Gosia’s Soaps: The Best I Have Ever Used

Christmas is coming, and it is time to think about giving something useful as a gift. I am happy to suggest the wonderful soaps made by the wife of fellow blogger, Eddy Winko.

Gosia produces them with 100% all-natural ingredients, in a real home-crafting situation in Poland. Even better, you can choose from a great variety, including those suitable for sensitive skin, like mine. Prices are fair, and much better than those so-called ‘Artisan soaps’ seen for sale at craft fairs and trendy markets around the country. The soap I buy even softens Norfolk’s hard water, and makes the bath easy to clean after use!

Gosia will post to anywhere in the world, and advance payment is easily arranged by using Paypal. You can contact Eddy through the website for any special requests, or to leave your order and address details. I am not the only blogger who uses these soaps regularly, and every customer always comes back for more!

The latest updated link, in English.

Soaps

This link is in Polish, but can be translated using Google.

Zielona Koza

Here is a link to the site in English, where you can scroll through and look at photos and descriptions of the products available.

Soaps

Blogger’s Books: Stevie Turner

I am very happy to feature the latest book from author and blogger Stevie Turner.

Here is her synopsis of the new novel.

Esme Jones and husband Aron have completed their family and have twin sons Jared and James. Esme’s older sister Eden Reece is desperate for a child, but a hysterectomy has put paid to any chance of her becoming a parent. When Esme offers herself as a surrogate, Eden and husband Billy are delighted. However, when Esme notices the first fluttering of life inside her and a scan reveals that she is carrying a girl, both sisters are not prepared for the outcome which threatens to tear the fabric of the whole extended family apart.

‘Barren’ is released on the First of October, and is available to pre-order now. For the whole of that month, it is on offer at just 99p/99c.
It is also free on Kindle Unlimited.


For readers outside of the UK, here is the Amazon.com link.

Stevie is a very engaged member of our blogging community.
To find out more about her writing, or to visit her blog and social media pages, please follow the links below.

Website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6

Blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

Email: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

Featured blogger: Suzan Khoja

Suzan is a young blogger who lives in India. She is a confirmed book lover who also tackles serious subjects on her blog, like body-shaming.

https://magicalbooklush.blog/

Anyone who has ever visited her blog or has been lucky enough to have her as a follower will be aware that she is fully-engaged, lively, friendly, and very entertaining. Her book reviews range from childhood favourites like comics, to serious classic novels such as Orwell’s ‘1984’. There is definitely something for everyone on her blog.

This is what she has to say about herself.

Be Free!!
These days all I hear is people don’t have time to read or don’t know what to read. People feel shy reading in public because they get labelled as ‘Nerds’ and are often insulted. Athletes and social butterflies who love reading hide to avoid embarrassment. I am here rebelling against those human shaming people that force readers to hide their love. They actually forget that they read everything including text messages to time on their watch. It’s a rebellion against the racism created by the cool people for the love of BOOKS, for ourselves. Join me in this rebellion, help me spread my word, help me encourage readers, help me bring out their best and loveable side. Books are the imaginary world we all need. It solves half of our problems. Click on that tiny button and join me for not only book reviews but many more things like reviews on apps, fashion, technology and the situations that usually occur in our lives. Join me for a nice chat with a cup of coffee and all your problems on the table.

She has some regular features, like ‘Bookish Friday’.

BOOKISH FRIDAY || IT’S READING TIME!!! {10}.

And ‘Literary Monday’.

BOOKWORM IS BACK!!! || LITERARY MONDAY.

There are author interviews too.

LAILA BHAIDANI’S INTERVIEW || AUTHORS’ INTERVIEWS.

More about her.


Hey guys, if you are reading this, thank you for your precious time. I love books, they have been my life since childhood. As I am the only child, I don’t have anyone to share my views, opinions and discuss what I like and dislike. This blog is like my mirror image. I post all my opinions about books, society and everything that comes to my heart. So if you like my blog please share it with me. Discuss your opinions on my blog and tell me your suggestions, I would love to hear you all. Thank you once again for reading.

Suzan also posts about Indian culture and celebrations, as well as family life, and the day to day routine. During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, she has also written about the impact of the virus on India, and her own city.

Please take a moment to read more of her blog, and get to know her better.

