Book Review- Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Book Description (Amazon)

Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home, from bedrooms and kitchens to bathrooms and living rooms as well as a wide range of items in different categories, including clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, wallets and valuables. Charming line drawings explain how to properly organise drawers, wardrobes, cupboards and cabinets. The illustrations also show Ms Kondo’s unique folding method, clearly showing how to fold anything from shirts, trousers and jackets to skirts, socks and bras.

The secret to Marie Kondo’s unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something ‘sparks joy’ and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. When you surround yourself with things you love you will find that your whole life begins to change. 

Marie Kondo’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics of her KonMari method. It has already transformed the homes and lives of millions of people around the world. Spark Joy is Marie Kondo’s in-depth tidying masterclass, focusing on the detail of how to declutter and organise your home.

Book Review

Having watched all episodes on Netflix I instantly brought this book – and many new tips I found hidden inside!! Plus it was a good reminder of the other things from the show.

I love how easy this book was to read. I enjoyed how she puts her past experiences in and her previous client history. The images are clear for folding (have tried but unfortunately cannot keep up with this one)

She was the starting point for my decluttering and making my home better. This book taught me to surround myself with possessions that bring me joy and happiness and I’m finally starting to see the effort! Marie teaches you many practical strategies that work (for me at least).

I downsized my clothes and books due to Spark Joy and will continue (am onto photos at the moment)

If it doesn’t bring you joy then get rid of it!! Simple and effective 🙂 Thank the items you don’t want to give it life to someone else. A must have for any tidying fans or want somewhere to start on the decluttering journey.

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Garden Diary- September 2020

Hello everyone! End of September already!!

This month we had blackberries after 3 years!!

The ceanothus has now got some buds!

The Cornus I cut has rooted! Just left it in water for a week and it grew roots! I then repotted.

Autumn feel from the tree spinach
William wanted this in the fairy garden 🙂 chilli plant 😉

The clematis has bloomed!

I then made two little flower arrangements from the garden and two big ones (the first was 40p bunches I rescued from the reduced pile) for the table to bring extra joy to mealtimes.

Made my mum a hand tied bouquet for her birthday 🙂 First time making one and really enjoyed it!

September collection
Deweeded the hedge at the front

Harvested some seeds! These are from lychnis coronaria.

And these from sunflowers!

So September has been a busy one! Deweeding/deadheading and preparation of what cut flowers I want to grow next year 🙂 The tomato’s are starting to flower but not much crop this year veg wise 😦

The basil is still growing and producing so every few weeks I pick the top leaves and put them in the oven to make dried herbs.

I also tidied up the back and moved some of the containers 🙂

That’s all for this month 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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The Very Hungry Jessica

In the light of the moon a little Jessica was asleep in her bed.

Early one morning the sun came up and woke up a very hungry Jessica.

She started to look for some food.

On Monday she ate through one Pain au Chocolate but she was still hungry.

On Tuesday she ate through two waffles but she was still hungry.

On Wednesday she ate through three pancakes but she was still hungry.

On Thursday she ate four bowls of choc hoops but she was still hungry.

On Friday she ate through five pieces of jam on toast but she was still hungry.

On Saturday she ate through one cupcake, a packet of cheese and onion crisps, one chocolate cake, one bowl of popcorn, a packet of raisins, a cheese sandwich, a lollipop, a bowl of pasta, one yogurt and one slice of watermelon (which she hated). That night she had a stomach ache.

The next day was Sunday again and she ate through a plate of half cut grapes, strawberry’s and bananas- and after that she felt much better.

Now she wasn’t hungry anymore!

She put on her unicorn onesie for the day. Then she took it off and…

She became a fairy!

The End

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Silent Sunday

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September Goals

Hello and welcome to my blog!

So last month I took a break from writing as Camp Nano took it out of me! (Worth it though).

This month both kids are back to school (William starts reception!) so what better way to restart the goals! The goals are-

1) Finish 2nd draft of Dino Will

2) Finish 1st draft of Jess-The Eco Warrior

3) Start edits for magazine story

4) Write a chapter or two for the Murder Mystery series

Let’s see what gets done! I have nearly finished The Very Hungry Jessica – Jess found it hilarious 😉 (Will post here soon as well as A-Z book and Williams Tamatoa birthday)

What’s your goals for this month?

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Book Review- When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley

Book Description (Amazon)

Statistics don’t lie. Moms today are more fatigued, burned out, and overwhelmed than ever. Smartphones constantly ping and alert and demand our attention. And social media can eat up hours of our days with mindless scrolling and tapping while leaving many feeling empty and lonely. Add to that family commitments, work that is accessible around the clock, and overscheduling, and you have a life that can feel unmanageable and frantic . . . even running on empty. Bestselling author and founder of Simplified (R), Emily Ley shares how to live a life of more in a world that often overwhelms to the point of burnout in When Less Becomes More. Emily empathizes with mothers in the throes of exhaustion and provides tools for nourishing their spirits and achieving a life where less becomes more. In this book, Emily Ley, author of the bestselling Grace, Not Perfection and A Simplified Life, takes readers on a journey out of that empty place and shows them how to fill their wells with the nourishment that only true connection can provide. She also presents some radical concepts that push against the tethers of modern life, with the promise that more of the good stuff comes when we say yes to less of what keeps us empty: Less Rush, More Rhythm Less Liking, More Loving Less Noise, More Calm Less Distraction, More Connection Less Frenzy, More Soul Rest Less Fake, More Real Less Fear, More Community Less Great, More Good Less Chasing, More Cherishing Less Stuff, More Treasures Getting to more might require some outside-the-box changes, some unraveling of the patterns readers have adopted, and some reworking of the day to day. Readers can build a life based on their core values instead of slipping into a life dictated by society or what’s “normal.” Because we weren’t made for normal. We were made for more–for a life of fullness, dreaming, and lasting joy.

