Bookworms, what do you have with YOUR B.U.R.T.?

Let’s play a little game… It’s a good one, I promise!

It starts with a book. (looking good so far!)

Think of the best book you’ve read recently.

Next, think of a block of blissful uninterrupted reading time. (aka B.U.R.T.) Just you and your book.

Oh and your cup (or glass) of choice.

For me, that’s a redbush tea (without milk) in my ‘Mum you are amazing’ mug, or depending on the time of day (because I’m not judging) a glass of red.

In my BURT I’ve got ‘Here and Gone’ by Haylen Beck, a glass of red and my cinnamon wax melt doing it’s thing.

But there’s something missing… a snack on hand to go with the red; usually chocolate or crisps, maybe olives and salami.

Ah, ready for my BURT.

No, still something not quite right.

I know! I need to change into something more relaxing like something from Bonds clothing.


Time for me and my BURT!

Because me and BURT, we’re like ‘that’!

Bookworms what do you have with your blissful uninterrupted reading time (BURT)? Relaxing while reading with Bonds Clothing.

What do you have with your BURT?

Remember to join my #ReadFor5Today facebook community! Just click below…

Tips for a Better Sleep

Tips For a Better Sleep

If you want to perform and feel your best, it’s important to not only get enough sleep but to get ample quality sleep. Find out what you should and shouldn’t do to sleep well and wake up refreshed by reading the article below:


Not getting enough sleep has been associated with a wide variety of health issues such as impaired cardiovascular health, testosterone production, insulin signalling, fat loss and increased inflammation.

Tips for a Better Sleep

If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, try the following:


A lack of magnesium can lead to impaired sleep, as this dietary mineral plays a very important role in the brain. A magnesium deficiency is especially notable in active people, as it’s lost through sweat. There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods which can fit a wide variety of diets. Of course, another option is to supplement magnesium.


If you’re not sure which dietary supplements to trust and which ones to stay clear of, Analyze That will help you narrow down options because it gives comprehensive, unbiased, honest product reviews.


Physical activity seems to improve the quality of sleep especially when you’re experiencing stress.  Different types of exercise, like resistance training, aerobic exercise, tai-chi and yoga can potentially improve the quality of sleep as well as overall health and mood.

Sleeping Schedule

A 24-hour schedule is followed by most physiological processes based on clues such as light and temperature. This is also known as your circadian rhythm. If you go to bed at more or less the same time every night, your sleep quality can definitely be improved. A bedtime routine can also be very beneficial as your body will get signaled that it needs to lie down soon. This routine can include anything from reading, meditation, brushing your teeth or showering. It should not include any activities which stimulate your senses. Also, keep in mind that the blue light produced by your computer, cell phone and TV disrupts the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone).


Melatonin is produced when blue light is absent. If you are avoiding blue lights before bed and have tried all of the above, you could try supplementing melatonin. It can improve quality sleep, help fight jet lag and help stop insomnia.


The scent of lavender can improve the quality of sleep, stop insomnia and promote relaxation.


The following things should be avoided if you’re trying to get more sleep:


Even if a specific sound doesn’t wake you up, it can still reduce the quality of your sleep and increase stress. Think about getting earplugs if you’re live a noisy area and can’t make your bedroom silent (unless off course you’re a parent!). Some people find soothing music or white noise helps, especially if it masks other irritating sounds. Read more about what gadgets might help you to sleep.


Insomnia has been associated with an elevated core body temperature. If it’s warm enough in your bedroom to raise your core body temperature it may impact the quality of your sleep. The opposite is also true – if your bedroom is cool enough to lower your body temperature you’ll enter deep stages of sleep much sooner and also fall asleep faster.


As alcohol helps us to unwind and relax, we often think it’ll improve our sleep. But this isn’t true. It IS true that alcohol might help you to fall asleep, but it’ll definitely also impair the quality of sleep. Drinking a lot of alcohol has even been directly linked to insomnia.


