Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Red Sun on Monday



video



This is the beautiful red sun from yesterday morning here in Wiltshire, UK ☀ It doesn't look as red on my video as it actually was, but it gives an idea of what it was like.

Apparently it happened because of the coming together of three conditions at the same time: the effects of Hurricane Ophelia, dust being carried over from the Sahara desert and smoke from the fires in Spain. It was incredible to see it. It looked like an eclipse was happening because it got quite dark and looked like a sepia photograph. What an incredible thing that these elements came together at just the right time and created something so unique.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Sky is on Fire

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love books for many reasons and one of my favorite reasons is their ability to transport us to another place and time. I don't believe it's hyperbole to say that books hold a kind of magic within their pages.


In The Sky is on Fire by Magsie Hamilton Little, readers are taken on a fantastic journey with the author as she rethinks her life on a trip through the Hoggar mountains in central Saharan Africa. This is the author's account of her time travelling with her guide Samir, his father Suleyman, and a camel named Fleabag. This is an intriguing tale as she immerses herself into the nomadic culture while on her mission to heal Fleabag. On their quest for healing, they draw upon ancient Tuarag plant medicines and other solutions. The journey made this a fascinating read for me.

This book offers an insight into the desert dwellers of southern Algeria. With so much in the news about the international refugee crisis and its forcing people into nomadism, it is very thought-provoking and timely to explore the tragedies caused by war and poverty. As a reader, I found myself thinking of how I would deal with such harsh conditions. In the end, people just want to live their lives and be safe.

Magsie Hamilton Little's journey has opened my eyes with the level of detail that she supplies which is not often found in the evening news. The Sky is on Fire truly challenges many Western perceptions about North Africa and is well worth the read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I learned so much.

Copies of The Sky is on Fire can be purchased here .

About the author: 
Magsie Hamilton Little is a writer, academic and translator. She is the author of the acclaimed Dancing with Darkness: Life, Death and Hope in Afghanistan and The Thing About Islam (both published by Max Press) and has been an expert contributor to several books about the Middle East, including Afghanistan Revealed and The Rise and Fall of the Persian Empire. She has also written for The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Beast and The Lady. You can find out more about the author at her website www.magsie.net

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Happy Weekend

These are the asters in our backyard after an afternoon rain shower today. I love the color of these beautiful flowers :)

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Sleeping With The Rabbits

I love books. They are a wonderful way to experience so much and they offer the chance to get a glimpse into peoples' lives. We may find common traits which we share with others or we may see ways of being that are much different to our own lives. Overall, when people share their stories it is an opportunity to ultimately understand the human condition from various perspectives and this is what I love.

In the new memoir, Sleeping With The Rabbits, by Susanne Defoe, readers are presented with the author's own story of  her suffering through violence, bullying at school, and having difficult relationships in her adult life. The title stems from Susanne's love of sleeping in the rabbit hutch at her childhood home when she was very young, in order to escape the stresses of her childhood.



Susanne struggles and is desperate to escape from the turmoil of her home life. She becomes pregnant at fifteen by a boy who is definitely not up to the job of being a father. This leaves her to cope on her own, with some help from her parents. She has her share of dysfunctional relationships, but we get the chance to see her soldier on and fight to gain some self-respect. We get to see a young girl/woman go through tough times, but the story is intriguing as we watch Susanne continue to strive against all odds to make a decent life for herself and her children.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sleeping With The Rabbits because of its universal theme. Whether readers identify with Susanne through their own struggles with abuse or whether readers simply sympathize because many of us go through a series of challenges in life, I believe that there is something here for many. This is a story that is tough to read sometimes and I often found myself wanting to reach into the book and "save" Susanne. However, neither I nor anyone else needed to save her because she saved herself. She kept going through it all for her children and herself and that grit is something that I greatly admire. This was a great read.

About the author
Susanne Defoe was born, raised and educated in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; she now lives in Tring, Hertfordshire.

