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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five Signs You Need Some 'Me Time'

 photo stress2.jpgHaving some ‘me time’ is very important in order to keep you relaxed and confident in yourself. If you’re living a busy life you don’t want to lose who you are/how you feel due to this – which is why spending as little as 15 minutes a day by yourself, doing something you enjoy, can help.

Here are five signs that you need some ‘me time’:

1. Stress
If you’re always finding yourself at the end of your tether, becoming irritable more easily, or just generally feeling unhappy and depressed then take some time away from it all and give yourself chance to recharge those emotional batteries.

2. Tiredness
Tiredness can easily creep up on you if you have a very busy lifestyle so it is important that you get enough sleep at night – 7 to 8 hours preferably. If this isn't enough, slow down the pace of your life and allow yourself some ‘me time’. This is important as lack of sleep can lead to depression, decreased ability to pay attention and drowsiness.

If your busy lifestyle is taking over your life and you aren't getting any quality time to yourself then you might become unhappy or even depressed. This is because you aren't leading a balanced lifestyle.

By taking a small part of your day to yourself you may see a change very quickly. This could include spending time talking to your friends on social media websites or meeting up at a local venue. By spending time connecting with other people it can benefit your life as you may feel happier and more confident.

You can even look at connecting with companies online to further benefit your life. If you connect with McCarthy & Stone on Twitter, for example, you can get access to a great range of tips and details concerning local activities and events – many of which will be suitable for those approaching or in retirement as well as those in their working years.

4.Health scares
There are numerous health scares which act as clear indications that you’re doing too much. These include anxiety or panic attacks, periods of faintness, feelings of fatigue and nausea and an inability to concentrate. It’s important you tackle these problems head-on and healthcare professionals will be able to help diagnose the problem and suggest treatment. You can find out more about conditions related to stress and how to cope with them at the NHS website.

5. Insomnia
Just as tiredness can be a sign that you’re doing too much, so can an inability to sleep. If you suffer from insomnia then it’s important that you seek ways to improve your lifestyle as this condition can impact other areas of your life. Cut down on stressful activities and introduce a bedtime routine that helps you drift off into a natural sleep to help address the situation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recently Read - Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt

Watching Over YouWatching Over You by Mel Sherratt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Following the death of her husband and unborn child, Charley Belington sells the family home and bravely starts life over again. On moving into a new flat, she is befriended by her landlady, Ella, who seems like the perfect friend and confidante.

But, unbeknown to Charley, Ella is fighting her own dark and dirty demons as the fallout from a horrific childhood sends her spiralling down into madness—and unspeakable obsessions.

As Ella’s mind splinters, her increasingly bizarre attentions make Charley uneasy. But with every step Charley tries to take to distance herself, Ella moves in a tightening lockstep with her, closer and closer and closer…

I don't think I've ever read a book so fast! This had me right from the first page, it was a real (and I'm not fond of this saying) page turner - or I should say tapper as it was Kindle edition :)

I was completely gripped and quite thankful (in a way) that I was off work with laryngitis, it enabled me to just chill and read!

View all my reviews

Monday, April 21, 2014

Recently Read - Who Do U Fink U R by Shelly Weininger

Who Do U Fink U RWho Do U Fink U R by Shelly Weininger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Essex doll Chelsee can hardly contain herself when a genealogy search throws up two Lords in the family one from the 16th century the other alive and kicking in Essex today.

But proving the connection is taking far too long for "want it right now girl" Chelsee despite the efforts of the gorgeous young Byron, student of genealogy.

So to speed things up Chelsee sets off in a taxi with best friend Sharon in tow to dig out the crusty old present day Lord herself and claim what she believes is rightfully hers - a stately home shedloads of cash and maybe even a title.

Lord Radcliffe Turner snobby and cunning in equal measures and horrified at the prospect of being related to a plethora of bleached blondes from Essex namely Chelsee and her family, realises that drastic action is required to stop the claim dead in its tracks.

So when the day finally comes to prove the connection between Chelsee and the irksome Lord in the Chapel of Revelation what will the ancient documents reveal? The truth the whole truth…… Or something quite unexpected?


I loved this book - it's a light easy to read romantic comedy with a touch of mystery which made me laugh many times all the way through.

