NaNoWriMo · Personal Life

NaNo Going To Plan…

Well, I knew that this was going to happen this year. Even though I have a new job which has given me more time to write it seems that I am just unable to write! I am a bit of a Planter – I think that is the term – where I have planned a little bit but I am also being an author who just goes with it. This year I purposefully did a little of planning – characters names etc, researched into their jobs and places where they could work from. However, I have ran out of everything that I have planned, which is a shame! I have not brought a “Winners” tee shirt this year, I thought I could get one when I actually won. Fat chance of that happening at the moment!

I need some positive vibes sending my way, please!!


Travelling Around the USA – Part Two

Welcome to part two of my recent trip to America, we left part one with myself in Philly. It was only a day and a half but I loved every moment of it. I think that next time I will stay there for three days (or a week?!), so I can get everything in. I missed the “Rocky Steps”, maybe next time!

gp40ph-2bAny how; after Philadelphia I used the NJ Transit to make my way to Girl Scout Camp in Newfield, NJ. It was a rather easy journey – much nicer than I thought it would be. However; I wanted to hold some of my luggage in storage at the station but I was unable to as I was not using Amtrak – I will remember to check that next time I travel to the USA. The website that there was storage for luggage but it did not say for Amtrak travellers only. I left Philly early and the journey was very straightforward. The conductor was not happy when he saw me get onto the train. I had to travel to camp in my Guide uniform.

I used a car to make my way from Hammonton to Newfield; I just squeezed in!

The car is filled with items that needed to be taken to camp; I think “last minute items” they were called. I was glad to be sitting on a comfy seat with decent air conditioning. The NJ Transit train has a leak – it was not a pretty sight. I wish that I had took a photo of it, so one I could show all of you and also I could have sent it to NJ Transit themselves. That is another thing I need to remember to do – keep photographic evidence of things that are broken or incorrect.

Camp went too quickly and I made new friends and caught up with some ‘old’ ones. It was fab to be at camp in America again. Bring on 2020; that is when that next Celebration camp will be. I am already planning on what I am going to do. Crazy I do; I do not know where I am going to be in the world by then – but I will still be going to the camp!

While at camp; I tried my hand at driving an automatic – never again! Did not like it! I also took my golf buggy driving “test”; there were two buggies for the staff members (which I was kind of classed as) to drive around the site. 13934623_10153743348221500_7361974994854980582_n

Here I am with three other British attendees – one from Northamptonshire and two from Staffordshire. I had loads of fun while at Camp – I miss all the new friends I made and all the ‘old’ ones I re-met!

I used NJ Transit to get back to Philly, as this was where my Megabus was leaving from. I had the same problems with this train that I had with my first train. I did have the feeling that it was the same train – the conductor was even grumpier than the first one. He practically pushed me onto the train. img_3880This is why this photo does not really show me. I was not looking forward to getting into a leaking train. Sadly, I feel that I would not use NJ Transit trains again; this was due to the amount of water that was being leaked from the air cooling unit. I would like to try the bus system next time I am in New Jersey. I spent most of the journey trying to get myself all organised. I had packed away my ticket of the Megabus deep within my hand luggage. One more thing to add to my ‘do forget’ list – handbag with tickets etc. in always!

The Megabus section of my trip was reasonably okay – it was late by twenty five minutes and there was no proper shelter for us to stand under. I am glad that I have reserved my seat as I was able to get on first and sort myself out. I slept most of the journey and I was glad to get to my friend’s house. However; my Greyhound experience from Buffalo to Orlando was not good at all! 33 and a quarter hours (twice!!) on a bus (well, two buses) and with three lovely drivers and one horrid driver. I know that Greyhound are supposed to be the best way to see America, but I felt that it would have been better for me. The buses has WiFi and electrical sockets (outlets for the American reader); which worked intermittently. Also the buses were never on time. I tried to get my money back from my ticket before I left Buffalo, however, I was not successful. I am so flying next time!

Things that I need to remember when travelling around America:

  1. Always have an American number (which I now know I could have had my old US number re-activated instead of buying a new one)
  2. Flying wherever possible!
  3. Always have my camera to hand to capture photographically evidence!
  4. Definitely buy local sightseeing companies day pass tickets
  5. Always to have all my travel details in one place that is accessible!
GoodReads Reading Challenge · NaNoWriMo · Personal Life

Goodreads, Life and Cross Stitch Updates!