To purchase your copy please visit www.mereobooks.com
Sleeping With The Rabbits is also available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Waterstones,WH Smiths, and Google Books

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Color


I saw all of this gorgeous color on the way home today. 
Fall is definitely here.
🍁🍂🍁

Book Spotlight: Kitty's Story




The new book, Kitty's Story, the third novel in The Voyagers Series by Fenella Forster, takes readers on a fascinating journey during the World War II era. This is the story of Kitty, a seventeen year old who is determined to do her part to help the war effort. At the beginning of the story we are brought along with Kitty as she arrives in London, intent upon making her dreams come true. She dreams of singing to the soldiers like her heroine Vera Lynn. However, she is not quite as prepared as she thinks she is to take on the world on her own. Early on she comes face-to-face with the harsh realities of war through her time in London as the city is attacked continually with bombs.

Author: Fenella Forster

As Kitty finds her feet in London, she finds out about ENSA (the Entertainments National Service Association), a troupe which travels abroad to entertain the servicemen. She finagles her way into the troupe and soon after is sent off to an army camp in Cairo.

Even though Kitty is getting the chance to live out her dream, she gets the jitters and is stopped by her fear. However, she finds great support in Ruggero Andreotti, a handsome Italian prisoner of war. This is problematic because during the World War II era, the Italians were on the opposing side, therefore Kitty and Ruggero's connection was not a welcome one. Soon, Kitty is selected to undertake a mission, which sets her experience during the war on a whole other trajectory.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kitty's Story. The author is a fantastic storyteller and I found myself totally enthralled from the very beginning. The attention to detail is spot on, therefore, that I was able to easily visualize the story as I read. As a reader I also thought that the romance between Kitty and Ruggero made for a wonderful respite from the horrors of war that surrounded them. The balance was just right. Now I'm intrigued to go back to read the other  two books in The Voyagers Series, Annie's Story (2015) and Juliet's Story (2016).

Kitty's Story is a great autumn read. The story is a perfect one for curling up with on a cool autumn evening and allowing the story to transport you to another time and place. This is an excellent read!

To get your copy visit: www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk

Kitty's Story is available through: the publisher, internet booksellers & bookshops


About the author: 

Fenella Forster is one of the pen-names used by author, Denise Barnes, for her fiction writing. Denise is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books. Denise Barnes has travelled the world, unpacking her suitcase in a score of countries and working at more jobs than she cares to remember. Mentionable events include selling lipstick in a Denver department store to top model, Jean Shrimpton; typing on a French keyboard for the UN Narcotics Director in Geneva; chauffeuring a lonely Swiss multi-millionaire lawyer in Zurich; being the first fashion model in Atlanta to dance to pop music; working as a PA to a film producer and delivering a film script to Richard Harris in Rome; and cooking in a vegetarian sanatorium in Bavaria, which gave rise to her first hilarious memoir, From Bad to Wurst.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saw A Rainbow


I saw a rainbow the other day, so I thought that I'd share it 🌈

Product Spotlight: Organic Shop Royal Chocolate Nourishing Body Soufflé

Autumn arrived just a few days ago as you know and with it the cooler temperatures have come to stay for a while. I love autumn with all of the leaves showing an array of beautiful colours. However, something else comes along too, especially during the colder months and that something is dry skin. Of course we can have dry skin anytime, but I find that my skin is at its most parched during the cooler months. That's why this is the perfect season to try some luscious new treats for dry skin.

Organic Shop produces great products which can help soothe you from head to toe. They offer a range of products for your face, body and even your hair. Organic Shop products emphasize the need to take care of ourselves and seek tranquillity and balance as we go through our day-to-day lives. And these fabulous products are a great way to do just that.

I have recently been enjoying using their Royal Chocolate Nourishing Body Soufflé from the Organic Shop Body Desserts line and I simply adore it. It contains shea butter, organic cocoa butter, milk protein, and organic olive oil. The shea butter prevents skin dryness and makes it soft and supple, while the organic cocoa butter and milk protein nourishes and moisturizes the skin. As a bonus, the organic olive oil helps to slow premature skin ageing.

Knowing what goes into this luxurious body soufflé is great, because it lets consumers know what they are putting onto their skin and that's great. However, in addition to the wonderful ingredients, there is the experience of using this lovely product. The first time that I opened the tub of body soufflé I just wanted to eat it! (NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT EAT IT!) It smells so good...just like a delicious chocolate dessert. Royal Chocolate Nourishing Body Soufflé comes in an ice cream style tub so it looks like you're getting ready to indulge in your favourite ice cream. However, this is not a treat for eating...it's for applying to your skin and taking in the wonderfully chocolate aroma.

