June Round Up| 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve done a round-up post, so please accept my apologies! But life as always gets in the way and the last couple of months has been busy.

So with that out-of-the-way there are a few things that should have gone into previous months round-ups so instead I’ll put them in here.

In terms of TV I’ve completed the end of season 6 of Pretty Little Liars.  And I’ve now started on series 7 which is coming out weekly on Netflix at the moment.

PLL

The acting has changed in the shows, as has the way it’s directed I feel.  I’m not sure why, but it’s much more cheesy now than it used to be.  Not that it’s stopping me of course- it’s still juicy just a bit more cringey.  It’s a definite guilty pleasure.  Who is the new A?

Marcella was another show that I fell immediately in love with as soon as it started showing on ITV.

marcella

Anna Friel is the lead actress in this show, and based upon her performance in Odyssey (that has subsequently been cancelled which is a shame) I thought I’d try this on for size.

It’s described as British crime noir, and it certainly had me on the edge of my seat and feeling pretty scared at times.  Like with Odyssey I could see parallels with Homeland particularly between the characters of Marcella and Carrie Mathison (both professionals with mental health issues).

I’m looking forward to watching the next season of this.  For those of you that have Netflix out of the UK, I believe you can watch it through there.

The Durrells was another show I really enjoyed.

thedurrells

It was just a nice, easy, quintessential watch.  It’s based on Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical books which document his time in Corfu growing up.  It’s just a lovely feel good drama with a good bit of humour thrown in.

For something trashy and juicy, The Royals as always, hits the spot!  You’ll find it over on E! Entertainment, so that should indicate just how terribly fantastic it is 😉

theroyals

It’s about a fictional British Royal family that are quite possibly more corrupt and hedonistic than you can imagine.  After the murder of the King of England, the second series tries to reestablish the monarchy which of course involves more murder, nights out, broken hearts and a full top to toe Princess makeover via a surgeon.

It really doesn’t get trashier and more scintillating.  😉

Books wise for the last couple of months I managed to read two books.

The first one was The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.

ss

The protagonist unravels a big secret after her father dies.  Having believed her sister committed suicide when she was very young, she starts to find evidence to point to the contrary and as she digs in deeper the secrets start to unravel.  It was a great book to read, and one that kept the suspense throughout.

The second book I read was called Full Circle by Natalie Savvides.*

full circle

The book is a real life collection of Natalie’s diary entries from her previous years about trying to find a meaningful relationship and how each step in her life brings her to the conclusion she reaches.

I felt like the book had a lot going for it, but it lacked editing.  Natalie’s story is a good one, but it needed to be tighter when it came to transferring everything into book form.  It almost had the potential to be a real life Bridget Jones, but there just needed to be more humour injected and less characters.

Although all the characters were real, some weren’t necessary and by having too many people in it, it meant I wasn’t able to remember her timeline of events as well as I would have liked therefore not connecting with her story in the way that I needed to.

Some characters she needed to elaborate on to give them real personalities which I felt would have given the much-needed humour that the book lacked.

Plus I hated the title and the book cover- neither were engaging enough and I felt the cover and title didn’t really fit with the impression I got from the book.  I sound quite harsh, but hopefully it’s more useful criticism because I think there’s great potential!

Little London has had some great books the last few months as well.  He’s become really good at sitting still and letting me read to him without losing concentration which is amazing.  I love how he copies full sentences as I read them out to him as well.

Nutrikids* is a collection of books created by nutritional therapist Sam Bourne.

nutrikids

After struggling with her own children with regards to healthy eating, Sam decided to bring out a range of books to encourage children to make healthy food choices.

The books help explain why certain foods are good for you in a fun, engaging way.  The short stories about individual healthy foods, are appealing and have definitely impacted on what foods Little London will try now.  Previous to me reading these books he was extremely fussy over his vegetable and fruit choices.

The books also have some good simple recipes for that particular food and it also gives tips on how to grow the food at home too- including how to grow an avocado tree!

I highly recommend them for fussy eaters.

Ubuntu: Summer of the Rhino by Julia Johnson* and illustrated by Bug Fawcett, is a book we were sent to review that may appear a little old for Little London, but because it’s made up of a collection of short chapters I find he’s very engaged with the book as I read it- although this may not be typical of a 2 and a half-year old!  The book is actually meant for those aged 8 and over.

ubuntu

It’s a book with a difference.  Instead of shying away from a difficult subject, this books aims to teach children about the very real issue of poaching. In turn it hopes to help raise a generation of children eager to tackle the future of their planet.

Ubuntu is a Bantu word that Nelson Mandela made famous.  It means ‘human kindness.’  Ubuntu is also the name of the orphaned rhino in the book which helps to reiterate the ways in which our lives as humans and those of animals are all intertwined and how we rely on each other for survival.

The book is produced in partnership with Rhino Revolution and the royalties made are donated to the charity with an aim to end rhino poaching.

It’s a great book, and one I want to make sure survives the toddler years for when it will have a real impact.

Some great products I’ve been using this month have included this lovely cute kettle from House of Fraser.*

dualit mini

I don’t need to tell you all about the amazingness of a kettle.  After all we all know it boils water.

But we bought a ridiculously expensive kettle about 6 months ago that just died on us.  Every time we switched it on to boil water the electrics in our entire home would go off.  So after using a saucepan for a long time to boil water, it feels pretty darn good to have a good functional kettle back in the house!

