A love letter to Elbow.

Dear Elbow,

You build me up, mellow me out, make me sing at the top of my lungs, and pick me up on the most down days.

You have been with me through the throes of new blossoming romances and the depths of pain of becoming a single mum. You are my constant. You ground me.

Your lyrics hit me in the heart — sometimes like a sledgehammer and something like a gentle feather.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/elbow-s-guy-garvey-you-love-the-person-with-all-their-warts-and-bellybutton-fluff-1.2944700

You are already included in my wedding day even though I am single… I’ve already chosen my wedding song — One…


How heartbreak can be the kick up the arse you need to get a life

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

So on NYE’s, I was stood up by my boyfriend. It wasn’t a date, it was a guy I was in a full-blown committed relationship and had been for nearly 7 months! To say I was shocked, confused and heartbroken was an understatement. I will never probably know or understand his reasons for not turning up that night, but maybe sometimes we don’t need to know…sometimes we just need to know the past is the past and move on by concentrating on the present and looking forward to the future.

Over the last 3 weeks, there have been many highs…


Small steps to turn your home into a sensual sanctuary, rather than a stressful dumping ground

Your home needs space to breathe and give you headspace for creativity and relaxation. Family homes can easily turn into a hoarder’s paradise rather than a minimal sanctuary to relax and recharge in. Decluttering is a great way to unburden a lot of stresses but it can be overwhelming to get started. I’ve created some simple steps to get you started on a path to creating a sensual sanctuary.

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

Let’s explore it further — step by step:

Bedrooms: Closets, Bedside tables/drawers, Linen/Towels

Sometimes we hang on to clothing for nostalgic purposes and if you are still wearing it, then it…


How the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is gaining momentum and how it could benefit you

maitree rimthong from pexels

FIRE stands for ‘Financial Independence Retire Early’. People who are following the FIRE movement try to increase/create passive income and decrease their spending. Many people who follow FIRE try to save/invest 25 times the amount they need annually to live and then they can draw down from their investments 4% of their savings/investment so they do not need to work. This uses the factor of compounding interest.

So say my annual expenses are $25,000 I would need to save $1,250,000 to be able to live off the 4% drawn down if my investments have been making on average of 7%…


10 minutes once a week to reset, reflect and observe can change your life

Photo by taylor hernandez on Unsplash

I’ve been struggling with my mood for the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a cold which led to a chest infection, which led to antibiotics, which led to stomach issues. Team this with tension at work, a boyfriend with a new job, a not that healthy bank account and a few too many large glasses of red wine (too often), has led me to feel a bit burnt out.

Last night I cried to my boyfriend saying that I hadn’t had any fun for ages — this is not true, I have fun every day, I’m a joker and…


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Bibliotherapy: How books can heal both our body and mind

I have always loved reading, as a child, I was always found huddled on the sofa book in hand. I had finished every book in my primary school by the time I was 9 years old, and then I moved onto the classics. I then went onto study English Literature at University which opened my mind to yet more endless possibilities and genres to devour.

I would say I had a somewhat tumultuous childhood and reading was my escape. I could be in a new land, with new friends, and new experiences just by picking up a book. I revered…


GRIT by Angela Duckworth photo by Natalie Sara Brown

Angela Duckworth’s book ‘GRIT’ is really worth a read

Have you ever used an excuse such as: I just don’t have the talent, I’m just not clever enough, they are so much more intelligent than me. Well those excuses should go out of the window according to Angela Duckworth in her book GRIT.

The full title of the book is ‘GRIT — Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success’. I think this appealed to me as I have lots of passion, but I do think I’m probably running a little low on resilience, patience, and perseverance.

So what is Angela Duckworth’s definition of Grit? …


Photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

And my desert island discs…

Music and books have always been my passions. Ever since I was tiny. I read every book in the whole of my primary school, till in the end, I had to bring my own in either from home or the library. I was reading classics as the age of 9 or 10.

Music was always something I remember. My first vinyl record was Poison by Alice Cooper and my first cassette was Fading like a flower by Roxette. …


Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

What I learnt from my first Buddhist silent meditation retreat.

So… I’m just back from my first weekend Buddhist silent meditation retreat and I have to say I LOVED it!!

I was so nervous the few days before the retreat. It is the first time I’ve done anything even remotely similar. I was worried about the silence, worried about the digital detox, worried about the lack of red wine and being on my own etc. All of these worries were totally unfounded…

I arrived at the retreat centre on Friday after work, there were 60 people attending. We settled into our rooms, had a quick light supper, we had our…


In so many ways…mentally and physically

8 years ago, I lived in the Middle East. I had a personal Indian yoga teacher and he was amazing! He spoke very broken English, was a very small, calming person. He would come to my friend’s apartment twice a week and we would breathe and stretch and try not to laugh at some of the things our little yoga friend would say - which probably would never be said in an Australian yoga studio!

In those months my flexibility and mental health improved so much. Although he took his lessons very slowly, I mean very slowly, we did ‘Nadi…

Natalie Brown

I want to empower women to live their happiest and most fulfilled life. Single mum, blogger, red wine lover, avid reader, skilled at Tsundoku, always learning.

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