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Friday, 24 February 2017

Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard book review

*AD - GIFTED* I've got another book review to share with you all today, Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard. 

Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard book review

Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard - The blurb

Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind. The new heart-warming and heart-breaking romantic comedy from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?

On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.

Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard - review

Love Them and Leave Them follows Jessica / Jessie through her life based on the split-second decision her father, Ed, makes one night. Each chapter is either Jessicas or Jessies life, I did think flitting between the two might be confusing to keep up with but it isn't at all. I easily followed each story and didn't have any trouble remembering where each one had got up to. All of the characters through both stories were brilliant and really well described.

Both versions of the story are both heart breaking and heart warming. There were times in each I almost laughed out loud and times I was almost moved to tears. Throughout the story I tried to pick a favourite "version", yet changed my mind constantly and still can't pick.

The book is really cleverly and well written, flows perfectly and I was instantly hooked! I found myself reading it every spare moment as I just had to know what happens next.

Love Them and Leave Them is a great concept. We all have those moments in our lives where we wonder how things would have turned out if we had made a different choice...or maybe ultimately things would have eventually turned out the same way in the end? It has definitely been one of those books that has made me think about decisions I have made. And it is a book I will remember for a long time.

I'm giving Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard 5/5

You can buy Love Them and Leave Them from Amazon and you can read more about it on Goodreads here.

You can win an e-book copy of Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shephard using the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

Have you ever wondered what animal fostering is like? Or what it is like to be an animal fosterer? Today I am talking about my experience of being a kitten foster mum for a local animal rescue.

I am a huge animal lover and massively support local animal charities and rescues. Lex our rabbit is a rescue rabbit.  A local animal rescue often posts on my local areas Facebook pages and I went over to their website to look at adopting a cat. I came across the fostering section and instantly knew that was my calling. 

Once I was through all of the thorough checks I was officially ready to be an animal fosterer. I didn't have long to wait until my first delivery, a litter of 5 week old mum-less kittens. 

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

The three boys made themselves right at home straight away. They all loved nothing more than charging around the house chasing each other then cuddling up on the sofas for a sleep.

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

Within a few days they were causing mischief and were enjoying using me and Ellie as climbing posts! 

Animal fostering - life as a kitten foster mum

The rescue gave us litter and a box of food, as they rely on donations, once that had run out I did buy my own. Living with fosterers means the kittens are really well socialised and used to living in a home. As a foster mum I had to monitor what they were all eating and make sure they were using their litter tray. I took the kittens to the vets for their check-ups and injections and gave them their flea and worm treatments.

Their new adoptive families came to our house to see them and once they were reserved they had lots of updates and photos. Arranging visits with adopters was quite hard to juggle between them all and to fit around work too. But it is lovely getting to know the people who are re-homing them.

Both me and Ellie really enjoyed looking after them and having them live here for a few weeks. Unfortunately the one thing I hadn't thought through was what it would be like when they leave. There was a lot of tears from both of us! Even though we knew they were all going to lovely families it was hard to see them go.

Animal fostering is brilliant, looking after fur-babies is so much fun and knowing you are helping is really rewarding. But it is also hard work, it is a lot of responsibility and can cause you a lot of tears too.

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Friday, 17 February 2017

Veeno Selezione wine tasting event

*AD - GIFTED* Veeno, the Italian wine cafe, have a new bar in the new Wellington Place business park in Leeds City Centre. I was thrilled to be invited along to the Veeno Selezione wine tasting event last Wednesday night. The Selezione experience brings you 2 white wines, 1 rose wine, 2 red wines and 1 sweet dessert wine along with the matching authentic spuntini (appetiser platters) to match each wine.

Veeno Leeds Selezione wine tasting event

This was my first time visiting a Veeno, but the bar is gorgeous! The Wellington Place, Leeds branch is a glass fronted bar illuminated with twinkling lights in the windows. The interior is just as lovely with wooden cladding, bottle and cork decorations and it is really warm and cosy. I could quite happily spend an afternoon or night in there catching up with friends.

Veeno Leeds Selezione wine tasting event

The Veeno Selezione wine tasting event

As I mentioned above there are 6 different wines and spuntinis to the Veeno Selezione wine tasting event. Each is served separately along with a little bit of information about each wine and food platter.

Veeno Selezione wine tasting event, Leeds Wellington Place

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 1 - Our driest

The first wine is the Timpune Sicani Grillo, a dry Sicilian white wine. This is served with Mozzarella  di Buffala, buffalo mozzeralla with lettuce and bread sticks. The mozzarella was delicious and was the perfect accompaniment to the wine. This was my second favourite wine of the night.

