Got Writer's Block?

Got Writer’s Block?

Ways to Combat Writer’s Block

As bloggers, sooner or later, most of us, seem to be struck by the occasional bout of Writer’s Block – that dreadful phase when you sit down to post an update to your blog but can’t think of a single interesting thing to write or everything you do write looks rubbish to you! As the minutes tick by, you start wondering if the creative well of inspiration has truly run dry or to stick at it until you come up with something.

It can be quite unnerving the first time this happens after starting your blog; going from not being able to get your thoughts down quick enough to completely barren of ideas.

Having found myself staring down the barrel of a foreboding blank screen more than once, I thought it might be useful to jot down what’s worked for me in the past to get the creative juices flowing again.

Know Your Key Topics

At the end of each month, I sit down and look back at the key or main topics my blog is about and list them.

So for example, when I did this for August 2019, my Key Topics i.e. my niche areas were:

  • Home & Garden
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Astrology & Divination
  • Randoms (in case I’m feeling spontaneous!)

If you’re not sure what your Key Topics are, look at any “menu titles” on your blog or your “categories” for repeat topics. Believe it or not, writing a list of article ideas in one go is far easier than sitting down to write each time having to think of just one idea. Mine took me less than 10 minutes.

Identify Sub-Topics for Each Key Topic

This probably works best using the above example:

Key Topic Sub-Topic
Home & GardenHealth: What’s Your Greatest Asset?
Family: London Trip
Yoga & MeditationIntroduction to Yoga Nidra
Astrology & DivinationHappy Birthday Virgo (monthly series)
September 2019: Energy Update (monthly series)
Witchcraft: Which Witch Are You?
RandomsLife Hack: Organise Your Workspace
Light Bite: Feeling Uninspired?
Life Hack: Make a Motivational Playlist

Make an Editorial Calendar

Once you’ve had a think about Sub-Topic articles you might like to write about around your Key Topics for the coming month, draft a calendar for each day of the month either by hand or using the computer. I personally use Microsoft Word which has a handy template for a calendar. Just open up Word, click File and select New. Then just type “calendar” into the search box that appears and frankly you’ll be spoiled for choice!

editorial-calendar-example-august
Editorial Calendar Example

I only started this one halfway through the month in August but the time I spent creating this, an hour to do the brainstorming session right through to creating this calendar, was time well spent. Every time I sat down at the computer to write, I always had an idea in mind so didn’t have to waste time thinking of what to write first.

Don’t be afraid to change the article idea if you think of something better – think of your monthly editorial calendar as a basic back-up or work in progress rather than what you initially decide being set in stone. Leave yourself some freedom to be randomly inspired sometimes.

Don’t sweat it either if you don’t manage to write one day. I had planned to blog every other day in August but amended my calendar as I went if something else came up and I didn’t have time one day.

Try to mix your article type up a bit too. I introduced “Light Bites” and “Life Hack” articles as monthly repeat topics that were intended to be shorter entries. This meant that I could type 3 quick blog posts in one night, helping me get ahead of schedule and be a bit more choosy about what I was in the mood to write about each day. This also meant that the articles that were posted were of better quality as well as feeling less rushed.

Having an Editorial Calendar has really helped with forward planning – for September, as you can see, this led to me posting far more “seasonal” posts based around autumn-related topics which are more likely to resonate with when readers might be looking for such articles.

Planning For Next Month's Articles
Planning Next Month’s Articles

Again, twice already this month, I’ve missed posting on alternate days but I just rearranged my calendar and moved on. Sometimes life gets in the way!

I’ve also redacted in the photos here the ideas coming up as these are subject to change but having found using an Editorial Calendar like this so beneficial, it’s definitely something I’d recommend taking the time to do at the end of each month as a way to reflect back on the last month and to help formulate a plan to move forward into the next one.

Do you use an Editorial Calendar? How has it helped you?

