Chai And A Chat #37 #ChaiAndAChat #BloggersBash Special @BloggersBash

Hey there Peeps! Time for our weekly catch up, but with a difference… I’m going Bloggers Bash crazy today! So go and get that drink ready!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d start off by whizzing through the beginning of the week… Yes, we are back at school. And the first week was busy, but we all survived! There was a little training, a lot of teaching, plenty of organisiation and too many headaches! I know where I will be, class-wise, next year, though am not able to say, but it is good to know. One less thing to think of!  The kids seem to have noticably grown and matured in these last two weeks too, so the days flowed perfectly! But I couldn’t wait for the end of the week… because it was Bash Time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that after much deliberation, Hoppalong Hubby and I decided that the train would be a bit too much for him, so I braved the London drive, and the extortionate costs for parking, so we could drive there, stay overnight, and drive back on the Sunday. We got there by the skin of our teeth, what with traffic, but at least we arrived, which was more than some, who ended up having to curtail their trips as there was an incident on one of the train lines, meaning they had no way of getting there.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that it was such a joy to see so many familiar faces again. It honestly is like seeing dear family after an age! There are those who have become dear friends too… you know who you are. Missed certain faces, like Lucy Mitchell and Christoph Fischer – your absences were noted, and there were Lucy and Christoph shaped holes in my bash experience this year 😥 But I took a few photos, amidst the chatting,a nd I have borrowed a few from,Marjorie Mallon , Willow Withers and Shelley Wilson too!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say the event got off to a good start, despite both speakers not arriving yet, as they were, too, stuck in the train chaos! But arrive, they did, and we were able to hear some delicious pearls of wisdom from burger-fanatic food blogger Lauren Creaven, who writes a blog all about food experiences in Birmingham, aka Brum… so her blog name is Full To The Brum. She is a successful blogger who has been interviewed on the telly, writes for Sainsbury’s Magazine and Olive magazine, and who is passionate about giving her readers an authentic, down to earth review of the various places she visits.
Lauren Creaven
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the second speaker, who is also a Midlands girl, but rather than being Brummie, was a Yam Yam… (for those of you who are unaware, the Yams Yams are the indiginous folk of the Black Country who live very close to Birmingham, but aren;t Brummies!). We were delighted to be able to listen to author GX Todd, or in reality, Gemma Todd. Gemma is a traditionally published writer who was extremely blessed to have been signed up to Headline Books, with a four-book contract, of which two are published, and two are on their way. Gemma spoke to us about her journey to becoming a writer, which always fascinates me. Why do people write, and if they get out there, how did they manage it? She took us on a very emotional journey of discovery and realisation, and left us with hope that if we want to write a book, and get it out there the traditional way, there is a chance!
GX Todd
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d obviously mention the workshop that Suzie and Sacha ran, which taught everyone about Flatlay Photography, which is basically the art of arranging objects in an appealing manner to showcase a specific book, product or event. Eloise did a wonderful, photo filled post on it, so please go and read it here.
  • If we were sipping chai together how could I forget to tell you about the awards? Well… Sitting comfortably, with a topped up drink? Okay, them. The awards announcements were peppered through the day, two at a time, and instead of having first, second and third places, there were just straight winners announced. So the categories and winners were as follows :

Wait… What? I won?

Now, Peeps, if you’ve read my posts, you will know that I was pleasantly surprised to have been voted for the Book Blogger category. Yes, I do review books, and this year I have been doing bumper monthly posts about what I have been reading, but I have never considered myself to be a book blogger as such. So, instead of my crazy campaigning for votes, I announced it, and then let it lie… After all, there were 65-odd others nominated in my category and that is a huge amount of bloggers to be up against.

And yet still… you guys did this. You voted me as the BEST BOOK BLOG!

It’s not often I am left speechless, but I definitely was when I heard that. Gobsmacked, more like! But seriously, WOW! I am so apreciative of the votes and confidence you all show in me.

Thank you all, so much! You don’t know the love that is pouring from my heart for each and every one of you that supports me.

