Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

Good evening and welcome to another new week and another Monday Magic.

Monday 8th October

Hubby and I have celebrated our wedding anniversary in the last week – 26 years! surely we aren’t old enough….We had a great night out at the Royal Festival Hall (second time in recent weeks) watching the glamorous and very pregnant Sophie Ellis Bextor supported by a full orchestra alongside her band.  It shouldn’t be possible for a woman expecting her FIFTH child to look so gorgeous in a figure hugging black sequin cat suit!!!  That lady can still boogie as she belts out all her classic numbers – I don’t know about “Murder on the Dance Floor”, there were moments when there we thought there might be a birth on the dance floor as mum to be danced so energetically. Wow!  Full accessibility post about the RFH to follow.

sophie-ellis-bextor-exhibits-blooming-baby-bump-in-sparkling-sequinned-jumpsuit

The stunning S E-B!

I haven’t done a good job with pacing this week – why is it nights out all have to come together?  A concert, a curry with friends and a quiz night has left my chronic pain screaming at me at full volume.  But today I was reminded that there is always someone in a worse situation than you when I received the awful news that the brother of a school friend has recently died from cancer in his early 50s.  He leaves a wife and  3 teenage children and as a GP leaves a huge number of patients at the surgery that he took over from their father.  Once again life is put into perspective.

On this note I want to give you some blog posts to read that I hope will be uplifting and inspiring, practical and entertaining.  Sit back, raise a glass to living life as well as possible and enjoy these blogs.

beautiful casual cute day

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

http://jesdickerson.com/2018/10/01/break-free-comparison-trap/

https://www.lifeinslowmotionblog.com/do-coping-skills-really-help/

http://theunchargeables.com/pain-awareness-month-why-does-it-matter/

https://pamelajessen.com/2018/10/06/interview-october-derek/

http://notjusttired.com/2018/10/08/joy-in-autumn-challenge-joyinautumn/

https://www.mostlyblogging.com/go-viral/

https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/the-settlement

https://www.graphic-organic.com/single-post/2018/10/03/HalloweenFall-Home-Decor?utm_campaign=2b769dce-26eb-45c0-b080-ab4bfead9564&utm_source=so

https://risingabovera.com/review-mighty-medcase-by-mightywell/

https://anhistorianabouttown.com/rwbs-the-handmaids-tale-10-14-october-2018/

Please like, comment and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Hello PainPals – Monday Magic is back!  The last week has flown by in a swirl of one drama after another….but that is the norm in this house!!  Of course any excitement and stress always causes a flare of symptoms for me and this week has been no exception resulting in one long POTSie episode.  Did you see my poem from yesterday?

Pin for later

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 1:10:18

Two faints and head cracks in the space of 48 hours left me talking “rubbish” yesterday according to the lovely girl.  Or more rubbish than normal – mind you, she is pretty good at that herself, so a bit of a chip off the old block as they say.

Lucy & Matty.JPG

Chip off the old block with pal…& icecream

 

So apologies if what I described as a poem was just some ramblings, but what is a spot of concussion between friends?  After the first fall, when I was home alone except for the dog, I took a photo from the ground and sent it to the younger two child adults (didn’t post it to SM until I was back on the sofa with a decent amount of analgesia circulating my blood stream…..hmm, that could be the reason that I did post such a flattering pic of myself!) Now that did get me in trouble with hubby as I didn’t call him, but I knew he was only dropping my Mum and one of his doggy charges home so I figured there was no point.  I was already on the floor, wasn’t moving so I couldn’t do myself any more damage – that is sensible, right?!  Anyway, what did impress me was that both kids phoned hubby and both were indignant that he had left me alone….yes, the politics student actually tried to call his father.  When I asked the IT start up exec (new name for the Student engineer – Its U Exec for short) if he would have called dad, the response was “no…..if you could manage a selfie, you could manage to ring him yourself!” Oh well, two out of three isn’t bad.

 

I didn't fall....

 

I’m fine today, if I ignore the egg on the back of my head and a few misplaced joints – you have to look on the bright side, so the best thing to do seemed to be to find you some interesting and inspiring blog posts.  There are two serious posts that I will give you trigger warnings for – one discusses rape, the other suicide – but they really are worth a read if you are able.  Enjoy a wander through the Vancouver Rain,  or some beautiful wedding photographs with an extra special message from the photographer; there are  some book recommendations and a blog birthday celebration.  Finally I have added a treat from a fellow spoonie who has an Instagram account full of beautiful foodie pictures and recipes.

