Author Archives: Katie

Dodie: Secrets for the Mad // Book Review

Dodie Clark, book review,memoir
Dodie (Pronounced Doh-Dee) is a British 22-year-old Musician, writer & youtuber. She is cute, complicated, talented and sincere. And she’s just published her first book: A memoir steeped in a collection of thoughts, songs, affirmations and poems.

I’ve always loved reading memoirs, I think because it gives you a glimpse into somebody else’s life which in turn reminds me that we are all essentially the same and want the same things like love, to be understood, to feel free, to feel good in our own skin, to lead a healthy, happy life whatever that means to the individual.

What I loved about this young woman was her sweet and quirky disposition; she’s not afraid to openly talk about her emotions- she wears her heart on her sleeve and she has a beautiful, courageous vulnerability when discussing her mental health and emotions and I think young adults suffering with similar issues will take comfort it that. Continue reading

D.I.Y Shabby Chic Table


Its taken me a while to finally publish this! I made this table back in 2013 when our house was being renovated which you can view here: Our home: The before & after

I guess my life got a little hectic after the making of this table and this blog post got lost in my list of drafts. But at least you get to see it now!

I like using my hands to create things, I’ve always been rather creative and I like to try new things- I currently quite fancy learning pottery and the Japanese art of Shibori (Blue Tie-dye). I think I’ll always be this way and I look forward to being elderly and retired so I can have more time attending numerous art classes just like Jon’s aunt who is always doing something new and interesting.

I’m really proud of this table, it is my first DIY furniture project and it has inspired me to play around with this kind of craft even more one day. Especially if I have a yoga studio built. I’d include shabby chic mirrors, dream catchers, saree-like drapes, feather wall pieces and lace tapestries. It would have a very Boho vibe to the space.

So, here are photos of the table as it nears completion.

If you want to see what the table looked like when I bought it & it’s first stages of prep work, click here

Jon’s Fire Surround D.I.Y project is finished and you can see it here: Jon’s Fireplace

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swan lake crank music box

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Happy Things: A catch up!

Manatee tea strainer, pretty mug
It’s Sunday and therefore my rest day. Many of my Sundays involve cleaning the house and dog walking plus numerous cups of tea. I feel like its been a while since I’ve had a sit down to talk about upcoming happy things so here goes.

Since the Yoga loft closed down in the Spring of 2017 my yoga practice has been sporadic and I’ve felt out of sync in my home practice, I’ve decided to free up my time on Tuesday evenings to attend Jodie’s yoga class- I am really looking forward to having a routine!

I’m also going back to the gym-next week I’ll have my membership renewed, not to lose weight but to weight train and tone up, primarily to help me find my core strength to feel confident with advanced arm balances in my yoga practice. I am not sure what days I’ll do my gym sessions, possibly Monday & Wednesday mornings, we’ll see, I’m a bit nervous but excited to include this in my fitness routine too!

My provisional driving license came through the post last week so in a couple of weeks time Jon & I are booking our CBT motorbike training. It’s a good thing to do since I plan to be in Thailand soon, its a convenient and low cost way of getting to fruit markets and go on day excursions. Continue reading

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman //Book Review

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

I am lost for words with this book, firstly I am overjoyed Alice decided to do a prequel to the original story (book & film) of ‘Practical Magic’ and now upon reading this second book, it goes beyond expectation, it is so beautifully written! Maybe I am biased because I truly love Alice Hoffman’s writing style because I also fell in love with her historical, magical realist fiction ‘The DoveKeepers’ but this book did not disappoint. I particularly love the small anecdotes about herb & nature magic and of spells- Hoffman must have researched so much into this subject- Counting knots on a lilac bush could predict the number of cold spells, black pepper for aching muscles, fever-few for migraines & vervain for unrequited love. Amulets carrying apple seeds bring the wearer love- for apples signify the heart, rosemary oil with holly & hyssop protected you from your enemies and a bird flying into your home meant it could take your bad luck out the window. I felt like a starved creature devouring all this information, panting & howling at the moon thinking “Where have you been all my life?”  and I want to know what books or resources Hoffman studied so that I may study them too!

But the story of the two sisters & their brother is also just as exquisite. The characters are very well developed and I felt connected to them almost instantly- Franny was my favourite.

In the first book Practical Magic– Franny & Jet are aunts to the main protagonists Sally & Gilly and actually don’t appear very often in the story, in the film they play a bigger part to the plot but still not much is known about these two women, they remained in the background but jumped out every so often like mysterious black cats. Continue reading

TEFL (ESL) Poetry Activity for Young Adult Learners

poetry TEFL English activity
I love Poetry, I’ve loved it since beginning high school with my incredible English Literature & English Language teacher Mrs Hesp! My favourite poem is La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats and some of my favourite poets are: Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Kay, Pablo Neruda, Thomas Hardy, Rupi Kaur and Catherynne Valente to name but a few. I collect poetry books that fuse nature and magical realism in their structure and I am working on my own illustrated poetry book too. I believe if TEFL teaching became a substantial career path I’d go back to university to perhaps do a PGCE in English Language with an emphasis on English Literature- specifically specializing in Poetry and short stories.

In regards to teaching Poetry as a TEFL session, whether in a group, one-to-one or skype, I think it makes for a brilliant mini break from general grammar studies and introduces the student to a world where you are allowed to experiment and bend the rules- because that is what poetry does and there is this wonderful freedom and play with words when writing poetry. Continue reading