Category Archives: Everyday 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.

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.

Continue reading Bedtime routine

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

My February

Last month was a very busy month and not so great as I struggled with a cold most of it. But it also meant that I was able to read more, almost 5 books, I will blog about them as soon that I will finish the one that I’m reading now. In February we went camping, with work, and that was lovely, I enjoyed it as usual. I don’t see any reasons to go to a B&B or hotel when it’s so much better (for us) to stay in the caravan.
In February we went to the The Philharmonic Dining Rooms and Coventry, where we saw the Transport museum. Of course, we also had Pancake Day.

01 Osterley House

Besides the things I already blogged about, we did a few more things, like a short trip to London that involved a visit to Osterley Park and House, but it was closed when we got there, so we had a walk around and pretty much that was it. The park was opened, but we weren’t dressed appropriately for a long walk.

02 Osterley House

The outside ceiling is amazing, I wish the house was opened too. We will visit it next time we have the opportunity to do so.

03 Festus

We had snow!! It’s not much, but was enough to take some pictures and for Festus to jump for joy like a little goat. We were away when this happened, so it was an extra bonus added to the beauty of camping.

Continue reading My February

Date night at Printworks, Manchester

On Monday, my husband and I had a date night at Printworks, Manchester*. It’s been a while since we had a proper night out as we were busy with the holidays and work. This time of year is very busy for us.
I remember when I saw Printworks for the first time. While my husband went to Manchester a few times, for me it was the first time, walking around the city with some friends that were showing us the city. I remember thinking Printworks was a lovely place and that I want to go back. As it happens, if we are not busy with work, we are away on a trip. So Printworks ended up on the ever-growing list of places I want to go to but kept postponing, until now.

As the name suggests it, The Printworks was a Victorian printing house, built in 1873. It was a printing house for newspapers until the 1980s. As all Victorian buildings, the architecture is beautiful. It was redeveloped during the 2000s and now it’s a hub for restaurants, there one can find UK’s largest cinema, there are bars and a gym. I would say it’s the perfect place for a date night, especially for dinner&movie.

Date night at Printworks, Manchester

For our date night, I chose Wagamama. The main reason for picking it up was the amount of veggie options they have. We got a few dishes to try and I loved them.

We had yasai gyoza with a sauce and I loved them. I think I had 3 or 4 of them even if it was what my husband had ordered. He also chose yasai pad thai. They are rice noodles in sauce with egg, beansprounts, veggies, herbs and tofu. We both liked his dish.
I picked the shiitake donburi, it’s a shiitake mushrooms and broccoli omelette with brown rice. I loved it. The mushrooms were delicious, perfectly cooked. It was the first time I had omelette with rice, like this and it’s something I will like to have again. I also ordered edamame, steamed beans with chilli garlic salt. I loved those too, my husband loved them too. It’s something I will prepare at home.


I managed to use the chopsticks after getting some tips from the lady that served us. I have the Instagram picture to prove it. I was so excited that I bought chopsticks to learn at home.

Date night at Printworks, Manchester

The lady told us about their juices. They are more like a smoothie than a juice and they are delicious. These are the large glasses. I got the Blueberry spice that has blueberry, apple, carrot and ginger and my husband picked the Clean green with
kiwi, avocado and apple. We both liked both juices. There are so many other options that I would have to visit Wagamama again to try the rest.

Continue reading Date night at Printworks, Manchester

My January

January was a busy month, with 2 trips to London, one for work and a visit to the Design Museum and the other trip was for a blogger event where I’ve created my own perfume. Among other things, I went to Shoryu Ramen in Manchester for a delicious lunch.

