Friday, 21 March 2014

Listography - My Life in Books

Another brilliant list from the lovely Kate at Kate takes 5, this week focusing on books you've read and loved throughout your life - so I just had to join in ;-)

1. One, Two, Three and Away series.
Featuring; Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat and Johnny and Jennifer Yellow Hat and Percy Green - these were the first books I ever remember reading! The Village with Three Corners - oh soo many memories! (I'll admit, I had to google the name of the series, as all I could remember were the character names, though I forgot Percy Green, heehee!)

2.The Hero of Hamblett
This was by far my favourite book for my dad to read at bedtime! My brother and I would either curl up on his bed, or mine, with my dad in the middle and I can remember finding this sooo funny!
What's even better, is that I found that copy not long ago, so Little Man will be able to enjoy it at bedtime too!

3. Roald Dahl
He was the author of my Primary School years! I adored reading all of his books! He painted amazing worlds were children could stand up for themselves and achieve fantastic feats! He showed how the 'under-dog' could outsmart even the evillest of villains in the end! He really sparked my imagination and love of reading!

4. Jane Austen
When I hit my late teens, with the help of the oh so yummy Mr Darcy (played by Colin Firth) showing each week, plus my dad's enthusiasm, my love of Jane Austen was born! I have read and re-read them over and over and over again! They have a special place in my heart and live on the shelf of my bedside locker, so are always at hand when I need them! I tend to read them when life gets tough, or problematic - I can loose myself in her words, like greeting an old friend, instantly transporting me to my comfort zone ;-)
Although my love began with Pride and Prejudice, it is Persuasion that is my firm favourite now! Weird how things change as you grow older, huh!

5. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Thanks to the hype of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, my love of mysteries based in history and religion began. Labyrinth was one of the gems I found at this time and instantly, I loved it! The way the 2 stories of Alais and Alice wove in and out, the twists, the imagery... I could go on for ages, so better stop ;-)

(All images taken from Google image search)

So there you have it, these are the books that make up my life, so far! Many, many more could have made the list though ;-)
Off to have a look at some other book lists now, then I might be inspired and find new authors and genres to read next :-)

#nomakeupselfie for Cancer Research

I am proud to say that I took part in the latest campaign on facebook, by taking a selfie wearing no makeup!
Well, I never usually wear makeup, so to make it different for me, I wore my hair down, which I NEVER do! So that was a little scary for me!
It also felt good to make my £3 donation by texting 'BEAT' to 70099!

What has surprised me though is some of the negative comments I have been reading!
I've read lots of comments from people who've said things like;
 'Ok, you've taken a selfie without makeup, how's that going to help?' or
'There are other charities out there that are just as important as cancer research, where's the picture to help raise awareness for them?'
However, the most surprising comment was made by an actual cancer sufferer, who posted a picture of her box of cancer medication, and commented 'I know cancer exists, I am reminded every day that it exists' with a 'grumpy face' to show how she felt.

Please let me start by saying that I am all for people saying how they feel, and am in no way saying I don't understand this last comment - I have no clue what it must be like for people to go through cancer, and my heart goes out to anyone who is suffering! However, I don't think I know anyone, who can honestly say that they don't know of someone in their life, who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way or another. I watched my Grannie slowly die of lukemia when I was 16. I have seen how scared my mum was when she got skin cancer removed from her hand at the beginning of the year, even though she never showed it. There are numerous people in my life who have lost loved ones and friends - it is a truly devastating disease!
Secondly, I also know that there are thousands of worthy causes that could do with more attention and awareness, but never seem to get it. Thousands of illnesses, like MS (my dad has) and mental illness (I have) plus ones that protect animals, children...the list could go on forever!

The reason I'm so surprised, and I guess a little saddened by these negative comments, is that they seem to be missing the bigger picture. The 'bear all' selfie for Cancer awareness was started to help others! Thousands of people made this simple gesture, not to belittle cancer sufferers, or cause offence, but to show love and support! To allow people to join in a little challenge and donate to a worthy cause at the same time! I have loved seeing women sharing their purest-selves, without all the 'warpaint' to hide behind, for all the world to see! Each and every one unique and beautiful! I also find it refreshing to be able to donate to a charity, by doing something simple and different, that doesn't involve 'begging or guilt-tripping' tactics for a change!

