Friday, 30 March 2018

The 5 Best Organising Apps


I love to try to get organised in everything I do but I'm not saying I always manage it completely.


However I really do want this year to be my best organising year in our home and other aspects of life and to help me in this I will definitely be using





My iPad is like my diary, filo fax, novel, organiser, all rolled into one and a lot more.

It goes everywhere with me and when I'm at the computer it is sitting beside it.

There are certain apps which just have to be on the first screen of the iPad and on the dock at the bottom so that I can easily open them quickly.

These would include what I consider to be the 5 best organising apps I have.

Of course if you know me any way well you will know that I like free things and all but one of these 5 apps are free.


These 5 apps keep my everyday organised, just exactly as I want it.





Spark   by   Readdle
     FREE
They have a phrase "Love your email again".
This is exactly what happened - I did fall in love with dealing with my emails again.
You really have a look at this because it has a Smart box thing for sorting out your emails as they arrive but also it senses where you will probably want to file your emails and it just looks good.






Google Keep   by   Google
     FREE  
Great for short notes, lists, messages, I use it regularly.
So easy to slip in and out for quick note and easy to add photo.
My husband and I use it for those things we need to remind each other about "buying on the way home" or things we need to "find a day to do around the house" etc. plus keep short notes for easy access later.
Syncs great to android phone and sharing with other people and you can colour code everything.






Documents    by   Readdle 
     FREE
My favourite place to download files and Pdfs to.
Quick and easy to find and open and read through my files again.
I can move files around easily and it can deal with pictures too.







Doc Scan    by    Ifunplay
     FREE
I no longer use the scanner on my printer this is just far handier, in fact I haven't even bothered to link up my new laptop to scanning software for my printer.
If is called a PDF scanner but you have the option to save as a picture too.  Printing from it and sharing from it are simple.







Things 3   by   Culture Code
     PAID
I use it every day,  and in so many different ways.
It's a ToDo app plus so much more.
You can organise everything with this app, make all your lists, have deadlines, make projects, decide when to start work on something and check things off, have repeating todos plus have notes on your todos plus more and more.


Are you looking for the 5 best organising apps for every part of your life?



I have choice between them all and within each one so to me they are ideal for all I want to do and not hard to learn to use  -  definitely the 5 best organising apps for me!










Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The ABC Murders - Book Review


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








The ABC Murders



1936



Description


Agatha Christie’s world-famous serial killer mystery, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpe the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place.
Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans…






My Thoughts



This is the 25th book by Agatha Christie and the 12th Poirot Mystery


It is one of my least favourites even though Hastings is involved with Poirot for the solving of this mystery.

Miss Christie used a similar method by the murderer in this story as is Curtain and that is almost a spoiler which is unusual for me to write.
Perhaps that is why both those books are among my least favourites because I particularly do not like that kind of evil. 

Then there is another trait of the murderer that is also very evil so when the culprit is unmasked the reader has no sympathy for them at all.

She writes it full of red herrings but yet even among these all the clues are there waiting to be picked out and pieced together.  

This is one of the books that I would definitely recommend to be read before seeing the TV adaptation of it.  In fact I am a believer in any book being the real source of the story and so should always be read first but in this case I feel it really matters.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.



















Monday, 19 March 2018

Is Your Child Safe? - Coffee & Conversation

What is the most precious thing for a grandmother?




The answer is in the question.

A grandchild!

Our family do a lot of travelling so we have little tips we have picked up from our experiences along the way. We have lived abroad for two periods of time one in the US and one in Belgium hence giving us some regular travel and experiences with certain companies.

Up until 4 years ago we were a family of 5 - Fred and I and our 3 grown up children. Then in 2013 we became 6 with the addition of our daughter-in-law, 2 years ago we grew to 7 when our grandson was born, last year we added our son-in-law to make 8 and then 2 months ago we celebrated the birth of our granddaughter and now have to think of 9 people.

Last August we rented a house in Cornwall (south of England) to have all the family together to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary - the first time we have all spent a week together.





This meant co-ordinating travel from Banbridge and Belfast in Northern Ireland, Leeds in North England and Seoul in South Korea, not the simplest of things to do.

Flights were booked eventually and then hire cars had to be sorted out which included 2 child seats and specifics had to detailed because different ages and heights are taken into consideration for the right seat to ensure the safety of each child.  So we got our son Daniel to get all the info right for booking the car seats along with the hire cars.

