[Book Review] “FIND YOUR AWESOME” by Judy Clement Wall

  • Title: FIND YOUR AWESOME 
  • Author: Judy Clement Wall
  • Published by: HCI Books
  • Publication date: 4th April 2017
  • Edition: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780757319754
  • Price: $14:95 (USD)
  • Self-Help , Crafts & Hobbies


Find Your Awesome

A 30-Day Challenge to Fall in Love with Your Playful, Imaginative & Colorful Self

by Judy Clement Wall

Part self-help book, part adult colouring & activity book; this lovely offering will appeal to those who love to doodle & scribble, and anyone who enjoys ‘Wreck this Journal’-style books.
Essentially a self-love & self-worth workbook, “Find Your Awesome” takes the idea of a 30 day challenge and turns it into a book. Taking the realisation that whilst we have no problem telling those around us how awesome they are; we find it difficult to extend the same courtesy to ourselves; self-confessed artist, writer, doodler, and love warrior Judy Clement Wall challenges us to 

“Fall in Love with Your Playful, Imaginative & Colourful Self”

through a set of daily challenges designed to encourage you to do just that.

Judy’s writing style is Awesome, she has you nodding along and giggling at the many witticisms she shares. Nevermind being a self-love guru; it seems like she’s the kinda person that would do your soul good just by knowing her! Someone you’d love to hug, hang out with, drink tea and eat copious amounts of cheecake with; regularly.

The book is a fun read, at times touching, and actually quite eyeopening – through sharing her own story of opening herself up to embracing her own Awesome badassery she gives us the impetus to proclaim our own. 

In case you haven’t worked it out yet; I LOVE THIS BOOK!! I must admit, I never really ‘got‘ the whole Adult Colouring thing, I understand why people enjoy it; it just never clicked with ME. But, this? This I can embrace. I’m obsessed with daily/monthly challenges but sometimes get bored if they are the same thing repeated (a month worth of photoprompts is fine, once you’re into your 3rd month, it gets a bit ‘mehhh’) The clever thing here is that the style of challenge differs from day to day; some days you doodle, some days you write, others you send a text; it keeps it varied and interesting.

Fancy a sneak peek at some of the challenges? I’m happy to oblige:

  • Doodle your perfect t-shirt
  • Text love
  • Writing yourself a love letter
  • Appreciate your body in all its awesomeness
  • Make time for you by writing a Not-To-Do List
  • What’s your Personal Manifesto?

Another idea suggested throughout the book is choosing your favourite challenge(s) and turning them into month, or even year, -long challenges in their own right; similar to the author’s own Year of Loving Fearlessly challenge.   

Now, obviously, you can work through the book on your own, but I was excited to discover that Judy is running a free online group, starting May 15th, where you can sign up now and then complete the challenge alongside [as she puts it herself] “a posse of like-minded love-warriors”. I have, of course, signed up; and now I’m off to buy a physical copy to play with.


Rating

I award this book 5 out of 5 stars. I found it Awesome! 


Connect with the Author

     



    Disclosure: A free ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    A Sunny Saturday in 1300s Arbroath

    Arbroath Abbey has always been a favourite haunt and we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve visited over the years.
    It is a place of calm tranquility, steeped in history, and I always feel at peace there.

    This weekend there is a re-enactment event; held annually in honour of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath (6th April 1320); so today’s visit wasn’t quite as tranquil, what with the clash of swords as the Scots & English forces battled through the Wars of Independence.

    The medieval encampment came courtesy of The Historic Saltire Society, a living history group based in Inverness who perform all over the country.

    The society members are all very friendly and eager to talk about the history of the period.

    We all had an attempt at some medieval calligraphy using quills, reeds and iron gall ink.

    The professionals made us some personalised bookmarks to show us how it is really done…

    In our defense, they did get to use proper nibs!

    We also saw how cloth would have been woven.

    The lunch tent was well-frequented, although somewhat surprisingly there wasn’t a cauldron of pottage in sight!

    The camp jester was on hand to show us various medieval games & pastimes.

    The Armoury was a lot of fun! The guy we spoke to spent ages talking us through all the protective clothing and weapons. 

