Weaving my way through motherhood whilst trying not to mess up adulthood. An observational lifetstyle and parenting blog

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Book Review: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child





I remember the press surrounding the release of a new Harry Potter book. The excitement, the guessing what has become of our favorite characters. Then there was the shock, the shock that JK Rowling had in fact co-written a stage play rather than the anticipated 8th novel. For me, not a problem I still wanted to read it all the same. Then came the reviews, the disappointment that the book was a script and not a novel which we all knew from the beginning anyway. I don't know if those reviews put me off but I wasn't running out to buy the first batch that hit the book shelves, instead, I waited until Christmas and placed it on my Christmas list and hoped that Santa (Bae) delivered on the big day. And he did!


Usually every Christmas I get an autobiography and I don't know if it's because they are usually hardback and in a slightly larger print but I tend to sail through and will often be finished reading by lunchtime boxing day. This time, I took my time...digesting each word and trying to absorb all the new characters and plot twists. It must have been a coincidence but Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire was playing on the television which is referenced heavily in the Cursed Child so it was great for remembering. Besides, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has always been my favorite.


The book is set as a stage play and after all the press and reviews I hoped that it wouldn't be irritating or all stage instructions but I was wrong. It reads so well, okay there is a lot of dialogue but then it's a script so what else is there going to be. Despite it being a script, it flows really well. The only time I got a bit bored was when the master of ceremony kept repeating the same introductory lines over and over again. I get that for stage/screen it would be needed, I just got tired of reading the same words over and over again.

The story focuses a lot on Harry Potter's Son Albus and Draco Malfoy's son Scorpius, I loved Scorpius and the fact he is so different to his father. To be honest, I didn't really like Harry in this. I get he has grown up and he has a family blah blah blah but...he just wasn't Harry. 

This Harry seems different, colder and not so heroic, in fact for all the bravery and brilliance of his youth, his adult life seems a bit of a flop in my opinion, which I also found with Hermione and Ron too. The only one who has gained a bit of gumption is Ginny Weasley who has grown into a fiercely protective mumma.

The plot was gripping and introduced a whole new story surrounding Voldemort and Harry’s family which was interesting and did leave me wanting to know more. However now I think about it, perhaps it would have worked earlier on because without giving too much away, I think the new story line leaves too many questions, too many huh, how and especially WHEN?!!


I love the Potter books and I always wonder what they would be like older and with families of their own. I would like to see this developed into a novel with a little bit more depth and perhaps space for some unanswered questions.
 
Rating: 3.5/5
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Monday, 30 January 2017

Face the day beautiful




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Have you ever stopped to think what is the first thing that people notice about you? If you don’t know the answer, here’s a little hint, it isn’t always your choice of shoes. The first thing that people see when they look at you, is your face. Your face is the most expressive part of your body it reflects the most about your lifestyle habits. If you go to bed late at night, there’s a good chance that your face will reveal it: Puffy eyes, dark circles and a pale complexion. So, what can you do to make sure that your face only shows the best and healthiest side of yourself?  Here’s how to do it.


Makeup Enhances Your Beauty

There is a common misconception that you can use makeup to hide your flaws. In truth, while it is possible to use makeup to hide a few spots or areas where your skin is red or pale, it will not last if you don’t have the right skin treatment. Instead, oily, dry or damaged skin will cause your makeup to melt off and disappear! This can be frustrating, but unfortunately, you will need to incorporate a regular skin care routine to your beauty regime. Always clean your skin deeply, as when your foundation looks as if it has lifted from your face, it’s because your skin is oily and it has forced the make-up to separate. It’s also important to stay hydrated with plenty of water and a good moisturiser too. Finally, do make sure to exfoliate your skin regularly to get rid of dead skin cells, as they will make your make-up look very unhealthy and dry!


What About Facial Hair?

Facial hair is the nightmare of most women, and it is completely unavoidable. As a mammal, you will naturally grow hair all over your body. But don’t worry, there are ways around it! When it comes to your eyebrows, you should only use gentle hair removal methods, such as eyebrow threading or simple plucking it yourself. As the skin is very sensitive in this area, it’s best not to use any wax. You can find ready-to-use wax stripes for facial hair around the mouth and the chin, which are perfectly suited to do the job. However, there are some women in pre menopausal and menopausal periods who suffer from excess facial hair growth. You should discuss the issue with your GP, but be aware that there are treatments available;you can order vaniqa cream online,which can be used to help destroy the follicles of your facial hair.



