‘A’ is for All Sorts of Blogs #AtoZChallenge

Hello and welcome to my take on the #AtoZChallenge.  You can find out why I’m taking part in ‘From Alpha to Zulu and everything in between…’

Last year I made virtual friends with other lovely bloggers and flexed my creative brain.

This year I hope to do the same.  Truth be told, although my 26 posts are written, I’m not entirely sure that they won’t be re-written.  But for now, my AtoZ challenge will be based around the theme of writing, reading and the blogosphere with maybe a bit of parenting thrown in too!

Onward!

Let’s start with…

#AtoZChallenge blog writing #AllSortsofBlogs all sorts of blogs a to z april challenge

A is for All in the #AtoZChallenge

Each week I share my favourite blog reads of the previous week.  You might call it my weekly round-up of AllSortsofBlog.

Here are just a few of my personal favourites of my chosen posts to date:

First, a lovely little poem from Victoria Welton ‘A Journey So Long’.

 “Are we nearly there yet?!…”

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A list from Natalie at Our Parallel Connection to help our non-blogging friends understand what blogging’s all about.  When I started out blogging it didn’t take me long to ‘get it’. And now that I have, I’m addicted!

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A lovely analogy of meditation using a ‘butterfly mind’ from Michelle at Bod for tea.

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Next, Antonia Chitty at 38to39 wrote for a review of a must-read for anyone suffering with depression, whether personally or someone they know…

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And as a previous habitual worrier, these 6 ways to deal with worry are great tips from Heels and Hooves.  I especially like the  one about writing it down.  Seeing as this blog focusses on positivity, this really hit the spot.

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And speaking of being ‘spot-on’ here’s a poem from Tor at Teacuptoria about Women Drivers.  If you’re a woman, you may be able to relate.  If you’re a man, you might learn something…

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This post is for ‘A’ in the #AtoZChallenge.

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You know that book you’ve always wanted to turn into an eBook?

You know that you’ve never known how to do it?

Well, Virtually All Sorts can show you how ~ create your eBook the Easy Peasy way today!

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How to make a surprisingly non-scratchy itchy Easter bonnet

So although you can’t see it very well, our little bear is in fact modelling her Easter bonnet.

How to make an easter bonnet bunny craft make create

And here’s how to make said Easter bonnet:

  • Take one head-sized piece of cardboard from your stash of packaging (you knew you kept that piece of cardboard for a reason!)
  • Take said piece of cardboard and make a ‘pizza’ cut mark where the head will go
  • Cut the pizza cut and fold back the same pizza cut.  By now you should have a clever little space for your little one to put their head
  • Pop cardboard headpiece on your little one’s head, ignore the fact that it won’t sit right and mumble to them that it will look okay once it’s decorated
  • Next, delve into your little one’s craft things for – pipe cleaners (whiskers), googly eyes, pom poms (or cotton wool may be your saviour here. Hurrah for cotton wool!), stickers, card/paper
  • Draw a template for your little one to cut round for the bunny’s eyes
  • Do it yourself while your little one shows no interest whatsoever and instead asks for a snack over and over and over…
  • Until you give in and give them a snack while you realise that the hat will NOT sit right on their head
  • Tell your other half that if they’re good, they can have a snack too, while you make a mad-dash to the shop to get suitably cheap, itchy, scratchy hat to pop the cardboard headpiece onto to keep it stable
  • Go to the shop while realising that actually, your little one hasn’t done anything to ‘craft’ the Easter bonnet yet and this could be considered as cheating
  • Realise that this is actually ticking lots of Early Years Foundation Stage boxes.  Pat yourself on the back and get yourself a creme egg.  Make that 3 for £1 to share have all to yourself
  • Make your way home with surprisingly non-scratchy itchy, soft ‘straw’ hat, while scoffing 2 of the creme eggs.  Well, you deserve it
  • Get home to find that your other half has helped your little one to decorate the cardboard head piece with stickers and all manner of non-Eastery things
  • See the little yellow chick stuck to the other side of the cardboard head piece
  • Pop the surprisingly non-scratchy itchy, soft ‘straw’ hat on your little one’s head with the cardboard head piece on top
  • Stand back to admire the handiwork
  • Go all gooey at the sight of your little one sporting their Easter bonnet.  Oh wait, that’s the other creme egg which has now melted…
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Absorbed in Puddle Lane reading books #PaperyPeep March

March papery peep activity reading learning puddle lane sheila mccullagh

Have you read these?