    There is always ample opportunity for audience participation.

    Offspring #2 found himself conscripted into the schiltron.

    Whilst the kids army is always fun

    Obviously the finale is The Big Battle… 

    The event continues on Sunday, so if you happen to be around Arbroath, pop along!

    Oh, and no trip to Arbroath can be complete without a good portion of fish and chips!

    We can definitely recommend The Bellrock.

    Do you have any annual local events you enjoy attending?

    Have you heard of Arbroath Abbey, or The Declaration?


    I’d love to hear!

    Hugs, 

    Crafty xx

    Flippin’eck! It’s Pancake Day!!

    Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday; if you are so inclined) is traditionally celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; which signals the beginning of Lent.

    Shrove, derived from the word shrive, meaning to confess; was traditionally a time for Christians to confess & serve penance (not being religious, I’m afraid we just serve pancakes!)

    Pancakes were traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, as they used up a lot of eggs, milk & sugar; rich ingredients which were omitted from your menu for the duration of the 40-day long fast.

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    Of course, like so many other events throughout the calendar, the Christians weren’t the first kids on the block to celebrate it.

    Pagan festivities included eating these delicious warm round sun-like cakes in the belief that it would invoke the gods of Spring and fertility, and banish the cold dark winter months. Which sounds pretty good to me!!

    Anyway, as I mentioned, we aren’t a religious family; we do however usually make pancakes on Pancake Day.
    We used to do it when the kiddos were…well…kiddos; in fact Teen2 was a bit miffed last year that we didn’t (the fact that this was probably due to the fact that it was one of those nights where he had three social engagements between school & bed was almost definitely lost on him!) and its a tradition that has carried on.

    Usually we make thinnish crepe-like pancakes, and everyone takes a turn of flipping or tossing theirs in the pan.

    When I was young, my parents told me it was good luck if you managed to get your pancake to somersault in the air and land back flat in the pan.
    I had no basis to believe or disprove this, so decided it was most definitely true.
    Teen2 may disagree after the year he grabbed the hot pan rather than the plastic insulated handle and ended up with a trip to A&E (I know, I’m a terrible mother!) but I still stand by my belief that it is most definitely lucky.

    TOP THAT!

    After the making and the tossing, the next step is the topping.

    Usually this starts rather sensibly, with a sprinkling of sugar and a dash of lemon juice; or perhaps a spread of jam, maybe even a drizzle of honey or syrup.
    But, before long, Someone instigates nonsense and they end up covered in all sorts of things…
    Generally there is a combination featuring some (or all!) of the following…

    Nutella
    Ice cream
    Banana
    Syrup
    Cherry pie filling
    Cinnamon
    Lemon juice
    Sugar
    Whipped cream
    Jam
    Marshmallow fluff
    Chopped nuts
    Honey….

    …and anything else He thinks he would get away with!!

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    If I remember correctly; this monstrosity contained ice cream, hazelnut chocolate spread, sliced banana, chocolate syrup, whipped cream & chopped nuts; a few years back.

    THIS YEAR, WE TOSSED TRADITION

    This year, instead of our usual large thin pancakes; we had Scotch Pancakes.
    This was not a decision made through some patriotic fervour; in actual fact, I was running low on flour after making a couple of batches of pizza recently.

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    TheTeens were suitably impressed that their mum actually knew how to make Scotch Pancakes, something normally just bought and eaten from supermarket packets and; after revering me as a living god; polished off *some*

    MY SUPER EASY SCOTCH PANCAKE RECIPE

    Ingredients:

    200g Self-raising Flour
    100g Caster Sugar
    Pinch Salt
    2 Eggs
    120ml Milk

    (If you don’t have SR flour, replace with 200g plain and add 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder)

    How To:

    Sieve flour, sugar, salt (& baking powder if using) into a bowl.
    Make a well in the middle, crack in the eggs, add the milk, and mix.

    The batter will be thicker than a regular pancake batter, but not as dense as a cake batter.

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    Allow to stand for 20 minutes then heat a lightly greased frying pan over a medium heat.

