Life Sparkles

Welcome March

March, already? Is your year speeding by like mine? Honestly, I don’t know where the time is going and at times I sit here feeling like I haven’t really achieved much of what I wanted to do. Here we are in the third month of the year and I’m wondering whether procrastination has taken hold of me, or periods of lack of self belief or even the old faithful visit to Instagram or TikTok for a ten minute break and find myself still there half an hour later and yes no doubt I’m watching cat video’s. My newsfeeds usually contain posts from people who are working hard on their dreams, their careers or a change of path in general and I love to see these posts. How their hard work finally starts to pay off, or they get a lucky break and even when things don’t go their way it turns out to be for the best. Even whilst I am reading these posts I’m thinking to myself ‘get off the social media and stop watching other people work for their dream and go work on your own’. It’s hard work, sometimes I’m just not in the mood to put the time in and these are my ‘why bother’ periods, where I doubt myself and my ability to actually transform the thoughts and spirit that make my heart and soul sparkle into reality.

Don’t be afraid to fly.

Don’t get me wrong now, I’ve not spent the last two months sitting around pondering, day dreaming and not actually working on my dreams. I’m working away steadily behind the scenes. I read a few weeks ago that being an independent artist is just amazing because you are in control of everything, no managers or labels telling what to sing or where to sing, what to release, how to work on your social media etc etc. However the downside of this independence is that you are in control of everything and you have to do everything yourself. The article stated that independents spend 80% of their time on the associated work behind the actual music and 20% of their time on the music. I can believe it. I spend far more time on the associated work than I do actually singing, writing songs or practising guitar.

Perhaps the Winter months made me a little slower in getting things done, I may have been in a kind of hibernation mode and the days flew by so quickly, or appeared to because of the darker evenings. Already it is lighter in the mornings and the grand stretch to the day has begun in the evening. The daffodils are gracing us with their beauty, the shoots from our bulbs are pushing through the soil and the trees are starting to bud. March gives us an abundance of new life, emergence from the darker Winter days and perhaps it’s time we emerged also and starting to burst forwards with energy into these wonderful Spring days.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Signs of Spring

It may be early February but there are definite signs of Spring in the air. Have you noticed the slightly lighter evenings arriving? The mornings are not quite so dark early on and there are daffodils for sale in the shops as well as their shoots coming through in the garden alongside the tulips. Spring is such a lovely time of year, the period of rebirth, regrowth and renewal after the hibernation and self care of Winter.

I love this photo of my cousin’s cat sitting pretty on her windowsill.

These first signs of Spring have inspired me to do some more decluttering. I still have a lot of my parents possessions at home and in fact all the furnishings are theirs. It’s homely, it’s comfortable, I love it so much but it’s not me. It’s not my style and although I am in no rush to change things, there are the smaller items that can now be donated to charity. This year it will be four years since they both passed away and it’s now that I am feeling that I am really starting to emerge from the darkness and make my own way in a happier frame of mind. So decluttering feels good. I have to do it when I am in the right mood and it lightens my mood to think that someone will purchase the items and have the benefit of them and that the charity will also benefit. Time to start moving on.

Time to move on.

Spring is a time for growing, rebirth and renewal for us all. We appreciate the beauty and kindness around us, we let go and move on from that which can be left behind as we continue to grow. We look forward to the full bloom of Summer but let’s not rush ahead. Have gratitude for this period of renewal both for the earth and ourselves, this is a period of real beauty and to appreciate it takes time.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles.

Carsington Revisited

Before I became a full time carer one of the places I used to love going for a walk is Carsington Water. Owned by Severn Trent Water it is a wonderful area of beauty set in the Derbyshire countryside. The circular walk is just about 8 miles and it takes you around the reservoir, through countryside, through a small village and back to the visitor centre. It’s a lovely place to go. The visitor centre has lots of information on local attractions and places to visit. It also houses a rather good restaurant where they have the most delicious cakes, snacks and main meals. The restaurant overlooks the wildlife centre, views of the reservoir and also the small shops and snack bar. There are extensive grounds, a barbeque area, boating and cycle hire and therefore it is a great place to visit for families, couples and singletons. I love it there. We used to go at least twice a year for the circular walk and it was lovely to see the changing seasons as we walked through the various areas. I often said I would love to go there and walk four times a year and experience the four seasons on the walk. We’ve not managed this yet due to the various caring responsibilities but we will, one day.

After the trip to London last October we had returned home a day early due to the rail strikes so we had a surprise additional day together to do as we pleased. Saturday morning was chilly, bright blue skies and sunshine so we decided to go to Carsington Water and do the walk. Something we hadn’t done since 2015. We did things just as we did before, baked potato for lunch in the restaurant and then off on the walk returning for the post walk shortbread biscuit with smarties and a cappuccino, well I have just walked 8 miles…

As you can see from the photo’s the water levels are not as they should be. We were told that the reservoir was at 41% capacity and that that particular week was the first week in eighteen months that the water level had not decreased. A very different picture to what we were used to seeing albeit seven years earlier.

