June Wrap Up

Hey Everyone.

Today I’m going to bring you my June Wrap up.

Books Read/Reviewed

The first book I finished in June was Close Your Eye’s by Darren O’Sullivan. You can read my review here.

Next we have The Retreat by Mark Edwards. You can read my review here.

I also posted my review of An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson which you can read here.

I finally got around to reading The Date by Louise Jensen which I was lucky enough to get on NetGalley. I’ll have my review of this posted soon and I’ll add a link.

I also read and reviewed Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne as part of the Blog Tour hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources. You can see my review here.

Health Update

In terms of my health I am steadily improving. I am still waiting to get an appointment for the specialist and for my next surgery. Hopefully I won’t be waiting much longer. I’m much more active now than I was which is Amazon in itself.

Favourite Blog Post

One of my favourite things about June was the arrival of my The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box. You can see my full review here.

I hope you had a fab month and thank you for taking the time to read these posts.

Emma-Louise x

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Self-Care Splurge

Hey everyone.

I’m sorry, I had to use the word splurge. Once it was in my head it had to go on the title:D

Today I want to talk about self-care. Self-care is something I’ve never really taken part in doing. I’ve always been one of these people who need to be busy at all times. I don’t relax easily and fidget constantly if I try.

When I was poorly I learnt that self-care is actually very important. Taking time to yourself to replenish your mind, body and soul is not only therapeutic but creates less stress and better health and wellbeing.

I told myself that once I am back on my feet I will spend more time indulging in things that help me to relax and distress. Whether that’s having a nice bubble bath, doing my nails, straightening my hair or even applying make-up.

Today I went to the shop as I needed new mascara and some facial scrub as my cheeks have become very dry and flaky, not a look I like lol.

This was my little splurge. I ended up buying a little more than I set out for but I can’t wait to have some pamper time.

Hospital left my feet dry so this nail brush and pumice will be amazing to use. My nails have also got very brittle and snap as soon as they get any growth so I got these fab press on nails to try and I also got some new blusher as mine is very low. I’ve never tried highlighting so I’ll give it a go once I’ve watched many YouTube videos lol.

I am so looking forward to this weekend, I’m going clothes shopping as my entire wardrobe is too big and needs replacing. I may sneak in a handbag or 2 while I’m at it.

If you have any self-care tips I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box {June}

Hey everyone.

Today I bring you an unboxing of June’s Hocus Focus Box by The Village Witch. The theme for this month was Summer Solstice and Festivals.

When this box arrived I could smell it before I even opened it. There was a gorgeous subtle citrus scent coming from it.

The contents of this box are absolutely gorgeous and so very me. The scents are all citrus which are my favourite, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruits and even a hint of coconut.

The spell that came with the box is really great and really fun, I am looking forward to doing this.

So let’s look at the contents:

  • Spell sheet instructions
  • Summer Zing Aura Spray
  • Summer Zing Ink
  • Summer Solstice Oil
  • Summer Solstice Spell Shooter
  • Summer Solstice Magical Bonfire Burning Mix
  • Summer Cleansing Salt
  • Small Dreamcatcher
  • Magnetic Polaroid Photo Frame
  • Festival Savings Tin
  • Hanging Twizzler
  • Goodie Bag

There was a new and exclusive item in this box, the spell shooter. What a fun product! I can’t wait to go into the garden and complete my spell with this witchy party popper. Even the paper in it is biodegradable.

I’ve hung the Twizzler at my back patio door for now, once I’ve finished my garden it’s going to go out there.

So far the Summer Solstice box is my absolute favourite. The quality is as good as all the other boxes and the scents are amazing. The Village Witch really pull put the stops when making these boxes. The boxes are £30 including postage and always exceed their value.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Previous Unboxing Posts : Mar/Apr/May

*Disclaimer – I received this product free of charge. All opinions are my own and without bias.

Finally A Diagnosis!

Hey everyone.

I’m back today with an update on my health. Yesterday was a big day for me. I had an appointment with my consultant to finally get the results from the biopsy that was taken during surgery on the 20th April.

It turns out I have Crohns Disease. This was a much better result than what it could have been. However, it is still very much life altering. There is no cure for Crohns and it is a very unpredictable chronic illness.

The consultant is hopeful that with the right preventive medication that I should be able to manage things well. I have been referred to a specialist and IBD nurse to get everything started.

I was happy that he said he wants me to start swimming in two weeks to build up my strength and mobility. I love swimming so that works really well for me.

Today I plan to start setting up a health bullet journal as I feel it will be really helpful in tracking all the appointments, symptoms and food issues as well as holding information and such.

I am not going to lie, I’m somewhat scared of going forward, Crohns is new to me and I’ve got a lot to learn about my body and with it been unpredictable it means I know I will have bad days and weeks ahead of me but I am grateful to finally have some answers and support.

