Wednesday, 1 October 2014

#50books2014 September round up.

Not many people appear to have tweeted there book round ups, so let me know in the comments/leave a link to your book reviews for September :)

Soph over at Ignoring life one book at a time has been busy reading 'Eavesdropping on Jane Austin's England'. This sounds like a really cool book - something I would be interested in reading! Soph has wrote a lovely book review, please head over and give her blog a browse :)

Tantrums & Glitters has been reading 'Anybody out there' by Marian Keyes. She has wrote a really nice book review on this book and it sounds like something I might like to read in the future! Please pop over and have a read!

I have read two books this month (and am half way thru a third!). I really enjoyed 'The child without a voice' by one of my favourite authors - Casey Watson.

If you'd like to join in with the #50books2014 challenge, you can join in on twitter using the #50books2014 hash tag. Don't forget to tweet me your book posts before the end of October! :)

Sarah xXx

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September book reviews #50books2014

I've actually read one book this month! I've missed reading so much. I've read 23 (or 24?) books in total this year, so far. I really would LOVE to reach 50 but we'll see how that goes.
Also, please don't forget to tweet me your book review posts (or use the #50books2014 hash tag) before 30th September so I can add them to the monthly round up - which I have really missed doing.

Snatched by Stephen Edger review
"Aproximately one hundred and fifty thousand children go missing in the U.K. every year. That’s one child every three and a half minutes.

Seven year-old Natalie Barrett is missing. She was last seen at 3:45 on Friday afternoon, walking from her school. One witness reported seeing an unusual car parked in the road. Police are canvassing the area for evidence.

Sarah Jenson is Natalie’s teacher. When one of the detectives on the case is mysteriously killed, Sarah sees a connection between the incidents and sets about her own investigation. With suspects stacking up, she is in a race against time to discover the true identity of the perpetrator before Natalie winds up as another statistic.

Where were Natalie’s parents when they should have been collecting her? Why is Natalie so scared of her Uncle Jimmy? Could a convicted sexual offender from Sarah’s past be involved?

Children not found within the first seventy-two hours, rarely return home alive. Sarah knows the clock is ticking…

Set in Southampton, and with D.I. Jack Vincent leading the investigation, Snatched is the latest break-neck-pace thriller from the pen of Stephen Edger"


A story about a girl named Natalie, aged 7, being kidnapped/snatched from the school gates after school. It becomes a mystery as to what happened to her. The police are involved as is the school teacher and they try to figure out what exactly has happened to Natalie. I'm not gonna lie, this wasn't really a book I would have usually read but it was free on amazon. I wasn't really sure about it to be fair. I did find it hard to get into but after a couple of chapters, it wasn't so bad. I did have to skip a few paragraphs in different places as I found it to much info and I would rather just not read it as it was rather horrific. I predicted who had abducted the girl quite early on, so I wasn't surprised at all. It didn't make any difference to the story, I still followed it ok. It's nicely written and easy to follow. The ending wasn't what I was expecting but again, it wasn't bad. I'm not a HUGE thriller fan and not my ideal read.

3.5 stars from me. 

Casey Watson - The girl without a voice. Book review.

"Bestselling author and foster carer Casey Watson tells the shocking and deeply moving true story of a young girl with severe behavioural problems.

This is the first of several stories about ‘difficult’ children Casey helped during her time as a behaviour manager at her local comprehensive.

Casey has been in the post for six months when thirteen-year-old Imogen joins her class. One of six children Casey is teaching, Imogen has selective mutism. She’s a bright girl, but her speech problems have been making mainstream lessons difficult.

Life at home is also hard for Imogen. Her mum walked out on her a few years earlier and she’s never got on with her dad’s new girlfriend. She’s now living with her grandparents. There’s no physical explanation for Imogen’s condition, and her family insist she’s never had troubles like this before.

Everyone thinks Imogen is just playing up – except the member of staff closest to her, her teacher Casey Watson. It is the deadpan expression she constantly has on her face that is most disturbing to Casey. Determined there must be more to it, Casey starts digging and it’s not long before she starts to discover a very different side to Imogen’s character.

A visit to her grandparents’ reveals that Imogen is anything but silent at home. In fact she’s prone to violent outbursts; her elderly grandparents are terrified of her.

Eventually Casey’s hard work starts to pay off. After months of silence, Imogen utters her first, terrified, words to Casey: ‘I thought she was going to burn me.’

