Poppy Shop Xmas Bonanza – 10% Off Voucher Code

The Royal British Legion have launched their fabulous Christmas collection in the Poppy Shop online. You can purchase festive jumpers, hoodies, casual clothes, scarves, home accessories, and the 2019 calendar. This is a great idea if you want your Christmas gifts to contribute to charity, while still giving your loved ones something to open on Christmas Day.


You can receive 10% off your total order value when you enter the code POPPY10 at checkout. Here’s your link to Poppy Shophttp://tidd.ly/21f9e6b2 Get those orders in now, you only have 1 week left to prepare for the big day!

Poppy Shop Christmas Jumper

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How to Enjoy a Peaceful Christmas

I believe there is a subtle change in the air. This year, I feel completely relaxed and not at all worried or stressed about preparing for Christmas. Usually by this time I would be frantically writing Christmas cards and wrapping Christmas gifts, but I don’t feel the urgency. And I can see the same sense of calm in many people around me. Yes, there are probably a lot of people who hide their panic well, and there are those who confess to staying up late at night to get their jobs complete, but I believe we are slowly moving into a more holistic attitude with the Christmas season.

How to enjoy a peaceful Christmas SpookyMrsGreen

Image Credit: Amy Murray

For more than a generation, we have been sold a false dream of the perfect Christmas celebration, and for many people, that simply didn’t happen. We all have challenges, be they health, financial, career, family or others. These challenges do not magically cease to exist just because it is Christmas. I am still broke. My eyes still hurt. My family still struggle with various ailments and issues. But personally, this year I feel happy. A huge weight has been lifted since we moved house, because now we are in our forever home, and while it still needs a lot of cosmetic improvement, it is warm, cosy and perfect for our needs at this time.

Love and Peace SpookyMrsGreen

Image Credit: Amy Murray

Rather than spend money we don’t have on events, gifts and decorations, we have used what we already have, and made use of our local community. My children have seen Santa Claus at least three times now, and we didn’t spend a lot of money in the process. Indeed, we donated to a local church charity, contributed to small business in our area, and shared a community party. And it was all perfect for us. I will not feel obliged to send out hundreds of Christmas cards, or to wrap dozens of gifts, or to load up our cupboards with more food than we can eat. We have everything that we need. And that is the perfect Christmas for my family. If you feel anxious or stressed why not step back from the situation, assess where you stand, and think about what really matters to you personally. It might not be as bad as it seems. And if it is, then you can ask for help from someone you trust. We all care for each other, and that is the spirit of Christmas.

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Letters from Santa

My girls received their letters from Santa Claus last week, and they were so very excited! The letters came from Lapland Mailroom, and they arrived promptly on Monday, just as we had decorated our Christmas tree and kick-started the festivities. My girls came home from school to find that their elves had returned, and they came bearing gifts, namely the letters from Santa Claus, Nice Child certificates, and activity packs. That should keep them busy in the run-up to Christmas!

dav

The activity packs include a Christmas card that you can colour in and gift to a loved one, a Santa Stop Here door hanger that you can customize, and some Christmas decorations to colour in. They offered a perfect distraction at the weekend while my husband and I caught up on some household chores. Of course, it was the letters from Santa Claus that were the main attraction. Each letter is personalised for the individual child, and my elder daughter was touched to hear that Santa knew about her stay in hospital earlier this year. My younger daughter was pleased that Santa knows about her new bedroom, and that he has already checked where our new house is, so he won’t miss us on Christmas Eve. These details are very important, don’t you know!

dav

Finally, my girls were delighted to discover that they are on the Nice Child List for Christmas gifts, and they have the certificates to prove it. Staying good up until Christmas might be tricky, but my elder daughter has certainly taken on the challenge, and she keeps reminding her little sister that the elves are watching…

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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Caravan Holidays in the UK

Are you planning your summer holiday for 2019? Have you ever stayed in a caravan in the UK? I grew up with caravan holidays, and there are so many happy memories from my childhood. Back then we used to stay in my grandparents’ caravans in North Wales, occasionally staying on other caravan parks, including on the South Coast of England. Two years ago, we took our children to stay in a privately owned caravan in Dorset. Being a young family, and struggling along on a single income, we couldn’t afford a lavish holiday, and even the package deals from companies such as Haven were too expensive. But we managed to book a caravan on a Haven caravan park, enjoying their holiday homes, their facilities, and the surrounding area.

