Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Coping with this crazy life - Journal your socks off!

All in all I have a fantastic life if I do say so myself but I suffer like most from this condition of being human. I bet dear reader you have this too from time to time sometimes, no doubt, for what seems like longer than most. It is a subject that many people talk about even scientists, it is the one thing that unites us all as human beings, we are just that, human. Good stuff happens, bad stuff happens and in my personal opinion it is how we deal with those situations that ultimately reflects how happy we are in general.

I am not coming at you all 'chirpy chirpy isn't life wonderful' in an annoying way, goodness gracious I have seen one heck of a lot of rubbish in my life, some of which I have gone over before in videos and blog posts, but I have gotten through it, I am still here to tell those tales. It is one of the reasons why I journal, to get me through the rubbish, to cope and process what is going on around me so that I can learn from it, develop, grow as a person and move forward with my life. Everything we go through makes us who we are and from time to time we need to develop a way in which to cope with those situations. Journalling is my method of coping.

Please do watch the video as I can express it so much better verbally!

So my journal is my coping mechanism and during this traumatic stage in my life I have ditched all my journals and started a new one just for this particular coping strategy.

This journal is a Moleskine sketchbook and I used one pen, the Papermate Flair. All other journals got pushed to the wayside because I wanted a journal just to deal with this situation and only this situation, it is just what I wanted to do and how I was going to cope and it has helped.

In this journal I wrote reams and reams, just writing about how I was feeling. I poured my heart out and I shed some tears but it was all for the purpose of healing and gaining some perspective. There are people dealing with much bigger problems than I am and this is just a small part of my life, I need to remember that so I can heal and move forward and get my life back.

It is not my best work artistically but it has meaning to me. The little sketches and the little affirmations and words of encouragement I gave myself are what gave me the push that I needed. Sometimes I just wrote to say that I was sad. Sometimes I wrote long stretches of writing, other times it was really short. It all helped get me through.

I also documented my journey through my appointments at the doctors and physio; when I went, the advice given, all of that helped me to see how I was improving and how far I have come because I have come a long way. I even took photos as my hand looked bad and I thought it was never going to get better, even one week after that photo I can visually see the progress. I all helped me cope, get through and continue to climb upwards.

It is going to be a long journey and no one said it would be easy. I see the physio again in three weeks time, the consultant in four weeks but at the time of injury they told me I was looking at a 12 week (at least)recovery period. I need to stay positive so I can get to that point. I have come this far, why give up now?

Hopefully you can see now why I journal and what a difference it makes. I didn't write this post or record the video for sympathy, I just wanted to share another reason why I journal and how it is a good coping mechanism.

I hope dear friends that this has been useful to you in some way and I hope that if you are struggling with a situation at the moment that you can find a way to cope as I have done for me. Much love to you x

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Autumn is most definitely, finally here!

Autumn is well and truly finally here, however you track when it starts (In meteorological terms autumn begins on 1st September but in Astrological terms, Autumn starts on the equinox which this year was 22nd September).

What does that mean for me, well for a start it marks my most favourite time of year, I love Autumn through to Winter. Firstly we have nice crisp mornings, walks in the beautiful woods turning all shades of colours collecting conkers, home to a nice squash soup and a good old cup of tea. Yes folks tea, which means my tea drinking has increased which means you can expect to see more tea videos and blog posts from me! I usually like to change my home decor when the season changes, I take out all my Summer stuff and replace it with an Autumnal theme but I haven't quite gotten round to doing that yet but I most likely will during Vlogtober so that I can show you all. I have decided to try and do Vlogtober this year on my Ginger Juice YouTube channel which means I will be posting a vlog every day in October. I enjoyed vlogmas so I thought why not try vlogtober!

Then we have Halloween although not widely celebrated here in the UK I still like it but of course us Brits have Guy Fawkes night, on 5th November a chance to have a bonfire, some nice warm chilli, soup in a mug and watch the fireworks. On a personal note I have my wedding anniversary with Mr B on 17th November and then the Christmas festivities begin. Whooop whooop!

I am already in the Christmassy mood from making up Christmas dashboards, printing out my inserts and setting up my Christmas planner because I have already begun filming my Christmas planning series which will go live on Friday 3rd October. Seriously folks it comes around sooner than you think it will.