Just apply a small amount of the soufflé onto clean dry skin with light massaging movements and enjoy! This is a real treat for your skin. I absolutely love it.

To learn more about Organic Shop and or to try some of their products for yourself, please visit
https://www.organicshopuk.co.uk/

*Disclosure: I was sent this product for review for free. All opinions are mine.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Product Spotlight: Saaf Pure Organic Super Hydrating Body Balm


Autumn has definitely arrived! The calendar marked the occasion a few days ago and the weather here currently is absolutely illustrating that the new season is upon us. At this time of the year we turn our attention to switching our wardrobes from lighter summer clothes to warmer cardigans, scarves, leggings, boots and other clothes of that nature.

This time of year also reminds us to give our skin an extra dose of care as the weather gets colder and our skin has a tendency to dry out. Our skin is put through the ringer with the cold winds that blow as well as the heating within our houses and places of work. This can all lead to dry and flaky skin. Since it's getting rather cool where I live, I'm already seeing signs of my skin drying out...especially my hands.


So I was so pleased to be given the opportunity to try out this wonderful skincare product. It's Saaf Pure Organic Super Hydrating Body Balm. This lovely body balm is the perfect treat for dry skin and delivers such an intense moisture boost. It provides the rich moisturizing barrier for your skin against the elements during the colder months or any time of the year. It's a nourishing treat for the skin.

Natural lipids, essential fatty acids, natural Vitamin E and special anti-irritant ingredients help soothe and repair the skin, while a brilliant blend of protective and nourishing botanicals and organic beeswax help combat intense dryness and restore suppleness and elasticity to the skin.
It's formulated with rare, organic, cold pressed botanicals and the finest quality steam distilled organic essential oils with scientifically proven healing and anti-ageing properties, Saaf Pure Skincare is one of the world’s most accredited skincare ranges.

•    Certified Cruelty Free by Cruelty Free International
•    Approved by The Vegetarian Society
•    Certified Organic by the UK Soil Association

So what’s in it?

Safflower oil which helps soothe irritations on even the most sensitive skin.

Sesame oil which has exceptional moisturising properties. It penetrates the skin easily, nourishing and detoxifying the deepest tissue layers.

Organic beeswax which helps soften dry skin whilst shea butter improves elasticity. Its cell regeneration properties are an effective anti-aging ingredient that also helps to fade scars.

Black carraway seed oil which can help reverse the effect of sun damage and rejuvenate tired-looking, dry and damaged skin.

Ylang ylang, patchouli, lavender and clove essential oils which help soften the skin while also giving this luxurious balm its delicious spa like fragrance.

I love this luxurious body balm! It goes on so smoothly and it really does its job. I'll definitely be using it during this autumn and on into the cold winter months. I'm sure my skin is already thanking me!

To find out more please visit www.saafskincare.com




*Disclosure: I was sent this product for review for free. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Farewell Summer 2017



Since tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox aka the beginning of fall, I thought that I'd share a couple of photos. These are the last of the summer roses in our garden. This rose bush blooms every year, but this year they especially "rose" to the occasion. To me they are a reminder that despite the hard things in life, there is still beauty around us every single day.

Farewell Summer 2017 💗


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Spotlight: Witch Dust



I've recently had the opportunity to read a new novel called Witch Dust by Marilyn Messik. It's the story of Sandra, the daughter of illusionists Adam and Ophelia, and her intriguing extended family. Sandra's life with her performing parents is definitely not boring, but once she finds out about family that she's never known, things get even more interesting to say the least.

Sandra's parents part due to her father's wandering eye. After this upheaval, Sandra's mother comes clean and tells Sandra that she has a whole bunch of relatives that she never knew existed. This floors Sandra because her mother has always told her otherwise. This revelation leads to a journey back home for Ophelia. From the first moment of their arrival, Sandra is greeted by one eccentric and quirky relative after another. The characters are so rich and colourful. Readers are taken on a beautifully magical ride. I was enthralled by the characters and I was continually engaged throughout. I didn't want to put it down.

There is always something happening in this story, from a failing hotel business to a documentary to the inner workings of family, and let me tell you, it definitely works.  There is also a bit of the dark and supernatural thrown in for good measure and it all comes together to create a thrilling read. The characters are beautifully quirky. I really loved this book!

If you'd like to get your own copy of Witch Dust, you can find it here.

