How to survive working from home…

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with working from home. There are times when I genuinely love it, usually weather related – I mean who wouldn’t want to work in the garden on a sunny day or have the luxury of staying indoors when it’s teeming with rain.

But that love can soon turn to hate when you have to deal with people just dropping by unannounced, being the main parcel drop off for neighbours and people assuming that you don’t have a job just because your office is in your own home.

If you’re also a home worker or you’re thinking about taking the plunge here are some tips to help you survive (stay sane even) working from home…

Continue reading “How to survive working from home…”

Mindful Eating

*original post from 2012*

I went to a talk last night on fatigue in brain injury patients. One thing that was mentioned was mindful eating {this is due to diet playing a part in recovery}.

The occupational therapist who was leading the talk posed the question:

how often do you actually taste or think about what you’re eating?”.

Honestly? Probably not that often.

It’s a well known fact that factors such as boredom or depression can see us heading straight for the biscuit tin but hand on heart how many times do you just reach for food and not really take in the taste, smell or texture of it?

A recent piece in the New York Times suggested mindful eating as a way of fighting bingeing. It explored how we all eat so fast these days because our lives are fast and as a part of that we end up eating more than we should. Mindful eating therefore becomes the psychological barrier for overeating because the slower you eat the more time you have to recognise that you’ve had enough.


Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It comes from Buddhist teachings and is the art of fully being aware of what’s happening both inside and outside yourself. It’s all about taking in what’s going on in your body, heart and mind as well as your environment.

And mindful eating?
Continue reading “Mindful Eating”

Love Kombucha

Kombucha: is a raw, fermented, probiotic, and naturally carbonated tea.


Yesterday I had the best day at the BBC Good Food show. It was so good to see an increase in stalls promoting healthy, natural living. However my day got even better when I stumbled across @lovekombucha.

If you’ve not tried or heard of Kombucha yet then you need to give it a go. It’s a naturally fizzy, fermented tea based drink. It’s uses a SCOBY (AKA symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to eat away at the sugar which results in a healthy, gut healing drink.

So why drink Kombucha? Well, as I mentioned above, it’s a great probiotic, increases energy, treats candida and improves pancreas function. It’s also stuffed with antioxidants and is a home remedy for acne, fatigue, hypertension, headaches, and constipation. Continue reading “Love Kombucha”

Fill the silence…

I’m one of those people that if there’s a silence when chatting or on the phone, I cannot leave it. I always have to fill it with something. 

But I’ve found this brilliant website that gives some true facts for when you find yourself in the middle of an awkward pause.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Continue reading “Fill the silence…”

How To: Deal With Online Trolls

“Beyoncé isn’t Beyoncé because she reads comments on the Internet. Beyoncé is in Ibiza, wearing a stomach necklace, walking hand in hand with her hot boyfriend. She’s going on the yacht & having a mimosa. She’s not reading shitty comments about herself on the Internet, & we shouldn’t either. I just think, Would Beyoncé be reading this? No, she would just delete it or somebody would delete it for her. What I really need to do is close the computer & then talk back to that voice & say, Fuck you. I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m Beyoncé. I’m going to Ibiza with Jay-Z now, fuck off. Being criticized is part of the job, but seeking it out isn’t. That’s our piece to let go.” (Kathleen Hanna)

Tim Ferris posted this Steve Jobs quote on facebook recently and it got me thinking about online trolls…especially in light of the Stan Collymore fiasco.

“By the way, what have you done that’s so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize other’s work and belittle their motivations?”- Steve Jobs

image via pinterest

If you’ve ever been on the end of abusive internet comments – then you know it’s not nice. I’ve been called “pointless” for writing a simple piece on first dates, right through to being called a “fucking bitch” on twitter because I shared my opinion on a news story (and let’s not forget the famous “baphead” for daring to go on the radio). It seems trolls don’t just go after celebrities, they’ll go after anyone so long as they get their cheap kicks.

So what is a troll? If you’re thinking those weird little toys {pictured above} you used to play with back in the 80/90s then think again. These are bigger, nastier and uglier.”A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.” – Wikipedia

Put basically, they’re a collective of people who think that a cheap laptop and a broadband connection gives them the right to be abusive to others. They forget {or more to the point – don’t care} that the person reading the bile they’ve spewed is a human being.  They’re nothing short of playground bullies who have no boundaries because they’re hiding behind their computer screens and often see no consequences.But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Here are a few things you can do…

Ignore them. The most simple of advice and often a lot easier said than done. It’s taken me ages to just ignore these people and not react. I’ve come to the conclusion that if they don’t like what I’ve posted then more fool them for wasting five minutes of their life leaving a comment. Like any bully they thrive on attention. Don’t give it to them and they can’t do a thing.The Internet is written in ink…

It’s so hard not to retaliate and throw some pretty severe four letter words back out there at these monsters but STOP and think before you press that send button. To steal a line from the film The Social Network – the internet is written in ink. EVERYTHING is searchable, once you’ve clicked send, things remain out there and you’ve very little control over it once it’s out. Don’t ruin your future chances by responding in a negative and unprofessional way. You may not think it matters now but you don’t want people to google your name and see a string of inappropriate messages {and by then out of context} pop up.

On Twitter? Use your block button. If someone has upset you on twitter then just click the block button. It’s what it’s there for. Certainly don’t RT the comment, by retweeting you’re just giving the troll the satisfaction of seeing it bothered you.

