How To Improve Your Financial Health

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Financial health
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How to improve your financial health

Having healthy finances will set you up for life and protect you in your later years. Being able to manage your finances well is a great skill to have and something which if you learn early on in life will mean you have less stress and more enjoyment throughout your days.

It’s so easy for people to lose control of their spending and to plunge into debt that seems impossible to get out of (see creditfix.co.uk for help with debt and budgeting). The trick is to try to plan accordingly and work around any potential issues you may have with money before they become real problems that impact your daily life – easier said than done, right? Here we are going to delve into how to improve your financial health…

Reduce your outgoings


Reducing your expenses is easier than you think and there are several ways that you can do it.

Firstly, spend less than you earn. It sounds obvious, but many people do not adhere to it and instead make the mistake of living beyond their means each month.

Also, if there are any bills that you can negotiate a lower rate for then you can speak to the utility companies or product providers and ask for a more basic package or move to a different one who can offer a cheaper deal.

You should also consider the rule of ‘need versus want’. If you want to get serious and make your money work harder for you, then you should focus on what you need to spend money on and what you can do without.

Put some money away for a rainy day

However, putting it away in a savings account also means that it is insured in the event of an unfortunate event such as a fire or flood. So, if you are saving for anything in particular whether it is a wedding or holiday, or for retirement, you need to ensure this money is not at risk.


Learning how to save money and put it aside for when you need it is crucial to any personal finance plan. You are less likely to spend it if you put it away in a savings account, meaning that it is protected for your future.


We all have goals in mind for our finances, but before we know it, another month has passed and we have not done anything about them. Instead, we are likely to have spent our salary yet again and not have done anything about our long term goals.

Therefore, the sooner we write down these goals and create an action plan to take steps towards them, the more likely we are to achieve them.

Set financial goals

To start, it could just be what you want to achieve in the next year or be towards something tangible such as buying a house or car. Then, later on, you might want to look at long term goals such as creating a pension fund or a college fund for your kids.

These tips should set you up for better financial health both in the short term and long term so that if you apply them sooner rather than later, you can start benefitting from them straight away.

*This is a collaborative post

Welcome To Your Period – Book Review

We received Welcome to your period by Yumi Stynes & Dr Melissa Kang to review, published by Little Tiger. Eva turned 10 this year and whilst we have spoken about periods regularly, every girl has questions they don’t quite know how to ask and this book covers it perfectly!

Welcome to Your Period


Written by Yumi Stynes & Melissa Kang and illustrated by Jenny Latham.


Getting your period for the first time can be mortifying, weird and messy – and asking questions about it can be even worse. But it doesn’t have to be like that!


Packed with honest advice on managing Aunt Flo like a boss, WELCOME TO YOUR PERIOD inducts pre-teens into the secret society of menstruation: from demystifying what cramps feel like, to whether you can feel it coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks on to your dress. With equal measures of warm, big-sisterish wisdom and medical myth-busting, there are tons of case studies, first-person accounts and questions, making it the must-have book for every pre-teen.


Pub Date: 3 September 2020 Price: £8.99 ISBN: 9781788952941

Our Thoughts

With Eva getting older, periods are something that she needs to understand so I was interested to see what she thought of this book. She sent me her thoughts which made me think this book really is perfect and a must have for all girls. Eva didn’t really know what to expect when receiving this book to review.

Eva’s Thoughts

Welcome to your period is a book that explains your period step by step and answers only with the truth. From content to index it provides 100% of period information that all readers would read. It explains things such as calming you down to all about pads tampons and more.

I’d recommend this book to 10 year olds onwards. I liked this book because I am starting puberty myself, and I was petrified about all the changes. I like how the writers include advice throughout the book. #

Though it might sound a bit silly, I was a bit scared of the underwear with faces!🤣🤣🤣 I hope all future readers will be able to read this and calm down, keep strong and enjoy life while it lasts. 

