Category Archives: Guest Post

Meditation for Children and Young People – The Benefits

Today I’m delighted to bring you the second instalment of our meditation mini series by Holly Ashby. In this post, Holly discusses some of the key benefits of a regular meditation practice for children and young people.

boy-meditating-in-grass-e1351194334983[Source]

 

When thinking about meditation, it’s easy to assume that it’s something only adults would benefit from. To a certain extent, most children are shielded from the stresses and strains of modern life that make it such a useful tool for adults. However, children aren’t completely immune from this stress and have their own unique worries. To help, meditation can be a great relaxation technique for children. Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Post, Meditation

Health, Happiness and Meditation

As most of you will be aware, I am passionate about meditation. I’ve been attending weekly meditation classes for about seven years now, as well as practising alone at home and in the great outdoors. Since 2010, I’ve also been teaching children’s weekly meditation workshops. Along with the shift towards a 100% plant-based diet, meditation has definitely been key in raising my levels of physical and mental well-being these past few years.

Today, I am delighted to share a guest post from Holly Ashby who works for the London meditation centre, Will Williams Meditation. Holly is a super talented writer, and she’s kindly offered to write a mini introductory series on meditation for Bit of the Good Stuff. We’ll be posting one article per month for the next three months. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

In today’s post, Holly is talking about some of the benefits of meditation.

Meditation

by Holly Ashby

Continue reading

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Filed under Buddhism & Meditation, Guest Post, Meditation

Ash from Viva! and his Vegan Muffaletta

 Today I am delighted to share a guest post from Ash, who works for the animal charity Viva! I first came into contact with Ash after eyeing up his Muffaletta on Twitter! I was so wowed by it that I asked if he’d share the recipe, along with an insight into his work at Viva! Wait till you check out that sandwich. Lil’ L & M are going to be so impressed when I make it for them!
Over to Ash….

Hello Good Stuff readers, I’m Ash and I work for Viva! – one of the few animal charities out there who actually tell the ugly truth and are motivated exclusively by improving the quality of life of ALL animals. Have a look at our current campaigns.

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I am lucky that when I’m not doing techy stuff I get to be involved with other things like fundraising and foodie things. For instance some of us made a series of instructional food videos – showing people that vegan cooking is not rocket science. This is part of our initiative to extent the success of Veganuary, and give people a wealth of cooking tips and recipes for a whole month. It’s called the 30 Day Vegan.

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Another awesome thing I get to do is co-ordinate supporters’ fundraising challenges. This comes under the heading of Team-Viva!. This year we are building up the number of people taking part in running events – an activity dear to my heart after training my little legs off last year for the Bristol Half Marathon. It’s not just about running though, so if you want to partake in any sponsored activity (cake bake, sponsored silence, world’s largest vegan sausage, for example) please get in touch!

ash run 500

I became acquainted with BitOfTheGoodStuff through Twitter, after being complimented on a particular food post I uploaded one lunchtime. It was for a vegan muffaletta which (as well as having a funny name) is a deliciously impressive, and speedy dish to whip up.

Thank you so much Ash for guest posting today and sharing your awesome recipe

Viva! is an incredible charity and one that is very close to my heart. I’ve been a supporter for many years now and Lil’ L and I actually volunteered at the Incredible Veggie Roadshow when it came to Bath in 2010. We had such a blast handing out leaflets, chatting to people and encouraging people to check out the event. I promise you, no one could resist that Lil’ cutie 😉

Incredible Veggie Roadshow 2010 - 400

The next Incredible Veggie Roadshow is in Gloucester on Saturday 26 April 2014 so, if you’re within the vicinity, do check it out!

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Filed under Guest Post, Lunches & Light Dinners

Top Ten Tips to Declutter

Spring is here at last! And so comes the time for Spring cleaning and de-cluttering. It’s amazing how quickly we can fill our homes, regardless of how small or large they are!

Today, I am absolutely delighted to share a guest post from Catriona Archer  Based in Bath, Catriona offers hand-on practical and creative styling solutions to maximize a home or business space’s full potential. Here are some of her tried and tested de-cluttering tips to help us get going…

#1  Re-purpose / Up-cycle

Our possessions only become clutter when they no longer serve a purpose. This cushion cover was made using a dress that was no longer worn, after decluttering a client’s wardrobe, thereby re-purposing an item that held happy memories.

 

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[Source: catrionaarcher.com]

 

#2  Keep it together!

Always store like-with-like. It’s a sure-fire way of finding what you’re looking for quickly and avoiding buying items twice (because we forgot that we had it already!) It also makes clearing away so much easier.

 

#3  Get creative

Storage needn’t be expensive. A row of jam jars or adapted milk cartons can be just as satisfying to look at and use as something you can buy in the shops.

 

Pencil Storage
[Source: makezine.com/craft]


#4  Get personal!

Give each person in the household a storage basket or a personalised cloth-bag hung near the stairs: Any loose odds and ends belonging to that person can be deposited there. Make it a regular weekly habit for each person to clear it out and put it away!

 

#5  It’s behind you!

The backs of doors are a fantastic way of storing smaller items. When decluttering and styling peoples houses, I often use hanging shoe organisers on the inside of cupboard doors… Useful for small bathrooms, kitchen cleaning products, bedrooms… actually, ANYWHERE in the house can benefit from this! The beauty of it is that it is easily accessable, discreet and leaves surfaces clutter-free. Clear shoe pockets are also available, should you need to store smaller items.

 shoe organisers 400

[Source: catrionaarcher.com]


#6  Maximise your Storage

Does your open and closed storage maximize the space? By simply adjusting the height of our shelves to work exactly at the right height required for the items on them, allows for extra shelves to be added and even more surface-clutter to be removed!