Mr B and I have been out forraging for blackberries which this year have been so plump and delicious. I am so lucky that my husband loves to cook and finds it relaxing. The great thing about our house is we both love to cook but usually at the weekends Jon bakes a scrummy treat. Last weekend he made a crumble with the blackberries and I filmed him making it for his YouTube channel (wholesome day) which I have embedded below for you in case you would like to watch it.

Man I could go on about Autumn so much! I am really looking forward to 1st October, the start of my instagram challenge as I can't wait to see all of the Autumn inspired photos you guys will be posting. My brain is whirring with ideas for photos that I want to take. Do you love Autumn as much as I do? Let me know that I am not alone, what does Autumn mean to you?

I am also hoping to enter this competition...


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Book Lovers Tag

Way back in May I recorded 'The Book Lovers Tag' with the intention of setting it live and doing a blog post on it at the same time. For one thing or another this never happened and the got lost but I just found it today so I thought why not post it anyway as you might like it! I haven't written much about it as the video says it all and the info about the last book I bought etc is different now still I thought why not show you all anyway as it seems a shame to let it go completely to waste!

It is just for fun and if you fancy doing this tag too either in video or blog post form, the questions are below for you and I would love to read your responses so let me know if you do do it:

1) Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
2) Where do you usually read?
3) Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
4) What is your favourite genre?
5) What genre will you not read? 
6) Do you have a favourite book?
7) What is your least favourite book?
8) What is the biggest book you've ever read?
9) What was the last book you bought?
10) Which do you prefer: Library books or buying books? 
11) What are you reading now?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Book Review - Celestra Series

Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1)
Author: Addison Moore
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (3 Jun 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1499741544

From the back: 

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds. Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she's been looking for, but his reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own. Skyla's bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in. Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels want her dead, but Skyla is nowhere near done living-and she's not going down without a fight. It's on.

My Review:

I read the the first five books in the Celestra series all on my kindle although I have reference only the first book above with the paperback credentials. It is no secret and I am not at all ashamed to admit that I do rather enjoy a YA novel, mostly I like them as they are fairly fast paced and a rather quick and easy read and I don't mean that in a negative or derogatory way whatsoever. The first half of this series certainly held up to that expectation which is what I was looking for in a read at that particular time. There are technically eight books in the series but book seven is actually split over two books and then if you are still hungering for more there are three others books written from the perspective of one of the leading male characters in the book as opposed to the main series which follow Skyla.

I had a love-hate relationship with each and everyone of these books until I got to the fifth one where I thought I just didn't have the enthusiasm to carry on with it, I was getting a little tired of the patheticness of some of the characters and I just wanted it to come to an end.

I had never read anything about angels or nephillim before so this was a whole new genre for me but I now want to know more! These books I felt just touched on it so I want to know more about those characters, what I will say is my idea of earth angels has totally changed, I thought all angels were good, not these guys!

These books are very similar to the Twilight series, somewhat fanfiction like so if you enjoyed that series you may well enjoy this too. I did a video review of this book before writing this blog post and I thought that I would have much more to say after I had time to think about it for a while but it turns out that I don't actually so most of what I want to say I articulate much better verbally. As I said I had a love-hate relationship with this book and the same feelings are there when I come to write this, I just can't work out where I stand. I do know this, 20th Century Fox has optioned film rights to the Celestra Series with the intent of turning it into a TV series and I think that this would translate perfectly. In my opinion this would probably a great show as it lends itself perfectly to it. When it comes out and if it does in the UK I don't know but ceertainly one to keep an eye out on!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Who's up for the Challenge?

Hi Friends, I am very excited to announce the competition / giveaway for the very last Filofax that I was very kindly given from Filofax for coming second in the recent Pimp my Filofax challenge. As you will see from the above photo this prize is the stunning Compact Patent in Lavender. Again another stunning planner in my opinion (the colour above is a true colour, my floor isn't white!), a very beautiful pastel shade and being a compact it is perfect for travelling with and popping in your bag. Another tough one to let go I have to say ; )

As this is the last Filofax (from this competition, there are more giveaways to come, hint, hint!), I thought I would be a little mean and make you work for it, well it is £30.00 worth of Filofax lovliness after all!