So sit down with a glass of something delicious and enjoy!

https://prettycouchpotato.com/2018/09/27/photographing-a-wedding-a-thank-you-to-my-body/

https://illness-to-wellness.com/2018/09/29/rape-is-a-personal-public-and-political-health-issue-we-need-to-believe-survivors/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/09/%EF%BB%BFhow-can-you-help-a-friend-who-may-be-contemplating-suicide/

https://zebrapit.com/2018/09/26/what-is-interstitial-cystitis/

https://teaandcakeforthesoul.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/tea-cake-for-the-soul-a-summer-round-up/

http://www.thisspooniespeaks.com/2018/09/reading-to-escape-health-storylines.html

https://byrnewithme.com/embracing-the-vancouver-rain-at-lynn-canyon/

https://wheelescapades.com/2017/10/01/just-a-little-respect/

https://kirstythroughthelookingglass.com/2018/10/01/kttlg-one-year/

https://www.lifeofpippa.co.uk/2018/09/27/books-you-need-in-your-life-july-september-2018/

https://www.instagram.com/anniesplantbasedpicnic/

As ever please, please share some love by commenting, liking and sharing these posts.

Have a lovely week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Another week, another Monday!  Where does the time go?  Well….hospital visits have figured quite heavily for September and I have already clocked up orthopaedics and gastrointestinal, with urology, rheumatology and my GP all coming up in the next week.  What a thrilling social life I lead!!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 17 sept

There have been a couple of great trips out this week – I wrote about the ball at The Oval cricket ground hosted by my old school in my last post, but hubby and I also went to see the live cinema screening of the RSC production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Absolutely hilarious!  It wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if you are a Shakespeare purist – but it is set in current day Essex styled “Windsor” with lots of leopard skin, gold chains and botox!  The cast are superb and bring an old tale right up to date as the wives of Windsor show their strength as they turn the tables on Falstaff.  I haven’t laughed so much in a long time – and it isn’t often that it would be the Baird who I would say this of.

I want to do something a little different with Monday Magic Blogs this week.  Over the last year I have been nominated for various awards and tags by some lovely blogger pals, and i am very aware that I have failed to get my act together to join in the communal fun that these awards can bring.

Firstly a huge thanks for these nominations go to:

Wendy at Picnic with Ants and Michelle at Jumbled Brain for tagging me for the Three Day Quote

Tasha at Pain Warrior Code for the Mystery Blogger Award

Alyssa at Fight MS Daily and Tasha at Pain Warrior Code for the Liebster Award

Ali at Notebooks and Glasses for Behind the Illness

Terri at Reclaiming Hope for The Sunshine Blogger Award

Gary at Fiction is Food for The Blue Sky Tag

……and I really hope that I haven’t missed anyone out!  I have also added

Caz from Invisibly Me and Sheryl from A Chronic Voice – they may be pals I have forgotten on the nominations list, but they are definitely bloggers who have offered me a huge a amount of personal support, sharing and kindness!

I will try to combine some of the challenges in these posts to write a little about myself (at the risk of boring you all silly), but meanwhile I want to share some blog posts with you from these inspiring bloggers!  So without further ado grab a cuppa, turn your phone off and sit back to enjoy these posts….

https://picnicwithants.com/2018/09/13/i-dont-mean-to-fighting-depression/

https://www.jumbledbrain.com/2018/08/20/simple-bug-vs-brain-injury-disaster/

https://painwarriorcode.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/do-you-know-when-a-flare-is-about-to-happen-painwarriortalks/

https://painwarriorcode.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/hang-on-in-there/

https://fightmsdaily.com/2018/09/11/never-stop-believing-in-hope/

http://notebooksandglasses.com/2018/09/16/september-link-up-party-with-a-chronic-voice/

https://reclaiminghope.blog/2018/09/17/on-a-weather-break-be-back-soon/

https://fictionisfood.com/2018/09/06/are-you-a-writer-then-join-in-this-september-and-spin-us-a-yarn-blogbattle-is-back/

https://invisiblyme.com/2018/09/11/september-pain-awareness-month/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2018/09/15/singapore-chronic-illnesses/

