When Life Gives You Lemons…

Hey everyone. You may or may not have noticed my absence recently. Truth is I have been extremely unwell. In the last 6 weeks I have spent just over 4 in hospital having various operations and I am currently 10 days post op from a very major complex surgery.

As such my blog and life have been neglected and I’m just beginning to pick everything back up.

I’ve been re-evaluating things during this period, there is nothing like a quick glance at possible death to make you filter what’s important to you deep down and what isn’t and I’ve realised a few things.

I love my blog and it’s one thing I really want to continue writing, however, I will be adding the occasional ‘this is my life post’ rather than posts purely about books/writing/stationery. I hope you don’t mind, and those who do feel free to bypass.

It’s been a dark few weeks but things are looking brighter and I intend to share that with you. I’m chosing to make a Lemon Cheesecake with the lemons life has given me lately.

I’ll be back soon with a proper content post. Until then stay safe, enjoy life and grab yourself a slice of cake:)

Emma-Louise x

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Book Tour: Losing Myself by Victoria J Brown {Review}

Today I have a review for Victoria J Brown’s book Losing Myself. Losing Myself is the sequel to Holding Myself.

Blurb…

Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood.

To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough?

Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

Review…

After reading the first book which I enjoyed (you can see my review here) I was really looking forward to see how Kat’s story progressed. 

All the way through I felt so sorry for her, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. 

I really felt like I could relate to her, more often in life we have more town’s than It’s and this was a more realistic story to follow. There was no Knight on a white horse ending, it just simply was as it is. 

We saw Kat develop into a more rounded person and come to terms with loss of not just her business, her friend and her partner but of the single person without children. Kat took on the new roles in her life with dignity and grace despite been utterly heartbroken. 

We see her sister go through turmoil and I would personally love to have a story which focused around that and her as a main character, perhaps a novella. It was be such a good read. Kat struggles to make sense of the world in which her sister is lost too but does what she feels she can all the way through. 

I really enjoyed this and it is far from some soppy romance. It’s realistic and shows that despite going through the worst of times we can all come out on top. 

I would rate this book 4/5. Brown’s writing style flows perfectly and interest in the page never wavers. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Vogue’s 73 Questions

I was tagged by the lovely Debbie over at My Chaoctically Eclectic Life to take part in the Vogue’s 73 Questions tag and you can see her answers here

1. What’s your favourite movie?

Not sure if I can pick just 1 movie. My favourites are; Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Legally Blonde, Pitch Perfect, American Mary 

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?

How To Be Single

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?

Haven’t seen one.

4. A book you plan on reading?

I have a huge TBR pile but the ones I am really looking forward to are Our Dark Duet by V.E Schwab and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

I don’t think any if them positively shaped me but we did read Lord of the Flies and it’s stuck with me to this day.

6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?

Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, The 100

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?

About a 6, I don’t really have a lot going on but I am on a path to seek a better future.

8. iPhone or Android?

Android

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram, I do love Twitter though . Both are very different.

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

Hmmm, honestly Debbie who tagged me. The new blog relaunch and splitting with her other one is fantastic. 

11. What’s your favourite food?

Chicken

12. Least favourite food?

Heart, Liver, Blood urgh

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Pepperoni and cheese

14. Favourite drink?

Hot choc or Tea:)

15. Favourite dessert?

Rice Pudding, Apple Crumble, Lemon Cheesecake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk

17. Coffee or tea?

Tea, I like coffee but not often

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?

What a question, there are many parts that are hard. Right now keeping all of my children from killing each other is probably the worst part.

19. What’s your favourite band?

This is a hard one as I genuinely love lots of different bands. Foo fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars, Ed Sheeran are just a few.

20. Favourite solo artist?

Ed Sheeran

21. Favourite song?

I have many favourite songs, it totally depends on my mood. I’m loving Ed Sherman’s Bloodstream at the moment.

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Ed 😍

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

I learnt to play the drums at college but I’d love to play guitar or violin.

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

I already have 6 tattoos but I’d like another few more. On my left shoulder, right inner arm and my right foot.

25. To be or not to be?

That is the question

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs, but I own two kittens

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

Whale-watching 

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?

Debbie bought me a ticket for a planner event for March 2018

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?

I’ve just bought my friend a Night Court charm bracelet.

