Baby Dove Skincare Review

As a first time parent I was quite naive, I automatically assumed that the products that I had heard of for babies must be the best otherwise why would people talk about them?  I quickly realised that this was not the case.  When Connor was first born we didn’t use anything other than Johnsons on his skin and it did the job but over time his skin lost that baby softness.  I just accepted that this was what happened, after all he is 3 in September, he can’t stay soft as a babys’ bum forever, can he?  I found a new product of Johnsons which was a gel/oil type moisturiser for after a bath or whenever your childs skin feels particularly dry.  The difference in Connors skin after just a few uses was amazing – it was so smooth, however that was short lived because after a couple of days use he developed an allergic reaction.  Everytime I put it on his skin after that, particularly his stomach and back, he would come out in a red blotchy rash.  It wasn’t painful for him but in my opinion, anything which makes your skin do that can’t be good for you.  So it was back to the drawing board on the toddler skincare front.

Enter Baby Dove.  My Mum picked these up in our local supermarket for the trial price of £1 each! She got a shampoo, a head to toe body wash and a lotion.  There are two different ranges within the Baby Dove collection – Rich Moisture and Sensitive Moisture.  We went for a mixture of both; every product in the range is mild and hypoallergenic which is perfect for Connor who has slightly sensitive skin.  I put some of the head to toe body wash in his bath and then used it to wash all over his body, it’s surprisingly foamy – 2 pumps of the body wash was more than enough.  I then followed up with the Rich Moisture shampoo which as well as being hypoallergenic is also tear and ph free – according to the Dove website it’s as gentle as water.  I was keen to try this out as Connor gets a dry scalp from time to time and I felt the other shampoos I had tried were too perfumed and made the problem worse.  The Rich Moisture shampoo actually moisturizes as well as cleanses the scalp/hair – it definitely works; I noticed an improvement in his scalp almost straight away, his hair looks shinier too!  After his bath I covered him in the Sensitive Moisture lotion which dries almost instantly and isn’t sticky at all.  When getting him dressed the next morning I noticed how soft and smooth his skin was – the difference was amazing especially after just 1 use!  We have been using this trio of products for over a week now and the baby smoothness is back, Connors skin is so so soft, I can’t even explain it, the difference is ridiculous!

Baby Dove is now going to be my go to for baby skincare & I have even bought the gift set they offer as a present for my cousins new baby.  I would have absolutely no qualms using this on a newborn, that is how soft and gentle I believe it is.  This coming from the woman who used nothing but water to clean her babies bum until he was about 18 months old!  There are other products available within the Baby Dove range which I haven’t tried yet but am definitely keen to, they include – a baby bar available in both Rich and Sensitive Moisture ranges, a Rich Moisture Nappy Cream and Rich/Sensitive Moisture baby wipes.  I will definitely be adding them to my trolley the next time I happen to see them at the supermarket.

V x

Dear 17 Year Old Me

I recently wrote a guest post for the fab Ashley over at avodkakindofmom.com and thought I would share it over here too.

I’m turning 27 this year – how the hell did that happen?  So I thought I’d have a look back over the past 10 years and write a letter to me when I was 17.

Dear 17 year old Victoria,

I know you think you know it all but University at 17 is not such a great idea for you – you’re just not ready yet.  The last year of school is a complete skive for a reason.  I know you have the brains to pull it off and you would have graduated no problem had other things not gotten in your way, but you’re just not as mature as you think you are.  You’re not old enough to drink alcohol so there is very little point in going to Freshers week; I don’t think you realise quite how much of Uni life is made up by the socialising outside of lectures, usually in a pub/bar.  You will tough it out for 2 years and then you have no other choice but to pack it in, let’s be honest, it was never what you wanted to do anyway.  Psychology is far too full of research methods and statistics for you, you have always been more of a language lover.  Writing is where you should be focusing your time.

It’ll take you a long time to realise that though, and even sitting here now I can’t say 100% that you are living your dream.  You are gradually finding your way back to writing but confidence is an issue; you will get there though, I can feel it!

