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Words

{Guest post}Sara-Louise Martin. Navigating the loss of a Father

June 18, 2018

A post by Sara-Louise Martin a dear friend of mine. SL (as she is known in our house) and I met in our early teens through an organisation which ran activities for children who had lost a parent. We reconnected a number of years ago which has been such a blessing and the timing has been perfect (for me at least) as I have started to unravel my own grief journey with some guidance and a gentle nod of the head from SL who knows so many of the feelings and thoughts I wrestle. We refer to ourselves as being part of the “Dead Dad’s club” which adds a little humour and lightness to the lives we lead!

Grab a cuppa and read Sara Louise’s powerful story and tips for handling the mass that grief can weigh in our day to day lives.
Navigating the loss of a father… Continue Reading…

Featured, Words

Accepting grief.

March 27, 2018

I read in last months Women’s Health Magazine, in noted that we should be more open and honest in life. Apparently, this helps us to move forward with our lives and to prevent getting “stuck” in toxic friendships and relationships.

When I read it I was drawn to the bullet points they had at the end of the article. One read “Tackle grief …”. It progressed to say how we are held back by unprocessed emotions, grief being one of them.

As someone who “lost” (he didn’t fall of a pier but “lost” seems to be the terminology used often to describe death) my father a week before my eighth birthday, I can put my hand on my similarly defected heart (Dad died due to heart problems) and agree that the notion of dealing with grief stood out to me because it rang so true to me. Continue Reading…

Wellbeing, Words

Feed your mind, the digital way. Libraries NI

March 10, 2018

When I am asked to partner with a brand my first thought/question is always, without hesitation “ Is this the right fit for me and my audience?”.

So ,when  libraries NI approached me – a name and facility which was a huge part of my childhood, my pregnancies, my marriage, the baby years with my first two boys-  I was immediately in and couldn’t wait to find out more for you.

Reading and writing ironically became my favourite thing to do after my years at School which was sadly a little late to pull the A grade I was predicted out of the bag for my incredible teacher, Mrs Black in Friends school Lisburn. Continue Reading…

Words

Serving others is good for you

February 20, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the reality tv programme Love island was a shameless part of a my weekly tv watching last year.

After it ended my phone battery took a hit as I crept online at the couples. Olivia and her baby faced farmer, Amber and Kem, Marcel and Gabby (my faves) and of course hot Calvin Klein model Jamie Jewitt and Camilla Thurlow.
All of whom are fascinating to watch as they plummet into the wave of stardom since their departure from Majorca.

What stands out for me about Cam and Jamie is their desire to serve others. Yes, you might think some of it a little contrived or look at Camilla and her privileged upbringing thinking “it’s alright for her standing in a soup kitchen while I’m here in my 9-5 trying to make my own ends meet”.All of which is perfectly valid but… Continue Reading…

Words

Your words have power

January 25, 2018

Good, bad, ugly, inward, outward, to self or to others – words have impact.

A few  weekends ago my one year old poured a 500ml bottle of water over my laptop.
I can’t even say I was unaware of the water, the pouring, the puppy, the toddler and the busyness of the two of them in the hallway. I was in the kitchen and somehow thought “I’ll just mop it up later” as I continued to clean the lunch dishes. Continue Reading…

Words

The relevance of memories. Armagh food +cider festival.

September 21, 2017

I am a great believer that things happen for a reason, what’s for you won’t pass you by and so on. I’m all for it.

So, when things come up on my calendar that are perfectly in line with my ethos of nostalgia and positive associations to landmarks, objects or words – I jump at them.

That includes this weekend the Armagh food and cider festival. 

Normally we are a family who make the most of Culture night in Belfast. Our eight year old has attended since he was a year old and we love the buzz. Continue Reading…

Words

For the love of (Belfast) art

May 5, 2017

I often get asked “Ah, so you blog about art?” which I know would make most sense, I am an artist after all. However it didn’t come naturally for me to blog about other people’s art or art theories two years ago.

What came naturally and still does feel right in this space is leading you into my own day to day life which inevitably fits with my theme of “placing importance on the everyday”. Fitness , food, family, wellbeing and life stories are the main leads in my daily life.

Last night I had the absolute joy of attending Belfast late night art. Have you visited art in Belfast recently? I mean , more than just the Ulster museum. Saying that I adored the exhibit which showed my MFA tutor Willie Doherty’s film included in The new past exhibition.

The first Thursday in every month the art galleries in Belfast open their doors for anyone to visit and see the latest exhibits.

Can I take a second to tell you that I have had three babies, two house moves and a whole lot of breast milk on my tops over the past eight years. For me, to be able to actively leave my house with the intention of going to an art event, UNACCOMPANIED , is a really big deal. Continue Reading…

Words

5 business books every start up needs

March 9, 2017

Running my own business was never at the forefront of my life’s ambition. It really wasn’t. Art College was a great fit and teaching seemed like a fun occupation so I sort of ran with all of it.

Until teaching was no longer a passion or indeed an option. Then I had to get creative and start to open my eyes to what on earth I would do after I finished my Masters in Fine art.

I want to say my business has been running for eight years but really I shuffled along paying more for childcare than I was earning at the start of this venture. So it is only in the past three years (possibly since launching my first website) that the ball has rolled more than it has had to be pushed.

I grew so much in the early days- I talk about them here, and continue to grow with every podcast I listen to, painting I under price and fellow business mentor I meet.

My love for sharing information and encouraging other people has been in my bones and I love that my business, and in particular this blog, allows me to extend from my art in your homes to helping you ( albeit on a minor scale) with all things wellbeing and business.

Continue Reading…

Words

What I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage

January 9, 2017

 

Where do I start as I think about the relationship that my mother in law once called “loves young dream” ? T

he one that started with monthly gifts (yes, every month a different gift) bought from him to me. Not just flower gifts – a stereo, tickets to the theatre, fun dinners. For seven months he swooned me and hit the nail in the coffin (for want of a better term) by proposing on one knee while we painted the bathroom of his new house.

Deal.Done. Continue Reading…