Sunday, 31 August 2014

Book News - Shopaholic to The Stars by Sophie Kinsella



The bit on the back...


Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood! It's as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She's hanging out with the stars . or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing.


There's so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some.er.help.

Becky sets her heart on a new career - she's going to be a celebrity stylist. Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it's tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail. But somehow...things aren't quite working out as they'd hoped.

Then Becky's big chance comes, and it's an opportunity that money can't buy. But will it cost her too much?


Release Date: 25th September 2014

Publisher: Transworld Digital



Saturday, 30 August 2014

Book News - The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop


The bit on the back...

In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Özkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's façade of glamour and success, tension is building. 

When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.


Release Date: 25th September 2014

Publisher: Headline Review




Friday, 29 August 2014

Book News - Lily Does LA by Nicola Doherty


The bit on the back...

Lily is an actress. At least, that's what she tells people, even though she's currently working in a call centre and her last big part was an ad for Sofa Warehouse. So when she's invited to her cousin Alice's wedding in LA, it's a dream come true. Alice's fiancé Sam is actually a Hollywood agent; how can Lily fail to get talent-spotted? There's only one problem; not only is Lily banned from mentioning acting, parts or producers to Sam, she's expected to spend the entire week doing wedding-related prep (read: chores) with Sam's boring groomsman Jesse. But Lily firmly believes that rules were made to be broken ...

Release Date: 25th September 2014

Publisher: Review


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Book News - The Affair: Week 1 by Beth Kerry


The bit on the back...


The Affair 
Week One


Innocent yet unconventional hospice nurse Emma Shore has secured a new position at The Breakers, the sprawling mansion of enigmatic and dangerously handsome racecar billionaire Michael Montand. Hired as caretaker for Montand's stepmother, Emma expects few complications. But one night, lost in the mansion's maze of corridors, she comes upon a woman and a man she can't identify engaged in a raw, naked interlude of sexual subjugation. Silently, from the shadows, Emma watches - shocked, appalled, and unnervingly aroused.



But Emma wonders... if this mysterious stranger is not Montand, then who is it? And what other surprises are in store for her? Night after sleepless night, she's considering the possibilities. And for the first time in her life, she's not going to run away from them.


Release Date: 16th September 2014

Publisher: Headline Eternal

Monday, 25 August 2014

Blog Tour Stop - Review of The Vineyard by Karen Aldous

The bit on the back…

It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother. She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.

But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!

Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover…


Firstly thank you to Carina UK for approving me for a copy of this to review on NetGalley and to Sharon who used to run Fiction Addiction book tours for giving me the opening stop on this blog tour! This is Karen’s debut novel.

The story is all about main character Lizzie Lambert. Lizzie, who lives in Cannes, has recently travelled back to the UK to try and reconnect with her mother but instead of the reconnection she was hopeful for everything blows up in her face and after returning to France she realises that it might not be long before she heads back to the UK once again.

Lizzie is the main character in this beautiful story and the ensemble of characters we hear from throughout the story are all pivotal to Lizzie’s story. At first I wasn’t sure what to think of Lizzie’s mother and I was immediately empathetic towards Lizzie in that situation. I think that their first encounter really gets you, as the reader, on Lizzie’s side and I think on reflection you realise that she really needs someone else to back her up.

Lizzie ends up returning to the UK upon finding out that her mother’s health isn’t great and that really changes the entire dynamic of the story. I was wary of her mother and the man who Lizzie suspected was her mother’s lover – Cal. I was wary of their motives and how their actions might affect Lizzie. The story really moves up a gear after this and you get to connect a lot more with the supporting characters in the story.

Lizzie’s son Thierry adds a special innocence to the story which balances it out as Karen broaches some sensitive family and health issues which sometimes mean that the childlike innocence can sometimes be overlooked in those situations.


The story is set between the UK and France and the French scenes are described so deliciously and fully that it feels like you are being transported there! This debut is written with a classically loving writing style which lends itself to the story. I will definitely be reading more from Karen!