If you know me, you will know that I love instagram just a little tiny bit. I love sitting down with a cuppa and looking at all your photos, instagram is such a happy place and I love it. I also like taking part in monthly photo challenges, most recently the ones hosted by Adam (Adam's Filo / The Desk of Adam) and I thought it would be really fun to host a challenge myself and give the Filofax away as the prize, so here I am proudly introducing to you 'Mrs Brimbles' October Daily Photo Challenge'. Whooop Whooop! oh and by the way their will be a runner up who will win two sets of printable inserts worth £11.98 from my Etsy shop - the choice of size and design is entirely up to you!

I have designed the prompts to be interpreted in a way that suits you, loosely based on the things that I love: Filofaxes, Stationery, Journals, Books, Tea and Autumn. Man I love this time of year, I could go on about it! As I say, you interpret them as you like but most importantly have fun with it. You don't have to enter to win the Filofax, you can just play along with the prompts for fun, entirely up to you, the more the merrier!

So here you go, here are your daily October, Autumn inspired photo prompts...

Please do feel free to share the above photo on instagram, Pinterest, your blog etc or print out to put into your planner or journal.

I also have a lot more to update you on...I wanted to update you on forthcoming videos and blog posts for Filofax Friday and also on journal videos all of which is in my chatty video...

The Rules for the instagram challenge...

I know, so boring that there needs to be rules but there does so that everyone is clear on what they need to do and to keep it fair to everyone participating!

  • You must post all 31 photos on instagram using #mrsbrimblesoctdaily
  • You need to be following me on instagram: @mrsbrimbles
  • The prompts are just that, prompts, interpret them as you will, or if you are stuck for inspiration just post a photo anyway!
  • You have until 7am GMT on 5th November 2014 to register for the giveaway on the widget below and to complete the photo challenge on instagram.
  • If you haven't registered on the widget you won't be elligible to win either of the prizes so you will just be doing the challenge for fun which is totally fine with me if it is with you.You can register at any time from 18th September 2014 but photo posting on instagram starts on 1st October 2014.
  • You don't have to post everyday but you do have to post all 31 photos by 7am GMT on 5th November.
  • Once the competition has closed a winner will be drawn by random using the giveaway widget, and emailed. I will then check you have completed all 31 photos, if not another winner will be chosen. The winners name will appear on the giveaway widget once closed.
Please note...there has been an issue with the giveaway widget not working which has resulted in no entries so I have swapped to the rafflecopter instead so please do enter you details below. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused :(

By submitting an entry to this giveaway you agree to the following Terms & Conditions:
  • You must post all 31 photos on instagram using #mrsbrimblesoctdaily
  • You need to be following me on instagram: @mrsbrimbles*You have until 7am on 5th November 2014v to register for the giveaway on the widget and to complete the photo challenge.
  • You don't have to post everyday but you do hve to post all 31 photos.
  • Once the competition has closed a winner will be drawn by random using the giveaway widget, I will then check you have completed all 31 photos, if not another winner will be chosen.
  • Open internationally
  • You must be over eighteen years of age or have parental / guardian permission.
  • I will package the item and will send in good faith but I cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to the item in transit.
  • This is the only prize - no alternative colours, no cash alternative.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Book Review - Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie

Gutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel
Author: Alix Christie

Available now to read on Kindle or in Paperback from March 2015

From the Back:

In the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press. Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old. Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it. 

My Review:

Oh my goodness, a book about books, to me that is just perfect as there is nothing more heartwarming to me than reading a book about books. My past favourite books like that to give you an example are  Inkheart by Cornelia Funke or The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard. So when I saw this book I was over the moon and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was very kindly sent this book to review via Bookbridgr, as you know I am very honest with my reviews and the fact that I got sent this for review does not alter my opinion in any way, shape or form!

OK so I was really excited to read this book, made even more so by the press releases that came with it, I mean they just looked fantastic and really wet my appetite forthis book. So I made myself a nice cup of tea and settled down for what I thought would be an engrossing read, I think I even said to Mr B "please do not disturb". As it was I found the book really dry and hard to get into, I tried on several occassions but it just wasn't doing it for me and for that reason the book took me a lot longer than I thought it was going to read.

I like historical fiction so I was not purturbed by that, what I didn't like was the dyness of it. I admit that we needed (probably) a lot of the political and historical information in order to set the scene and for us to realise what an immense under taking a project like this was at that time, however this could have been delivered in a more palatable way, not in a way that made methink back to the dull history lessons from my school days. There were a lot of historical facts and my brain just switches off to that sort of writing style.

