Chief

  1. He’s 8 years old. He’ll be 9 on the 14th October 2016. The 14th of October was the date my Nana died. Chief was born exactly 10 years, to the day, after she died. I’d like to think it was a sign but she never would have sent such a lazy slob. 
  2. We bought Chief as a puppy and I hope he’s the last dog I’ll ever buy. There’s so many dogs to be rescued. I’d like to think if I ever get another dog, I can rescue.
  3. He’s an absolute attention whore. He’s not picky about it either. He will take attention from absolutely anybody that comes into the house and for as long as they are willing to rub him, talk to him, kiss him. Unlike Lady, he’s not that interested in pleasing people. It’s all about the love he can get.
  4. He doesn’t like it when strangers approach him when he’s out for walks. It makes him very nervous. Same goes for other dogs.
  5. Chest rubs and ear rubs are his absolute favourite things.
  6. He also loves food. Any food. If it’d edible he’ll take it.The only food he has ever turned down is tomato. Plus, he’s a beggar. Those sad eyes work on almost everyone.
  7. The minute he gets under a blanket, he twirls around until the blanket is completely wrapped around him and he falls asleep. He won’t move for hours. 
  8. He barks at cats like he wishes he could catch them, but the truth is he only started to be brave when we got Lady. When he was a couple of years old, I caught him sneaking past a cat in our back garden who was eating his food. 
  9. He has lots of allergies including grass, dust, dust mites and his own dandruff. Yep, you read that right. He’s pretty much allergic to himself.
  10. When he’s on steroids for his allergies, he sits at the fridge or the bin and cries for food.
  11. He only likes short walks, around the block would do him fine but if he could get off the lead and run in the grass, he’d do it for hours.
  12. If he senses that you are upset, he’ll situate himself so that he can lie with his head on your chest or lap and it’s the only time he won’t nudge you for rubs.
  13. He has loads of nicknames: Chiefy, Chiefy Chops, Fat Chops, Cheeky Chops, Baby Boy & Grumpelstiltskin.

OLW #2

One of the things I really struggle with is the work/life balance. It seems to either go completely one way or another. I can be a complete workaholic & spend my weekends working and late into the nights or else it’s the complete opposite and I’m living a little too much. Going out more than I should at the weekend and mentally not turning up for work as much as I could. I’m trying to find a happy medium on this one. I agree with the idea of ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ and fully believe nobody, on their death bed, wishes they’d worked more. However, I think that’s a bit too simplistic. The majority of us have to work in order to have a good life which makes both work & life very important. This quote really stood out to me because in order to fill our souls with adventure, we have to work to fill our pockets, therefore I think it’s important to work hard & enjoy what we do in order to have the adventures.This year I hope to find a healthy balance between the two.

I found this beautiful image on Pinterest and you can go to kaylanicole.me to find the poster designer.

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A book by an author you love:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil

My first completed book on The Big Book Challenge is Career of Evil, the third in the Cormoran Strike series, by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so therefore I’m a huge J.K. Rowling fan. I know what you’re thinking “Wow, that was quick. She only announced this challenge two days ago!” Well, we’ve been working on the list and choosing books for a couple of weeks now, so no, I’m not that good.

Career of Evil is a crime novel based in London. Cormoran Strike runs a private investigation firm with the help of his assistant Robin Ellacott. In this third Cormoran Strike novel, Robin receives an alarming package. There are 4 people from Strike’s past he believes could have sent it and it’s up to him and Robin to find out exactly where it came from, before it causes irreparable damage to his company.

I really enjoyed this book and once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I’ll be honest, it starts off a little slow. I had to persevere through the first 80 or so pages but once it got going, I was hooked. It was quite different to the first two books in the series but we get to learn a little more about Robin and Strike. I rarely like the main character in anything – books, movies, TV series’, but there’s nothing I don’t like about Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott and I’m an even bigger fan now that I have a greater knowledge of their backgrounds. 

I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys fiction. It’s that simple. Crime or Private Investigator novels are not the type of book I would gravitate towards naturally, yet this series has me hooked. Everyone around me is reading them. It’s the J.K. Rowling effect.

Rating: 8/10

As part of my new year’s resolution to read more this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself a little. I love reading and get really engrossed in a good book. I plan to share reviews of the books I’m reading here. I’m teaming up with My Tiny Mind on this one so pop over there to check out reviews too. I’m not the fastest reader going so we’ve set ourselves 2 years to read 20 books. I’d love for other people to get involved. If you’re thinking of taking part, let me know in the comments and keep me posted on your progress or where you might be sharing it. You chose the books based on the list below and you can take them on in any order.