 

I hope that you enjoy these – Sheryl’s pictures of Singapore are wonderful!  Please like, comment and share these posts!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Good evening!  I haven’t been here for a whole week – well not actually writing on the page anyway.  It has been a busy week with several trips into central London and I am still hopeless at pacing myself – so a very long day for my son’s graduation, a theatre trip and a house full of youngsters has left me devoid of anything resembling a brain to write, comment on posts or do little other than sleep and eat, in that order!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 10 Sept

The graduation day gave my parents, hubby and me the opportunity to be those really embarrassing grandparents and parents.  Personally I don’t believe that we were anywhere near the top ten for winning those awards on the day, although I expect the young engineer would say otherwise.  I actually allowed him to choose which dress I would wear – between a bold floral number and a black and cream block symmetric piece – he chose what he described as the “boring” one, but I’m not sure that was quite the response I was looking for.  When my mum got in the car though, she was greeted with “Oh no,  you’ve worn a lairy dress, Grandma” (thoughts in the comments please!).  We actually looked quite understated compared to some of the other graduates and guests – some actually appeared to be going to weddings or balls – so I really don’t know what his lordship was worried about, but we managed to have some fun on the blustery terrace of the Royal Festival Hall with an impromptu photo shoot, with me on my feet!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Having a mum in a wheelchair (and remember this is still a relatively recent addition to our family transport) isn’t always the best way to fly under the radar, but sometimes it does have its advantages – particularly when the queue for the official photographers is snaking around the whole reception area of the RFH and those with disabilities are ushered to a much shorter queue and given every help required.  I am also delighted to report that the RFH staff ensured that I had a suitable spot for my wheelchair, were quick to find me alternative toilet facilities when the disabled loo on our floor was out of order, and brought out extra food when I had missed it due to said toilet issue!  All in all the accessibility in the Royal Festival Hall was great…..even if the strange singing lift was a bit creepy (the haunting “voice” sang up a scale as we ascended and ran back coming down, singing the level as the doors opened).

We were joined by our other young adults, including the young engineer’s better half in possession of a beautiful bouquet, and my brother for a celebratory dinner – although the politics student and lovely girl were only just leaving the house when they should have been arriving in London.  Oh the joy of youth, when the world is your oyster and time keeping so unimportant!!  A great day was had by all.

SONY DSC

 

I have managed some reading, despite a lack of writing, and have put together some more blog posts for your enjoyment.  Once again the posts are all very different and incorporate mental health, beauty, cookery, reading, and some comments on life!  Kicking you off this week is poetry from Inner Voice Actor and the title alone called out to me…”You ain’t giving up”.  Sit back and enjoy!

 

https://innervoiceactor.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/you-aint-giving-up/

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/putting-the-me-into-mental-health/

https://writeofthemiddle.com/beauty-make-up/

http://nextphaseinfitness.com.au/10-tips-to-ensure-you-exercise-consistently/

https://riverandquill.com/2018/09/interstitialcystitisawarenessmonth.html/

https://www.jumbledbrain.com/2018/09/06/guest-post-leanne-whitehouse-on-her-30-year-tbi-anniversary/

https://myyeka.com/what-is-the-right-kind-of-attraction/

https://libertyonthelighterside.com/3-cup-southern-african-cheese-puffs/

https://virtuallyallsorts.com/read-a-book-day-are-you-well-read/

http://angelanoelauthor.com/inspiration-motivation/relationships-when-a-run-is-not-about-running/

Please like, comment and share these posts – make a blogger’s day!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Good afternoon!  For many in the UK this is back to school week – today hubby and teachers across the country have school inset training days, whilst the kids enjoy their final days of summer.  The school uniform is bought, the pencil cases packed and soon the countdown will be on for Halloween.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! Sept 3rd

This is the first year in about 18 years that school uniform hasn’t been bought in our house!  The lovely girl has a very loose, smart “own clothes” code for the sixth form – although mum has a feeling that this could prove a lot more problematic!!  The first line of the code made me both smile and sigh – “no underwear to be on show”……so no knicker skimming skirts, shorts need to be long and tailored, no bras or cleavages on show.  How times have changed since my day – the only concession we got in the sixth form was girls didn’t have to wear blazers or ties; the boys had no concessions.  Skirts above the knee….forget it! The girls have been out shopping – last week they visited the interesting God’s own Junkyard with its displays of neon lights amongst other places – and she did return with a skirt….it definitely doesn’t reach her knees!

