Posted on May 14, 2014
So last week I talked about Kids Parties. And yes, I’m still talking about them. As a parent it’s what life is about, isn’t it? 🙂
Last week, my week got more interesting with kids parties when we attended a pony party! My 7 year old, Lexi, loved it! But before we left, my hubby said to her, ‘I know what you’re going to ask when you’re finished, and the answer is NO!’ She had no clue what he was talking about until the party was over.
‘I want to start horse riding …’ she said as soon as we got in the car to leave!
So we had a chat and I soon talked her out of that one! Not that I’m being a cruel parent, but if this was something she was passionate about I’d encourage it. But it simply isn’t. She hadn’t mentioned it before and she hasn’t mentioned it since. Thankfully!
Anyway, this got me thinking about kids parties and how it might drum up some interest for them to start new activities. As this also happened with Gabriella recently too, but luckily her new little adventure was a lot cheaper than horse riding!
In my blog, Ideas for Kids Parties, I mentioned a company called PAGE2STAGE, who do fantastic princess and superhero parties. Well, I found out that they also have a stage school too! So Gabriella joined just last week and absolutely loved it. The class lasted for an hour and a half, split into singing, dancing and acting. If you live in the Tees Valley area, this company is definitely worth checking out. Kelly who runs the company is so lovely, having little ones herself, she totally gets them. The more I looked into Page2Stage, I was surprised by what they have going on! They have a Frozen Ball coming up, they are involved with Stockton International Riverside Festival and they have their own showcase every year.
To see their awesome reviews, check out the page2stage facebook page.
So I can honestly say this is one party that I’m pleased we went too. If you don’t live in the Tees Valley area (or the UK!) and you’re invited to a party similar to Page2Stage make sure you check out if they do any other activities.
However, if you do live in the Tees Valley area, Page2Stage is definitely worth checking out. I mean, come on, a Frozen Ball – how cool is that? Oh to be little again 🙂
I just had to share this, as I’m very pleased we found them 🙂
Now, even if you’re not an author, but believe in following your dreams, hopefully you’ll enjoy this blog post.
When I released How My Life Became Chaos, it was quite a daunting experience. Reading is so subjective, just because one person loves a book it doesn’t mean the next person will. I’m all for this, as how boring would the world be if we all loved the same things. We’d all wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, have our houses decorated in the same design and colours … can you imagine? Stepford wives eat your heart out!
Just imagine if no-one had achieved anything amazing! Something great! Something that changed the world. Can you imagine if those people blended into the background and allowed society to rule who they should be!
However, although I’m up for individualism, this made the release of my book very scary. I was very lucky though (and relieved) to have amazing feedback & recently after my book tour I received awesome feedback from book bloggers.
Although, I’ve had great reviews, it can still be quite a lonely place; you work endlessly on your book, you’re involved in a whole new world, creating characters, developing plots (this part I don’t, as many other writers, find lonely), but then when you’re back to your real world, you then have to be subjective about your own writing. Editing can be a lonely place; pulling your own work to pieces … it’s not the nicest side of writing. I love my editor Jenny Drewery but when I received my first manuscript back, I could have cried. There was so much red pen, I nearly threw the whole thing in the bin.
While interviewing other authors you get to see that they too have been through it. Joanna Penn mentions the ‘red-pen from editors’ in her book, ‘How to Market a Book‘. Interviewing authors like Joanna helps me realise that I’m not alone, that other authors have been, and are going, through exactly the same thing. I’m a huge believer in, ‘Never giving up’.
Following dreams and goals is a huge passion of mine, I believe everyone should follow their destiny. So even if you’re not a writer, if you’re struggling or have lost your way, I find the best way to keep focused is to associate with people who believe in you and believe in themselves! Maybe you can chat to people online who are having similar experiences to yourself. Maybe your goal is harder to reach than you initially realised, research people who have done something similar to you. If your goal is something that no-one has ever achieved, then research all the greats in the world: Alexandra Bell, who invented the telephone, Frederick McKinley Jones, who invented refrigeration systems, Patricia Bath, who invented a form of eye surgery using lasers … the list is endless. If you need encouragement do some research on the amazing people who have developed or invented something new. Read biographies … you will find things didn’t happen overnight for most people.
It’s hard work following a dream, but you’ve got to make sure you’re enjoying the journey. This is just one of the reasons I love interviewing other authors, not only do I feel like I’m connecting with people who have the same dream as me, but I’m finding out about them. I’m finding out about their books, what has inspired them to write, what advice would they give to other authors … it’s so lovely speaking to other people who are passionate about what I’m passionate about.
