Last week I had a date with Anton. I got to fulfill my promise of taking him to see How To Train Your Dragon 2. I picked an early showing so the cinema was empty which was perfect for when you have a child with you. On the way there Anton had a singing and dancing session in his seat to a CD I’d made for him. It included songs from Pokémon, Digimon, Ben 10, Power Rangers, TMNT… a few Disney songs, you get the idea. He was absolutely loving it. He asked for a certain song to be put back on a few times because he loved it so much.
He talked away before the movie started, super excited but impatient asking “why has the movie not started?” over and over. I had to warn him to be quiet when the movie started. He agreed but spoke every now and then in his excitement. I had to stop myself from laughing when he shouted “That’s what I’m talking about!” during a cool scene. Luckily there were other families with small children in there so it wasn’t too bad. I even enjoyed the movie myself. I love Toothless. He’s a cute dragon. When the movie was over, Anton didn’t want to leave. He kept saying he wanted to watch another movie now. I had to actually lift him from his seat and carry him out of the screening room. Dear love him, he thought we could watch lots of movies in one go. However, he did understand and we went back to the car with him doing a wee dance and asking for the Power Rangers song.
Anton had enjoyed himself so much that he fell asleep on the way home. I had to stop my the shopping centre to get my sisters birthday present and he was still asleep by the time we got there. I woke him but he was still half asleep so I ended up carrying him in. Not an easy task when hes over half my height. Together we chose the ‘Quietly’ figure by Willow Tree. I knew she had wanted a figure and this one just seemed to match as it would represent her, Anton and Callum. I put Anton down for two minutes to pay only to turn around and see him sleeping on the floor in the shop! I woke him up and picked him up straight away, a little embarrassed but the employee understood as she was a mother.
After buying the present, I remembered something. Last time I got my sister a present, Anton told her what it was as soon as he got home. Uh oh. I asked him to keep it a secret for Mummys birthday and he said OK. Y’know what? He did just that even when my sister was fishing for information from him. I was so proud =] He seemed pretty proud too going by the little smile on his face. Callum on the other hand…let’s just say I wouldn’t trust him to keep a secret yet. Maybe in about two more years.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Paul Durhams book The Luck Uglies
The Half A King giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who took part. I’ve gathered up all the entries and got Chris to choose a winner:
Congratualtions Harri Owen!
You have 48 hours to respond and tell me your address so that I can get the book sent to you.
Don’t worry if you didn’t win guys, you can buy the book here.
Don’t miss your chance to win a copy of The Luck Uglies in my other giveaway (open until 28.08.14)
I was kindly sent this book along with Half A King a couple of weeks ago to review and do a giveaway.The Luck Uglies is the first book in the trilogy by Paul Durham. I decided to spend today reading the rest of this book as I had started it as soon as I had finished Half A King but hadn’t gotten very far into it during the week. I’ll keep this post short as it’s already so late on in the day (night technically). Here’s the plot:
Luck Uglies was a name whispered around the docks and darkest taverns, places law dare not tread…
Rye has grown up hearing the legend of the Luck Uglies – notorious outlaws who once stalked the streets – but she’s not convinced that they ever really existed. Then on the night of the Black Moon a mysterious stranger steps from the shadows to save Rye’s life and a thrilling adventure begins.
Rye will need all her courage as she unveils a secret world, discovers the truth behind the legends, and learns that sometimes it takes a villain to save you from the monsters…
I found it easy to read for a long time, hardly putting the book down at all today because I was so into it that I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. Were the Bog Noblins going to get someone or would they be saved? I had suspicions about Ryes mother and her connections to the Bog Noblins from the first chapter due to her ‘house rules’ and behaviours. The characters are easy to imagine from the descriptions which helps to keep interest. To me, Constable Boil looked like this:
Harmless on the other hand reminded me of Gildarts from Fairy Tail in a way. While reading, I began to feel sympathy towards Leatherleaf. Sure, he tried to harm Rye in the beginning but was he really a bad guy? I was wishing for him to be safe by the end of the book. It had a few twists which were good. I think the book is great for young readers which is the intended audience but adults would enjoy it too. When the second book of the trilogy is released, I will definitely read it. You can buy the book here.
Guess what? I’m also doing a giveaway of this book! Two giveaways in one month? Crazy right?