I think the point to make really, is that all the hype - both negative and supportive, has actually done the intended job! Thousands of people are either posting selfies or talking about them! This has enabled thousands of people, including me, to donate money to Cancer Awareness UK!
How many of us would have suddenly been inspired to donate to Cancer Research UK over the past few weeks, if it weren't for the selfies?
 I can honestly say, that if it weren't for campaigns like this, I would never have donated my money! Not because I don't feel that it's important, but because I wouldn't have thought to - 'out of sight, out of mind' - and all that.
It has also prompted people to share things, like posters on how to check your breasts, with signs of cancer to look out for and get checked out. Things that could help save lives!

Ok, sorry for ranting and moaning!
Here's my selfie, and one of Little Miss who wanted to join in too ;-)

Did you join in?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Flowers for a Friend

Pink Perfect Gift

These beautiful flowers are off to help cheer up my good friend Becky! (thanks to Interflora flowers!)
Another challenge from my Day Zero project, sending flowers to a friend in need, poor Becky has had no luck with health lately. Come to that, neither have I! We have been trying to organise a girlie get-together since before Christmas and are foiled every time due to one or both of us being ill!
These pretty pink flowers should arrive tomorrow and hopefully she'll know that she's always in my thoughts and prayers. It feels amazing to do such a small thing to show a friend that I hope she feels better soon! I only wish I had done similar things before!
I can't believe that in just a few short months, thanks to this wonderful Day Zero Challenge, my life is already so much better than before!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Day zero project: my top 50 films

I'm really, really enjoying this Day Zero project (first mentioned here,  and here is my full list)
For the first time in a very long while, I have finally found some purpose in my life! It may seem like nothing much to some, but to me, having something that I can work on, instead of always watching tv whilst waiting to get better, is such a revelation!

Here's one of the easier challenges, name my top 50 films - should be a breeze, as I love watching movies!!
As I 'm terrible at picking my most 'favourite of all time' anything, these are in no particular order ;-)
  1. Pride and Prejudice (the series on a film! Maybe not 'technically' one film, but hey, Colin Firth as Mr Darcy - no contest and had to be included!)
  2. Persuasion
  3. Northanger Abbey
  4. Mansfield Park
  5. Sense and Sensibility
  6. Little Women
  7. Guys and Dolls
  8. Hello Dolly
  9. Singing in the Rain
  10. Seven brides for Seven Brothers
  11. Annie Get Your Gun
  12. Calamity Jane
  13. Thoroughly Modern Millie
  14. Mamma Mia
  15. Hairspray
  16. Tinkerbell, Secret of the Wings
  17. Rio
  18. Tangled
  19. Despicable me 
  20. Happy Feet
  21. Elf
  22. Spaceballs
  23. Beetle Juice
  24. Pirates of the Caribbean (can't pick which, love them all!)
  25. Robing Hood, Prince of Thieves
  26. A Knight's Tale
  27. The Twilight Series (I love 'em all and I don't care!)
  28. The Mummy Returns
  29. Thor
  30. Prince of Persia, the sands of time
  31. Avatar
  32. Knight and Day
  33. The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King
  34. The Crow
  35. Interview with a Vampire
  36. Practical Magic
  37. Love Actually
  38. 10 things I Hate about you
  39. Dirty Dancing
  40. Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights
  41. Pretty Woman
  42. 27 Dresses
  43. Sweet Home Alabama
  44. Chocolat
  45. He's Just Not That Into You
  46. French Kiss
  47. Never Been Kissed
  48. The Wedding Date
  49. The American President
  50. Stardust
I'm sure I could list loads more!
As you can see I have a wide range of genres that I like, though I can't watch horror films (except vampire ones - weird huh?!) all other horror films give me nightmares ;-)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Movie night!

