Category Archives: Life

National Stationery Week

Next week, from 24th to 30th April, it’s National Stationery Week. Writing is important for me, I take notes when I’m at a seminar or at a fair, I write my shopping lists and cards for special occasions. I have a diary (actually 2) filled with to-do lists and goals and other bits&pieces. I always write down the places I want to see when we plan a trip somewhere. One of my diaries is filled with ideas of blog posts, that might sound strange, but I feel inspired when I’m in front of pen and paper.
I’m traditional when it comes to reading, I love paperback books, flipping through pages and not a pdf on a tablet. As I’ve started reading regularly again last year, I have a small notebook to copy quotes from books.

 National Stationery Week

Imagine my delight when I was asked to review all these items in preparation for next week. I was very excited to try them, obviously.

National Stationery Week 2017 has a different theme for every day of the next week:
Monday is #PenAndPencilDay
Tuesday is #GetCrafty
Wednesday is #WorldStationeryDay
Thursday is #ThankYouThursday
Friday is #FountainPenFriday
Saturday is #SignatureSaturday
Sunday is #WriteALetterDay
Do get involved if you fancy, I know I will. I’m not sure if I will do a craft project or I will write a letter, but I will certainly do something special next week.

 National Stationery Week

From Maped I received an eraser with a pink and black casing, a bunny pencil sharpener, DUO Graph’ pens and a DUO tip colouring pen.
The DUO Graph’ pens are fab. I like that they can “split” into 2 pens, as you can see in the picture. They have a 0.4mm fine line and come in this transparent case. I really like them. I think I will use them when I’m going to make plans, colour-code helps me organize better.
The bunny pencil sharpener is so cute! I love it, when I use it to sharpen a pencil it moves its teeth. How cute is that? The eraser is good and I like that I can close it.

 National Stationery Week

Cactus sticky notes, Cat in a book page markers and 12 crayons from Mustard are next on my list.
I have some boring page markers that I will replace with these cute cats. The markers are reusable and quite sturdy. I might use one as a bookmark for the book I’m reading now: “A street Cat Named Bob”, as it would be very appropriate.
The cactus sticky notes can stand up. It’s hilarious and it’s unlikely I will forget a sticky note looking like that. I can’t use the crayons just yet as I don’t have a colouring book, but I plan to get one and they will be handy at that point.

 National Stationery Week

The Sheaffer 100 Ballpoint pen looks great. I will use it when I’m going to fairs, along with the Monologue Platinum Notebook. They are stylish and look professional, I like this a lot. The notebook is the perfect size for a handbag. These two will be great as a gift too.

 National Stationery Week

It’s been a while since I’ve used an ink pen. It was lovely to try this one from Stabilo, it reminded me of my childhood, when I used to change the ink cartridges at school.
I also got these Sensor fine 0.3 drawing pens. I like them a lot and the colours are lovely: green, teal, pink and purple. I will use them for colour-coding too. My drawing skills aren’t spectacular, but I like colour-codes, as you can see.

 National Stationery Week

nu: craze notebook it’s another fab thing I got. It has ruled perforated paper and it will be very helpful for me, for my work. I can take notes, remove them from the notebook and file them with the rest of the docs, easy and with no fuss.

 National Stationery Week

The last things I’m going to talk about are these age appropriate pencils from Write Size. I knew the concept, even though I don’t have children, and I think it’s great. Children have smaller hands, so special pencils for them must be helpful and make writing comfortable.

PR Samples.

Easter and Duck Race

I was wondering if I should talk about my Easter and Duck race in the same post. It was a good idea in the end as we managed to miss the race while searching for a car park, more on that to come.

01 Easter and Duck race

On Easter the weather wasn’t great. We had a couple of long walks with Festus, we had a lot of yummy dishes. I blogged on my food blog about My Easter Menu. I made these dyed and decorated eggs, as I usually do for Easter.

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Books I read this month

In March I read 5 books, the first 4 books in The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory and a book about Fermat’s Last Theorem.

01 Books I read last month

I’ll start my post with the first 4, as I loved them so much. I only planned to read 2 of them, but I was so eager to read another page and another chapter that I finished the books much faster. I have two more books in this series, after that I will continue with The Tudor Court series.
The books are fictional, but follow the historical truth. As I didn’t study in UK, most facts were new to me. I imagine the 1400s history was taught in school. Even if you know the history and how “it ends up”, the books are still exciting to read. After reading each book, I looked online for more information. I would gladly read them again.

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Bedtime routine

I’ve been nominated by Llinos to do the Bedtime tag. I wanted to make it a little different, so I write about my bedtime routine in detail, while I answer all the questions in the tag. I’m not nominating other bloggers, so if someone wants to join in, leave me your links as I would love to have a look.

Bedtime routine

My bedtime routine is the same, regardless if we went out or we had a cozy night in, the only difference is that if we are going out I’ll remove my makeup. At home I don’t wear any makeup. Also, the hour might be different too.

Describe your usual bedtime routine.
I will always brush my teeth and clean my face. Only after that I would change into my pyjamas. After that I will apply lip balm, eye cream, night cream. After that I brush my hair and plait it, it’s too long to let it loose. Next thing I do is I would pop into bed, where I would apply hand cream. I would read a few pages and then go to sleep. It’s a simple routine.

