Birthday Party Planning for a Girl Superhero

My eldest daughter is preparing to celebrate her sixth birthday, and I have been instructed that the favoured theme this year is superheroes. Last year it was Frozen, and while my daughters are still obsessed with that Disney movie, they have now begun to explore other trends. They discovered superheroes by watching YouTube videos where adults dressed as their favourite characters ran around playing games.

Apparently, these videos had an impact, because now my elder daughter wants to be Wonder Woman! I have found her a suitable dressing up costume, some cute little cake toppers, and the essential party bags and loot for her friends. Their party is booked at a local soft play centre attached to a pub, not far from home, so we simply have to dress up, turn up and have fun. Hooray!

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Join Me at the West Midlands Valentines Book Signing and 1940s Ball

On Saturday 4th February, I will attend the West Midlands Valentines Book Signing and 1940s Ball. Hooray!  The event welcomes over 25 authors from around the UK, live music from the Vintage Vocalist, and a few sexy cover models for you to ogle meet. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the evening ball due to a prior commitment, but I will be at the event all day long to showcase my Redcliffe novels series and my contemporary English Gothic stories. Come and say hello, and why not try a few books while you are there?

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Spiritual Guidance from my #365DaysOfTarot Challenge

We are settling into 2017 and my #365DaysOfTarot challenge is progressing very well. I do a quick reading every day and jot down the results in my specially selected notebook. Some days I pull out just three cards and do a five-minute daily Tarot card reading. Other days I might vary it by choosing more cards and trying out a different layout, known as a Tarot card spread. I recently tried one called the CHILD Tarot card reading, and that was very interesting!

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Gilded Tarot Card Reading #365DaysOfTarot

I have several decks of Tarot cards. My favourite regular deck is the Gilded Tarot. These cards are richly illustrated and very sensual, appealing to my romantic nature. My second most-used Tarot cards are the classic Universal Waite Tarot. These are brightly coloured, easy to use Tarot cards that are perfect for beginners. They still have a lot to teach me now, and I have been reading the Tarot for several years. Those two decks of Tarot cards are beginning to show signs of wear, looking nicely faded around the edges, but still full of vitality and a lot of wisdom.

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Universal Waite Tarot Card Reading #365DaysOfTarot

My inspiration for the CHILD Tarot card reading came from the Inner Child Tarot Cards: A Fairy Tale Tarot. This deck consists of a set of larger than average Tarot cards, so big that I struggle to handle them. They are very beautiful, very whimsical Tarot cards, and were a gift from my younger sister. I am still learning how to work with them, because their guidance is based around classic fairy tales and creatures from mythology. They interpret traditional Tarot cards a little differently than you might expect. My CHILD Tarot card reading was quite a surprise. It was insightful and informative, and set me back on my spiritual path after a brief internal conflict between my head and my heart.

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Inner Child Tarot Cards #365DaysOfTarot

Do you read Tarot cards? What decks and spreads do you prefer?

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Keep Your Children Safe on Dark Evenings

Christmas is over and now we face the long, dark days of winter ahead. As we return to school and work, you may find it quite dark on the school run, even in the mornings. I know that we must ensure we have hi-visibility strips on our coats, and our dog wears a very fetching Hi-Vis vest or collar when the days are dull!

I happen to know of a place where you can order suitable Hi-Vis clothing for yourself and your children. Check out the range from Dickies UK, where prices start from as little as £3.95. There is also a New Year sale that you could browse, where you may find bargain thermal underwear to go with those cute Hi-Vis vests.

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Stock Up Your Craft Cupboard!

The New Year sales have started, and as we look towards 2017 with the hopes of setting new goals and targets, perhaps some of you would like to rekindle a passion for crafts? I enjoy card making and bead jewellery crafts, although I have had to put the hobby on hold for a while due to other demands on my time.

My mum is a keen fabric crafter, and one of her favourite shops is Terrys Fabrics in Stoke-on-Trent. They deliver all over the UK, and provide free delivery when you spend over £100. Terrys offer a wide range of fabrics, including made to order curtains and upholstery services. My mum made the curtains for my house using fabric we bought from Terrys, and the quality is excellent.

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Handmade curtains, guitar cushion, and remote control holder

Check out the Terrys Winter Sale, live now until 31st January!

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The Witch with a Broken Wand

My magic wand is broken! She is still in one piece (mostly), but part of the design cracked and came away from the setting, and now I don’t know what to do. My beautiful wand came to me at a mind, body and spirit event in Greater Manchester, and we have worked together for over four years now.

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I noticed a hairline crack in her carefully crafted wood sap mounting early in 2016. It was like a wobbly tooth, too tempting not to play with, only this time I knew it wouldn’t grow another one underneath. I didn’t want to use superglue on my sacred magickal tool, and yet I could find no instructions anywhere that would help me find a more plant based method. I couldn’t even find details of the company and craftspeople that made her. They seem to have vanished completely!

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I kept my wand carefully resting for most of the year, taking her out to play very tentatively, and keeping her well out of reach of my curious children. As it happens, my eldest daughter has grown taller and ever more curious. It took less than five minutes for her to pick up my wand, accidentally drop it, and then – crack – off came the loose piece, complete with a tiger’s eye crystal. What can I do to repair her?

