*Book Review* A Match Made In Devon

A Match Made in Devon by Cathy Bramley.

What can I say about this book? A wonderful read that I could not put down, like at all! A beautiful read, as its such a warm book, a good one to read if you missing summer. A fun thing about this story, I bought it as soon as I saw it in the shops. A week later, I got an email as I am on Cathy Bramleys email subscription list – telling me I needed to read this wonderful book! I was so happy to be ahead of the curve that day! 😀

Cathy Bramley is possibly one of my favourite authors.  A few years back I had never picked up a book from the chick lit section, let alone ever enjoyed a book in this style. Now I have shelves full and I always have at least one on the go. I like to read to escape my life, into other peoples adventures and lives. There is nothing wrong with my life, in fact I have a wonderful little family, a lovely husband and a near perfect life. But I love to read always have, and reading about others trials and tribulations, seeing more parts of the world and reading about romance and friendships is wonderful.

A Match made in Devon is the perfect book to sum up what I love about this genre of writing. The characters are relatable and beautiful in their own ways, the characters go through so much and yet, although fun to read and a little on the crazy side, it doesn’t feel unrealistic. As I mentioned, I love reading because I get to explore places and see it through another eye. Even though we have visited Devon on numerous occasions, Cathy Bramleys descriptions make me long for another visit, or to pack up and move there. I feel like the house in this story becomes like a secondary character rather than just a property.

Everything about this story is cute, silly and adorable and although might not be a serious read, if you want an easy read to brighten your day and make you smile, a Cahty Bramley book might be the best place to start.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars. I especially love the character who loves mermaids. I won’t say more but its worth the read for that character alone.

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0552173932/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0552173932&linkCode=as2&tag=butterflychil-21&linkId=c03222cbffefc4d4b7a8478a9fb8751e”>A Match Made in Devon</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=butterflychil-21&l=am2&o=2&a=0552173932″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

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*Book Review* Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

A sweet and bright tale that moves quickly and draws you in with its wonderfully beautiful characters.

If you can read this heart-warming story of a lady running from her past, with the intention of not getting too close to people, but eventually making some lovely friendships, without getting the urge to go out in the sunshine, start a garden and make new friends, are we even reading the same book?

I like a book to build the characters up, and explore them so we grow to love them and want them to get their happily ever after. Which means, normally I like a slower paced book. This book was much more fast paced, I felt like something exciting was always happening, from ex-husbands, to new men, babies and gardening. But even with this fast paced excitement, I didn’t feel the character development lacked, in fact I think i was brought into the excitement even more, so I really wanted everything to be ok for Kate in then end.

Kate’s bizarre view on love, happiness and happy ever after’s was a little crazy but I can quite see why people may think this. As much as I was definitely more on board with Lisa’s way of thinking, I could quite see how Kate who was blissfully in love with a man she thought was her soul mate, might believe that was her happy ending gone forever.

This book had a complete different feel to the usual chick lit story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was really invested in the small patch of garden the residents wanted, and I really wanted Heather, the new mum to realise that what we think of motherhood before children is very different to the reality. I don’t know how I would feel if I lived in Nightingale Square, but the idea of a quaint village where everyone knows and supports each other, sounds blissful but I fear reality would be a lot of nosiness and not a lot of privacy, but reading about this cute little square where everyone is friends was divine.

I loved the colourful array of characters and how they all came together. I wasn’t a huge fan of the exe’s storyline, how the two exes came together. I feel that was a little unrealistic but I can see it made better story telling.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I half read and half listened on Audible, and it was absolutely fine to do either. I find some books I can happily listen to and just immerse myself in the story, other times I really need to read along and listen and take the story in. This book was fine either way! Which makes it a very enjoyable book to read a long or listen to in the car.

★⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars. A cute read which makes you pine for village life and new friendships. I didn’t like the ex running away storyline but the rest was perfect.