Sleep And Learn To Relax

Getting a good night sleep is key to achieving that relaxed and refreshed look in the morning. For some of us, it is not always easy to switch off but there are many methods available to help combat the dreaded night owl syndrome and to help keep your mind calm and relaxed such as yoga, meditation or my favourite, a nice relaxing bath followed by a nice hot drink. It’s not just at night we should learn to unwind. By listening to our bodies signals, that indicate we are exhausted or dehydrated and acting upon it, we will all be on the right track to showcasing the our beautiful, bright faces.



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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Facing Up To Facemasks: Figuring out what's what

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Face masks seem to be everywhere. They can be useful products to add to your beauty routine, but they're also a little confusing. There are different types of mask with a range of purposes. Choosing one that works for you isn't always easy, especially if you don't know where to start. You need to find a mask that works for your skin type and helps you to achieve your goals. You might want to use an anti-ageing mask or one that helps you get rid of blackheads. Before you choose a mask, you should have a look at what's out there to understand what's what.

Types of Mask

Face masks vary in their application. Some of them are meant for you to put on, dry and then peel off. Others are intended for washing off, while others are meant to simply sit over your face. Understanding how each one benefits you will help you choose the right type. Mud masks and clay masks are simply washed off when you're finished with them, these are great to help treat oily skin, whilst peel-off masks are intended to help with blemishes. Cream and gel masks are lighter than mud and clay ones and have the opposite effect of moisturising. You can also get sheet masks, that you lay over your face.

Mask Purposes

Face masks claim to do a huge range of things. Beyond the basic purposes of the different types of mask, various products will supposedly have certain properties. Some are meant for moisturising, while others should draw out oil and moisture. Some masks will claim to tighten your skin or help with anti-ageing. You can get a face mask meant for brightening your skin or one to fight blemishes. It's easy to just look at the packaging and see what a mask claims to do. But don't forget to check reviews to see if they work.

Finding the Mask for You

Choosing a mask that works for you isn't as simple as picking one with an express purpose. Everyone's skin is different and so are your preferences when it comes to beauty products. Some types of mask might not be to your taste, and others just might not work for you. When you're looking for the right mask, start off by finding recommended products to try. Decide what requirements you have, whether it's natural skincare or low price. If you can get hold of a free sample, that's even better. You need to try something out to see if it will really work for you.


Using Your Mask

Applying a face mask can be a little messy. If you want to use yours more easily, you might consider making sure you have the right tools. You can get face mask spatulas or gloves to make it easier to apply them. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure you get the most out of your mask.

Face masks can make great additions to your beauty routine but only if you use the right products. Consider them carefully to find one that works for you.

Loves

Jade Priscilla
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Friday, 27 January 2017

Fun History Trips For All The Family

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It seems like as soon as Lei returns to school it’s time for another half-term break. As I work full time, I value these breaks as it gives us as a family the opportunity to either book a holiday or plan a day trip . Some trips might purely be for fun, like a day at a theme park, Lei is an absolute thrill seeker like her daddy so the two of them love any opportunity to go whizzing round on a roller-coaster. This is great but sometimes, I like to mix fun with educational as it's no fun if the only learning your kids do is at school. Just because it’s the half-term doesn’t mean our children can’t continue to learn, especially if we are showing them that learning can still be enjoyable. The UK has plenty of history, making for some great day trips. Try these places in England for plenty of fun and learning during your next weekend or half-term break. 


London

If you're looking for somewhere that's packed full of history, you really can't go wrong with a trip to London. It might be more expensive than other places, but you won't run out of things to see and do. There are museums like the Natural History Museum and British Museum, which are fun for all ages. Plus, there are historic sites, such as the Tower of London. If you're with older children and teenagers, you can explore the more gruesome side of London history too. Going on the Jack the Ripper Tour can be great for teenagers studying for their GCSE in History.

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York

If you want to explore a specific period of British history, it's often best to pick somewhere in particular. In the case of Vikings, York has to be one of the best places to go. Once known as Jorvik, the city is home to the Jorvik Viking Centre. It had to close for a while due to flood damage but is set to open again in spring 2017. There's much more to explore in York, though. The Yorkshire Museum, York Castle and the National Railway Museum are all fun places to visit with kids. You can even discover the city's history of chocolate if you visit York's Chocolate Story.

