Posted in ALL BLOGS, AWARDS

Sunshine Blogger Award Interview – number 2!

It was a pleasure to be nominated again for a ‘SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD’ and answering questions so you my readers can get to know me more as the person behind the keyboard. I have been nominated for my second ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by Mishi pcm“THANKS FOR THE NOMINATION!” (Click on her name above and it will take you to her blog post about her winning the award and her nominating me.)

Her questions for me to answer as a nominee are: (yes favourite is spelt differently in American-English than in English)

  1. What made you start blogging?
  2. What is your current favorite song?
  3. Who do you look up to the most?
  4. If you had the ability to time travel what year would it be, and why?
  5. What is your favorite animal?
  6. What is your favorite food?
  7. What is your hobby?
  8. What is your biggest dream?
  9. If you could spend one whole day with your favorite singer who would it be?
  10. What is your favorite topic to blog about?
  11. What are you most thankful for?
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Posted in ALL BLOGS, AWARDS, Blogger Life

Two Category Nominations in the ‘UK Blog Awards 2019’ Please VOTE FOR HELEN’S JOURNEY in both categories; ‘Wellness’ & ‘Green & Eco’!

Hi Readers,

October 2018 marked Helen’s Journey Blogs 1st year of blogging anniversary! YAY!

Then in November, I got the great news that I have been nominated for two ‘UK BLOG AWARDS 2019’ in the categories of ‘WELLNESS‘ and ‘GREEN & ECO’. DOUBLE YAY!

Continue reading “Two Category Nominations in the ‘UK Blog Awards 2019’ Please VOTE FOR HELEN’S JOURNEY in both categories; ‘Wellness’ & ‘Green & Eco’!”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Touching Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones

Here are some handy ideas for getting touching Birthday gifts for your friends and loved ones…

There are so many gift ideas out there, sometimes you can feel confused and lost as to what to get your friends and loved ones for their birthday. Well here is a break down of some lovely gift ideas through me sharing with you a list of gifts I had for my Birthday this year, that helped to made it so full of love and effort…

Continue reading “Touching Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, AWARDS

My 1st Versatile Blogger Award & Interview sharing ‘7 FACTS ABOUT ME’

‘7 FACTS ABOUT ME’

that will give you a sneak preview into where around the world my journey has taken me & just what my footsteps have got up to…

How exciting my 1st ever Versatile blogger Award! A big thank you to the lovely Cailin over at the blog STUMBLY for nominating me for this award (click on her blog name to open up a new window with her post with my nomination in.)

Before I share a few fun facts about myself and then list my own nominees, here are the rules/guidelines for us nominees to follow:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Links to their site are pretty sweet!)
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate no more than 15 bloggers for the award.

7 facts about me to share my life experiences - Helen's journey Blog

7 Facts About Helen’s Journey Blog:

Okay, so as my 35th birthday is soon approaching I refuse to focus on what I don’t have by this age (if you’ve read my post “Single? Childless? How these things can’t take away your ability of being a loyal partner or your maternal instincts to look after a child! then you know the list is mostly missing) or bad situations of the past.

Instead I’m choosing to focus on all the great life experiences I’ve had in life and the amazing places around the world I have visited – as when I reflect on these I feel richly blessed beyond age, health, status etc.

So the following 7 facts about me I’ve chosen from my bag of life experiences & dug out the photographs to go along with them too…

  1. I’ve lay inside a tomb, deep inside a great pyramid in Cairo, Egypt. It was REALLY hot down there! I couldn’t resist jumping in and posing for a pic – it’s just part of who I am 😉

Helen's Journey Blog lying in a tomb inside pyramid of Giza Cairo Egypt

2. I’ve held a baby alligator! Yes you read that right, but don’t worry there was a professional handler there to talk me through it and make sure I held it correctly for safety for us both.

