Friday, 30 December 2011

Why I love Reiki

I understand Reiki sounds different/wacky/ridiculous. Before I had a few Reiki treatments, the logical person in my head just couldn’t understand how Reiki works.

To give you a brief background, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer aged just 32 (we have no family history of related cancers either). My world, and my family’s worlds, were completed affected. My sister searched the internet looking for treatments and advice which would help me with my treatment. She booked me in for a Reiki treatment the day before my mastectomy and the operation was successful and went smoothly.
I then needed 6 sessions of chemotherapy and my lovely Reiki practitioner came to my house the same day and gave me Reiki. Caroline was able to give me a Reiki treatment for 5 out of the 6 chemo sessions and for the one session I didn’t receive Reiki, I reacted terribly. I suffered far more nausea, couldn’t sleep and felt dreadful. I began to think there may be something in this ‘Reiki’.

Once I was back on the road to recovery, I investigated Reiki further. I then took a basic Reiki course and spent several years, just ‘playing’ with Reiki by treating family, friends and animals. The response I receive from 90% of animals was the defining Reiki moment for me. Timid rabbits creep into my hands to get closer, previously traumatised horses place their head in my hands and cats sneak into stables whilst I’m with a horse, just to absorb some of Reiki.

Next week, I hope to explain more about Reiki.

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Friday, 23 December 2011

Winter review

OK so I know we are all busy in the run up to Christmas but my next blow post isn’t due until Friday 30th December (I try and publish a blog post every Friday) and I wanted to give you all something to think about between Christmas and New Year.

Now is an ideal time to look back and review.

According to some calendars, yesterday (21st December) was the Winter Solstice. However technically, the shortest day this year falls on the 22nd December. See here for some further details:- I found this fascinating and enlightening. For me, I can now start to celebrate the start of longer, lighter days. It is also a reminder for me to spend some time in the sun, even 10 minutes during my lunch break and I feel much happier.

I have a routine where I look at my tasks, to-do’s which have been written in my Filofax. This happens weekly, monthly and yearly and I carry forward what hasn’t been completed, what needs to be updated and what no longer applies.

Also remember to look back and review the last year on how you have grown emotionally and spiritually. Reviews also include what didn’t work, how can this be improved?

How about keeping a notepad around during the excitement of Christmas of present wrapping on Christmas morning and writing down who received what present so you can write thank you notes. Did you receive any thank you notes last year and if so, how did they make you feel. I love receiving thank you notes (especially hand written ones) so I hope the recipients of my notes get that same feeling.

Thank you for reading my blog. Wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Crystals in and around the home

Crystals can be used all around the house and also on our bodies. Crystals can help with the energies in the home and of those of the people within. For example, I have a large, rough, rose quartz by my front door which provides love and warmth to all who enter. I have chunks of amethyst in the bedroom to aid with any sleepless nights we may suffer from as it helps to calm an overactive mind. I have a clear quartz on my computer desk at work to help displace some of the electro-magnetic energy given off by the screens and laptop.

I also wear various crystals (sometimes to match my mood, sometimes to match my outfit) in the form of crystal adorned rings, necklaces and bracelets.

My children have a range of crystals in their bedrooms (ie blue gold stone although not technically a crystal) as it is beautiful and looks like the night sky.
My eldest soon carries various crystals in his book bags, fluorite being one of them as it is said to aid with concentration.

The energy of crystal can be measured (and seen) by Kirlian photography. Kirlian Photography is a valuable tool that provides photographs, video, or computer images of energy flow. There are some amazing examples on the internet.

Some of my favourite crystals look amazing with holes drilled in to hold t-lights. These glisten and glow and add a beautiful ambience to any room.

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Why are we drawn to crystals?

Ever since I was little I remember being fascinated by crystals. I’m still unsure whether it was their pretty colours that I was drawn to or their healing properties. Either way I was hooked.

I recently attended a school Christmas Bazaar selling a variety of products including crystal tumblestones. Some of the adults where interested in the crystals but children of all ages, gender and sizes just appeared to be drawn to them. Some preferred the clear quartz, some blue lace agate but they were all drawn to different crystals. Why? Is it because they inherently feel and understand the subtle healing crystals can perform? As we grow older do we gradually loose the ability to ‘tune into’ natures beautiful, amazing products?

