Thursday, 30 July 2015

Back To The (Online) Bookstore :)

Hi honeys
As if the stack of books on my bedside table waiting to be read isn't big enough (I'm reading as fast as I can :) I've added to our home library again.  I know, I'm a bookworm :) It's a lifelong addiction though so I can't see anything changing anytime soon and I'm just fine with that :)

Back To The Online Bookstore

It's a really mixed bag this time around honeys, and we start off with two wee books chock full of smiles :)

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Teeny Tiny Perfect Loki!!

Hi Honeys
If you've been reading lately you'll know I haven't been coping very well and yesterday wasn't a good day at all, but just as I was feeling at my lowest for, well quite some time honeys, A lovely friend goes and does something wonderful......
Tiny Perfect Loki

Loki! the cutest, most adorable wee Lego Loki finally reigning over his own enclosed shadow box frame kingdom :) Isn't he wonderful?  I haven't been able to stop smiling :) The shadow box frame has Loki set against a Marvel comic background and his own helmet logo stands underneath him in the frame.  He's just adorable! I'm a lucky, lucky lady! Thank you so much Cheryl <hugs> xxx

Cheryl makes these gorgeous Marvel themed works of art and has lots of other mini heroes too such as Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and many more.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

What You Need To Know About The Google Cookies Notice

Disclaimer:  I'm not a technical person but I hope this post will explain what cookies are and why there is a new cookie banner here.  Sorry about that, not my choice its a new EU law.
Hi honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous weekend with much better weather than we've had here.  It might be July but I swear it feels like October.  Where did Summer go? Did I blink and miss it?

Google cookies

Arriving here to start work on a new blog post (which you'll love, more books dear ones) I was met by a message from Google regarding cookies.  No, not these cookies.....

Friday, 24 July 2015

Happy Weekend & Free Pretty Rose Printable

Hi honeys

I just wanted to wish you a wonderful fun & smile filled weekend :)  Did you see the pretty rose in the rain photograph I used in a post on 5 ways to cope when living with a chronic illness earlier this week?  I've organized a large printable version for you, and I so hope that it makes you smile :)

Pretty Rose In The Rain Free Printable

The printable version has no "watermarks" or text on it. It looks like this......

Pretty Rose In The Rain Free Printable

It's my little gift to you for visiting and keeping me company.  Feel free to download it, print it, use as wall art, use to illustrate a blog post of your own if you'd like to, if you do though, do come back and leave me a link so I can read it too, I'd love to visit your blog and I promise to say hello if I do :)

You can download the printable here honeys: Rose in the rain  Till next time dear ones, keep smiling and hugging and be happy, love always xx

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A Wonderful Cookbook & Social History All In One!

Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to promote this book, just saw it, ordered it, love it and wanted to share :)

Hi Honeys
I was sitting in the living room with Jade yesterday when there was a tremendous thump at the front door. Seriously, I'm so not made for sudden frights! Neither is our furbaby, bless her.  So anyway, I go to the front door, halfway expecting yet another young lad with a clipboard to be standing there going on about the merits of cavity wall insulation (our home is wrong type of construction for it) loft insulation (been done) or lately solar panels, now that one was new :)

Turns out it was a smiling delivery person with a package from Amazon :)  Inside the package was a couple of dvds and this.....
Recipes & Memories Of A 1920s Household Cook
Honeys there are no words for how much I'm loving this book! It's part recipe book, chock full of recipes from the 1920s and as if that wasn't treasure enough (and it so is!) the author, Margaret Powell, shares her memories of working firstly as a kitchen maid and later as Cook in a grand house during that time.  The book has lots of fabulous stories sharing with the reader how she learned her craft and worked her way up to the position of cook.

Fans of Downton Abbey will absolutely adore this wonderful insight into the inner workings of the kitchen of a grand house.  The author also wrote other books detailing her experiences, which you can see here.  I really can't recommend this book enough.  Aside from being an absolute treasure trove of vintage recipes and charming memories of a wonderful lady, the book itself is gorgeously presented in a pastel blue hardback cover with gold foil overlays.  This is a cookbook that will look beautiful in anyone's kitchen. A joy to read and a joy to own.

On an unrelated note honeys, I took some photos of a gorgeous pink rose in our front garden the other night.  It was raining and the garden looked pretty :) I was wondering if anyone would like a printable?  If so do let me know :) Till next time dear ones, keep smiling and hug lots, love always xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

5 Ways To Cope When Living With A Chronic Illness

Disclaimer:  I don't mean this blog post to act as medical advice, please talk to your Doctor before starting extra exercise or making any other life changes.

