[Book Review]: The one who got away – Caroline Overington

The One Who Got AwayGOODREADS SYNOPSISPerfect couple; perfect lie. The not-to-be-missed new psychological thriller from Caroline Overington.

We all keep secrets. Some are deadly.

Loren Wynne-Estes appears to have it all: she’s the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’s landed a handsome husband, a stunning home, a fleet of shiny cars and two beautiful daughters … 
Then one day a fellow parent taps Loren on the shoulder outside the grand school gate, hands her a note … and suddenly everything’s at stake. 
Loren’s Facebook-perfect marriage is spectacularly exposed – revealing an underbelly of lies and betrayal. What is uncovered will scandalise a small town, destroy lives and leave a family divided. But who is to be believed and who is to blame? Will the right person be brought to justice or is there one who got away? 
An unsettling psychological thriller for fans of Girl on a Train and Gone Girl.


Now now that I’ve read this book, I can safely say that the synopsis makes this story sound a lot more intriguing and thriller-like than it actually is.

It is a good book and I quite enjoyed it, but there’s no comparison to Girl on a train and Gone Girl. This book wasn’t much of a thriller at all. Yes someone goes missing and no one knows whose to blame (in that sense it is like the other titles mentioned), but the story around it is not as finger biting, edge of your seat reading thriller like the other two.

The very last chapter tells you who is the culprit and I must say I did have an inkling throughout the novel that this person was to blame, but how they did it is the mystery! I did enjoy the revelation.

This is quite an easy read and can easily be read in one day.

It has quite a lot of detailed sex scenes, more than I expected this kind of book to have and it seems the story revolved more around the affair than the actual missing person.

Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought of it!

❤ MeLzY

 

Our Country camping trip

We just got back from a one week camping trip in the country. It was one of our favourite trips we’ve done, although it was freezing with temperatures dropping to -7 overnight and freezing the taps in the caravan parks, it was still an awesome trip with so many new experiences that I can’t wait to share with you…

DAY 1

Our first stop was Wagga Wagga which we spent an afternoon & night and where we enjoyed an olive grove tour at Wollundry Grove Olives. The tour cost’s $5 each and the owner took us through the olive trees, explained a lot about how they grow and how the olives are harvested. We then got shown all the machinery and were told how the olives are processed and then turned into olive oil. We then got to taste some different olive oils and marinated olives.
It was a great little experience!

DAY 2

On our way to our next stop, we stopped in at Coolamon, a sleepy little country town but surprisingly a bit to see there!

For a gold coin donation we took a tour through the Up-To-Date Store, which houses antique clothing, farm machinery, fences and wagons. It was a very interesting place to visit.

Across the road from the Up-To-Date Store, there is a Fire Museum which has all sorts of fire fighter memorabilia from all over the world. Also for a gold coin donation the owner gave us a tour and explained various items to us. We would never usually have gone into a place like this, but considering we were there we gave it a go and actually found it quite interesting.

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The whole purpose we stopped in at Coolamon was for the cheese factory, which we did go to but unfortunately didn’t try any cheese because it was just too expensive! The place itself was gorgeous but we couldn’t justify paying over $30 for only 3 small pieces of cheese!

So back on the road we went, onto our next destination – Griffith.

DAY 2 & 3

The next 2 days were spent exploring Griffith. A place I have been wanting to visit for over 2 years. There was quite a bit to do here, hence why we stayed 2 nights.

Griffith is known mainly for growing oranges, as well as cotton. Everywhere you go there are orange trees and paddocks of cotton as well as vineyards. Unfortunately we went at a bad time as all the cotton was already harvested and the vineyards wern’t producing grapes but on the other hand it was the perfect time to see all the oranges.

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The first place we visited in Griffith was Warburn Estate who make my favourite Moscato: The Gossips Range! So of course I had to buy a bottle!

 

From there we went to Calabria Family Wines for a few tastings and of course we walked out with another bottle of wine!

