Ghouls, Ghosts and Goblins

On Halloween they emerge from the underworld trawling the streets for victims. Weapons in hand, swag slung over one shoulder. Travelling from house-to-house they collect their ‘gold’ and shriek into the night. Then head home to munch on sweets.

Skeleton Halloween Outfit

Skeletons, witches and zombies.

Children love Halloween. 

As a parent I am in two minds about Halloween. I love seeing the kids in the neighbourhood dressed up and knocking on doors to collect sweets. I enjoy looking at the houses decorated with pumpkins, skeletons and candles. But Halloween falls at the end of October. It is bleak. The wind is brisk and strong and the chill in the air makes its way into your bones. Brrr.

Fiona Halloween OutfitShrek Halloween Outfit
Two years ago the hubby and I wore outfits too. The hubby dressed up as Shrek and I was Fiona, the kids thought it was great. I was freezing, the dress I had on was thin and didn’t protect me from the bitter wind. But it was fun entertaining the little ones in the houses we visited. 

This year the hubby and I aren’t dressing up but the boys love it just the same. They’re looking forward to going out in the dark, visiting the decorated houses and getting their bags filled with sweets. They’ll be full of smiles when we return home and Halloween will be over for another year.

As much as I hate being out on an autumnal evening I know I’ll miss it when the kids are older. When they decide they’re too old for dressing up I’ll wish I could take them trick-or-treating. 

I will make the most of the next few years of Halloween. I’ll take pictures and enjoy the time, even after the sweets are gone.

What do you do to get into the spirit of Halloween?

Exercise Anyone?

Exercise is important.

Or so the experts say. It reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and if you need to, helps you lose weight. The more exercise we do the healthier we are. And yet so many of us find it difficult to drag our lazy butts to a gym. Including me.

I’ve found that carving out 30 minutes for a power-walk in a morning has done wonders. After dropping the kids off at school but before starting chores at home I walk with friends. While doing my walk I get to chat to friends and catch up on gossip as well as getting that all-important exercise. 

Thirty minutes every day…

I don’t walk every day, and in the holidays I don’t walk at all. 

How do I get exercise in the school holidays? 

I go on the treadmill or do yoga. The treadmill is harder, especially when the kids are home and LP comes running into the garage asking for a drink just as I’m sprinting. I tend to save treadmill for school days.

Yoga is different. In the past I attended a class, which I enjoyed very much, but it got cancelled. A few days ago, as I was suffering with backache, I decided to check out videos on YouTube. I found a brilliant one for beginners (find it here), watched it and tried it out. At only 20 minutes long it was enough to stretch out my body and ease the aches. And it doesn’t matter if the kids come in to talk - bonus!

Start small

When you’re first starting out with a new exercise regime I suggest starting with small changes. Start out with the occasional walk. Once you’re ready add in a minute of running or jogging. Then two minutes. Eventually you’ll find you’re running for 20 minutes.

When I do get the chance to run on the treadmill I run for a mile without stopping, that’s my limit at the moment. At the mile mark I slow to a power-walk for a minute, have a drink of water, and run again. The second mile is more like that, power-walk and run, but I am getting there. I know that I’ll get to running that 2 miles in no time.

If I can go from being 14st 8lbs and never running to 10st 9lbs and running on a weekly basis then anyone can.

Do you have any tips for anyone starting a new regime?
What would be your questions if you’re the one starting?

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light - Review & Giveaway

A few weeks ago I received Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light to review. It is a book I'd never heard of but thought it might be something BP would enjoy reading. I'm always looking out for books to encourage him to read more.

Skulduggery Pleasant

Here's a teaser...

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: The Dying of the Light 

The FINAL shocking, heart-wrenching book in the jaw-droppingly stupendous Skulduggery Pleasant series. 
Valkerie. Darquesse. Stephanie. The world ain’t big enough for the three of them. The end will come… 
The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder.And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection. 
The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…

With a book like this I wait for BP to read the story and then ask him to tell me about it. But as the book is large (605 pages) I figured I'd get through it far quicker so I read it first. At least that's my official reason. BP is working his way through book 1 in the series - Skulduggery Pleasant.

I wasn't sure what to expect, after all it's an older children's book. And the last in a series of 10. Could I read the last story first?

Well, as it turns out, YES I could. The book was hard to put down, and I was pleasantly (hehe) surprised. I am not ashamed to say I will back and read the other books. I enjoyed the story, the characters and their adventures.

There were a few references to things that had happened (in earlier books) that made me want to go back and read the other stories. It wasn't distracting or jarring and I followed the story without knowing anything about the characters' other adventures.

When I picked up the book to continue reading I transported into their world and felt like the characters were alive. Or dead, as the case may be. Skulduggery Pleasant is a brilliant character who provides comedic relief in times of tension but is also a good friend to have around in a sticky spot. I found myself wanting to know more about this mysterious detective.

I don't usually enjoy fantasy books but this one grabbed me right from the start. Even though there were monster hunters, dead people, and magical powers I believed it all. I laughed along with characters breathed faster in the 'fight' scenes. 

I know BP will enjoy Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light and if this last one is anything to go by, he will enjoy all the others too. I'd recommend this series of books.


I am offering readers a chance to win a copy of Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light. Simply enter the rafflecopter giveaway.

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I was sent Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light for review. This is an honest review and all opinions are my own.

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