We have… many, many times over!  Our little bear absolutely loves the enchanting world of Puddle Lane written by Sheila McCullagh and published by good old Ladybird.

We were given these Puddle Lane reading books by a friend a while back, way before our little bear could read.  And now?  Well, she reads them herself – to us and to herself in her reading nook!

What I find incredibly effective, yet incredibly simple about these books is that on each double page there is a longer version of the story and on the opposite page there is the simpler version.  So encouraging your little one to read.  (We’ve also found that it comes in handy at bedtimes or when you’re short of time – just read the short version…!)

Or at least it used to be handy.  Being as our bear not only reads them herself, but also knows the stories so well, she knows when you’re cutting the story short.

Oh, she knows!

They’re colour coded into different reading stages and now that our bear is at school, I can appreciate this aspect of the books all the more.

Puddle Lane is a lovely series and I think I’d quite like to visit it one day, if I could just step into the books!

Are you a papery peep?  Then visit Jocelyn’s blog (the brainchild behind #PaperyPeep) by clicking the badge below…

What will you share?

The Reading Residence
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A Spectator’s View pt 2~ Short story #WonderfulWorldofWriting

wonderful world of writing blog linky link up party short story

A SPECTATOR’S VIEW part 2

Read part 1 here…

Liar”, thought George, “I bet you couldn’t look me in the eye and say that.”

With a pregnant pause John continued, with his head in his hand, “Perhaps we can arrange a suitable time and place to go through the figures again?” He threw the empty cup in the nearby bin and waited for the reaction.

It’s funny how you can read the truth by watching someone’s body language. Have you ever found that John? I never did like the muck they pass off as tea at train stations either.” George saw the look of amazement on John’s face before he turned and walked further up the platform as the train pulled up.

John saw George weaving in and out of the disembarking passengers and followed but George was too quick in step and in chain of thought. John had to hop onto the next carriage. George had seen John hop on, minus the phone in his hand.

As quick as a flash George hopped off the train and made for the bench on the platform. He rang John as the train chugged off.

George I…”, the salesman stuttered as he saw the name and number displayed on his phone.

Save your breath John. A word of advice. Next time you use body language to sell, take a moment to consider who is watching you. Because you have just walked away from a promotion-worthy contract. Bad luck!”

With that, George put his mobile phone in his pocket and sat back on the bench, opened his newspaper and resigned himself to waiting for the next train. He often people-watched at train stations but this morning his spectator’s view had certainly been worth while.

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Whilst at college, back in the day, I compiled a ‘writing portfolio’ of which I was very proud.  And I still am, which is why I’m now sharing this story on my blog for my blog linky #WonderfulWorldofWriting.  Join in and link up with any genre of writing…

Linky open from 0630 Wednesday to 12 midday Saturday GMT

 

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Also sharing for #StorySwap over on Those Words She Wrote… have you got a story to swap?

 

Those Words She Wrote

 

 …and Friday Fiction with Nikki Young

 