Overall we both agree it is a great book full of lots of useful information and tips to help young girls cope with periods and covers any questions they may have. Eva can find talking about the body a bit strange even though we do discuss the body regularly. This fun book has definitely helped her prepare better and answer questions she didn’t realise she had on the topic.

How to save for your child’s future

How to save for your childs future. Pink piggy bank surrounded by coins.
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Children grow up fast. Parents and guardians around the world know the feeling of realising that, out of nowhere, their child will be a teenager soon, and that they will begin to be interested in things like college and cars and flying the family nest. The issue is that helping to fund your child’s transition into young adult life isn’t cheap, and if you leave it too late, you could find that there isn’t enough money to go around.

One way to begin saving is with an ISA specially set up for children, whereby the money you pay in belongs to the child and cannot be accessed until they are an adult. Check out this junior investment isa info for more details. Now let’s continue with ways to save for your child’s future, because your little one is going to grow big with big plans to match!

The Used Toy Fund

If your child has accumulated many toys, and if those toys are taking over your house, you can use this as a way to make money and save for their future. Here’s how it works. First, agree with your child that perhaps seven or eight toys is the maximum number your child needs to own. Next, sell all the other toys (you can do this quickly using social media marketplace tools – generally, the buyer will even drive to your house to pick up the goods).

Add to this money each time your child wants a new toy, by selling a toy to make space. Although this sounds like a slow way to make money, you could be looking at replacing all seven or eight toys once per year, creating long-term savings that add up (first cars don’t buy themselves, for example, and the money saved from selling used toys can make a difference).

Ask For Birthday Money

Family and friends may be generous enough to buy birthday presents for your child. However, spending money on things that your child will only pick up once before storing under their bed (never to be seen again) is a waste of money. Instead, encourage your friends and family to make a donation towards your child’s future. Ask for a small amount and pull on their heart strings, saying that the money will go towards things like education. If you don’t ask for the money, you won’t get it. You have to be straightforward.

Your Own Savings

Setting up your own savings account is quick and easy. A mistake that many people make is to convince themselves that they can’t afford to save very much per month, so it won’t be worth it. But this isn’t true.

Even if you can only save a small amount, times that number by twelve for your yearly saving. Now, times that yearly number by eighteen for the eighteen years you will be saving towards your child’s future. That’s not too shabby a number now, is it? Certainly enough for a second hand car, and probably quite a few extras besides!

*This post is a collaborative post.

Picking Back Up

I’m slowly picking back up with the blog and life in general after the COVID-19 lockdown madness. Like many others, the blog took a back seat while my family and close friends became my main focus. So much has happened though so I guess its time for an update!

Birthdays

I normally blog about the girls birthdays but it didn’t feel right this year. We still celebrated but it really wasn’t the same! Martyn and Hannah usually have us over and we have a BBQ for the kids birthdays which we really missed. Eva turned 10 this year so it sucked we couldn’t take her somewhere nice, we did however have a lovely day and Eva was thrilled to be included in birthday shoutouts by some of her favourite authors and illustrators. She was also sent a book by Jeff Norton, which we must get round to reviewing as she loves it!

By the time Izzy’s birthday came around we had at least planned a day of films, playing and crafting knowing it would be a quiet day. She was utterly spoilt by friends and family too and loved getting a new bike to race Eva on!

I turned 30 not long after Izzy’s birthday, usually we don’t do much. Birthdays are for the kids really, however we did have a lovely meal and some friends gave me birthday money which I spent on yarn, of course!

Relentlessly Crocheted

During lockdown I began to focus a lot more on my crochet. I had already set up an Instagram account and a Facebook page for my crochet but hadn’t really built up the confidence to really work on it.

Ember sat in the sunshine crocheting a rainbow blanket wearing a burgandy hoodie that says 'Sorry not sorry' on the front.

I started off by doing lots (over 200) of random acts of crocheted kindness, mostly making little heart or flower keyrings and hiding them wherever we went. I have had so many lovely messages from finders and I hope those who don’t use social media enjoyed their finds too. I will continue to do this as its such a lovely idea and it uses up my scraps and great to make on the go too. I’ve become the bag lady, hauling around a bag of yarn and hooks wherever I go haha!

