Posted on July 11, 2014
I listened to Hit Girls by Dreda Mitchell through my Audible which I have on my phone. You can read more here about audible on an earlier blog I did.
Anyway, I downloaded Hit Girls when it came within a ‘2 for 1’ offer, unsure whether it was my type of thing. But I’m so pleased I did. The dramatic start to the story sets the scene for the rest of the novel. When two innocent girls are run down outside school by a 4×4, and a young boy is left seriously ill in hospital, you can’t help but want to know more! As I listened to the heart-wrenching description, I realised I’d stopped breathing. This not-so accidental incident leads to individual characters seeking revenge and finding out the culprit of this horrific crime.
I was taken in straight away by Jackie and the other ladies. I loved Jackie and Schoolboy. In fact, I practically fell in love with Schoolboy. The Lewis family had me intrigued from the beginning, I was desperate to know what was going on behind that family, without giving away any spoilers, there were a few shockers! I’m not usually into ‘gangster’ type films or books, but I can honestly say I loved this. Every chapter had me hanging on for more information. The action was on-going.
In their attempt to find out the killer, they turnover a few stones that many wished were left. I think Dreda Mitchell has done a fantastic job of making all the characters interesting, a busy intertwining plot that is structured so you don’t lose who has done what, and a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you fancy delving into a story about loyalty, justice and trust this is a book I would definitely recommend.
Posted on July 9, 2014
Unfortunately predicting the weather is not something we are blessed with in Britain. With the summer hols approaching who knows what the weather will be like! We may have some scorching hot days (which many of us can’t cope with!) or we may have a downpour of rain, and often with the odd bit of thunder and lightening, and when those mini storms occur you’ll hear people saying, ‘We needed that!’.
Anyway, here in the ‘The Browns Household’ we’ve got a few things planned for the summer hols, but we won’t be going abroad this year, so when it came to writing my Primary Times editorial this month, I went with the few ideas that I had about what we could be doing on those rainy days. I’ll be honest, I don’t venture to soft plays on rainy days when the kids are off. Why? Because everyone and their dog make their way there! A room full of screaming kids is not my idea of fun! So I need to be prepared to entertain my girls within the confides of four walls!!
Anyway, between the craft days, dressing-up and performing mini-plays (that haven’t been rehearsed very well), I’ve included the link to the editorial I’ve written for the Primary Times. Hope it helps you decide on activities for the summer hols 🙂
PRIMARY TIMES EDITORIAL – PAGE 7.
You may have noticed today I’ve shared a few posts about ‘Flourish with Confidence’.
I absolutely love this lady; Tracy Russell. She is so amazingly warm and is so determined to help women out there who need to boost their confidence – in any area of their life.
I met Tracy at a networking event and I was so inspired by the work she does. She is such an inspiration to other women. What strikes me most about Tracy, is that she truly cares. She truly cares about helping women believe in themselves. She’s so passionate about what she does.
Here’s just a small part of what Kay said, one of her very grateful clients:
I found your programme very helpful in bringing my confidence back to where it needs to be and I will be recommending your programme to others who are looking to be more confident in themselves in order to be more confident in life & business.
You can find even more testimonials on her website: www.flourishwithconfidence.co.uk
Are you someone who needs more confidence?
Do others see you as confident, but somewhere deep down you just don’t feel it?
Do you truly believe in yourself?
There’s many women out there who don’t; with a niggle of self-doubt or an open invitation to allow others to criticise you! Does this sound familiar? How many times do you criticise yourself?
Wouldn’t you just love to be happy with who you are? Well, Tracy’s ‘Flourish with Confidence’ workshops and programmes can definitely help you find your way forward.
Flourish with Confidence is currently running a 6-week programme that will help you feel better about yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy group work, there’s a one-to-one service available. Also don’t worry if you’re not local, Flourish with Confidence offer an internet and Skype service too.
Please visit her website www.flourishwithconfidence.co.uk.
You won’t be disappointed 🙂
Posted on June 19, 2014
Writing the title of this blog post made me feel very old indeed, but not even in my forties yet (a few more years) apparently I’m still a baby.
But when downloading ‘Let It Go’ (yes, the famous, Frozen song) onto my phone so my girls could sing their hearts out, it made realise how easy it is for them. And I heard myself saying, ‘It wasn’t like this in my day!!!’ Yes, I actually said those words. I could hear myself explaining about record players, and how my first actual record was ‘Shakin’ Stevens‘. My favourite song ‘This ole house’. Did you realise he’s still going? He’s just performed in Poland in March 2014. Love it! Will have to watch out for him performing in the UK.
