Finally Submitted

Hello all!

Big news to share 😉

So for ages (more like a year) I have been saying I want to send off a story for a magazine- well today I hit the submit button!!!!

Feeling the usual excitement and nerves but finally crossed it off the to do list! Whatever happens at least I tried 🙂

So yes now I have finished editing and sending the story I can focus on other writing related things 😉

Woop

I’m going to also start prep for July Camp Nano as missed this months one.

Maybe not huge news but it’s progress in breaking the writers block! (Also wrote some words a few weeks ago for a new children/YA story)

X

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Book Review- The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen Gale

Book Description

Easy, do-able, down to earth ideas and suggestions for everyone to help save the planet.

If you want to save the planet, but your to-do list is already pretty long and remembering your re-usable coffee cup feels like a Herculean task, then this is the book for you. Covering every aspect of our lives from the stuff we buy and the food we eat, to how we travel, work, and celebrate. This book provides stacks of practical, down to earth ideas to slot into your daily life, alongside a gentle kick up the butt to put your newfound knowledge into action.

Practical tips include unsubscribing from all the tempting emails that drop into your inbox with details of the newest clothing range or the latest sale, and keeping a mug next to your kettle to work out how much water you actually need to boil each time, as over filling kettles costs British households £68 million on energy bills each year.

Find out how to fit “sustainable living” into your life, in a way that works for you. Change your impact without radically changing your life and figure out the small steps you can make that will add up to make a big difference (halo not included).

Book Review

I love how easy to read this book is! I love how it is in sections and at the end of each 12 sections are to try lists, more suggestions and checklists to help you on your way to change 🙂

There are many facts that are eye opening (and quite scary) and it is a user freindly practical guide for everyone – from total beginner to the more advanced this book is inspiring and much needed in this ever changing world. Many simple techniques that if many others try it can make such a difference.

Definitely recommend this guide.

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Update :)

So it’s been a while and to be fair I’m not sure where this direction of the blog will go but for now it will be where I post my crafts.

I have done no writing at all as nothing has come to me. Maybe because I have been focusing on me and my family. I’m decluttering and starting the minimaliish slow living approach. I’m more eco focused and wanting to do more for living a eco friendly lifestyle (maybe I might blog about what I have learnt etc) I have started a list for this month of all things I have decluttered so far so it will be interesting to see how much stuff will be out of the house!

I have the past year been more aware of what plastics to recycle after watching Drowning in Plastic and Jess and I have gone on various litterpicking sessions. Once lockdown has finished we hope to help out with a beach clean. Another good documentary on YouTube is called 50 minutes to save the world- all about the decline in coral reefs and it was a massive eye opener! We have started saving crisp packets too so I can deliver them to our nearest terracycle centre (take a look to see your nearest one) every little bit is better than nothing.

I have also setup a Facebook page called Just one square where the me and the community knit or crochet squares for me to sew into a blanket for either the homeless or for animal charity’s (also twiddle muffs for dementia patients) which has also kept me busy! As well as baby cardi s for friends! If you want to join in the project please head over to the page 🙂

I have also (told you I have been busy) started my discernment process as I felt a calling to become a vicar- a lot of soul searching and reading. So what with that and halfway through my course in Christian studies taking time I have not had much brain power for writing. There is ALOT of things to do and will take upto 18months to get to a stage where the BAP (Bishops Advisory Panel) will either recommend you for training or not (then 2 years training at a college) maybe a blog updates on this?

I have restarted yoga and colouring in to wind down or relax in these stressful times.

But I feel complete and myself- for ages I have been trying to find my identity (apart from the important one -a mummy!) and slowing down on social media has helped me have more time to do the things I enjoy.

Love gardening – such an anxiety relief

So I’m not sure of where this blog will be heading but for now that’s a quick update from me.

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Book Review- The Wish List by Ruby Hummingbird

Book Description


Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.

Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.

On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.

Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.

Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.

When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.

Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.

Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…

Book Review

It took me a little while to get into this and the main character (who at the start just wanted to give her big hugs) It made me think of how lonely it could get when older and that life just keeps going. But as the story grew, so did the plot and the idea of her blooming was heartfelt. It was lovely seeing what she got up to and how she found friendships- that she was living her life again. The flashbacks were a nice touch and again shows you how life moves forward with or without you. It shows us that we must make the most of it and second chances are always available.

Really want to know what happened at the end!!!

Lovely slow read.

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Basil DIY Toner

Hello everyone welcome back to my blog!

So many things/shifts have been happening while I took a long break from the blog (many posts to follow on all these things) but first I want to share with you a quick and refreshing toner using basil leaves!

I have been more conscious using eco friendly cleaners (made my own and again post on this soon) but I had a few basil leaves from pruning the plant and thought about skin care as recently getting spots from stress and mask wearing… so thought how about make my own? So first up a toner! What was there to loose? I have been growing the same plant for over two years now 🙂

Basil has always been known for its detoxifying properties. It is full of mild antibacterial compounds and following are its skin benefits.