About the Author:
Marilyn Messik was a feature and fiction writer for magazines (Annabelle, She, Mother & Baby, Women’s Weekly, Telegraph Online, etc). Her first business was a children’s book and party shop. She subsequently moved into travel, researching and rating American country inns and publishing an annual full colour guide. She currently runs a copywriting consultancy, helping businesses and organisations plan, shape and optimise communication. Marilyn lives in Watford, Hertfordshire and is the author of Relatively Strange and Even Stranger. Her writing style has been described as “A cross between Stephen King and Maureen Lipman.” although, as she points out, she’s really not sure either of them would be remotely thrilled to hear that!


 *Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.



Thursday, September 07, 2017

Still Beautiful


These flowers are at the tail end of their time sitting in the window, but they're still so beautiful!

Happy Thursday!

Product Spotlight: MyMatcha Apple Tea



Recently I was given the opportunity to try a product called MyMatcha Skinny Tea. I tried the apple flavour and I really enjoyed it. It has a pleasant taste and it was a good change of pace for me drink wise.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Hello September


I can't believe that it's September again...this year surely has flown by, but then it seems they all go by faster and faster :) I always like a new month because it helps me to collect my thoughts about the month that's just finished and then I can look forward to what the new month brings. Of course we never know what's around the corner, but I always hope like we all do that the new month brings good new things.

So here's to hoping that September is full of good things for us all!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Spotlight: Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin





I was recently given the opportunity to read the new novel, Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin, a murder mystery story set in the North of England.

Young female students are being murdered in the university city of Blackfield, and a horror suspense novelist is asked by his uncle, the lead detective on the case, to aid in the investigation. But there is something else going on here. The murders are eerily reminiscent of those in the writer's own new, and yet to be published, manuscript. He also has a particular connection with one of the victims.

Could he be involved? Has he taken on the persona of his own evil creation, the central character of his new novel?

With the help of his cat and a new girlfriend, who happens to be involved with a shadowy international law enforcement agency, Kenneth Sorin embarks on a path of discovery through both reality and his own subconscious to uncover the truth about the murders and his connection to them.

The book is populated with a variety of well drawn characters, including an old lady who is apparently ringing Kenneth from the grave, having passed on 10 years before! This novel is most certainly not your average crime story and contains some adult themes. It will keep you guessing right up until the final revelation, and I found it to be an excellent read which was a real page turner throughout.

Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin is published by Matador and is the author's first suspense thriller for the international market.

You can get your own copy here and on Amazon .


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee




Brief Synopsis

Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse?

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

***

Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee is a very intriguing book. It is a very emotional novel which pulled me in from the very beginning. The threads of loss and family run through the novel and gives it a universal appeal which many of us can relate to. I loved delving into the story of the family curse. This made for a very atmospheric read for me. It's intriguing to follow Ian Perkins as he delves into his family's history and discovers more about how the story of his family all fits together.

This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it! M. Jonathan Lee is an excellent writer, who is gifted at telling a story with lots of intriguing layers. This is a great read.

You can find out how to pre-order the novel here .


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Hello July


I'm a day late, but better late than never....Lol.

** Note to Self (a gentle nudge with love, because I need it right now, but with no self judgement): Get it together Dori ;-)

Anyway, I hope that July is great for you and me. June was tough for me, but I'm believing that much better is ahead. Here's to good times :)

I'm planning to be much more present here on the blog again, because I miss it and I need to get back to the things that make me happy. Life is so short and we must enjoy each day to the fullest. We have to spend more of our time here on Earth doing what we love. I've been reminded of this a lot recently and it's so very true. So watch this space! :)

Happy July and have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Weekend



Happy Friday! Happy weekend! 

These two daisies make me think about life. They're a part of nature and indeed part of this world just as we are. When I took this photo, I was just walking by and I looked down. I was drawn to taking a photo because they made me think of faces. Daisies often remind me of smiling faces. 

These two are missing a petal or two here and there, but they're doing their best to show up in the best way they can...while being the best version of themselves with what they have. Thinking of this reminds me of a quote by the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe.

"Start where you are.
 Use what you have.
 Do what you can."

~ Arthur Ashe


Have a wonderful weekend :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Spotlight: A Life Between Us



 
I've recently read an intriguing book called A Life Between Us by Louise Walters. It's a real page turner that really spurs you on to see how it all turns out. This is a family saga. I thoroughly enjoy novels in this vein and this one definitely did not disappoint.

