I’ve been thinking a lot recently about #selfcare & what I can add to my life to fill up my bucket over the next few months. I think over the course of this year I’ve lost the balance of work & life a little bit and I don’t want to continue this way.

I’m very aware that if I’m not careful the things I add will start to feel like stuff-that-has-to-be-done which of course takes away the joy of doing them… The hours I work don’t leave much time for regular extra-curricular things so I’ve decided to focus on adding ‘ad hoc’ things I can do when I feel able to. My goal is definitely to add quality but not quantity. I already have enough quantity going on…!

In the context of my own life, I was already thinking about how important #selfcare is (I think last week was actually #selfcare week) when I had a conversation with a client one evening this week and was quite saddened by something she said.

She has recently experienced some leg pain and after some successful soft tissue work with her last week, I advised her on a couple of simple release exercises she could use during the week to keep her feeling more comfortable. She has been frustrated by her limited ability to exercise and is keen to get back to running.

We were catching up on her week, and talking about whether she had done any of the releases I had suggested and she said that she had literally not had the required two minutes on any day since I had seen her last!!


We had a pretty light-hearted chat about where she might have found those two minutes each day, but I really hope the message was loud & clear:

if we never put ourselves top of our own to-do list, we’ll never be at the top of our to-do list!

My lovely (& undeniably very busy) client had put everything else on her list of things she needed to do when she gets home from work– stroke the dogs, sort through the post, organise the children to practise their music, make the dinner, a large G&T…and I’m not in any way saying that those things are not important BUT I am definitely saying that those things are not more important than her leg.

I hope she heard me – I’ll be checking with her next week for sure!

Self-care comes in all shapes and sizes.

If we ignore our body when it is in pain, the pain is not going to go away, and it will probably get worse and require more time in the long run.

In the same way, if we ignore a lack of balance in our work & life, it probably isn’t going to become any more balanced…

What shape does your #selfcare look like?

stress is a sneaky thing

Stress is a sneaky thing huh?

For the last few weeks I’ve been feeling like I was falling apart inside my head – badly enough that I even thought about going to the doctor, which is always the very last resort for me – partly because I don’t think I should need to (being invincible and all that!) and partly because I am not good at asking for help (ditto!!).

It’s no secret that I’ve had previous struggles with my mental health, and even though it was a long time ago now, it is something that raises its ugly head again every once in a while. Recently it’s been worse than I’ve felt for a very long time, reaching a real crescendo over the past two weeks. I became lost in self-doubt and extremely negative self-talk, questioning everything I do on a professional and personal level, convinced that everyone thought the same about me as I was thinking about myself. I have felt like running away – an old feeling that hasn’t surfaced for more than 7 years. I have been exhausted but not sleeping, hungry but not eating, overwhelmed by work and not able to get on top of anything.

I’m not writing this down because I need or want sympathy, but merely to illustrate how bad I’ve been feeling and how different I feel now.

And the reason I feel so different is this:

My daughter had her baby. And they are both well and none of the bad things I had been imagining happened. One day a few weeks ago I literally stood in the shower in floods of tears worrying that something bad was going to happen and it felt so real that it played out in my head as if it had actually happened. Once I knew they were ok, I started to relax – not fully until I’d seen them with my own eyes – but I started to breathe again.

I think I’d been literally holding my breath for the past three weeks.

Now that I know my girl is safe and well and that her girl is safe I am sleeping, and breathing, and holding lucid thoughts again. I can recognise the mad thoughts for what they are and treat them with the distain that they deserve. My head feels calm and peaceful once more.

So the purpose of sharing all of this is to say:

never under-estimate the destructive power of stress.

While I was worrying about my girl I spiralled into a torrent of self-loathing & self-doubt that I haven’t really experienced before. I guess the noise in our head is just more audible when our defences are lowered by stress, in the same way that we’re more susceptible to bugs when our immune defences are down.

I had been focussing on my nutrition and sleep because I thought they were the problems. I thought I might need to consider medication to cope with my depression. Now I realise they were the symptoms of something else. And ironically I was adding to my stress further by thinking that I was failing to make the changes I needed, which made me feel that I needed to try even harder, which in turn made me feel like a hamster going round and around and around and around!