Many of the ladies were drawn to the crystal based jewellery. Was this because they like the colour and it would match with outfits or because they were drawn to that crystal?

As an aside, my husband believed they were just coloured rocks until I left my (rather large) collection of crystals in front of him. Whilst he handled the clear quartz, his arms itched as though he was having an allergic reaction. (I personally believe this was due to him sensing energy for the first time). Whenever he held other crystals he didn’t react but the following morning showing the boys, his reaction to clear quartz (the Master crystal and an amplifier) was the same.

Next week I hope to detail where to place and use your crystals. In the meantime, if you have any questions on the use of crystals, please contact me.

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Preparation, Part Two

So the planning part is complete, now we need to actually get things done.

First of all, even though you are going to be busy, don’t forget to put yourself first. Ensure, even if it’s only for 5 minutes per day, you spend sometime relaxing (see for further advice). This doesn’t mean you can’t multi-task. Why not spend those 5 minutes relaxing in the shower whilst applying a body scrub? This will ensure you skin is party dress ready at the same time.

When purchasing gifts, try and support your local, smaller companies rather than the large, impersonal corporations. Visit your local salon, village shops or parent based websites. As a company, Heather Holistics purchases products locally wherever possible. Our range of organic, aromatherapy products are made here in the Midlands.

Heather Holistics has some very December special offers to tempt you These make ideal Christmas presents for everyone in your family. There are some gorgeous crystal jewellery, fantastic skin, hair and body care products suitable for all (including sensitive skin) and crystal tea-light holders for those people you just don’t know what to buy. All at amazing value prices.

I’ve just gleaned another wonderful tip (one which I am going to put into action immediately but adding another column to my spreadsheet) . . . where I have hidden presents. Every year I think I’ll remember and then find them in January!

Don’t forget to also mark off your lists when you’ve bought the present.

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Preparation part one

Ok so now it’s the end of November I start organising Christmas (actually, this is a small lie as I’ve already made the Christmas Cake and Puddings).

As a self confessed gadget geek, I’m afraid most of my planning starts on the computer. I have a folder saved on my external hard drive called Christmas. In here I have a sub folder called music (I have a very cheesy and eclectic range of Christmas music which is played for the whole of December) and the remainder are outlined below.

There is my master Christmas Card spreadsheet. There is a sheet for me & my husband and a further sheet for each child. These are grouped in order (such as family, friends, work friends) with their addresses so I don’t have to look each one up individually. There is also a running total of the number of cards required with tick boxes for when the card has been written.

Next is the Christmas present spreadsheet. Again a sheet for me and then each family member has a separate sheet. It includes for whom, gift idea, gift bought and budget so I know how much money to put aside each month ready for next year. I also keep previous year’s Christmas present lists so I don’t buy the same present for someone each year.

As the boys like to make some of their presents for close family, I have a word document full of ideas I have accumulated off the internet. Also ideal ideas for teachers Christmas presents.

When wrapping presents, I use one of these type tape dispensers. They make wrapping quicker and easier.

In January, I review all these documents and purchase next years Christmas cards, advent calendars and gift wrap ready for next year!

Next week I will be detailing personal preparation required for the party season.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Peer pressure

Ok so this weeks rant blog is about Peer Pressure. I am blessed with two gorgeous children for whom I would happily lay my life down. However, it seems I cannot protect them from the words and statements their ‘peers’ (and I use the term loosely) quote. My eldest is a 10 year old boy and for some reason I thought Peer Pressure wouldn’t be so bad for a boy. Oh was I wrong.

Within his circle of associates (he has an active social life) the usual comments of “those trainers aren’t (add some trendy name)”, “your parents are fat” and “we’ve been to Disney Land” I can usually answer. However, when the chosen subject is similar to “you haven’t got a six-pack” I start to worry. These boys are 10 for goodness sake and they’re already concerned about body image!

Even at the tender age of 4, my youngest son is comparing his scooter to other children’s scooters in his class. Does it have 2, 3 or 4 wheels? Does it rotate 360o or a measly 180o?

