Monday, 15 December 2014

Dissertation, Word for 2015 & Winter Writing


Well that's all my assignments submitted for this semester, exams completed but there is no rest.  With my dissertation due in at the end of March, I need to get organised.  Thankfully my dissertation supervisor is keeping me to plan but I would really like to just have a little rest and indulge in some Christmas baking and crafting.  However as this week is timetabled as dissertation week, which means I am at home, I think a little compromise is possible. My mornings will be spent working on my dissertation and my afternoons shall indulge my creative side. Perfect!

With the festive holiday fast approaching I am looking forward to slowing down, relaxing and spending time with family.  The time between Christmas and New Year is always very special to me, as I think ahead to the new year.  I am already thinking about my word for the year but as yet am unsure what it shall be.  I will definitely be getting a little help with the inspiring download from Susannah Conway as I fathom what word will be mine for 2015.  Next year is promising to be exciting and scary, as I turn forty, entering a new decade and my studies (for now) will come to an end as I qualify in June, so I will be job hunting.   Also over the holidays I have promised to help my husband make plans for his business for the coming year.  I shall pop on my social media consultant and blog editor head for a little while to help him make even more of a growing business.  Life is never dull in my world!

So with the promise of an exciting new year that will also be filled with plenty of academic writing I have given myself a little present, signing up to the Winter Writing Workshop with Do What You Love.  I want to make some time to write some fiction, developing my style, finding my voice and think this will be the perfect opportunity as I have a little time during the holidays.

I promise to share my word closer to the end of the year and would love to know what your word will be too.  Also say hi if you are also joining the writing workshop.  And for everyone slaving over a dissertation this holiday, I wish you luck and send virtual mugs of tea and biccies.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Year in Books : December


I know it has been a while since I wrote a post for The Year in Books but I have still been reading, although mostly journal articles for assignments and my dissertation.  However unless you have an interest in paediatric oncology, prostate cancer or health literacy I am sure none of these will be of interest! But thankfully I still find a few minutes each night to read before I go to sleep.  Over the past few weeks I have loved If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Both have recently been released on the big screen but I am always cautious when great books are made into films, so I haven't rushed to the cinema just yet.  

This month I have opted for something a bit more light hearted, in the shape of my old heroine Bridget Jones.  A little late to the party in reading the latest diary, Mad About The Boy, from this character, but I have already spent the last few nights reading into the small hours. Clearly I am not disappointed with Helen Fieldings latest offering, already rooting for Bridget to make it through the abyss of single parenting and getting back on her feet after the loss of her great love, Mr Darcy.  

My Christmas list is always full of books and with a bookseller husband there is always something to read in our house.  Perhaps if you are stuck for what to read next pop over to The Year in Books link up on Circle of Pines for plenty of inspiration and reviews.  Also if you are looking for some vintage Ladybird, Enid Blyton or Penguin books for stocking fillers this Christmas then pop over to Letters & Luggage on Etsy.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Meal Planning - The Future of Being Organised

Meal Planner Stationery



Oh yes it is true, we love a bit of meal planning in our house.  We even have a pad on the fridge so everyone knows what is for tea, add things for next weeks shopping list and even remember to take meat out of the freezer.  Now I can honestly admit that this all feels a little bit too grown up and way too organised.  However as I approach my forties and with five children, I felt it was time to be a little bit grown up! Food is very important in our house, we all love to cook and bake. Nevermind the fact that there are always hungry teenagers opening the fridge or cupboards.  So just incase anybody else was feeling like they needed to take some control on the family food front I have rounded up some stylish menu planning stationery to make this task more exciting!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Distractions of a Mature Student

Or I could make these bracelets instead of writing my essay!
tutorial from Honestly WTF

Right now I have so much studying to do, with deadlines looming and my dissertation constantly on my mind that I really need to focus.  Yet I seem to be very easily distracted, window shopping online for a new pair of boots, coming up with product ideas for Andy's shop, planning surprise outings, flicking through my ever increasing pile of unread magazines. Idling away precious time, distracted by anything and everything.  This is the curse of being a mature student I am sure, with so many other things on your mind that actually focussing your time constructively is really hard.  There are even times when I start to resent my studies taking up my time as I have soooo much to do.  

One piece of advice I could offer right now is to sit and focus on your assignments then spoil yourself with idling away the hours planning a day out or just sit reading magazines for a whole afternoon with a big pot of tea.  Now I just need to heed my own advice!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Moment of Remembrance


Today is the day when our nation remember the heroes who gave their lives for us to live in peace.  My schedule is crazy busy at the moment and every minute I can study, I take. But today I stopped, just for thirty minutes to stand at the village memorial with fellow villagers to attend the remembrance service.  Life should never be so busy that we cannot give thanks, pay our respects, remember those who have helped shape the lives we have.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Retraining - In My Final Year

I know I have been a bit quiet here and on my social media accounts, but life went from slow summer days to demanding workloads very quickly.  Heading back to uni at the start of the month, no long summer hols for health students, it finally felt real....I am in my final year.  Suddenly I had to start thinking about job applications, updating my cv and Linked In page, nevermind writing my dissertation and completing competencies in clinical practice.  So I dropped a few balls, got my head out of the sand and am trying to get super organised, to make my final year manageable.  

Returning to study when you have children is hard.  I am not going to pretend, if you take the leap, which I encourage everyone who wants to to do, be prepared for days when you actually wonder if you can do everything.  The workload in my second year was huge, stress levels were high and I actually wondered if I would reach this stage several times.  But I did it, I got through the workload, my children and husband are still talking to me and I have made it to my final year.  

So as I head off for my first meeting with my dissertation supervisor, I feel a sense of relief that I have got this far, that getting to the end of my degree is now in sight and very soon I will be qualified.  This of course is scary but really exciting too.  And if I can do it anyone can. Make the changes you want to make, find a way, don't delay it, as it is better to have tried than to regret not trying.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Wonderful Week

I have been thinking about doing a post that rounds up my week, lets me share my favourite things with you all.  By doing a post like this it also gives some focus to my writing, makes me stop and think about the things I have enjoyed, loved and learned, as the days pass.  So here goes this is what has helped make my week wonderful.

Reading The Simple Things magazine.  I have caught up on reading the August issue and made a start on the latest issue that dropped through my letterbox last week.

Listening to George Ezra.  I have been loving his music throughout the summer and seem to have his album on repeat at the moment.

Swooning over the new little Citroen C1.  As I drive a small car most of the time, to clinical placement, to uni, playing at taxi's for my children at the weekend, I am always looking out for something a little more stylish than my current car.

Eating delicious homemade blackberry and elderberry crumble.  Having foraged the fruit from the garden we enjoyed a autumnal dessert staple this week.

Watching repeats of Friends on Comedy Central.  Lucy and Jack love this series and of course I do, taking me back to my late teens and early twenties.

What has your week entailed, I would love to hear.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo