Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Reviewing A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil

 What mother hasn't momentarily taken her eyes off the road to glance back at their child in the backseat, especially when said child is sick and you are on your way to the doctor?   Imagine if this resulted in an accident and when you woke up in the hospital everyone insisted that you didn't have a child.

Reviewing A Day LIke This by Kelley McNeil
Image created by Lou6 using Canva


This book (A Day Like This) by Kelley McNeil kept me captivated and I really didn't know what to expect, do I recommend it?   Absolutely, but clear your day before starting it as you are not going to want to be disturbed!

The medical opinion is that it appears as though Annie's memories are false memories caused by a brain injury (that doesn't show on scans) from the accident, or maybe she is going a little crazy, we are introduced to the mental instability that besieged her mother while Annie and her sister were growing up.

Of course, there is another idea that could explain what's happening - could she have crossed over to a parallel universe?   In which case, can she get back?   There are so many questions and we are right there inside Annie's mind as she's asking them, investigating them and trying to unravel them.

At one stage I wondered if she was perhaps dead and she actually asked this question herself, but no this book is not trying to be The Sixth Sense!   You'll have to wait until the end to see which happy ending Annie gets, but it is well worth the wait.

You are basically following two storylines in this novel, but they are very easy to keep track of and I was surprised once I finished reading it to discover that this is a debut novel.   I cannot wait to see what else Kelley McNeil will write.

If you enjoy reading then why not follow me on my Facebook page - Tea with Louanne?




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Saturday, October 2, 2021

Reviewing Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

I loved Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney but be warned you need to concentrate when reading it as it has some delicious twists in the storyline.


Sometimes I Lie reviewed - a dark psychological thriller with a number of twists
Image created via Canva by Lou16

When I was looking for a new book to read I came across this one and this is how it was described on Amazon:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this thriller down. Perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window.

This totally intrigued me so I then looked at some of the reviews and a number of the reviewers said that they were left confused or that their minds were messed up and I just knew I was going to enjoy it.

If psychological thrillers are your thing then you will really love this, but it's certainly not one you can read with distractions as there are a number of twists to this story.

The book is absolutely amazing for a debut novel and I cannot wait to read more of Alice Feeney's work.

There are three storylines running through the book: firstly the present where Amber is in a coma; secondly in the days leading up to the accident that put her in a coma and thirdly there are diary entries from fifteen years prior.

I enjoy a dark psychological thriller and this book ticked a lot of boxes for me, I found it really chilling in places (especially the diary entries).  It is definitely not something you can read while doing anything else though as there's a lot of things to keep track of and, remember, do not take anything at face value!

I don't want to put much information about the storyline as I don't want to ruin it for anyone, just trust me this is a book for you if you loved The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie or The Three Women by Valerie Keoch.

Do you enjoy psychological thrillers?





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Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed

If you're after a cozy, feel-good romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue then let me transport you to a little place called Starlight Cove.   Want to know more?

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed
Image created using Canva

I read a lovely cozy book called A Bittersweet Surprise as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership and when I finished it I realized that the author (Cynthia Ellingsen) had created a few books based in Starlight Cove so I decided to read another one!

The Lighthouse Keeper was written before A Bittersweet Surprise so there were a couple of things that I already knew would happen, but that didn't deflect from the feel-good feeling this novel gave me.   This certainly isn't the novel for you if you want to have to think hard about things or get caught up in some psychological thriller.   This book is like a comforting blanket on a cold winter's evening when you just want to be left alone.

The main heroine of the book is the daughter of treasure hunters and when her life gets thrown a couple of curveballs she decides to bid on a lighthouse.   As you can probably tell from the title of the novel her bid wins and she moves to Starlight Cove to restore the town's lighthouse.

Her parents have settled down in Starlight Cove and are running an antique shop there, she also meets some of the town's residents along with some not-so-nice non-resident treasure hunters.   Did I mention that there was a long-lost treasure to be found too?

While she endeavours to try her hand at a little matchmaking between her first friend in Starlight Cove and one of the hunky Henderson brothers she also finds herself falling a little in love herself.  As with any romance, there's a little bump in the road which has her overthinking things (a trait I can totally relate to myself!).

With The Lighthouse Keeper, Cynthia Ellingsen has once again shown how well she can create her characters as I can totally relate to a few in this book, just as I did in the other book.    Now I need to grab the only other book I can see in the Starlight Cove series to see if it's as good.   An extra bonus is that all three of these are free to read with a Kindle Unlimited account!




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Saturday, September 4, 2021

A Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed

 Reading a book set in a chocolate shop just sounds like a delicious way to spend a few hours, don't you think?

Reviewing A Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen
Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen - Buy Here!

Now as much as I love a good murder mystery or dark psychological thriller I also like to read some light-hearted, feel-good fiction on occasion and this book by Cynthia Ellingsen definitely falls into that category.

I have never read any of Cynthia Ellingsen's books before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but she wrote the characters really well and I found myself invested in Emma's life.   I was really happy when I finished this book to discover that there were two other books written that are based in Starlight Cove (where this novel is based) and you can be sure they are being queued in my Kindle!

The main heroine of this story is called Emma and always wants to see the best in people and help people.  Like many other people with this trait, she's not so great at accepting help!  She is running a chocolate shop in Starlight Cove that her late father opened.

Prominently displayed in the chocolate shop is a painting of Emma as a child that is titled The Girl with the Butterscotch Hair.  We are introduced to this painting right at the beginning of the story and it is part of a mystery that runs through the book.

I love the layers of different stories that run through the book bringing it together in a delicious read that would only be better on a lazy Sunday afternoon if enjoyed with a Chocolate Dream (something served in the Starlight Cove Sweetery that we also get introduced to on the first couple of pages).

Emma's need to help anyone that needs it extends to strangers as well and one of the storylines that weave through this novel centres around a woman and her child who start off as strangers before becoming friends.   

We also get to meet Emma's best friend, her grandmother, stepmother and many other Starlight Cove residents.  Each person we read and the stories they bring to the novel helps to enrich it and create a rich tapestry of Emma's life.   There is also a little love interest that is introduced although it doesn't dominate the story, it's just another thread in the book.

If you're looking for a light-hearted book to whisk yourself away to another world for a couple of hours then I recommend reading this one and transporting yourself to Starlight Cove.

I got to enjoy this book for $0 as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership - I highly recommend this membership if you enjoy reading, I liken it to a virtual library card.





