Summer At The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

I FINALLY finished a BOOK! It took me leaving my family for 4 days but I got it done! 🤣🙌🏻 Here’s what I thought……

The Synopsis:

Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle. 

And yet there’s something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that’s floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend’s fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he’d left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence. 

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

My Thoughts:

As some of you know, my husband is from Cornwall and his parents still live there. It holds a special place in our hearts and I always love to read books set in the county.

This book is the sequel to Little Beach Street Bakery and, even though I haven’t had a chance to read it…YET, I didn’t need to in order to love this book, the lead character Polly and want to visit this little bakery!

The author, Jenny, has created such a likeable character in Polly that the reader automatically roots for her success and commiserates in her disappointments. Plus she lives in an actual lighthouse! She is already cool, in my book! Even the little puffin, Neil, becomes a loved character and I did miss reading about him in the chapters that did not feature him.

Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery is a sweet, heart-warming and makes you want to move to Cornwall! It’s a definite read for this windy and rainy March!

Milestone Birthday Memories

My husband finally caught up with me and turned 40 in October!

His actual birthday was on a Thursday and he spent the evening at our eldest son’s 1st school disco! Ha! I couldn’t make that up! But after the disco (and him showing those 4 year olds just how to bust a move!) we had some of his oldest and best friends over for pizza with their kids who are around the same age as ours. It was a lovely end to his birthday.

For the birthday CELEBRATION I organised a night out on the following Saturday night which included private dining at a Michelin Star restaurant with a great group of friends. I find my husband SOOOOOO hard to buy for and had been scratching my head and scouring Pinterest for ideas. I came across an idea of a memory book with messages from friends and family and took it to the next level by asking for pictures as well!

I feel my husband doesn’t realise how loved he is and I wanted him to know what his friends and family actually thought of him…..(mostly all good!)

I contacted loads of his friends and family, including friends from his childhood he hasn’t heard from in years, ex-work colleagues and crazy Uni mates. I asked them all to send me over a memory of their time together, a birthday wish or tribute…. and include a picture of them with my hubby (if they had any…no digital cameras or smart phones back in our school days!) When I got the messages I typed them up and printed them out on card stock and then printed out the picture that was sent and stuck it on the back of the same card. I hole punched the card and bound them together with a ring clip, so it was easy for him to flip through.

People said such lovely things about the hubster …I was touched reading them myself and I was so excited for him to get his present and see all the messages.

I presented the book to him at the beginning of his birthday dinner and he was so surprised! I think all the lovely messages did take him back a bit and I could tell he was very touched by all the lovely wishes and surprised at who I had managed to get a hold of! Some of his primary school friends he has now reconnected with on Facebook!

At the end of the day it was the simplest gift that meant the most to him. It’s been almost two months since his birthday and I still catch him re-reading the messages and smiling at the memories/stories and pictures. I’m so glad it’s a gift he will cherish for years to come.

Now…what am I going to get him for his fiftieth!?

Wonderplay, Too! by Fretta Reitzes & Beth Teitelman

imagesWonderplay, Too – Synopsis

The original Wonderplay is an enchanting playbook for parents looking to educate and delight kids from infancy through the toddler years. Wonderplay, Too picks up where the first book leaves off, offering more than 200 games, craft projects, and cooking, music, and dance activities for kids ages 3-6. Developed by the 92nd Street Y this brand new book highlights today’s parenting concerns, including: how to evaluate and limit video games, computer time and TV, and how working parents can make the most of their time with their kids.

Stephie’s Thoughts –

As a Mum to a 4 and 2 year old, I am constantly looking for new activities for my boys.  The like their TV programmes as much as any child but I want them to be content and happy with just playing and exploring their world, without the lure of TV. What I am finding particularly hard at the moment is finding activities that hold my 4 year old’s interest, as well as my 2 year old!

I thought that Wonderplay, Too did just that. It gives the reader so many creative games and craft ideas and they are tailored to children from 3-6 years! Yes, I know my littlest is only 2 but with the actives given I was able to modify slightly, if needed….but the majority of the time I didn’t even need to do that.

The book covers the topics of cooking, science music, art, dance…..all of which, as parents, we touch on with our children but I do find that I run out of ideas, at times…so this is a great book to delve into when needing some inspiration.  For example, in the music section the authors talk about becoming songwriters which appealed more to my older son but I got my younger son to clap and hum along to the song so he was involved as well and then we all performed the song for Daddy when he got home; therefore, tailoring and adapting the activity to fit us all.

I would highly recommend having this book in your parenting library. It’s a great book to reference for ideas when needed or even just have a quick read to get your creative juices flowing. My children are enjoying trying out the activities and I am enjoying creating some wonderful and memorable experiences with my family.

I bought the book from Amazon Used books for £3 plus postage but you can also buy the Kindle edition for £3.99.  Such good value for fun, TV free fun!

 

 

 

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up……

This past month has been a blur! Will started school, Sam started nursery, I FINALLY had my vein op on my leg, I am STILL planning Mark’s birthday and today Will if off school with his first school sickness! With everything always being so hectic in my house I find it hard to find any time to actually just BE and to think a little about ME!

I have ALWAYS known that I wanted to be a Mum when I grew up and I got my wish four years ago. Two baby boys later, I know full well that being a Mum is a full time commitment but what else do I want to do……

I know that I want to write and so I’ve set up this blog as well as actually starting to write an ACTUAL book! Something I have wanted to do for a long time! The blog is more for me – a way to document my family life and also give me a chance to speak up on issues that are important to me and that I think really need a voice. The book….well. My Dad wrote and published two books during his lifetime and I know I have at least two or more ideas that have been banging around my head for years now. So I thought I would try my hand at it and see what happens. Perhaps he has passed on his writing genes?!
I also have a few ideas for short stories, so maybe I should start there? I’m not sure. I know I have all this creativity inside still dying to be expressed and, as a performer, I need to express myself. I’m still planning on auditioning again and performing again but with the boys being so little, late night rehearsals need to wait, just a little bit longer.
So I thought that now is the perfect time to use this time to write and get those ideas, thoughts and stories down on paper for, hopefully, at least a few people to want to read!

I’ve also started a gift business! I actually started it a couple years ago, after Sam was born, but with a newborn and joining a MLM company (more on THAT in another post!) I didn’t have time to fully commit to it! But I have started to create some different pieces for our new house and thought I should see if anyone else might be interested in them….so Little Village Designs has been reopened!

There’s so much I want to do! I have a tendency to rush into things and want to see fulfilment straight away! I am conscious not to do that this time…just see where everything takes me and enjoy the ride. My number one focus is always my boys and my family so they come first…everything else needs to slot in around them. And I’m confident the right ventures will.