Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Stepping Out Challenge - Day 16 - 365 Days of Color Pt 2





Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

Listen to the Podcast


Today I am going to concluding on the topic of 365 Days of Colour 

The 365 Days of Colour was born as I realized that I had been photographing flowers over a long period of time and they were sitting on my desktop lost in the digital atmosphere and not being a blessing either to me or anyone else for that matter. 

I decided to create a yet another challenge, and for me I guess the challenges are more like projects, where I am able to get them completed because there is something driving me to get it done somehow.  I had decided not only to post an image but would couple it with an inspiring quote a scripture and a reflection for each post.  

My main aim was to bring colour and beauty to people all around the world regardless to whether they had a garden or not.  They could still enjoy the beauty of nature and perhaps seeing the image would cheer them up.

I did the challenge for a year bringing elements together and sharing and it taught me about discipline in sticking through the journey as simple as the task was it was also about showing up if not for myself then for someone else.  There are hundreds of thousands of beautiful flowers around the world, so many varieties and colours and each county has flowers that only grow in that particular climate.  When was the last time you stopped and looked at your own environment and really took it in.

We can also look at what we call weeds, that we hastily pull out of the ground  and see the beauty in the flowers that they produce.  If they grew in the right places we wouldn't have a problem.  We can see even with the weeds how the colours also find themselves in our everyday lives.

I now have a tropical garden, that I can grow things in and they do seem to grow really quickly because of the climate.  I am amazed at the number of different plants that I have managed to grow in the space and over the year with the list getting bigger.  My aim eventually is to document each with their medicinal and nutritional benefits.  There are some growing (among them some pretty weeds) that I have not yet been able to identify and so will keep on learning and sharing as I go.  Please come and visit my Gardening channel, and see the updates that I will be posting about the growth.

Tomorrow I will share my writing challenge with you. I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

    Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

    Stay blessed and be a blessing.

    Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some gardening supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:


    Adorn it - bit.ly/AdorAT18 
    Dollar Tree - bit.ly/DolAT18 
    Blick - bit.ly/Blick18 
    Book Outlet - bit.ly/BOOKAT18 
    Stampington - bit.ly/STAAT18 
    C& T Publishing - bit.ly/CNTPAT18 
    Dover - bit.ly/DOVPAT18 
    Craftsy Kits - bit.ly/CrafAT18 
    Amazon Store - 

    Monday, 15 October 2018

    Stepping Out Challenge - Day 15 - 365 Days of Color





    Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

    Listen to the Podcast



    Today I am going to be talking about a series on my 365 Days of Colour




    I have always loved flowers, my mum started me off on my green finger journey when I was little and I saw how she took care of the house plants we had.  She brought the tropics into our home despite us living in a cold climate.  I saw her lovingly tend to these plants deadheading and taking off the leaves that were shriveled checking that the plants had enough water and nutrients, she loved her plants.  As I grew up I started to get plants of my own.  I carried on initially with house plants and as my spaces got bigger I carried the love to the out doors and in the garden.


    Living in a colder climate you won't always see the rich and vibrant colours in the middle of the winter and so where ever I went I just started to take photographs.  It started out when I would go for my walks, the walks would take extra time cause I would be caught by the colours I passed on my route.  After exhausting my local community I would keep a look out for flowers in other gardens.  Some of my favorite places were parks and botanical gardens like Kew Gardens.  I was in my element, among the grounds, lost in the beauty and the scents.  I had never thought of doing something with the images.  Like most of my other challenges I created for myself they are not initially planned in advance.  I get up with an idea and then I am driven to put it in place.



    There are many plants that I was able to grow in my Wembley garden and that was 13 years of physical, and financial investment over the years.  When I think about the garden I think about having another room that you can spend time in.  




    When you are dealing with colder climates you might not get to enjoy sitting out there but the differences with a garden filled with the sun’s rays compared to a garden filled with snow is definitely a sight to see and has beauty to be seen and the first buds that come up in the spring and the autumn falling leaves all bring beauty in their own way.