Feel free to share with any writers in your life πŸ™‚

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Red Jasper

Harness the Power of Red Jasper

Red Jasper

Red Jasper is a stone popular throughout history across a number of cultures: Greek, Arabic, Persian, Assyrian and Native Americans, regularly used and referenced their use of the stone. Hebrew and Latin texts make reference to it too, including the many benefits it can bring – when its power is harnessed correctly!

To find out more about working with crystals generally, take a look here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/astrology-divination/crystals/

Associations

Being the colour red, it is hardly surprising perhaps that, Red Jasper is associated with passion, vibrancy and endurance, which is in perfect counter-balance to its other slow, steady, practical and reliable energies.

Often known as the “stone of endurance”, Red Jasper is also said to encourage:

  • Stamina;
  • Drive;
  • Courage;
  • Energy;
  • New ideas;
  • Creativity; and
  • Protection

And the good news is that its energies extend across all areas of your life – especially those things in life we don’t feel like doing. Having some Red Jasper on hand can give us the push we need to just get things done.

Health-wise, this stone is said to alleviate stress, prevent anxiety and worrying and improve a person’s sense of well-being generally by fostering a sense of responsibility in achieving this state. Physically, it is said to help detox the liver and large intestine as well as aid circulation.

Spiritually, Red Jasper has an earthy, grounding energy to it which makes it perfect for meditations, divination, astral projections, chakra and kundalini work. Speaking of chakras, you may feel drawn to Red Jasper if you have a blocked root chakra or when you need to feel more connected to the planet.

Red Jasper is not traditionally linked to a specific sign of the zodiac and there are different types of beliefs around its use as a birthstone. With traditional birthstone beliefs, this stone is said to be linked to those born in March and April, whilst natural birthstone belief associates it more with mid-October to mid-November births. I personally find its earthy, red, autumnal tones more fitting to the latter.

How to Use Red Jasper

Much like other stones, Red Jasper can be worn as jewellery or simply carried in a pocket or bag to harness its power. Whenever you obtain any stone/crystal, however, you should take steps to “cleanse” it of any negative energies or vibes that it may have picked up along the way. You could choose to leave your stone in the light of the full moon, smudge the stone, visualise it cleansed or rinse it under running water to reset the stone to its “default settings”.

It is an all-round fantastic balancing stone with slow but steady energy that can give you that push to get a job done. It can make you see the world with fresh eyes again, bringing new ideas about whilst also giving you the drive to put them into action.

For divination, magickal and/or spiritual work, it’s grounding energy will help you stay protected and connected to the Earth plane whilst also allowing you to connect with other energies surrounding you. This is one reason I chose my runes to be made from Red Jasper and I felt its effects immediately. Much like the stone itself, the energies feel denser than with other stones – Amethyst, for example, or Clear Quartz are much lighter, airier energies by way of comparison.

Rune Reading
Rune Reading

If you’ve tried Red Jasper yourself let me know how you’ve found it. What do you find it most helpful for?

Clock Deadline

Life Hack #3

Beat the Clock!

We’ve all done it I’m sure – had some looming deadline creep closer and closer but somehow you just can’t muster the motivation to get the job boxed off.

Well head over to Life Hack #2:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/08/25/life-hack-2/

and get your motivational playlist built whilst you’re busy procrastinating. Then once you’ve done that, head back here to combine Life Hacks #2 and #3 and finally get that one job you’ve been putting off for ages off your to-do list for good!

Life Hack #3

Bring up the timer on your phone and set it for 10 minutes. Press start – see how much you can get through of your task in 10 minutes. Repeat until task complete – easy!

With your motivational playlist urging you on, you’ll get that task you love to hate finished in no time.

And more often than not, I frequently find, the task is never as bad as I imagined it to be πŸ™‚

Life Hack #4 – coming soon…

Vegetables

In the Garden: September 2019

September Gardening Tips

As very much a novice gardener, I often find myself trawling the web trying to find out what I should be doing in the garden each month in a language I understand! There’s a lot of terminology to learn with gardening I’m discovering, to be able to make the most of the vast amount of information out there.

