Will You Be My Valentine?

My sponsorship Valentine that is.

I would love to have you sitting on my sidebar for the month of February  You all know its the month of lurve and I will be giving you lots of that.

The Stats

Total pageviews - 48,532
Last months pageviews - 5,883
Average daily pageviews - 250
Readers via GFC and social media - 1,714
Average number of posts per week - 5

My prices are cheap, cheap, cheap and I do swaps too!

Go here to see what's available.

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5 Get Happy Tips

So I neglected you over the weekend again, but with good reason.

What do you think of the new design?! Its simple, but I'm super proud I did it myself. I just have the button to change now and we're all set.

I spent most all of the weekend helping my Mum clear out. Wow, that woman has a lot of stuff! It meant that I get to pick bits that she didn't want any more  hello vintage. By clearing out her room I cluttered mine, but its all good.

I've been feeling a little down lately. I know I'm not the only one in this situation, but not having a job is really getting me down. I have an interview for some work experience today and I'm really hoping I get that. Not only will it look great on my CV, but it will get me out of the house.

I was reading February's Easy Living magazine and there's an article on how to get happy right now. It got me thinking. What are the little things I do every day that make me happy?

1. Waking up, looking in the mirror and saying 'the glass is half full'. Doing this simple thing puts my mind on a positive track for the rest of the day. When pessimism rears its ugly head, as it sometimes does, I just tell myself I promised to see the bright side today.

2. Writing a thankful for list each and every day. I write a thankful sweetness list and link it up via Instagram/Twitter with Erin. It helps me focus what is good about not only today, but the wonderful life I lead.

3. Wear perfume. It doesn't have to be really expensive, as long as you love the smell, a pretty bottle doesn't hurt either. Spraying it on every day instantly makes me feel special, even if I'm only in sweats.

4. Doing something you love, if only for 10 minutes. For me its reading. I normally try and read for at least an hour, usually at night. It relaxes me. If I've had a tough day it takes me to places where I can forget about it all. What is the thing you love doing?

5. Invest time into your body. As you all know I've started eating healthier and trying to exercise more. What I've discovered is that it all takes time. You plan the menu, then shop, then put away, then cook, then exercise. By the time you've done everything you have to renew the cycle for another week, but its worth it.
What are your five get happy tips?

I had to share this one with you from the magazine. I made me laugh!

"Put a pen or pencil in your mouth (in the same way a dog carries a stick) so it has to smile. If your mouth in smiling, your brain thinks you are happy, and your mood changes."

I know your all trying this right now. Even better you're getting someone else to try it and laughing at them.

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Happy weekend friends!
Have an amazing one, and be fearless.
See you on Monday.

Friendly Friday Blog Hop #17

We had OVER 180 Blogs linked up last week!
Today with the Tennerys Friendly Friday

The Friendly Friday Hosts are:

Today with the Tennerys - 
Life on Peanut Layne

The {Not So} Facinating Life of Tabitha

Meet our Co-Hosts:

Eat.Enjoy.Live. - 

She started blogging as a creative outlet from the deary life of an unemployed girl.
She continues to blog "to keep in touch with friends, old and new, to keep me creating new things, and to be the change I wish to see."

Nanny2Mommy - 

She started blogging to keep track of her pregnancy with "Sweet Pea."
"My blog has transformed into the amorphous blog about my Couponing adventures, recipes disasters, product reviews, my weightloss journey, breastfeeding advocacies  and of course my life as a first time mom learning how to take care of my own family, one day at a time."

Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram

Sponsor Spotlight and Giveaway

Aren't you lucky things? Two giveaways in a month!

See those medium sized lovelies on my sidebar?

Today I've introducing them to you.

I've never really been into beauty blogs but this one, by S.D. I LOVE. It makes me so jealous, in a good way. I want to run out and by everything she uses!
Favourite post from this month - What's in my bag {makeup products}

Ah Mia, my BBF, bestest blogging friend. You have to go and say hi just to see how super cute her family are. She's a book lover just like moi, and couldn't be a nicer person to boot.
Favourite post of this month - That one time I almost got arrested.

*GIVEAWAY* - Journal and pen set.

