Posted in blogging, musings

Would you rather? A tag post from Geraldine Talks

I was tagged by Geraldine ages ago, so I am just going to answer these questions very quickly now! You can read her original post here.

Would you rather have the ability to fly or breathe underwater?

I would rather fly.

Would you rather live alone forever surrounded by all the books you can read or surrounded by (tame) animals?

Tame animals – but I would be sad if they became sick or if they died!

Would you rather have big feet or big hands?

Big feet because I think if my hands were too big I wouldn’t be able to do my crafts.

Would you rather drink coffee or tea for the rest of your life?

I don’t think I could give up tea. I love coffee but only drink it when I go out.

Would you rather be hairless (and I mean hairless, including your eyelashes and eyebrows) or very hairy?

I would have to say hairy, because I am superstitious about having my hair cut short. Both times my son had cancer I had just had my long hair cut off, so I feel it’s synonymous with that, which makes me uncomfortable.

Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?

Definitely sushi!

Would you rather know when you are going to die or how you are going to die? (You can’t change the time or method of your death)

I don’t want to know when or how!

Would you rather be permanently live 500 years in the future or 500 years in the past?

Maybe in the past – but only if I could sneak some modern inventions back in time with me.

Would you rather get 1 free round trip international plane ticket every year or be able to fly domestic anytime for free?

I think I would choose domestic – flying to Cornwall or Scotland for free anytime would be enough for me.

Would you rather be toothless or go bald?

I would opt for toothless with false teeth rather than bald for the same reasons as the hairless/hairy question.

I am not setting any questions or tagging anyone else, but if you want to answer Ger’s questions then please do!

Marie-Celine Blog Signature
Posted in blogging, musings

Why I’m not taking part in Blogmas 2018

Lots of my friends are taking part in Blogmas 2018, but I’ve decided I’m not going to. It’s a fun challenge for bloggers to post daily up until Christmas, but as I try to post daily anyway, it won’t be much different for me.

I’m not sure I will be able to stick to a Christmas theme either, so I’m just going to see what happens. I am doing a collab or two later on in the month though, which will guarantee some Christmas content.

Plans for 2019

I have a new series coming up hopefully in which I hope to encourage people to keep a journal, and dispel some of the myths about bullet journals, so I’ll be working on that.

Keep your eye on my Craft Owl Blog too. My December challenge, which is appropriately themed thank you, and is open to everyone, not just crafters, has begun today. I will be continuing to have a new challenge every month.

I’m also considering upgrading my blog next year, if I can decide if it is worth paying to do so. If anyone has an opinion about that, please let me know in the comments.


Good luck to anyone who is doing Blogmas of course, I shall look forward to reading your posts, and I hope you are good at juggling everything around. Remember that blogging shouldn’t be stressful and there are extra pressures at Christmas anyway, so be kind to yourself 😊

Posted in blogging, lifestyle

Waste and Recycling |Collab with Katie

As I was growing up, we did not encounter the same issues with recycling as we do today. We had one dustbin and it was emptied weekly. Nothing had to be sorted or washed. There was no head-scratching as to which bin we should be using or even which bin to drag to the kerbside. In fact, the dustman used to walk into our garden, heave the round metal dustbin onto his shoulders and take it to the dustcart, empty it and return it to us.

I grew up in a small village where we had a butcher and a baker (possibly a candlestick maker), a greengrocer and a deli. My Dad was a farmer so we were never short of fresh fruit, and my parents grew their own veg.

Food waste (of which there was very little) went in the compost bin. Shopping was not a hobby either, like it is for some people today. I expect Mum had her favourite shopping bag for taking to the village, because I don’t remember having a whole drawer dedicated to plastic carrier bags.

Our family of four produced hardly any rubbish.

Fast forward to today, and my husband and I have THREE wheelie bins – how did that happen??! We have a black bin for general waste, a blue bin for paper and cardboard recycling, and we recently acquired a brown bin for metal and glass. The black bin and the brown bin are full size wheelie bins and the blue is slightly smaller.