Warwick

Kids always love castles, and they're excellent places to learn about different periods of history. From toddlers to teenagers, they can enjoy something about a magnificent castle with sprawling grounds. Warwick Castle offers plenty for people of all ages, including an impressive schedule of events, tours and live shows. Try exploring the Horrible Histories Maze or even staying overnight in the Knight's Village. Older children and teenagers might like to venture into the dungeon to learn about the more gruesome aspects of the castle's history.

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Ironbridge Gorge

The Industrial Revolution and the Victorian age are also important parts of British history. At Ironbridge Gorge along the River Severn, you and your family can learn about both. There's Blists Hill Victorian Town, which is full of actors showing you how people once lived there. You can also visit the Enginuity science and technology centre, the Coalport China Museum and the Jackfield Tile Museum.

There are so many places you can visit with your children of all ages for an educational day out.

Have you been to any of these places?

Loves

Jade Priscilla
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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Term Time Holidays: Would You Risk It?




The Christmas tree has been packed away in its box for a few weeks now and although the ground resembles an ice rink and the frosty chill that nips us as we try to brave the cold reminds us that January is still classed as winter we begin to dream of booking a vacation in the sun. One that is guaranteed to give us sun, sea and hours of mini disco entertainment for our little ones.Out come the brochures and we scour the many travel agent sites, seeking the deal that will take us from London to sunny shores in two and a half hours.


We pick the destination ,choose our preferred board of either self catering, half board or all-inclusive, add on the transfers, insurance and all the extra bits like that random tour or lunch with a man dressed in a teddy bear costume claiming to be some big top tv character when really the bear costume could do with a wash and sew.

It sounds absolutely perfect.

 Click-head to checkout

Pick jaw off the floor, find teeth, insert, push tongue in and take a deep, deep breath.

The price for a week long holiday in the 6 weeks school break is so expensive that even the comparison sites can't compare it anymore. So what do you do?
Do you feign an illness and take your little ones on the holiday of their/your dreams
Do you bake biscuits for the principal of your school alongside a bunch of Tesco finest flowers and a little note full of praise and a 'please can we take a term time holiday, hold the fine, to Alicante?'

 I was having a read of Lei’s newsletter and I saw a note saying that term time holidays are strictly forbidden. This is not something new or surprising. We have all known about this for a very long time but it seems that parents are still willing to risk it, perhaps hoping to just pay a fine, get a slap on the wrist and continue uploading their holiday snaps to social media.

Well, what I was shocked about was that a child had been taken off the register and now no longer is able to attend the school. That, if not anything must be a warning that it isn’t to be taken lightly. No more will you just be told off and asked to pay a fine while you punch the air with glee happy that you got away with it and wondering if you can be cheeky and do it again.

 I completely understand that term time holidays can be extortionate, especially if you have more than one child. However, is it really worth the embarrassment and disruption to your child’s education?  I book all of my holidays out of school hours, for our little family. We find that if we book way in advance we don’t feel the pinch so bad.

 Here are some of my top tips and tricks for booking an affordable school holiday.

Book in advance


Most websites and stores get their brochures and newest vacation bookings way in advance of the new year. Most times before Christmas, by booking then you can choose to pay in installments, pay a smaller deposit and have longer to pay it all off, therefore not feeling the strain on the good old purse strings

Kids Stay Free

Most of my holidays are booked with On The Beach, I absolutely love that site and not only because you can pay in installments up to 2 weeks before you travel but also because most of the hotels offer kids stay free so you only end up paying for the adults which bring the cost down significantly. Choosing holidays that give children some sort of free pass is great for saving some money

Shorten the length of your stay

Of course, we would all love 10 days in the sun, but 10 days equals to added costs. Last year, we went to Barcelona for 5 nights which helped us to save considerably, From experience by day 6 you start missing your own bed and start getting a tad bit tired of dancing around in a conga line every evening so 5 is perfect for that ‘yes I wish I could stay longer, but I have had a great time’


Have you ever taken your children out of school for a term-time holiday? What are your tips for cheaper school break holidays?



Loves

Jade Priscilla

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Save The (Canadian) Bacon: The Best Vegan Eateries in Canada



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 Travelling when  you have special dietary needs can be a nightmare! I come from a family that have allergies to certain foods so we are always extra careful especially when eating out and about.  Choosing to follow a specific diet can also prove troublesome, for example if you’re a vegan it can be frustrating as you never know if you’re going to be able to find anything good to eat that doesn’t contain some form of animal product, and then there's the added worry about the language barrier and making your requirements known.

