Blogger Book Swap Reveal

My reason for being away from blogging for a few days is that I just purely didn't feel like blogging.
I am back though, and I have a nice way of catching up with Blog Every Day In May tomorrow, so check back in.

Today though I am revealing the goodies I got from the lovely Sara.


I was going on holiday so we decided to send our parcels to each other pretty early on in the swap. After exchanging a few e-mails and realising our taste in books isn't exactly similar it was time to shop. 
I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time picking things for her. For me though she got it all right.


To be honest I'm always excited when I get something through the mail. Knowing it was books just made me rip it open faster.



These are amazing. Never lose your place, like, ever! As you can see I took one out and started using it immediately. 


How lucky am I, and how kind is Sara? We both agreed to send each other second hand books and I got 3 of them no less. I can't wait to read every single one. I'm halfway through 'The Book of the Unknown' and it is completely brilliant.

Thank You Sara for picking some amazing reads, and ones I haven't seen in the UK yet. 

*happy dance*

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What school doesn't teach

Haters gonna hate.

Lets face it, there are just some people who we don't need in our lives; you know the ones. 

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Yes, I'm Opinionated

Ask anyone who knows me personally and they will tell you I am the most opinionated person they know.
Pushing my own opinions onto someone else, and belittling someone else's opinion are things I am trying to work on, but it isn't always easy.

The two issues that will always get me ranting?

Racism and immigration. 

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I can't stand racism in any form. I hate racist jokes. My family know not to say anything racist, even if they find it funny, because it just sparks something off in me.
I've always been a fighter for the underdog, and hearing someone hating on something a nothing person cannot change just infuriates me.

We were all put on this earth for a reason, and I know we're not all going to get along, but you have to show respect. As a human race if we don't respect each other, even though it may be hard at times, we have nothing. 

As for immigration. I really am going to get on my soapbox here. I once had a half hour debate with the owner of a fish and chip shop because he said something nasty and I wasn't going to stand for it.

This rant is really for the people who say 'close the boarders to EVERYONE'.

I know something needs to be done about immigration; I'm not that naive. I know we can't let everyone through our boarders, and I respect that, but I've seen the other side. I've sat with children who came to the UK through asylum and have nothing. I mean it. Every single member of their family was killed by a bomb. They don't even know how to brush their teeth because they are used to doing it with a stick. I have seen the pain in there eyes, and the hope for a better life.
The government have just decided, thank goodness, to let the translators who helped our soldiers in Iraq have visas. I just don't understand people who are against this. They helped, no, fought for our country, next to our soldiers. If they stay in their country they might be killed, not granting them a visa doesn't even enter my head. 

Yes there are people who abuse the system, but cutting off those who really need the help is wrong. 
If I was in the situation where I had a apply for asylum, I would be hoping for a better life too.

Really, I could continue, but I don't want to bore you all day with my opinions. Glad you got to see this side of me though.
What are you ranting about?

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Into the archives

This is possibly my favourite prompt from the whole of this challenge. 
I never link back to old posts, bad blogger right?
We end up spending all this time taking pictures, editing them, and writing posts, all for them to be displayed for 24 hours and then forgotten about. 
Well today we're taking a look back into the archives at what we'v gotten up too.

We celebrated my 24th birthday, and now I'm heading towards my 26th.

We made Cantucini near Christmas, because it reminds me of my Italian 'family'.

You learnt just how talented some of my friends are.

The cute heart garland we made was perfect for Valentines Day.

You got a first glimpse of my book obsession.

I actually still wear the sailors knot headband we made.  

Vanisha and I did our couch talk sessions, and invited you to join in.

This is still one of my all time favourite sandwiches. You loved it too!

We made sure even the dogs were celebrating Christmas.

I treated you to the first printable I've ever created.

I forget how much fun we've had over the months. May it continue!

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'Because you're worth it'

We're friends here, so I'm just going to take them time to be very honest and open in that space.

I laugh when I hear beautiful women say that line; 'because you're worth it'. It kind of makes me cringe, and ask myself thousands of questions. The main one always being; what if I don't think I'm worth it?

This is the thing I struggle with every single day. I don't wake up and go to bed thinking it, but there will always be a point in my day when I think 'there is no point doing that Helen, you're not worth'.
I know most of you are probably sitting there horrified seeing me write this, but it's just a fact I've come to live with.

From reading this blog you may have pictured me as:

Someone comfortable in their own skin
Someone confident
Someone happy with themselves
Someone who has themselves sorted
Someone who knows where they are going
Someone happy.

You would be wrong.

Some days I think I'm over feeling like this. Some days I feel so consumed by it. Other days I feel like its all just a big excuse for the mistakes I've made. 

I am trying. Trying to not feel like this. Trying to make a better life, better self, better situation.