After a few wine tastings, it was time to taste some food. We went to Riverina Grove. A small grocery like store in an industrial area of Griffith but home to various local made produce such as jams and chutneys. Tastings are allowed. We tasted some yummy olives (which of course I couldn’t leave without).

We drove to a Walnut Farm, unfortunately there were no tours or anything on offer, so we just took some photos and left. Still great to see something different though.

From the walnut farm, we went to Southern Cotton for a cotton tour. For a gold coin donation, we got a 45 minute tour of the factory and were able to watch the ginning process of the cotton. It was an amazing experience and we even got given a packet of cotton seeds to try and grow at home!

From Southern Cotton, we went to Catania Fruit Salad Farm for another tour. The tour costs $15 per person and the tour consists of a video as well as a drive through the farm on a bus but unfortunately for us it was raining the day we went and the owner wasn’t there to give the proper tour so the manager did his best for us but we didn’t get the real tour. It was still great though and we got to try a few different nuts and fruits and honeys etc..the chocolate honey was my favourite so of course I had to bring one home!

The rain started slowing down by now, so we decided to go to Summit Hill Lookout which is also home to Hermit’s Cave.

We had one more stop to make in Griffith – De Bortoli Winery  We went here only because we know the name. We did visit a few vineyards on this trip but what were we meant to do when we were surrounded by beautiful vineyards everywhere we went?
De Bortoli vineyard wasn’t really anything nice to look at considering how well named it is, but we did a tasting and the lady that served us was great, so we walked out with a dessert liqueur.

DAY 4

With Griffith finally explored, we drove toward our next destination. We drove through a town called Ardlethan which is known for the cattle dog. In it’s brochure it said there was a cattle dog statue in the town, so we drove around looking for what we thought would be this grand statue of a cattle dog, but all we found was this:

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So a bit disappointing but still very creative. We drove passed it a couple of times before finally noticing it!

So we kept going and soon after reached Forbes. We had planned to stop here for a bit and explore the town but unfortunately there wasn’t anything there to explore that interested us, so we kept driving.

We then reached Parkes. Known for their Elvis festival held every February. There is an Elvis museum in the information centre and everything!
In one of the many brochures I accumulated on this trip, I saw an interesting tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere (an hour from Parkes), so we decided to check it out.

Utes in the Paddock is what it’s called and it was awesome! People donate utes to artists who then transform them into amazing art work like this:

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There are 12 in total and it was so worth the drive to see this because it’s like nothing else we’d seen before!

DAY 5

Our next stop in Parkes in the famous Dish (AKA Parke’s Observatory). For those who have seen the movie ‘The Dish‘, you will know what this is.
I personally didn’t like the movie at all but to see the dish up close and personal was pretty amazing. We watched a 3D movie which was nothing about the dish but about the other planets but still pretty interesting to watch.

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After seeing the dish, we drove to Peak Hill to see the open cut goldmine. We had never seen one before so we thought it would be cool to go see this one. And it was pretty cool.

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After Peak Hill we hit the road again but not for long because our next stop was Orange.

We had high hopes for this town thinking there would be a lot to see and do here, but unfortunately for us it was a big fail and we ended up shopping to pass the time.
There was one vineyard we went to for their cheese tastings, Heifer Station – the place was gorgeous and rustic, but the prices were ridiculous, so we left.

DAY 5

We arrived in Mudgee. A beautiful place surrounded by vineyards and I couldn’t wait to explore it.
Our first stop was at High Valley Cheese Co for some complimentary cheese tastings, which were yumo! And conveniently located next door was The cellar by Gilbert where we had some wine tastings.

Baker Williams distillery was next on our list, where we tasted some schnapps, gin & liqueur. It wasn’t really our cup of tea but it was something different!

Aril Estate was next and this is one I was looking forward to. A pomegranate and olive farm! Yum! Here we got to taste various olives, olive oils and pomegranate syrup which I couldn’t leave without. This was a great experience.