30. Last gift you gave a friend?

Wax melts

31. What’s your favourite board game?

Star Wars Monopoly

32. What’s your favourite country to visit?

Denmark

33. What’s the last country you visited?

Sweden

34. What country do you wish to visit?

Canada. I’ve wanted to move there forever

35. What’s your favourite colour?

Mullberry or Teal

36. Least favourite colour?

Brown

37. Diamonds or Pearls

Pink Diamonds

38. Heels or flats?

Flats. I do love heels but they aren’t practical for my life anymore.

39. Pilates or yoga?

I’ve not tried either

40. Jogging or swimming?

Swimming

41. Best way to de-stress?

Go for a walk alone.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Spaghetti, no idea why but it’s odd

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Carnation

45. When was the last time you cried?

2 days ago

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Yes

47. Do you bake?

Yup

48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

My body? Lol

49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?

My hair

50. Who do you miss most?

No-one

51. What are you listening to?

Nothing right now. I was listening to Lighthouse by Mallory Knox

52. Favourite smell?

Christmas 

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

The doctor

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?

My mum

55. A sport you wish you could play?

Basketball

56. Hair colour?

Blue black

57. Eye colour?

Blue

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Both, depends on my mood

59. Favourite season?

Autumn

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Jensen Ackles

Debbie Binnersley 

Kirstyanne Ross

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

Neither, not a fan of either

63. Where were you born?
Middlesbrough, UK

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?

Dominican Republic, on holiday a fair few years ago.

65. Sweet or savoury?

Savoury, nom those Pringles!

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Can I pick lip balm instead?

67. What book have you read again and again

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

68. Favourite bedtime story?

The Night Before Christmas 

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Chubby Girl Run

70. Favourite sound?

Silence, although I love listening to my kids all playing and having fun.

71. Favourite animal?

Sloth

72. Who is your girl crush?

Katheryn Winnick and/or Marie Avgeropolos

73. Last photograph you took?
New washi lol

I tag every single one of you reading this post!

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Book Tour: Isolation Junction {Review and Author Spotlight}

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Hey Everyone,

Today I have another wonderful Book Tour for you. The book in question is Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour.

The Blerb…

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband.  While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘isolation junction’.  She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house.  Through this she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.  It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.  After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand.  Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children.  With 100 reasons to leave and a 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?  Will Tim help her?  Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves?  Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Review…

Isolation Junction is a very quick read. Each chapter goes between Rose in the present and Rose in the past and gives insight into her situation and background. There are points in the book which may be triggering for those who have suffered domestic violence however I did find the book very well written.

It is easy to feel for Rose, for what she has had to endure and to sympathise with the decisions she makes especially the ones which most of us feel we would never chose ourselves.

I was suprised that the relationship with Tim developed so quickly given the situation however for Rose her relationship with Darren was over long before she had left him.

All in all this is a good book and definintely worth a read.

Author Spotlight…

Years Ago

It was when I was at high school I realised I had a passion for writing. I particularly remember one occasion when the class was told  to write a short story of approximately 500 words.  We were given one title – The Assassin. I still have the piece I wrote. This, I believe, was the moment I realised I had a love for writing creative fiction. After that, I started to write short stories – many of which remained unfinished along with a couple which I illustrated.

I qualified from Hull College with a National Diploma in Acting. At the time, I was proud to receive a DDM (Distinction, Distinction, Merit). Drama was something I particularly loved while I was growing up and so my time at college gave me some fantastic memories that will never be forgotten.

After college, I moved to Leeds to undertake a gap year with the Oasis Trust. This was a community based year out experience. I mainly spent time doing youth work which I found rewarding in so many ways. I followed this path by going to University to take a degree in youth work. I recently (for family reasons) resigned from a job in children’s work.  I thoroughly enjoy the challenge this gives me and hope to recommence this work should an opening come up which I can amalgamate with family life.

Family

I am a mum of three. Sophie is almost seven, Riley is five and Robyn is one. I am married to my wonderful and supportive husband (Rob), we married two weeks before Robyn was born. We clearly like to live life on the edge!

I have a number of close friends who I consider as part of my family. My best friend is called Vicki. We have known each other for 10 years now and she has supported me no matter what. She is the sort of friend who is not afraid to disagree with me and she has certainly helped at times when I have felt low or unsure. I am proud to say that she is also a Godmother to my three children. She is a great role model and I know values her involvement with the children. Thank you, Vicki, for all that you have done in supporting me, you will never know just how much it means.