We live in a flat with a communal garden, so in our block we now have no less than twelve bins to accommodate somewhere outside the building. There is such a thing as bin blight, and you can read more about what the National House Building Council think of it here.

Part of the problem also is where we put the rubbish indoors before it goes outside. We don’t want to walk downstairs just to bin one item, but our kitchen is tiny and there is very little space for one bin at most. Obviously we are doing our bit, but it isn’t easy.

Why and how has rubbish production increased?

Most people will say that the main reasons are due to packaging, and the increase of single use items.

The amount of packaging has increased on food items as companies try to keep things fresher for longer, but too much of this packaging can’t be recycled (or it is confusing which category it falls in). Some packages for instance are mixed such as foil lined card, or cartons with a plastic lid. Until there is clearer guidance actually on the packet, I fear much of this will continue to be put in the general waste or the wrong recycling bin.

Internet shopping is another habit which has also increased the amount of packaging used. Companies want to make sure their products do not get damaged during shipping, because they want to avoid the cost of a claim against them and having to replace the item.

There are many sectors where single use items have replaced reusable items. One of those being in the field of medicine. For hygiene reasons, things that would have been sterilised and reused are now single use. I can remember in my Veterinary Nurse days having to scrub and sterilise everything, but friends in medicine will confirm that most things they use in the course of their work are now disposable.

So what can we do?

The way we live and our habits will change over time, that is quite natural. We need to slow down some of our habits though and rethink how we reuse items. Not everyone can make the change, but if as many people as possible do whatever they can, then we should all reap the benefits.

  • Mend and make do
    • is that item really broken beyond repair?
    • can it be passed on to someone else or donated to a charity shop
  • Reuse shopping bags
  • Reduce food waste
    • meal planning
    • freeze leftovers
    • make compost
  • Check the packaging before you buy
    • the easiest packaging to recycle is glass and tin cans
    • the most difficult is plastic
  • Buy larger packs if possible because they use less packaging in the long run
  • Shop local
    • support small shops and market stalls
    • say no to plastic bags
    • buy less online (even click and collect will increase the amount of an item’s packaging)

As the title says, this was a collab with Katie of It’s The Spicy Bean, so if you would like to read her thoughts about recycling, then please click the link below:

Posted in blogging, Group Tag, musings

Ten Things Tag

This is a group tag, so if you’re playing along then please leave a link below and I will go and read your answers. Group tags are fun because you get to know a bit more about other bloggers, and they help make our community even stronger.

If you would like to see more group tag posts then please look for group tag in the right sidebar.

I am thinking that I should get ahead with my blog posts again. I used to have a daily post scheduled weeks in advance.

I am enjoying looking at our newly decorated walls.

I am feeling warm and cosy.

I am wearing jeans and a cardigan which used to belong to my Mum.

I am needing to keep raising awareness of Childhood Cancer, but it isn’t an easy job because very few people want to read about such a difficult topic.

I am wanting to buy lots of Kallax units for our whole home. Such a great way to get a room tidy.

I am listening to Classic FM.

I am making parcels for my pen friends.

I am eating … nothing at the moment but we have my favourite pasta for tea

I am drinking tea – I’m always drinking tea

person pouring tea on a cup
Photo by on

Get to know our Twitter group:

Thank you for visiting my blog


Posted in blogging, lifestyle, recipes

Easy Peasy Autumn Pumpkin Soup by Katie Cadman

I am so excited to be sharing this post by Katie Cadman, also known as The Spicy Bean. As her pen name suggests, Katie loves cooking and her blog is packed with recipes and other good stuff. The very first blog post by Katie that I read was this one about bake off and I was immediately hooked – I laughed out loud at the antics with pistachios.
Katie is one of my blogging friends from Twitter, and she is such a lovely person to know. She is very supportive and encouraging, and I have found that we have quite a lot in common – like both wanting to organise our group with spreadsheets for everything 😉
This collaboration was a way of us sharing our favourite easy recipes. I am bringing back my Friday Favourites posts and this is the relaunch … Ta-dah!


