5 ways to get back into reading

5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

5 ways to get back into reading

 I’ve always loved reading.  I can remember sitting on a bean bag in my bedroom one Sunday afternoon aged around 8, reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.  I was totally absorbed in this magical story, my imagination working with the words that Blyton weaved, meeting all the magical tree folk.
As I grew up, I remember reading the box sets of St Clares and Mallory Towers.  Then there was Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High.  There came a time when I started to read some of the books that my Mum read (and still reads today) but I found the genre (war-time sweethearts tales and the like) too predictable.  They were probably the latter day version of what is today referred to as ‘chick-lit’ (which I’m not drawn to either!)
At A-Level English, I loved studying the themes of a play, poem or story and picking it all to bits.

Being inspired by reading to a child  

Then I had our now 8 year old and of course, I read children’s stories instead.  But this intrigued me too.  How the use of rhyme and rhythmn completely entranced her (and me), how she would ask for the same stories over and over and over again!
I was inspired to write my own children’s series which is still waiting in the wings for a publisher.
As I was saying, due to the time restraints of having a growing baby, working and keeping a home (and blog!) ticking over, reading just never happened for a good few years.

When it all changed

That has all changed this year though.  I stumbled upon a post on instagram from Lucy of Mrs Hs Favourite Things.  She was holding a book which was a read in the Bookish Mamas facebook reading group.  With just a couple of clicks on my phone, I was back in the swing of reading again.  And I love it!  I even like the fact that I’ve given up on the latest group read because when I really don’t like a book, I don’t see the point in going through the pain!  But I love that it’s opening up new genres to me.  Books that I wouldn’t even have considered, I have read since January.  I’ve got back into my GoodReads account, have a long list waiting to be read and bought a delicious new book last week – The Mitford Murders.  Don’t you love the feel of a crisp new book?
And I’m even ahead in my reading challenge!
5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

So if like me, you’ve let reading slack because of ‘life’, here are 5 ways to get back into reading

Join a reading group  – Bookish Mamas on facebook is a great place to start.  It’s useful to find one that does discussion threads on the books too, which helps to make sense of a book you didn’t get and also gets you involved if you did like it!
If you don’t enjoy a particular book, accept it, give it up and browse some more titles.  This happened to me just this month.  I was trying hard (too hard?), to get into the group read and ended up getting too distracted by all the things I could have been doing instead.  Not exactly condusive to a relaxing read so I gave up and started a shorter book which means that I’ll hopefully be finished in time for the next read!
Take part in a reading challenge.  I’m sure you can do this on your own or as part of a reading group challenge.  But I’m doing it through my GoodReads account.  I love that it’s a little community and that my reading list is ever growing due to the numberous recommendations that pop up every time I go on!  But that’s spurring me on to read even more 🙂
Set aside time for reading every. single. day.  Because that’s how habits are formed.  For me, as part of my screen-free commitment, having something to do apart from those little jobs around the house for half an hour before bed, means I get my reading time in.  Tricky if you’re got a very good book though!
Try different genres.  There are 2 sides to this.  The book that I abandoned was a memoir and not a genre that I’ll rush to again but now I know!  And I gave it a go!  And that’s what I love about getting into reading again as part of a group.
If you’re on GoodReads and would like to be my friend on there, I’m Carol Cameleon 🙂   It might be an idea to add a comment below so that I know who you are!
Do you enjoy reading?  Did you have a lapse and how did you get back into it?  Got any recommendations?   I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.
 This post contains affiliate links.

Sharing with

Cuddle Fairy

~

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 .

Thanks.

*This is a collaborative post

Sharing with

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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 .

Thanks.

~

*This is a collaborative post

Sharing with

Mummies Waiting

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.

Thanks.

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

Sharing with…

Family Fever

 

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.

Thanks.

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

Sharing with…

Family Fever

 

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

How to have a wonder-filled family adventure

How to Have a Wonder-filled Family Adventure

How to have a wonder-filled family adventure

What is wonder?  Is it being amazed at something?  Is it being in awe?  Is it experiencing something for the first time?  Is it doing something or going somewhere you’ve been before?

The answer is, surely all of the above?

How to Have a Wonder-filled Family Adventure

To have our wonder-filled family adventure, we chose to visit one of our favourite places.  Why is Ferry Meadows one of our favourite places?

 

Continue reading

Diary of a bookworm

Diary Of A Bookworm Reading Relax

Diary of a bookworm

 

I came across this fun post from Jo Tracey and thought I’d join in.  I absolutely love getting absorbed in a book, sometimes ‘lost’ in a book and I do my utmost to read a bit of my current book every day.  I’ve recently rekindled this habit and I love it!

Diary Of A Bookworm Reading Relax

So here we go:

 Do you have a specific place for reading?

I’ll read anywhere comfortable but on an evening, preferably a weekend, cosied-up with a drink on the sofa, footstool out. 🙂

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

A bookmark our 8 year old made for me.  (I’m not a 2 book person so this works fine.)

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Quite often.  Depending on the mood (and book) or season, it’s either herbal tea, hot choc and snacks and/or chocolate!

Music or TV whilst reading?

Rarely the TV because it’s too distracting.  Maybe some light music low in the background.

One book at a time or several?

Definitely one!

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I can read anywhere but tend to vere to people-watching if I’m in a public place which obviously isn’t ideal for hardcore reading!

Read out loud or silently?

Silently.  But I still read to our 8 yo and it’s strangely nice to hear the pronunciation of the words and brings it more to life!

Break the spine or keep it like new?

Break it in, enjoy it, savour it!

Do you write in books?

Nope!

What books are you reading now?

‘How to Stop Time’ by Matt Haig.  And loving it!

What is your all-time favourite book?

I might’ve known this question was coming up and I can never answer it…  though I’ve just finished ‘The Secret of Nightingale Wood’ which was February’s read in the Bookish Mamas facebook group.  I read it very quickly, which is rare for me and I loved the theme for various reasons.
I also love Pride and Prejudice.

Give up or read on if you don’t enjoy the book?

I’ve been known to give up.  In fact I decided to read, instead of watch, Game of Thrones.  The first one was okay but I gave up on the second one after a break and I couldn’t get into it at all.

Would you lend your books?

Totally!
How about you?  Are you a book worm?  If you are, why not join in?  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.

Sharing with

Post Comment Love

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 .

Thanks.

~

*This is a collaborative post

Rethinking diet and health in the modern day

Rethinking Diet And Health In The Modern Day Wellbeing

Rethinking diet and health in the modern day

So what is healthy?  Well, if you were asked that question you would likely say: to eat appropriately, to exercise and to get check-ups at your local GP.  And you’d be right!  Taking the appropriate steps to live this way is a little more tricky, but completely and totally worth it.

It’s also worth knowing the benefit of developing a keen sense of awareness on new information about health.  Discoveries are being made all the time, and new habits and fitness trends are less of a ‘flavour of the week!’ and more compounding in their evidence.  The prevalence of online information is perfect for this sort of enquiry, as the possibility of researching more and more into the science behind certain ‘fad diets’ allows for a deeper and more wholesome understanding of the marketing behind it.

There have been many health discoveries in the last 10 years.  If you work and have the usual responsibilities that come with life, it can be difficult to try and keep up with them all.  How do you know which will work better and what’s realistic to include in your diet?

 

Rethinking Diet And Health In The Modern Day Wellbeing
Picture source: Pexels

Continue reading