Award, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Liebster Award Nominee!!!

Oh what a surprise! A big thank you to Jules at Brewing Sparkle for nominating me and my blog, totally unexpected as we only met (so to speak) today 🙂 What a great idea the Liebster Award is to encourage those of us with small blogs, being very new you wonder if anyone is actually reading your ramblings and every like and comment is fantastic and exciting. This will be a great way to connect with other small blogs and to really feel a part of the blogging community.

Liebster Award Rules are:

  1. Thank the person that has nominated you!
  2. Nominate 11 small blogs (less than 200 followers).
  3. Answer the 11 questions set out by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

Well picking 11 nominees was hard but here are some of my favourite small blogs.

My nominees are:

1. A Fashion Recipe

2. Space Oddi-TEA

3. My Fitness Journey

4. Chicken Daily

5. Little Miss Debbie 28

6. The Pursuit of Serenity

7. The Healthy Frenchie

8. Shoestring Beauty

9. Little Bunny & Bear

10. Always The Garden

11. Gluestick Mum

My answers to the questions set by Brewing Sparkle are:

1. What do you love most about blogging? I’m still very new to this but I have always wanted to write and I love the freedom that blogging gives me to write about what I want, when I want, no pressure and it’s great to have a project to work on.

2. Favourite place you have travelled to? I don’t have just one favourite place! Last year I was lucky to visit Crete – I love all things Greek, Switzerland – Geneva, Montreux, Tasch and Zermatt all beautiful in summer and a surprise trip with my daughters for my 50th birthday and also Venice – I love all things Italian too, this was another 50th birthday present this time from and with my hubby. Brussels in Belgium will always have a special place in my heart as it is the first place ‘abroad’ my hubby and I visited together and where he proposed to me, ditto the Riviera Maya in Mexico where we spent our honeymoon. Other favourite places include Paris, Rome, New York, Havana and Varadero in Cuba, Marco Island and Seaside in Florida, Kefalonia and in the UK – Bath and Wales. Finally, I am lucky to live on the doorstep of one of the greatest cities I’ve been to, London.

3. Your favourite season of the year? Late Spring and early Summer when it’s warming up and everything is growing madly.

4. What is your first go to app in the morning? The alarm clock! And then Instagram.

5. Any books you would recommend? Too many to mention them all! Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary triology all made me laugh out loud and Alice Sebold’s Lovely Bones made me cry, while Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collecter made me fall in love with crime/detective/thriller fiction. Having just completed a BA Hons in Humanities with Art History and Classical Studies with the Open University I am now the proud owner of a lot (you have no idea how many books 6 years of studying requires!!!) of non-fiction books and my favourite of them all is one from the National Gallery (my favourite place in London) called Giotto to Durer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery.

6. How do you make sure you stay on top of your blogging schedule? Schedule! What schedule? I write when I have time which generally depends on how busy I am with work. Sometimes that means I go days or weeks between writing anything but then I might start, finish and publish a post in just a few hours and even publish a couple of posts within hours of each other! As soon as I’ve published a post I get a draft for another one going even if it’s just a title I feel better to have something started. I have a notebook that I use to jot down my ideas for posts so even though I can’t always get online to write, at least I have stuff written in my notebook!

7. Have you always been creative? That depends what you mean by creative! I’m not artistic and can’t draw but I learnt to cook and bake as a teenager and I can knit. I also made some of my own clothes in my teens by hand, no pattern with an old hand-operated Singer sewing machine. I also started baking and decorating cakes while at school which is something I still do today. I want to learn how to crochet, when I have the time!

8. The best advice you have been given. I really can’t remember, is that bad? I’ve either never been given any (highly unlikey!) or my menopausal brain is refusing to recollect (extremely likely!) or I’m a stubborn old cow who has never listened to any advice that came my way because I always think I’m right (very likely!), it could be any or all of the above!

9. Your perfect way to relax. ten plus years ago I’d have said a massage, then I trained as a Beauty Therapist and on the rare occasions I have a massage two things get in the way of my relaxing completely. First I’m usually having a massage because I’ve got the point where I really really need one and as I will have asked the therapist to go as hard and deep as she/he can I’ll be in too much pain to relax! Second I will also be concentrating on exactly what movements they are doing and if they’re doing anything different to what I do, basically I’m watching (or in the case of a massage, feeling) for new moves/tips! These days I read, bake/cook etc to relax. I love having a bath and as we only have a shower at home it’s not something I get to do very often so when I do I make the most of it, bubbles, a book and a glass of wine are usually involved! Luckily I have no trouble relaxing when I’m on holiday (I know people who say they’re half-way through their hols before they start to relax!) and my hubby always says he knows the exact moment that I relax when we go away 🙂 We always find our room, dump our bags and without unpacking, except to maybe change into more weather appropriate clothing, we go for a walk/explore to get our bearings, hubby says within minutes of beginning this walk he feels me relax – apparently I will take a really big breath which I let out in an equally big sigh and he can physically feel me relax!

10. What is on your road trip playlist? CD’s I have in my car at the moment are by Gregory Porter, Michael Buble, Caro Emerald, Seasick Steve, Johnny Cash, Imelda May, Olly Murs, The Rat Pack, Jules Holland, Jamie Cullum, Madonna and Ray Charles…I have quite a wide-ranging taste when it comes to music there’s not much I don’t like!

11. Five things you love about YOU? This is very hard as I’m my own biggest critic and quite self-deprecating! 1. I’m a perfectionist, which I love and hate in equal measure! 2. I love that my kids turned out ok and have all grown into well-rounded, hard-working and lovely adults, so I guess I must have done something right! 3. I’m a good cook and I love that I love food! 4. I’m open-minded and try to see good in everyone/thing. 5. And finally I try to learn from my mistakes and use them become a better person.

