Saturday, 31 May 2014

Day 31-Gratitude

Hi All

Well, I can't believe that I have managed to blog every day in May! It has shown me that I could blog a lot more than I have been doing and so I am first of all grateful to Summer for setting us the challenge. I have also met lots of new blogging friends and I hope to keep popping over and seeing them from time to time.


So here is my gratitude list today for my final post in the Blog Every Day in May Challenge:

I am grateful for:

  1. My daughter
  2. My husband
  3. My family
  4. My friends
  5. My health
  6. My job
  7. My house and possessions
  8. My life
Looking forward to reading your lists! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and looking forward to the next! I have a bit of a mad week coming up, we're off on our hols and then it is Chloe's christening! So my blog will be a little quiet over the next week but I hope to have lots to share with you when I return! Hope you will keep popping by...the next installment of my writing is written so watch this space those of you who wanted to read on ;)

Hugs
Arline
xx

Friday, 30 May 2014

Day 30-Best advice you've received lately.

Hi All


Well, being a new Mum, I am inundated with advice! Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming but I do appreciate it as everything is new to me!

Putting aside the advice I've received about looking after a baby, I would probably go back to a piece of advice that a very good friend gave to me:

Let people help you-it makes them feel good and it relieves your stress!

I'm not sure if they were the exact words but something along those lines! I find it really hard to accept help. This hasn't just been before Chloe was born, it was also before, particularly at work. I think it comes down to control. I like to be in control-not in a freaky 'Sleeping with the Enemy' way but I just like to do things myself to know they are done and in the way I would like. However, this has often led to me getting extremely stressed and it all getting too much. This has also happened since Chloe has been born-my friend said this to me as she wanted to do some of my housework to help me out and I didn't want her to as I felt it was putting on her but she said it made her feel good that she was able to help.

So I guess I need to let go of things, remember that if something isn't done how I would do it, doesn't mean it is not as good. I also need to ask for help more-I know I don't do this enough. So, those are my mini goals....to try to let go of control and to ask for help more. What's the best bit of advice you've received recently?

Thanks for popping down!
Arline
xx

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Day 29-What I said 'yes' to today?

Hi All

Interesting prompt today....can't say I've said yes to anything interesting today lol! Yes to a cup of tea, to popping out to the supermarket tonight lol! However, I do think I say yes a bit too much sometimes-do you ever feel like that? Do you ever have anyone say to you...'you need to learn to say no!' I have that a lot and I find it really hard to do, I never want to let anyone down, I always want to try and help and I don't want to upset people. But I do sometimes need to say no, sometimes to stop getting myself so stressed!

Sorry, I feel this is a bit of a short post so thought I'd share some piccies from my hubby's birthday on Monday! Here you go:




Hugs
Arline
xx

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Day 28-Family

Hi All

Family. Where do I start?! I love all of my family to bits, even those that I don't see very often. Many of my family live away in Sunderland, about 4 hours away from me. I have to admit, it is very hard sometimes, and can get very lonely living somewhere you didn't grow up and haven't got your family or your childhood friends around you. I try to be positive most of the time but am not shy to admit that I have shed quite a few tears, especially recently after I'd had little Chloe. It isn't always that easy to get in the car and go up to see them, often money or work is an issue which is sad. But it does mean I cherish our time with my family when we get to see them. We are hoping to go up for a week in July so am looking forward to that! I will not only get to see my Mum, brothers and sister-in-law but also my Nan and Grandad. My sister is over in Lincoln at the moment but we will hopefully see her another weekend!

Family is a funny thing. You laugh, cry and argue but they are always there. As I mentioned in a post last week, my Dad is no longer with us and we had argued before he died. I have vowed never to do that again, yes we argue but I will always try to make up with them after a cooling down period lol! It just isn't worth it, nothing is worth the feeling of guilt that I have had to live with since he died. Of course, it is my own fault and I would never say it was anyone else's but I am determined not to feel this way again.

