The Books That Kept Me Sane During 2020

Dec 31, 2020

 I am a voracious reader. But this year more than any other in my life, I realised just how much books/reading meant to me. I needed them for comfort, solace and inspiration.  

I wish I could say I have listed my favourite fiction books below, but I haven't, as I rarely read fiction (but  is something I want to embrace more in 2021). At the start of lockdown my intention was to read travel memoirs and travel fiction. But as you will see below that didn't happen.

So I have only listed non-fiction books below; the books that really helped me get through this "annus horribilis"

Life's Amazing Secrets ~ Gaur Gopal Das 

I only recently found this book having discovered this monk's You Tube channel. His short little videos are amazing; nothing too heavy but enough to get you thinking throughout the day. Likewise, this is exactly what his book is like. Nothing heavy. It's about a conversation with a rich friend as they are stuck in Mumbai's traffic. He distils his experiences and lessons about life in a really light-hearted, thought provoking way that will help you align with the life you want to live. 

 Ikigai ~ Hector Garcia

Ikigai is the Japanese word for a reason to live. When I lost someone very close to me from covid, I could feel myself going slowly into the quicksand of hopelessness, and this book helped pull me out. I also listen to this regularly on Audible.

Thriving Through Uncertainty ~ Tama Kieves

I love this writer. A former Harvard lawyer turned spiritual life coach. What more could I need during a pandemic?  But in this book Tama proves that the moment your plans fall apart is precisely when your true destiny begins. With her guidance you can take hold of the blessings and hidden opportunities within uncertain transitional periods and begin to move forward. 

Fear ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Renowned Zen master and Buddhist monk explores the origins of fear and offers detailed practises on how to deal with its often toxic presence in our lives. It's a book to be savoured and read a little bit each day (or at least that was how it worked for me; I read  a chapter before bed as a way of clearing all the debris from my mind that had gathered during the course of the day). It's not an easy read, but a worthwhile endeavour.

Unmeasured Strength ~ Lauren Manning

Sometimes when you are having a "pity party" it's great to read about those that have overcome so much worse, and this biography is one such book that kicked me back into reality. It is the story of Lauren Manning who was literally burned alive in the 9/11 attacks. But it is not a morbid read. It's a book of hope, triumph and the body's will to stay in this world.

Into The Magic Shop ~ James Doty

This book reads like a fictional story but it is in fact a Neurosurgeon's memoir on how he was taught about mindfulness and compassion. He examines the science behind mindfulness and why the skills he learned now help him to think fast and stay calm in the operating theatre, He shows us what is possible when you start to change your brain and heart. I loved this book so much being a Neuroscience "nerd". But I think anyone can pick this book up and glean so much from it. 

Happiness Becomes You ~ Tina Turner

Buddhism has been a central part of Tina Turner’s life for decades. Drawing from the lessons of her own experiences–from rising out of adversity to stratospheric heights–Tina shows how the spiritual lessons of Buddhism helped her transform from sorrow, adversity, and poverty into joy, stability, and prosperity. I am loving this book SO much that I am also listening to it on Audible. It's a book that made me feel anything was possible; any obstacle could be overcome and always leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling of optimism and joy.

The 5 Love Languages ~ Gary Chapman

I first read this book back in 1996 just before getting married (I think I saw Dr Gary Chapman on Oprah), and can fully understand why it has been on the NY Best-sellers list for 8 years and has sold 11 MILLION copies.

I knew that lockdown was going to be testing for any relationship even though my Husband and I rarely argue.  Altho' my Husband and I are used to being/working together all the time, I also knew this time was going to be very different. This book gave me the marriage I wanted 25 years ago before I walked down the aisle, and is still as powerful now. There are also editions for singletons and children.  It really works!!

The Joy Of Movement ~ Dr Kelly McGonigal

Dr McGonigal shows how movement is intertwined with some of the most basic human joys and why it is a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. She illustrates her findings with stories of people who have found fulfilment and belonging through activities like running, walking, dancing, swimming and weightlifting. Her examples span the globe, from a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania, to a dance class at Juilliard for people with Parkinson's disease, to volunteers in London combining fitness and community service, athletes pushing the limits of human endure with races in the wilderness. The result is a revolutionary narrative that goes beyond familiar arguments in favour of exercise, and highlights the human capacity for hope, cooperation, and self-transcendence, complete with guidance on how readers can harness the power of movement in their own lives and communities.

I loved this book and again listened on Audible also. I needed this during 2020 because exercise/working out is not something I automatically want to do. I am not a gym-bunny. I will always choose something else rather than working out. Even the ironing!!!  But this book motivated me daily to keep moving. The stories were just so inspiring that I felt I just couldn't not give my body the daily movement it deserved, even whilst in lockdown.