    Check out my Tropical Garden Series.  I will be sharing part two of the 365 Days of Colour tomorrow and I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.


      Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life

      I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

      Stay blessed and be a blessing.

      Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:



       Adorn it - bit.ly/AdorAT18 
      Dollar Tree - bit.ly/DolAT18 
      Blick - bit.ly/Blick18 
      Book Outlet - bit.ly/BOOKAT18 
      Stampington - bit.ly/STAAT18 
      C& T Publishing - bit.ly/CNTPAT18 
      Dover - bit.ly/DOVPAT18 
      Craftsy Kits - bit.ly/CrafAT18 
      Amazon Store - 

      Sunday, 14 October 2018

      Stepping Out Challenge - Day 14 - Healthy Lifestyle Part 2






      Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

      Listen to the Podcast



      Welcome to today's post. 


       There can be many times when you are taking part in a challenge when you want to throw in the towel, this can be the case if you have too many complex parts to complete and your not in the head space to handle all the different elements. 



       Rather than throw in the towel it is better to cut you list down to a few items that you are doing, if not just one thing that you will complete for the challenge period.

      It can be quite disheartening if you are always stopping mid way in a challenge and you have to give yourself the best start as possible and keep what you have to share down to a minimum. You don’t want to get lost in what needs editing or having to take photographs of your process.  Above all you need to keep it simple.


      There is also no 'right time' for starting a challenge.  In this challenge I started the middle of the month, rather than try and wait until the 1st of the month, any day is the right day to start a challenge.

      Living a healthy lifestyle is something that you need to keep reminding yourself that there isn't a final destination, but you need to see it as something that is for the rest of your life.


      When I did the challenge I chose share the smoothies that I was making daily and I would mention briefly how I got on with the other things, such as whether I was able to stick to the other things and some things that I wanted to add such as a creative activity as well.

      Over the period I made 30 different smoothies and I am really proud of getting them done. I used Almond and oat milks as my liquid of choice and blended a selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds together and over the 30 days changed up the combinations so that each one was unique. You use which ever liquid that you prefer.


      The aim was to make sure that I kept it simple so that I couldn’t find an excuse to stop and here are a few tips as a reminder to keep going: 


      • Take one day at a time; 
      • Follow through, remember that you are doing it for you!; 
      • If you have an off day don't just scrap the whole thing, but start again tomorrow; 
      • Don't be too hard on yourself, change takes time; 
      • Enjoy yourself! 
      What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes? let me know what other areas of your life are you hoping to make changes.



       you can check out the the start of the challenge HERE
      Try out one of the smoothies and let me know how you get on, which one is your favorite one?

      Tomorrow I will share the Clearing The Clutter Series.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.


        Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 



        I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.



        Stay blessed and be a blessing.


        Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:

        Saturday, 13 October 2018

        Stepping Out Challenge - Day 13 - Healthy Lifestyle part 1





        Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

        Listen to the Podcast



        Today I am going to be talking about a series on my called 31 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle


        Welcome to today's session. We all want to lead a healthier lifestyle and be eating food that is not only nutritious but taste delicious as well.  We want to be able to slot a routine into our hectic day to day without any inconvenience without breaking a sweat  It doesn’t come on its own without any effort, it comes with a price and that is Time.

        I was generally fed up having aches and pains and just feeling sluggish and lethargic all the time - well most of the time, and I knew that my fitness routine (or lack of it) and eating foods that didn't nourish my body on a consistent basis wasn't doing me any good.

        The thing about a healthier lifestyle is that it needs to be a way of life and not something that you insert now and again. If you value the work that your mind and body can potentially do for you then you have to be giving it the right fuel to have enough energy to perform. For those car owners you take your car for a regular check-up you put petrol in the car so why not see how you can get the maximum benefit from putting good quality nutritious food into your body, exercising and looking after you emotional health. 