Mum is right, he is an absolute waste of space but it will take you another year and a half before you realise it for yourself and by then the damage will already have been done.  Never mind, you will manage to pick yourself up and in the long run you will come out of it a stronger, better person.  And believe it or not, you have already met the man you are going to marry, I’m not going to tell you who, you’ll just have to wait another 2 years to find out for yourself.  But I will say that you will be married by the time you’re 22.  Your husband is an amazing man; it’s not going to be an easy road but you will get there, all your struggles will just make you stronger in the end.

Please know that Mum and Dad aren’t trying to be the bad guys, although they do give a good impression of it at times I’ll admit.  They really do just want what’s best for you.   And your little sister; she may be an absolute nightmare right now but trust me she is a blessing in disguise.  She is so incredibly protective of you and will back you to the hilt regardless of whether you are in the wrong or not.  She will surprise you time and again – blossoming into a fantastic Auntie before your very eyes, I bet you didn’t see that coming!  You come from a remarkably close knit and loving family, something which you have taken for granted over the years – that isn’t a bad thing, but please be aware that not every family is like yours.  Family is not always everyone elses top priority but it will always be yours.

You will have your struggles with depression and are probably in the beginning stages of that now, you just don’t know the signs.  Luckily for you, Mum does recognise them and together you will work to get you out of that darkness.  It will be a long road to recovery with a few relapses along the way, you are very anti medication – this trait will never leave you but you will eventually realise that taking medication is not a sign of weakness.  Taking medication does not mean that you can’t fight your own battles.  Taking medication is not lying down to depression and accepting that this will be your life.  What it means is that you are accepting that suffering from depression is not your fault, there is a chemical imbalance in your brain which is out with your control.  This will be a very difficult thing for you to do, you hate to be out of control, but you will realise that sometimes you need a little extra help – and that’s okay!

Don’t worry though, once you get yourself back on an even keel you do eventually manage to come off the anti depressants.  You do have the occasional blip but accepting that everyone has down days and they don’t always mean that you need to get to the doctors is a key coping mechanism for you.

Please know that the next 10 years of your life, although they are difficult and filled with times where you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, they are also filled with so much love, laughter and fun.  You will welcome a beautiful baby boy and in true Victoria fashion that will not go to plan either but you quickly realise that what’s meant to be will be and there is nothing you can do about it.  So please don’t worry, you will be absolutely fine and you should be proud of the woman you have turned into, I know I am.

V x

What advice would you give to your younger self?  Leave me a comment below or come find me on Instagram @lifeinthegingerlane

Guest Blog – A Vodka Kind Of Mom

Let me introduce myself!

I am Ashley and I write for a blog called A Vodka Kind of Mom (https://avodkakindofmom.com/ ). 

I started this blog as an outlet for my personal struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, my struggles as a mother, and my frustrations regarding the politics going on last year. My dream for this blog is to just get people talking, to make people laugh, to bring people together, and to build a community. 

I’ve enjoyed writing thus far, even if no one reads it; I’ve enjoyed it. I “met” Life in the Ginger Lane via Instagram and feel so privileged that they have offered me an opportunity to guest blog.

For this post, I’ve decided to participate in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) ; the joys, the struggles, the triumphs, and the battles.

 

A-  AGING. You never really believe it when other people tell you “They grow up so fast” until you have children of your own and they just keep on growing. They keep hitting milestones, learning new things, and become more and more independent. It’s heartbreaking but so exciting at the same time.

B-  BABIES. I loved this stage of parenthood. I loved the snuggles, soft skin, baby feet, cries, and cuteness. My kids are still cute, but they were dang cute babies, if I do say so myself.

C-  CUDDLES. I love cuddles. I force snuggles on my kids all the time, but thankfully they enjoy snuggles as well. Cash, my older son, will ask for snuggles during nap time or when it’s time to wind down before bed and I just love it every time.

D-  DEAD TIRED. I know some lucky parents get good sleepers. We got lucky the first time around, but Tate likes to get up at 4:30 in the morning. It’s rough! I feel like I am always dead tired. I JUST WANT SLEEP!

