March 18, 2014

Welcome to Schnizzler!

I'd like to introduce you all to Schnizzler, my new shop selling handmade bags, accessories and jewelry!


Only a few pairs of earrings are currently available in my Etsy shop but there will soon be more items available such as makeup brush wraps, makeup bags, phone/iPad/kindle cosies as well as gorgeous handbags and messenger bags. I'm also able to custom make the products to your specification if you see a fabric that you love but not in the product you'd like!

 Here is an example of the super sweet pleated shoulder bag


And an awesome makeup bag for all your girly needs!








Be sure to check out the super handy waist wraps which are perfect for gardeners/painters or anyone that has a habit of putting their phone down somewhere when they're working on their projects!
They're available in full width and half width, with a choice to add a zipper for extra security if you're carrying money or cards with you (sorry this isn't the best pic but you get the idea!). Some half width ones are hanging to the right hand side of the picture below.

You can see many of the products on offer in this snap shot of my market stall from the weekend and all of the products with measurements and clear photos will be online within the next week or so.


Feel free to contact me on shona@schnizzler.us if you would like details of any of the products or a custom design for you or as a gift. Please also take a moment to pop by the online store and favourite it so that you receive notifications as new products are added.

Thank you!

Wishlist Wednesday #35


Welcome to my thirty-fifth Wishlist Wednesday which is part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. This week I've chosen The Baxter Trust and The Anonymous Client by Parnell Hall.

Sexy young Sheila Benton loses a multi-million dollar trust if she's involved in any scandal, so it probably would have been wiser not to do drugs, run around with a married man, and find a dead blackmailer on her kitchen floor. Defending her from a murder charge is a tough first case for attorney Steve Winslow, particularly since her trustee won't pay him, and he can't afford to quit his day job, driving a cab.


The Anonymous Client – What young attorney wouldn’t be delighted to get a $10,000 cash retainer in the mail? Steve Winslow might have been if he knew who sent it. As it is, it gets him arrested for murder, grilled by the cops, and hauled before the grand jury. And he still doesn’t know who his client is.




I was initially only going to select The Anonymous Client as my Wishlist Wednesday this week but its the second book in a series so I figured I'd include the first too as I'm likely to start from the beginning. At only 49p per book and good reviews all round I think I'll probably have them both on my to be read shelf sooner rather than later!

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!

March 9, 2014

Throwing Caution To The Wind (Beaumont Half Marathon Race Summary)

Saturday was RACE DAY!!

From the moment I started packing my case on Friday I was a big bundle of nervous energy! I didn't know if I was excited, afraid, nervous or just plain scared of getting injured again (my last venture into a half marathon race ended up in serious injury and a lot of hopping). I also had no idea what time I was going to aim for and was feeling a bit lost. Even though I didn't want to put time pressure on myself I still thought I should have a rough idea of pace as a target.

I LOVE the marathon/half marathon in Beaumont, TX. It's small enough so that it's not a crowded race and they don't have to start you in corals but it's exceptionally well organised with an abundance of water stations along the way. I set off tucked in behind the 2 hour pacer as I knew that was a pace I'm usually comfortable with - not too fast, not too slow. Conditions were good (except for the mean head wind in the second half!) so I figured I could run with them for a while and see how I felt and could always drop back if I didn't feel good.

As it happened the pace felt great. However the group fell slightly off pace a few miles in and about the same time that they picked up the pace to catch up, I had to stop due to pain in the knee that I have IT band problems with. Luckily just adjusting my knee brace and doing a few stretches was enough to make me feel like I could carry on without discomfort. From that point on I mostly ran alone with a couple of stops to stretch out my knee when it started to ache. I had no idea how I was doing other than that I could see the 2 hour group not too far in the distance and wasn't caught up by the 2.10 group.
Source
Somehow I still had a sprint in me at the end and my final Garmin time was 2 hours and 3 minutes. I'm really happy with how the race went. I'm a bit like the tin man today (left knee pain and right hip pain are not a good combination!) but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! I raised over $2000 for MND/ALS charities, got over my fear of half marathon related injury and proved to myself that I've bounced back after the illness and operations I had at the end of 2013.

If anything it's got me thinking... if I can do a 2.03 untrained.... what time can I get if I can keep healthy for a full training plan??!! Watch this space: I have a feeling I'm going to feel the need to find out!

March 5, 2014

Race Worries

I've been running for a few years and have run several half marathons and a full marathon. I usually train according to my plan and stand at the start line feeling quietly confident that my training will get me through the race comfortably and in the time I'd prepared for, if not a little quicker.

This is not the case for Saturday! I know that I can do the distance but I have no idea how to pace myself. I usually run with a Garmin and a virtual partner set to my target race time but if I don't know my target how do I approach the race? So I'd like your opinion....

Do I run with my Garmin and virtual partner? If I do, how can I determine my VP time if I'm not even sure myself?!

Do I run with a pace group and no Garmin, with the option to drop back to a slower group if I'm having a tough time?

Do I run with no Garmin at all and just enjoy the race whatever the pace?

