5 March 2013

Book Club - meeting one

When I got home on Thursday I began preparing for our first ever book club, we had decided that each host would prepare some nibbles and provide the beverages...do you know that I like to go above and beyond? Anyhoo, nibbles to me entailed and antipasti platter; Italian meats, sundried tomatoes, chargrilled artichokes, mixed olives. Then of course I did a platter of Italian cheeses with walnuts and fresh figs, along with a selection of breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Okay so not really nibbles but I was feeling hungry!!!

We talked over the food and wine about books, life, our children and then came the choosing of our first book.

It was my choice so I decided to provide the members with a choice of two;
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They both have a great synopsis but overall we all thought The Alchemist would be a good one to start with, I have both on my Kindle so I intend to read both anyway. I'm rally looking forward to The Alchemist as it's a renowned bestseller and my sister has read it and thoroughly recommended it!

Next book club is in six weeks time, I can't wait to discuss the book! I'll keep you posted.  If anyone would like to read the book along with us please feel free, I'll be asking for comments when I publish the next book club post...enjoy reading!

Where you been hon?

So I haven't posted for a while and I have reasons for that people.

I finished my job of 18 years on Thursday midday, came home, picked up the my eldest boy from school, came home and prepared for the first ever book club (I will post on that soon), sorted the dinner out for children and husband, then had book club.

On Friday I did coffee with the some of my friends (Mums from the school) at the coffee shop, had breakfast there..yum!! Had a pretty chilled day and then went out for an indian meal on Friday evening with some of my 'old' colleagues..ha, sounds funny saying that, had a ball!

On Saturday, I thought I was on my way out, gonna meet my maker, kick the bucket....are you getting me?? I had the worse bout of sickness/stomach upset and can only put it down to food poisoning! All day I was bent over doubled with pain in my stomach and cold sweats....arrrgghhh.

So that's why I haven't taken the opportunity to use my free time and post about my new goodies etc.

But I'm okay now, I did manage to order a few things on Friday. I got me one of these...
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and one of these...

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For my future projects and little Etsy business I have planned so watch this space...I do hope you don't get bored with me rattling on about the silhouette cameo as I'm sure I will!!

23 February 2013

Not long now, whoop whoop...

I have been busy sorting out my new laptop today, only to realise that the processor isn't powerful enough to load Adobe CS4!! Arrgghhh! So now I'm thinking do I look into changing the processor for a more powerful one or purchase a new laptop??? Hmmm, gonna have to think about that one!

Now I'm waffling on about my new laptop but I've not explained why I have a new one.  Well in 5 days I will have to hand the other one back to work, they won't let me buy it from them (bah humbug!) so I've got me a new one.

Whoop, whoop...5 days!! I can't quite believe it.  I'm hoping I can bow out gracefully, what I mean is I don't want any big goodbyes, just a 'catch ya laters!'. That would do me.

Come Thursday evening I'll be hosting our very first 'Book Club' then Friday morning I'll be catching up with the girls at the coffee shop. I'm going to embrace the 'lady of leisure' persona for my month, can't wait!

19 February 2013

Quote me happy...

I love this following quote, Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who wrote on a number of subjects such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world.

He is renowned for his wise quotes, you can find more at Brainyquote.com

Have a great day! This printable is available here.

18 February 2013

Book Club 101

Did you know I love books?? It's true, back in April 2011 I did a post on "What books should I read before I die?" called Books are the Bees which is a list of 1001 classic, must read books...go check it out.  As and when I finish a book I update the list, it probably needs updating...hmm add to the to do list!

Anyhoo because I love books my friend Bev and I have decided to set up a book club, with this in mind I decided I would suss out the best way to go about doing that.

Good 'ol Oprah has some great tips on how to set up a book club and starts with a few questions to ask yourself first.

Why are you starting a book club? What do you hope to get out of it?

Reading is an individual activity but when a book really touches you or inspires you, you want to share your findings and thoughts about the book.  A book club allows you to expand your mind and the genre you would normally stick with when reading, it will encourage the reader to think about what they are reading.

I'm hoping to read some fantastic, enlightening and thought provoking books.

What type of people will make up the club? Are you hoping that all of you will have something in common (beside your love of books), or are you looking to form a diverse group?

The people Bev and I have chosen for our book club are all mums who met at our childrens' school, we all love reading.

What types of books will your club primarily read? Fiction? Non-fiction? One particular genre, such as romance, bestsellers or biographies? Will you rotate through themes each month, like Asian literature, travel books or classics?

We have decided to let each member of the group pick a book on a monthly basis, it can be fiction or non- fiction.