If you think you’re feeling stressed, now or any time, please recognise that it will be affecting you in so many ways without you knowing it. The negative feelings you may be having might be completely unrelated to but still directly caused by whatever stress you are living with. Obviously I’m not in a position to give clinical advice or tell you that everything you feel in your body is related to stress, but I am in a position to share my experience and encourage you to consider what is going on for you.

Last week I didn’t really want to be alive (although please rest assured I never came close to doing anything about that feeling).

This week I feel like me again.

I don’t love everything about myself or my life but I know that I’m ok and that I’m good enough and that I’m not the crappiest, crap person to ever walk on this earth!!

Stress huh?

Who knew it was so sneaky that it could dress itself up as other stuff!

I’ll be ready for it next time…

same old…

This week I’m wondering why it is that I keep doing the same old things over and over again? I drive myself a bit nuts because the things that I repeatedly do are the things that are repeatedly getting in my own way…

Last week, Thursday was the first night I got into bed before midnight. Work kept me up into the early hours Sun-Weds & as a result of getting gradually more and more tired, everything else went out of the window too:

• going to bed late meant I pushed back my alarm each morning
• pushing back my alarm meant I had no time for breakfast
• no time for breakfast caused a drastic dip in total nutritional content for the day
• poor nutrition made me more tired
• being more tired resulted in not going food shopping
• not going food shopping resulted in a diet of apples & green tea

Needless to say that by Friday lunchtime I was an over-tired emotional wreck, crying to a song on the radio as I drove home. Oh dear!

It’s not big and it’s not clever to let myself get into this state, and I could see all the warning signs a mile off so there’s really no excuse, but sometimes I just find it so hard to get out of my own way.

But fear not, there is a more positive ending to this tale of woe!

My weekend has been spent mostly in the kitchen:

• I bought masses of vegetables on Friday (shortly after crying to the radio!)
• I now have a ready-supply of food prepped for the week:

o roast veggies with feta cheese
o ready cooked kale and Romanesco
o spinach pre-washed and ready to go
o oven-roasted tomatoes
o banana and walnut muffins
o banana & oat cookies
o granola (see recipe below)
• I have planned out all my meals for the week ahead – to make sure I actually eat the stuff I’ve prepped

Once the food was sorted, I have also:

• focused on sleep (not quite there but I’m on the right tracks at least)
• actually started reading a book – can’t remember the last time I read a novel
• watched a film (Lion – amazing, cried my eyes out!!)
• caught up on ‘This Farming Life’ – because it makes my heart very happy
• had my van cleaned so that it is gleaming and beautiful again
• dumped about 500 emails from my inbox

So here I am, digging myself slowly out of this hole I’ve been digging myself into; determined not to trip myself up so often this week and ready to find (and bring) a little bit more of ‘me’ to the world.

This is my manifesto for October!

Since I already don’t drink or smoke, my version of Stoptober will be to stop making life so effing difficult for myself…

#onwards&upwards Jx

granola recipe

making space

Making space in your life for the things that make your heart sing is one of the most freeing things you can do. I realise that’s not earth-shattering news, but over the past 7 days I’ve really noticed a shift in my thinking as a result of making space last weekend.

I set off for the New Forest on Sunday morning to join a yoga day (in the most amazing tree-house) with a beautiful soul I met through my massage training at Jing. It was very weird. I usually get anxious about going somewhere that is unfamiliar, and as a result I often make excuses & don’t go. I worry about meeting people (in case they realise that I’m an imposter). I don’t like driving very much. I’m a bit nervous about yoga (in case I’m no good at it). So normally, with all these things in my head, I would have convinced myself not to go…

But on Sunday, I got in the van & drove there feeling bizarrely proud of myself for actually making space to do something I wanted to do and not taking the easier option of running away. And I had the most wonderful, freeing, day where I didn’t have to be anything other than me, where there was space to be held (emotionally rather than physically!), and space to move & listen to my body, and the most amazing lunch, and lovely people who included me in their chat, and nothing was even slightly scary at all!

It struck me as very odd, at 51, to be patting myself on the back for driving down the M3, but that’s really how I felt. As I drove back home I felt like a different version of me – more open, more in-tune, more free, less anxious…as if I’d been on holiday.