I also felt that some of the character development and interaction was lacking and I feel that this may be due to the historical information that tended to be the focus.

The naration also changed from different perspectives which at times was a little hard to keep track of but interesting nonetheless.

Please don't let me review discourage you, as we all know we are all different and if a book heavily laden with historical facts doesn't phase you then you may well thoroughly enjoy this book.

NB: There is no video review to accompany this review as I just didn't feel like I could add anything extra. Any of the links in this post are not affiliate links. This review is my own personal opionion of the book as an honest review.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Supplier Spotlight - Pretty Paper Filo - Stationery & Filofax Goodies!

I am still not back to my regular posting schedule of books on Mondays, journal stuff on Tuesday, Filofax on Fridays and bonus stuff in between. I am still adjusting to my life being thrown upside down but I am getting there every single day, my physio starts tomorrow so hopefully I will be back in full swing again soon, I am certainly feeling almost like my old self again even if my left hand isn't.

I often get asked about where to buy things from or where I have purchased things from so I thought it might be fun to share a little of that. I am not sure as to the frequency or how often I will share, it is unlikely to be a weekly feature, more of an ad-hoc thing like some of the other content is on my blog and I like that. I like to share where I can so everytime I am really pleased with a supplier / product I will share it. I don't have any journal content to share today for Tuesday so why not share a Supplier Spotlight!

I wanted to share with you today a lovely lady who runs a lovely Etsy shop. Her name is Katrin and her Etsy shop is called Pretty Paper Filo. She is based in The Netherlands and sells the cutest stationery items as well as bits and bobs for your Filofax or day planner. Don't worry she does post internationally. Katrin is such a lovely lady and her items are fantastic so I wanted to share them with you. We have built up an online friendship and I love seeing her beautiful photos every day over on her instagram account. I love sharing companies, products and brands that I find that I love and I genuinely only share items that I love to boot.

Katrin makes dashboards and washi on the go cards for Filofaxes and she has the cutest designs, I really genuinely love them and wanted to share with you some of the ones that I have in both the personal and A5 size:

I have two other designs as well, a cute little giraffe and a lovely retro flower design. Don't ask me which is my favourite out of them all because I just can't decide, I love them all and the quality is outstanding.

I also have some of her stationery items but I haven't shown those as they are not in her current range of stock and I didn't want you to be disappointed that you could no longer get those particular items but I can assure you that if you head on over to her Etsy shop the items she does stock will not disappoint you! From her current stock (at time of writing) these are my favourites:

images from Pretty Paper Filo

From left to right (photo above):
1. set of 6 adhesive A5 sheets, perfect to make your own stickers!
2. 1 sheet of colourful woodland stickers (puffy) with a metallic shimmer
3. set of of 7 different sticky notes blocks

Some of the items that Katrin sells are from HEMA lines that are available in their stores and online shops. Katrin sells these items at cost price, the same as you would buy from HEMA yourself plus a mark up to cover the Etsy and PayPal fees. Katrin states in her shop that "This is a HEMA stationery item meaning that customers from the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium can and should order directly through their national HEMA online stores. My listing is meant for people from countries who do not have direct access to a HEMA online store."

Please do go and check Pretty Paper Filo out either on Etsy or on instagram and I am sure you will not be at all disappointed!

I hope you are all doing well. Autumn is well and truly in full swing here in my part of England. We woke up today to mist, lots of it and cold too. It is a good job I like those kinds of mornings I suppose. Enjoy the weather whatever it is wherever you are x

PLEASE NOTE: Any of the links in this post are not affiliate links. This review is my own personal opionion on the product / company and has not be sponsored or endorsed. The photography unless otherwise stated / credited is also my own.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

So many books, so little time!

I have got a problem. A fairly serious problem and it is this. I am addicted to looking at books on Amazon and adding them to my wish list. There I admitted it!

I don't know why but I love it, I find myself on Amazon from time to time looking at one thing or another and those little marketing rascals keep giving me reccommendations based on books I have purchased. Of course I can't resist just having a little peek at that book which then leads me on to the next one and so forth. I basically find myself reading book synopsis like I would blog posts. I read book synopsis' and it is like reading little mini stories. I swear that I spend more time reading thosethan I do actual books!