        What I realized I needed was a kick start.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit and so I knew that if I created small actions around a healthier lifestyle then it would be something that I would stick to.

        As I was committing myself to a healthier lifestyle I needed to look at the whole package and here are some of the other things that I focused on: 


        Exercise - minimum half an hour 
        Drinking Water - Minimum 1 Litre 
        Having a Smoothie - Once a day 
        Pampering session - for encouragement - once a week 
        Cut down on sugar 
        Eat more fruit and vegetables 
        Not eating after 8pm 


        One of the biggest things for me was around food and not eating enough fruits and vegetables. I had wanted to make sure I was eating a lot more and drinking enough water but I wasn’t being consistent I would start for a few days and then get distracted only to try something else next time.  Making it into a challenge for me somehow helps me focus on consistency, setting a plan and schedule and think about the lifestyle and way of live rather than a forced activity.

        Before I started the challenge I had heard about the Nutri bullet and wanted to use it to make my own smoothies.  I love smoothies and this was an extra special treat for my body having a different smoothie every day.  It got me thinking about the ingredients and combinations that you could achieve. Where possible when making the smoothies - make it organic make sure you aim for quality all round, this is best for your body and you deserve it. I am now fortunate to be able to grow most of my own fruits and vegetables so I know exactly what is going into my food. With that in mind I knew I had to get the best possible that I could afford, when I wasn’t ‘growing my own’ I just had to make sure that I washed the fruits and vegetables carefully – you do what you can with what you have got at the time. 


        As with most challenges you need to have discipline.  Sometimes you don't feel like doing it, or you become overwhelmed especially when deciding to share.  As long as you are showing up every day for yourself don't worry about whether you share on time or not, that is not what the  challenge is about, and you need to also focus on enjoying the challenge.  

        You are making a difference and incorporating new ways of behavior into your day to day routine, so make it fun for you! Tomorrow we will look at some of the combinations of smoothies.



        Tomorrow I will share the second part from my 30 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

          Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 



          I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.



          Stay blessed and be a blessing.

          Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some of the supplies/books at a discounted price, click one of the links below:


          Adorn it - bit.ly/AdorAT18 
          Dollar Tree - bit.ly/DolAT18 
          Blick - bit.ly/Blick18 
          Book Outlet - bit.ly/BOOKAT18 
          Stampington - bit.ly/STAAT18 
          C&T Publishing - bit.ly/CNTPAT18 
          Dover - bit.ly/DOVPAT18 
          Craftsy Kits - bit.ly/CrafAT18 
          Amazon Store - 


          Friday, 12 October 2018

          Stepping Out Challenge - Day 12 - Tips for Carers 2





          Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

          Listen to the Podcast


          Today I am going to conclude with the Tips for Carers  



          Working with the Social Workers

          Quite out of the blue after attending a few of the carers meetings I was asked to do a workshop for social workers at a training institute.  Oddly enough these social workers were doing a course where they had increased powers and could make the decision to have individuals sectioned.  It was interesting to hear things from their perspective about life, and the struggles they had in their day to day, feeling overwhelmed, stressed and the issues they had in their own lives. 



          Within all this I shared with them the Carers Perspective especially when they have to make decisions about the Carer and those being cared for to think about how much their own baggage they bring to the table.  We looked at the perceptions that they arrive at the carers home with, the ones that the carer has and how the one being cared for might be feeling when the social worker arrives.   

          It was an amazing opportunity which led to regular training sessions looking at the carers’ perspective as well as what the social worker brings into the situation.  The social workers who attended were attentive and shared their own experience and it made for an enriched session and it all came about from taking a step to share my own experience.

          The more I spent time working on presentations about being a carer,  I realized that there were some things that I was doing that I needed to share, and along came another A-Z challenge which prompted me to share some of the things along the way that I had found helped me get on with what I needed to do.