I need to stop blaming myself. I've made mistakes, huge ones, but I've also come back from those, and they do not define me. They have not made all the other bad things happen. I am not to blame.

I wish I could believe this right now, but for the moment I think I'm just going to continue on this carousel.

NB: It is one of 'those' days.

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Five Fav's

I have 4. 4 blogs I read religiously .

These 4 have supported me since the beginning, and I am blessed to be able to call all of them friends.

If you love it here, you will love these beautiful ladies.



I know I've featured Trinity before, but she deserves another mention.
Reasons you should visit her: Read her blog and you know she has a sweet soul, get to actually know her and you realise just how sweet that soul is. She will make you roar with laughter at all the things her family gets up too. I've always thought ready Ramsay Grace was like reading your best friends diary (I wouldn't) without all the juicy bits.
NB: I went to look for links, and ended up reading for 20 minutes. This will happen to you too!



Christie is one of the bloggers who really helped me when I was finding my feet in faith again. Her whole family (including the new addition) has such a heart for the Lord, it is inspiring.
Reasons you should visit her: Their adoption stories are just the most wonderful things; I loved being apart of bringing their new baby girl home. There is always a giveaway or two going on. She also happens to have the kindest heart.


Out of all these Ladies I've actually known Vanisha the longest. We actually did a little project together a while back. She is constantly inspiring me to get out there, discover the world, not to let those little fears hold me back.
Reasons you should visit her: The relationship between her and her husband, Patrick, is just completely magical. She has a uncanny sense of style that I wish I could steal off her. She writes in such a eloquent way that you just want to carry on reading, and reading. Oh, and she takes the most beautiful pictures.


Now you probably know Kelly and if you don't, where have you been?
Reasons you should visit her: THAT smile. How could you not want to be besties with her? She eats healthily, but also enjoys life. Using her recipes doesn't make you feel like your on a diet. Her recipes. That's it. If you go to her site for nothing else, go for the recipes. Not only that, but she's a Tone It Up sister as well. 

As for a fifth blog; I don't have one.

I'm on the lookout to discover new blogs.

Comment with your link below, and I'll come and say Hi.

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'You're Done'

I don't recall very many of my early childhood memories. They all seem to have merged into a big fuzzy ball I can't seem to work out.

I do remember this story vividly though. It is something my Grandma told my Mother, my Mother told me, and I will tell my children. It is simple, but beautiful, and something that has and will always stay with me.

The little impression we all have above our top lip, is where God touched us and said 'you're done'. 

Ever since I heard this story I can't help but smile every time I see the impression in the mirror.


Tell me a story from your childhood.

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A picture of contentment


This is my favourite picture of me. It also happens to be the most recent picture of me; taken 3 days ago in fact.
I have no make-up on, no fancy clothes, my hair is simply pulled back, and it is taken on a phone. Still is it my favourite picture.

I look into this girls face and I simply see contentment. Sure I look into her eyes and I see a lot of things she wish she could change, but she also knows that it takes time.

I could have picked a photo from my Uni days, when all my friends were close by, and all I had to worry about was getting an essay in. I've changed since Uni though, in a good way. I've grown up, and despite my flaws, and my current situation; I love the woman I am today.

What do you see when you look at recent pictures of you?

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Its not such a bad 'lot'

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Something difficult about my 'lot' in life, and how I'm overcoming it.

I am not looking forward to writing this one.

I woke up positive today for the first time in a long time. I want to keep it that way for the rest of the day.

I try not to think about my 'lot'. Well, I think about it, everyone does, but I try not to dwell on it.
We all get told; 'there is always someone in a worse situation than you'. We are selfish though, and time, and time again we don't take heed of this simple advice. 

Today I'm taking heed.

There are a lot of things that bother me about my 'lot'. I really could bore you to insanity with them, but I'm not going to.

I am so blessed to be loved by so many people.

I have faith that God has something amazing planned. He is testing me right now, but only because he knows it will shape me into the person I am supposed to be. Prepare me for the great plans he has. Katlyn put in perfectly in her post.

So I am not going to vent, rant, cry, and get angry. I am going to be thankful for what I have and pray for those who are in worse situations. 

Carrying on with the positive flow right now I have the pleasure of introducing you to Stacey from Glued To My Crafts.


What are the 3 things you love about summer?

  1. Warmer weather.
  2. Flip flops.
  3. Snow cones.

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A day in cups of tea

Because I am always super late to the party, this post is super late too.

Why cups of tea instead of hour by hour? Well, I love tea, and my favourite magazine (The Simple Things) does an awesome 'my day in cups of tea' feature every month.
I thought I'd steal the idea, and give you a glimpse into my boring, but lovely day.

The story of an unemployed girl written by the teabag


8:30am - Morning fuel. French toast and tea.


10:05am - Desk job. Applications galore.


12:55pm - Break time. Slight procrastination with an episode of Game of Thrones too.