Luckily, if you plan to travel to Canada, this is not really an issue because, not only will most waiters and waitresses speak English, but there are also lots of great vegan restaurants in the country. So, if you want your trip to go without a hitch, as well as visiting https://official-canada-eta.com to sort out your electronic travel authorization, be sure to check out my list of the best vegan eateries in Canada below.

Heartwood, Halifax
This vegan restaurant, which is located in the Nova Scotia region, is home to some of the finest vegan food in North America. The best thing about eating here is that all of the food is seasonal, which means that you are eating locally produced food at its best, and doing your bit for the environment. Even the wine is local!

Rise Above, St. Catherine’s

This Ontario eatery takes all of your favourite foods and veganizes them, so if you’re hankering for a big bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese or your heart desires some cheesy empanadas, take a trip to Rise Above and let your waistline expand. The food’s so good; you’ll find yourself leaving a tip so huge you’ll surprise yourself!

The Sprout, St. John’s

This Newfoundland eatery offers some of the most delicious deserts you will ever taste, vegan or not. It also serves up delicious black bean burritos, a hearty brunch menu and an abundance of great local beers.

The Abbey, Fredericton

In the heart of New Brunswick, you will find The Abbey, and you’ll soon be in vegan heaven. Served up daily are such vegan delights as black bean brownies and the best hot chocolate. Unlike many vegetarian/vegan restaurants, The Abbey offers the chance to add chicken or shrimp to any dish, so it is a good place to go if you’re travelling with non-vegans.

Doomie’s, Toronto

If you love your comfort food and you’re looking to indulge in a vegan dish that could hardly be described as healthy, you’ll want to check out Doomie’s – a Toronto restaurant that serves up big portions of your favourite foods. You can even get a vegan Big Mac there! It’s one eatery that’s not to be missed.

The Coup, Calgary

If you’re in Alberta, you should make the effort to visit The Coup, where you can get soup, sushi, yam fries, burgers and much more besides, All vegan and all good.

Chau VeggiExpress, Vancouver

If you like hot, spicy vegan cuisine, you won’t find better food than the offerings at Chau VeggiExpress, which specialises in Thai and Vietnamese vegan food, including favourites like pho, nem and sugar-free coconut shakes.
As you can probably tell, Canada is great for vegans. In fact, why not take yourself on a vegan tour of the country? You’ll never eat as well as you can in Canada.

Loves

Jade Priscilla
 
 
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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Don't Miss Out on Visiting These Places Before You Have Kids





Having children is the most wonderful experience of your life. It's difficult and can drive you crazy, but it's also amazing, and most parents wouldn't give it up for the world. However, there's no hiding that having kids makes some things more difficult. It doesn't necessarily make anything impossible, but it does mean some things you might want to do would be very hard or just very different. Travel is one of the things that changes a lot once you have kids. You have to think about your travels very differently when you take little ones along. Before you have kids, there are some places you should see. While you can visit with your children too, the experience will be very different.


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Australia
 Australia is a hugely popular choice for young adults who want to experience life somewhere different. There are several reasons for this. The first is that you can get a working holiday visa for a year and, if you meet the criteria, renew it for another year too. Of course, there's also the weather and the laidback lifestyle of the country. You can visit Australia as a family, but long haul flights are expensive. If you go before having kids, you have the opportunity to experience really living there, instead of just visiting for a short while.


Thailand

Thailand is another destination that you will find is packed with young adults, as well as travellers of all different types. There are lots of ways to see the country, but it does have a reputation as the place to be for people who like to party. If you want to spend your time raving when you're away, you need to do it before you have kids. There are also some great opportunities to volunteer in Thailand, which you can't really do when you have your children in tow. It's very much a single person experience, or perhaps something you do with a group of friends.


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USA

The US is a great place to go as a family. You can experience it in lots of different ways, from going to Disney World to taking a family road trip. But there's no denying that it's completely different if you go before having a family. Whether you go alone, as a couple or with some friends, there are so many ways to explore this vast country. You can take a road trip without having to worry about the comfort of kids. You can visit Disney World without having to queue for the baby rides or rush to the toilet at any given moment.

The World


If you want to cover a lot of ground when you travel, doing it without kids is best. There are some families who travel long distances and stay on the road for a while without stopping. They educate their children as they go and do things their way. But for most families, this would be a difficult thing to do. If you want to do a round-the-world trip, it's best done when you're child-free.

Travelling with your kids is tonnes of fun, but there are some things you should do before you have them. Get some of your travelling out of the way if you don't want to wait until retirement to do it.


loves

Jade Priscilla

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