Featured Blogger: Pete Springer

American blogger and writer Pete Springer is a retired teacher. He has only been blogging for less than two years, but has already become a great asset to our blogging community.
https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/

He has published a book that he hopes will interest and inspire new teachers, based on his own memories of a lifetime as an educator.

Here is one of his recent posts, giving some idea of what you will find on his blog.

An Impressive Young Man

There are times in a teaching career when you wonder, “Was it all worth it? Would I do it again?” My answer has always been a resounding “yes” to those questions, but I don’t think there is a teacher alive who hasn’t wondered about those things on occasion. All teachers inevitably have bad days, and it can leave you feeling, “What am I doing? I must be the world’s worst teacher.”

One of the mysteries of teaching is that you can have one of these awful days from nowhere. With experience, you learn that these things can happen randomly for no apparent reason. Many times, it has nothing to do with you but difficult situations that are going on in your students’ lives that you are unaware of. Sometimes you discover why things went amiss, but many times you don’t. Just as often, the following day, everything goes according to plan, and you feel like the consummate professional. Such are the ups and downs of being an educator.

I’ve written previously about some of my favorite post-teaching moments. One post was entitled The Delayed Rewards of Teaching https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/the-delayed-rewards-of-teaching/ and, most recently, an article called Our Future is in Good Hands. https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2020/07/09/our-future-is-in-good-hands/

This past week I had one of those beautiful post-teaching experiences that reminded me why I became an educator. When you’re in the middle of a school year, you have these memorable experiences when you see a child accomplish something remarkable or observe a fantastic transformation in a child’s academics or behavior. While these accomplishments are rewarding, the big payoff often comes years later.

I taught Samy Awwad in third grade several years ago. He was a bright and sometimes mischievous (never mean) boy with a great deal of potential. I had the pleasure of teaching Samy’s brother the year before him, and his younger sister two years after I taught Samy. They all were exceptionally bright students with promising futures. Unsurprisingly, their parents set an excellent example by being educated, kind people, who put tremendous value on education.

Just because a student is intelligent is no guarantee of future success. I saw bright students get sidetracked for various reasons as they became young adults. The most common reasons were dysfunction in the family, childhood trauma, lack of motivation, hanging out with the wrong peers, or substance abuse problems.

Then there are students like Samy Awwad, who not only do well in school but take their natural ability and run with it. Imagine being a sixteen-year-senior, having already received preadmission to Stanford, and starting up a nonprofit organization for young people.

Awwad’s nonprofit is called IMMUNIGLOBAL. http://www.immuniglobal.org/ His primary focus is to bring education and awareness of the importance of vaccinations to the community in fighting preventable diseases such as the measles or flu.

Immuniglobal is not a small undertaking. Awwad built his nonprofit from the ground up, including website design and development, workshops, outreach, and phone education.

He approached the problem of vaccine education logically by first building his website from scratch to provide information regarding immunizations. A couple of the most startling facts on Awwad’s website are that according to the World Health Organization, between two and three million deaths are prevented each year by vaccinations. According to the CDC, a savings of an estimated 42,000 lives occur in the United States per year.

Awwad sees the big picture and comprehends that real change comes at the grassroots level while also understanding the need to work with huge companies. He has partnered with large organizations and institutions such as the CDC, CLOROX, and UCLA.

The level of thought and action that Awwad has taken is inspiring. He recognized the lack of immunizations that were happening in Humboldt County, his place of residence. Humboldt was recently ranked 54th out of 58 counties in California in terms of vaccination rates.

So why do some people choose not to get their children vaccinated? There appear to be several reasons. According to The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the four most prevalent anti-vax philosophies are:

Religious Reasons
Personal Beliefs or Philosophical Reasons
Safety Concerns
Desire for Additional Education
According to a National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey, the top reasons for not getting a flu vaccine are:

36% feel they are healthy and do not need the shot.

31% do not like needles.

30% do not think it works.

27% worry about the risks.

While 70% believe it is vital to get an annual flu shot, only 46% say they typically get vaccinated.

Perhaps what is most troubling is that diseases that were once mainly under control are becoming more prevalent again. Measles cases are on the rise. The majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated.

Beyond the probable life-saving gains, vaccines have an economic benefit and cut medical costs throughout the world. When diseases occur, more hospitalizations are the result. The COVID-19 pandemic has added considerable costs and added higher risk to medical professionals.