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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Reviewing The Whitby Murders by J R Ellis

Have you ever been to an Escape Room?   After reading this murder mystery novel you may have second thoughts about participating in an Escape Room adventure.

Reviewing The Whitby Murders by J R Ellis
Image created via Canva



Apparently, this novel is the 6th in J R Ellis' Yorkshire Murder Mystery series.  I should probably have started with novel number 1.   Having said that this book stood on its own two feet and is fine to read as a standalone mystery (although I will definitely be looking at reading the rest of these).

Whitby, a Yorkshire coastal town in England's North is closely associated with Bram Stoker's Dracula and since the early 90s has hosted a music festival called the Whitby Goth Weekend twice a year.   The setting of this murder is in Whitby, during the Goth Weekend, and while taking part in an Escape Room.

I have read books that have used music festivals as a setting for murder and also some Gothic-themed novels, but I've never read a book that was actually set in an Escape Room.   I loved the idea and although I realized fairly early on about one thing, I totally missed a few other things so I loved finding out how everything tied together at the end.

If you enjoy murder mysteries then I really recommend this one.  As a book, it is not one that deals in gory as much as the mystery side of a murder mystery and is perfect for people who love putting puzzles together.

I enjoyed reading this book as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership which I always describe as a library membership with Amazon's Kindle store.

Other reviewers who have read some (or all) of the previous novels in J R Ellis's Yorkshire Murder Mystery series have said this is the weakest in the series which means I am even more keen to read the others.  I do have to agree with a few of the comments, however - the actual procedures that took place would not have been allowed to happen in real life, but it's a work of fiction so I didn't mind it!

DCI Oldroyd is the 'star' of these novels and one of the witnesses to the initial murder is his adult daughter who calls him and asks him to investigate.   As far as police procedures go it wasn't on his patch and he obviously had a personal bias.   I was able to put this aside and just enjoy the mystery, but if you like the procedures to be followed (like a number of the reviewers that I've read) then you might want to give it a miss.   I think you'll be missing out, but ...

So I have two questions to ask you - have you ever been to an Escape Room?  Also, have you ever read any of the books in this series by J R Ellis?   I must admit I have been thinking about trying an Escape Room for a while, but now I will be extremely careful as to who I participate in one with!



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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Sleep Headphones for Side Sleepers

 I'm reviewing my Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear aka headband speakers which I use when I'm sleeping.

Photo by Lou16, image design via Canva

Let's start with why I was looking for some headband speakers.   I have been on a bit of a health journey since the beginning of 2018.   This journey first focused on my nutrition (learn more here), then on the exercise component of good health as well as personal development.

I had always thought that personal development was a great idea for some people, but I didn't need it!  I really believe that some of the personal development practices I used helped keep me on track with my journey while enriching my life in so many ways.   If you're thinking about starting a personal development journey yourself I recommend working through The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.  

As life got in the way I started spending less time on my personal development, my morning journaling, affirmations, reading dwindled from 30 mins to 20 to 10 until I stopped doing any work at all.   Initially, I didn't really notice it, but gradually changes took place and I found myself in a really negative headspace. 

I was talking to my daughter about things and somehow the conversation shifted to sleeping and she told me she listens to affirmations and meditations as she's going to sleep.   The idea intrigued me as I thought that would be great, except I didn't think my husband would be impressed if he had to listen to them!

Not long after our conversation, my husband had to go away for work for a week so I decided to see if I could sleep listening to some of the offerings on YouTube.   Now a couple had voices that really annoyed my so it may take you a while to find the perfect fit for you, but I did find a channel that I liked.   I listened as I was going to sleep and after a couple of days, I was convinced that I needed to find a way to keep this practice up.

My daughter recommended I look for some headband speakers so I turned to Amazon.   I searched for headband speakers and then I saw that some mentioned side sleepers so I narrowed my search to these.   I ended up buying the Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear (the official title on the box), they were actually listed on Amazon as Musicozy Sleep Headphones Headband.

Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear - The Review

There were lots of headband speakers to choose from and I wish I could say that I did a lot of research to narrow down my choice but I basically looked for ones that said they were suitable for side sleepers, that connected to Bluetooth and weren't too expensive.   The reason I didn't want to spend too much is that I really wasn't sure I'd be able to sleep with them.

I had narrowed it down to two different ones and was trying to decide if I wanted black or the grey marl when I saw that Musicozy had an animal print design - decision made!

 So the company says (in italics):

  • Wireless headphones with excellent sound quality - the sound quality really is good, but they do say on Amazon that they are noise-canceling which they are not.  For my purposes, that's fine as I want to hear if there are any noises at night, but if you're looking at using them at the gym they may not be for you.
  • Built-in microphone, hands free talking - I haven't used the microphone as I have only used them for listening while I sleep and I can't see any reviewers talking about this feature
  • Effective wireless range up to 10 meters/33 feet - personally I have my phone on my bedside table so I haven't tested the range, but I have read a few reviewers who find they can walk around their house and remain connected.
  • Three buttons control all music/call functions - I love that there are only three buttons (I only use the middle one) as I will often wake up in the early hours and want to take it off so I can just press the middle button, without the need of my glasses or the light, to turn it off and put it on the side before going back to sleep. 
  • Built-in rechargeable li-polymer battery - on Amazon it says that the charging takes 1-2 hours and it will hold the charge for 10 hours.   I am sure mine holds the charge longer than 10 hours.  The first time I charged it I did find it a little fiddly to do, but not sure if that was just me!  It's very easy and I usually put it on charge in the morning as I'm doing things so I don't know how long it actually takes.

Note for side sleepers


I sleep on my side and although the speakers are thin I will admit that I still wasn't convinced that I should lie on my side so the first night I slept on my back which resulted in snoring which resulted in a grumpy husband and sore throat!

The next couple of nights I actually slept on my side but I rested my head on my arm so that I wasn't pressing down on the speakers.  This was quite comfortable, but I woke up during the night and took the headband off.   Finally, on the fourth or fifth night, I just rested my head on the pillow as usual and it was really good.   I did find that I could turn the volume down slightly when I wasn't on my back or rested on my arm so that was good.

I definitely found that I could sleep on my side with these speakers and recommend them to any fellow side sleepers out there.

Note for people sharing a bed


The big test for these speakers was whether or not they disturbed my husband's sleep.   Some nights he can be a light sleeper and when something wakes him up it will take him a long time to go back to sleep.   His response to my sleep headphones - "I couldn't hear a thing".