I was so excited I even did a bit of rush Flatlay with my certificate!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d offer you cake myself, as I made some to take to the Bash! We had Banana Bread and Yoghurt cake, which is eggless, and fruity, rather like a fruit loaf. (Recipes will follow!)
CAKE!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that one of the best parts of the day was the mingling (or networking, as posher folk call it – Me, I’d rather say chatting, because I’m good at that 😉). Throughout the day, we had breaks and chances to sit and talk to each other, either catching up on life since we last met, or getting to know newer members of my blogily! There was less Chai and more Vino, but hey, it was a special day! We discussed, blogs, books, other writers books, our own books, spam, cricket and all sorts! The day wound down at around 5pm, and we retired to the bar where some had to dash as they had trains to catch. The numbers slowly dwindled over the evening with lots of promises to see each other next year and we were left alone, after finally seeing the stragglers off! Hubby and I were staying the night, so we had nowhere we needed to get back to!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we ended the night with a little meal at the Indian restaurant across the road from the hotel, where the food wasn’t much to write home about, but the service was good, and I was even given a rose at the end! Awards, certificates, roses… this day was getting better and better! Then we finally retired to our room for the night. I was shattered, and spent an hour trying to answer messages from all over the world, with friends and family congratulating me. Ritu felt like a very special girl ❤
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to say Ritu felt like a very special girl ❤ This week has been lovely in so many respects, from work to family, to the Bash. I’m not sure I’m ready to start a new week…I want to wallow in my happiness a little longer!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that this week has another first happening. Lil Princess will be off on her first ever residential trip with her class… She is so excited, and I am too, for her, but nervous as well…
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I have another trip to London this week, for a course… at least that means reading time on the train!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’m still not in full editing mode, but once I get those reports finished… I promise! So many folk at the Bash were encouraging me about the book and it’s future, I just have to get it done!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #36 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! Time for our weekly catch up, get that drink ready!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you the week wasn’t quite as warm as I was expecting… why do I ever look at the weather? Are they ever right? There was rain, wind, sun, more rain. But we still had a good week!
  • If we were sipping chai together I forgot to mention last week that alongside starting the editing, I managed to pull together author branding… and set up a whole new blog and facebook page which is devoted to my author persona. Seriously, that is quite a feat! Now I just need to get more people following there too! (Hint Hint!) If you want to, pop over to www.ritubhathal.com
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the rest of the week was lovely. After dropping Lil Man to school on Monday, Lil Princess and I headed out to Bluewater shopping centre for a little retail therapy. She had a giftcard she wanted to make a dent in, and she did! It’s such fun going out with her now, as a young lady. She makes the funniest comments and we can talk about opinions in rather a mature fashion! My Lil Princess is growing up…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that on Tuesday it was time for some pampering. My roots have been calling out to me but I wanted to leave them for as long as possible so we ventured out for a hair morning: mine to be dyed, hers for a trim! Got there in the end!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that in the afternoon, I shut the world out of my room and got ready to be interviewed for my first ever podcast! It has been done and when it is available to listen to, I’ll be sure to post the link! How much fun to talk to someone from the other side of the world!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the pampering didn’t end there. We also had our nails done too! And yes, that is a bit of henna on my hand. Lil Princess decided she wanted Henna so we went and got that and had a go and decorating our hands!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that I was the good wife on Wednesday, and after dropping the kids to school or their grandparents’ place, I chauffeured Hoppalong Hubby Dearest to his work. He’s not been in for nearly 8 weeks so it was a big deal. It’s quite a journey so the plan was that I drop him, then sit in the cafe area, reading, writing, editing, whatever I want. And it was so peaceful! I found a sofa and settled myself, and consumed cups of tea and cake, had a sandwich, and a little more, whilst reading and composing a poem about hair, before he came to rescue me and transferred me to his office where I managed to edit another chapter.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d show you what I had made, that arrived last week… a locket with the front cover of my poetry book! It is so lovely, and the hope is that I can add a new locket each time I release a book!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you the rest of the week was pretty average. I got a few chapters edited, I wrote lots more comments on the reports for school but that is a never-ending, thankless task… I read, I cleaned, I laundered (clothes, not money) and I rested.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that, as you read this, I will be back at school for the final term of the school year. It will fly by, but it will drag too. There is so much to do, from assessment to preparations for next year, as well as trying to squeeze in as much fun as possible for the kids… The first day is staff training, then the children are back… wish me luck!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention, just a little excitedly, that the Annual Bloggers Bash is this coming weekend! EEEEK!! I am debating what baking will be occurring this year… His Geoffleship, are you ready? And I am really looking forward to meeting everyone again! Such fun!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’m hoping to get into more of a routine so I can get this edit done sooner, rather than later… Fingers crossed!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #35 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! Time for our weekly catch up, get that drink ready!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that it’s been a lovely, buys, but not busy first week of the break. As you read, Lil Man is back to school, and Lil Princess and I are embarking on the first of a few girlie days this week!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that the kids have been out most of the week for hours at a time, playing with their new street friends. I am seriously so happy that they have bonded with each other, and that we can let them out with no worries (well, almost no worries, but the story of this gang deserves another post, of its own!)