So if you have a dream you want to achieve, seek out others who have the same passion as you.
And remember: NEVER GIVE UP!
‘You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.’ Joel Ostee
Anyone who follows my blog, facebook or twitter page will understand how I love inspirational messages. But it’s not just the messages themselves, it is the people behind the messages that I love to learn about.
I love reading about people’s life experiences and how things in their life have changed them. I find those who have been through difficulties in life and have managed to pull themselves through so inspiring, especially when they’ve come out the other side a better person.
I love quotes from Dr Wayne W.Dyer, you see can lots of quotes from him on Brainy Quote.
So when his latest book ‘I Can See Clearly Now‘ was released, I just had to read it.
This book helps to understand Dyer’s life. Rather than a self-help book of exercises, goal-setting tasks etc. this is Dyer and his life: what has made him strong. We get to see him at his lowest points. We read how he has managed to pull himself through the hardest times in his life. It’s raw. As I said, I love learning how other people have overcome hardship, it’s inspiring to watch others grow from the problems they’ve had to face. This book shows how Dyer saw his problems as solutions to a better life.
This book also shows us how Dyer follows his path of life, how he understands the stepping stones that led him to where he needed to be in his life. I think this book is a must-read for anyone who feels at a loss in their own world, or resassurance that they should follow their own destiny.
So if you’re at a bit of a loss as to what to read, or if you’re wondering how the problems in your life could be the solution to a better place … it might be worth giving this a read 🙂
Posted on January 31, 2014
photo credit: teramchugh.com
I work from home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I realise how easy it is to get distracted. (I wrote a blog a few months ago about working from home, please read here). This isn’t about being disciplined or motivated. Many people say, ‘How do you work from home? It’s so easy to switch the TV on and chill out for a bit …’ but I don’t do this. I love what I do, so I don’t need excuses not to work.
However, I felt the need to write about managing my time … because I’m not sure about anyone else, but why does there never seem to be enough! Now, if you follow me on twitter, facebook or read my blog, you’ll see that I am a positive person. I’m passionate about people following their dreams and achieving their goals. So when writing this I didn’t want it to come across as a negative post, because it’s far from it.
The thing is I’ve been looking at how I get distracted and if I’m managing my time effectively … I think I am, but I always feel like I don’t have enough time. There is always something to do, somewhere to be and I laugh when people say they are bored!
Boredom … what is that?
As I said I didn’t want this to come across as a negative post, because I love the fact I’m never bored. I also love the fact that I don’t have a strict 9am-5pm schedule. I love that I can work around my children, and that working on a night doesn’t feel like a chore (unless it’s tax stuff 🙁 – yes, it’s that time of year!) I just wish there were more hours in the day, so I could do more of the stuff I love! This is obviously a good thing, I hear you say.
So when I started to think about what I am achieving with my time, I started to make lists of things I’d achieved in the last few months and I’m definitely moving forward. Most days my to-do list is ticked off and then I start another one from the HUGE main to-do list, (yes, I have one of these, and generally that gets added to everyday). If you follow me on twitter, you will see the mass of inspirational messages I tweet, but I don’t put any inspirational messages out there that I don’t believe in: I’m enthusiastic, positive and I love that I’m doing what I love. I’m excited about life. I want to tell the world to follow their dreams and their passions as life is far too short.
And all this is really good stuff … but like most people I am terrible for being distracted: answering emails, answering the phone, sending and replying to text messages and the worse thing about working from home … is the housework … there are some of you reading this and totally agreeing. It’s so easy to sort the washing out or quickly hoover around before sitting down at my desk. I have become a little stricter with myself for this, although it’s hard to leave a mess … I have a 7 and 5 year-old, do I need to say anymore? But I’ve found if I keep my office tidy this becomes my santuary and I can ignore the rest of the house (and hope and prayer nobody comes to the door!)
Anyway, as I said this wasn’t a whining post, as I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else, but I know there are plenty of other people out there who are in the same boat as me. So I decided to share some of the articles I found on time-management and working from home. I would do my own list (as I know what I should be doing … but hang-on the phone is ringing, an urgent email has just come through that I really need to reply too … and the washing machine has just stopped 🙂 ).
Hope these help some of you …
I love this article: their quote – ‘There are two types of time: clock time and real time’, Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553
I also found some time-management games! Now I haven’t tried these myself because I haven’t got time to play them. 🙂 However, for anyone interested in testing their time-management skills, just type ‘time-management games’ into google – you’ll be surprised with the list!
So we’re halfway through January … how are you feeling?
Are you feeling as upbeat and as motivated as you did on January 1st when you made those New Year resolutions?