Outside of random acts, I do want to take Relentlessly Crocheted and hopefully turn it into a fully fledged small business. I have been practising new techniques where I can, asking friends for ideas to challenge myself alongside making a few requests as gifts. My butterflies were so loved and it gave me such a confidence boost!

Contact From My Sister

So I suppose the biggest news of all this year is my sister making contact with me. We lost contact when Eva was a baby, due to falling out for the final time with my mother and issues I had with our dad, I cut myself off thinking it would be best all round. I wanted to stay in contact but felt it was inappropriate to try and stay in touch when I wanted nothing to do with our dad. Alongside all my mental and physical health problems too, I didn’t want a young child being dragged into stressful situations.

Ember sitting next to her sister Sheaylam, both smiling with purple butterflies around their face from a filter.

I had actually hoped when Sheayla was older she would contact me again but equally knew there was a chance she would feel abandoned by me and never want to talk to me again, fully understandable. Thankfully she is now 17, old enough to make her own choices and we’ve been in contact for about 4 or 5 months now!

Getting To Know Sheayla

It’s been lovely getting to know Sheay, I taught her how to crochet too and she’s set up her own page in the hopes of gaining some business which I’ve no doubt she will. She picked up crochet like a pro!

Sheayla is standing with arms around Eva and Izzy all smiling in the park

It is kind of strange getting to know someone who is very similar to yourself, but it means we get on quite well too which is nice. The girls absolutely love her and she is so good with the girls, understands when i explain one of them struggling or stressing over something and genuinely seems to care about them.

I love that they run to her for a hug when they see her, they get so excited and my soppy side loves that they finally have that from a blood relative. It hasn’t always been easy knowing my girls have very little family around them and something I often beat myself up over, but I know their safety and wellbeing is being put first.

Sheay has an older brother Karl, he is technically my step-brother as her mum and my dad married. I used to get on really well with Karl, we randomly ended up on the same college course for two years which is how I even discovered I had a sister in the first place!

I’ve also been meeting up with Karl which has also been lovely, we have quite a laugh being silly. We’ve been meeting up for hot chocolates to help me get out of the flat more and it’s been nice feeling like the old me again.

Moving Forward

I thought most of this post would be quite depressing but actually I’ve highlighted some of the better parts. It HAS NOT been easy though by any means. I feel lucky we weren’t impacted as badly as some throughout all this though, I have really struggled at times, worrying about finances, the girls being wobbly (Especially Eva!), trying to get back into a routine when I enjoyed the lockdown part because I’m part hermit, but I do realise it could have been much worse.

I guess for the time being Covid is here to stay and things will be a bit weird for a while but I am focusing on moving forward. I want to get back into blogging, I love to write! I want to build up Relentlessly Crocheted so I get an order or two a week, I’m hoping I can keep on building a good relationship with Sheayla and most importantly I want to keep working on improving my mental health. I coped well for a good 5-6 months during lockdown but that final month, not knowing if things would change again, has left me feeling a little lost.

Getting Out

One thing I’m determined to work on is getting out of the flat more! Ken is always encouraging me to have some time to myself, go out, treat myself and I let anything and everything get in the way of that. I see anything that goes wrong as a sign I don’t deserve it and I really need to change that mindset. Usually my lack of local friends makes it impossible but having Sheay and Karl around is a start and whilst I did take a hit first, I have kept pushing myself during the dark days to reach out and plan something.

One thing I am REALLY looking forward to is this weekend! I have a girly weekend planned with Fiona and Lisa, who have honestly kept me going so much through this year. We plan to eat lots of cheesecake, drink lots of cuppas and relax a bit. I’m so excited I even bought new boots haha!

Overall 2020 is definitely one of the stranger years we’ve experienced but memories have still been made and very slowly we are all picking back up again.

