The Judges Wife-A Book Review

Whilst we have reviewed books for children here in the past and of course I have shared my thoughts on many cookbooks, this is the first time I have shared a review of a fictional book I have read myself, for my own pleasure.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Ballroom Café, the debut novel from Ann O’ Loughlin, Irish journalist and now author. When her more recent book,  The Judges Wife,  appeared on my ‘recommended for you’ list I downloaded it without even reading they synopsis, that alone is a testament to how good The Ballroom Café is!


The Judge’s Wife: A captivating, emotional and uplifting tale of unspeakable secrets and enduring love

From the outset, I could not put The Judge’s Wife down. Moving between 1950’s and 1980’s Ireland and India, Emma, the estranged daughter of an esteemed judge unravels decades of family secrets as she puts her Father’s affairs in order.

As the story spans three decades we learn many harrowing secrets surrounding Grace, Emma’s mother. A passionate love affair, an arranged marriage, time in an asylum and a very conniving aunt all form strands on a tangled web of lies.

We have heard many distressing accounts of what it was like in asylums in Ireland and Ann O’Loughlin leaves nothing to the imagination in her portrayal of what life was like for the women incarcerated in The Judge’s Wife. Those accounts in the book prove to be quite an emotional read.

The Judge’s Wife is a very real tale. The lengths people went to in order to save face, the lies that were told; whole segments of people’s lives buried deep and never spoken about again. While this book is a work of fiction, it does mirror reality in Ireland in those times.

The author has written such an enthralling tale.Will Emma and all those affected by Grace’s story cope as the secrets of the past are revealed? I would certainly recommend reading the book to find out and I really look forward to reading more from Ann O’Loughlin.

I purchased my own cope of The Judge’s Wife, I was not asked to write a review. This is my own honest opinion.



Movie Food

Netflix have asked us to get creative and share some movie time culinary delights with you all. We don’t need asking twice, we love a good movie night and of course we love our food.

I have three movie night options for you; savoury, sweet and a fun snack, along with the movie that inspired them and some alternative movie suggestions.

Chicken Run

Image result for chicken run netflix

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks with a Cool Dipping Sauce


Chicken Drumsticks (I used two kilos for 7 of us)

For the marinade

3 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2-1Tbsp Sriracha (Regular chilli sauce will work fine if you cannot get/don’t have Sriracha)
Juice of one lime
1 Garlic clove crushed or grated


  • Prepare the drumsticks by removing the skin (optional) and slashing them once or twice, then add them to a large dish.
  • In a seperate bowl combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk them together.
  • Pour the marinade over the drumsticks, making sure they get a good coating.
  • Cover them with cling film or the lid of your dish if you have one and leave them in the fridge for a few hours. (If you don’t have time to do this, skip this bit and move onto cooking them)
  • Take the drumsticks from the fridge and preheat the oven at 160 fan (180 conventional.
  • Place the drumsticks in a roasting tray, pour the marinade from the bottom of the dish over, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and place back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Cool Dipping Sauce


200g Greek Style Yogurt
35g Honey
Juice of half a Lemon
Chopped Mint & Coriander
Salt & Pepper


There is no real method, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix really well, taste and make any adjustments to the seasoning you feel it needs. This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.

Grab your food and family, switch on Netflix and enjoy!


Sticky Chicken Drumsticks with a Cool Dipping Sauce

Alternative movie suggestions to enjoy with your finger lickin’snacks.



Alright, so this is a bit obvious. It is a movie I have enjoyed on a number of occasions now though. It is also a movie that you cannot possible sit through without chocolate of some description.

This snack so to speak provides you with that luxurious chocolate hit. There’s no weighing or measuring, throw everything together and voila….instant gratification. Another thing with this is it is suitable for all the romantic movies, the tearjerkers and the just plain lovely ones. There’s just enough to share or plenty if you just want some sheer, solitayr indulgence.

I give you……

Chocolate Mug Cake


1 Tbsp Plain Flour
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp (pinch) Baking Powder
2 Squares broken Chocolate (I use the Lidl JD Gross one, 2 squares is around 25g)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Milk


  • Add the dry ingredients to a mug and stir to combine.
  • In a separate cup whisk the wet ingredients together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix thoroughly and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds (my microwave is 700w)

That’s it! Eat straight from the mug or tip onto a plate and add a dollop of ice cream, yogurt or cream; whatever takes your fancy is what works here. Dim the lights, light your candles, grab a cosy blanket and put your movie of choice on.

Alternative suggestions that need chocolate.

Hotel Transylvania


It would be remiss of me to do movie snacks in October and not include something relative to Halloween, so with lots of help from Jack, I give you…Monster Eyes!


White Chocolate (125g bar, I used the Madagascan Vanilla one from Aldi)
Dark/Milk chocolate (just a square)
Smarties or similar sweets


  • Make popcorn according to pack instructions.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
  • Pour the chocolate over the popcorn and mix it well.
  • Add spoonfuls of the popcorn & chocolate mixture to miniature muffin cases and pop them in the freezer to set.
  • Melt a square of dark or milk chocolate and use this as a glue to add a smartie to the centre of each ‘eyeball’

Jack was very proud of these and they were a real treat for everyone as we tucked into some Halloween viewing on Netflix.

As a member of the Netflix Ireland Stream Team I have received complimentary Netflix membership and in return will be featuring Netflix related blog posts. All opinions are my own!


Sausage & Chips – Book Review


New books always evoke great excitement from the children and this one was no exception, largely due to the name, the three year old has such a giggle asking for ‘sausage and chips’ at bedtime!

Sausage and Chips In Space is the first book in a series of ten from author Rick Joyce who has previously written for older children. Having had an ambition for many years to publish illustrated books for younger readers, he has now realised his dream.


Sausage is an excitable Dachshund Dog and there is nothing he loves more than going on big adventures with his best friend Chips,an intelligent Siamese Cat who is always ready to learn new things.

The first thing you will notice with Sausage and Chips In Space are the lovely illustrations from Cassie Gregory. They are wonderfully colourful and lots of fun; my two children were really drawn to them.

Both my children,  who are 3 and 4, enjoyed the story. It very much focuses on friendship, looking out for one another and having fun; which is of course a message we all want to convey to our children.

Sausage and Chips In Space provides easy reading for children learning to read, or those that just like a funny and exciting story and love reading to themselves or being read to. In the first story “In Space” our intrepid and lovable characters have some great fun exploring in their space ship. Can you guess what they discover? We doubt it!

You can find out more about Sausage and Chips on their very own website, where you can also purchase a copy of the book and be the first to know about up coming stories in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of Sausage and Chips In Space for the purpose of this review, all thoughts expressed are my own honest opinion.


Halloween on Netflix

I have to admit, in my younger years I wasn’t all that pushed about Halloween, I could take it or leave it. However with five children who love it, it is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of it now. And who doesn’t adore all those cute pumpkins?!

The cool dark evenings that arrive with the holiday are an added bonus. Cosy evenings in front of the fire with miniature pumpkins and seasonal candles casting a warm glow across the room, the perfect ambience for spooktacular viewing.

I’ve compiled a selection of ghoulish shows available on Netflix to keep you entertained & whet your appetite for fright night!

For Younger Viewers

Older Kids

Family Movie Time

For Teens

The Ones you may need a Cushion for!

The ones you may crap your pants at!!


This is just a small selection of whats available on Netflix this Halloween. Personally I’ll be sticking close to the top end of the list, there isn’t a cushion…or a pants….big enough to protect me from the very gory movies!

As a member of the Netflix Ireland Stream Team I have received complimentary Netflix membership and in return will be featuring Netflix related blog posts. All opinions are my own!