The Mental Health Foundation says, ‘millions of people make resolutions yet almost 80% fail to achieve them’. Read this great article from the Mental Health Foundation about keeping those resolutions.
Many people set too many resolutions, or unrealistic goals that can’t be sustained. And many people find that once they drop one resolution the others quickly follow.
It’s hard to stay on track of your goals when there is so much going on in your life. Circumstances, family, work … without adding anything else to the equation these things can keep you majorly busy.
But, at some point today, take 5 minutes out. Even if it’s before you go to bed tonight. Now, in this five minutes, breath slowly and deeply, and connect with your breathing. Keep doing this until you feel calm. Now, visualise your goals. Visualise sticking to those New Year resolutions. Really feel that connection with those goals. Visualise how you would feel.
The trick is to not look too far ahead into the future: Yes, if one of your resolutions is too lose weight, eat healthier, then visualising how you will look and feel in 3, 6 or 12 months time is a great motivator. However, every step counts – even the smallest. So visualising how you will feel this time next week, if you stick to your plan, is easier to achieve. The best time to visualise is 5 minutes before you get out of bed on a morning, or 5 minutes before you drop off to sleep.
Now all this may seem great, ‘in theory’! As Zig Ziglar said ‘Motivation is like showering. The effects are not long term – but that’s why it’s recommend that you do it daily’. Bringing out your positive side can be difficult for many people. We live in a world of hussle and bussle! Life is busy … but when you learn how to stay positive, how to visualise and how to stop any negativity creeping in – the world seems a nicer place.
Many years ago when things seemed very dark for us: my husband lost his (once – very successful) business, I was pregnant with our 2nd child and because we had no money we had to move in with my in-laws (that’s just a fraction of what was going on around us at the time). I couldn’t believe that this was it! This was our life! We both had degrees and MAs. We’d worked really hard … how could this be happening to us? What type of life were we providing for our children? The guilt, the anguish, the anger, the frustration would eat away at me. Then I realised living my life in the ‘blame game’ wasn’t going to move me forward.
So, what did I do? Did I sit there and continue to wallow in my own self-pity, or did I do something about it? Hopefully, you’ve gathered I most certainly wasn’t going to wallow anymore. It was making me ill. But the first thing I had to work on was changing my thought patterns. Instead of looking at ‘what I didn’t have’ – I looked at what I did have and what I was truly grateful for. I’ve always had big dreams – to become an author and to own my own business. I’m now doing those things! And I couldn’t be happier. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been a stress-free journey, like riding on a train looking at the fields as the sun spreads it’s golden glow across the fresh greenery. It’s been more like a ride on a rollercoaster: exhilarating in parts but downright scary in others! But I’d rather be doing what I’m doing now than anything else in the world.
So, how did I become positive (can I say naturally positive – positivity isn’t an effort anymore, it’s a way of life!). Well, I’ve always enjoyed reading inspirational quotes. When I decided to lift my head out of my backside, I started collecting inspirational quotes, which felt like messages just for me. I have thousands. And I would read several a day.
Many years ago I recieved a gift from a friend: a box full of inspirational quotes which were to be read daily. This gave me the idea to put some of the quotes I had collected into a book for other people, so they too could be encouraged every day. My books ‘Daily Inspirational Messages 2012/2013’ can be download for free here. Now you may be thinking, but these are old books! Inspirational messages can never be old! My advice to you is to use both these books, morning and night. The inspirational messages 2013, also has weekly tasks included. These are designed to help you achieve your goal.
My ‘Daily Inspirational Messages 2014’ is available on Amazon for £1.53. A great way to use all 3 books daily is as follows:
Morning: Before you visualise read your daily message from 2014.
Afternoon: Read your daily message from 2012.
Evening: Read 2013 – This will hopefully allow you time to read and achieve the weekly tasks.
You’ll find within a few weeks of reading these quotes how you start thinking more positively and start to believe in yourself!
There have been other things that have helped me along my journey.
Rhonda Byrne who wrote the book ‘The Secret’, has definitely helped me change my thought patterns. If you’ve not read it, it’s a must! She has also written, ‘The Power’, ‘The Magic’ and her latest release ‘The Hero’. I have just finished ‘The Hero’ and I loved it. I really do recommend these books for anyone who wants to understand what their life is about. These books are amazing for helping to understand the Law of Attraction and for helping to look at the positive side of your life, feeling love rather than anger and being grateful for all that you have.
Another website and amazing inspirational lady is Lousie L.Hay. Lousie Hay is a renowned best-selling author of many books. Her website offers so much, you really must have a look.
