I can’t believe we are now heading into our 3rd month of the year and that 2019 is nearly a quarter of the way through! To see you through to the quarter year mark here are some of the posts I will be sharing on the blog this month.
Recipe of the month – a lovely, creamy, vegan mushroom tagliatelle
Monthly Goals for March
10 Things That Have Happened Since Leaving Facebook
Top 10 Thursday posts including Cleaning Products, Laundry Products and Quick Cleaning Ideas
Upcycle Project – Table Lamp
What Is Upcycling?
The Importance of Having a Content Plan
Defining my Blog
These posts will be up on my blog on a Tuesday, Thursday (Top 10) and Friday!
There will be a few other posts shared during the month too so keep an eye out for them!!!
It’s no secret that I have a massive love affair with all things stationery, so today in my Top 10 Thursday list I am sharing my favorite places to buy stationery and stationery related products. These are in no particular order!
I love the Spring, the days starting to get warmer and the need for less layers of clothing, but still experiencing the sharp coolness of the morning and the dampness in the air.
My go to outfit for this time of the year is my corduroy dungarees dress that I got from Asda a few years ago. It is a chunky, brown cauderoy fabric that is perfect for this time of the year and is neither too short or too long. It is great for wearing on weekends and work days and because of this I get a great deal of wear from it.
I like to pare my dress with a long sleeve t-shirt, sometimes striped, sometimes plain as it is a brilliant way of adding layers to the outfit without creating too much bulk that a jumper would add. I get my long sleeve t-shirts from Primark as they wash well and come in a huge variety of colours, styles and patterns.
I add a long cardigan in a chunky knit over my outfit, it adds a nice juxtaposition of textures and a cozy feel to the outfit. I got this cardigan in Asda but most places now seem to do long cardigans in all sorts of knit.
To finish the outfit off I like to add super thick tights (there is nothing worse than cold legs!), and a pair of cute, flat boots. I’m really loving this Dr Marten pair that my friend got me for my Birthday last year!
This is the first book that I read from my purchase of A Box Of Stories box and I chose it because I really liked the sound of it from the back cover. I also wanted something light and easy to read to ease myself back into reading books since I’ve been having difficulty concentrating and reading since starting to take medication for my mental health.
“When Violet inherits a Victorian pier on Swallow Beach from her mysterious grandparents, she falls in love immediately. All she wants is to make it popular again, and when she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes. What if she turned the pier into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?
But not everyone in Swallow Beach is happy with the idea. As tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, Violet must make a choice – stay and fight, or turn and run. Can she find her happy ending before the swallows fly North for the winter?”
This book was the perfect read for me. It was not too deep, the story was easy to follow and it was light-hearted. I found that I didn’t want to put this down until I had got to the end and finished it in 4 sittings.
The story follows a girl called Violet who inherits an apartment and a pier from her Grandfather, and though her mother knew of the place, and had lived there when she was a child, both her and Violet were unaware that the pier or flat were still in the families possession. The story unfolds with Violet leaving the town she grew up in, her boyfriend and the life she knew and travelling to Swallow Beach (where the pier and apartment are) and setting up a life there. Along the way she learns of her grandparents lives and the secret held by her deceased Grandmother through the discovery of her Grandmother’s diary.
This book is really well written and I loved that the book featured love, relationships, disaster and a plot twist too. The only thing that I was disappointed with was that the book seemed to come to an abrupt conclusion.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
A little list for you today of the things I’m looking forward to over the next 3 months, also known as Spring. There are 2 dates for when Spring starts depending on which calendar you use – the meteorological calendar (1st March) or the astronomical calendar (20th March). See more on these dates and reasons behind the difference here.
This morning I awoke to several notifications on my phone from WordPress…Nothing unusual there, but one of them was from My Quirky Friend who had nominated me for The Real Neat Blog Award! Thank you so much!!!! I’m so touched to have been considered for this award and, just like them, this is my first blog award!
Although a blogger doesn’t really need to participate in any award nominations, I don’t mind as it gives me a chance to show my appreciation to other bloggers. Plus, it’s free exposure should you wish to participate. Now, for the rules:
Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)
What inspired you to start blogging? I was inspired to start this blog as I wanted to start writing again. I had a few blogs in the past, and really enjoyed creating content and posting to them though they were a bit all over the place – I never blogged regularly and the blogs were too niche in topic to fully write about everything. While I was off from work I decided that I would like to start writing again and so, this blog was born!
What’s the weirdest food/dish you enjoy eating? I love so many different foods but I think that the weirdest is strong cheddar and strawberry jam sandwiches (using white bread)!
What is your favorite topic to blog about? I don’t really have one kind of topic that I enjoy writing more about than another, all of the topics I write about on this blog are ones I really enjoy writing about!
What do you like to do in your down time? In my down time I really like to curl up on the sofa with a blanket, my dog Roxy, a glass of wine and watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix, read, work on my blog or do a jigsaw puzzle.
Are there any other writers/bloggers in your family? No, but they are all pretty creative in their own way, my Mum is an awesome knitter, my Dad is really good at painting and drawing, my one brother are really good at technical things like fixing computers and cars and my youngest brother is good at cooking.
How close do you live to the town/city you grew up in? I live about 3.5 miles from the town I grew up in and my parents still live in the house I grew up in too.
What’s the best advice you have for other bloggers? Post regularly, interact with your followers, write about things you love, your hobbies, interests and what you have a passion for, don’t ever get disheartened by stats – they are there to guide you. And most of all, have fun and enjoy the process!
My Questions to You…
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
What is your star sign, and do you show any of the signs traits in your personality?
If you had £1000 given to you, how would you spend it?
For anyone who loves a good story, my friend Beetley Pete wrote this and I really enjoyed it. It’s a well thought out piece with lots of twists, turns and general unexpectedness! Hope you enjoy as much as I did!
