When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Monday 26 October 2015

Lost, goodbye & oh well!

So my readers you will have noticed I've not posted the last couple of days. It was never my plan to post every single day because well, even I of chatterbox nature, will find it hard to post something worth reading everyday!

But this Monday I'm here to share my Saturday with you. Keagan and I went to watch our boys, Bristol Rovers, play at home. As it was Keagan's last match for a while what with him going off to pursue his racing career, we met up with friends in the supporters bar. Everyone wished him well and offered up useful advice.

I arranged a couple of surprises for Keagan. I arranged for a good luck message to be read out over the tanoy and also had a small piece put into the programme!!

 As you can see it was rather a grey day to start and well, it ended very grey as we lost 1 - 4!
 Here's me and my boy before the game.
 Here's the piece I had put in the programme! 

My Q & A journal asks -

How do you feel about your body?

Rather personal! Well as I see it, I am me. That's it. I'm neither tall, thin or tanned. Quite the opposite, but I do not care. I'm not bothered. I wear what I'm comfy in and what is easiet for me to get dressed and undressed. Though I do like to dress up now and again. Here's a pic of me at my brother's wedding. This is my parents, my brother and me. I wore a vintage dress and I felt fabulous!

This is actually me at my most heaviest. I'm a good half a stone lighter now. But on that day I felt amazing! 

Take care Zo xx 

Friday 23 October 2015

Friday Smiles - week 142

I'm a little late today joining in with Annie and her Friday smiles but am delighted to see that Annie has included me as her featured blog this week. Thank you Annie that made my day!! 

Now as a crafter the thing that makes us smile most has to be NEW STASH!! So here's what's making me smile today - 


Then papers, some foiled! The collection is by Simple Stories. Believe me I could happily share every page but there's too many. I just picked my favs.

My daily Q & A journals asks -

Who is the last person in your missed calls list?

That would be my mum! We are always calling when the other can't get to the phone for one reason or another!! 

Take care Zo xx 

Wednesday 21 October 2015


Happy Back To The Future Day! 

Marty McFly arrived today from 1985 in the 2nd film if you didn't know those Back to The Future films?! No, oh okay I'll carry on with my desk then! Visit The Stamping Ground to join in and find deskers from all around the world! 

 Right side - pens and my colouring journal with my latest colour combos.
 Window side - NEW stash! I bought the gorgeous Simple Stories paper and stickers. There's also my latest book folding art project.
Look some papers are foiled!!

Right my daily Q & A journal asks - 

What new word have you learned?

I don't actually know this. I'm someone who reads a lot and am a bit of a geek so will happily look through a dictionary. But I haven't done that lately. 

Take care Zo xx 

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Tuesday Twitterings!

Is that even a word? Twitterings. Not sure but it works for me and what I want to share today!

My Q & A daily journal inspired today's post when it asked - 

Who do you count on?

As someone with disabilities I count on a lot of people. My son. My family. My friends. But I want to point out that being needed by someone with disabilities takes its toll. My family especially do so much. I wanted to share one important charity with you.

My son, Keagan, has been attending Young Carers BANES

This charity supports all young carers in our area. Keagan was put in touch with them through school. He attends regular meetings and has enjoyed many trips out with them. When together the young carers can be themselves. There is no responsibility on them, no pressure to get things done.

They just enjoy having fun.

The Carers centre in Bath provides valuable services and support for all ages. They also have a Facebook page for young carers

 These charities can be found across the country. Every area will have something similar. So my message today is simple.

If you are counted on by someone, if you care for someone - you too can find help and support. You don't have to do it all alone. Find your nearest carers' centre and get in touch. Today.

Take care Zo xx


Monday 19 October 2015

Monday Memories

Good morning to you all. Another Monday has arrived! In my house this is a very exciting event.

You see we are counting down till Keagan goes to The British Racing School - the best racing college in the world based in Newmarket. 

Keagan wants to be a jockey. Most of you know that by now cos I keep talking about it. He has to complete this course before he can work full time in a Racing yard. Then once he's ready he will return to the school to take the jockey licence course. Fingers crossed.

I wanted to share some memories from Keagan riding over the years to celebrate that there are 14 days until he starts his course!!

April this year - jumping on Zeus.

Keagan and his best friend Hannah going out for a ride this September.

 2014 July taking part in a display at Wellow Trekking centre where he has been riding since he was 7
Action shot!

Now this 2009 January! Big difference in Keagan and the size of the pony/horse!!

