Friday, July 31, 2015

A Friday Photo and A Pile That Waits For Me

Today's Friday photo is a very current one that I took about an hour ago ;-) As I've mentioned in previous Friday photo posts, I'm going to make an effort to share more of a mix of photos...some from the past and some that are more recent.

This is my pile of "stuff" that's been sitting here for weeks. I'm currently planning on going through it this weekend. That won't be all that I'm doing of course...gotta enjoy the weekend too, but this will be one thing on my to-do list. I need to stop putting it off. It won't take long and I'll be glad to be able to see the dang table again ;-)

This pile is kind of like an inbox for me so I need to go through it and put things in their proper place. When something comes in the mail or I make a note about my book or something, it often ends up in this pile. Looking at the pile now I'm amazed that it hasn't fallen over since it looks a little bit top-heavy. I think that a good start will be to rescue my book and notebook from the bottom because I really don't want to have to pick up everything all scattered across the floor...nope! Lol.

I'm actually quite an organized person but it seems that since I've been working on my book, a few other things stay waiting for me in piles. Actually clutter makes me kinda crazy even though this pile looks like I'm a pack rat. Lol. Anyway, no excuses...gotta clean up!

I hope that you have a great weekend and have fun with whatever you're doing! :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Catching Up Days

I'm in catching up mode today, so my various notebooks are out in force. I've been kind of out of the swing of things so I'm trying to get back on track. I'm so behind with everything...Help! Lol.

I'll get it together soon :-)

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Friday Photo and An Iron Rooster

Today's Friday photo is from November 2012 and as you can see it's a rooster. I was playing with the evening shadow on the wall when I snapped the photo :-) This is my iron rooster that I've had for a few years now. I saw it at an outlet store and it was very inexpensive so I had to have it.

I think that I liked it so much because it reminded me of the vintage irons that we had around the house when I was growing up. They were made of solid iron and had been my grandmother and great grandmother's. By the time that I came along they weren't used for ironing clothes anymore, but they were held onto because they were a part of the family history. They had been used way way back in the day of course to iron and were heated instead of being plugged in like irons nowadays.

Whenever I would see the old irons they would remind me of my relatives who came before me. The vintage irons were grounding to me and connected me to my history. So I guess that when I picked up my iron rooster in the store and felt the weight of it, it instantly brought the vintage irons to mind. It's something found in the now that through memory connects me to the past :-)

Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bushes That Bring Butterflies

Hello :-)

Today I thought that I'd share this photo that I took a few years ago. As you can see, it's a colorful butterfly and I'm thinking of butterflies because of what's happening in the backyard.

Over the last week and a half, the butterfly bushes in the backyard have been blooming out.

Here's a photo below that I just snapped. The sky's kinda gloomy off and on, but the flowers are still showing up in all their glory!

The butterfly bushes have white flowers and purple flowers and they're ever expanding. I love that they've kind of taken over along the back. A few weeks ago I wrote here about not having much color out there and I mentioned how much I missed it. Well I guess that this was a case of ask and you shall receive ;-) They came out with an extra bit of oomph this year and I love them!  The butterflies are loving every minute too!

Happy Tuesday! :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday's Little Nerd Goodies

Happy Saturday!

This is one of my not-so-regularly-scheduled Saturday posts ;-) My most recent one was this one here. As I mentioned in that previous post, I find that I like to ramble a little bit on Saturday and it spills over here. Lol. I don't know what it is, but on Saturdays it's like all the words for the week have been stored up and decide to tumble out. As I've also mentioned before, I LOVE SATURDAYS! I guess that many of us do, huh? :-)

Since I get kind of wordy on Saturdays, I often take the time to work on my book or write something else and today I'll be doing just that. As you can see from the photo above, I have all of my little nerd goodies ready to go ;-) I write on my laptop, but often I write bits and pieces out by hand. I like the feel of the pen in my hand while I scribble across the page. I'm a little bit old school and a teeny little bit techy. I have various pens because each has a certain feel and I'm a bit of a pen nerd too so...Lol.

I'm going to be doing a little bit of reading along with writing today and I'm calling on Stephen King's expertise for some inspiration. I've had this book for years and I refer back to it again and again. It's part memoir and part writing guide. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in writing or for anyone who enjoys Stephen King's work. It's a great read.

So that's what I'll be up to today. What are you doing today or this weekend? Whatever you're doing, I hope you have fun! :-)

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Friday Photo and Lakeside Views

Today's Friday photo is from August 2011 and as you can see it's a view of a lake. It's here in Wiltshire. Even though it's going on four years since the visit there, this picture is taking my mind back. It was a fun and tranquil day. It was a great opportunity to get away from all of the noise and just unplug.