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5 books

I mentioned before that at the end of February I managed to read 5 books. I had a cold and this kept me on the sofa/in bed more than usual, so I had more time to read. I enjoyed all the books, as different as they are.

01 5 books

I hope I can inspire you to read at least one or two of them, because they are so interesting. I have a special place in my bookshelves for the books I finished reading, so I have them ready for the reviews I’m posting on my blog. Besides Survival of the Prettiest, that I borrowed from the library, the rest of the books were mine, bought and unread. The Golden Ratio is the only new book in my personal library, from a series made by National Georgraphic, called Our mathematical world. We’ve subscribed to that, as we both enjoyed the first book. Now I’m reading another one in the series and it’s so interesting.

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International Women’s Day

8th March is International Women’s Day, something relatively new in the UK, but a celebration I grew up with as a child. In Romania Mother’s Day is something new. I think both of them should be celebrated, especially as Women’s Day should be a celebration of us, women, regardless of our age and if we have children or not.

In my late teens, I used to go out with my mother on Women’s Day. We would go out for a pizza or at a restaurant, there were special offers, beautiful decor and loads of women celebrating. Women’s Day is quite a big deal in Romania, men might bring flowers for their colleagues, gifts and treats for their wives or partners. In some areas, policemen would stop women drivers in traffic to give them a flower and/or a gift. Have a look at this news from last year, the movie is in Romanian, but there isn’t a real need for the translation.

International Women's Day
Happy Women’s Day!

Today I’m going to the SPA for a massage, not sure what I will do for the rest of the day though. My husband will take charge and spoil me.

In the last years I went to a museum I loved Williamson tunnels, to an Alpaca farm and Blackpool. Do you plan to celebrate?

10 a day for 1 week

I took on the challenge to eat 10 a day for 1 week after seeing the talks about the new recommendations. Last week I asked my husband to take pictures of every single thing we had and I made collages for each day. It was a very interesting challenge to take. I was sure I would struggle to eat 10 portions of fruit/veggies every single day because I was sure I’m not always having 5. I discovered in the first day that I was wrong, I do have 5 portions daily without even realizing.

A portion can be:
– 80g of fruit or vegetable (not potatoes)
– 30g of dried fruit
– 150ml juice, if you drink more it will count as 1 a day regardless of how much you have
– 4 sundried tomatoes
– 1/2 of avocado
– pulses, the same as the juice, it will count as 1 a day regardless of the quantity

The fruit and vegetables can be fresh, raw or cooked. They also can be canned, pickled and frozen. Because I wanted to make sure I get the 10 a day, I weighted in everything on the scale. Funnily, this is what made me realize that I do have those 5 a day, as I counted a veggie as 1 when in fact it was 1.2 or even 2 portions.

All the pictures are for my and my husband’s meals, but he has a few more things beside this, that I didn’t photograph.

01 Monday

Monday – 11 portions
meal 1 – 2 sandwiches, bean sprouts salad, smoothie ( juice + banana), 1 apple – 4 portions
meal 2 – parsnip soup; 1 sausage, roasted potatoes, 200g sauerkraut salad with pepper – 3.5 portions
meal 3 – omelette with veggies, cheese on top – 3.5 portions
meal 4 – 200ml kefir

For breakfast I had 2 sandwiches with bean sprouts salad. I had those in the fridge, they were a little less than 80g, but the apple was more than 80g, so it compensated. While juice counts as 1 a day, adding the banana and blend it to make a smoothie, added another portion of fruit.
For lunch the soup was shop bought, half of can counts as 1 a day. For dinner, I made an omelette with mushrooms, 1 pepper, a small onion and 300g tomatoes. This means 3.5 portions in a small dish; that was so filling. I used to love this omelette as a child.

02 Tuesday

Tuesday – 10 portions
meal 1 – 2 crepes with Oyster mushrooms, minestrone soup, 1 crepe with jam – 4 portions
meal 2 – Nachos with cheddar, guacamole and tomato sauce, orange juice and 240g pomelo – 6 portions
meal 3 – Polenta, 1 egg, sour cream, cheddar
meal 4 – 2 alcohol chocolates and Amaretto

Last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, so we had pancakes, or more precisely crepes. In the morning we had 2 savoury crepes each, one filled with Oyster mushrooms and Silton, the other one filled with cheese, mushrooms and tomato sauce. As the mushroom loose a lot of their moisture when cooking, they added up to 3 portions of veggies. Crepes and soup got us to 4 portions before 9 am.
For lunch we had Nachos and pomelo for dessert. It might sound like a lot of fruit and veggies for one meal, but as you can see in the picture, it’s not that much. I think we had 7 portions, as we did eat a lot of tomato sauce, but I didn’t weight that in, so I assumed it’s only 1 portion and not 2.

The tomato sauce is very easy to make. I use 1 can of chopped tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato paste. I mix them in a saucepan over medium heat and add the spices I want. It takes a few minutes to make and it’s so much better than shop-bought ketchup.

For full disclosure, I have a picture of the Amaretto and the chocolates.

Continue reading 10 a day for 1 week