22 Jul 2014

Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 4

Today is Day 4 of the Self-Esteem Challenge, originally from Better than Dark Chocolate. It's a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about your good qualities and things that make you happy or proud. See my introductory post for more info.

What do you do to feel better when you’re having a bad day?

Luckily there are lots of ways to cheer myself up if I'm having a bad day. 

1) Hug my husband and cat-this always make me feel better. Actually, it's proven that hugging can reduce stress and anxiety as it causes you to release the hormone oxytocin, which gives you a physical boost.  

2) Get some fresh air-sunshine and a nice breeze can make me feel better and less stressed. I like to get out and have a quiet walk through some trees to clear my head.

3) Eat something naughty-okay, so this might have a few negative effects long term (weight gain, guilt, associating food with comfort etc.) but sometimes I just need a quick fix. I've found that I am a lot crankier when I haven't eaten for a while, and sometimes when I stop to have a nice snack I feel instantly better and wonder what I was groaning about. My comfort food of choice is chocolate and if I eat the dark kind I feel less guilty as it contains antioxidants and flavonoids which may help to lower blood pressure and balance certain hormones in the body. Plus it tastes amazing!

4) Read a good book-I often read to cheer myself up after a long and tiring day. Either I'm transported to an amazing fantasy world (pure escapism) or a dystopian world that makes me feel grateful for what I've got-"It could be worse-I could be in the Hunger Games!"

5) Watch an uplifting DVD-when I'm down I put on happy, feel-good DVDs like Disney movies or musicals. My favourites are Singin' In the Rain and The Sound of Music, which both never fail to make me smile. Forest Gump is also a good bet or a comedy DVD.

6) Play my 'Cheer Up' playlist




7) Visit Pinterest-there are so many inspiring and uplifting quotes on there, as well as cute pictures of cats! Guaranteed to put me in a good mood.

Follow Tizzy Potts's board Mind over Matter on Pinterest.



8) Pamper myself-I like to have a nice hot bath or shower and go through my whole pampering ritual-body scrub, scented body wash, hair mask, face mask, body lotion/oil, nail polish, etc. Having a little 'me' time to take care of myself makes me feel a little more human.

9) Call my mum-you're never too old to need your mum when you're feeling down. If there's something on my mind I like to call her for a chat and she listens to my moaning and groaning without judging and always makes me feel better about things.

10) Smile-I read somewhere that smiling makes you feel better and I think it's probably true. Sometimes when I've had a bad day I'll pull a silly face in front of the mirror and then laugh at myself.



Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

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Today is Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  Every week they post a new top ten list and everyone can join in and share their own picks. If you'd like to take part, hop on over to the blog and sign up with the linky. If you don't have a blog, feel free to post your answers in the comments.

This week's topic is: Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island.

21 Jul 2014

Self Esteem Challenge: Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the Self-Esteem Challenge, originally from Better than Dark Chocolate. It's a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about your good qualities and things that make you happy or proud. See my introductory post for more info.

What is one fear or goal that you would like to conquer?

What instantly sprang to mind was a goal and a fear that are very closely related: my goal to complete my novel and my fear of failure. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a writer. My greatest personal desire is to finish a novel and get it published and I would be so happy and proud of myself if I managed to achieve it. It's a long road to publication, but I know that the important thing right now is to write, write, write!

20 Jul 2014

Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the Self-Esteem Challenge, originally from Better than Dark Chocolate. It's a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about your good qualities and things that make you happy or proud. See my introductory post for more info.

A physical feature you like

I'm normally very critical of my physical features, so this was a tough one. It may be an odd choice, but I'm going to say my hips. I have quite wide hips and a pear-shaped figure, which I used to hate. But recently I've become quite fond of my hips and realised that they have a few advantages:

1) I can use them to balance heavy objects on when I need to carry something
2) They give me a curvier looking figure and make my waist look smaller in comparison!
3) They will apparently make childbirth a little easier (yay!)
4) They make me look pretty darn hot when doing Zumba, belly dancing or salsa. Eat your heart out, Shakira.

Cover Characteristic (20) Ships

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Today I'm joining in with the Cover Characteristic meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. Every week the author chooses a theme and you have to pick five of your favourite book covers featuring that object.

Today's cover characteristic is Ships.

19 Jul 2014

Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 1

It's Day 1 of the Self-Esteem Challenge, originally from Better than Dark Chocolate. It's a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about your good qualities and things that make you happy or proud. See my introductory post for more info.