3:33pm - Back to work. Poser.


7:43pm - Bath time.


8:45pm - Relaxing. A couple hours of reading and my day is done.

What does your day look like in cups?
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10 steps to happiness


walks with my dog
the beach
flowers
spending time with  my mum
books
sunshine
the theatre
spending time with my Italian 'sisters'
baking
having new experiences

What does your happy look like?

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The missing piece: An apology of sorts

I'm going to attempt to write this post without crying. You also get a two for one :)

Today's prompt - what do you miss? (someone, something, a place in time etc.)

The someone is this handsome man. My Great Grandfather (That is me he's holding).


Oh how I wish I had had the time to get to know him better. All my adolescent life I've been plagued by the feeling that I just don't belong. In this body, this city, this situation. Personality wise I wasn't like any of my close family {you notice the 'was' in that sentence. I have now officially turned into my Mother.}
Then I started asking more and more about my Great Grandfather, and the more I heard the more I started to realise and understand that I am him. Not literally obviously, but all my passion, ambition and fire I get from him. 

So, my 4 absolute loves in life are:

  • Education.
  • History.
  • Travel.
  • Being an ambassador for the underdog.
Not only did he attempt to get his Jewish lecturer friend and his family out of Nazi Germany at the start of WWII, he also set up the historical society in Bakewell, was one of the first founders of the WEA (Workers Education Association). He also travelled the world lecturing, was a keen hiker/climber, and wrote some amazing poetry.


I had 7 blissful years with him, and I am so thankful for them. Even though he was completely blind by this point in his life, he still let me drag him around. He lived to be 102, and I only hope I can last that long.

To say I am proud of this man is a complete understatement  and I smile when I think of all the things I would have asked him if he was still here.

Now for day thirteen's apology.

To make this funny or serious has been my one major dilemma when writing these posts.

I could apologise for...

Not being a consistent blogger.
Not being the most social of people when friends ask me to go out.
Taking a month to reply to that e-mail when all you needed was a one word answer.
Taking a pizza out of the freezer because I'm too tired lazy to cook dinner.
Spending more time daydreaming than actually getting on with tasks.

What I am going to apologise for is lying. Don't all gasp in shock, this is a confession.

I used to lie. To be honest I would be lying if I said I didn't now, but I try not too.
It is something I have a personal battle with every single day. I find it so hard to be the best person I can be, does that sounds silly? There seems to be something built into me that tries to turn me off the right path.

I used to tell big lies. Lies that I thought made me look better, made people proud of me. I don't do that anymore. All it ever did was get me into trouble, and I've had enough of that to last me a lifetime.

I'm apologising to my family. We may all be in a pretty messed up situation right now, and I am deeply sorry if my past actions have caused any of it. 
I am moving forward to my own tune, with God my my side, and the love of good companions.

I don't need to create a false life, the one I have is pretty darn amazing.

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Share the love blog hop



Share the Love Blog Hop is here!! Yeah!!


Every month Share the Love blog hop will be on both Serenity You and Sew Much Crafting along with the co-hosts

Rules:
1. Please follow your hosts @ number 1 & 2 and The co-hosts at number 3 - 10.  And any others that you like.
2. Please leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you are a new follower and found them on 'share the love blog hop'
3. Link up your blog's Home page
4. Copy and paste the code at the bottom into a new post on your blog (optional)
5. Have fun!!

I am scheduling co-hosts now. June is already full,
so if you would like to be a co-host in July email me at serenityyou@hotmail.co.uk

{HOSTS}

Natasha @ Serenity You

Danielle @ Sew Much Crafting

And here are this Months Co-Hosts 



So come get your linkin on!!

Please use the hashtag #ShareTheLoveBlogHop when posting on twitter

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That time I flashed the window cleaner

I knew out of all the posts you'd click on this one.
You want to laugh at the misfortune of me flashing the window cleaner.

I have never, ever, ever been so embarrassed. Especially because I had to pay him afterwards.
I really am going to keep this one short and sweet. 

It's pretty simple so let's relive it......

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It was a hot day and I hadn't heard the window cleaner. Normally you can hear their ladders banging on the side of the house, but not this time. I went up to my room to get changed. 
Stupidly I thought oh no one's looking it doesn't matter if I just change my top. I was wrong.
I had my top halfway over my head before I heard him spraying water on to the window. I actually walked out of the room with my top up because I didn't want him to see my face.
Having to answer the door and pay him afterwards was the most humiliating thing. All he could do was smile at me. 
I did learn my lesson though. I now firmly close the curtains before I get changed.

OK now I have confessed. How about you?
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Fitness tea

This is my first time posting from my phone, and it could be a complete disaster. Here goes....

A moment in my day. As I'm on holiday I thought I'd share a couple of pics.
Keep checking Instagram (link on the right) for updates.

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