Book Review: Raw Edges

Raw Edges (Quilts of Love #10) by Sandra D. Bricker

This book pretty much had me in tears from the start!  Okay I’m a big pile of mush normally anyway but this definitely touched a cord somewhere – maybe it’s the whole mum hormone thing?

The story follows a dad (Grayson) and his eleven year old daughter Sadie following the death of Jenna (his wife and her mother) as they get involved, at the insistence of Sadie, with a local support group and Annabelle (one of it’s members) who are in the process of creating a memory quilt as a fundraising exercise.  Placed between each chapter are journal entries written to Sadie from Jenna in preparation for her life without her Mum.

Sadie will capture your heart and she learns to heal, both herself and her Dad as they attempt to navigate life’s puzzle without a key piece.  Showing that even in the midst of grief you can learn to live and love again.

The book is well written and pulls you into their world completely.  It makes you feel a whole range of emotions – one minute you are laughing the next tears are running down your cheeks.

Four stars.

Enjoy.

Four Favourites – January 2017

This is a post that I am hoping to do once a month!  Here I will share with you four items that I am currently enjoying.  They could be anything from TV shows, movies, books, clothing, make-up, technology….. almost anything!

Paprika Recipe Manager

This app is fantastic.  I used to have a file on my computer with recipes that I have copied from various websites as well as a folder with recipes that I had printed or copied from various locations.  This app allows be to have everything in one place.  Some great things about this app:

  • You can categories them (each recipe can have more than one too which is great).
  • Once you copy and paste the recipe URL into the app it will automatically create the recipe card (or you can type it manually).
  • There is an app available for iPad, iPhone, Mac, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows (the only disadvantage is you have to buy it separately for each device).  I have it on both my Mac and iPad.
  • If you have the app on more than one device it will sync for you.
  • There is a timer – a recipe says cook for 20 minutes, you click the 20 minutes (which will be in blue) and the timer starts.
  • There is a calendar to help with meal planning (this I haven’t used yet as I’m a old school paper planner kind of girl but to go with simplifying my life I should probably give it a go).  From here it will then create a grocery list.

The app can be downloaded from the website or from your devices App Store.

JJ Cole Nappy Bag – Linden

I’ve always been a bit of a bag girl and this has continued since having children when adding a Nappy (Diaper) Bag to my collection became necessary.  I have a number in my collection, some which I like and some which I didn’t – but this is my current favourite.

It’s a lot smaller than ones that I have used previously, which is interesting since I now have two kids and not just one.  But I find everything I need fits in and it doesn’t look too much like a nappy bag (I have mine in grey heather).  A bonus was that it came with both stroller clips and a change pad.  I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the change pad it came with so I use another one but more about that in an up coming post of what’s in my Nappy (Diaper) Bag.

Here is a link to the bag itself – http://jjcolecollections.com/linden (note that prices on this website are in US Dollars), although I purchased it from Baby Factory here in New Zealand.

CamelBak Eddy Drink Bottle (0.6l)

I’ve had one of these for a while and love it.  It makes drinking water so much easier (my goal is 2l a day).  This size is perfect as well as it fits in the drink console in my car – the bigger size bottles are too big – as well as that it fits in my trusty nappy bag too.
They also have a kids version which I have for my son which makes it super easy to get water into him if he sees Mummy drinking out of hers.

I have always got mine from Rebel Sport but I do see them pop up on http://www.nzsale.co.nz occasionally.

Whittaker’s Artisan Collection – Hawkes Bay Braeburn Apple with Vanilla

I’m not normally a big chocolate person – don’t get me wrong I love chocolate, chocolate just doesn’t love me.  I’m not allergic just an intolerance that has chocolate give me migraines and make me feel nauseous, this seems to be less (almost non-existent) with white chocolate.

This Whittaker’s Chocolate was a Christmas gift from my two kids for Christmas and oh my goodness it is amazing.  It comes in a 100g block which is quite thin but I normally only have one piece at a time so it lasts a while.

The subtle taste of apple breaks the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla leaving with that sweet treat feel without the sickly sweet after taste.

Yummm

What are the things that you have been enjoying this month?