My recipe was a complete cheat compared to this from Katie because mine doesn’t require actual cooking. Katie’s recipe involves some chopping and stuff, but it also has the option of putting cream in so I will definitely like it! I am a fan of pumpkin actually (but not in a latte), and I think this recipe would also work with Butternut Squash.

Here’s Katie’s recipe:

Soup is such a perfect meal for this time of year, it’s so warming and so easy to make! We visited a Pumpkin Patch for the first time this year and I got a bit carried away, returning home with four pumpkins. Now Halloween is over I’m eating pumpkin for virtually every meal! No food waste here!

This was the perfect opportunity to bring out my trusty pumpkin soup recipe, which has a slightly different twist every year. This year I’ve decided to keep it simple, using herbs and spices sparingly to bring out the taste of the pumpkin. Many pumpkin foods are more spice than pumpkin, so I thought it was about time the pumpkin got to have its own party!

After the prep this soup pretty much cooks itself, so you can get on with whatever you want while it’s cooking, though don’t forget to set a timer!


Serves 4

Cooking time 2 hours +prep



1kg pumpkin cubed

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp Rosemary, dried or fresh

Salt  and pepper

1 large onion

1 tbsp cumin

1.5 litres vegetable stock

Optional: 50ml of cream



1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c fan/gas mark 4 Toss your pumpkin cubes in 1 tbsp of the oil and the rosemary and place in a roasting tin. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for around 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is crisp on the outside.

2. While the pumpkin is cooking slice up your onion – I have a really handy tool for this which I call the onion comb, but it’s really just a thingy with a load of metal sticks on it to make cutting easier and safer.

3. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and set aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan and fry the onion with the cumin until soft. Stir a lot to prevent burning and sticking.

4. Add the pumpkin and stir until it is well mixed and coated in the cumin and onion mixture.

5. Pour in your stock, give it a stir and put the lid on. Leave to simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

6. Using either a stick blender or food processor, blitz your pumpkin and onion mixture until it is smooth. Alternatively you can leave in some chunks of pumpkin if that’s what you like.

7. You can either enjoy it like this, or be a bit more indulgent and stir in some thick cream. If you’d like to freeze it, it’s best to leave the cream until you’re serving it at a later date.



You will find my post for Katie here – I recommend you go and read her blog anyway, even if you don’t want to cheat at making chilli 🙂



Posted in blogging

October Stats

Happy November!

Some bloggers have been sharing their stats for October, so not wishing to be left out, here are mine:

  • Views = 934
  • Visitors = 312
  • Posts published = 21

Prior to October I had published daily, sometimes more, and I want to return to posting daily again.

I’m starting November with 172 followers and I would like to end the month on 300, therefore I am aiming to continue to increase my interactions with other bloggers. The problem is that the number of followers is influenced more by good content I believe, than by just commenting on other blogs. When I started this blog it was to benefit my wellbeing and not just to gain subscribers. I have not changed my mind about this, but I still hope that my blog will grow! Bloggers who have a niche are definitely more likely to grow their blogs quickly.

My other blog, Craft Owl, is different – I am writing that for other people, not just myself. I want to inspire people to get creative, and November sees the start of my craft challenges.

Craft Owl Makes

I am very grateful to all those who do follow my blog – you have created my stats, not me! Please carry on supporting me, and if you like my blog perhaps you would share it with others.


Posted in blogging

Make your own landing page

If you look at my pages menu, you will see a page called links. It is my new landing page. It all happened because I used to have linktree on my Instagram, but then I read this article:

It made sense to use my blog as my landing page. It’s all extra traffic so that must be good, yes?? Why send traffic to linktree instead?

The alternative is to update the link in your bio every single time you post, but as I’m on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc it is just too much to remember.

It was simple enough to set up. It is just an image to represent each of my websites, and then the link underneath. Clickity Click!!

Posted in blogging

Versatile Blogger Award

I have been nominated for another blog award. Thank you so much Polly! I’m thrilled to accept!

I recommend you go and a have a look at what Polly has been up to. She is working her way through her “Kettle List” and there are some surprising activities on there. I also love her writing style. I have watched her on YouTube and when I read her blog it’s like she’s in the room with me talking!