          Self-care is the overriding thread that you need to address and put strategies in place so that you make sure that you get some respite on a regular basis.  The first thing that often suffers for carers is caring for ourselves.  We are consumed with caring for another person and all the other things with such as family, job or other dependents and possibly a million other activities for someone else.

          In writing the tips I wanted to offer practical things that I found useful when helping mum - from looking at your support network, getting out of the house and getting fresh air, finding others to talk to and ways to share your story.  The main thing that it was to try and be flexible with the time that you have and the resources you have available to you and look at the kind of support that you have around you. 
           “It takes a community to care for the elderly with Dementia”.



          Dementia doesn’t discriminate and everyone is effected not just the individual and their carer.  I’ve spoken to some people who put their parents in a home and they have chosen not to visit them saying that they don’t ‘recognize me anyway’. That person doesn’t realize that there are emotional repercussions that come from choosing to abandon a loved one in that way when they cannot care for themselves.  Communication is not just about knowing your name, it is also touch, the sound and tone of your voice and your personality that the person can relate to.

          Whilst they are in a home it is useful to set up a schedule of care - who will visit your loved and continue to interact with them when you are not able to.  Having the continued interaction helps in their health and well-being.  We all know the difference we can feel when we are sitting on our own or sitting with another person.

          However you feel you are coping it won’t hurt to get some more help, even if it is just to give you a break for an hour or two.  When you bury your head in the sand about the situation you miss important things that could have been put in place ahead of time, but become crisis if left.  Putting plans into place makes the journey a bit easier.  The tips for carers was a way for me to start to share with others not only my own experience but a way to help as well.

          The tips are not an exhaustive list and depending on the person, needs tweaking but it’s a place to start.  When mum started to go to the day care center I later got involved and started offering Art sessions.  I got an even deeper understanding of the different ways in which dementia affects individuals and I also grew as an Artist, daughter, and mother.  Over a 4 year period I had an amazing time working with the men and women who attended the day care center putting on exhibitions for them and getting them out of their comfort zone as artist.  This informs the knowledge that I have gained over the years.

          What are your tips for care what words works for you and your loved one?  In what ways can you get involved with their care?

          You can find additional tips HERE


          Tomorrow I will share the challenge that I did called '30 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle'.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

            Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

            I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

            Stay blessed and be a blessing.

            Ps:  If you would like to check out supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:

            Adorn it - bit.ly/AdorAT18 
            Dollar Tree - bit.ly/DolAT18 
            Blick - bit.ly/Blick18 
            Book Outlet - bit.ly/BOOKAT18 
            Stampington - bit.ly/STAAT18 
            C& T Publishing - bit.ly/CNTPAT18 
            Dover - bit.ly/DOVPAT18 
            Craftsy Kits - bit.ly/CrafAT18 
            Amazon Store - 



            Thursday, 11 October 2018

            Stepping Out Challenge - Day 11 - Tips for Carers





            Welcome to today's post where I will be sharing my challenge called 'Tips for Carers', I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October. I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others. My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

            Listen to the Podcast




            I started the Tips for Carers series as part of another challenge and I wanted to document some of the things that I had found helpful for me as a carer. They were practical things that when you are in the midst of your situation can be something in you tool kit that you could use.

            I was determined to do everything myself when I first started on my journey as a carer. I was going to be the one to get mum better, I didn't understand that has the disease progressed mum's ability to do things for herself would decrease. I also did not want to ask for help or assistance because I felt that if I showed any weakness I would be judged by others and then mum would be taken away from us. 




            It is interesting that as a grown woman I felt that my power base was conditional with others having the power to step in and make decisions that could affect me and my mother - at the end of the day they have and they could and say that they are making these decisions 'in her best interest'. We have all heard of cases where decisions were made based on a 30 minute discussion that might not have happened cause the person didn't feel like talking and 5 people looking at notes then coming to a decision that the person should be institutionalized. 

