What Am I?

We had lots of correct answers last week’s What Am I? Diana was the first on the right track, and Ai Sukura from Sakura Haruka was the first to identify the actual item. And, Colleen, I’m pleased to say it’s not my spoon, nor my table – I took the picture at a local Costa recently! The answer was a spoon – specifically a teaspoon handle.

So here’s this week’s puzzle; see how you get on with it. What Am I?


As usual, props and a shout out to the first correct answer and name checks on Twitter to all those with correct answers (leave your Twitter handle for a name check)

The Girl in the White Pajamas – Book Review And Giveaway


The Girl in the While Pajamas

A Murder Mystery by Chris Brady


When Officer Bud the PR face of the Boston Police Department is gunned down, his brother, Bogie McGruder, returns from Palm Beach for the funeral. Since the BPD is investigating the death of one of their own, Bogie believes his trip to Boston will be a short condolence visit and a chance to meet his secret love child.

But interacting with a family fueled by alcohol and mired in scandals, Bogie is reminded why he does investigations for his Boston based company from a computer in Florida. Although Bogie wants to contact his ex-lover, Bailey Hampfield, he’s reluctant to do so since Bailey dumped him four years earlier. Knowing that Bailey had his child after she cut him loose, Bogie ponders how he can establish a relationship with the three year old daughter he’s never met. While he thinks about it, Bailey gets in touch with him and asks for protection. Someone is trying to kill her.

By the time Bogie meets Isabella, it’s apparent that he still loves the mother and adores the child. Bogie tells himself that he’s not interested in the BPD investigation into Bud’s death, but he continues to be drawn into it while trying to discover who is attempting to kill Bailey. The investigations seem to parallel each other, then intersect and become intertwined. As the story develops, Isabella, a precocious child obsessed with martial arts, slowly becomes the focus.

The underlying theme of this mystery is lies. Everyone seems to be running on lies and half truths. The only pure and true character is The Girl in White Pajamas.

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Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com     Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Chris Birdy was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she did a four year stint in the Middle East. When she returned to the States, Chris settled down in the Boston area and became a true Bostonian by collecting college degrees while raising a family.

For more than twenty years, Chris has been a member of the legal community performing investigative work for Boston law firms conducting business in rough housing projects and crack house neighborhoods. Several years ago, while sitting in a courtroom with a client, Chris watched as a police officer was lambasted by an attorney. The attorney was defending a young woman who crashed her car into two other vehicles before she passed out drunk behind the wheel. The occupants of the other cars were seriously hurt and the cop, a former EMT, tried to assist the injured while waiting for ambulances to arrive. The attorney questioned the cop’s every move, shredded his testimony and made him seem inept. Embarrassed, the cop returned to his seat beside me and muttered, “Everybody lies. The judges lie, the lawyers lie, the witnesses lie..” Chris wanted to tell him not to worry that in about five years he’d be just as good a liar as they were.

The seeds for The Girl in White Pajamas were planted in that courtroom.

Chris lives outside of Boston and in Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.


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My Review

Initially, I found the story a little hard to follow – there is a complicated family tree to negotiate and lots of names are thrown at you in a short space of time. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes easier to keep all the names straight.

I like this genre a lot and often read mysteries and thrillers. I found the story intriguing; there are a lot of different strands to it and so much of the characters’ pasts are bound up in the current events. There were quite a few twists to the story, and it was really quite late in the book before I could make an educated guess as to who the killer was – and I changed my mind several times!

I found that it wasn’t easy to like many of the characters, at least initially. They all have so many flaws and the family is so dysfunctional. However, Bogie grew on me and I liked Rose almost from the beginning. By the end of the book, I found that I would like to read more about certain sections of the family, to see how life pans out for them in the future.


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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.






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This Parenting Lark Linkup

I’ve been a bit quiet this week, sorry! It’s just been one of those weeks. I hope the blog will be back up to full speed next week.

We did some artwork in the garden this week. I saw a link on Facebook (and I’ve tried to find it again to share with you, but can’t!) that showed an Autumn themed art activity. It’s very simple – you need some poster paint, card, a cardboard box and some golf balls. We didn’t have gold balls, but I bought a packet of ten bouncy balls from the party bag section of the supermarket and that worked well.

