365 Ways to Beat Stress

I’ve been reading a book called 365 Ways to Beat Stress by Adam Gordon and while all 365 hints, tips and meditations are worthwhile there were a few that jumped out enough to write this blog. The books isn’t out yet but you can buy it here and the blog review will be on my sister site For the Love of Books on release day.

Keep Something Absurd or Incongruous on your Desk

Our bank of desks at work is full of crazy things that catch people’s eye as they walk past. It started last Christmas when the retail store John Lewis started selling robin ornaments for Xmas which were then given paper kimonos when we drew Japan in the World Cup sweepstake. Currently we have a tree decorated with mini carrots which are the emblem of supermarket Lidl for 2018’s Christmas campaign. For me, on my desk, are the spiders that everyone insists are octopuses (octopii?) which I made for craft club. I’ve a post coming tomorrow on craft club so I’ll say no more for now.


Swings and Merry Go Rounds

This reminded something from when I was around 18 or 19. I think it was in Manchester’s Hyde Park but don’t hold me to that. I remember all of us, new adults, laying on the merry go round, firstly staring at the sky as it spun and spun then closing our eyes. Sinning around with eyes closed felt like we were going in the opposite direction to what we really were. I also remember taking lots of photos as we spun and had some amazing (if I say so myself) pictures of the sky. Sadly my life got very chaotic for a while after that and I no longer have them but it’s a memory I cherish especially on a summers day.

swings 1swings 2

Practise Origami

As part of the craft club I’ve been learning a type of origami called tea bag paper folding. Teabag folding is a paper craft art for embellishing greeting cards using small square pieces of paper (e.g., a tea bag wrapper) bearing symmetrical designs folded in such a way that they interlock and produce a three-dimensional version of the underlying design. I’ve had a couple of goes now and while I still need more practise it definitely keeps you in the now and is very calming.

Lastly Balancing Female Hormones Naturally and Learn Sign Language. I sent pictures of these to my friend. While I appear to be going through early menopause in the manner of my aunt (little to no symptoms) rather than my mum (psychosis) my friend has a terrible time every month. She’s also signed up to learn sign language in January. I love the fact that it is seen as a calming, stress busting activity.

There are so many more things in this book I either do or want to do. I found it a timely reminder to stop every now and then and live rather than just exist.



365 Day Blog challenge Day 16 – Secret Santa 365daychallenge

It’s that time of year again where work teams and families plan for Secret Santa. Budgets (and themes) are decided on, names are drawn out of a hat and people start gifting.

Our work team have the usual one of £5 but the staff book club are doing something slightly different this year. We are doing a jólabókaflóð instead

This is based on an Icelandic tradition where people give books on Christmas Eve but we’ve added in some chocolate as who doesn’t like chocolate?

Well actually my pick 🙂

So books and biscuits (cookies) for the recipient of my gift.

It’s taken me out of my comfort zone a bit as the recipient doesn’t like any of the same books as me. What do you buy when you have no knowledge of the genre? I’m not at work Friday so will be trawling the shops looking for non-fiction books where you can learn about other people and places.

We also all agreed that we would accept second hand books. The beauty of this means you get more for the budgeted amount plus as in the UK that usually means buying from charity (good will) shops then some money goes towards a good cause too.

I really like this idea. I like to do something different and am thinking of putting forward a suggestion to my family to try this as well.



365 Day Blog challenge Day 14 – Cheat Day 1 #365daychallenge

Having a lazy Sunday (to go with the lazy Friday I just had) and so having written two book blogs today I’m going to cheat and share them with you rather than write a thrird blog. Enjoy



365 Day Blog challenge Day 8 – Books Part 1 #365daychallenge

Day 8 of the challenge and so far I’ve managed to do a blog a day even if sometimes I forget until nearly the last minute.

In my first post I linked to my book blog. I love books and love the fact that I’ve been able to turn something fun and enjoyable into a (sort of) paying business. By paying I don’t get actual cash. I get something better of you are a book worm – free books!

A few years ago one of my friends who had just got a publishing deal turned me onto a website where you can request books to download free in return for an honest review. I was already blogging reviews & as I have mentioned many times cash is scarce due to a debt plan so for me a really good way to get new books without cost and in return doing things I already do.