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You Tube debut

Poppet is a bit of a you tube addict and she loves to perform whether it be ballet, tap or with her performing arts school – she loves to be in front of an audience!

She has been desperate to have her own you tube channel – where she gets to make her videos of – well whatever she wants. I didn’t want her having her own channel as I know we have to be careful but I also like she wants to do this. So for birthday I said I’d make an account for my butterfly child blog and she could have one under my name.

Today being her birthday, she uploaded her first video to her channel Lunatic fans!

Head over to you tube :

https://youtu.be/b9IbivKr-SA

To check it out!

I do love that she is so creative and wants to perform and the such!

I’ll follow with a better blog post on her birthday and party soon!

See you soon! Xx

*Book Review* Sweet Temptation

Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond

This was a wonderfully “sweet” book, yes it had moments of seriousness and sadness, but on the whole it was a very sweet, wonderful book.
There is something special about a book that can tell a warm and beautiful story but with essence of real life issues within it.

This book covers everything from mental abuse, bereavement, body image to friendship, love and happiness. For me even though, it has romantic partners for all the characters – the beautiful relationship in this story is the friendship that grows for the three main women. They are all very different people but come together in a slimming group. Although they initially start of as strangers, they soon grow to become really good friends and help each other in more ways than support in slimming. I really liked all the characters and I loved hearing it on audible, the narrator really got the Birmingham accent and attitude spot on. Each of the women are on their own journey of self discovery and self worth, so although are very different and facing different challenges, they are all on the same path. I also believe the women have to face a lot of negative nellys and people who would quite easily put them down, but the characters don’t let them stop them! True power to women finding themselves.

Maddie who works for the local radio and gets bullied by her boss into entering the fat busters for her Make Birmingham Beautiful campaign, possibly had the toughest time of all along the way. Maddie is a very brave and beautiful character, and I think I responded best to her, as she is very like me. Her unpleasant boss in her unkind behaviour probably helped Maddie have a fitter and happier life overall, so although Maddie had to go through some embarassment and nastiness, at the end of the day – this is what gave Maddie the push to change and go for things she wanted.

Jess the really sweet and lovely beautician, in a not very pleasant relationship and cannot see her own self worth. I really liked Jess, she is a wonderful character but I really wanted to hit Charlie and give Jess a little shake for not realising how special she is, and that she didn’t need a man to be great. Plus, if she did want a man, she could do better than him.

Lauren was possibly, at first, my least favourite character as I couldn’t quite see past her abruptness and sharp tongue. But once you learnt more about her and got past that initial hostility, you get to see she is as lost, lonely and confused as the other ladies. Once she opened up and was showing her true self, I really liked her character as well.

The whole book is one feel good feeling of friendship and love. The characters go through some awful ordeals and loss, but each of them come out the other side stronger and better for knowing each other.

If you are looking for a warm, feel good story with a hint of romance, friendship and growth but with realistic storylines to boot, this might be the book for you.

I haven’t always like chick lit but now I have given it a chance, I love this genre. I like to escape where romance still lives and friendship and romance blossoms.

★⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars. It might bot be everyones cup of tea, but it is worth it for a light, easy, warm read.

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Not usually the gushy sort…

…But sometimes it just flows so easily!

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I think sometimes being a mum can be the hardest job in the world, yes its rewarding and I love being a mum, but it can push you to the end of your limits and back again within the space of minutes. But on some days, it is the easiest thing in the world to be a parent, because no matter how hard life has gotten, or how stressed you are, you can look at those little people you created and see so much love, admiration, imagination, beauty and love (Again)! And on those days, I feel like I could conquer the world. It is also so easy when you are feeling stressed or tired to forget how lucky we are to have been blessed with these beautiful children.