    Drop a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pancake. You will fit 2-4 in a regular size pan.

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    Once the top has evenly bubbled, flip them over

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    Repeat until you have used all the batter.

    You can keep them warm on a tray in a low-heated oven, whilst you finish cooking the rest.

    Ready to eat? Time for TOPPINGS!!

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    Jam & Cream

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    Marshmallow fluff

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    Butter

    Yuuuummmm!!!

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    They made me do extras, so they could have some for breakfast tomorrow (totally against the rules of Lent)

    Do you have any Pancake Day traditions?
    Perhaps a favourite pancake recipe or topping?
    Please share! And, as always, thanks for stopping by!
    Hugs,
    The Crafty Lass
    xXx

    Great Chieftain O’ The Puddin’-Race

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    It’s just one of those things….

    Knowing full well we are only feeding a family of four, I still find myself buying a haggis the size of a small nation every Burns night.

    You’d think we’d learn our lesson with Christmas Turkeys, but oh no! Same mistake every year!

    So, tonight we toast the bard in traditional fashion; a plate of steaming haggis, carrot, chappit neeps an’ tatties (that’s mashed turnip and potatoes to the sassenachs among you) washed down with lashings of Irn Bruobviously!

    Guess what we’ll be eating for the rest of the week….

    The Kid votes for Haggis Nachos tomorrow.

    Wednesday will probably be Balmoral Chicken, a firm favourite of The Teen.

    Which leaves Haggis Pizza as OH’s dish of choice on Thursday.

    What’s YOUR favourite way to serve haggis?

    Amazing mazes, and eating your own weight in berries…

    Today was the last day of OH’s holiday (Teen-2 & I still have one more week until we go back to school/work) so we decided to take a break from painting and head off to an annually frequented local attraction : The Maize Maze.

    Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze is situated about 15 miles away, in Cupar. We’ve been a number of times over the years and have seen it change over the years. Each season there are improvements and additions to the site and it is a very popular spot.

    The main attraction is, of course, the maze. Every year it has a different theme and this year’s is Dinosaurs. image

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    The maze is a lot of fun, there are 2 ‘games’ to play inside it and you can pick up a score card at the entrance. image The first is a Dino Tracker. As you make your way through the maze you come across footprint boards giving you the chance to choose a left or right path. image You note each choice, then after you leave the maze you use a special TRACK-O-GRAPH chart to find out what kind of dinosaur you tracked down. Mine was a Velociraptor!

    The other (and arguably much more fun) activity involves finding Dinosaur nests. There are 10 ‘nest’ boards, each with an eggs stamp that you add to your collector card. At the end you tot up how many of each type of egg you found. image Now, I’m not too good at leaving something like that unfinished, so it’s anybody’s guess as to how many times I had us round the same bit, looking for nests 4 & 5! image image In the end, Teen-1 wandered off & stumbled across 5, which led us to 4 in a round about way. It was hilarious!

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    So after the maze, we headed to the Pick Your Own part. Half an hour later, we headed home with punnets full of raspberries, gooseberries and red & blackcurrants; and tummies twice as full… image

    As if we hadn’t scoffed enough, the Teens decided Eton Mess was in order tonight…

    Quick & Easy Eton Mess

    • Double/whipping or heavy cream
    • Meringue nests or shells
    • Strawberries and/or raspberries (or other soft fruits)
    • Whip the cream until stiff
    • Crush the meringues & fold into the cream
    • Slice/chop strawberries and gently fold in the fruit
    • Serve in glass bowls, with a sprig of mint

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    Do you enjoy Pick-Your-Own or have a favourite way to eat fruit? Please share in the comments 

    Kellie Castle & Gardens

    We spent a lovely few hours at Kellie Castle & Gardens today.

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    It was really warm, the first gloriously hot day we’ve had for ages, so we spent quite a lot of time meandering around the gardens.

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    There are hundreds of varieties of flowers, shrubs, trees, fruit & veg.
    The gardeners definitely have there work cut out for them, tending to all the beds, lawns, paths and little nooks & crannies.

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    We stopped halfway round for a picnic lunch and enjoyed basking in the sunshine for a while.
    It was delightful.