Work

I work alongside my husband in our family business. We provide an embroidery, printing and bespoke gift service to a variety of clients. We work fantastically well as a team and our differing skills complement each other.

o When I am not working on the business then I tend to be working on my writing and networking for it. However, time is at a premium as being a full-time mum takes up most of my time. My 2 eldest children are at school but I still have my 1 year old at home and it is a privilege to be able to spend so much time with her.

Hobbies

Alongside writing, I have enjoyed enjoy reading from an early age. I suppose that these two things go together.  I spent much of my free time at high school in the library. At the time this seemed embarrassing but now I embrace it and would love to go back and tell myself not to worry what others thought.

I have always been creative and which is unsurprising as both my mum and dad were creative and in particular they have a talent for art which I share with them.

I am a film buff and enjoy a good thriller, drama or action and relax to romance and comedy.

If that isn’t enough then I do like to organise events. This ranges from craft fayres and events at my home church to organising family get togethers, celebrations and festivities.

When I am focused, I love to keep fit and healthy. Recently I have taken to going power walking and more excitedly fitness classes at the trampoline park.

Future

I plan to write another book that follows on from Isolation Junction but at the moment that is all at the research stage.  I am working a project where I am looking to speak with survivors and victims of domestic abuse who are comfortable sharing their experiences. You can find out more here: http://jennifergilmour.com/new-year-new-opportunities/

Personally, I hope to write full time and my husband to take over the business fully with the ability to work from home but we are at the beginning of this working dream. I am lucky to have him as a huge support and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him, I thank you Rob for being my rock.

Thanks for reading

The Stationery Geekette x

 

Planner Productivity: Effective Working Methods

Moving on from last week’s post regarding Complex Task Management I will today be sharing with you my checklist for effective working methods.

There are certain things which can be done to ensure that you will have maximum focus on your task ahead.

1) Set out any equipment or materials you may need at the start.

2) Always work from a clear space, this helps to declutter your mind to provide maximum thinking potential. 

3) Minimise distractions, such as silencing your phone and closing windows.

4) Work methodically. 

5) Always make sure you’ve discuss beforehand the expectations by others or yourself for what you want to achieve. 

6) Finish one job before starting another.

7) Leave your area tidy. This helps your brain move on from the project ready to apply focus elsewhere.

This post is very short and sweet (just like me) but hopefully there will be a few tips you can take on-board next time you’re working on something which requires focus.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Previous Posts:

Prioritising Your Tasks

Benefits To Planning Your Work

Complex Rask Management 

Confessions Of A Plannerholic : Top 5 Role Models

When I think about someone who is a role model I think about how inspiring they are, how I am envious of what they can achieve,  accomplish, and how they come across.
Today’s COAP post is an ode to the top 5 role models we have. These could be famous people, family members, bloggers. Anyone you aspire to learn from.

My Top 5 Role Models are;

1) Michelle Mills. Michelle is like superwoman, she runs her own Etsy shop (UglyBugDoes), constantly is looking for ways to improve her business and give back, she has 3 small children and a loving husband and never has a dull moment. Constantly living a hectic and busy life but it’s clear that family are her priority. Everything that she does is to ultimately improve her family life. Michelle is an amazing and loving person. I’m grateful for her presence in my life.

2) Blogger Laura Hutchison from HowToGyst. I find Laura completely inspiring. I have followed HowToGyst for well over a year and it was through winning an giveaway that I discovered the amazing Getting Things Done. Laura is a normal woman living a life with children and work and through her blog she can help anyone be more productive. 

3) Alexis of Strange & Charmed. Alexis is someone who I inspire to in a business sense. There is so much I can learn about running an online business and managing my time better from this lady. Not only does she has her blog but she also has the amazing Miss Trenchcoat YouTube videos.

4) Sandra Bullock, yes this is my first celebrity role model. I love Sandra she has such class about her and she is incredibly dignified. Not only is she an amazing actress but despite many spotlights in the press due to her ex-husband she has always kept calm and dignified.