#7  Think Vertically

It’s amazing how much wall space is underused. The trick is to use one wall as the focal point in the room and leave another full wall empty, to give the room breathing space. Here, a simple mesh grid from a building merchants holds everything from pictures to scissors, through paper clips and S-hooks.

 Vertical Storage 500

 [Source: www.stilinspiration.blogspot.se]


#8  Address your Wardrobe

There’s a saying… “We wear 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time”. We all know that tastes change over time, as does our body shape! The only way of really tackling the wardrobe and drawers is by putting like-with-like together (all jeans, all t-shirts etc.) and get a realistic idea of what you actually have. Setting aside a short, pre-set amount of time with an alarm clock (and a trusted friend if required) is the best way to make a start… I find 1 hour does the trick for the initial session. Remember: You don’t have to do it all in one go!

 

#9  Bulldog clips and Velcro

Is there anything these two bad-boys can’t do? Here is an ingenious way of using bulldog clips to organise office wires. I have also used bulldog clips to hold vinyl record covers as art-work on a living room wall (see my website gallery). Velcro is a great way of keeping items/wires off the floor and maximizing storage space on the side/bottom of a piece of furniture. Most Hardware stores now sell velcro and hooks on a glue-free, removable backing.

 

bulldog clips 500[Source: catrionaarcher.com]

 

#10  Use it, Mend it or Lose it!

A final note… An item that served a purpose in the past becomes clutter when it no longer serves a purpose for your present and future. Mend, re-sell, organise a Swap Shop with friends, advertise it on Free-cycle.org or donate unwanted items to Charity. The satisfaction of a de-cluttered, well organised space is so rewarding and works on so many levels in improving our lives. But letting go of our attachment to certain items and allowing someone else to benefit from it is, I think, the best incentive of all.

Best wishes
 
Catriona x
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Thank you so much Catriona for sharing your tips   I’ll definitely be putting them to good use this weekend!

For full details of Catriona’s services, check out her website. You can also connect with her on Twitter @catrionaarcher.

Are you planning on a Spring clean?
Do you have any of your own ‘tried and tested’ tips?
If so, I’d love to hear them!

Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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Filed under Guest Post

Guest Post: How to Eat a Rainbow

Today, I’m handing over my little space in the blogosphere to Ellie and Sabrina Bedford who are going to tell us about a very special mission they’ve embarked on that involves children, rainbows, food and a touch of magic Before I give too much away, let me stop right there and pass you over to the girls.

We are so excited to be guest blogging for Sharon today!  We are Ellie and Sabrina Bedford, Sisters in Law who have a mission to get a magical healthy children’s recipe book out there! It’s called ‘How to Eat a Rainbow, Magical Raw Vegan recipes for Kids’ and we hope to be bringing to you soon!

Ellie and Sabrina Bedford

Ellie is a plant-based food blogger, food writer and whole food consultant and also mum to two little girls. Ellie noticed a huge gap in the market for a beautiful and healthy children’s cook book – all she could find for her girls were baking and cupcake books full of sugary cookies and cakes. Not wanting her daughters to miss out on the joy of owning their very own recipe book, as she had done as a child, she decided to create her own and sought the help of her artist sister-in-law to make it happen!

Sabrina is a visual artist and illustrator and has created this beautiful magical world for the books theme. The magical theme encourages children to eat just like a fairy would and so it is full of fresh and colourful fruits and veggies. Our book is fully illustrated in a picture book style to truly captivate the child and make healthy eating fun and appealing – they even get a fairy food certificate to complete in their name in the back!

How to Eat a Rainbow

We know how difficult it can be to encourage kids to eat their fruits and veggies and we’ve designed this book to help. How to Eat a Rainbow covers the more problematic areas in children’s diets such as snacks, treats, drinks and sides, so for this reason we’ve made them as virtuous as possible! All of the recipes are refined sugar free, vegan, gluten free and raw so they can be easily added into any child’s diet. We hope we can introduce more plant-based whole foods into the homes of families across the world, and show them how easy and tasty healthy food can be!

How to Eat a Rainbow

To make our book a reality we’re crowd funding on Indiegogo. We’re thrilled that we are now over three quarters of the way to our goal now, but we need all the support we can get to make out target by our closing date, 2nd March 2014!

If you’d like to support our project, please visit our campaign page and check out and share our campaign video, helping us to spread the word! On our page you can also pre-order your very own copy in print or as an ebook. As well as our book, we have lots of exciting incentives such as being illustrated on the cover of our book, having a fairy portrait made, signed original artwork and family raw food prep packages!

We really hope you love the concept of our book and thank you in advance for helping us make this happen, we couldn’t do it without you and appreciate all your support.

 

Thank you Ellie and Sabrina! Well, ‘How to Eat a Rainbow’ might be designed for kids, but I definitely want a copy! Those illustrations are truly sublime

If you’d like to connect with Ellie and Sabrina, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE 24TH FEBRUARY 2014 – After a very successful weekend of fund raising, Ellie and Sabrina are now over 90% of their way towards achieving their goal, which is fantastic news! Today, they would like to share a sneak preview of How to Eat a Rainbow including a tasty recipe to try at home. Check it out and if you like it, please share it!

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