Wow! I have had a massive burst of reading madness. Recently I have finished “Molly and the Cat Café” by Melissa Daley (review coming soon!) and I am already a fifth of the way through “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown. Both of these books are a part of my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I have also set myself a mini challenge to read both “The Lost Symbol” and “Inferno” before Tuesday 31st October – as my Mum and I had decided to go and see the film “Inferno” on that day. A mission I know, but I am determined to do it.

My current Goodreads Reading Challenge book count is at 10 out of 24. Fourteen to go and two months to do it in! I will complete it! I will! I am staying positive!

Also I have some interesting news about my ‘everyday life’. I am no longer a member of staff for my local county council. Well, almost. I finish on October 28th and on November 1st (the same day as NaNoWriMo begins) I will be working for my part-time as a full-time staff member. On November 1st, the Brewery will be expanding into a new building and I am going to be one of the staff members who are going to be working there. I am very excited about this.

I have also created a blog for my Cross Stitching ‘obsession’ it is called Dreaming in Aida. Please feel free to pop over and see it. Leave a comment and enjoy what you see!


Personal Life

Travelling around the USA – Part One

As some of you all know, I have been away in the USA. I was attending a Girl Scout camp out there for a week; but I thought that I would make it more of a proper holiday by visiting my friend, Amy and her family. Very last minute; I decided to attend an International Conference. Therefore, I ended up travelling all over the Eastern coastal States. At first, I thought was going to be amazing; however, I am going to tell you all a different story…

national_express_7102_caetano_levante_fj08_knw_metrocentre_2009_pic_1I used National Express to make my way to the airport; I chose to fly from Heathrow as I know my way around the Terminals. The National Express bus journey was fine, I was going to reading but I was too excited. It was a 5.10am departure – I know that I am a crazy person; but I need to get this departure as my flight was at 12.45pm and I needed to arrive at the airport three hours before departure – I arrived a 8.15am. There is no traffic “at the crack of dawn” on the British Motorway; which I am very glad about.

heathrow_airport275-1024x768However, on my arrival to Heathrow – I did not have to wait awhile before I dropped off my bag. I checked in online 24 hours before my flight – I do recommend that you do that, as it made life much easier as it was rather busy at the airport – Top Tip #1.I am glad that I still had some British Pounds on me, as I knew that I would be hungry before boarding my flight. So, Top Tip #2 is have some of your “Home” Currency for the airport.

The flight was excellent; the staff were amazing and the people who sat next to me were good too. We didn’t speak much; so therefore, I thought I would catch up on some movies that I had missed at the Cinema. Seven hours were filled with six and half films. I think that is a record of my binge movie watching.

On arrival in to Philadelphia; I was going to use public transport to my accommodation for the next day and a half – however, I was a little worried as my Uber account was not working properly – I still haven’t worked out why?! – I found a cab that took me; sadly it was more expensive than Uber, oh well! I was using a AirBnB home for my accommodation. Pat, my host, was amazing. He made me feel welcome and safe, even though the neighbourhood did not. However, I found the links into the centre of Philly very good. I got myself a “Day Pass”; however I do not know if this it was it is officially called – it was only USD$ 8 and I was able to use it on train, trams and buses!


Excellent buy I feel. I also used the PHLASH bus; a circular bus route that ‘visits’ all the tourist places in Philly – that was only USD$5 for the whole day – I was unable to use the NJ Transit train ticket on this bus. I found that this mixture of tickets I could see a lot of Philly, both the tourist side and the not-so-tourist side. a4fed877e046075266a113fd5d70348fI went over to Pat’s King of Steaks – I was introduced to this heavenly place in 2012. I helped an Asian customer with her order; I felt like a local. I had onions on mine; I forgot that it gets messing with them on it! I did have to walk in Philly, but I had not bought myself an AT&T sim card by this time, so I was using local WiFi hotspots.

GoodReads Reading Challenge · NaNoWriMo · Personal Life

NaNoWriMo is coming…am I ready?

Oh yes, it is nearly that time once again! I have already started planning; yes I know that I am a month and a bit ahead – I REALLY want it this year. I have been inspired by a story starter that my current student was given.