Even though many of us can’t function properly without our daily cup of coffee, it definitely has its downsides. Caffeine enhances mood, increases dopamine levels and increases alertness. People who drink a lot of coffee every day might not feel stimulated by the effects of caffeine any more and they might also imagine that it won’t affect their sleep. Even though this might be the case and they may sleep for several hours, their sleep will be more shallow than non-caffeine users. If your quality of sleep is really important, it should be avoided at least five hours before bedtime.


How about you?  Do you have problems sleeping?  Have you got any tips to add?  I’d love to hear!  Comment or tweet me @AllSortsHere  Thank you

*This is a collaborative post

Why a change is as good as a rest for your eyes

Why a change is as good as a rest for your Eyes Vision Direct Contact Lenses Glasses pin WIDTH=

Why a change is as good as a rest for your eyes


I’ve worn glasses for a number of years and when I went through a phase of swimming a lot, I decided it was time for a change.

Why a change is as good as a rest for your Eyes Vision Direct Contact Lenses Glasses pin


While wearing glasses for swimming is possible, it’s not really practical.  There’s also that thing of not being able to see, meaning you can’t hear properly (does anyone else find that?!).  I found this disorientating with the acoustics and echoes of being in the pool.


Back then I tried contact lenses but found them to be uncomfortable, so I soon reverted back to glasses full-time.  I say ‘full-time’ because I do wear them all the time once I’ve put them on for the day.  I can get away with not wearing them all day but as soon as I drive (by 8 am weekdays), I feel much more comfortable (and safe!) with my glasses!

A change is as good as a rest

The opportunity arose to review some contact lenses and I fancied giving them a go again.  Let’s face it, we never get a new pair of eyes and we don’t get to rest them much (well I don’t anyway!) so a change is as good as…  And as it happened, my eye test was due too so it all seemed like the right time.  Aside from the unpleasant puff of air into your eye, I’m a person who actually enjoys having my eyes tested.  Perhaps it’s knowing that it’s a bit of an MOT for me and therefore reassurance.  Opticians can tell so much about your general health by examining your eyes and with a history of glaucoma in my family, it’s double important to show up for regular checks.

Why a change is as good as a rest for your Eyes Vision Direct Contact Lenses Glasses


So when they told me that my presciption had changed and my eye sight had improved, I was surprised!  I use a screen far too much: I use the internet for blogging and down-time.  So you can see that I use a screen a lot!  I was really pleased to be told that my eyes were still suitable for contacts and excited to try out contact lenses.


What about the lenses?

The contact lenses arrived packaged well and it fit easily through my letterbox.  They were in clever little strips of 7 sections per strip.  Handy because you can easily separate each section which contains a single lens.  If you need to, you can pop a packaged lens in your bag, perhaps for travelling, overnight stays or in case you want to wear them later in the day.


A top tip from me is to label your lenses according to your left and right eye.  My prescription is easy.  Because of my astigmatism in my right eye, the label actually says ‘astgimatism’ on the correct lens package but otherwise, I’d definitely label them L and R.


As I peeled back the top, it came away easily and I expected a little of the solution to spill over the sides but it was all contained, which is really helpful.  Why?  Because it’s best to have dry (and clean!) hands to put your contacts in.  This is because of lifting your upper and lower lids.  From experience, if your hands are slippery, it’s very hard to do this!

Why a change is as good as a rest for your Eyes Vision Direct Contact Lenses Glasses 2


The lenses are very easy to get out of the solution once you’ve got it ‘hooked’ on the fingertip of your index finger.  A swift separation of my upper and lower lid, a quick fix of the lens on the surface of my eye and a few blinks, the lens was correctly ‘seated’ on my eye.  It only took a minute or 2 for my eye to adjust to the feeling of the lens to give me crisp vision.  So along with all day comfort, they don’t dehydrate your eyes but keep them hydrated and comfortable instead.


After a couple of hours of wearing them for the first time, it was time to take them out.  I didn’t feel like I needed to but took them out anyway.  It was quite tricky ‘sliding’ the lenses off and out of my eyes but a couple of tries and they were out!  So it was back to my glasses for the rest of the day.  Each time I used the lenses, the process of removing them got easier and slicker.  Each time, my eyes were getting more used to the lenses.  These lenses were so comfortable that a disadvantage is forgetting you’re wearing them!