It was after an air boat ride through the Florida Everglades swamps filled with alligators. As a huge NCIS & CSI fan you know in my head I was pretending I was on the airboat with Horatio in the opening theme tune of CSI MIAMI right 😉

Helen's Journey bog holding a baby Alligator

3. I have driven a Quad bike across some of the Sahara Desert and watched the sunset over the sand dunes.

Helen's Journey Blog sitting on a quad bike watching the sun set over the sahara desert

4. I got to see my home football team ‘Birmingham City FC’ win the Carling Cup final at Wembley Stadium, winning 2 -1 against Arsenal in February 2011! It was a brilliant day with my family that I will remember forever, what a high and a buzz. A well deserved win KRO! (our slogan KEEP RIGHT ON! aka KRO)

Helen's Journey Blog at wembley watching birmingham city fc beat arsenal 2 - 1

5. I’ve climbed the Statue of Liberty & Empire State building (ok I was only 5 so I only remember tiny moments but I do remember doing both…

The statue of liberty I remember it being endless winding stairs and it being boiling hot and my Auntie freaking out as she is scared of heights.

The Empire State Building, I remember being at the top and it was all caged in and we used a, what seemed huge at the time, telescope to look out over New York.

6. I watched the Olympic Torch handover in the UK when it passed through my home town Birmingham (England’s 2nd City).

Helen's Journey blog watching the olympic torch handover in UK

7. I went into the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, when I was in Marrakech. We went to see a beautiful waterfall.

Helen's Journey Blog in atlas mountain waterfall marrakech morocco

So there you have the 7 life experiences I’ve chosen to share with this award – I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me more, as I have enjoyed sharing them and looking at the photos again.

Right, here are my chosen nominees for The Versatile Blogger Award… (Anyone who participates, don’t forget to tag me in your posts so I can see your replies.)

  1. nikki at nikkipedia
  2. Positive Changes Journey
  3. Trail By Fashion
  4. Off To The World
  5. mishi pcm
  6. Simple Hijabi
  7. The Happy Diary
  8. Fam by Choice
  9. Mamma in Joy

the versatile blogger award and interview sharing 7 things about me, Helen's journey Blog

Fancy finding out even more about me? Then read my other blogger award interviews by clicking on the award names below to open interviews in seperate tabs:

Enjoy reading my posts and poems? Then don’t miss out when new stuff is posted –Please click here to join my Email Mailing List to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted!

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Helen's Journey Blog wins The Versatile Blogger Award & interview sharing '7 things about me'

Posted in ALL BLOGS, Chronic Illness, LIFE

3 day Quote Challenge – Day 1 of sharing a quote I love & the reasons why I chose it

3 Day Quote Challenge:

Day 1 of sharing a quote I love and why I chose it

I love a challenge, so being nominated to do a ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ when each day you choose a quote to share and explain your reasons for choosing it – of course, I accepted!

Thank you to Shannon from the blog MSnubutterflies for nominating me for this challenge!

Here is my quote for Day 1:

helens journey quote about appreciating the small things in life you can do, not big things you cant do.
I questioned if choosing a quote from myself was vain, but considering I’m used to putting myself in the limelight, I thought I’d go for it! 😉

Continue reading “3 day Quote Challenge – Day 1 of sharing a quote I love & the reasons why I chose it”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, Blogger Life

How Twitter can help GROW YOUR BLOG and help you INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC

First, let me explain this latest win for my blog via Twitter and then afterwards I will share my experience with gaining blog traffic from Twitter and opinion on how competitions in the blogging world can positively help your blog.

Helen’s Journey Blog chosen as ‘Feature Friday’ competition winner & the blog reviewed by competition founder ‘Journey of Life Continues’

Well, what a lovely discovery, as I see a tweet to say the competition winner has been announced, I click on the blog link to go and congratulate the winner and to my surprise It was me!!! *happy dance*

Continue reading “How Twitter can help GROW YOUR BLOG and help you INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, CHRISTMAS

“Remember the small stuff” Day 7 of 12 Days of CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS with HELEN’S JOURNEY 

So todays countdown is 6 days until we wave in Christmas Day. For some half the fun is counting down the days, in contrast others may find counting down the days really isn’t a fun activity.