Sometimes you don't see family for years but when you do meet up it just feels so natural, no awkwardness, just laughing and having fun and making up for lost time. We had a huge rift in our family for quite a long time, but I'm glad to say it has eased over the years, there are still family I don't see but we still keep in touch other ways. I love all of my family, every distant cousin, every uncle and every mad hatter there may be lol!

Now I have my own little family, my husband and my daughter. I feel so blessed and am looking forward to the trials and tribulations that are to come! I never thought I could love anyone as much as I do both of them. But now, I realise that this is a bit deep, a bit lovey dovey so here are some silly photos to make you laugh of my mad family!

Me and my sis!

Me, my lil sis and lil bro pulling silly selfies!

Me, my lil sis and lil bro!

Me and my lil sis pulling a silly selfie!

Me, my Mum and Chloe-apologies for the state of me...it was only a few days after Chloe was born!

My gorgeous little girl who has just learnt how to roll over-this is such a funny piccie!

My own little family :)

We went to Eurodisney for my Mum's 50th! My big bro, lil bro, lil sis, Mickey, Mum and me.

Grandad, me and Nana on my wedding day!

The morning of my wedding day, goofing around with my sister-my lil bro too cool for school and my Mum just going with the flow!

My older brother and I before he walked me down the aisle!

My Dad on the left, his twin brother my Uncle Steve on the right, my big brother, me looking at my Uncle and my cousin Michelle. 

I could go on and on but won't lol! Hope you enjoyed meeting some of my family!
Hugs
Arline
xx

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Day 27-Share a project you've been working on.

Hi All

Apologies for the late post today...been a busy day! The prompt today allowed me to share some crafty bits and pieces that I have been working on. We are getting our daughter christened on Saturday 7th June but we are on holiday until the day before! Therefore, I've tried to get ahead of myself and get decorations done over the past week.

Here are the invitations that I made-I cannot take credit for the design, I found it on pinterest and used it as inspiration! Apologies for the black splodges...personal details covered up for obvious reasons :)


My hubby also helped me to make a wishing tree and tags to go with it. I still want to cut out some crosses to put on this in white card and possibly do a little bit of decoration on the round tags but this is it so far!


I went to Hobbycraft today to try and get some baskets to put some bits and bobs on the table but they were really expensive! So....I decided to buy cupcake boxes and decorated them with ribbon....what do you think? They go with my colour scheme and only cost me £3.70...much cheaper and I think they look ok! I had some chocolates made with Chloe's details, one will hold the tags for the wishing tree and another will hold favours that I haven't yet made!



I've still got to make favours, table decorations and take a picture of some bunting that I made but I haven't quite had chance to finish all of it yet! Promise I will share the final look, if not before the christening, after! Hope you enjoyed looking! This post has helped me to see what I have done and what still needs to be done before we go away!!

Thanks for popping by!
Arline
xx

Monday, 26 May 2014

Day 26-Samantha March Guest Post

Hi All

The prompt for today is to invite someone to write a guest post. I asked Samantha March, a great author and who also runs 'Chick Lit Plus' website if she would mind writing something for me. She said yes-I'm so honoured. I said she could write what she wished so she has decided to tell you a little bit about herself. Here is her post!