A Life Between Us tells the story of Tina Thornton and her twin sister Meg. There's just one thing...Meg has died in a childhood accident nearly forty years before and Tina blames herself for her sister's death. We see Tina struggle with this as an adult and it greatly affects her life to say the least. The novel is set up in a way which tells a parallel story of Tina and Meg's older relatives in their youth. I found that this made for an interesting way to flesh out just who these family members are and to see what drove them to act in the ways that they did. Another thing that I enjoyed were the letters which Tina wrote as a child to a relative. This was an excellent way to take glimpses into the past and this made the story even more engaging for me.

Tina goes for a visit with her Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia. This visit shines a light upon family secrets and helps Tina to see things in a new way. Questions about just what happened on the day that Meg died are revived for Tina and she begins to question just what she really knows or how she remembers it all.

I found this to be an incredibly intriguing book because as a reader it made me think about how family secrets can be a big part of a particular family's story. Secrets can colour how we see ourselves within the story of a family and how we see others. Of course many of us don't have such a dramatic family history as we find within the pages of this enjoyable novel, but as a reader I found this family to be fascinating.

A Life Between Us is Louise Walters' second novel and I must say that she is a gifted writer. This story is beautifully told and is a truly emotional journey.

I really enjoyed this book! I found myself reading well past my bedtime...it's that good!

You can get your own copy here and also on Amazon.

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Hello June



I didn't get the chance to welcome in June a few days ago, so even though we're three days in, here goes.....Hello June!!! :)

I love the warmer months as many of us do. I love watching the sunset at the end of these long summer days, as the sun does its beautiful dance along the horizon, as it bids us good night and makes way for the moon. There is such a magic at that golden time in the evening when the shadows grow longer and everything is bathed in this amazing light.

It's about that time here as I type this. Nature is glorious.

Hello June!

Here's to many more golden evenings like this :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Unofficial Beginning of Summer


Happy Weekend!!!

It's the three day bank holiday weekend here and it's Memorial Day weekend back home in the US, so we've finally arrived at the unofficial beginning of summer even though the official start of summer is in June. But hey, official...unofficial...it all works for me. Lol. I'm just glad to see warmer days and we're actually having some warm, sunny days here in Wiltshire right now, with not a rainy cloud in sight. Woo Hoo! ;-) I don't know how long the sunshine will last, but I'm gonna soak in the warmth and the good vibes to the fullest while I can :-)

Have an amazing weekend wherever you are, whether it's an extended weekend or not. Enjoy!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Flowers

Happy Friday!

I have another flower post today, but then I love flowers...I imagine many of us do though. What's not to love, huh? :)  These photos are actually taken from the same bouquet, but just on different days. The top photo is the most recent. I had to capture the beauty of the lily and share it once it bloomed out. Isn't it gorgeous?



Nature is extraordinary!


Have a great weekend :)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Unbeknown



Just under a year ago, regular readers may remember, my Book Spotlight featured "The Lines of Tamar", the debut novel by Sheila Mughal. The previous review can be found here. It is a mystical thriller featuring biblical characters, a little folklore and some very well researched genealogy which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

So I was delighted when I was asked to review Sheila's sequel novel - The Unbeknown. Like it's predecessor, this story is set in modern times but draws on many centuries of historical background to weave a tale that enthrals and enchants in equal measure.

Starting in 1793 with four young boys exploring a labyrinthine system of caverns and tunnels that hide a secret that cannot be revealed to the outside world, the story moves to the present day and follows the life of a young stage magician. How are his strange abilities linked to the happenings of centuries before? Embarking on a paranormal detective mission, his journey takes him to many places but it is the discoveries within himself that are the most revealing.

A mix of alien conspiracies, sacred scriptures, demonic conjuring and lost biblical prophecies are all pulled together to create a truly unique novel that was a pleasure to read.

The Unbeknown by Sheila Mughal is available on Amazon.

 *Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Orchids



This is my beautiful orchid :) My hubby gave it to me as a surprise gift about three weeks ago and it is still beautiful and thriving...fingers crossed ;-) I've always wanted to try growing and caring for an orchid, so I'm excited to give it a go. The flowers are seemingly so perfect that they don't look real. Orchids are just exquisite!