Awwad realizes that one of the most effective means of communication is to take his knowledge to the community directly. He has made several presentations in K-12 classrooms in Humboldt County. (Most of these have been at the high school level.) His approach helps young people become more educated about vaccines and encourages them to become involved in vaccine education and other current critical issues.

One of the most important local programs that Awwad became involved with was a vigorous vaccine education program at McKinleyville High School. He organized an Adolescent Immunization Poster Contest with the Humboldt County Department of Public Health and some local pediatricians.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the importance of developing a vaccine has come to the forefront. Worldwide deaths have now reached over 600,000 people with several times more than that becoming ill. Even those who make a full recovery from the Coronavirus may have long-term health effects.

Awwad looks at the present and the future to see how he can use his talents and energy. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is released to the public, he would like to present a series of vaccine-related workshops and activities in schools and other places around Humboldt County.

As far as what comes next for Samy Awwad, the possibilities are endless. He is one of thirty undergraduate fellows selected recently at Stanford’s chapter of an organization called “Effective Altruism.” The goal for this two-month fellowship will be to identify the most pressing issues in the world and then decide how best to implement this resulting knowledge in his career.

Awwad plans to take a gap year to continue his work with ImmuniGlobal before enrolling full-time at Stanford. The most likely path for him will be a future in medicine as a physician. Another possibility is for Awwad to study and conduct research in the field of brain diseases. He is always thinking several steps ahead and has several other irons in the fire unrelated to vaccinations. He hopes to use his voice to help minorities and find ways to tackle important issues such as racism and classism.

I find great inspiration from Samy Awwad’s selfless acts to improve his community and make a difference throughout the world. I can’t wait for the next chapter in his life, and I know that his teachers are all proud of the young man he has become. If ever you doubt America’s youth, perhaps Samy and others like him will help change your mind.

Please find some time to check out Pete’s blog, and get to know him and his writing.

The Kelpies – a grand day out

I am reblogging this post from Mary in my new series of ‘A Reblog Offer’

Mary Smith's Place

The DH and I enjoyed a grand day out last year when we decided to visit The Kelpies near Falkirk.

Created by sculptor Andy Scott, each one weighs over 300 tonnes and at 30 metres high, they are the world’s largest equine statues. They dominate the Helix, a fabulous park by the Forth and Clyde Canal. Apart from The Kelpies there is plenty to do with walks along the towpaths, play areas, a wetland boardwalk, eating places, visitor centre and shop – but it was the Kelpies we had come to see.

We were not disappointed. They are fabulous, absolutely stunning.

20170428_132416 Standing sentinel on the Forth & Clyde Canal

Kelpies are mythological water horses or spirits which can change their shape. They haunt rivers and streams. A kelpie can appear as a docile pony but as soon as anyone mounts it he or she is stuck and will be dragged…

View original post 346 more words

Dream on

I am reblogging this post from Ngozi in my new series of ‘A Reblog Offer’

Doshelles

Author’s Note: Mum was involved in a ghastly motor accident in the year 2000. She was bed ridden for years, and as a result experienced some setbacks in life. This didn’t stop her from achieving her goals. One of her favorite expressions remain “I was unequivocal in expressing my thoughts.”

Mum was (still is) partial to Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door perfume. Its sensuous blend of rich floral and fruity notes always announced her presence. The difference between a runway model and her was height and weight-she moved with grace and poise, the world was her runway. My greatest fantasy as a child was to grow up fast- share her wardrobe of tasteful-colorful-fashionable clothes, shoes, and handbags.

On the day of the accident, I came back from school downcast, hoping that Mum was home to cheer me up. My friends and neighbor, the twins, had lost their dog- Wisdom. I got…

View original post 532 more words

Cheryl Oreglia: Too Much Time On Our Hands

I featured American blogger and writer Cheryl in a guest post late last year, and now I am very pleased to once again bring her to the attention of everyone in our great community.

Here is what she has to say about herself.

ABOUT ME
Living in the Gap is a lifestyle blog which appears randomly as I corral the time to write and reflect on the mundane. I do have a life outside of my head and it squeezes between me and my keyboard like a frightened child. What can you do? On the surface my life is common, I’m married with children, a high school teacher who lives for weekends at the lake, but just below the surface is a unique voice, one that I hope will resonate with you. Living in the Gap, customized, over the hill, gritty, complicated life. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Join me. Living in the Gap has over 100,000 views and is syndicated by The Good Men Project. Contact me at cheryloreglia@aol.com

Here is a link to her blog.
https://cheryloreglia.blog/

This recent post from her own blog gives a flavour of what you can expect to find.

