7 reasons to be a bookworm

7 Reasons to be a Bookworm Reading Imagination Hobby

I’ve always loved reading and remember my Mum, my sister and myself each having a book on the go when I was younger. And I’m still a very happy bookworm. More so this last year because of my book reading challenge.

I’d forgotten how nice it is to get lost in a book.  In fact it’s my idea of bliss.  So much that I’ve been making sure I read every day.

7 Reasons to be a Bookworm Reading Imagination Hobby

It’s so much fun being a bookworm and here’s why:

You’ve got an amazing hobby…

…a hobby that opens up a whole world of imagination and discussion

There’s always something to read, even if you’ve read it before!  I’ll never be lost with my Jane Austen collection.

If you’re a parent, you’re showing your child the wonder of reading a book.

You can shut yourself away from the world and relax (at least mentally).

No-one need ever be stuck for a gift idea again!

Reading gives your eyes a rest from the screens that we’re surrounded by every day in modern living.

But there are some side-effects too…

Any bookworm will likely tell you that they’d rather enjoy a good book than take part in a conversation any day.  Unless it’s a discussion about a bookclub read!

…which tends to make them ever so slightly unsociable!

Reading a gripping book?  Then say goodbye to sleep, household chores and normal life in general until it’s finished!

You get that ‘lost’ feeling when you’ve finished a really good book and have to re-connect with real life.

You can’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t understand you love of reading.  Shame really, but books come first…

Are you a bookworm?  Can you think of any other reasons?  I’d love to know!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks!

*This post contains affliliate links

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5 reasons to do a book reading challenge

5 Reasons to do a Book Reading Challenge

So I’ve reached the target in my book reading challenge for the year and it’s not even the end of October yet!  I’m really pleased with myself for many reasons and I’d like to share my 5 reasons for doing a book reading challenge:

5 Reasons to do a Book Reading Challenge

  1. Give your brain a break!  I’ve made a big effort to stop at a certain point in the evenings (and at weekends), turn my screens off and read an actual book.  This is huge for me.  If you’re a fellow blogger reading this, you understand when I say that there’s always something to do and you can never quite switch off.  If you’re not a blogger reading this, trust me, there’s so much more to blogging than typing a post and publishing.  So to at least shifting my brain away from multi-tasking and take my head into another world regularly really makes a difference.
  2. Discovering new genres but not reading stuff you’re not enjoying.  I got the reading bug again back in January when I discovered the facebook group Bookish Mamas.  I loved the first few books we read and the discussions that followed but hit a stumbling block with one of them.  I’m not to going to name the book here but by chapter 3ish I was having to read each paragraph, if not sentence, several times to ‘get’ it.  I wasn’t enjoying it and didn’t see the point, so I didn’t persevere.  I stopped.  I gave up and moved on to something else.  This meant that I was out of synch from the Bookish Mamas.  I tried to short book to see if I could squeeze one in before the next month’s read but like I said, I was out of synch.  But no matter, I carried on regardless along my own reading path!
  3. I haven’t had a glass of wine and chocolate every time I’ve sat down to read (seriously!).  I know this is a cheeky random point to make but actually, it’s a big achievement for me so I’ve slotted it in at number 3 🙂
  4. Use your library instead of buying your books!  One of the Bookish Mamas reads was Kirstin Thomas ‘The Great Alone’.  I was lured to read this book and really wanted to but to be honest, I couldn’t justify buying the book, so I reserved it from my library and have done the same for several of my book challenge reads.  This has egged me on to read more because of the timescale given to read a library book!
  5. Ditch the mini-series and turn the page instead!  I’m up to season 3 (I think) of Game of Thrones and was hooked but since I’ve been reading again, I’d frankly much rather curl up with my book!  And that means less TV, less ‘blue light’, less stimulation for my brain and better sleep.  Note that I didn’t say more but ‘better’!
  6. It’s a win-win!  So number 3 was a bit random…  If you join a book group as part of your challenge, there’s a sense of community and if you don’t, you’re still doing yourself a favour by relaxing with a book!

Which have been my favourites?