This is the whole twenty-part serial, in one long story. It is for those of you who prefer to read it as a complete work. A long read, of 26,570 words.
Martin had always wanted to write a novel. He imagined his name on the cover, and thought ‘Martin Harwood’ would look good, especially after the words ‘The new bestseller from…’.
He had a solid idea for the story too. It would be about the frustrations of a forty-something man from the big city, a man whose life hadn’t quite worked out as he planned it. More or less his own story of course, but he would change the name of the main character, that was a given. Still, there were a few obstacles to overcome. For one thing, he didn’t own a computer. He had thought about typing the whole thing onto his mobile phone, but he soon gave…
Thrifting used to be all about visiting an actual store, charity shop, car-boot sale or garage sale and having a rummage around all the goods available until you find something you like and then purchasing it after, maybe, a bit of haggling over the price thrown in. Now with charities such as Oxfam offering on-line shopping, the likes of Gumtree, Ebay and Facebook Marketplace offering places for people to sell their goods, thrifting has become something we can do from our own homes, in our pyjamas if we so wish, and at any time of day or night – whenever the mood takes us.
Unfortunately, with all of these lovely, pre-loved items being available to us at the click of a button it is really easy to purchase and receive the product and have instant buyers regret. There is an art in thrift shopping and coming home (or taking delivery) of items that you love and today on the blog I’m going to share with you the questions I ask myself when thrifting, which help me to make decisions about what I’m thinking of buying. Hopefully, these questions will help you too!
Do I really need it? If it is something that you have been needing for a while (whether it is a coat, bag, household or miscellaneous item) then it is worth considering purchasing.
Do I really love it? If it is an item that you love, then chances are, further down the line you will still love it and it will be a treasure for you to keep.
Does it need altering? Usually, if an item needs altering then I put it back. I have a ton of things that already need altering and I really don’t want to add to the pile. If it needs altering, chances are that it will just sit and gather dust until you just decide to part with it. But, if it’s something that you need and love and are prepared to take home and alter straight away then, maybe it’s worth purchasing.
Does it need mending? See above, the same reasons apply to this as the question above.
Does it suit my style? If an item suits your style then it is worth considering purchasing as you will more than likely use it and look after it. If something doesn’t fit your style but you love it and really want it, think of ways you could customise it to fit your style.
Can I upcycle it? Whether it is a piece of furniture, clothing or accessories, if it’s not quite to your taste and style then consider upcycling it – can you paint it, re-upholster it, deep clean and varnish it, make it into something else then a purchase is worth considering.
Where will I put it/where will it live? It is worth visualising where an item will be placed in your home. If you can visualise where it will live then you are already imagining owning it and taking care of it. There is no point in purchasing something and shoving it away, out of sight, to be forgotten about. If you can’t visualise a place for it, don’t buy it.
Where will I wear it? This is similar to the answer above. If you can visualise yourself wearing it somewhere, or already have in mind somewhere to wear it and you know you will wear it more than once then this is a good thing. So many times I have bought clothing because it was unique or interestingly cut or made but then it has sat in my wardrobe and never seen the light of day because I have had nowhere to wear it so take this question into consideration before buying.
Do I own something similar already? If you own something similar already then it is worth considering how much you use the one you own, how long it has lasted you and if you will use the new one the same amount. If you don’t use the item you already have that much, or can find no reason to own 2 similar items then give this one a miss.
Will I still use it in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? If you can see yourself still using the item in years to come or that it is still useful down the line then, after considering the answers to the other questions, it is worth thinking of purchasing.
What is the life-span of the item? If the item only has a short life-span in terms of function, fashion, style or how it is manufactured then leave it. However, if the item is well made, to your taste and style and doesn’t have a limited use then it is worth considering.
Can I get a better deal elsewhere? It is always worth having a look online (particularly on e-bay, though a google search is just as good) to see if you can get the same or similar item cheaper elsewhere. It is worth noting how much items are worth and how much people sell them for as, what you think is a bargain at the time may not necessarily be the case at all.
Do you have any criteria you stick to when thrifting?
Another Thursday and another Top 10! This time I’m sharing my Top 10 Places to Visit.
The beach. Living where I do in South Wales I’m not too far away from some spectacular beaches and I think there is nothing better than beach walks any time of the year.
Parks. I love being outdoors and going to the park, seeing the different coloured leaves on the trees and keeping an eye out for different animals that I may spot.
St Fagans. I love visiting St Fagans, I try to go every few years and have a walk around. I love that you can go into the buildings and have a look around and get a feel for how life was in years past.
Cardiff City Centre. There is so much to do in Cardiff…Independent shops, shopping arcades, a castle, museum, fab pubs…well worth a visit!
Bath. I love Bath, again, so much to do from independent shops to Roman Baths, a spa and lovely places to eat too.
Museums. There is something about visiting a museum that I really enjoy, not only do I learn things but the atmosphere has a really calming effect on me. Always worth a visit when its cold or raining!
Tate Modern. I’ve been to the Tate twice, once to see a Damien Hirst exhibition and the other time to see the Shape of Light exhibition. I have not really ventured around any of the galleries yet but I really want to go again. Visiting art galleries can help with creative ideas and it’s always interesting to see the different types of mediums artists use.
Book Shops. Wherever I go I usually end up in a book shop somewhere. There is something really lovely about spending time browsing in bookshops and I normally come away with a few to add to my collection!
Markets. I love markets. There is such a selection of different items on show and available to purchase. And some markets hold special events, like craft markets or food market days which are really worth checking out.
Abbeys – Tintern Abbey and Llanthony Priory in particular. I love heading to an abbey with my camera and a picnic in the summer months and having a leisurely walk around, taking in the architecture and atmosphere.