Friday, 30 May 2014

Word Vomit Friday

Happy Friday, Blogland.
What a week. Although it was only a four-day working week, it's been long! I'm so glad it's Friday and 
that I have next Friday off work; I'm going on a day trip to the seaside, just me and my mum :)

If you remember, last Friday I had a tooth out! It wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be but I'm now going through the process of waiting for the hole to heal and it's disgusting! If you've never had a tooth out, keep flossing and brushing because that's the only way to avoid it, unless you have impacted wisdom teeth, which is a whole other ordeal! You do not want to go through trying to get half chewed food out of a hole that reaches into your jaw - told you it was disgusting! 

Partly motivated by my tooth extraction due to tooth decay and partly an extension of the vow I made here to get fitter and live healthier, Hubby and I are embarking on a health kick in June. We're gonna be eating fewer processed and more natural foods to see if it makes a difference to our overall health and general well-being. We do have a takeaway evening with my parents and a meal out after seeing Rock of Ages (again) planned, so we're allowed to eat 'normally' then, but the rest of the month it's a strict meal plan - wish us luck!

Time for some more news-worthy news from the past week...

This was freakin' amazing. Soooo many people honouring Stephen Sutton with thumbs up :)

This (36 Actors Hanging Out With Their Body Doubles) is just freaky, plus #29 is Jared Padalecki :)

Just another Buzzfeed post that makes me want to weep for future generations!

I painted my nails last night in a polish I've never tried before.
if you follow me on Instagram you'll already have seen this pic :)
The colour wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but I like it :)

Have a great weekend, peeps!
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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Book Club: May

This year, I'm taking part in the majority of Bon's Book Club and it's time to review May's book
The Light Between Oceans by  M.L. Stedman...
Good Reads description:
"After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

"Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 

"M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this 'gift from God'. And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss. 

"The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel."

My (spoiler-filled) Review:
This book broke. my. heart.
My heart broke for Isabel and Tom (time and time again), and also for Hannah (Lucy's birth mum). What a complex and disturbing moral dilemma Tom and Isabel faced. I understand Isabel's motives in wanting to keep the baby, believing that both parents were dead and that the baby would end up unloved and in an orphanage; I sympathise with Tom, who only wanted to make his wife smile again; oh and poor Hannah, who believed with every breath she took for five years that her daughter was still alive. 

This scene on pages 260 and 261 made me physically ache for everyone involved, including Hannah's sister and Isabel's parents...
"Lucy," said Hannah, as if pronouncing a word from a foreign language. She was staring at the child, and reached out to touch her arm. 
Isabel flinched with terror at the look in Hannah's eyes as she surveyed the little girl.
Lucy seemed hypnotised by the woman's touch. She studied the dark eyes, and neither smiled nor frowned, as though concentrating on a puzzle. "Mamma," she said, and both women blinked. She turned to Isabel. "Mamma," she said again, "I'm sleepy," and rubbed her eyes.
For the briefest of moments Isabel pictured herself handing Hannah the child.

I didn't know what to expect with the ending of this book, as really, what outcome would please everyone after so much heartache all around, but I think I was pretty pleased with how things turned out. I love that Tom and Isabel were able to continue to live their lives just the two of them once Lucy-Grace had been returned and they'd been punished for the 'crime' they committed. 

I don't know what I'd do if I were any one of the characters in this book; I don't think any of us can truly say that we'd do the 'right' or 'wrong' thing if presented with this situation in real life. However, this story has left me with a poignant sense of human resilience in the face of so much loss, and love. I'd highly recommend it.

Book club discussion questions:
Bonnie hasn't posted her discussion questions yet but as soon as she does, I'll edit this post and include them :)

EDIT: As promised...

Who would you consider the protagonist of the story- Isabel or Tom?  Why?  Who was your favourite character?
I think Tom and Isabel were equal protagonists in this story as Isabel wouldn't have moved to the island if it weren't for Tom, nor would Tom have kept Lucy if it weren't for Isabel and the horrific circumstances the couple found themselves in. I think I felt sorry for Isabel and could sympathise with how hard losing her babies must have been for her, but I think I identified with Tom more; he'd been through unspeakable horrors during the war and he'd finally found his slice of happiness with Isabel - any babies that came along to him were extra. I guess that's how I feel about me and my Hubby right now (without the horrors of war); we have one another and anything or anyone else who comes along is a bonus.