Dark, shocking and deeply disturbing, Casey begins to uncover the reality of what Imogen has been subjected to for years"

This is a true life story about a young girl (Imogen) who has silent mutism and no one really knows why! Casey however, makes it her mission to find out. This book is beautifully written. It is a sad story with a good ending. I don't want to go into detail as its on a few of my blogger friends 'to read' lists. 
FIVE stars from me!!  

A round up of our summer in photos.

We had an absolutley amazing summer. Fulled with lots of fun!
We had man trips to the Park and lots of outdoors games - football being the main on!


Charlie turned NINE years old! Wow. I can't believe how fast he's growing up. Madness. He had a wonderful Birthday.


We were also lucky enough to go to Liverpool and visit Speke Hall during the six weeks holidays. Speke Hall is a huge old Tudor house with lots of grounds/Gardens. The kids loved the maze best!

Speke Hall

The little's made some really fabulous world cup posters. England got knocked out of the world cup pretty early on but that's ok, the boys supported Brazil instead. They loved being creative and decorated summer beach hut coin banks from yellow moon.

 We also had a picnic in Victoria Park in London.Which was a lot of fun! We saw the London eye and big Ben, it was super cool, even if it was just thru the window on the coach.


We had lots of lovely long walks, enjoying the sunny, warm weather!
The little's enjoyed flying there kites. They really got the hang of it ever so quickly! I am so proud of them.

Flying a kite @ Ups and downs, smiles and frowns

 We also went to an air show along the seafront, we loved the red arrows! The little's loved watch all the airplanes do there display over the sea!

Ups and downs, smiles and frowns

The kids really enjoyed crabbing along the river bank! It was such a warm, sunny day! We also had some chips and fed the swans & ducks.


Then it was time for the kids to go back to school. Harry started in year 6 - his last year of Primary school! Charlie started in year 5 and Ellie in year 2! They are truly growing up so fast.
ups and downs, smiles and frowns

At the end of summer, Ellie turned SEVEN! Whoa. She had a lovely Birthday, got lots of really lovely presents :)

Age 7. Birthday cake.

We truly did have an amazing summer! We are really looking forward to Autumn!
I hope you all had a fab summer, too.

Sarah xXx

For more photos, please follow me on instagram

Linked up with: 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Our weekly meal plan #MealPlanningMonday

Gosh, I'm a bit late posting this but never mind, at least it's still Monday, right?!

Monday - Chicken curry with rice, chips and naan bread.

Tuesday - Spag bol with garlic bread.

Wednesday - Chicken pasta salad with french stick bread.

Thursday - Pizza day!

Friday - Pork chops, mash, peas, served with gravy.

Saturday - New potatos, fish and salad.

Sunday - Sunday roast.

What's on your meal plan this week?

Sarah xXx 

This post is linked up with #MealPlanningMonday

ZOOBs snacks {Review}

ZOOBs are a snack that are made from healthy vegetables: beans, carrots, tomatoes, peas, onions and chickpeas. These healthy treats are lower in salt and fat than traditional crisps and high in fiber, which is not only healthy but it keeps hungry bellies fuller for longer! They also contain protien, too! ZOOBs don't contain any artificial colours or preservatives.

Zoobs review @ Ups and downs, smiles and frowns
We were sent the Pizza Margaretta flavour and Tangy cheese ZOOBs to review. My little ones couldn't wait to get stuck into them. We are ALL huge crisp lovers in this house and couldn't wait to try these new healthy crisps.

The pizza flavour ZOOBs contain just 77 calories and are made from nutritious baked vegetables and are low in fat, too! I really enjoyed this flavour. They taste AMAZING! The little's enjoyed them, too! Ellie loved that they were pizza flavour - her absolute favourite food is Pizza! 

The tangy cheese flavor are also low in calories, just 78 calories per pack!
"Ohh they really do taste like tangy cheese" Harry declared.
They're high in fiber and a great source of protein, too! Charlie loved that they're crunchy and tasty! Yum!

They make a perfect lunch box snack, too. Personally, I like that they're low in fat, low in calories, they taste amazing and they're healthy, too! What more could we ask for?
We will definitely buy these in the future.
ZOOBs can be purchased from Tescos.

You can keep up to date with ZOOBs on Facebook.

Sarah xXx

We were sent some of these crisps for the purpose of this review. I was no paid for this post. All opinions are my own, personal, honest opinions.