Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A place for Everything!

I wish!

My husband and kids can tell you that there is a phrase I love to quote (but only now have bothered to find out who said it).

Every time I can't find something I always say 
                                                    "someday I will have ........... "

Each time we have moved house I have said  
                                                    "this time I would love to have .......... "

When a cupboard or a room is in a mess I say  
                                                    "this wouldn't happen if there was ........... "

So when I started doing this online graphics course and saw that they were talking 
about putting quotes on pictures I immediately thought 
I should do one for my favourite quote.

So what kind of picture would I use, would I go to a site of free pictures and try to find something I liked or would I take a picture myself or would there possibly be a picture I had already taken that I could use - long shot this last idea!

But when I looked on my ipad camera roll, there it was, a picture of our garage. 
My kids will love this I thought so I decided to use it as a family joke and put it on our private family blog.

Of course there is a story that goes with this as well.

We have lived in our current house in Banbridge, Northern Ireland for nearly 3 years but had never put the car in the garage.
We put the cars in the garage when we lived in the US and also while we lived in Belgium but mostly not while we have lived in the UK.  So a few months ago we decided we were going to tidy up the garage, get an automatic door put on and then we would be able to put the car in at least for the winter months.
On the day the new door was fitted, my husband straight away drives the car in and I take pictures to post to our private family blog so the kids will know about it.  Then he reverses the car out again because we were going out about an hour later and he knew we would be in a hurry.

Now you have probably guessed the end of the story........
                                                        It hasn't been inside the garage since!

However I am very thankful for the fact that we made the effort and now have a better organised garage and we can put the car in if we want to.

Ok is that just us or are there any others out there like this too?

There is an affiliate link in this post

Linking up with

Monday, 21 October 2013

Little Joe - Book Review

I was privileged to get an ebook reader copy of this book from the publishers and read it during the past week.


When Little Joe Stout survives the car accident that took his parents’ lives, he is sent to live with his maternal grandparents in the small town of Round Rock, Tennessee. Orphaned and missing his Texas home, Little Joe is reluctant to adapt. But his grandparents, especially his grandmother, are up to the challenge of raising him despite their own struggles. Soon, childhood friendships are forged in the oddball duo of Sugar and Bobby, and—with the help of a new canine companion—Little Joe begins to see that his new home offers the comfort and love he thought was lost forever.

Set against the drama of World War II and the first sparks of the civil rights movement, Little Joe’s new home is a microcosm of America in the 1940s. A frightening incident with a Chinese motorist traveling on the wrong side of town, the migration of troops across the countryside, and a frank discussion of Jim Crow laws are just a few of the local events mirroring the radio broadcasts that bring the news of the day into his grandmother’s kitchen.

Little Joe begins a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee.

Well the first thing I need to say is that to start with I thought this was not really my type of book but wanted to read something a bit different from usual and so I was prepared to read this over a longer period of time than normal and probably read another book at the same time but boy did I get a surprise.

                I was hooked from the first few pages.

This was so well written and descriptive that I was in that farm alongside them, loving the characters and laughing at the events that took place. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

The book brought real life to life, not skipping over the sad areas of life and not making everything work out perfectly but showing the true love of family for each other and care and responsibility towards friends and neighbours.

I read it in just 3 days, and would have finished it all in one day except I did have other things that needed my time.

I am already looking forward to the next book in the series and will review that later too.

Go on and try it, its a relaxing and enjoyable read but at the same time will make you think about life today.

Little Joe  by  Michael E. Glasscock  III

Book 1 in the Round Rock Series
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press  
Released in June 2013

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Almost enjoying myself too much to POST!!!

Before I start I want to state that there is an affiliate link in this blog post.

I have been so busy having such a good time at my new hobby that I was not thinking 
about writing a blog post these last few days.

I got so excited with

  • creating my own pictures, 
  • learning about watermarks, 
  • editing my pictures to fit as facebook covers, 
  • or be a good fit for blog pics, 
  • or be a better fit for pinterest 

that I was devoting all my time to that and

  • forgetting the housework (happy enough to do that especially the ironing), 
  • leaving meals to the last minute, 
  • and getting behind on my todo list (not a good idea with our son's wedding in less than 2 weeks, 

Anyway what is this thing that is taking up so much of my thought, 
action and time?