In summary, I am really happy with my purchase and hope that my review has helped anyone who would like to listen to meditations, affirmations or music while drifting off to sleep.





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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Is the Lemon Pod the Best Lemon Keeper?

Let's review why I love my Lemon Pod and why I think it most definitely IS the best type of lemon keeper or lemon saver around.   You could always try and convince me otherwise of course!

The Lemon Pod Review
The Lemon Pod (photos Lou16, design Canva)


I do love lemons and have over the past year discovered lemon and blueberry proats which have become my absolute favourite breakfast.   When making these proats I only use half a lemon.   What I would do before I had the Lemon Pod was - I placed the remaining half of the lemon in a plastic sandwich bag and stored it in the fridge until the next day.

Obviously, this is not very environmentally sound so I decided to look for a lemon keeper or lemon saver.   During my hunt I discovered the Lemon Pod and I thought it was the best one available so I brought it.   I absolutely love it and use it along with my lemon squeezer several times a week.

What attracted me to the Lemon Pod?  It's not a rigid container that you just pop your lemon half in, it has a top that actually stretches to fit the lemon.   The different sizes of lemons that I get throughout the year can all be catered for with the Lemon Pod.

The Lemon Pod is actually made up of two pieces.    A bottom solid piece of heavy plastic is where you put the half lemon, cut side down.   The top piece has a heavy plastic ring around the outside which twists into the bottom locking it in place.   The middle of this top piece has a stretchy material that stretches over the lemon.   When you take the lemon out the stretchy material goes back to its 'normal' size.

I believe that as this stretches to 'fit' the lemon it helps it to stay fresh longer because less air can be trapped in there.  To be honest, I couldn't tell you exactly how long the lemons will stay fresh because the longest I've kept half a lemon is two days, but I won't part with my Lemon Pod and I won't swap it for another Lemon Keeper.

If you don't fancy trying proats and you don't add lemon juice to your hot drinks you might be interested in trying a couple of sweet lemon recipes a couple of our contributors make.   First Sam makes fresh Lemon Hand Pies which sound absolutely delicious and then Mary Beth makes some amazing Lemon Cookies.





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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Reviewing Vera: A British TV Drama

I must admit I love British murder mysteries and Vera is definitely one I enjoy a lot, let me tell you a little bit about it.

Vera, a British police drama
Press Release photo (itv.om) adapted by Louanne Cox using Canva

DCI Vera Stanhope is a middle-aged, blunt-talking woman with a brusque attitude who gets things done.   Donning a trench coat, tatty hat and driving her (very old) landrover around the wonderful landscape of Northumberland she hasn't been portrayed as a sex symbol and there's no love interest in the cast.   Basically, her team feels like 'real' people which means you can concentrate on the crime at hand and trying to solve it .... along with the panoramic shots of the area (British tourism must appreciate this series).

I love her down-to-earth mannerisms, her use of the words love and pet just really consolidates her character.   She gets frustrated with her team on occasion, but you can tell they have respect for her and the unit is very cohesive.

I haven't watched Vera from the beginning, I stumbled across it one evening as it was about to start so watched it, then I found another episode a few weeks later.   It was a few seasons in before I started to watch every episode, I have since watched older episodes so I think I'm completely up to date now and eagerly awaiting Season 11 to be aired.

I mention this because you could easily watch just an odd episode and enjoy it without needing to start from the beginning.   In fact, some critics have panned the first series (even though it continually ranks well in the countries it's shown) so maybe it was good that I saw a couple of later episodes first.

If you are like me and get invested in characters you will get a shock in one of the episodes in season 6 (I won't ruin it by telling you which one) as something happens which almost made me cry.   For the record, I rarely cry over television shows or movies.

If you have heard of the novelist Ann Cleaves you may have heard of Vera as this drama series has been based on her novels: Hidden Depths, Telling Tales, The Crow Trap and Silent Voices. 

If you want to watch Vera you can see her for free on the ITV in the UK and ABC in Australia, you can also watch her on Prime Video in other parts of the world or purchase her DVDs.   Each series has four episodes in them, but according to the latest information Series 11 which is being filmed as I write this should be having 6 episodes, two being filmed in 2021 and four in 2022.

If you enjoy series such as Broadchurch, The Stranger, Endeavour or Shetland (also written by Ann Cleaves) then you should really check out this series.




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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Reviewing Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson

Today I'm going to review a book that is set for release on 1st July 2021 which I was able to read prior to release as part of the First Reads for Amazon Prime Readers

Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson Reviewed


One of the things that made me choose this book to read was in the blurb about it, "On the day of her sister Caroline’s funeral, Deirdre Crawley receives a message her sister wrote before she died: If you’re reading this, I’m already dead." That hook was irresistible for me so I downloaded the book and settled down for what I hoped would be a great read, I have to say I have very mixed feelings about this book. 

I have never heard of the author before so I had no expectations. I actually read the book in one sitting and two of the things I loved about the book were the plot and the way that the pandemic was handled. I mention the pandemic because the book was based in NY and it's the first book I've read where it's even mentioned - it has been done so in a way that is easy to miss, but to me added another dimension and makes me surprised at the biggest failing this book has. 

As I said the plot was great and I would recommend reading it just because I did enjoy the plot, but the characters were another story. They seemed very one-dimensional. Even with a character that wasn't very fleshed out, there were a few things that Diedre said that just didn't seem in line with other things. 

I, personally, think one of the best characters in the book was Theo, the person who Diedre's sister claimed had killed her. If this book was a first draft I would have given it really high marks, but as a completed book it's disappointing. 

I don't usually like to write book reviews that I have mixed feelings about, but this author shows amazing talent. I see so many glimpses in this book that tell me she can write and I truly believe that she could have made these characters more real to me. 

If you like suspenseful thrillers do I still think you'd enjoy the plot lines of this book, but if you are more into sinking your teeth into the characters then you may want to pass. I will definitely be happy to read this author again though as I did see a lot of promise in the pages. 

I should clarify it's not that I disliked the characters, I reviewed a book called Girls Night Out where I really didn't like the characters, but they definitely seemed real to me. In this particular book it's that I couldn't envisage these characters as being real. When I read a book I can almost see things happening in my mind like I'm watching a movie - this time the characters wouldn't appear clearly for me.




