate just like me – and we all know how difficult it can be to juggle absolutely everything!

With Tanith Carey’s latest book, Mum Hacks, claiming to offer time-saving tips to calm the chaos of family life, I knew I needed to read this and see if she could help me with some of my daily struggles. I mentioned before that I haven’t managed to finish a whole book since Olivia was born and Tanith seems to have thought of this for all of us stressed mums – you can dip in and out of it as it is handily split into sections. Ranging from Kitchen (with ideas ranging from quick meals, how to get your children to eat more vegetables and the best kitchen products to have in your household) to Playtime to Housework Hacks, you really can just dip in and pick and choose what you want to take from the book at that specific time.

Whilst I knew some of the tips that the author mentioned, she certainly gave me plenty more ideas. She’s revolutionised the way I will be doing my laundry from now on and I also have a few more quick meals I want to try out that she suggested. There’s even a quick recipe for microwave in minutes banana bread – Jack is keen to try this as soon as possible.

I love that the author talks about getting the children more involved with things – especially in the kitchen. Helping out with the shopping list or meal planning really helps Jack to be more adventurous with his food – he can be quite fussy. The author also gives some handy tips for aiming to get round situations like this – and I will definitely be giving them a go.

No matter what you are struggling with, I’m sure the author has a tip for you. I’m currently going through the book again section by section to see what I can implement to make my life that little bit easier. I’ve already tackled my hallway from the Housework Hacks section and now have a new coat and shoe rack ready to store our stuff – no more dumping our stuff wherever we can when we get in.

If you are looking for some time-saving tips to help you out in your everyday mum life, I would definitely suggest picking up a copy. Whilst every tip won’t be for everyone, you are bound to find some tips that you can put into practice to make your life as a mum that little bit less stressful.

You can buy a copy for yourself (either in paperback or on Kindle) here {affiliate link}. Are you looking for some ‘hacks’ to make your life a little bit easier?

Whatever Happened To Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man? | Book Extract

I am so happy to be on the blog tour for Laura Kemp’s new novel Whatever Happened To Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man? I’ve even got a book extract to share with you today – how exciting!

 

Blurb

A tender, funny and haunting coming-of-age novel which asks if the past can ever be part of your future.

Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn’t married by the time she’s thirty, she’ll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.

Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents’ home.

Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it – but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three.

Where to buy:

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks |Google Play

Laura’s previous book, THE LATE BLOSSOMING OF FRANKIE GREEN is available now on Amazon, KoboiBooks and Google Play.

About Laura Kemp

Laura lives in Penarth, Cardiff with her supportive husband, gorgeous son, playful dog and ancient cat. Writing is compulsive to Laura. With 15 years journalistic experience and several successful books to her name, writing is her escape and her love.

 

Follow Laura here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Read The Extract

‘Vicky?’ Mikey shifted his head to work out what was going on inside hers.

‘What?’ she said, prickling from his rejection.

‘Are you in a strop?’ he said. Vicky could hear his eyebrows shifting like tectonic plates.

‘No,’ she said, bristling, looking away from him.

‘Oh dear God,’ he said, amused. ‘You are in a strop. You. Are. A. Nutter.’

‘Well. For feck’s sake…’ she huffed.

‘What?’ he said, his voice arcing.

‘I thought we were best friends. We’d do anything for each other.’

‘Are you Meatloaf?’ he said, flicking his fingers against her arm, singing ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’.

‘Go on then, have a laugh, take the piss. I’m off tomorrow, you better make the most of it.’

She felt his chest rise then as he took a breath. He held it as though he was weighing it up. Finally, he blew out of his cheeks and squeezed her tight.

‘All right,’ he surrendered, ‘all right. Have it your way, you ludicrous person, you. If we’re both single when we’re thirty, I’ll be your back-up man. Okay?’

At first, she was annoyed because he’d practically yawned it. But then, that was his way: he was guarded with his emotions because it was always a risk to him, to show he cared. Hadn’t he always been like this? Reserved and self-sufficient because no one had really looked after him. This was the closest she was going to get to an agreement. Bite his hand off, she told herself.

‘Really?’ she said, staying very still to make sure she’d hear his confirmation.

‘Really. I swear on Jarvis Cocker’s life.’ Again he delivered it in a fatigued voice.

Vicky had a little wiggle to celebrate, not even caring about the wobble it set off down her body.

‘You’re mad, you know that don’t you?’ he said.

Vicky giggled: he was bound to be rolling his eyes at her. ‘But don’t you feel better knowing that whatever happens now, we’ve got a plan B? I know I do. I feel all secure now.’

‘Good, good. You looney.’

‘See, this is why I love you, Michael Patrick Murphy. You know what it means to me.’

‘I do, Victoria Anwen Hope, I do,’ he said wearily, but she could tell he’d spoken with a grin. Her snow globe of worries began to settle: having Mikey in reserve steadied her.

‘You’ve just got to pray I meet someone now!’ she laughed.

‘Our Father, who art in heaven…’ he began.

‘Cheeky git,’ she said, letting him pull her in, which moved her towards his neck. She smiled as she anticipated breathing in the boyish salty smell she’d known forever. But in its place, and to her surprise, there was a musky manly scent.

Just then, Vicky had a moment. A shivery split-second thing which seized her and made her reach out and place her hand on his chest. Beneath his ripped Pulp T-shirt, she felt his heart thumping as fast as her own. She had actual butterflies.

A question appeared in her head… but it was one which she dismissed before it had even fully formed.

Because Vicky had her plan B. If it all went wrong, then this time in nine years if neither her nor Mikey were in a relationship, he would be there for her.

Right now though, I’m twenty-one and the world is waiting, she told herself as she tried to imagine a place where the sky hadn’t been fake-tanned by the lights from the M4.