5 Podcasts To Inspire, Intrigue And Motivate

I've been meaning to get into listening to podcasts for a long time but I've often been too distracted by other things to find time to listen to them properly. So whilst the world got well and truly on-board and really got inspired by all things audio I was still busy faffing around with other stuff! Recently though I've made time to tune in and finally listen to all sorts of podcasts to see what tickles my fancy and a special few are fast becoming a much appreciated source of ideas and enjoyment.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Now as you may already know, there are so, so many podcasts out there on all sorts of topics and covering many genres. Today I'm sharing but a handful of my current favourites incase you are new to the podcast game like me and looking to get started. Or perhaps you're a huge podcast fan already and after something new to excite the ears! These five podcasts all bring a little brightness and thoughtfulness to my day and I hope they do the same for you too.

 

MY TOP 5 PODCASTS TO INSPIRE, INTRIGUE AND MOTIVATE

1. Tough Girl Podcast by Sarah Williams is definitely one to tune in to if you're looking for motivation and inspiration. Sarah Williams interviews women from all over the world, in all sorts of professions, who have faced any number of challenges. Get inspired by their true stories and the grit and advice on offer to help you overcome your own hurdles.

2. Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon is a podcast that also focuses on interviews with inspirational guests but the theme is very much centered on the digital age and how the internet and social media has changed the world we live in forever. Emma is also the author of a bestselling book by the same title that I haven't yet had a chance to read so I'd be intrigued to hear if any of you have read it and what your thoughts are?

3. Spark True Stories Live is a collection of true stories told by anyone and everyone in all walks of life and on any subject that you can imagine. Spark hold live events in London, Preston and Bristol where people are invited on stage to share their tales. It's so true that good stories bring us closer together and listening to these will bring joy, laughter and sometimes tears. They are also very short which is a nice change from some of the much longer and more in depth podcasts out there. Small snippets of real life delivered by real people.

4. The Lively Show by Jess Lively has regularly been listed as one of the top podcasts that all female entrepreneurs should listen to and is a very positive and uplifting listen. Jess tackles everything with a thoughtful brightness and her subject matter is always relative to the struggles of today's modern world. The advice imparted by herself and her guests leaves food for thought and intentional, useful points for action.

5. Don't Salt My Game with Laura Thomas PhD is one for when you need to get back on track when it comes to your own health and wellness. As a registered nutritionist Laura talks to all sorts of guests on many positive wellness issues. From mindfulness to finding better balance in your life, join Laura and her pool of inspiring experts as they cover both the good and the bad and share their professional and incredibly handy tips and advice.

 

So that's my personal top five right now, especially when it comes to finding motivation or sources of positive encouragement within life and in the workplace.

Do you listen to any of the above or do you have any further recommendations that you think I should be downloading next? Let me know in the comments below and happy listening!

Louise

 


From A Passion For Florals To A Blooming Beautiful New Business

A CHAT WITH BEARDS & DAISIES FOUNDER JO LAMBELL PLUS AN EXCITING READER GIVEAWAY AND OFFER

It'll come as no surprise to regular What Now readers when I say that I'm a lover of everything floral! I mean who doesn't love flowers? Guaranteed to brighten anyones day and bring a little beauty into everyday life. So it's a pleasure today to bring to you a little floral and career inspiration combined, as I discuss turning something you love into your own business with Jo Lambell, the founder and brains behind the brilliant 'letterbox' floristry company Beards & Daisies

Beards And Daisies Bouquet

Beards & Daisies was started by Jo as she pursued her real passion in life - a love of beautiful flowers. Leaving her corporate career and a poor work-life balance behind her, Jo sought out the skills to build her own business and create a better sense of wellbeing doing something that she really loved. Whilst the hours may still at times be long, especially during popular holidays, events and occasions, the joy found in doing and creating something that she is passionate about, from scratch, and calling it her own, seems to be what drives Jo to continue to succeed with her ever growing business.

This is a florist with a unique idea. It's not just the usual flowers to your door in a big bouquet or box, although that option is available, it can also be a bouquet of beautiful flowers that fits neatly through the letterbox. Flowers in a custom designed box, that can survive for a prolonged period of time without water. Ensuring that even if the recipient is not in to receive their gift, they will find their way safely onto the doormat and still be a beautiful bouquet of fresh, floral goodness once opened and displayed.

So today I share a little from Jo about her business and how and why she decided to take a leap of faith and set up on her own. Plus don't miss your chance to win a beautiful bouquet of your own, or get your hands on some stunning blooms with The What Now Blog unique discount code. So stay tuned!

Beards And Daisies Rose And Glasses

Hi Jo, Firstly could you tell us what led you to set up your company Beards & Daisies and how you arrived at where you are now?

I felt like a square peg in a round hole having a career in sales. I desperately wanted to be doing something more creative. I was working long hours and just felt I could be spending that time on growing something that was all mine rather than contributing to someone else’s business. Plus having my own business would also allow me to balance work and life a little better. I’d always been surrounded by flowers having spent most of my twenties living on London’s famous Columbia Road with its weekly flower market, so I finally took the plunge to quit work and retrain in floristry. 

