This is the most consistent I’ve ever been… Thank God for scheduled posts!

There’s nothing more romantic than a gooey fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie!

Well, today – I’ll be showing you how to make that “berry, berry” nice looking brownie slab, pictured above!

DISCLAIMER: they’re topped with dried crushed raspberries and edible rose petals for that extra bit of yummy love.

Want to know the best part? They’re ONLY 144 calories per slice! Usually, brownies range between 350-400 calories each! 💪


Ingredients needed to make the lovely brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter (just melted)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/8 sugar or sweetener

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour or plain flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Crushed dried raspberries and edible rose petals (for garnish)


Way to make the lovely brownies

Begin by preheating your oven to 175 degrees (or gas mark PHWOAR!)

Then, grease your baking tray with a fine layer of butter or oil, before adding parchment paper.

Next, make a start by adding the hot melted butter, coconut oil and sugar into a bowl. Mix vigorously for about a minute.

Afterwards, add the eggs and vanilla extract – before mixing again for another minute.

By now, it should be time for the flour, cocoa powder and salt (in another bowl) – add them to the wet ingredients, fold gradually until you can no longer see any dry ingredients.

*insert chocolate chunks or chips here (optional)* if you’re planning to do it, now’s the time.

Top tip: don’t over-mix. If you overdo it, you’ll end up with a cake. As tasty as cakes are, they’re no brownie.

Tips when making lovely brownies

Another top tip: ‘folding’ just means drawing the a sideways infinity sign with your spatula (going around the sides of the bowl) and covering the wet mixture over the dry as you do it (meeting in the centre).

Transfer your batter into the greased and lined baking tray, before popping in the oven for 20-25 (depending on the strength of your oven).

Top tip: brownies don’t have a set-time, people feel differently about tastes & texture. What I will say though, bake them until it no longer jiggles on the top when you shake it.

Another top tip: pop a toothpick in the centre to check. If it comes out with chocolate all over it, congratulations you’ve got yourself a tray fudge brownies! 🎉


Ways to enjoy the lovely brownies

Want a tea to pair it with (not that you’d need it)? I’ve got the loveliest suggestion!

All that leaves is to set the tray aside out to cool before cutting it into slices (and adding the crushed raspberries & edible rose petals).

I don’t need to tell explain the final step, do I? It’s basically just you putting a slice in your mouth – not even on a plate!

If you get a chance to try these, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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rose quartz

Those who know me, know I love healing crystals… Don’t ask me why, I just do!

Aside from being pretty to look at and unique in their patterns, they’re incredibly intuitive, calming and soothing when used correctly.

In keeping with my ‘love’ theme, I bring you a post about: rose quartz.

This crystal promotes all kinds of love, be it self-love, romantic love, friendship love or even family love.

rose quartz

What are the properties of rose quartz

Rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. It’s said to radiate strong vibrations of love, which support emotional & relationship healing, and building compassion.

What does rose quartz symbolise?

Its meaning varies from culture to culture, but generally its pale pink aesthetic represents gentleness, love, and fertility.

rose quartz

What chakra does the rose quartz work with?

Rose quartz is a stone associated with the heart chakra. So, wearing it as a necklace is most beneficial if you want to feel it working.

How to use a rose quartz?

Meditate by placing a piece on your heart, close your eyes and breathe deeply…

You can even speak soft and loving affirmations to yourself as you’re meditating… Alternatively, just imagine that you’re surrounded by a pink light of love.

If you do this every night, studies have found that it can clear any built up of negativity or frustrations from the day, leaving you refreshed for a new one in the morning.

Top tip: cleanse it after every use by running it under cold water or leaving it on the windowsill (with your blinds/curtains open) particularly on the day or night of a full moon.

Another top tip: you have to believe in it. Nothing works without belief.

rose quartz

How does rose quartz help?

In reiki and energy work, rose quartz is used to reset the heart chakra. From a health perspective, resetting the heart chakra basically means removing any blockages – releasing stress, improving blood circulation and overall skin health.