 

The young engineer has been away at a festival this weekend, but it is far removed from those visited by his brother this year.  I think an accurate description would be a “Geek” festival where like minded inquisitive souls meet up and CREATE!  Never will you attend a camp with such power, high speed wifi and every imaginable technological gadget – one comment on instagram said “You know you are at @emfcamp #emfcamp and not any other festival when the guy in the tent next to you is running a server from the porch of his tent :)”  It is based at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire and this year additional power and wifi had to be installed, so my bet is the local villages will have the fastest internet connections in the whole UK!

 

Last year the young engineer and his friend built a giant (8 feet) version of Guitar Hero – wires and lights were arriving at our house for weeks before (you can see it on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/AOU09T3l9Kg).  This year he has taken his better half who is a software engineer but frankly I’m not sure that he knows what he has let himself in for.  They are due back later today…..

This week the young engineer officially becomes a Master of Engineering & Software when he graduates at the Royal Festival Hall.  I am hoping that I will have some very embarrassing pictures to share of him wearing his gown and mortar board!

The first blog on today’s list is about the EMF camp, but if this doesn’t grab you then hopefully you can be inspired by the others on the list.  I have found a post about an artisan Mead brewery (having seen them featured on a BBC programme), some timely back to school views from a teacher, and a new blog from a cyclist touring through Kyrgyzstan to Nepal.  There are also some great life posts and my favourite title has to go to “The Special Stank of a Boy”!

https://hackaday.com/2018/08/14/looking-forward-to-electromagnetic-field-2018/

http://viking-mjod.no/apothecary-mead-legends-of-sherwood/

https://butismileanyway.com/2018/08/30/the-onset-of-inset-days-backtoschool-teacherslife/

https://inspiremystyle.com/2018/08/26/leading-a-fulfilled-and-healthy-life/

http://www.secondhand-life.com/2018/08/anxiety-storms-demons-on-the-boat/

http://janetgivens.com/at-seventy-seven-thoughts/

https://thewildreaderwithacat.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/beautiful-houses-%F0%9F%98%81/

https://woods-wanderer.com/2018/09/02/cycle-touring-chapter-7-osh-to-kunelek-kyrgyzstan-an-ode-to-kolbek/

https://butterflyinremission.com/2018/08/21/how-i-experienced-mindset-shift-motivation-life-change/

https://hotmessmemoir.com/2018/09/03/the-special-stank-of-a-boy/

I hope that you enjoy this great mixture of posts…..please like, comment and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

We are celebrating our final bank holiday weekend of the year and in true UK style it is raining!  The long, hot days of only a couple of weeks ago feel like a world away, whilst last night yours truly turned on the electric blanket and added a dressing gown to the bed clothes.  Now the fight will be on between husband and wife for changing to a warmer duvet (me) or sticking with the summer one (him).  I must look into these split weight duvets – have any of tried them? Anyway, the wife will win!!

Monday Magic - 27 aug

 

This week has felt a little surreal if I am honest with you.  The politics student called mid week to say that he could only sleep on his mate’s floor in Nottingham until Saturday – OK, so what do you expect me to do about it??  Well, my final exam isn’t until Tuesday……good old mum puts a shout out to a couple of Nottingham based school friends, but of course it is a BH weekend and guess what, my boy?!  A lot of people go away – and that is why my friends aren’t about but also why the B&B/hostels are all booked!!  He is fortunate that we found an Air BnB – affordable and in walking distance of uni; but arranging transport home was slightly trickier as he hadn’t told me his exam isn’t until 4.30 Tuesday afternoon.  But……with a bit of internet surfing, I was amazed to get him and his friend onto a coach on Tuesday evening, back to London for £15 for the two of them!  Bargain!!  It will probably cost as much to get back from London to home (30 mins on the train!).