I love Nicole she's so adorable, she also happens to be exploring New Zealand right now, LUCKY! She's an adventurous kinda girl too.
My favourite post of the month - Kauai Activites - Helpicoptor Tour.

*GIVEAWAY* - $10 Sephora giftcard.

Natasha is my favourite crafty gal. Struggling for creative ideas and inspiration? Head over to her blog and you'll be completely sorted. Every-time I read it I must spend an hour scrolling through everything :)
My favourite post of the month - Serenity Saturday: 70.

*GIVEAWAY* - Large ad space for 1 month.

If I need inspiration to get through the day or just a reminder that I'm not the only one out there Danette is my girl. Full of faith, hope and laughter, she's the friend every girl should have.
Favourite post of the month - 5 tips for building better relationships.

*GIVEAWAY* - Medium ad space.

Reality TV obsessive, gadget junkie and owner of the coolest corgi, Allana  is one lovely Lady. She has an eye for finding some brilliant products like this:
Favourite post of the month - Sangria.

*GIVEAWAY* - $10 Basin giftcard.

The winner will be announced on 28th January 2013, and contacted via e-mail. They have 48 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 Seeded Bars

These things are insanely good!

If I'm going to snack I like it to be something that fills me up, this does.
The whole family loved these, seriously loved. I have no doubt in my mind that I would make them again.

You can obviously use any seed mix you like. I used pumpkin, sunflower and sesame.

My only tip: Don't be afraid if the bars still look a little wet when you take them out of the oven. They will harden up as they cool.

3 Seeded Bars

Makes - 16
Calories per bar - 137

100g butter
4 tbsp golden syrup
2 1/2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
100g rolled oats
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
150g raisins

Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3 and grease a 20cm square cake tin.
Heat the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the butter has meted and the sugar has dissolved. This should take 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the oats, seeds and raisins and mix until combined. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then mark into 16 squares with a knife. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.

Have you linked up with 'Weigh In' yet?
I'll be linking up this recipe. Can't wait to give you my update next month.
How are you doing?

The Day I Bought WAY To Many Books

I think I finally did it. I never thought it would actually happen, but it has, I've overloaded on books.

Not really, I could never overload on books, but I probably did buy too many on Friday.

I haven't blogged for 3 days! Normally when this happens I feel like the blogging gods are going to shoot me down with lightening or something, but this time, I haven't cared. Even Facebook hasn't been update and Twitter's not been that much better.

So what have I been doing?

The answers; reading, crocheting (I finally taught myself), baking, having coffee dates, staying away from the cold outside. What have you been doing?

I loved this little unplanned blog break. I feel like I've lived this weekend and not via the internet.

Coffee date with Mum and our friend Karen.

 It snowed! Its still snowing..... #needtothawoutsoon

Isn't it lovely when wine gives positive messages? #valentines

 Cute vases I got for £1.99 #bargain

 My first ever attempt at crochet. I'm not entirely sure what it's going to be but I'm SO proud of it.

I told you I bought too many and I'm sorry you'll have to have your head in a weird position to move this, but I couldn't adjust it #stupidthingwouldntletme
Lucky I got all these from charity shops #abookloversfavouriteplace

I would love it if you could pray for my neighbour. She is in hospital and could really do with your prayers.

A Letter To Yourself

I've seen many of these posts around. I'm not going to write one.

I don't want to tell my younger self that life turns out not like she imagined, in a bad way.
I'm not going to tell her that she will be unemployed and still living at home at 25.
I'm not going to tell her that she will still be overweight.
I'm not going to tell her of all the heartache she's going to through.
I'm not going to tell her how lost she'll feel.

Then I got thinking; if I didn't tell my younger self all these things then I also couldn't tell her how proud I am of her.
That yes she will go through heartache, but come out the other side a stronger woman.
She will smile through the adversity she faces and encourage others to smile too.
She will have experienced so many things and have so many memories that having no job at 25 doesn't affect her that much.
That she can be anyone she wants to be.
She will 'meet' so many amazing people. Don't take them for granted.
She will re-discover God and her faith; that will change her life forever.

I want to introduce you to another girl with a letter, Mindy.

Hello! My name is Mindy & you can find me over at My Life As Mindy. I'm not very good at introductions, so I'll make this quick! I'm a High School Special Education teacher by day and a blogger by night {and most weekends!}. You can always find me with a prayer in my heart, a smile on my face and a large cup of coffee in my hand!