5) My Gran. I know it probably comes across as a little bit cheesy but this woman is such a role model to me. My grandad died in 1983 and my gran went out and worked full-time while still raising my mum and my uncle. I was 9 months old at the time as my mum had me at 18 and throughout the years she’s helped raise me and my 2 brothers, worked, bought her own home and become fully self dependant. My gran has never been afraid to be herself even when the the era she grew up there were certain expectations of her. I will be quite happy if I grow up to be half the woman she is.

There is my list. I’d love to hear from you who your role models are.

Please do not forget to take a look at all the other beautiful ladies blogs that are taking part.

SkaLovingGeek

UglyBugDoes 

A Beautiful Plan 

The Vintage Planner

A Life Lived In Words

My Chaotically Eclectic Life

Pineapple and Button

Pennygate Crafts

Plan With Hannah

SallyAnnMade

Pennygate Crafts

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x

Planner Productivity: Prioritising Your Tasks

Hello and Welcome to the first in my productivity mini series.

There will be 8 posts released 1 per week all focusing on improving your productivity ready for 2017.

Some of these posts will have little quizzes and are easy to jot down and implement into your planning routine.

Today’s post is quite short and sweet and focuses on prioritising your tasks.

As we all know it’s pretty easy to get bogged down with everything we have to do, and then never really get anything done as we don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

This little tip should help you figure out what needs doing and the order in which it should be done.

First of all write down all your tasks, don’t focus on an order yet just write them all.

Next go through the list and either colour-code or number the Urgent and Important tasks (these require the most focus).

Next go through and colour-code or number the Urgent Only tasks these are the tasks which should be completed after all the Urgent and Important tasks are complete.

Next colour-code or number the Important Only tasks. These should be the next to be completed.

Lastly, you can get on with everything else.

If your task list extends over the day remember to check it each morning and move the priorities as necessary and add anything that has come up since originally writing the list.

I use colour-coding for my priority list.

Red: Urgent and Important

Blue: Urgent

Green: Important

Black: Everything else.

I really like this method as I find it helps immensely whether it’s with house chores, my posts, my business, and just life in general.

Stay tuned for next week’s Planning post.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

6 Months To Change My Life – 2nd Time Around

Those of you who have read my blog before are aware I have done this previously too. There is a group that I joined just over 6 months ago for the first set of goals. The aim is to set ourselves goals and aims to achieve over the next 6 months that go some way to improving the quality of our life. We all share experiences,  support and sometimes when needed a little constructive criticism. 

I really enjoyed the last 6 months and feel I achieved a lot that I had set out to so it was a no brainer to start again for another 6 months with new goals.

This time I’ve set out my goals for what I want at the end of the 6 months and have broke them all down into monthly goals.

As of yet I’ve not drawn up my blog and career goals simply because I really want to have a huge focus on my home life and health this time. So I will update with those goals later this week.

I have wrote one primary focus down for October and will be using the tracker supplied in the new Carpe Diem. Each month I will chose a different high focus area to work on. I want to try and instill a habit over the 30 days so a tracker becomes unnecessary. 

So let’s have a look at my goals;
1) Be More Positive – This is a big one. I always think I am positive but I admit lately it’s to easy to get bogged down and not appreciate things that perhaps I should. My aim here to to write down every single day at least 1 positive thing.

2) Lose 2 stone and eat better – Over the last 6 months I haven’t been as good as I should have.  I really want to shift the weight. This breaks down to 4lb a month, 1lb a week so I feel it’s achievable. My eating habits have started to slip back into snacky eating too so I need to reign it back in.

3) Organise The Paperwork – Given how organised I am in every area of my life this is one area I am not. I have 3 months if not more of filing to catch up on. I must get this done and a system in place.

4) Be More Financially Responsible – The biggest part of this is to stop emotionally spending. I also want to start paying more off my credit card each month to reduce this right down. With Birthdays and Christmas over these 6 months I need to spend much better than I do.

5) Have A Better Home Life – This is quite broad but covers things such as: more time offline, more time as a family,  date nights, sorting Alexis’s bedtime routine out again. Everything that has been not great over the last 6 months needs improving.

That’s it for my main goals. I may have only 5 but there are some biggies in there.

As you can see from the page below I have wrote these out and put them into my planner along with the monthly focus tasks.

UKPA although set out originally as a planner group is about so much more. The help and support from this group of people is massive.

