A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Summer Sale, Bringing some Offers for my Readers

I am an affiliate for quite a few programs and lately I’ve seem some great Summer Sale offers that I’d like to share with you. All links are affiliate so if you see something you like and click through to buy then I may earn a little money. This is at no extra cost to you, so thank you for supporting my blog.

Sunglasses

You may be thinking it’s a little late for sunglasses, or you may be planning on a trip to a sunnier climate. I love a good bargain when it comes to sunglasses and now Hawkers have a great sale on with styles to suit everyone.

These are pretty and reduced from £29.99 to just £19.99.

summer sale, sunglasses

Craft Stash

There are some fabulous bargains to be had at Craft Stash but you have to be quick as the sale is only on for a week.

Buy 1, get the 2nd for only a penny! Use code PENNY at the checkout.

Up To £5 Off selected Magazine Kits

25% Off Selected Pens, Pencils & Art SuppliesWith code: BTS

Up To 40% Off Clairefontaine

Centre of Excellence

I’m a big fan of The Centre of Excellence for all sorts of educational courses and they have some special offers on kids courses at the moment.

You can use my code RAISIEBAY466 for 70% off any of the courses. But they also have a lot of children’s courses on sale for £29.99.

There are also some fabulous animal courses that you could use my discount code on.

Start Right

It is the time of year when parents are looking for back to school shoes and you may be able to find some in the Start Right Summer Sale. You’ll need to be quick though and there are not many sizes left. Start Right are a still a good place if you are looking for school shoes though, and if you need to buy online they sell foot measuring gauges. You can also get free delivery on school shoes and sign up to the newsletter for a discount and special offers!

Dotty Fish

If you are looking for Baby Shoes then Dotty Fish are absolutely adorable. They currently have a summer sale on their gorgeous sandles. But that’s not all, you can get 20% off accessories with the code GIVEME20 and Free UK Delivery.

summer sale sandles for babies,

The Pen Shop

Maybe you are looking for a special pen for a special person or you would like to treat someone with a back to school or university gift. The pen shop has a sale on.

Parker IM Black Chrome Trim Fountain Pen and Ball Pen Set – Was £63.00 Now Only £36.00!

Cross Calais Black Fountain Pen – Was £42.00 Now Only £33.60!

Cross Beverly Translucent Red Fountain Pen – Was £42 Now Only £33.60!

Free Delivery on order over £20!

Thanks for reading, I’ll keep looking for offers for you.

A Place to Read

The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin – book review

I wanted something nice to read on holiday, so I put away the thrillers and horror books and settled on a nice story, with my favourite kind of narrator, one with an Irish accent. The book I chose was The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin.

This post contains affiliate links so if you click through and purchase anything I may earn a little money at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for supporting my blog.

By: Ella Griffin
Narrated by: Deirdre O’Connell
Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-10-17
Language: English
Publisher: W. F. Howes Ltd

The Blurb

Daydreamer Nora has inherited all of her grandmother’s worldly belongings.

Nora dreads seeing her beloved grandmother’s possessions go, but she’s determined that item by item, memory by memory, she will find the perfect new owners.

When she opens The Memory Shop in the front of her grandmother’s house, the community is gradually drawn inside, and Nora begins transforming the lives of those around her through the objects she pairs them with.

My Review of The Memory Shop

I listened to the book on Audible. I always advise people to listen to a sample first to make sure you are happy with the narrator. The story was perfect for my holiday, it was a gentle, heart warming story, tinged with sadness. I felt for all of the characters in the story and I thought Ella Griffin did an amazing job linking the stories together and showing you the other side. I don’t want to give too much away, but the main character, Nora, helps a lot of people which has a knock on effect to other people in their lives. Nora does give thought into what she is selling to whom and why, but she doesn’t really know the effect the purchases are having on the person’s life.

Nora’s life doesn’t start off too well when she finds her long standing boyfriend in bed with her best friend and business partner. Going off to Ireland to sort out her grandparents estate comes at just the right time.