On your blog? Would you let someone come in to your home and abuse you? No? Well, if someone posts something vile on your blog {YOUR virtual home} then just delete the comment. If you use wordpress then you can block these critters from ever commenting again. Don’t let it put you off blogging either – like I said earlier, if they don’t like your blog then they can quit reading it.

Don’t assume everyone is a troll…It’s a weird term really – troll. What I may consider a troll someone else may just think is an old fashioned arsehole. If you’ve been on twitter and facebook for any length of time you can usually see the difference between asshat and a troll so judge with caution.

Don’t let it get you down. Again, easier said than done. I remember when I had my first email of hate, I’d just had an article published and the reader clearly didn’t agree with my opinions – which is totally cool but they chose to verbally express themselves in a way which was less than kind. They’d gone to a whole heap of effort to trace my email address and craft a mammoth hate session so that it arrived in my inbox to read the very next morning. Did it bother me? HELL YES. I was so upset by it that I thought I’d made a huge mistake and should just skulk back off to my PR job.  You get used to a certain level of rejection when you’re freelancing but when someone deliberately sets out be vile it’s pretty upsetting. But the more time you waste on them and let them bring you down the less time you have to achieve things and get stuff done

.If it gets too much or you feel threatened then there are things you can do…

Check out Darlingtons blog post on trolls. He mentions the actions that can be taken if you’re feeling harrassed or threatened such as criminal and civil proceedings.

AND FINALLY…I have to share this piece that I read on Gala Darling’s blog. Whilst not specifically about trolling it does make you think that what people say about you really shouldn’t stop you from going out there and doing what you want.

*originally posted August 2012  

How to cope when things don’t go your way…

Life isn’t fair.We know that. Here are a few tips I use to cope with those times when things just don’t go my way…

Step back and evaluate. I always suggest getting a pad and sharpie and scribbling the shit out of the problem. Best therapy known to man involves a sharpie. Trust me.

Know that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one out there facing the same problem so either find them (twitter?) or just get on with things and deal with it.  Dealing with things is VERY underrated.

What are you really upset about? When I failed my driving test for the 80 millionth time (< bit of an exaggeration), I went to bed. I gave up, crawled under the duvet and declared I wasn’t coming out for anything. Now that wasn’t going to get me on the road was it? But what I was really upset about wasn’t so much the driving test but an accumulation of other things in my life (read: love life issues). I wanted to drive so badly because I wanted a bit of independence and actually the courage to be able to walk (or drive) away from the person I was involved with at the time. So, when you’re upset 99% of the time the trigger point isn’t actually the main source.

Have a good old rantbut don’t go on and on about it. EVERYONE needs a good old rant occasionally but the trick is to get it off your chest and then move on – for not just your own sake but those around you.

Have a good think. Shut out the noise and just be alone with your thoughts. Its amazing how quickly things right themselves when you have a moment to just process your thoughts.

Is your life over because of what’s gone on? No, probably not, so realise that the situation could be a lot worse and just move the fuck on.

LEARN. There are people in this life who just never learn. Don’t be one of those. Learn from your mistakes, for example, I hurt myself pretty badly last year because I tried to cut a pesky bit of string and instead of pointing the knife downwards, I pointed it upwards.I won’t go in to the gory details, needless to say I felt ridiculous (I took myself back to bed on that occasion too – clearly a pattern) and I’d never, ever do that again. It’s like running with scissors, there’s a reason you’re told not to do it.

Take a break. Go for a walk, visit a friend, go on a trip, have a nap – whatever your preferred method is take a few hours out to forget about it. You’ll then have a rested mind and you’ll be in a better place to deal with things.

 image credit

Things you need to stop saying in press releases

This month I resolved to stay on top of my inbox. This meant reading and filing (as opposed to my tried and tested method of ignoring and deleting) emails as they come in.

This has meant, over the past month I’ve read a LOT of press releases and there are some phrases that need to be stopped – asap.


This isn’t a PR bashing exercise, that’s not how I roll, after all I used to work in PR myself but rather a little advice guide for anyone thinking of writing a press release to promote their business.

Stop The Press (or any variation) – I’m sorry, this is probably the most annoying phrase you could EVER start communication with. You’re not in Press Gang, your fashion line/travel company/online boutique really isn’t important enough that ANY editor is going to stop presses for you. Therefore that phrase is totally redundant. If I see this in the title it gets immediate trash bin treatment.

BlahBlah-preneur – ENOUGH with the “preneur”. I can cope with Entrepreneur (although aren’t we all? So really, its not gripping) but adding “preneur” to the end of everything just grates. Mummypreneur or Mompreneur is the absolute worst – you are a freaking female in business and you are NOT defined by your childbearing skills so just own it!

Embargo: If I see the word embargo then I assume it isn’t urgent so I just ignore it, but 9 times out of 10 I don’t ever go back to it and it ends up in the bin!

Going forward: This is a phrase that should be banned full stop, not just in press releases. It’s one of those pointless statements like “at the end of the day”.

And finally, it’s not a word but it’s something that you need to keep in mind…

Last minute events – Don’t expect us to drop everything and rush to your event – no matter how good it is. We have deadlines and lives, we need a decent amount of advance notice for any event we attend. Especially, if you’re expecting us to travel.

Seriously, it’s tough to promote your business and getting it in front of journalists, writers and bloggers etc is even tougher. If you want attention be straight to the point and quit using buzzwords because buzzwords = bullshit.

What words do you hate to see pop up in your inbox?