Jade Priscilla

A lifestyle and parenting blog

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review: The Book of You




 Get ready to start living a better life for you

The resolutions usually start on the eve of New years day, the day when the guilt over the extra helping of christmas pudding or that awful nail biting habit you been meaning to quit starts to kick in. But like so many, by the second week of January as the store sale items dwell down  to just odd socks and hair bobbles, the resolutions that were followed so religiously now don't quite have a look in.

The problem I think is that the new year brings hopes for a new beginning and a new start and instead of choosing small tasks we all tend to go big or go home! This is why The Book of YOU offers a different take on resolutions, offering not just one or two changes but 365 micro actions for a happier, healthier you.

Food, Mind, Move and Love are the categories covered, with each sub category giving a useful tip for the day, these are a few of the actions mentioned:

Food: Fill your fruit bowl- I love having fresh fruit in my bowl and love to have a variety especially for after-school so Lei can reach for fruit rather than the biscuits

Mind: Enjoy Silence- I am known to enjoy my own company and whenever I do, I often like to be quiet,letting my mind be free to be creative with my writing or ideas for my blog.

Move: Explore the neighbourhood: This year I plan to travel more and discover new places, cultures and traditions.

Love: Find kindness around you:An act of kindness can melt even the coldest of hearts and this action can make you realise just how many people are willing to be kind if you just stop and have a look. It doesn't have to be big, just something as simple as holding a door open or helping someone with a difficult task can spread positivity

 There is no set way to read the book which is one of the things I loved as anything too restricting will cause me to lose interest so instead I chose a random action each day, something I will continue to do throughout the year.

One of the mind actions called for going to bed early, a real struggle of mine as I often leave everything until the last minute, resulting in late bedtimes and early rises. This action suggested getting everything ready early so that instead of fighting the need to sleep I can just fall into a peaceful well rested slumber.

The book of you has now taken  pride of place on my dressing table and is my go-to for daily prompts and to help me feel positive and ready to tackle the day ahead-especially if it is a Monday!


*I was sent The book of You in return for an honest review
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Procrastination: My bestfriend and me





My best friend is called procrastination.

 Our relationship is like no other, she will knock on my door at anytime of the day, no matter how busy I am or tired and I just can't find the will to turn her away, so before I know it I have lost all sense of date and time with  Procrastination reassuring  me that it doesn't matter-we have each other and that is all that matters.

The laundry basket is full, I sort it into darks, colours and lights choosing the heaviest pile to be washed first and just as I am about to put the soap in the drawer, Procrastination is humming this tune in my ear, she's humming and I am trying to work out what it is, my feet are tapping, fingers clicking as I put the soap back on the counter and head straight to the computer, I NEED-TO-KNOW WHAT-THAT-SONG IS.....

Procrastination is of course useless at helping me, she is  just hum, hum,humming away, urging me to google search snippets of the lyrics, then play it on Spotify and watch the video on YouTube.

Result: five music videos, make-up tutorial, cupcake tutorial and a vlog later, Procrastination has left, leaving me with my bone dry dirty laundry.

Procrastination and I are curled up on the sofa, the television is on, but we are not watching it, it is merely a bit of back ground noise as we get stuck into a book. A book which has been on the to-read pile for a few months now. Then just as the protagonist is going to reveal her deepest secret, procrastination whispers in my ear : "Read it later..." and as if by magic, the page is bookmarked and the remote is in my hand, last weeks unread magazine in my lap and after a hour of reality television I decide enough is enough and that I should really sort out the over flowing toy box but with the disguise of a good friend, procrastination takes me by the hand pats the sofa and in that ever so convincing voice she says: "Do it tomorrow...."

 Procrastination has invited herself for a sleepover, it's a school night so a bit inconvenient, especially as she is in the mood for staying up all night and I am ready to go to bed. She vies for my attention, coaxing and urging me to just reach for my phone. I ignore her by switching off the lights, but somehow, Procrastination has put the phone in my hand and together we are opening Facebook...scroll...scroll..like...scroll past the Facebook rants filled with indirects...engagement announcements...like..birth of babies...like....

