Ask yourself these 3 questions for a productive 2017

It’s the start of the year, and naturally many of us look for tips for how to keep motived for the next 11 months of 2017.

I recently came across Marie Forleo’s YouTube channel and thought I should share one of her vlogs. In it, she suggests asking yourself 3 questions when reviewing your 2016.


The 3 steps or questions, and my answers, are as follows:

Question 1: One thing I did in 2016 that I was proud of?

I somehow managed, against much adversity from many sides, co-hosted a photo exhibition. To say that I’m proud of myself is an understatement.  It was a lot of hard work, stress and anxiety, but I have achieved a long held dream, and it has reminded me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Question 2: One mistake did I make and what did I learn from it?

Not focusing on myself as much as I have focused on others. I often sacrifice my dreams for the good of others – be they in my work team, social group or just people I see down the street. However, I have learnt that is completely the wrong way to go about things. If you suddenly find yourself in a position where your dreams are pushed to the back burner, whilst everyone else around is progressing, having positively gained from you, ask yourself this – is everyone around you looking out for your best interests in the same way you are looking out for theirs? If the answer is no, you need to move and quickly. Sadly, there are many takers in this world, and fewer givers. You are too important to be a door mat.

Question 3: What am I willing to let go of?

I am willing to let go of many and varied possessions which I have absolutely no need for.  Rather than these ‘things’ being a safely blanket, they have become a burden, prohibiting me from seeking the future I want. Hence, over the coming months, I’m boosting my inner KonMari and letting go of materials (not the fabric kind, I do have my limits!) that are physically, mentally and emotionally holding me back.  My recycle bins are going to be working overtime from now, until the foreseeable future.

What are your plans for 2017?  Please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, and please don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more info and tips.

Vegan Life Live – review

January 2017 Health and Wellbeing January 2017 Champagne Twist
Health and Wellbeing, January 2017. Champagne Twist –

I’m trying to post this as quickly as possible to encourage you to visit the Vegan Life Show. If you have any plans for today, cancel them and go to Alexandra Palace.  You can thank me later – and you will!


Picture source:

It is not often for me to attend a show and leave several hours later, wishing I could stay longer. The Vegan Life Live event was one of those rare times.  The 2 day show held at Alexandra Palace, simply isn’t enough for the vegan or wannabe vegan in your life to gather up all the vast array of information and to fully explore the delights of this event.

From start to finish the whole show is well organised, efficient and well thought out. The free shuttle bus to Alexandra Palace arrived on time and delivered us promptly, outside the entrance. Although the W3 bus service is more frequent, if you can wait up to 30 mins, why not save a few quid and enjoy a more direct route to the venue.

The entering, despite the growing queues, was very quick with helpful and polite staff ushering the crowd, leading us to the show freebie bag tables. Yes, the show freebie bag – a huge affair filled with so many goodies – all of which will soon be reviewed on this blog.  I have to say, this is one of the most generous and more impressive show bags I have ever enjoyed at such events, and it was an indication of the quality of this event

Normally, I would advise to take a small flask of tea or coffee, a bottle of water and a small snack, as these events are notorious for selling over-the-top expensive refreshments, and you spend half your time queuing, only to served by stressed out or rude catering staff. But at Vegan Life Live, if you go today, I strongly suggest leaving behind your lunch box and just bring your wallet. The catering staff are owners fo the businesses, and are kind helpful, very friendly and keen to share their knowledge and advise with you. The portions are generous and the prices reasonable. I saw many people returning for seconds.

The variety on offer in the food court is almost overwhelming. Stocked with edibles for the sweetest of teeth, treats from the 4 corners of the globe, including West Indian, Chinese and home-grown British fare. Tacos, wraps, curries, soups, smoothies, cupcakes, brownies – if you can’t find anything to suit your palette, then you will not be able to find it anywhere on Earth!

And that’s just the food you pay for – I was able to fully dine out on just the samples alone, and these were not just silly little morsels, they too were generous and plentiful.  If you have any notion that vegans are starved out individuals who only eat lentils, this show will quickly put that idea to bed.

There is literally something for everyone – even hard-core meat eaters, would find something to rave about the Vegan Life Show. The demonstrations were numerous, the shows informative, there is even an area showing films and documentaries, which sadly I didn’t have time to watch. It’s impossible to leave without learning something new, and in my case a full tummy!