Do kids these days even realise how lucky they are? Now, I’m definitely sounding old. I just worry they might take some of this stuff for granted. Is it expected that they should i-pods, i-pads and whatever other ‘i-thingys’ are coming out? I remember being ecstatic with my Commodore 64 and nearly breaking the joystick to try and make the helicopter or truck go faster.
How toys have changed, I realise we have to move with the times, but how I was thrilled with my roller boots, my little ponies and care bears; all my favourite things. Check out some more 80’s toys here.
As for movies, there were a few favourites, mine being E.T, Superman and Ghostbusters! These days there are new movies out every month. Postman Pat now has a movie, not only has he moved on with a wife and a son … he drives a helicopter! But good old Jess is still alive and kicking.
You often hear people saying, ‘How did we live without mobile phones?’ ‘How did we live without the internet?’ Everything can be ‘Googled’. I remember searching endless books, researching through the library to find all the answers I needed for my exams. Even now when Lexi, who is only in Year 2, has homework more often than not there is some reference to an internet site. It really is amazing how times have changed.
I look at Pops, my hubby’s grandad, he doesn’t possess a mobile phone and I’m sure he doesn’t know how to use a computer, let alone the internet. And I know in years to come when my girls have holograms to speak to their friends, or they’re flying around on scooters or some other mind-blowing ideas, I’m going to be like Pops, happy to stick with what I know! Pops and my father-in-law, don’t understand how my hubby can read his newspaper on his i-pad. Neither do I. Don’t get me wrong I do have a mini i-pad that I use for reading, but I do prefer paperbacks. I encourage ‘proper books’ with my girls before they get lost in all these ‘newfangled things’.
My hubby is working on a project at the moment called skignz, (skignz – pronounced ‘sky-nz’ to rhyme with designs – are signs and 3D objects placed in the environment to be viewed via a mobile device’s camera). This is blowing people’s minds … but the ‘kids of today’ are finding it so easy, it’s like second nature for them to press a few buttons and expect things to just happen. Whereas I prefer not to press any buttons, as I’m not really sure what will happen 🙂
Anyway, I thought I would share my thoughts with you, as I sit here feeling old … God help me as I get older, think I’ll just go and join Pops, he seems happy enough living in a traditional world. Although, when my girls are my age, all of this will be traditional to them.
Posted on June 16, 2014
I’ve just finished reading Wishes Fulfilled by Dr Wayne Dyer and absolutely loved it.
I couldn’t put this book down. I’ve read many Law of Attraction Books and I really enjoyed Dyer’s book, I can see clearly now, but this book delved deeper into the thinking behind manifestation.
Every chapter made sense, and I just wanted to keep reading. I have a need to read more about manifestation and meditation. Not because Dyer doesn’t express enough, but because Dyer has sparked something inside of me.
I do think you need to know the basics about the Law of Attraction to read this book, in that case personally I loved ‘The Secret’, however for those wanting to delve more into spirituality, I would most definitely read this book.
Posted on June 11, 2014
I always thought I’d be one of those parents who would NEVER embarrass my kids!
Well, since having kids I’ve decided I’m going to embarrass them so much … as they have a tendency to have moments where I wish the ground would swallow me up. I want pay back 🙂
The most recent was Lexi (who is 7 yrs) announcing outside school that, ‘Mummy was pumping so loudly last night it kept me awake!!!!’ And then proceeded to say, ‘You’re going very red mummy!’ Really Lexi! Just really! Can I clarify I didn’t keep her awake, she will find any excuse 🙂
There wasn’t just one parent who heard her … oh no, the whole school! Well, that’s an exaggeration, probably 2 or 3 parents, but it felt like the WHOLE school! As I tried to explain about my constipation problems and how lactulose really didn’t help with movement, but I was in so much pain and the air really needed to be released … I realised I needed to change the subject very quickly … why was I giving so much information? Why couldn’t I just have said, ‘I think you were dreaming Lexi!’ and made a joke of it! Oh no, I rant on about my flatulence problems! Nice …
Because I have no dignity left, I will be discussing flatulence in another blog, as I’m learning so much about food intolerance and healthy diets 🙂
Anyway, it made me realise how many times I’ve tried to scurry away, or tried to cover something up because they’ve just announced whatever is on their mind. Usually it’s Gabriella. She is so inquisitive, she’ll ask the most inappropriate questions at the most inappropriate moment! Like the time she asked her great-grandad (Pops to us) if he was going to die soon???? Luckily he didn’t have his hearing aid in. But it just shows how much they think about things. The previous day we’d had a conversation about someone’s grandad dying, and she asked all the questions about, ‘why do people die?’ etc. I’d gone with the line, this is what happens when you’re old. In the nicest way I could. I didn’t expect her to question Pops about his lifespan!