E-  ENERGY. Where do kids get all their energy?! Honestly, it’s insane how much energy they have. I feel like they never stop.

F-   FATHERS. I know I am a little biased, but fathers are so important in any child’s life. I am so fortunate that my husband stepped up and adopted my older son and has raised him as his own and does not treat the two boys any different. I love that man and couldn’t do this without him.

G-  GUILT. Also known as mommy guilt. I know I’m not alone in the feeling that I am not doing a good enough job, I’ve done some type of parenting wrong, I’m going to mess my kids up, I’ve already messed my kids up, I don’t spend enough time with them, I yell too much, etc. The list goes on of all the things I feel guilty about as a mother. However, I know no one is perfect and I love my kids and try my best.

H- HEARTBREAK. I think this is just a part of motherhood. It’s heartbreaking when your children are upset, mad at you, physically hurt, mentally hurt, emotionally hurt, whatever it may be. When you’re child’s heart breaks so does yours as a mother.

I-    I LOVE YOU. When your child starts talking or randomly throws out an “I love you” it just melts your heart. I love when my little one comes up to me just to tell me he loves me.

J-   JUSTIFICATION. There is so much mom judging and parent judging going around that every mother finds themselves justifying their parenting at one point or another. I am constantly justifying how I raise my boys and why I do certain things. It’s something I’ve been working on.

K-  KING-SIZE BED. This is a must for any parent! Even if you don’t co-sleep you will end up with children in your bed at some point in time; sometimes more than one child. The bigger the bed the better!

L-   LOVE. I didn’t know this kind of love was real until I had children. That gut wrenching, overwhelming, life changing kind of love. It’s such an amazing feeling and I feel so lucky to get to experience it twice.

M- MAMA. Another great feeling as a mother is when your child starts saying mama. Granted it starts to get annoying when they say “MOMMY” 100 times a day.

N-  NO. A word every parent should say, and say it often. There are too many people who want to be their child’s best friend and let them run the show. Those children are the worst! I think everyone agrees.

O-  OPTIMISM. Of course you have optimism for your children and their futures; there’s no other way to parent. You always want the best for your children and their lives and it’s so exciting when your dreams become a reality.

P-   POTTY TRAINING. I am so thankful Cash, my older son, was so easy to potty train. And I’ve been told younger children pick it up easier and quicker than firstborns! Tate, my younger son, has proven to be more difficult than Cash so I’m hoping that trend doesn’t continue.

Q-  QUIET. I pray for this every single day. I love quiet time in our household and try to soak it all in while I have it. It’s rare that the boys nap at the same time, but when they do it’s GLORIOUS!

R-  ROUTINE. This is one of the biggest tips I give to any new parent or struggling parent. Routine has made our lives so much easier, especially when it comes to bed time.

S-   SORRY. The one word you must continue to pound into your children’s heads until they leave your home. I only have toddlers so I’m hoping this gets better as they get older, but good lord! It’s like we start over every morning.

T-   THANK YOU. This goes along with Sorry. You have to continuously remind your children to say please and thank you.

U-  UNEXPLAINED SITUATIONS. Obviously with boys there are fights but whenever I ask Cash (who is almost 4) what happened and why his brother is crying (he is 16 months old) his response is always “I don’t know.” Mind you he’s the only one that was in the room with him at the time. UGH!

V-  VODKAI feel this one is pretty self-explanatory.

W-  WET WIPES. They clean anything and everything! These things are amazing! They get hair dye off skin and bathroom countertops. They clean the inside of cars. They clean up spills on the carpet. They’re great.

X-  XYLOPHONEDoes anyone else really have a word for X? Because I couldn’t think of a dang thing. And every child I know has had this toy at one point in time.

Y-  YELLING. I’m one of “those moms.” I yell at my kids in public. I refuse to let them act like little brats. No one likes those bratty little kids, they really ruin everyone’s experience wherever you are.

Z-   ZZZZ. Again, as a mother I am constantly tired. I love to catch up on some zzz’s whenever I get the chance. I will sneak naps in any chance I get.

