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Also bluejules on dooyoo and my reviews usually also appear there. Struggling to upload photos onto my Crowne Plaza review - will keep trying!

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since 17/06/2003


Crowne Plaza London St James, London 30/01/2012

If it's good enough for The Hoff...

Tesco Gummy Mix 22/01/2012

Fruity and Chewy!

Tesco Gummy Mix On Christmas Day we went to a local restaurant for our Christmas Dinner. After our main course one of the waiters, dressed as Santa, gave all the children a gift bag from his sack. As we are regulars at the restaurant, our children (my nephews and niece) got an extra one before we left, and my sister, brother-in-law and I also got one each! Inside my gift bag was a selection of sweets, one of which was a 100g bag of Tesco Gummy Mix. I got lots of sweets for Christmas and am still slowly working my way through them. I took my bag of Gummy Mix to work with me one day to help pass the time (I’m a weekend receptionist in a car dealership). The packet is bright and colourful and looks appealing to children. The packet has a cartoon boy on the front, fishing, with a dog beside him and a cola bottle on the floor next to him. Behind the boy, the packet is see-through and you can see the jellies inside the bag before you tuck in. I think this would be useful for helping to decide on which sweets you want to buy when in the shop but it served little purpose for me personally. The front of the bag also has the nutritional information (1/4 of a bag contains 11g of sugar which is 12% of your daily amount – therefore these should be eaten in moderation – as should all sweets!) The packet was easy to open by ripping one of the corners, although this led to the packet splitting so I had to eat the sweets out of the bag sideways on. I think this might have been due to my eagerness to ...

Drowning Rose (Kindle Edition) - Marika Cobbold 15/01/2012

Drowning Rose

Drowning Rose (Kindle Edition) - Marika Cobbold == Plot == Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself... Eliza Cummings is leaving work one cold winter night when she receives an unexpected phone call. On the other end of the phone is a voice which makes her heart stand still and takes her back twenty-five years - to the night Rose died. Eliza doesn’t understand why Rose’s father wants her to visit him or why is he killing her with kindness when they both know that he blames her for what happened to his daughter. Grief and guilt cast terrible shadows, but as the story unfolds and the setting shifts from London (where Eliza currently lives) to the fairy tale landscape of the Swedish countryside (where Rose’s father lives) - and back in time to Eliza's school days - we learn that generosity, humour and friendship can smooth over and restore even the most broken lives, and that some secrets just can't be kept hidden... What happened on that dark night twenty-five years ago? == My Opinion == I really enjoyed this book and read it fairly quickly as I wanted to find out what was going to happen. The book is set across the past and present and it flows smoothly between the two. The past is set in the boarding school where Eliza and Rose go to school and we learn about them and their friends (mainly Portia and Sandra/Cassandra). The story alternates between characters which I think is an effective way for the story to be told. From the beginning of the book we know that Rose drowned but that’s all we are told and it is ...

Breaking the Silence - Diane Chamberlain 14/01/2012

Silence is not Golden

Breaking the Silence - Diane Chamberlain ~ Plot ~ "My husband shot himself in our bedroom. When I got home, Emma was standing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming." Since that traumatic day, Laura Brandon's little girl hasn't uttered a word. Previously, Emma was a chatty little girl always having something to say. Laura is desperate to help her daughter talk again and seeks help from professionals. When Laura’s father dying wish is for her to visit elderly Sarah, Laura doesn’t know why. Who is this woman and why does her father want her to start visiting her. Laura has never even heard Sarah’s named mentioned previously. Not wanting to ignore her father’s dying wish, Laura begins visiting Sarah and the story of Sarah’s past begins to unfold. When a psychiatrist suggests that Emma won't talk because she's terrified of men, Laura is guilt-ridden. To help Emma, she needs to know what unspeakable secret lies behind her husband's suicide. Laura thought her family was perfect, but her quest leads her to a shocking truth. For her child's sake, should her father's sins be kept silent? ~ My Opinion ~ Having read and enjoyed other books by Diane Chamberlain I decided to give this one a try. I purchased it for my kindle over the Christmas period and it was only 99p (from Amazon) - bargain! I was initially drawn to the book due to the title 'Breaking the Silence'. I thought and hoped it might have something to do with communication and I was correct in that selective mutism is an important theme within the book. As I'm a ...