I probably did things the wrong way around really as I started the business at the same time as re-training which was a little ambitious! The idea for the business began when I sent some flowers to my mum for her birthday as I couldn’t be with her in person and as lovely as the flowers were, I was disappointed that they didn’t look as beautiful as a bouquet I could have picked from my local high street florist. I realised that not everyone has the luxury of a local florist and although the supermarkets have a fantastic selection these days, it lacks the personal approach that my hand tied bouquets have. Plus they come in pretty snazzy wrapping as I’m a sucker for great packaging! So the idea for Beards & Daisies the online florist was born.

Beards And Daisies Rose On Keyboard

What's your biggest passion when it comes to your business, what keeps you going day after day?

Whenever I feel stress creeping up on me, I remind myself that a). I work with flowers for a living... I mean come on, how lucky am I! and b). I remember the place I was in two years ago. I honestly love having something that I can call my own and how utterly progressive a start-up business can be.

I'm intrigued to know what's behind the name Beards & Daisies, it's such a great name! How did you choose it?

I was helping plan my sisters wedding which was to be held in her garden. She wanted it to be informal with lots of wild flowers. This mixed with the fact that her fiancé and most of his friends have beards meant we coined her wedding theme ‘beards and daisies’ in amok. The phrase stuck and I’d like to think it’s memorable which can only be a good thing!

Beards And Daisies Rose

How do you set about conquering your biggest fears and setbacks in your working life?

When I was working in sales there were always scenarios that took me out of my comfort zone, whether it was a project, a meeting or a presentation. It would be easy to play it safe when you have your own business as there's no one to push you or challenge you other than yourself. It’s cheesy but at least once a month I try to force myself to do something which takes me out of my comfort zone or makes my stomach turn with fear. For example going to a networking group where I don’t know anyone. Living in fear of making mistakes, is the only mistake you can make’ is a great motto to live by.

With the season of autumn upon us, which blooms should we be looking out for to keep our home or office spaces looking and feeling seasonally happy and cosy?

I’ve just finished shooting the Christmas collection of bouquets and we will shortly be seeing anemones and ranunculus back in season, which I will be using a lot. They come in the most amazing array of colours and ranunculus has an amazing petal formation, like a more delicate version of a rose. Just like fashion everything gets richer and deeper in colour, which is refreshing after a summer of colourful flowers.

Beards And Daisies Flower Card

Finally, with the idea of wellbeing in mind, what's your personal idea of the perfect weekend, how do you like to switch off and relax?

I’ve by no means mastered the art of switching off as having your own start-up business can be demanding, but my perfect weekend would be a magazine and coffee in the deli on my high street in the morning and then getting away to the coast for the rest of the day. I just love being by the sea and I feel very content when I’m there - it’s good for my soul! 

Beards And Daisies Rose And Keyboard

Thank you to Jo for sharing her journey and I hope it has inspired any of you out there with a burning entrepreneurial spirit, not to give up on your goals and aspirations for the future. 

Jo has very kindly offered a giveaway prize of one beautiful bouquet to one lucky What Now reader. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning please follow the instructions and T&Cs set out below.

Plus if you have a special occasion coming up and are looking to treat a loved one (or indeed yourself) to some beautiful blooms then What Now readers can receive £10 off of their first order using offer code THEWHATNOWBLOG between now and the 30th of September 2016. Take a look at the Beards & Daisies website and get yourself inspired: www.beardsanddaisies.co.uk 

 

TO ENTER THE BOUQUET GIVEAWAY follow @TheWhatNowBlog on Twitter and RT the competition tweet. 

The competition will close at midnight on Friday 30th September 2016. After this time the winner will be notified and I will arrange for your prize to wing its way over to you so that you can enjoy your beautiful blooms asap.

PLEASE NOTE entrants must be 16 or over and the competition is open to residents in the UK only on this occasion. The bouquet may differ from the one pictured in this post but will be a beautiful, seasonal arrangement that I know you will enjoy!

Best of luck.

Louise

 

*This post is not sponsored. I was sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a sample of Jo's work and as depicted in the photographs in this post.


Taking A Walk On The Wild Side

FORAGING FOR WILD FOOD WITH HUNTER GATHER COOK

A few weeks ago we went along to Wilderness Festival in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. One of the really unique things about this four day festival is the number of new and unusual activities you can try your hand at alongside taking in all of the music and entertainment during your long weekend in the countryside. From archery, wild swimming, wood carving, hot yoga - you name it, they quite probably have it on offer and ready and waiting for you to take part. 

Burdock

One such activity that we decided to get involved in was an afternoon of foraging for wild food followed by wild canapes and cocktails in the woods. An afternoon organised by the team from East Sussex based company Hunter Gather Cook. Such a unique experience and a great way to spend time out in the fresh air, shaking off the stress of daily life. So I thought I'd share a few photos and a little bit about our experience here on the blog today.