Well I decided to do an online graphics course with two ladies called Caroline Jones and Davina Brawn (2 sisters in fact).  

I joined in a webinar that they held a couple of weeks ago and liked the way it was done so thought I would invest a bit of money in learning more about something that I had been rather lacking in knowledge about but had been trying to incorporate into my kids work at church and my blog.  

Well there are a nice bunch of ladies now working away watching videos and reading Pdfs to learn how to take their own pictures, edit these pictures and enhance them for use on websites, blogs, facebook pages and in other ways for their various businesses.  We are on a group in Facebook and are actively encouraging each other and gently critiquing each others efforts.  All the time our two leaders, Caroline and Davina are answering our questions and advising us.

One of the best things about it is the fact that we can all work at our own pace and also in our own time frames which means that there is no problem in having people from all over the world in the same group.

So today my post is to say how much I'm enjoying this new adventure into graphics for me but also to say thank you to the ladies from Wales who have made this possible.  I know that what I am learning with help me do a better job in my blog but also in helping with our church website and the other presentations etc. that I do for church and kids work.
I am so glad to have found this and so happy to be learning something new that is of so much benefit to me in all the things I'm interested in.

Some of the things I have created so far:

 book review pic for my blog book review posts

a recipe picture for a blog post

a previous picture for a blog post now enhanced

slide for our church service

another picture enhanced from an earlier post
 a visual for our after school bible club

my new Facebook timeline picture

I do have another creation using a favourite quote of mine 
and you can see it in the post 

If you are interested in the course I'm doing 
then you can find out more here.

There is an affiliate link in this post.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Thank you God.

The first thing I thought as I wrote the title for today's post was
                             "okay that will probably put some people off reading this post"

But I really hope that it would do the opposite and entice people in because what is better to write about than something which makes you say
"Thank you God"

It all started with me wanting to do this online graphics course and with all that I had learned so far I decided it was time to create a unique picture for my Facebook Timeline.  (if you want to learn more about making better pics for your blog then see the link in the side bar)

     So that was my little project yesterday.

I had already found a nice picture free to use by anyone from a site called Pixabay a few days ago and had downloaded it to my computer knowing I would use it for something.  So today I thought of it and set to work to resize it to be the right size for a timeline pic and crop it to get rid of a piece I didn't want in it.

Then I had to think what I wanted to write on it and where to put this text etc.

Well looking at the picture just one thing came to mind and so I proceeded to finish my creation which you can see below.

To me it was obvious with the rainbow reminding me of the promises of God and His love, that the only thing I could write was 
"Thank you God"

What do you think of when you see a rainbow?

Maybe it's because I collect things to do with arks (that will have to be a blog post sometime too).
Maybe it's because I have led children's meetings for many years and we would often sing the song "Mr Noah built an Ark" which has as the end of the chorus the words
"So whenever you see a rainbow, remember God is Love"
Or Maybe it's because I believe the Bible story of Noah and the Ark with the rainbow as a sign of God's promise to the world.

      But whenever I see a rainbow 

I see the beautiful creation of God and know that He loves me 
and I believe that He keeps His promises. 

And there in that alone I have 3 reasons why I say

 "Thank you God"

Monday, 14 October 2013

Chicken Crunch

I decided I wanted a recipe app on my ipad to keep my recipes in
(not really interested now in looking for more recipes but might be later).


So this week I am trying out a free app called "Recipe Pad" and so far I like the look of it and the ease of putting in the quantities and the step by step instructions.

Below is a picture I edited myself from a screenshot of the result of my first recipe to be added.
That is another thing I am doing this week, learning to edit my own pictures 
for my blog and other things.

I think it is going to be a busy week with those plans and also the fact that our son's wedding is two weeks from today!!!!!

