A to Z of Zen. D Again


21 Iced Coffees That Will Get You Ready For Summer



Here’s my new D list and here’s my old D list. Feel free to let me know which important ones I’ve forgotten.


Drop - Busy, busy, busy! That’s most of us, most of the time, but do we really need to be? Are we filling our days with lots of stuff, just because everyone else seems to be rushing around? Make a list of the things that make up your day and see if there is anything not absolutely essential, that you could maybe drop. Being a little selfish every now and then is a good idea too. You may be expected to squash a whole heap of stuff into your timetable, but that’s not always going to be a positive thing for you.

If it’s not an important part of what you’re doing, think about putting it off to a more convenient time, or even passing it on to someone else, who has a spare minute or two more than you.


Drink - My name is Lisa, and I’m a coffee tragic. I’ve been known to put away eight decent cups on a good (bad?) day, and feel like something’s missing if I don’t have a cup on my desk at all times. But I’m not totally ignorant to the fact that this isn’t great for my health, and I’m weaning myself off my liquid of choice. I make sure that I have filled water bottles in the fridge every morning, then challenge myself to drink a decent amount each day.

I have to admit, as much as I love coffee and the habit that it is, keeping my water intake topped up gives me a clearer head. It also makes me appreciate the much less frequent cuppas that I now enjoy. A good trick is fill up the amount you want to drink each day, then gradually work your way through it. Much easier than counting how many glasses you’re up to.


Deviate - Routine is what we generally need to get things done, in a timely fashion. But routine can be so boring. If it’s possible to deviate from your regular, shake it up a little. Knowing that you’ll be doing a certain thing at a certain time is the responsible thing to do, but if you can move things around, it can be just that little bit more exciting and bearable.

You’ve heard it, “a change is as good as a holiday”, and we all need a holiday every now and then.


Doze - As part of a shift-working household, I don’t always get as much sleep as I should. I kind of grab a few catch-up minutes during the day when I can, and find that helps keep me going. Power napping sort of sounds a bit woo-ish, but letting yourself doze off for a solid 10 or 15 minutes, can make all the difference when you’re feeling sapped of energy. Just don’t do it close to school pick up time, or you could be setting yourself up for a real panic!


Decide - As children, we’re quite often asked what we want to be when we grow up. I know I do this with Bell, and over the years her answers have ranged from “a princess, policeman or a tree” when she was about 3, to “I don’t even know” at the ripe old age of 11. I remember when I was little I wanted to be a teacher or a shopkeeper. I also remember being expected to have a career path, only to have it disappear when family circumstances changed dramatically, and I went into retail at age 15.

When you think about it, knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life, when you’re only a littlie is a bit unrealistic. I know there are kids who follow their dream right through to adulthood, but does it absolutely have to be like that for everyone? I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t need to decide how your life map looks, and stick to that decision. We evolve and change how we need to, and putting any boundaries on that can go a long way to making you a frustrated mess.

As much as we want Bell to have a secure future, and stress to her how important her education is, we also encourage her to think about what would make her happy on a daily basis as an adult in the working world. I can’t help but think that if I’d been encouraged to follow my heart a little more when it came to a job, I wouldn’t feel that little twinge of regret that I don’t have a “real” career. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that it involves creating.


So, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella LovesLife, Love & HiccupsSonia StylingA Life Less Frantic and Cooker and a Looker for the Weekend Rewind.






Must be why I love it.

A to Z of Zen. C Again


I wanted a perfect ending. Now I have learned, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next. It is a Delicious Ambiguity



Thinking of more zen words, to add to my list from the last series.


Call-  We all get really busy and all have things to do, but does this mean we have to lose contact with family and friends? I’m guilty of this, and feel terrible when I run into someone who I haven’t caught up with in a long time. Even just a quick text to touch base can make a difference if their day isn’t running smoothly. But what about a real letter, you know snail mail, good old-fashioned pen and paper? What a lovely treat to find a gorgeous note in your letterbox.

And always keep in mind, you just never know when you may need to make the call, asking for a little help or support yourself.


Craft-  As long as there’s no glitter involved, I’m all for craft! I find it so relaxing, getting lost in the making of things. And such a perfect way to connect with our kids, or the kid inside us. The thing I love most about making stuff at home, is it doesn’t have to be perfect, because the joy is in the creating. To me, it’s almost like a form of meditation.


Catch- It’s easy to get a bit jaded, with all the bad stuff we hear about, and easy to think that with anything good, there has to be “a catch”. But pleeeeease, try to have a little faith every now and then, and give people the benefit of the doubt. As much as there are surely some out there ready to take advantage of any situation, there are many more who do good things because it make them feel good too.