Why I Started Marching Ink
When I first decided I was going to self-publish my debut novel Destined to Fail, I quickly realized that I wanted to go about it in a big way. I looked into the requirements of buying a LLC (Limited Liability Company) and within that week had a framed copy of my license in my office. My idea was to start an independent publishing company. My love of books has no limit. When I was going through the publishing process, I saw how overwhelming it can be. Not only all the finances involved, but the decisions on hiring editors and proofreaders, cover designers and book formatters. Then the marketing that is involved and how to elbow your way in the crowd online to talk about you and your book. I thought I already had some resources covered – I was going through the publishing process myself and learning about all the decisions and costs involved, plus I was already a freelance editor with several contacts to other editors that I could contract out, knew two cover designers on a friendly basis, and ran CLP Blog Tours and had a great relationship with many book bloggers. So I ....why not?
In August 2012, Marching Ink published the first novel not written by yours truly. The process of publishing Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie was such an experience. Sure, questions arose and there were some tough nights of number crunching, list-making, and second thoughts on what I was doing, but overall it was a fabulous experience and made me feel confident in my ability to find a great book that was a good fit for Marching Ink and get it out there in the world for readers. I don’t think I can ever thank Cat Lavoie enough for being my first author – she was amazing to work with (still is) and having her as a partner to bounce ideas off of made the entire process work so smoothly for the both of us.
Since then, Marching Ink has gone on to publish six novels, three from me, two from Cat Lavoie, and the debut from author Laura Chapman. We’re currently in talks to publish four more this year, and I’m always on the lookout for other terrific stories that we can sign. If you are an author and looking to query an independent publishing company, head on over to the Submissions page on Marching Ink!
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has three published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket and A Questionable Friendship. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
Connect with Samantha!
Buy the Book!
Hope you enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading your guest posts!
Hugs
Arline
xx

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Day 25: A list for the week ahead...

Hi All

Well, I have a huge 'to do' list for this week so I thought I'd share that!


Monday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Hubby's birthday
-do washing while hubby climbs
-get Chloe ready to go out/get bag ready
-make birthday tea-possibly make cake?

Tuesday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Christening prep
-complete 'Bo Bunny' table decs
-make 'wishing tree' tags
-make 'wishing tree' sign
-put pictures in frames for main table

Wednesday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Other
-attend last baby massage session
-pop to town for last minute bits
Holiday prep
-pack Chloe's clothes
-do any last minute washing
-pack up food for caravan
-pack up items on Chloe's list that can be packed
-begin to pack our clothes

Thursday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Have car
-go to Hobbycraft for baskets/cake topper for cake
-go to supermarket for cat food/litter for when we are away

Friday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Holiday/Christening
-look over lists and see if anything else can be completed or packed

Saturday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Other
-e-mail people regarding christening to check final details are confirmed
-make up favours for christening
-gather christening things together
-make wishing tree

Sunday:

Daily
-daily tidy-up
-washing/ironing
-washing up
-clean and make up baby bottles
-write daily blog
Other
-finish packing for holiday
-finish anything left for christening
-clean house through
-fill car up with diesel
-check car tyres/water etc
-print off holiday confirmation/route planner

Woah! That is huge! Although some things I just do anyway without them being on a list lol! Got to get ready for our holiday and Chloe's christening though which are both next week! Eek! Hope you haven't got such a big 'to do' list! I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get it all done...it will probably double in size too!

Hugs
Arline
xx

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Day 24: My dinner party...

Hi All

I really liked the prompt for today. What three people would I invite to people tonight if I could? Here they are:

1) My Dad - unfortunately, my Dad died nearly 12 years ago when he was only 44 years old and I was 18. If I had the chance for him to come back, even if only for a few hours, I would jump at it. We weren't on speaking terms which is something that I have always regretted and continue to to this day...this would give me the chance to speak to him and tell him how much I loved him-I won't go into too much detail but I would love to just have a few minutes with him to make things right. It's taken me a long time to grieve and I am probably still grieving but I hope he is looking down on me and is proud of who I am today. And yes, that is me with my Dad when I was little lol! (Sorry, that was really deep...will go onto a 'lighter' guest now!)


2) Jane Austen - sorry she is getting such a mention at the moment but Jane Austen is my favourite author and I would just love to spend the evening with her. I think she had a wicked sense of humour and I would love to chat to her about how her life was, what she got out of writing and which of her novels she liked the best.


3) Michael Buble - I am a really big fan and would love to meet him. He is such a character and I think he could provide the entertainment after we had eaten lol! I love it when he sings his swing numbers in particular but I do like his more recent songs too. He is also gorgeous....sorry hubby! I'd probably just stare at him all night lol!


