Welcome to The Sunday Sanctuary Series.  These blogs are the chance to write a little chatty post about things that delight my spirit and feel easy to share.
Bethanie from Northumberland Family Diaries and I started the series in the summer holidays to hold some space sacred for our writing and strike a balance while the kids were off school. So it’s back this October half term!  Last week, we wrote about our Autumn Traditions.
Autumn leaves and boots



This week, we are both writing about capturing memories and where we find sanctuary as mums.  The county of Northumberland is a sanctuary in itself… incredible beaches often free from another soul, woodland glades and dark skies.  I feel happier here than I’ve been ever before.
mushroom in the woods

Mushroom in the woods at Center Parcs this autumn

For me, sanctuary can be as small a gesture as a cup of tea by the fire

It’s about finding time to relax and unwind to a different pace to the one usually dictated by usual family/ work life.  Here are some simple things I love to do to reconnect to me I can fit in each week…
Notebook with butterflies and hot chocolate

The space to write – being Creatively Conscious

Write yourself home – finding sanctuary in writing

I write morning pages most mornings.  They help me to work out my subconscious a lot and also come up with ideas.  I’m writing this blog whilst enjoying a pedicure at the local beauty rooms! There is always time.  I’m also working on an online course and two books.  Gratitude lists have been scientifically proven to increase your wellbeing and I’m a big fan – I carry a tiny handmade notebook round in my bag to capture nice things whilst out and about.

rainbow over monument

rainbow over monument

I also adore reading.

I recently read Mel B’s book Brutally Honest – I read it in 3 nights.

I love all things self development and slow lived and kids books of course.  We read together every night and I love the time we get to spend together.

Bethanie’s recently published first book, A Life Celebrated with Kids was a brilliant read.  I read it just before half term and it gave me the opportunity to have a think about how I wanted this holiday to play out with L.  Bethanie and her family make the most of life together… they celebrate each day as precious and balance it with budgets and down time.

As well as a tonne of seasonal ideas and tips to entertain the kids, Bethanie really focussed on us parents and our wellbeing too;

She writes; “Winter can be a hard time for a lot of people. The darker shorter days and cold temperatures are a far cry from the glorious summer days.
However I find winter to be the perfect time to take care of yourself…a sense of calm and a real chance to slow down.”

You can buy the book for just £5.99 on Amazon right now – it would make a perfect Christmas gift for mum friends or your own mum.

coffee and dominoes

Bertrams coffee and dominoes

Spa time

I absolutely love nipping up to our local spa for a sauna and a cuppa. I’ve had membership for a few years and it really helps just to have a bolt hole from stress of work or time to myself. I rarely spend more than an hour when I go but it’s still so good for my wellbeing.  Yes it’s a monthly expense but I don’t spend money on clothes very often and we don’t get chance to eat out or go to bars so this is what I spend my disposable income on.  It’s a lifestyle choice for sure but it’s one that for me is a non negotiable.  I’d love to add monthly facials and massages too – maybe after the wedding.

For more FREE things to do for Self Care you can click the button below to download[purchase_link id=”1827″ style=”button” color=”dark-gray” text=”Self Care Sanctuary for Mums”]

Making time for Inspiration – out of the Northumberland bubble

When I start working with a new coaching client on my ‘Artists Boat’ programme, I’m amazed at how many people don’t prioritise time for inspiration.  It’s easy to get stuck in excuses operating in lack and fear instead of abundance and gratitude.  Unless you prioritise your own inspiration you will continually forget to spend time/ energy money on getting inspired.

Yes we have online portals (instagram and pinterest) but I’m talking life in the 3d.  Real people doing really amazing things just like you and me can.

Last weekend I went to The Northern Quarters Interiors fair.in Newcastle.

These guys REALLY know how to throw an inspirational party.  I  listened to lots of incredible people speak and met lots of independent makers.  It was such a good use of my time.   You just can’t put a price on inspiration.  What have you done that’s REALLY inspired you recently?

Creativity and a life captured

Creativity is a real therapy for me. The times in my life that haven’t been full of creative projects have been a lot sadder than those full of glitter glue!!   I do feel lucky to do the work I do but it does bring with it some tricky management situations at times.  That’s why I also have a creative practise, love interior design at home and do lots of creative things with L.

Recently, I’ve absolutely adored working on Amy Lord’s book making project The Story of you and Me and capturing both happy and sad times in our family life. You can read a little blog on book making and stories captured here.
I’ve also made lots of little bits and bobs for our wedding – I’ll share all of that very soon!    Me and L create and capture lots of memories in our scrap books.   He has a gallery art wall in our office where we stick up his pictures and crafts – I still think analogue is super important.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on our Northumberland Sanctuary.  Bethanie has a post live too so pop over and read hers. (Usually live by 9pm)
Hope you all have a lovely week.
Claire x

PS – what would you like us to write about in our Christmas break?  Would you like to join in too?  We’re all ears!