Think about it; you’re not out to take people for all they’ve got (I just know you’re not), so they’re probably not either. But be a little careful, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.


Comfort – We all have different things that bring comfort to our lives. Some find it in food, either the preparation of, eating or both. Others are calmed by spending time with family and friends, feeling safe and protected. And there are lots of folk who need to do something repetitive, whether it’s physical activity or working with their hands. Think about what makes your heart happy, what you look forward to in stressful times or what has brought you through a period of darkness in your life.

Whatever you come up with, can be considered comforting to you. But remember that what is comforting to one person, may seem like hard work to another. The trick is finding the one that brings you into balance.


Clever - Do you think you’re clever? Maybe you don’t, because you see so many others doing such fabulous stuff all over Pinterest, Instagram and every other space that gets loaded with glorious images. But we’re all good at different things, and those things make you the wonderful person that you are. Think of whatever it is that you enjoy doing, and imagine teaching it to someone from scratch. There’s probably so much more involved than you realize, and it may even take way more effort and talent than you ever thought.

So now, do you think you’re clever? YES, of course you are!


Have I left out any important Cs that you could add?



Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella LovesLife, Love & HiccupsSonia StylingA Life Less Frantic and Great Fun 4 Kids for the Weekend Rewind.


Be Brave



Note to self.

Joining With Some Grace for FYBF.

A to Z of Zen. B Again.


Hyde Park #london #mustsee #accorcityguide The nearest Accor hotel : Mercure London Kensington




Here is my B list from last time, and these are my latest additions.


Before - Being spontaneous is wonderful! But jumping into some things without any planning is not always going to end well. Before you set things in stone, stop and see if maybe working it out could be of  benefit in the long run. Sometimes you can get so excited about doing something, you just go for it with no thought of the big picture (surely I’m not the only one who does this on a regular basis?). Take a step back, a deep breath and look forward. It’s usually much easier to make a few changes before you start, rather than cleaning up a mess you may have from going hard without thinking of details.


Best - Are you the best at everything you do? If not, why?! Simple reason for that one; you’re human. We’re told to push ourselves to the max, encouraging our kids to drive themselves until they’re perfect, but no one can be the best at everything. And settling for nothing less than amazing is not always in our best interest.

So instead of struggling to always be the best, aim for always being your best.


Bend - Sometimes we get an idea in our heads, and just can’t shake it. I know I can be a bit inflexible when I think I know it all, and it doesn’t always end well. Listening to other opinions with an open mind is usually a good option, and bending your ideas just a little may work out the best for everyone involved.

The idea came to you for a reason, it just may be that it needs to be restructured a little. Listen to what others have to say, give a bit more thought then see what you can come up with. Deciding to juggle things could work out beautifully, and deciding to bend doesn’t mean you need to break.


Barter - Is there something you struggle with, that someone else may be able to help you with? Is there something you may be able to help with, that is giving someone else a challenge? Maybe you could do some bartering, and both end up with what you want or need. You never know how you can help, until you ask and put your offer out there. Same with getting some help yourself, working together can make the world of difference.

Just don’t fall into the trap of trying to always make it an “even” swap. Every action has an effect, but not everything can be given a monetary value, and if you come out of it feeling undervalued, it’s not worth it.



Boost - You know how good you feel when someone acknowledges you or something you’ve done? It’s  a little bit lovely knowing that you’re appreciated, and it can make a big difference to your thinking for the day. See if there’s someone around you who could do with a little boost, and pass it on.

Just a little way to share some good karma, that could make a positive change for all involved.


Breathtaking - Every day has the potential to show us how amazing it can be, and it’s up to us to choose to see it or not. Wake up in the morning and dread what the day has to give you, and you’ll see nothing but blah. But jump out of bed, have a bit of a stretch and look outside to see what’s doing with the weather, and you could just be setting yourself up for a fabulous day.

I try to check outside first thing, and see how the sky’s looking, and that usually sets the tone for my mood for the day. I love a breathtaking sunrise, all golden and fresh, but also appreciate an icy grey sky. Rather than write it off as a miserable day, I try to think how cool and fresh everything is going to be. Even a gloomy, rainy day has it’s place; bright green grass, full dams and all those lovely puddles to jump in!


Are you a puddle jumper?


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella LovesLife, Love & HiccupsSonia StylingA Life Less Frantic and Have A Laugh On Me for the Weekend Rewind.



