Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Prose workshop invitation for non-members

Invitation to non-members. Don't miss this fantastic, FREE event which will be ran by writer, Simon Fletcher. This will be a part of our Blakenhall Writers Anthology Project which will hopefully be published by the end of this year. To book, call Roma on 07733220646 or email blakenhallwriters@gmail.com

Monday, 29 June 2015

The Yellow Book Poetry Prize Presentation

On the way to the Westminster Palace

On the 24th of June, I was invited to attend the prize presentation of The Yellow Book at Westminster Palace.

It was a great  event which highlights the importance of our mental health and well-being.

My two works, Paper Plane & Morning Run are prize-winning poems. I love supporting projects like this. Here are the reasons why:

  • Simple but Meaningful - The poems in The Yellow Book are simple but meaningful. I aim for my poems to be accessible not only to poetry readers/writers but also to everybody. What I've observed so far is that most contemporary poets write well-crafted but complicated poetry. When I say complicated, I mean most of them use difficult, non-day to day words. I call them "big words". Those that may read sophisticated to the eyes of poets but certainly will bore everyone else. For example, when I ask my partner or friends (who don't normally write/read poems) to look at modern poems, they corrugate their brows as they confess that they don't understand them. Now, how come? Shouldn't poetry be accessible to everybody - whether they be poets or not? I believe that simplicity is what will make poetry everlasting. If we are gonna make our readers look up a word at the dictionary at every stanza, how can we expect poetry to survive in the future? As a poet, I aim not to only impress my fellow poets but my fellow human beings as a whole.
    With two of the judges Helen Ivory (left) and Lydia Towsey (right)

  • Good Purpose - The Yellow Book will be distributed to GP Surgeries, hospitals, as well as prisons. The poems in it are meant to give hope. Poetry should serve a purpose and as a nurse and a student counsellor, I am just glad that my poems will be able to get the chance to inspire and give hope to others.
To get your free copy of the book, click HERE. You will need to pay for postage and packaging though.
On the balcony of Westminster Palace with The Yellow Book in which 2 of my poems have been published

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Simple Life

For the past month, I have been travelling on a rough road in life.

Sometimes we ask ourselves - What is my purpose? Why do I do the things I do?

Is it to please or meet other's expectations or is it to meet our own?

Perhaps one day I will be able to share you what I have been going through during the past few weeks but for now, everything is still quite fresh and I don't really want to go there yet.. For now, I choose to protect myself from emotional hurt.

Anyways, I have come across this video which talks about the beauty of a simple life. This video also touches on what does it really mean to be rich.
I am seriously contemplating on 'downgrading' in my lifestyle and reflect on what really matters the most for me.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Review: Ponds Perfect Care Lemon Cold Cream Deep Cleanser

So I've been using this cream cleanser for a couple of months now.

I actually got it whilst I was travelling in Thailand for a mere £3.00. It is a 'deep cleanser' and most people use this as a make up remover which, I must say, works really well. However, I use it as a cleanser AFTER I wash my face.

I just use a dab of this cream and massage it onto my face and neck. Then I wipe it off with some water-damp cotton to prevent it from clogging pores (the instructions actually state to wash your face off or wipe it with a cotton).

And as you can see, all the remaining dirt that my normal facial wash couldn't remove was actually swept away with the use of this excellent cleanser.

What do I love more about this cream?
  • Texture - unlike other products which leave you feeling oily/greasy, this cream has a very soft texture to it and it actually leaves my face supple, almost velvety to touch
  • Cleanser PLUS Moisturiser - After using this cream, I no longer feel the need to moisturise my face as this product also acts as a moisturiser. It's 2 in 1. And I must say, it is a very effective moisturiser! I normally sleep with my heater on and that causes me to dry up overnight but this product protects my skin from that. (Also it actually saves me from buying a moisturiser, how practical!)
  • Mildly scented - I love it's lemony scent which leaves my face feeling fresh and clean.
Any Cons?
I would say that for some people, because of the lemony scent, the cream might be a little irritable to the eyes. That's only a guess as this product really suits me and I've got no problem with it whatsoever. I can't really fault it!

For those who don't live in Thailand, you can get this through Amazon. The only issue is you would have to pay double or more than it's retail prize in it's 'native home'.

I would definitely recommend this product. And yes, I will be getting one again! :-)

  • Saturday, 13 June 2015

    I'm selling Beautiful Accessories on Ebay

    Hello peeps, please support my shop on Ebay. I am selling high quality brand new accessories. I will also be posting shoes, dresses, and any other things which I do not use anymore.

    Hope you can browse and have a look. To go to my EBAY shop, please click HERE
    Some of the things I'm selling :)

    Thank you :)

    Thursday, 11 June 2015

    Poetry prize-presentation at the House of Lords

    I'm so excited to receive my invitation to the House of Lords for the prize-presentation of The Yellow Book. My partner receives an invitation too. Apparently you can't go into the Palace of Westminster without an invitation.