Of course a great yoga practice will do that for you, but it was more than that. I felt that making space for myself had given me the nudge I needed to be open to the possibility of doing other things I want to do.

On Monday I received some news that I was half-expecting but didn’t want and I felt a mixture of anger and indignation, but because I needed to get on with work, I had to shelve it until the next day. And then something odd happened. I woke up on Tuesday and realised that maybe instead of giving myself the stress of finding another way to stick with the plan, I could just take it as a massive hint that this was not my time to do that ‘thing’. And guess what? My body just let go of it in that moment. I felt calmer and really relieved, and I still do, so I know I’ve made the right choice for me right now.

The ‘thing’ was a big thing to me – the next part of my massage training – but deferring for a year or two will mean that I can start it when I am in a position to give it my full attention, instead of maybe resenting it for taking up so much of my time when I’m feeling overloaded to begin with. It means I can do it when I can afford it, rather than affording it because I want to do it. It means that I will do it when the time feels right for me, instead of doing it now in case I miss out by not doing it now. It all feels positive.

And as a side-effect of that one decision, I have also realised that I now have more time to do some things I really would like to do, but didn’t have time to commit to – a photography workshop, a monthly gong-bath session, time with my new grand-daughter (when she arrives) and maybe some drawing – and all of these things give me space to be me and make me feel excited about the way life can open up in an instant when we make space for it.

I feel like I’ve thrown away the clutter and tidied up the ‘messy drawer’ in the kitchen of my life this week!

Is there anything in your life that you need to make space for? Any clutter in your messy drawer?



restoration (wo)man

I feel a bit like George Clarke this week! I have been focusing on some restoration for myself, starting with gut health & better sleep strategies.

I have a flipchart in my office (a new addition after my sorting session a few weeks ago) and every week I set out my list for the week ahead. I split the page into quarters and list tasks under taylor-made fitness, take time retreats, me and other… For the past 2 weeks the ‘me’ goals have been:

  • reading
  • kefir
  • nutrition

I’m not sure why I put them in that order because at the moment reading is less important than the other two but that’s obviously how they came to mind.

I started with the kefir. I decided to restart my lapsed kefir habit and upgrade it by ordering direct from the supplier, Chuckling Goat, who make their goats milk kefir by hand on their farm in Wales, using traditional methods. Kefir is a fermented milk product which supports and replenishes the gut microbiome. As someone who feels everything in my gut, it makes sense to start here when I feel a bit bleuughhhh.

So with the kefir in place I then started work on my nutrition, which isn’t ever really bad, but is often not really good either! As I’ve been playing more in the kitchen over the past two weeks, I’ve been taking photos and creating photo layouts so I thought I’d share my top 3 here:

Overnight oats –

This is a super-easy, tasty, healthy breakfast which can be stored in the fridge for a few days so it saves time too.

Step 1: mix together your choice of dry ingredients (I used oats, gluten free oats, buckwheat, cashew nuts, flaked almonds, coconut chips, sunflower seeds, chia seeds – but you can vary the ingredients according to what you have & what you like);

Step 2: make nut milk (of course you can buy it but I prefer the taste of homemade – this was almonds soaked overnight, drained, rinsed, drained again, added to blender with water and a handful of coconut chips, blitzed for about 1 minute) For this recipe I don’t strain it because the ground nuts add to content & flavour of the overnight oats;

Step 3: pour the milk into the dry mixture & stir well to incorporate everything. Add more milk/water if it is too dry – it should be quite sloppy at this stage;

Step 4: put in a covered glass container & leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day you will wake up to the easiest breakfast ever! Serve with fruit compote, grated apple, a dollop of yoghurt, all three, or whatever else you fancy…

Thanks to Jenny Burrell for the original inspiration on this one – it is my go-to recipe if I want to have quick healthy breakfasts ready for the week ahead.

Roasted cauliflower & garlic soup –

This is another favourite recipe because it’s quick & tastes amazing. The recipe comes from Sharon Snowdon and is included in her e-book ’25 soup recipes’ which I bought a few years ago and still use now.

Here’s the recipe in case you want to have a go at this one:

If you like this and want to see more of Sharon’s recipes you can find them here – ’25 soup recipes’ – which is available for just £2.36. That’s less than 10p per recipe!!