            I know mum was an adult but she was becoming increasingly unable to look after herself and I was once told by a member of staff that one of the ways that I would receive help would be to say that I was unable to cope and wouldn't care for mum anymore in order to gain more points on the form that she had to fill in. For me the line was too fine and I couldn't make that statement. I asked her why there couldn't just be the offer of help and she said on the face of it I seem to be coping and the one who shouts loudest gets the help the quickest - so my acting skills could have got me an award but not the additional help we needed at the time. 

            So I soldiered through and tried to be there for everyone and put myself to the side I became emotionally drained and a lot to deal with. 

            As time went on we had to call the social workers in, we couldn’t do it on our own, we needed help and we needed to ask, it was my sister who prompted it and in they came and my fears were subdued. I did meet some social workers that left a lot to be desired and one who actually tried to over turn all the help that other social workers had put in place for mum, that was a battle and a half that I was prepared for when the time came. I got involved with a range of carers groups and found that sharing my story actually helped with the feelings of isolation. I didn't always want to do it, but I realized that it helped my own health when I gave myself a break

            One of the key things you have to understand, that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure, and the more you try and carry the weight of the world on your own the more you put the life of the person that you are caring for in jeopardy. What will happen to them if you are taken ill or another crisis comes up, you leave yourself without a network that you can call on and you leave them in a vulnerable position.

            Another useful key would be to learn how to step back and see your situation and circumstance. When I looked after mum I started out thinking that I had to occupy her every waking moment and really stressed myself out. I realized that there maybe times that she would just like to sit and relax listening to music, or just have a chat with her, read a book to her and it was enough, I didn't have to be all singing and dancing and could take a breather every now and then.





            It is important to think about where you fit in all of this and what are your needs and the tips addressed some of these points. The more organised you are the more you flexibility you will have, as I said earlier if you have someone you can call on that can step in for an hour or two. We signed mum up for a day care center, and it was one of the best things that happened. Initially it was 2 days a week 9am to 4pm, then we were lucky to have it extended to 5 days a week, and it made a big difference to not only her health and well-being, for her she felt that she was going into work and that she was part of the staff. She often complained that she didn't think they were paying her what she deserved but I assured her that her work was valued by all who worked there.


            If you can put in place a support network you have to also learn to savor the time that you have when you can get a break and do something for yourself. The tips also included making long term plans and looking at ways to get the maximum out of your day to day and you can check out the list HERE.


            As an artist one thing I relied heavily on was my creativity. I got my art journal and every day I did something. I didn’t have the capacity to sit down for hours creating but I gave myself a minimum of 20 mins, or when mum was having a rest with her feet up after coming in from the Day center I would get out my art journal and give her some supplies to create if she wanted to or just relax. 



            During the tough times, where it felt that mum wouldn’t do what I needed her to do such as get ready for a doctors appointment, I would step away from the situation and take 5 minutes out. The exercise gets you to go to an imaginary place where you are surrounded by peace and it only takes 5 minutes but you feel refreshed. I would then go back to the situation and mum as if it were my first time asking her – mum would then get ready as I had asked her to do without any problem - it took stepping away from the situation to be able to work through it.

            If you are a carer what would be your top 5 tips, I always say that you never really understand what it takes until you are in it yourself. How have you utilized the help that you may have in your community, do you have any social help at all. When you think back over your situation what would you do differently?

            Tomorrow I will share the second part from my Tips for Carers. I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

            Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

            I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.


            Stay blessed and be a blessing.


            Ps:  If you would like to check out some of the resources below please do, you will find a selection of discounted books, art supplies, magazines that might fit in with where you are at the moment


            Dollar Tree - http://bit.ly/DolAT18
            Book Outlet - http://bit.ly/BOOKAT18
            Stampington - http://bit.ly/STAAT18
            C& T Publishing -  http://bit.ly/CNTPAT18
            Craftsy Kits - http://bit.ly/CrafAT18



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