Amidst the dramas of the “middle” child, came the exam results of the youngest – the lovely girl.  I did mention a little about this in yesterday’s post.  Needless to say it was mum here who didn’t sleep well the night before and had strange dreams – we knew she would have got the requirements for 6th form, bar a complete disaster, but as the exams have been new this year and she was taking a mixture of the new levels 1-9 and the old grades A*-G, anything was possible.  Thursday morning came, she got up and did her paper round, and I was awoken to squeals as she opened the email – oh my goodness!  I am not allowed to say any more, but if your follow me on twitter of facebook you will know that she didn’t need to worry about me posting her results and picture all over social media – the school did it!! (here!!)).  As I said I’m not allowed to say anything – but delight, surreal, shocked, unbelievable….you get the picture!!

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The young engineer has been a bit put out that his little sister beat him – in fact beat both her brothers – but secretly he is very proud.  In fact on Friday evening he and his partner were going to the theatre with the lovely girl and her friend (who did just as well) – and he took them out for dinner beforehand to celebrate.  Now this is a huge deal as he has always been the “tight” kid of the 3!!!

So moving on from the act of sibling love in my household to the first blog that I’m sharing with you this week – it comes from Rachna and she describes a beautiful festival that traditionally recognises and honours sibling love.  I particularly like the post on ClockWorkClouds that discussed the uses of certain words – how does using “should” rather than”would” change the feel of a situation?  I hope that you will also enjoy some culture with an artist’s exhibition, a book review, flash fiction story and do read the Trolls’ poem, it is funny!  There are also some life posts here too that would benefit everyone.

So grab a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy some great blog posts!

https://www.rachnaparmar.com/2018/08/raksha-bandhan-a-beautiful-festival-of-sibling-love.html

https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/5945/

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/a-visit-to-the-orla-kiely-exhibition/poster_2500_1

http://zooloobookblog.co.uk/bookreview-her-final-hour-bookouture/

https://www.mollytotoro.com/2018/08/the-artists-way-for-midlife-vitality/

https://thedarknetizen.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/flash-fiction-the-inn/

http://allthatjazmin.com/mental-health/getting-a-late-autism-diagnosis/

https://teaandcakeforthesoul.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/beware-of-the-trolls-poems-from-simply-modern-life-by-claire-baldry-bookexcerpt/

simply-modern-life-poems-claire-baldry1

https://www.funasagran.co.uk/2018/08/5-essentials-to-improve-your-pets-life.html

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/5-ways-to-start-appreciating-yourself-start-thriving/

As always , please share some love for these bloggers!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Another week has passed, the heat wave in the UK has broken and students across the country have either just received exam results or are awaiting them this week.  In our house, the lovely girl will receive her GCSE results this week and remains very calm and level headed.  But she can’t get her head around the year group chat that is full of anxiety about grade boundaries and count downs to the “big day” – I agree with her that there is no point worrying about the grade boundaries when you have no idea what grades you have received yet!

board chalk chalkboard exam

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The national press is of course feeding this anxiety with articles about the new exams – both GCSE and A level – are they harder, are the grade boundaries higher/lower, have more students done better?  I’m not sure we will be able to make head or tail of her results though as half will be the old style A-C grades, with the remainder bearing the new numerical grades 1-9!!

 

Pin for later

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 20 Aug

 

The politics student is currently taking exams – he was unwell earlier this year with chronic migraines so the university deferred exams until now.  I actually received a text after his first exam earlier!  Maybe it has finally dawned on him that although these first year exams don’t count towards the final degree, he does need to pass them all to go back for the second year……his sister would be horrified to find that both brothers were back home permanently! I’m not sure that my kitchen would cope either…..

I have spent another dislocated week vaping on my Medipen – I feel a review coming on – and adding to my “surgical appliances”.  Firstly I bought some physio kinesiology tape after reading Ali’s article last week – I thought that hubby might be able to learn how to tape my arm back in place, but the family consensus seems to be to mummify me in it! Hmmmm……..Then I sent hubby out to Lidl to buy some chicken and he came home with ankle supports.  Those of you who are Lidl or Aldi fans will know that the middle rows in the store are always very exciting and you never know what you might find nestling alongside the crisps and fruit juice!  This week it was various medical appliances from heat pads to raised loo seats seated next to petrol powered jet washers and lawn mowers.  I came home with a garden table on one occasion….