Reasons to Quit Smoking Today

cigarette close up log outdoors - reasons to quit smoking
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Reasons To Quit Smoking Today


For a long time smokers, the thought of never lighting up one of those white sticks again can bring feelings of concern and anxiety. While it can be difficult to give up the crutch that is the cigarette, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Being able to push forward and make that change can have a drastic effect on your life and future.


You don’t need to give up everything all at once. Cutting down or, better yet, switching to vaping, (find e-liquid on 88vape), can help you on your journey towards becoming tobacco free. While some can simply stop smoking without much ordeal, it is more of a challenge for others. Due to this, you need to see the coming days and weeks as your own personal journey, and avoid comparing any side effects or emotions you might have to that of any other person.


Health


As science advances, we are steadily being given more information regarding just how toxic cigarettes are for the body. Despite the fact that smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer, people still take up the habit.

For those who have a genetic predisposition to cancer due to a family member having it, it is even more important that any smoking is removed.
Even for those who do not have a history of cancer in the family, you can greatly improve your chances of a longer life when you switch out the cigarettes. While there hasn’t been sufficient time to be able to conduct as in-depth studies on vaping, research is already showing that it benefits those who are trying to ditch their tobacco habit.


Children


Studies have found that the offspring of smokers are more likely to smoke themselves. While you can never guarantee what your child will do, especially when they become autonomous adults, any parent wants to make choices that will positively impact their child’s future. For this reason, it is important that you quit smoking as soon as possible. Even if you already have children, stopping now can still show them that it was a foolish life choice on your part.


Finances


Smoking costs a lot of money. In a society where the prices of everything you need to survive are constantly rising, it can be more beneficial to remove any unhealthy habits and keep that money for something more essential. A year’s worth of cigarettes can cost the same as a decent second-hand car, or even a holiday abroad for a family of four. Bearing that in mind, quitting smoking could help free up your finances for things that really matter.


Choosing to quit smoking may not seem like a big deal, but it can have a massive effect on your life. From better lung capacity to a lower risk of sudden death, as well as more money in the bank, you may end up wondering why you didn’t quit sooner!

*Brand Collaboration*

Crane Fly By Kelly-Marie Pollock

Crane Fly by Kelly-Marie Pollock is a Nova Morgan Novella. Throughout the trilogy we see through the eyes of Nova Morgan. With this fantastic Novella – Crane Fly, you see things through the eyes of Bucky. You can read my reviews of Kelly-Marie’s other books and poetry here.

Crane Fly By Kelly-Marie Pollock front cover

Crane Fly

A Nova Morgan Novella 

Synopsis

All Bucky O’Dare has ever wanted is an easy life. But after meeting fiery red-headed vampire, Nova Morgan, he realises his life will never be the same again.

The world of the Inflicted Kin is full of darkness, something Bucky is becoming increasingly more aware of, especially after the charred corpse of local Brothel Madam – Lady Jaine turns up complete with a shiny dagger lodged in her chest.

Bucky realises there’s a new player in town, one who may just make Soul seem saintly.

With Nova and Ruth off world, it’s down to him to unravel the mystery and figure out who is killing off the local working girls and why.

But Bucky is treading a dangerous path, one that may just see him end up as another stiff on the morgue table.

For the wrath of the wicked is nothing compared to the wrath of a vengeful brother.

Content Warning; Contains Profanity, violence, Prostitution, Drug References and Torture.

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

My Thoughts

I was honestly so excited for Crane Fly and really couldn’t wait to read from Bucky’s point of view. Honestly, I thought it would answer a few questions for me… I was totally wrong, instead, I’m left with even more questions and left wondering just what happens to Bucky!?

It’s safe to say the The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy and Crane Fly take you to a unique world where you feel utterly absorbed. Each book is written as if the characters were in the room with you. It’s amazing how strongly the characters personalities shine through.

Kelly-Marie Pollock has once again smashed it! Creating a story line that has you gripped until the very end and leaves you wanting more. When I realised I had reached the end i was devastated, I need to know what happens next! It took a full evening of crochet therapy to get over having to wait until the next book now.