One of my favourites is the RHS website (link below) which has a ton of articles for all abilities, including monthly tips for how to keep the garden looking grand all year round if you’re based here in the UK. If you’re a beginner too, this might be an excellent place to start:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september

It’s definitely given me plenty of ideas to be getting on with – September seems an especially busy month! Here’s what I plan to get on with starting tomorrow and throughout the rest of the month:

Harvesting

Time to reap the rewards of the last few months by harvesting any ripened fruit or veg from the garden. In my case, having only moved into our home last year, I haven’t done that much with the garden this year other than to maintain it. We are still lucky enough to have already had strawberries yield fruit earlier in the year and now raspberries and blackberries to pick too so this is where I plan to start!

Give the Garden One Last Good Once Over

We had a crazy amount of wet weather throughout most of August here in Manchester so the lawn is well overdue a good trim. There’s also plenty of plants to be pruned/deadheaded or divided. If you have a pond then this would be a good time to have it netted to avoid it becoming clogged with leaves and other debris. Get the kids involved on an “autumnal treasure-hunt” to gather materials to use in an art and crafts session. My youngest did a great job of starting us off today:

Autumn leaves, plants, berries, feather
Our hoard from our Autumnal Treasure Hunt today

Rainy Day Jobs

Rainy days are the perfect days to get into greenhouses, sheds, garages and summerhouses to get them winter-ready too. Get all your gardening gear, cleaned, tidied and put away, including any used pots, to avoid unwanted pests and to keep equipment at its best. We don’t yet have a greenhouse (though it’s on the wish list!) but do have a garage and summerhouse that could do with a bit of TLC before winter arrives, so next rainy day they’ll be all tidy and sparkling clean.

Up Your Eco-Warrior Game

As I’ve become more interested in gardening, one of the many positive effects of this has been a greater desire to be more eco-friendly. We already have a fair amount of animal garden visitors including birds and squirrels so my husband does a fantastic job of keeping our bird-feeder well stocked but this might be something you decide to invest in if you don’t have one already. Starting a compost now is also perfect with all the autumn leaves about to start falling. At the very least, if your local authority provides a “composting bin” for food and gardening waste, make sure you’re using it. Water butts are also an excellent investment now and something I’m adding to the wish-list!

Start Planning Next Year’s Garden

Start taking accurate measurements and notes now on how your garden currently is and think about how you would like to improve it. Maybe you’d like a herb garden next year or a vegetable patch. This is the time to start thinking about what it is you would like to see growing in your garden next year and planning for how you can achieve this. This is one of the rookie mistakes I made when I first got interested in gardening. At the start of Spring, I’d get terribly excited about the garden and then realise I probably should have started in the previous autumn. There are loads of great gardening apps and tools out there to help with this so if you’re interested, try a Google search on “garden plan” and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

What about you – what will you be doing in these last few warm days of September in the garden?

Toadstools and grass

Looking for Something A Bit Different?

Try This!

Depending on what you mean by “different”, this may or may not be it! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working through a 6-part guided meditation by White Cloud Mystic, who I follow over on You Tube, which I’ve really enjoyed listening to. I’ve included a link to the first one below for anyone who fancies giving it a try.

What is a Guided Meditation?

For those of you who’ve not yet tried a guided meditation, you might wonder what it involves. Generally speaking, guided meditation is where one person leads a person into a meditative state, usually by describing a story or scenario for them to imagine and/or follow the instructions given.

Why I’m Recommending It

Because I enjoyed it and wanted to give others a chance to enjoy it too! It has a really nice simple storytelling style, tone and pace which is so relaxing. I always had a great night’s sleep after listening to one of these.

Sharing here is also a good way for me to make others aware of the channel so that hopefully it grows and we get more great meditations from White Cloud Mystic πŸ™‚

The whole series has a child-like innocence and nostalgia to it where you get to follow your own fairy into a magical world whilst you relax and drift away. There is also, for those interested, the idea that this meditation can be used to develop your own “magic”, whatever that means to you.

