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When I love something I want to shout it from the rooftops! Books, websites, people, products – if something has genuinely helped me, you’ll hear about it here. And be sure to tell me what’s rocking your world. We all love positive inspiration! 

*New and fabulous! I’m now giving away one book from this page every month to a Project Me newsletter subscriber! Details here of how to enter. 

WHAT I’M READING NOW:

headspace

Get Some Headspace: 10 minutes can make the difference  This is a super easy to read and understand book about mindfulness and using meditation as a tool to feel more calm and even-tempered. Andy Puddicome, author of this book and creator of the hugely popular meditation app Headspace, gives us plenty of little exercises to help us become more aware of our passing thoughts and emotions without getting so caught up and carried away with them. This is a thin, light paperback you can slip into your handbag to read whenever you’ve got a couple of minutes of waiting time – instead of fiddling on your phone. 

 

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo is a book I resisted for several years on the basis of having zero desire to learn how to fold my clothes origami style or talk to my socks. But after yet another friend recommended it, and with a big house move coming up, I decided to give it a go. I’m loving it! Kondo is inspiring me to only keep those things that spark joy in my life and to let go of what doesn’t. I’m following her system of clearing the clutter – not room by room, but as she smartly recommends – like items with like items. By gathering up all similar items from every room of the house, backs of cupboards and storage and putting them all together in one place, I’m seeing how much of each type of thing I actually have. My vast Tupperware collection of 33 has been reduced to 19 (all with lids!). Out of 16 vases, I’m keeping five. My closets are now filled with only stuff I enjoy wearing and I’m about to sell hundreds of books, cds and DVDs.  You can read my blog post about my experience after reading this book here. (Yes, it was life changing!)

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Fink Conversation Cards are the brainchild of mother of four Lisa Warner. The size of a pack of playing cards, they’re great for long car journeys and waiting in restaurants. In this age of digital distractions, I love how these cards inspire families to actually talk to each other.  I’ve got the Teen Pack, the Original Edition and the cute extra small Travel Edition and I’d love to receive the Mum’s Edition next Mother’s Day (hint, hint). There are loads of other packs to choose from, such as Conversations for the Early Years (for ages 2-7), Dealing With Dyslexia, and Talking About Divorce.  Fink are based in the UK and ship to anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

COURSES I WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND:

Positive Parenting Academy’s On Line Course: Back when my boys were 2 and 5, my family life was OUT OF CONTROL. Thankfully I did a course on Parenting Skills by The Parent Practice. It honestly changed my life. It changed our whole family’s life! You can read the story of how things were before and after here: What Parenting Skills Classes Did To My Family.  I’m now a proud affiliate of their online course and can’t recommend it enough to anyone who wants to stay calm and stop shouting, stop nagging and repeating, keep your child motivated and learn how to build a strong connection. More peace, less pulling your hair out guaranteed! And they’ve given me permission to split my affiliate commission with you 50/50! That means you’ll get 20% off at check-out. If you decide to join the course, be sure to use this special link when you pay and you will get the discount added at check-out.

 

how-to-photograph-your-family-with-vicki-knights

Vicki Knights is one of the UK’s leading child & family photographers and she’s now got an on-line course to help you learn how to take great family photos. If you’ve bought a fancy camera to take high-quality photos of your kids, but you still take most of your pictures in auto mode or your phone, Vicki will show you how to use your camera without making it overly complicated. I love how it’s laid out in easy to follow modules with great videos. Vicki is very kindly offering all Project Me mamas a generous 25% off discount when you use this special link to join her course!

Lucky-Bitch-Money-Bootcamp

Denise Duffield-Thomas is the creator of the amazing Lucky Bitch Bootcamp, an online course that helps women release blocks and fears around money. If you’re a female entrepreneur and don’t know about Denise yet, get to know her! She has lots of other goodies too, like her Free Money Blocks Course or her Free Money In 24 Hours Course. I love her style and already she’s helped me to see where I’ve been standing in my own way.

 

READ AND LOVED: 

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin  I’ve been following Gretchen Rubin ever since I read her first book The Happiness Project several years ago and was excited she was writing a new book about habits. Everyone who recently did my on-line course about Goal Setting for Mothers knows that I love the subject of habits and exploring how to turn bad ones into good. Gretchen backs up my own teachings about tracking and monitoring, scheduling things in and finding accountability. All are key factors in creating good habits that stick. I’ve read other books on Habits which haven’t appealed to me as much as this one, probably because Gretchen is a mother too and it’s written from a perspective we can relate to.

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The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. For being quite a thin paperback book, it packs a lot of punch and I’ve dogeared dozens of pages, with whole passages highlighted. I’m putting into practice his techniques for observing emotions as they rise so there’s a better chance of letting them pass without getting caught up in them. I’ve been letting things go a lot easier! In some ways this book reminds me of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. But unlike Eckhart, who I often struggle to keep up with, Singer writes in a simple, easy to grasp language. Good for a simple gal like me – ha ha! 

cathyadamsbookcover
Living What You Want Your Kids To Learn: The Power of Self-Aware Parenting by Cathy Cassani Adams I absolutely loved this book. I found myself smiling, crying, laughing and nodding in agreement as I read this beautifully written, personal collection of everyday experiences and emotions of a fellow mother genuinely trying her best to lead by example. It’s easy to fall into the child-rearing trap. Keeping them on schedule, fed, bathed and on time to wherever they need to be. We don’t realise that during all of these otherwise mundane activities we can be connecting with our kids on a deeper level, simply by parenting with a greater sense of self-awareness. After reading this book, I see how much my own quest for greater self-awareness is entwined with my parenting. I can grow, alongside my children, into more of the person I want to be by simply living what I’d like them to learn.

Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren – Find Calm in the Chaos of the School Years – You certainly don’t have to be Buddhist to love this book. (I’m not!) Sarah Napthali shows that we can all apply simple Buddhist teachings to our everyday life and use them to manage stress, cope with routine and repetition, fit in with other parents, manage our fears and expectations for our children and deal with difficult behaviour. She’s also written a book for new mothers and I wish I’d read it when I was just embarking on this whole motherhood journey!

5LoveLanguagesThe 5 Love Languages of Children: This book has sold millions of copies worldwide and it’s no wonder. Once Gary Chapman helps you figure out which love language your child needs, you start connecting in deeper ways and can bring out the very best in them. I’ve had some amazing revelations about the two very different love languages of my sons and used this new knowledge to understand them better, treat them as individuals and improve communication. There’s also ‘The Five Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively‘.

The original ‘Five Love Languages‘ is another fascinating read for figuring out what your partner’s love language is (as well as your own).

 

theMagic

The Magic: This book really is magic. At best it will transform your life and at the very least it’ll help you create a daily gratitude habit. The 28 days of gratitude practice cover health, relationships, work, money plus many others. With each day you’ll feel a HUGE positive change in your emotions and your life. I’ve given this book to many friends – all of whom have seen incredible results. The author, Rhonda Byrne, also wrote one of my favourite books, ‘The Secret‘ and I also have her Gratitude Journal which I love!

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Staying at Home With The Kids: How to Stay Sane, Stay ‘You’ and Enjoy Your Time at Home With Your Little People by Nicola Semple. Well the title says it all really. Nicole has written a wonderful book here about how to make the day to reality of staying at home with the kids a more rewarding and positive choice. It’s really struck a chord with me and I wish this book had been around when my kids were still little and I was questioning it all! I’m loving this so far and recommend it to any mother (or mother to be) who’s grappling with the decision over whether to work or stay home with the kids. This will help guide you into the path that’s right for you and your family.

PODCASTS I LOVE: 

Are you into podcasts yet? These are great for listening to while driving, cooking or folding that mountain of laundry. Use a podcast app on your phone, then type in the name of the podcast you’d like to subscribe to. (It’s free.) Now whenever you go to My Podcasts you’ll have them all lined up and ready to listen to!
Here are a few my faves. I’ve included links to their websites as you can also listen to them online.
  • Happy Mama with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is a beautiful podcast where Amy interviews inspiring mothers about their experiences with motherhood. And I’m thrilled that she’s included an interview with me in episode four!
  • Zen Parenting Radio presented by a spiritual and emotional mom and a logical and practical dad. The banter between this husband and wife duo is highly amusing and informative at the same time.
  • Happier With Gretchen Rubin gives you practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits. Co-hosted by Gretchen’s humorous, dry witted sister Elizabeth Craft, it’s best to start with episode one to give you their background and what to expect – then you can skip around. I’m loving it and wrote a whole blog post about Gretchen Rubin.
  • Jen Hemphill: Her Money Matters is a great podcast that focuses on helping women improve their finances and their mindset about money. This is especially good if you let your other half deals with everything money-related or you need help sticking to a budget. Jen will help you get out of overwhelm and feel more in control of the money.

ByronKatie

Loving What Is – a book that changes lives. Byron Katie gets you to start noticing when your thoughts argue with reality and when you’re not staying in your own business. This book has single-handedly transformed an important relationship for me. I use it time and again on challenging situations and people. Highly recommended.


Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids:  Dr Laura Markham is all about building great relationships with your kids, whilst setting clear boundaries. This is the number one parenting book I always recommend to everyone! It just makes such good sense. I included it in my blog post that went viral, How to Stop Shouting at Your Kids.

OTHER STUFF I LOVE: 

Slendertone Abs Toning Belt I’ve got a confession to make…. I’ve been strapping on this electronic ab muscle toner for 14 years and swear by its ability to annihilate the dreaded muffin top. Stick it on, get dressed and let it do the job while you get on with life. I’ve just bought a new one as my vintage model bit the dust. The latest version is rechargeable – hurrah, no more batteries! I’ve actually lost count of the number of friends who’ve bought one of these on my recommendation. But here’s the deal: You need to use it for it to work (duh!) 30 minutes a day 5 – 6 times a week for 6 – 8 weeks, then a couple of times a week for maintenance. If you’re the type to give up before you see any results, don’t bother. But if you’re committed to getting toned abs without countless sit-ups, go for it! Pssst…  I’ve finally discovered a sneaky secret to get out of buying replacement pads every few months. Just put on a squirt of that clear disinfecting hand wash stuff (that doesn’t need water) onto the pads to make them sticky again! (Tip from a seasoned pro.)


I was so happy with my abs toning belt that a few years ago I decided to go for the Slendertone Bottom Toner too. Here’s the lowdown: like the belt, you have to use it to see the difference. Unlike the belt which is super easy to strap on, get dressed and go (no one even knows you’re wearing it), the shorts are a slight pain in the butt. (Pun intended.) They are like wearing tight cycling shorts, but you can’t fit bottoms over them, so you can’t exactly go walk the dog or even answer the door wearing them. For this reason alone, I wear them a lot less than the belt. However – when full blown pre-bikini season panic sets in, I get my rear in gear and commit to wearing them for a month, 3 – 5 times a week for an hour at a time. And I get results!

If you’re not already on the Project Me newsletter list, hop on now and be entered into the monthly draw to win a book of your choice from this page!

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Some of the links above are affiliate links which means I might get a commission or Amazon vouchers to help feed my kid’s book habits… I would never recommend anything to anyone if I didn’t genuinely love it. 

photo credit: diebmx via photopin cc


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