Raw dark chocolate with dried cranberries, nuts, roasted buckwheat & cacao nibs –

I hadn’t made any raw chocolate for a little while and as a result I had been buying (& eating – obvs) way too many bars of Green & Black’s milk chocolate (I like the slim bars best – not sure why but it tastes better than the chunkier original version) so I decided that I definitely needed to break out of that habit PDQ!

Instead of making moulded chocolates I decided to make it super-simple by pouring the mixture into trays and cutting into chunks when set. I got a bit fancy by toasting some buckwheat and cashews for a few minutes, which added a lovely texture and flavour to the finished product. I also added dried cranberries & a handful of raw cacao nibs for even more crunch.

Here’s the recipe in case you need to address any chocolate habits of your own:

I’m happy to report that after nine days on kefir, some better breakfasts & lunches, less cheap chocolate and a little bit of effort getting to bed slightly earlier, I feel much more grounded and back in my body.

It’s always the same. If only I didn’t let these habits slip in the first place, oh how simple life would be???!

I hope you have some fun with or take a little piece of inspiration from the recipes here. It makes so much difference to plan ahead and have things ready so that when you look in the fridge you’re much more likely to reach for a healthy, restorative meal/snack – rather than two bars of G&B!

TW health & well-being live – VIP offer:

I have been following this event for the past couple of weeks, thinking that maybe I’ll go along and have a listen to some of the speakers and generally see what’s new. I was holding back on buying a ticket because I’m not good at making a commitment so I was just leaving it until nearer the time…and then yesterday they lured me in with a special offer!

I’m not always a sucker for a special offer, but as I was looking at it anyway, and thinking that I’d probably go, I actually bought my ticket last night. I made a commitment – go me!! And it turns out I was the very first VIP so I think that makes me a VVIP?!

The offer is open until 8pm on Saturday 16th September and it gives you a VIP ticket for the price of a non-VIP ticket (£15). As a VIP you get access to the event including all the speakers and workshops, plus a glass of fizz, plus a 15-minute spa session.

You can find all the event details here

To take advantage of the offer, choose the VIP ticket and add the discount code ‘BUBBLES’ & then you’ll be a VIP like me (although obviously you won’t be the first one!)

tmf stuff:

This has been a lovely week – classes are all back to normal & it’s great to see you all again; I did lots of ‘getting stuff done’ stuff at the weekend so I’m feeling caught up again; the retreat venue is all fully paid up; massage clients are noticing great results; and the sun is shining which is an added bonus.

I love all areas of my business (apart from the tax return bits) but I’m especially enjoying being back teaching after a few weeks off over the summer.

Kettlercise delivers every time! If I’m honest, I can’t say that I always look forward to it when I wake up on a Thursday morning – because by that stage in the week I’m usually pretty tired – but I absolutely always feel better once it’s done. I hope you feel the same way? (except obviously I hope that you do wake up full of excitement every Thursday!!)

Fitness Pilates is always very close to my heart. I hope that it helps you to find some stillness in your busy day, time to stop and notice what is happening in your body, and time to reconnect with how your body moves. I think that stopping is so important when the rest of your time is spent on the go.

Whether you come to classes or I see you for PT or massage sessions, making a regular commitment to your health is amazing and I love being part of that. Thank you.

Here’s how the week ahead looks:

  • Monday 18th – 1 x PT client, lots of office time, Fitness Pilates @ 8.10pm in Benenden
  • Tuesday 19th – PT clients and seniors FP @ 10.40am in Sissinghurst
  • Wednesday 20th – PT and massage clients
  • Thursday 21st – PT clients and Kettlercise @ 9.10am in Benenden
  • Friday 22nd – PT clients and FP @ 10.20am in Iden Green (& a haircut in the afternoon)

I am fully booked for massage on Wednesday but have 2 spaces available on Tuesday @ 3pm & 4.30pm so let me know if you’d like an hour on my table and a body which feels more connected.

& finally:

A little thought from the late, great Roald Dahl in honour of his birthday this week.

