Monday, 19 January 2015

31 Things- Week 3- Morning routine

Well- this is a Monday morning routine! We had a perpetual calendar for Christmas and as sometimes I have no idea what the date is I try to keep this up to date. We bought it because it has Christmas Day as one of the days- and Emma will love that.

Speaking of which- my mum buys Pop Tarts for Emma over Christmas and last night we bought the box home with us. So at silly o'clock this morning Emma did herself two poptarts- could smell them toasting from the bedroom!

Whilst I am looking out for her taxi I usually unload the dishwasher to get it ready for the breakfast stuff.

I like to check what the daily photo is over on Daily Snappers- and today it fits in with the 31 things prompts.

This morning the postman knocked the door to say that he had posted 'most' of my post next door. We did get the latest National Trust handbook- which we must try and use more this year.

Next step is usually to unload the washing machine and put it either in the tumble dryer or on airers depending on the weather,

Then another scoop of washing powder for the next load. We're testing a cheap powder from Costco- and although it doesn't smell pretty (love the tropical one from Surf!) - this one seems like a good buy.

The dreaded ironing- getting Emma's outfits ready for the week!
Ironing ready to put away- Em's outfits needs sorting for the week with underwear, t shirt. top and trousers- with gym kit for Wednesday

Morning coffee- I was very naughty and treated myself to the caramel mocha packs in Costa- so I am enjoying these rather more than I normally would!

Try to look for new recipes on a Monday- to give us a few ideas for the week. This is the newest cookery book to reach us- he's one of the cooks on Lorraine and usually like his recipes- although this one is only for mince.

The bins need putting back after being collected. We've had the wheelie bins about a month now- and the collection went through a few teething problems initially- ie they forgot to collect!

Then it's time for lunch. Today a new graze box idea arrived- so I tried a few of those things- but think it will work out too expensive to keep having!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


My biggest hobby is reading and I can always be found with my nose in a book. Since I finally caved in and bought a kindle - most of my reading is done on that. I love the fact that I can have my entire book collection with me everywhere I go and can get them instantly. I resisted having a kindle for so long because I knew I'd hate them. How wrong could I be!!!!!! I am a total convert. I still can't walk past a bookshop or aisle in the supermarket and one of those £1 stickers has me hovering like a moth round a light.

I've found a fantastic site that sends you pre publication books in exchange for reviews online and I have read some brilliant books that way- including some by my favourite authors. The photo above is a book I got in a competition online with one of my Bookbandz. They are so pretty and great for keeping your place in the book. I keep ordering some for pressies and being tempted to have that one for myself! 

Every year we get some of the bookmarks from the Card Factory as stocking fillers and love those aswell- and use them in my Project Life album.

Another of my weaknesses is buying cookery books even though I'm not that adventurous a cook. This year we really are going to try and complete the 52 new recipes challenge, This one came from a trip to the Chinese supermarket and comes with all the stuff to make the recipes- great idea!!!!!!!!

One of my treasured possessions now is a copy of Toad of Toad Hall signed by A A Milne. It is dedicated to a Director who used to live near my mother in law. I have always loved old books- they have such a story of their own to tell. One of my ambitions was to own a signed book and is to own a first edition one day.

One of my lovely friends Adele, got me a book signed by one of my favourite authors- One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond. I treasure that one.

I have always loved reading and remember having to borrow a copy of Old Yeller - which we were reading in school, because I just couldn't wait long enough for the teacher to get through it in story time.

One of my favourite authors was Enid Blyton- even though she's looked down on by lots of people. My favourite was The Magic Faraway Tree and it's sequels. I just loved the idea of a magical land appearing at the top of a tree and the characters that lived in the tree, I also loved the boarding school series that she wrote- Mallory Towers and St Clares and The Famous Five books.

My cousin had the entire set in her wardrobe and let me borrow them one by one. It was so exciting to get the next book. I had to buy my own set when I had the girls- but they weren't as stuck on Enid Blyton.