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Planning the Family Holiday

It is the start of a brand-new year, and like so many people with school age children, I am beginning to think about our family holiday plans for 2017. This year my daughters have requested that we return to Peppa Pig world, so that will probably happen during our big summer holiday. I would like to have a few smaller holiday breaks as well, perhaps during the Easter school holiday, and maybe at Autumn half term.

 

Planning these holidays can sometimes prove tricky. Distance is a factor. I want to take our daughters to LEGOLAND Resort, but because it is so far away from home (we live in Cheshire), we would have to stay for at least one night in a hotel or B&B. Can anybody offer suggestions for places to stay, or share your experiences?

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Goodbye 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 has been a very challenging year for everyone, not least because of all the bereavement that the world has had to experience together. I turned on the radio this morning to hear a phone-in session where people remember their favourite songs by artists that have died this year, and what memories those songs invoke. I had to turn it off when they started playing Last Christmas by George Michael, it was too sad!

Now, I never considered myself the type of person to feel such a close connection to a celebrity figure, but apparently I did, because I was shocked and upset by the deaths of David Bowie and George Michael. I grew up listening to their music, watching them on TV, and their songs mostly invoke memories of a very happy, safe and sheltered childhood. Oh, how the world has changed.

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The death of our celebrity figureheads within such a short space of time is a very clear message from the universe, and I am fully aware of the fact. This is the year of endings. It marks the end of an era in so many ways, and we must embrace this change, and look forward to new and better experiences ahead. I have done a lot of grieving this year, not just for the loss of people. I have been grieving for the loss of my family dynamic, and it has taken several years for me to accept what has happened.

My parents divorced when I was a teenager, yet I think it is only now, when I have my own children, and my own marital challenges, that I have allowed myself to process the grief that has been hiding deep within, like a dark bubble of misery that I tried so hard to ignore. I told myself to grow up, get over it, I wasn’t the only product of a broken family. At least I still have my parents. But it’s not just that. The relationships are very different between my parents, my in-laws, and my children. We are separated by distance, by illness, and by fate, it would seem. But no more grief. I have cried, I have let it all go, I accept where I am in my life.

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Are you ready to let go? What are you holding on to? Let us all leave the past behind us, and move on to a happier, more enriching year. Welcome, 2017. We have been expecting you!

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Winter Solstice Tarot Reading for New Year

Christmas has passed, and now we are in that strange week between one festival and another. How many of you will be celebrating New Year’s Eve this year? Since having children, my New Year celebrations have been far more sedate and peaceful. Our family tend to enjoy a bracing walk on the beach on New Year’s Day for our celebration of the New Year. Do you have any family traditions?

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A beautiful day on Talacre Beach for New Year

Since we also celebrated Winter Solstice just last week, a time to welcome the return of the sun, I performed a Celtic Cross Tarot reading as part of my #365DaysofTarot challenge. The reading is too long to post here today, but I will share the introduction, and if you would like a copy of the full reading, please respond in the comments below.

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Gilded Tarot Celtic Cross Reading SpookyMrsGreen

1, Recap – Ten of Swords

You feel beaten and broken. It has been a tough year. But those swords that hover above you do not offer more pain. They glow with strength and power that you can call on to lift you up and help you to fight another day.

2, You – Nine of Wands

The weight of responsibility has overwhelmed you, and now you retreat, defeated. But you still hold on to one new goal. Be strong, and you will rise again.

3, Crossing – Four of Swords

What is it that you fear so much? Why do you feel the need to arm yourself so heavily against attack? Surely the world isn’t quite as hostile as you make out.

4, Foundation – Strength

So now we are presented with Strength. She lives within you, and your faithful spiritual companion is the mighty Lion. Call on them both now, in your time of need.

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Gilded Tarot Celtic Cross spread SpookyMrsGreen

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The Depth of a Child’s Love

“Mummy,” my five-year-old daughter said a few days’ ago, “I cannot believe it is Christmas already!”

Yes, apparently, my daughter has also found the rush of Christmas excitement a lot to cope with. When she made that statement, I asked her if she had enjoyed the year, and if she had a favourite memory to share. Her answer truly surprised me. She told me that her favourite memory was from when she was in her reception year at primary school, before Great Nan died.

 

Now, my paternal grandmother died at the age of 79 in November 2015. She was ill in hospital at the time, although it still came as a shock because she seemed to be recovering from her illness. My daughter knew her because we had visited often, but I didn’t think they were quite so close. Her death upset me because she was the first of my grandparents to die, and that was difficult to handle after having them in my life for over thirty years.

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I hadn’t stopped to think about how my children would react. I simply assumed that they were too young for it to really have an impact. My daughter misses my Nanna a lot, and we didn’t even live in close proximity. She only saw her during school holidays and at family gatherings, but she had made a connection on a very deep level, and that stayed with her. My daughter truly is an inspirational teacher for her wisdom and her innocent, exuberant love. I think we can all take a lesson from that. And I miss you, Nanna H, even though I know you are with us in Spirit. Lots of love to all who are missing loved ones this Christmas.

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