Garden Accessories from English Heritage

Spring has sprung, and many of us are out in the garden, cleaning up the winter mess and preparing for long, warm evenings outside in the sunshine. I have a special discount offer from English Heritage to share with you. Receive 10% off your order when you spend £45 or more. Use the code APRIL10 at checkout. The code expires on 30th April.

welcome-to-my-garden-sign

Welcome to My Garden, from English Heritage Shop

Now for some suggestions:

I love this Tool and Tuck Box bearing the words, “Day at the Allotment.” Very cute, and very quirky, and I can think of one or two friends that would make good use of this gift.

 

tool-and-tuck-box-burgundy

Tool and Tuck Box, from English Heritage Shop

 

I really like this stylish blue Shed Caddy from Burgon & Ball. It is bright and cheerful, has a vintage twist, and is a very useful accessory for your busy garden.

Shed Caddy English Heritage

Shed Caddy from English Heritage Shop

And finally, we have this White Shuttered Wall Mirror. It is pretty, elegant and a great little accessory to add a feeling of space if your garden is on the small side (like mine). Beautiful! Don’t forget, when you shop with English Heritage, you help preserve the history of our nation. That’s why I support them.

Shuttered Mirror

White Shuttered Wall Mirror, from English Heritage Shop

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Breaking Up for Easter Holidays

We have reached the end of term! It has been a long and busy time, and now we are in need of a couple of weeks’ break from the routine of school and social activities. My daughter has requested a shopping trip, which I found both highly amusing and quite worrying. She is only 6! We do need to find some more clothes and shoes, however, for all of us, and so a shopping trip is on the agenda.

Which brings me to a brand new special offer for my blog readers:

10% off when you spend £20 or more at WHSmith.co.uk*

Promo code: SPRING10

End Date: 11.59pm Monday 3rd April 2017

Terms and Conditions

Extra 10% off when you spend £20 or more at WHSmith.co.uk – offer ends at 23.59 on Monday 3rd April 2017. Offer valid online only. To qualify for this offer, add your products to your basket and enter promotion code SPRING10. The £20 spend level is the total order value excluding delivery charges and after all other discounts have been applied. 10% discount will show in the basket and is only valid once per transaction. The following products are excluded from this offer: gift cards, tokens & vouchers, magazine subscriptions, Royal Mail postage stamps, Kobo eReaders and eBooks. Offer subject to availability. No cash alternative. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other online promotion codes.

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My Spiritual Journey and the #AtoZChallenge

It is almost time for the April #AtoZChallenge, and this is the first time in about 4 years that I won’t be actively participating. I decided to scale back some of my online activity and try to work smarter, because I was burning myself out with the desperate need to be writing and interacting. It’s too much! I do love these blog hops and challenges, but in moderation. Besides, I have a whole collection of old posts on both of my blog websites, and I would like to see people reading and responding to them.

survivor-atoz [2016] v2

I used the #AtoZChallenge to talk about my personal journey last year. Becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways that I cannot begin to describe. One of the main changes has been my increased self-confidence and determination. While I was pregnant and having babies (only 2, so far!), I was on a spiritual journey. I met people that practice shamanism, witchcraft, reiki energy healing and a whole lot more. I found my tribe, my kindred spirits, and people that helped me to make sense of the emotions I felt.

Last weekend I met some new people at our local Scribe festival, and I found myself cheerfully telling them that I am a witch. They were fascinated. I think they were also a little spooked, but nowadays I don’t really care. I am what I am, and it’s about time I embraced myself in all the awkward, quirky, spooky glory that I feel. My children deserve a mother who is confident and self-assured. I am their role model, after all. Enjoy the #AtoZChallenge, my friends!

the-pagan-housewife-spookymrsgreen

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Book Review: Maternity Leavers by Soozi Baggs

I recently received a copy of Maternity Leavers from the author with a request to read and review it. This book would have been very useful to me about six years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child and still trying to establish a career. Back then I had floated from one entry level administration job to another following my graduation from university. My glamorous career in broadcast journalism never came to fruition, although I eventually realised that it was not my forte.