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Saturday, May 29, 2021

How Bed Socks Can Equal a Happy Marriage!

 Today I want to review bed socks because they really can help keep a marriage happy!  If your partner has cold feet, keep reading.


Reviewing bedsocks and how they can save your marriage
Original photo, Pixabay.com adapted by Lou16

May is my birthday month and after giving me a cow onesie last birthday, my husband went for something that would be a gift for both of us - bedsocks!

I imagine that there could be nothing worse than encountering a couple of blocks of ice when you're snuggled up in bed, but pushing your partner away probably isn't great for your marriage either, so - bedsocks!

I have always had cold feet, but as newlyweds, my husband acted as my human hot water bottle and would warm them up for me.   As he's gotten older he feels the cold more and if I rest my feet on the back of his calves to warm them up, I don't get a great reaction!

I will be honest, I didn't appreciate losing my little feet warmer which is why I recommend adding bedsocks to the marriage if you're in a similar situation.   No hurt feelings and no freezing feet to move away from, they really are a win/win item.

Socks are great and we've written a number of different reviews on this site about them - sock reviews - however, don't think that you can just wear a pair of socks to bed, that is not the same as bedsocks!   Bedsocks should be soft and, in my opinion, they should be fluffy.   All of the bedsocks I have owned have been very fluffy.

A bonus as you get older are the bedsocks with grips on the bottom - I really should be wearing these as I walk around the house in my bedsocks, but my husband always goes for the ones that feel nice and soft and did I say fluffy!

I think cold feet must be genetic because I can remember as a teenager my dad buying my mum a couple of pairs of bedsocks for Christmas one year.  I remember because he wrote a poem to go with them which I thought was really romantic (but I'd never have admitted that as I was a teenager!).   It was no prize-winning poem but a' roses are red' type of poem.   I think it went something like this:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Your feet are cold

So these are for you

Now I didn't get a poem from my husband, in fact I did tell someone 'hang on romance must be dead as I got flowers from my mum, jewelry from my daughter and socks from my husband!'  They knew I was joking as the socks were really appreciated, I just wish he could've found some that looked like hoofs to go with the cow onesie, but apparently, he couldn't find any like that.   On a side note, I HAVE discovered some (although they're not bedsocks) so if you would like hoof socks check these out!  I'm thinking about getting some - if I do I'll definitely review them for you and even photograph them with my cow onesie just so you can really appreciate them!

Now, who's going to admit to having cold feet?   You know they say cold feet mean a warm heart (or is that cold hands?).




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Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Last Mrs Parrish - A Book Review

The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine is a book about Amber, Daphne & Jackson.   It's a book where entitlement leads to manipulation and manipulation has its consequences.


The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine



I love that I've discovered a new author in Liv Constantine she (or I should say they) captures Amber's character really well and as you're reading it you so want Daphne to find out.   As the twist comes you almost want to read it again to see how one of the characters (with your fresh information) isn't actually the person you thought.

This kept me up reading late into the night even though I knew I had work the next day there was just no way I could put it up!  Amber reminded me a little of Tom Ripley and I found the duplicity of the novel absolutely delicious, I would never have known that this was a debut novel.

After reading the book I discovered that Liv Constantine was actually two sisters writing as a partnership, luckily they have written a few more books which will definitely be added to my long, must-read list.

I'll leave you with this, Amber's father really should have warned her to beware of the green-eyed monster that calls itself envy.

I read this as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership and I thoroughly recommend this if you're a voracious reader, I think of it as a library card for Amazon!




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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Reviewing Sidney Sheldon’s Mistress of the Game by Tilly Bagshawe

 

As a teenager I read Sidney Sheldon’s Bloodline, I was hooked on his books from that time onwards.   When he passed away in 2007 I thought we would never hear anything else about the Blackwell Clan.   Enter Tilly Bagshawe...

Book Review Sidney Sheldon's MIstress of the Game by Tilly Bagshawe
I had read a couple of Tilly Bagshawe's books and thoroughly enjoyed them (if you like the chick lit genre then give her a read).  So when I was in a local bookshop quite a few years ago (after Sidney Sheldon's death) and saw that Tilly Bagshawe had written a sequel to Master of the Game I just knew I would love it.   For some reason didn't end up buying the book (Mistress of the Game) then and managed to forget all about it until earlier this year.

I was on a weekend away and discovered a lovely little shop that had used books in the back, old records in the middle, and served takeaway coffee at the front!   As I'm looking at the books I came across this book again and this time I was not going to let it get away, I was determined to read it!

I am so glad that I got it and it was easily read on a Sunday afternoon and I have to say I loved it.   Tilly Bagshawe may have written it, but if her name wasn’t on the cover I would’ve thought it was Sidney Sheldon himself.   I felt she captured the characters really, really well.

Whereas The Master of the Game was centred on matriarch Kate Blackwell, the Mistress of the Game is her great-granddaughter Lexi Templeton.  Breathing life into the Blackwell clan Tilly Bagshawe allows us once again to get caught up in the twists and turns of the Blackwell family and the massive family company Kruger-Brent.

Fans of Sidney Sheldon will really enjoy this book and if you enjoy following family sagas then maybe you should read it too.   Although I did read Master of the Game (it was many, many years ago) I believe that you could easily enjoy this book as a stand-alone book.  There were so many twists and turns that it will make you grateful for your own family!

This book includes manipulation, kidnapping, murder, deception, and mental illness.   I haven’t read a family saga in a while, but this book has me feeling like reaching for a few more of this style of books.   I may even have to revisit Sidney Sheldon’s books, I definitely have to read a few more of Tilly Bagshawe’s books (her sister Lousie Bagshawe is also an author in this vein).

How Did Tilly Bagshawe Come to Write Sidney Sheldon Books?

Tilly has written two other books based on Sidney Sheldon's and from reviews I've read it seems as though she has again captured his characters really well.   There is a very good reason for that - she was a massive fan of Sidney Sheldon and actually wrote to him when she had finished her first book and he wrote back (she still has the letter).   

When Sidney Sheldon passed away the Sheldon family thought it would be a great idea to get someone to keep his characters alive.   Tilly Bagshawe and Sidney Sheldon actually shared a publishing agency (his agent was the father of hers).   The family was really happy with Mistress of the Game and the way in which Tilly has definitely written it in his style as opposed to her own.