About Karen



Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland and Italy would be her favourite. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!

Links - 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Review of Misbehaving in Miami by Aimee Duffy

The bit on the back…

The girls are off to a beach house to catch some rays - and if they play their cards right - super hot guys!

With drinking games in the name of Gucci, a surprise visit from a very pissed off Zack and hunks galore, Miami is turning into their best stop yet. Not to mention Ciara finally comes up with a way to have her cake and eat it too!

The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun!


This is the second book in Aimee Duffy’s Summer Flings series and we rejoin the the girls on their summer tour this time in Miami, Florida.

Florida is one of my favourite places, if not my very favourite place, on earth (that I’ve seen so far). Having said that I hated Miami when I visited it so I was looking forward to seeing it through different eyes in the story!

The girls are in Miami on the next leg of their tour and following on from the first the glitz and glamour of LA has transformed into the glamorous nightlife of Miami. This time around the girls are joined by a group of guys who flirt their way into their Miami time and their fun vacation takes a hot turn!

There was a moment where I started to become uncertain about the friendship between the three girls but I think that was just the heat getting to them!


Zack makes a surprise appearance which I was hoping for as I really felt like him and Ciara had a connection in LA so it was great to see that rekindled in Miami. I’m crossing my fingers for them for the rest of the series!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Book News - Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll


The bit on the back...

Welcome to the Hope Street Hotel – where you check in married, and check out single.

Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar. But now she's landed an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel with a difference. It's a pioneering 'divorce hotel', designed to make every aspect of breaking-up pain free – all in a single weekend.

No one is better qualified than Chloe to deal with relationships at crisis point, but, with three unhappy couples needing her help, she's forced to tackle her own secret heartbreak. Can she hold it together and prove that she's up for the job?

The hotel's opening weekend brings troubles and surprises, and it soon becomes clear that some endings can be very exciting new beginnings…


Release Date: 11th September 2014

Publisher: Avon

Friday, 22 August 2014

Book News - Ivy Lane Part 3 - Autumn by Cathy Bramley


The bit on the back...

Trust blooms at Ivy lane . . .

Life at Ivy Lane allotments is as hectic as always. With crops to harvest and weeds to tackle, Tilly is busier than ever, but she can never resist chatting with Alf, an elderly widower with top-notch turnips and many a story to tell.


When the announcement of a young offenders project sends waves of suspicion through the allotment, Alf and Tilly must persuade Ivy Lane to trust the newly arrived teenagers . . . but what secrets is Tilly keeping to herself?


With best friend Gemma to support her, Tilly must face up to her difficult memories and finally reveal what happened to change her life for ever. But can she open her heart to love at the Hallowe'en party?


Release Date: 4th September 2014

Publisher: Transworld Digital



Thursday, 21 August 2014

Blog Everyday in August Challenge - Day 21

Your ten favourite blogs

In no particular order, here are my ten go to blogs

1. Emsypickle - http://www.emsypickle.co.uk/

2. Tiny Baby Socks - http://tinybabysocks.blogspot.co.uk/

3. Becca's Books - http://beccasbooooks.blogspot.co.uk/

4. Crooks on Books - http://crooksonbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

5. Comet Babe's Books - http://cometbabesbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

6. Shaz's Book Blog - http://shazsbookboudoir.blogspot.co.uk/

7. The Love of a Good Book - http://loveofagoodbook.blogspot.co.uk/

8. Victoria Loves Books - https://victorialovesbooks.wordpress.com/

9. A Yellow Brick Blog - http://www.ayellowbrickblog.com/

10. Sky's Book Corner - http://skysbookcorner.blogspot.co.uk/

There are loads of other blogs that I visit too!!



This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com


Review of Rain Shadow Book 1 by Tess Oliver

The bit on the back…

Luke Barringer finds himself in the desert near death, unsure of his name and with no recollection of his past. As the hot sun bears down on him, his will to live slips away, but he can't close his eyes. Sleep is the enemy and now it seems he has found his own slice of hell. But through the mist of his agony, a girl's soft voice drifts over him and the sound of it draws him away from the darkness.