To follow some of the other ladies journey’s please have a read of these blogs:)

My Chaotically Eclectic Life 

Plan With Hannah

Ugly Bug Does

If you think you could benefit from this feel free to email me at thestationerygeekette@yahoo.com or drop a comment below and I’ll gladly gwt you involved. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x

Life Update August + 5 Year Plan

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It’s that time of the month again where I discuss my successions and failures of the last month. In all honesty I can’t say there has been much going on in the way of successes. I managed to read 9 books this month which was a success I guess. I also am writing reviews for two more sites, one of which I now get paid for..yay!

The kids having summer holidays and my hospital trip have pretty much meant that I haven’t got half as much done that I would have liked. I did however have a nice summer with the children which is the most important thing.

My business launched at the beginning on August and is doing well, people have been incredibly generous in their reviews.

The blog fell a little by the wayside due to everything going on and I admittedly have struggled with content, however I have renewed vigour now and determination to get things back on top and better. I will be creating a blog topic schedule which will make things easier as I have been posting a little randomly with content.

I have felt like I have been stuck in a bit of a rut, I mentioned in a previous post my planners don’t seem to be helping much lately, I am not using them as I was which means they are sitting redundantly on my shelf while I figure things out. Once the Ballerina comes though that will easily pick back up. I start college next week which I am really excited about too.

So my new blog schedule will be:

Monday (fortnightly): Confessions of …

Tuesday: Planner / Stationery related

Wednesday: Book Review and TSG Website post

Thursday: Draft, Edit and Admin work

Friday:  TSG Website post

Saturday: Life Update Posts and Book Review

Sunday: My Week/Plan with Me and Picks of the Month

I have also been thinking long and hard about my career and where I want it to go. Thanks to Michelle over at UglyBugDoes I have been inspired to create a 5-year plan.

Where Were You 5 Years Ago?

5 years ago I was living in Guisborough, unemployed and working for Victim Support as a volunteer hoping to gain entry to paid employment within the same sector.

Where Will You Be Living in 5 Years?

In an ideal world I would be living in Canada in a log cabin. Somewhere the kids would love to be. I love the idea of living close to the wilderness, somewhere cold and full of culture. I have wanted to live in Canada for as long as I can remember and for me this would be the ultimate place. However, I know realistically speaking that won’t happen for at least 10 years.

In 5 years I would like to think that I have purchased my own home and am at least part way saving to immigrate. Staying in my local town of Guisborough.

What Job Will You Be Doing?

By then I would have liked to have completed education in Business, Accounting and Copyediting and Proofreading. I would like to hope that my brand is still going and is really strong. I would also like to hope that I am reviewing books for a living, preferably copyediting and proofreading for an income.

What 5 Things are most important to you right now?

  • Family – Getting Alexis sorted into a better routine and getting her settled.
  • Finances – Find employment and to get my business generating an income
  • Career – To complete the Business course I am due to start
  • Finances – To clear debts as soon as possible
  • Health – To lose weight and get fitter

Top 5 Business and Career Goals?

  • Promote TSG Bookclub and increase revenue
  • Learn about analytics and SEO for the blogs
  • Learn How to Proofread and Copyedit
  • Work for a successful publisher reviewing, proof-reading and editing
  • Own my own successful brand and business.

Top 5 Family Goals?

  • Get Alexis settled into a sleep routine again
  • Spend more quality time with Adam and Chloe individually
  • Get a larger house
  • Get a Pet
  • Have a happy household

Top 5 Personal Goals?

  • To be happy in what I do
  • To have more free time
  • To lose at least 3 stone
  • To start running
  • To eat better

Now that it’s all written down I have no excuse not to see things through. I shall as always drop in with updates and if you are interested in following Michelle’s progress then please pop along to www.uglybugdoes.me .

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Mini Update

Well things have been a little odd back here. First my phone broke which had all my blog drafts on, then I ended up in hospital for 4 days. Safe to say I haven’t got much done during that time.

I am out now and have a new laptop and my phone has been sent in for repairs. I am a little behind on blog posts but nothing I cannot catch up easy enough.

This week will see a few varied posts, there will be the Ugly Bug Does September Box Unveiling, My Life Update and 5 Year plan, a couple of book reviews and if I get it finished in time a new updated Sticker Suppliers list.

Thank you for your patience and as always reading the content I am putting out.

The Stationery Geekette x