Please leave any comments below... I need your help!!

Running For A Cure

This Saturday I'm running to raise money for people with Motor Neurone Disease (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Please check out my video below for more info:


If you would like to support me please click this link if you're in the UK or this link if you're in the USA

Thank you xx

February 12, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #34


Welcome to my thirty-fourth Wishlist Wednesday which is part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. This week I've chosen The Detective's Daughter by Lesley Thomson



Kate Rokesmith's decision to go to the river changed the lives of many.

Her murder shocked the nation. Her husband, never charged, moved abroad under a cloud of suspicion. Her son, just four years old, grew up in a loveless boarding school. And Detective Inspector Darnell, vowing to leave no stone unturned in the search for her killer, began to lose his only daughter. The young Stella Darnell grew to resent the dead Kate Rokesmith.

Now, thirty years later, Stella is dutifully sorting through her father's attic after his sudden death. The Rokesmith case papers are in a corner, gathering dust: DI Darnell must have copied them when he retired from the force. Stella knows she should destroy them. Instead, she opens the box, and starts to read...

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!

February 11, 2014

Running For A Cure

True to my word I signed up for the Beaumont half marathon last night. I am doing it in memory of my Godmother and will be raising money for charities are responsible for supporting people with MND/ALS (same thing just with a different name, AKA Lou Gehrig's disease) and that are dedicated to finding a cure.

If you live in the UK and would like to support me I'm raising money for the MNDA

The Motor Neurone Disease Association's vision is a world free of MND.
  • They improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers. 
  • They fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure for MND.
  • They campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND and everyone who cares for them are recognised and addressed by wider society.

If you're based in the USA and would like to donate, I'm raising money for the Texas Chapter of the ALSA Community for Hope.

The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. They would like to

  • Lead, direct and/or collaborate on global research to understand the disease, develop treatments and ultimately find a cure.
  • Provide every person with ALS and their families access to high quality, consistent and compassionate support services
Both these charities need support to help find a cure for this terrible disease so please sponsor me if you can. If you're in the UK please click here and if you're in the USA and would like to donate please click here



February 10, 2014

A Change Of Plan (Twice)

When I got the all clear from my surgeon that I could run again, I immediately decided that I wanted to run the Beaumont half marathon on 8th March. I really wanted to do it not just because it would be a good sign that I was all better, but also because I LOVE that race! I did the half marathon in 2011 and full marathon there in 2012. I would've run it last year but I wasn't in the USA at the time.


I launched into a half marathon training plan, being careful to increase mileage carefully to avoid injury. However I'm a bit all or nothing and if I was going to race, I wanted to do the best I could. Unfortunately it seemed to be too much too soon as I kept getting run down and suffering from cold after cold. I comfortably ran 10.5 miles about 3 weeks ago but decided after that run that I wasn't going to race in March and that I should go back to just running two or three times a week without the pressure of performance and keeping up to a plan.

Last week I received some very sad news. My Godmother who has been fighting Motor Neurone Disease (Lou Gehrig's Disease) passed away. She was the reason that I was inspired to run 2011 in 2011, my first half marathon and full marathon for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and York Against MND. With news or her passing my heart told me I should run again in her memory and try to raise money for the charities that are trying to find a cure for this terrible disease.

So watch this space.. I'm signing up and will appreciate any support you can give. I don't plan on going back into the full training plan, I'm just focussing on staying healthy and running shorter runs. I'm looking forward to running a race without the usual pressures that I put on myself to perform :)

February 5, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #33


Welcome to my thirty-third Wishlist Wednesday which is part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. This week I've chosen Killer Move by Michael Marshall


Your password is protected. Your life is not...

With a lucrative job, great marriage and a beautiful house, Bill Moore is a man with a plan. It's all working out just fine, until the day he finds a card left on his desk, printed with just one word: 

MODIFIED

From that moment, his life begins to change - at first barely noticeably, then in more and more disturbing ways. Bill soon finds out, in the most terrifying way, that he has become the subject of a dark and deadly game . . . and that he has no choice but to fight back.

There's something about this book that intrigues me. Firstly I had to root around for this much of a description as the synopsis on the Kindle page was delightfully short. I haven't read any reviews for fear of spoilers though the editorial reviews are really good and make it sound like a good twisty thriller. I definitely want to add this to my TBR list!

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!

January 29, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #32


Welcome to my thirtysecond Wishlist Wednesday which is part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. I've been missing this weekly blog hop but have been a bit uninspired by my Kindle recently. I'm hoping this may get me going again! So this week I've chosen Borkmann's Point by HÃ¥kan Nesser

Borkmann’s rule was hardly a rule; in fact, it was more of a comment, a landmark for tricky cases . . . In every investigation, he maintained, there comes a point beyond which we don’t really need any more information. When we reach that point, we already know enough to solve the case by means of nothing more than some decent thinking. A seedy ex-con and a wealthy real-estate mogul are brutally murdered with an axe in the quiet coastal town of Kaalbringen. Chief Inspector van Veeteren, bored of his holiday nearby, is summoned to assist the local authorities. But there seems to be nothing to link the victims. Another body is discovered, again with no obvious connection, and the pressure mounts. The local police chief, just days away from retirement, is determined to wrap things up before he goes. Then there’s a fourth murder, and a brilliant young female detective goes missing – perhaps she has reached Borkmann’s Point before anyone else . . .