But hey, that’s why we love them … isn’t it? But I will be noting down all the things I can embarrass them with … the devious part of me can’t wait 🙂
Love to hear how you too wanted to die on the spot 🙂
Posted on June 9, 2014
I’m asking myself the same question!
I am so focused on my work and my writing (and when is it time for a glass of wine! 🙂 ).
I’m learning new things daily. I’m reading lots of spiritual and inspirational stuff. I’m so excited about my work. But that part of my life seems to have taken over my health and fitness side.
I don’t know about you but I always make an excuse up. Well, I don’t see it as an excuse, but there is always something else to do. But I know that if my fitness levels were up, I was eating healthier and my waistline decreased, I would have more energy to fit in more of the stuff I want to do.
I was very lucky before I had my girls, I was one of those ladies who could eat what I wanted and never put on weight! Yes, I would have hated me too! But then two kids later, that just isn’t the case anymore. 2 or 3 dress sizes bigger than I was BC (before children) I’ve decided to have a 6 week intense workout regime! 6 weeks of torture before the kids break-up … and I do turn to the vino daily 🙂
So I started this morning, encouraged by a lovely friend, who told me this class she attends every morning was easy!
If you’ve seen Insanity … think that … but real-life encouragement and being shouted at … it was fantastic!
So, MA Fitness in Yarm has just become my new addiction! Mike who was running the class was great. There’s something exhilarating about being with a group of people who all have the same aim as you! Encouragement, the energy and the motivation was exactly what I needed. I am buzzing.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I really thought I was going to pass out or throw-up in the class. I really did think my beetroot head would explode. I finished with my heart beating so fast I thought they would need to get me an ambulance. And when leaving I thought I would sleep through the rest of the day, but now I feel so full of energy and can’t wait to go back.
So I wanted to encourage you to take those steps forward this week. Really think about what it is you want and then go for it.
My own favourite quote is:
‘Even the smallest steps count!’
So come on, whatever it is you want to achieve start putting those steps in place, and you’ll reach your goal sooner than you think.
This time is coming anyway.
So go for it! Believe in yourself!
Posted on June 6, 2014
Admittedly, when I started ‘The Adventures of Pebble Beach’ I was a little unsure whether it was my type of book. The erotic scene and language that gets this book started, was not my usual type of read. However, I’m so pleased I continued. Pebble Beach is a great character. Although I sometimes wanted to slap her, I couldn’t help but love her. She’s in a very vulnerable time in her life; she is in her mid-40s, recently divorced and single mum to two teenage boys. She is working so hard to make a career for herself but there seems to be obstacles at every turn. Pebble has to go through certain situations to make her realise what is happening in her life and how she can make the changes. Once she starts to realise this everything starts to fall into place.
I loved the way Barbara Berger has created a mixed-up character that many women could relate too. I love even more how she develops a storyline that would help many women move forward in their own lives. There are quotes and advice that have been integrated into the story, I think this has been very well done. I think Barbara has created a very interesting novel that not only relates to real-life but gives great advice on finding oneself.
I give this novel 5/5. For anyone who loves chick-lit that has meaning 🙂
Posted on June 5, 2014
We all have them … you know those days where nothing is life-threatening, in fact, nothing serious at all has happened, but still …
As I’ve mentioned before if you read my twitter page @victoriajbrown or my facebook page you’ll see I’m a very positive person. I’m extremely grateful for all I have in my life … so why the need to write such a blog post about ‘one of those weeks’.