The ending was lovely with all the little pieces being tied up together like a beautiful gift from Nora’s Memory Shop. I really enjoyed this book and it was a lovely holiday read. Perfect to pick up at any time and continue the story.

You can also buy The Memory Shop on Amazon.

bookworms monthly linky
A Place to Read

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz

I haven’t read any of Dean Koontz for a long time but I quite fancied the idea of a bit of sci-fi mixed with horror so The Other Emily caught my eye. This post will contain affiliate links.

The Other Emily, Dean Koontz
By: Dean Koontz
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 23-03-21
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

The Blurb

A decade ago, Emily Carlino vanished after her car broke down on a California highway. She was presumed to be one of serial killer Ronny Lee Jessup’s victims whose remains were never found. 

Writer David Thorne still hasn’t recovered from losing the love of his life, or from the guilt of not being there to save her. Since then, he’s sought closure any way he can. He even visits regularly with Jessup in prison, desperate for answers about Emily’s final hours so he may finally lay her body to rest. Then David meets Maddison Sutton, beguiling, playful, and keenly aware of all David has lost. But what really takes his breath away is that everything about Maddison, down to her kisses, is just like Emily. As the fantastic becomes credible, David’s obsession grows, Maddison’s mysterious past deepens – and terror escalates. 

Is she Emily? Or an irresistible dead ringer? Either way, the ultimate question is the same: What game is she playing? Whatever the risk in finding out, David’s willing to take it for this precious second chance. It’s been ten years since he’s felt this inspired, this hopeful, this much in love…and he’s afraid.

My thoughts on the Audio Book.

I listened to The Other Emily on Audible and I thought the narrator was pretty good, apart from when he was speaking the women’s parts, but that’s understandable. He read the book in an eirie way which gave just the right amount of scariness. I found myself listening as much as I could, if it were a book it would definitely be a page turner.

My Thoughts on the Story

I do like the mix of sci-fi and horror even if it’s not for everyone. I thought some of the storyline was much like Silence of the Lambs, with just the right amount of terror in the interviews with a psychopath and the trapped in the house of horror scenes. The ending was were the sci-fi parts kicked in and it was a little baffling. I found myself from being scared to wondering what the heck was going on. If you engage fully with the story though and think about the reasons behind the plot then it makes more sense and is actually quite thought provoking.

The main character was likeable if a little weird and obsessive. The psychopath was portrayed really well, but the other characters kind of faded into the story, even the elusive Maddison, or the other Emily was not very endearing and you felt little for what happened to her.

If you want a story that will get you thinking, keep you reading (or listening) give you a scare and frazzle your brain at the same time, then this might be the story for you.

bookworms monthly linky

Are you a fan of Dean Koontz?

What have you read this month, pop along to my linky using the image above for my Monthly Book worm link up.

A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly August Join our Link Up

Hello, Welcome to BookWorms Monthly August. Phew, the UK had a bit of a heatwave in July, perfect for getting your books out and reading in the shade.

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly
Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly August book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

This is the bookworms monthly link up forAugust, you can see the last link up for July here.

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

Uncategorized

This is Not Just Hand Soap, Choose well Review

I was asked to review some hand soap and I was really impressed with Choose Well and their lovely ethical hand soaps with a purpose.

Four bottles of choose well hand soap, rose geranium, botanical orang, cedarwood and sage and Almond and Vanilla.
Four bottles of Choose Well Hand Soap

There’s power and purpose in every purchase

The large 500 ml bottles are all 100% recyclable and you can also buy refill packets which work out at better value and have even less waste. You can even choose to buy a glass bottle to use with the refills.

The hand soap is not tested on animals and contains 95% natural ingredients. They are tested by dermatologists and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Each purchase allows you to opt where some of the profit from sales goes towards charitable ventures: such as providing water and sanitation for countries that need help. Or you can choose to help the homeless and help keep a young person off the street. The other charity is Trees. Planting trees can regenerate forests and help the global climate.

