My Top 7 Podcast Recommendations

It’s super weird how things often come in threes… in the last week I’ve, rather randomly, had three friends ask me for podcast recommendations.

And then on a podcast this week I heard that it’s #TRYPOD (Try a Podcast) month – where podcasters are encouraging friends and family to try listening to podcasts if they don’t already.

Unlike how I feel about books – so many books, so little time! – I feel that there is so much time in my day when I could listen to a podcast (commuting, exercising, walking the dog, feeding baby, before bed) and not enough good podcasts to fill it with (or, rather, not enough that I know about).

So, I feel compelled to share 7 of my favourites with YOUS – and ask that you recommend me some goodies back!

Here goes…

7 podcasts that will make your commute, gym or housework time wayyyyy more fun!

 

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Maya Angelou Quotes to Live By

Friends, it’s World Book Day!

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Being in marketing, and being a huge book nerd, I used to be aware of hugely important national dates like this weeks in advance. But because I’m living under a parenting rock that allows me no access or insight into popular culture (seriously, what happened at the Oscars? Who is Ed Sheeran dating? What the heck is Let it Shine?) and most of the time I have no idea what day of the week it is, let alone if it’s a special day, this year’s World Book Day almost passed me by. SAD TIMES.

But alas! I took the little dude to Rhyme Time at the library today (social calendar highlight don’t you know) and the rhyming lady told us it was WBD and I got all excited because I just love and adore books and all that they provide and offer to us. Thanks little library lady.

And! I did just FINISH A BOOK (patting myself on the back while typing) and I loved it and I wanted to share some of the quotes that I highlighted as I was reading (yep I did that, #nerdalert).

That book was Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, and it was BEAUTIFUL – and here are my favourite quotes!

Enjoy,

Pep XO

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3 Easy Ways to Make a Big Difference to a Refugee, Today

Along with so many of us, I’ve been extremely heartbroken by the migrant and refugee crisis here in Europe over the last 18 months. Whilst I haven’t been able to volunteer my time in a hands-on way like my little sister has, I’ve been trying to do my bit in other ways. Every time Caz comes back from Calais (where she sorts out donations and makes food on the weekend), she has more stories that give me goosebumps.

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 12.33.04 PM.pngMost of the refugees she meets there are educated, middle-class and intelligent, and she has interesting conversation and jokey interactions with them – amazing when you consider all they have been through. Most have lost friends and family, their homes, their jobs and are now sleeping rough in freezing cold Europe whilst trying to keep the faith that their future involves a life that can be rebuilt. They still give each other weekly haircuts at the refugee camp and shave their facial hair daily in order to maintain a sense of dignity.

If you have the time and inclination, here are three easy ways you can do your bit to support these vulnerable and displaced men and women and give them just a little bit of hope that the future could be a bright one.

  1. Buy one of these ace jumpers or t-shirts for you or a loved one:
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    All proceeds go to the charity Help Refugees.

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What Does “Setting an Intention for Your Yoga Practice?” Really Mean?

yoga intention 3.pngSetting an intention… huh?!

For years I thought (or pretended) to understand what my yoga teacher meant when he or she invited us to “set an intention for your practice”. I’d usually choose a “goal” for something I wanted in my life; ‘calm’ or ‘less stress’ or ‘relaxed’ and then usually not think about it again for the rest of the class.

Recently, I’ve begun to think about and explore what this instruction / guidance really means. And it’s been an enlightening discovery! Continue reading

15 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Stuck / Lethargic / Unmotivated / Just MEH.

Whether it’s the short, dark days, a break up, a stressful time at work – or sometimes it’s just because – we all get stuck in a lethargic rut from time to time. Here are some of my tried and tested happiness boosters for this inevitable time.

doggy.jpg(Unfortunately you won’t find eating a tub of ice cream or getting wasted at the pub on this list. While I do think there is a time and a place for these things – especially if you’re doing it with your BFFs! – generally you won’t wake up the next morning feeling ready to take on the world again – which is the goal here.) Onwards and upwards… Continue reading

14 Gift Ideas for Yogis / Yoga Lovers

gift ideas for yogis and yoga loversDecember 14th already? Shoot, I’m more behind with my Christmas shopping than I thought! Luckily, so are my BFF and husband who have both asked me what I want for Christmas and my January birthday this past week. It got me thinking – what is a good gift for a yoga lover?