Nikki Young Writes

  ~~~~~   Is it someone’s birthday and you don’t know what to do?   Let me write a personal rhyme especially for you.   ~   A personal rhyme from you to them, it’s unique, bespoke and easy. Get in touch today, waste no more time, It’s really easy peasy…   “Bespoke Rhymes   …for those personal times”   Follow Carol Cameleon Writer & Blogger extraordinaire’s board The #blog of VirtuallyAllSorts ~ where will your click take you today? on Pinterest.

#AllSortsofBlogs ~ Best Blogs to Read… 42

Weekly round-up 42 #AllSortsofBlogs best blogs link up linky what bloggers really do meditation

This is where I share my pick of the best blogs that I’ve read in the last week or so and I invite you to do the same.  So please link up your favourite blog post (or posts) of the week (funny, serious, somewhere in-between, part of another linky or stand-alone… anything goes ~ it doesn’t matter!).  Then sit back, read a few other posts in the link up and enjoy…

Tweet @AllSortsHere with #AllSortsofBlogs and your blog post url and I’ll retweet. :)  I’ll also share every single post on twitter and a few on facebook and pinterest too.

The link up is open from  6 am Saturdays to midnight the following Friday.

And my favourites were…

A list from Natalie at Our Parallel Connection to help our non-blogging friends understand what blogging’s all about.  When I started out blogging it didn’t take me long to ‘get it’. And now that I have, I’m addicted!

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A lovely analogy of meditation using a ‘butterfly mind’ from Michelle at Bod for tea.

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…I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did!

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‘The Glass and the Pearls’ ~ Flash Fiction for #WonderfulWorldofWriting

The Glass and the Pearls writing blog linky link up #WonderfulWorldofWriting flash fiction

The Glass and the Pearls

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Penny teased the key out of the glass.  Perhaps it wasn’t the best place to keep a key – any burglar would probably look there first. But still, it seemed like the ‘right’ place to her.

She unlocked her jewellery box and rang her fingers over the sumptuous purple velvet lining, then carefully retrieved her string of pearls like they were a piece of beautiful bone china.

She knew she shouldn’t save wearing her pearls for special occasions but she still did.  And so, the pledge was made right there and then.  She would wear them more often.  No, she would wear them every day.  Every single day.

This was not a special occasion in the traditional sense but she knew she still had to wear her pearls.

The chime of the doorbell pulled her thoughts back to the now.  This was it.  Head up.  Deep, deep breath.  Yes, she looked together.  She looked much, much better than she felt.  She must now answer the door to her friend and hold herself together for the funeral of her dear old work colleague who was also her dear late husband.

Yes, she was a widow now and she would wear these pearls that her late husband had given her every day.  She would put them back in her jewellery box, lock it up and put the key back in the ‘Happy Retirement’ engraved glass every day.  For this was the glass chosen by her dear husband and she would look at the glass daily.  Such bitter-sweet memories of the glass and the pearls.

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By Carol Cameleon 2015

First published on this blog a year ago as part of a game where the theme was ‘glass’.  I felt the need to give it another airing :)

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Linky open from 0630 Wednesday to 12 midday Saturday GMT

 

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From Alpha to Zulu and everything in between…

What am I writing?  Well, quite a lot actually.  Or to be more precise, quite a lot of little bits… 26 little bits!

From alpha to zulu…

what i'm writing blog linky atozchallenge a to z challenge april

You might have gathered from the blog pic above that I’m taking part in the #AtoZChallenge in April.  You can find out more about it here and there’s still time to sign up too!  But in a nutshell, you blog a post a day according to the relevant letter of the alphabet, with Sundays off.

I joined in last year (here’s my little summary from 2014) and it was lots of fun and yes, a real challenge!  A challenge to keep up, to read several blogs a day and comment. But not a challenge to have fun and make new virtual blog friends… :)

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#AllSortsofBlogs ~ Best Blogs to Read… 41

Weekly round-up 41 #AllSortsofBlogs  blog linky linkup parenting working parent guilt writing exercise challenge

This is where I share my pick of the best blogs that I’ve read in the last week or so and I invite you to do the same.  So please link up your favourite blog post (or posts) of the week (funny, serious, somewhere in-between, part of another linky or stand-alone… anything goes ~ it doesn’t matter!).  Then sit back, read a few other posts in the link up and enjoy…

Tweet @AllSortsHere with #AllSortsofBlogs and your blog post url and I’ll retweet. :)  I’ll also share every single post on twitter and a few on facebook and pinterest too.

The link up is open from  6 am Saturdays to midnight the following Friday.

And my favourites were…

There seems to be a bit of a working parent/flexible working theme going on this week:

 I stumbled upon this post from MummyandMonkeys who notes that being a working mum means you are doing the best for you and your children, and that we don’t need to feel guilty thrown into the mix.  I felt guilty on my return to work but I’ve since ditched the working mum guilt.

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And then I also read this post from Clare at Average and Proud.    Here Clare highlights the important of families, government and workplaces working together to ‘think outside the box’ in order to provide parenting employees the opportunity to go out to work.  I commented by saying that flexible working is crucial to enable a modern family to survive.

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And from my #WonderfulWorldofWriting linky…

Take a look at this very cleverly composed writing exercise from Antonia Chitty at 38to39.  Here she writes from two points of view and she left me hanging on for the next line!

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…I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did!

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A Mothers Day poem for my Mum ~ #WonderfulWorldofWriting

mothers day poem mother's day poem WonderfulWorldofWriting writing blog linky mum flowers

‘My Amazing Mum’ ~ a poem for Mothers Day

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My amazing Mum is lovely
And kind and thoughtful too,
When it comes to hugs and kisses
There’s nothing she can’t do…
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Through the years she’s cooked my food,
Washed my clothes and helped me out,
She’s the best Mum ever, ever,
Of that there is no doubt…
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In my times of need, she’s there
She’s selfless to a tee,
She so deserves these flowers,
So now, listen to my plea…
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A bouquet would make her day
She loves a bunch of blooms,
A finely scented splash of colour
To brighten up a room…
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So Mum, ‘thanks’ for all you do,
There’s one more thing I’d like to say,
You deserve this bunch of flowers,
All my love on Mother’s Day xx
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By Carol Cameleon 2015

This was written as a competition entry to win my lovely Mum a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day.  So winner or not, this is a virtual bunch of flowers!

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Linky open from 0630 Wednesday to 12 midday Saturday GMT

 

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Review and Spotlight on ‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ by John Adams

Featured Author Modern Father Dad Blogger John Adams book review SAHM WAHM stay at home dad work at home dad parenting writing

‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ by John Adams

Since the term came into being, I’ve been intrigued by Stay At Home Mums (SAHMs) in the sense of ‘how do they do it?’  But I’ve been even more intrigued by Stay At Home Dads (SAHDs).  With various stigmas, taboos and ‘odd looks’, how on earth do SAHDs do it?

How do they do the whole house husband, SAHD ‘thing’?

‘A Modern Father (…and Dad blogger)’ gives a fascinating insight into the world of John Adams, his wife and 2 young daughters.  In his book, he talks us through his experience of a maternity ward from a Dad’s point of view (the good, the bad and frank), he shares humourous accounts of times with his daughters – one being a visit to the dentist that had me chuckling away in acknowledgement (to a degree), the milestone of starting school and with it the baptism of being a dad at the school gate.  Also included are very personal insights into the sacrifices his wife makes, along with the judgement people make of her going to work.

The section that really stands out for me is ‘Sex and the Stay at Home Dad’.  The similarities between a SAHD and SAHM struck me.  In fact the similarities to parenting in general.  Meaning that when Adams scratches his head at the suggestion that SAHDs are more likely to play away (given the amount of women they comparatively encounter due to circumstance), he does so by concluding that he couldn’t possibly fit any ‘extra curricular’ activities into his day.  That is a statement that had me nodding my head in agreement (not that I have considered playing away I might add!)  Working in the traditional sense or keeping on top of housework and general family life leaves little or no time for bed hopping…  That is why this book is universal in the world of parenting and beyond.

Adams refers to several blog posts in his book and this may deter many of his blog followers from reading this.  I would encourage them to have a read all the same, on the basis that this is written in a very easy-to-read style, as his blog, and the sections compliment each other to give a balanced insight into his world.

You can buy A modern father (…and dad blogger) in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon.

You can tweet the author John Adams @dadbloguk and visit his blog at dadbloguk.com

Note: This book was provided to me free of charge but all words and opinions are my own.  Co-published by John Adams and CronxBooks.  This post contains affiliate links.

Picture credit: Ania Wilk-Lawton of Photography for Parents.

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