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DAY 7

We started off our second day in Mudgee attending St Mary’s Catholic Church.

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From church we went to Honey Haven & Cafe which was a great place! We’d never seen anything quite like it. There were so many honey related items and the tasting table was massive! We enjoyed this shop so much that we had a lovely morning tea there once we had decided on which honey to buy – so much choice but nothing beats original.

Once finished from the amazing honey shop, we went in search for the famous ‘Frog Rock’. Situated on the side of the road, this rock formation in the shape of a frog is how the town got it’s name. Can you see the frog?

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It was then time for more olive tastings at The Olive Nest . Here we tasted olives, as well as olive oils but none of them took our fancy.

Our next stop was our favourite winery of all. Peter Van Gent winery & vineyard. Here we had some tastings and they were quite nice but what we loved about this place is the atmosphere and decor. As soon as we walked in, we were surrounded by massive wine barrels. One was even made hollow so people can walk through it. It was just amazing. Words can’t really explain it, so I’ll show you:

We had now crossed off everything we wanted to see on our list, so we went for a bike ride through Lawson park which also has a sculpture park in it. Along the path there are small sculptures based on travelling around Australia and the object is to guess the places it represents. These are a few:

That night we went to Mudgee Observatory and it was an experience like no other. I didn’t think we would enjoy it as much as we did. We saw Neptune through a massive telescope and also Saturn which was just unbelievable. That was definitely the highlight of the night for me. Seeing Saturn with it’s rings, it looked fake but amazing. I wish I could have taken a photo of it!

DAY 8

Our last day was spent at Katoomba, where we went to Echo Point Lookout to see the three sisters before checking out the main streets in both Katoomba & Leura and going to the Chocolate shop for afternoon tea.

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Our country trip had come to an end but we had the best time! We were only gone for a week but we did so much and saw so much that it felt a lot longer.

Thankfully there were no injuries sustained this time (read my last travel post to find out what I mean).

❤ MeLzY

 

 

 

A little bookshelf (literally!)

So I saw this awesome little floating bookshelf made of books in a shop window display the other week and I fell in love with it straight away and wanted to do it myself – so I did!

I came across some antique books at an antique shop, only $1 each, so I bought 12 of them. I still needed a few more, so I got some at the local Salvo’s store, also for $1 each.

A few brackets from Bunnings hardware store and this is the final product:

Best thing about it is it was inexpensive, easy to do and doesn’t take much time to make either.

So my library currently looks like this:

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It’s getting there, s l o w l y!

I would love to hear what you think about my floating bookshelves and also to see your library…

❤ MeLzY

 

[Book Review]: The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte CristoGOODREADS SYNOPSIS: ‘On what slender threads do life and fortune hang.’

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. 


So I have been absent for a while and that is because I have been trying to finish reading this book and I have FINALLY finished reading the longest book ever written (well one of). It sure was the longest book I’ve ever read!

SO where do I begin..there’s so many individual stories within this one book and yet they all somehow tie in together.

Upon starting to read this book I was very bored. I was ready to stop before he was even imprisoned, but I’m not one to ever stop reading a book, so I persevered and it did get better – a lot better.

There were a few chapter’s which I thought were very unnecessary and didn’t need to be there at all, but maybe that was just me not understanding what the hell was going on!

This book has so many character’s, it was hard to keep up with them all and to remember who was who so I tried to only remember those who were the most important to the story.

For me the first half of the book was very boring, whereas the second half became more enjoyable to read because things were actually happening.

The thing I don’t understand with this book is why the author wrote in so many different stories within the one story. The main story is obviously Edmond Dantes goes to prison for 14 years because Danglars, Villefort & Fernandes set him up because they were jealous of him and wanted what he had, except for Villefort – he has other reason’s.
So the object then became for Dantes to escape prison and get his revenge on them all, which the movie is based only on this area because that’s the main story, but with the book, there’s so much more going on that he doesn’t actually get his revenge on them until almost the end of the novel which was really annoying! Why didn’t the author just stick to the main story, like the movie does? It would’ve been a hell of a lot shorter to read!