Lukewarm is no good…be an enthusiast this weekend



changing seasons

changing seasons

I always seem to struggle most at this time of year and I think it has been worse than usual this time around. I don’t deal very well with the changing seasons and for me this is the worst seasonal shift, going from summer to autumn. Although actually I like autumn once it’s here, I find the shift a bit challenging as I start to dread the shorter, darker days. I think this year the changing seasons are also causing me to reflect on some shifting times within my family & thoughts about the years ahead.

There are also two dates on the calendar which bring up painful memories and they both fall in this time. No matter how much I rationalise the thoughts I have about them, they still mess with my head, and then I get annoyed with myself that I have let it happen again.

One of the dates is the anniversary of the date I got married. I’ve talked about it many times before so I won’t go there again but something was said last week which touched a nerve and it’s been on my mind since. A friend remarked that still having my wedding dress all these years later was just ‘cluttering up my loft’. I don’t generally ‘do’ clutter so I was slightly offended and the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think she was wrong.

Keeping my wedding dress (and all my files of notes from uni!) is a reminder of who I was at 21. It’s a reminder of the optimism and hope and intention I had then; a sign of my youthful, naïve joy about the world; a symbol of some of my hopes and dreams & a snapshot of who I was before life became different. I think it’s great to have those reminders, not least because of how I coped when everything didn’t go as I hoped and dreamed.

There have been times this week when I have wondered if I will be able to carry all the shifting times within my family. Remembering that I have coped with shifts and changes before, helps me to believe that I can cope with changing seasons & shifting times now too.

So, to summarise, the lessons I’m taking away from this week are:

  1. one woman’s clutter is another woman’s hopes and dreams/life lesson
  2. Bob Dylan was right – the times they are a-changin’

What did you learn this week?? I’d love to know.

tmf stuff:

Next week is my first full, normal week back after the summer so I’m looking forward to seeing you then if I haven’t already. This week has been a bit of a trial run – but I think I’ve survived ok!

For those of you who started back this week, and especially my Kettlercise class, I hope you didn’t ache too much from your first session? Today I’m finding it a challenge to get up off the sofa but I think the answer is to not sit down in the first place! I’m reminding myself to keep moving…

If you’re new to my newsletter this is the section to check for weekly updates and reminders about classes, as well as details of availability for massage appointments in the coming week. That being the case, here are the details for next week:

  • Monday 11th – PT clients and Fitness Pilates @ 8.10pm in Benenden
  • Tuesday 12th – PT & massage clients plus Seniors FP class @ 10.40am in Sissinghurst
  • Wednesday 13th – PT & massage clients
  • Thursday 14th – PT clients plus Kettlercise @ 9.10am in Benenden
  • Friday 15th – PT clients and Fitness Pilates @ 10.20am in Iden Green

I have a few massage appointments available as follows – 3.30pm & 6pm on Tuesday 12th; 1.30pm & 4.30pm on Wednesday 13th. Let me know if you’d like further details

take time retreat:

There are just 8 weeks until the take time retreat takes place in Goudhurst so I’ve been busy working away behind the scenes for that.

I always knew it would take a lot of work to launch this new venture, and I’ve never been one to shy away from hard work, but I think I had maybe underestimated the amount of time it would take in these early stages. I am totally committed to this project so you might just need to bear with me talking about it endlessly for the next few weeks…and then afterwards I promise I’ll stop for a little while, until I plan the next one. (I’m thinking April 2018 in case you want to know in advance?!)

For the current retreat (7th-10th November) there are a few rooms available, so any help you have offered/can offer in sharing details or sharing social media posts has been & will continue to be much appreciated. I have some beautiful (if I say so myself!) postcards printed so please let me know if you can share any in your workplace or neighbourhood. The more you share, the less I’ll talk about it!!!

& finally:

To cheer myself up I have been creating Instagram photos with an autumnal feel this week. They are all black & white (because that is my 365 project this year) but I think the lack of colour adds a little atmosphere so I like them better this way. Here are my favourites:

Have a beautiful, hopefully-not-too-wet, autumnal weekend Jx


I visited my parents last week and was reminded of the importance of balance – time with people & time on my own; noise & silence; movement & stillness; closeness & space… I didn’t actually manage to achieve the right balance while I was there so this week has been about finding some stability again now I’m home. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m getting back on track.