Sigh

Now, onto instagram,I switch on the light to get a better look....oh no! 52 weeks deep into   an insta-stalk and I have liked a random picture of a cactus- I AM MORTIFIED, procrastination is finding this amusing.
"Don't worry, we won't  sleep...Netflix and chill?" she suggests and I am considering her offer despite my body yearning for sleep.

Result: Six episodes, ten retweets and half a blog post later and Procrastination has decided she no longer wants to stay the night....

On my Christmas list to Santa I asked to procrastinate less and I think he misunderstood what I meant because instead I have gained a best friend who doesn't deal with the ethos of : GETTING ON WITH IT!

Does anyone want a new friend?

Name: Procrastination
Age: Unknown
Location: Next to Jade Priscilla who desperately wants to shake her off, so any suggestions would be greatly welcomed.





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Thursday, 7 January 2016

How to plan a January birthday



Birthday cake made by Babycakes &Bakes for my mum's birthday in November

 Christmas is over and a new countdown has officially started...

As soon as the last dish was cleared away and we all clambered onto the sofa to watch Christmas television and pick out our favourites from the chocolate tin, a little princess gave us all a reminder that is wouldn't be very long until we celebrated her 7th birthday!

Yesterday she declared that it is 11 days until her birthday and I feigned surprise by opening my eyes wide and saying: "No waaayy, I thought it was my birthday!"
And I watched as her little face lit up with excitement, her eyes twinkling as she laughed and said: "Nooo Mummy, it's MY birthday!"

I opened my eyes wide and mocked fake surprise:  "Are you sure Lei? I thought it was my birthday!" I say and she giggled as she shouted nooooo!

Of course, I haven't forgotten, especially as I like to be well prepared considering the special day is right after Christmas.

Here is how I plan for Lei's birthday


Presents

I shop for Christmas and birthday presents at the same time and like an elf or  the birthday fairy, I hide gifts around the house hoping that they will keep well hidden until the big day. I find that by buying presents at the same time, it eases any mad panic shopping and also helps in getting presents that she will actually want. So far I have brought us tickets to see Wicked in Theatre, some classic books which I can't wait to read with her and some other surprises.

Parties

January is an awkward month for birthday parties as most places get booked up quickly. This year we are not having a party but if I was I would have planned way ahead, perhaps late November, early December. Pinterest is full of ideas for decorations and invitations

Outfits

Having a January birthday has it's perks as usually for Christmas Lei will get a few lovely outfits which she will wear over the holiday season and for her birthday. The boxing day sales are also perfect for finding something affordable but perfect for your little prince or princess.


Day out

Birthdays do not have to be extravagant or expensive and a day out at a play centre, or to a museum can be just as fun. One year I organised a party for Lei and forecast of snow threatened to postpone everything, which is why a small outing can quickly be changed to suit the weather and won't lead to any disappoint if Mother Nature decides to be a party pooper!

Food and Birthday Cake     

Dinner or lunch in a nice restaurant is one of mine and Lei's favourites thing to do and of course you have to have a birthday cake! I have ordered mine from Babycakes& Bakes whose cakes taste as fantastic as they look. Again, booking early is the key as most companies have late Christmas parties in January.


So that is how I plan for my January baby's birthday, I will be sharing pictures from the day and of our trip to Wicked on the blog but also on instagram, so be sure to follow along.


Do you celebrate a birthday before christmas or just after? How do you prepare?
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Friday, 1 January 2016

Hello 2016





Thank you to Shaneika for always capturing me at my best


As the clock struck 12 across the land friends raised their glasses as the fireworks exploded above their heads, excited for the year ahead with its plans and promises

Families would have call loved ones across the sea over a fuzzy line connection to shout: HAAAAPPYY NEWWWWYEAR!

Babies fell asleep leaving milky dribbles on mother's shoulders, whilst some children wade off sleep just to join in with the celebrations and drink fizzy pop way past the usual bedtime.

2015 served me with sadness, as we said good bye to my Granddad who was greatly missed this Christmas and New year. Despite having spent many a holiday apart, he would have  always be on the other end of the phone, taking the time to wish each of us a Merry Christmas. Always in Peace Granddad.