My review of the Hand Soap

I love that every product bought helps causes that I care about. I also like that the dispensers are completely recyclable. I switched to bar soap a couple of years ago, but my family were so pleased to have bottles in the bathroom again. I though bar soap was a better choice at the time but I think Choose Well may have changed my mind.

We love the Choose Well hand soap, it leaves our hands feeling soft and clean and the bathroom smelling delightful. Our favourite so far is the Rose Geranium, but we like all of them. We have the Cedarwood and Sage in the upstairs bathroom and that’s wonderful too.

Just a little squirt from the bottle is enough for a complete hand wash and a sink full of bubbles. I suffer from dermatitis and I’m pleased to report that my hands have been left feeling soft and smelling lovely.

A 500ml bottle of hand wash costs £7.99, which is a little expensive but it’s worth it. You are also supporting a good cause and the wash lasts for ages. It’s also a truly luxurious wash and I’m definitely considering refills when my bottles empty.

The refills cost £12 and you get a whole litre of hand wash. The exclusive glass dispenser costs £9.99 for a 300ml bottle and £11.99 for a 500ml bottle. You can also refill the plastic bottles if you want to give them more life before recycling.

At the moment Choose Well have four fragrances for their hand soap, Rose Geranium, Almond and Vanilla, Botanical Orange and Cedarwood and Sage.

You can also buy kits, like the refill starter kit with a 500ml dispenser bottle and a litre refill of the soap of your choice The price for this is £23.99. or You can buy two bottles of soap for £14 or 4 four £28

You can follow Choose Well on Instagram. On Twitter and Facebook

It all started with a simple idea. What if soap could be more than just soap? What if liquid hand wash could help save lives and change lives for the better? What if money from the sale of an everyday item could be put towards good causes? What if soap could help both people and the planet?

A Place to Read

Mrs England, The Latest offering from Stacey Halls.

I am fast becoming a fan of Stacey Halls. There was a time where I wouldn’t consider reading an historical novel, but Stacey Halls has me enthralled every time. Mrs England, is the latest offering and once again a very enjoyable read.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Manilla Press (10 Jun. 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838772863
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838772864
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.4 x 3.8 x 22.2 cm

The Blurb

‘Something’s not right here.’
I was aware of Mr Booth’s eyes on me, and he seemed to hold his breath. ‘What do you mean?’
‘In the house. With the family.’

West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England.

Distant and withdrawn, Lilian shows little interest in her children or charming husband, and is far from the ‘angel of the house’ Ruby was expecting. As the warm, vivacious Charles welcomes Ruby into the family, a series of strange events forces her to question everything she thought she knew. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby must face her demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect family – and she should know.

Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.

My Review of Mrs England

I listened to Mrs England on Audible, using my monthly credit.

I’d always recommend listening to a sample first. This book is narrated by Imogen Wilde with a board Birmingham accent. For me, being a Brummie, it was fine, but others might find it a little difficult. I have trouble listening to certain accents.

That doesn’t take anything away from the brilliant story telling. Mrs England seemed a little slower to actually get started than Stacey Halls previous novels, but it still drew me in, savouring every character and every scene. From the streets of London to Basall Heath in Birmingham, right out to the West Yorkshire landscape, you feel like you are there with your characters.

Little clues of what happened and what is happening are scattered through out, so although there are some twists, nothing comes as a complete suprise. (Well, there was one thing I didn’t guess.) The story is full of intrigue without the massive drama. You have to wait a long time for a dramatic event, but it really doesn’t matter, just get taken along for the ride and enjoy.

I love that Stacey Halls takes an event from history and turns it into a novel. What happened to Ruby May came from a factual story that she’d read. But all the rest is her imagination.

I will be looking forward to more from Stacey Halls.