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Grace Not Perfection

Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

What can I say I loved this book.  This book is stunning – not just visually (I mean who doesn’t love a hot pink book with a gold pineapple), but the content….

It is full of encouragement, practical advice and exercises (and ones that don’t require special equipment or taking a year out of your life to travel the world) to help you find what is important to you, where you want to be and places you can simplify (Hello word of 2017) your life and appreciate the joy in the everyday.  It provides a reminder that we don’t need Pinterest-beautiful homes (or birthday parties as Emily puts it) to live our lives.

I would recommend this to anyone (especially those who are feeling a little overwhelmed with life and the expectations that they put on themselves).  Although it is written from the perspective of a Mum and thus aimed at that direction I feel that Emily Ley’s advice is equally applicable to everyone.

Grace Not Perfection quickly became my mantra during the reading of this book, so much so that it is my new computer wallpaper and I really want to get it printed and put on my wall.

 

Five Stars!

Enjoy!

My 2017 Word: Simplify

This is a relatively short post…. which I guess is rather fitting considering!

There seems to be a movement at the moment to pick a word as your theme for the year.  I read a lot about this during 2016 and thought I’d give it a go for 2017.

The word that I chose for myself in 2017 is:

youth-has-no-age

I’ve found over the past two years, since I became a Stay At Home Mum that I have over complicated my life.   I tend to look for the most complicated way of doing anything instead of keeping it simple.

So for 2017 I’m simplifying my life… wish me luck!

Do you have a word for 2017?

Planning for 2017

2017 has come by so quickly.  Looking back at 2016 there were so many changes in our lives.  My husband changed jobs and we welcomed a new baby into our family.

Planning is something that does not seem to come naturally for me – I can’t remember anything unless I write it down – so a planner is vital.  As a Stay at Home Mum I seem to have so many things to plan – a corporate secretary has nothing on a Stay at Home Mum (trust me I’ve been that too!).

To help with my household planning and organisation I use two types of planners, both of which I source from from Kikki-K.

Family Calendar

On our fridge I have our Family Calendar.  There are six columns for each member of the family, so everyone gets a column (including our newborn).

I find this super helpful and I can see if Steve is going to be home for dinner, working late etc.. I also put on here play dates, appointments etc for either of the boys (& me).

I use one of the extra columns for events that involve the whole family, such as vacations, guests etc and the other extra column I use when meal planning.  The main meal gets put in here so everyone knows what we are having for dinner – it also reminds me what to get out of the freezer!

There is also a separate column for birthdays.  Which is great for reminding me to get gifts or cards to be sent.

http://www.kikki-k.com/2017-family-calendar-small

img_4895

 

My Planner

My second planner is also from Kikki-K and is the Large Weekly planner.  I have tried several types of planners from a Filofax type planners to a simple bound diary.  The one I have now seems to be working best for me at the moment.

This year (2016) I used the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley which I loved.  This year however she had the weekly planner book bound instead of spiral bound added to that the shipping cost from the US I decided to find something closer to home – along came this great planner from Kikki-K.

This is what I use for my personal planner – everything goes in here!  If it doesn’t go in here it doesn’t get remembered!  The particular one I have (18 month version – 2016/2017) I got on sale and is no longer available, but they have something similar.

It has many features which I love:

  • Spiral ring bound
  • Yearly, monthly and weekly view.
  • Notes section
  • On each weekly page there is the following: water intake, list section, priorities and focus.

The monthly view I use to track our spending, each bill or transaction goes on here and I can see at a glance what is coming up and if we are going a little over at any point.

The weekly view is what I use the majority of the time.  It’s where pretty much everything gets written.  I really like the list, priorities and focus sections on the page.  I can pick something to focus on each week and what my priorities will be.  The list can be a life saver, being a SAHM things don’t necessarily always need to be done on a specific day but need to be done that week so the list is my running to dos for that week.

There is also a notes section at the back – this is where I keep various lists including go-to meals and a list of various things around the house that take batteries – what size and how many!

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This system has been working for the last couple of months so I’m sticking with it going into 2017.  As with any planner system what works for me may not work for you so find something that does.  The key is to use it!  Keep it out and in view – mine lives on the kitchen bench.

Happy Planning and keep safe!

Helen
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