Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Thoughts..

 

party

The way I’m feeling after 2 nights on the razz and an early shift this morning, I’m hoping this is true.

SmileX

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Girl Online Zoe Sugg Book review 24A (the book review with a difference)


Girl Online
I haven't actually finished this book, hence the part  A (part B will be when I’m finished which judging by the easy read-ness of it, wont  be many hours away) in fact I just bought it today. This is where I admit when I got out of bed this morning I had no idea who Zoe Sugg is. I don’t watch V logs on you tube, I do however know that it’s becoming a big deal, V logging. Something I don’t think I will ever be doing, you’re safe. I’m not one of her 6 million subscribers (6 MILLION!) I however do browse the shelves in book shops, which is where I was today when this leaped off the shelf and into my arms.  Happens to me all the time.
So the back of the book goes like this:
I had no idea Girl Online would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias Girl Online, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship – forever.
Of course I got home (with the book) and googled her. Now I feel like I’ve been living in a hole, apparently she’s a pretty big deal. If you’re under 25.  Which obviously you know I’m not, but you also know I’m not a book snob, so I’m interested to read it. Zoe started blogging in 2009 and is now V logging.  Beauty, fashion and life in general, has won various awards and now has this book published. Sounds like the dream life.
You can have a look at her blog here.
It’s a nice looking book, a small pretty hard back that looks nice on your shelf/table, and from the first chapter, seems like a likeable easy story, I think I’m going to enjoy it, I’ll be sure to let you know.
So, have you heard of her? Have you read any books written by bloggers?
XSmile

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I am a master of my art


bedroom
The art of staying in bed that is. This morning I woke up feeling like someone had beat me over the head in my sleep. (I don’t think he did). So I drank the cup of tea Mr D had left on the side, wrapped myself up in my duvet again and then went back to sleep for another hour. The whole bed to myself.
I’ve always loved my bed, when I lived at home I would get home from college and sit in bed watching TV all night, all snuggly. There is not much better in the world than fresh clean sheets on the bed and no morning schedule to get up for.
It has been known for me to leave friends downstairs in my house whilst I go to bed. Just help yourself to tea, coffee, worldly goods and let yourselves out. I just can’t help it,  sometimes quite often I’m just not very sociable. When I want my bed, well, I go.
SmileX

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Thoughts


hunger games
Tonight it’s the local cinema to see the third instalment, and eat sweeties.
SmileX

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My colour coded life..


filofax
The dilemma of the moment is that I have ran out of colours of highlighters for my life. My highlighters came in mini size so that I could fit them in my Filofax and take them with me wherever I go, and now I need to find new colours. In case you thought I sit around and drink tea and scoff cake all day (I’m sure I don’t know what would give you that impression!) I think I’ll tell you now that I actually work 3 different jobs, but the beauty of them is that one of them is on a relief basis and the other two are as self employed, which on the one hand is a risk as it’s not regular income, but on the other (bigger) hand it works great for me as I can drink tea and eat cake whenever I choose.
My Filofax is my best friend, if I ever realise I left it behind, I get all shaky.  You can read about my new one in this post here. I never did get the hang of the calendar on my phone.
So to keep track I colour coded my life. Works quite well, as at a glance I can see where I’m supposed to be. It makes me happy. Also, well it looks pretty and gives me an other excuse to buy stationary.
So tell me is your life colour coded? Do you use an organiser?
SmileX

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Gone Fishing


gone fishing
Mr D decided to climb up into our loft and get his fishing gear out, the fishing gear he apparently saved up hard for when he was a wee lad. Since the rod and box of tricks surfaced again he’s been waiting for the ‘right’ tide.
Tonight's the night, and off he’s gone with his friends to sit on the cold windy beach in 20 layers of clothing to catch a fish. Or two.
Before he left, he bought us a fish and chip supper from the local shop, maybe he’s testing out the competition catch of the day? If I was any kind of wife I would take along the box of pork pies I noticed he left on the kitchen top. Obviously I’m not.
Me? Curled up on the sofa waiting for Liberty’s of London to come on, enjoying a glass of wine whilst trying to ignore the calls from the Christmas stash of chocolates upstairs.
How’s your Wednesday going?
SmileX