    I'm really excited! I'd never really been invited to prestigious places like this... until now :-)

    To read more information about this creative project by Rethink Your Mind, click HERE

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    Why you should keep a journal

    In different forms, journals have been around for centuries. From 56 AD early archived Chinese documents, to the 10th century The Pillow Book, to the Diary of Anne Frank (1952) and the waves of modern day bloggers (as cited in Stevens and Cooper, 2009)
    I used to keep a journal when I was a kid. I think until I was in 4th year high school when our Values Education teacher actually required us to submit one at the end of the school year.
    Towards my young adult life I still wrote in journals but not as often I used to do. Until last year when I've started doing my Counselling course at Keele. The student are again required to keep journals. But what's really the reason we should keep and maintain one?
    My current Journal

    So what could be the benefits of journal keeping for you?
    • Journal keeping is a therapeutic way of pouring your heart out
    • Some research show that this practice gives better health through reduction of stress
    • Allowing you to reflect on your thoughts
    • Improved awareness and writing skills
    I love words and being reflective. I love the fact that I can just pour all my feelings on a sheet of paper and feel better afterwards even though I cannot necessarily solve a certain problem/concern straightaway. I love to keep memories via journal writing too. It's just so therapeutic and I recommend keeping a journal to everybody.

    Reference: Steves, D. and Cooper, J. (2009) Journal Keeping. Virginia: Stylus Publishing LLC

    Saturday, 6 June 2015

    Have you ordered your copy of The Yellow Book yet?

    Pre-order your free* copy of The Yellow Book - a beautiful project by Rethink Your Mind that supports positive mental health.

    This is also where my two poems, Morning Run and Paper Plane, will appear as prize-winning entries in their Poetry & Art Competition last March.

    The Yellow Book also includes:
    • Wellbeing material
    • Recovery material from The Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London
    • Recovery material from The Royal College of Psychiatrists
    • Recovery material from The NHS Confederation MHN
    • Signposting to National organisations and charities of support
    • 48 pages of positive artwork and poetry from the project
    • Forewords from prominant figures including Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE
    • A page from each member of the artwork and poetry panel

    Stephen Fry also supported the project by tweeting during call for submissions and congratulating the winners of the competition. This book will be truly a very informative and charming creation that will delight normal readers as well as poetry fanatics.

    *The book is free but you will need to pay for postage & packaging of £3.00.

    It will be an ideal gift to someone you know who needs a little bit of 'uplifting' poems and artworks. It is also a good self-help guide when you're having a bad day. Or better yet, if you're working in a healthcare setting (whether it be mental or medical), you can even donate the book to that organisation for the clients to read. So c'mon, support this beautiful project and order your copies HERE


    Monday, 1 June 2015

    The Real Benefits of Walking

    Since I'd been on and off from work due to recurrent chest infection and asthma, I couldn't really do vigorous or any cardio exercises as I got too short of breath. I could not even walk my dog as I couldn't manage to get any far.
    However, as I felt a little better, I started walking my dog again. I started from 10-15 minutes walk a day then increase the length of time by 5 minutes every other day. Nowadays I can walk and play with my dog for up to forty minutes! I know it doesn't sound much, especially for a 26 year old woman, but I'm still in the process of recovering. I guess it's just a matter of gauging your capabilities and not pushing yourself too much. What important is we must always be ready to take our 'first step' towards good health.
    So c'mon, let's start walking!
    Benefits of walking:
    • It can be enjoyed by people of all ages
    • Not an intense or too vigorous way of exercising - do it on your own pace!
    • A study shows that 30 minutes moderate to intense walking can result to expenditure of around 207 calories
    • You can enjoy some beautiful or interesting sceneries along the way
    • You can enjoy a good company (with a pet or a friend)
    • Walking can help you make mindful choices in your life
    "Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it." - Soren Kierkegaard
    My angel Tia Maria on our walk through the woods

    Poetry Book Review: The Chatter of Crows

    I recently re-read David Bingham's The Chatter of Crows.
    It was published by Offa's Press  in late 2014. They say don't judge a book by its cover but boy this book has a very beautiful illustration that can definitely capture your attention and make you curious about its content.


    The Chatter of Crows

    The book has 66 pages and the poems range from free verse to Japanese-inspired haibun and haiku. And this is what I like about this book - it gives me a West meets East kind of feeling.

    Also I like David's use of vivid imagery and playful tone in his poems. A friend of mine who also read the book was captured by how a poem 'let the readers fill the gap themselves'.

    For me, the poems also leave you reflective about them. Also, having been born in the Philippines, I normally find it difficult to get British humour, but surprisingly, I can totally appreciate the humour in some of the poems in this collection.

    Offa's Press likes poems which are 'good on the page and good on the stage' and I think David managed to deliver that. If you want to see for yourself, attend some of his readings this summer:

    June 2 - he will be reading at The Works Canteen, Black Country Museum, Dudley (7:30 pm)

    June 12 -  he is taking part in an open mic reading at The Pottery, Old Chapel House, Much Wenlock, TF13 6HT (7:30 pm)

    You can also order this book from Offa's Press' website, Amazon & Waterstones (though Waterstones may take up to 3 weeks to get the book for you)

    Flying to the Philippines

    I was quite anxious flying back to the Philippines for my AIDF programme. It was my first time flying alone and I'm not too keen on plan...