Put On Your Positive Pants

I am, by nature, a procrastinator.  I put things off without ever having a proper reason to do so. “I’ll do it later” I say, mañana mañana  – everything always happens tomorrow – well it would do if I ever actually did it.  On the flip side I am also the kind of person who wants things done yesterday, if I’m waiting on someone to do something for me I see absolutely no reason why it can’t be done right there and then.  I have no idea how I can be two types of people at the one time, it makes literally no sense.  


I talk about being fed up with my job, not knowing what I want to do with my life but I never ever seem to do anything about it.  I’ve been saying that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up since I was 16.  Which is fine, and perfectly normal when you’re 16 but now I’m 26 – I am a grown up – I still have no clue where I’m going in life.  For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a author/journalist – writing a book is my absolute dream –  until I had a horrific English teacher who put the fear of God in me and made me believe that I couldn’t do it.  Suddenly the essays that had to be written to go along with the University applications for journalism courses were too much hassle & ‘I never really wanted to do that anyway’.  I swear this is where my procrastinating days began and they haven’t stopped since.  I constantly find pathetic reasons not to do things, for example, I really do want to make a go of this blog and get writing again but rarely post things because ‘my photography skills are shit’ or ‘I don’t have nice pictures to go along with my posts’.  Seeing all these other blogs with the perfect photos and witty captions makes me feel like I’m not good enough, which is ridiculous because everybody has to start somewhere, right?


So I have decided to make a conscious effort to overcome any of the stupid obstacles that I come across – most of which I put in my own way.  So what if my pictures aren’t great, I’m sure I’ll get better with a bit of practice.  Don’t know what to write about?  Just start typing and see what happens; if it’s awful so be it, at least I will have made the effort.  I really need to stop being so negative about everything, after over 10 years of being a glass half empty kinda gal it’s beginning to take a toll on me and it has to stop.  It’s doing no one any favours.  I find people who are always positive and see the good in the worst of situations so inspiring, I’m going to aim to be one of those people.  I’m not going to lie, it won’t be easy; I’ve had my struggles with depression in my teens/early 20s and PND after I had Connor but I’m out the other side of that now and don’t want to go back.  I think that’s why I find it so hard to see the good in situations, I’m constantly thinking of any possible negative outcomes so that I’m prepared.  Some might call it my coping mechanism but it’s getting to a point now that this way of dealing with things has made me the ultimate pessimist.  I don’t want to be that person anymore, I want to be able to put my all into everything without holding back because of fear that it won’t turn out alright.     


Stacey Leigh from Mummyandthebubbas posted a quote on Instagram the other day and it got me thinking about how I’m not a particularly upbeat person.  I commented (not something I usually do) saying that being positive was something that I struggle with and I’m so glad that I did because her reply was simple but it made total sense and led me to this point.   


‘Everyone has crap days and it’s okay not to feel positive all the time.  Draw a line and think about all the positive things in your life.  Each day write down one thing that you feel positive about.’


Such a straightforward idea but one that hadn’t occurred to me until it was pointed out.  So this is my line.  Nothing but good, happy thoughts from here on out.  I know it won’t be easy and that there will be times when I struggle but I just have to remember what I have and where I want to be.  I can’t stand in my own way any longer because really the only thing stopping me doing what I want to do is me.  


V xx


You can find Stacey Leigh on Instagram here she’s definitely worth a follow, her feed is gorgeous and her positivity is infectious.  Thank you Stacey for taking the time to reply to my comment, you’ve give me the kick up the backside I needed and you don’t even know it.

Teething Problems

Whose idea was it for humans to have teeth?  Honestly, worst idea ever!  As the Mum of a still teething 2 year old I can honestly say that I now believe teeth are over rated!  Well, maybe not all teeth but definitely the ones you can’t see i.e. the back ones – who needs them anyway?!

Connor has been teething since literally the day he turned 3 months old  & the slevvering hasn’t stopped since.  His mouth has been like a running tap for almost 2 years now and I honestly can’t wait to see the back of bibs.  Every outfit he has is ruined by either having to put a bib on him or the big wet patch that inevitably appears within 5 minutes if he goes bib-less.