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Christmas Mail


christmas mail
It’s started, and I’m feeling just a wee bit smug about it. I’ve started the pile of Christmas mail.
How much mail do you send at Christmas? I admit that a few years ago I cut down (by about 3/4) on the number of Christmas cards I send out locally. I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas cards. I don’t really see the point of putting a pile of cards on the staff room table for co workers to pick up on their next shift. So you pick up a card with Santa or some baubles on the front, and inside it says ‘merry Xmas, from Gertrude’ (tried to think of a name that doesn't belong to a co worker there, you know in case someone takes this personally..) Please, have a bit of imagination. Then there’s the ones that don’t even have your name in them. Could be to any Tom Dick or Gertrude.
So I probably don’t receive as many cards as I used to, and that’s probably due to me not sending as many. So do you only send cards to people that send them to you? Do you have a list of people and if they don’t have a tick next to them in January they get a big fat line across them for next year? Is that in the spirit of Christmas?
christmas mail2
I sound grumpy, I would like to state that I Love Christmas. I love receiving Christmas mail. I just don’t like wasting money on Christmas cards that don’t mean anything. If I send someone a card it’s usually with a letter attached. Or at the very least a few sentences inside the card. I love sending Christmas mail, but I like it to be meaningful and not like I’ve just done it to cross you off the list.
Someone asked me about the round robin letters the other day. Lets not get into that today. I have done a blog post about that in the past, can’t believe This was four years ago!
So what are your thoughts on Christmas mail and cards? Love or hate?
SmileX

Friday, 14 November 2014

This Week..


hunters
It’s been a week for wellies and water wings, the wood burner has been doing it’s job (although getting the dining room up to 30 degrees was a little excessive and I didn’t feel good on it)
The first Book Club meeting happened (at last) and I have bought the next book.  But I’m not reading it yet as our next meeting isn’t till after Christmas. It’s sitting there calling to me though, I’ve even turned it face down.
I’ve been doing the ‘couponing’ thing. I find getting an on line delivery now and then pays as I can use up lots of my coupons better than in store, and yey for 1.00 delivery slots. I  ‘saved’ 20.00 this week.
Bizarrely, I’ve been thinking about the spacing of sentences on this blog. So I know (well, think) to be proper there should be a double space after a full stop. I don’t ever do that but I wonder if anyone notices??
I’m really getting ready for Christmas, I’m pretty up to date with presents, although the down side of buying present’s so early is when you then find something better for that same person and you know they would love it more. Thank goodness for E bay and selling for more than you bought. Happy me.
Talking (typing) of the C word, I’ve started getting my Christmas mail ready. This makes me very happy.
I’ve started another little ‘project’ that I can’t talk about on the blog and only my very nearest and dearest know about, but it’s earning me extra pennies and I know how much that makes it sound illegal, which it isn’t. Neither am I an MFI agent. But then I probably wouldn’t admit to those anyway, If you really want to know (and I feel like you are able to keep a secret) you can e mail me.
I’m a wee bit miffed my Graze Box didn’t come this week yet, it normally comes on a Thursday, sometimes Friday. It’s Friday today and if it doesn't come through the letter box tomorrow I might just throw my toys out the pram.
Hope your week has been happy (and dry!)
SmileX

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The night we finally had the first Book Club meeting! (& Book Review No.23!)


books and tea2
You remember that time I gate crashed a book club? Well now I got my own. A group of girls I know from work decided we would use it as an excuse to get together for gossip as well as to broaden our reading horizons so to speak.  We decided this way back in the summer, and quickly decided on our first book. I chose it. Because yes I will admit I wanted to take some kind of control over the thing. I wanted to make sure the chosen book wasn’t overly chic litty, overly gory, or one of those books people read for book clubs because they think they should as back in the dark ages it won some literary prize.
Everyone agreed it looked like a good first choice.
before we met
This wouldn’t be the kind of book I would  immediately pick off the shelf normally, but I read it in about 3 days, staying up till the wee small hours one night because I was so engrossed.
Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.
Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard.
But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the U.S. and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah’s certainty begin to crack. Why do Mark’s colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks?
Hannah begins to dig into her husband’s life, uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him or protect her
This book is said to be a British Gone Girl. Although I haven’t read Gone Girl I did see the movie (LOVED it) and I would agree.  The secrets that can lie behind a marriage. Can you ever really know what went on in the life of your partner before you met?
Back to the book club, we sat around the hosts lounge, supping tea out of china cups and scoffing the feast of food she had made, whilst regretting the full dinner we had all already eaten at home. (Note to self: next time this particular member hosts the book club starve for the day)
2 members hadn’t finished the book, which whilst I don’t mind (we aren’t at school after all) for this particular book it was difficult as we didn’t want to give too much away. So instead we had a bit of a discussion about how sure we are of our partners pasts, if they could actually physically empty our bank accounts and the joys of Google (something quite surprising came to light which I will post about another time).
It was fun, I would say successful, even when we started to slip and start talking about work, we snapped out of it and got back to the subject in hand.
The next book was chosen, a date not quite set, but loosely marked in the diary and I left a happy book club member.
SmileX