Anyway, Maternity Leavers – What to do about work now you’re a Mum, is a quick, informative guide for parents who are trying to juggle their lives around young children. You don’t necessarily have to be pregnant or planning a family to gain value from this book. I still found it very useful at my current stage, where I am slowly building a freelancing career as a writer on my own terms. I also feel a sort of kinship with the author, Soozi Baggs, although I had never spoken to her before receiving this book.

Maternity Leavers offers up suggestions for all prospects when you have a baby or small children to consider. It covers advice about the practicalities of returning to your previous job, or starting a new one, with guidance about flexible work and shared parental leave. It talks about how to set yourself up as self-employed, and the various business models that you could try. And finally, it suggests other ways to occupy your time that are not necessarily geared towards earning money. Soozi is very keen to reassure us that the parental journey is unique for everyone. She reminds us that our self-worth is not measured in cold, hard cash. We can choose to stay at home and nurture our children, or we can take on additional academic or practical studies. Or we could do voluntary work, if it fulfils us and makes us happy.

My overall review about Maternity Leavers – What to do about work now you’re a Mum, is a good one. I enjoyed reading the book. The language is casual and friendly, and the chapters are short so you can read it around your baby/toddler/puppy etc. There are additional resources in the back for further investigation, and you can visit the Maternity Leavers website for more details. The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.

spookymrsgreen-the-pagan-housewife

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SCRIBE (Middlewich Literary Festival) is Live!

Calling all Young Detectives: find your way to Middlewich Library after school on Friday 24th March and help solve ten terrible crimes, identify clues and send your friends secret messages. Free Entry. No need to book, simply drop in from 3.30pm – 4.30pm.

ScribeFest Young Detectives

Described by the US Mystery Guild as “Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell”, SCRIBE is delighted to announce that renowned author Sarah Rayne will be appearing on Friday 24 March, 7pm in Middlewich Library. Sarah will be talking about her latest novel Death Notes, her writing methods and taking audience questions. Tickets are available from Middlewich Library and Middlewich Town Council Reception, or on the door at the event.

Death Notes by Sarah Rayne #ScribeFest

SCRIBE is privileged to announce that the festival will be hosting a special lecture by Dean Jones, a leading authority on Forensic Pathology, Dean works with the Home Office and oversees the provision of Forensic Pathology Services to police forces and coroners throughout England and Wales.

Dean will be presenting a real case study which will provide a full understanding of the processes and procedures that are followed by the relevant authorities and professionals when a murder is committed.

It is a rare opportunity for authors (published and non-published) who are seeking to gain a greater understanding of this field of work. It is also suitable for people who are considering/pursuing a career in this specialist area and who want to find out more.

ScribeFest Thurs Fri Brochure

The lecture will commence on Friday, 24th March at 8.15pm in the Victoria Centre, Civic Way. Tickets are available from Middlewich Library, Middlewich Town Council Reception and via the SCRIBE website.

SPECIAL NOTE: The details contained within this presentation are of a very graphic and sensitive nature. The family of the victim has given special permission for this case to be presented for education purposes. We kindly ask that attendees respect the anonymity and dignity of the victim and the victim’s family. This lecture is STRICTLY Over 18’s and no photography/filming will be allowed.

Check back for more updates on Facebook and Twitter, and join us for the main event, The Crime Zone, on Saturday 25th March in Middlewich town centre. And don’t forget to do the Book Trail and vote for your favourite shop window display.

ScribeFest Short Story Awards Guess Book

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My Spiritual Journey: Coping with Stress

My reiki journey continues alongside domestic life, and I am noticing very definite distinctions in my behaviour, my mood, and the way I cope with everyday stress. Before I properly accepted reiki into my life, I would practise meditation sporadically, and while I always sort of knew that I had a very helpful coping mechanism at my disposal, I just didn’t take the time to use it. Now, I accept when I need to take a step back.

Take last weekend as an example. My husband had worked all week, returning late home every day, and then he decided that he needed to work overtime on both Saturday and Sunday. It is an ongoing cause of stress and discord for me, since I feel abandoned and alone with our children while he buries himself in work. A familiar story, and I won’t bore you with the details. Anyway, instead of wallowing in self-pity at home and focusing only on the fact that he wasn’t there, I took the children to stay with family, and we had a fun weekend.