Read my review of The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Read my review of The Familiars by Stacey Halls

A Place to Reflect

Some Tips to Help You Get to Sleep at Night

Do you have trouble sleeping? You are not alone, a survey showed that 36% of people in the UK suffer from insomnia. I am going to share some tips to help you get to sleep at night.

My tips come from LSW Mind cards who offer a number of products that can help you sleep better. You can buy them in a bundle or individually depending on your needs. What you get is a series of sleep mediations to listen to as you go to sleep and they can be really beneficial.

I am an affiliate for LSW Mind cards so if you click through and make a purchase I may earn some money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

LSW mind cards sleep well collection. A selection of meditations to help you get to sleep at night.

If you pop along to the LSW Mind Cards site and sign up for their newsletter you will receive some good offers. This week they are offering tips to aid sleep, which I am going to share here, and if you are quick, on Friday 9th July, you can get a free sleep meditation to download.

Tips for Getting to Sleep at Night

Here are some tips as provided by LSW Mind Cards.

Having a regular bedtime routine can help to train the mind to prepare for a great night’s sleep. The more you repeat the same actions in the lead up to bedtime the more you will prime your mind to flow into a state of deep relaxation when you climb under the covers.

Turn off or stop using all electronics at least 30 minutes before going to bed

This includes phones, televisions, laptops and computers. Give your mind the time it needs to rest from external worries or stresses and your eyes the time they need to relax without the bright lights of your gadgets.

Have a warm bath or shower

Having a nice warm (but not too hot) bath to allow your body to get to a good temperature for sleeping is a great way to relax both your muscles and your mind. Light some candles, use relaxing bath oils such as lavender and put on some relaxing music for extra indulgence. If you don’t have a bath, fret not! A nice long warm shower can have an equally relaxing effect and you can visualise the stresses of the day washing away down the plughole for extra relaxation.

Use a hot flannel

Your jaw can carry a lot of tension, focus on your jaw right now, see if you can relax any tense muscles. A great way to help you relax is to hold a warm flannel up to your face. Encourage your jaw and the tiny muscles around your eyes to release and let go.

Create a regular bedtime

Find a time that you can make your regular bedtime. It doesn’t matter what time this turns out to be, but try to keep it before midnight. Having a regular bedtime helps to settle your body clock and create a relaxed state of mind in the time leading up to it. It will also help you to keep your sleep time between seven and nine hours.

Close your curtains

Whether you have black out blinds or curtains, make sure that your bedroom is a dark, peaceful place of solitude. This will give your mind maximum opportunity to switch off and drift into a peaceful slumber.

Sleepy smells

Using essential oils and smells can help to anchor a feeling of relaxation and calm when the time comes to go to sleep. There are a number of lovely pillow sprays specifically designed to help with sleep. Another option is an oil diffuser which allows you to choose which essential oil you use. A few great oils for sleep are lavender, jasmine and cedarwood.

Keep your phone in another room

Keeping your phone out of your bedroom or away from your bed can really help the quality of your sleep as it keeps all distractions at bay. It can also help the quality of your morning as you can wake up without instantly turning over to your phone. Try not to check your phone until you have woken, showered and dressed in order to maintain the restful feeling you will have following a good night’s sleep.

We hope you enjoy finding what works for you, remember, this is about creating the most peaceful and relaxing headspace before climbing into bed for a wonderful night’s sleep. There are no rights or wrongs in this, mix it up and find what works.

Join us on Friday when we will be sharing the first sleep relaxation recording with you for free!

Until then, sleep well,

Lili and the team x

Do consider signing up for the newsletter, it’s always full of positivity and helpful tips.

You can read one of my reviews of LSW Mind cards here.

A Place to Read

Bookworms Monthly July link Up


Hello, Welcome to BookWorms Monthly July. I haven’t done a bookworms monthly for a while but I’ve decided to revive it again

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly
Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly March book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

This is the bookworms monthly link up for July, you can see the last link up for June here.