Give it a go if you’re interested by clicking on the video above. If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to share with anyone who might benefit from a good night’s sleep tonight!

model with autumn leaves as a dress

How Do You Get Autumn Ready?

Ideas for Making the Most of the Autumn

Autumn” – it’s just such a cosy sounding word isn’t it conjuring up images of warm drinks, the last of the warmer days and the crunch of fallen leaves.

It’s also the time for a lot of fun celebrations, depending on your beliefs and location on the planet. Here in the UK, we have the Harvest Festival at the end of September, Halloween at the end of October, which is followed shortly after by Bonfire Night on 5 November. In the USA, there is of course Thanksgiving celebrated rather than Bonfire Night. After this, thoughts soon turn to the winter and Christmas Holidays in our house.

Before then, why not make the most of this Autumn to try a couple of the following autumn-inspired ideas:

  • Cook a warming soup, a stew or casserole
  • Visit a pumpkin patch/apple orchard
  • Try a pumpkin latte
  • Bread baking/cake making
  • Go to a professional bonfire and/or firework display
  • Watch scary movies
  • Organise your autumn/winter wardrobe
  • Go on a nature walk to take in the changes
  • Decorate the house seasonally/have a Halloween party
  • Trick or treat
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Knitting
  • Rake leaves
  • Stargaze
  • Toffee Apples
  • Warm apple cider
  • Bat-watching
  • Gratitude journal
  • Getting the garden ready for winter

So there’s a few things to do to welcome in the change of a new season should you wish to. Re-organising and updating the wardrobes has already started in our house with the kids heading back to school this week. Looking forward to a pumpkin latte too – that always feels soothingly autumnal.

Which one do you feel inspired to try?

Improve Ad Revenue home office working

How I Immediately Increased Ad Revenue

Want to Increase Your Ad Revenue?

Being within my first 5 months or so of blogging on a fairly regular basis has meant getting up to speed with, quite literally, a whole new world. Delving into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), however, is almost a whole new world in and of itself, and in my view is far more technically advanced than even setting up a blog and starting to publish content. But, if you’re at all interested in making money, however large or small, from your blog/website, it’s something you do have to dip your toe into at some point to gain a deeper understanding of how you can better monetise your site from ad revenue.

To find out how I first got started with SEO and my initial, surprisingly pleasant, results with this see my previous linked article below uploaded a couple of days into the tweaks I made following some basic SEO tips:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/08/04/feeling-frustrated-with-ad-revenue/

One Month In

Whilst the early results were pleasing, what has been just as pleasing is seeing consistent improvements in ad revenue over the last 4 weeks or so. So just what have those changes been?

  • Prior to the “tweaks”, the maximum continuous weekly passive income prior was for 4 weeks in June.
  • Recently, a steady stream of weekly passive income for the last 6 weeks.
  • In August, following the adjustments there was 5 continuous days of earnings previously no more than 3.
  • The immediate effect of the tweaks saw an initial jump in income from very little at all to a 500% – 600% increase in ad revenue for a couple of days.
  • It then dropped to a lower but more consistent daily increase on revenue before the tweaks.
  • Looking at the ad revenue on a daily and weekly average increase, there has been a 200% increase in passive income since the adjustments.
  • Viewing the ad revenue on a monthly average increase, this is a whopping 900%!

Findings

It’s hard not to theorise that these more advanced techniques and tips on site indexing haven’t been the cause of these positive changes given the timings, especially when you consider that visitor numbers and views have been lower this month, leading to less ads being served and yet higher CPM and therefore increased revenue rates.

My basic understanding of it at this time is that the easier it is for search engines like Google and Bing to categorise your content, whether articles, images or videos, the more likely you are to climb the ranks into higher ad revenue territory.

As a result, I’d have to conclude this month’s experiments with SEO to be a resounding success.