I’ve been sharing lots of ‘stuff’ on the take time retreat facebook page this week, focusing on various aspects of health and one of my favourite shares has been a short video from Brea of Hearts and Bones Yoga where she discusses balance & proprioception. Please have a look and try some of the exercises she demonstrates – I think you’ll find it helpful, whether or not you feel that you already have good balance, and whether or not you practice yoga.

One of the observations Brea makes has really struck a chord with me – there is no stillness in balance…

It’s obvious really that when we are balancing we are never truly still but I think we forget that stillness is not the point. The point is to be continually adjusting and altering and finding our balance, working with feedback from our body and connecting with the muscles which support our frame.

It helped me to realise that life is all about ebb and flow too. We are never finished, still, static. We are continually moving and adjusting and shifting; working with feedback from around us; trying to find the balance we seek. With that in mind, I realise that the imbalance I felt while I was away last week is best seen as a challenge to help me develop my balancing skills!

What are the things that challenge your balancing skills the most? How do you find your stability?

tmf stuff:

Next week is the last short week of my summer. I have a hunch that I might regret not taking a whole chunk of time away from work so I’m going to try really hard to focus on some quality me-time next week while I have the chance…or I’ll run around the house doing last minute DIY projects!!!

Either way, I will only be working on Tuesday & Thursday (with a couple of massage clients on Wednesday), and there will be no newsletter next week. The following week everything will be (almost) back to normal.

I am fully booked for massage treatments next week but if you’d like to book for the following week I have spaces at 3pm & 4.30pm on Tuesday 5th & at 3pm on Wednesday 6th September.

The new term of courses starts from Monday 4th September but don’t forget there are no Friday FP classes until the following week (Friday 15th).

Next Thursday I will send out course booking confirmations to everyone who has booked for the new term. If you still need to book there is still time and there are a few spaces for Monday FP & Thursday KB – you can find the details here

take time retreat:

Just a quick update to let you know that the take time retreat early-bird prices and 3 monthly payment option ends next week on Wednesday 30th August. In case you’re weighing up your options, or trying to persuade a friend to join you, please be aware that the price will go up after that date…

If you’d like to see all the latest retreat information, including the prices and booking details, you can find it here:

& finally:

I feel there are definitely seasonal changes afoot this week…there’s just something in the air, don’t you think?

On Monday night I drove home from a client with my headlights on full beam and more and more often it is already dark when I finish work. Part of me prefers the long late nights of summer, but the other part quite likes the shorter evenings because they act as a reminder to get off the computer and actually have something of an evening before I go to bed. Which do you prefer?

In spite of the seasonal changes there’s always the hope of an Indian summer in September so I’m not quite ready to hibernate yet!

Have a great week Jx



simple things

simple things:

I always think that the simple things make the biggest difference.

Last Saturday whilst waiting for a parcel to arrive, I blitzed my office and my spare room. Both rooms had gradually become dumping grounds over the past few months and I’d been living in my dining room to avoid the clutter upstairs… but my dining room had got cluttered so something had to be done because I’m not good with cluttered spaces. It really messes with my head.

Now all three rooms are clear and useable again and it was the simple things that made the most impact.

Books which were piled up on the office floor have been relocated to the reorganised shelves; old files have been archived in the loft; the under-used stand-up desk has also been archived and the white board has been wiped clean and brought bang up-to-date. I’m sitting at my desk as I work – for the first time in many months.

In the spare room the dumb-bells have been put back in the storage trunk they live in; the barbell has been put away; the top for my sewing table has been neatly stored and the trestle legs are in the shed. I can see the floor again – and I have space for a workout too!!

Last but not least, the dining room looks like a dining room again (apart from the sewing machine which is still there because I’ve made a start on my new lounge curtains)

Simple things = big difference.

PS the parcel I was waiting for never arrived – it would have been simple for Yodel to let me know that, but they didn’t – but at least I made some radical changes while I was waiting, so I guess I owe them thanks for that!

simple mango & yoghurt ice cream:

Another simple thing I discovered recently was homemade mango & yoghurt ice cream…

I found a huge tin (enough for 2 batches of ice cream) of pureed mango for £1.50 in the local supermarket and decided that it would make a brilliant base for ice cream.