It all started one day when I wanted to buy a new book and was trawlling round trying to find one but nothing really struck my fancy. Then another time I came accross a book that I really liked the sound of but was not in the market to buy so I decided to save it for later and that is how it evolved. Every time I come accross a book that I would like to read I add it in there so I know I always have something that I can go too.

I was on Amazon today looking for an ISBN and started adding books to my list again but then I thought this is getting into one great big jumbled mess so I decided to sort my books into their own list seperate to all of the other things that I have on my main wish list like art supplis and stationery. When I saw them all in one great big list, all together I realised that there were quite a lot. 70 to be precise! Right so sometimes I read a book a week sometimes less so on average I suppose I probably read around 25 books a year so at that rate I have enough for around three years. Of course that does not take into consideration books that I pick up from charity shops or am given as gifts etc so realistically we are probably talking four years, then of course I will no doubt add more and so it goes on. I could end up with a lifetime supply of books to be read in my wish list, crazyness. Or is it? Well it is not harming anyone, it is a painless little addiction, it is not as though I beat myself up because I can't read them all in one go, it is not like a massive to do list to get stressed over, it is just for fun.

I love purusing the net for just about anything and I came across this mug and I think it is so me and just the quote that fits how I am feeling...I need it I really do!

In fact it comes in cushions and bags etc too but you know me I love my tea and I usually drink tea whilst reading so it fits! This is available from Risa Rodil on Society6.

It is true though really isn't it that there are just so many wonderful books out there far many than you could ever read in your lifetime, that is without re-reading your favourites. In fact I don't tend to do that much anymore as there are so many new ones that I want to read. The fun for me though is finding new books, I find it exciting but you know me, I love to journal and other things too so I stagger what I spend my free time doing and that is fine with me because I always know that there are books waiting for me when I am ready,

So what was the very last book that I added to my wish list...

So the last book that I added was The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender based on the book review that I watched from My life as a tea cup, who incidentally has wonderful reviews on her youtube channel. It sounded fantastic so on to the list it went.

If you would like to look at my list so you can see the types of books I like / want to read you are most welcome. Just click here. I want to share the addiction of finding new books to read, I mean if you find some good ones, why keep them to yourself is what I say. Please do bear in mind if you do look at my list, I have recently moved it all into its own seperate book list so you won't be able to see them in date order that I originally added them, they will all show as today.

How about you? Do you share a similar addiction for finding books? Please tell me it is not just me, oh and as always if you have any reccommendations I would love to know.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Book Haul - September 2014

I have been reading loads lately and I needed to replinish my dwindling stash so I have accquired more books!

I thought I would share my book haul with you all in case you were interested in what I will be reading in the upcoming weeks / months or if you are looking for some new book ideas. I love watching book hauls, that is how I get reccommendations for books to read myself.

That little lot should keep me going for a while :D

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Kawaii Box - September Reviewer of the month + GIVEAWAY!!

You know how YouTube works, that when you watch a video you get reccommended videos pop up on the right hand side of the screen, well I had been seeing Kawaii Box videos coming up over and over again. I decided one day to click on one and watch and I liked what I saw so I decided to head on over to the Kawaii Box website to find out more.

Whilst browsing the site I noticed a tab for bloggers which said that if you were a blogger you could apply to become a reviewer or unboxer of the month so I sent an email off to the to apply and I was delighted when they came back to me with a big fat yes. How exciting!

What is Kawaii Box? 

 Kawaii Box is the cutest monthly subscription service. Subscribe Now and  receive a box filled with hand-picked kawaii items from Japan and Korea directly to your home every month. Your box will be shipped in the beginning of each month and the shipping is absolutely free, anywhere on the planet! Each box includes 10-12 cute, original and licensed kawaii items.

Well the box arrived and it is now time to share with you my unboxing... Of course I video's the unboxing so please do watch the video if you would like to see more of the items and their scale etc.

So what was in the box?

In no particularly order, I liked all the things so I have just grouped the together for photographing purposes.

I received a key chain which has a double sided leather effect card wallet, this is really cute good quality and will come in really handy. Perfect for keeping your Oyster card in for the tube or other cards that you need on the go. Whilst Summer well and truly feels like it is over, this squishy, bright lollipop charm certainly made me feel summery. It is all squidgy and very fun indeed. And last on the charm side was this cute little doughnut with a sweet little face.