The first few teeth – front bottom & top were pretty hard on him.  He started teething in the December at 3 months old but they didn’t make an appearance until the June – over 6 months later!  It’s been a slow process this teething malarkey.  He was very unsettled and uncomfortable to begin with but once a few teeth popped through he seemed to be able to deal with it better and a whole load seemed to appear without much of a fuss. Fast forward to his dental check up earlier in the month & were told that all but 1 tooth was through.  One of his back teeth is still under the gum but right at the surface.  I stupidly thought ‘well he’s managed the other 3 without too much bother so the last one should be fine too’.

How wrong was I?  The last one has been a nightmare.  It’s taken my usually lovely wee boy & turned him into a clingy, grumpy & still slevvery monster.  Temperatures, sore mouths, mood swings, tiredness – you name it & we have had it this past fortnight & he won’t let me look in his mouth so I have no idea if we are even close to being done yet.

So, I thought I would share a few things that have helped us out over the past (almost) 2 years & in particular this last 2 weeks.

When Connor was tiny & first teething Sophie was his best friend.  He absolutely adored her and she came everywhere with us.  He could often be found eating her nose or with one of her legs in his mouth giving it a good chew.  Sophie was well worth the money and she is now one of the first presents I buy for any new baby – highly recommended!

2. Bibs!

I cannot get enough of bibs.  We go through on average about 5 a day & that is purely down to them being soaked with drool.  I’ve really struggled to find nice ones that don’t say things like ‘I love my Mummy’ etc but I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them because they get washed constantly and need replaced really quickly.  I always have at least 2 spare in my bag at any time – even when Connor isn’t with me!

3.  Ashton & Parsons

These are teething powders, I’ve heard mixed reviews of them from various people but I can honestly say these were a game changer for us.  Connor reacted to them almost instantly and they totally settled him.  We stopped them for a while when he wasn’t really showing any signs of discomfort as they are quite pricey – roughly £6 for 20 sachets – but as soon as he starting teething badly again these were the first things I bought.  There are other brands available but these are the only ones I have tried.

4.  Nurofen

I used to only give Connor calpol but it never seemed to last very long.  At one of his baby groups there was a Mum who was also a Pediatrician, she told me that Nurofen works better for teething as it helps reduce the swelling of the gums which relives the pressure and/or pain.  So since then I’ve mostly stuck to Nurofen for teething pains, combined with the Ashton & Parsons but I will top up with Calpol in between Nurofen doses if he is really hurting.

5.  Ice/Frozen Fruit

When Connor was little I used to give him one of those plastic reusable ice cubes to suck and chew on.  That helped a little but it never lasted long as his mouth was so hot the ice cube would melt within minutes.  We also bought one of those food net things and put frozen grapes etc inside so he could chew them without being in danger of choking.  Now that he is bigger he gets an ice lolly to help cool his gums which he quite likes.

Overall, I think Connor would definitely vouch for the Ashton & Parsons Teething Powders though as they are the first thing he goes for when his mouth is sore & he’s perfectly happy to lie down on the floor and let me pour the sachet into his mouth – that says it all really.

What are your top tips for a teething baby/toddler?  Anything in particular that you swear by?  

Leave me a comment & let me know.  I’m over on Instagram too @lifeinthegingerlane  come & say hi!

V xx

Book Review: You’re The One That I Want – Giovanna Fletcher

Blurb

Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church.  At the end of the aisle is Rob – the man she’s about to marry.  Next to Rob is Ben – best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that’s the problem.