How to Best Enjoy Mistress of the Game

This book is best enjoyed when you have time to kick your feet up and read without interruptions, accompanied by a lovely big mug of tea and something yummy to snack on.  I enjoyed Chamomile tea and homemade chocolate mint cookies, but here’s some other suggestions:


 

Peppermint TeaPeppermint Tea
A refreshing tea that is perfect for drinking while reading a good book on a lazy afternoon. There's just something about the smell and taste of mint that is pretty special.


Aveda Tea ReviewedAveda Tea Reviewed
Aveda tea is a herbal tea that combines licorice with peppermint, I haven't actually tried this brand before but I have had other teas that combine these two and would imagine that like them this would be a refreshing and sweet tea to enjoy


Arbonne Essentials Herbal TeaArbonne Essentials Herbal Tea
I enjoy a cup (well actually a mug) of this tea every single day, it is really delicious while also having a lot of great health benefits to drinking it so why not enjoy a healthy tea while reading?


Carrot Cake CupcakesCarrot Cake Cupcakes
If you love carrot cake then this cupcakes are a great idea as a snack while reading - being cupcakes you could hold them in one hand so that you don't have to put your book down and being carrot cake .... well you just know they'll be delicious!


Dream Bars Cookie RecipeDream Bars Cookie Recipe
Tea, cookies and reading really go well together and these dream bars sound like a great alternative to whipping up a batch of choc chip cookies or opening a packet of custard creams. With coconut, nuts and brown sugar in the ingredients you just know this will be moorish.


Homemade Cinnamon RollsHomemade Cinnamon Rolls
If getting time to read a book uninterrupted is a rare occasion then why not plan well and bake some cinnamon rolls ahead of time for an indulgent snack as you eat, my mouth is drooling just thinking about them!





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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Mothers Day Cards from the Dog

Let's review some Mother's Day cards for a dogmom.   As a dogmum myself I have to say that I have never received a Mother's Day card from the dog, but apparently it is something that is increasing in popularity. 

Mothers Day Cards from the dog - image of a dog and his dog mum/dog mom

I guess it's quite understandable that the dog would send Mothers Day cards as we lavish a lot of attention on our fur babies.  A number of people I know have a family of furbabies instead of human children whether by choice or not - why shouldn't they be celebrated?

I came across the idea of Mother's Day cards while looking at Zazzle's selection of Mother's Day cards.  If you purchase your Mother's Day cards online through a print on  demand site such as Zazzle you will get a great quality card that usually has an option for you to personalize it.   There is often a larger selection of cards and you can find a number of original designs.   You are also helping a small designer to contribute to their family's income - trust me they do a happy dance every time they make a sale!

There were so many designs to choose from that it was really hard to decide on just a couple of feature so if you don't like the ones below check out the rest here - Selection of Mother's Day Cards from the Dog.

I love this Mother's Day card as it's a  very simple design that can be beautifully personalized by adding a photo of your own dog/dogs and even changing the text:


Another card that can be totally personalized (and a picture of the dog with their mom would be perfect) is this next one. This is one that I personally prefer over the other as I love the I Woof You sentiment!



These are only two of the thousands of cards that are available, so feel free to click on the link above these cards if neither of them grab you. 

The great thing about Zazzle (besides their amazing card quality and printing quality) is the comprehensive range available so you could even search for labrador Mother's Day cards, pug Mother's Day cards etc. 

What do you think of the idea of receiving a Mother's Day card from the dog? I love it and may just have to leave this article open on the computer for my husband to see!



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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Reviewing The Gift of Pandora Jewelry

I thought I would review Pandora jewelry here and find out why giving the gift of Pandora is always going to be appreciated by those Pandora lovers that you know.

Pandora Jewelry Review - Pandora bracelets and Pandora beads are a great gift idea
Pandora Jewelry - Leather Bracelet & Silver Bracelet


I first became aware of Pandora in the early 2000s when they started to open their concept stores.  My sister-in-law & a couple of my nieces were really enamored with the customized Pandora bracelets and it made gift buying for them as easy as picking a bead you thought they'd like!

At my workplace, there were so many people sporting Pandora bracelets it, personally, put me off having one myself.   However, when my daughter was given a Pandora bead on a chain to wear as a necklace I started to change my mind.    

Silver Cat Pandora Charm
Cat Pandora Charms on Amazon

I have written about my journey into Pandora charms which began in 2011 before - read all about it on Wizzley.   My daughter got her first Pandora jewelry in 2011 and the charms are still being put on her Birthday/Christmas list, in fact as she's now a cat mom she got a beautiful cat charm from one of her friends for her birthday.

The introduction image is of my two Pandora bracelets - the original one I talk about in my Wizzley article, a leather bracelet and a beautiful silver one that my daughter brought me a few years ago.

I love the fact that you can totally customize your Pandora jewelry which is probably why it continues to be so popular.   

The Pandora bracelet continues to be one of the most popular pieces that people buy the charms for, but they do also offer rings and necklaces that are also amazing.

Buying Pandora Jewelry Online

The other thing that I have noticed over the years is how more and more you can purchase your Pandora jewelry online.   You can purchase them through Pandora themselves or through Amazon.

When purchasing online you'll notice that there are a number of other companies that sell charms which can fit on Pandora.   The majority of people I know do NOT appreciate getting other charms so if you are looking for a gift you might want to be careful.

Do you have any Pandora jewelry?   They are the third largest jewelry company in the world so as a gift idea I would say they deserve a big thumbs up.






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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Delicious Protein Oat Cookies | A Dairy Free & Gluten Free Treat

 Today I'm going to review a very simple and easy-to-make recipe that tastes absolutely decadent.   Once you try these delicious protein oat cookies you will wonder how you lived without them in your life!

decadent chocolate mint protein cookies that are dairy free and gluten free
Decadent Protein Oat Cookies
Photo by Louanne Cox

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oats (see baker's notes)
  • 1/2 cup protein powder (I used Arbonne's vegan protein powder that is also gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Sweet William dark choc buttons, they are dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free)
Now that you've checked you have all of your ingredients why don't you go ahead and preheat your oven to 180C or 350F.

Let's bake!


First, mash up your ripe bananas and then add your egg, beating it together (if you want to make these cookies vegan you can use a flax egg).

I mix up all of the dry ingredients in another bowl before adding to the wet ingredients, but I'm sure you could do it all in one bowl if you so desired.