Choosing the right crystals for you

There are two ways, either by buying a mystery box, or by going in store with an open and clear mind, ready to be drawn to one.

The mystery boxes are really intuitive. I’ve been shocked by how right they’ve been each time. If you’re new to it, xThePeaceProject might be more your thing.

There’s also a quiz you can do to find out which one’s best for you.

Are you into crystals? If so, which ones? Comment below!

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Whether you’re living with your significant other or living apart, here are some romantic ideas for you both – to make your lockdown Valentine’s Day special.

Romantic Ideas for those who live together


Cook a romantic dinner

Now’s is your chance to be Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson…

This time, rather than creating your household staples, push the (at-home) boat out by making a dish you’d usually order at a restaurant. Pull out all the stops, make sure no expenses are spared…

Look, even if it doesn’t taste as good, you’ll have a laugh – and may even surprise yourself!


Create a spa experience at home

If you can’t go to the Four Seasons, why not bring it to you? Those oils are essential for setting a romantic mood… Dim the lights and just relax.

You could even go as far as giving each other actual massages (keeping things PG)! Pop a relaxing playlist on in the background to really transport yourselves to Zentropolis. 🧖‍♀️ 🧖🏼‍♂️


Turn your living room into a dance floor

Love to dance? Kick your slippers off, put the music on blast and have yourselves a boogie… 💃🏼 🕺🏻


Cuddle up and watch a movie

Sort of like Netflix and chill – but where you actually watch Netflix and chill out on the sofa with a blanket and some hot cocoa.

Very little is better than a cosy night in, if you ask me!


Play games

Board games, video games, ‘How Well Do You Know Your Partner/Spouse?’ games – literally all the games, play them together. If you win, well done. If you don’t, you let them – it’s fine! 😉


Take a trip round the world without leaving your house

I can’t decide whether this is cute or just torture (and a sure-fire way of giving ourselves FOMO)…

I heard of a couple who did this at the beginning of lockdown in 2020, and thought it was cute. So, maybe you could give this a try?

If streaming footage of an exotic location isn’t your thing, you can just do themed nights – like Italian wine tasting etc. Order all you’ll need in advance and set it up on the day!


Set up a treasure hunt around the house for each other

Plant little gifts around the house and go in search of them together. Sort of like an Easter Egg hunt, but for two adults celebrating the cherub with an arrow (aka St Valentine).


Create art together

This one’s pretty fun, like all before it, basically: get arty and creative! Draw or paint each other, do what you have to do… If they’re good, why not frame them to look back on?

Romantic ideas for those who are dating but live separately


Have the same food or similar delivered

Lay the table, and make your laptop the centrepiece as you Zoom each each other. Pop a candle on there for extra romance vibes…

valentines day

Cook/bake together on video

Cook or bake together on Zoom and then eat what you make. What’s the worst that can happen!? Honestly, I’ve done this before and it’s a right laugh!


Watch the same boxset/film

Sort of like book club, but for movies and boxsets. Watch the same shows or films (potentially at the same time) and discuss them while you’re watching (or later).


Crack open a bottle as you video chat

Start off with a glass of wine, and finish off with a coffee…

Let’s be honest, dating in lockdown is far from ideal – but it’s the only thing we have right now… It sure will make us appreciate the time we’ll be making up for post-lockdown.

What lockdown Valentine’s Day plans do you have in mind? Comment below!

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pukka love

In the lead up to February 14, I intend to be spread the ‘love’ with posts like these…

I don’t want to tease you any longer, so let’s get straight into discussing ‘Love’ tea by Pukka!

It all started when I read that ‘Flower Power’ by Clipper (Cupper in Germany) was a great tea for clearing the liver, detoxifying the body and giving skin a radiant glow… After finding that out, I got hold of some!

pukka love

I loved it so much that I went in search of a tea that had the same benefits (to form a comparison post) and as if by magic, ‘Love’ by Pukka came into my life. I was very happy about this, because it fit my Valentine’s Day theme perfectly!