It was a fabulous walk and I admit I had to stop a few times to catch my breath on the uphill stretches and it felt so good to be there, in the fresh air, looking at nature and the two of us talking about everything under the sun. This was a completely unexpected bonus day out for us and we savoured every second of it. When we get to do things like this, you escape for a while from real life and you can be free. My caring journey is over however himself is a full time carer and like I used to be, rarely leaves the house. This was so good for him to get out, get exercise and experience some free time which is so important for carers to do.

If you find yourself in Derbyshire or indeed in the Midlands of the UK, I would recommend Carsington Water as a day out. and if you do ever go, let me know how you got on and if the shortbread biscuits with smarties are as good as ever. I can also recommend the fresh baked scones with jam and cream. I used to buy those and take them home to my parents as a treat so I bought one for myself as a treat. As I said, I had walked 8 miles…

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Ok Monday, I see you!

I really am such a Monday nerd, I love the feeling of Monday morning, the fresh week lies ahead, new opportunities to be grabbed, goals to work on, ticking off items on the to do list. That first cup of coffee in the morning always tastes that little bit better on a Monday for me.

There are so many different people in our lives, whether at home, at work or socially and we need a good mix of personalities to enrich our lives, to talk with, have shared experiences with and have a good laugh with.

Monday – Bring on the new week!

Have a wonderful Monday, a truly blessed week and a fabulous cup of coffee, or tea, whatever beverage makes Monday morning amazing for you.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles


January has flown by for me this year. Quite a few of my friends and colleagues have commented on how slow January has been, that it has felt so long, that it would never end. I’ve always liked January, I never found it a flat or long month (except waiting for payday of course). I suppose in the way I am a Monday nerd I must be a January nerd too. Perhaps time is flying because I’m getting older or perhaps because I am now so focussed on new career goals, engaging on courses so that I am learning to do things myself rather than have to pay someone to do social media marketing or even decorating my music room at home. Maybe I am taking time to utilise my time wisely although I admit, there are days that speed by and I really don’t seem to have achieved anything at all and I wonder what I have been doing all day.

It has taken me until the end of January to get my exercise goals started and I’m feeling good because I have been out for a walk two days running. I have downloaded the C25K app once again this year as I intend to start running again. I’m attempting to build certain habits into my days and weeks. Drinking water, guitar practice, singing practice, reading my collection of books on healing, manifesting, quantum physics and the universe (yes you read that one correctly) plus this year I have a diary/journal which I am so far loving.

January also gave me a wonderful surprise when I logged into my music distributor account and discovered that since October my debut single ‘Fade to Grey’ has been streamed almost 7K times worldwide. To say I was excited and hyper when I seen that is an understatement. Talk about delighted. Now I realise that 7k streams worldwide isn’t that much in the grand scheme of music distribution but for me, a totally unknown artist releasing a self penned single, I think that’s pretty awesome and it’s has spurred me on in leaps and bounds confidence wise.

So January, it’s time to say goodbye and thank you for another year. You’ve been exciting, peaceful and I am full of gratitude for you.

Ok February, let’s see what you’ve got.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles.

Pre Christmas Lights

Lichfield in Staffordshire is such a beautiful city. Surrounded by countryside with an olde English city centre and yet a mix of the modern blends in so well. Steeped in history and with a wonderful cathedral, Lichfield is a lovely place during all seasons of the year, to wander around, visit places of interest and stop off for a coffee or something stronger.

Just before Christmas I visited Lichfield to see the Christmas lights and visit the cathedral. It was a chilly, frosty evening which felt perfect for the season. As you know I’m all about the sparkle and there was sparkle everywhere.

I also visited my usual parish church before Christmas as the priest, who used to visit my parents very often, was saying a mass for them during Advent. The church looked so beautiful and again, a gorgeous Christmas tree with loads of sparkle.

And in keeping with the church at Christmas theme, I have a picture of the Christmas tree and Advent candles from the church I visit when I am over with himself to care for his Mom. As you can see, I packed in the Christmas sparkle during the Advent season.

Midnight Mass Christmas Eve.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Good Morning Monday

Sometimes, on a Monday morning, with that first, fresh cup of coffee, you just need that positive, uplifting affirmation to get your day and week started.

You really are capable of doing anything you want. Yes it takes work, it takes planning, setting goals and achieving them but think about it. How much do you really want to achieve your dream? Follow your passion? Make a start, small steps lead to huge progress. You know the saying ‘You’ve got this’!!

Have a fabulous week.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles.

The London Trip

Last October, himself arranged to go to London to work with and meet for the first time in person, not online, his work colleagues.

When he first mentioned the trip I invited myself. I haven’t visited London very often and I thought that this trip would cover a few things. We would get to spend some ‘us’ time together (or so I thought), it would do him the world of good to be out in the real world, in the office, meeting colleagues and living life and it would push me and my independence to do things alone.