 2015 encouraged me to write again and it has been amazing to be able to share my thoughts and musings and also the opportunity to be a campaign ambassador for The Children's Society

 2015 gave me confidence, I have amazing friends who make me laugh until I cry and who are so talented and creative that I am always inspired but most of all they are true friends who haven proven that they will be there for me not just in the good times but also when the going gets tough. I love them alot.
 
2015 my Lei, always and forever my brightest star who amazes me everyday and who makes each day and everything that I do worthwhile. She is my reason.


I look forward to 2016, I look forward to achieving some of my writing goals and to also sharing alot more pictures and snippets of my world.

Happy New Year everyone, lets have the best year ever!!
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Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas





 I hope your day is filled with lots of love,laughter and happiness and lots and lots of good food!

With love Merry Christmas

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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book Review:The Winter Children







Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin to enjoy the family life they've always wanted. But there is a secret at the heart of their family, one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds its darkness deep within it . . .

I never judge a book by it's cover but rather the first page and from the moment I settled into reading Lulu Taylor's The Winter Children I was transported into a world of deceit, forbidden love and suspense. An easy read, with words that flow so effortless off the page that for an hour or two I completely forgot where I was and instead became entwined with the lives of Olivia, Dan and Francesca.

From the beginning we find out one of the deepest secrets, something I have never experienced in a novel before, so throughout reading the novel I felt like a nosy neighbour who already knows too much but yet still wants to find out more.  The past of 1950 Renniston hall is merged into the now of Olivia and Dan's story and with each page I turned I would wonder which world I was looking into. We are introduced to new characters whose lives are plagued with the same dark romance as the present counterparts . I didn't find it jarring the switch in tenses or that it interrupted the pace although it could have easily been a stand alone novel.If anything I couldn't wait to revisit the boarding school and discover its history and the fate of its pupils.

Lulu Taylor writes her characters with a realistic notion it would be easy to find an Olivia in your local Costa, Francesca strolling through Harrods and Dan who I liked the least showing off about nothing worth talking about to a bored recipient. When I'd closed the book I felt myself really thinking about each one of the characters past and present, trying to understand their plights and wondering what I would have done in each situation. I felt the deepest sympathetic connection to Francesca, a woman who has a life of  handsome outfits and champagne balls but who chooses instead to  latch on to the the Felbeck's new family....

You will have to let me know if you agree and what you think of The Winter Children, a thrilling, suspense filled, twisted romantical novel that I definitely recommend. It is best accompanied by a cosy blanket and a mug of something warm...hot chocolate was my pick.

The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor

Thank you to Mumsnet  and Pan Macmillan for providing me with a copy of  the novel in return for an honest review.
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Thursday, 10 December 2015

#seriouslyawkward


Picture credit: Shaneika


A few weeks ago I attended The Children's Society Edward Rudolf debate. A debate which tackled issues about body image, social pressures, mental health in teenagers and poverty. I left the debate feeling inspired not only by the panel of adult experts one of whom was Naomi Shimada  a plus size model who spoke openly about body confidence and the pressures to be a certain size and how this might have an effect on the teenagers of today, but also by the teenagers who attended and who were also on the panel. It is so easy to cast judgement and to assume that teenagers are gobby know it alls who don't know anything about the world we live in or the changes that are happening, when in reality like I  tweeted: The young people of today have a voice so strong and we need to be listening. Every teen who posed a question or who spoke on the panel did so with confidence and so articulate that it was incredible.

It made me proud to be sitting with my fellow bloggers as a campaign ambassador because if the law is changed  vulnerable teenagers do not have to feel in adequate or pressured into situations that they shouldn't have to experience.




You can stand confidently for change by using your voice for the #seriouslyawkward campaign by clicking here 



On the 17th of December there will be a debate where MPs will be discussing how teenagers aged 16-17 are not being protected from sexual exploitation. We need as many MPs as possible to attend and YOU, yes you, can help by inviting your local MP to attend and show support for the #seriouslyawkward campaign. Send an invitation by clicking here

You can follow the debate by following The Children's Society on twitter @childrensociety and using the hashtag #seriouslyawkward






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