As with any lenses, there’s a slight blue tinge to the outer edge of your iris which is the lens itself.  I don’t think you can really notice this though.  What I love about these contact lenses from Vision Direct is that you can order them on next day delivery so if you suddenly find you’re running out (or have run out!), you don’t have to compromise back to glasses for long!  What’s more, you can order the amount you need, when you need them.  No having to remember to collect them, no parking to pay (though a cheeky cafe stop is always good!)  Straight through your letterbox for your ease and convenience.  Job done!  Thanks Vision Direct!


How about you?  Have you ever tried them?  Do you wear contacts?  What did you think?  I’d love to know. 

Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .  Thanks!

Written in collaboration with Vision Direct.


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Why a classic heroine earns my respect

Classic Heroine earns my Respect Empowered Confident Pride and Prejudice Adaptation

Why a classic heroine earns my respect

Recently, I’ve rekindled my love of reading again but there’s something about cosying up with nibbles to watch a good screen adaptation isn’t there?  There aren’t that many adaptations that get it just right though.  Yes, there are lots of fantastic period dramas out there but none top the adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice by Andrew Davis.  I mean written by Jane Austen obviously but adapted to the screen by Andrew Davis for the BBC.  I reckon I could hold my own in a pub quiz dedicated to this particular adaptation of ‘P&P’.  I studied the book at A-level (high school exams for my non-UK readers) and then wrote my uni dissertation on the adaptation.  Yes, I studied it for hours on my old VHS video recorder and my VHS video tapes were very well worn by the time I submitted my 10,000 word work.

A labour of love

When I moved house and came across the old videos, the happy memories of the labour of love came flooding back to me.  I kept the videos for old time’s sake but when I was supposed to be packing (!), I binge-watched the DVD and it was a whole different world!  Watching it on a modern TV like an hdr tv Panasonic took the viewing experience to a whole new level.  I wonder what Jane Austen would think?!

I also wonder what Austen would have made of the modern world, with empowered women being encouraged to be themselves?

Classic Heroine earns my Respect Empowered Confident Pride and Prejudice Adaptation

A mind of her own

There was a book that accompanied the adaptation which told of how important it was to get the casting right and I think they got it pretty spot-on.  Jennifer Ehle played Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine who stubbornly refused to wed the fop and dandy Mr Collins.  I say refused but really it was only her humorously daft mother, Mrs Bennet who was intent on the match.  Her father was right there behind his daughter cheering her on from the sidelines, never doubting that she had a mind of her own.

That’s what I love about how Jane Austen portrays Elizabeth Bennet.  In an age where social etiquette was assemblies and chaperones, marriage dowries and taking walks, Elizabeth was willfully opinionated and stubborn in a subtle way that kept her amused at all those assemblies.

I think I would have got on really well with Elizabeth Bennet.  Yes, I’d have made a good modern-day Charlotte Lucas (her friend) – just more empowered, more confident of my own mind and not married to Mr Collins!

Have you got a favourite classic (or contemporary) heroine who you respect?  I’d love to hear!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .


*This is a collaborative post

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Why you should get on your bike

Why You Should Get On Your Bike Wellbeing Mental Physical Outdoors Biking Cycling

Why you should get on your bike

Before we moved house, I used to bike to work.  It took around 30 minutes and although I would often feel sluggish and have the can’t-be-bothered mentality before I started out, once I’d arrived I felt great.  There’s nothing like a good bike ride to wake you up!

That feeling of being invigorated from biking before you start work is something else.  I used to be cautious being out on the road on my bike, concerned about that car or van that was just a bit too close for comfort.  But when I heard about the general accident contact number, I got my confidence back.  The benefits of biking pushed me to get back to pedalling too.  It helps to lower your blood pressure and therefore reduce stress for starters.  I’d cross paths with colleagues in the corridors after locking my bike up in the secure bike shed and they’d be heading straight to get a coffee.  Not me.  No need with all that fresh air pumping through me!  If you could bottle the ‘just biked’ feeling, you’d never look back.  Once you’ve started biking and you remember that feeling, it makes getting into gear so much easier.  You don’t have to go far to get kitted out either.