I think that we need to revisit this spot again soon :-)

Happy Friday and have a great weekend wherever you are!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Thoughts

I had a good weekend. How was yours? :-)

Mine was a combination of things and I came away from it with some observations about things. I was either reminded of something or I got confirmation of something. So I count that as a pretty great weekend!

As is customary for me these days, I worked on my book. I didn't get to write as much as I wanted, but the important thing is that I showed up and stayed committed to my goal. When I think back on it, this reminds me to simply JUST KEEP GOING! :-)

This past weekend I also put a bit of reading time in and it was helpful. I often hear the advice from authors that reading is essential to feed the writerly mind and I'm finding that to be very true. I must admit, when I first started writing my book I found it hard to get going and I felt kind of stuck. I've loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember so it was tough for me to feel so out of it. I realized that I hadn't been feeding my mind like I used to and therefore I couldn't hear the rhythms anymore if that makes any sense. Now that I've picked back up with my love for reading again, it's making a world of difference.

The other thing that I did this weekend was watch Serena Williams win Wimbledon again. She is phenomenal and she continues to RISE! It is incredibly ridiculous to see the venom that is thrown around on social media and from 'supposedly' professional media outlets about Serena every time that she...(gasp)....has the 'nerve' to win once again. Here's the thing...I'm like...forget those venomous ridiculous little people who feel the need to belittle her for reasons that have not a THING to do with her. Their bull is all about them. Serena Williams is an amazing athlete and an amazing woman who has to put up with a lot of crap and still win like a true champion. And I'm glad that she just keeps on going and stays true to herself no matter what :-) Thankfully everyone isn't such a hater and I'm glad because all that Serena and her sister Venus have achieved in their careers and the journey that they've traveled on is a testament to what true dedication and hard work can do.

As I watched Serena Williams once more win her title at Wimbledon, I had a bit of a reminder and a confirmation from her example. Even when we're up against tremendous pressure or outside forces may be trying to wear us down, we must stay the course and just keep on keeping on. Also, we should take a page from Serena's book and just keep on winning! ;-) When we don't give up, we win!

Two poems by Dr. Maya Angelou came to mind on Saturday as I watched Serena on television as she lifted her trophy. The poems are "Phenomenal Woman" and "Still I Rise".

Keep on keeping on Serena! :-)

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Friday Photo and Paris Memories

Today's Friday photo is one that makes me remember a particular time very vividly. In April 2007, my other half and I visited Paris and it was lovely. I remember it being very warm and I adored the warmer temperatures. I had gone through my first fall and winter in England by that time so I was overjoyed to be hot for the first time in well over a year :-) It was good for my bones.

These are a few of the souvenirs that I brought back home and they're in storage now sadly. One day in the near future we'll have enough room so that I can unfurl my posters and put out our keepsakes more :-) That simple pleasure will be an absolute joy for me. I know in the scheme of things it's just "stuff", but having your things around you, especially when you've lived in a temporary state of being for too long, can indeed be a comfort. For simplicity's sake I'll just say...rediscovering this photo made me smile.

This photo is sort of like the photos that I've shared of past flowers over the last couple of weeks. The pictures of the flowers help me keep the memory of those gorgeous flowers alive and this picture helps me remember the fun times that we've had and helps me to look forward to other adventures. Don't get me wrong. I'm not living in the past by any stretch of the imagination. I'm definitely in the now, but it sure doesn't hurt to remember too :-)

Have a great weekend wherever you are and I hope that you make some great memories!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Book Spotlight: The Ladies of Grace Adieu

Recently I've been mentioning quite a bit that I'm working on taking the time to finally read through my piles of books that have been sitting around the house for a few years unread. Wow...I just typed YEARS, but it's true. Eek! Lol. I love books as you'll know if you've visited me before and I have put my hand up to admit that I have tsundoku, but I'm recovering very nicely ;-)

I've mentioned in one of my recent posts that I've been reading this interesting book and I promised to share the title and a bit about it. Well, I'm finally following through :-)

The book in the photo above is what I've been reading. It's called as you can see, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and it's by Susanna Clarke. I picked up this book at a bookstore in Bath quite a few years ago and I've finally gotten around to reading it. I really enjoyed it. It's a beautifully quirky collection of short stories about a fantasy world that the author has created filled with those practicing magic.

Each story offers a fun way to escape as a reader and I loved going on this interesting journey. The various characters have different experiences with magic and yet the stories all tie together so beautifully around the theme. This is not usually something that I would read, but it was great to experience a world that I wouldn't usually get to know much about. I'm glad that something made me pick this book up all those years ago as I browsed around that bookstore in Bath.

Another thing that I absolutely loved about this book were the illustrations. They are whimsical and beautiful and add so much to the aesthetic feel of the book. The illustrations are done by Charles Vess, an artist from Virginia.