I was listening Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 last week and he too was talking about peer pressure and how he has always managed to stay on lager whilst others are downing tequila.

If my children are concerned with peer pressure already, how are they going to cope when it involves their health such as drink, drugs and alcohol? I can only hope by constantly striving to set a good example and building their own self-esteem, they will have the courage to ignore the peer pressure.

Thanks for listening to my ‘chuntering’. How do you cope with any peer pressure which affects you or your children? Let me know in the comment box below.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Why a Filofax

My main Filofax is an A5 Finsbury in Raspberry. I would love a lilac coloured, luxury feel A5 Filofax with good interior pockets but have yet to find one.

As a busy working Mum who is also trying to run a business from home, I find a Filofax invaluable for staying organised. As some of you know, I am also a gadget geek. I love the latest, fastest and shiniest smart phones. However, I just cannot see at a glance, other than on paper, where my family’s commitments are for the week. I need either my kitchen calendar (not good when I’m out and about) or a WO2P (Week on 2 pages). I do tend to either be sitting at a desk or near my car so carrying my A5 Filofax is not a problem.

I still love my gadgets and 99% of the time, carry my smartphone with me. I’m currently using a Windows Mobile phone and love the integration of Outlook from my smart-phone to my laptop. How does this affect your Filofax I hear you ask? Thanks to the wonderful contributors at, who have the most amazing knowledge I learnt I could print and punch Outlook pages into my Filofax. This way, I can quickly check on my phone for appointments and update where necessary. The beautify of an A5 Filofax means I can then print my Outlook calendar out onto A5 plain paper and put into my Filofax – bliss. I usually have WO2P printed for a couple of weeks in advance and then a MO2P (Month on 2 pages) for future 12 months.

To take my visual ability a little further, using the labels and categories feature in Outlook, each member of the family has their own colour code so when the calendar is printed, I can see immediately who is where. Organisational nirvana for me!

Birthdays, annual events, holidays are all carried forward automatically (also colour coded). For any changes to my schedule after it has been printed, I use matching coloured coded Frixion pens. Erasable, coloured ink – another blog topic!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Has your family got nits? - That got your attention didn’t it!

Head lice or nits are tiny wing-less insects which cannot fly or jump. Therefore, they can only be spread by direct contact (ie having a cuddle with parents or head-to-head contact whilst at school). It is estimated that 10% of school age children are affected by head lice at any one time.

Old Wives Tales dictate that poor hygiene was part of the cause but this has not been found to be the case.

How will I know if my child has Head Lice? Bites from head lice can cause intense itching and irritation on the scalp, but these symptoms may not appear until at least two months after the lice move in. A rash at the nape of the neck may also develop. I suggest a weekly check and if you're lucky, your child's school will contact you if they have a Head Lice outbreak.

Don't forget to contact your childs school or child care provider if you do find evidence of Head Lice and treat the whole family on a 6 day cycle to break the Head Lice's life cycle.

The best way we have found to check for head lice is by purchasing a nit comb and carefully combing though wet hair. If possible, get your child to tip their head over a piece of card or light coloured paper and starting at the base of the neck work your way forwards. Take small sections of hair and placing the comb close to the base of the hair, comb from root to tip. Now check the comb. If you notice any lice, rinse the comb.

You will know from previous blogs that whilst chemical alternatives are usually available, I try to use natural products wherever possible. Therefore, along with the combing method I also use The Aromatherapy Company’s Nit Protect Kit. It is completely natural and organic and does not contain any harmful chemicals, synthetics, Parabens or SLS. The kit contains an organic shampoo, conditioner, preventive aromatic water spray and nit comb!! Priced at just £14.95 it comes in a handy clear plastic wallet and is really portable. If you would like further details, please contact me by writing your comment below.

Friday, 28 October 2011

What is your weekly facial routine?

What is your weekly facial routine? What type of skin do you believe you have (dry, combination or oil?

Here is my weekly routine, which helps deep clean and brighten my skin:-

I allow approximately 30 minutes where hopefully I won’t get disturbed. I get all my products and accessories ready to use. First I cleanse my face in the following order. I cleanse then wipe my eyes. I then move down to the neck and sweep up towards the jaw, working round to the cheeks, stroking up the nose and finally up to the forehead. Then using a warm, slightly damp muslin cloth I gently wipe off any cleanser.