I had to read through so many useless things before the revenge even begins to take shape, so it left me thinking – was Monte Cristo slowly plotting his revenge within all these stories or did the author just want to give us a big insight to what was happening within each culprit’s lives at the time?

So as soon as I finished reading this book, I watched the movie (as I always do) and it felt like I was reading the book in fast forward. The book took me over a month to read and the movie was done in 2 hours. I knew the movie wouldn’t have half of what the book had because the movie would be 8 hours long if it did, but because the book leaves the revenge to take place toward the very end and the movie is solely based around him getting revenge on them, it felt like the movie started and finished at the same time.

Also the movie was hardly anything like the book, so it’s clear that I didn’t enjoy the movie at all – from the actor’s to how the story takes shape. It’s all over the place.

So in conclusion, because the book had so many stories within the one main story, it did make the book more interesting, but because the main story is meant to focus around him getting his revenge and that not taking place until the end, the book could have done without all the other little stories.

So if you don’t mind reading such long novels that can take up to a month or more to read, then this book is a good read for you.

What did you think of this book or movie?

❤ MeLzY

Our Victorian Journey – Stop 3: The Mornington Peninsula

So I guess if you’ve read the title of this post you will have figured out that Hubby decided he was OK enough to continue on with our Victorian trip and so we finally made it to the Mornington Peninsula.

But before we left the Yarra Valley we couldn’t go without first visiting the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & ice creamery!

The views outside were stunning enough but inside was just heaven!

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So having had our chocolate fix, we were ready for the long drive to Frankston, where we stayed for the next 5 nights which made it easier for us not having to move the caravan too much.

Our jam packed itinerary had to be amended to suit Hubby, so all the cycling tracks got scrapped, as did most of the bush walking tracks. We stuck to drives and small walks. It wasn’t what we had planned but we made the most of it while we were there and still did and saw a lot.

Frankston was a lovely place to stay. It had a great esplanade boardwalk and a long jetty which we strolled one morning.

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It also had lots of little sculptures scattered around, which was fun to see.

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We continued to drive along the peninsula to Mornington where we saw all the awesome coloured beach huts.

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These beach huts are famous throughout the Mornington Peninsula and they are found on every beach. They are so fun to see with all there different colours and patterns.

We stopped in at Benton Rise Farm, which is a fruit & veg market in an old rattler train. Unfortunately it was closed the day we went but it was interesting to see either way.

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Another stop we made was at Arthur’s Seat for the Arthur’s Seat Eagle which showed us views of the whole peninsula beneath us. It was spectacular and relaxing.

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After Arthur’s Seat Eagle we stopped at Main Ridge Dairy for some yum goats cheese.

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We had a cheese tasting plate and they were all so great it was hard to choose a favourite.

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As I’ve mentioned before, we love our cheese and prefer to do cheese tastings then wine tastings and so of course we hadn’t had enough of cheese after this plate, we then went to Red Hill cheese for another tasting plate.

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Unfortunately this tasting plate was not nearly as good as the first one, but we really enjoyed the experience of it.

So by then we figured we could do a little walking and so we went to Montalto Vineyard & Sculpture park. We walked through their beautifully manicured gardens set amongst the vineyards and viewed their wonderful sculptures. It is something we had never seen before, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.

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We then walked inside the vineyard restaurant and had a taste of some cider and different kinds of oils. A place we highly recommend.

Another stop we made was in Sorrento for the Millionaires Walk. This was an interesting/ strange walk as we were literally walking along a cliff in peoples backyards, looking below on their private jettys.

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During our stay in Frankston, we took a day to drive to the CBD considering it was only about an hour away and had an enjoyable day in the city.
Before returning to Frankston, we drove to the cold-e-sac where the TV show Neighbours is filmed and it was so great seeing the houses up close in person.