TOO MUCH TIME ON OUR HANDS

Is there such a thing as too much time on your hands?

Yes, I believe so.

And there is also a thing about balancing how you spend your precious time.

Larry and I have been spending just about every waking hour together, and I’m discovering things about this man that I never knew, and believe me when I say you can’t unknow what you’ve come to know.

For example, I discovered Larry has a morbid fear of dishwashers (he can get a dish to the sink but no further), he’s taken to wearing a headband out to dinner (and people compliment him?), and oddly enough he can not resist a worthy challenge.

I found this old photo of Larry and me, I believe it was premarriage, but you can’t be sure. Clearly, we were in our early twenties, obviously tired of backgammon, and forced to discover new forms of entertainment.

The impetus for getting ourselves in such a pose had not been fully established but what I do know is Larry is looking down my shirt!

How rude.

We were staying with his parents at their Kono Tayee estate, I assume one of them snapped this photo, and it’s been sitting in a basket up at the lake ever since. I glance at it ever now and then, shake my head, and return it to the basket.

Recently I decided to make a copy of the image, thinking I’d frame it, and hang it up at our lake house. You know, for posterity and all, a reminder that we were young once, and remarkably agile.

I don’t know why, but the image always makes me smile, and sort of sigh as if nostalgic for the good old days.

So we’re sitting around the house, thumbing through the plethora of programs now available on Netflix, and I said something banal like, “I wonder if we could pull that off at our age?”

What was I thinking?

Larry says, “I’m certainly strong enough”

“Really honey? Are you insinuating there has been a shift in my anatomy? And besides, we don’t have a beanbag!” Not to mention I’m a total fail at balancing and have a minor fear of heights?

“A beanbag?”

“You know when you recreate an old image by wearing the same clothes, getting in the same position, with a similar background, except you’re decades older? It’s a thing.”

“Never heard of it.”

“I’m shocked, hey, do you still have that shirt?”

“That shirt – No”

“I definitely don’t have my shirt, which you are looking down by the way.”

“I’m focusing on keeping you airborne.”

“And smirking?”

He looks me up and down, “I think I could hold you?”

“Not reassuring.”

“Yeah, I could do it.”

“Well, I guess we’ll never know, will we?”

It’s the “will we” that got me into trouble. Before I know what’s happening he’s on the floor balancing a pillow with his feet.

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
–Bruce Lee

He says, “nothing to it.”

I don’t have the heart to tell him I weigh slightly more than a pillow, as he kicks the fluffy square into the air, narrowly missing my plant!

I muddled something under my breath about the status of our health insurance but Looney ignores me.

“Come on we have nothing to lose.”

“Only my dignity, and my ability to walk, and breath, other than that, we’re all good.”

“Can I just advise, if you feel like you’re falling, lean to the left.”

Famous last words…


“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

I’m Living in the Gap, practicing Acro Yoga, with Looney as my partner.

What are you all doing with your spare time?

Anecdotes:

“Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.” Richie Norton
“Live is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E. E. Cummings
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Unknown
Instructional video for you adventurous types, please drop your pics in the comments

Please take some time to check out the rest of Cheryl’s blog, say ‘Hello’, and welcome her to the community.

Guest Post: Rupa Jambholkar

Today I am featuring Indian blogger, Rupa. I am presenting a post from her own blog, a touching poem about her love for her husband.
Here is her own short bio.

“I am an engineer by degree. A home maker by choice and an artist by soul.

I live in Mumbai, India with my husband and two kids.”



Love needs no fancy flowers!

I pulled out the chair for you,
but forgot
you weren’t there.
I made your favourite chicken curry, spicy and hot, just the way you want.

I envisage, the way you relish it,
licking your fingers,
and asking for more.
You know and I know,
it’s too hot for you but you still love it.
And I wonder why?
I see the way you look at me ,
with your loving eyes.
Even though I look like a pallid soul.
And at that moment , I try to steal my glance away from you, but your eyes stay fixated on me.

And then you hum,
an old romantic song to compliment me,
but I pretend that I don’t blush nowadays
and I somehow manage to smile,
to hide the fact that, I still feel so shy.