Another Day Zero challenge complete!
As my ex-husband now has the kids one night a week (alternating between Fridays and Saturdays) I was trying to think of something in-expensive and fun that I could do with Little Man on the Friday nights that I have them. As he loves watching films as much as me, Movie Night seemed a perfect idea! Thankfully, Little Miss, has now almost settled into a good bedtime routine, so is usually asleep by the time movie night needs to start. Though if she decides otherwise, she just joins in the fun too!
We have loads of child-friendly DvDs as I am a complete kid at heart! I have been buying Disney and Pixar films for ever, and now that I have my own kids, it just gives me more incentive to add to the collection :-D
Luckily, Little Man loves Disney and Pixar films too - at the moment, his favourites are Cars, Planes, the Toy Story series, Madagascar and Rio. My favourite is Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings!
To make it a little more of a special occasion, I get Little Man bathed and into his jammies early, I quickly change into mine (I'm a morning shower kind of girl) and then we both snuggle under a blanket with a huge bowl of popcorn (which we also shared with Grannie and Grandad!)
So far we have had Planes and Rio on our Movie Nights. Can't wait for next Movie Night! Maybe I'll be able to persuade Little Man that Tinkerbell would be a great choice ;-)
My 'selfie' of our Movie Night - I'm still not great at them ;-)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Listography: Simple Pleasures

Yaaaaaay! Listography time again! I think I now have a bit of an obsession with Listography, and get just a teeny bit excited when I see that Kate from Kate Takes 5, has posted a new list (I know, small things, heehee!) 
Anywho, this weeks theme is Top 5 Simple Pleasures, so here we go:

1. Hugs
image from google
I absolutely LOVE hugs!  and am a very huggy person!
Such a simple thing that can make you feel so much better, in seconds!
What's even better, is that hugs have sooo many uses. There are hugs of friendship and of love. Hugs to make hurt feelings or 'owies' better. Hugs to greet when you meet a friend, or farewell hugs to see you though the whole day. I'd better stop now, before I go too 'hug-listing' mad ;-)
I love hugs with close family and friends. Little Miss will let me hug and kiss her forever! Sadly, Little Man is now far too old for kisses now - at the oh so 'grown-up' age of 4 1/2 ;-) but I'm still allowed my daily hug fix! We have now advanced to the ultimate hug - 'skwudges' which are just the longest, tightest, bestest hugs ever ;-) My favourite hugs are those last hugs of the day, as I put my tired little kiddies to bed. That final gesture of love and protection, to see them safely through the night. *happy sigh*

2. Chocolate
I have a need for chocolate. Nothing more to say on this ;-)

3. A tidy, organised room.
I love it when a room in our house of 'organised chaos' finally gets a good tidy and sort out. I'm not into the whole minimalist look; where it looks like you're constantly waiting for a style magazine to drop by for a surprise photo-shoot, or worse still the 'museum home' where you just don't touch anything, ever! But I do like the sense of achievement, when you've bust a gut to clean and tidy everything into its place, and it finally looks organised, but lived in!
(I really, really want to put home, but it's just not realistic yet! Since hubby leaving last November, we have started the 'great big house sort' project and are getting there very, very slowly!)

4. Flowers
bluebells growing in our
front garden :-)
I think flowers are just beautiful! They have the ability to light up a gloomy room, or just to remind me how amazing nature is!
As I have an amazing knack of killing all flowers, potted plants, (even a cactus now!) so I prefer wild flowers or garden flowers ;-)   
I have a love of roses inherited from my Grannie and Granpie, who had stunning flower beds dedicated to them! I also adore fuscias, daisies and bluebells! The only tattoo I have is of bluebells and if I'm ever brave enough to get another one, it'll be daisies :-)

5. Clean sheets!
This might sound completely nutts, but there's just nothing like climbing into bed after another exhausting day, and have the gentle aroma of 'clean sheets' (fabric softener usually!) waft over you as you snuggle down for a good nights sleep! Clean sheets also have that lovely 'clean feel' that just isn't there by the end of the week, and I think that actually helps me sleep better!

So there you go, my top 5 simple pleasures in life.
Now time to link up and get looking at all the other lists :-)