Although ‘Flower Power’ has hibiscus, chamomile, lime-flower and elderflower… ‘Love’ has chamomile, elderflower, lavender, licorice, limeflower and marigold. As you can see, the only ingredient missing from Love is ‘hibiscus’ – which I believe is easy to get hold of as a separate tea.

FYI: studies have proven that two herbal, vegan and organic teas a-day never hurt nobody… The worst that’s happened is they needed to empty their bladder a lot more than usual!

What are the said benefits of drinking ‘Love’ tea?


Lavender and chamomile are known to be relaxants. They calm the mind, and promote better sleep.


Rose is associated with radiance, and leaves skin hydrated and moisturised – hence why it’s used in beauty products. It’s also supposed to be soothing.

elderflower and lime-flower

As you’ll notice, elderflower and lime-flower both featured in Clipper’s Flower Power – which claimed to detoxify the body and cleanse the liver, while also boosting the immune system.


Lastly [on the ingredients front], liquorice and marigold have great anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

My verdict on Love tea

Honestly, I’ve only drank it twice (in two days), so I’m in no position to give a full review of its effects on me personally, but – what I will say is this: I’ve felt less bloated (PMS) – and with each sip, I fell in ‘lovethat little bit more…

A tip that I’d give those who are wanting to try it, but have a sweet tooth: pop a teaspoonful of honey/sweetener in, as it can be bland on its own. I opted for a spoonful of lavender honey (to enhance the flavour), and it did the trick.

What are the differences between ‘Love’ and ‘Flower Power’?

Honestly, not much. They are both quite bland without honey (no offence), use similar ingredients, and have the same sort of said benefits…

They’re also both floral in taste. Obviously, the only clear difference is one includes hibiscus, and the other includes marigolds, liquorice and lavender – so the taste just slightly varies.

Which is my favourite?

I’d have to say I’m a lover not a florist… Although, I would Love to open a florist when I retire. 💐

Love wins.

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writers block

I started this blog (Explore with ‘Mii) back in February 2020… It was originally supposed to be a travel blog where I’d blog about my holidays, bucket-list or places I visited for leisure here in the UK.

Obviously, my plans changed because of Covid… My blog then became broader – focussing on lifestyle. This, I think was when my writer’s block began…

I put all my focus into my dayjob – and rightly so as that’s what pays the bills. The more I worked, the less time I had to dedicate to my blog – which wasn’t such a bad thing when going through writer’s block.

Then, when I eventually had the time, I found myself either not being able to think of ideas for posts – or on the off-chance that I did, it just wasn’t good enough. (Or at least I didn’t think so)

writers block

How did I get over the writer’s block?

For me, I think it just phased itself out… Having the break over Christmas & New Year really spurred me on… I was in so much agony from a sport injury, and pretty much bed-bound that the only way I could get through it was by writing.

And, if I’m honest, the break away from work showed me how much I’d missed it… Yes, I am slightly worried that I might lose my mojo again, but I’m hoping I won’t. Besides, this blog gives me something to do in my spare time.

writers block

How did I cope when I had writer’s block?

I read more… During the times when I just couldn’t write, I read.

I read as a way of maintaining my writing style. I honestly believe I’d have lost my writing style if I didn’t re-read the books by writers who I aspire to.

Reading itself if I’m honest, I hardly ever did… When I used to, it was at times when I’ve not got anything better to do – or because I was going through writer’s block.

2020 was I think the first time in years that I actually read books from cover-to-cover! But, don’t worry, I plan to continue reading because I was reminded of how fun it can be.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you don’t like reading, it’s because you’re not reading the right books (or in my case, you’re busy writing).

Tips for overcoming writer’s block

1) Don’t fear it – even the best writers experience it. It’s part of the creative process.

2) Write anyway – even if you don’t want to, pick up that pen/those fingertips and get writing. What’s the worst that could happen?!