So there you have it! Some of my favourite books of 2020-a year like no other. I hope it gives you some ideas for your next pick, and maybe a book you would have never otherwise considered.

Here's wishing us ALL a better 2021, and I will see you on the other side.



I Wish For You............

Dec 16, 2020


OMG!! Where do I start this year?

I am not sure I even have enough words to wish you 

the best of everything after the year we have all had.

I will write at the end of the year some posts on what this year has taught me,

and also the books that got me through 2020.

But is this madness even finished? I doubt it.

Nonetheless, I am going to pretend we are all going to have a 

"normal-ish" Christmas and with that in mind, here is what I wish for you.

I wish for you:-

*the joy of being with loved ones, even if that means just one person this year.

* the solace of being safe at home. I sincerely hope you have a sanctuary. 

One thing I learned this year was that my home is my sanctuary. 

I  found so much solace in being home and having a beautiful space, consciously

created longe before the pandemic hit, but appreciated more than ever.

* the joy of meals being thrown together in the aftermath of the

big day, as you give up trying to channel Nigella.

*the joy of pj's now becoming your normal daywear (be careful what

you wish for, as they say).

*the joy of being, not doing

*belly laughs

*old school board games with lots of screaming and cheating ;-)

* screen down-time

*quiet moments of reflection, and

* your favourite Christmas films with cocktail in hand.

But more than anything I would like to thank you for 

the joy you give me as you accompany me in this humble space I call 
my blog. I am not a writer and sometimes find it difficult to come up with anything of value.

In fact most days I can't even think of words to string 
a sentence together .

So I appreciate every single one of you who make time to visit. 

I know how "time-starved" we all are, and what a difficult year this has been, 
so it means even more to me to think I have people even reading my ramblings ;-)

Thank you SO much.

Sparkle Gift Guide 2020

Nov 19, 2020

So here we are talking about Christmas again!

How did we get here?

My mind is still in March when I celebrated my birthday 

and then suddenly the world combusted.

But not wanting to sound like the Grinch, I am giving you some ideas on what

sparkles may make good gifts this year. 

Or maybe you've had such a bad year you just want to treat yourself. 

I hear you girl! 

Anyway here goes. 

Shop all stacking jewellery here

All nature-inspired sparkles are here

Colourful pieces here

Long dangle earrings here

So there you have it. Some of my fave picks for gifts for you, or for someone special.

Either way. We all deserve some sparkle this year like no other.


Should You Stack Or Go Single When Over 40?

Oct 20, 2020

 I'm talking about stacking jewellery of course!

Now I don't like "prescribing" what you should wear, and what you shouldn't wear. 

Who am I to say what makes you want to dance in the mirror?

But I wanted to bring you some subtle stackers that were

featured in the press last weekend, and which may resonate with you.

I think delicate bands like this look fab worn together or slipped in between your wedding/
engagement rings to up date your look. That's how I sometimes wear mine.

She's just admiring her view!

You could also mix with coloured stones, which will really give a different look
to your stack party.
This is how some customers mixed them up.

Gemstone rings here (more than 15 stones to choose from).

But at the end of the day, wear your stacks how you wish; all piled onto one finger

or on every finger. You decide.

Do leave a comment and let me know if you are a stacking fan.

Next week I will bring you some stacking bangles that will see you from sofa, to street and back to sofa

(most lockdown routines these days!)

That's it lovely lady.

I hope where ever you are, you stay safe.

Silver Linings

Sep 24, 2020

Hello my friends!

What a very long time it has been.
In that time so much has happened, I can't even begin.

One of the worst was losing someone very close to me during this
first part of the pandemic.

It was such a shock and I still don't believe it has happened.
Not being able to attend a funeral (only virtually) just makes it
all feel like a dream.

I also know so many people that have suffered terrible, terrible things
whether it be related to the pandemic or otherwise.

Have there been any silver linings then?

Well I have been desperately trying to keep
busy and my business has been chugging along nicely.

During lockdown I decided to make some Liberty print masks using
a 3D pattern. I started to make them for family and friends as little unexpected 
surprises that they would receive. 

Then it all went crazy, and then friends of friends, of
friends wanted to know how they could buy them.

And so an addition was born.

See more here

Liberty London, face coverings, masks

Me and my mask (excuse my wind-blown hair!)

But here is why I made them:

* the disposable mask were damaging my skin. I have never suffered with
skin breakouts even in my teens, and here I was suffering with it now.

* the black masks, along with my black hair made me look like I 
about to commit some terrible crime.

*I could never talk with the disposable masks on; they would either start to slip
down my face and try to strangle me, or I just found it impossible to breathe.

So a new idea was born.

So why Liberty fabric?