While riding her horse, Evangeline "Angel" Sharpe finds a man bloodied and beaten. Despite knowing that she'll be in trouble for bringing him to the Bedlam MC compound, she takes him home to tend his wounds. While the handsome stranger heals, Angel finds herself falling for him. As the mystery of his past is revealed, she helps him struggle with the truth, a truth that will lead to his true identity . . . an identity that could destroy Angel's world.


Last year, just after I started blogging I was introduced to romance author Tess Oliver. I read the first book in her Custom Culture series – Freefall, and I absolutely fell in love with her characters and writing style. I saw from Facebook that Tess was releasing a new series and I knew without a doubt that I’d be reading them!

This story is all about Luke Barringer. Luke finds himself in the desert not knowing anything about why he was there or who he even is. Evangeline finds him and brings him to her grandfather’s compound which is an incredibly risky move and so begins the story.

I loved that instantly there was mystery created because Luke doesn’t know his true identity. I really enjoyed learning about his character along with him and Angel (Evangeline’s nickname) and I liked how this developed throughout the story.

I liked Angel’s character. I loved her will to do things the right way and how much she really wanted to help Luke even though he was a stranger and she was putting herself in the direct firing line of her Grandfather’s wrath. I think she’s a bold and strong character who is at odds with her surroundings.

Throughout the story the relationship between Luke and Angel grows and turns into more than just a friendship. The change in their relationship felt like a natural progression and was sexy and passionate which also felt at odds with their gritty and violent surroundings.

The setting of the story is completely original and is very violent and dangerous. I loved how I could just accept the setting completely because the narrative is very descriptive and allows you to completely imagine yourself in that environment.

One thing I absolutely loved from the first book of Tess’s that I’d read was the dual narrative from both the male and female protagonists. I loved this because I’d never really experienced it in a romance novel before and I felt like I was getting a sneaky peak into the guys mind and feelings!


There are five books in the series in total and I will definitely be reading them all.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge - Day 20

The best thing that's happened to you this year

Well I've had a pretty good year so far, I've been to Florida, I'm about to go to London, I've just got a new car and my best friend had a baby boy!

How do you pick one of those things as the best?!



This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com

Review of Trouble In Tinseltown by Aimee Duffy

The bit on the back…

Armed with a degree from Oxford that she doesn't have a clue what to do with, Ciara Bree convinces her two best friends, Elle and Gem to spend their first summer of freedom backpacking across the globe. Now it's time to shop, sunbathe, think about boys for a change, and party hard...

First stop: LA!

The girls hit Tinseltown for a few days of shopping, star spotting, and even a movie premiere!
But their plan to sneak into an exclusive celeb party in West Hollywood backfires. Elle's gorgeous older cousin, Zack, is called to the rescue and despite knowing she should stay away, Ciara just can't seem to resist him.

The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun!


Firstly thank you to Harper Impulse for approving me for this title on NetGalley! It was recommended to me by book blogger Shaun (@bookaddictshaun on Twitter) after I posted my review of another similar read.

This is the first short stories in a romantic comedy series of shorts – Summer Flings by Aimee Duffy. The short stories follow main character Ciara Bree and her two friends as they take off travelling during their summer after graduating from Oxford.

We first meet the girls in LA where Ciara’s jaw has just dropped at the thought of staying for a few nights in one of Elle’s grandfather’s houses. The stunning LA location kicks off this summer series with a blast and give you a little insight into the luxury that Ciara should be expecting for the rest of her trip!

Ciara is on this trip of a lifetime with her two best friends from college Elle and Gem. Elle and Gem seem like high maintenance, spoiled little rich girls but actually they’re both very clever and down to earth, although not as quite as down to earth as Ciara. I like the balance that they bring to the group and think we are in for a really fun, bubbly summer tour with these girls.