 Anyone up for a challenge?

The Big Book Challenge list

The 2nd Saturday MarketLin Design
Lin Design

I was in town on Saturday doing some book shopping with my Dad when he noticed a sign for a Saturday market. I’m a sucker for markets so we went around to have a look. The market is called The 2nd Saturday Market and as you may have guessed, it’s on the second Saturday of every month. We were lucky that that was the day we happened to be in the city. It’s in The Chocolate Factory on King’s Inns Street in Dublin and it’s worth a visit if you are in the area. There are lots of lovely handmade, homemade and vintage things to buy including food, jewellery & art. 

I bought the beautiful necklace pictured above from Lin Design. It’s made of concrete and I thought it was really unusual. They had all sorts of concrete designs from candle holders to jewellery and even Darth Vader molds. I love the necklace and can definitely see myself going back for more. I’m already kind of raging I didn’t buy a second necklace I was eyeing up and 1 of the tea-light holders.

You can check out some of the beautiful things Lin Design make and sell, on Facebook here. The prices were good and they’d make lovely gifts for others as well as yourself. 

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Not only did I get a degree but I graduated with my mam. This was one of those things I wanted to achieve but didn’t really enjoy very much. I love learning. I appreciate anything I can learn but I really don’t enjoy assignments. I’m definitely glad I did it though and I won’t rule out returning to education again. You’re never too old and It’s never too late.

My Bedroom

Reading… Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). Book number 3 for Galbraith. I’m only about 60 pages in and it’s a little slow but I’m hoping it turns out as good as the first 2.

Watching… Rookie Blue. I’m almost finished the final season and I’m getting a bit emotional. My favourite characters are Nick and Oliver.

Listening to… Adele’s latest album. It’s not living up to 21 but it’s growing on me.

Pinning…hair pics and gender equality quotes. See, you can be girly and a feminist.

Trying… soaked porridge oats with natural yogurt and fruit for breakfast. It’s making a nice change and tastes quite nice.

Drinking… less alcohol than this time last year. Trying to cut down a bit on all things bad for me. Don’t ask about the diet coke!! Please.

Considering…a trip to Amsterdam in the summer.

Scrapping… I still have catching up to do with my Project Life album from 2015 (ahem, and 2014) but I created my cover page for 2016 last week and now I’m working on my January spread. Keeping on top of it this year, I swear…kinda…hopefully!

Enjoying… spending time in my bedroom. I’ve had trouble getting to sleep lately so I’ve been going up to my room earlier than normal and trying to relax for a while before it’s time to sleep. I love the brightness of my bedroom even at this time of year. Also, it’s kind of pathetic how much new cushions make me happy. (see the middle cushion above from Penneys)

Cooking…lots of turkey dishes. Burgers, meatballs, tacos.

Planning…blog posts for the next couple of months.

Hating… The really cold, miserable weather but I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking….the Ali Edwards’ One Little Word 2016 workshop.

Looking forward to…a great year ahead.

#1

I’ve decided to share a quote or image every once in a while that describes where I am on my One Little Word journey.I found this one from Buzzfeed on Pinterest and it caught my eye. It’s early days and although I want to make lots of changes, I need to remember that it’s not a race to the finish line. I’ll get there with a little patience and I intend to enjoy finding balance. I plan to share my images on Pinterest too so if you want to check that out, my name is @Paparali over there too and the board is called One Little Word-2016.

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Ta Da!!! My word for 2016 is Balance.

It took me a while to decide on my word. I’ve been playing around with it and trying it out for size over the month of January. I went through a similar process last year and I was glad I took my time choosing a word. The process that worked for me in 2015 was to think about what things I needed or wanted to change in any way and write down words that came to mind. Then, I looked through lists of words on Ali Edwards’ site and added any that caught my attention. Next, I looked up dictionary definitions of the words and searched for quotes on them on Pinterest. By this point I usually have it pinned down to around 3 words. I write down all the ways each of them can apply to my year ahead and how they can benefit me. I usually have one in mind by this point and I just see how it feels for the rest of the month and I have my decision made by January 31st.

Last year I didn’t really use any method of recording my progress, yet the word stayed with me all year.This year I’m not committing myself to any particular method but I definitely plan to track it in some way. The biggest change I’ve made this year is to sign up to Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop for 2016. It has already given me some ideas to run through when choosing a word and I look forward to finding out what it has to offer each month. If you would like to check it out, you can here. You can also find out more information about One Little Word here. The link is also in my side bar. Finally, if you want to check out my previous posts on this topic, click on One Little Word here or under the Series tab in the menu bar.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2016?