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that we ended up at the cinema twice this week too, to watch The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Aladdin. The kids really wanted to see the first one, and I was desperate for the Disney one! Actually, Lil Man refused Aladdin at first, so the plan was to watch that with Lil Princess next week… who I had to bribe to watch it with me… But, that was the film we saw first last week, after Lil Man had a change of heart… and it was such a good movie! I absolutely love the animated version, so was skeptical of a real life copy, but I had no need to be! Aladdin was gorgeous, Jasmine was beautiful, the sets were amazing and Will Smith as the Genie did Robin Williams proud, both making the character his own, as well as keeping the original Genie spirit alive. The kids were buzzing after it, and I was singing the songs to myself all evening. In contrast, The Pets film was… cute… but a little flat after the magnificance of Aladdin. Can’t wait for The Lion King now!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you I started the arduous task of EYFS report writing for school. It is so time consuming and the information needed changes from year to year, so we have to start early… just so the end of July doesn’t fly by in a haze of paperwork.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I managed to read lots too, as well as get started on the editing of my book, which was really exciting, and fueled by an hour long conversation with my editor, who is just lovely, and was so encouraging with her comments. I forsee a little work, not crazy rewrites, but some overhauls, and a few additions with a couple of take outs as well… but all in all, positive stuff! So positive that I have started the hunt for my book cover too!!!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I have done hardly any house work… is that bad of me? This week has been about relaxing, letting the kids be kids and the Ritu be Ritu! Aside from the cursory wipes of surfaces and hoovering, and the dishes, oh, and the laundry, I have done none. And I feel great for it! Sometimes you have to let go of routine a little!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that Hoppaling Hubby is no longer in a cast! Yay! But he is now in a walking boot, which is a cumbersome device that means eventually he will be able to put weight on his foot, but there is still a definite second lot of 2 weeks where he can’t drive or go to work… Frustration is getting to him, as it would to us all… Cabin fever and all that … but we did get out to Lil Man’s cricket match, which was a change for him.
  • If we were sipping chai together I can’t forget to mention that I was driven to emotional tears of joy from a most wonderful review of my poetry book, Poetic RITUals, by the lovely Lucy Mitchell! Check it out below!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that, as I mentioned earlier, this week will be devoted to some girlie time with my Lil Princess, a little shopping, a little hair pampering, a little nail stuff… that kind of thing.
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention I shall be taking Hubby Dearest to his office one day, for the first time in nearly 8 weeks. I hope he appreciates the taking away of my holiday time… but it means lots more uninterrupted reading time for me whilst he is catching up with his colleagues!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that another exciting thing is that I am being interviewed for a Podcast tomorrow! More shall be posted, as I know more!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #34 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! Time for our weekly catch up, get that drink ready!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I am sat here, rather late on Sunday evening, typing this up, but relatively relaxed, as we have finally started our two week mid term break! Phew! I really need this!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that as usual, school has been a haven, but a busy one, what with the joys of assessment, and planning, coupled with preparing for reports that need to be written for the end of next term. Yes, I know that may seem like a while away, but our Early Years reports are so indepth that to get a head start is the only way to cope! So, I have come home for my break accompanied by my laptop, which I never usually take with me. I will have to bust it out a few times at least, but once I’ve made a dent in the 30 reports, I’ll chill!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that we had a Teddy Bears picnic too, at nursery, which is always so cute, and one was interrupted by a fire alarm drill. I was very proud of my little mumchkins, who trooped to our safe spot, with their handmade bear ears on, confused and not knowing what was happening… then they got back in time for some more teddy bear fun!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the rest of the week was pretty normal, for me. LAte finishes at work, then picking kids up and ferrying them around to training etc. but the addition of them playing lots outside with their new street friends was really wonderful. They have been on screens a lot less, which has been a blessing, and out on bikes, which means Lil Princess especially, has increased her physical activity! And one of her new friends also loves art, so they spent part of yesterday, painting too! The icecream truck has been coming and the guy knows there is a gaggle of kids at the bottom of our road every night now, so he’s happy, and so am I!
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Gotta be done! #sunisout #icecream