This recipe was given to me by a friend from Northern Ireland in 1993 when we were living in Delaware and she was living in New Jersey. I am not sure therefore whether it is an American or Northern Ireland recipe originally but tend to think it is probably American because of the sour cream.
              Am I right?

Our family all like this and because it is so easy to make I tend to make it for dinner guests who are coming to our home for the first time and also I often make it for church gatherings etc. as it is reasonably easy to transport.

Of course you may already know and love this but if not why not give it a try and let me know if you enjoy it.

For a few more recipes click on through to my Recipes Page

Thursday, 10 October 2013

As I sit at my Desk.

What view do you have as you sit at your computer?

Maybe you have a window to gaze through, maybe you have a wall with a family picture or some other nice thing to look at or maybe you have different views each time because you sit different places to work on a laptop.

I have a hutch shelving unit as part of the back of my desk and on the top of it I have a variety of notebooks kept in place by a set of teddy bear bookends, a picture frame and some videos between a set of bookends which have sections for notes and odds and ends.

I looked up from my chair today and was struck by what I saw (and I have seen this over and over again but today it just stood out more probably due to the way we had been praying at the church prayer meeting last night) so I really had to take a picture of it.

A bookmark I had received some years ago on a Christmas card just saying MIRACLE and a little bit behind it a greeting card from which I had torn off the front part because it has a picture of Noah's Ark (and I love arks).
So today I was gazing at the phrase Wishing you a miracle and then there in front of it was that plain statement of fact in the bookmark.

How encouraging and inspirational is that to have to look up at as I sit at the computer?

I am just a bit disappointed that so many days & weeks had already passed and I hadn't been struck by those two objects being so close together until today, but I'm thankful I noticed it now.

Now I am waiting to see what the miracle (or miracles) will be,

                             because I do believe God can and does do miracles.

 Do you? 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Misery Loves Company - Book Review

I was privileged to get an ebook reader copy of this book from the publishers and read it during the past week.


        Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.

Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith. 

While I was reading this book I thought I couldn't relate the title of the book to the story I was reading but as at other times I know that I may have to wait until I finish the book and then I get it!
       And yes I got it!

Not having read anything by this author before, I knew I would not be expecting a certain type of writing style or plot formula and it was nice to just read and enjoy the story as it developed in the way the author had intended it to and not the way I would be expecting.

Some of the characters were a little typical but not one-dimensional and the development of the storyline in the two separate ways within the story worked quite well.

Twice I thought I knew what was going to happen and I was wrong so definitely not a predictable storyline.  I enjoyed the book as a relaxing read but also in parts of it I found I was drawn in to consider how I would react if I had to face some of the issues presented.

Taking into consideration the fact that this was written by a woman and the main character is a woman I needed to decide if this was going to be a book that would only be categorised as a women's book.  It is not action packed but action and suspense are there and the fact that the rest of the main characters are male I have to say that I would not categorize it as such.

Within the storyline the subject of happy endings or real life, possibly unhappy endings came up but I will not give spoil it by telling you what type of ending this resulted in, just read it and see for yourself.

Misery Loves Company  by  Rene Gutteridge
Published by Tyndale
Released in August 2013

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Do ALL Men Rush In?

iOS 7  No! No! No!
That is what I said after looking around on the internet to see what people were writing about this new Apple Operating System.

                             I decided for me that I was not updating my ipad to it.

"You'll have to eventually" said my husband because everything is going to be suited to it and then the older systems will be no longer viable.
But that means that people with certain models of ipad will have problems as some can not be compatible with many of the new features of iOS 7 including my husband who has the iPad 2 but he had recently got an iPad Mini so he's ok with it.

Of course my husband is saying this because he just jumped right in and updated to iOS 7 as soon as he got the message in his settings.

Do all men rush in like this?

Do none of them take the time to think about what might be changed first?

Perhaps I am more cautious because of listening to other guys telling me to do something with an app and then finding out that I had lost all my data in that app.  Or even because of the time Apple had to exchange my ipad for another one due to a problem in the ipad and then even though I followed their instructions as to what to do all my data was lost.

