Changing The World: One Book Date At A Time

PieLiving with a chronic physical and mental illness had led me to spend a lot of time managing feeling poorly and struggling. Having spent time in hospital, including a year as an inpatient on an eating disorder ward, I learnt a lot about self care and soothing myself when things are hard. Gradually I realised that I could come up with an idea that combined my love (and the boost it gives to my wellbeing) of craft, vintage and reading to come up with something that might help others who are going through a challenging time. #DateWithABook was born and it has continued to grow from there onwards.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me– C.S. Lewis.

Illness can lead you to feel really isolated. You can face days where you are really limited in the amount of energy you have, or motivation to do the things you would love to be doing. This was one of the starting ideas for my book dates. I wanted to reach out to people who might be finding things tough and offer them something to help them through that moment. I’m a lover of everything old and vintage and the idea of rehoming a beautiful old book felt like the best way to go. Giving these books a new lease of life whilst helping others just seemed perfect! The idea is that a book date is a way to reclaim date night and rest and rejuvenate with a hot drink and a cosy homely coaster with your set.

We read to know we’re not alone– William Nicholson, Shadowlands.

So, what do I hope to achieve with my little book dates? Well… quite a lot! I believe that sharing a #datewithabook can be a huge act of kindness, offering someone who is struggling a piece of calm, distraction and an excuse to have a night off. Or it can be a perfect piece of self care for yourself, to help with the stresses that we face day to day. A date with a book can be a way of reconnecting with someone who needs some extra love or showing you care when you can’t ‘fix’ a situation someone is going through.

Praise for #datewithabook

I absolutely loved recieving my date with a book parcel in the post. Kate made one up based on my likes for me to enjoy on maternity leave. Good value for money and such a wonderful idea for a treat to yourself or for gifts to others. Will be ordering from her again in the future.- Jenny


I received my date with a book yesterday and it’s wonderful. I almost didn’t want to open it as it looked so pretty. I’m currently about to sit down and start reading. I will definitely be using you again. It is such a lovely idea.– Lindsey

Fantastic idea. Love this. Date with a Book. Something really different, original & unique. Brought for a friend, who Loved it to & has been showing friends. Whole thing arrives Beautifully packaged in soft tissue paper. Makes a Wonderful gift for Any occasion. Or No occasion at all.. Just to say, Thinking of you. Hello. Etc.– Annette

Such a unique idea! It was very exciting to receive the package as you don’t know which book you will get and I was not disappointed! I received a book from an author who I’ve never heard of, and I cannot wait to read it! Prompt delivery too!!– Bisma

There are lots of different #datewithabook sets available in my Conscious Crafties and Etsy stores. I’m just in the process of a big restock to make way for a beautiful array of Christmas gifts, ideal for the person who has everything. Use the discount code BLOG10 to get 10% off any orders over £10. I also have a #datewithabook advent calendar full of literary themed items.



Acceptance is a small, quiet room

Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realise there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room. – Cheryl Strayed

I’ve been looking for some inspiration for a new blog post for a while and sought out ideas from friends, basically I’ve ruminated on the idea for far too long! I think perfectionistic tendencies have once again hampered my creative process and got me a bit stuck. I think writing scares me. It all ties in with the work we’re doing about self compassion at the moment. The internal self-critic screams at me to not bother, leave it, don’t try; because if I do try then I’m destined to fail. It won’t be good enough. But then… what is good enough? How can I ever be good enough based on all the unfair comparisons I make? I’ll write some more about Compassionate Mind Training by the brilliant Paul Gilbert in another blog, it’s really interesting and seems to be a bit of a turning point in my recovery from my eating disorder.

At the moment, I think, I just need to try and go with it; read and write as much as I can to try and find my voice. It sounds so cheesy, but I know the basic skill and understanding is there deep down. I just need to hone in on it and keep learning, exploring and developing. I’m reading a brilliant book at the moment, lent to me at the start of my inpatient admission by a fellow patient called Writing as a Way of Healing-by Louise DeSalvo; it talks about the healing power of writing and how it can transform your life and help you to reclaim yourself from the stories that have made you the person you are. I want to write to learn about myself and  find myself; to put the past to rest, be in the present and enjoy the future as it comes. I want to write to help people and become the person I am destined to be. I don’t know where to start or how to do it really, but I will find my way through it somehow I think.

I’ve had sparks of inspiration now and again but I think most of these can fall into two main categories, the depths of darkness that happen in the world and the beautiful moments of hope and humanity.

On Tuesday I saw the film Wild with my wonderful bestie. Wild is Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her 1100 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to the border with Washington State. She starts her journey after struggling to deal with difficult challenges in her life and makes all sorts of personal and spiritual realisations along the way. It was a really beautiful film and I left feeling a rekindled desire to find a way to write more. The timing of seeing the film was sadly right before a personal family loss which made the idea of writing to heal and process even more poignant.

I suppose this entry acts as the start of me resuming blogging. I hope to gain more followers, share more ideas and help people if I can.

Kate xx

If you want to buy any of the books I’ve mentioned, see below:

Life is full of beauty.

‘Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dreams.’

Today I’m feeling rather thoughtful. I’m not sure where it’s come from but I’ve spent a little time today thinking about the world and all sorts of things. I spent a lovely relaxing afternoon with the wonderful Beth in town mooching about and now I’m feeling decidedly relaxed.

I don’t think there’s a particular theme to todays blog other than it being full of some shout outs really! I have some pretty awesome friends and family. A few of whom will feature in today’s post.

The first is my little sister Lizzie. I find it funny to call her my little sister, as she’s all grown up now and almost ready to head off to University. Lizzie has always been a bit of a style icon to me…. I can sense her head expanding as I write this!! She’s always had a way of being able to put together outfits e.t.c. and just look effortlessly beautiful, demonstrated by these photos.

So clearly she got all of the attractive genes!! Anyway…. this stylish lady has her very own fashion blog. I think everyone should have a read. It’s actually quite good.

I also want to share two other bloggies! The first belongs to my lovely honorary wife Beth and the second belongs to my lovely friend Anna. Now these two blogs couldn’t really be more different! Beth’s blog is a gorgeous homely look into her baking genius. Anna’s is a beautifully realistic view of mental health and inside the human mind. Both are really good and worth a look.