I remember walking to our local newsagent when I got my pocket money, probably with my mum because we didn't go on our own and having enough money to buy a book every week. I think they were 17 1/2p and looked like these on ebay


I found a lovely site on facebook - Adien Crafts. I love everything that she makes - she uses lots of natural stones and tells you the meaning about them. One of my first pieces was Mookaite which is only found in one part of Australia. I love the colours that it comes in  and soon got tempted to join the 'Mookie Club' with Di and have further matching items join my collection!

Mookaite is an Australian jasper that combines the lighter colors of yellow and red jasper. It encourages the desire for new experiences and helps to keep a balance between external activities and the internal response to these. It imparts a deep calm while encouraging versatility.

Mookaite is a stone of strength, and decision making.

In Australia, mookaite was and still is considered to be a healing stone that bestows strength. It is said to shield the wearer from difficult situations and to connect us to loved ones who have passed away. It is believed to bring us into the "here and now," aiding with problem assessment and decision making.
Meditation with mookaite jasper increases your flexibility and your ability to see several solutions to any problem.

Healing properties of mookaite

Mookaite is often used to treat glandular or stomach disorders, hernias, ruptures and water retention, and yoga enthusiasts use it to balance and open the first, second and third chakras.

Now anything that can do all that- has got to be special hasn't it! I just love the colours.

She also made me a very pretty set to wear at Mairaed and Mike's wedding that matched my dress perfectly. I must add a photo! I've bought several presents from her and she's made things specially for some people.

I do have to wear a watch at all times. Although I don't often look at it- if I don't have one I need to know the time every 5 minutes or so. I haven't joined the modern world using my phone for all tasks! So I still have a simple watch- unfortunately- although I spent a fortune on a replacement battery that has a lifetime guarantee (ie a free second battery)- I've cracked the face and need to buy a new one.

The only other thing that I wear every day is my wedding ring. I do have a sapphire and diamond engagement ring - but the back has snapped so I need to get it repaired. We've been married 25 years this October and my wedding ring has gone very worn - so I think I might buy a new one for our Silver Wedding anniversary,

Criminal Confections- Colette London

"Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .

Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It's thrilling work but rarely dangerous--until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed LemaƮtre resort spa in San Francisco.

Adrienne Dowling's heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in LemaƮtre Chocolates' new line. Hayden can't believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won't just be satisfying--it might save her life."

Hayden helps chocolatiers enhance their reputation and expertise in the specialist market. She's invited to a weekend retreat for one chocolate company who have secretly employed her to investigate one of their new lines. She is due to submit a report but is enjoying everything the retreat has to offer whilst she is there. When one of the girls she's befriended at the company dies in suspicious circumstances she begins to wonder how safe she is. When a rival chocolate maker is also found dead she looks at each person she's been in contact with - wondering whether it could be them!

It was a lovely easy read - set in a wonderful world of chocolate! 

Many thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for a copy of the book.

I love Net Galley- this is the type of book I would probably never come across normally- but they are lovely books to curl up with.

Friday, 9 January 2015

There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You

In 2013 Lynda Bellingham was diagnosed with cancer. Having kept the details of her illness private, now for the very first time Lynda talks with beautiful poignancy about her life since her diagnosis, her family and how together they came to terms with a future they hadn't planned. 

Having been told that she only has a matter of months left to live and writing this in what will sadly be her final days, There's Something I've Been Dying To Tell You is a brave and brutally honest memoir and yet Lynda also manages to spread her infectious warmth and humour, bringing light to a very dark time. Woven into this very moving and brave story are extraordinary, colourful tales of her acting and family life that will enlighten and entertain as well as the journey that Lynda has taken to find the family of her birth father having already suffered heartache in her search for her birth mother. In the search for her father's family, Lynda finds a family with a history in entertainment showing that acting was always in the blood.

Lynda Bellingham is a tremendously gifted storyteller with a rich collection of tales of love, loss and laughter and this book brings her kind heart, courage and emotion to the page in vivid detail. Lynda's story is an affecting and at times heart-breaking one but it is so often laugh-out-loud too and ultimately the way Lynda tells her life story will serve as a great inspiration.

This was the latest book I've read.This is Linda's extremely honest account of how she dealt with her condition and her wishes for her final few months. How sad that she never got to see the final Christmas that meant so much to her. It was very well written- I have her two novels to read and am looking forward to those.