Perhaps I care about what things look like and being the easiest and best they can be for me.

Or Perhaps I just don't like change - that's what Fred would say.

Obviously of course it is really geared for the iphone and I think the new interface looks ok on an iphone but I don't like it on an ipad.
Here is a screenshot of my ipad 3 home screen, suits me fine as it is very easy to read

Here is a picture of my husband's ipad 2 home screen, not so easy to read (trying to keep them similar sizes to be fair).

His just seems kind of washed out and not as distinct as mine.  Now I know you may say "different background picture" but they are not so different as they are both in two shades of blue but my icons are much clearer especially on the Task Bar.

Here is a picture of his ipad mini home screen, even when I enlarge the picture it is still not easy to read

It is clear from the pictures above that the icons are not as bold and distinct in iOS 7 as they previously were.
OK so Apple want to change their icons as well as the look of the screen but they are also making the app developers change their icons too so that they are more flat then before, so all of the icons are going to be less bold and distinct.

Because of the new font the app names are harder to read, very clearly displayed above in these pics.
I wear my reading glasses when on the ipad and  now I'm finding it harder to see the writing on Fred's ipad so what about other people, are ipads and iOS 7 only for those with 20/20 vision?

There is more movement as we open and close apps now than there was before.
The 3d or layered effect on the homescreen also gives a movement effect as you move the ipad.  These things are not so good for me as I suffer from vertigo and this type of thing can set it off.
I asked Apple about this and they said I can go into settings somewhere and change things so that this is not as noticable, or something like that.  (I hope I kept that email as I may need to know that later if my husband is right)

The update is out already to correct the booboos that Apple made especially around security with this new system, but that doesn't help in what I'm considering.

 So many reviewers are saying it is great but then they are ones who write for magazines, websites or have their own (money-making) blogs and also they seem to be relating their comments more to the iphone.

As I have stated in my blog on previous occasions  I LOVE MY iPAD and use it constantly through the day so I don't want these kinds of changes.

Is is unfair of me to think that Apple should give us more of a choice as to whether we have to have so much change?

Could there not have been a way for some of us to have kept more of the previous feel to our iPads but still have a newer Operating System?

So is it only the women who would feel like this and all the men would just rush in
 and say 
"Oh that's the way it is so it has to be accepted"?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


I have a small post-it sticking to the bottom left hand corner of the second computer screen in my study.

Just as a reminder any time I feel like a snack.
You see little snacks like an aero biscuit, small fudge bar, breakaway etc. are all around 100 calories and if I succumb to one of these then it would take me 2,000 steps to burn it off.
Even little tubs of ice-cream and mousses from Weight Watchers are around the same amount of calories so again I would need to walk 2,000 steps to burn those off.

I like to read & at the same time walk around my kitchen which I'm very thankful is long enough to do this and not be going round in circles and getting dizzy (which can happen to me easily and then set off my vertigo).  So one day I thought I should just work out how long it takes to walk 2,000 steps to burn off my 100 calories.

This is what I found

100 steps takes 1 min
200 steps would take 2 mins
2000 steps would take 2 x 10 = 20 mins

provided I don't get interrupted or get tired of walking or come to the end of a chapter (when I often think I should now go do some housework  -  this doesn't actually make me stop too often) .

So just think  20 mins of walking to get rid of those calories you ate in that little snack

Of course you could do it in 15 mins if you walk very briskly but I don't want to do that while I'm reading.

I am always reading that we should walk 10,000 steps per day just to keep at our present weight.

So for me

That would be 20 x 5 = 100 mins of walking every day

I'm trying to do 12,000 steps a day plus some exercise because I want to continue to gradually lose weight.

So every day I would need to spend 20 x 6 = 120 mins walking

That is 2 whole hours taken up walking every day

The Big Question then is   -   Is it Worth it?

You see I use this time each day to read my bible and other Christian novels and uplifting books.


I say YES!

And a very cheap form of exercise too!

          Would you say YES?

This is the start of a new month, maybe you would like to start walking too?  and reading?

Or maybe you have a very important post-it too?