The rules are the same as the previous giveaway. You must comment on this post to be entered into the giveaway. Likes/shares will give you extra entries.
Giveaway closes on 28/07/14
The winner will be announced on the 29th July and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond in time, another winner will be chosen.
Also, tomorrow is the last day to enter the Half A King giveaway so if you haven’t entered yet, head over now for your chance to win a copy of the book.
As I have already mentioned, I spent a lot of time shopping in England. 2 days actually. We decided on shopping in the city centre on the last day a we had to bring our luggage with us so getting on a bus to somewhere further away would have been a pain. Remember how I spent ages in Primark in Nottingham? Well, I went and spent another hour and a half to two hours in the Primark in Derby city centre. Overall I spent almost £200 in Primark alone. I think there were only 3 tops that weren’t from Primark. Since Chris and I were sharing a suitcase, I bought a bag for Chris to carry on so that our suitcase wouldn’t be over the weight limit. Even at that, I ended up putting things in my friends suitcase as well as filling my handbag. Here is what I bought:
I also bought nose studs at a market because I had lost mine that morning. That day I spent a lot more time sitting down as my friend wanted to look at material in the markets and I was tired. I did have a quick look around the stalls though because it was my first time at such big markets. Before going heading to the airport we took another look around the shopping mall. It was so huge that we couldn’t go into every shop but we did cover most of them. I made sure to find presents for Anton and Callum before we headed home. Anton wanted Ninjago so I spent ages looking for it. Thank goodness I found some in one of the last shops we went to. I had actually been looking for Bleach: Shattered Blade for the Wii because I knew he really wanted that game but it wasn’t in any of the Game shops so I had to give up on that idea. I brought the presents over to the boys on Wednesday night and they loved them. Anton loved his Ninjago so much that he wanted me to build them with him right then even though it was late. I made the first thing (a robot) quite quickly so my sister said he could go to bed after the other thing was built. What a mistake. It took hours. It had so many more pieces and by the end of it I couldn’t see properly. Anton didn’t go to bed until after midnight. He made sure to stay awake until it was finished and even helped me build parts of it. Now, the figures are sitting on the shelf in his room. It’s strange because that shelf had baby things on it like a blue teddy and little snow globes and a photo and suddenly its got Lego figures on it. It makes you realise just how fast he’s growing up. In other great news, Anton now has a blue cast on that lasts for 2 weeks and then he can be cast free!
Since I just love all my readers so much, I also bought a few things in England for a giveaway. I’ll host the giveaway in a few weeks because I’m already hosting a giveaway at the minute for Half A King by Joe Abercrombie. The closing date for that giveaway ends on 21st July so enter while you can!
Today I have a review for you. The Big Shot contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing books for them and kindly sent me two books for review. The first book I received is Half A King by Joe Abercrombie. The story is set around the Shattered Sea and is the first of his latest trilogy. It centers around a character called Yarvi; the youngest prince of a kingdom thrust into the spotlight. However, not everyone is happy about this and soon a tale of betrayal and revenge unfolds.
“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
The deceived will become the deceiver.
Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The betrayed will become the betrayer.
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
Chris took a look at the book and told me I wouldn’t like it since it was similar to Game of Thrones. However, he was completely wrong. I was hooked on this book, excited to see what would happen next. I took it to England with me to read on the plane. All I can say is this book must be amazing because I was so into the story that I completely forgot I was flying! By the middle of the book I just could not put it down. I must have sat for 3 hours one night reading, only stopping because my eyes were going blurry due to tiredness. The next morning I got up and headed straight to the book to finish it. I loved the characters, most of all ‘Nothing’. He really made it interesting. I had my suspicions about him for a while, thinking he might try to kill Yarvi as he had a debt to settle in Yarvi’s home country but I loved him because he was just mad in the head and added that extra interest, never knowing what he might do. Towards the end of the book I felt a bit proud of Yarvi as you could see his transition from boy to man and his decisions and cunning. While I was reading, I realised that this book teaches you to be thankful for what you have which is great for young readers as we take so much for granted these days. Another thing I loved about this book was the amazing twists at the end. I never would have suspected it at all which is what made it so interesting. If you enjoyed Joe Abercrombie’s ‘The First Law’ trilogy, you’ll love this.
In fact, I loved the book so much that I am going to host a giveaway for it!