Because if it wasn’t Robert waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben.  Loyal and sensitive, Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned around and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen?  And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable.  But love changes everything.  Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely?  Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it…

What I thought

I think I actually loved this more than I loved Dream a little Dream – which is a lot.  See my thoughts on that here.  I devoured this book in one sitting – a grand total of 2 hours, I just couldn’t tear myself away.  Like with Dream a little Dream, it’s such an usual idea for a story (Mrs Fletcher must have some imagination!) but it just works.  I’ve never read a book before where I’ve been willing two different relationships to happen – where both include the same person.  It’s very strange but it happened! You’re the one that I want had me hooked from the start.  I loved that it told the story from each of the three main characters points of view, that way you got to hear the same story but it was never told the same way twice.  As always the characters were warm & endearing and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Maddy, Ben and Robert.  I really hope that this isn’t the last we will hear of them.  Maybe book number 5 is the sequel?  I really hope so!  Have you read You’re The One That I Want?  If so please let me know what you thought in the comments or follow me on Instagram @lifeinthegingerlane

Next on my list

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight.

I have previously read & reviewed A Part of Me by Anouska Knight (see here) & absolutely loved it so when I found what I believe to be her very first novel I just had to buy it!  Especially when it was the bargain price of 50p!  So this week shall be spent reading Since You’ve Been Gone & I’ll get my thoughts up asap!  

What are you reading this week?

V xx

Book Review: The One We Fell In Love With – Paige Toon

Blurb

PHOEBE is caught between a rock and a hard place.  Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

ELIZA is in love with someone who is no longer hers.  In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

ROSE is out of a job and out of a boyfriend.  To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common.  ANGUS.  The one they fell in love with.



 

What I thought

I love, love, LOVED this book.  I’ve read all of Paige Toons’ books and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one, I didn’t think it was possible to like every single book written by the same author and I’m always wondering if the next book will be the one I don’t like.  Well we’re 12 books in (not incuding ebook short stories) and it hasn’t happened yet, to be honest I highly doubt it ever will.  This book made me laugh out loud, it made me cry in places – it has everything.  Each chapter is like an excerpt from the diary of one of the three main characters – Eliza, Rose and Phoebe; you are instantly drawn in to their lives and want to know more about each of them.  Their lives are intertwined not only because they are identical triplets but also because they have also fallen in love with the same man – Angus.  You hear the same story from each person but because it’s from their perspective it’s always a different version to the one you’ve heard before.  I literally could not put this down, I finished it in record time and am now left waiting, as I always am, for the next one.  One of the many things I love about Paige Toon is that over on her website www.paigetoon.com you can sign up for ‘The Hidden Paige’ where she occasionally shares mini-sequels, extra chapters or short stories told by some of her existing characters.  It’s great because at the end of a book you can be left wondering what has happened to the characters – where are they now, what are they doing etc.  With this little gem you are able to keep up to date with your favorite characters and find out things that other readers might not know.

I highly recommend this book and in fact any book written by Paige Toon including her teen fiction series.  They are all fantastic reads and you will not be disappointed.

 

 

Next on my list

Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

I’ve already read Billy & Me see here for my review of that.  I’m now working my way through all 4 of Gi’s books starting with this one, closely followed by The One That I Want and then her new one Always With Love.  I’m also going to try and squeeze in her two Christmas Novellas – Christmas With Billy & Me and Dream A Little Christmas Dream – wish me luck!!

What are you reading this week?  Follow me on instagram @lifeinthegingerlane and let me know.

V xx

Book Review: RSVP – Helen Warner

Blurb

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the year…

Meet:

Anna, the Heartbroken Ex

Clare, the Best Friend

Ella, the Femme Fatale

Rachel, the Bride-to-Be

It’s the day Anna’s always dreamed of: The Love of her Life is at the altar, about to say ‘I do’.  But that’s where the dream ends, because although he’s The One, he’s about to become another woman’s husband.  Or is he …?

What I thought

It was okay.  I can’t say much more to be honest.  I read it, it passed the time but I’m not any better off having read it?  Each chapter is told through the eyes of a different character – Anna, Clare, Ella or Rachel.  Three of them have interesting stories worth reading, but I didn’t feel that the chapters about Ella were adding anything to the story.  You could have totally skipped those parts and the story wouldn’t have turned out any differently.  The character of Ella played a major part in an event that occurs at the beginning of the book but as the book progresses her character gets smaller so personally I don’t see the need to have sections specifically about her as she doesn’t really bring anything to the overall story.  Having said that I did enjoy the stories of the other 3 girls and found myself wanting to get back to the book to find out what was happening with them.  It’s worth a read but don’t expect amazing things from it.