Why am I feeling gushy today? Well, I guess I just feel proud, happy to have such wonderful children, blessed to have perfectly healthy children to hug every night, and well, the list could go on. We joined in the wave of light for baby loss awareness yesterday, and I guess it always leaves me feeling blessed and thankful. I suffered a very early miscarriage a couple of years ago, and we had been trying for another baby in the last few years but were unsuccessful due to my illness. I have accepted our baby journey has come to an end, but it was still hard to go through everything. But I could never even begin to imagine other peoples heartbreak of miscarriages and baby loss. Taking a moment to join together on October 15th to raise awareness for miscarriage and still births is such a poignant and beautifully sad time, it does make you reflect on your own life. Knowing people who have been through stillbirth and miscarriage lately, it is something I reflect on a lot. I am not sure what made this year different, but it has really made me stop and see everything I am thankful for.

Wave of Light 2018
Wave of Light 2018

More specifically today, I guess I am feeling proud and honoured to not only be a mum, but be their mum, Monkey and Poppets. I often struggle as a mummy to share how happy and proud I am of my two children, I wouldn’t want to appear to be bragging or showing off, I will talk about them in conversation until the cows come home but I don’t generally start a conversation on how they are are doing something well, or have excelled in something, but I realised I want to share when my beautiful children have done well, and I want my friends to feel able to do the same with me, we should all share and congratulate each other, without feeling like its a competition or “bragging”. Now I’m not saying thats what my friends or people I know do, because I don’t think they do. Its definitely me feeling like this, I think I feel like thats what I would sound like and so don’t, nothing to do with what anyone has ever said to me. I guess I just worry that being proud will come across as bragging, I don’t know where this feeling has come from, but I guess I don’t like the idea of making someone else feel uncomfortable. But I don’t want that to be how I feel anymore, I want to show how proud I am, I want to share their successes, and I probably will have a moan about them when they’re being pains too! But thats ok! I think everyone should be with people they feel comfortable to be able to do this with.

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We had reports home from school last week, which then leads into parents evening. Both monkey and poppet had excellent reports and I couldn’t be more proud of everything they have achieved. They are two very different children, both doing amazing academically but Monkey is much more creative and imaginative and Poppet is your usual academic sort. They both love to read though, which makes my heart sing. As an avid reader, I am glad I have two small bookworms.

Parents evening went amazingly as well, and we had no complaints and instead focussed on what we as parents, and the children can be doing to keep working hard and be the best version of themselves they can be, which is wonderful. Its also nice to see, as even though as I say they are both doing amazingly well academically, we also got to talk about them as children and their interests and personalities. As especially for monkey – getting to show his creative and imaginative side is also so important to him. I can already see his teacher appreciates this side to him, and recognises he is just a wonderful  fun, open boy which is incredible;  as it is only October.

Its a wonderful thing to have a school that recognises the children for who they are, not necessarily just for how they do academically. Monkey might be very creative but Poppet also has a lot going on – she does a lot of extra curricular activities. She works hard after school on weekends and is progressing so well and is taking on extra classes to improve in her first love and passion: ballet. I am not a dancer so I just have to listen to what she wants to do, and have faith that her teacher will fill me in, I am probably most proud that she is so dedicated and enthusiastic.

I could not be more proud of the two children I am raising, As a mum, I often get a lot of mum guilt for so many things, and I spend half of my time, wondering if I am doing an ok job, and feeling like I am failing. I think all parents feel this way sometimes, but it is so nice to sit back, and actually enjoy the children and see them for who they are, and appreciate that actually you are doing a good job, and your children are perfect to you and it is ok to feel proud and honoured to be their parent and share in their successes.

I can look at my children, and see I am doing well. But it is the best feeling in the world when other people acknowledge it too. We had a christening last weekend and my two were amazing at the service and at the party at the pub afterwards, they behaved beautifully, I didn’t have to raise my voice once, they entertained themselves, sat nicely and I had a wonderful day. And the nicest part was hearing people say how good the children were! I don’t need other people to tell me they’re great, I know they are but its still nice to hear especially when five minutes later, they’re winding you up again and you want to lock yourself in the bathroom and eat chocolate all day! But for those brief, shining moments, they were amazingly, angelic and wonderful and people saw it! Perfection!

