Girl, Missing – Book Review

girl,missing

Girl, Missing is a story of an adopted fourteen-year-old girl who realises that she may have been kidnapped as a baby. This book originally came out in 2006 so I received the 10-year anniversary edition. Though I believe that I am slightly older than the target audience (young adults), I still enjoyed the story. I’m quite interested in the subject of adoption and this was a tale that was different to what I have read before.

In the note from the author at the beginning of the book, the author mentions that they considered modernising the book to appeal to the youth of today – changing the texting to something more contemporary. Personally, I’m really glad that this version stuck to the original edition. It was a nice piece of nostalgia for me since “text speak” was my generation (I definitely no longer type that fast!) and I think it’s good for teens of the following generations to see what life was like before the days of smart phones.

The story itself surprised me. I was expecting the storyline to go in one direction and that would be it but the place I thought the book would have originally ended, was where the plot took a very interesting turn. I definitely enjoyed the last third of the book the most! The majority of the chapters ended in cliffhangers, which made me consume the book in a couple of days. The characters were interesting, relatable and there was never a dull moment.

Though there were times when my 28-year-old self would speak up and say, “this totally wouldn’t happen” in places, my fourteen-year-old self would tell her to shut it. I’m glad I kept reading because it turned out pretty interesting without giving anything away, and there were plenty of twists that I wasn’t expecting. I would absolutely be interested in reading one of her thrillers for adults.

And finally, I will completely admit that I am one to judge a book by it’s cover and this anniversary edition completely passed the test. It’s so pretty!

I would give Girl, Missing a 3 and a half out of 5 stars.

 

*I was sent this book to review, however as usual, all opinions are my own.

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Mowgli

Mowgli 1

Since I went to India in 2012, I’ve been searching for something that can compare to the food I had there. As much as I enjoy a British curry, it’s great to have something a bit more authentic.

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Mowgli is an Indian street food restaurant that is in both Manchester and Liverpool. First off, it’s refreshing to see something start in the North – I was pleasantly surprised to find out that London doesn’t have a branch. As much as I love London, the UK doesn’t start and end there.

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My favourite thing about street food, whatever country it originates from, is that you get to try everything! Being someone who’s eyes are generally bigger than their stomach, I often find that the portion sizes of regular meals are too big for me and a lot of the time I like the look of other people’s food. Therefore street food is perfect to get a little taste of everything.

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So, to Mowgli’s menu. We actually went twice within a few days because we enjoyed it so much the first time. Topher and I first tried Mowgli on my birthday and then when my parents passed through Manchester two days later, we brought them to try it since they love Indian food. So what I’m showing in this post is a mix of the two visits we made.

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The very first things we tried were the Yoghurt Chat Bombs. They were essentially crispy bread puffs filled with yoghurt. Top tip – just shove the whole thing in your mouth unless you want to cover your front with yoghurt. These are not made to take bites out of! Topher and I thought they were tasty and something a bit different.

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When it came to ordering dishes, Topher and I skipped the rice and just ordered a load of different curries with some puri (flat breads) on the side. We were glad we did that as it saved us room in our bellies to try more curries. However, when my parents joined us, we got rice, as they prefer to pair their curries with it. It all depends on how much you like to eat.

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Things that we loved and had both times: Gunpowder chicken, Temple Dahl, Agra Ginger Chicken, Mother Butter Chicken and the Goan Fish Curry.

Things we tried that I definitely recommend: The Bombay Chip Butty, Maa’s Lamb Chops and turmeric chips and the Mowgli House Keema (this was my mums favourite!).

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For dessert, which I always make sure to save room for, when it was just Topher and I, we both had the Pink Himalayan Salted Caramel ice cream. Tasty! And then with my parent’s Topher and I shared the Chocolate Mowgli Cake and they had Mango ice cream. Also very tasty. When we go back I want to try the Gulab Jamun!

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Mowgli 10

If you’re gluten free or vegan, Mowgli have loads of options for you as well. It’s been such a long time that Topher and I have been to a place that we like this much. Here’s to the next time. I want to try the whole menu!

Have you ever been to Mowgli? What’s your favourite type of street food?

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30 before 30: 2 years to go

30 before 30

It seems like forever ago when I created my first 30 before 30 post. But it was only two years ago. It’s weird how much has changed. Especially how much of the list I’m not all that interested in anymore. Like there’s no way I’m going to be able to do the London to Brighton Trek again, let alone do a charity walk abroad. And I have no idea why I even thought about putting down to go and see a premier league football match. It didn’t really interest me then and it certainly doesn’t interest me now.

Here’s my list as it stands today:

30 before 30

1. Ride a horse

2. Buy a house

3. Visit Iceland – I’d really like this to happen but I doubt it will before I’m 30 with everything that’s going on in these next two years. Maybe when I’m 31.

4. Make a gingerbread house

5. Get to my target weight and stay there – Working on this!

6. Make sushi – Still want to do this

7. Go indoor skydiving – I think I still want to do this

8. Make a scrapbook – Currently making one

9. Do a charity walk abroad – This is NOT going to happen

10. Drive across the USA – This was supposed to happen for our honeymoon but we had to scale our plans back. Therefore it’s not going to happen. I don’t think we’ll do it all in one go anyway – just do portions of it. I will be driving from San Fransisco to LA on our honeymoon though.

11. Successfully make all of my favourite Arab meals – I would still like to do this

12. Own a piece of Tatty Devine jewellery

13. Build a capsule wardrobe – I do still want to do this

14. Write an article for a magazine – Again, I’m not sure why I put this because I had already been published in two magazines at the point of making this list. This isn’t really in my plans anymore.