Hi honeys
I'm writing this post as much for myself as to share with you.  I find myself in the position of having to sit myself down and give myself a sharp telling off.  I've been allowing stress, worry and upset to get to me. To knock me off course from where I should be, where I try to stay, namely ahead. Coping. Not letting illness & pain win.

Thing is dear ones it has been winning recently.  My Dr has increased, actually doubled, the dosage of my blood pressure medication recently and I'm trying so hard to not be stressed that it's stressing me out!

5 Ways To Cope When Living With A Chronic Illness

So I thought, in order to both remind myself and to share with you, I'd post my 5 favourite strategies for living & coping with a chronic illness without letting it win. Ever.
So here they are honeys, for what it's worth.  If you are a fellow spoonie, I wish you gentle hugs and a spoon filled day and if you're here to better understand what a friend or loved one is going through, then bless you for caring x   

Monday, 20 July 2015

Yippee! We Have Apples!

Hello honeys
I hope you're well and have seen some of today's sunshine where you are :)  It's been such a busy weekend at work and I was so sure that Summer had come to an end, in spite of it only being July because of the torrential rain we've had all through Friday and yesterday.  I got drenched on Friday night when I left work because I hadn't bothered taking a jacket, it was sunny when I left. 

I know I should really have been resting yesterday, it's been a tough week, tough few weeks really, but I saw the beautiful blue skies and couldn't let a sunny day go by without laundry, so I pegged some outside in the gorgeous sunshine while Jade kept me company :)

Do you remember those blueberries in the garden the other day honeys? Look what I spotted while pegging laundry yesterday......
Yippeee we have apples
You might remember my getting very excited last year, when our tiny wee apple tree in the back garden had grown it's very first apple?  One single perfect little apple :)  Well this year we appear to have grown three instead :)   

Friday, 17 July 2015

Why Staying Connected Is Vital..

Hi Honeys
It's Friday again :) I hope you're looking forward to a fabulous weekend full of fun & smiles :) Do you remember I said a couple of weeks ago I was going to blog about something that makes me smile every week?   Well honeys today I'd like to do just that. 
Roses - start each day with a grateful heart
Yesterday I was having a really rotten day and then something wonderful happened. A dear friend phoned, out of the blue, just because she was worried about me.  I can't even begin to say what a difference that made to my whole day.  Thank you so much Francine, I'm so lucky to have you in my life, sending heaps of hugs honey xxx

Francine's call yesterday got me to thinking, well actually I had a good cry first (but in a good way Francine, don't worry dear one!) then I washed my face and started thinking about how really lucky I am.  As those battling any chronic illness know, an all too common side effect of this battle is a sense of isolation from the world. 

Often, the result of constant pain, side effects from the myriad of drugs prescribed to us, indescribable fatigue and lack of understanding from those around us, even well meaning people who do try, all compound into making us retreat from the world.  We build a protective wall, an invisible fortress to hide in because our senses are overwhelmed and all we want to do is to be left alone and rest.  It's what I've done this past couple of weeks.

This is such a dangerous thing to do honeys because this protective fortress can so easily become a prison, keeping us in as well as making others stay away.  I am blessed, and I truly thank God that I am because having my dear Hubby & our furbaby give me a reason to keep getting up each day.  I have, bit by bit, over the last 15 years or so almost entirely retreated from the world.  Going to work and visits to either my Doctors surgery or to the hospital are the only time I go outside.  Even those are incredibly difficult at times but I can't allow myself to lose that contact with outside. 

I have a very small group of friends (you know who you are dear ones) who mean so much to me, because they're there. They reach out when I can't.  With a surprise phone call (hugs Francine & Miriam so tightly xx) or by taking the time to wrap the most gorgeous candles as a surprise when I get to work (Thank you Jenny, you're an angel sweetheart xx) Miriams Beautiful Roses
Having unbelievably beautiful flowers arrive unexpectedly (Thank you Miriam, the message on the card was what made me cry, in a good way, because I heard your Dad in my head saying it as I read, you'll never know what that meant to me my wee angel xx) or by sending me countless tweets & facebook updates to make me smile (Thank you Alex & Milla, you guys are awesome xx) Lovely blogging friends who drop by just to let me know I'm not just chatting to myself (Thank you Leah, words can't even come close, hugs always honey xx)  and chatting with my dear BiL every Sunday & with my beautiful SiL on Facebook are beyond priceless to me (hugs honeys xx)

What I'm trying to say is that having a connection with the world is so incredibly important to everyone's (not just spoonies) wellbeing.  I'm not talking about gifts or flowers, I'm talking about a phone call, an email, a tweet, a text or (my favourite of all) a hug.  Just that reassurance that someone cares can make a very dark day light again.