Despite the huge increases seen in a relatively short time, however, I’ve still got a long way to go to start making any meaningful revenue.

Future Strategy Planning

It’s important to note that there can be a lot of fluctuation in ad revenue which can be affected by all sorts of things: location of visitors, website and/or article niche, number of visitors and followers, etc. As all of these can and do fluctuate to varying degrees and at different times, this likewise can cause variables in revenue received. The message here is to not place all your eggs in one basket i.e. don’t make ad revenue your sole source of income to better avoid financial worries.

The best thing to do is enjoy it when there’s revenue to be had whilst trying to better understand what helps you maintain a steady meaningful passive income as much as possible. If your aim is to at some point achieve a meaningful income from blogging/your website full time, then it’s worth looking at other ways to monetise your site too.

SEO can seem a bit tedious at first, but another unexpected pleasure of delving into this more technical side to blogging is that I’m actually quite enjoying learning something new. There’s clearly an art to using it effectively and whilst I’m a relative newbie in this regard, it’s been a promising start so far.

The Downsides

Depending on your reasons for blogging, there may be downsides to understanding and implementing SEO strategies to increase ad revenue. This isn’t made any easier because most sites are unique in their own way so it can be hard to make comparisons without a lot of broad yet detailed research. Personally, I enjoy learning about it the more I understand it so not a huge problem but some might find it tedious and slow-going.

What you will notice is that most stats reports using these webmaster tools aren’t in “real time”, usually a day or so behind actual time and it takes a while for some of them to get enough data from their crawls of your site to produce measurable results. Again not a major issue for me personally but something you might want to plan for.

I suppose the biggest warning I’ve followed from other bloggers is to have a reasonable understanding of what you’re tweaking, when and how you’ll measure improvements.

Firstly, you do want to have an idea of what you’re messing with in case you mess it up – you’ll want to know how to fix it. It reminds me a bit of learning to knit and how to recover a dropped stitch without losing all your work. The way I’ve dealt with this has been to read up on as many articles as possible before tweaking anything! Also, keep the tweaks minimal so that you can eliminate issues more easily and log what you’ve done, when so you can further adjust as necessary or hopefully enjoy greater increased ad revenue.

Outcome

My take on SEO one month in is that it’s well-worth investing the time into if you’re someone wanting to increase your ad revenue. When the time is right for you to do that really depends on how quickly you’re able to get to grips with SEO and start effectively implementing the techniques. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you could opt for hiring professionals to help with this, finances permitting.

It would be good to know if you’ve seen any positive results from improved SEO knowledge and implementation. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? I like to think that sharing information like this will help to make us all better bloggers πŸ™‚

Rune Reading

September 2019 Energy Update: Runes

September 2019 Energy Update: Runes

For this month’s energy forecast, I’ve invoked the ancient wisdom of the Runes instead of the Tarot – those mysterious symbols carved into wood, metal or stone, most commonly affiliated with our Germanic and Nordic ancestors.

Compared with card reading, rune reading is far more simplistic in terms of its imagery but that can make reading the runes a far more difficult task to master. Whilst each rune of course has its own meaning, pay attention to any thoughts or images, people or situations that pop into your mind whilst considering your reading below. Those messages are the ones specific for you.

Your Reading

Runescope September 2019

The reading is broken down into 4-weekly sections or thereabouts:

Week 1

Rune Is

Rune: Is

If you’re at all familiar with the Disney film “Frozen”, you’ll know just what I mean when I describe this rune, Is, as my “Elsa” stone! Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice” song from the Seventies also sprang to mind.

This suggests that there may be a certain coldness or isolation by yourself or those around you at the start of September 2019. A feeling of still being “stuck” in similar energy to that experienced in August 2019. A need for patience at a time when it may be wearing thin. Things will start to move again but slowly.

Week 2

Rune Rad

Rune: Rad

Similar energy to The Chariot card of the tarot, Rad is indicative of journeys. These can be spiritual or physical in nature. However, with the rune coming out reversed, this may mean slow progress and delays.