4) Don’t give up – take a break, or edit the piece you’re writing to an inch of its life if you have to, just don’t give up.

5) Readreading helps, it worked for me… It might work for you.

Do you have any tips? Or, just want to share your experience of writer’s block? Comment below. ✨

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Yes, 2020 was an awful year for the world as a whole with a global pandemic ripping through it… But, let’s focus on some of the very small mercies that we were able to enjoy in 2020…


2020: Lockdown dating

For the singles among us, the pressures of dating was relaxed a bit – with people video dating from the comforts of their own homes…

Granted, it wasn’t the same – but there are elements of it that I actually preferred…

For instance, you can get to know everything that makes them tick. They don’t have anywhere to go, neither do you – so you could spend a lot more time together.

Are you looking for good lockdown date ideas? Watch the same movies and text through them… Bake/cook together on video… Order a takeaway and video while you eat… There’s a lot that can be done from home!


2020: More time for self-care

Another great thing about 2020 was that it gave us a chance to put ourselves first. We had more time on our hands to work on ourselves.

I lost weight in lockdown, cut down on sugar, and had an image overhaul. I chucked pretty much all my clothes out and bought new ones!


2020: Better ability to save money

We all got a chance to really save this year. It’s actually been nice not having to spend money on travelling to work, buying lunch while there – or even paying for expensive holidays…

Most holidays were refunded, with others being either in process or postponed.


2020: Better work-ethic

Although we’re really struggling with the work-life balance and working from home every day, there’s no denying that we’re more proactive since being at home.

It’s quite nice not having to get up early to travel into work, we had the luxury of just switch our laptops on to get cracking.

Granted, there’s not much social interaction etc. but there’s no denying that we’re doing more, which leaves the door open to promotions, pay rises etc.


2020: Appreciation for life before lockdown

I’m pretty sure if lockdown taught us anything at all, it’s that we didn’t do enough with the freedom we had before it.

We’ll appreciate time with our loved ones more, time we spend travelling, or even just doing stuff without restrictions post-Covid.


2020: Getting in touch with nature

I was my neighbourhood’s answer to Snow White… 🙈 2020 was the year I met every single duck, goose and swan at the local park. I made friends with all the Robin Redbreasts and green parakeets too. 😂

Literally, 2020 was parks galore. With Parliament Hill Fields and Hampstead Heath not far from me, I was lucky in that I got to stretch my legs there in summer.


2020: Engagements

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were inundated with engagement posts. Congratulations to all who popped the question, and to those who ‘yes’ed it as God blessed it.


2020: Covid vaccine found & rolled out

At the very end of last year, the light at the end of the awful pandemic tunnel came… Two vaccines have been rolled out since. UK was the first country to start vaccinating.


2020: communities celebrated heroic efforts of the NHS and those on the front line

Claps at 8pm on Thursdays… Our neighbourhoods came together to spread some joy in very dire times, in a nod to the NHS and those on the front line for going above and beyond in the fight against Covid-19… That was a highlight for sure!

103 year-old lady veteran beat Covid-19, twice

2020: stories of vulnerables who kicked Covid-19’s butt

I certainly won’t forget when the news broke that 103-year-old veteran survived COVID-19 twice, or when a 102-year-old veteran also beat it. How miraculous was that!? ✨


2020: Families got more time to spend with each other

It’s a known fact that children grow up too fast, the silver-lining is that parents got a chance to spend some time with their children, even if homeschooling them was a bit of a mission!


2020 was the year of nature

With less poaching occurring due to travel bans, the animal population grew.

Less pollution also meant the air got fresher, and the Earth got a chance to do some repairing for itself, even though the human race was suffering with a pandemic.

