Crikey, what a month! Loads has happened – including me starting another side hustle and looking into a third business venture too! Yep – I’m building on those multiple income sources!
Let me rewind a little. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I took a long hard look at my life. I knew I needed to make a few lifestyle changes – from what I ate and how much I slept, to managing stress and making time to exercise.
But what actually happened is that I started to look at things like my environment – what I used to clean with and what products I use on my skin for example. I did loads of research and discovered that the cosmetics industry gets away with putting many potentially harmful chemicals into its products – and these are products that we put on our skin and are absorbed into our blood stream.
I was introduced to Tropic over a year ago – it’s non-toxic because all the ingredients are 100% naturally derived. There are no preservatives (all skincare is freshly made and batched) and it’s vegan and cruelty-free too. Guilt free skincare that’s actually good for you.
I loved the products so much that I decided to become an ambassador – not just because I wanted to get a deal on the lovely products, but I felt that it was important to educate people about clean beauty. I believe that years from now, consumer pressure will force all the skincare giants to dramatically change what they put into their products. Until then, I’m sticking with Tropic. If you fancy seeing what it’s all about, pop over to my little shop – and enjoy the browsing – and if you have any questions, I’m right here!
Although I got the all-clear from my first mammogram after last year’s ordeal, my lymphedema has got me down this month. It’s probably because we’ve been having some cracking weather and I’ve had to wear the compression sleeve. I met a lady the other day who had breast cancer 12 years ago and she was still wearing the sleeve. I think I’ll have to look into alternative methods of dealing with it – and hope there are other options open to me.
But, ending on a positive – and a few positives in fact, there has been plenty of good news. My wonderful friend (we’ll call her Laura for privacy issues!) revealed that she’s now cancer free and I couldn’t be happier for her! My other wonderful friend (Kerry) revealed that her husband Nik is also cancer free AND two of my buddies from a small, local cancer support group I belong to had their scans this month – and they were both clear too – celebrations all round!
I’m super proud of myself. It’s been over a year since I made a YouTube video (I used to love making and editing them), and now I’m ready to start again. So I’ve just uploaded my first video since I’ve been given the all-clear!
Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my blog has had a facelift (I wish I could say the same for my face ha ha!). With more time on my hands, I’m over the moon that I’ve been able to focus a little more on the blog. I’ve been meaning to give it an overhaul for some time now – I needed to update my photo to reflect the new me, a new blog logo design and a new banner. I’ve also updated my ‘About & Work With Me’ page and made a few other adjustments. Here’s what the blog header looked like before.
I’m super pleased with the watercolour logo design, more so because it has meaning behind it. Home for interiors, horizon for travel and check out the ampersand – it’s a pink ribbon to remind me of how far I’ve come on my journey – and never to take anything for granted. And it was all beautifully designed by an artist called Noor (logo_artistt) on Fiverr.com for £35 (minus the tip). The amount of revisions I gave Noor went on for a good couple of weeks, but she never complained once – highly recommended!
I also changed my brand colours on the blog, dropping the orange and replacing it with a nice green and a raspberry colour – here are my new blog colours!
Talking of not taking things for granted (and practicing gratitude) which I do every morning in my 5 Minute Journal, the lovely Becky from Cuddle Fairy offered me an angel reading recently (she’s a natural energy healer) and it really resonated with me. In fact, I wish you could have seen my face after I finished reading it. I was beaming from ear to ear – and had a little tear of joy. It was comforting, reassuring, positive – and just generally all the lovely things that I could have wanted to hear.
The readings did suggest that I have to aim to be more grounded though – and one of the ways that I can do this apparently is by walking barefoot on grass to feel that Mother Earth connection. I will do my best, but I know what I’m like – I’m just worried about treading in something I shouldn’t.
Becky is on hand to explain the reading which she does with cards and asks for guidance – and she’s great at explaining everything in layman’s terms so that you can make sense of it all. Do have a look at her blog as Becky offers a few different services – believe me, you won’t be disappointed.
I’ve collaborated with a couple of brands this month and it’s been lovely as the products have been right up my street.
The first was Department Store For The Mind (how cool is the name?) and I chose ‘Care Package – a box of cards‘ some a gorgeous '10 Deep Breaths' bracelet to try. I love the concept behind the bracelet and that it features 10 little beads to remind you to slow down, breathe and be mindful. And you know what? It works. Every time I clock eyes on it or when someone tells me they like my bracelet, I find myself slowing down and relaxing. You can find it right here.
I’ve also been chatting with Balmonds who sent me a couple of products for dry, cracked hands. I’ve got dry skin in general on my elbows, knees and hands and my daughter has got particularly dry skin on her knuckles.