This year is my 10 year high school reunion {insert I'm closer to 30 then I am 20 sigh here}. I also just turn 29 {for the first time!}. I wrote this letter to myself originally as a way to see how much I have grown over the past 10 years, because I feel a person does the most changing between 20 & 30!

While part of me is glad that I those 10 years of experience behind me, part of me misses those days when I could just work, hang out with friends, sing in the choir and mostly just dream about life.
My life then was so different then it is now {rightly so}. Life is not necessarily better or worse then I expected- just different.
I know there are no take back or do overs. There is no way to go back then to tell my 18 year old self which choices to make, how to change or what to expect over the next 10 years.
If I could, here is what I would say.

  1. Your first boyfriend will break your heart. Things are not what they seem and you will make a lot of mistakes. However, you will survive and push on. You will become stronger, even when you think you are at your weakest lowest point. Just keep looking forward and learn from those mistakes.
  2. Realize that your dreams can and will change. Don’t give up on them or let people change your mind about them. Just know that they will change for the better and you will create new dreams as you move along your path. You will make your way back to your first dream.
  3. The flower shop will be the best job you will ever have, until you start working at the school district. Trust me. Don’t leave until then.
  4. The roles that people have in your life now will change over time. Some changes will be for the better and other changes will surprise you. However, everyone will still have a place in your heart.
  5. You will meet some amazing people, who you will wonder how you ever survived without them in your life. However, don’t discount anyone’s role in your life- because they are all there for a reason.
  6. Get to know your Mom, Papa Bud, Papa Rees & Grandma Rees as best as you can. They won’t be there in 10 years to talk to. You will miss your family daily.
  7. Embrace who you are and don’t try to change because you feel like people want you to be someone else.
  8. The man your Mom wanted you to marry {when you were 17} will turn out to be the love of your life. Wait for him. He is worth it.
  9. You inner circle of friends will be made up of an amazing group of women.
  10. You are beautiful. Love yourself the way you are and don't try to change it.
What would you be able to tell yourself at 18? Leave me a comment & let me know!

Literary Junkies

Pink Heels Pink Truck

Its Literary Junkies time again, and the first one of 2013!

I need to once again thank Lesley and Taylor for coming up with the idea, although I am a little jealous that it wasn't me who thought of it.

On to this months questions.....

1. Which book could you read over and over? Why?


'The End of Mr Y' by Scarlett Thomas. This is one of those books that you have to read over and over again. If you only read it once you could have missed out on a whole plot line. 
In the book there are a least four pages that try to explain to the reader complicated elements of quantum physics in great detail. I must have read those pages at least 6 times!
Don't let the quantum physics put you off though, it really is a fantastically written book and such a good read. There is nothing worse than reading a book for a second time and being bored with it, this wouldn't happen with 'The End of Mr Y'. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader happy for many revisits.

2. If you could be any character from any book you've read, who would you be?

I have completely no idea about this one. One minute its Cathy from 'Wuthering Heights' and the next its Celia from 'The Night Circus'. It all depends on my mood. Sometimes, when I'm reading a book I feel like I'm morphing slightly into a character; does that happen to you?

3. Do you ever put a book down because you just can't get into it? Or do you stick it out to the bitter end? Any examples?

You're wasting time reading a book you don't like when you could be devouring an amazing one.
I'm awful, I totally judge books by their cover. I go on that and the reviews. If a review says its beautifully written I usually buy it whether I like the plot or not.
Unfortunately, and maybe not so surprisingly  book covers lie. There have been many a time when I just couldn't carry on with a book. The whole Harry Potter saga for instance, sorry people but I just can't stomach it.

4. Show us your book shelves! Do you have one designated spot in your house for all your books? Do you scatter them around?

My room is my haven and the place I read. 
I have a single book shelf for books. It happens to be the top shelf which I can't reach so have to get my little brother or Dad to get me a book down. Its only small so when it gets too full I take out the books I am happy to part with, they go to the charity shop and I buy more books to fill the gaps :)
I also have the book I'm currently reading right by my bed.

Once again great questions Ladies!

If you want to read more about my book choices, I'm on Goodreads.

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