My daily Q & A journal asks -

What was your last purchase made by card?
Funnily enough, I've just literally had to pay £100 bond/deposit to the Racing school ahead of Keagan's course. Actual purchases again relate to this event - I had to buy Keagan those sport base layers that keep them warm and also a few bits like PJ tops. As Keagan will be living at the college for the duration of the 14 week course. It's an intense course that sees them work 7 days a week (they do get free time during the day!). Parents are allowed to visit on Sundays and are able to take the students out from 9 to 3pm. Because of the distance, it's a good four and a half hours drive from here, I won't be visiting every week thats for sure.
Take care Zo xx

Sunday 18 October 2015

Meeting The Queen

Before anyone gets excited I confess I haven't actually met the Queen. Maybe one day!

I'm saying this as my daily Q & A journal asks - 

What famous living person would you like to meet?

I've always been interested in the Royal family. The Queen along with Princes William and Harry and now, of course, The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are who I like to read about and see what they have been up to, but anyone with royalty in them is of interest.

If I did meet The Queen I think I would ask her how she balances life as a public servant with her own private life and does she feel that the two are actually separate? 
We know so much about them that even their private lives are played out on the internet and in the papers. 

I would also ask her if there is anything she wishes she had done differently? Do I think she would answer that, I'm not so sure she would.  

I do love that we know she writes a daily diary. One day that maybe made public or just snippets. I'm sure her diary will give unbelievable insight to her life.

What famous living person would you like to meet?

Take care Zo xx 

Saturday 17 October 2015

A Saturday Share - Colour Combos

Hello you lovely people. As the title suggests I'm back to share my latest project that I've been working on over the last few days. Ages ago I did something similar to this layout, but back then my colouring wasn't as good and I didn't have the range of pens I have today so I thought I'd redo these colour combo pages!

The image is from Some Odd Girl called Shy Kaylee

 This is in my colouring journal (Smash Book).

Beside each image I've written the colour combos for the skin and the main hair combos. It's a great reference to keep especially when you find yourself struggling to think of what colour to do!

Today's Q & A daily journal asks - 

What's the most valuable thing you own?

I'm not really a materalistic person, but of course things like my laptop etc cost the most money. However, the most valuable things I own don't cost that much money. Things like my family photo albums from when I was a child and before these photos are the most valuable to me. Along with my rather large collection of books and also my Bristol Rovers programmes and memorabilia!

Enjoy your Saturday.

Take care Zo xx


Friday 16 October 2015

Friday's Smiles - week 144

So Friday comes round fast again - bet most of you are relieved. Weekend! 

I'm joining in for the 2nd time with Annie and her Friday Smiles. Pop over and see what this is all about and join in!!

Firstly my daily Q & A journal asks - 

You woke at.........?

Well that would be 6.40am. I always hear Keagan get up and get ready to leave for his work experience job, but I always turn over and go back to sleep. I usually get up between 8.30 and 9.30 depending on how I am. 

So what makes you smile? I saw this idea on another blog (apologies I forgot who) and thought I would do this also.

TIME: mid morning

LOCATION: craft room

FEELING: in pain but coping. Otherwise happy about life in general.

LOVING: not having to ever worry about school mornings ever again! Now that Keagan has left school I see how mad and crazy some mornings were. Obviously it was easier the older Keagan got!

READING: James Oswald - Dead Man's Bones.

DRINKING: Coffee!!

ANTICIPATING: Football - wondering how my boys will do and how my dream team will turn out!

LISTENING TO: Talksport on the Radio.

WATCHING: I am one of those people who dips in and out of shows like X Factor and Strictly come dancing. I don't religiously watch them but do tend to put it on!

PLANNING: my blog posts. I never used to and would go weeks without posting. But now I'm planning in a notebook and scheduling ahead. Really enjoying it too.

LOOKING FORWARD TO: seeing one of my best friends Kath and her family this afternoon.

CREATING: Book art for Christmas presents.

NEED TO FINISH: a crocheted blanket I've started.

WISHING: That my body would decide whether it is going to function or not!

MAIN GOAL THIS WEEK: to get back on plan with my Slimming World properly!

There, I enjoyed that! What would you answer?
Take care Zo xx 

Thursday 15 October 2015

Finding the past!

Hello this Thursday. Hope you are all well and that your week has ran smoothly?

Many years ago now I started researching my family history. Me and my dad spent a Sunday afternoon searching local church graveyards for our ancestors. We found my dad's great-grandparents (my great great grandparents!) headstone and I wrote down the information.

 Not so clear here but in real life I was able to get the information I needed.
It's still in good condition really. 

So Thomas Young and his wife Harriet set me on a path that I'm still following today. Over the years I've spent many many hours researching the census records, parish records and certificates. I'm in touch with distant cousins - found through reading message boards and trees shared.