Here’s my simple recipe:

  • half a tin (about 16oz in old weights) of mango puree
  • juice of ½ a lemon (lime would work too but I only had a lemon)
  • large pot of full-fat Greek yoghurt

Here’s the really simple bit:

  • mix the lemon juice and mango together
  • stir in the yoghurt
  • freeze (I used an ice-cream maker because I have one but you could get away without one or use the mixture to fill ice-lolly moulds instead)
  • eat

If you freeze yours in a tub it will need to sit out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before it’s scoopable, but that’s simple too & it’s well worth the wait.

& it tastes like summer which is an added bonus!

home workouts:

If you’re starting to feel that the break from your regular classes over the summer is adversely affecting your fitness, mobility, flexibility &/or core strength, read on!

I have (albeit later than planned) written two new home workouts for you, which you can find below.

With Kettlercise make sure you warm up before you start, work within your comfortable range of motion, listen to your body, stay hydrated and stretch at the end of your workout…the usual rules apply to home workouts just as much as they do in class. Why not mix it up a little and try the Fitness Pilates workout if you usually do Kettlercise? Cross-training is great for your body (& mind).

Fitness Pilates is a little less strenuous but you still need to prepare and pay attention to how the movements feel. I’ve included a section on grounding, and it’s probably the most important part of the workout so please don’t be in too much of a rush & skip over it as though it is of no importance to you. Your body needs to breathe – give it time!

tmf stuff:

I’m working four days next week – gradually easing myself back in to full-time working in a few weeks’ time…

I have PT & massage clients Monday-Thursday, followed by a bank holiday weekend and then one more short week to bring August to a close.

If you would like to book a massage next week I have a couple of spaces available so drop me an email to arrange.

course re-enrolments:

There are still a few spaces on Monday evenings (Fitness Pilates) and Thursday mornings (Kettlercise) so please make sure you are booked if you would like to start the new terms with us starting week commencing Monday 4th September. I’d love to see you there.

I’d love it if you could find a moment to share these flyers too x

& finally:

I’ve watched this a few times now – it makes me smile every time. I’m not much better at it!!

A good reminder to have a go, regardless of whether you get the result you’re looking for first time around






café culture

café culture

I have always loved a bit of café culture & I’m fairly partial to a list too – so a list of cafés is perfect!

I miss the days when I used to drink black coffee because it was a great excuse to go out and find a café instead of making one at home. Now that I (literally) only drink green tea it seems a bit mad to go out when I can boil the kettle at home & drink my favourite variety (Tea Pigs) here.

On the plus-side, now that there’s no-one to eat with at home, I have a new excuse for going out to a café!

We are so lucky to have some amazing local cafés on our doorstep (some of which are on this list) but here’s a few more in case you want to explore further afield:

I’m thinking that I might have to work my way through the whole list…I might make start this weekend?!

Let me know which ones you’ve tried & recommend.

tmf stuff:

On paper I’m working shorter weeks over the summer but I haven’t been very good yet at not working when I’m off. Sadly I also haven’t been very good at doing any of the things I need to get done (curtain-making, decorating, wall-building, tax return completing…) so I’m going to give it another good go this weekend!

Next week is another short week. I have PT and massage clients on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning (and then a little trip to Grantham) so if I’m seeing you then, I’ll see you then.

If you would like to book a massage appointment next week I have spaces at 1.30pm or 3pm on Tuesday (15th) or 4.30pm on Wednesday (16th) – let me know.

retreat stuff:

Just a quick update about the take time retreat in November…

In response to a few enquiries I have now changed the booking page so that payments made up to 30th August, can be spread over 3 months. In order to do this I also had to round down a few of the numbers which means that the pricing now starts at £600 per person for the full 3-day, 3-night event.

I have also finalised details of the remaining workshop which has now been added to the list of activities included in the price. Vicky from Evelyn’s of Sussex will be hosting an ‘aromatherapy for you & your home’ workshop, which includes us making our own individual blend of hand/body lotion from natural ingredients, to take home with us. I was really keen to add an aromatherapy session so I’m delighted that Vicky is available to join us.