I haven't heard of this author or book before tonight when I started browsing through amazon, and I'm not sure how I got to it as it doesn't seem to be on any best seller lists, but it has some really good reviews and I'm interested to see how this Swedish author's work translates both in plot and setting.

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!


January 15, 2014

Advice About Audiobooks

This isn't the first time I've considered the benefits of listening to audiobooks but usually I give them some thought, see the price of them and then end up looking at clothes on Zappos. However I'm back in training for a half marathon and feel like the time spent on long runs could be well used listening to podcasts or to something other than music. Which brings me back to Audiobooks.... (for me it sounds like the perfect combination of two of my favourite hobbies!)

Pic Source
I have some queries though and am hoping you can help:

  1. What are your experiences with audiobooks?
  2. Is it worth buying into a subscription service such as audible.com or just buy per book from amazon or itunes?
  3. Bearing in mind I like mostly legal thrillers, mysteries, police procedural, (and the occasional fantasy book if it's not tooooo weird) have you got any recommendations of audiobooks that you have really enjoyed? 
  4. Is there anything I should be cautious or wary of? 
I know I'm not the only running crazy girl that loves to read ... I'm hoping one of you can shed some light on the subject and help me make a sensible move into awesome multitasking.

I'm Back, Even Though I Never Really Left

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time you'll know two things

  1. when I'm around, I enjoy blogging and write often about all sorts of things.  And...
  2. when I get out of the habit you don't see me for ages and then I come crawling back with an apology!
So here's the apology both to you who stick around even when I'm not here and also to myself for not being creative and writing all the things I think about writing!

I'm staying busy with lots of exciting things that I can't wait to share with you... so don't give up on me and watch this space!!

December 21, 2013

Help Please!

I started running a few years ago and absolutely love it. I learned so much about running, form and nutrition through the challenges I gave myself... 2011km in 2011, half marathons and also a full marathon. However due to a ITB injury followed by several surgeries I've been out of action for so long that I feel like I've forgotten everything I learned.

I have a wonderful place to run and the winter weather here is perfect but I need advice, motivation and kind words about not being mean to myself for losing speed and stamina!



What's your favorite advice you give to your fellow runners when they're getting back into running after a break? What's your favorite running mantra? Please share with me and help me get back out there without giving myself a hard time!!

November 13, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #31


Welcome to my thirtyfirst Wishlist Wednesday which is part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. This week I've chosen Heart Of The Demon by Michael Fowler

Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr and his partner DC Grace Marshall are called to the scene of a brutal slaying; the victim is a 14 year-old girl.
The killer has been disturbed but he has left behind a puzzle. What is the significance of the marks gouged into the girl’s torso and why has a playing card been left with the body?
As Barnwell Major Investigation Team struggle to resolve the mystery they are confronted with another gruesome discovery; the mummified remains of a teenage girl are unearthed from the slurry of a former colliery site. This corpse bears all the hallmarks of the first slaying and yet this body has been buried for well over a decade.
They soon realise that a savage killer is stalking Yorkshire, preying on young girls, and with the discovery of the bodies comes a series of revelations about the past.
For Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr and his team, the race against time to prevent further murders is complicated by the fact that several of his men have been involved on the periphery of earlier crimes, without even knowing it. And as the death toll mounts as more bodies are unearthed and new victims succumb to the murderer’s sick appetites, he finds that this case comes very close to home.

Very close indeed...

I chose this book for a couple of reasons; firstly I was interested by the plot (many of you will recognise it's in my favourite genre!) but also it was set in Wombwell/Barsley which is very close to where I lived for several years. The reviews are very positive for this book and specifically mention how the location added to their overall enjoyment, especially if you have knowledge of the area and dialects. 

It's on offer at the moment at just £1.15 or $2.99 so I'm thinking this is going to make it's way onto my TBR pile sooner rather than later!

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!

November 6, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #30


Welcome to my thirtieth Wishlist Wednesday; part of the great blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper. This week I've chosen The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it - and time stops.

John-Paul's letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia - betrayed, angry and distraught - wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband's secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .

I'm temporarily wandering away from my usual thriller/mystery genre into as I'm in a bit of a lull reading-wise and think something like this that isn't so gruesome may be what I need to get reading again! The book is really well reviewed across the usual sites despite some concerns that it can be a little confusing to start off with. I'm definitely interested to give it a go. Also, I know the old saying 'never judge a book yahda-yada-yada' but I much prefer the English cover to the USA one!

Want to join in??
  • Follow Pen to Paper as the host
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get your hands on and read
  • Wrote a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of her post
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere on your post with a note about the host
  • Visit the other blogs, follow and enjoy :)
What's on your wishlist this week? Leave me a link to your post, I'll be sure to pop by and check it out!