The storytelling painted a hilarious picture in my mind, so much that I think it would make a brilliant film!

This is a very special book as it's written by one of my oldest and dearest friends. She had it published herself so it's not yet available for purchase through Amazon or suchlike, but, if after reading the description you would like a copy please don't hesitate to let me know and I will pass on your request!

View all my reviews

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Fragments No 2

This weeks Friday Fragments has to be written very swiftly.

I've not had much spare time all week:

It started with a surprise meet up with a group of friends for the announcement that one of them has written a new book. She has had it published herself and wanted to give us all a copy to read and check out for her, so far I'm really enjoying it. I'll post more about this if and when I can.

Work was mad busy with people being off on holidays and off sick, so I felt even more the work, sleep, work, sleep routine - thank goodness we have Easter to recuperate!

I's given up on a potted pansy plant a few weeks ago, but yesterday, low and behold it seems to have come to life.


It's very pretty now with some purple flowers looking like they will bloom this weekend as well!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

For Those Who Poo..

When I first saw this I couldn't believe it was for a real product - but it is! I looked it up on Amazon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recently Read - The Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock

The Darkening HourThe Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, it was easy to get into and the characters interesting..

Meet Theodora
And Mona
Two women, from completely different walks of life, forced by circumstances to live together under one roof.
Both women are at their wits' end, scared of losing the one thing that's most precious to them. So when tensions boil over, who will go to the most extreme lengths to survive?
Will it be Theodora, finally breaking under the pressure?
Or Mona, desperate to find a way out?
In a tale of modern day slavery and paranoia, two women tell their sides of the story.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Fragments

During the week I happened to come across a new blog Half Past Kissin Time and I noticed the "blogess" was hosting something called "Friday Fragments" - described as:

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. 

It sounded like such a good idea to me I thought I'd join in although I'm often too busy, or too tired to blog after a long day at work!

My youngest daughter (aged 26 - I know, not a baby, but a big grown woman) travelled to Malaysia.. I had a twinge more of anxiety than usual in the light of the recent missing plane from that area, but I knew in my heart such a thing is so incredibly unlikely to happen again for a very long time!

I’m just thankful for wifi, whatsapp and our iPhones, it means we can keep in touch with no huge bills at the end.

A photo she sent me from Langkawi 

I've recently had a lot of headaches & felt generally unwell which has been awful as it stopped me doing the things I love, reading my books, listening to music etc!

I eventually went to see my Dr, had lots of blood tests to rule out anything suspicious but on Monday that all came back perfectly fine, which was a relief.

My Dr thinks I'm a bit over stressed at the moment so I need to work on relaxing more.

Wednesday I spent some time in Regents Park with my 2 year old grandson Jacob and my daughter in law. The weather was lovely and the flowers gorgeous!

Jacob was enjoying running up and down a safe grassy area, when all of a sudden he stopped - his nappy had fallen down! It was very funny, the look on his face was priceless, he looked around quite unsure what to do!


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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Recently Read - doG Backwards by Guy A Johnson

doG BackwardsdoG Backwards by Guy A Johnson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It might have been because I wasn't too well when reading this book, but I just did *not* get it.. I can't say what it was really about or who the characters were... Hmmmmmm

View all my reviews

doG Backwards is the story of six lives that come together through an unimaginable opportunity: to meet with the dead for just one hour. 
Michael works in an office and is mourning the loss of his five-year-old daughter, Milly.
Barbara has her own cleaning company and the death of her stepfather, Eric, hangs heavy on her conscience.
Connor is ten and, despite having the love of his aunt and uncle, still misses his mother, who has been dead for over a year.
Liam lives in his big family home all by himself, where he hides from his past and yearns for the return of his mother, father and sister, all of whom are gone for good.
Shelley, friend and lover to Liam, also has her losses, but keeps these a secret from him.
Their reactions are very different. Michael’s is very positive: he simply cannot believe his luck. The others, however, do not react in the same way: Shelley is disgusted, Barbara cannot face making a decision and ten-year-old Connor simply doesn’t understand.
There are further complications. Michael has to consider his estranged wife, Susan: she has not been chosen for the program. Barbara discovers the experience is likely to leave her penniless. Connor has not only lost his mother, but also his father. So he is faced with a dilemma that no ten-year-old boy should ever have to face: which one to choose?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tulips - Painted By Me...