So mix the oats, protein powder, cacao powder and chocolate chips together.   Now the recipe that I loosely based this on said that you could use 1/2 cup of quinoa in place of the protein powder - I haven't tried that, but quinoa is a source of protein so a great idea if you don't have any protein powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together really well.   The mixture is quite sticky and it makes quite a soft cookie so I definitely recommend lining your baking sheet with baking paper.

Now I don't mind a rustic-looking cookie so I just used a spoon to get some mix, popped it on the baking paper and flattened it with the back of the said spoon.

Bake them for 13-15 minutes until they are browned and slightly tender to the touch.

Extra Baker's Notes


Now let's talk about a few of the ingredients.   When it comes to the protein powder I used a limited edition choc mint flavour protein powder last time which was delicious and I thoroughly recommend getting this if it's still available.   I would usually just use chocolate protein powder, but since trying this combination I know that when I run out I'll be experimenting with a few drops of orange essence, strawberry essence and (of course) peppermint.

I used dark chocolate buttons because I wanted to use dark chocolate and they only had them in buttons as opposed to the smaller chips.   I will continue to use buttons because they add such a decadent taste to these cookies.  I can't describe how much of a treat these tasted like and yet they were on my healthy eating plan!

If the mixture seems a little too dry I did (on one occasion) add 1 tbsp of water to the mix, it made no difference to the outcome so don't be afraid of doing that, but I wouldn't add much as it shouldn't be a sloppy mix.

A quick note on oats, I'll be honest I just use regular oats.   Oats do not naturally contain gluten, however, in the processing of the oats they can become contaminated apparently which is why celiacs should always grab the gluten-free oats.

A Treat for Celiacs 


I actually work with a celiac, a lady who's lactose intolerant and a third lady who can't eat nuts so these cookies are absolutely perfect for them.   Knowing that I can also eat them on the 30 days to healthy living program is amazing.

As I have said previously you can also make this vegan by using a flax egg - click on the link above if you haven't made a flax egg before, it is very easy.

Perfect with a Cuppa


These cookies are perfect for either morning or afternoon tea with tea, coffee, or even water.   If you're wondering what beverage to try then check out our tea, coffee and other drink reviews:




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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Tracing Your Family Tree - Reviewing Some Genealogy Adventures

 Adventures in Genealogy - Discovering Your Roots

As Alice fell down the rabbit hole and discovered the secrets of Wonderland so a Genealogist can discover a wealth of addictive history while climbing along branches of the family tree.   My first adventures in genealogy began quite innocently enough and I couldn’t have predicted that it would stay with me for my entire life.


Alice Beatrice Gale - a sepia photograph of my great grandmother


I sometimes watch the television program – Who Do You Think You Are – where celebrities trace their family tree and it saddens me to think that some people don’t even know the names of all of their grandparents let alone further back.   I think knowing your roots helps in making you feel confident in yourself – it means you don’t feel alone because you know you have a family that goes back and out and you’re just a little twig on this solid oak tree!

My first ‘adventure’ as I referred to it before started in school where I was asked to make a family tree which I should just mention earned me an A (not that I’m bragging or anything!).   We were told to add ourselves, our siblings, our parents, their siblings and our grandparents and anything else we were able to.

The pretentious young girl that I was I made sure to add all of my grandparents’ siblings as well as the names of my great grandparents and while I was finding this out I made an amazing discovery – one of my great aunts had a marriage certificate that belonged to my great great grandparents.   I wasn’t allowed to take the original to school, but my dad let me get a photocopy to take in – I don’t know why this didn’t earn me an A+, but still!

All the photographs on this post are from the author's family and are used with permission - information on the people in them can be found at the bottom of the post.

 How to Start Researching Your Family Tree

Am I Descended from Royalty or is There a Criminal Mastermind in My Tree?

People want to trace their roots for a variety of reasons, years ago people would claim that their family were aristocrats – you just had to go back a while!   These days more and more people want to discover criminals in their backgrounds!   Whatever drives you to discover the people you’re descended from you have to start somewhere so where?

The first place to start is with the living – talk to your relatives, your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and find as much information as you can from them.   You might find that some aren’t very helpful and that’s often because of skeletons in the family closet and with older relatives, this was often to do with birth dates and marriage dates not quite gelling or ‘sisters’ turning out to be daughters!

When I was looking into my maternal grandfather’s family mum suggested I contact her godmother who was also her cousin (we were living in New Zealand at the time and our family were from the UK).   I was lucky enough that my grandfather’s sister was staying with her at the time and wrote to me herself.   I had never met any of my grandfather’s family as my Nan fell out with them after his death (when I was 6) so it was great to ‘discover’ a great aunt and I still have her letters today.

I had only asked a few questions, but she had not only supplied that information but more besides including a family mystery and a scandal and the most important piece of information - my great grandfather's name wasn't what I had recorded!   I had been looking for Richard Butcher, but he was actually christened Arthur Richard Butcher, he'd just used the name Richard since he'd become an adult.  

What to Ask Your Relatives?

The basic questions to start with are their first names and date & place of birth – if they’re married ask for their spouse’s names and the details of their marriage along with details of any of their children.
Next, ask for their parent's details along with any of their parent’s siblings – move on to their grandparents after that.

It doesn’t matter if you already have details from other family members as it can either help confirm the information or show a discrepancy – both of which can be very helpful.   You can also discover different stories AND you never know who the family secret keeper is.

There is always someone in the family (it seems) who remembers all the skeletons, hoards all of the photos and sometimes even possesses the family bible or other papers which are all great things to see (if not own) as a family historian.     This person is the family secret keeper and did I mention you’re now a historian?

It's the little family stories that we hear that add the foliage to our family trees.

Don’t be in a rush as you’re talking to your living relatives either as it’s amazing the little pieces of information that they may tell you about which help you to breathe life into the photos and/or names on your family tree.

I remember a few years ago I looked at how my family tree was progressing and I felt a little dissatisfied as they were just names on paper, I didn’t know anything about them.   I decided then that I would ask my parents questions about what hobbies their parents and grandparents had, did they have any idiosyncrasies about them etc.   I just wanted to build up some sort of an idea about who they were and a few of the stories that I’ve been told have really helped bring my tree to life.

Family stories also sometimes have a little grain of truth in them (after all the tales had to come from somewhere) and when you hit a brick wall you can try throwing out some of the information – I used a name that some branches of the family used with our surname and some had dropped that apparently had something to do with grandma (it hadn’t!) and also a tea plantation that the family owned.   Well I had hit a brick wall so I did a broad search for our surname with the other surname and I found a marriage between what would turn out to be two great grandparents – I don’t think a train driver owned a tea plantation though, but it was a help nonetheless.