Just when you think it’s going to be an all-girls holiday you’re treated to Elle’s lovely cousin Zack! Book boyfriend alert! I love Zack’s genuine concern for the girls and love his flirtatious manner with Ciara. I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops throughout the story.

The title suggests trouble for the girls and they do manage to get themselves into a few tight spots which are funny to read about and definitely set you up for the rest of the series!


The next in the series is Misbehaving in Miami!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge - Day 19

What are your 10 favourite foods?

How am I supposed to pick just ten?!?! I love food so whittling it down to just ten is difficult. It's like the question - what would your last meal be?

1. Mum's homemade macaroni cheese
2. Creme Eggs
3. Mum's homemade steak pie
4. Crispy bacon
5. Homemade apple pie
6. Cheese - especially cheese and biscuits at Christmastime
7. Chocolate and pear roulade
8. Pizza
9. Mexican
10. South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken with pilau rice and Garlic Naan!


This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com

August Book Haul

I have been a very lucky book blogger this month! I received a huge package from bookbridgr and another very very special parcel came too!

Here is my bookbridgr book post!

1. Panic by Lauren Oliver



2. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand


3. Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout


4. If You Leave by Courtney Cole


5. Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout



I also got a very very special book from my favourite author Samantha Young! Sam sent me an ARC of her next book Echoes of Scotland Street. I was so excited to read this I started it right away and I absolutely loved it! I now have a complete set of signed books from Sam's On Dublin Street series!


Monday, 18 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge - Day 18

What Do You Collect?

Is is fair to say I collect books? Because I do!

I don't think there is really one thing that I go out of my way to collect. My sister collects fifty pence pieces with different designs on them but I don't really collect anything as specific as that. Shoes and books are my weakness!




This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com

August Reading Challenge Update!

So here is what I set myself to read this month!


So far I have read Virgin by Radhika Sanghani (review 1st September) and The Vineyard by Karen Aldous (blog tour 25th August). I've also started Panic which I can tell you I am loving so far!

The reason I try to set myself these challenges every month is to try and keep my TBR on track!

Other books I've read so far this month which were outwith this 8 in the picture above are...

Rain Shadow Book 1 - Tess Oliver
Trouble In Tinseltown (Summer Flings, 1) - Aimee Duffy
Misbehaving In Miami (Summer Flings, 2) - Aimee Duffy
Echoes of Scotland Street - Samantha Young

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Blog Everyday in August Challenge - Day 17

Timeline of your day

Well today wasn't a very exciting day for me, I chilled out with my boyfriend and had a massive nap so I thought I'd timeline my day from yesterday!

Yesterday I took my boyfriend to meet my best friend's 4 month old baby for the first time. My best friend Kirsty had Logan in April this year and I have absolutely fell in love with the new addition to our lives. I am Auntie Erin and I love being an Auntie! Yesterday Logan was full of smiles and giving us all of his chat - showing off we thing because Phil was there! Here is a picture of him and his mumma. Check out Kirsty's blog here.



Phil's family is huge! Massive in fact compared to mine and I really really love it. We spent the rest of the day visiting 3 of his cousins. One of them has a 10 week old baby girl so we took baby presents down for her - some really gorgeous Next clothes! We then crossed the road to visit his other cousin who is expecting a little boy - today in fact - who has still to appear! Then finally we went to his other cousin's house for dinner. His girlfriend is also expecting a baby, a girl this time, this week!

Yesterday was all about family and babies and we had such a great day <3



Saturday, 16 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge - Day 16

If you won the lottery...

The answer to this question varies really. It depends on the amount I might win!

If I won enough to live on for the rest of my life - probably anywhere over £2m, the first thing I would do would be give up work!

I'd then look in to helping family and my best friends with debt and mortgages and then I'd probably books us all off on holiday to Florida (my favourite place!). I'd buy myself a house, a nice car - because I do love nice cars - and make my life comfortable. I'd love to have a house where family and friends can come and stay and have parties in, with a kitchen big enough to hold everyone because usually everyone ends up there at a party!