Here’s a compilation of my favourite online finds.

(Pssst… send this list to your other half when she/he asks what you want!)

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Taiwan Eats – Vegetarian Food in Taipei

image3-1Hello from Taipei!

As is the case on a visit to Taiwan, I’ve been eating all the food.

After the first week here I thought I was going to balloon into Augustus Gloop such was the frequency and gluttony of our indulgence, but it turns out that after a month here I’ve learnt the secret to staying trim on a Taiwanese diet… window shopping! As is the case in most of Asia, consumerism is rife and we seem to hop from one department store to the next on a daily basis. My iPhone tells me I’ve been easily clocking up 10,000 steps a day without even trying. Surely that calls for calories…

Here’s what’s been on the menu and in my mouth.

Western Vegetarian Food at Mia Cucina

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Though Taiwan does vegetarian food well, its traditional style is fried, salty and same-y. I was craving fresh and raw and Mia Cucina did not disappoint. We ordered two salads, corn soup, portobello mushrooms, a cheese toastie and a flatbread to share between four of us. The perfect meal on a rainy Taipei day. I suggest you order more and take home the leftovers.

Location: No.48 Dexing West Road, Shilin District, Taipei 111. 111士林區德行西路48號

Coconut Chia Pudding at Cafe by Juicy Diary

 

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Regrettably I had already eaten breakfast when we hit up Cafe by Juicy Diary but that didn’t stop me from ordering this chia pudding with seasonal fruit for elevenses. The owners hail from San Francisco and they bring fresh cold pressed juices and Instagram-worthy healthy eats to the Da’an district. My fellow diners had avocado and egg on toast and a brunch bagel. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu here.

Location: No. 2, Lane 14, Siwei Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106. 台北市大安區四維路14巷2號一樓

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I Looked and I Found.

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What a precious day today was.

After feeling utter despondency after yesterday’s election result I decided to look for signs of hope, positivity, strength and kindness. Took G for a walk first thing and passed a nondescript building with a Buddhist sculpture inside. I asked my Mother in Law what it was and she said the local temple had collapsed in an earthquake so this was their temporary location.

A monk saw us looking in and invited us in for tea. What happened next blows my mind…

3 nuns who spoke great English and showed us around. We were then invited back for lunch with the head of the Monastery. The kindest, sweetest soul. She told me that she’d been praying for a foreigner to drop by and practice her English with and was happy the Gods had answered her prayers.

There are no foreigners in this town so though she was educated in America she cannot use her language skills. And there we were. And practice she did. And then we ate a delicious vegetarian feast. And I found hope, positivity, strength and kindness.

It exists all over the world, we just have to believe in it.

This post originally appeared on Instagram. You can find me on Insta here.

Because My Dog Was Once a Refugee, Too.

We made it to Taiwan for the extended holiday. Yesterday I attended my Mother in Law’s English class at the local town hall as the VIP guest (cringe!). The topic of the day was dogs. Naturally, I was in my element.

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3 days in to our trip and I’m already having withdrawal symptoms from my pup – I now know what his separation anxiety feels like.

The withdrawal manifests itself by staring longingly at other fluffy white dogs on the street, my brain tricking me that it might be Sunny, fantasising about taking one of the street dogs home with me, and launching into verbal diarrhea anytime someone asks about my pooch. So that’s what happened yesterday in class.

My darling Mother in Law also launched into a full blown soliloquy at one point about Sunny and explained how we came to adopt him. Cue the best English mistake ever:

“Sunny is from the shelter. Before, he was a refugee.”

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