Saturday, 3 September 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes*


"Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time"

Louisa Clark lives a fairly simple life, and she is happy with it. She is 26, lives with her parents, sister and nephew in a small town, and works at the local cafe where she has been for the last six years. When her boss closes the cafe and she finds herself out of work, she has to start looking for a way to help support her struggling family. Eventually she settles at a new job as the secondary carer of Will Traynor, a 35 year old man who needs constant care after a motorcycle accident leaves him with a severe spinal injury. The two personalities clash, with happy, upbeat and chatty Lou not knowing how to really fit in with sullen, bitter and depressed Will, who has struggled with the adjustment from a happy, adventurous and active life to one where he faces daily challenges and pain as a quadriplegic.

Over time the pair fall into a routine and friendship, which eventually turns into a love that has many challenges to face. Although I found the book a little slow to get into when beginning, a few chapters in I found the main characters were easy to connect with which made the book super easy to finish reading and I finished the entire book of 497 pages in less than a week.

There were things I both loved and disliked about this book - overall the story is lovely and I felt that the main character grew in lots of ways. Lou was able to open herself to new opportunities in life and see her own potential, as well as mature through the book. I did find Lou's personality a little immature for 26 at the beginning, despite the fact that she held the responsibility of the main provider for her family. I also felt in a way that she much preferred to stick with what she knew even if it didn't particularly make her happy - such as her relationship with her boyfriend Patrick. By the end of the book I liked even if she still felt a little lost and didn't have strong ambitions, she had grown as a person and knew she had to experience life differently to how she had previously.

Although Will had good qualities, I disliked that he appeared as such a shallow character. It seemed that he could only view himself as a burden, and that his life wasn't worth living because of his accident as it would never compare to his life as an able bodied person. He makes so much effort to throw Lou out of her comfort zone and open her eyes to her own potential, but has a different view for himself due to his disability. I would have loved to see a really strong character with a disability, as I felt in many places throughout the book his character sent the message that it would be better to not live than to live life with a physically disabled. In the end I feel his decision was both based on the uncertainty of his quality of life, and also that he felt he was holding people back. He knew his parent's weren't living the life they would be if his accident hadn't occurred, and I think he also felt he would be holding Lou back from the things he wanted her to experience in life.

I did find it was a really great point that multiple times throughout the book it described the struggles a physical disability can bring, such as pain and sickness, harsh or unkind words and reactions from general public, and even just how difficult an outing to a public place can be. I did feel that there was also so much missing or that could have been represented also that could have maybe shared a different view of living with a disability but loved that it perhaps opened some people's eyes even a little who haven't had to experience those sorts of struggles.

I found the ending of this book to be quite predictable and could guess what was going to happen chapters before the end, but it was an ending that opened many peoples eyes to a controversial issue that they maybe hadn't considered before. I think its always great when a book or movie makes people consider a different point of view on a topic they might not have paid much attention to before and reminded me a lot of the moral dilemma from My Sister's Keeper.

Overall I enjoyed the story and would be interested to read the second book to follow Lou's character, and see if she continues to grow and stay on a new path with her life like I hope that she will. I'm also really interested to watch the movie now, and see how the characters are portrayed and how it compares to the book as I think it will be a really lovely (and heartbreaking) movie.


If you would love to grab your own copy of Me Before You to read (and let me know your thoughts!), you can find the best price through Socialbookco here.

*This book was selected by me and received through the Socialbookco Book Review Program. All book reviews are my true and honest opinion, and not influenced by socialbookco in any way.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Rock A Bye Baby Shower


My baby shower was last weekend, and I wanted to share some photos of the party! As we are having a boy this time I wanted to go with something his dad would love too, and so decided on a Rock A Bye Baby theme.

I based the decorations around the invitations I chose, which you can find here. I also purchased drink bottle labels and chocolate bars in the same design, and the owner was super lovely.


For the decor I hung up two blue plastic tablecloths, and hung a silver table skirt. Then I took some old records, and made printed new labels for them spelling BOYS ROCK and hung them along with some blue lanterns.

For the table I used our lightbox to spell out the theme, as well as a few silver table centerpieces from Kmart. I also put the water bottle stickers around some milk bottles, as well as water. As it was just afternoon tea, I put out some vege sticks and dip, meat and cheese and lavish bread wraps.


As party favors I had these amazing guitar cookies made by Cambella Cookies, and they were such a hit! They helped to bring the theme all together, and she did the most amazing job!

Overall I was so happy with how everything turned out, and this little man was super spoilt with gifts!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Plan With Me - Pretty Posh Planning White Floral Set

I've recently purchased an Erin Condren Life Planner, and have become more than a little obsessed with it! I started posting some planner photos on my Instagram and have been having fun with it, so thought I might start doing a weekly Plan With Me blog post since I love watching Youtube videos on them!

This week I chose the White Floral Set from Pretty Posh Planning as my theme, since it matched an engagement party I had on the Saturday and the stickers were so pretty! The set comes with four sheets of stickers, a full sheet of 8 checklists, a washi strip sheet, and two functional sheets containing a mix of designs including 4 full boxes, a weekend banner, flags, half checklists and boxes, icons and decorative stickers.


I decided to try white space planning for this spread as I felt like the full sticker layouts I had done ended up looking quite cluttered, and was really happy with how it turned out! Here are some pictures from before the pen using this spread.




You can view and purchase the sticker set I used by visiting Pretty Posh Planning on Etsy;
https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/277377514/white-floral-set-planner-stickers-for?ref=shop_home_active_40

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Gender Reveal

This pregnancy I decided I wasn't going to be able to be quite as patient as I was last time around, and so I went and had an early gender reveal scan at 15 weeks pregnant.

We decided we wanted to do something different from last time, so instead of balloons we used silly string for our gender reveal. 