If I won under £2m I would still give up work but I'd look into retraining. I'm an accountant just now but I've always fancied being a nurse too so I would try and look into that!


This is an original feature on outmumbered.com

Friday, 15 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 - What destinations are at the top of your dream travel list?

NEW YORK! That is my absolute number one place to visit, I would love to go! I'd also like to visit most places in the states particularyl California and Texas and I'd like to visit Canada too!




this is an original feature on outmumbered.com

Book News - A Place For Us Part 2 by Harriet Evans



The SECOND of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans will reunite you with the Winter family. Part 2 is out on the 28th August, published by Headline.



Thursday, 14 August 2014

Blog Everyday In August Challenge Day 14

Day 14 - Why Do I Blog

I blog because I'm a book reviewer! I wasn't really aware how big the blogging community was until I started looking into it last year. After a little nudge from my best friend I decided to give it a go and here I am!



This is an original feature on outmumbered.com


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Blog Everyday in August Challenge Day 13

Day 13 - Share pictures of where you live!


I've also to list some cool things about where I stay (Carluke) but the only thing I can think of is it's in between Glasgow and Edinburgh and it has one of my favourite restaurants ever - an Italian called Prego!


This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review of The Summer of Jake by Rachel Bailey

The bit on the back…

Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan…

Life is just dandy for aspiring fashion designer Annalise Farley. She has a great job (or she will once her designs are discovered), parents who only slightly disapprove, a cat that thinks she’s a dog, and a best friend…even if she hasn’t seen her in a while.

But then Jake Maxwell saunters back into her life. Jake, the love god. Jake, her best friend’s older brother. Jake, who broke her heart at sixteen without realizing it, then left to become a pro surfer. Now he’s back, having taken the surfing and business worlds by storm, and he’s ready for a new challenge—catching the eye of another girl. And he wants Annalise’s help.

Helping Jake land his next girlfriend is too fraught with emotional danger for her liking, but then Jake offers to put her designs in his shops. Is that the sound of her life cracking at the seams? It’s hard to tell with Jake smiling at her like she’s the only thing that makes him happy…


Firstly thank you to Entangled publishing for approving me for a review copy of this book on Netgalley!

The story is all about two main characters Annalise and Jake. Jake is the older brother of Annalise’s best friend and her teenage crush, but years later when he insists she’s the woman to help him the force of her crush comes rushing back to her.

The story started off with the two characters getting back in touch after nearly a year and we get to see that Annalise still feels something for Jake. This sets you up for the rest of the story because instantly my interest was piqued. I was intrigued by the premise of the story because I’m quite a fan of the whole no-strings turns full on relationship storyline so I was glad to be approved for this read.

The characters take turns with the narrative which I enjoy in a book so was glad to see that here. I felt like you needed to see Jake’s side of things because his teenage feelings towards Annalise were completely unknown. It was good to see his adult feelings and then get more and more of a glimpse back to his teenage self.

Both characters have family issues with different expectations placed upon them which is something that they both struggle with. This makes them both more relatable as their lives aren’t completely perfect. Jake and Annalise had a chemistry from the beginning of the story which I think is mostly due to their past connection. I loved how the innocence of their teenage relationship had been replaced by Jake's seductive charm which made him quite swoonworthy.

The setting is sunny Australia where Jake is a well-known surf champion, and the description of the setting really brings the book to life drawing on each of your senses. The story is quite short so can definitely be enjoyed in one sitting. 

Blog Everyday in August Challenge Day 12

Day 12 A Guilty Pleasure

Geordie Shore! I love watching it even though it is the epitome of crappy TV!