Here’s the rules:
1. Comment on this post.
2. Share/follow. If you do this, write it in a comment and you get another chance for each you do e.g. comment share and follow means you get 3 chances to win.
It’s as simple as that. Once the giveaway closes, I will write down all of the names and put them in a bowl and get Chris to pick one out. The winner will be given 48 hours to respond. If the 48 hours runs out, another winner will be chosen. Once the winner is in contact, I will need your address to send the book to you.
The giveaway will be open for a week – it ends on the 21st July.
Last Sunday we decided to head to Nottingham for the day. We headed into Derby city centre to look for a Game store first as o2 Priority Moments was doing a free Skylander deal and I couldn’t pass that up. We checked the bus times before heading into the shopping mall. What I didn’t know was that if I entered the priority moment for the deal I only had 15 minutes to use it before it was invalid. The man in the shop only told me this after I’d clicked enter and after he told me they had actually run out of the characters from the deal. He told me where the next closest Game store was so I had a quick walk to it. I went in and luckily they had the characters. What was even luckier was that they let me use the deal because I had only 1 minute left on it before becoming invalid. That was a close call.
I was expecting the bus journey to take a while because it looked far away on the map but it actually only took about 20 minutes and we were able to get a group return ticket for £12 which was a pretty good price considering we were going into another city. We were lucky to have great weather the whole weekend too because it made shopping better. I mean, who wants to go shopping all day in the rain? We headed straight to Primark and ended up spending an hour and a half or so in there. There were so many shops to go to. Poor Chris ended up carrying all of my bags. He gave up and sat in the shopping centre while my friend and I continued to shop. I tried on so many clothes during the day but I actually only bought a few things during the trip to Nottingham. Before we knew it it was time to head back to Derby as we were meeting the newly married couple for dinner at Cosmos. Cosmos is an all you can eat restaurant with foods from around the world. We have one in Belfast but I’ve never been so I was keen to try out the different foods. Btw, I made sure I got my moneys worth and ate 7 plates worth of food. Chris couldn’t actually believe how much I ate. I even tried some crispy seaweed and Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. While I did see a lot of food that I wanted to try, I didn’t think the desserts were that great. Maybe it was because most of them were already gone and others had nuts in them so there wasn’t an awful lot I could pick from. Profiteroles, ice cream and fruit (which was too hard) were the only things I could really choose from.
After dinner we went to their house to play a board game called Settlers of Catan or something. In the game you have to pick an area on the board to set a town and two roads in the beginning and each area on the board has a number on it. If someone rolls a 6 and your town is on an area that says 6, you get to pick up a resource from that area e.g wood, wheat, sheep, ore. You need the resources to build roads and towns. You can also change your town into a city. Towns are worth 1 point and cities are worth 2. The first person to get to 10 points wins. There are also development cards you can use and you can win card for things such as ‘longest road’ which gives you 2 points. Once I got the hang of it I sat quietly calculating what moves I needed to make/what I needed to build to win, counting everyone else’s roads and points. I was lucky to be able to have the areas which I chose at the beginning of the game because I ended up getting a lot of resources quite easily and I won =]
It sounds like a simple game but it’s pretty long. We didn’t even realise how late it was until the game was over. Luckily, they drove us back to our hotel and we got back to our room around 1AM. I don’t even remember going to bed that night. I was out like a light. Obviously I ended up missing breakfast on the final morning because I slept in but I didn’t even need it anyway after the amount I’d eaten at the restaurant.
I’ll post again soon and I also have a giveaway coming up so keep a look out!
Today is the wedding post. First of all, we had an early start. I went down to do the bride and bridesmaids nails at 8AM. The hairdresser was already there and working on the bride. Suprisingly, she seemed so relaxed. We sat chatting away and having a laugh while I painted nails. For the bride, she chose a french manicure with burgundy tips and a few gems on the ring finger and thumb nails. The bridesmaids were having silver nails with gems on the thumb and ring finger. She provided all of the stuff I needed so I was a bit shocked when she gave me a card containing £20 after. I felt bad for taking it so I paid for her and her husbands meal at Cosmos the next day. While we all worked on getting her and the bridesmaids ready, the flowers arrived. I thought they were lovely. There were so many people in the room for all the size of it. The bride to be asked if I’d eaten yet since breakfast would be ending at 11AM. I called Chris straight away to wake him up. About 20 minutes later I got a message from him saying that he had put his shirt in the shower to get the wrinkles out and now it was soaked. Weird message to get right? Well, it was only because I had told him (and showed him) to hang his shirt in the bathroom while he showered so that the steam would make the wrinkles come out. I actually couldn’t believe it and told everyone in the room. After everyone having a good laugh about it and me calling him to tell him he may get the hairdryer out to start drying it, I finished the nails and headed up to the room to help. Well, turns out he was joking. He opened the door for me in his suit ready to go even though the wedding wasn’t until 1:30PM and everyone else was still in casual clothes. At least the joke helped the bride to have a laugh.