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  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention, rather excitedly, that I got my manuscript back from my editor (feels rather special to say that, my editor!) with plenty of notes and so much positive feedback about the story too! We are going to be chatting on the pone this week so I can start implementing some changes… once the dreaded reports are under way!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the weekend has gone by rather peacefully, with books being read, summery drinks being consumed in a sunny garden and generally, happy families all round! Can’t complain, can I?
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I’ll be taking Hoppalong Hubby to the Fracture clinic tomorrow to get his cast removed, but it’s not the end yet. He’ll be needing another now, but weight bearing one this time, I hope!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention I shall be taking the kids to see The Secret Life Of Pets 2 as well, and am hoping to twist their arms to go and see Alladin too! (that one is more for me!)
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that after this week, Lil Princess and I get a second week off, whilst Lil Man goes to school so there are many girly plans afoot for our mummy daugher time!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #33 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! Time for our weekly catch up, get that drink ready!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that it’s been another week of rushing around… And it won’t end anytimes soon either… not whilst that cast is still on Hubby Dearest’s foot…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that this week we had to tiptoe around Lil Princess… Yes, I know she is moody at the best of times, but the past week was stressful for her and her compadres, as it was SATs week. The time the government wants us to test the 7 and 11 year olds, supposedly to see how the school is doing, but inevitably, it ends up stressing the kids out too, no matter how much we try to play them down at school. At 7 it’s a lot easier to make things seem like a usual school day, but at 11 the classrooms change round, with display boards covered up, and desks lined up in exam formation, so even if we are trying not to make things different, they are. She was okay with the English tests but he is not a fan of Maths and they stressed her out, especially the reasoning papers… Still, they all got through and I am told the papers appeared to be pretty fair. So it’s up to the children, as to how they perform. We try, at home, not to make too much of a big deal about it all, but she is old enough to understand that she is being tested and marked… and it affects a child. We celebrated the end by going for icecream at the local Treatz dessert place! (Maybe more my treat than theirs…!)
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you the usual backs and forths occured with training and tuition, from Tuesday to Sunday… and culminated in a cricket match on Sunday morning, which they lost… but Lil Man bowled pretty fantastically in. Though there were no blue skies this time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that, if you remember, I am the head of the School Council, and we have been raising funds for improvements within the school. One idea we had last year, was to provide books for the three playgrounds for use during lunch time. Not every child wants to run around like a loony, so I made this my project, but time was always against me. Last week, I was informed that I needed to spend the year’s budget, so off I went on Saturday and spent a cool £100 on books for my playground boxes. I also raided my kids bookshelves as there are so many books there that they havem but don’t or won’t read… and hey presto, we have three fantastic boxes ready for the children to dip into!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the rest of the week went relatively smoothly, but I am still tired!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that this week cannot go fast enough, as we will be on our half term break from Friday for TWO weeks! Even though it feels like a short while since we had Easter break, the past 5 weeks have been crazy, and I can’t wait!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention we have meetings with the Head this coming week to discuss our futures at school, and possible classes for next week… who knows what it may hold????

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

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