This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com

Monday, 11 August 2014

2014 GBBO Challenge - Week 1

So last week saw the start of the fifth season of The Great British Bake Off! I think I have seen every series of this so far and have even watched some of the repeats! I started blogging in the summer last year and one of my very first blogging friends was London lifestyle blogger Emsypickle. We've known each other via twitter for over a year now and one of the many things we have in common is baking! During the last season of GBBO I followed Emsypickle's blog posts as she had her own bake off every week too featuring similar bakes to those seen on the show that week.



This year I've decided to bake along with my lovely friend and will be blogging alongside her throughout the series. Please make sure you check out her blog to see her bakes and also all the fun fashion, beauty and London lifestyle posts she has over there. You can check out her wonderful blog here.

I love baking but I am very much still a novice in comparison to my mum Evelyn, so I've roped her in to help me out with some of the trickier techniques that I might come across! Our ambitious first bake took all of the ideas from the bake off on Wednesday night - Cherry Cake, Swiss Roll and Miniatures!

Swiss Roll is not something I'm fond of if there is jam involved! Although I do like jam I'm not particularly fond of it in sponge cakes! First thing on Sunday morning I headed over to my good friend Google and searched for funky Swiss Roll decorations. One of the first I came across was a Swiss Roll with a giraffe pattern on it! I loved this idea and after feeding a giraffe when I was on holiday 6 weeks ago I though this one would be perfect! Here is the finished product, complete with the giraffe I bought at Naples Zoo (Florida).



I was so pleased with how it turned out all I said for about ten minutes was "I can't believe we made a giraffe!". Without a recipe to follow I used techniques from the show on Wednesday night coupled together with some old faithful Mary Berry recipes!

The yellow pattern you can see was made using some left over Victoria Sponge mix and was piped out freehand onto a lined tin then popped in the freezer to chill while I prepared the mixture for the roll. The chocolate mixture is nothing fancy, simply just a chocolate Swiss Roll mixture and was then poured into the tray on top of the chilled pattern!




Here is what you will need for the roll mixture.


4 large eggs
4oz (100g) caster sugar
2.5oz (65g) self-raising flour
1.5oz (40g) cocoa

For the filling -

3oz (75g) unsatlted butter
8oz (200g) icing sugar
a spot of milk

you will also need a 33x23cm rectangle cake tin lined with baking paper (different to grease proof paper as it has a non-stick coating, if you don't have this grease your greaseproof paper. TIP - measure your tin, it's crucial, when lining snip the paper at the corners so that it folds (see pic))



1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (ours only goes as high as 190°C)
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and frothy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out. Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture, carefully folding at the same time
3. Turn the mixture into the prepared (and patterned) tin and give it a gentle shake so that the mixture finds its own level, making sure it spreads evenly into the corners. TIP - you will probably have to use your spatula to persuade the mixture to head into the corners completely
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the sponge begins to shrink away from the edges of the tin. Be careful not to over cook as this can cause the cake to crack when you roll it
5. While the sponge is in the oven cut two sections of baking paper ready to run the cake out onto. As the pattern is on the top you will have to turn it out then switch it over so that the pattern will be on the outside when you roll it.
6. Remove your cake from the oven, inverting it onto the first baking sheet and quickly peel the paper away from the bottom of it. Covering it with the second baking sheet flip it over so that your patterned side is now face down on your work surface.
7. Trim the edges and score a mark about an inch into the cake to make it easier to make the first roll. Roll up the cake making sure you keep the paper inside, which makes it easier to unroll - if you don't the cake will stick together - and leave to cool.

After your cake has cooled, beat together the icing sugar and butter for the filling adding a little milk so that it turns into smooth butter cream, unroll your cake and spread the filling over it evenly, right to the edges so that you will be able to see the swirl. Re-roll the cake and serve (with or without a giraffe)




The other cakes on Wednesday night's show were Cherry Cake and Miniatures. Here are some snaps from our attempts at those!









Blog Everyday In August Challenge Day 11

My Five Favourite Films

This is a hard one! I love watching films and going to the cinema, usually with my best friend and there are so many that I have seen over and over again. Here are my top 5 at the minute although if I spend any longer thinking about it, it would probably change!