Put the card in the box and then add a few drops each of whichever colour(s) of paint you’re using. Pop in the balls and roll them around. We hung the completed pieces on the washing line to dry and we all had a go – including PK and Stonelaughter!

Don’t ask me how they managed to get the bottom of their feet painted, but they did!


And here’s some of the finished artwork:


This Parenting Lark linkyOver to you – link up your Parenting posts, tell us what you’ve been up to. What have your children done that made you laugh? Got a serious point you want to discuss? Need to vent? Link away!

What Am I?

We had loads of correct answers to last week’s puzzle – hurray! Props, kudos and congrats go to Dominique from Dominique’s Desk for being the first to guess correctly!

Let’s see how you get on with this week’s puzzle. Remember, there’s a shout out, link back and bottle of champagne* to the first person with the correct answer, and a shout out on Twitter to all those with correct answers, if you leave your Twitter handle in your comment.

What Am I?

*there’s no champagne.

What Am I?

Udi’s Gluten Free Cookies Mix – Review

Udi’s Gluten Free have recently added lots of new products to their gluten free range in the UK and they asked me if I would like to review some of them. One of the items they sent me was a box mix for cookies. I tend to steer clear of box mixes for baking, but I have to confess that I’ve struggled to make a good gluten free chop chip cookie, so I looked forward to seeing the results.

Plum decided to help me make them, and had great fun. You need to add butter, egg, honey and vanilla to the mix, which contains tons of nice chunky chocolate chips. The recipe on the box uses cups as the measurement or butter, but my head doesn’t work in cups, so I had to convert it. It asks for softened butter but I found it better to melt the butter. I also added a bit extra because the mix wasn’t forming breadcrumbs the way it was supposed to.

The instructions recommend chilling the dough or 2 hours if you want thicker biscuits, which is what we did. Once chilled, we rolled the dough into 24 balls and baked them in the oven for 15 minutes. The smell whilst they were baking was driving me mad!

Udi's Gluten Free Cookie Mix

As you can see from the picture, they were a huge success. Still soft and chewy on the inside, they had this gorgeous cracked look on the outside. And they tasted delicious. Plum was dancing all round the garden singing “my cookies are gorgeous! My cookies are gorgeous!” 

They really were very nice tasting. Stonelaughter, who can take or leave gluten free biscuits at the best of times, and doesn’t like packet mixes, loved them. I hadn’t told him they were a mix, and he was really surprised. And immediately asked if they are also available in ginger, because he needs ginger biscuits that are as good as these in his life. Bean, and Bean’s friends were similarly impressed, and came back to ask for seconds.

I think we will be buying this mix in the future.

Udi’s Gluten Free range of products is available in Tesco and Asda. Find your nearest stockist here.




Disclosure: I was sent this mix, along with other items from the Udi’s Gluten Free range, free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

This Parenting Lark – Parenting Post Link Up

It’s been a strange week here. Everyone, including the children, seemed to be tired out all week and as a result nothing more than chilling and playing has happened. This parenting lark is hard work at times, you know?

At the beginning of the week, we played a new board game which both Bean and Plum were quite excited about.

It’s the British History game and I was really impressed with it – there are four different ways to play with increasing levels of difficulty. In some game play you simply get familiar with different periods of history and the order they come in, in others you start finding out more about those times in history and testing your knowledge. I think Bean and I will be using it as the basis for a home ed project.

British History Game


In other news, PK grows more mischievous by the day. The last week or two have seen him become obsessed with taking his nappy off and leaving it where it drops. He’s also developed a bit of a thing for the appliances in the kitchen. He can (and does if you don’t watch him like a hawk) turn on the oven, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. Oh, it’s such fun!

He’s also learnt some new songs though and can be heard singing bits of “The King of Rock and Roll” by Prefab Sprout. He’s begun counting to twenty, and just yesterday demonstrated an understanding of what number mean by counting groups of items. It’s all go in his little world!

This Parenting Lark linkyWhat about you? What has family life brought for you this last week? This Parenting Lark is open for your parenting posts – serious, funny, bizarre, poignant, cries for help ….. You name it, if it’s to do with parenting, feel free to link up your post and spread the word.