1)Helps battle acne-prone skin

2)Fades dark spots

3) Soothes skin

4) Brightens complexion

5) Unclogs pores

So after a few times trying this -it actually is making my spots go down and my skin feel so fresh!

Basil toner recipe

Few fresh basil leaves

1 cup boiling water

I only had a few so used a small bowl

That’s it! Add basil to the cup or small bowl and press lightly to release the oils. Leave to cool down and transfer into a bottle (I use a spray bottle from an old face mist) then pop in fridge. Will last for 7 days and spray onto a cotton cloth when need.

Next up will try basil and cucumber scrub that I found the recipe for.

Let me know if you try this. Do you have any eco friendly recipes either cleaning or skin care?

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Author Interview- Lauren Gehringer

Hello and welcome back to my blog- and my 1st author interview for a long while!!

Today we have Lauren chatting to us about her book “From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty”. I found Lauren through Instagram and instantly loved her work and posts 🙂

Tell us a bit about your book

From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty follows the path of our digestive system. Simple rhymes are paired with illustrations by artist Maile McCarthy to make this complex, internal process accessible for little ones. It was important the book was as helpful as possible, so there’s also a back section for caregivers by my pediatrician mother in law, Dr. Natalie Gehringer, with tips for healthy digestion, along with a high-fiber food chart showing which foods offer the most fiber per serving.

What would say is the genre for your book (Age range)

It’s a non-fiction children’s picture book. The target audience is 3 – 6 year olds, but it’s received positive feedback from both older and even younger kids.

Where did the inspiration come from?

On the heels of potty training, one of my children got into a terrible cycle of anxiety, leading to withholding, leading to constipation. Trying to help reduce the anxiety, I explained, in very simple terms, what exactly happens inside (and comes out) of our body. It wasn’t an immediate fix, but there was an undeniable improvement.

Digestion’s an extremely impactful, unseen process that can be easy to take for granted. From the perspective of a young child with emerging body awareness, I think there’s a lot of room for misconceptions or fears to arise. Seeing the positive impact it had on my own child, I was eager to help others understand digestion as well.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I wish I had a better answer, but it seemed to just surface within the process of writing the book.

How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?

The first draft took only a few hours, but I lost count of how many drafts followed over the course of several months.

How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?

Being a first-time self-publisher, I struggled with imposter syndrome, and feeling like the investment in creating a picture book was self-indulgent. At launch I was hopeful but unsure if the book would resonate with other children, so my mindset wasn’t particularly celebratory. The dominant feeling was more ‘uh-oh,  how do I get this on anyone’s radar now?’. In retrospect, I wish I’d taken the time to celebrate the accomplishment of producing a book I was proud of, regardless of what happened next.

Would you care to give us an extract?

Sure! The book starts off with a question:

“What happens to food when you’re done chewing? Though you can’t see it, digestion’s been brewing. Digestion is what your body must do, to get fuel from food. The rest becomes poo. It’s started by chewing your very first bite, teeth grinding it down to a size that’s just right. With help from saliva (wet stuff in your mouth), food’s sent down your throat and keeps sliding south. Into your stomach is where it goes next. Here, your tummy’s juices are put to the test. Food’s turned into liquid at this stage of digestion, then moves from the stomach to your small intestine…” and on it goes, till the process is (ahem) complete.

How do you beat writers block? Any tips?

I have a lot of luck in the shower. There’s often a very wet sprint to jot stuff down before it’s forgotten.

Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?

Zoom school with the kids has drained me of all energy. Does Netflix count?

When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?

Total pantser, but to be fair, the “plot” in “From Chewing to Pooing” was predetermined.

Do you have any advice for fellow writers?

Nothing as far as the writing process goes, but I would strongly advise any aspiring self-publisher to take the time to research best practices including professional formatting, editing, and detailed pre-launch and post-launch marketing plans. Coming from  someone who wishes she had.

I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?

I’m really excited about this one! Powerful You! The Wonderful Healing Your Body Can Do celebrates the body’s resilience. Playful, expository rhymes explain its inherent strength, so young readers can feel confidence and pride in their bodies despite global focus on our vulnerability. I think it’s really important to value the inner-workings of our bodies beyond the parts we can see; the earlier in life the better.

Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet? 

I’m most active on Instagram, @From_Chewing_To_Pooing; flailing on Twitter, @LaurenEFG; neglected website, www.chewingtopooing.com; full reading at, https://youtu.be/MahPBPujWdA , and available to buy on Amazon at, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1092184724/

Lauren Gehringer lives in Northern California with her husband, two kids and dog, Lola. Prior to being a primary caregiver, she was an entrepreneur. Highlights since launching “From Chrwing to Pooing” include festival readings, tv appearances and an opportunity to host an event at Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. Her favorite thing (pre-COVID) was visiting classrooms throughout the Bay Area for author readings.