FOMO, Or Something Like That


Whimsical Alice In Wonderland Inspiration. Ruffled – photo by http://www.mattandashleyphoto.com/ – http://ruffledblog.com/whimsical-wonderland-shoot/


Usually I love driving by myself. I use the time to think, sort stuff out and have the best sing. And by best, I don’t mean well done, my singing is definitely only to be enjoyed by me! The drive home from school drop-off is about 15 minutes, mainly through farmland, with a bit of beach-front thrown in for good measure. So, generally a lovely start to my day.

But recently I had a frustrating trip, and it had nothing to do with traffic, road rage or any of the usual bad driving experiences. It did have everything to do with FOMO.

I’m the first to admit I get totally confused when Bell starts reeling off FOMO, YOLO and all the other shortcuts in current speak. But I’m sadly well aware of the meaning of this one, because I suffer from it more often than I would like,

FOMO is the acronym for Fear Of Missing Out, and every now and then it strikes me. I’m usually quite content with my lot, but sometimes I can get a bit panicky when I think I may not be making the most of a situation. On this recent trip, the cause of my FOMO wasn’t anything more complicated than the radio.

A song I hadn’t heard in ages came on, and I started to get lost in it. But, I started to think that there may be a better song on another station, and I was torn between listening to the oldie and doing a flick around. Big decision with serious ramifications? No. Annoyingly tempting? Yes! And so for the next 3 or so minutes, I listened to that song, all the while wondering what tunes I was missing out on.

Now this obviously isn’t a life-changing decision, and if you’ve read this far and think I need to get some real problems to occupy my mind, stay with me for just a second longer. My point is to bring attention to the fact that it’s easy to fall into the trap of always thinking there’s something better, that we’re missing out on, instead of enjoying what we’re doing right now.

What if someone else is having a better time than me? What if there’s a fabulous event happening that I could be a part of? What if the most perfect partner in the world is waiting just around the corner, and I’m not available? Let your mind run off in endless thoughts like this, and you’re going to end up miserable, no matter how happy you are.

We’re constantly bombarded with images on social media of how perfect other peoples’ lives are. How could we not be envious and think we should be striving for the same? But so much of what we see is edited, cropped and filtered to only show the good parts. A lot of the time the normality of life is on the edges of those beautiful images, but we just don’t see it.

It may seem sometimes, that you’re the only person not living in some kind of glorious Wonderland. Beautifully styled clothes, gourmet dishes, manicured gardens and spotless kitchens pop up on our screens regularly. But as faultless as these lives may seem, there are real stories behind them, making up the majority of their background. No one, no matter how rich or pretty or talented they are, has the perfect life all the time.

Personally, I love Instagram and Pinterest, and could spend hours scrolling through my feeds. But I also try to keep in mind that we’re only seeing the gorgeous edit, and reality is rarely that lovely on a constant basis. I’m all for getting lost in all the pretty for a while, but won’t allow myself to get down because my life isn’t “as good”.

If you find yourself wondering why your life isn’t as amazing as everyone else around you, try making a list of all the great things you have. Don’t limit it to physical stuff; friendships, love, family and pride in things you achieve are wonderful and should be celebrated just as much as sparkly goodies. And don’t forget the power of a spectacular sunset to make you appreciate what’s good in the world!


Do you ever suffer from FOMO?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling, A Life Less Frantic and Down That Little Lane for the Weekend Rewind.

Flowers In Her Hair





This describes Bell perfectly, always with flowers in her hair.



So Beautiful


so b


Just look around.


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling, A Life Less Frantic and The Annoyed Thyroid for the Weekend Rewind.



“Green Tea For Me”on Pinterest


Green tea is what I have when I’m trying to cut down on coffee, but still feel like I need a hot drink. I love it even more when my sister-in-law uses it in her baking, and her green tea baked cheesecake is something really special. It’s always in plentiful pots when we have a banquet with John’s family, usually refilled two or three times throughout the meal.

So naturally I have a Pinterest board full of the green tea goodness that’s all over the internet. Green Tea For Me is where you’ll find my collection.


Green Tea Macaroons   Green Tea




Green Tea Coconut Popsicles. The perfect creamy summer treat.. what's even greater is these only require a few minutes of prep time! Mmmm.Whoa. Whoa mommy.



Green tea infused with passion fruit and papaya served over ice.- Visit PaneraBread.com for more inspiration.



Green Tea & White Chocolate Cookies | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com



#Matcha #GreenTea Latte ingredients: 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea - 3 tablespoons hot water  - 1-2 teaspoons of honey - 150 ml of skim milk (or soymilk) -  pinch of nutmeg



Matcha Green Tea Marshmallows



Roasted Blueberries + Cream Matcha Avocado Popsicles | With Food + Love #avosfromperu



Green Tea Frappuccino from Primally Inspired (loaded with amazing health benefits!)







Happy Valentine’s Day!