Hands-down the best one I’ve read in this challenge and easily one of my best reads ever was ‘The Great Alone’ by Kristin Thomas.  Life literally fitted around me reading this book in 2 weeks-ish.  It’s not a short one either.

The house was more of a mess, tea was regularly fish fingers (well not really but you get my point), I didn’t speak to my family for the duration (again, not quite but humour me!).  If I were to write a review of this book, which I’m not because I’ve never been good at reviews, I’d use words like gripping, tragic, warming, beautiful…  I defy anyone to not enjoy this book.

 

The 2nd favourite one is definitely a tie between Tubing, How to Stop Time, The Secret of Nightingale Wood and This is going to Hurt.  They’re all very different genres which makes it difficult to even justify ‘ranking’ them in my opinion.  Should we even do that when they’re all words of art in their own right and genres?  Tubing was one that I read earlier in the year when I was getting them from Amazon; it was a pre-ordered one that I’d forgotten about and bought on a whim to be honest.  It arrived and I settled down to start it with a list of jobs to do but I still began reading and found it very hard to put down.

 

How to Stop Time was very clever and I loved the historical background and the London setting.  Such an amazing book.

 

The Secret of Nightingale Wood handled depression/post-natal depression through the eyes of a child if I remember (it’s been a while since I read it!) but in any case, it was an easy read, had a good story line, if a little stretched at times and I remember thinking that was one of the best I’ve ever read (then along came The Great Alone).

As for This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay the author deserves a medal for this book.  I agree with the blurb – I laughed out loud, cringed and was drawn in to the unbelievable conditions that the NHS junior doctors worked and still work.  I’m passionate about the NHS in the UK and will defend it to the hilt.  Maybe this was why I got behind the book so much.  Perhaps it’s because it’s in diary form and easy to read.  Whatever the reason, it’s a must-read and I’m so glad I did.  Our library has a rule that you’re not allowed to renew it either because it’s a popular reservation.  I read it within a week!

How about you?  What reason would you give to do a reading challenge?  I’d love to know!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere  Thanks 🙂

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy one of the products featured, I get a few pennies at no extra cost to you.

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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:

Magnesium

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.

Exercise

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

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.

Lavender

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:

Noise

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.

Heat

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.

Alcohol

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.

Caffeine

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

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Rescue Santa and get an extra special warm glow this Christmas with a giveaway!

Buddha Bracelet Giveaway Zen

Rescue Santa and get an extra special warm glow this Christmas with a giveaway!

What happened when Santa got stuck up the chimney?  He got rescued by you (with a little help from Cast Fireplaces!)
Yes, Cast Fireplaces are going to make someone’s Christmas extra special by giving away a beautiful Forgemaster Billy stove (Worth £300).  Wow!

Rescue Santa Win a Forgemaster Stove and Giveaway

It’s easy to enter: To be in with a chance of winning a Forgemaster Billy stove, visit their site and save Santa who’s become stuck up a chimney!  (Please see here for separate terms and conditions for the stove giveaway.)

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5 ways to have fun with your cat

5 Ways To Have Fun With Your Cat And Your Wellbeing Whiskas

5 ways to have fun with your cat

Our house is generally a very chilled out house and I honestly believe one reason for that is our cat.

She’s such a snuggly cat who loves to sit on your lap and when you walk through the door after a busy day, she’s usually there waiting to rub against your legs, purring away.

And when you finally sit down at night, she’s jumping up to curl on your lap.

(or our daughter’s car seat, as this photo shows!)

5 Ways To Have Fun With Your Cat And Your Wellbeing Whiskas

 

And that’s lovely because it means I can’t get up to ‘just quickly’ do that thing!  I can only give a head scratch and indulge in the dulcet tones of her purring contentedly.

Three years after getting our cat, I struggle to remember what it was like without her around.  But what I’m sure of is that she helps bring so much calm to our house.  Animals feel stress too.  Usually off us and that’s why having fun with your cat is just as important as them having the right cat or kitten food to replace all that energy.  Good food and good fun are an integral part of their wellbeing.