Well, I decided I needed to air off after the packet of blueberries I’ve just picked up in Tesco exploded across the whole aisle, hitting the woman in front of me, and enticed a small child to pick them up off the dirty fall! Then I stupidly said to his mum, ‘Don’t let him eat them!!’ What I meant to say was, ‘He’s going to eat them!’ Then she could decide whether she would mind her son eating manky blueberries. But no, I dictated to her about her parenting skills, when I’m not exactly up there for the Parent of the Year Award! Luckily, she was lovely and just laughed, explaining she wished he would eat blueberries and that he was just helping, whereas her friend looked shocked, as if I’d just sworn at them!
So now I’m walking around with this open box of blueberries, looking for help, people staring at me as if I’d purposely opened them and started to throw them around. Which don’t get me wrong, I really felt like doing! If you’re reading this, and it was you who put those opened blueberries back … shame on you! Anyway, so after bashing one woman in the hip with my basket and then practically falling into another lady’s trolley because I came around the corner and was looking the other way! I decided to leave Tesco before I was arrested for disturbing the peace!
It just got me thinking about this whole week! Last week the kids were off school, (which is always lovely, but my work tends to come to a halt) and my youngest Gabriella wasn’t very well. So she ended up not going back to school until today, (so my work has been ‘halted’ even further!) She is still full of cold, but at 5 years old, when are they not? Anyway, as a side line, Gabriella always picks colds up and has problems with her ears, and I feel like we’re always back and forth to the doctors. I’m pleased Lexi is at school every day as I may have social services round! Anyway, I had a look online to see if anyone else had the same problems. (God, what did we do without Google?) I came across a chatroom where a lady had recommended a book called ‘Boost Your Child’s Immune System‘ by Lucy Burney. My copy has just arrived as I’m writing this. So I’ll keep you posted on how we get on!
Last week the washing machine also broke. I’ve rang ‘the washing machine man’ (yes, he is in my phone as this), he came out and couldn’t fix it. But managed to fix my dishwasher that hasn’t been working for over 2 years. Well for a day at least, as when I started to use it, my eyes started to sting, (now I know this feeling well, as I burn quite a bit of food! It was that sensation …) So yes, one wash later, the main fan had burnt out! So not that this affects me really, as we haven’t used one for 2 years … but oh so close!
As I write this I’m waiting for another ‘washing machine man’ to arrive. I have washing from one end of the house to the other! Hope I don’t get any uninvited guests, my usually welcoming home smells like a sewer pit! Okay exaggerated, but I’m not sure my joss sticks are keeping out the smell of dirty undies!
This week we are also looking after my friend’s puppy, Betsy (sorry Sarah, had to mention little Betsy), who is lush, but having Daisy ourselves who is now aged 7, I’d forgotten what having a younger dog is all about! I should be mega fit … she chews everything, but I’m sure she is doing it for a game of ‘chase me, chase me’; coloured pencils are her favourite, hairbands, kids toys … if it’s on the floor (well, actually it could be on the table, if she can reach it, it’s her’s!) So we’ve had an amusing week of ‘catch and chase’. My girls adore her. But today we are on our own, Betsy and I, and at this moment in time all is quiet, she is laid next to my feet on her little bed! However, ten minutes ago, I saw her putting her head through the football net that is keeping her in our garden (another long story but we have a broken fence and six months later it’s still not repaired!). I thought she could just get her head through … oh no, half her body was through! But don’t worry Sarah. All is well 🙂 She is gorgeous really. In fact, my girls now want a puppy because she’s more playful that Daisy. And she has made us laugh. She’s a lovely little thing. I love the way she jumps away from things she doesn’t understand, barks at the television when other dogs are barking and twists her head when we talk to her. Sarah will be lucky to get her back 🙂 Oooohhhh might have to pretend she’s escaped through the net 🙂
So anyway, I just had to off-load. As I said nothing major has really happened … it’s just one of those weeks where I’m on that treadmill … I could mention so much more … but I’d probably bore you. Without getting serious, because that’s not really in my nature, ‘life’s far too short to take yourself seriously’, so if you do, STOP! I know, it’s easier said than done sometimes, but when you’re in a frustrating situation try to turn it on its head, what benefits have happened from this situation? Usually there is one.
For example, I made someone’s morning, by scattering blueberries across the aisle, one lady found it highly hilarious because it usually happens to her. My washing machine is giving someone else some work, and working from home has allowed me to stay at home with Gabriella while she’s been poorly. But positive spiel over, and yes I’m truly utterly grateful for all that I have, but it has been one of those weeks where you just have to laugh … or drink wine!
Think I’ll do both 🙂