I subscribe to Ancestry so that I can access records online. If you watch the popular BBC 1 programme Who Do You Think You Are? the celebrity often looks on the Ancestry site at the census, though the programme doesn't tell you how much the certificates/records are when they hand over that brown envelope to the person!

My advice is to find out where the record is registered locally. Local registry offices will provide copies of certificates at a cheaper cost than ordering online. At present my local office charges £12 I think. 

I've traced my family lines back many generations. I'm currently following a line that goes back to at least 1400's. Further even but it all gets sketchy the further you go so I have to retrace my steps and try to verify what I've found. Much easier these days with so much online.

I did find out that my 2nd cousin 2x removed died in The Battle of the Somme.
Here is a page I crafted to show the information and to honour him. 
 His details. You can find out from the Common Wealth Graves Commission about your ancestors if they died in service.
This page shows how we are related. I coloured the poppy stamps (from Sheena Douglas) and kept the layout simple. I'm planning on creating lots of pages like this using records etc. It's going to take a long time to document what I've found.

It'll keep me busy.

Today my Q & A journal asks - 

How much time do you spend commuting?

Honestly, zero for myself. But at the moment I am having to collect Keagan from his work experience which is 20 mins away. So that could count!

Take care Zo xx 

Wednesday 14 October 2015


Well hello desk dashers I'm here this happy Wednesday to share my desk with you.

Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to see what this is all about and join in!

So my desk - 
 Right side as usual -  home of lots of pens. That's my colouring journal (Smash Book) that I started when I first took a colouring class online with Kit and Clowder. I often practice my colouring and keep examples in there. I also write down colour combos I love too.
The window side is fairly tidy. My latest WIP book art and my open notebook where I'm planning my blog posts. The book with the magnifying glass on it is my Daily Q & A journal which gives me prompts and questions. I decided to start using them on here.

My daily Q & A journal asks -

What expression do you overuse?

Not sure it's a proper expression but Keagan and I decided I say, 
'Boo, come here!' 
It's Keagan's nickname and I'm usually asking him to look at something or shouting for help!

What about you? What do you say often?!

Take care Zo xx 

Tuesday 13 October 2015


Good morning! 

So another Tuesday has arrived & many are already counting down to Christmas. I'm usually bouncing off the walls with excitement, but with Keagan being away this year, I'm not so bothered. Looking on the positive side of it I don't have to spend as much this year as Keagan won't have space for lots of presents!! 

My daily Q & A journal asks - 

You have no patience for ........?

Well I have to say it's negativity.

Those who know me say I'm one of the most positive people they know. It's how I am. Even before all my health issues I chose to look at life with a glass half full mentality. This has increased since my diagnosis for all my conditions.

I'm the same with football. I look for the positives even in the games that are utter rubbish!!

Crafting too, I focus on my improvements in technique and design rather than worrying I'm not good enough with what I do.

 Am sharing this card I made for my niece as an example of points of view. The positive is the card itself, love what I've done, but if I was a negative person I may say the photography was not so good and I may not focus on the creation itself.

So my challenge to you this week is to see the positives and put them first.  You have to learn to accept the not so good of course, but don't let it drive you. Look for the positives and make that your focus.

Take care Zo xx 

Monday 12 October 2015

I am determined!

Today is weigh-in day. The day I check my progress with my Slimming World journey. I started back in Feb and have lost 9lbs. I did lose a stone, but that was through illness so it went back on once I started eating again!

It's not so easy for me; I can't do the exercise to go with the food plan. I would do better I know if I actually stuck to the plan all of the time. I do sneak the odd treats in. 

Why am I talking about this? Well my daily Q & A journal asks - 

One word for today.

My word has to be Determined. 

I am determined to lose some weight. I know it will benefit my body. Perhaps helping to ease some pain and improve the way I move. I joined online at I knew I wouldn't be able to attend a group regularly cos of my conditions so online was perfect for me. You still get all the support and resources. You can join in on video chats, forums and there's the recipe menu that inspires.

Diet Cola chicken has to be one of my favourite recipes. I do tweak it taking out things I don't like and adding what I do. 

The plan is easy to follow. 

I try to fill out the planner daily on the website. It helps keep track of free foods, syns and healthy extras. It's amazing how much free foods there are. I actually end up eating more while I'm sticking to the plan than when I don't

The plan works. Even with little exercise.

But you do have to be disciplined and determined.

Take care Zo xx


Sunday 11 October 2015

A pin = simple sharing.

Today's Q & A daily journal asks -

What makes you feel wonderful?