The funniest thing that happened in January was at the end, after our date night (more about that in a couple of days). We got home late and I was upstairs, removing my makeup and changing into PJs when I hear my husband calling me with a worried voice. I rushed down in my underwear to see the neighbour’s cat in our living room, trying to get out of the house, hissing, while the dog was very happily waiting outside. My husband took the dog out and left the doors open as he was in front of the house anyway. The cat managed to get in to have a nosy, but now she was trapped inside. I can’t describe the happiness on Festus’s face, imagine going outside for a moment and then to discover something you’ve been chasing for ages, is standing in your living room. His eyes were glowing with pleasure and he had what looked like a smile on his face. Sadly, I didn’t have time to take a picture though.
My husband acted quick and he took the dog near the gate to the back of the house and the cat ran away and most likely hid under our car. That saved me from going out in the middle of the night, in my underwear, with the cat meowing in my arms. The dog went in the kitchen, as I dressed and then my husband and I went outside to feed the cat a treat for the terrible ordeal she put herself through.

Another thing I enjoyed this January was to look on the blogs I sent gifts to through Secret Santa and one of them loved the gifts, mentioned them in a what-I-got-for-Christmas type of video. I’m delighted with this.

My January

From the pictures I shared on Instagram, I should say that this month I’ve tried new things, like Japanese dishes, kalette (new type of veggie), chocolate pizza and I made cocktails at home.

Travel Bucket List for 2017

I already made goals, but this year I’ve started a travel bucket list too. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, so avoided making a long list with holidays too far from us. I assume that this year we’ll have all our holidays in UK. We don’t have a long holiday and that keeps us from going abroad. As we both love traveling around UK, it’s exciting to plan. Some of the locations or attractions on the bucket list can be seen in a daytrip, there are a few museums that would take a few hours to see and some are proper holidays, at least 3-4 days away. Although, even if we had time to travel abroad, it’s very likely we would travel more in the UK, as I feel it’s a must to really know the country you are living in.

travel-bucket-list-2

1. Bowes Museum. I wanted to visit Bowes museum for a while now. I love fashion and I’m sure I will be delighted to see this museum. It looks like a French chateau.

2. Scotland. Last year we’ve been to Edinburgh and a couple of years ago we’ve been to Gretna Green and Glasgow.

3. Wales. I lived in Liverpool for the last 5 years, so going to north Wales was something we did often. We’ve been to Anglesey a few times, to Powis, we saw a few welsh castles like Caernarfon, Conwy, Penrhyn, Beaumaris, Chirk, we saw The Smallest House in Great Britain, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and we had a guided trip around a Power Station at Electric Mountain. It feels we did a lot, but there are still a lot of things to see in Wales, including North Wales too. Most of the seeing in Wales were a couple of years ago.

4. Design Museum. Both my husband and I are interested in design, so a trip to the newly opened Design Museum in London is a must. This might be the first thing we’ll cross from our list, as we are going to London at the end of the week. It depends how much time we have on the day.

5. Merseyside. Another location I tend not to visit is close to home. There are places close to home, maybe less than 30 minutes drive that I didn’t see because we are always looking further on the map and that’s a shame. We should see attractions closer to home too.

6. Hull. Hull is the city of culture this year, so it deserves some attention. I never been to Hull, so it should be very exciting to visit it.

7. Bath. I’ve been reading about Bath in novels since I was a teenager, but never made it there despite living 3-4 hours away. The Fashion museum is on my list of things to see and this year I hope I’ll be able to walk around this beautiful city.

8. Blists Hill Victorian Town. Is one of the museums from Ironbridge, Telford. I saw a TV show filmed there, Victorian Bakers, and I can’t wait to see the museum. It’s a living museum and I saw pictures from it, so it should be fun, we can exchange money into pounds, shillings and pence and we can buy things made there.

9. Peak District. Last year we’ve been to Cumbria, twice, so I hope this year we can visit Peak District. I hope I can persuade my husband to go on a couple of long walking trips.

10. London. Well, it’s London, we went so many times last year that I feel like it’s a second home. I have a big list of pubs I want to try for my “pub of the month” goal. I also have a long list of things to do and see in London and, even though I visited from it, seems to get bigger and bigger as I discover new places.

These are the places I hope to visit this year. Did you made a bucket list? What do you want to see this year?