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Rubiks: stocking fillers and family fun!

The Rubiks Cube is an iconic game from my childhood. This Christmas, a third of parents surveyed have said that Rubiks makes a perfect stocking filler and I agree!

Let’s begin with the original and classic 3 x 3 cube. Infuriatingly fascinating for children and adults alike!

Who thinks the 2 x 2 cube will be easier? Not me! We still haven’t solved it! I am not ready to give in and visit their website for help and hints: I am determined!

I also really like the stands that come with the 2 and 3 squared puzzles. Perfect for displaying your solved cube if you manage it or to simply look stylish and stop them getting lost!
The single layer Rubiks Edge 1 x 3 game was achievable for all of us (well, not Zach). It is one layer of the classic 3 x 3 cube and was slightly simpler to solve, unlike the Rubiks Orbit which is foiling all our attempts to return it to its original matching solution!

We were also sent the Rubiks Cage game. Simple instructions to make 3 colours in a row whilst preventing your opponent doing the same, even 3 year old Zach could understand and join in. Matthew and Anya enjoyed competing against each other for this game.

My personal favourite is the Rubiks Match card game. We haven’t played it competitively yet but enjoy puzzling out the solutions. Some of them are VERY tricky! Development of strategic thinking and physical manipulation of the cards to create the image: fab for hand eye coordination and lots of fun!
Rubiks toys are available in all good toy stores or online (see John Adams for stockists or see the Amazon links below)

I hope #RubiksSolvesChristmas for you this year!

*We were sent these toys for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own


A Christmas Wish and a Cranberry Kiss at the Cosy Kettle, by Liz Eeles

 

 

Becca runs The Cosy Kettle cafe and shares a house with her best friend Zac. She is crippled by a lack of self confidence so writes a list of wishes which she believes will make her happier in time for Christmas.
The festive period provides the opportunity for the plot: Becca’s love interest Logan needs someone to host his work Christmas party so Becca offers to hold the event at the Cosy Kettle. Will their party meetings lead to romance…?
A Christmas Kiss and a Cranberry Kiss is a warm, feel-good festive themed book. Becca is a really likeable lead character and, if I’m honest, quite like me in terms of constantly comparing herself to others and finding herself lacking 🙁
Liz Eeles uses this book to remind us to be careful what we wish for and to appreciate ourselves the way we are. Becca has blinkers on and can’t see herself objectively: she is recovering from heartbreak and a complete change in lifestyle and career yet can’t see how brave she has been.
It was obvious from the start that Becca and Zac belonged together and around halfway through the book she realises this too but by this point her twin sister has asked him out. She tries to feel happy for them but her heart is breaking once again.
There is plenty of humour and pathos as we are introduced to a plethora of peripheral characters in the form of the book club. Whilst their actions are amusing, there is often a sadness lurking in the background and this is sensitively dealt with in the narrative.
I really enjoyed A Christmas Wish and a Cranberry Kiss at the Cosy Kettle: uplifting so just right for getting in the Christmas spirit.
Blog Tour Media Kit:
 
Title: A Christmas Wish and a Cranberry Kiss at the Cosy Kettle
 
Author:  Liz Eeles
 
Pub day: 07/11/2019
 
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B07W9913G7Social
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2TnuugP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2KFQIGP
Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2YJavin
 
Description:
Fans of Milly Johnson and Phillipa Ashley, the Cosy Kettle café is waiting for you to find a comfy spot by the fire and snuggle up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Amidst the twinkling lights and falling snowflakes, Becca has a wish to make this Christmas…
Running from heartbreak, twenty-five-year-old Becca has moved to the cosy village of Honeyford. Living with her best friend Zac in a little stone cottage and serving mince pies and steaming gingerbread lattes at the Cosy Kettle, is the perfect escape from her past.
But starting over isn’t always plain sailing, and Becca’s shyness is holding her back from making her mark on the café. To make matters worse, her crush on blond-haired, blue-eyed local heartthrob Logan gets stronger by the day – but he can barely remember her name. So as the snow starts to fall in Honeyford, Becca has one big Christmas wish: to completely reinvent herself. Becca dreams of bringing the Cosy Kettle success and finding romance with Logan under the mistletoe.
As she gets a makeover, cosies up to Logan over mulled wine and plans the most festive celebration the café has ever seen, Becca wonders why she waited so long to step out of her comfort zone… Zac, on the other hand, thought she was perfect before – always caring for others – and he misses the quirky girl with the bright blue hair.
When Logan turns out to not be all he seems, Becca is left wondering if he’s really the one for her. With her party plans also going awry, can Becca save her beloved Cosy Kettle in time for Christmas? And has the key to her happiness been in front of her all along?
 

 

Author Bio:
Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist.
Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result.
Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.
Author Social Media Links:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lizeelesauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizeelesauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizeelesauthor/

 


#Project365 2019 week 45

Day 307: heading out in the cold with our Bright Eyes hats to help us see in the dark

Day 308: a visit to Eclectic Games in Reading to meet a legendary games designer Maureen Hiron

Day 309: Mum’s birthday!

 

Day 310: how my heart sank when Matthew anounced just before half term that he needed a Georgian costume!

Day 311: I’ve been shivering and cranking up the heating while Zach is sat in a vest eating ice cream

Day 312: enjoying a cosy night in with my puzzle from Jumbo Games (I have a bundle to give away: click here!)

Day 313: playing a fun Rubiks card game

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#GlobalBlogging 137

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to #GlobalBlogging!
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October vegan favourites

Oops, a third of the way through the new month and I realised I haven’t written October’s round up vegan post! There have been lots of new products in the shops so let’s see what I thought:
Tesco had lots of new items including from Plant Chef and Wicked Kitchen. these were very tasty but the burgers were a mess as they were very liquid. Once cooked they were fine but we had to re-form them.

The Like… brand also arrived in Tesco and is now one of my favourites EVER! I particularly like the schnitzel but all of them are excellent meat substitutes. The chicken and kebab ones have a good texture, realistic to trick meat eaters (I believe anyway, it has been 20 years since I went veggie!)

Also good are the Vegetarian Butcher for meat substitutes and Heck for sausages.

Chris found me these curry dishes from Ashoka at an independent shop near his work. The majority are vegan and gluten free. They are a really quick and easy meal option on their own but would also be good to add other vegetables, tofu or vegan ‘meat’ to bulk out.

I made this quick and easy one pot carrot and coriander rice dish.

 

Chris knocked up this quick garlic mushroom sauce which he used on toast but I had on gluten free pasta. Very tasty and helped keep vampires away at Halloween!

I made my first ever mug cake! I was sent a cup from Ginger Fox and followed the recipe included but left out the egg: wow! The cake was brilliant!
We have eaten out a few times this month. The soup and garlic bread at Zizzi in Stratford was absolutely superb and the pizza was tasty too with jackfruit pepperoni. Such a shame that the rest of the family were a little disappointed with their meals and the service was sloooooooow.

 

My first try of a pizza at Ask Italian (I usually go for pasta which always tastes great but leaves me hungry as I’m a pasta fiend and could eat double their portion size!) I could have done with less vegan cheese as it was quite claggy.

 

My final restaurant pizza of the month was Bella Italia, choose your own toppings. I was a bit underwhelmed by the distribution and quantity of the mushrooms and onions!

 

Take a look at the rest of the year; January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September.