How did you feel about the end of the book?
I've answered this question above.

Did you like the writing style?  Why or why not?
When reading this book (in four days over three sittings), consideration of the writing style never entered my head, so I guess that means I did like it. It took a while to get into the book, but I think that's because of the flashbacks; once they were out of the way, I blitzed through the book. 

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Isabel's and Tom's relationship?
I guess the weakness is Tom's desire to do anything to please his wife and see her smile again, and I guess the strength of their relationship would be that they managed to survive together after losing their own babies and losing Lucy. You hear about so many couples whose relationships don't survive the death of a child, so the fact that they made a life together was wonderful to me; really hopeful.

What would you have done if you were Tom in that situation?  Do you agree with the way he handled the situation?  How did you feel about him trying to take all the blame to save Isabel?
I touched on this above, but I think Tom's only goal and motivation was to keep his wife, who he loved so dearly, happy. Tom simply wanted to restore the smile on Isabel's face, then Lucy wormed her way into his heart and he fell in love again. I think he took all the blame because he knew he would be able to handle prison much better than Isabel ever would, not to mention that the thought of her being in prison must have killed him, so he did what he could. He tried to take the blame and allow Isabel to live the life he thought she deserved.

This month I also read: 
Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth - the Divergent series is now complete!

Next month, Bon's Book Club is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl and, if I can find my library card, 
I'll be joining in, if not, I'll be reading something else :)
So, until then...
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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wife2Wife Link Up

I love a good link-up. I've taken part in a few since I started seriously blogging last year, but my favourites are those that enable Hubby to get involved with my blog. Two weeks ago, we joined in with the last Boys 
Behind The Blog link-up and I was genuinely sad that Hubby wouldn't be 'taking over' on a regular basis. 

Alas, Kelly and her buddy Cheltee have asked the boys to take over for May's Wife 2 Wife link-up.
When Kelly emailed me about it, I crossed my fingers and forwarded the questions to Hubby and 
thankfully he was up for answering them (god, I love him) so, today, Hubby takes over once again.

Hit it, Tom...
The first photo of us, taken just four weeks into our relationship in 2004!
1} What first attracted you to your wife? 
"Her bum as I was walking past her desk to make a coffee!

2} After a long day, what does your wife do that helps you relax/remind you that she loves you? 
"I don't really have long days, so I'm not really able to answer this question. However Laura always finds the time everyday to say 'I love you'." (L: and give lots of hugs)

3} What is your favourite thing to do with your wife?  
"Just chill out and relax."

4} What is something your wife does or doesn't do that you want her to do more of? 
"I always love her cooking!" (L: Is that a subtle hint that you want me to cook more?)

5} If you could compare your love story to any book or movie, what would it be and why? 
"Not sure on this on as I don't watch love stories." (L: and he certainly doesn't read! I definitely snagged a man who likes comedies and action movies and NOT love stories :))

6} Where would you go if you could have another honeymoon? 
"Most definitely back to Australia and spend more time in Sydney." (L: I second that!)

The latest photo of us, taken on Saturday 17th May 2014.



Happy Hump Day!
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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Goodbye May

May was an exceptionally beautiful month. I feel like the world finally woke up from winter's hibernation and there was life, and light, everywhere...

The temps were well into the 20s (Celsius) and there were countless sun-filled days...

The local wildlife was out and about, unafraid of my presence, and 
2014's babies started to venture out of their nests...

Izzy was on fine form, as usual...

As was Leighton... #cheeky

It's a shame the month has ended so wet :(

Until next year, May...
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Monday, 26 May 2014

Affirmation

Love is love and every human being has the right to love whomever they choose

You should marry your best friend 

Music feeds your soul

Judgement of others is the evillest of all evils

Angels, fairies and unicorns are real :)

No human being is born with hate in their hearts

The grass is rarely greener on the other side

We each have a responsibility to ensure we leave behind 
a better future by being a good world citizen & acknowledging our social responsibilities 

Everything happens for a reason

It gets better
What ten things do you truly believe?
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Word Vomit Friday

Happy bank holiday weekend Friday, guys 'n' gals.
I hope your week has been better than mine; it started with toothache and 
is ending with a tooth extraction at 4pm today - pray for me, peeps!

Anyway on to happier things...