The last few months have been a massive struggle and things have been hard. I always thought It was rough before but it was nothing compared to this.

I’ve had an iron infusion, 4 blood transfusions, over 4 weeks in hospital, a minor operation, major operation and 4 infections since leaving hospital but I am getting there. I have another surgery to face within the next few months to get the stent removed from my kidney. I’m trying to be positive now and start planning my new life.

*Warning*

There are photos below from my time in hospital so contain transfusions and neck cannula etc and displaying my weight loss (total of 8 stone, 3 of which was due to my illness over the last 3 months).

Thank you for reading and sticking with me during this time. Its very much appriciated.

Emma-Louise x

Grand Opening #abusetalk Forum

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Up to date information on the day on virtual opening event: https://www.facebook.com/events/227612351343912/

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

A bit about my journey:

My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created an community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. Thats when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? Thats not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

Jennifer Gilmour

The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box (Mar, Apr, May)

Hey Everyone. I’ve been super slack on writing about these three boxes due to being ill however, the time has come to unleash all of this amazingness to the wonderful internet.

I am a big fan of The Village Witch, not just as a company but as people they are just amazing and so extremely kind hearted. It is such a lovely family run business that I am happy to support in any way that I can.

I have had 4 of these boxes so far since launch and not one of them has been disappointing. You always get far more value that what you pay for and everything is made with love.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at what the contents were.

March

March saw the theme of Ostara/Rebirth. These boxes are made to suit both those who are Wiccan and Witch and Witch many crossover elements.

Included in this box was;

  • A Rebirth Spell
  • Eggcup
  • Wood Pencil
  • Daisy Tealight Candle And Glass Holder
  • Charmed Bookmark
  • Treatbag Full Of Various Goodies
  • Handmade Ostara Oil
  • Phoenix Ambient Salt Magic Mix
  • Handmade And Blessed Ostara Incense
  • Ostara Aura Spray
  • Handmade Phoenix Ink

April

April’s theme for the Hocus Pocus Box was Beltane/New Ideas.

Included in this box was;

  • A Treatbag Of Various Goodies
  • Beltane Spell
  • Maypole Kit
  • Greenman Keyring
  • Dream Magnet
  • Friendship Bracelet
  • Offering Hands Ornament
  • Black and White Spell Candle
  • Pack Of Charcoal Disks
  • New Ideas Floorwash
  • Handmade and Blessed Green Man Lucky Rice
  • New Ideas Cleansing Salt Mix
  • Handmade Beltane Oil
  • Blessed Beltane Incense
  • New Ideas Magical Bonfire Burning Mix

May

May saw one of only two special themed Market Bazaar Box. Rather than having a specific theme as other boxes have this box was packed full of wonderfully random pieces to help build your stock and to give you some quirky witchy pieces.

May’s box included;

  • Themed Notebook
  • Greetings Card
  • Keyring
  • Witches Wall/Door Plaque
  • Bits and Bobs Tin
  • Incense Holder
  • Moon Scented Incense
  • Helping Hand Aura Spray
  • Protection and Prosperity Floor Wash
  • Handmade Practical Magic Oil
  • House Cleansing and Home Blessing Herb Mix
  • Treatbag Full Of Goodies

As always these boxes are packed with amazing quality items and the handmade ones smell absolutely unreal. If this looks like something that would suit you I would highly recommend subscribing.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Disclaimer – These boxes were provided free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. The opinions stated above are my own and are not influenced.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Hey everyone. You may or may not have noticed my absence recently. Truth is I have been extremely unwell. In the last 6 weeks I have spent just over 4 in hospital having various operations and I am currently 10 days post op from a very major complex surgery.

As such my blog and life have been neglected and I’m just beginning to pick everything back up.

I’ve been re-evaluating things during this period, there is nothing like a quick glance at possible death to make you filter what’s important to you deep down and what isn’t and I’ve realised a few things.

I love my blog and it’s one thing I really want to continue writing, however, I will be adding the occasional ‘this is my life post’ rather than posts purely about books/writing/stationery. I hope you don’t mind, and those who do feel free to bypass.

It’s been a dark few weeks but things are looking brighter and I intend to share that with you. I’m chosing to make a Lemon Cheesecake with the lemons life has given me lately.

I’ll be back soon with a proper content post. Until then stay safe, enjoy life and grab yourself a slice of cake:)

Emma-Louise x

Changes Afoot…

Hey Everyone, 

Some of you may have noticed that I have been absent of late. Truth is I’ve been extremely overwhelmed with some changes in my life. So I thought I’d update you all on what’s been going on and what will happen going forward. 