I'm been studying up on how to care for this beautiful plant. I love plants and gardening, so I'm hoping to develop a true green thumb like my mom had. She was a great gardener and could grow just about anything of the floral or vegetable variety.

I'll share updates from time to time about how the Yellow House orchid is doing ;-)

Have a great day and week!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Visiting Bath Once Again


This past Saturday, my hubby and I took a trip to Bath. It's not too far away and we love visiting there when we get the chance. While we were there enjoying ourselves, we wondered why we don't visit more often. We've decided that we'll definitely be visiting more often and enjoying more of what that beautiful city has to offer :)

The photo above is one of my favorite views of Bath along the River Avon. It's so beautiful. A great deal of Bath is constructed out of Bath stone, which has that lovely honey-colored hue to it.

The photo below is from lunch...nachos!!  ;-) Nachos are always a good idea in my book. Lol.


It was an overcast day for the most part, but it didn't matter because we had a fantastic time!

If you'd like to check out a few of my past posts about Bath, you can see them here and here.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Hello May


I hope you have a wonderful new month! 

💐🌼🌻🌺💮🌸🏵🌹🌷⚘🌼🌻🌺🌸💐🏵

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Photos

Happy Sunday!

I hope that things are well where you are. I'm doing great, especially since I'm able to get here again. I love blogging! :) As I mentioned in my last post, things have become a bit more hectic, but hopefully I'm getting a handle on things once again, so I'll be able to come here and share more of my photos and thoughts. I appreciate everyone who continues to visit me here even when I can't get here as often as I'd like. Thank you so much for sticking with me :)

As usual, I've been snapping a few photos here and there with my phone. These days mostly everyone does this too though, right? Lol. Anyway, I try to capture a bit of what I see daily...some things turn out great and sometimes the idea or intention doesn't come through in the end product. Lol. Still, I love photography, so I hope you'll keep visiting me to see what I see!

Here are a couple of photos that I took recently when we were out for a walk on a beautiful day here in Wiltshire. We were up on the edge of a slope, looking out across the fields and into the distance. It was an absolutely BREATHTAKING view! I couldn't capture it well enough to do it justice, but at least I hope that you can see some of what I saw :)



I'll be back with more photos in a few days.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Checking In

Hello :)

I just wanted to check in. I haven't posted in over a week. Sorry. Things have recently become quite hectic, so I'm not able to get here like I want.

However, this weekend I'll be back to share some photos and some thoughts, so watch this space :)

I hope that you're having a fantastic week!


Friday, April 07, 2017

Natural Scenes


I thought that I'd share a few photos from my Instagram account again. Recycling is good ;-)

I've taken these over the last week or so. I love nature and I love capturing little bits of it when I can. Whenever I'm not able to get out and about, I can always take a look at photos like these and I'm instantly taken back to that moment.

All three photos were taken here in Wiltshire. It's great to see the trees and flowers sprouting out for spring.

Happy weekend! :)

Monday, April 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Blokes, Beers & Burritos


I love to read, so books are always welcome around my house. A good, fun read gets me even more excited, so I'm thrilled to introduce this great new book.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Being True


This is a photo that I recently shared on Instagram. It's kinda recycled in a way since it's been posted there, but hey, recycling as a practice is good isn't it? :)

I took this photo one day when I was just sitting in my armchair. I looked out into the backyard. I thought about how that couple of little daffodils are holding their own in contrast to all of that green. They are beautiful and I loved how they contributed a bit of difference to their fully green surroundings.

I may be reaching here, but for me, it reminded me that we must be beautifully and fully ourselves no matter who is around. And when we are true to ourselves, we make our mark and the uniqueness shines through! :)


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Food Spotlight: Barry Norman Premium Pickled Onions


British film critic, writer and media personality Barry Norman is celebrating a great milestone. He's celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of his range of Premium Hot & Spicy Pickled Onions.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Photos From a Weekend

Today I thought that I'd share a couple of slightly fuzzy photos from the past few days that I've shared on Instagram. I took both last weekend. The top one was from when I was out and about having a short Sunday morning walk. The bottom one was taken from the passenger seat in our car as we headed out to do an errand.



As I mentioned on Instagram, the top one reminds me that spring is on its way in little ways that we can notice here and there. The bottom photo just reminded me how much I love the countryside, even with slightly broken fences :) Both remind me of the beauty of nature.