I heard about this on the news this morning and I have to say that it's amazing. I hope these children, 
who appear to be immune to malaria can help scientists create a vaccine :)

In depressing UK news... UKip have made gains in yesterday's European Elections :( #seriouslypeople

If you've not seen this drum-off with Will Ferrell and Chad Smith yet 
then please WATCH IT NOW! #ilovedrummers

As you know, no Word Vomit Friday post is complete without a Buzzfeed link, 
so click here, here and here :) #yourewelcome

Just before I go, I want to lower the tone with this ;)
(head to the paragraph that starts 'Not long before 21 Jump Street's release')

Finally, yes, it was the Supernatural season 9 finale this week... 
I'm not ready to discuss it :(

Have a great three-day weekend (the last until August!)
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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Things I say yes to...

1. Marriage

2. Chocolate #always

3. Selfies with Hubby... someone smarter than me needs to come up with a name for a selfie for two STAT!

4. Instagram #loveit!

5. Sleep 

Which five things do you always say YES to?
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Things I say no to...


1. Children... at the moment.

2. Coffee #yuk!

3. Gym Selfies... no-one needs to see my sweaty, blotchy, bright red post-workout face, ever!

4. Snapchat #wtf?

5. Dance & heavy metal music... I value my hearing, thanks.

Which five things do you find yourself saying NO to?
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Friday, 16 May 2014

Word Vomit Friday

Happy Friday, dudes.
How has your week been? Mine's been pretty decent and, right now, the sun is shining...
...and the weathermen are predicting a scorching weekend! #hellsyeah

Firstly I have to start this week's post with this! Holy shit! I knew I loved both cats and dogs 
but this shit is cray (I'm totes down with the kids... ok, I'll stop)! Go watch it now!

I'm only gonna share with you one piece of sad news this week because I'm fed up of all the sadness 
going on around me. I'm only sharing it because it's sad yet truly inspiring...
Stephen Sutton is a British teenager who was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 15 (...take a second to process that fact...) and he passed away in his sleep this week, aged 19. However, in the four years he was fighting death, he managed to raise a MASSIVE amount of money for Cancer Research; to date I think he's raised over £4millionNow that is a legacy!

This week saw the season 2 finale of Arrow and all I can say is OMG! It was so good, people! If you don't watch that show, you are truly missing out! The CW (the network that makes Arrow and my beloved Supernatural) is launching a TV version of Flash in the autumn and yesterday they released a first-look trailer [here] which also looks amazing. I'll defo be tuning in come September/October when it starts! The Supernatural finale airs on Tuesday night and I cannot wait!

What the hell was going on this week with the Carter/Knowles family?! That hotel lift video was insane, as was the fact that Beyonce and then Jay Z were Instagraming photos of them with Solange and Rihanna. I don't like gossip or speculation about a relationship I know nothing personally about but there's definitely something in it all, whether that's a broken promise by Jay to help Solange with her career or an affair, I don't know, but I know there has to be an explanation as to why Solange was so angry in that video! What do you guys think? Do you think it's just about her career, or lack of it, or do you think Jay actually went insane and cheated on Bey?

That's all for today folks, I'm out out into the sunshine for a lunchtime wander.
Fingers crossed for this weather all weekend until September :)

Have a good one!
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Boys Behind The Blog #12

I'm actually a bit upset because today is the final ever Boys Behind The Blog *sniff*
I might come up with five questions for Hubby to answer every now and then as I'm certain you've all
enjoyed getting to know him more (humour me!), but for now this may be the last word from Tom for a while...
1. What was your first job?
Well, it depends if you class a paper round as your first job? If not, then it would be glass collecting and bar work at one of the biggest nightclubs in the UK – the Emporium – for three years.

2. What is the biggest risk you've ever taken?
It's not really a risk, but I guess you could have classed it as that at the time; leaving the family home and moving in with my girlfriend/fiancée and now wife (and usual author of this blog). It was a risk for both of us I guess, but it paid off!

3. What is one thing you can't live without?
That would have to be football :) - soccer to US readers.

4. What is your least favourite food?
Not too sure on this one, as I love food! (Laura: The only food I've ever come across that he won't eat, oddly, is fresh pasta).

5. If you could time travel, where/when would you go? 
I would only go back a couple of years to revisit my granddad (who recently passed away) and have loads of sports chats and just a general chill out.
So long Boys Behind The Blog - it's been unreal!
Mal Smiles

Happy Friday Eve!
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