As many of you know I have a sister blog Read, Write, Inspire this is where I post everything book related such as reviews and writing related such as NaNoWriMo. I will be keeping both blogs but you may find this one updated a little less than the other.

Aside from all the reviews I will be doing, I have also been doing Beta Reading projects for authors which has kept me busy. I have been writing my own novel and preparing for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

On top of that I am undertaking a Level 3 Diploma in Fiction Writing and…I’ve started doing a Masters in Law at Open University. 

I have also been asked to be a Board Director for the charity I Volunteer for. 

All these things plus raising 3 children and looking after a house as well as running my own business has been a lot to adjust too especially since it all happened within a 2 week period. 

Time to devote to my blogs will have to be less but I will still keep updating. 

You may find more productivity and student based posts on here as well as my reviews for PR Kits and such though I won’t be sticking to a schedule. I am aiming for once a week. 

If anyone has any tips on juggling the student and family life I would really appreciate you dropping them below as I can use all the help I can get:).

As always thank you for reading and your patience. 

Emma-Louise x

The Little Book of Dread: Journaling with Negative Emotions

Today I’d like to talk to you about the benefits of journaling with Negative Emotions. Quite often we see posts about the positivity of journaling. Mostly memory journals, project life and posts that always end in some sort of positive outcome. 

However, if you are like me sometimes life just feels really unfair, overwhelming or damn right shit. 

I have a little journal which I call my Little Book of Dread. I keep it separately from everything else and don’t write in it daily. When I do write in it though I unleash all my anger, sadness and hate for whatever it is at the time. I scream at the page with my frustrations. Scribble, swear and have tear drops all over. I don’t care. This journal is never going to be seen by anyone else. This is my journal of true and honest feeling. 

I am only human and yes I know it’s great to try and look at every silver lining etc but sometimes I don’t want too. Sometimes I feel like enough is enough and why me?

Everyone feels like that but not many will admit it because we think it makes us selfish, it makes people pity us. It makes us feel weak. At least that’s how I often feel. I’m a pretty strong outgoing person but I can only tolerate so much.

There are benefits to this sort of journaling. 

1) A problem shared is a problem halved. This way it’s shared judgement free.

2) You can be brutal and honest with yourself and about others.

3) It helps you to de-stress and feel less overwhelmed.

4) You can tell it your deepest darkest secret and learn a lot about yourself in the process.

5) It can leave you exhausted but in the best way. 

6) It leaves you feeling much lighter, like you don’t have to carry that burden around with you.

7) You can unleash your inner crazy voice, this is great since as it’s generally not appropriate to do that in public.

If you haven’t tried this yourself I would highly recommend it. The process is very cathartic. I’ve even gone so far as to burn the book when it’s full, and it really does feel good. Like letting good of everything that’s tried to break you.

Give it a go you won’t regret it. Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Geeky Girl Tag

Geeky Girl Tag.png

Hey everyone. I was tagged by the lovely Debbie over at My Chaotically Eclectic Life to do the Geeky Girl Tag. Now aside from my openly geeky attitude towards many things books and stationery I also have many other hidden geeky loves.

Let’s Get Started!

1. What is your must-have tech gadget?

My phone is my must-have tech gadget. I have a Samsung s8 Edge and I do everything on it. I write, blog, read, converse and just generally live!

2. Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts?

Ravenclaw! Was there ever any doubt I would belong to the best house there is? You can see more on my sorting, patronus and American house in a previous post I did here.

3. Who is your favorite Doctor?

Ok…now this is a major geeky let down I know but I actually really do not like Doctor Whos so don’t watch it. I was fored to watch it by my kids a few times when Tennant was the Doctor which I didn’t mind I suppose.

4. If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

Just 1? Can’t I have a dinner party with many of them? I guess my ulltimate fictional character would have to be Snape, he is probably the most complex character I’ve come across in a book. FAiling that, maybe Rhysand but that wouldn’t be for dinner hehe.

5. What is your gaming system of choice?

PC every single time. We have a PS4 but I cannot use duel wiggly sticks. I’m a retro gamer. Things like EQ2, Sim City, Minecraft..pc only.

6. If you had a super power, what would it be?

Invisability, then I could sneak around without anyone knowing, take a book and be undisturbed.

7. What is your favorite fantasy world?

This is a tough one because I equally love both Hogwarts and Narnia…Hogwarts in Narnia would be amazing.

8. If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?

Fae, most certainly a fae

9. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Neither? Though I enjoyed the Trek films, cannot stand Wars…

10. List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.

Supernatural

The 100

Comic Book Films in general, I like both DC and Marvel

Preacher

Harry Potter

11. List your top 5 favourite video games.

Destiny

Silent Hill

Everquest 2

The Sims 3

Tomb Raider

Thanks for reading and I tag everyone!

The Stationery Geekette x