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So whilst sitting here watching youtube videos about applying sticky tape to my body (we will get our physio to teach us) and adding more velcro straps to my wardrobe, I have been perusing the blogosphere to find some more fab posts for you to read.  Who has heard of #BlogBattle:Moon?  Have a look at Gary’s post for this writing challenge. I’m excited to introduce you to Anna, a local artist who also happens to be a part of the We All Send Cards community (where my girl’s art can also be found on greetings cards).  She has been featured on the Women Talking website and discusses her career as an artist alongside her diagnoses of dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.  Lily provides pointers for US residents navigating the benefits system at How To Get On blog.  The lovely girl is very pleased that I have included a post about “period poverty” – something that hasn’t been spoken about in the past.

So grab a glass of something nice, turn off the phone and sit back to indulge in some great reads…

https://fictionisfood.com/2018/08/09/blogbattle-moon/

https://writeintolife.com/2018/08/17/motivation-why-do-older-bloggers-blog/

https://kerrylifeandloves.com/2018/08/16/experience-boa-vista-cape-verde-choose-happy/

https://sarahsbrandnewchapter.com/2018/08/17/memories-of-my-grandma/

http://www.womentalking.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/intuitive-oils

https://www.meriahnichols.com/lorna-duff-howie/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare

https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/about-the-artist/social-security-disability/

www.lifeofpippa.co.uk/2018/08/16/periods-poverty-and-perceiving-empathy-walker-ya-blog-tour/

http://katethealmostgreat.com/is-chronic-illness-a-disability/

https://prettycouchpotato.com/2018/08/16/diy-tpn-backpack/

Please share, comment and like these posts!

Have a great week,

Claire x

intuitive oils

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Very little preamble today PainPals – I’ve been battling the onset of a migraine all weekend and it finally broke free this morning, leaving me moribund on the sofa.  My surrogate furbaby Chester apparently kept me company for a couple of hours snuggled up next to me – although I had no idea!  You’ve had my post about books and reviewing already today so I will plunge straight in with some blogs for you.

E5D7B6D9-8D78-4FD3-A89A-4EBC631599B2

https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2018/08/13/5-ways-you-can-save-time-when-blogging/

https://imsickandsoareyou.com/2018/08/09/six-and-a-half-ways-to-cure-writers-block/

https://www.healthyeatingexperts.com/spoonie-secrets/

https://butismileanyway.com/2018/08/10/living-life-keto-style-kindaketo/

https://www.shallowreflections.com/taking-drastic-steps-to-protect-my-noggin/

https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/cracks-in-the-porcelain/

https://ellenbest24.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/watch-right-of-passage-on-youtube-fgm/

https://dreamingandreading.com/2018/08/07/ttt-top-ten-tuesday-sequels-i-am-dying-in-my-tbr-read/

https://sv3dprinter.com/?p=7400 – 3D printing for spinal cord injuries

https://topladytalks.com/2018/08/13/playing-odd-man-out-not-today-reminiscences-of-an-accessible-holiday/

Please like, comment and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! #PickledBlogs

Hello all! It has been another scorcher of a week in the UK and across Europe the temperatures are set to reach record breaking highs.  The lovely girl arrived home from her 2 weeks in Greece in the early hours of Sunday morning and whilst we got little sense out of her yesterday, she seems to have had a great time.  Her hair is even blonder, she is sporting a very healthy glow and has been swimming daily – including a midnight dip in the sea on Friday.  Oh to be sixteen (nearly) again!

Pickled Blogs Monday Magic

 

I joined Em Linthorpe’s Facebook group Pickled Blog Project recently and meant to join in with the fun tag post questions, but haven’t got round to it ……until now!  So I thought that I would change things about and share my pickled answers here on Monday Magic.

How to play

  1. Answer the questions.
  2. Link back to Em’s post : Pickled Blogs Project
  3. Use the hashtag #PickledBlogs on any social media shares so everyone can find your post, and in the title of the blog post too if you like.
  4. Feel free to tag some of your blogging friends at the end.

Wm will add the links of everyone who plays along, so please shout up when you have completed it!