Do you want to lead the club? If so, for how long, and how much time can you devote to organising meetings, refreshments and discussions? If not, will other members be willing to take on these responsibilities?

I don't think it is necessary to have a leader of our book club, we will organise the following meeting on the evening we meet to discuss the first book and so on.  Refreshments will be provided by each monthly host, including drinks.

What are the minimum and maximum number of members your club can accommodate? (This may be dependent upon where you're meeting—see below!)

We decided to have a maximum of 6 members, enough to get round a table!

When will your first meeting take place? How often will your club meet afterward? What about the summer months, and during the winter holidays? 

I'm hosting the first meeting. We are hoping to stick to a meeting each month. The first meeting will be to  discuss the the 'rules' of the book club and discuss meetings etc.

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I am super excited about our new book club, I love getting together with my friends over drinks and nibbles...and I can't wait to get reading! I'll keep you posted on our progress.

16 February 2013

Pinterest passion

Knowledge is da bomb...isn't that what they say?

I love facts, I don't care if they are useless.  Recently I've been seeing loads of infographics floating around on Pinterest and while I already had a board called 'Did you know', I wanted to create a dedicated board to the infographic. Check out my new board 'Peddling the information highway'.

One of my favourites is Human Body 18 Amazing Facts.

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This one came from Daily Infographic, they have loads of interesting infographics, check them out and maybe you could set up an infographics board.

10 February 2013

Bowled over by Lincoln

That man, Daniel Day Lewis, so deserves the Oscar for Best Actor.  I went out Friday night and watched 'Lincoln'. It was brilliant!

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I had expected to get a fantastic performance from Day Lewis, having watched him in Gangs of New York, My Left Foot, Last of the Mohicans....to name but a few.  It was clear from the onset that my expectations would be met.

The likeness to Lincoln was uncanny and, I felt, helped draw you into the story.

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There were many noticeable actors, Sally Field played the 'mad' Mrs Lincoln and I can see why she has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress. I would have to say that Tommy Lee Jones was exceptional, strange looking in his wig but exceptional. If he doesn't walk away with the Best Supporting Actor he was robbed!

If you're not into factual movies, that require you to really think about the movie, then this one is not for you. But I would highly recommend watching it.....now I'm torn on who should get Best Picture.  Les Miserables and Lincoln are both completely different movies....let's wait to see who wins, the Oscars are on Sunday 24 February. I can't wait!

7 February 2013

Organising my life - part one

Today is 21 days until D-Day, that's done-day to those who don't know...as of 1 March 2013, I am a woman without a job!

So I've been thinking that for a whole month I am going to try and organise my life, get my mind ready to go out and look for a job and concentrate on getting healthy.  I explained to my husband I'm taking a month off (yes there was a look of utter shock on his face, hey he'll get over it!) Yep, a whole month to myself, for me, to do what I want to do!

Well, I've started on the healthier me, it still needs work but I figure I am a work in progress, more of that later.

So why organise my life?

I would say I'm not really bad at organisation, for example I have a clean desk policy at my work at present, everything has its place and my in/out trays are rarely have anything in them but I could do with sorting out my home life more. When I started thinking about the reasons I came up with the following:

I want more time for myself
I would like to sit down in the evening after the children have gone to bed and be able to do my own thing, read my kindle, take a bath, watch a movie.  As it is now, I do read my kindle or watch a movie but it usually happens between 11pm and 1am! Which then has a knock on effect for the following day, I'm exhausted.

I want to be stress free and be able to relax 
My job at present is really stressful, I work at the office and from home, and invariably I work into the evening after the boys are in bed, then I read my kindle or watch a movie in an attempt to relax...it's not working for me.

I want to spend time with my children and family
If I don't have to spend my time cleaning or planning meals or sorting out paperwork, I will have more time to spend with the children and my family, that's a given.

I want to walk into my home, know where everything is and feel good about my environment
My home is clean, that's for sure, but there are days when there are mounds of clutter here and there, paperwork on the dresser, toys piled on the bookshelf, DVDs on the top of the toy box...drives me nuts.
I would like a place for everything, labelled and easily found.

I want my children to look at my organisation skills and adopt them subconsciously
I figure if I can organise my life it would encourage my boys to be tidy and keep things in places they can find...I can live in hope!

I want to be healthier
Okay, I touched on this above. I want to plan my meals better and incorporate some exercise into my life, I want to be healthier. I have started watching what I'm eating, cutting down on portion sizes but I really need to set aside some time to exercise

I want to save more
Well who doesn't right? If I can have meal plans in place this should reduce the amount of food that we waste, don't get me wrong, I don't waste a lot of food but I do waste some.  I tend to buy pre-prepared food too which can be more expensive that homemade. I also want to take advantage of the huge chest freezer in my garage!