Looks like this time around we are having a boy! I know Dave is super excited to now have both a daddy's girl and a son he can take out for boys day's too. I was happy with whatever gender, as I already know girls are super fun, but having a boy means I get to go shopping for all new baby clothes!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Surprise!



Tinkerbell had some pretty exciting news to share this week to everyone - it looks like she is going to be a big sister! 

We were lucky enough to find out on New Years Day that we would be expecting our second child in September this year - what an awesome way to start out 2016!

Tink's is still wrapping her head around the whole big sister thing, I'm not sure she quite gets it yet but I'm sure she will adjust just fine as she is a little obsessed with babies in general. 

Stay turned for some more updates throughout this pregnancy!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Top 14 Moments of 2014!

Following my usual tradition - Here is my favourtie moments of 2014! If you want to check out what made my top 13 moments last year - click here!

Little Brother's 4th July themed 21st - Even though I was actually super sick on this day, it was such a fun party and it was fun getting to dress Tinkerbell up for her first themed party - although it was freezing! (see more about the party here)


Tinkerbell's 1st Birthday - I love planning parties, and I got to go a little over the top with this one! It was so amazing watching Tinkerbell turn 1, and crazy how fast this year went!


Heading to the local Fair - Although this was for no special occasion, this was such a fun day out with a petting zoo and pony rides.


Disney on Ice - Yep, I'm a giant kid. I loved heading to Disney on Ice this year - you can read about it here.


Christmas Time - I'm a total Christmas lover. I struggle to wait until December to put up my tree, and having a child around just makes it that much more fun!


Perth Zoo - We bought a season pass to Perth Zoo, and all of our trips there have been such a good memory this year - even if we went just because we were going a little stir crazy and needed to get out of the house! You can see more of our zoo visits here.


Enrolling in Beauty School - It is super daunting to consider I won't be spending 2015 as a stay at home mum, but I'm also super excited that I enrolled in a Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services - the highest makeup qualification you can get in Australia! Although I haven't started yet, enrolling in the course was still one of my highlights for the year.


AQWA - Heading on a day out to AQWA was one of the most special trips we took - becuase it was the first thing Tinkerbell was super interested in, and was in awe of all the sea life! You can see more about it here.


Photoshoots in the Park - Because I'm THAT mum, I have loved having a cute baby to dress up and take over to our local park for a mini photoshoot whenever the mood strikes!


Getting Inked - I'm no stranger to tattoos, but in 2014 I got what is my biggest tattoo yet - three roses and filigree on my shoulder. I really love it and am so happy with it! I also headed in with my husband and we both got Tinkerbell's name on us - his first tattoo!


Being there for little moments - I'm so super thankful that I got to spend 2014 as a stay at home mum, and to be present for all of the little moments & milestones. Babies really grow so quick, and I'm so glad I didn't have to miss anything by having to return to work.


Having a heard of guinea pig minions - Ok, so not quite, this is actually our first family trip down south in Margaret River - our fave getaway place.


Australia Day - We spent Australia Day hanging out at our local beach, with a very small baby! It was an awesome outing though, and we were feeling much more confident heading out after 6 weeks as parents


Grease is the Word - A baby free night is pretty rare for me, so I was super excited to head out and see Grease is the Word, it was so much fun and a great night out. You can read about the show here.


I hope that everyone has an amazing 2015, there is just something super special about a New Year!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Little Innoscents Products


One of the great ranges I love is Little Innoscents. They are an Australian made company, and use natural organic ingredients in all their products. They are also free from parabens and chemicals so can be used on sensitive skin. I received their Travel Pack as a present at my baby shower, and I fell in love with the range.

The travel pack contains 30mls of each product, which is the perfect size to carry around in the baby bag, and have enough product so that you don't run out after two uses like some sample size products!

Moisture Rich Body Lotion


Baby massage is something that I used to love doing before Tinkerbell started rolling and squirming around her change table. This lotion also absorbs into the skin well, and doesn't leave a sticky residue.

Little Innoscents describes this product by saying;

"Combining luscious oils of Sunflower, Avocado and the moisturising benefits of Shea Butter, this luxurious lotion is suitable for all skin types, and is especially perfect for sensitive skin and is beautifully scented with floral Ylang Ylang."


Winter Blues Vapour Balm


My favourite product from their range, the Vapour Balm is helps when Tinkerbell gets a blocked nose. It has a mild, refreshing scent that I like to rub into her chest at night when going to sleep. I also tend to grab this to put under my nose when I get sick too!

Little Innoscents describes this product by saying;

"Made with medicinal essential oils of Wintergreen and Eucalyptus in a fresh balmy base, it brings warmth to the body and helps your baby to breathe by alleviating nasal congestion… so you can get rid of that stuffy little nose!"


Intensive Soothing Cream


This nappy cream not only works for nappy rash, but also insect bites and rashes. It contains a mild astringent and antiseptic,  so helps to ensure healing while Aloe Vera helps to soothe any irritation.

Little Innoscents describes this product by saying;

"All ingredients in this rich healing cream are 100% natural with nutritious Shea Butter as a base and healing Calendula extract and Rosewood essential oil as the therapeutic components."


Hair & Body Wash


This hair & body wash is low suds, and is made for sensitive skin that is gentle on eczema and psoriasis. The travel size is also perfect to keep in the baby bag in case we get caught out and about needing a bath.

Little Innoscents describes this product by saying;

"This fresh gel is bursting with essential oils of Spearmint, Sweet Orange and Lavender and is deeply cleansing."

Overall from this brand, my pick has to be the Winter Blues Vapour Balm! This is something I will repurchase for sure, and will make sure I'm stocked up on each winter from now on.

The travel pack retails for $19.99. For more information visit http://littleinnoscents.com.au/