And our cat certainly knows how to have fun!

Here are 5 ways we have fun with our cat (helped along very well by some fab cat toys by the Natural Pet Toy Company):

  1. We use something long and light to dangle in front her eyes, bringing it quickly out of her reach when she moves towards it.  Our 7 year old loves playing this game with her.  A ribbon or shoe lace work as well as anything.  Chances are, they’ll jump up to chase it around.  It’s great exercise for them, and fun to watch.  You can turn it into a kind of ‘dance off’!
  2. Roll something along the floor and we watch her go after it!  We often hide a treat inside to make it even more fun for her.
  3. Give her a good scratch and belly rub.  It’s so much fun when our cat ‘leans’ in for more rubs and scratches.  It’s like a tickle-fest!
  4. Using the same toy as the ‘dangle game’, we drag it along the floor in front of her, pulling it away from her.  She loves to chase it and tries to grab it with her paws!
  5. And when we’ve all had plenty of fun and games, we settle down for a chill on a comfy chair, encouraging her onto whichever lap she chooses (usually the 7 year olds actually – they’ve got a special bond!).  We watch some TV or just chill out and chat or listen to music.  Or maybe do some reading while she cat naps.  I’ve been known to join her for a cheeky cat nap too…!  It’s just as much fun and just as important to chill out together this way.  Though I don’t think I’d fit in the home-made cat ‘house/bed’ that our daughter made for her (below)…

If you’re still stuck for ideas, here are some other extracurricular activities to consider…

How do you have fun with your cat?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .

Thanks.

 

*This post is a collaboration with WHISKAS®, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website for more information on their cat food and their YouTube channel for fantastic Kitten Kollege videos.

~

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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Giveaway ~ Buddha bracelet

Buddha Bracelet Giveaway Zen

Giveaway ~ Buddha bracelet

So this giveaway might end on the 13th October but who’s it going to be a lucky number for??
Enter using the rafflecopter below and it could be you…
Buddha Bracelet Giveaway Zen

The giveaway is open to UK entries only and closes at midnight on 13th October 2017.  In which case 13 will be lucky for someone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Here’s a past-time for all seasons

Have you ever thought that you need to have a perfect blue sky dotted with clouds in order to cloud watch?

 

Well think again…

It’s a past-time for all seasons!

 

Take this picture that I shared on instagram.  Though there’s not much blue sky, isn’t it beautifully atmospheric and zen-like? (if I say so myself!!)

past time for all seasons cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

Granted, I’m not suggesting that you lay on your back on some sodden, cold grass and cloud watch, but just stop a moment.

 

Be in the moment.

 

Take in the clouds as they swirl by… Follow that swirl as it changes form…

 

Although you haven’t got your eyes closed, it’s a great way to slow down and it actually might just be a form of meditation.

 

So, my message to you is ‘do yourself a favour’ and gaze up at the sky; lose yourself in those swirly wirly clouds; relax and be grateful 🙂

 

Why not make it a habit?

past time for all seasons pin 2 c cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

And when you do it, let me know how you got on!

 

 

Do you like cloud watching?  What else do you like to do that relaxes you and is a great past-time to adopt?   I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

Thank you 🙂

How to change your zen to achieve your zing… #TheZenZing

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.

This time I ponder how to change your zen to achieve your zing!

#TheZenZing how to change your zen to achieve your zing energising rejuvinate benefits of exercise health wellbeing boost blog linky

In a previous ZenZing I shared how I intended to start running and swimming again.

After I passed my health check with flying colours, I decided not to assume I would remain physically healthy.

I decided that I needed some cardio to get my blood pumping.

My yoga, reiki and meditation help to keep me balanced mentally but I also needed to get moving.

I completed the Couch 2 5 k a couple of years ago (you can read my poem ‘Cancer, jog on!’ here.)

So, I thought it wouldn’t take a huge amount of effort to get my fitness back.

And did it?

Well, I don’t know!