Unfortunately when we got there HERTZ did not have the right seats for us and one of the seats they were giving us was partly broken.  We suggested they ask the other car hire place beside there's to help out with a seat but they didn't have any suitable either.  This was on a Saturday afternoon and the Car Hire was closing down soon and we were stuck.

In the end we had to drive to our destination (over an hour away) with the two seats they had for us putting one seat in each car and have someone sit beside each child.  The arrangement then was that on the Monday Daniel and Fred would buy a new seat and drive back to the airport to return the two seats from the Car Hire and get one replacement seat.





Then after the holiday was over we had the job of trying to get the proper refund and compensation for what had happened and that was not easy or quick.

Although we had booked the right seats with the original reservation, the Car Hire company either could not be careful enough to get the right seats or just didn't know it really mattered but to us our grandchildren really mattered.


Are your children important and kept safe by others?

So to parents and grandparents
Please watch out if you are travelling and need child seats in your hire car to ensure that the ones they are giving you are right for your children.

And to the Car Hire Companies
Please train your workers to know more about child safety and to show concern when there may be a problem because we did not see any evidence of those two things from the employees we spoke with.




Extraordinary Chaos

Saturday, 17 March 2018

5 Cozy Mysteries - Bargains

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link in this blog post.



5 Mysteries at 99p each great bargain







Read the quick Amazon blurb here and then click on the pic of the book or the title if you are interested in finding out more.

Note: I am not sure how long these will be at such a good price.



Cherry Pie Or Die (Baker Street Cozy Mysteries Book 1)




USA Today Best Selling Author.
With free recipes!
After a traumatic life event, Georgie Tanner returns to her hometown to start her life over... at 31 years old. Add sporadic memory loss to the mix and Georgie is a certified hot mess.
Luckily, Aunt Cecelia is there with a job for Georgie. She might not feel able to take on the world, but she's think she's up for taking tourists through Gainesville, Pennsylvania's historic downtown. The place is as American as apple pie, steeped in rich Revolutionary history, Amish settlements, ghost stories, and colonial manors. Georgie knew it was a safe place to go to piece back her memories.
After all, what could go wrong in a sleepy town like this?
First Book in this series.

You can check out the rest of this series  HERE



The Art & Craft of Murder (Whistler's Cove Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)




Misty Williams has finally achieved her dream of opening a teahouse in Whistler's Cove, a small town famous for its community of artists and crafters. But when the local gallery owner, Hilary Small, is poisoned in Misty's teahouse, and it begins to look as if the man Misty is in love with committed the murder, Misty must turn amateur sleuth in order to save the reputation of her teahouse and her hopes for romance.

Set in an enchanting location, this cozy mystery will delight with its entertaining cast of humorous characters, including Misty's cat Miss Mabel, who plays a crucial part in revealing the true murderer.
First Book in this series.

You can check out the rest of this series  HERE




Senoia Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1 - 6




Senoia is a quiet little town full of friendly folks, movie moguls, and… foul murder

Six Cozy Mysteries from #1 Best Selling author Susan Harper
Felicity turns her back on her investigative journalism degree to start a business as a party planner. When her friend is accused of murder, her inquisitive nature is rekindled and she quickly becomes Senoia’s premier super sleuth. She quickly finds herself involved in murder mystery after murder mystery. If she is going to save her friends, and herself, she must solve everything from crimes of passion to mass murders. Can Felicity overcome long odds or will it be too much for the young party planner?





Death of a Dead Man (Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Book 1)



The 1st book in the Juniper Grove Mystery Series!
In the small town of Juniper Grove, newcomer Rachel Stowe has finally found the good friends and quiet life she always craved. So when a stranger arrives in town and stirs painful memories of a baffling episode in the town’s past, Rachel vows to put an end to his mischief.

But events take a nasty turn when Rachel discovers a body in her own backyard and suspicion for the murder falls on her widowed neighbor. Despite being warned off the case by the town’s handsome but aloof police chief, Rachel makes it her mission to clear her neighbor’s name and find the real killer. Can she crack the case before another body turns up?
You can check out the rest of this series  HERE 





In For A Penny (G Team Mysteries Book 1)




When Lillian Summer Fairview’s husband up and dies on her, it leaves the last living member of the most prestigious family in Summer Shoals, Georgia, in a hot mess. While Lil was busy being a proper Southern lady, Harlan squandered dang near the whole family fortune on lottery tickets. To keep her financial skeletons in the closet and give him a decent burial, Lil made a deal that has now landed her in prison.