Other good news stories to come out of 2020 include…

Captain Tom Moore

BLM movement took hold

A single foster dad adopted 5 siblings so they wouldn’t be split up into different homes

A dog was adopted into his forever home after spending more than 3 years at the dog shelter

A 7-year-old boy threw an at-home prom for his babysitter as hers got cancelled

A lady invited those who were alone and ‘feeling lonely’ to virtual Thanksgiving

4-year-old twins cosplayed as Trump and Biden for Halloween

A mum opened a ‘Special Kneads Bakery’ & hired her son who suffers from cerebral palsy

SpaceX launched two astronauts into space for first time

The craziness of Tiger King, it somehow brought us all together

Did you have anything good happen to you in 2020, no matter how small? I’d love to read them in the comments section!

May 2021 be better for all of us! The only way is up… ✨

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Unfortunately, Covid doesn’t just end when the clock strikes 12am on January 1st…

As much as we all can’t wait to travel again internationally, it might be too much of a risk again this year – so: staycation.

Although it’s still not advised to travel abroad, who says we can’t bring abroad to us!?

There are some great staycation places to discover right here in the UK, offering the exotic vibes we’re all seeking!

Consider a staycation at Lizard Point, Cornwall

lizard point

No, this isn’t the Caribbean – it’s Lizard Point and Kynance Cove, in Cornwall. This place is my number one because it truly is a sight to beheld.

What about A STAYCATION in Bournemouth, England?


Want to pretend you’re in Australia’s Bondi Beach? The golden sands of Bournemouth beach are waiting…

Consider A staycation at Windermere, Lake District


With views that look too good to be true, Cumbria’s Windermere reminds me of being back in Switzerland.

How about a staycation in the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales?

isle of anglesey

A place of unmatched beauty and endless adventure, Anglesey is a historic island that’s brimming with character.

Consider a staycation in the Isle of Skye, Scotland

isle of skye

The Isle of Skye is one of wonder. Being the largest of the Inner Hebrides, it’s home to some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes.

What about A staycation at St Ives, Cornwall?

st ives

You might think it’s St Lucia, judging by the picture, but it’s definitely St Ives… Famed for its sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery, St Ives is another place in Cornwall that’s worth a trip to.

How about a staycation in Bath, Somerset


Bath, the wonders of BathAncient Roman vibes galore, just buy a slice of pizza and you’re practically there! Even though Thermae (pictured) might be closed during the lockdowns, there’s plenty of other stuff to see and do in Bath.

Consider a staycation at Jurassic Coast, Devon

jurassic coast

For those of you who don’t know, I’m Lebanese originally, and this really reminds me of Lebanon’s Raouche (Pigeon) RocksJurassic Coast screams all things Mediterranean!

What about a staycation at Cotswolds, England?


An area of natural beauty, there are fields and greenery for days!

Whatever it is that you’re looking for from a nature’s perspective – whether it’s to frolic in fields, or just explore quaint villages, Cotwolds has it.

Consider a staycation at The Eden Project, Cornwall

the eden project

Cornwall is obviously the place to be, this summer… In the space of one post, three different parts of it have come up.

The Eden Project is one unique place, with a rainforest cathedral, a garden filled with flowers of South Africa and a Rainforest Canopy Walkway… It’s not to be missed.

What about a staycation at The Aspinal Foundation, Port Lympne?

port lympne

With views that look like they could be from a Kenyan safari, they’re actually here in the Kent. You can pay to stay at lodges, where the animals come up to the window!

This post was inspired by Jojo’s Cup of Mocha.

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Happy New Year! 🥂🍾 🎉🎊

New Year’s resolutions? Who actually sticks to them for longer than the first two weeks? If you’ve managed to, you’re a hero who deserves to be celebrated.

Before I go any further, here is a true story… In 2018, I had the bright idea of doing Veganuary, so I went cold-Turkey on meats (include the pun) and just lived on quinoa and plant-based foods.

Fast forward to a fortnight, I’m struggling to get out of bed, dizzy as anything and suffering from vertigo. At the doctors, I was told I “should’ve phased it in as opposed to just quit it entirely overnight”.

