Thursday, January 2, 2014

13/13 The Wrap Up

The lovely Rachel at Little White Dove threw out the Challenge to read 13 books in 2013 and of course I thought No problems, I read more than that easily.  Well imagine my surprise when I realised it wasn't as easy as all that and that actually I didn't read as much as I thought I did.  In my defence, starting a new business and studying has rather eaten into my reading time in the last 12 months.

I am delighted to say that I completed the challenge in November 2013 with a month to spare and haven't managed to finish a book since so my tally for 2013 stands at 13 new books with a few re reads that I didn't note down.

You can see Rachels wrap up post here and in it she speaks of something new for 2014.  Watch this space as I may be foolish enough to join in.

1 I'm Okay You're a Brat - Susan Jeffers
2 A Trail of Fire - Diana Gabaldon
3 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families - Stephen Covey
4 The Law of Nines - Terry Goodkind
5 THE FIRST CONFESSOR: The Legend of Magda Searus - Terry Goodkind (ebook exclusive)
6 The Giving Quilt - Jennifer Chiaverini
7 Mans Serach for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
8 The Golden Louise Hay Collection - Louise Hay
9 The Richest Man in Babylon - George S Clason
10 The Omen Machine - Terry Goodkind
11 The Third Kingdom - Terry Goodkind
12 Taking Flight - Merrick Rosenberg
13 The Fast Diet - Dr Michael Mosley

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Surprise Spring Dolls Quilt Swap

Last year I took part in a Dolls Quilt Swap for the first time and you may remember I made a Peacock Quilt.  Well this year in among a lot of assignments and study and christmas present making and business marketing I signed up for another.

This one is being run slightly differently in that we all send off a Spring themed dolls quilt and we get one sent back to us.  It is completely random this year and we don't have one specific person to make for.  I loved this idea as it meant I could whip something up quite quickly.  A must given I had 7 assignments to complete in November.  The deadline was 30 Nov and mine went into the post on the 28th Nov.

Anyway, because I don't have to wait for my recipient to receive their parcel this year I can reveal it now.

I used scarps from Jots quilt (which was meant to be for her birthday and will now be lucky if she gets it for Christmas) as when I think of Spring I think of Rainbows.  I originally had grand plans to do appliqué and piecing and then I returned from holiday to find a study crisis and a lot of work to be done.  My elaborate plan went out the window and still using the same scraps I went very simple.  And I love it.

Hopefully whoever gets it out of the hat will also love it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

13 in 13 Challenge - Completed!!

Yay! I have actually completed a challenge I started in January.  For those of you who know my history, I am not very good at that :).

Little White Dove

The 13 in 13 challenge has been run this year by Little White Dove who challenged us to read 13 books in 2013.   The details can be found here.  Anyway I am very excited to say I have now finished my 12th and 13th books for the year - what a blessing a holiday is.

While we were away in Thailand and ploughed through a couple of 'work' books to help me create the programs for my coaching clients and I won't bore you with all of those but one of them I loved and it really took my fancy how it was writtent so book number 12 is:

Taking Flight - Merrik Rosenberg

This book is split into two parts.  The first is a fable of the birds in the forest and how they learn to honour each others strengths and weaknesses and how to work together in a time of need.

Part 2 is the information behind the fable.  The four personality types, their traits, strengths and weaknesses and how to work with them to form a better relationship either in work or at home.

Having studied Extended DISC back in May and now being an accredited Extended DISC consultant and trainer it was fascinating to read the information I already knew from a different perspective.  I love this book and it is a great way to get a understanding of the DISC model and how it can help you change your life.  I actually recommend it to a lot of my clients who are interested in this area.

Book 13 was one my mum gave to me to read, although she did say not to start it till after CT has weaned.  However I have started it and in fact finished it and CT has not yet weaned (I am letting him do it at his pace).

The Fast Diet - Michael Mosley

The Fast Diet: The secret of intermittent fasting - lose weight, stay healthy, live longer

This is a diet book (obviously from the title) with a bit of a difference.  It is about Intermittent Fasting and the benefits it can provide both with weight loss and with your health, such as stabilising blood sugars.  I honestly found this completely fascinating and seeing the change in my parents since they started this has convinced me to give it a go.

The basic premise of the Fast Diet is that you eat completely normally for 5 days a week and for the other 2 days you limit yourself to 500 calories (600 for men).  The 2 days 'fasting' are recommended to not be consecutive days as mentally it is easier to restrict yourself if it is only for one day at a time.  Easier to not eat that bit of chocolate today knowing you can eat it tomorrow :).

There is a Horizon show on SBS called Eat Fast and Live Longer by Michael Mosley on this very book and topic being shown on Monday 11 November 2013.  

So there we have it.  13 books read and still 2 months of the year left.  I doubt I will get much more reading in this year as I have discovered I need to get 6 assessments in to college by the end of the month!  Time to get my nose to the grindstone methinks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 & 11 in 13 in 13 challenge

I really didn't think I would have a chance to blog again this week (there is so much going on right now) that I am pleasantly surprised to be able to blog the next 2 books for my attempt at the 13 in 13 challenge.  The best bit is that now the end is in sight I really think I can do this.

I seem to have mentioned that Terry Goodkind is one of my favourite authors and I was delighted to find that he had a new book out.  I was even more excited to discover that it was the second in a series and I had somehow missed the first of the series when it came out in 2011.  I have got no idea how it happened but  it meant I got to read the first two books of this new Richard and Kahlan story together.  I do have to admit to choosing these books over some prep work I had to do which I am now going to cram into tomorrow morning instead.  It was worth it.