1. The Fast and The Furious (the whole series)



Now I am in serious love with these films. I first saw 2Fast 2Furious about 10 years ago and after watching that I watched the first film and became an avid fan of the entire series, with the exception of the 3rd film which was just ridiculous. One of the main things I love about these films was main character Brian O'Connor who was played by the late Paul Walker. I loved that guy so much, I even had a tribute on the blog after his death which I still find hard to talk about now. I haven't watched any in the series since November last year and even if I've just seen a few seconds I've been close to tears! I will have to re-watch them with my best friend before we go and see the 7th film in the cinema but I'm sure I'll have to take a box of tissues with us!


2. Pitch Perfect
3. She's The Man
4. The Blind Side
5. Dirty Dancing


This is an original feature over on outmumbered.com


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Review of Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

The bit on the back…

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble - she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life.

But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….
Maybe someday…


This book came as a recommendation to me from my lovely twitter friend Kelli. I was raving about Ugly Love having read an advanced copy to be part of the blog tour and raving about Colleen Hoover in general when Kelli recommended this to me. I am a fan of Colleen Hoover anyway after reading Hopeless, Slammed and her latest novel Ugly Love, so this story just completely reaffirmed my love of her writing.

Maybe Someday is about main character Sydney who after finding out her boyfriend is cheating on her, with her best friend and roommate no less, she temporarily moves in with handsome musician Ridge.

I have so much love for this book! I want to just go on and on and on about every single thing that I loved but I think my review would end up miles long here! Let’s take the characters to start. This beautiful book is dual POV (which I loved btw) so you really get to know both sides of the story from the two main characters Ridge and Sydney. Having this dual POV realy plays a big part in the story, which I won’t elaborate on for fear of spoiling it, but it felt almost necessary to have Ridge’s side of the story in this one in particular.

Sydney’s character was easy to get to know and like in the beginning of the story. It was also easy to have an instant empathy towards her after she finds out her boyfriend and roommate have been together behind her back. Seeing Ridge through her eyes in the beginning, from a distance, also sets you up for meeting him. Gorgeous and a musician Ridge appears to be the epitome of book boyfriend-ness with one exception - his girlfriend Maggie.

There are some big issues in this story, and one that is always either present or at the back of your mind throughout is cheating. I definitely don’t condone cheating under any circumstance however reading this story just magnifies how easy it is to be innocently seduced by a common bond and how that connection can grow into something more meaningful and complicated. One thing that sets this story line apart was the shear honesty from both Ridge and Sydney and their very admirable attempts to keep their emotions at bay.
Ridge and Sydney share an insanely intense musical connection which is so emotionally deep I could actually feel like it was pulling me towards them with a palpable magnetism. I love reading about their time spent together writing songs and making music and how singular their particular experience was. There is one huge element to this part of the story that intensifies it more than just a regular relationship but I won’t give it away, just keep your eyes peeled for it and prepare to be astounded.

There are a cast of secondary characters who we see through both Ridge and Sydney’s eyes which add to the overall story. Maggie, Ridge’s girlfriend, is perhaps the most significant as she has her own complex life, lending another element of sadness to the story. Throughout the story I started to resent her because I preferred the relationship that I could envision with Ridge and Sydney, but at the same time I admired Ridge more and more for his kindness and loyalty towards Maggie, particularly as the story started to unfold and you learned more about her circumstances.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book in any other words than to simply say I adored it. I loved the characters, writing style and story development throughout. I read it in one sitting and dare you not to do the same. Wow, just wow.

Blog Everyday In August Challenge Day 10 - 3 things you've checked off you're bucket list

I don't have a bucket list as such, I've heard people talking about things that are on their own bucket list, like learning how to ice skate or sky diving! So to reverse the question, three things I think should be on my bucket list are -

1. Visit New York
2. Read Lord of The Rings!
3. Drive a fast car


this is an original feature over on outmumbered.com