I never started the running again.  Instead, our little girl has been swimming at her school and has been asking to go swimming at the weekends.  So we’ve been a couple of times and although I’m not doing hardcore swimming, I’m still getting some exercise.  It look like she’s getting very close to swimming unaided so it’ll be lovely to be able to do a width or 2 with her, moving on to lengths soon enough afterwards perhaps.

So, although my running’s been a non-starter (so far), swimming has taken its place!

And I’m okay with that because any exercise is better than none at all…

because it’s all about #TheZenZing 🙂
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Have your exercise plans changed for whatever reason?  How did you adapt your plans to keep exercise on your radar?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere and use the #TheZenZing hashtag.
Thank you 🙂
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If you’re a blogger, why not join in with my Zen Zing linky by adding a blog post relating to finding your zen?


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Energising with exercise … #TheZenZing

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.

This time I’m going to tell you about how I’m energising with exercise!

#TheZenZing energising rejuvinate exercise running run benefits health wellbeing boost blog linky

 I like to focus on well-being on my blog which includes reiki, yoga, meditation and crystal healing.  All of these things help to re-align, rebalance and reset my chakras.

Whether it’s a coincidence that my recent free NHS health check concluded that I’m less than 1% likely to develop heart disease, perhaps we’ll never know!

What I do know is that having just turned 40 (hence the free health check), I’m definitely getting a little wobblier and less toned in places that I’d quite like to remain toned in!  Enter running again 🙂

I completed the Couch to 5k a couple of years ago and ran Race For Life.  I enjoyed the training and the event but I then got a chest infection that turned into bronchitis and I just got out of the habit of running…

Once I get my sports bra, new trainers and app, it will be resurrected and I will report back on how I will energising with exercise again!

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Boost your zing and encourage your zen.
It’s all about #TheZenZing 🙂
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Do you run regularly?  Have you trained for an event and continued running?  Any tips?!  I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere and use the #TheZenZing hashtag.
Thank you 🙂
~
If you’re a blogger, why not join in with my Zen Zing linky by adding a blog post relating to finding your zen?


~
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And then the fun began...

~

 

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How to reset yourself … relax with #TheZenZing

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.

This time I’m going to tell you how you can reset yourself by way of a chakra cleanse.

And look out for a chakra bracelet giveaway this month on my blog!

#TheZenZing energy energising health wellbeing chakra cleanse balance realign meditate visualisation
 We are all full of energy – whether good or bad…
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We each have 7 main ‘openings’ known as chakras.
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Our chakras should be fully open to allow for the universal life force (the energy) which surrounds us to enter our ‘being’ (our aura) and to allow the energy to flow freely, as it should.
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When the energy flows freely though our auric layers and into our meridian lines, it keeps our chakras balanced and aligned.
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Why is it so important to keep our chakras balanced and aligned?
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Well, you will recall that our chakras should be open to allow the energy to flow through them?
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If one or more of these chakras is not opened, the energy cannot enter our being and therefore we become out of balance.
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When we get blockages, the energy cannot flow at ‘ease’ and we can get ‘dis-ease’.
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You can see now why it is important to look after yourself, to keep your chakras balanced and aligned…
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Our chakras are coloured as follows:
  • Root – red (base of your spine)
  • Sacral – orange
  • Solar Plexus – yellow (your abdomen area)
  • Heart – green
  • Throat – blue
  • Third Eye – violet (forehead just above and between your brows)
  • Crown – white

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To cleanse your chakras and ‘reset’ yourself you can do a visualisation exercise ~ sit or lay with your eyes closed, starting at the root, imagine a ball of the relevant chakra colour moving up your body.  All the while be mindful of your breathing.  When you get to your crown chakra, imagine the ball of white light enveloping you in a warm cocoon…
Try it and notice how you feel…
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Boost your zing and encourage your zen.
It’s all about #TheZenZing 🙂
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How did you feel after your chakra cleanse?  Do you meditate regularly?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere and use the #TheZenZing hashtag.
Thank you 🙂
~
If you’re a blogger, why not join in with my Zen Zing linky by adding a blog post relating to finding your zen?

~
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Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com

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Follow Carol Cameleon Writer & Blogger extraordinaire’s board My zen 🙂 on Pinterest.

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