Some slow progress might be noticeable in your life come Week 2 of September 2019 but you’ll still probably feel frustrated and impatient at the pace. Use this time to do your research, listen to warnings and ensure you’re well prepared for any journeys you’re about to take.

Week 3

Rune Feoh

Rune: Feoh

Abundance is indicated by the presence of Feoh in matters of health, wealth and relationships. Being reversed however could be indicative of a feeling of lack or of something missing.

Right around Week 3 you may be feeling as though something is missing in your life. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Noticing that need is the first step in addressing any areas of imbalance whether in terms of a new healthy eating regime, exercise and self-care or taking back control of any financial issues. Relationships of all kinds can benefit from this energy too, as people are clearer about asking for what they truly need from each other.

Week 4 & Beyond

Rune Ger

Rune: Ger

The rune of seasonal changes and harvest comes out just after we celebrate the Harvest Festival on 22 September 2019 here in the UK. This rune cannot be read “reversed”. Similar energy to the Wheel of Fortune card in the Tarot.

Whether Week 4 is a time of celebration of your own particular “harvest” in your own life will really depend on your efforts and perseverance through the slower energies of the past few weeks. Have you been patient and diligent, consistent and balanced in this time or have you tried to take shortcuts and been sloppy? This rune is also associated with the wheel so could be somehow related to the journey of Week 2 or to the Wheel of Life and its cycles. There is a karmic element to this rune too; a time of “reaping what you have sown”, all of which links back itself to this idea of it being harvest time.

The Takeaway

Quite the mixed bag for September then! It pretty much feels a tale of two halves, with the heavy, slow progress energy of August 2019 seeping over into the first week or so of September.

But stick with it – by the end of Week 2 movement of some sort seems evident. A time for making plans and research, the benefits of which will be felt towards the latter part of the month once you’ve had your moment of clarity on anything you feel may be lacking in your life. This is when you’ll begin to reap your own “harvest” from all efforts in all areas of your own life over these frustratingly slow last few weeks.

Don’t shortchange yourself then; no shortcuts, eyes on the prize and hopefully the results of your harvest should payoff.

Rune Reading
Rune Reading

I hope you enjoyed your Energy Update as provided by the wisdom of the Runes! Feel free to share this article with anyone you think might enjoy it.

Finally, I’d like to hear from you on how whether you would prefer the next reading to be a Tarot, Rune or I Ching Reading. Your vote counts – let me know in the comments πŸ™‚

Barbie & the Seagulls Woskerski street art London

Exploring London

London Calling?

This August Bank Holiday weekend was recorded as being the hottest ever here in the UK and, after several weeks of near constant rain, was just what we all needed to liven us up a bit. Very fortunately, this was the weekend we’d booked to visit London, to take in the sights and soak up the atmosphere in this historic yet fast-paced city.

Having visited London a couple of times before, once as a child and once only a few years ago on a flying visit, I had a good idea of what I definitely wanted to see and do whilst I was there. This time, however, I was taking the family, so as much as I might have wanted to immerse myself completely in all the fabulous history London has to offer, I did have to temper my enthusiasm and engage in at least a few more modern moments for the sake of their enjoyment of our city break too.

Accommodation

We stayed 3 days/2 nights in a basic guesthouse for less than Β£200 for 3 adults and a child in the middle of Whitechapel, self-catering using the travel site, Booking.com. Whilst we could have been more central, this location offered us interesting sights that otherwise we wouldn’t have seen and which made up one of the most enjoyable parts of our trip.

Street Art

For instance, the street art in this area is everywhere – for free! We roamed around the Bethnal Green and Shoreditch areas which reminded us of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, just on a far grander scale, and absolutely loved it, managing to discover an artist I’d not come across before, Woskerski (https://www.facebook.com/woskerski/). There’s a bit of a cryptic clue in the photo below (bottom left-hand corner), where it says “@blankwallcollective 31.08.19” and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about this in 4 days time!