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    There are so many interesting plants & beautiful spots that I can’t begin to choose a favourite!

    There are lots of little spots to sit and enjoy the surroundings

    There are lots of little spots to sit and enjoy the surroundings

    and lots of little gems,  hidden behind gates and hedges

    and lots of little gems, hidden behind gates and hedges

    Not to mention trees which are crying out for fairy doors to be fitted!

    Not to mention trees which are crying out for fairy doors to be fitted!

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    I don’t *think* this is the tree that the 5th Earl hid INSIDE for the entire summer of 1746, secretly being fed by his butler, whilst evading capture after the battle of Culloden; but it makes for a great tale!

    Did i mention the chickens? there’s a little hen house in the garden and they roam around the paths…

    Did i mention the chickens? there’s a little hen house in the garden and they roam around the paths…

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    You may remember me mentioning fruit and veg? Well, it’s all organically grown and some is used in the on-site tearoom whilst more is displayed for sale in a small summer house in one corner of the garden. There’s a price-list & an honesty box, and you can purchase freshly picked produce.

    We came home with a bag of broad beans and some green & yellow courgettes.

    We came home with a bag of broad beans and some green & yellow courgettes.

    Alongside the walled garden there is also a lovely sunny courtyard, where you can enjoy a spot of lunch or tea & cake. The stables afford a great exhibition space for local artists (today there was a chap who painted gorgeous watercolours of the surrounding landscapes, birds & fauna), alongside a permanent exhibit on the life & works of 20th century sculptor, Hew Lorimer, son of the famous Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer.

    There was a castle at Kellie in the 12th Century, although the oldest part of the structure now standing dates from around 1360. It took us about that long to get around the gardens but, eventually, we did make it inside!

    Hew and his wife, Mary, continued the Lorimer family’s lease of the castle for a number of years until the 1950s death of the then Earl, at which time his successor agreed to sell. It was then after Mary’s subsequent death in 1970 that the trust purchased the property, meaning that many of the furnishings are original to the house.

    There are some delightful pieces to be found in the house, but a very strict (and utterly necessary, for the conservation of the items!) “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” policy is in place; so I’m afraid you’ll have to go visit and see for yourselves!

    One new addition since our last visit is the opening of a room at the very top of one of the towers. it is laid out in keeping with a previous use as an artist’s studio and visitors climbing the spiral staircase all the way to the top are limited to four at a time because the structure of the floor is a little weak. This fact, of course, made the trip up the stair all the more exciting!

    A few more things to especially look out for:

    • The intricately painted 17th Century paneling in the dining room.
    • A rather tetchy letter written to Professor James Lorimer by one of his young students ( a certain Robert Louis Stevenson) requesting he hurry up and dispatch his examination results.
    • The ornate plaster ceiling in the Library is one of the oldest in Scotland.
    • The bed canopy Mary created from a lace wedding veil/train, gorgeous golden yellow silk salvaged from a parachute and half a gilt edged mirror. (The woman sure knew how to up-cycle!)
    • The recently discovered mural by the celebrated Arts & Crafts pioneer, Phoebe Anna Traquair.

    And finally:

    • The doll in the nursery; whose face will forever haunt your dreams. Seriously.

    Venturing back outdoors:

    If you are ready for some more fresh air, there is a lovely woodland walk around Kellie Woods. There is plenty of wildlife to spot around the trees and pond, as well as an adventure playground.

    There is also an amazing smell of wild garlic during summer months, whilst bats can be spotted later in the season.

    If I have tempted you to make a visit, you can find the opening times & entrance fees here. It would also be remiss of me not to add that if you are going as a family and/or are planning to visit a few National Trust for Scotland sites, you would probably be better looking into a yearly NTS membership . You CAN also sign up for this at any manned site, so you could choose this option when you arrive somewhere! Not only do you help support the great work of the NTS with your regular payments, it is also cost effective; and you also receive a few perks like free parking and a quarterly magazine.

    We are often to be found visiting historic sites, it’s one of my favourite things to do! Do you enjoy visiting these sorts of places? Please share in the comments!