Review of 2011 07/01/2012

My 2011 Rollercoaster

The Time of My Life - Cecelia Ahern 28/12/2011

A Magical Tale...

The Time of My Life - Cecelia Ahern The Plot (Taken from Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face. It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family. But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her. Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it… My Opinion I am a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern so I was excited to hear of a new book! I was going to buy it before Christmas but having spent all my money on Christmas presents I decided to wait. I used some of my Christmas money to download it to my kindle yesterday morning and I have just finished reading it now. I really enjoyed it though it is not my favourite of Aherns books. I did enjoy it so much that I spent most of yesterday and today reading it though. This was partly due to having extra spare time to read, as well as the fact that I wanted to know what was going to happen! I love how ...

Ravensburger Hello Kitty Memory Game 27/12/2011

How good is your memory?

Alligator Books Disney Fairies TinkerBell A4 Colouring Poster & Stickers Set 24/12/2011

A Fairy good set!

Alligator Books Disney Fairies TinkerBell A4 Colouring Poster & Stickers Set I’ve been looking after my 6 year old niece, Toni, a few times this week as my sister and brother-in-law have both been at work. I wanted to make sure that she would have plenty to do to take her mind of being too excited about Christmas. I know that Toni likes Disney Fairies and I spotted this set in the £1 shop last week so decided to buy it for her. We got it out yesterday afternoon and Toni was so excited to see it. I helped her open the cellophane and take out the contents from the packet: 8 A4 sheets to colour, 6 small colouring pencils and a sheet of 16 colourful stickers. Toni sorted out the pictures into the order she wanted to colour them in and told me it’s like a story. She’s asked me to staple the pages together once she’s coloured them all in so that it’s like a book. She says she’ll then tell me the story. I think this is a lovely way to encourage her spoken narrative (and imagination) and I’m sure other children would enjoy doing the same thing. Toni spent the whole afternoon colouring, dancing and then colouring some more. She really takes her time and is her colouring is quite neat. She’s finished 2 of the 8 pictures and has asked if she can finish it on Christmas day after her Christmas dinner (I’ve said yes, but I’ve a funny feeling she’ll find other things to keep her entertained!) Toni’s comments: • There aren’t enough different colours. ‘How can I do the right colour hair when there’s no black or brown?’ – I let her borrow some of my ...

Alligator Books Toy Story 3 Sticker Paradise Set 10/12/2011

Toy Story Stickers

Orchard Toys Big Wheels Jigsaws 06/12/2011

Look at the Wheels!

Melissa & Doug Sticker Collection 03/12/2011

Sticker fun!

Melissa & Doug Sticker Collection Melissa & Doug “Over 23 years ago we started our company in the garage of the home where Doug grew up… Our philosophy has remained the same over the years–to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design. Our line offers something for everyone with over 1,000 innovative products for children of all ages!” from Although, clearly well established. I’d not heard of Melissa & Doug previous to this sticker set but I think this is brilliant and is definitely a range I’ll be checking out in the future. Melissa & Doug’s Sticker Collection - Blue The book comes with 10 large pages of themed stickers. The pages look like they are approximately A3 in size. The sticker themes are: construction, sports, outer space, dinosaurs, pirates, zoo animals, racing vehicles, knights, ‘gross stuff’ and rescue. I think this sticker set is definitely aimed at boys although I’m sure girls would enjoy using many of the stickers too. There are other Melissa & Doug sets that are more aimed at girls. Why did I buy them? Throughout university I’ve known that I want to work with children once qualified, so whenever I see anything I think might be useful I buy it to build up my stash of resources. My mam has often contributed to this too, and came in with this set of stickers earlier in the year. She also bought me the set of more ‘girly’ stickers. At the ...

Vaniqa 27/11/2011

I feel Girly again! (updated)

Letter from Chicago - Cathy Kelly 13/11/2011

A Sister's Love is Forever 29/10/2011

I'm Giving Voice - are you?

Everything that starts with V ... 28/10/2011

(Giving) Voice - because everybody has one!

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