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Our final day in the Peninsula was a nice one. We started the day at the Peninsula Hot Springs which was just so relaxing and a wonderful experience. It consisted of about 20-25 different hot baths with varying temperatures. Some went as high as 50 degrees!

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Having relaxed in the hot baths for a few hours, we then drove to Cape Schanck for some scenic walking tracks.

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Pulpit Rock

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The blowhole

From Frankston we had originally planned to continue on to the other side to the Bellarine Peninsula and then onto the Great Ocean Road but considering we had already done the Great Ocean Road before, we decided to cut the trip short and go straight home so Hubby can rest and recover properly.

 

Our Victorian Journey – Stop 2: The Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is another place I’ve always wanted to visit. Hubby and I aren’t really wine drinkers but we love seeing the rolling vineyards and the Yarra Valley didn’t disappoint in that area.

We visited Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse (because we like a bit of cider) and it was just the most gorgeous place. One of the nicest vineyards we’ve ever visited.

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We bought a tasting paddle with 4 different ciders on it – it was quite the experience as we had never done this before.

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So after we got a little wobbly (yes, it doesn’t take much), we went down the road to Yarra Valley Dairy for some cheese tastings, which we can never pass up.

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The cheese was just delightful and of course we couldn’t leave without buying some yummy feta (our favourite cheese!)

Our next stop whilst staying in the Yarra Valley was the Dandenong Ranges.

The drive was quite windy but also very beautiful, lined either side with hundreds of palms and ferns.

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We stopped at Sky High to see the view as we had climbed a fair bit by then and we could just see Melbourne CBD because it was still quite early and foggy.

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From there we drove to Olinda Falls to see some waterfalls. It wasn’t a very long walk from the car park, which is always better.

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The upper falls
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The lower falls

So this is where our trip got a little tricky. Hubby decided to go where you’re not really meant to just to get a better photo and of course he slipped on a wet log and fell on his ribs. So the rest of this day was mainly spent in some unknown hospital in the middle of nowhere.
After waiting half the afternoon for the results, he finally got the all clear and we were back on the road. But unfortunately it wasn’t so fun anymore because he was in quite a lot of pain which made the trip hard for us to enjoy from that point on.

From the hospital we drove to see the famous Puffing Billy steam train but of course missed it by a couple of minutes because Hubby couldn’t walk very fast. It seemed the day had turned against us and so we headed back to the caravan park.

Whether to continue on with our trip or not was now in the hands of Hubby and how he felt the next morning.

Stay tuned to find out whether our trip continued or not.

❤ MeLzY

 

 

Our Victorian Journey – Stop 1: Mansfield

Our main destination for our Victorian trip was the Mornington Peninsula. It looked absolutely beautiful in the tourist books and online and I couldn’t wait to get there. I researched everything and everywhere about the peninsula and had a nice long itinerary ready to go.

We decided it was a long way to go just for the Peninsula and so we decided to add a few stops before and after it and extend the trip a little longer to about 2-3 weeks.

So our first stop was Mansfield. A nice small quaint little country town but also the town to go to if you want to get to the famous Craigs Hut (from the Man from Snowy River movie). Also the town to go to for the snow season at Mt Buller.

Craigs Hut is the sole reason we stopped at Mansfield. We have been wanting to see this historic place for a decade and never thought we would get there, but after a very long and windy dirt track – we finally made it!

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We took the same shot of the famous Ken Duncan photo
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Inside the famous hut

It was just so unbelievable to me that we were actually standing there. The views were breathtaking, which made the drive up so worth it.

While in Mansfield we drove up to Mt Buller snowfields. There wasn’t any snow yet (we were 1 week early), but the views were amazing.

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Mt Buller is like it’s own little village up in the mountains.

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All in all, Mansfield was a great 1 night stop over, worth it if only to see Craigs Hut because there isn’t really much else to see and do there, but the area is quiet and relaxing aswell.

Stay tuned for stop 2.

❤ MeLzY