The reason I decided to give it a go is because the products are completely natural which, as you know, is really important to me. So I tried Balmonds Intensive Hand Cream and I let my daughter, Nadja, try Balmonds Skin Salvation.
Within just a few days of using the cream I noticed my hands were much softer and felt more nourished. But the biggest improvement came from Nadja. The Skin Salvation is a beeswax-based balm which is ideal for very sore or cracked hands. It doesn’t sting on application (important for Nadja as one of her knuckles was red and sore) and it’s made with hemp, olive and safflower oils with anti-inflammatory herbal tinctures of chamomile, calendula, nettle and chickweed – there’s no preservatives, paraffin or perfume. Within a week there was a marked improvement and her hands felt soft to touch. I had to keep reminding her to put the balm on, but it was worth the nagging!
The company has got its priorities right too and is offering NHS and key workers both products for half price is they send a selfie with their ID card to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but not least, really pleased to say I’ve started up my newsletters again. You can sign up for the latest news from me (sent monthly), with a round-up of my news, interesting information, deals and inspiration.
My poor little MacBook was running a really old version of Microsoft but I found a fab deal on Groupon, buying the 2019 Microsoft Office Home and Business for Mac for just £79 (compared to John Lewis where it’s listed as £249!)
It just shows that there really are some great deals on Groupon if you look hard enough. Apart from that, not a lot to report business-wise. I’ve got another potential business venture in the pipeline, but it’s something that will take me a while to develop, so I’m focussing more on Tropic and the magazine at the moment.
I’ve been making an effort to learn all the capital cities of the world with my goal being 31st July to learn them all. I’m about ¾ of the way through, but I’ve left all the hard ones until last of all, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll be really proud if I manage to achieve it though.
Apart from that I’m keen on reading a new book as often as I can. I'm currently reading a book called ‘Free and Fearless'. It's a true story about Brittany Moser – a young, happy-go-lucky flight attendant who lost her life to an incurable disease. The book is written by her father, Phil Moser, who spent the last months of Brittany's life travelling and exploring the world and choosing to be fearless.
At the time of writing I'm only a few chapters in and the book is incredibly moving, inspiring and thought-provoking. Phil has done an incredible job of capturing Brittany's story, her dreams and her sense of adventure. Brittany's life lessons, that Philip shares with readers, are:
1. How precious life is and how we can affect the people around us;
2. How an open mind and a positive attitude can inspire us to do things we never thought possible;
3. How to move out of our comfort zones and into a challenging existence that can turn each day into an exciting gift to be explored;
4. How to not let fear control us, and to use our abilities to seek unique, positive and inspiring adventures;
5. To embrace change as a natural part of life;
6. And finally, that we won’t be remembered by our things or our savings accounts, but by how we made other people feel.
It's one of those books that can change your life. It really makes you think about things, and that's what Philip set out to do when he wrote it – just to inspire people and make them face their fears – just as Brittany did. I am sure Brittany would be incredibly proud of what her dad has achieved – and keeping her legacy alive. A beautiful book that I can't recommend highly enough. A portion from the sale of each book is donated to the National Adrenal Disease Foundation.
My latest purchases
I saw on Instagram that Kate from Dream, Plan, Explore was chatting about a book she was reading called F*cked at 40: Life Beyond Suburbia, Monogamy and Stretch Marks that looked really interesting. I asked her about it and when she explained that she couldn’t put it down and that it was about a mum who had a health scare (breast cancer) and developed a want to seize life, it really appealed to me. So I went and bought it. At the time of writing, I’m still reading it, but it’s a great read so far.
What I’m grateful for this month
- Receiving a reading from Becky at Cuddle Fairy – it really was wonderful and comforting.
- That I’ve had the chance to spend more time on the blog and explore more business ventures.
- That I’m helping educate people on non-toxic, clean skincare through being a Tropic ambassador – and that I’ve had the opportunity to try more of the Tropic products.
- That I’ve got plenty of reading material to keep me interested.
- I have so much to look forward to – from decorating the kitchen and celebrating my birthday, to having friends over to enjoy my garden pub and making more YouTube videos.
Goals for the next month
My goals from last month included….
- Continue updating the blog (I need to move some categories around and get the blog header redesigned) – Mostly done, but the blog still needs a few tweaks.
- Continue selling items online (I’ve got a whole chest to get through!). Yes, I’ve made about £60 in sales this month which is a bonus.
- Start work on decorating the kitchen? Ooops – I didn’t get this achieved, so it’s something that will have to roll over.
- Continue learning my capital cities! Yes, on the whole I’ve been good at this.
My new goals for July include….
- Get my ‘favourites’ page done for the blog
- Get the capitals learned by 31st July!
- Finish reading another book.
- Sort out the apps on my phone (and organise them!)
How’s your June gone and what are you looking forward to next month?
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