If you're interested in reading something different and beautifully creative then this just might be the book for you.

Friday, July 03, 2015

A Friday Photo and More Flowers That Last

Today's Friday photo is very similar to last Friday's post. This is true, but I promise it's not a cop out post because I can't think of anything to share. Not at all. I'm actually having a good time looking through some photos that I haven't seen in a while in order to have more to share. I'm realizing that I've taken pictures of a lot of things from the mundane to the interesting over the years. I hope that you'll keep coming back to see what I find :-) Forgive me if I bore you sometimes. Lol. Still, I hope you'll come back each week.

Anyway, as I've been looking through my old photos I've come across quite a few pictures of flowers that I've received or just had around the house over the years. As I mentioned earlier, last week's Friday post here featured some lovely flowers and I talked about how photographing flowers can make them last a long time after they're gone. I love that idea. You can't touch the flowers or smell them anymore, but you can see them and the memories come flooding back if you're lucky :-)

These particular flowers are from four summers ago according to the date stamp. What a lovely sunny summer bouquet and their beauty is still here to enjoy!

Have a great weekend! 

To everyone back home in the USA or to those who are abroad like me...

Happy July 4th!!!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Product Review: Uncommon Goods

Recently I was given the opportunity to try out some lovely things from Uncommon Goods. They have a truly unique selection of items and I was thrilled to get this chance. First of all, I'd like to tell you a bit about Uncommon Goods.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Uncommon Goods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people.

As an independently-owned business, they have the freedom to support causes they believe in and positively impact the world. With every purchase, Uncommon Goods is proud to donate $1 to your choice of their not-for-profit partner organizations. Since they started their Better to Give program 15 years ago, they have donated over $1,000,000 dollars to charities around the world! Their commitment to helping others is truly wonderful.

The items that I chose are the Flavor Infuser Water Bottle, the Ticket Stub Diary, and the Live Well Earrings. It was great to sample items of different types as it has given me a varied view of the many things that they have to offer. It's wedding season and I must say that Uncommon Goods is a great place to find some wonderful gifts for weddings or any occasion.

Flavor Infuser Water Bottle

The Flavor Infuser Water Bottle is really great. I'm always trying to get my water intake up each day and this handy bottle has been helpful for me. It has made drinking water a bit more interesting because I'm able to add my favorite fruits to my drink. It's a refreshing treat. The bottle is a great size and has a 16 oz. capacity. It's great to carry around.

Ticket Stub Diary

The Ticket Stub Diary is really cool. I love to go to concerts and different events. For years I've just been shoving my various ticket stubs onto what I call the "important shelf". It's nothing grand...just an open space on my bookshelf that I'm always meaning to organize. Well now I have! Thanks to my new ticket stub diary, I can slide my various memories into the sleeves and preserve them forever. The diary has clear sleeves that fit a variety of ticket sizes and there is space in the margin to write down memories. The pages are acid-free so your tickets will be preserved for a long time. The Ticket Stub Diary is great if you're like me and finally ready to get more organized. Uncommon Goods has something for basically everyone and if you want to add a personal touch they have personalized gifts like the ones found here.

Live Well Earrings

And lastly, I got the Live Well Earrings which are just beautiful. These lovely earrings are designed by artist Mary Steratore. First of all, I love the name because it makes me think about having a zest for life and living fully. I was also drawn to them because the garnet is my birthstone. These pretty earrings have a dangling, sterling silver bar that is a Maori symbol called a roimata, which means "teardrop". However, it's used to represent comfort, healing, and strength. The sterling silver bar is set off by a pendant of square-cut garnet. As I mentioned, my birthstone is the garnet, but I wasn't aware of the properties associated with them. Apparently garnets are believed to promote vitality, courage, passion, and love. Who knew? These beautiful earrings are exquisitely made and are so delicate and lightweight when worn. I adore them! Uncommon Goods has so much lovely jewelry for anniversaries or unique gifts for friends and family too, so check out some of their wonderful items here.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to review these three products. They are all well-made and will be enjoyed for a long while to come. I absolutely love the eclectic range of products that they offer. It's a wonderful site to visit if you want to get something just that extra bit special for someone in your life.

*Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge for review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Hello July

Happy July!!!!

I can't believe that we're halfway through the year already.

I like July 1st because I've always seen it as a reset button if I need it or a progress milestone in my life. I often will mark the day as one to regroup and recommit to whatever I'm doing. January 1st is the beginning of the year of course and it's the start of a whole new year, but I like July 1st also. Any day of the year can be a new start if we want, this is true. However, I love this midpoint day too as a day of renewal if that's what we want :-)

So I hope that everyone has a wonderful July 1st whether you use it as a new beginning or  if you just like July. Lol.

Have a wonderful day and a wonderful new month wherever you are!