Wow, picking three was really hard! I need about 10 spaces! Who would you invite? Can't wait to hear your choices!

Hugs
Arline
xx

Friday, 23 May 2014

Day 23: Share a particularly good or controversial comment I've received.

Hi All

Well, I had no idea what to do for this one! I've never really had a controversial comment left for me but I guess I've never really written anything to provoke (if that's the right word!) a controversial response. I have had some lovely comments left for me over the last month and have been overwhelmed by the kindness of, hopefully, some new blogging friends :) So, instead, I thought I'd write a little about why commenting on blogs is important, at least why it is to me....so here are my ramblings if you want to keep reading lol!


The blogging world is really driven by an active audience, commenting either for good or critiquing what people have decided to share about the world or their life. Of course, you do have some people out there who will spam or make rude comments just because that's how they enjoy spending their time. But for every one of them, there are ten genuine people commenting truthfully on what you have to say. One of my mini goals at the moment is to comment more on the blogs that I read. It is very easy, and I often fall into this trap, of popping along and reading blog posts but then not popping a comment below to say I appreciated what they had written or my view/comments on what they have posted. However, whenever someone takes the time to comment on a post I have written, I am so grateful. It gives validity to something I've written, it hopefully means that someone out there has enjoyed reading my ramblings and it just makes me happy lol! The blogging world is so vast now that it is really hard to get your blog noticed and enjoyed, but by commenting on even the small blogs, it shows that it is worth persevering with their blog, it is worth pursuing what they enjoy and what they have to say is worth listening to. Ooh this is sounding quite philosophical now so I'm going to shut up!

Just one last thing....to all who have left lovely comments for me, particularly over the last month but also to those who have commented on my old blog before this one, thank you. I appreciate them all and they all make me smile :) I promise to comment more to repay the favour!

Hugs
Arline
xx

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Day 22: Share a video that I love at the moment.

Hi All

This prompt got me thinking....I watch some lovely vlogs but I wasn't sure what would be of interest to you. But then I thought everyone has got to love a Simon's Cat video right? If you haven't heard of them then check them out, especially if you are a cat owner! The one below is called 'Crazy Time' and my cat has one of these nearly everyday...luckily nothing usually gets broken! Hope you enjoy!

Thumbnail

I don't know how to link the video properly from the image so apologies....but if you click on the picture above it should take you to the relevant video!

Enjoy!
Arline
xx

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Day 21-What's on your plate?

Hi All

Sorry for the late post and I took this post literally so hope that is ok! I have eaten nothing of any interest today so here is a piccie of a cake I got yesterday when I went out with my friend for her birthday, and a nice cup of tea. This was my little treat this evening, a yummy double chocolate chip muffin...mmmm:



A 'plate' related story is that these were my bargain plates from Ikea at 40p each lol! Unfortunately, my hubby opened the cupboard door a few weeks ago and the stand we had our plates etc on must have been unstable and it all fell on the floor! He was fine, although half of it hit his head(!), but the dinner set was not :( It was a wedding present so I was absolutely gutted. I'm not ashamed to say that I shed a tear or two but we just bought these little plates in order to get us by until we buy a new set. Are any of you sentimental over things like that? I don't know if it is still my hormones or whether it is just me being a soppy sod!

Hope you've had a lovely day!
Arline
xx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Day 20-Who inspires me?

Hi All

This was a hard question-who or what inspires me? I'm not sure this can be answered with just one word. Many things inspire me. The strong women of the past, I'm a bit of a feminist deep down lol! Writers inspire me, being able to get their creative ideas down in a way that entertains others. Strong people who go through so much, don't moan and just get on with life counting their blessings inspire me. The world around us and how it is constantly changing inspires me. My family and friends. My work colleagues. My husband and little girl. I can't really narrow it down to one thing but I hope that in some point in my life that I am able to inspire someone in some way. I found a couple of quotes that I thought were very apt for this post:





Looking forward to reading about what inspires you! Hope this post isn't too much of a cop out lol!
Hugs
Arline
xx

Monday, 19 May 2014

Day 19-My Dream Job...