Why You Should Get On Your Bike Wellbeing Mental Physical Outdoors Biking Cycling

Admittedly, it took me a while to get used to biking after however many years of driving.  First there was getting used to the saddle, which I changed to a more comfortable one.  Boy do you know about it when your saddle’s too hard!  Then there’s making sure your helmet’s the right fit and is actually fitted on your head properly.  Not forgetting the lights of course.  It’s useful to get the sort that you can easily snap on and off, making them portable and not open for the taking…  talking of which, you can get kits to security mark your bike too.  Very handy and good to know.  The security markers are often only visible under infra-red but you can of course put a visual deterrent on your bike too.  A good lock is essential for any bike owner.

You can accessorise with a pretty bell and you can even get bluetooth speakers for your bike now too… with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes!

It’s a good idea to build your bike ride into your routine if you can, that’s when it becomes a habit.  And what a great habit to have.  There’s no easier way to build a bike ride into your routine than pedalling to and from work!  That habit loop lifts your spirits and is the perfect antidote for our busy lives, helping to keep us in top condition, mentally and physically.  All in all it’s great for your wellbeing.

Why stop at the weekend?  With a range of bikes for men, women, kids and also unisex, there’s really no reason not to get out and get into the fresh air!

Have you got on your bike lately?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .


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5 reasons to use fake grass in your garden

5 Reasons to use Fake Grass in your Garden Wellbeing Artificial Grass Outdoors

5 reasons to use fake grass in your garden


When we moved house a couple of years ago, as is often the case, we sorted out the inside of the house and the outside area got neglected.  It was October too, so no surprises there.

Apart from sweeping the leaves away from the drain and sorting the bins out every week, we spent very little time out there.

Part of the reason is that our garden is more of a back yard and really not very pretty to be honest.  To make it more inviting, we’re considering ‘prettying’ it up into a more useable space with fake grass.

5 Reasons to use Fake Grass in your Garden Wellbeing Artificial Grass Outdoors

Our friend has artificial grass and wishes she’d done it year ago.  Her recommendation, out own research and our own common sense mean that we’re now in the first stages of our planning project.

And here are our top 5 reasons for choosing fake grass for our garden:

No more mowing!

While I never used to mind mowing the lawn as an activity in itself, there’s no denying that it took time.  With our electric mower, there was always the very real danger of mowing over the electric cable too… a thought that I never used to relish!

And then of course, there was the emptying of the grass box, the disposal of the grass itself and stowing the lawn mower away.  This always involved taking a jigsaw puzzle apart and putting it all back together again in our outhouse-come-shed, which could be frustrating at times because there was always something that couldn’t be shoe-horned back into place as easily!

Then there’s the edging and weeding…

I could think of a better way to spend my time than mowing a lawn, then trimming the edges and that’s even before we mention the weeding!  One look inside my house will tell you that although the surfaces are generally clean, they’re not always clutter-free and it’s definitely ‘lived-in’ but I do tend to know where everything is.  Yes, everything has it’s place.  After that little insight into my personality, it might not surprise you that weeds drive me (or used to drive me) a little bit crazy!

No matter how hard we tried, there would invariably be a weed, or 10, spoiling our lawn!  Again, I can think of better ways to spend my time.  Lounging around on a weed-free lawn with my family for starters!

Safe for the pets 

Since we moved house, we’ve lost a cat and gained a dog, leaving us with one of each.  And so having a pet-safe garden is a priority.  Which means no toxic plants and somewhere for Daisy the dog to use her energy in what we call her ‘mad half hours’!  (or which she has several a day!)  To be able to throw her a ball to play with and be able to easily clean up mess is another box ticked.

No more sneezing! 