Gentle exfoliation helps remove any surface dead skin cells leaving your complexion brighter. I use our lavender based organic exfoliater and love how smooth my skin feels afterwards. Do not put exfoliater near your eyes or mouth. Again, using a muslin, wipe off any exfoliating product.

At this point you could use a facial oil and perform some facial massage routines.

Next apply a mask. These are deep cleansing but again keep then away from your eyes. You can always spray your favourite hydrolat onto a couple of cotton wool pads and place over your eyes whilst you leave your mask to work its wonders. Guess how you’re going to remove your mask – yes with those wonderful muslin cloths.

Finally apply eye cream, moisturiser and lip balm – you look gorgeous.

Don’t forget this routine isn’t just for women; men and teenagers all benefit from a weekly skincare routine.

Let me know your routine compares and what products you use. What products do you rave about?

Friday, 21 October 2011


Following on from my organisational blog last week, I also realise our family thrives on routines. We all (ok so the kids and I know the routine, hubby tags along) follow the routine so we know pretty much what time we should be doing certain things.

For example

6.00am Get up, tidy house, prepare kids breakfasts
7.00am Exercise & Me time
8.00am Shower & get ready for work/school
8.30am Feed rabbit and get everything ready
8.45am Leave for school

3.00pm Collect kids from school, empty book bags and lunch boxes.
Action any letters immediately. Get homework and reading
done so the next few hours are play/chill time
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Bedtime routine

This routine (or the basis of this routine) happens 6 days out of 7 for us. OK there are exceptions (Cubs, Swimming, Football training etc) but in our frantic mornings even our youngest knows when certain TV programs have finished, it’s time to go upstairs. (For that reason I hate it when the TV schedule changes).

I’m more of a morning person so try to get as much accomplished before lunch. 7am is my ‘Me’ time and woe betide anyone who disturbs me (the children also realise this is my time and leave me alone) .

So do you follow a routine and how does it compare to the above? I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Organisation tips (especially for busy Mums like me)

Ok I realise my topics vary like the weather in England but it’s topics that are hugely relevant to me and I’m sure will help others. You see before children I was very disorganised and late for everything. My turning point was when another parent commented how I was always late for everything. I blushed and promised myself I could do better. So here are some tips to start with:-

1. Have a To-Do list. I don’t mind if you have an electronic gadget or write it on a piece of paper, have a To Do list and take pleasure in marking off what you’ve completed. Personally I loose scrappy bits of To Do Lists so I now swear by my Filofax(s) but that’s a whole (several) new blog post(s).

2. For busy families, I love these style of family planners. We have one column per person and the spare column shows birthday, anniversaries etc. My wonderful Mum buys me one every year for Christmas as a stocking filler. Before 1st January I write in all birthdays, anniversarys, school holidays and annual events (ie MOT needs renewing, pet inoculations) It then hangs in a prominent place where all members of the family can check it. PS I know there are plenty of electronic apps which can also do this but my kids are too young for electronic devices just yet.

3. The next step is to empty school book bags as soon as your kids walk through the door. Any diary dates are immediately added to the Family Calendar, replies sorted immediately and put straight back into the book bag. Any letters for future reference are stuck to our fridge door with alphabet magnets (not the minimalist look!)

4. I set my clocks and watches 5 minutes fast and have learnt to allocate double my original estimate of time where kids are involved.

5. Keep a constant shopping list. Add the weekly always need items at the top and then as items get used up, add them to the shopping list. Teach everyone in your family to do the same. Hopefully you’ll no longer get “Mum where’s the tomato ketchup” because you’ll be able to reply “did you put it on the shopping list”.

I’d love to hear your organisational tips too, please leave them in the comments below.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Autumn skincare

So after last weeks glorious warm sunny weather (well here in England anyway) the time has come for me to re-evaluate my moisturisers. So what are my requirements for an Autumn/Winter moisturiser?

