Beach Throwback

Throwback to our trip to Blackpool last year. Gorgeous weather, fab weekend and beach looking fab too 🏖🏖🏖


Top Tips Towards a More Balanced Life

For a long time, I felt totally adrift in my own life – from the moment I got up every morning, I was constantly rushing. The irony of it all was that no matter how much I rushed, the next day I’d get up and feel the need to do it all again!

Over the last few years I’ve been hit with an overwhelming sense of tiredness that seemed completely excessive and which I have come to believe was stress-induced and entirely avoidable. As soon as I started making an effort to bring a sense of calm to my day on a regular basis, life seemed less serious and became fun again.

Why not try some of the tips below to see if you can bring back a sense of peace and ease to your own life?

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Life – What are the things that you are currently doing that are making your life harder than it needs to be? For me personally, this was over-indulging in alcohol as a “treat” whenever I felt stressed out. At the start of 2019, I committed to massively reducing my alcohol intake from drinking 3 or 4 times a week to less than once a month. Within a month or so, I was sleeping and eating better, had committed to a daily yoga practice and began reconnecting with hobbies I’d previously felt “too busy” to keep up with, as well as finding new ones! As a bonus, after a couple of months of not drinking, I found I didn’t really miss having a drink anyway or enjoy it when I did partake.
  2. Take 20 Minutes a Day Just For You – When I stopped drinking alcohol, I wanted to fill up my time with a way to help me reduce the stress in my life that, up until then, I’d been using alcohol as a way of coping with. This coincided perfectly with the new 30 Days of Yoga programme being ran for free on You Tube by Yoga With Adriene. I made sure that the night before, I’d take a look at the calendar on the Yoga With Adriene website to see how long the session was for and work out whether it would be better for me to complete the session before work, on my lunch or afterwards. Some days the sessions were more than 20 minutes, sometimes they were less and sometimes I didn’t make it to the mat at all despite having the best intentions. I really did try to make yoga a priority however because I knew how good it made me feel afterwards and that it really was making me less stressed and more pleasant to be around generally. Soon I didn’t have to push myself to the mat at all, it became a pleasure. Yes it meant that sometimes tea was later than usual or that instead of flopping down in front of the TV when I came in from work, rolling the mat out instead and getting practice in before I felt too tired. Those, on average, 20 minutes a day of yoga became a way to re-energise and centre myself so that I was more relaxed around my family and friends instead of being in a bad mood, tired and grumpy from never taking any “me” time.
  3. Start a Journal – This came about also at the start of 2019 because part of the 30 Days of Yoga this year recommended keeping a journal. I hadn’t kept a diary, other than for appointments, since I was a teenager so I was cynical to say the least. Despite this, I gave it a go and again found that it was actually enjoyable to get my whirring thoughts down on paper. In truth, I didn’t always manage to jot down an entry daily but for me that didn’t matter – part of feeling balanced was not putting myself under pressure to do any of these things if I really didn’t want to as then it would just become another job to add to the daily “to-do list” – the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve! It also led to me re-discovering my love of writing and eventually to this blog.
  4. Start, or Re-Start, a Hobby – Cutting out the time I was spending drinking each week left me with a lot more time and energy that up until then I’d been repeatedly wasting. I began by getting back into knitting along with my daily yoga practice which, by then, had also become a hobby. Shortly after this, as the weather improved, I got back into gardening and more recently I’ve started playing guitar again after a very long self-imposed hiatus. It amazes me sometimes how I fit it all in around having a family, a full-time job and now a blog too, especially as only a few months ago I was complaining of feeling too tired to do anything after work or at a weekend.
  5. Get Inspired – Who are the people, brands or organisations that resonate most with you? For me, I’ve never been much of a fan of TV but with the rise of YouTube, Instagram and the like, I find myself catching up regularly with some of my favourite contributors such as Yoga With Adriene, Victor Oddo, Manna and numerous tarot and astrology readers on such platforms. Much of the progress I’ve made just since the start of 2019 has been, at least in part, made easier by following influencers I admire and taking advice they’ve shared with their viewers and applying it to my own life in a way that works for me. On a related note, I’ve started cutting out things that I find depressing or uninspiring. A big example of this is that I no longer watch the news daily. Up until 2019, I would start my day by sitting down in front of the TV and catching up with world events – quite frankly it’s no wonder I felt depressed! I really felt that I would miss something important if I didn’t check in with the 24-hour news stations throughout the day. As it turns out, I now rarely watch the news and still seem to be relatively up to date with what’s going on in the world through updates to my phone that only take a few seconds of my time instead of 30 minutes minimum. I feel so much happier in myself without the news on that I now actively avoid watching it whenever possible.

