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Interview with Santa

santaNot sure if many of you know this, but I write for the Primary Times (Tees Valley) and have been doing so for about 2 years. I love doing the editorials, but this month was extra-special for me! You’ll never guess who I interviewed … Santa! Yes, the one and only. And no he didn’t come round for a cup of tea like my daughters asked, we spoke over the internet … technology these days is just so amazing 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to share the interview with you, as it’s a very exciting time, and I’m sure your little ones would love to know how Santa loves singing and what he wants you to leave for him on Christmas Eve.

If you haven’t got a magazine to hand, check out the Primary Times website.

Enjoy the read xx

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To Botox or Not!

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When I 18 – 25 years old there was many a time I was asked for I.D. At that age I hated it, I wanted to look like a young woman not a teenager. I even remember going to a nightclub at 18 years old and the bouncers laughed at my knobbly knees and said, ‘yeah right, 18, you must be all of 14’! I was gutted. Pleased I had my I.D on me, but gutted I looked so young! Then when I turned 30 I was desperate to be asked for I.D.

I have always believed in growing old gracefully. I believe it’s important to look after our skin, by using good products and ensuring a good cleansing routine takes place, however, when it comes to more serious treatments, such as botox or surgery, I’ve always felt a little unsettled. I’m not dead against it, I’m very much each to their own, but it’s the actual procedure that puts me off. (But keep reading to find out why I’m thinking it might not be a bad idea!!)

I have a friend, Rebecca Henderson owner of Perfection, she offers non-surgical facelift, faradic treatment. These treatments are not only a natural alternative to botox but also a relaxing treatment. Obviously the relaxation side helps with aging, allowing yourself to chill-out for half an hour, once a week, can seem like totally luxury to some of us. But if you are wanting to look after your skin and need some me-time. I would definitely recommend Rebecca.

As another alternative there are some fabulous products out there, Temple Spa and Arbonne both offer amazing products. Arbonne has recently brought out a new product called Genius (follow this link and type in Genius into the search box) – 100% of participants who used this product showed improvement in the appearance of skin moisture, firmness and elasticity. Temple Spa have an award winning product called Skin Truffle. In SculpSure NYC tests, 80% declared that Skin Truffle increased radiance and reduced dullness upon immediate application. 100% said fine lines were visibly reduced and 100% said their skin hydration levels improved immediately.

So there are some amazing natural ways to look after our skin.

So what has prompted me to write about Botox? Well, this is where the rant begins …

While out for a meal with a friend a few weeks ago, she bumped into an old friend of hers who was accompanied by his own friend. As the conversation progressed, children were mentioned and this (I’m hoping, very drunk) man asked how old my children were. I told him they were 4 and 6 years old. As he said, ‘You must have started late!’ I saw his own jaw drop as he realised what he’d said. Obviously curious to how old he thought I was, he pondered (yes, he actually pondered) and came up with 37 years. Now because he’d pondered I knew he meant 42 years really (and that’s with his beer goggles on). Now, being 35 years old you can probably understand my upset and my quandary as to whether I should go on ‘Ten Years Younger’.

To be honest, it’s the first time I’ve thought do I need Botox?! But if I start now, where does that leave me when I’m in my fifties?

The products I use really do help my skin. I hardly have any lines, which is even more worrying as this random guy just thought I looked older than my actual age. Maybe it was my hair / my clothes … who knows … because he soon made a quick exit!

My friend was so lovely, ‘It’s because you’re with me,’ she said, (she’s in her fifties), ‘So he’ll have assumed you were older.’ That still didn’t stop me torturing many different people, constantly asking, ‘how old do you think I am?’ … yes I drove myself, my hubby and anyone I could get my hands on insane. But I decided maybe Botox was a bit drastic (for the moment). I’ll keep using my favourite products, although it may be time to step it up a bit and accept the fact I need to use Genius or Skin Truffle and get booked in with Rebecca!

I also decided he was in his sixties (a bit harsh, but hey, he started it first!) and didn’t really know what he was talking about … I have to go with this explanation or I will be booking myself in for some cosmetic surgery!



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Home Working or Lone Working?

Working-from-homeI’m amazed how fast this first half-term has gone. My youngest has settled nicely into full-time school, the transition was easier for her than it was for me. I miss them like crazy, and even after a week off together, our time seems to go so fast, I could do it all again. However, I look back over the years, when I was desperate for this time. Two young children, who are exactly 2 years apart, it was quite stressful to say the least. I used to long for the time when I could have uninterrupted working time, sleep and the energy to fulfil my goals. And now here I am … it all seemed to happen so quickly!

I just wanted to air my thoughts on working from home. Not so much the motivation, as I believe if you love doing something then you should have the motivation to do it! If you’re not motivated, then it could be time to have a think about your true goals and dreams in life. I wanted to talk more about the time aspect (where does it go?) and the isolation!

I thought when both my girls were at full-time school I would have copious amounts of time. But still I find I’m meeting myself coming backwards. I always set myself targets and I would advise anyone reading my inspirational books to do the same (which are FREE at the moment). However, I do set myself lots of targets, but I never cut myself up if they all haven’t been achieved, as there is a danger in having high expectations; the feeling you are not getting anywhere when you haven’t reached them (which I’ve found in the past). But now I realise that ‘EVERY STEP COUNTS’. As long as steps are being made then you are continually moving forward.

So these last few weeks I set myself realistic goals. I’m happy to say they have been achieved. I now have the Chaos Series out in paperback. My books are available on Smashwords (which is a great ebook website). These tasks took me longer than expected, due to the formatting procedures. However, they are now available in lots of other formats, which I’m very pleased about.

However, bearing in mind how busy I’ve been, I never thought about the loneliness of working from home. Although, I love my own time, but I am also a people-person. While writing this blog, I came across a website called Colleagues on Tap. This company has devised an amazing programme for people who work alone at home. I think it’s a wonderful idea. They have co-working days, events and much more. This is not only a great way of networking and being introduced to new businesses, but to make new friends too.

I have a friend, S.A Silva (her website is coming soon), she is in a similar position to me, writing in her own environment, she is a very inspirational lady and I love spending time with her. We have recently decided to work together. Just a day or so a week, but this interaction is important. If you can find someone who you can do this with, this is a fantastic way of easing the loneliness. Writing is a lonely job. Once you’re immersed in your characters you’re generally in another world, but there are times when human interaction is needed. But this goes for lots of other vocations that involve home-working. If you can find someone who will work with you rather than seeing this an opportunity to chat aimlessly. We found that we did chat but we were bouncing ideas of each other and it was so much fun. Colleagues on Tap do exactly this, so if you don’t have anyone who could help with your working day, I would recommend getting in touch with this organisation.

I love meeting like-minded people, so I’m pleased I’ve found a way of being able to spend time on my own at home when I need too, but also being able to have the interaction with other people. It doesn’t have to be a lonely place if you find those around you in the same position.