You may have noticed that I’ve been referring to ‘me’ a lot up to now!  Family time has featured, which of course includes hubby.  But the mowing always came down to me.  Why?  Because of pollen!  Yes, hayfever always meant that I was the mower and indeed he would often struggle outside.  Not with fake grass!  It would benefit out 8 year old daughter too because she showed signs of hayfever for the first time last Summer.  I see quality, outdoors family time on the horizon again!

Outdoor space

We all need time outdoors.  A dose of fresh air and topping up vitamin D is essential for our physical and mental health.  There’s little more inviting as the weather gets warmer than stepping out onto grass with barefeet.  Bonus points if I can do in my dressing gown with a decaf!  Personally, it’s what I really miss during Autumn and Winter.

Creating a zen-space is so important to me and with that comes barefeet; with that comes meditation and with that comes a happier me!  The hippy-at-heart in me loves going barefoot.  And that’s another thing about artificial grass.  There are different softeness levels (and different wearability levels too).  Now to decide which variety to choose!


What do you like to do in your garden?  I’d love to know!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .



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Confessions of a New Mummy

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make

chocolate egg heads

For a chocoholic, this is the ultimate heaven isn’t it?  Layers of chocolate all melted together to make a chocolate egg!  Yum!

We tried out a pack that came with full instructions, a mould, a cute little chef’s hat. decorations and, importantly the belgian chocolate drops.

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

I could have eaten these quite easily on their own but ‘luckily’ our 8 yo daughter was there to keep me on the straight and narrow…

So we started off melting the chocolate and because it was good quality, it was a smooth operation.  We then followed the instructions and added a layer to the moulds.

When I read the instructions, I thought it sounded a bit complicated, long-winded and far too techy for a chocoholic mum and her eager 8 yo.  Layering, leaving to cool, layering again and again…  I was a bit sceptical at how our egg would turn out.

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, I was pleasantly surprised.  I mean, we’re not going to be chocolatiers anytime soon but the layers actually worked!  We had made our own chocolate egg.  Very impressive… er so impressive that we broke a bit off to try and ended up devouring the whole lot before my camera had a look-in!  Now that’s a testimonial to the taste of the chocolate.  I don’t ‘do’ cheap, tacky chocolate.  Life’s too short and I’d rather have good quality stuff that melts in your mouth and leaves you licking the inside of your mouth deliciously.

On that basis alone, I’d highly recommend the chocolate egg kit as a fun activity.  It goes great with a decaf.  Oh and wine too!  It’s often the case that with kits containing sweets or foodie things, that you don’t quite get enough, or ‘just’ enough to do the job properly.  In this case, we got generous helpings and even had enough to stick with tradition and lick the bowl.  I say ‘we’ but you know that never happens when you’ve got an 8 yo in tow!

At £12 a kit, this is really good value and I’d highly recommend doing this.

You can visit ChoconChoc’s website and follow them on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and you tube .

What about you?  Have you tried making your own chocolate eggs?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.


*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

You know when you just want to get snuggly and cosy?  If your home is anything like mine, you’ll be all snuggly in one room, off you go to bed and you get into your cold bed!  Well, not anymore!  Our old hot water bottle had been well-loved, well-used and become unsafe because the rubber had perished.

Enter stage left, this cute owl hot water bottle from The Hot Water Bottle Shop!  I mean, just look at it, begging to be cuddled and snuggled!

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing 2

What I love about it

What I particularly love about this cover is that it’s quirky.  It’s not just any old cover you might get from your local chemist or from a hardware store.  It’s inviting, it’s easy to open, easy to slide your water bottle inside and easy to do up again.

This one has a button which might appear fiddly but it’s not.  It not only keeps your hot water bottle ‘hot’ but it keeps is secure too.  Over the years I’ve found that some covers stretch and you wake up stuck to a hot water bottle that’s now tepid and has left an imprint in your thigh!  Not so snuggly!

What about the price?

At £18.99, this is very good value in my opinion.  The cover is well made and has stood the test over several months in my clutches and through the Beast from the East (if you’re reading this in ‘archive mode’, do you remember that storm?!).  You really can’t get a better test than that!