Of course, these are just a few of what I’ve noticed are really simple yet effective hacks that have worked for me. I’d love to hear from you what you have done to simplify your life and bring back balance. Let me know in the comments below.

From Busy Life to Hygge Life

Stringing up fairy lights at the bottom of the garden, starting our herb garden and bringing in some lavender for the bees and butterflies.

Getting cozy Scandinavian-style as we try to bring a little bit of the Hygge concept into our home on a rainy day.

Found this absolute bargain at B&Q and was really impressed at how environmentally-friendly it is. Both the packaging and contents are recycled or recyclable!

Embracing Ancestral Fires and Fire-starting at Beltane

An informative post I’ve come across tonight and wanted to share. Check out their site!

The Druid's Garden

An awen-shaped sacred fire, created from my flint and steel An awen-shaped sacred fire, created from my flint and steel

The tiny sparks from my flint and steel shower down on my char cloth.  This flint and steel set was a gift from a fellow druid from almost a decade ago, a gift that has long offered me a connection with my ancestors.  It takes me a few moments to remember the technique he taught me, striking the steel against the flint in a particular way with a particulary angle to my body.  Starting a fire in an ancestral way isn’t just a mental act; its an emboded one.  I breathe deeply and remember, and the tiny sparks fly from my tools to the char cloth. After a few more attempts, a single spark lands on the cloth and starts to glow orange. I carefully pick up the char cloth and blow on it to increase the ember size, then…

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New Editions to the Family: Guinea Pigs

28 April 2019

After trying to decide on the most suitable house pets for our family for a while now, today we finally settled on two adorable guinea pigs, who have yet to be named.

They appear to be settling well into their new home although we’re following the seller’s advice to give them plenty of space to relax and get used to their new surroundings before handling them too much.

It’s been a while since we’ve had pets actually. Previous pets have been Chloe Faye’s house rabbit, Thumper, and Lee’s guinea pig, Monster. Now that we’ve settled into our new home, and got an idea for what would work, it seemed a good time to reintroduce pets to our family.

Given the fox family that frequent the garden, these will of course be house guinea pigs too.

My Name’s Carla Michelle and I’m a Blogger!

All about “who I am and why I’m here”.

So I’m Carla Michelle and after publishing this it seems that I’ll be able to call myself a blogger! In the “real world”, I’m a married mother of two girls living in Manchester, England employed as a Legal Tutor with particular specialisms in Family Law & Practice and Child Care Law.

I’m here because at the start of 2019, I followed some excellent advice to start keeping a daily journal – game changer! I’ve also come across other valuable insights from other contributors to the World Wide Web in various formats that I honestly felt called to share with others so that they too could benefit from these.

These insights are by no means “new” ideas – in fact, my blog at Holistic Living with Carla, is all about getting back to a simpler, less chaotic time by getting back in touch with the roots of who we really are at heart and finding our way back to our own path in life for what is important to each of us individually, our family and friends and all others on this amazing planet we are lucky enough to call home.

So, in a nutshell, I’m here to share my learnt discoveries for holistic living with other like-minded people and to provide a platform for those same people to share their insights too to make a happier, healthier, more connected community one step at a time.

I can’t wait to get started!

Much Love x

Carla Michelle