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

Yet Another Blogging Mummy has written a great review of The Life of Pi

A Place to Read

All Those Things We Never Said – Marc Levy

After really enjoying The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury by Marc Levy I decided to give another of his books a try. I chose All Those Things We Never Said from Kindle Unlimited.

My links in this post are affiliate which means if you click through and purchase something I may earn some money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

By: Marc LevyChris Murray – translator
Narrated by: Amy McFadden
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Release date: 14-11-17
Language: English

The Blurb from All Those Things We Never Said

Days before her wedding, Julia Walsh is blindsided twice: once by the sudden death of her estranged father…and again when he appears on her doorstep after his funeral, ready to make amends, right his past mistakes, and prevent her from making new ones.

Surprised, to say the least, Julia reluctantly agrees to turn what should have been her honeymoon into a spontaneous road trip with her father to make up for lost time. But when an astonishing secret is revealed about a past relationship, their trip becomes a whirlwind journey of rediscovery that takes them from Montreal to Paris to Berlin and back home again, where Julia learns that even the smallest gestures she might have taken for granted have the power to change her life forever.

My Review

I was intrigued by the blurb, how could her father appear on her doorstep after his funeral? Well, the answer was rather surprising and suspends belief. I’m all for a little sci-fi but it just didn’t seem to fit well into this story.

The premise was lovely, a young women gets to make amends with her father, find out what her childhood was really like, have some long and caring conversations as well as some strops, travel to Canada, Paris and Germany. Meet up with old friends, break up with new and finally realise what is most important in life.

In reality, the story dragged, All Those Things We Never Said, could have been said a little more concisely, cutting the story down. If you like a story which examines all the emotions then you will probably enjoy this. I’m not saying it was bad but…

The main character, Julia, was just annoying, a spoilt brat. The Father was tiresome, meddling, and could have said all those things he needed to say in a letter. Some interesting parts of the story seemed rushed and gave way to lots of dreamy type monologues. The narrator was not to my liking either but that’s a personal choice. I just sometimes think that the past is past and it’s not believable that two so different characters could still be so much in love after the passing of nearly twenty years, or was it eighteen? I got confused as the author used both.

It hasn’t put me off Marc Levy, but I’m glad I got this on my Kindle Unlimited rather than using an Audible credit.

A Place to Enjoy

New Baby Crochet Cardigan and Blanket

If you read my other blog, Raisiebay, you may already know that we have a new baby in the family. My niece had a little boy just a few weeks ago and he is the most adorable little baby, I just had to get my hooks out and make something for him. I decided to crochet a blanket and a cardigan.

First up, I bought my wool, I chose Stylecraft Special in Aspen colour. I did think it would be more blue, but it was a kind of aquamarine colour, which happens to be my niece’s favourite colour.

Baby Blanket.

I tried lots of patterns but I decided on just a simple waffle crochet stitch to make this square pram size blanket. But it needed a little decorations so I made a couple of bunnies to sew on the corner.

baby blanket crochet in waffle stitch, with two little bunnies sewn on
baby blanket with bunnies

Baby Cardigan

I chose my cardigan pattern from Kerry Jane Designs on Etsy.

crochet baby cardigan.
Little Ridge Cardigan from Kelly Jane Designs

I bought the buttons on Amazon which were a great bargain. Just £6.99 for 150 buttons in different sizes. Each one is printed with the words, Handmade with love and with two little hearts. I think they are perfect for a baby cardigan.

I made the cardigan in the newborn size but as my great nephew is so tiny it doesn’t fit him yet. I am thinking of making some more for my shop as it’s such a great pattern.

You can see more of my crochet here on this blog. And you can see some of the things I’ve made for sale on my Etsy shop which is also called At Home A Lot.

This post contains affiliate links which may earn me a little money if you click them and go on to purchase something, but they will cost you no extra. Thank you for supporting my blog.