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I came home completely exhausted, and I was relieved to send the children to school and preschool on Monday. Sometimes, I just need a break. Alone time is a rare occurrence just lately, because my three-year-old has become a little limpet, to the point where she appears in my bed every night without fail, just after I go to sleep. Thanks to my reiki healing, and the ongoing practise of self care and attention that I enforce, I am better equipped to cope with the stress of being a housewife with an absent husband. And I can keep in mind the reasons why we do what we do.

Merry Spring Equinox, my friends!

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A Guide to Easter Gifts for Children

In recent decades, we have seen our religious and spiritual holidays becoming more commercialised, and let’s face it, we enjoy buying gifts for our children. I know I do, even though I try not to spoil them too much. But they are so loving, so adorable (when they behave), and just so perfect to me, that I want to buy the things that make them happy.

We always receive a lot of Easter eggs as gifts from family and friends. Now, I’m not complaining about excess supplies of chocolate. But sometimes it would be nice to receive more thoughtful gifts, perhaps something that we could keep and use or admire as a family heirloom.

I really like the range of china cups and dishes that are available from Wedgwood. We used to collect them when we were children, and I still have a couple of vintage child cups hidden in my cupboard, until such a time that I trust my own children to use them safely. I love this Peter Rabbit mug inspired by Beatrix Potter. It gives me a warm, whimsical feeling, and rabbits are perfect for Easter and Ostara. There are other gift ideas in the range, but the mug is probably the most useful, or would look very pretty on a nursery bookshelf next to the collection that inspired its design.

wd-peter-rabbit-ls6

 

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Easter Indulgence for Adults

Well, I suppose you could share these delicious, luxury hot chocolate drinks with your little darlings, but I keep mine firmly hidden on the top shelf in my kitchen cupboards! A parent has to have some rewards after a hard day with the children…

Whittard of Chelsea have introduced a brand new luxury hot chocolate range of drinks, and they look divine! I can’t wait to sample the Limited Edition Black Forest Gateaux flavour. It will be a lovely treat while the nights are still cold enough that we should snuggle on the sofa once the children are asleep.

 

Screenshot 2017-03-07 09.40.30_zps6utfxj8e

Photo Credit Whittard of Chelsea

Or perhaps you fancy something a little more fruity? Then I give you the Limited Edition Raspberry Ripple Flavour hot chocolate. Delicious! Happy Easter, my friends!

Raspberry Ripple Hot Chocolate

Photo Credit Whittard of Chelsea

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Spring Equinox at Stonehenge

The wheel of the year is turning, and we are fast approaching Spring Equinox and Ostara. Where is the year going? We say the same thing at around the same time every year, although I do feel more of a connection in 2017, on a spiritual level. Our winter has been long, dark and cold, and we are more than ready for a little spring sunshine and warmth.

Our pagan brethren will be preparing to visit Stonehenge to honour the turn of the season, but it is just slightly too far for me to visit without having to arrange a weekend trip or a few days away. I am constrained by the school timetable, and by other family responsibilities, so I have not yet found my way to Stonehenge. I will, one day, when the time is right.

I wouldn’t mind having this Stonehenge bookend on my altar shelf, however. It looks very solid, has a practical use, and can be incorporated into a Spring Equinox or Ostara ritual. All you need is a bit of imagination, and a connection with your spiritual, magical self. Add to that a little pile of chocolate Easter eggs, perhaps a statue of a rabbit or Goddess Ostara, and you have everything you need to bring forth the fertile spirit of the season.

I have a special offer for you today, if you shop on the English Heritage website. Use the code FIVE50 to receive £5 off your order total, when you spend £50 or more. The code expires on 26th March, so get those Spring Equinox gifts sorted now!

Ostara Blessings, my friends!

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Who’s in the Box? #PerfectlyGood

My daughters are being very cute at the moment. They have reached an age where they play nicely together (before they start fighting), and sometimes they even concoct adorable games. One such game involved an empty box from our recent grocery delivery from Approved Food. My youngest decided that the box would make a good cave, and she climbed inside. My eldest then fastened the box closed and started giggling. Her sister was more than happy, and then decided that she would be a dog and the box was her home… cue this adorable video that I shared on Instagram.

Approved Food Box House

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