Pickled Blog proj

The questions

1. What is your favourite pickled item to eat?

2. Tell us about a time you were in a “bit of a pickle” (a tough situation)

3. Pickle Rick, a character from Rick and Morty, is a personal hero of Em’s. Who are your heroes?

4. If you had to live in a jar, what three items would you take with you?

Questions:

What is your favourite pickled item to eat?  It HAS to be pickled onions – but I can’t eat onions of any sort now (gut problems has meant I have had to follow a restricted diet) – I used to love the huge dish that our local fish and chippy would give us when we ate in!

Tell us when you were in a bit of a pickle – going back just a few years(!) to our wedding and my lace dress that needed something underneath, to maintain my dignity.  Mum decided that she would make me an underdress but she didn’t want to put a zip or fastenings on that would show, so having a light bulb moment she stitched me into it.  This was great until we were at the hotel reception and yours truly needed to nip out to the little girls’ room – only to find mum had stitched my dress to my tights and knickers, so limited champagne for me for the rest of the day!

Who are your heroes? Hmmm…..Dame Cicely Saunders (founder of the hospice movement) and I’m rather fond of Marvel’s Daredevil!

If you had to live in a jar, what 3 items would you take with you? Now Amelia over at You Can Always Start Now assures me this jar is already furnished……so I am assuming I have unlimited wifi to set up Netflix & Amazon as my number one, second my Kindle crammed full of classics and contemporary favourites, and finally – well frankly I am struggling to choose between chocolate or wine.  I am sure that says something about me!!

 

I’m not going to tag anyone in particular – so please feel free to join the fun!  I hope you have enjoyed my answers and now will sit back and enjoy this week’s selection of fab blog posts. They are really varied covering yoga, friendship and being an adult,  finishing with a very talented dog called Sasha who writes beautifully and looks stunning too.

http://livingpositivelywithdisability.com/16-things-that-suck-about-adulting-and-16-things-about-it-that-are-actually-quite-good/

http://notebooksandglasses.com/2018/08/05/3-not-so-obvious-things-i-do-to-help-manage-my-neck-pain/

http://chronicallyhopeful.com/spoonie-gift-guide-my-summer-survival-kit-items/

https://mymedmusings.com/2018/07/05/its-ok-to-take-an-online-break/

https://insideoutblog.co.uk/oops-i-did-it-again/

http://www.chickenruby.com/2018/07/what-is-friend.html?m=1

http://www.mumonamissionforabetterlife.co.uk/2018/08/my-july-movie-reviews.html

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/technology-friend-or-foe/

https://www.rendezvousennewyork.com/saturdays-are-for-a-yoga-rendezvous/

http://janetgivens.com/insideoutsurance/

Please comment, like and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Blog Tour & Book Review “Waiting for Aegina” The Gift Series #LoveBooksGroupTours

waiting for aegina

Many thanks to Kelly and Love Books Group for including me in this book blog tour!

Waiting for Aegina takes us back to the family and friends saga picking up the story where its predecessor, Evanthia’s Gift, left off.

It is the beginning of the 21st century and friends Sophia, Demi, Donna, Amy & Mindy are entering the next stage of their lives – as wives, mothers and business women. Affectionately known as the Honey Hill Girls, after the street where they grew up together, their friendships and love have strengthened with time and different experiences.

Waiting for Aegina pin

Sophia, now very happily married to childhood sweetheart and Demi’s brother Dean, is still grieving for her mother Ana and worried for her father Alex.  She is also battling with her teen twins from her first marriage, who miss their father since his death and resent her marriage to their “Uncle Dean”, running her successful dance studio and she is heavily pregnant!

Demi has grown from a feisty youngster into a self assured woman, with a Greek fiery temperament and a fiercely protective streak for all those that she loves.  Her children are growing and the business that she runs with her husband Michael and brother, Dean is going from strength to strength – a vineyard that holds weddings and functions in a recently restored Carriage house.  But Demi and Michael are spending more and more time concentrating on their separate areas of the business, and Demi feels estranged from her adored husband and jealous of anyone else spending time with him – particularly his demanding mother!

Donna, the former high school cheerleader/Prom queen married to the football team captain/Prom king, is a teacher with 2 sons.  She has reached her forties and is feeling disillusioned with her marriage as husband Richie lavishes more attention on his sport, car and beer bottle than on Donna and the family.  The attention he focuses on elder son RJ – a keen sportsman like his father – is in direct contrast to the lack of interest that is shown towards younger son Anthony, a sensitive boy who enjoys art, theatre and music.  Donna struggles with her husband’s attitude toward their youngest and his derogatory comments about Anthony’s interests and gentle character.