Rockley Park Dorset SpookyMrsGreen

We chose Poole in Dorset for a family holiday, and stayed in a caravan in Rockley Park. The caravan park is very big, but it includes some lovely, family-friendly facilities, including an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, evening entertainment, children’s activity clubs, onsite bar, restaurant, chip shop and convenience store, and a launderette, which came in very useful for me as we were potty training our youngest daughter at that time. The journey from Cheshire to Dorset was a long one, but it was a straight run down the motorway, so we didn’t get lost, and we arrived in Poole very excited to explore. Rockley Park has its own private beach with gorgeous soft sand, a shallow bay which is perfect for young children, and a sailing club for the more adventurous holidaymakers. We spent at least one full day on that beach, sunbathing, building sandcastles, paddling in the sea, and enjoying a picnic.

Caravan Holidays UK SpookyMrsGreen

One reason for our visit to Poole was so that we could take our children to Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Theme Park. Both our girls are still huge fans of Peppa Pig, and they want to return to the theme park again. My husband and I left the grandparents and dog at Rockley Park, and took the children off to explore for the day. I have to say, Paulton’s Theme Park is well worth a visit. Yes, it is expensive, but if you budget carefully, it is affordable. The place is easy to find, parking is accessible, and there is a lot to see and do, even just within Peppa Pig World. We came away feeling very happy with our day out, and very impressed with the customer service and organisation.

Dog Friendly Rockley Park SpookyMrsGreen

Finally, I can recommend Rockley Park as a good location for a dog-friendly holiday. We took our dog for walks along the beach in the mornings and evenings when it was quiet, he could stay in the caravan without much additional cost, and we took him almost everywhere with us. There is a dog-friendly beach in Bournemouth, our dog came on a harbour cruise in Poole, and we took him to the isle of Portland, visiting the English Heritage castle and the lighthouse. So much to see and do, we shall have to return sometime for another holiday!

Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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Living with Chronic Pain: How reiki saved my sanity

My eyes are bothering me again. The weather has turned stormy, and whenever we have strong wind, my Dry Eye Syndrome worsens. Whenever we have a dry spell, my Dry Eye Syndrome worsens. In fact, most of the weather extremes we have in the UK affect my eye condition one way or the other. Mostly I just don’t make enough natural tears to protect my eyes, and I keep pulling out my eyelashes because they hurt. I have congenital distichiasis (ingrowing eyelashes).

Pain has been a part of me for all my life. As a child I endured many medical procedures to remove ingrowing eyelashes, and as an adult they continued, along with some experimental surgery. The most extreme of these was eyelid rotation surgery on both eyes, that I had approximately ten years ago. During the time since then I have been diagnosed with blepharitis and loads of other random eye complaints that I can’t even pronounce. Every time I visit the  Manchester Royal Eye Hospital for a check-up, the doctor will mention something new, or something I haven’t been informed about before. I am a medical mystery. And it hurts.

bty

Prepped for surgery

Some days the pain is so intense that I want to rip my eyes from their sockets just to make it stop. Other days I can barely keep my eye open because an eyelash is scratching the cornea, or my scars are inflamed, or something else is bothering me but I have no idea what it is. My vision will sometimes blur even after I use eye drops to try and soothe the pain. And I use ointment every night, because if I don’t, my eyelids would stick together with crusty stuff and it would be even more painful to wake up with. Instead I wake up with a greasy face, unless all the ointment has been sucked into my skin overnight. I am a glamorous woman!

bty

Bruised after laser treatment

The only thing that has helped relieve my pain in recent years is meditation, and more specifically, reiki energy healing. I have read stories about people who managed to cure their illness or disorder with energy healing, but so far that hasn’t happened to me. I went through a period of anger and unhappiness about this fact, until I realised that there is so much more to these situations. My condition is genetic. I was born with it, but I was only diagnosed at around the age of 2 when my brother presented with the same symptoms and my mum battled doctors to get some answers. Since then, I have only been treated to the best of medical science at a given time. This spans through the 1980s, 90s, 00s and to the present day. I have seen an increase in treatment options and products to help alleviate my eye pain during the past ten years.

Learning to work with reiki healing energy has helped to give me some perspective on my health. Outwardly I seem healthy and normal. You might wonder why I wear sunglasses in winter, or why I walk round the supermarket wearing them sometimes (I am super sensitive to light), but otherwise I appear normal. The doctors never made a fuss about my condition, and I never let it affect my lifestyle. I learned to drive, I worked full time jobs, I am now a writer by profession, and I learned to work through the eye pain. Reiki helps me to relax, it calms my mind when the pain is particularly bad, and it offers a distraction from the physical disorder of my body. Reiki takes my mind and my spirit to another plane, where I feel nothing, and I don’t have to consciously think about anything. That is how it helps me. Thank you, reiki, and thank you, Great Spirit, for your support and guidance in an often-painful human world.