I hope that you have a great weekend wherever you are! :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

International Women's Day 2017




Happy International Women's Day!

On this day especially, I think of my mother, my sisters, my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and all of the women who have lighted my way and/or paved the way on my journey as a woman. I am grateful for my journey every single day, but I love that women and their contributions are highlighted on this day. As we celebrate the contributions of women, we must also shine a light upon the injustices which women and girls experience daily around the globe. There is so much work still to be done.

I find encouragement on my journey quite often through quotes and this is one of my favorites. 

"I got my start
 by giving myself a start."

~ Madam C.J. Walker
Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist



                               

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My 9th Blog Anniversary


Today is the 9th anniversary of the day that I started this blog. Who'd a thunk it? :) I can't believe that it's been so long, but then it seems like the last nine to ten years have gone by in a blur anyway. I started out on March 4th and I've always liked this day because it feels for me like it sounds...I march forth! :) When the month of March comes, even though it's still chilly, the mind turns to thoughts of spring and summer. It's like we get to shake off the chill of winter and go forward into the renewal that spring brings.

On the first of March, I shared a quote on Instagram that I thought was very appropriate for this month. It's a quote from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I thought that it sums up March perfectly.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 

I hope that I can bring some renewal and new energy here as I go forward with my blog....as I march forth and onward towards my 10th blog anniversary. I'm planning to share more photography as always, but I also would love to dive a little deeper and share inspiring things. I hope you'll join me :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book



There's a fabulous new colouring book out now, it's The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book by fashion designer Natasha Itzcovitz, which is created in the style of Iain R. Webb's Vogue Colouring Book. I love colouring. I have several adult colouring books and they are one of my favourite ways to relax and to let my creative side take over. Itzcovitz's book is a lovely addition to my collection and I know that I will thoroughly enjoy colouring in every single page. The illustrations are gorgeous!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Film Spotlight: Fright Night





Eureka Entertainment has released Tom Holland’s directorial debut FRIGHT NIGHT, the iconic 1980s vampire classic starring Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, in a Limited Edition Dual-Format SteelBook and a Special Dual-Format Edition will be released on 10th April 2017.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Things That Light the Way

This past weekend I embraced two things that I love...taking pictures and sketching. If you have visited me here before, you'll know that I love sharing photos from my Wiltshire adventures and from anywhere else that I find myself roaming :) However, I don't usually share sketches or anything I've created. Never really thought to do so. Maybe I should share more of my creative hits and misses since creative expression is a big part of who I am. Hmmm. Watch this space.

Anyway, back to my point :) So, I had my trusty phone camera out on Saturday as hubby and I drove through the countryside as we did our errands. My camera on my phone isn't the best, but it's good enough to give the general idea of what I saw. Lol.

Here's a photo that I took of a tree along the roadside. A friend on Instagram remarked that the tree looks like a deer with his back turned to the road while he reads a book. I cracked up when I read her words because I immediately saw what she meant :) His antlers and head are so clear. I just think it's wild that I snapped this picture at exactly that moment as we drove by and it looks so much like a deer. And I'm in awe of her picture interpretation skills. Who knew that huge reading deer sit along the edges of Wiltshire roads? :)


As for my sketching, well before yesterday morning it had been a LONG time since I've sketched anything. I used to draw all of the time years ago, but that interest seems to have dried up, or maybe the urge to draw got pushed to the side due to everything else taking so much time. Well, this past week's stress shifted something within me and out of the blue I just picked up my sketch pad on Sunday morning and I let my pencil do what it wanted.

Below is the result.


I don't know exactly who this is, maybe it's kind of a self-portrait, maybe it's not. I'm jealous of her hair though. Lol. I have very curly hair, but I can never get it to look like this...perhaps this is a spiritual intention road map to how I want my hair to be in the future :) Or maybe it's not about me at all and this is just a character that sprung out of my mind and came through my pencil and her name is.....ummm, Ruby...yeah let's call her Ruby  ;-)  

Rediscovering my love of sketching was therapeutic and I'll definitely be keeping my pencil close by as I go forward. I'm going to make time for sketching here and there even if it's only for a few minutes. It never hurts to have more than a few things that bring you happiness. I'm grateful that I have photography and sketching to light the way!

Hey, maybe I'll draw some friends for Ruby....hmmm...maybe I will :)

Have a wonderful day!