Once you start to change your thought patterns, it becomes second nature. It becomes a way of life. It doesn’t feel natural anymore for me to have a negative thought. I’m not comfortable with negativity passing through my being. Being negative is draining. It zaps you of energy that you could be using for so many useful things. I’m not saying it’s an easy journey to start thinking more positively, but it is definitly a nicer one!
I hope you feel this post has helped you. Life is too short to just let it pass you by … so download my free books, and if you would like to purchase Daily Inspirational Quotes 2014, I send my love and thanks to you.
Good luck in achieving your New Year Resolutions. Just remember to believe in yourself. Anything is possible!
Posted on December 4, 2013
When I was younger I didn’t have many parties. In fact I remember only having one, and still my mum being quite stressed about the whole thing. When I had my own two girls I decided they would have the birthday parties I never had. But as the years have passed (bearing in mind they are only young) I understand why my mum didn’t throw us parties. If you’re a parent, how many times have you thought, ‘I’m not doing this again!’. Then the next year appears and it’s as if we’ve been brainwashed, forgetting all the hassle, the time and most importantly the cost.
Well, having 2 little people, with birthdays that are only 2 weeks apart and so close to Chrimbo, I ‘ummed and ahhed’ about the whole party thing. Did I do a joint party? (Which I’ve done and fitting 30 kids into my house was not one of my better ideas). Do I do it separately? (It all blends into a mad chaotic couple of weeks). So I asked them if they’d like to go away to Centre Parcs instead of having a party. After explaining about the Winter Wonderland, visiting Santa and numerous other activities we could enjoy, both were so excited. It was a done deal.
So that’s where we were this weekend: Whinfell Forest in Cumbria. If you’ve never been, you really must put this on your bucket list. Accompanied by my in-laws, brother-in-law and his family, we had such a great time. We didn’t want to leave!
Having been twice before, the first time about 7 years ago and the second time about 5 years ago, it hadn’t changed much but it was still so amazing, and at some point they must have refurbished the whole place, as it looked brand-new.
There are so many activities to do at Centre Parcs anytime of the year, but at Christmas time there is so much more. My girls and their cousins ages range from 15 months-10 years, and I thought that it would be difficult to find something they would all enjoy together. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We attended a ‘Design your own stocking workshop’. The girls enjoyed decorating a card stocking, a foam stocking and a large felt stocking. Fantastic keepsakes. They all enjoyed visiting Santa in his Workshop. He was one of the funniest Santa’s we’ve seen. Getting their names mixed up just made them laugh so much; mistaking Megan for Albert had them giggling. I was impressed that they all received gifts fitting for their age. But the best part was getting their photo taken with Santa, which we received in a lovely Christmas frame. The girls were enthralled by Sleeping Beauty’s pantomime. It was excellent. They were mesmerised all the way through. The actors were brilliant and really made us feel part of the play.
It didn’t stop there. On the Sunday night, Centre Parcs put on the most amazing firework display. There was no expense spared. And to top it off, Santa floated past in a boat and waved to us all. It was so exhilarating to say the least. The crowd forming together, all united by these shooting sparkling lights. It felt so good to be part of it.
Centre Parcs offer a tour through their Enchanted Forest. We decided to do our own little walk on the Sunday night, it was so magical. Watching Donner and Blitzen munching on their food, listening to the different characters singing in their little wooden huts and looking above to see the frosted snowy trees, it was all we could ask for to finish off our last night. Perfect.
There is so much to do, although we spent some of the time in the swimming pool. The older kids loving the range of water slides, while I happily spent my time with my youngest on the smaller ones 🙂 We laughed and screamed with delight with the other guests as the wave machine sent us flying across the waters, and experiencing the warmth of the pool in the outside air was so much fun.
The rest of the family had to leave early on the Monday morning, however, we decided to stay and use some more of the facilities. After a game of bowling and eating in the pizzeria, we decided to call it day when our girls were dropping!
I can honestly say this was so much better than throwing 2 parties, that would have cost us more, and would be over in 2 hours (and that’s not even thinking about the mess). The girls have decided they want to do this every year for their birthdays, but unfortunately this is not something that we’ll be able to do for them … yes, due to the new ‘no holiday’ ruling! This I will rant about on another blog, another time. I felt the need to share this experience, as if there was anyone out there wanting to do something a bit different and have a fun-packed weekend (or week), Centre Parcs offers so much for so many ages. We will definitely be looking at going again.
Posted on November 27, 2013
Not 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
photo credit: www.wallpaperswala.com
Posted on November 21, 2013
photo credit: www.marcusmedicalspa.com
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!
Posted on November 4, 2013
I’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.
PHOTO CREDIT: www.housetohome.co.uk