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Kids Party Shoes

December has finally arrived, and now we can fully throw ourselves into the Christmas spirit. It has been here for a few weeks, and we did already visit Santa Claus at the local church Christmas fair, but now we make way for Christmas parties, school nativity, and the general chaos and excitement as we prepare for the festivities. My girls are already planning their outfits (seriously, they are only 5 and 7), and shoes are very important. We may have to go shopping, because what do you know, their feet are growing again. I must stop feeding these children!

Clarks Kids Party Shoes

This festive season discover the Clarks collection of Kids party shoes. Hi-tops with fun prints, smarter silhouettes with traditional detailing and iconic looks all feature in our collection of party shoes for boys and girls.

Clarks – Kids Party Shoes – Shop Now – Free delivery over £50

Clarks – Girls Party Shoes – Shop Now – Free delivery over £50

Clarks – Boys Party Shoes – Shop Now – Free delivery over £50

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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5 Perfect Beer Pairings to Compliment Your Dinner

Courtesy of Gousto

Who wants some cold beer?

If you’re partial to a tipple at dinnertime, you’ll know the lip-smacking satisfaction that comes with pairing a delicious meal with the perfect beer. But with so many tasty dinner ideas to choose from (both on and off the Gousto menu) and so many delightful drops on offer (both in and out of the Gousto Market) finding the perfect pairing can be a bit hit and miss. To help you get a feel for finding the right balance of heavenly hops and mouth-watering malt our good friends at HonestBrew have selected a few choice pairings to get you started…find out more here.

Order your first Gousto box for £12.99 + 30% off all other boxes for the first month – use code PROMO12301M – Click here.

Have a great weekend!

Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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Reiki for Christmas

This year I am offering reiki for Christmas. Well, ok, there are presents for some people, because I just can’t help myself. And my children would be devastated if Santa didn’t visit. But I have learned how to use this amazing gift of self-healing, and I can use it to help other people. Reiki is a great way to slow down when life gets too busy. It calms the mind, it helps to clear out the crap, and it regulates the breathing so that your heart can slow down, and your nervous system can relax. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Especially during a season that is renowned for causing intense stress, mostly to women I believe.

I plan to enjoy a slow, peaceful family Christmas at home. We will visit members of the family that can’t travel, but on Christmas Day I will be at home, with my children and husband, enjoying our first family Christmas in our forever home. We finally have space, we have inherited a whole collection of novelty Christmas decorations from my grandparents, and we cannot wait to have them out on display. I won’t worry about piling up the presents or writing out hundreds of cards. I will keep it low-key, affordable, and manageable. Our Christmas Dinner will basically be like a regular Sunday dinner, only with a few festive additions for a treat. I’m vegetarian anyway, so if my husband wants turkey, he has to fend for himself, and the children won’t eat it. Reiki will surround me, envelop me, reach out to those in my vicinity, and we will all relax and unwind. Ah!

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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What to Buy for my Husband

We just celebrated my husband’s birthday. He is notoriously difficult to buy for, his only interests being those that are out of my price range. I racked my brain to come up with a gift idea that wasn’t too expensive, that would be meaningful, and that he would appreciate. He isn’t really interested in novelty items, apart from socks and mugs. But then I remembered that he does need some new shoes. His “going out” boots are looking very tired and worn out now. He needs a wardrobe upgrade, and he refuses to go shopping for himself. My brother recently bought a pair of very smart brown shoes for a date, and that got me thinking about what I could find for my husband. Time to go shopping!

Brown and Tan Shoes Clarks

Clarks – Men’s Brown and Tan Shoes – Shop Now – Free delivery over £50 – Click here.

And maybe I need some new shoes while I am looking, especially with a free delivery offer! Clarks – Women’s Brown and Tan Shoes – Shop Now – Free delivery over £50

Brown and Tan Shoes Ladies Clarks

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Hotels.com Winter Sale #BlackFriday

Today is the culmination of Black Friday week, and we are in a whirlwind of shopping madness! I can’t help but get swept up in the chaos, because I do love the festive season, and I love all the Christmas parties, family gatherings and special outings that we plan. Are you looking for a hotel while you visit family during the Christmas season? Then check out the winter sale at Hotels.com. I use their website and their app to book my hotel rooms, and always find just what I’m looking for.

Hotels Winter Sale

You can also use the Hotels.com rewards scheme where you save up to get a free overnight stay. It all helps, and especially if you plan to visit friends and family that have limited home space. Sometimes, you are better off staying in a local hotel rather than cramming the children into somebody’s living room and knocking over their Christmas tree. Just a thought… Ho, ho ho!

Hotels rewards banner

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