So where do I start? Well I'm going to try to address each of the 'goals' above, I will keep you updated with my progress, wish me luck!?

4 February 2013

It pays to get angry...

It most certainly does!  So I posted a few days back about the problems I was having recycling my mobile phone and getting paid for it, well guess what?

Yay! Money sitting in the bank people, money in the bank!

It makes me think that maybe a lot of people go through life not fighting for their rights and taking things on the chin.

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Well this little lady isn't behaving like that any more...I'm going to stand my ground from now on and fight for my rights because it pays to get angry...

31 January 2013

Quote me happy...

Have you read any of Paulo Coelho's books? I haven't yet which is pretty unusual for someone who loves reading and feeling inspired.

I am assured that his books are fantastic...my sister has all of them! So while I wait for her to hand them over I found one of his quotes that hit home!

Have you read any of these books? This printable is available here.

Pinterest passion

"All yours, Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka-ya-ya!"  I can just hear her now...back in the 80s I loved Kate Bush and I loved this song.

I guess I always had a thing for these cuties and so began my Pinterest board 'Babushkas'.

So get this, these little babies are also know as Matryoshka dolls! But did you know there are few different ways to spell Babushkas? Here's Wikipedia's description...

"Babushka or baboushka or babooshka from Russian: ба́бушкаIPA: [ˈbabʊʂkə]  meaning "grandmother" or "old woman") may also refer to:

  • A Western term for a woman's headscarf tied below the chin in the Eastern European manner.
  • Babushka, an alias of Russian revolutionary Catherine Breshkovsky
  • Babushka Adoption Foundation
  • "Babooshka", a song by Kate Bush
  • The story of Baboushka and the Three Kings
  • Babushka doll, a commonly misused name for Matryoshka doll
  • Babushka Lady is a nickname for an unknown woman who might have photographed the events that occurred in Dealey Plaza in Dallas at the time President John F. Kennedy was shot
  • Buranovskiye Babushki, a Russian ethno-pop band containing eight elderly women from Buranovo, Udmurtia."

Nowadays they are not just a stacking doll but are used in many different ways...

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I like this but I also love the more traditional use for the Babushkas.

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Babushkas are still a very popular pin on Pinterest. Having just done a search, I think I'll go repin some of these lovelies...

29 January 2013

Think before you act and read the reviews...

I now know reading reviews are a must, most definitely...don't rely on the brand name reputation!

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I've had phone trouble, mobile phone trouble to be exact. Not with my contract but with recycling my old phone. Rather than throwing my old phone in the drawer to gather dust, I thought I would recycle it and get a little bit of cash for my trouble!

Needless to say it hasn't gone according to plan, I had a contract with O2 so thought I might as well use their recycling service, so I input my details, got a price and waited for the prepaid packaging to arrive. Now bearing in mind the figure they give you online is guaranteed to 14 days, my packaging arrived 8 days later leaving me only 6 days to a) decide for sure if I wanted to sell it...yep! and b) return it to them!

I packaged up my phone and went to the post office to send it special delivery, which is extra cost to the prepaid envelope...approximately £5!!

The a few days later I get an email to say my phone has 'minor cosmetic' damage...hmmm yeah right! and that the price was to be reduced. If I was happy with the price I need not do anything and I would get and Amazon Certificate for the cost on Monday. Guess what no certificate!!

I thought I would check out some reviews about O2 Recycle and guess what? They were absolutely slated...registering 1 star, bad communication etc. Oh dear!! (picture a woman pulling out her hair and getting might angry)

I have eventually managed to contact someone who has arranged for the funds to be paid direct to my account but just so you know....review, check, review and review again.

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 I would have saved myself a huge headache.

28 January 2013

Countdown to freedom...

Ooohh sounds ominous doesn't it....like I'm in prison and will soon be out...well I can assure you I am not in prison and certainly intend to stay well away from prison thank you very much!

As I mentioned before I am being made redundant and today is the start of my countdown. It's one month until D-Day (done-day) to be exact and to say I can't wait is an understatement!  I loved my job when I started this part of my career, I was so, so happy.

But as we all know things can change pretty rapidly and after several key people left, my job started going downhill! I plodded along because that's what you do, don't you? So now circumstances have ensured that redundancy is the only option and whilst I will be get some money from the redundancy, it won't last forever.