Book Review

Emily’s words are a breath of fresh air. In our over-stimulated, rushes, and chaotic world, the permission to slow down is exactly what we all need. She has given touching and heartfelt truths as well as lovely simple quotes to help calm and be still. Sometimes good is beautiful- and great can be a little exhausting!

I love the different chapters (especially the social media one) and feel like Emily speaks for all of us at some point (her openness and honesty shines through the book) and this book has changed the way I’m thinking – that it’s ok to say no!

Very good book (in general and for slow living guidance) and definitely worth a read! Will be re-reading and picking it up as and when I need it and has a place on the coffee table!

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Hello and welcome to my blog!

My love of drawing is back as during lockdown Jess and I started watching drawing tutorials on YouTube.

I then done an A-Z book for William (a separate post coming soon).

I then started drawing these after watching a YouTube video and I love this style art (kinda manga/anime)

Drew this for our 3rd wedding anniversary
Our family 🙂 Quick drawing
A possible character

So that’s some of my drawings I have done during the month – I took a break from writing due to testing from July Camp Nano 🙂

I’m loving my new pens!

Which drawing is your favourite? Do you draw? What do you like drawing?

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Book Review- Murder In The Choir by Liz Hedgecock

Books Description:

When Pippa Parker joins the village choir, she doesn’t expect anyone to die… No-one thinks the death of a soprano is anything but a tragic accident; everyone in the choir is too busy rehearsing for SingFest UK. With no help from the police, Pippa must investigate alone. If anyone finds out what she is up to, she risks losing both her friends and the respect of the local community. And speaking of friends, what on earth does best friend Lila see in her new man? Murder in the Choir is the second book in the Pippa Parker cozy mystery series, set in and around the English village of Much Gadding.

Book Review:

I enjoyed getting back into Pippas life and how this book easily flowed from the last one (and this could be a stand alone in itself). A good fast read where I again failed in knowing who done it (but when you go over it to find the clues it’s then more obvious!)

Looking forward to reading more from this series and see what else Pippa gets upto!

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Camp Nano and July Goal Wrap Up

Hello everyone and thanks for visiting this blog 🙂

1st of August already!! Camp nano is now finished till next year – so how did I do?

Pull up a chair and sit by the nearly burnt out campfire with what’s left of the marshmallows (sorry I have eaten lots- especially the pink ones!) and I will tell you 😉

I started well then halfway hit a block (plus busy with Williams birthday and my own) for only to then get a big burst of flare (thanks to other creative outlets) to finish!!

I participated in a live YouTube word sprint on the last day and that helped me get down 557 words in an hour 🙂

What has camp taught me? To try and outline and plan more as I can’t keep just waiting for an image of a scene to pop in my head as it’s all jumbled! This worked for a while but this last week has shown that I need to step back and properly organise this story before going back to writing it.

But camp has helped me push the story forward so that is a win in itself 🙂

In other news- three years ago today my first piece of writing got published!! So much has happened since!!!

I’m awaiting to see if my latest story will be included in the paranormal anthology- so nervous all this waiting and rechecking emails 😀

July goals I have read more (finished 2 books) but also:

– Sort our the main characters and pick one main for the series – do character profile etc

Yes (abit) but still picking her name – got it down to two now! (Took a week to name both our kids) so hopefully it will just standout!

– Edit Phobia for magazine.

Not even touched it yet – goal for this month I think.

Focus on one WIP and write, write, write!

Yes have definitely done this!

– Read 2 chapters of manga

Yes have read two more chapters and really liking the story so far.

– x4 blog posts.

Yes finished this 🙂

– Start second draft of Dino Will.

Nope 😦

And of course finish Camp! 😀

Big yes!

So not bad with the goals 🙂 I will be writing my August goals and will post it soon.

So how did you do with camp nano? Your goals? Setting any for this month??


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Garden Diary – July 2020

Fresh cut flower arrangement to start the month off!

I deweeded the borders and tidied up some space to add some low lying plants 🙂 found this little guy near our raspberries

2 of the 3 sage cuttings took 😀

So repotted on 🙂

We saw a caterpillar

I took some lavender cuttings and repotted the clematis 🙂

New bird feeders to replace old ones and the tomato plant finally has flowers (this years crop wasn’t good as I left all seeds in the greenhouse so most of the plants I’ve grown was lucky as hardly any germinated 😦 learnt lesson and will keep them in a nice folder with all my garden notes!

Cucumbers are growing 🙂

Finally some blackberries growing after 3 years
Love marigolds
How pretty are the Nasturtiums

For my birthday I got a solar powered fountain! Looking forward to getting a proper pot/bird bath to put it in 🙂

That’s it for this month! Hope to put bricks down to separate the borders next month 🙂

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Silent Sunday

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Book Review- A Country Escape by Katie Fforde

Book Description-

Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. And now it looks as if her childhood dream is about to come true. 

She has just moved to her aunt’s beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds. If she can turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers.

But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows.

She’ll need help, not just from her best friend Issi, but also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour – who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive.

Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?

Book Review-

I enjoyed this light read book. I loved the characters and the setting but was abit unrealistic in places (a chef on a dairy farm- Antony giving the money to help out, another relative in the pipeline, everything going her way) and was slow to get into.

It was a little bit predictable in places but an interesting “want to know more” read (once you read a few chapters) some bits felt rushed (building of things, certain romances)

A few twists but a cute plot and a nice book to escape too.

The ending was good as I love knowing what happened after “the end” in books 🙂

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