Hi All


The prompt for today really got me thinking about how life changes and your goals/plans change as we mature and grow. I always thought my dream job was to be a teacher. I don't want to go into a lot of detail but after six years I'm not so sure anymore. I also love to organise events and absolutely loved to organise our wedding but have organised many things at school as well and although often stressful, I have enjoyed all of the nitty gritty that goes with it. If the work was there, I'd love to be a freelance events organiser-something that may be possible in the future? Who knows? My other love is also for craft...if I could do any kind of job within the crafting industry then that would be fab. Or working in a book shop or library....sometimes I long for a job where I can go, enjoy it and come home and enjoy my time with family...you can probably tell I've thought about this a lot recently lol!

My dream dream job however, is that of a writer. I would love to be able to write a series of novels but with a variety of genres-something that isn't often done by an author! Perhaps I'd start off with one specific focus and branch out as and when I felt the time was right. Look at me talking about this as if it is going to happen lol! As much as I'd love to have a bestseller, it is such a difficult profession and offers little security unless you're the next J.K.Rowling! But, I'd love in the future, to give it a go if my circumstances changed and I was really able to concentrate on writing. I am playing around with some ideas at the moment, and you never know, it may go somewhere, but at the moment I am just enjoying having fun writing.

Looking forward to hearing about your dream job!
Thanks for popping by.
Arline
xx

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Day 18: 10 Things That Make You Happy

Hi All

Apologies for the late post today! We have had a fab day at The Baby Show at the NEC today and I've only just had chance to post. Will try to put an additional post up sometime this week with the highlights and what I bought ;)


Another great prompt today. 10 Things That Make Me Happy are:

  1. My beautiful little girl.
  2. My gorgeous husband.
  3. My fluffy cat, Charlie.
  4. The rest of my family and time together!
  5. My friends, even though some of them I don't see very often, we just start up where we left off the last time!
  6. Reading and getting lost in another person's world.
  7. Stationery of all descriptions lol!
  8. Holidays to Cornwall-such a beautiful place and has lots of old family memories and also a place to make new ones with my own little family.
  9. Crafting of all descriptions!
  10. Baking-I love to bake, everything doesn't always come out brilliantly but I love the process of it and cherish it when things go the way they should.
I could go on and on but these are the things that make me happy at the mo!

Looking forward to reading your lists!
Hugs
Arline
xx

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Day 17: A Day in the Life of....a New Mummy!

Hi All

What a fab prompt for today. Well, here it is, a day in the life of me, a new Mummy! Actually, on a Saturday it is a little different as Daddy takes over for a little while so Mummy can try and get a little more sleep to make up for the last week of early mornings or night feeds!

5:10-Our wake up call this morning! Last night we put our little one in a gro-bag for the first time, rather than being swaddled. We're not sure if she woke up crying because she had a bad dream or because she was a bit freaked out that she couldn't grab her feet in it! Lol! This is her new trick at the moment...evidence to be seen later on! No photo at this point, I was far too sleepy! Luckily hubby did the first feed today as he tries to do them on a morning so I can get some sleep but no such luck this morning, I eventually got up at 6:20, 10 minutes after Chloe had finished her bottle and they had gone downstairs!

7:00-Time to get dressed! We needed to get Chloe dressed quickly this morning as she had a little nap after her bottle and hubby needed to take the car in for an MOT at 8:00-he was taking Chloe with him. Therefore, Mummy took over! Otherwise they may not have got out on time! Chloe loved her dress that much she thought she'd eat it!


8:00-I made my 'To do' list for the day before quickly getting dressed-it was very strange having the house all to myself, apart from the cat of course! Super quiet!


9:00-A nice cup of tea, that I was able to drink when it was piping hot instead of luke warm....those of you with children will know exactly what I mean lol! The luxury...getting on with my to do list at the same time though!