Therefore, due to the evident fact that I simply cannot stick to New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided a different tactic: goal setting.

Here are a list of 21 goals that I will be “phasing into” my life this year, and you’re welcome to, too…


Make learning a new skill one of your goals

Whether it’s cooking, crochet or anything else that starts with a ‘c’ (other letters in the alphabet are available), get started…

If you have a passion for it, watch how it’s done and put it into practice (within reason, and excluding crazy things that you shouldn’t be trying at home!)


Creating a monthly budget is actual goals

It’s true that we’ve been saving a lot in lockdown, since working from home… But the reality is, I’ve actually been spending money on ridiculous things because I’m “bored” or depressed. This is NOT a good thing to be doing.

So, rather than continuing to do that – I’m going to set a budget and stick to it. For example, I will only be spending money on my outgoings (and things I need such as food) in a bid to save more “wonga”.


Read 12 books

12 books? That’s one book a month! It’s doable where ‘goals’ are concerned – especially when choosing shorter books (if you’re not into reading much).

Sorry to those who are regular readers of my blog, I may be repeating myself here… The thing I love about reading is you can get lost in the book, and feel as though you are on the journey with the character.

Of course, it’s not for everyone, but then again – I’d definitely say that if you’re feeling this way, it’s because you’re not reading the right books…


Start a side business

At this point, my blog should probably be called “Side Business” as it seems to come up in my posts a LOT! 😂

That hobby of yours, start charging and offering it as a service! The extra money you make from it can either be used to boost your savings, or spent on a holiday/experience post-pandemic.


Create a morning routine …and Stick to it

If your morning routine includes reaching for your phone first thing, you have a problem – one that I have too!

Get up, wash you face, brush your teeth, have a shower THEN go on your phone. I feel like this will speak to me more than anyone else! 🙈


Get rid of a bad habit

Bite your nails? Just do what I did (or not), and bribe your mum into buying you an iPad if you stop… Then, stop – only to later feel guilty about it, and buy it yourself! (In my defence, I was a teen at the time, and my mum was sick of me biting them)

In all seriousness though, that bad habit you have? Kick it to the curb! You’ll feel so great afterwards.

There is no denying that some habits are harder to quit than others, but – my point is: reward yourself after quitting with something you’ve always wanted.


Keep a gratitude journal

Make a list, check it twice to find out if you’ve been grateful or not, because ‘Blessings’ are coming to town! 🎶


Spend less time online

Here is another one written specifically for me… I have an addiction to my phone, and social media specifically.

There is a cool hack I’ve discovered which is also rather embarrassing, called Screen Time.

& OmG is it the wake up call that literally no-one wants… Finding out that you’ve spent a ludicrous amount of time on your smartphone, who TF wants that!? 😭

Taking it right back to the point at hand, Screen Time enables you to lock your phone after you’ve reached the limited number of hours you’ve allocated a day.


Eat healthier

Those five-a-days? Eat 10 of them. Get healthy and achieve those curb-cravings goals!


Create a fitness routine

No-one expects you to run a marathon or represent your country in the Olympics after starting your fitness journey…

Honestly, just go for a jog, whack on a fitness DVD or stream it on your TV in lockdown. It is sure to give you a spring in your step.


Travel to a new place

Lockdown called 📞 , it said “stay at home”. In that case, I assume this means just go to a different room (or a different park)…

After lockdown, travel to a new place in your country for a staycation (if you can’t travel abroad – as it’s probably wiser not to).


Declutter your home

Think of it as the ‘spring cleaning’ before Spring itself aka: ‘middle of winter cleaning’.

Research shows that a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. Start afresh.


Meditate every day

When people think of meditation, they expect it to be for 30 mins or an hour… Who made that a thing?!

Every time I mention it to someone who doesn’t do it, they’re always like “I don’t have time!” 🤯

Newsflash: if you’re doing it right, you could feel the same benefits of meditation in just five minutes.