It’s been amazing. I’ve had publishers thanking me for reviews and in return offering me yet more books. A couple have sent me paper copies of books as a thank you. The next step for me is to accept some blog tours from authors and build my page even more. That’s my 2018 go

All this led to my friend then telling me that her publisher had a tasting panel and did I want to join. With this I get books before they have been accepted by the publisher and rather than just a review, it is for me (and others) to comment on the Point of View, the relatability of the hero/heroine, overall story and any possible tweaks and changes. That’s quite an ask and responsibility especially as I have to say whether I think it should be accepted for publication. But I think it helped me grow as  a reviewer. I’ve learnt to think about not just whether I like it but whether the general public would like something.

I always feel bad when I have to recommend turning something down. I am well aware how hard it is to write a book and put your heart and soul into something so I only do this if I absolutely know it won’t fit in with the publishers ethos.

Sometimes turning a hobby into more of a business doesn’t have to be financial, it can be just as rewarding in other ways

Starting my new business

I haven’t updated this page in 3 months. I’ve been so busy trying to start up my holistic business. Talk about hard work and I’m only aiming for part time alongside my day job (for now).

Anyway just a short post – I’ve got a bunch of posts on my various blogs to do over the next few days but I wanted to share my newest one. This is my business one. I’m really proud of it. It covers the type of things I offer as well as (to me) a fab new book club. It’s based in Leeds but feel free to read the book and leave some comments on the post.


The details of book club are on both a post and it’s own part of the website.

Please feel free to give me a follow and if you are in the are come along and try some treatments


Way of Chakras – Caroline Shola Arewa #bookreview

Well maybe not a proper book review.

This is a comprehensive look at chakras: what they are, how they affect the body, how to use meditation and physical practice to heal a blocked one. I found this a fantastic book to start my journey on learning some healing roles and hopefully becoming a holistic practioner. As well as all the information I found a few quotes that inspired me and I’d like to share:

  • (Time for yourself) This is your special time. Explain to children. It’s good for young children to see their parents take special time.
  • Perceive, believe, achieve
  • Meditation can relieve stress
  • I can… (characteristic of Sacral chakra)
  • I love… (heart chakra)
  • Some yogis live on prana (energy). You may not want to live on prana. I personally prefer the occasional meal
  • If you believe in failure, failure will hold you in its grip
  • Walk in love and light

And finally she ends with a quote from John Lennon whose words sum up what she says is ‘that moment of release when we step off the treadmill and start to simply be…’

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go

round and round.

I really love to watch them roll,

no longer riding on the merry go round

I just had to let it gooooooo!

This is what I aim to do going forward. Time to step off the merry go round and follow my dreams

Talking to the Universe

I’ve just started reading the surprisingly short book on Cosmic Ordering and it made me think of something that started happening at the beginning of the year.

I’ve a big list of ‘wants’ for this year. I don’t like to call them resolutions, more like things I’d like to happen. For example: I wanted to be fitter and healthier and so far I’ve lost 11.5lbs and walk 10,000 steps every day.

One of the other things I decided to do was start letting people in and also getting out more in able to do this. I have friends and they are very good friends but sometimes you can’t move forward without stepping out of your comfort zone and maybe making a few more. The original plan was to try and do this as cheaply as possible but essentially I was going back to my old plan of saying yes.

Reading this book it could be classed as unintentionally cosmic ordering, it could be asking spirits for help and receiving or it could simply be wishing things into existence. Whatever your belief system – positive thinking breeds positive results.

Simple friendships have blossomed at work – some on a 1to1 basis and again through a night out where we all got to bond. I started going to book clubs and met some wonderful new people there. I joined Weightwatchers and have not only a very supportive group of people wishing me luck but have made a few friendships from it. I was even asked by a woman at work if I wanted to go to dance classes with her.

Not only has it brought new people into my life but opening myself up has brought people back into my life I haven’t seen in years. I went to a school reunion and rediscovered old friendships. I looked into moving my Monday workplace to somewhere new which brought me into contact with my natural fathers cousin, enabling me to reconnect with half brothers and sisters I haven’t seen in 12 years and also bringing me a new cousin I’ve not met yet.

It’s fascinating what one little word can bring. It needs to be done carefully though. In the past I said to too many things then had to learn how to say no all over again but if concentrated in small events such as friendships it should be easy enough to control. I’m looking forward to seeing how these things develop over the rest of the year but also can’t wait to see what else life has in store for me.