Amy is now a successful lawyer turned politician, married to Ezra and mother to son Adam.  She is hiding a secret from her past that only Sophia knows – a son born 20 years ago and given up for adoption to a Greek family – but his father is a secret that Amy has never shared.  When her son, Sam, contacts her, Amy is delighted to get to know him through letters and phone calls. But before she has found the right time to tell Ezra and Adam about him or to even meet him face to face, the story has broken in the press that Congresswoman Amy had an illegitimate child and that the father was a now senior Congressman.

Mindy is the only one of the Honey Hill Girls to have never married, having put her soul into the building of her now successful dress design label Bloom.  She has been in love. Nightclub owner Tyler loved Mindy and wanted a life with her, but her long working hours and devotion to her work killed the relationship.  Several years later a chance encounter with Tyler gives Mindy a glimpse of the life that she could have had – marriage and his children.  She takes off to Greece to “grieve” and meets the dashing Apollo, but can this become a long distance relationship or will their differences make it doomed from the start.  As Mindy’s career goes from strength to strength, she despairs that she will never experience in her personal life what friends Sophia and Demi have.

The women’s lives move in different directions but remain intimately connected as they love and support each other through births, love and loss.

My review of the first in the Gift trilogy Evanthia’s Gift can be read here and whilst this book can be read as a stand alone……please, please, please read it as a sequel!  I gave the first book 5 stars and absolutely adored the characters, the settings, and the story telling – so I started the sequel with excitement but also trepidation.  Would it match up to the first novel?  Would I enjoy it as much and feel the characters in the same way?  Would I be inspired?

architecture building church city

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yes, yes, yes!  This book is written around the five friends, whilst the first concentrated on the stories of the first generation Greek families, and each chapter is titled with a different friend’s name – Sophia, Demi, Donna, Amy or Mindy.  Sophia and Demi featured heavily in the first book, so it is lovely to get to know more about the other friends in this novel and the author gives us some more of their back stories whilst delivering the individuality of the characters.  When I feel that I could be friends with a character, that I think about the people as I go about my day to day life and I might even dream about them – then I believe that the author has really succeeded in creating something special.

There were so many aspects of this book that appealed to me – but as a woman of a similar age with growing children, I identify with these women.  I know that the author’s inspiration came from a group of close school friends and a reunion (see her facebook page), and I have also recently returned for a 30 year reunion with both old school friends and my nurse training set.  The feelings reignited with people who you have grown up with or spent informative years of your life cannot be underestimated – it just happens that these women have remained in each other’s lives and those feelings have only strengthened over the years. Love, loyalty, strength and friendship

Ms Kammenou tackles both the joyful aspects of family and friendship, but she doesn’t shy away from difficult aspects of real life.  This novel tackles depression and counselling, domestic abuse, sexuality, devastation from a road traffic accident, politics, suicide, separation and bereavement.  As the mother of a young gay man, I was particularly moved by the story of young Anthony’s sexuality and the difficulties he and others experienced.  This is very different to my own family.

Once again I laughed with these ladies, but I also cried with them.  Their characters grow throughout the book and the author describes real life, not sugar coated, warts and all.  I loved this sequel and can’t wait to get my hands on the final book in the saga.  A great warm, emotional family saga to pack in your suitcase this summer!

I forgot to mention that once again Ms Kammenou demonstrates her wonderful Greek heritage with beautiful descriptions of Greece but more importantly of the food preparation.  Then interspersed with the chapters are recipes and directions to make the dishes, and they are so mouth watering that my family were treated to the Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers last night!  More wonderful recipes can be found her her website.

color cook cooking delicious

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another 5 stars for this heart warming contemporary, family novel.

About the Author:

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. cover photo 2She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina is Book Two in The Gift Saga and Chasing Petalouthes is Kammenou’s latest release, completing the series.

EG & WFA Facebook-Twitter 1

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina is Book Two in The Gift Saga and Chasing Petalouthes is Kammenou’s latest release, completing the series.

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Find Effie:

On Twitter: @EffieKammenou

Facebook: @EffieKammenou

Website:  www.cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com

Gift Saga