Keep a diary

I bought a five year diary in 2020. & what a year to invest in one! 😂

Last year was filled with “Lockdown Thoughts”. Let’s see what the other four have in store…


Drink more water

Stay hydrated. If you’re struggling to, you can download an app that can tell you when to drink water – or even buy a smart-water bottle.

Alternatively, just follow Twitter accounts dedicated to drinking water and turning your notifications on.


Make time for self-care

Do something for yourself each week/fortnight or month. Whether that’s running a bath, putting on a face mask , whatever it is: give yourself that well deserved “me time”.


Reconnect with friends

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life’s too short. Surround yourself with loved ones.


Set a bedtime and stick to it

A good sleeping habit is so important. A set time for your body to rest is healthy for your skin, your hair, your organs – everything. The body repairs itself while we sleep, so a regular sleeping pattern is vital for wellness…

If you’re like me and suffer from insomnia, practice sleep hygiene.


Push through with your career goals

There’s no time like the present when it comes to revisiting old career plans, goals or dreams. Rise and grind!

Whether it’s a career change or a promotion, work towards it. Take action!


Create An Emergency Fund

Covid has certainly messed up our economy, no-one knows what the future holds.

Be grateful for the now and put some money aside for emergencies. Your savings will come in handy one day (hopefully not in an emergency setting).


Give to charity

Last Christmas, I felt guilty – big time. The fact that I had everything I needed, and there are people that didn’t really didn’t sit right with me. So, I was thankfully in a position where I could donate a little more than I usually do each month.

You don’t have to just donate, you can fundraise or volunteer too!

Charities I’d recommend in the UK are:

1) Crisis – for those in a crisis who need support

2) Samaritans – a comforting and listening ear for those who need to talk

3) Age UK – supporting the elderly

4) RSPCA – rehoming and saving animals from cruelty and neglect

5) GOSH – there for children who are ill and need treatment

6) Shelter – tackling homelessness

7) Trussell Trust – for underprivileged people and families living on the breadline

8) NSPCC – protecting children from abuse and neglect

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guardian angel

May your 2021 be filled with self-love, and self-care… Start it with some Etsy gifts… ✨

If you loved my small business post, I’m hoping you’ll love this one!

I’d like to introduce you to Pandora’s FairyMoonCandlesUK, a small business on Etsy that do incredible scented, soy wax candles that are vegan and eco-friendly.

Those of you who know me, will know I love candles – even though I used to have an irrational fear of matches or flames! Emphasis on “used to”. 😂

guardian angel

Pandora at FairyMoonCandlesUK hand-makes the most beautiful scented candles, filled with sequins, dried rose petals and healing crystals (another passion of mine).

Etsy Gifts: What is the ‘Guardian Angel’ candle?

The ‘Guardian Angel’ candle (pictured above) has a beautiful citrusy-lemon 🍋 meets ginger scent which I love! It’s very refreshing.

Also, it comes with pieces of clear quartz and citrine planted in the wax. Simply sublime… You’re welcome!

If lemon isn’t your thing, there are other varieties that are just as stunning. All types can be found here.

Oh, and – another thing that’s important is: customer service… Well the service I received, together with communication throughout shipment (and post-delivery) is second to none. Really, really fab.

Also, something unexpected arrived with my delivery – a free crystal gift as a little thank you for shopping with FairyMoonCandlesUK. That was an incredibly sweet touch.

Tell me more about the ‘Guardian Angel’ candle

guardian angel

Now for the packaging, very well wrapped. It came gift-wrapped in soft paper and securely fastened with a very neatly tied bow to match! The fairies pulled out all the magical stops… 🧚‍♀️

What others think of the ‘Guardian Angel’ candle

I gifted this candle to my boyfriend’s mum for Christmas, he passed on her message: “she absolutely loves it! Super lemony, gorgeous too, thanks!