Before the pandemic, you may already know, I was a full time carer for years for my parents who both passed in 2019. Then 2020 brought us the pandemic and in way we are all still coming to terms with life, a new way of living post Covid. For me, I’m learning to build a new life now that we are out of the various lockdowns and I need to push myself to try new things and explore and not stay within the comfort zone. Himself works from home as he is a full time carer for his Mother who has Vascular Dementia so this trip was a huge departure to normal life for him. We are ever thankful to his sister who took a week off work to come and look after her Mom and release himself for this trip.

Not your typical tourist photo’s of London, I do have a thing about buildings, views of buildings and buildings with trees around. I walked around forty miles during my free afternoons. Himself was gone to work first thing and I then worked from the hotel room until lunchtime and then I went out exploring. This was a massive step for me to do this, to leave the comfort of the hotel room and head out alone in our capital city. Isn’t it strange how we can scare ourselves about these things, get anxious about doing things alone, striding out into the busy London streets. I packed up my rucksack and off I went. We were positioned on the edge of the financial district as this was close to his office and therefore I was only ten minutes walk from London Bridge. That was my starting point. I walked around Tower Bridge, Hays Galleria, and St Katherine’s Dock. I walked through cobblestoned alleyways that led out to beautiful little courtyards and coffee shops.

Hays Galleria

The photo above is within Hays Galleria. I visited the Tate Modern and although some of it went right over my head, I found some exhibits really interesting. I had totally forgotten how into ‘Surrealism’ I was before I left school. I felt very cultured after my trip to the Tate. I also visited St Paul’s Cathedral. I didn’t get inside on this trip as the queues were long but I did have a walk around the grounds which were beautiful. Lots of photographers and their models within the grounds doing wedding photo shoots. Don’t you just love people watching?

Considering it was early October it was very warm in London. Apparently that’s down to the large buildings and skyscrapers. I absolutely loved my trip to the capital. I took the hop on/hop off bus around the city and have earmarked a number of places I want to visit in the future. Hopefully himself will be making another work trip there this year.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Monday Story

Well that’s the first week of the new month and the new year done. Did you carry out any of the tasks from your to do list? I admit I didn’t do many of mine. I do seem to suffer from a bad case of procrastination when it comes to doing anything towards forwarding my music career and I don’t know why. It’s always ‘I’ll just get the washing done and then I’ll sing’ or ‘I need to do the housework’ and even ‘I’ll just make a quick phone call’. I love my music, I feel so much better after a session singing. I have so many plans for this year on the back of what I managed to achieve last year and yet I still find myself procrastinating.

I have a huge sense of excitement for 2023, that this year I’m going to do well following my dream, that I can achieve more than last year, I’ve laid the groundwork and now it’s time to move up a step or two. What’s holding me back? I wish I knew. I’m all fired up for action and yet just can’t get into action. However, I’m not going to beat myself up about this. I will use last week as a kind of mop up after the Christmas holidays week which includes eating the final mince pies (I still have a box to go). I’m getting back into the healthy eating, starting the exercises off again and trying to not overwhelm my to do list. In the past I’ve planned to do so many things in a week or a month and the lists have just been unrealistic. There’s no need to put that much pressure on ourselves.

So here we go, new week, new goals, new lists and new opportunities. We all have a story to tell, make this week the week you really start to tell yours.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Hello January

Welcome January.

And all at once here we are again in January. A new year and a new month. I can’t comprehend at times how fast time is actually going. Last year passed by in a flash. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, or because I was very busy or because I was actually starting to feel like I was building a life again, that I was coming out of the other side of grief. Whatever the reason, the year passed very quickly and I’m very pleased that I achieved what I achieved. I pushed myself, I pushed my comfort zone, I pushed my limits and I achieved a goal. I had many moments of deliberation, lack of confidence, lack of self belief yet there was something inside me, driving me on. A passion to follow this path.

I don’t find January a depressing month, neither do I find it a flat month after all the excitement and build up to the festive season. I find January to be a clear and bright month. The evenings start to gain a little light, the new year sweeps into our lives like a new broom, prompting us to declutter, to clean up our act and our homes, to make way for new beginnings, new days and weeks ahead of us, goals to achieve, dreams to follow, places to visit and time to reflect on our lives and decide if we wish to change anything or not. It’s not all about resolutions at this time of year, I rarely kept to mine so I don’t make them anymore. January, especially the first week of January before we get back into routine, is a time of reflection, cleansing and thoughts. What are we bringing with us to 2023 and what have we decided to leave in 2022 because it doesn’t serve us anymore?

January is a beautiful month for appreciation of what we have. Long time readers and visitors to my blog know that I love my notes books and lists. I have a Go Girl journal for this year (I bought mine from Amazon) and I love it. So much room to write things down and plan. I do a lot of work online and on my laptop and I still love to write things down. I suppose I’m a bit high tech/old school.

Be sure to sparkle.

I hope you have a wonderful January and that this beautiful start to 2023 brings you hope for better days, pushes you to follow a dream or set a goal, invigorates you to make changes, or not, whatever you want your year to be like, it’s up to you. Whatever you do or don’t decide to do, remember, this is your year to sparkle.

With love and sparkles xxx