I cannot elucidate to myself, how can you see beauty in me, especially now, when I fail to see it anymore.

AND HOW CAN YOU, AFTER SO MANY YEARS NOT BE BORED, OF AN INSIPID ME?

Yes I did hear the doorbell, my eyes have lit up, I know it’s you.
And you know that, I was thinking about you, waiting for you, so stop smiling and give me a hug.

The curry is still warm,
so is my heart and so are your arms,
And now I see what I saw, the same love to begin with.

You can read more of Rupa’s work on her own blog, Pans & Proses.
https://pansandproses.wordpress.com/

Please try to find some time to welcome Rupa into our wonderful blogging community.

Blogger’s Books: Mary Smith

This morning I am delighted to feature a book from Scottish blogger and writer, Mary Smith.

Here is her own bio.

Mary Smith is an author, journalist and blogger based in Dumfries & Galloway in south west Scotland. Her work includes fiction, non-fiction, memoir and poetry.
Her memoir, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni about her years in Afghanistan, allows the reader to meet some of the women with whom she worked and provides an authentic insight into the life and culture of the country. Afghanistan also provides the setting for her novel No More Mulberries. Her poems have been widely published in poetry magazines and anthologies and her full length poetry collection, Thousands Pass Here Every Day, is published by Indigo Dreams.
She has, working in collaboration with photographers Allan Devlin and Keith Kirk, four local history books published by Amberley Publishing.
Currently, she is contributing to an anthology about life under lockdown and turning her blog, My Dad’s a Goldfish, into a memoir about caring for her dad through his dementia.

Donkey Boy & Other Stories is her latest fiction publication and first short story collection.
Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse.

This review gives you some idea of what to expect from this delightful short story collection.

Testimonial from Margaret Elphinstone, author of The Gathering Night
Whether we’re in urban Pakistan, an old-fashioned travelling circus in Scotland, or repressed suburban Britain, Mary Smith’s stories take the reader right to the heart of a situation. They focus on characters who are disinherited by mainstream cultures. Whether it’s the boy from Peshawar whose father can’t let him stay at school, the adopted child who is marginalised by an identity she can’t recognise, or a woman escaping from lethal oppression, these people have been forced to abandon a part of themselves. The take on this theme varies from first person narrative ironically revealing its own complacency, to an impersonal voice which takes us right to the heart of suffering. The final story is perhaps the most chilling: is the character suffering from all-too-acute perception of cruelty and brutality, or is she simply crazy? In these stories the reader’s position is always ambiguous: are we colluding with dispossession, or are we honestly able to listen?

Other reviews are available via these links.
Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary Smith
https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/donkey-boy-and-other-stories-by-mary-smith-amreading/comment-page-1/#comment-1293

You can find out more about the book, and buy a copy, by clicking on these.
http://smarturl.it/dbaos
http://amzn.to/2jSwDCO

Mary is one of the most consistent and supportive bloggers in this community.
Please try to connect with her, and show her how much she means to all of us.
https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com – where she blogs about Scotland, history, walks, Afghanistan – and anything that takes her fancy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marysmithwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543

Blogger’s Books: Robbie Cheadle

(Due to some kind of WP glitch, the whole of this post appears in italics. I have tried to alter that, but cannot)

I am delighted to feature South African blogger and author, Roberta Cheadle. She is a very popular member of our blogging community, and her cake-making skills have transferred into a range of delightful illustrated books for family reading, written in collaboration with her son.
Read the book, and make the cakes!

Here is her bio.

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

And the new book.

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.
Contains five recipes that children can make under adult supervision

Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook.
Authors: Robbie and Michael Cheadle

A recent review on Goodreads (4 stars)
What fun it must be to live in Chocolate Land where the rain tastes like milkshake – and not boring flavours like vanilla and strawberry, but banana-toffee, peachy-marmelade, honey or nuts. And then one day, the rain is all white and the rainbow pale. Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet set off to discover what is the problem and Sir Chocolate gets a chance to make his own flavours of rain. The fairies made from fondant are very pretty and the recipes are very tempting. We’re definitely making the blondies!

You can connect with Robbie using the following links.

Website

https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter

And here is a buying link for the book, which is VERY reasonably priced in Kindle format.

Please check out Robbie’s links, discover the rest of her writing, and get a copy of this fun new book!