I wonder if these come in my size??

Reading through my favourite blogs, I came across one of Dooce’s recent posts. She has received a pair of customised Converse trainers for her baby daughter – I want them!! I’d love to be able to draw and paint well enough to try to do something like that for myself – I love the clouds and hippos!

Diary/notebook – what a good idea!

I spotted this Moleskine diary/notebook on Frugal + Urban today, a website that I found via the Simple Green Frugal Co-op. And what a good idea it is. On each double page, one side has the diary for the week, and the other side is lined note paper. For me, as someone who makes lists regularly, but then forgets or loses said lists almost instantly, this would be a really useful memory aid to make sure that I do things in the right week!

I’m definitely going to try to remember to ask for one for Christmas!

Another great giveaway!

For all of you who like home made items, this giveaway is a must! At http://www.gocksfrocks.blogspot.com/, Kristen is giving away lovely things like a gift voucher for her Etsy shop and a beautiful patchwork cushion cover. I’m entering! If you win after seeing it here, please share your prize with me – I’ll be your best friend for ever!

But seriously, there are dozens of giveaways going on right now. What has got into everyone? The generosity fairy has been busy doing her rounds!

Apron giveaways

Lots of apron giveaways on at the moment. In developing my self image as someone who really wants to clean my house, and who doesn’t see it as a super-huge bore (=where I am right now) I thought it would be an excellent idea to try and get a really nice apron which might encourage me in my domesticated pursuits!

I found all these at the Apronista website, and intend to do my best to enter them all – more chances to win!

calamity kimCalamity Kim is, I think, offering the entire contents of her kitchen! But seriously, this is a HUGE giveaway, with miniature apron, tea towel, books, stationery and many many other kitchenalia items!

amyquarryAmy Quarry is giving away any two items in her shop – this isn’t limited to aprons, although I do like the red apron to the right, and that would definitely be something I’d choose. Her Etsy shop sells items which she has made from repurposed and recycled fabrics, mixed with new, funky fabrics. I like the thinking!

At The Apron Goddesses, a mother and daughter apron set by Twinklebelle is on offer. You just have to go to the Twinklebelle website and pick your favourite apron to comment on, the comment on the giveaway post written by The Apron Goddesses (my favourite is the Raisin Flower apron).

The PolkaDotBarn is offering a swishy, satiny, gleaming pink apron in return for choosing your favourite item from her shop and leaving a comment. In her shop, I like the antique thimble birds’ nest. It’s the little things that make you happy!

Aunt Daisy’s Shoppe is giving away a 1930’s style reversible apron to celebrate the grand opening of her shop. She is selling some very cute pincushions, if you’re in the market for one.

And finally, Country Mom has a contest for a very cute pink and brown paisley half apron (waist down), which is very feminine and sweet.

So, now I’ve reported all of the giveaways, it’s time for me to go and leave some comments. Then I will be adding them all to my Google Reader, because I think it would be tremendously rude to expect to be included in any of these giveaways while not reading any more posts. Besides, I have found some of my most favourite blogs to read in this way. Wish me luck, and keep your fingers crossed that I win one of them!

Fancy apron giveaway!

Apronista is holding a giveaway for a choice of one of three very snazzy aprons over at her blog. All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment telling her which of the aprons from the collection by Mingle Aprons would be your favourite (mine was the Madeline, although I liked them all!) – you can get extra entries by telling her your favourite party food or drink, and also by blogging or tweeting about the competition. So wish me luck – I think I’d look very glamorous in one of these aprons!

Win one of three gorgeous quilts!

Today, I was directed to the Old Red Barn Co. blog for this quilt giveaway.

3quilts1

I’d LOVE to win one of these quilts; quilting is something that I’ve always been interested in doing, but have never found the time to do properly. My mum made a patchwork quilt when I was younger, and I was really envious of it! I went as far as to make a couple of small sections of my own quilt, but there, I’m afraid, my patience wore out!

Anyway, the closing date to register a chance to win one of the quilts is Monday (17th November) so get over there NOW if you fancy your chances!

Cheese Scones

Thanks to the inpiration and temptation of my new blogfriend Suzy I made some cheese scones for our tea this evening. I used mexicana cheese rather than cheddar and they went down very well with my family!

If you fancy making some you should head over to Suzy’s blog where she recently posted recipes for both sweet and savoury scones – mmm! Just the thing for autumnal afternoons!

You see? Chocolate IS the elixir of life!