Desperate to keep her troubles a secret and the family estate from falling down while she pays her debt to society, Lil entrusts Summer Haven’s care to her best friend, Maggie, who recruits two more over-fifty ladies to live at Summer Haven and help keep it afloat. 

You can check out the rest of this series  HERE 




Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the links above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.



Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Good Kind of Fear - A Dose of Encouragement


I have never forgotten that day.

The day when I asked the question and my mother didn't really know how to answer me.





Have you ever been afraid?

I was lying in bed supposed to be going to sleep, younger than 9 years old (but not sure how much younger), when I decided to call her.

In my memory it was not dark in the bedroom because she didn't need to put the light on when she opened the door, so it must have been springtime or summertime when it stays lighter later in the evenings in Northern Ireland even up until 11pm.

So darkness had nothing to do with my fear.

It was a simple question I wanted to ask her but she did not find the answer so simple.

I was the youngest in the family, although in saying that there were only the two siblings, my sister and I, and she was 10 years older than me so I was always referred to as the wee one and often (I felt) not taken too seriously by my parents, sister and grandmother who lived with us.

You see that evening as I lay there I was afraid, there was something I just did not want to happen, something I could not imagine happening but I needed to know more about it.

I was thinking about death,

but it was not "death" that scared me.  

Possibly I wasn't really old enough to consider how people died and that there may be tragic events or illnesses to lead up to their deaths because none of that was on my mind.

The fear I had was not about my body but about that part of me, that part inside, the part I could not imagine ever not being in existence.  You know the part of me that was actually doing this thinking. The part that could experience this fear.  The part that could understand some things but not all things.



When I asked her what would happen to that part of me when I would die she was quiet with no immediate reply. Then she told me not to worry about anything to do with death because I was "too young" to be thinking about it.

Now I don't remember all the details or how much time elapsed from then until the time when I knew I wanted/needed to get saved but I do know that my sister always got bible notes to read each day and she decided to get a children's version so that she could read the bible passage to me and then the notes.  To make sure that I was paying attention she would then ask me questions about the passage.  However even though she was taking care of a need I had to know about Jesus and read God's Word she also declared I was "too young" when I told her I wanted to get saved.

Thankfully I was not overcome by this fear of what would happen to what I felt was the "real me" after death, however it was always there drawing me in to ponder over it.


We need to be thankful for the fear that leads us in the right direction

I may not even have known to pray about this but God knew the "real me" and He was in control and not too long after this He led me to the night when I was not told I was "too young" but instead I was encouraged to pray asking forgiveness and accepting that Jesus had died in my place so that I could live.

Yes me the "real me" could live forever.

I was afraid when I was young, but I didn't remain afraid, God has taken that fear away.

I still do not understand everything about what it will be like after death but I have no need to fear because I know for a certainty that the "real me" will remain and be transformed in the presence of Jesus.  Because I have come to realise that not all fear is bad.


I came to realise that not all fear is bad

We need to be thankful for the fear that leads us in the right direction because it's a good kind of fear.





Saturday, 3 March 2018

Everyone's Irish on March 17th

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.


Who can forget St. Patrick's Day?




I was brought up in Northern Ireland and I wouldn't forget it.


Of course I knew all about St. Patrick!


He was the guy who drove all the snakes out of Ireland so I was happy about that as I absolutely hate snakes.

He was the Patron Saint of Ireland and the missionary responsible for bringing the Gospel to the country so I was also very happy about that.

He was ....., 
                      He was .....,  
                                            He was .............


                  Well to be honest I actually wasn't too well versed on St. Patrick himself.



     I had always heard of him and knew that the shamrock was somehow associated with him, there were cathedrals named after him, and people outside Ireland thought that everyone was called Paddy because of him.


The Shamrock


     I didn't really need to know too much about him when I was young, or maybe I just didn't pay enough attention.


     When I went to University in Belfast in the late 70's I realised that St. Patrick's Day was used by a lot of people as an excuse to go and have a "Good Drink" but that didn't interest me either.


In 1992 we moved to The US to live in the state of Delaware for 3 years due to my husband's work.
All I had known about Delaware before that was the song "What did Del-a-ware Boy" that I had often heard my older sister play when I was a child.  But because we were going to live there we soon learned some other things about the lovely second smallest state in America and its great location between places like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington DC. so people would have places to go when they came to visit us.

We loved all the new things we could experience in America, the snowy winters, the hotter summers, and the American accent.  In America our children were always being referred to as the Irish kids but after our return to NI our daughter was referred to as the American girl because she had picked up an American accent.