Author Bio

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is  a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger. You can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk

Death Bringer is the second novel  in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Death Bringer By Kelly-Marie Pollock Book Tour

After sharing the Death Bringer front cover with you all in my last post, today I’m joining in with the book tour too. Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan, following on from Cherry Nova.

Content warning – contains adult themes such as; Sex  Drug use, Profanity and Violence.

Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock

Death Bringer

Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra. 

In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective Maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out. 

From streetworker to rebellion leader, is her path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game. 

Content warning – contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence. 

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

My Thoughts

As with Cherry Nova, I was instantly drawn into the story, unable to stop until I was done (a welcome escape during lockdown!).

Nova Morgan has very little time to enter the realm of Hindra to free Detective Maximus Steelers and she knows she will face all kinds of trouble along the way. Having raised an army with the help of a banished witch and a drug addicted warlock, they set off to find the gates of Hindra.

Whilst they find the gates of Hindra, they come across countless challenges along the way and once through the gates. This leaves Nova constantly questioning herself and wondering why she was labelled Lady of Death and if she an really free Detective Maximus Steele.

Nova faces such an array of challenges along the way, testing her mentally and physically. Entering an entirely different, magical realm is one thing, attempting to take over an entire council is another! I can’t recommend Death Bringer more, I haven’t come across a story line like this in years and I am completely hooked! It’s safe to say I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the third book in the trilogy too.

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams.

Kelly-Marie is a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk


Death Bringer is the second novel in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock – Cover Reveal

Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy. I’m really excited to take part in this cover reveal having read Cherry Nova, the first book in the trilogy! Kelly-Marie has also written a fantastic collection of poems called Forever Blue.

Death Bringer By Kelly-Marie Pollock Cover reveal

Death Bringer

Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra. 

In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out. 

From streetworker to rebellion leader, is her path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game. 

Content warning – contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence. 

Front and back cover of Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pocllock

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

Word/page count: 336

Publication Date:  20th May 2020

Kelly-Marie Pollock - Author of the Nova Morgan Trilogy and Forever Blue, a collection of poems.

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is  a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk

Death Bringer is the second novel  in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Praise For Cherry Nova

“An amazing book couldn’t put it down. Well written and kept me in suspense can’t wait for the next one. Well recommended.”


“Cherry Nova is an exceedingly strong debut novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s full of action, twists and turns which all combine to make it a real page turner and I certainly can’t wait to see what happens to Nova next, especially as Pollock has left things poised so perfectly with a teasing cliff- hanger! Parts of the book are quite dark, but for me the there is an overriding message of hope that runs beneath the surface which kept me rooting for Nova throughout. Cherry Nova is more than just your run of the mill Vampire tale, its roots run much deeper and I’m sure its story would resonate with readers on so many different levels. Highly recommended by me and I hope Kelly hurries up with book two as I’m desperate to read it!”


“I immersed myself in a world that I never knew existed. I was riveted from the moment I opened this books pages to read it. I found this book very hard to put down! If you like vampires, an adult theme and fantasy, this is the book for you! Looking forward to the next book!”


“If Stuart Macbride and Simon Kernick joined together to write a fantasy novel….you would get Cherry Nova. Kelly writes with her foot firmly pressed down on the pedal whilst still giving you characters that are all unique and loveable. Despite the fast pace of this book it still gives you a bit of time to breath after each tragedy. The world that Kelly has created here is commendable. I don’t remember enjoying a book of this nature as much as I have since Stan Nicholls Orcs series. I look forward to the second addition.”


Cherry Nova, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy is rated 5* on both Amazon and Goodreads, available to purchase via Amazon and The Book Depository, free to read for Kindle Unlimited users.

Purchase Links

Cherry Nova Amazon UK

Cherry Nova Amazon US

Cherry Nova Book Depository

Forever Blue Amazon UK

Death Bringer PRE ORDER

Easy World Book Day Crafts

We’ve made easy World Book Day crafts in collaboration with Viking. Our crafts involve using old books and craft supplies provided by Viking to help us out.