Well, nearly! I am shamelessly stealing this link about ten things you didn’t know about chocolate at the Ethical Superstore.com from Welshpurpletree (not quite shamelessly given that I’m crediting her, but dramatic licence dahling!)

The very first fact on the list of things which is not commonly known about chocolate is that it is good for coughs, due to some fancy chemical that I can’t be bothered to type out which does something good and relieving to your throat when you can’t stop coughing. You see! Ha! To all of you who have sniggered and made oh-so-funny comments when you hear about my giving my coughing-himself-red-in-the-face child chocolate at midnight to ease his throat, this one’s for you. HA! The veracity of my claim is substantiated! I am earth mother (or at least Cadbury mother, but we won’t go there!). People should bow down before me and consult me before making any large and important decisions. I am a Sage (not the herb, before someone makes a funny).

I’m going to stick my head in a large bucket of ice now, to try to ease the swelling!

I got nominated for an award!

What a lovely surprise – I logged in this morning to discover that RBK’s Realm has nominated me as a Kick Ass Blogger! Hers is a blog which I’ve not long been visiting, but I’ve been finding her accounts of her trip back home to India from America to be fascinating. She has also just posted a really interesting account of what she thought about America when she first moved there a couple of decades ago. So, I’ve now got to nominate five other blogs which I enjoy. Hmm, so many to choose from!

OK, the first two I will choose are the first two blogs which I found, and I’ve been reading them ever since.

I Live On A Farm is written by Firefly, a lady who lives in upstate New York. It is always a pleasure to read, so serene and positive. And she has also inspired me to start many many craft projects. I am in awe of her talents – painting, knitting, you should see the easter eggs she created some years ago – they’re fantastic.

Chris and Jenni – I found this blog after Chris commented on mine, and I’ve been a regular reader of theirs ever since. Jenni writes the majority of the posts, and it gives a fascinating insight into the life of a Christian family which is ever increasing – I am envious of their patience and stamina in bringing up their large family and facing all the challenges with smiles on their faces. Through their blog I also found Tam and San’s blog which deserves a mention, I’ve loved being able to follow Tam’s pregnancy and now enjoy the pictures and stories of new baby Eian.

Just Williams is my father’s blog, and one which I enjoy reading as he is so often complimentary towards me! But joking aside, I like reading his posts as I like to see his perspective on events and places which we have both visited. I’m looking forward to our family holiday next year, and seeing what sort of blog posts we can produce between us about that!

Flotsam is a blog which I discovered earlier this year. Alexa, who writes it, has had about the most challenging year possible, with a difficult pregnancy culminating in the incredibly early delivery of her beautiful baby girl, Simone. However, she has managed to write positively and amusingly thoughout, and I always look forward to her perspective and her unique style of commentary on life.

Wondermommy – finally, another blog which I have only discovered in the last few months. This lady is another very talented crafter who often posts sew-alongs and such things on her blog, as well as stories about her every day life. She also, like the other blogs which I enjoy, has a refreshing style of writing which makes you feel like you’ve known her for years.

So there are my nominations! If I have nominated you, and you would like to nominate your five favourite blogs, do that, let them know (in their comments, or by e-mail) that you have nominated them to be a kick ass blogger, link back here and to mammadawg.com (who started the award) and then sign the link list on Mammadawg’s blog. You can also get the codes at Mammadawg’s blog to the Kick Ass Blogger button for your sidebar, to prove that you’ve won this award!

There are many more blogs which I could nominate for this, but the post would be far too long then! I’ve chosen the blogs which I have been reading the longest, although I have discovered quite a lot in just the last few weeks which I think will be ‘keepers’!

Birthday presents

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I celebrated a birthday recently. I had a lovely day, with presents and breakfast as soon as I woke up from my boys (breakfast actually made by my children!) and a birthday party that a six year old would have been proud of in the evening, courtesy of my mother!

My husband gave me two book about blogging, one called “No One Cares What You Had For Lunch – 100 Ideas For your Blog” by Margaret Mason, and the other is the ProBlogger book; “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income” by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. I’ve read the first book, which has given me lots of good ideas for the coming weeks! I’m in the middle of the ProBlogger one now, and it’s really good. I really enjoyed reading how the authors came to blogging professionally, and have already got some more ideas for my blog content from that book.

I know that some of you, my readers, are also bloggers. From where do you get your inspiration? Have you ever read a particularly inspirational blog/book/article which has turned your ideas of blogging around? Have you ever had to deal with blogger’s block? Why did you start blogging? Do you see yourself blogging in the long term, or is it just a transitional thing that you are doing right now? Would you like to be able to earn your living from blogging?