After breakfast I had to start getting ready. I spent ages trying to get my hair to go the way I wanted it. I wanted a plait around the top of my head and the rest of my hair down. Eventually I got it right. However, when I put my dress on…it was tight again. Darn all that cheating on the diet. It was tight-ish but bearable so at least it wasn’t too bad. My friend came up to our room and I did her hair. I just did a simple twist with the front part of her hair so that it was all down. Putting her fascinator in her hair was…not fun. Anyway, the bride had arranged a lift for us for the day which was great. We were picked up and taken ahead to the church. We grabbed some seats and waited. The ceremony was over more quickly than I thought it would be. It was a pretty small ceremony which was nice too. I had to laugh though at one point. When it was time to give the rings, the minister dropped one. The bride and groom said they were actually glad that had happened as it helped them to relax a little. After being taken to the reception we had tea and a biscuit. Another friend told us about the activities we could do inside the building so Chris, my friend and I went in while it was quiet and signed a photo, a guest book and put our prints on a wedding tree before finding out table.
Although the wedding was done on a small budget, you could see how much work had gone into the set up of the reception. The bride had made so many decorations for it and her, her husband and some friends spent ages setting it all up themselves. We sat chatting while we waited on the toasts and food (buffet style). Chris and a friends boyfriend really seemed to hit it off which we were glad to see since she had to sit at the main table as she was a bridesmaid. After eating I ended up unzipping my dress. I glued myself to the chair after that. Didn’t want the table of men behind me to see. I did zip it up again and have a wee chat with the bride before heading for the chocolate fountain. Soon enough the music started and people were up dancing. I was sitting once again with my dress unzipped and leaning against my chair having a chat with friends but decided to move seats so I zipped it up and thank goodness I did. The brides grandfather who was so drunk decided it was time for me to dance and grabbed my arm and pulled. No amount of no thank you’s worked and he was so strong that I couldn’t get away. He pulled my arm and my whole seat slide across the carpet. He did manage to pull me off the chair but because of how I was sitting with my feet under me, when he pulled me up my foot went right over the metal part of the chair. Seriously painful. he dragged me up to dance and started saying ”Here, space ships” doing this weird move. I stood saying no thanks I’m OK. Dancing is really not my thing. He twirled me about laughing away. I was trying to find an escape and saw a girl I knew standing in a circle on the dance floor. I tried to tell the man to dance with her and he said OK let’s go and dragged me through the middle of the circle of people while they all cheered and clapped. How embarrassing. I also tried to sneak away behind him but he turned and saw me… and that friend wasn’t letting me leave her with him either and grabbed my arm. I did eventually manage to get away but I went straight over and sat on Chris’ knee for protection. Close to the end of the night, the man who was DJ-ing came to try to get our whole table up (my table were clearly not the dancing type) so my friends boyfriend, Chris and I all creeped out the side door to hide. The grandad’s wife had been trying to get my friends boyfriend to dance with her all night so he was also partly hiding from her and what happened? She also came out the door a few minutes later. Awkward. As the night went on my foot got worse until I couldn’t really move it. By the end of the night, we were walking back to the hotel, the bridesmaid in bare feet, her boyfriend drunk and ready to catch a rabbit (there were so many rabbits running about), another friend super tired and then Chris, another friend and myself just walking along laughing and chatting. Back at the hotel I had to ask the receptionist if I could have an ice pack for my foot. She didn’t have one so she gave me a tea towel and told me to take ice from the machine. It did help a little but my foot was swollen and so painful to even lean on. Now, it’s mostly better but bruised. It’s weird knowing that my friend is married now. She was the first from our group of friends to get married. I wonder who will be next?