• I swap from lotion to a thicker cream
• I don’t need SPF’s
• Once applied, I immediately notice a difference with my skin
• Good value for money
• Suitable for my sensitive skin
• As few artificial ingredients as possible so no Sodium Laureth Sulfate (some studies claim these can be drying and harsh on sensitive skin)
• No parabens
• Preferably organic (Soil Association approved)
• Smells pleasant
• Has other benefits (ie I love using Aromatherapy products, not only do they smell divine but Frankincense for example also has regenerative properties)

I know some people don’t enjoy the Autumn but I love the idea of shutting the cold outside and spending some time pampering myself. I am aware that Central Heating can have a drying effect on my skin so spend a little extra time moisturising.

Don’t forget it’s not just moisturisers, why not change your whole skincare routine and use nourishing cleansers, toners and moisturisers will help your skin cope with the Autumn weather.

I have found my current favourite range of moisturisers (in fact I love them so much I also sell them on-line, use them in some of the treatments I give and sell them in the treatment room). Now my only decision is whether to go for Hydrating Rose range or the Regenerating Frankincense, hmm decisions, decisions. Which one do you think I should use?

Friday, 30 September 2011

Developing your relaxation schedule

So you’ve established a routine where you spend some time every date just focusing on your breathing BUT your mind quickly wanders to the other tasks (whether it be your next meeting or when is baby going to wake or when will I find the time to complete ….).  Soon your breathing rate has increased and you are just as stressed.  I understand your frustration and offer some tips below on how to stop your mind spoiling your relaxation.

Firstly, focusing on one task takes practice.  We spend most of our time trying to multi-task so it does take a little training.  However, don’t be defeated as the benefits far outweigh the effort required.

As before, lay or sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.  Start by focusing on your breathing again.  Once you feel comfortable, visualise a place (it could be from your past or your imagination) where you feel completely relaxed and safe.  This could be a beach or a mountain retreat.  Stroll gently around your safe, relaxing haven absorbing all your five senses.  Feel the sand between your toes, hear the birds singing, taste the sea salt on your lips, soak up the beautiful scenery and smell the clean, fresh air.  Take your time experiencing all of the senses.  Imagine yourself either sitting or lying down in your safe place.  With every breath that you take in, imagine your lungs are being filled with relaxing, calming energy.  Notice that with every out breath, your body sinks deeper and deeper into relaxation. 

Should any thoughts attempt to interrupt your relaxation, visualise that thought on a cloud and gently blow it away with your out breath.  Then just bring your mind back to your relaxation. 

Now you should feel completely calm and relaxed.  As before, slowly bring yourself back to the present by rubbing your hands together, twitching your toes and slowly opening your eyes. 

How do you feel now?  Please let me know by adding your comments below. 

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Starting out in holistic health

Our lives are getting busier, we are spending longer at work and we have less money to spend.  No wonder we constantly feel tired and run down.  Perhaps it is time to spend a little time everyday focusing on ourselves.  It need only be 5 minutes and not cost any money but your health will benefit innumerably. 

Start by blocking out a time-slot.  Whether this is after the children have gone bed for the evening, whilst they have their afternoon nap or even before they wake, this is your special time and no-one should disturb you. 

Create a relaxing atmosphere by playing soothing music, lighting candles, switching off the phone (it won’t hurt for 5 minutes).  Find somewhere comfortable to sit or lay down, preferably with your spine straight.  If lying flat on the floor pulls on your lower back, place a cushion underneath your knees.  Close your eyes and just observe your breathing.  Is it rapid and shallow or slow and deep?  Do you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth?  Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.  Notice which hand raises higher with each in breath.  Focus on taking deep, rhythmical breaths which raise your stomach hand higher than your chest hand.  Breathe in through your nose for three counts and then breathe out through your mouth for three counts.  Allow your breath to flow in and out like the tide.  Spend five minutes being aware of your breath and then slowly bring yourself back to alert by opening your eyes, wiggling your toes and stretching your fingers. 

Hopefully you will be feeling more relaxed already.  Once you are practiced at breathing slowly and deeply you can use it should any stressful situation occur.  It will help calm and ground you and you should be better able to deal with the situation. 

Give this a try and let me know how you feel.