So honeys, your task for this weekend then is to do just that.  Do you have a friend who's been a little quiet lately? Why not drop them an email? Forward a link to a happy kitten on you tube, or give them a call just to say hello?   There are no words for how much it will mean to the person receiving it.  For fellow spoonies, I hope that your weekend is full of joy & smiles and you have more spoons than you can use but if you don't, why not reach out? There are so many wonderful people who truly care, I promise, but sometimes we need to take a step back to be able to see them. To count our blessings. Till next time dear ones, love always xx  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Finding Smiles In The Garden...

Hi Honeys
I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately.  Life is being, well, not that great to be honest.  So, I've done what I usually do at times like this and just taken to hiding away from the world in the hopes it will forget about me and leave me alone.  Does anyone else ever feel like that?  I do hope not, honeys, it's horrible.

You know, pretty much whatever happens I've always been able to find something to smile about, I've been that annoying person who looks for butterflies & ladybirds, for rainbows when it's raining and tries to feel better by making other people laugh or smile.  I have to admit though these past few weeks it's been much harder to find things to be happy about.

I'm stressed all the time, they've now doubled the level of my blood pressure medication and I'm so tired of taking meds all the time. Meds for pain, meds for arthritis, meds for blood pressure, meds for horrible muscle spasms.  Mostly though, much as I hate it, I manage to sort of cope.  Just lately though someone has crept in with a giant cosmic straw and just sucked all of my joy away.  It's left me feeling incredibly grim and, embarrassingly, blubbing my eyes out at times. 

My inner voice is giving me such a telling me off right now, and quite rightly too!  With all of the sadness, hurt and despair in the world right now how dare I feel sorry for myself but there it is and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it.  I feel deflated and totally joyless and I feel, in turns, both angry at myself and desperate to shake it off.

I have so much to be grateful for, chief among them of course being a wonderful Hubby and an adorable wee furbaby, and I know that this will pass, it always does eventually, but that doesn't help now.  Life has torpedoed my happiness boat and I'm floating about wondering what happened.

This afternoon I went out into the garden to hang some laundry.  Laundry, as you'll know if you've read any of this blog at all, is my happy place.  I adore it.  Is there a sight more heart warming than lines of beautiful bright bedding dancing in a warm sunny breeze?  Today though it just felt like a chore.  That was when I decided enough was enough.  I'm allowing worry & stress to rob me of my smiles.  Enough now, Rosie!
Blueberry Smiles In The Garden
So I'm pegging out one of Hubby's shirts and as I turned around a thought hit me honeys.  Just when did that blueberry bush we planted a few years ago grow so huge and take over the back of the garden?  We bought it, with our apple tree, from Woolworths.... oh my! That dates it!  I still miss Woolies! Well anyway, the blueberry bush now looks like this.....

Friday, 10 July 2015

My Lifelong Book Obsession Continues With Some New Arrivals :)

Hi honeys

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to recommend any of these titles or any particular book store, just our latest additions to our home library and wanted to share.

I hope you're looking forward to the weekend and enjoying the sun where you are.  It's Friday again :) Can you believe we're in July already?  I swear this year is passing too fast. 

Do you remember I posted recently about some books we'd added to our home library?  We had another delivery and thought I'd share.  Have you read any of these honeys?

Non Fiction Educational Books
I'm not so sure it's a good thing that I discovered the online shop belonging to The Works,  I mean the books are so inexpensive and we are trying to de-clutter our home after all, but then again, their books are such incredible value and they do deliver right to the door and..... Is there a programme to wean a person off books? There's no hope for me honeys. None :)  Like I said, I've loved books for as long as I can remember, it's a life long obsession. There's just no hope for me, and since Hubby is exactly the same, we're both ok about that :)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Delicious, Creamy Mac & Cheese... From A Jar!