...with a little help from my iPhone and a clever app called Waterlogue :)

Painted in Waterlogue

Sunday, March 23, 2014

2048 - An iPhone Game

And another simple but addictive little iPhone game - as if I need another one! Hahaha

Want to try?

Click HERE

Mixed Up


The weather hasn't been able to make up it's mind this week, rain, sun, bright, overcast, warm then decidedly chilly.

A bit like me recently, over tired, over moody..all rather mixed up..

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recently Read - A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan

A Pleasure and a CallingA Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway..

This is a very odd story. It wasn't as creepy or sinister as I'd hope it to be but a good read anyway.

You won't remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key.

That's absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine?

The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all.

William Heming's every pleasure is in his leafy community. He loves and knows every inch of it, feels nurtured by it, and would defend it - perhaps not with his life but if it came to it, with yours...

View all my reviews

I will add that I found it really annoyingly bulky reading a real hardback book after all these months of using my Kindle - also needing a light on when reading late in bed was a nuisance.. Back to the Kindle for now!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Holly Willoughby at Home - my favourite pieces

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We’re all familiar with Holly Willoughby’s bubbly on-screen personality and now it seems the TV presenter is offering her skills to the world of interior design. Her new collection, which launches with BHS, comprises of a combination of elegant lace-print effects and romantic floral imagery.

Everything I want my bedroom to be

Entitled ‘everything I want my bedroom to be’ this truly romantic collection for The Home range offers a little insight into Holly’s unique, personal style. From decadent bed linen to boudoir cushions and velvet throws, her Betsy White line boasts a luxury appeal. Whilst her Dotty White collection has a more contemporary feel, complete with a few feminine embellishments in the shape of small polka dot detailing and tied bow trimmings. Her Elizabeth Shell bedding gives classic floral bedding a contemporary twist and is an ideal option for those wishing to add a touch of glamour to their bedrooms.

Other styles that feature in her new collection include Lace Dove Grey, Betsy Ivory and Tattershall Wedgewood.

A new project

Holly’s debut for The Home is said to be something she’s extremely passionate about, having wanted to do something like this since she was a little girl decorating her doll’s house.

Finishing touches

Inspired by rustic French interiors, the collection has a definite shabby chic style to it. If you’re planning to redecorate your room using Holly’s romantic collection as inspiration, you may like to think about investing in a few new furniture options too. If you’re budget doesn’t quite stretch this far, you can always have a go at revamping any dated pieces yourself.
 photo windows.jpg
Other finishing touches include placing a vase of white roses on your side table, adding a pretty print wallpaper to the wall behind your bed or dressing your windows with a sheer fabric in similar hues to that of your new bedding. If you’re on the ground floor, or you’re lucky enough to have a balcony, you can dress timber sliding doors in a similar manner. From adding French style white shutters to frosted glass, there are a number of ways you can alter the appearance of any existing windows you may have in place. If you wish to revamp your room entirely, you can even consider painting the floorboards and window frames in a soft Paris grey or cream shade.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What *Are* They Doing In The Park?

I came across this scene in local park this morning.

I have no idea what they are doing and there was no one near enough to ask..

Maybe drilling for oil? Who knows...


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why Coffee Is The Perfect Start To Any Day

Everyone has a different take on how they like to start their day.

For some, a slow and drawn out routine means that they surface from a sleepy state in a leisurely way, mostly keeping to themselves and gradually brightening up to see what the day has in store.

Others like to get stuck straight in, rising with a spring in their step and taking the world on full steam ahead.

Most of us fall somewhere in between, but almost all of us will have a routine that eases us into each morning in the way that suits us best.


A great cup of coffee plays a big role in the start-up routine of many people, whether that means catching a quick take-away from a shop on the way to work or brewing your own at home in the morning.

 photo tassimo.jpg
Courtesy of flickr

Tassimo's best coffee machines produce outstanding cups of coffee time after time, no matter what your tastes or how you like to drink it. If you are a “home brew” coffee drinker you know that you can get exactly what you need right there indoors.


Coffee can give you a real kick-start and wake you up, and that's scientifically proven.