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Bettys tea room (yep I’m going on about them again!)


kirstin bettys
You and I all know I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for tea rooms right? And you know that Bettys would be the reason I could move to Yorkshire yesterday right?
A trip up North to visit Granny always includes a cup of tea and slice of cake in the wonderful Northallerton branch, and this time we were joined by biggest Niece.
And right there could be the problem. Kirstin has recently changed her diet to gluten free. This could be bad,  imagine going all the way there, coming face to face with all the yummy cakes, and not being able to eat anything.
I decided to use the ‘contact us’ form on their website and ask the question, will Kirstin be disappointed (and hungry) when we come to visit?
I was contacted by phone the very next day by a lovely lady who explained that yes they did have items on the menu which were gluten free (although she did give the usual talk of how it’s all cooked in the same kitchen, I think that’s probably standard for most places) Kirstin would not go sad & hungry after all.
bettys tea pot
We were all happy, Kirstin had a slab of gluten free chocolate cake (served by a lady who seemed just as thrilled to serve it as Kirstin was to eat it) with her tea (and yes those tea pots are as heavy as they look), I got my fix of Bettys & stocked up on tea bags, and even littlest Niece who was at home with her dad got a goodie bag brought back for her.
bettys yummies
 
It saddens me that there are many southern people who look at me blankly when I talk about Bettys (which is quite a lot). Really they need to get out more.
SmileX

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Ickworth Hall outside, & the day we joined the National Trust

035
This beautiful place is just up the road from us, & we have never been. So we decided to do something about that, and at the same time embrace our middle age and join The National Trust. Also, it’s blinking expensive to visit these places, I’m not sure why you would pay full price, when paying a years membership to The National Trust gets you in free. For a year. Working out the cost of one visit for the two of us inc car parking (plus one visit wasn’t enough, we still have to go back and explore the surrounding gardens more) it was cheaper. Fancy that.
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I took many photos, so for now I’ll just show you outside. Here I am exploring the lovely gardens right next to the hall.
Memories of me and my sister when we were little running around stately homes with my parents (not that they were running) pretending this was our house, which bedroom was mine and when we would be going down to dinner)
I might have been thinking along those lines this day. Without the running.
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And Mr D. Nuff said.
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We didn’t see any, which doesn't mean they weren't around.
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The stumpery was quite magical feeling
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As you can see, it was a lovely day, Mr D had his legs out. The brolly was partly due to the unpredictable English weather, and partly due to Mr’s poorly foot (a walking stick in disguise)
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You can read more on Ickworth here.
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Well worth a visit, the only down side was the poor girl on her own serving in a little coffee hut at the entrance. The queue was huge,  it was a Sunday afternoon and I just felt like jumping over the counter to help her out.
The inside was pretty amazing, I’ll share those in another post.
SmileX

Monday, 3 November 2014

All Fall Down Jennifer Weiner Book Review No. 22


all fall down novel
Allison Weiss got her happy ending: a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the paediatrician's office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder: Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class, or if your husband ignores you? She tells herself that the pills help her make it through her days; but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that's becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
If you think I chose this book because it has a tea cup on the cover you are probably more than  little bit right, but after reading the back I was intrigued. I remember the first time I became aware that people were actually able to get addicted to prescription drugs was when I was a huge ‘Friends’ fan (remember the headlines of  Matthew Perry’s addiction?) Thinking about it now and the line of work I’m in I see it. People can be addicted to anything, it’s not just back alley way deals, it’s your average person sitting next to you on the bus who looks like they are  just like you.
Jennifer’s other novels have been very chic lit, which although are great (I read a lot of chic lit) are a bit forgettable. (I only knew I’d read them when I looked them up because I recognised the covers) Here she tackles a much more serious subject, an upper class mother/wife/daughter/blogger who is speeding down the addiction highway whilst trying to keep her life together and everybody happy.
I really enjoyed this novel, because although the subject was pretty serious, it is told in a very relatable way, which makes you look at the people around you thinking, it could very easily be them.
SmileX

Sunday, 2 November 2014