Veeno Selezione wine tasting event, Leeds Wellington Place Timpune Sicani Grillo, Mozzarella di Buffala

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 2 - The wine of love

The second wine is the Corte Ferro Sicani Zibibbo, a white wine that Cleopatra apparently drank! This is served with Pecorino in Grotta, sheets milk cheese and baked bread sticks. The food was beautiful but this was my least favourite wine of the night, though it was my friends favourite.

Veeno Selezione wine tasting event, Leeds Wellington Place Corte Perro Sicani Zibibbo, Pecorino in Grotta

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 3 - House rose

The third wine is the Tasari Syrah, the house rose wine. This is paired with speck, smoked ham. The rose wine was lovely, I don't usually drink rose but really like this one. The ham was amazing, I could quite happily eat this all night.

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, Wellington Place Leeds Tasari Syrah with speck, smoked ham

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 4 - experts only

The fourth wine is the Sachia Sicani Perricone, a red wine with liquorish and spices. This is served with bresaola, beef with warm slices of bread. This is my absolute favourite wine and food of the selection. 

Veeno Selezione wine tasting Sachia Perricone and bresaola

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 5 - Our richest

The fifth wine is the Cutaja Le Selezione Nero d'avila Riserva a rich red wine served with gorgonzola cheese on bite size crackers. This was another wine and food pairing I really like.

Veeno Selezione wine tasting Cutaja Nero d'Avola Riserva and gorgonzola

Veeno Selezione wine tasting, 6 - Tagos

The final wine is the Tagos Grillo, a sweet dessert wine / sherry. This is served with homemade tiramisu. This was my first time trying a sweet wine but it was surprisingly nice! I couldn't try the tiramisu (I'm allergic to caffeine and have learnt the hard way it doesn't cook out in food!) but my friend said it was delicious. This was the perfect last course to finish our wine tasting night out. 

Veeno Selezione wine tasting Tagos Grillo with tiramisu

The Veeno Selezione wine tasting event is a brilliant night out. It would be great idea for a girls night out, a couples night out or even a first date. All of the wines and food compliment each other perfectly and I think everything is delicious. It costs £26.90 per person, which is good value considering the amount of food and wine you get. There are Veenos all over the UK, if you are near to one I would definitely recommend trying it out for yourself.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been on my to-do list for so long! So a few weeks ago, on a very cold, frosty but sunny day, me and Ellie finally went. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is free to enter but you do pay to park there, it is £8 for the day or £5 for 1-2 hours.

The Park is huge, around 500 acres of countryside to walk around with sculptures and things to see around it all. After looking at the map of the park we chose to walk down and around the lake.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - The Sculptures

One of my favourite sculptures we saw was this one. I think I like it so much as it reminds me of a rabbit!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

As you walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park you find sculptures set amongst it all. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - The Park

As much as the sculptures were amazing to see, walk around and touch the park itself is just stunning! I would genuinely enjoy walking around it even if the sculptures weren't there. The walk around the lake really is beautiful, especially on a cold a frosty day.  We both had a fab time looking at all the animals, walking around the woods and climbing across the stepping stones. As it is January it is very muddy at the moment. There are a few hills and slopes, but nothing I couldn't manage with my hip problems. The walk we were on probably wouldn't be suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs though.

I love this lamppost in the middle of the woods, it reminds me of a scene from Narnia.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Photographs of around the lake show just how beautiful the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is on a cold and frosty day. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Yorkshire Sculpture Park / sculptures / art exhibition

Both me and Ellie loved our day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and can't wait to go again and explore more of it.

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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves

*AD - GIFTED*  Do you struggle to get clear on what you want to achieve and stay focused? Do you need help getting into your own thoughts and feelings? Whether it is fitness, health, career or work life balance sometimes we all need a bit of help with our goals and what drives us. The new mindset workbook Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves does that. 

If you are anything like me this is the time of year when your January goals are starting to slip. I definitely need to some help in setting my goals and making them easier to achieve.

Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves

The Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves review

The Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves goal is to create a sustainable lifestyle that enables you to look and feel good. It includes different daily exercises such as goal setting, mindset habits and affirmations.  All the exercises are easy to understand, simple enough to complete daily and will be relatable to any goals. The mindset habits are great for looking after your mental health too. I love this workbook and recommend it to anyone wanting to improve themselves this year. I am going to make some time for myself every day to complete the workbook and will post again about it in a month to let you all know how I am doing.

The Mindset Guide by Lucy Locket Loves is on offer at the moment for just £4.99, its usual price will be £19.99. If you do buy this for yourself use the voucher code "helerinablogs" before you check out.

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