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to recommend this product, I saw it, was curious about saving some time with dinner on a busy work day & decided to try it & share the results :)

Hi Honeys
I hope you had a great weekend.  The weather has calmed down here a little.  At 17C it's still hot by West of Scotland's standards, it's rained for the past three days (now that's a Scottish Summer :) and we've had a few thunderstorms with some pretty impressive lightning displays but at least that horrible, drags every breathe from your chest humidity has eased.   I'm Scottish! I'm not made for sunny, warm Summers! We're more built for rain macs & brollies around here :)

It was a really busy, but really good, weekend at work too.  I only work part time but I do work odd shifts.  This has its own problems and one of those is managing to make a nice dinner for Hubby getting home from work before I dash past him to my own job.  I know, I heard it too.  So much for feminism, why am I cooking for Hubby on days when I work too I hear liberated sisters say.

OK, I hate to be a traitor to the sisterhood but what can I say, I still consider being a housewife to be my "real" job.  I love everything about it, I love doing laundry (yes, really!) and I love planning lovely dinners for Hubby to come home to after a long day at work.  He works so hard to provide for us, and making sure there's a delicious meal waiting when he gets home gives me such joy.   Which brings me to the point of this post :)

I'm always on the lookout for "easy" dinner ideas.  Now this is not laziness honeys, I swear.  As I've said I work late shifts two nights a week and on these nights I pass Hubby at the door, so I need dinner ideas that are not only quick to make, yummy to eat but that don't take a lot of work to prepare.  I have a very finite stock of energy available to me, and on some days it takes all I have just to get through my shift at work, so I can't use too much of my supply before I'm even out the door.

Do you remember a pasta sauce dinner I tried a while ago?  Around a week or so ago I discovered a new (to me anyway) Macaroni & Cheese version of it and finally got around to trying it.  I thought I'd share my results :)
I make really lovely homemade macaroni & cheese.  There I said it.  I know you're not supposed to toot your own horn, it's not polite to boast but I've spent a lot of years (a really lot) perfecting my macaroni cheese. I like to think my sauce, with a hint of garlic, is perfect and Hubby seems to agree :)  So you can imagine, curious as I was because of wanting to save time and all, I really wasn't expecting much from a jar of store bought sauce in comparison.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday Smile :)

Hi Honeys
I've decided to take some time each week, here on this blog, to dedicate to something that makes me smile :) Today that happens to be daisies.....
Friday Smile - Daisies
Why daisies? Well, why not daisies?  I've said before on this blog that I love daisies and I do :) I adore them :) They are the sunniest, happiest flower and I can't ever see them without smiling :)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni Made Easy!

Hello Honeys
I'm so sorry I haven't been around recently.  I'm just not coping with this heat wave at all well.  The sun I love but the humidity.... well maybe not.  I have "wonky" lungs and the humidity makes it difficult to breathe.  I'm so scared to go anywhere without my inhalers and just can't sleep at night.

I hope everyone is being really careful in this heat.  Wherever you are honeys, stay out of the sun as much as you can, drink lots of water and keep inhalers close at hand if you use them.

I was determined to make something yummy for Hubby's dinner last night, bless him he's working in this heat in a shirt & tie in a too warm office.  I decided on a healthy version of one of his favourite dinners, cannelloni.  There was still the humidity to deal with though, so how to make a delicious cannelloni without fainting clean away in the kitchen?

The result was to use a few shortcuts that not only made the cannelloni so easy to make, it took no time at all to make too! So here is the result honeys, what do you think? 

Easiest, Yummiest Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

I love to cook. I adore trying out new recipes, using ingredients I haven't used before and even finding new ways to make old favourites.  We've always loved cannelloni, the difference being that I used to always make it with beef mince and finely chopped onions as filling but this has been passed over for our new favourite, healthier version using spinach and delicious creamy ricotta cheese :)

As I said though, because of the heat I wanted to spend as little time at the stove as I could. 

One of the short cuts was to use a package of cannelloni tubes instead of rolling the filling inside strips cut from fresh pasta sheets.  It was just as delicious and it certainly cut down the preparation time yesterday. 

I also raided our pantry & freezer for a jar of lasagne sauce, a carton of chopped tomatoes, and a my always available frozen garlic.  Hubby & I adore all things garlic so it's a very easy way to always have it available.  Added to some grated cheese and a lovely tub of ricotta cheese from the fridge I was ready to make something wonderful :)     

Shall we get started honeys?