I will post more later today and over the next few days across the Champagne Twist network, including my show highlights. I strongly  urge you, if you love good food, go today to the Vegan Life Live show at Alexandra Palace for an affordable day out and enjoy food at it’s best.

The show ends today at 5pm, tickets available at the venue – click here for more details.

Rating 4.5/5


Episode 6 of the CT Show now live!


Episode 6 is a preview of my resolutions, themes and topics for January 2017, as part of the alternative to New Year’s Resolution series. Click the image above to view the video.

Do you have any resolutions? Comment below and share.  Thanks for reading and please subscribe to find out more about this month’s resolutions.


New Monthly Resolutions



I for one am glad to see the back of 2016, but to be honest I’m wasn’t that keen on looking forward to 2017, in a post BREXIT and orange potato-head man era.

Then I had a thought – why should I let BREXIT or orange potato-head decide my future? I don’t want to leave Europe, and no one can physically, legally or morally make me leave. So I’m still calling myself European and proudly waving the blue flag with the gold stars.  Yes the EU has some serious faults, but I’m all for unity and fixing things from within, rather than standing on the outside looking like a lost lemming or lonesome Prime Minister.

As for the US – well with less than 3 weeks until the orange potato-head takes over, I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  I made sure that I had the best Christmas and New Year possible, ensuring that my loved ones were safe and happy. Then I stated planning.

New Year Resolutions? Bah Humbug!

The latter half of 2016 drifted away into a mass of political chaos, death and destruction. And I felt helpless, so utterly helpless and sad for all those people who suffered, and will suffer.  I thought long and hard as to how I can help make a change for the better, and while I am no world leader or major celebrity, I do have a voice. I’m going to make sure as many people as possible hear my voice.

But how to do this and stick to it? My New Year Resolutions history is at best met with middling success.  I can last out to about June in a good year – I once managed to stop eating chocolate for most of Lent, till I forgot when I passed by a cake shop.

New Monthly Resolutions, 2017

On New Year’s Eve I published a YouTube video, with a preview of my monthly plans for 2017, as an alternative to the usual list of resolutions. Being in smaller, more manageable chunks. I hope to be more successful in my goals. Here is the list of topics I plan to cover over the next 12 months.

  1. January – Health and Well Being
  2. February – Design
  3. March – Spring Clean
  4. April – Gardening
  5. May – Craft and DIY
  6. June – Food and Drink
  7. July – Natural Beauty
  8. August – Mind, Body and Soul
  9. September – Media
  10. October – Autumn Watch
  11. November – Preparing for Christmas
  12. December – Preparing for New Year

On the face of it, these may seem like trivial topics, but don’t be fooled. There will be in-depth editorials, videos, recipes and tutorials – and a few surprises, all related to how we can improve ourselves, help our loved ones and protect our general environment. If we all play our part, share our ideas and try to make every moment a positive one, surely this is a step forward towards positive progress. If we stand by and do nothing feeling sorry for ourselves, it is in effect taking several backward steps, which can only lead to the events which so marred 2016.

Isn’t it better to try to achieve our goals, than to sit down and cry in a corner?  I can’t do that, and further more, I won’t.

When they go low, we go high

I’m in no way advocating civil unrest or mob rule. To be honest, I’m much too busy and a tad too lazy to do any of that. Besides it often becomes counter-productive, the story centres around the protest rather than the reasons behind the protest. I do have at the back of my mind the words of, who I consider, the greatest FLOTUS of all time, Mrs Michelle Obama … “when they go low, we go high”.

I want a media that speaks the truth, without bowing to commercialism. I want girls to have equal and fair access to education. I want to see people of all races, colours, creeds, nationalities, ages, genders, abilities – both physical and mental, to have equal rights and equal access to media platforms so they can tell their stories, in an environment that is safe, caring and nurturing. I want our beautiful planet to stay beautiful. I want all of these things and more, and I know that in order to achieve these huge goals, I have to make a start with me.

Tomorrow, I will publish a video detailing my plans for January 2017, so please stay tuned and join me in making a better 2017 for everyone.

Thanks for reading and again, Happy New Year.