Liberty London fabric, liberty print,

So those that know me, or have followed me for some time know I have a deep affinity
with Liberty London. 
Both my Mum and Godmother were Buyers for Liberty in the 70's and 80's. 
So whenever I have to choose fabric for anything, Liberty is my first choice.
The quality is fabulous.

My mask even made it onto the golf course of Marbella, Spain.

So why do I feel my masks stack up against the others?

*these are made in authentic Liberty London 100% cotton.

*they are made with 4 layers of fabric (the medical recommendations).

*100% quality cotton means your skin can still breathe. You won't get mask acne/bad skin with these on.

* they stay up; they don't slip off the face, because of the inner flaps which go over the nose and over the chin (see below) 

* you can speak perfectly and clearly with them on.

The best thing about them?

International shipping is free at the moment.

So if you fancy learning more, pop over here where you will

also see all the fabric choices (and more will be added).

So there you have it, something good that came out of this crazy time.

Here in the UK lockdown measures seem to be continuing at least until

the Spring. So I think it is going to be a long old Winter.

To end her are some lovely Autumn pieces to bring some sparkle to your day.

autumn accessories, acorns, acorn earrings, Autumnal

hoops, hoop earrings, leaf design, statement earrings


Autumn accessories, fall earrings, fall accessories, oak leaves, autumn leaves, Autumnal,

Do drop me a line and let me know how you have been, how you

have been coping and any silver linings that have come your way.

Big hugs as always.

Forget Hygge. It's All About Umbuntu!

Apr 3, 2020

As most of you know, I am of South African heritage and you can read more about my great grandmother who was a Gemologist here.
But there is one word that South Africans (of older generations) always declare and that is "Umbuntu". 
The meaning is "I am, because of you". and nowhere are we seeing this more than right now.
It's a recognition that we are all connected in ways that may be invisible to the eye; there is a oneness to humanity that we achieve by sharing with others, something we are seeing daily on all media platforms. How "sharing is caring" is showing up more than ever. From big cooperations to the smallest independent businesses, everyone is reaching out a helping hand.
We can see people both young and old, family, friends and strangers all finding ways to be more there for each other during these testing and very strange times. 
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, (as presented in the American psychologist’s five-tier pyramid), he suggests that love and belonging are essential to our survival.
I shall leave that thought with you.
Stay safe Lovely!


Mar 31, 2020

Now  we are all in some form of isolation, I thought I would use this opportunity to bring you some of the things that are bringing me joy at this difficult time, in the hope you can take something from it also.
Now is a great time to dabble in topics and subjects you have always been interested in. 
The University of Yale is now offering it's most popular course 'The Science of Well-Being' and you  can register for a FREE

One I plan on joining is Masterclass (you have probably seen the Anna Wintour ads floating around Instagram). This is a paid subscription but it has some of the best instructors in the industry such as Gordon Ramsey, Anna Wintour, Bobbi Brown........the list goes on, and I plan to get stuck in ;-)
Working Out With:
So if you are at home and cannot get to a gym or a class, then exercising at home is your only option.
I found Melissa Wood on Instagram about 3 months ago and here workouts are fabulous; mainly Pilates and Yoga based but also working with weights, exercise balls etc. I love her workouts because some are 15 mins, some are 45 mins. Or you can mix and match and create your own. 
There is a monthly subscription of $9.99/month. But it is minimal when you consider what a good gym membership is.
The name says it all. 'The Martini'.
This is a bath soak by GOOP and is supposed to:
*take the edge off turbulent times
*centres the body and spirit
*helps to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
I have used it and I love it. I am not a huge bath fan (I prefer a good power shower), but this is slowly converting me ;-)
Listening To:
I am an avid reader, but I have slowly been converted to audio books over the last 2-3 years.
 I love listening to audio books because it means I can listen when doing other things. I also find I retain more when I listen rather than just read (maybe that is just an age thing ;-)
Here are some of my favourite audio books I am listening to or re-listening to at the moment. They are all non-fiction as I don't tend to read or listen to fiction at the moment.
I won't link them all. But you can find them all on AUDIBLE

* The Surrender Experiment (Michael Singer)
* The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer)
*The Happiness Advantage (Shawn Achor)
*Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)
*Girl Stop Apologising (Rachel Hollis)
*The Beautiful No (Sheri Salata)
*Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Dr David Hawkins)
I hope you find one you like that you may not have even considered before.
Pursuing The Pretty:
I'm not sure about you, but in times of "crisis" I need things to cheer me up and just make me happy. And this is one of my "non-essentials" that I know I will make use of in Spring  and Summer because let's face it, Spring and Summer will still be arriving.
You can get up close and personal with these beauties here
So there you have it!
I hope you enjoy some of the things that are bringing me a little joy.
Keep safe.