The theme for NaNo this year is Space – I found that my Sci-Fi juices are flowing. I do have some Sci-Fi pieces started and I think that it is time to actually complete 50K in this genre. I know that I can work my way through November if my job carries on like it is – not much supporting students but being there for their medical needs.

Anyways; I am aiming to finish reading two books in the next few days. “The World According To Bob” by James Bowen and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by J.K. Rowling are the books I am getting near the end. I have also added some more Audiobooks to my Audible collection – head over to my newly added Audible Collection page.

GoodReads Reading Challenge · IGGPPC · Personal Life

Reading Challenge Update…

I thought that I would give you an update on my GoodReads Reading Challenge. Sadly I am behind; very behind on my challenge. Ten books to be exact. Sadly I was unable to read many books while I was away in America – the join of using public transport at night (it is okay for them to chat loud upon their phones, but it is not okay for me to read?!).

I have found that my Iggle Books spreadsheet is a little out of date; so this evening I have spent searching through all the group discussions looking for the books that have been read since 2013 within the group. I am determined to read ALL of these books and Bookcrossing with some help of book tokens – the list is from 2013. I will complete this ultimate reading challenge.

How are your reading challenges coming along? Do you have any recommendations to be adding to my ever growing TBR pile.

GoodReads Reading Challenge · Personal Life · Writing Events

Joined a Blogging Community…

Hey everyone, just a quick post to say that I have joined Bloggers Required, after seeing a fellow blogger talking about it. It sounds like the inspiration that I need. I have signed up for a couple of posts; travel and book related. You can probably see that I have already added the ‘blog badge’ to my blog! Very exciting I should say…

I have also been working my way through my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year; I know that my travelling will help me crash through my list. I wonder how many have beaten their challenge and how many people, like myself, who are miles behind.

Camp NaNoWriMo · GoodReads Reading Challenge · Jamberry · Uncategorized

Another book down…

A few days ago, I completed “Narrowboat Dreams” – yippie! Another book done and dusted!

As for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have decided NOT to take part this time around. I want to get myself all prepped and ready to go in November; which will arrive quicker than we all think it will.

It is not long until I am away on my holiday and I will be able to read to my hearts content! I will be taking my Kindle (yes, I know it is not a good word being a BookCrosser and all!) as I cannot carry five books with me. I will be taking a couple of BookCrossing books to release while I am away!

The closer I get to my holiday, the more excited I am becoming! JamCon here I come!

Camp NaNoWriMo · GoodReads Reading Challenge · Jamberry · Personal Life

Should I or should I not?

Should I or should I not do Camp NaNoWriMo this coming July? I will be away for the last three days of Camp (I will have access to the internet and I will be able to upload my novel at the end). However; I will be working every hour I can get my hands on working – both at The Brewery and with Jamberry to get as much cash as possible. This is due to adding an extra event on to my American trip…


I wasn’t going to originally; but I was persuaded by the rest of the girls in my team and being in the USA anyway, I thought that I could not miss the chance! I have been lucky that one of my team, can no longer go and has transferred her ticket to me – which I am very grateful! I think that I will give her some of the Swag I received as a thank you! I am sharing a room with four other members of my team.

However, there is a little, tiny, wincey problem – 33 and half hours on a bus (there and back)! JamCon is in Orlando, Florida, which is on the opposite end of the country to where I am staying – Buffalo, NY. I think that this will be a fantastic opportunity for me to see more of America and cross off some more of my “52 States Challenge”; which is currently ranking at five States visited!

I know that writing for Camp, will keep me focused and relaxed. I will be able to write on the bus down to Heathrow and on the plane; should I do Camp? I know that I will be doing a lot more reading over the holiday; as I am going to push on my books for my GoodReads Reading Challenge. I have 7 chapters left of “Narrowboat Dreams” to read and then that one can be “shelved”!

Let me know your thoughts…

IGGPPC · Jamberry · Personal Life

May The 4th Be with You…


Any Star Wars fans out there? I cannot believe that it is May the 4th already. Being a Geek I know how important it is to ‘celebrate’ special days within our Fandoms. iggppc-iconI am a member of an online community called International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (IGGPPC) and ironically I am in the House Organa.

It has been a while since I was active in the community; work and starting my new Jamberry business has been keeping me busy!


My favourite character of the Star Wars franchise is R2D2…what do you think of this set I have created?

R2D2 - Spring2016

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Remember these wraps and many more are…