However it makes you feel, I invite you to join me each of the 12 days till Christmas, as I share daily Christmas Reflections and of course an accompanying Christmas image! (I just love taking photos & sharing pictures lol)

Today’s chosen image is of a giant Ferrero Rocher:

25578914_1410065652435086_2111142109_o

I’m not sure the photo does it justice, it really was super sized! But is bigger always better?

Some strive for the biggest christmas ever each year. They spend so much time and energy on making things super sized and making them amazing for people to look at and experience.

Sometimes the phase “Good things come in small packages” is true. It’s the small touches that will stand out to people. So even though you may be going all out to create a Christmas extravaganza, which is totally up to you but id say pay attention to the small things too – as they often touch people the most and what they will pass on to others.

Lets remember the importance of smallness amongst this big Christmas season!

Please join me tomorrow for Day 7 of 12 Days of CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS

Dont worry if you missed earlier reflections as you can click on them below to have a quick read of them: 

Day 1: “DON’T GET YOUR TINSEL IN A TANGLE

Day 2: “PRESENCE over PRESENTS

Day 3: “LIFE is FRAGILE like a Christmas Ornament”

Day 4: “Even Sand can STAND, when it is designed to fall!”

Day 6: “Trying to stay STABLE, while we celebrate the Stable”

Each days chosen Christmas picture will also be shared on my INSTAGRAM  and my PINTEREST accounts too, so click the links and keep up to date with my Christmas Picture CHEER 😉   

Posted in ALL BLOGS, CHRISTMAS

“EVEN SAND CAN STAND WHEN ITS DESIGNED TO FALL” Day 4 of 12 Days of CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS with HELEN’S JOURNEY 

So todays countdown is 9 days until we wave in Christmas Day 2017. Some people find counting down the days exciting, while others find it pressuring.

However it makes you feel, I invite you to join me each of the 12 days till Christmas, as I share daily Christmas Reflections and of course an accompanying Christmas image! (I just love taking photos & sharing pictures lol)

Todays chosen image below, is of presents under a Christmas tree, however this is no ordinary Christmas Tree. This Christmas Tree is actually made of pure sand!!!

christmas picture of a sand chrostmas tree by helens journey
Day 4 of 12 Christmas Image of a Sand Christmas Tree & Presents

This was part of the 2017 ‘American Sand Sculpting Championships’ in which no props were used to help this sand tree stay erected off the ground & stay standing up high. These skilled sand sculptures use only sand, water & tools such as brushes, etc. I see them as skilled engineers 😉

This made me reflect upon hard times in life:

  • When things seem to be falling apart.
  • When everything around us is telling us to stop trying.
  • When things just don’t feel right.
  • When we feel everything is pointing to it being time to give up.
  • When we are seriously wondering what is the point anymore.
  • When nothing we try seems to be working.

Those times are when the critics of this sand tree pipe up; they question the science behind this erected sand tree being possible, they accuse the sculptures of cheating, they don’t believe the rules or honesty of the whole competition, they call it all a scam. They basically tear it to shreds.

My point; in those hard times listed above, stop your mind from turning into that sceptical critic! Instead, try to keep the HOPE of Christmas alive throughout the rest of the year.

The hope that no matter how many critics tell you:

  • To give up.
  • That your business idea is destined to fail.
  • That doctors that say there isn’t anything left to try to help your health anymore.
  • That your goal is impossible with the limited tools you have.
  • That you are too limited by the rules & regulations from the government to succeed.
  • That you wont be able to stand on your own two feet, etc

STOP. PAUSE. In your mind PICTURE this standing sand tree defying odds, and sand is actually standing & staying high into the air even when it’s designed to stay down on the ground. It has no rods inside to keep it from falling and it isn’t propped up. However, it is constructed perfectly to stay erect, even with the limited tools used.

REMIND yourself in those moments of doubt:

  • You can succeed if you keep trying.
  • Goals can be reached if you persevere.
  • You can stay standing even when things try to knock you down.
  • You can make things even when your resources are limited.
  • You can achieve even when restricted by rules.