My mum gifted a couple to her friends: “how unique! It’s very authentic.” / “it’s lovely, thank you! The stones in there are a great touch.” / “it goes perfectly with the decor [the recipient owns a beauty salon]”

I gave one to my mum too who lit it on the first day she received it, as she couldn’t wait another minute! 😭❤️

My next purchase will be for myself, one that I won’t light as it’s simply too stunning to light.

Thank you Pandora, your products are amazing.

I will be shopping with Pandora at FairyMoonCandlesUK throughout 2021, and I highly recommend her handmade pieces!

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Small Business Ideas

Now’s the time for all the ‘supporting small business’ ideas in the world! Especially as we’re heading into another national lockdown, which – if it helps the NHS cope and means life can get back to normal post-vaccine, then it’s worth it!

This year has been one heck of a ride… Worst rollercoaster ever, one you’d never find at Thorpe Park!

A major thing that suffered is our economy, and on a global scale. Therefore, this year, it’s been more important than ever to support small and/or local businesses.

In the first national lockdown, plenty of businesses were forced to close… With another one on the way, I dread to think what that means for the ones that luckily & thankfully survived.

This post aims to give tips on what you can do to support small or local businesses wherever you are in the world.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #1: Shop online

This Christmas, I relied heavily on Etsy. In fact, all year round – my friends and family have been receiving gifts from small businesses which I’ve found via Etsy.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas- #2: Buy & send gift cards

Gift cards are a way of giving a business extra £££ during the pandemic – even when they’re closed – which you or a loved one can claim back at a later date, in exchange for purchases or treatments.

Non-essential shops rely on this sort of thing to keep their businesses open, it also shows your loyalty.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #3: Order a Home Delivery or Pickup a Takeaway

Although local restaurants and cafes have closed for dining, they are open for takeaways and home deliveries. So, pop in or order one via Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Just Eat to “eat in, help out”.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #4: Tip More Than Usual

Here’s another tip for you: get tipping. Go above and beyond your usual (when and if possible). That way, the business knows that they are valued by you.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #5: Leave Good Reviews

You must have come across the ‘support local businesses’ telly adverts by Google, where the likes of Anthony Joshua showcase their favourite local business, encouraging viewers to leave a good review on theirs’.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #6: Continue with Subscriptions and Memberships

Keep paying your memberships and subscriptions, even if they’ve been temporarily suspended.

For those of you who have a steady income, offer to continue paying your cleaners, hair stylists, nannies, etc. They need us and we need them.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #7: Don’t Always Accept Refunds

If you’ve paid for something, don’t ask for a refund where possible and if it won’t put you out of pocket. Think of it as a donation.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #8: Start a Local Business Network

Pretty self explanatory, set up a local businesses group (via Facebook or wherever) where all the local businesses can place ads. Then promote it, getting the local residents involved. It may just be that the locals in your area didn’t know of this particular service.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #9: Crowdfunding

If you love a business and know it’s worth saving (which all do), create a campaign on platforms like GoFundMe to boost its finances. Promote it to friends, and encourage them to share it with theirs and so on…

Another way to do this is to get in touch with your local newspaper and see if they can do something to help.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #10: Offer Your Services For Free

Calling all cool web-designers, web-developers, awesome content creators, ace copywriters, social media whizzes & excellent marketer & advertisers…

Offer your services to those in need. 9/10 times the companies would be so taken aback by the gesture that they’ll spread the word of how amazing you are, which might lead to extra business later down the line. But, don’t expect this.

Never do anything with expectations of reward – the feeling you get after helping someone is enough of a reward in itself.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #11: Share A Local Business’ Promotions & Ideas

If you learn of a unique promotion or idea from a local business, share it online. It may well be something your social-media following or network would like to know about.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #12: Search for Online Services Offered by a Local Business

Not everything must close entirely. Keep an eye out for those businesses who may be able to alter their services, offering online engagement.

Therapists, tutoring, yoga, personal trainers, coaches, financial planners, lawyers, music classes for kids – all of these can be continued through videos or online conferencing.

Whatever and wherever you can, do help out.

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