Blog

stacks of coins increase in size with a green shoot growing from each stack to represent investment

How to start investing: A review of Nutmeg

Disclaimer – I am by no means an authority on investing, please do not treat this article as financial advice. I am simply sharing my knowledge and personal experience. Remember, as with all investments, your capital is at risk. Your investment can go up or down, and you may end up getting back less than you put in. *** When you’re setting up home, saving money can feel like an impossible task. After shelling out for rent, bills, shopping and petrol, it’s tempting to blow what might be left on having fun. But once you’ve got to grips with these Read more…

Woman working on a laptop

10 tips for getting started in blogging

Despite being around for more than 25 years, blogging is still alive and flourishing. According to the latest blogging statistics, there were 31.7 million bloggers in the United States alone in 2020, with users of popular blogging platform WordPress producing around 70 million new posts each month.  I officially launched my blog in February 2021 as a space to write about the things I find interesting and to promote my freelance writing and editing services. In just five months, I have discovered quite a bit about the world of blogging and picked up a few tips along the way.  So, Read more…

The midnight library on a bookshelf

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by journalist and mental health advocate Matt Haig is a thought-provoking page-turner for these uncertain times. With its short chapters, I would recommend this book to anyone finding it difficult to concentrate right now or those who want to read more but struggle to find the time. Synopsis Thirty-something Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library – a sort of holding area between life and death – following a life of sadness and regret. In the Midnight Library, Nora gets the opportunity to try out all sorts of different lives to see what could have been Read more…

A view over st ives bay. A blue body owater meets a sandy harbour. There are boats in the water

UK break inspiration: West Cornwall highlights

If you’re pining for a UK getaway (and let’s face it, who isn’t right now!?) then look no further than Cornwall. West Cornwall, in particular, is one of the most beautiful corners of the UK, boasting picturesque fishing villages, rugged coastline and wide, sandy beaches. One of the best times to visit Cornwall is towards the end of the summer when the crowds have dispersed and children have gone back to school; the weather is still warm, accommodation is cheaper and the roads are quieter. Here are some of my highlights: St Ives The pretty fishing village of St Ives Read more…

where the crawdads sing book on a wooden background with two pot plants

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the crawdads sing is a beautiful coming-of-age tale that brings together romance, murder mystery and wildlife. Set on the North Carolina coast, it follows Kya Clark, who is known to the local community as ‘The Marsh Girl’ because she grew up in the nearby swamp. When a local boy named Chase Andrews is found dead, the local community immediately suspects Kya of the crime – but Kya could not be any further from the ‘swap rat’ the locals make her out to be.  SynopsisKind-hearted and full of wisdom, Kya has survived without her family for many years in the Read more…

What to eat for a great night’s sleep

Looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep? There are countless remedies that claim to help you drift off into a sweet slumber, from soothing pillow mists and lavender sprays to herbal remedies, oils and candles.  Luckily you don’t need to spend a fortune to help your body wind down for a good night’s kip. According to The Sleep Council, certain foods are known to calm the brain and help promote sleep. For example, it’s important to have lycopene (found in red and orange-coloured foods), carbohydrates and vitamin C (nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, Read more…

The book Normal People rests on a desk next to a silver laptop and a pair of black glasses

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People is set in rural Ireland and follows the on-off-on relationship between Marianne – a socially-awkward misfit who ‘wears ugly thick-soled flat shoes’ and Connell, one of the most popular and good-looking boys in their school. Both are highly intelligent yet come from different social classes. Marianne is wealthy and lives in a mansion while Connell is working-class – his mum works as a cleaner for Marianne’s family, which is where their story begins.  “In school on Monday he had to avoid looking at Marianne or interacting with her in any way. He carried the secret around like something Read more…

Seven days in New York City

Day one How we got there We flew to New York in August 2019 with Virgin Atlantic leaving Gatwick airport early in the morning and arriving into JFK airport around midday (US time). We decided to skip the taxi queue and take public transport instead. The AirTrain from JFK linked us to the Subway, and from here we took the E train into the heart of NYC. A simple transfer that I would recommend if you don’t have too much luggage. Where we stayed We stayed at The Residence Inn by Marriott New York Manhattan/Central Park. The Residence Inn is Read more…

A young woman lies in child's pose on a pink yoga mat

My top five Yoga with Adriene videos

Yoga combines physical exercise with breathwork, diet, relaxation and meditation to cultivate a healthy body and mind. It’s a 5,000-year-old practice involving postures, gentle exercise, breathing techniques and relaxation. The many physical benefits to yoga include improved flexibility and balance, enhanced cardiovascular fitness and increased energy levels. But yoga is also proven to provide relief from stress, prevent conditions related to stress, and improve decision-making skills. Find what feels good A colleague introduced me to ‘Yoga with Adriene’ in 2017 and I was instantly hooked. Fronted by international yoga instructor and actress Adriene Mischler, her YouTube channel has more than Read more…

Three apps to help you improve your writing

We all make mistakes, and for many years I relied on Microsoft Word to pick up those dreaded typos. Recently, however, I stumbled upon some alternative apps that help writers to fine-tune their articles. From style checkers to plagiarism scanners, here are three tools that I’ve found useful, and I hope you will too. Hemingway Editor Hemingway Editor is designed to help make your writing bold and clear, its creators describe it as ‘like a spellchecker, but for style’. The app is based on studies carried out by researchers in the field of “readability” and gives your copy a grade Read more…