Before I get started a little warning here I guess. One thing we learnt very quickly during this mini adventure was that there are a great deal of dangerous plants and other nasties out there that can do you a lot of harm, and I don't mean just make you a bit sick, I mean really nasty harm. So just a quick note - before you take yourself off outside and start picking wild flowers and mushrooms to add to your evening meal, make sure you take time to learn from an expert about exactly what you might be taking home with you. You really don't want to make a mistake when it comes to eating things found out in the wild - trust me! 

Hazlenuts

The afternoon was spent with our foraging guide Elliot as he took us on a tour of beautiful Cornbury Park and pointed out an array of plants, trees and other wild goodies that I'd never before noticed even though I've spent many years walking my dog around many different country spots. I certainly didn't know that so much could actually be eaten. From hazelnuts, burdock, nettles, spearmint - all sorts of wonders just at our feet or happily hanging above our heads.

Water Mint

Whilst a two hour beginners tour and introduction to foraging does not an expert make, I did learn some fascinating facts that I'd never previously have known. Things like all plants within the mint family have square stems. Now the amount of times I've picked this from the garden and added it to my new potatoes without noticing that fact I can't tell you. Next time you pick up a sprig of mint have a feel - it's totally square, such an odd little quirk of nature! For some reason I was also fascinated to learn that the peanut comes from the pea family. Pretty much nothing to do with nuts even though it's in the name. It actually grows underground and is considered a legume. Who knew!

Nature is endlessly fascinating and this short but really informative introduction demonstrated just how much there is out there to learn. I can certainly see why people find foraging so interesting and how it can become a lifelong past-time and learning experience. It's also such a great way to get out and about, keep active and take in some much needed fresh air and peace and quiet. A brilliant break from the usual hectic routine.

River View

As our two hour expedition came to an end we headed back to the woodland alcove where the team had set up an off grid kitchen and had been busily preparing us an array of wild canapes to tickle our tastebuds. Plus a bramble cocktail to which we added our foraged spearmint to give it a final flourish! With a little music, some fresh nibbles and a cocktail in hand, the afternoon concluded with an atmospheric cocktail party in the woods as we digested everything we'd learnt on our sunny exploration of the English countryside.

Wild Cocktail Reception Menu
Wild Canape
Venison Canape

If you're looking for a new activity to get you out in the fresh air and exploring then foraging could well be worth a try. I'd highly recommend giving it a go. Just (as mentioned above) make sure you go with someone who truly knows what they're doing as you get started! Hunter Gather Cook run regular seasonal courses at their East Sussex site and would certainly be a great place to start if you're tempted to give it a go.

Louise

 

 

Post Work Refresh: Super Simple Gazpacho Soup

A FRESH AND HEALTHY KICK

It's been a while since I shared anything foodie related here on the blog so today seemed like a good day to offer up a simple, refreshing soup recipe that I've been enjoying all summer long. Even though September is here and the autumn is showing slow signs of breaking through, the days are still pretty warm and stuffy right now. So this easy little number is both tasty and revitalising, along with a good dose of healthy goodness as well. 

Gazpacho Soup

Now cold soup might not be everyone's bag! But I love Gazpacho, especially when it's really fresh, a little crunchy with a good kick of spicy heat and super chilled when served. The recipe I've been using comes from the latest book by nutritionist Amelia Freer called Cook Nourish Glow and is really pretty easy to master. Basically chuck a load of good stuff into a food processor, blend, chill and then eat. Simple! I use red onion instead of the suggested spring onion and that works really well - mainly because red onion is normally what I have in the house hence the simple substitution. 

Gazpacho Soup
Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho Soup

(slightly adapted from the original recipe, check out the book for more tasty and healthy inspiration)

Serves 4

YOU WILL NEED

1 red pepper (deseeded and chopped), 1/2 stick of celery roughly chopped, 1/4 cucumber (you can deseed but I don't bother and it works fine), 500g ripe tomatoes, 1/2 red onion (or 1 spring onion if you prefer), 1/2 clove garlic, 1 handful of fresh basil, 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar, a healthy dash of tabasco, sea salt and ground black pepper.

TO MAKE

Basically put all of the ingredients (apart from the basil) into a food processor and blitz to your required consistency. The recipe states until smooth but I like mine a teeny bit chunky to have some crispy bite so I stop just before it is fully blended.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more tabasco and sherry vinegar if required to bring it to your preferred heat and sharpness. Sometimes I actually add a little more garlic and give it an extra blitz to blend. We love garlic in our house and we aren't afraid to show it!

Leave your soup to chill in the fridge for at least two hours. I just put it into a clickable tupperware box. 

Serve garnished with a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves. You can make this in large batches and it will happily keep in the fridge for a good few days.

 

So this weekend why not try this ultimate veggie hit of goodness to cool you down and keep you fighting fit. Make a batch on a Sunday evening and enjoy it, nicely chilled and fresh, when you get home from work throughout the week. Enjoy!

Louise