Like most of us, receiving compliments from friends and family is always lovely, but for me the one thing that makes me feel wonderful is when you get those compliments from strangers.

Through crafting and colouring we crafters get to 'meet' each other online. Plus many other crafters will pop by our blogs, pin our creations for inspiration etc. This is wonderful.

Only the other day I saw a pin on Pinterest of my colouring combinations that I coloured years ago. I had put it in a Smash book for reference. My colouring has come a long way since then but I still see that pin being repinned often. That is a huge compliment.

This is the page that people keep pinning. This is the original in my smash book! I want to do a more up to date version. I will share that when I do.

Take care Zo xx

Saturday 10 October 2015

Saturday Share!

So I'm back for a Saturday Share - something I've made. Because I decided I needed to make the effort to share what I'm doing regularly. I've been teaching myself how to create book art as many of you know.

My plan is to make them as Christmas presents for friends and family.  Here are two of my latest makes for our friends - 

  So I've made this one for Sarah. Her favourite colour is green so I've decorated the cover with pretty green papers.
This one is for Imogen. Again I used pretty papers to decorate. The ribbons not only look pretty, but act as a tool to balance the book. The folded area can make the book tip forwards, but by tying it with a ribbon it rebalances the weight to stop this.

The other thing you have to remember is to check that the parts of writing that can be seen don't have anything inappropriate for the recipient ie swear words etc. It doesn't look good if there are any!

So I've checked my daily Q & A journal and it asks - 

Write down someone you had a good conversation with recently.

Well that is easy for me this week as my best friend Debs, who also has a blog
came to see me on Monday. So we had a really good chat and put the world to rights as per usual. Seeing Debs always boosts my mood. I am lucky to have friends who support me and help me whenever I need them.

You should pop over to Deb's blog - she has just had her story about her cat Ebony published!! Very exciting!  

Take care Zo xx


Friday 9 October 2015

Learning to Drive!

So how many years ago was it that you learned to drive?

It's been 22 years for me. I passed my test just after my 18th birthday. It was my second attempt. I failed the first as I messed up my reverse parking (parallel parking). 

The lady who taught me has since passed, but our longstanding joke was that I couldn't reach the pedals properly. She had to put a Yellow pages book (remember them?) opened to the lawnmowers section in order to get the right depth underneath the mat. This obviously raised the floor so that I could reach the pedals properly!

Back then it was totally different to now. I didn't do the theory test. It didn't exist.

Keagan has just started to learn. Our friends own Belt up school of motoring so were able to give us good advice. Keagan had his first lesson with Jo on Wednesday. He's taking the automatic test. Mainly due to cost. You don't need as many lessons so our plan is that Keagan will do automatic, but when he's earning if he wants to go back and do the manuel test he can pay for it himself!

Back in 2012 Keagan went on Belt Up's young drivers experience. Here he is behind the wheel!

Before I go let me do my daily journal prompt. Today's is

You want a new.................?

How very apt. Of course, the obvious answer is a car for Keagan! 

I'm joining in with Annie's Friday smiles today!

Take care Zo xx  

Thursday 8 October 2015

Kick up the blogging backside!

So I've stopped posting again. I sat back last night and realised now I don't have that schedule of craft DT work to post I'm seriously slacking at remembering to not only write a post but to actually ... you know ...push that publish button!

So I decided to freshen up the look. Again! Changed colours. Faff about till I was happy. Then I dug out my notebook that I started to jot inspiration ideas etc in. I WILL use it to plan posts.  Another thing I did was to pull out my daily Q & A journal. Basically it has a question for every day and the idea is over the next 5 years I answer them. But I haven't so I thought I could do so on here. Though probably not every day, but at least a few times a week!!

Right let's find today......

What is your biggest dream?

Oh I had many. But since being a mum. Since Keagan started on his own path towards achieving his own dream. Right now. Today. It is that I want to see him achieve as much as he possibly can. 

Most of you will know Keagan's dream is to be a Jump Jockey (National Hunt). But there are small dreams a long the way. The main one being to gain a place at The British Racing school in Newmarket. The best racing college in the world. Many thousands of students apply, but the school only take around 200 a year so no mean feat. However, Keagan sailed through the fitness test, maths and English tests and handled himself well in the interview that he was offered a place and starts on Nov 2nd. Yep less than a month away now!

Over the next few years, Keagan will have many small steps to overcome but I'm right behind him. Supporting. Encouraging. Keeping his feet on the floor. All that stuff a mum needs to do!

I will blog about his journey, celebrate every little dream achieved and share it with you all.

 Here's an action of Keagan doing what he loves most. Jumping!

Take care Zo xx