Easy World Book Day Crafts

We love books and usually wouldn’t dream of cutting them up but sometimes, some books are just beyond saving. We dug around our local charity shops to find a few books we could use that were falling apart, drawn on or just generally in a bad condition.

old books

Unfortunately we were quite limited as our charity shops had very few old books that we felt were worth taking apart but we did manage to change find a lovely old children’s nursery rhyme book which we used for inspiration (and it’s pages!).

1. Bookmarks

Book lovers can never have too many bookmarks, what better way to make them than by using old books? Viking provided us with a few loose pages from an old dictionary so we used these to create bookmarks.

We simply cut a strip of card to the size of a standard bookmark, folded the book page in half, cut it and stuck it to both sides of the card. We then used plastic book wrap to protect the paper from water damage.

Easy world book day crafts - Bookmark. Photo shows a bookmark with faded book pages on it with 'Bookmark' stamped on in black ink

Viking also provided us with an ink pad and letter stamps and Eva decided adding Bookmark would make it stand out more, so we gave it a go. You could try stamping quotes on too!

This craft took just a few minutes and turned a ‘useless’ loose book page into a lovely bookmark that can be used over and over.

2. Gift Tags

Using the same method as we used to create the bookmark, we also created gift tags. Again glueing book pages to both sides of a piece of card, punching a hole in one end and stamping on the recipients name. I love this and think they would look lovely on a gift wrapped in brown paper too!

. Gift tags made using old book pages with the names 'Eva' and 'Izzy' stamped on them in black ink and a black heart stamped in all four corners

3. Nursery Art Work

Izzy wanted to create a picture using a nursery rhyme from a very old children’s book. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is one of Izzy’s favourites. She quickly got to work cutting out the title, image and words to the rhyme. Using dark blue card she stuck these down, used some star and planet stickers and created a moon using chalk.

Izzy's twinkle twinkle art

Viking included a lovely golden frame which was perfect for this piece Izzy created. I think it’s really cute and you could use any nursery rhyme and children’s book quotes.

World book day craft - framed picture on blue card with 'Twinkle, twinkle little star' title, image and words cut out and stuck on. These are surrounded by gold stars

While Izzy made her nursery rhyme piece, I decided to make a similar piece using Winnie The Pooh Stencils to cut out shapes from book pages to create another cute piece for a nursery. Cute art work for a nursery doesn’t have to cost a fortune when you have old books and some card lying around!

World book day craft - P is for Pooh made using book pages and coloured card. Pooh is sitting on the grass (green torn card lining the bottom) along with the letter P, clouds  heart and a bee cut from book pages stuck on a blue background.

We had a few other ideas which we will share another time when we come across the right books.

Have you ever used old books to make art before?

The Gene Wizards By Clare Blanchard – Blog Tour

I received The Gene Wizards by Clare Blanchard to review as part of the Damp Pebbles Blog Tours.

The Gene Wizards By Clare Blanchard Book Cover

The Gene Wizards

It’s bad enough you’re from a family of rich bankers, without having to deal with secret genetic engineering factories in the Dakotas.

Especially when you wake up one morning after a tab of E and find you’re thinking in Hebrew.

Follow the adventures of the Vanpyre family as they wrestle with the Dark Side of money and power.

My Thoughts

The second book in the Wizards series – The Gene Wizards is a great read. I haven’t read the first book in the series but The Gene Wizards works well as a stand alone book.

You are instantly thrown into the the Vanpyre family history as told by Curfew the son. He quickly goes on to explain how that this is the story of how they saved the world from one of the worst crimes in human history. Curfew tells how this happens with the help of an Asian butler, multi-player computer games and the mind minders.

The story is quite intriguing although Curfews drug use makes you wonder if he is telling the truth or is actually insane.

Clare Blanchard

Originally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in Czechia in Central Europe, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by noir fiction, her settings are often like another character in the plot. She writes crime mysteries and dark urban fantasy with a historical twist.

Clare loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.