I'm thinking really hard now what I want to do with the rest of my life, I know I would love to make things and sell them because it's something I love doing and I want to be successful in my life.

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But also I want to do something worthwhile and I want to feel rewarded in whatever I do....is that too much to ask? For now I'll keep thinking and work towards stocking my Etsy shop!

24 January 2013

Polyvore party...

Wow, I just realised that the first and last Polyvore party we had here at Doodle Dandys was March last year, there is no excuse...but I'm back now so let's party!

In the spirit of winter, here's this months...

Winter blues work outfit

I just love the idea of wearing a cream outfit, with a touch of wintery blue and you can't beat a pearl bracelet and earrings to finish it off. I'm not sure how practical this would be though unless you are lucky enough to sit at a desk all day!!

22 January 2013

Les Miserables and non-stop sobbing...

Oh my word...I completely forgot to tell you about my movie trip with my girlfriends last Thursday!!

Well by now you know I went to to see Les Miserables with my girlfriends last week and what can I say...if you haven't seen it you must!

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It was absolutely fantastic, the actors and actresses surprised me in every scene, their singing was beautiful.

I was completely blown away by Anne Hathaway when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream”. To say I didn't cry would be a lie, I sobbed...but can I just say I wasn't the only one...all but one of the six of us that went cried too and pretty much all the way through the movie.

I recently watched an interview with Anne Hathaway on how she prepared for the scene where they cut her hair and when she was singing “I Dreamed a Dream”, can you believe she sung that live whilst they cut her hair? her own, real life, gorgeous, hair???

As for Hugh Jackman, one of my friends (who will remain nameless) turns to me in the first scene and whispers to me, "Isn't that Wolverine?".  I just love my friends!!

I have yet to see the other movies nominated for the Oscars, I'm going to try and get to see them and then maybe my opinion on who should win may be swayed but as it stands now...Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway should win, as should the movie!!

19 January 2013

Pinterest passion

I thought I would share one of my more recent boards, simply named Mercury Glass.  I just adore mercury glass and have only recently started collecting it.

I was fortunate enough to receive these beautiful mercury glass candlesticks from my parents for Christmas.

I love them and they come from the fabulous Cox and Cox.  

Mercury glass does not seem as easy to get over here in England as it seems in the US but thank goodness for good old Ebay where there are many listing that are sold from the US.

Do you have any collections?

16 January 2013

Looks like it's gonna snow...

I love the snow. It looks so beautiful when it settles, when it's unspoilt by vehicles driving on the roads creating the steel, grey, slush in the gutters.

This is what one of the roads in our village looks like after the vehicles have been at it, the trees look magical but somehow slightly spoilt by the road...but hey that's life right?!

So the snow is due Friday and I can't wait, my boys love the snow too. We wrap up warm, put on our wellies and traipse through the snow to the cricket field, where we lay in the snow and make snow angels!!

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What joy, seeing my boys eyes light up and hear them giggle as we throw snowballs at each other.

I just hope the snow fall won't be as much of a disappointment as it was this past Monday, it had melted by lunchtime!!

15 January 2013

Life itself is a quotation...

Don't you just love quotes??

Life itself is a quotation. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator. I don't think he could have said it better and neither did Marlene Dietrich below.

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself. ~ Marlene Dietrich 

I love quotes, I have a dedicated board to quotes on Pinterest named 'Good words are worth much and cost little' . I also like to dabble with graphics and decided what better way to do both than to create a quote of the week post, what do you think?

Anyhoo, here's my first one. If you want to use it please feel free but I would be grateful if you could link back to the original post. Thanks

Be sure to look out for next week's quote of the week, all my printables are available for free here.

Hello boys, I'm back...

In the wise word spoken by Randy Quaid in Independence Day, 'Hello boys, I'm back!'

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After an extremely long hiatus, not quite a year, I'm back to work on this little blog of mine.  I have redesigned it and I'm happy with it, really happy...okay it's not professionally designed but it's pretty good in my eyes.

I have lots of ideas in what to fill it with, mostly with the things I love, everyday life and crafting.

Lots of things have happened over the past 10 months, one of which is I'm taking redundancy from my job of 18 years, so I hope to have a little more time on my hands for craft projects I have in mind.

I am working on building stock for my Etsy shop which I will launch in the near future, when I'm happy with my stock levels and I hope to sell hand crafted cushions, bunting, plaques and button art as I did in my Folksy shop.  This time around I'm going to get prepared, I hate to rush my work and love to produce great products that I would be happy to receive, so watch this space.  I'll be sure to share my work on the blog too.

So there you go, I'm glad to be back, be sure to follow me!
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