Next on my list 

The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon

I love Paige Toon.  I’ve read all her books, even the teen fiction ones!  So I’m really looking forward to her latest offering which I’m sure will be as amazing as her others.

What are you reading this week?  Comment below, drop me an email at lifeinthegingerlane@gmail.com or follow me on instagram @lifeinthegingerlane

V xx

Book Review: Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher

Blurb

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy – an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

 

What I thought

In the beginning I wasn’t as keen on this book as I had hoped I would be, I think this was largely due to the fact that I was reading it via my iPad & not in book form.  I’ve found it takes me longer to get into a story when I’m reading it from a screen; anyone else find that?  Don’t worry though, by the end of Chapter 2 I was hooked.  You know when you start wondering what the characters are up to when you aren’t reading?  That’s when you know you like a book.  Having just read that back I do realise how sad it sounds BUT other book lovers will totally understand – I hope.  Giovanna Fletcher is a fantastic author, her characters are warm and sincere – my favourite had to be Molly; the best friend of the lead character Sophie.  I loved that Molly and Sophie weren’t your average best friends; one of them being a widowed pensioner and the other a young girl at the beginning of her life.  That is one of the many things that made this book so endearing.  Originally I thought it was just going to be another of those stories.  Girl meets guy, they fall in ‘love’, guy cheats on girl and breaks her heart within the first few chapters & the rest of the book is spent following her as she rebuilds her life without him (usually ending up with a best friend etc).  You know the books I mean.  Billy & Me is different and so much better for it.  There’s a certain depth to it, so many underlying stories which could end up making the whole story extremely confusing and hard to follow but somehow Giovanna Fletcher makes it work.  I have already ordered the sequel to this – Always With Love which has just been released.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next for Sophie & Billy.

 

Next on my list

RSVP by Helen Warner.  

I’ve had this on my book shelf for a while now so I thought I’d give it a go.  I seem to be flying through books at the moment so any suggestions for others I might like would be greatly appreciated.  Comment below, message me on instagram @lifeinthegingerlane or drop me an email lifeinthegingerlane@gmail.com  

I’d love to hear from you!

V xx

Book Review: A Part of Me – Anouska Knight

I love books.  Particularly chick lit.  

I’ve just finished A Part of Me by Anouska Knight.

Blurb

After years of trying, Amy Alwood and James Coffrey have finally been accepted into the adoption process.  At long last they are going to get their ‘happy ever after’.  Then – out of nowhere – a dark secret is revealed, which changes everything.

Amy throws herself into her work to distract herself.  Her new client, Rohan Bywater, is certainly keeping her on her toes.  He’s frustrating, lives on the edge…and she can’t stop thinking about him.  He’s very clear on one thing though: kids are not part of his future.

Amy is torn – does she follow her heart and let the thing she wants most slip away, or carry on with a lie and live with the consequences?

What I thought…

I loved this book right from the word go.  I was totally gripped within about 5 pages, so much so that I finished it in one sitting.  Anouska Knight is so eloquent and descriptive that you almost feel like you are in the story, living it alongside Amy and the others.  The characters are all warm and likeable – with the exception of the token bad guy of course.  I won’t name names or ruin the story, you’ll have to read it to find out for yourself!  This is the first Anouska Knight book I have read and I’ve since discovered that she has written another 2 – they have just been added to my ‘To Read’ list.  Look out for them over the coming weeks.

If you are a fan of authors such as Paige Toon, Sophie Kinsella , Lindsey Kelk et al then I can guarantee that you will absolutely adore this book.  It’s a must read for all chick lit lovers like myself and its perfect for reading in the sunshine.  So go on grab a copy & lose yourself in the world of Amy Alwood.  

Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Next on my list

This week I’m reading ‘Billy & Me’ by Giovanna Fletcher.  I’d love to hear others thoughts on these books and also if anyone has any recommendations.  I’m always looking for the next story to get lost in.

V xx