Next up was a box of sweet biscuit sticks. They are a lot like the Mikado that we get here in most supermarkets. They are thin, vanilla flavoured and truly scrummy! (I am eating them whilst I type this). I think alpaccas are so sweet so I am very fond of this cute little zip purse, perfect for keeping my sweetie money in! I have never used a phone plug before but now I have an adorable little kitty to use, or I might give it to my cat loving penpal as a surprise.

My most favourite thing in the box has to be these shoe laces with pink polka dot moustaches simply because I love to change out the laces in my converse ones for different ones when they get old and manky and these are super cute.

I also love the Alice band, do you think it suits me?

Loom bands are very popular at the moment and I have a few that I have made with friends children but never had any of my own, until now! The colours are fab. I also love the little fruit nail decals. They are miniture fruit slices, when my hand is better and I can do my nails again I can't wait to try these!

And lastly but by no means least, to satisfy the stationery lover in me there was this super cute bear notebook and the most adorable bear sticker flakes, I love them, I genuinely do.

Well that was everything that I received in my box which was the September box, some super cute items that I can't wait to play with. I think you will agree, good value for money if you were to tot the individual items up and I am not just saying that because they gave it to me. The box costs $18.90 (approx £12) a month with FREE international shipping so that makes each item just £1, pretty good when you look at it like that huh!

Kawaii Box are very kindly offering you on my readers the opportunity to win a free box all you need to do is enter via the rafflecopter giveaway below. Good Luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Review - The Salem Witch Society

 From the back cover:

Salem, New England, many dark nights ago.

It is a time of spells and shadows, of black magic and blood.

And the most famous witch hunt in history is about to begin...

Years later, a young woman is found savagely murdered, a pitchfork thrust through her neck, her body arranged in the shape of a star: the death pose of a witch. Someone - or something - is reviving the terror of the notorious Salem Witch hunts. And only one man - a brilliant, eccentric detective with a dazzling mind and a fascination with witchcraft - can keep the evils of the past at bay.

Rich in history, mystery, and witchcraft, The Salem Witch Society is a twisting, terrifying thriller - a dark fairy tale for readers who loved A Discovery of Witches and The Interpretation of Murder.

I love books about witches and about Salem, I find them fascinating I really do and I started this book with such excitement that I have to say I was a little bit disappointed and I really struggled to regain my enthusiasm, although I did tell my self to just keep on reading because the book may change and you might come to love it. My reason for this feeling of disappointed is not something that should neccessarily go against this book. I went into it thinking it was going to be full of witchcraft-ness but it wasn't, which is sad for me but for other people they may think this is a good thing.

The book starts out quite gory so if you don't like gory details the this one is not for you. There are some other gory aspects in the book but nothing particularly scary it is just that the author is quite graphic when it comes to detailing the murder scenes.

To be very honest I liken the whole book to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, as firstly the book starts out with a crime scene which is laid out with clues to unravel much the same way as Robert Langdon does in the Da Vinci Code. We then see the detectives in the rest of the book trying to solve the case and decipher the following murders. I am not really into crime / murder mystery books as a genre so I can only liken it to another book that I have read. the Da Vinci code, but if you like said book then you like like this book for sure.

I found the book a little heavy going at times and there were a lot of historical facts which for me also made it a little dry. I struggled to get my head around some of it at times, whilst very well written, I did find the volume of characters / suspects a little hard to follow, it doesn't help when I do most of my reading before bed I know.

It was an interesting read I will say that, it is not that I didn't like the book it is just that I started with misconceived ideas about what the book was about and I just don't like crime solving books that much. Go for it though if you do or if you fancy something a little bit different to your usual witch type book.

Let me know if you read this. I would love to know your thoughts.

Friday, 5 September 2014

So you wanna Filofax?

Hey Filofaxing friends, it has been a while now since I have done a 'proper' Filofax Friday but slowly but surely I am getting there. Well today is Friday and I am talking about Filofaxes so lets just call this Filofax Friday shall we lol.

Sorry it has been a long time coming, firstly they took a little while getting to me and secondly there was my accident but I finally have in my possession three brand spanking new beautiful Filofaxes to giveaway. Super duper exciting I think you will agree.