That air of HOPE that Christmas brings, the magical mist that surrounds traditions, people coming together, people joining in, teamwork, supporting each other, helping others, looking out for the lonely, deprived or homeless… It shouldn’t all be restricted to only this time of year. Let’s try to be conscious of keeping it continuing into the New Year too and beyond!

Please join me tomorrow for Day 5 of 12 Days of CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS

Dont worry if you missed earlier reflections as you can click on them below to have a quick read of them: 

Day 1: “DON’T GET YOUR TINSEL IN A TANGLE

Day 2: “PRESENCE over PRESENTS

Day 3: “LIFE is FRAGILE like a Christmas Ornament”

Each days chosen Christmas picture will also be shared on my INSTAGRAM  and my PINTEREST accounts too, so click the links and keep up to date with my Christmas Picture CHEER 😉   

Posted in NATURAL LIVING

3 TOP TIPS when deciding to go PLASTIC FREE! Encouragement & advice to start making easy changes…

If you are thinking of going plastic-free or interested in reading why you should –  read on for 3 top tips from someone who’s made the changes bit by bit and can tell you how…

The problems with plastics have been covered in mainstream news coverage more and more recently; from piled high dumps full of plastics that will take hundreds and thousands of years to decompose, to Starbucks announcing its commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. So it won’t be so much of a surprise why so many people are now deciding to become “plastic-free” or at least more eco-friendly. This post is to help you see small changes we can all start to make, that can all add up together to make a bigger difference. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.

Continue reading “3 TOP TIPS when deciding to go PLASTIC FREE! Encouragement & advice to start making easy changes…”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, POEMS

Making Friends with Grief! How grief can sometimes be met in a more soothing way by making comforting choices.

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my Grandad Mac dying. He lived to the mighty age of 99 years and 2 months old.

Today I had a choice. I could wake up and only focus on the heartache and pain from missing him and once again get dragged down into that dark pit of sadness.

Or I could wake up and make friends with the grief, in order to feel more than the sadness I already know.

How to deal with grief in a positive way:

Continue reading “Making Friends with Grief! How grief can sometimes be met in a more soothing way by making comforting choices.”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

My ‘World Mental Health Day’ Spent With The Arts. An event review, all about using the Arts to discuss Mental Health, in a fun & creative way!

So the 10th October marked another ‘World Mental Health Day’ aka WMHD.

Although I assume some of you reading this, who are living in this world with us, didn’t know… It’s okay you can put your hands up and admit it, as that is what makes awareness days needed = to do just that, make more people aware!

I spent my WMHD at a local community centre hosting an event by ‘Life Balance Arts’ a local Arts Community Investment Company who use their profits and assets for the public good. The afternoon was all about Mental Health and using different art forms to express ourselves, but also to create a comfortable atmosphere for people to openly and safely share their personal stories regarding Mental Health.

I went along with my trusted pillow in hand and headed for the more comfortable option in the chairs available (As Fibromyalgia makes sitting uncomfortable & sitting for long periods at a time in one position, flares up pain & stiffness etc – this trusted pillow has travelled all around the world with me and indeed could tell a few tales!! lol)

 

Arts & Craft workshop to help people express their feelings:

Giano Johal, the founder of Life Balance Arts ran craft workshops tailored for the day’s focus. There was mask decorating, which grabbed my conscience straight away as I know the masks I daily wear when trying to hide pain & falsely say “I’m ok, thank you” when asked how I am.

We all wear masks in life to different degrees:

  • That telephone voice we all have for important calls.
  • That false calm voice we talk to the children if even when we all stressed to the max!
  • The mask we wear at work to behave appropriately so we don’t get sacked.
  • The mask the victim puts on even to their family when they are secretly being abused behind closed doors.
  • The chronic illness sufferer trying to put on a brave face and push through the pain just to do a ‘normal’ activity and actually feel like they are living not just surviving.
  • The person battling depression that may not tell a soul about it.
  • The person who smiles at you, as they park next to you on the top story of a car park, before they walk to the edge as they want to jump off.