 

Alice & Eli Read with children Edward, Lona & William - my great grandparents, grandfather and a great aunt and great uncle - genealogy through photos
Eli & Alice Read with children Edward, Lona & William

 Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates

Getting More Information on Your Ancestors

When I was first setting out on my genealogy adventures the advice was to get birth, marriage and death certificates on everyone and they’re definitely full of invaluable information.   Unfortunately this does get expensive which is where the internet has been invaluable in both providing free information on births, marriage and death (bmd) records and also in helping you get in touch with other people who are researching your family.

I’ve been able to share certificates & research with people around the world and we’ve all benefited by filling in different parts of our histories.

Now, what information is found on these certificates?   Certificates look different in different countries and can also show different bits of information.

Birth Certificates will show both parents’ names as well as the full name and date of birth of the family member in question.   Birth certificates can also show the father's occupation as you can see on the certificate below of one of my great grandmothers.

UK Birth Certificate of Lily Maud Mary DEAN my great grandmother
Birth Certificate of Lily Mary Maud DEAN


As with all the certificates different countries will supply different information for example on the New Zealand birth certificate that I have for one of my husband's relatives it shows not just the father's details but the mothers' names and maiden names as well.   I think that New Zealand certificates were designed by a genealogist myself!

Marriage Certificates show the names of the bride and groom as well as their fathers (and of course details of the marriage).   Other information shown can differ from country to country.   I've enclosed the marriage certificate that ignited the genealogy bug in me way back in the 80s for you to look at.

This certificate is too long for me to scan fully (a problem with a number of UK certificates), but I hope you like it anyway.   The date of the marriage was 31st Jan 1877 and as a schoolchild trying to wrap my head around the fact that it was only a little over 100 years beforehand and my great grandparents couldn't write was just mindblowing!

1877 UK Marriage Certificate between Robert Gale and Martha Parsons my great great grandparents
Marriage Certificate of Robert GALE & Martha PARSONS

When it comes to death certificates, most of the ones in my genealogy files are from the UK which shows the date of death, name of deceased, sex, age, occupation and cause of death.   I'm going to show you a scan of my husband's grandmother's death certificate here instead though because it's a New Zealand death certificate.

Like the marriage certificate, the New Zealand death certificate also has a wealth of information contained on it and really is a treasure trove for people tracing their family tree.

NZ Death Certificate - Clara Emily COX nee PEASE
Death Certificate for Clara Emily COX nee PEASE


This certificate can hold a lot of information and I love that surviving issue is included as it's not always easy to find all of the birth records when you don't know how many children a couple has had together.   Another part that is very handy for a country that's based so much on immigration is the question - how long in New Zealand.

The thing with death certificates, however, is that the information is only as good as the surviving family members know and as you can see her mother's maiden name obviously wasn't remembered (or known) by her family which is a shame.

Free Alternatives to Getting 'Official' Certificates

One site that I have used in the past is called FreeBMD and is great for finding UK ancestors.   It’s not a complete site but they use volunteers to transcribe records of births, deaths & marriages from 1837 throughout England and Wales.

http://freebmd.org.uk/

The drawback is that you don’t get the extra information, but it’s still very handy.   I knew the names of two of my great grandparents and by using freebmd I was able to find when they were married and in which district which meant I could send away for their actual marriage certificate.    This was incredibly helpful as I had no idea when they were married.


Parish Records are another way of finding out information and if you’re researching for family in the UK then some counties have an Online Parish Clerk which is fantastic.   Different counties have different resources available online and some of the clerks will actually do a little digging for you if a census (for example) hasn’t been fully transcribed at the time.   Of course, these positions are voluntary and every clerk is different with different work loads etc.

I’ve used the Dorset OPC site and found it really great, other OPC sites haven’t had the information I’ve wanted for different family members, but I have only viewed a few of them so the best thing you can do is to Google county (the one where your ancestors are from) online parish clerk or opc and you’ll find the right page for you.   Be sure to check the counties on either side if you don’t find the information you need in the county you thought they were in.   A couple of different family lines of mine popped into neighboring counties for a few years here and there!

Arthur Richard BUTCHER & his daughters - adding faces to the family tree
Arthur BUTCHER & daughters

Census Records - A Family Historian's Goldmine

Material a Genealogist Can Get Their Teeth Into!

As well as parish records you can look at a lot of census records for free – UK census records anyway.   I use a site called FreeCen for a lot of my research – they’re run by the same people who provide us with FreeBMD that I’ve mentioned before.


For my Dorset relatives, I don’t have as much luck with the site however and I tend to go to the Dorset OPC as they have some of the early census returns transcribed so be sure to use both resources.

It can be incredibly handy to trace the family using several resources and the census is great for this, it even helped us to take our family tree up a few more branches on one line.   The moral to the story is to take note of all members of the household listed as if one disappears you can search for their name and you might discover them staying with other relatives – it happened on one of my adventures which I talk about under the 'putting the family tree together' section.

Army Records

Another Way of Tracing Your Family

If you have an ancestor who was in the army then I would recommend you get their army records as they can have some great information in them.   It seems as though every regiment holds different information - in the case of one of my grandfathers I received about 5 pages worth from his regiment, but with my husband's great grandfather we only received a single page.

Both regiments provided the age of the soldier when they joined up (be aware that at certain times in the past this was lied about and not always checked by officials!), where they joined up to (this can be handy if you want to know where they were living at the time) and their occupations at the time.

The records will also usually show identifying marks on the body such as scars and the fact that great grandfather had a tattoo before he joined the army!   The records also show where they were stationed - one of the regiments had very little on his actual duties except the place where his regiment was stationed for the time he was in there.

Another regiment's records had a lot more information, including how much time of service was spent abroad, what battles he participated in and medals awarded.

Let me tell you how using army records gave me the first break in tracing one part of the family tree ......

Putting the Family Tree Together

Being a Family Detective

My daughter doesn’t know why I like history, but I think of it as being a little bit like a detective which appeals to her a lot more.   When you’re researching the family history it really is like being a detective as no one (unless you’re extremely lucky) has written a number of books on your family for you to use as research tools.   Instead, you have to look at things like certificates, census returns and other records.