Barbie & the Seagulls Woskerski street art London
Barbie & the Seagulls – Woskerski

Traditional Sights

My main reason for wanting to return to London was to re-visit the Tower of London, to see the Crown Jewels again and to take part in another entertaining Beefeater tour. Costing Β£85.00 online booking for 3 adults and a child, it took us around 3-4 hours to go round which could easily have taken longer but the family were clamouring for a break by this point!

With it being 1000-years old or so, I find the Tower completely captivating and always have. As a child, I first discovered the Princes in the Tower through visiting the fortress and on this visit discovered that 3 queens, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey were all buried at the chapel, St Peters Ad Vincula, until Queen Victoria insisted that, as former Queens of England, they be respectfully moved to somewhere more fitting their station in life. Fortresses like the Tower also played a significant role during the Second World War with Hitler’s second-in-command, Rudolf Hess, even being held here briefly.

Sightseeing on a Budget

For those on a budget, as we were, there are also plenty of sights and buildings completely free to access such as the ones we visited including:

  • The British Museum
  • Trafalgar Square
  • National Gallery
  • Tower Bridge

I’ve just included the ones here that we made it to – there are of course numerous others such as Hyde Park, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and quite a variety of guided walks and tours, including Jack the Ripper tours for any budding Ripperologists.

It was a LOT of walking so bear this in mind for little-legs, breaking it up with lunch stop-offs and a bit of shopping in the afternoon when everyone’s starting to flag a bit!

Shopping

I’m not the biggest fan of shopping for something specific but I do like a good stroll around some interesting and/or unique areas. Particular favourites for us were Leicester Square and the M and M shop, as well as along Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street where we found a shop my 18 year old is a huge fan of, Lush, which introduced the rest of the family to this fun, animal-friendly shop too. We also managed to sneak a visit in on the way back to Covent Garden to see the street performers and visit the stalls choc-full of interesting mementos.

My husband got to visit one of his favourite shops, Forbidden Planet, and almost directly opposite was The Astrology Shop where I probably spent far more than I should have done but probably not as much as I wanted to!

Soaking up the atmosphere in Leicester Square
Shopping in Covent Garden

Eating & Getting About

As you’d expect, there is a lot of travelling about and needing to re-fuel so it’s worth looking into travel options before you go. We tended to travel by taxi which can get expensive but made life easier and more manageable when mixed in with using the Tube (which I was massively impressed with!), other forms of public transport and walking. There are various passes you can opt for to help cover transportation costs but after a full-day of walking around London, we were glad to just get in a taxi when it all got too much.

Food-wise again we tended to mix it up so stopped off at restaurants and cafes but also kept the cost down sometimes by heading to fast-food outlets too such as McDonalds or heading to the local Sainsbury’s to buy some essentials like bread, coffee, cereal and milk for breakfast.

The Takeaway

For anyone with a love of history, art and culture, I’d strongly recommend London as a place well worth visiting at least once. We’re already planning what we’d like to do next time we visit, Windsor, London Zoo, Legoland…

Always open to ideas though, so where’s your favourite place to visit in London and why?

woman girl phone headphones music

Life Hack #2

Get Inspired

If you followed Life Hack #1 and organised your work space hopefully you’re feeling inspired to try Life Hack #2 – a good all-rounder hack.

If you’ve yet to take a look at Life Hack #1 get it here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/08/15/life-hack-1/

Life Hack #2

Needing some inspiration to get back to the gym, get on with smashing some life goals or even just getting out of bed?

Make a motivational playlist to get you pumped up and raring to go.

I’ve already added

  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger;
  • Eminem – Rap God;
  • Iggy Azalea – Work;
  • Limp Bizkit – Rollin’; and
  • Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade

Just what I needed to get me ready for Monday! What made your playlist? What did it help you get done?

Life Hack #3 – coming soon…