The study of chronopharmacology is defined as the study of the interaction of biological rhythms and the effects that anything we consume can have on them.

Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, has very clear effects on us and can increase alertness and concentration levels.

This means that not only does your morning coffee taste great, it can also get you in the right frame of mind to tackle the things that need to be done right away.


Of course drinking coffee isn't all about the effect it can have. Taste is a big part of the pleasure, and that's why there are so many ways to drink a coffee.

Whether you enjoy the instant appeal of an espresso or the way that a foamy cappuccino can be like having a big hug in a cup, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy your brew.

The choice of beans themselves can make a great difference, as can the way they are roasted and ground.

All in all, coffee can make the perfect start to any day because it can mean so many things to so many different people.

(This is a Guest Post)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Recently Read - The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer

The Shock of the FallThe Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book, however I didn't find it as amazing as I thought I might from all the hype around. Still a very good read though!

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Live Kitten Cam

What's cuter than kittens?

I came across this via a friend on Facebook and intend to have a little watch now and then.

All I've seen so far it the Mummy snoozing with kitten(s) but I'm sure they'll be awake at some point!

Click HERE to go straight to the kittens!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

I Won A Book!

Ok so it's not the lottery, but as a person who has never won anything I'm pretty chuffed!

So this is what I'm looking forward to receiving in the post and getting stuck into very soon:

 photo bookIwon.jpg
Click Image For More Details

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recently Read - The Son In Law by Charity Norman

The Son-in-LawThe Son-in-Law by Charity Norman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely loved this book!

I felt for every character as each ones feelings were described.

I found it difficult to read at the end as I was in floods of tears!

A very good read!

How can you forgive the unforgiveable?

On a sharp winter's morning, a man turns his back on prison. Joseph Scott has served his term. He's lost almost everything: his career as a teacher, his wife, the future he'd envisaged. All he has left are his three children but he is not allowed anywhere near them.

This is the story of Joseph, who killed his wife, Zoe. Of their three children who witnessed the event. Of Zoe's parents, Hannah and Frederick, who are bringing up the children and can't forgive or understand Joseph.

They slowly adjust to life without Zoe, until the day Joseph is released from prison...

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jacob, My Grandson - Driving (well almost!)

My gorgeous little Grandson is now almost 2 years and 2 months. He is a little star, bright as a button and I love him to bits!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Try Spiced Banana Bread

Desserts to die for

Regardless of whether you have a sweet tooth or not, everyone craves a dessert once in a while, and from family favourites to dinner party desserts, you can look up fantastic recipes online with Schwartz.

Something lighter

If you wish to steer clear of heavier, chocolate-enthused desserts due to a New Year’s resolution, opt for a smaller dessert such as mini strawberry and cream jellies or nutmeg ice cream with a side of fruit jelly. Both are guaranteed to satisfy those taste buds, without being too damaging to the waistline.

A different kind of dessert

Dessert isn’t solely something you put in a bowl, and a mug brimming with spiced cinnamon hot chocolate is an ideal alternative to the likes of apple pie and creamy chocolate cake. This recipe is a must-try on a cold, dark and dismal day and the fragrant aroma is sure to give your usual cup of tea a run for its money.

Something a little more versatile

Banana bread is a cake classic and one that is suited to breakfast time, teatime and as an after supper treat. For a wholesome breakfast or a teatime snack, simply toast the banana bread and add honey or jam and enjoy with a mug of coffee or tea. As an after dinner dessert, warm the bread in the oven and team with a large dollop of ice cream.

Spiced banana bread recipe

If you wish to create moist banana bread with a twist, add some spice to your usual ingredient list. Make a bigger batch and it will last you throughout the week.


2 cups of flour
Just under 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda
4 extremely ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon/half a teaspoon of nutmeg/quarter a teaspoon of ground cloves
Half a teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Half a cup of melted butter


Grease a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the baking powder, flour and baking soda and set aside
Using a fork, mash the bananas with the sugar, eggs, salt and spices. Once combined, stir in the vanilla extract and melted butter. Fold into the flour mixture until a smooth batter is formed. Pour into the loaf tins
Bake for around 45 minutes or until golden brown and leave to cool


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lets Dance!

There was a little music playing in the background of the Olympics this morning - it was an album we had years ago.

Lets dance!