Book 10 - The Omen Machine, Terry Goodkind & Book 11 - The Third Kingdom, Terry Goodkind

These books follow on from The original Sword of Truth series of 12 books.  The story picks up again about a year (give or take) after the end of Book 12.  It is about a threat to the people of D'Hara in the form of Prophecy and of a machine (the Omen Machine) that is discovered that seems to be creating the prophecy.  And a threat to Richard and Kahlan personally in the form of a Hedge Maid called Jit.  That book ends with Richard killing Jit to save Kahlan and them both suffering ill effects of the way that was done.

What I loved about the book was that all the characters were there.  All the people I grew to love in the Sword of Truth series were there and as opinionated as ever.  It left us with a cliff hanger that of course we knew was going to be solved in book 2 (spoiler: it wasn't)

What I didn't like about the book was that he seems to have got even more wordy.  None of his book could be called short and that is great, however I found in this one that I struggled with some of the lengthy explanation stuff.

So onto The Third Kingdom.  I got terribly confused at the start of this as it did not pick up where the first book left off (and there was a reason for this) which was highly annoying but did make me turn the pages faster to discover why that was the case.

This book continues the story in a somewhat round about way (and I was glad to have had read the First Confessor as that really lays the foundation for this story) which Richard and Kahlan (having been saved by their friends currently about to be eaten by cannibals with their friends no where in sight.  Needless to say as the book unfolds we discover what happened to the friends and are eventually (like in the last 10 pages) reunited with them.

I loved this book because of its twists and turn including the confusing one at the start, I loved the way it ties in the stories of the Word of Truth and the First Confessor very well.

What I didn't like about this book was the way he could without warning kill off one of my favourite characters (poor brass buttons) and then send one of the three main characters (who have in some form or other been together through 11 of the first 12 books) off on her own.  I am hoping that we will see her again soon.

So now I need to sit back and wait for another two years before book 3 comes out and hope he ties up some weird loose ends cause this guy is good.

I am also trying to decide if I want to purchase them all for my kindle or whether I buy the actual books.  I love the paper books but I also love the fact that with these big books the kindle makes them portable.  No way I would take these on holiday for example in their paper format but on a kindle, well that's another story.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jot Turns 5

Well next week she does and she has turned into the most bossy person I know (and that is saying something!).

A couple of weeks ago when discussing her Birthday Party she decreed that the cake had to be a princess unicorn fairy garden cake!  Specific much?  Anyway I headed over to Pinterest and discovered that danger lurks behind every image. 

I found this one (from )

Which looks amazing

And this one (from

I am not going to even post some of the other totally amazing and way out of my skillset cakes there were out there.  Besides which I got distracted (as you can on Pinterest) and discovered this beauty for my birthday in December.

Image from

I will post a party round up over the next few weeks so stay tuned to see how my cake measured up :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

8 & 9 of 13 in 13 Challenge

Where have I been?  Well not reading that's for sure.  I think it is pathetic that I have only read two books in the 6 weeks.  Hopefully I will catch up when I am on holiday in October.

The Golden Louise Hay Collection by Louise Hay

I'm actually wondering if I can count this as three books as it does contain three of her best sellers.  You can Heal your Life, You can Heal your Body and The Power is Within You.  I truly enjoyed this book and it really resonated with me.  In fact I have now bought a copy for my book shelf.

While reading it it prompted me to make a couple of changes in my life and that is a good thing.  All three books talk about how you can make a difference to your life and health by changing your thinking and letting go of the past when it is holding you back.  It is a little controversial for some people as she claims you can cure yourself of any disease including Cancer if you are willing to change your thinking.  I personally loved it and there is a lot in there that is just common sense.

I did get the most out of the third book in the collection The Power is Within You and most of those little tabs you see are in that section.  I am hoping my personal copy arrives before this on has to go back to the library so I can transfer all the sticky tabs.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason

This is a great little book (be warned the writing is tiny) that gives you some incredibly sensible and easy steps to building your wealth.  It is NOT a get rich quick book but gives practical advice for growing your wealth over time.  I love the first step which is to always pay yourself first by putting aside 10% of all your income to start building your wealth.  Guess who is putting that into practice right now.

Only four books to go and 4 months to do it in.  I still feel I might complete this challenge which I think will be the first one I have ever managed to complete.

In other news I am behind on my sewing this year but steaming ahead with the new business and absolutely loving it. I won't bore you all with it here except to say that the only downside to loving what you do is that it is hard to put it aside for long enough to do the other things you love like quilting.

I have a quilt for Jot to finish in the next 4 weeks for her birthday and then one for my nephew for his birthday in January (and have no idea yet what I am going to do with that one) as well as whip up two quilts for childcare workers for Christmas and a number of other childcare worker gifts.  I can see myself having to put time in the diary to sew or I will never get to it :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Quilting - Finally

I have finally been at the machine again and in fact now that both quilts have been received I can even show pictures.

This one was for my nieces 6th birthday.  The plan was to give all my nieces and nephews a quilt for their fifth birthday but I got completely confused last year and missed one.  Whoops.  Never mind she has it now and loves it.  It is rather too hot in the UK right now for it to get much use but I am pretty sure it will be used a fair bit in the winter.

The second one is for a gorgeous family who I know online through my mothers group with CT and who have a lovely little girl who is rather sick at the moment.  I made the quilt big enough for at least 2 people at any one time so they know that their friends are thinking of them.

Apologies for the picture quality.  They didn't look as dark on the camera and I am not in the mood to fiddle with them right now.