Thank you so so much for everyone who voted for me in the Pimp my Filofax challenge and also a big thank you to Filofax for firstly asking me to participate and secondly for providing such fab prizes. If you remember I gave the Filofax away that Filofax sent me to use. I was allowed to keep it if I wanted but I chose to give it away and I am pleased to say that it is now safely with Faye who is looking forward to getting cracking with her first ever Filofax.

So here, right now, I am giving away two of the Filofaxes. I love instagram and I love participating in the monthly photo challenges so I thought it would be fun to set one up for October and make the third Filofax the prize for that, so please stay tuned for that coming soon. I will post details both here on my blog and also on instagram so make sure you subscribe / follow to be notified of when that goes live. In fact I have more giveaways planned for this year so you are best to subscribe so you don't miss out on those too. If you are on Bloglovin you can follow me there or just follow by email on the right side of the blog ------->

So on to the prizes then...

Firstly we have the Pennybridge iPade Mini Case (A5 Raspberry) which retails on the Filofax website for £30.00

A grained leather-look zipped case to hold your iPad Mini securely. Designed for simultaneous paper and tablet use, the 360 degree rotatable tablet holder can be used for multiple viewing positions. Featuring internal pockets, a pen holder and an A5 notepad for keeping organised.

Left Hand Details: elasticated smartphone and card pockets, A5 notepad/document pocket, A5 ruled notepad with micro-perforated pages, elasticated pen holder.

Right Hand Details: 360 degree rotatable iPad Mini holder, which folds open to enable multiple viewing positions.

Closure Detail: zipped with leather-look zip pull
Height: 235mm
Width: 180mm
Depth: 30mm

I don't have an iPad, I am a kindle Fire user myself but if I did have one I would certainly give this a try as the quality is amazing and I like the idea of being able to have your note pad, pen and phone altogether in the same case. Personally, colour wise, the cobalt blue catches my eye.

If you would like to enter the giveaway to win the Pennybridge please use the widget below.  
To enter after you have added your email address and name make sure you click 'BEGIN' and then follow the instructions! It isn't that obvious so you need to look out for it - it is under the bit that says 'open to...' oh and liking on Twitter is optional not mandatory so if you are not on Twitter don't worry about it!


Next up and actually my favourite is the Personal Original in Purple. I have the nude patent and have well and truly found planner peace...well I did until I saw the purple. I love the original, everything about it really, in fact it is hard to articulate a feeling but I will soon as I keep promising to do a set up of that. One day soon I promise.

Made in England, crafted from thick leather and styled using the original Filofax look. Beautiful in its simplicity and available in a range of striking colours, The Original personal organiser has an iconic design and features a bespoke button on the leather strap closure. Matching keyrings are also available.

Left Hand Details: two credit card pockets, one vertical slip pocket, one multifunctional elastic holder
Right Hand Details: one jot pad pocket, one vertical slip pocket

Diary Type: week on two pages 12 month diary 5 language
Height: 188mm
Width: 134mm
Depth: 44mm

Closure Detail: leather strap with branded popper and colour matched gel finish cap
Pen Loop: two elastic pen loops
Ring Mechanism: 23mm

If you would like to enter the giveaway to win the Pennybridge please use the widget below. To enter after you have added your email address and name make sure you click 'BEGIN' and then follow the instructions! It isn't that obvious so you need to look out for it - it is under the bit that says 'open to...' oh and liking on Twitter is optional not mandatory so if you are not on Twitter don't worry about it!

Aren't they just fantastic prizes. I tell you it is so hard for me to give that original away, I love it so much, I so wish that was the one I was given to 'pimp' as I don't much care for the Cover Story. Am I jealous that some of the other participants got an original to keep heck yeah lol. Talking other other participants, don't forget to check out the other winners from the competiotion as they took have Filofaxes to give away...

DIY Fish: http://www.wondereland.com/diyfish/category/blog/
Letters in November: http://lettersinnovember.blogspot.com.au

Good luck everyone, see you soon x 


15th September 2014 (11:01)
Winner Announcement...