15. Have a spa day

16. Own my own cats

17. Go to the recording of a tv show – This would be cool. And technically I had already been to one. Jeremy Kyle. Though I don’t like to count that one. I think I had more 8 out of 10 cats in mind!

18. Have my own walk in wardrobe/office 

19. Make macaroons at home – Still on my list

20. Sort out my acne – Still trying but nothing works. 6 years and counting now

21. Be in a happy place in my career – whatever it may turn out to be

22. Marry Topher – next year!

23. Go to a premier league football match – I don’t want to do this anymore

24. Sew a dress – Maybe one day but not really a priority for me at the moment

25. Own something from Kate Spade

26. Sleep inside a treehouse – This would be really cool but I don’t think it’s going to happen before I turn 30

27. Go to Cadbury World – This should be something I could fit in. Fingers crossed.

28. Finish the London to Brighton trek – Not before I’m 30 at least

29. Fill in my recipe book – I would still like to do this

30. He watch, she watch project – I think we’ve dropped this but we did do about 11 or 12 episodes so I’m proud of that

 

So I’ve done 9 out of 30 things. And I’m hoping to finish the list at around 20 out of 30. So watch this space. It’s funny how things change and I’m looking forward to the next to years. Here’s to my late twenties!

Do you have a 30 before 30 style list?

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28 years old

28 years old

After last year’s interesting birthday, I was happy to actually spend the day with Topher this year. As well as a lovely meal at Mowgli (which I’ve had to dedicate an entire post to soon!) and afternoon tea at Rosylee in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, I did my usual shopping trip with my birthday money. It was nice to spread things out a bit since usually I’m adamant that everything has to happen on my actual birthday. My birthday was on the Sunday (26th) and with Topher’s shifts being up in the air, we decided to go into town on the Friday for afternoon tea and shopping.

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We were super tired because we had stayed up all night watching the Brexit results but we didn’t let that get in our way. Afternoon  tea at Rosylee was lovely, though we had a good laugh trying to see each other through our platter of food. As usual, I had difficulty finishing my half. I don’t know what it is about tiny sandwiches and cakes but surprisingly they fill me up more than a huge bowl of pasta does.

birthday 1

Anyway, it was our first time at Rosylee and I loved the decor. So pretty! And the staff were really nice too. We agreed we will have to come back at some point to try out their main menu. And they’ve got a great offer of half price prosecco whenever it rains…which in Manchester is a lot!

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After stuffing ourselves, we went shopping and also picked up a couple of last minute bits for Jordan (which when this post goes live, we’ll be on our way!). Here’s what I got.

I had originally picked out the cactus dress I blogged about here but when I tried it on it was just wrong. My main gripe with it was the two slits up the front…that ended about crotch level. I’m by no means short but are the slits that necessary? Not even up the sides but the front, in line with your legs. That was an exposure accident waiting to happen so I left it and just bought the skirt from the same post. I can’t wait to pair it with different colour vest tops and sandals!

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My replacement dress was this banana print one I found in Thunderegg. It fits great, it’s a decent length and above all things it’s fun! I already wore it out on my actual birthday.
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That’s all I actually bought on the day, but here’s what I got online.

I originally saw this bag on ASOS but my brother spotted the exact same one on Amazon for almost half the price so that was a bonus!

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I fell in love with this cat apron the moment I saw it and even though I don’t wear aprons, I will from now on!
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I was desperately in need of a new phone case and thought I would get one off Casetify but I forgot they’re based abroad so I wouldn’t receive it in time for my holiday so I spotted this one on ASOS instead. I’m so happy with it though Pickles doesn’t like it at all. I think he thought it was a real cat. Bless him.

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And finally, my friends Claire and Steve got me some scrapbooks! They know me well. The blue one in a set has honeymoon scrapbook written all over it!
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So on my actual birthday we stayed in until the evening where Topher actually agreed to watch some girly films. Long time readers will know that this is a rare opportunity that has to be taken advantage of. So I pulled out the girliest films I could find; “Slap Her, She’s French”, “Bride Wars” and “The Devil Wears Prada”. Surprisingly, he enjoyed all three.

After the film marathon we ate out at Mowgli which as I mentioned above, I have to dedicate an entire post to because it was just so damn awesome.

So all in all I had a good 28th birthday. Here’s to the next!

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Just Love and Hope

Veronica Dearly

Illustration by Veronica Dearly

It’s now been a week since the EU referendum. Wowzers. I don’t know about you but I was not expecting that! Anyway, since then I’ve been struggling with what to say about the whole thing. So on my blog at least, I didn’t say anything at all. I didn’t want to write about something else and I didn’t want to just publish a long rant about how I personally feel that it’s a big mistake. So I waited.

Now I feel that the most important thing at this time is to be mindful. Of other people, that is. Whether this country is going to succeed or if it’s going to crash and burn, all I know is that we need to stick together. Both the UK with itself and also the UK with the rest of the world. We can’t turn our backs.

The sheer volume of racism that has emerged since last week has made me feel ashamed. Not only being British, but also being human. It’s disgusting and there is no logical reason for it. As someone who has an immigrant for a parent and being brought up around a wide variety of people from all races and classes, I can’t understand it but I guess it’s ultimately because of fear. Fear of people being different to you.

I’m loving movements like the #safetypin and Veronica Dearly’s EU and human pins. These, along with other little stories of people standing together makes me feel a little better about the whole thing. In my opinion, the only way to fight hate is with love.

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, we’re all human beings that belong to the same planet and we seriously need to start acting like it. Though we are different, we are also the same.

For now, I have hope.

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