Nice cuppas and homemade iced tea are back on the menu! I just had to share because I will never take a kettle for granted again 😉

The final product I want to tell you about today is by Ecover.*

ecover

I’ve often been put off from trying new household products, preferring tried and tested.  But recently I got to try some washing up liquid by Ecover.  Most my dishes actually go in the dish washer (but I haven’t tried the Ecover dishwasher tablets so I can’t comment on those but would love to hear your opinions if you have tried them), but a few items I do wash by hand throughout the day- mainly plastic items for Little London because I find they take on the dishwasher smell if I put them in the dishwasher.

For some reason I’ve often associated green products as being less effective, but on the contrary I find Ecover washing up liquid to be just as effective and as long-lasting as my favoured brand.

But because it doesn’t contain any chemical nasties it’s ultimately better all around for my skin and for the environment.  Win-win.

(PR samples marked with a *)

thelondonmum

58 Comments

  1. I started watching The Durrells and need to finish watching the series as was enjoying it, I haven’t watched any of the other series you have mentioned. I can understand your joy of a functional kettle, we had one that funnily enough would blow the electrics too, we just went and got a cheap one in Wilkos but need to get a decent one again soon x
    StressedMum recently posted…My Week – Sorry A Bit LateMy Profile

    • Maybe it was the same kettle we both ended up with. It was so frustrating!!!! lol. x

    • You’ll love the tv series then, it’s just so “homely” to watch. It’s a great comforting show with a lot of animals lol.

  2. Great roundup! I’ve heard great things about Marcella, but unfortunately I didn’t get any time to watch it.

    • It’s really good! I tried to hold off watching it for my partner to watch with me, but he was working a lot at the time so just got stuck in by myself and couldn’t stop lol! He still hasn’t seen it!

    • That’s on my to do list, I need to finish Game of thrones and love island and then I’ll be able to binge watch OITNB 😉

    • I’m not even sure if it comes out on normal tv- I know it’s definitely on Netflix and as it’s released in the Us it uploads to the UK site the day after. x

  3. I’ve heard such good things about Pretty little liars but I’ve never watched it. I love Ecover. We use it all the time! X
    Sarah Cantwell recently posted…Pregnancy Scans #MUMTALKMy Profile

    • It’s a show you need to just make sure you watch - just find the time to watch the first episode and you’ll be hooked lol!

      Yes Ecover has really surprised me!

    • Honestly it’s one of the best things you can do! lol- sounds dramatic but it’s so good!

    • I know exactly what you mean!! But yes it always comes back. x

  4. My daughter and I may have to check out Marcella. She’s big into crime shows and I need a new series to binge!

    • I know, I’m glad that didn’t stop the show after finding out who A was and it gets to continue!

  5. Great entertaining post LondonMum! … 32???? Bah! … that’s nothing! – we’ve got socks older than that … & you’re still not old enough to be a member of the ‘brolly-n-trolly’ squad either haha!!! – Still on the ‘Irish eagle’ begorrah. Onwards LondonMum.

  6. I’ve only started watching Pretty Little Liars this month! Soooo addictive! Hopefully the rest of the seasons live up to the first one x

    • Oh they do- it’s a show you won’t be able to stop watching until you get to the end!

    • I know- I have no idea sometimes how they manage to tie it all up by the end!

  7. We’ve just joined the Netflix #StreamTeam so i’ve only just started watching Pretty Little Liars, but thoroughly enjoying it so far. I’m a big fan of Ecover products, mainly because of their green properties but i also find them just as effective as the leading household brands xx
    Vikki Holness recently posted…We Are Huggies Pull-Ups AmbassadorsMy Profile

    • The bottle I have is definitely just as effective! So I might as well do something good for the environment if I can without having to give up how good a product is!

    • They did drag it out with regards to A but they kept me intrigued right until I found out who it was. They lost it a little bit in the middle but they had some great story lines as it got past that point!

    • Just cave in and watch the first one- if you hate it you’ll know straight away or else it’ll be an affair that’s totally worth it 😉

  8. What a fab round up! I loves Marcella, but haven’t watched the other shows. I also love the ecover products and need to try that one out!!

    • It’s really good, just as effective as the usual brand I buy but better for the environment so at least I’m contributing in my own small way 🙂

    • How could you not finish Marcella? I was addicted to it weekly! x

  9. I really need to watch pretty little liars. Everyone seems to love it x

    • Just watch the first one- if you like it it’ll hook you in and there will be no going back 😉

    • It’s a greta show, they may do a repeat before the next season shows.

    • The Durrells was just so quaint wasn’t it. Really chilled out viewing. You should probably give Marcella another go, although if it didn’t hook you maybe it wasn’t for you/ I loved it from he get go. x

    • Is this the new A or the old A…?? I have no idea who the new A could possibly be. It’s all quite scary! eeeeeek! hahaha x

    • I thought it did until this new stint.. although that won’t stop me. It’s still so god damn addictive! haha

  10. I’ve been trying to find the time to watch Marcella - I might start tonight! I adored The Bridge and can’t get enough of classy Scandi-noir; I can’t wait to see how they adapt this style to the UK. x

  11. great roundup, i really need to catch up with PLL thanks for reminding me!

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