In case you’re not sure what aromatherapy is you can find out more about essential oils here:

Having made these final updates I have now put all the information in one place here:

I’d be really grateful if you could please share the details with anyone you know who might be interested. They can find all the details on the page above or find out more on twitter, facebook or Instagram so please spread the word and share the retreat vibe. Of course I’d love you to follow me on your favourite social media platform too…!

& finally:

just this…



feel the fear

“Feel the fear, and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers

Last weekend I sent out details of my take time retreat to those people who had registered to receive the information first. I was terrified! I very nearly chickened out and walked away from the hours and hours of work that I have already invested in this project, but then I remembered how I felt seven years ago.

Seven years ago I was in the process of setting up taylor-made fitness. I was getting ready to launch outdoor bootcamp sessions and fitness classes without really knowing if anyone wanted what I was planning to offer. I was so anxious at that time, wondering if I could earn enough to pay my mortgage, that I was having panic attacks and feeling pretty fragile. I remember being really scared but in spite of my fears I had just enough belief to get me started.

Not everything I tried at the start went according to plan – my first fitness classes didn’t really get off the ground as I thought they would, but happily the demand for personal training was much bigger than I had expected so I shifted my focus and changed direction a little.

Fast forward to today and tmf looks very different to the way I originally imagined it because I have changed and grown with it. I genuinely like the process of change and the challenge it brings, but of course that doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary!

But scary is ok. I love this short article from Susan Jeffers – especially #2 – ‘the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it!’ – isn’t that so true??!

Someone asked me on Thursday how I’m feeling about launching my take time retreats ‘project’ into the world at large… and my reply was that I am ‘mostly nervous but also excited’.

I’m nervous because I care so much about this new ‘baby’ of mine and I want other people to love it as much as I do. I’m nervous because until now it has been mine and once I share it there’s no going back…

But I’m also excited because I believe in what I’ve created, and I have support from some truly amazing people, and I can’t wait to join them in delivering the take time retreat experience to those people who connect with what this is about and take a leap of faith & join us in November.

I know that this retreat will not be what everyone is looking for (which is great because there are only 7 rooms available!) and I know that it will not be financially viable for everyone (I really wish it could be, but of course it has to be financially viable for me to run it too).

My focus from the start has been:

  • offering a luxurious experience in a fabulous venue
  • providing the most amazing nourishment for body & soul
  • adding-in lots of varied content (yoga, pilates, creative workshops, food workshops and demonstrations, massage, stretching, walking, reading, sleeping…)
  • bringing in people that I believe in to deliver workshops, classes, massage treatments and movement sessions along with me
  • creating a space where guests feel supported, nurtured, heard, valued, respected & cared for
  • & most importantly giving busy women the chance to take time for themselves

This is not a one-off event for me. This is just the star. I’m sure it will change a few times along the way but the basic principles will still be there because I really believe these things matter.

Please don’t feel bad if it’s not for you. I’m totally ok with that – although of course I’d love to have you there – so I’m going to be brave & leave all the information below & then it’s up to you what you do with it!

You can look at it, share it, sleep on it, look at it again, decide if you are ready to invest in yourself by joining us, like/follow/share any of the social media links, send me any feedback or ask me any questions you like…but please keep in mind that this is my ‘baby’ and I’ve just put her out into the big scary world on her own, so even if she’s not your thing, please be kind to her!!

So there you have it. Everything you might want to know about the latest  ebb & flow in the life of tmf… I hope you love it – but even if you don’t it’s ok, because I love it enough for both of us!!

other (non-retreat!) tmf stuff:

Next week I am working a 3-day week!!

I have been very bad recently at taking any time for myself so on the advice of a very wise woman today, I am going to start following my own life goals. I will be away from my laptop over the weekend (trying to remember what I like to do when I’m not working) and then I’ll be working with PT and massage clients from Tuesday-Thursday.

I have had a few requests this week for massage availability so I have sent out details in a separate email. If you are not on the list to receive these updates, but would like to be, you can add your details here.

Many thanks to those who have already re-enrolled for Fitness Pilates and Kettlercise classes next term. There are still spaces available on Monday evening (FP) and Thursday morning (KB) if you haven’t yet booked. You will find all the information here.

& finally:

My last mention (for now at least!) of the word retreat…this is truly what it is all about for me (& what I will be practising this weekend)