You can find Polly on Twitter, WordPress and YouTube.


Quite simply, if nominated, and you accept, then…

✔️ Thank the person who nominated you, and share their link

✔️ Reveal 7 things about you that your readers may not already know

✔️ Nominate up to 15 bloggers who you feel deserve the title of Versatile Blogger

Seven things about me:

1️⃣I have played in a volleyball tournament in Eindhoven, Netherlands

2️⃣I’ve had the same mobile number ever since my first phone – about 20 years by my calculations

3️⃣I wasn’t born in hospital

4️⃣My Dad was recently in a reality TV programme

5️⃣I have met Rachel Stevens from S Club 7

6️⃣If I won the lottery I would buy a narrowboat and live aboard full time

7️⃣I have two blogs on WordPress and I’m trying to keep my Blogspot one updated as well.

I hope you have enjoyed finding out more about me.


I’m just nominating one person and that is

Ash – A Brewed Awakening

Ash is Mum to six and has a fun blog too! She must be some kind of superwoman, and I greatly admire her.

To nominate 15 other blogs is a huge task. I think Polly was right to just select a few. Most of the people I follow have already been awarded, or they are clear that they decline awards.

I also think that most people reading this post are unlikely to click on 15 separate links, but it’s possible they might click one or two.

However, if you would like to play along then please link to your blog in the comments below and tell me 7 things about you!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in blogging

Why I need to make lists to help me support others

WordPress reader is great, but like everything else, if you follow lots of people then the list just gets longer and you start to miss people.

One possible solution is to make your own list or lists. I use Microsoft OneNote to make a list of live links I can just work my way through easily, and then I know I’ve not missed anyone.

Paper lists are good as well if you like to keep a tangible record of what you’ve done, or make additional notes. Hands up who prefers a notebook and pen!

I would like to say at this point that I like lists for everything. It just makes it so much easier to remember things if they are written down.

Stay connected and follow up on comments

Another way to make sure you keep connected is to go through your list of followers, and pay them a regular visit. Make sure you visit the blogs of people who comment on your blog too, even if they don’t follow you. Once you have interacted with them a couple of times they may get converted to a follower.

Keep in mind that it’s the interaction that is beneficial to your blog and stats. You could have many followers but nobody actually reading your blog or commenting. The more active readers you have the more likely it will be that you can start a conversation.

Join a community

I have mentioned several times now that I have joined a Twitter group. We all support each other, but in a very relaxed and friendly way. We can share our links with each other, but we also chat about other things too. It’s lovely to get to know more about each blogger in the group and I’m so glad I joined.

We have a group tag post if you are interested in getting to know us.

Thank you for reading.


Posted in blogging, Group Tag, musings

Twitter Friends Tag

My friends and I are taking part in this Q&A today. We all have the same questions to answer. I will tag them at the end so you can visit them and read their answers.

1. If you could only choose one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Spaghetti Bolognese – I like the taste and texture of that tomato-y mince and pasta.

2. What is your favourite food to pair with cheese?

Olives or bread or soup.

3. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I have no idea! I hope I never have to answer this in a job interview.

4. If you could relive one day of your life again, what would it be and why?

I would go back to the first day of our first ever boating holiday. My favourite place to be is near water and if there are boats then even better. My dream life would be to live on a boat.

5. What is your dream travel destination and why?

I would love to visit Venice.

6. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

It’s not going to be easy so be kind to yourself.

7. What are your favourite song lyrics and why?

“Miracles” by The Pet Shop Boys was my song of hope when my son was first diagnosed with cancer.

8. What is your favourite meal to cook/eat?

Spaghetti Bolognese because it’s quite easy but very tasty; my favourite food.

9. How would your 10 year old self react to who you are today?

My ten year old self would love my craft stash and my hoard of pens and notebooks

10. What is your goal/motive behind blogging?

I want my blog to be my legacy (if my son wants to read it). I want to use my writing to strengthen my identity and help with my recovery from mental illness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my answers. Here’s the list of my blogging friends who are taking part in this tag: