Love is in the Air

Crikey, where did January go??

So, I bet you’re all on tenterhooks wondering how the happiness project is going? Well…

January’s focus was on energy and having fun. Now, I didn’t get very far with ticking things off on a resolutions chart, and I didn’t change my whole style of life to suddenly have bags of energy. I think my family would actually have been terrified if I had, to be honest. And I didn’t have the big cull that I’d wanted to have to get rid of all that draining clutter. BUT I did make some small changes, and big changes can’t happen without small changes first, can they?

I wanted to exercise more, eat more healthily (more about that in a sec), try new things, cull, organize and laugh more. I have started regular exercise (I’m not going to keep saying “not as much as I wanted, but…” Just add that onto all of these things, please? ta) in the form of Pilates – I can’t afford to go to a class but fitness tv and a couple of DVDs from eBay have been my rescuers here and I’ve got a couple of routines and videos that I love now and that really push me. I never, ever thought I’d find a form of exercise I not only enjoyed but looked forward to, so this is a HUGE lifestyle breakthrough. Eating healthily – I don’t do diets. I like food too much and the risk of doing a diet is that I fall off the wagon, hate myself and end up eating to make myself feeling better. Er, no thanks. What I am trying to do is reduce portion sizes and try to choose healthy options at mealtimes, cutting out snacks or replacing with low-fat ones. My rule of thumb is less than 5% fat and I’m doing pretty well at sticking to that. Luckily I’m not fussy and do really enjoy salad so that helps. The other thing with making it a generally healthier lifestyle is that hopefully it will give me better eating habits for life and surely no-one seriously expects me to have no chocolate or cake ever again?? GAH!

A word about “healthy choices” though. In many, many diet books they will try to convince you that it won’t cost you any more than your normal shopping to eat healthily. Um. This is (how can I put it?) misinformed unless you are in the lucky position of genuinely not noticing everything that you spend on your shopping. Fruit and vegetables and low-fat yoghurts and healthy cereals etc etc etc DO cost more than junk. They do. It’s a fact. Rubbish food on the other hand costs relatively little and bulks out four good appetites cheaply. A sponge cake for 6 for example can cost 50p. Seriously. You can’t buy 6 bananas for that. And that’s if you’re doing a straight swap, unhealthy for healthy. If other members of

the family are not giving up sweets and biscuits etc you still need to buy at least one or two things for them. Swap white rice for brown or white bread for wholemeal? Great, if everyone is happy about that, otherwise it’s just double the amount of bread. Anyone with genuinely helpful suggestions on this subject, I would seriously love to hear them.

So, to sum up, I’ve done a few changes for the better, I’d say I do have more energy than before Christmas. And I did lose 4lbs, hooray!


February, now. Following my mentor’s advice (The Happiness Project), I’m focusing on my marriage this month. I am incredibly lucky to have a strong and meaningful relationship that’s going strong thirteen years on, since I left school. But in Gretchen Rubin’s book, she sums up February as “Remember Love” and that is always good advice, no? So I’m making a conscious effort to try and work on my little negative traits and remind my gorgeous husband how much I love him. One of the resolutions she makes which I love is to “Give proofs of love”. This is is biggy for me actually – you remember when you first get into a romance and you do silly little gestures, just because you love someone? After thirteen years, especially thirteen years of life as a grown up hitting you round the face with a wet kipper, you let those slide and work everyday on dealing with the big monsters together (too many metaphors? Tough, this is MY blog post). Well, we deal with those pretty well together now. So there you go, that’s February… Oh, and by the way. If you want to follow my lovely husband on twitter (he doesn’t tweet often but, and this is in no way biased, he’s funny when he does), try here.



PS I also read a very inspiring post on exmoorejane’s blog the other day, about why writers blog. Mine has been rather neglected lately but Jane’s post reminded me that I just love words and writing and my blog isn’t about being a mum or a writer or whatever, it’s just about being me. I need to remember that more, and so MY blog will be more of MY ramblings and less about building a platform or trying to force a post into narrow categories and hopefully it will also be more frequently updated! Thanks for bearing with me (again) so far. You rock!


Bound to Love

Bound to Love – Sally Clements

I’ve just finished reading this romance which is released today (see links below) from Embrace Books’ Red Velvet line, which they describe as “sexy, sophisticated romance”; I have to say, that sums up Sally’s book perfectly. I’ll let you read the blurb then I’ll put my own thoughts.

Sally ClementsJake Forrester, a controlled, self-reliant security expert  scarred by his father’s murder is pursuing his goal of an independent life, relying on

himself and logic, until he’s forced to accept the help of an impulsive, spirited goldsmith who follows her instincts, wherever they may lead.

When Tempest MacKenzie witnesses a gorgeous stranger being bundled into a van, she tries to help him, but becomes tangled in a complex web of intrigue. Tempest finds stubborn Jake attractive, compelling and infuriating, his logic the complete antithesis of her reliance on her instincts. And Jake is fascinated and attracted to the feisty redhead.

As they spend time together trying to thwart a heist at the British Museum, the attraction between them flares out of control. The thief has a grudge against Jake, and danger stalks their every move. Will Jake learn to trust Tempest’s intuition, before it’s too late?

The two protagonists are well drawn. Jake very much appeals to me, being tall, dark, gorgeous and combining assertiveness with a sweet vulnerability. Tempest is the aptly-named heroine who does not sit around waiting for a rescue but does her own fair share of rescuing others. I read this through in a couple of sittings, cheering Tempest and Jake on through non-stop adventure and passion. Bound to Love is a real page-turner which will not disappoint any modern romance reader!

Embrace Books are a new imprint of Salt Publishing, and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen so far. If Sally’s book is indicative of their titles, I for one will be a big fan. I really love their covers too, not your usual romance covers, and Sally’s is a great example.

If you want a thrilling and romantic read for Valentine’s day, I do recommend Bound to Love.

Sally’s blog is, you can catch her on twitter @sallywriter, and at her crit group’s blog (The Minxes of Romance) here

Bound to Love is available in print and e-book from here, and from here. You can also find it here at Salt Publishing’s Embrace Books: Red Velvet page.