The last one may sound harsh to some but it really is that serious. Mental Health can be a matter of life and death!

art workshop using masks and words to express emotions www.helensjourney.com
What words would you write on your “I AM…” mask? how do you see yourself?

 

Okay Helen, now BREATHE!

A Breathing Exercise to help with dealing with emotions:

A breathing exercises workshop was next, facilitated by a Guru Ram Daas Trust teacher, who run sessions in the surrounding city. We learnt techniques to relax our bodies and calm our minds down through using our breaths, alternating nostrils and changing over from shallow breathing to deep inhales and exhales. We all felt our heads were clearer and our bodies calming after these breathing exercises. I’ve actually completed an introductory beginners course in Breathing Techniques, so this just reminded me of the importance for me to be do breathing exercises daily, as lately I admit I only do them ever so often. (Shhhhhh don’t tell my old instructor!)

art workshop using masks and words to express emotions www.helensjourney.com
What are you grateful for? I am a firm believer in practising Gratitude daily, that’s why I created a free printable Gratitude Diary for all my readers! Click HERE to download it & read this blog post.

Nutrition for better health workshop:

Following, was a subject close to my heart: Nutrition. As this has been why my journey has changed with discovering things about our body systems, our foods, and natural healthy living as a whole.

Parveen Talwar a nutritionist talked all about the gut being our 2nd brain & the importance of what we eat actually affects our brains and moods. I agreed with everything she said and the fact I already knew the things she was saying also gave me a confidence boost for knowing how informed and correct my discoveries and education has been so far. Obviously, the short time factor meant she couldn’t expand further after giving a quick but precise summary of key things to change for better health and mental health effects. However, I would love to hear more and will look out for more sessions from her in the future.

 

Sharing Stories regarding Mental Health:

Spoken Word came next with Anita Louise Kaur sharing her story of a mental breakdown & an encouraging recovery. She also read aloud her poem she had written all about depression – which was very moving. Find it on her twitter feed: @anita1967

The sharing stories section actually brought a physical tear to my eye… okay, okay, a few tears as I turned away to wipe my face!

A beautiful kind soul Bella Singh spoke of opening up her home for people in the local community who need respite care and it was truly humbling. Her amazing husband supported her venture of providing care and so over the years has had bigger property premises to house people.

One of the elder ladies who lives with her asked to say something and so she told the group what a wonderful ‘mom’ Bella had been to her these past 15 years (that is when the tears started).

Susan Brookes shared her news of setting up a magazine for children’s mental health ‘Positive Kids Magazine’ which sounds a brilliant initiative – you never know maybe one day I will write an article for her magazine… (Just putting it out there! heehee)

music workshop to express emotions and increase endorphins www.helensjourney.com
“HOY!” I think I enjoyed this a little too much, I was still doing the ‘screw in the lightbulb’ dance later that evening 😉

Dhol Drumming Workshop:

To loosen us up & to help us lose our inhibitions we then took part in a Dhol drumming workshop by Tubsy Dholki Waller. It was a really fun workshop that we all needed at that point for some light relief from emotions.

We all left there not only dancing away screwing in the light bulbs with our arms and bending our knees while shouting “HOY!” – but also smiling, laughing and carrying less tension than when we first stood in a line waiting for instructions like we were frozen in the spotlights! 😉  (I’m not sure if I should admit that there are videos of this on facebook?! haha)

The day reminded me, why working as a Drama Practitioner, I love using acting to speak to people about sensitive subjects such as Mental Health, but also as an outlet for people to work through their own emotions through joining in with specific drama exercises.

I honestly came away from the day feeling inspired & so I got home, sat on my heat pad and started to type and let my reflections unload onto the screen, and then this blog was created!

[This event was held at the Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre in Birmingham, England, UK and sponsored by NewStyle Radio 98.7FM a local community station.]

Why don’t you read my other blog post: How you can join in with raising awareness on Mental Health… “IT’S A WIN!” As a Helen’s Journey blog is a chosen feature blog in #MentalHealthMonday Twitter Competition

ENJOY READING HELEN’S JOURNEY POSTS AND POEMS?

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