Greenstory STONE Notebook: A Review

 

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my obsession with Bullet Journals and stationery. You can imagine my excitement when I was asked to try out a brand new notebook by Greenstory... made of STONE.

Yes, you read it correctly… it’s made of stone.

Developed by Dutch brother & sister duo Kaim and Yagmur and supported by copywriter Fleur, Greenstory seeks to make a difference for sustainability. The paper for the Stone Notebook is made of 80% calcium carbonate, which is waste material from marble quarries. 20% polyethylene is added, and that’s it. It uses 6X less energy to produce and leaves a 3X smaller CO2 footprint. No coating, water, acid, bleach or optical brighteners. The material can be infinitely recycled to make more Stone notebooks!

It also makes the paper waterproof and much stronger – one of the first things that I attempted to do when I received the notebook was rip the corner of one of the back pages, and while it was possible to tear it – there was a noticeable difference in the overall strength than other notebooks I have used. Continue reading

My Face Hurts

After being indoors for what seems like forever, I took today off. I love what I do, but after 12 consecutive days I needed a bit of me time. As the weather was glorious this morning I decided to make an effort and do things that make me happy, so I had a hot bath, spent time doing my hair and make-up, got the bus into Birmingham and had a wander round my favourite stationery places, treating myself to more washi tape, some flat lay props and a new notebook for a project I’m starting.

I met up with one of my favourite people for lunch – Shelley Wilson from Motivate Me  – and we went to Bacchus Bar. Sitting in enormous chairs that made us look like we were perching on thrones (yes, you may now refer to us as Her Brummie Highnesses), and indulging in a lovely scampi and chips, we talked and talked and laughed and talked and laughed some more. And now my face hurts from all the smiling I did. Continue reading

Fun Fruit Platter for Parties

I love food platters, particularly ones that look beautiful, taste yummy, are quick and simple to assemble, are suitable for most dietary requirements and provide lots of fun at celebrations and dinner parties.

This is one of my favourites – a simple fruit platter that takes no time at all to create, is a brilliant hands on dessert to end a lovely meal and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians (depending on what you choose to use for the dip). I created this platter for The Bloke and I on New Years Eve as an alternative to a baked dessert, mainly because I didn’t want to prepare a complicated recipe, spend a fortune or finish the evening by feeling bloated. It is also perfect for getting your children involved and is great for children’s parties or summer barbecues.

And yet, while it’s almost insulting to write out such a simple recipe idea, it’s something that many don’t even think about until after an event is over… So here is is:

You will need:

A selection of your favourite fruits – I’m particularly fond of things like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, but I’ve seen lots of other ideas including kiwi fruit, watermelon oranges etc. Pick what you enjoy and what falls within your budget.

A large plate or platter

Wooden skewers

For the dip: this can also be anything of your choice – Greek yoghurt, avocado mousse and vegan lemon curd would be perfect for a healthy dip idea, or you could use things like raspberry coulis, melted chocolate, peanut butter… I (of course) decided to treat myself by melting some Nutella. Because everything is better with Nutella.

Extras: this also depends on how healthy you want to make it. Mini brownie pieces, marshmallows, bite sized flapjacks are great for adding onto the kebabs, nuts, cacao nibs or hundreds and thousands can be used for sprinkling… Anything and everything goes. I decided to add some marshmallows for a change in texture. And because it was a great excuse to eat marshmallows.

Method:

Chop up the fruit and arrange on the plate / platter.

Lay out any extras you want to include around the fruit.

Place dips / toppings into small bowls.

Place a selection of the fruit on the wooden skewers or simply put the skewers on the side and encourage people to make their own fruit kebabs.

 

That’s it. It took me a total of 10 minutes to put it together and I could sit back and enjoy it without having to worry about timings or temperature.

Give it a try – the next time you host a party for people of any age, set out this fruit platter for all of your guests to enjoy!

Self-Pity, Gratitude… and Cake

There’s nothing more inspiring than a positive person who has a goal and works relentlessly hard to achieve it. More recently I have been turning to American muscle gods for inspiration – anyone who has the ability to get up at 4am and train to that level when I can’t even manage breakfast and a coherent sentence before 10.30am deserves my upmost respect.

Today’s admiration is for Terry Crews. Not only is he a talented actor and fitness expert, but he seems to be one of the most genuinely positive and uplifting people around. I discovered a video that he uploaded a year ago on his YouTube channel, and it was some of the most profound thoughts I’d heard in a while. Continue reading

The Festering Process: How I Deal With Anger

In my experience, there are usually three ways in which people deal with anger.

The first group go from zero to sixty very quickly, let everything fly, calm down just as quickly and move on.

The second take their time – after the initial incident the rage builds and spreads over a period of days, reaching its peak long after everyone else have got on with their lives.

The third have the ability to shut off, compartmentalise and just walk away.

I am in the second group. I go from zero to sixty in about four days. It doesn’t happen often, but when something truly upsets me (and we’re not talking just a general level of minor irritation here) then I start what The Bloke refers to as ‘The Festering Process,’ during which I mull everything over to the point where I end up in such a state that even functioning beyond a certain level becomes difficult for a while. Continue reading

110+ Blog Post Ideas

Blog post ideas for when bloggers block strikes!

I’m asked all the time for ideas for blog posts and I’ve been through quite lengthy periods of Bloggers Block over the last few months, so here is a list of useful ideas that can hopefully spark a whole bunch of new posts for your blog! I’ve categorised many of them as best I can.

Blogging

1. How to start a blog from scratch.
2. Why I started blogging.
3. The origins of my blog name.
4. My blogging goals.
5. How to increase your traffic.
6. How to use Twitter/Facebook/StumbleUpon/Pinterest/Flipboard…
7. How to create a social media schedule.
8. How to use SEO effectively on your blog.
9. How to grow a mailing list.
10. A discussion about the pros and cons of dot com or self-hosted. Continue reading

How to Survive the January Blues

Surviving the January Blues

After a few weeks of excitement, joy, celebrations and consuming my entire body weight in chocolatey goodness, its back to work for many of us. The decorations have been taken down and my house looks quite dull and bare, I feel sick and lethargic after eating so much and I’ve already managed to overwhelm myself with my to-do list. On a day like today, where it has been dull and rainy all day, it’s difficult not to sink into a wallowing state of mind.

It’s not a new thing – I go through the same cycle at the start of every year, but each time I have found ways to cope a little better. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Healing Spirit

Meet Carol, the creator of A Healing Spirit!

Carol is a trained hypnotherapist and past life regressionist who lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and crazy little Maltipoo. She does more than half of her regression and hypnosis work via Skype, and particularly enjoys doing workshops and small group events.

Her interest in working with healing and grief began during the peak of the AIDS/HIV epidemic when she spent more than a dozen years as a trained emotional support worker with the community. Her skills developed further during the years she served as support person to family and friends battling serious disease and facing death. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

Esme is originally from South Africa but has lived in Vancouver, BC for over 20 years. She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Married Cat Lady

I’m away this week, so i thought it would be nice to promote some bloggers for you to visit!

Meet Becca, the creator of The Married Cat Lady!

She explains a little about herself in her About page:

I am a self-proclaimed weirdo living in the Chicago suburbs with my wonderful husband and our fur babies Albus (cat) and Nellie (pup).

I enjoy Harry Potter, coffee, cat memes, gifs, elephants, yoga, Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers, 30-second dance parties, my girlfriends, the smell of babies, and an assortment of other fun things.

I am writing in an effort to bring laughter and joy into your life via my witty ramblings and embarrassing stories. Wish me luck! Continue reading