While we were in America we just couldn't believe the reaction of everyone to us - even strangers in the supermarket who would come up to us and say


"Oh I just love your accent, say something"

what were we supposed to say?


"Hello" ?

                                                                                                           and then what?

People would make all sorts of statements about loving Ireland and wanting to go there,
  
             or tell us they were half or a quarter or even a sixteenth Irish themselves

                            or ask us if we had been to various Irish pubs yet

                                   
While we lived in America we heard about the St. Patrick's Day parades in New York and Boston.
They seemed to be very elaborate and of course our children were hearing all about St. Patrick's Day from the kids at school.  It was rather surprising to us that Americans would be so excited about the day of the Saint of another country.  We also realised that it was much more commercialised than back in Northern Ireland.

There was so much talk about the St. Patrick's Day parades and events in America yet we had never been to a St. Patrick's Day parade but that wasn't surprising as there was not a lot of information or advertising of any parades in Belfast or Dublin before we went to live in America.

When I did some research recently I discovered that there have been parades in 
Boston and New York for many, many years. 

It is believed that the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston was as early as 1737
and the first in New York was is 1762.


St. Patrick's Day Parades old and new in New York




However as far as I have been able to find out St. Patrick's Day Parades have only been held in Belfast since 1998

In Dublin they started in 1931 but they were simple parades 
and the First St. Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin was in 1996.

Please let me know if you have any other information that would indicate earlier parades - I feel that there may have been some smaller ones perhaps not nearly as elaborate as the ones they have now


Belfast (left)     and     Dublin (right)


Since our years in Delaware we lived back home in Northern Ireland for 9 years and then went to live outside Brussels in Belgium for over 6 years.

In Belgium it was almost like being back in the US when it came round to March each year.  Suddenly everyone was telling us about any connections they might have with Ireland and there was lots of talk about St. Patrick's Day, the Irish, and "GREEN BEER"



After Belgium we returned to Northern Ireland but moved to the town of Banbridge in County Down this time.  
Also in County Down is the town of Downpatrick which contains the burial site of St. Patrick.


 Banbridge is not too far from Downpatrick and it is also not far from the city of Armagh where I remember many years ago when I was a child spending a lovely summer's day seeing the two beautiful Cathedrals there named after St. Patrick.  

A few years ago Fred & I finally went to our first  St. Patrick's Day Parade and where better to go than to the one in Downpatrick, although I did not have the opportunity to see his resting place at that time my husband, son and I did drive back one day last year to do just that. 


Downpatrick Parade



So no matter where we go in the world we meet someone who claims to be Irish, 
                   
                   or that their great great great grandmother was Irish 
                                      
                                     and also appear to know more about the Irish than the Irish people do themselves.






We always hear others talking a lot about St. Patrick's Day and now everywhere I go on the internet, especially at the moment on Pinterest and hosts of US blogs there are recipes and greeting cards and crafts and printables and clipart all with more than a "Hint" of GREEN  


But there seems to be so much confusion between St. Patrick's Day and some myths about Ireland with lots of rainbows, pots of Gold, and leprechauns appearing in the parades and crafts and printables. 

These things make it more commercially appealing; but at the same time a lot of the St. Patrick's Day things are now omitting the man himself and the reason he is our Patron Saint, he brought the Good News of God's Salvation to the country of Ireland.

See more info on St. Patrick here


 But how can anyone forget 17th March?

Banner Thanks to Free Downloads from InstantDisplay.co.uk

Well not even Commander Chris Hadfield could forget it while up in space taking and tweeting all his great pictures of the world.  He took a great shot of my home town of Londonderry and of course he had the "Touch" of GREEN as well.



Commander Chris Hadfield & Londonderry

I had never seen a greeting card for St. Patrick's Day or buns (cupcakes) with green colouring added to the icing etc. specifically for St. Patrick's Day until I became a blogger and now it is hard to miss them with such a variety of ideas for crafts and recipes.

My husband suggested I add my own St. Patrick's day recipe but really he was just thinking of his favourite "wee green things" which is his name for the Peppermint Chocolate Tray Bakes I make for him.
I have to admit they are so yummy that they are quite addictive even for me and I am not usually keen on mint. 

If you are interested in St. Patrick and would want to learn more you may find some interesting books Here on Amazon


Oh, and just in case you still don't believe me that everyone is Irish on March 17th then what about this



Caption found in A Guinness Storehouse


Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.