10:00-I decided I'd watch a bit of Downton Abbey as some of my to do list was on the computer...I think Series 2 is my favourite so far...do any of you like a bit of Downton?


11:00-Just had a phone call to say that hubby and little girl are on their way home. So happy...have missed them lots! Got some of my to do list done...wasn't as productive as I would've liked though...got too involved in Downton I think...oops!


12:30-Time for our third bottle of the day! I've spared you the nappy changes ;) She almost polished it all off! Thirsty work being a baby!


13:00-Time for play! We've had a really lazy day today so have just chilled out and played with Chloe for most of it! Her new trick at the moment is shuffling on her bum off the mat! And also grabbing her feet! Excuse the vest! It has been really hot here today...well for the UK anyway! So she has been in her vest most of the day!




15:00-I've been doing a baby massage course with Chloe but it had been a little while since we had done any. I decided I'd have a go today so I popped some music on and had a go! She was a little unsettled at first but eventually it worked and calmed her down!



15:30-We continued to relax with a couple of episodes of Peppa Pig..her fave at the min! Well, she loves the music and bright colours!



16:00-Nap time whilst Mummy and Daddy caught up on SHIELD from last night. We really have had a lazy day today lol! Although, hubby did go and mow the lawns bless him.


17:30-Just before we had tea Daddy went on his PS3....Chloe had to join him lol! 


21:00-Now it's time for a bath, her last bottle and then an early night for us all. We're off to The Baby Show at the NEC tomorrow....I'm so excited! If we buy anything I will share with you at some point during the week!


Going to sign off now so I can get this up on my blog! Night everyone...sorry my day wasn't more exciting!! Might do this again in the future though as it was fun! Weekends are a little different so may share a weekday next :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Arline
xx

Friday, 16 May 2014

Day 16: 5 blogs I love regularly reading!

Hi All

This was a hard one once again as there are so many blogs that I enjoy on a range of different subjects! So, here are my favourites from a broad range:

Baking Blog:



The Pink Whisk - Ruth over at The Pink Whisk was on a competition in the UK called 'The Great British Bake Off'. Her baking is amazing and she has loads of beautiful recipes and fab cake decorating tips. Definitely one to check out if you like baking!

Organisational Blogs:



Organized Jen - I found Jen's YouTube channel about two years ago now and love her videos. She shares some great hints and tips for organising different areas of your home and life in general. Jen links most of her posts to her blog and you can find the links to her channel on there. She also has a 'busy bee' channel and a 'housewife life' channel-love her vlogs too. Go check her out!

I Heart Organizing - I found this blog through Organized Jen above. This is another Jen (lol) that has fab posts about organising your house and other bits and bobs every now and then. I don't always have chance to comment but love to pop by and see what great wisdom she has to share!

Crafting Blogs:



One of my great loves is crafting-making cards, scrapbooking, SMASHbooking and now Project Life! So it was really hard to pick out just two blogs that I really enjoy popping over to now and then. Again, I don't always post but they always inspire me! A few of my faves are taking part in this challenge (Stuff by Sammi and Give a Girl a Blog) but I thought I'd try and share a few others as you will probably have popped by their websites already. So here we are:

Artfull Scrapbooking - As I have got back into scrapbooking I tried to find some scrappers that were my kind of style. I love to pop over to Lisa's blog and see what she's been up to! Loads of fab layouts and designs. I don't often comment but love to pop over for some quick inspiration...I really should comment more to show her how much I love her work!

Hello. I'm a Paper Addict - I love Cathy's style in her crafting, planner decorating and her project life layouts. She also shares some super cute piccies of her puppies and of her life which I really enjoy seeing too. Cathy has some amazing ideas and I really enjoy popping over to her blog or catching up with her on Instagram.

So those are my five top blogs that I love visiting! Can't wait to discover some more that you enjoy reading-I'd really like to read some daily blogs so hoping you all may introduce me to some!

Thanks for popping by!
Hugs
Arline
xx