As the product description says, this: uses an ultra-modern, thermoplastic rubberless design which does not only make it easy-to-use and comfortable but eco-sustainable too. This product is made from 80% renewable materials, is PVC free, recyclable and unlike may other hot water bottle odourless.

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Not only is the bottle odourless, but you can freshen up the washable cover too.  Win, win!

You can follow the Hot Water Bottle Shop on twitter, facebook and instagram.

What about you?  Have you snuggled up with your hot water bottle lately?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.


*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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What to do when your own writing bores you

What to do When Your Own Writing Bores You

What to do when your own writing bores you

One of the most painful experiences as a writer, especially one who considers themselves to still be learning, is re-reading your own work.  It’s a necessary task, but it should be done after you’ve had time away from your work.  But here’s a question: what if you read your writing only to find that, above all else, it’s simply boring?  If you find that you’re not as inspired or passionate as you aimed to be, what can you do?

What to do When Your Own Writing Bores You Continue reading

Simple ways to improve your health today

 Simple ways to improve your health today wellbeing main

Simple ways to improve your health today

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, your health should always be a top priority.  But most of us are a bit guilty of letting our wellbeing slide from time-to-time.  That being said, read on for some of the simple ways you can give your health a boost today:

Simple Ways To Improve Your Health Today Wellbeing

Say goodbye to at least one item in your life that contains toxic chemicals

You may be shocked by just how many things in your life contain toxic chemicals.  They includes everything from air fresheners to bed sheets.  Get rid of one of these things and replace it with something natural instead.  This is something you should make a habit of doing every few months or so.

Deep breathe for at least five minutes

Throughout the day, you should make sure you take the chance to deep breathe for at least five minutes.  Why?  Well, there have been numerous studies which have shown that deep breathing can help to lower stress hormone levels.  This means that you’ll feel better, get a better night’s sleep, and you’ll be less anxious too.

Drink more water

You probably expected this to be on the list, but the importance of drinking more water should never be ignored.  Your body needs water for almost everything you do.  If you’re dehydrated, this could be the cause of headaches, aches and pains, and a number of other symptoms.

Have one veggie night per week

A lot of people eat far too much meat, red meat especially.  So, why not have a veggie night once a week? Not only is this good for your health, but it will be good for your bank balance too.

Sign up to an online pharmacy

These days, you can easily order your prescriptions and medications over the internet through an online pharmacy.  This can help you to boost your health because it ensures you never have delays with your medication.  If you’re someone who often doesn’t take their recommended course of tablets because you can’t get to the doctors in time for a repeat prescription, then this is definitely a good suggestion for you.  Because your medication will be delivered to your door with the click of a button.

Do something nice for someone every day

You’ll be surprised how good this makes you feel, and how much of a positive impact this has on your health. It’s all about mental wellbeing.

Incorporate some movement into your commute

If you haven’t got an active job, this is especially important.  Sitting at a computer all day can be bad for your health.  One way to combat this is by incorporating some movement into your commute.  If you can walk or bike to work, you should give this a go.  If not, start parking your car further away from your place of work so that you have to walk there and back.  You should also start using the stairs instead of the lift whenever you can.

Start meal planning

You’ll find it much easier to eat healthily if you plan your meals.  At the start of every week, make a plan of what you’re going to cook for tea every night, as well as what you’re going to make for your lunches every day.  Not only will this help you to eat better, but you’ll save money too.  Make sure you include some healthy snacks in your work food.  This will stop you from going to the vending machine whenever you’re bored or you have an energy slump.

Keep a journal

Last but not least, keeping a journal is good for your mental health.  You should write down your thoughts.  It doesn’t need to be a long entry; all it takes is every evening writing down a few happy points from your day.  This will help you to articulate your thoughts so that they don’t wear you down.  After all, it can be hard to sleep if you’ve got lots on your mind.

So there you are: some of the best ways to give your health a boost.  The suggestions that have been provided are really simple and easy, so there’s no excuse not to give yourself a bit of TLC.

What do you do for self-care?  I’d love to know!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .



*This is a collaborative post