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

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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.

 

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Another Year Older

The clock is ticking on as I spend my last for hours as a 24 year old. I used to always reach a middle of the night (alcohol induced) birthday related existential crisis. Each year I would be prompted to think about the differences to the year before and undoubtedly be self critical about all the things I hadn’t achieved. I think important dates can have that effect on you. The main focus of my crisis was always that I was still unwell, in the grips of my eating disorder and it made me feel like a bit of a failure, like people around me were moving on with their lives and I was stuck. 

Last year was a new start I guess, the first birthday of my real recovery beginnings. Perhaps it’s why this year feels a little less crisis filled. In fact, compared to last year, I’ve made huge amounts of progress. I’m living independently, back and work and uni and perhaps this might even be the year I graduate. On the eve of my 20th birthday I was full of expectations and put so much pressure on myself. Perhaps the first part of my 20s didn’t really go exactly as I had imagined; and in some respects have been some of the hardest years of my life. But on the eve of my 25th birthday, I feel like I’m embarking on a new chapter and one that I can do what I want with. It’s a scary thought but such an exciting one. 

Perhaps the key is to recognise the successes, notice the achievements whether they be small or big and hold on to them. Of course being another year older doesn’t really mean a great deal… Maybe it’s more symbolic than anything else. But hey, maybe I can save my next existential birthday crisis for the eve of my 30th birthday, thankfully I’ve still got a few years until that! 

7/7 is a day of celebration as well as remembrance

Today is my wonderful, beautiful, caring and kind sisters 22nd birthday. I am so privileged to have such a great sister and I am so happy to be celebrating her birthday today!

The 7th July 2015 marked a terrible moment in Britain’s history when four bombs were detonated in London killing 52 people and injuring and changing the lives of so many others. Today marks the 10th anniversary of 7/7 and there have been some really special tributes and memorial events that have taken place across the country to honour those who were lost and those who were affected by the attacks.

I took some time out to think of those who were killed in the 7/7 terrorist attacks today, but I’ve also spent the day celebrating Lizzie’s birthday. It’s a sad fact that each year there will be a sad memory of the terrible event that happened but 7/7 each year also marks a day to celebrate life, mainly my little sister’s. I think it’s something so important we all must do, remember those who were lost, but also a celebrate of all of the people who survived, and how lucky we all are to be alive. I will always hold 7/7 in my heart as a day of love and appreciation of what I have got in a world that is often troubled by sadness and hurt.