Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When God was a Rabbit (Book Review)

With my new found reading list I'm planning to review the books I read. Partly for me, for friends and to practice my writing.

So, here's my review of 'When God Was a Rabbit' by Sarah Winman.

Started: 25th June 2011, Finished: 29th June 2011
Rated: 3/5

Read while in Padstow for our 3 year wedding anniversary get away.

'When God was a Rabbit' is the debut novel by Sarah Winman about a girl, Elly, and her brother, Joe, and their journey growing up together. The synopsis says that 'it's a book about love in all it's forms.'

I did struggle to get into this book as I found the writing quite stilted & different to what I usually read. The author kept dropping hints as to what was to come & left a lot to be assumed, which left me wondering if I'd got the right end of the stick. I did persevere with it & I did enjoy, but it's not one I would read again.

I don't feel I connected with the main characters and couldn't seem to keep up with how old Elly, the narrator, was meant to be. However I would love to have read more about the secondary characters - Nancy, Arthur, Charlie & Ginger, and even get a bit more of the back story from the parents.

There were some strange parts in the book that I didn't quite 'get'. The story about the 50 pence, the Womble, Elly's strange meet up with a nameless guy... I'm trying to be vague in case in you haven't read it yet.

This sounds like a negative review, I know, but I enjoyed the story & the tie-ins with real life events, such as 9/11. (Although, again, we don't really know what happened to Joe during that time.)

It was quite different to what I usually read & I can appreciate why it was chosen for the reading list. I'm glad I read it.


This post is not sponsored. I am reviewing this book because I want to, however I do use an Amazon Associates link to display the book cover, so if you do fancy reading this book, a click on the link above would be appreciated. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Richard & Judy Book Club

I've been in a bit of a reading rut the last few months, tending to pick up books with a vampire theme or trying to read some that hubby has read. The vampire ones all get a bit 'samey' after a while (and while I am enjoying Charlaine Harris' True Bood series, I want something a little different) and I just do not have the same taste in books as hubby.

So I went in search of a list of books to read, something to focus on. Maybe a '100 books to read before you die' type list but found that they were full of classics and while I have nothing against the classics (and I have read a few of them) it's not what I want right now.

I found the Richard & Judy Book Club and as well as a list of summer reading they also have a list of 100 books of the decade. Which is a bit more up to date and has books listed that I actually want to read.

I don't plan on reading them by a particular time but, as you know, I like my lists and this seems to suit.

If anyone else is reading these books let me know and come follow me on twitter for some book related chat.

I'm off to buy some books now.

(UPDATE: You can see my progress on the Book Club page above.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Props make better photos

Or at least that's what I'm coming to learn!

With my writing for Brew Drinking Thinkings I have been trying to take some magazine worthy photos of my food to accompany the recipes. Especially when our new vegan writer Aine came along with her beautiful photos that really do put mine to shame. Some of my favourite examples of Aine's photos on BDT are here, here and here. Or check out her blog for some more lovely photos (and recipes!).

So I started looking around the internet for some ideas and tips (other than spending some more time with my camera) on how to improve my photos. I found some beautiful food blogs as well as some handy blog posts. This post on Food Photography & Styling by @recipegirl left me the most to think about and action. And sent me on my shopping spree.

Here are a few of the items I have bought recently to accompany my recipes in their photos.

This is my new model, a bit naked at the moment, but soon to be adorned with tea cosies. 

From top to bottom are: Duck egg blue then yellow placement, and a lavendar patterned tray.

Here are some plastic plates I bought.

Some 'vintage' table cloths I found on eBay

And I have 2 of these very cute tea cups and saucers, which could very well be the start of a new addiction...

Hopefully you'll see these items popping up on BDT in some beautiful photos. Oh, and if you do have any food styling tips or have written about food photography feel free to leave a comment below.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Crafty Time & Bathroom Inspiration

While emptying out the room that will become our nursery, I uncovered a few forgotten cross stitch kits. Mainly ones that came free with magazines. So, looking for something a bit different to do in the evenings, I have been working my way through them.

The first thing I did was finish the one that had been started, probably back in June 2009 when I bought the magazine. Its quite pretty, I just need to get a frame for it & decide where it's going to go.

The second one I did ties in really nicely with what I want to do in our new bathroom.

Yes, I am going nautical. We had a really lovely, modern bathroom full of black slate and chrome, but the tiling job was a bit rubbish and we've had to start again, so I fancy something a bit brighter and more traditional. I'm going to take this cross stitch as my inspiration and look for sand coloured tiles for the floor, and an aqua colour for one of the walls. I can't wait to see it all finished...just hope it doesn't take too long.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Too much to do

I am great at making plans & lists and getting organised. I am not so great at staying on top of things. Don't get me wrong, everything that needs to gets done, but usually last minute. I am also great at procrastinating. And making statements like 'I will blog once a week'.

But then I get annoyed that I haven't done it or haven't started or got distracted and instead of just getting on with it I put it off again or write another list or make a different statement. This then results in a longer list and no idea where to start.

We have lots to sort out before baby joins us. At home the bathroom needs decorating, nursery needs doing, office needs sorting. At work I'm trying to get processes in place for when I'm off. I want to sort out what I'm going to do with my cake business. I also want to spend some time for me being crafty (which ties in with the house decorating and sorting), writing for BDT, trying new cake stuff, blogging, seeing friends, and helping out at the rugby club.

On top of this we are trying to do it all on a budget (though I am quite enjoying being thrifty), while keeping on top of general housework and work, trying to work out exactly what we need for baby and I have discovered I just can't do as much as I'd like as I get tired, can't stand all day, can't sit all day, and bump gets in the way.

I am being careful not to add any promises to this post, but I am hoping it will kick start me into getting going and maybe not make me feel like I'm behind all the time. We have made good progress in the house sorting, it just looks like there's a lot more to do and all in less than 15 weeks!

I think I just needed a place to get some stuff off my chest....

Saturday, June 04, 2011

25 Weeks

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant. I have 15 weeks left to go. :)

Here's me & my bump at 22 weeks. I don't think it's grown much in the last 3 weeks.

I am so far enjoying my pregnancy. Yes, I have the occasional moan because I'm uncomfortable or I can't sleep or my clothes don't fit. But generally it's great. And I know how lucky I am. I have quite a few friends who are pregnant at the moment and they are all experiencing it differently. Some hate it, some are having health problems, some are so excited because it took them so long to get there.

So I know I'm lucky and intend to enjoy this as much as I can. I guess it's the last time I get to be a little bit selfish before everything becomes about the little one. And I can't wait!! :D