Let me tell you about how we tracked our family back a couple of generations by using free records.

My husband’s great grandfather had served in the army, but we had no idea what part of England he had originated from (we just knew he ended up with his family in New Zealand).   He was buried in a returned services cemetery and his regiment was listed on his grave so I wrote them an email and got his records sent to me.  

On his records, it included where he enlisted to along with his age and trade.   He joined the army in 1904 so I took a chance that he’d be living in the same area in 1901 and looked at the census and there I saw him living with his widowed mother and some siblings.   Looking at the census for 1891 I found both of his parents, himself and some siblings – one sibling was missing so I searched for him as well.   I wasn’t really expecting to find him, but I did and he was listed as a grandson which gave me the (possible) maiden name of great-great-grandma.   Armed with this information I then looked for a marriage using the ‘new’ name in the family tree and there it was!

Another generation discovered and another name to add to a branch of the family – always remember to keep track of siblings along the way.

Other reasons for keeping track of a sibling’s name is to make it quicker to find the family on census returns, let me give you an example.   On one side of the family, my direct descendant is called Richard a fairly common first name, but he had a brother called Twentyman which isn’t so common so if I were to search for census returns I’d look for his brother’s name first to find the household and hope they were both at home together on census night!

More on Military Records in Genealogy

  • USA Military Records
    Now I haven't used this site as I don't have any ancestors in the US (that I've found yet anyways!), but this site is part of the National Archives and tells you how to go about researching your genealogy in military records.
  • British Armed Forces Records
    If you have relatives that served in the British Armed Forces then this is one site to start looking on. I actually just Googled the regiment when I was looking for records and my father got the other records so I'm not sure how good this site is, but it's at least a stepping stone.

Peder (Peter) Christian HANSEN - an old grainy photo of a great great grandfather born in Denmark 1829in
Peder (Peter) Christian HANSEN


Eek! I've Got the Wrong Surname!

Adventures in Genealogy Sometimes Have Unexpected Twists

Genealogy 101 says you need certificates and this makes it quite an expensive hobby, I have often bypassed the certificates and used parish records, census records and other free online resources to trace the family tree, but occasionally that can backfire!

I had been tracing my husband’s paternal line and I couldn’t find his grandfather’s birth details anywhere – apparently, he was born in India, but I couldn't find any birth details of anyone by his name at all.   Luckily my husband’s great-granddad lived with his family for a while and was buried in the cemetery in his hometown.   He had been in the army so I took the name of his regiment from his gravestone and wrote to them – army records can be an invaluable source of information for family historians.   What I found in these records enabled me to trace his family back a couple of generations, but I still couldn’t find granddad even with the dates that great-granddad was serving in India to go on.

I hadn’t looked at this side of the family for a while and decided to do another search for him along with another surname which I know had something to do with the family – it wasn’t further up the line as far as I’d gone, so maybe it was great grandma’s name.   Hello, I found the marriage – they were married in India a month after he left the army, but the timing of the marriage didn’t gel with when my husband’s grandparents were married (grandad would've been too young) – things were getting murky.

Looking at the details of the marriage it noted that great-grandmother was older than great-grandfather and also a widow.   Just for the heck of it, I decided to search for grandad using her former married name and there he was – turns out the great-grandad that lived with the family and who everyone loved (grandad wasn’t let in the house – long story) was actually step great grandad so the family tree I’d been tracing didn’t actually belong to the right family :(

Now what was I told was genealogy 101?   That’s right – get certificates!

Sepia photograph of Edward Arthur Read my grandfather
Edward Arthur READ

Genealogical Links

Great Links to Help You Trace Your Family Tree

This free family search website is really good and I've recently had a lot of luck with their Indian data (this has obviously been updated since I last looked for this branch of the family).

  • Access Genealogy - Great for US Genealogy
  • If you're tracing family in the States this looks like a great site. I don't have any family lines in America, but I like the look of this site and I especially like the cemetery transcriptions - they are really handy.

  • Find My Past
  • This is a site that I have used in the past even though you do have to pay, I found quite a few records on one side of my family which made it worthwhile for me. There is also an American site available too which has a good reputation.

    Photographic Stars - Names & Dates

    Historic Photos From My Family Tree

    I hope you've enjoyed the family photos I've included in this article, but what if you think some of them look familiar or you just recognize a name?   Well if that's the case here's information on them and if you think there may be a family connection feel free to send a private message to me via Facebook.

    Introduction Image

    The image in the introduction is of Alice Beatrice GALE born 11 Oct 1884 at Loders, Dorset, England.   Alice was one of my great-grandmothers.

    Eli & Alice READ with children Edward, Lona & William

    This image is of Eli Reuben READ born 01 Jan 1879 at East Coker, Yeovil, Somerset, England along with his wife Alice (the same lady mentioned above) who were married on 14 Jan 1904.   They had eight children and are pictured with three of them from left to right they are - Edward Arthur READ (born 07 Sep 1907), Lona Frances Emily READ (born 21 Jul 1904) and William George READ (born 18 Dec 1905 ).

    Arthur BUTCHER and daughters

    This image is of Arthur Richard BUTCHER born 30 Nov 1873 at Caterham, Surrey.  He was one of my great grandfathers and is pictured with his daughters at a wedding.   The daughters are from left to right - Queenie Etta (born 19 Sep 1918), Constance Christina Winifred (born 17 Sep 1914), Mabel Beatrice (born 11 Feb 1898) , Eirene Hilda Dorothy (born 19 Sep 1899), May COMPTON (half sister) Gladys Kathleen (born 23 Apr 1906), Gwendoline Dorcas Joyce (born 27 Apr 1916)

    Peder (Peter) Christian HANSEN

    This image is of Peder (Peter) Christian HANSEN who was born 3 Dec 1829 at Tommerup, Funen Island, Denmark.   He was one of my husband's great-great-grandfathers and emigrated to New Zealand in 1874.

    Edward Arthur READ

    This image is of Edward Arthur READ (the same person in the photo with his parents Eli and Alice) who was born 7 Sep 1907 at Loders, Dorset, England.   Edward was one of my grandfathers although I never got to meet him as he died before I was born.

    I think photographs really help bring your family tree alive, but unfortunately, some of them can be in disrepair.  I've come across ones that have been ripped, covered in age spots and more.   I did write a post about removing blemishes in photoshop if you have some old photos that do not look their best.

    Are you interested in tracing your family tree?








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