A facial feature you like

This was a hard question to answer as I instantly thought about all the facial features I don't like! But eventually I decided I like my eyes the best. Although they are quite small and have prominent 'epicanthal folds' (supposedly a birth 'defect'), I quite like their uniqueness. I like the colour-a kind of dark green/hazel. Gold and bronze eye shadow really makes them pop. I've also got decent eyelashes that are quite long and dark despite my fair complexion. I often only need to wear clear mascara to define them.

18 Jul 2014

Introducing the 30-Day Self-Esteem Challenge

I've decided to take part in the 30-Day Self-Esteem Challenge, originally from Better than Dark Chocolate. It's a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about your good qualities and things that make you happy or proud. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past and who is still working through some self-esteem issues, I think this will be a useful exercise to help me look at the positives in my life. 

I came across the challenge over at Somber Scribbler. I recommend that you check out her blog if you are interested in mental health or simply want to check out her wonderful drawings. She posts a lot of honest thoughts about what she's going through, which I can really relate to.

There are two versions of the challenge (version 1 and version 2) but I'm going for a pick 'n' mix approach-sometimes I'll do both challenges, other days I'll just pick the question I prefer. I'll be posting the first question tomorrow. I hope you'll follow me on my journey and feel free to join in!

15 Jul 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Movies or TV Shows

Cover Characteristic blog meme badge

Today is Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  Every week they post a new top ten list and everyone can join in and share their own picks. If you'd like to take part, hop on over to the blog and sign up with the linky. If you don't have a blog, feel free to post your answers in the comments.

This week's topic is: Favourite Movies or TV Shows. As I have way too many favourites, I've had to split them into several different categories to make it a bit easier.

13 Jul 2014

Cover Characteristic (19) Mist/Fog

Cover Characteristic Blog Meme Badge

Today I'm joining in with the Cover Characteristic meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. Every week the author chooses a theme and you have to pick five of your favourite book covers featuring that object.

Today's cover characteristic is Mist/Fog.

6 Jul 2014

Cover Characteristic (18) Princesses

Cover Characteristic Blog Meme Badge

Today I'm joining in with the Cover Characteristic meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. Every week the author chooses a theme and you have to pick five of your favourite book covers featuring that object.

Today's cover characteristic is Princesses.

5 Jul 2014

On My Wishlist (10)


Today I'm taking part in On My Wishlist- a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Simply click on the books to read more about them.

Charmed Vengeance Read-Along




To celebrate the upcoming release of Fragile Destiny (book 3 of The Aether Chronicles) on August 8th, Suzanne Lazear is hosting a Read-Along for book 2, Charmed Vengeance.

5 Jun 2014

My Wedding (Part 7) Music

Welcome to the seventh part of a series of posts all about my wedding, with ideas, tips, inspiration and downloadable resources. Today I'd like to talk about the music.

We both listen to music from all genres and decades and love to sing and dance. As music is such an important part of our life, it had to be just right for our wedding so I started planning my choices quite early.

4 Jun 2014

My Wedding (Part 6) Food and Drink (and of course cake!)


Welcome to the sixth part of a series of posts all about my wedding, with ideas, tips, inspiration and downloadable resources. Today I'd like to talk about one of my favourite parts-the food and drink!

We had a sit-down meal for about 50 people served by The Poachers Country Hotel and it was amazing! We had home-made tomato and basil soup to start, then a choice of Turkey, Beef or the veggie option (a brie, asparagus and mushroom tart), followed by an assiette of desserts (4 mini desserts on a long plate)-Malteasers Cheesecake, Strawberry Pims Jelly (served in a cute little glass with a spoon), Raspberry Shortbread and Crème Brûlée (to die for). It was so good, I was just sorry that I couldn't eat all of my main course because of the dress!

3 Jun 2014

My Wedding (Part 5) Attire


Welcome to the fifth part of a series of posts all about my wedding, with ideas, tips, inspiration and downloadable resources. Today I'd like to talk about the dresses and suits, for many people one of the most important parts of wedding planning. 


My Wedding Dress

[© A V Brown, 2014]
Initially my budget for a dress was just £200. I had originally planned to buy my dress online, perhaps from ebay, but I was put off by people who warned me about their disastrous experiences. Don't get me wrong, I think it's entirely possible to buy a lovely dress for £200 if you look in the right places-charity shops or vintage boutiques, for example. But it soon became apparent that I wasn't going to find the dress I wanted there. Me and my mum went on a trip to some local bridal boutiques so I could try some dresses on and get an idea of what I wanted. I thought that I wanted a sleek, Grecian-style dress but when I tried them on they didn't really do anything for me.