Thankyou so much for sharing your answers! Looking forward to seeing your new book- and excited for our copy of chewing to pooing to arrive next week 😉

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Dimensions of Paranormal Anthologies – Cover Reveal

Here it is!!!

Eek look how lovely this cover is!!! Writers Unite have done it again with their cover designs.

Excited and thankful that my story is included 🙂

Paranormal. Does the word bring a shiver to your spine or cause you to think of ectoplasmic slime? You favorite group of authors from Writers Unite! invite you to experience their version of shivers and slime.

Pre-order kindle versions now from either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk (paperbacks available from release date)

Grab yourself a spooky read for Halloween!

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Book Review- Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Book Description (Amazon)

Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home, from bedrooms and kitchens to bathrooms and living rooms as well as a wide range of items in different categories, including clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, wallets and valuables. Charming line drawings explain how to properly organise drawers, wardrobes, cupboards and cabinets. The illustrations also show Ms Kondo’s unique folding method, clearly showing how to fold anything from shirts, trousers and jackets to skirts, socks and bras.

The secret to Marie Kondo’s unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something ‘sparks joy’ and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. When you surround yourself with things you love you will find that your whole life begins to change. 

Marie Kondo’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics of her KonMari method. It has already transformed the homes and lives of millions of people around the world. Spark Joy is Marie Kondo’s in-depth tidying masterclass, focusing on the detail of how to declutter and organise your home.

Book Review

Having watched all episodes on Netflix I instantly brought this book – and many new tips I found hidden inside!! Plus it was a good reminder of the other things from the show.

I love how easy this book was to read. I enjoyed how she puts her past experiences in and her previous client history. The images are clear for folding (have tried but unfortunately cannot keep up with this one)

She was the starting point for my decluttering and making my home better. This book taught me to surround myself with possessions that bring me joy and happiness and I’m finally starting to see the effort! Marie teaches you many practical strategies that work (for me at least).

I downsized my clothes and books due to Spark Joy and will continue (am onto photos at the moment)

If it doesn’t bring you joy then get rid of it!! Simple and effective 🙂 Thank the items you don’t want to give it life to someone else. A must have for any tidying fans or want somewhere to start on the decluttering journey.

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Garden Diary- September 2020

Hello everyone! End of September already!!

This month we had blackberries after 3 years!!

The ceanothus has now got some buds!

The Cornus I cut has rooted! Just left it in water for a week and it grew roots! I then repotted.

Autumn feel from the tree spinach
William wanted this in the fairy garden 🙂 chilli plant 😉

The clematis has bloomed!

I then made two little flower arrangements from the garden and two big ones (the first was 40p bunches I rescued from the reduced pile) for the table to bring extra joy to mealtimes.

Made my mum a hand tied bouquet for her birthday 🙂 First time making one and really enjoyed it!

September collection
Deweeded the hedge at the front

Harvested some seeds! These are from lychnis coronaria.

And these from sunflowers!

So September has been a busy one! Deweeding/deadheading and preparation of what cut flowers I want to grow next year 🙂 The tomato’s are starting to flower but not much crop this year veg wise 😦

The basil is still growing and producing so every few weeks I pick the top leaves and put them in the oven to make dried herbs.

I also tidied up the back and moved some of the containers 🙂

That’s all for this month 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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The Very Hungry Jessica

In the light of the moon a little Jessica was asleep in her bed.

Early one morning the sun came up and woke up a very hungry Jessica.

She started to look for some food.

On Monday she ate through one Pain au Chocolate but she was still hungry.

On Tuesday she ate through two waffles but she was still hungry.

On Wednesday she ate through three pancakes but she was still hungry.

On Thursday she ate four bowls of choc hoops but she was still hungry.

On Friday she ate through five pieces of jam on toast but she was still hungry.

On Saturday she ate through one cupcake, a packet of cheese and onion crisps, one chocolate cake, one bowl of popcorn, a packet of raisins, a cheese sandwich, a lollipop, a bowl of pasta, one yogurt and one slice of watermelon (which she hated). That night she had a stomach ache.

The next day was Sunday again and she ate through a plate of half cut grapes, strawberry’s and bananas- and after that she felt much better.

Now she wasn’t hungry anymore!

She put on her unicorn onesie for the day. Then she took it off and…

She became a fairy!

The End

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Silent Sunday

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September Goals

Hello and welcome to my blog!

So last month I took a break from writing as Camp Nano took it out of me! (Worth it though).

This month both kids are back to school (William starts reception!) so what better way to restart the goals! The goals are-

1) Finish 2nd draft of Dino Will

2) Finish 1st draft of Jess-The Eco Warrior

3) Start edits for magazine story

4) Write a chapter or two for the Murder Mystery series

Let’s see what gets done! I have nearly finished The Very Hungry Jessica – Jess found it hilarious 😉 (Will post here soon as well as A-Z book and Williams Tamatoa birthday)

What’s your goals for this month?

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