And my questions for you are:

1. Where do you come in birth order of your siblings and has this any bearing on who you are today?

2. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

3. Sweet or savoury?

4. Are you an indoors or outdoors person?

5. Tea or coffee?

6. What is your favourite food that you could not live without?

7. Favourite cocktail?

8. If you could spend 24 hours anywhere where would it be and who would you share it with?

9. Dogs or cats?

10. What is your favourite film, actor and actress?

11. What are your favourite books?

I really hope you will get involved and in so doing enjoy finding, reading and interacting with new blogs as much as I have

🙂

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Lifestyle, Lists, Uncategorized

Lists are taking over my life!

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I love lists! I have always been a list-maker, a writer-down of all things important and for that matter not so important!

Recently I’ve got to the point where I have to write everything down because if I don’t I forget it. Bloody menopause-brain is far worse than baby-brain ever was, or maybe I just can’t remember how bad baby-brain actually was because my menopausal brain has turned to mush!!! Arghhh, it’s so frustrating and so time-consuming. While technology is on the one hand wonderful it is at the same time a nightmare (for me anyway) because I don’t trust it 100% and so I nearly always have 2 sets of every list I write just in case the technology has a hissy-fit and doesn’t work so I usually have a paper back-up!

I have always written a shopping list, it used to be on paper but then I would forget to take said piece of paper with me, so now my shopping list or rather lists (I have one for each shop I go to!) are a permanent feature on my phone (and only on my phone God help me!) and I am constantly adding to it as things run low but somehow I still manage to run out of things occasionally. Take Easter weekend I ran out of loo roll for goodness sake, I knew I needed it but for some reason hadn’t written it on my list and so hadn’t remembered to get it when at the shop! Thankfully my eldest daughter popped into Tesco on her way here just before they closed and got me some.

I always write present lists at Christmas and birthdays, not an ‘I would like’ list but a ‘what I have bought for everyone else’ list. I have done this for years after losing track of what I had bought and where I had hidden it, so many years ago when my children were small I started the Christmas/ birthday list ritual. I learnt the hard way that when you have 4 kids, 13 nieces and nephews and all their accompanying adults it pays to write down what you buy and for whom as you buy it and then I tick them off as I wrap. I no longer buy for all the nieces and nephews and just give a ‘family’ present which is usually a Christmas cake that I have made and decorated myself but now as well as my own 4 adults kids I also have 3 adult step-kids and all their adult partners, as well as 4 step-grandchildren and our parents/grandparents so a list is still essential. In addition to this I also have a list of family birthdays plus my diary and calendar and still I am atrociously bad at remembering to buy and/or send birthday cards on time!  I also keep a permanent list on my phone for gift ideas which is very useful when someone mentions something months before their birthday/Christmas because if I didn’t make note of it I would never remember it when it came to buying them a gift!

I have work-related lists as in lists to do with my job which, as I am self-employed, are very important to me. I have a list of all my beauty clients with their address, phone number and treatments which is broken down into 3 different lists, the first is current clients, the second is clients who last had a treatment between 1 and 2 years ago and the final list is of clients I haven’t seen in over 2 years. These lists are in my phone contact files and also on paper because of the aforementioned trust issues I have with technology! I have also recently opened an Etsy shop and have a note-book with an ever-expanding selection of lists; I have lists for stock including when and where I bought it and how much each item cost, then another list of the items added to Etsy with the date they were added and how much for and a final section of items sold with date and client details. Now I know as I buy and sell over the interweb all this information is there for me saved on-line in my accounts on different websites and in emails but I’m sorry I just have to have it on paper as well for my peace of mind! I also have another work(ish) related notebook with an ever-growing lists of the cakes I make and decorate for family and friends, I make little to no profit from this and it is more of a hobby than anything, I do it because I enjoy it but I still make lists; type of cake, ingredients, decoration etc.

Another important list is of all my direct debit/bill payment dates which is in the back of my diary to ensure I always have enough money in my account to prevent going overdrawn!

A list I write regularly is a to-do list. Or, I should say, lists in the plural! I have a house list which is divided into room-by-room lists, plus a garden list and a shed list! These lists are very flexible, things on these lists may be done quickly, the majority however may not get done for some time, if at all, ha ha. And so I put no time limit to these lists, I put the things I need (and am most likely) to do at the top but unfortunately things further down the list often fall by the wayside and get forgotten unless my priorities change and they somehow make it to the top of the list.  At the moment I have a spring-cleaning list on the go but spring may be well and truly over before I have a chance to get started on it! Here is a good spring-cleaning list I found on Pinterest. I love Pinterest it’s great for list inspiration and of course is really just another form of lists! Here is my spring-cleaning to-do list, as you can see I’ve only managed to cross off 2 things so far, I’m hoping to have it completed before I go on holiday in June!

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Talking of holidays, I always write a list when packing for a holiday or even a weekend away, this will include every item of clothing, shoes, jewellery, toiletries and medication that I am taking plus the essential things like passport, money, Kindle etc. Here is a good packing checklist I found on Pinterest.

I have an ever-growing wish list on Amazon as long as my arm, actually it’s probably longer than my arm as it currently has 115 items on it! As well as the list of many, as yet, unread books already on my Kindle that I’m making my way through but also adding to all the time.

Lastly there is my bucket-list of things to do and places to visit before I kick the aforementioned bucket! This I am sure will never be completed unless we win the lottery ha ha! There are too many things on this list to mention here and so I think I will leave that for a future post but if you are after bucket-list inspiration Pinterest is a great place to start.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my list obsession I hope you enjoyed it 🙂