For my final moment of overly soppiness – Poppet will be six soon, and having both in school and seeing their reports and hearing how well they are doing and just life generally going relatively smoothly, I started thinking, “wow! where has the time gone?” And as you do, when feeling rather sentimental and sappy, started looking through the old photos, so here is a few oldie but goodie photos of monkey and poppet, looking beautiful and amazing as ever with their own little unique characters! I wanted to share this to show how amazing and unique each and every child is. And although I might still have some days where I feel like my best isn’t good enough, or the children are winding me up and I am having to remind myself to breath every five seconds! I know that feeling won’t last, I know the good days out weigh the bad and I know to appreciate every moment and see the beauty in everything, because as they say, they won’t be small forever and its true!

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Poppet looking beautiful in my wedding dress
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aren’t they the most adorable thing you’ve seen?
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He’s always been a cheeky chappy!
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A rare moment of loving from this pair
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New camper van brings out more funny faces

 

Todays post was written in reflection of how far I have got in life, in remembrance of what we and countless others have lost and to celebrate all things we have to be thankful for. I wrote it towards the end of Baby Loss Awareness week, as we joined in the Wave of Light for all the babies in the heaven; that are missed from their mummies arms every day. My friend carried her baby to full term, and you never for once think something bad could happen, and yet it can, all over the world. She lost her baby and this was the first time, I had ever really thought about it or talked about such things with anyone. I guess these things had never affected me, so I had never thought about them and I think that goes for a lot of things. So my final thought for the day is, lets not let subjects become taboo. Lets all try to be open and talk about everything, even if it hurts or is painful. The more we share and talk, the more these topics are discussed; awareness will also increase and with it new hope for these subjects too.

Thank you for reading guys!

Wow! Time flies…

Hello lovely people! I had planned on doing this big, crazy celebration of my one year blogging experience! I was going to plan a wonderful post, maybe do a giveaway, shout it from the rooftops that I’ve been writing for a year and loving it! I thought I’ve got about a week to sort something out!

As it’s a Sunday, I’ll have a lie in and have a look over my blog posts to get some ideas for what I can do. And to my absolute horror I have missed my own anniversary! I thought I started my blog around the 14th of October when in reality it was the 1st! Which knowing myself that does seem reasonable – starting a new project at the start of a month rather than half way through does sound sort of like me, but normally I would decide to start something and not finish it for ages so I assumed I had started thinking about a blog at the beginning of October and not actually finished in until the middle! I underestimated myself!!!

What a plonker?! But anyway, I am so thankful for all my readers that have stuck with me! It’s not easy being a working mum to two young children, having hidden health issues and trying to find time to do something for yourself! I am grateful I have started my journey into this little online world where I can share my thoughts, feelings and also meet likeminded people! I cannot wait to involve myself more and do more writing and research and really dig into this blogging community!

I am hoping to still do my hurrah post! But as I am ridiculously unorganised it may be a little later than my first year! 😂

Whilst I am celebrating my achievements, i thought I’d get them all out! I also reached my one year at my work this week, I haven’t celebrated that either as my boss was off enjoying herself around Canada for two weeks, lucky girl! And I really enjoy my job, its a nice play to work at, I’ve made some wonderful friends and I have a great boss, I didn’t want to celebrate without her! So celebrations have been put on hold until her return this week!

It’s been a challenge being on my own at work, challenging but fun! Obviously I can do my job! I’ve been doing it for a year! But it’s actually a really good feeling, knowing I can do it without that unwavering support or safety net you get from your boss/team etc! I know I still had her support even from miles away if I needed it, and I work with some great people who were there if I had any issues I maybe hadn’t come across, but it’s the safety net of my boss not being sat right next to me, me having to make a decision, also people coming to me for help or asking me directly for something was amazing!

The weeks have been hard and a bit tiring but I really enjoyed it and I admit I was a bit scared I wouldn’t be up to the job but I think I did alright! 😊