I am so sorry guys...when I created the giveaway I put 'follow on Twitter' as optional so I still thought this would enable everyone to enter but that I would gain new friends that I could follow on Twitter too. It turns out that is not the case and that if you entered the giveaway and didn't follow me on Twitter you were not a valied entry. I am so sorry, I didn't realise this and this was not my intention. So....rather than use the widget to only generate a winner from my Twitter followers, I took the total number of entries and put them into random.org to find a winner and then I manually told the widget who has won. I just wanted to let you all know this, to apologise for my mistake and to also say that I wanted to do this all fairly (by random) and I didn't want to upset anyone or anyone to think I had done this fraudulently. Congratulations to Lexi who won the ipad case and Barbara who won the purple personal. Both have been contacted and their prizes are on their way. I have more giveaways coming soon, so if you didn't win this time there are plenty more opportunities and I will know for next time re the Twitter follow. Thank you so much everyone for your understanding. x

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Write with Fizz

I recently received the Pilot Soda pen in a Linkys Stationery Box and I was really intrigued.  I hadn't seen this pen before and I hadn't heard or seen any hype or talk about it anywhere. I can see why it was chosen to appear in my Linkys box, it looks very me doesn't it.

Before opening I decided to inspect the packaging, the whole 'write with fizz' thing left me wanting to know more, it really did have me intrigued to say the least. I really thought that this pen was going to be glittery or scented, something a bit different to the usual ball point pen but nothing was glaringly obvious, well to me anyway. So if it wasn't glittery or scented what was all this 'fizz', 'soda' and 'strawberry' about? Why was it so important to be on the packaging if it had nothing to do with the pen?

Whilst I didn't find it strikingly obvious it in fact turns out that this pen has been recycled from an old water bottle thus making it eco friendly and hence all the terms about 'fizz' and 'soda'. I only really fully appreciate the full weight of this concept when I watched this promotional video on YouTube:

Ok so I have established that the pen is eco friendly and has been recycled from waste plastic drinking bottles, which is great news, I think we are all now more conscious of what we are doing to the planet and I am grateful to see more and more products being produced in a more environmentally friendly way. I did my bit with the packaging and made sure to put it into the recycling of course.

But what about it's credentials as an actual pen? Well I am very pleased to say that it is a very nice pen to use indeed. I am not entirely sure what it retails for but from what I can see from looking in various places online it is around the two pound mark, maybe a bit less. kind of middle of the road, everyday pen in terms of price.

The price doesn't quite translate to the quality though. This little pen surprised me no end. It was comfortable to hold and wrote silky smooth like a dream. I had to stop and check that this wasn't a gel pen, no it was the ball point version although they do make a gel one too. I could quite happily see myself writing all day with that pen, it was devine.

The colour I have is Red which you can see from the test below, does have a pink-ish tone to it, although looking at the packaging I thought it was going to be more cerise, the outer pen plastic and the strawberry on the front led me to believe this but no definitely more red than pink. Having looked on the Pilot website these pens are available in: Blackcurrant, Ice-mint Blue, Strawberry Red and Lime Green. I have to admit I would love to try all the other colours, especially the blackcurrant. The marketing department did their job well there, I mean who wouldn't be tempted to try a pen with a name like blackcurrant, a coloured pen at that...full of temptation and promise. I hope I can find one somewhere.

Now then, what everone in the planner and journalling community want to know is about the bleed through and how the pen takes to paper. I can tell you that this writes very smoothly and glides over the surface of many paper types so no problem there - I tried it on various types just to make sure. In terms of bleed through, you can see from the image below that even on the thin Filofax paper this is minimal and I did press quite hard.

To add to the eco credentials this pen is also refillable but I have yet to test that because it has lasted really well so far.

So definitely a thumbs up from me and a pen that I defiitely will be using lots of and want to buy more of. However I still can't help but feel disappointed that it wasn't glittery or fizzy. I think they were a bit too happy on the packaging but then how else would they get you to buy what looks like an ordinary pen?

I just thought I would share this with you as it is not everday that you stumble upon a gem like this.

Image from Pilot website.

PLEASE NOTE: Any of the links in this post are not affiliate links. This review is my own personal opionion on the product / company and has not be sponsored or endorsed. The photography unless otherwise stated / credited is also my own.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Update & Answers to your questions: book, journals & Filofax

Hi guys, I am back with a weekly update / chatty vlog! I am doing so much better and I am hoping that it won't be too much longer getting back to my old self again. I hope not because I have ideas for blog posts and videos coming out of my ideas and very frustrated that I can't do them lol!

I also put out on my social media accounts that I was bored and really wanted to make a video and to ask me any questions if you have any and you did so here are my responses (in two parts as I talk a lot!)