Mind Over Meta’s Top 10 Posts Of 2017

There’s a lot of points in this post we would all do well to consider taking into 2018.

Simon ☺️

Mind over Meta

We’re now near the end of 2017 and I find this time of year brings out the reflective side of me. I think New Year often causes people to look back and see where they’ve come from.

I’ve been blogging for little over a year now and I thought it’d be interesting to reflect on my top ten posts of 2017 based on views!

1. Book Review: Buddha’s Brain

It seems that a lot of you enjoy a good book review and were interested in finding out how meditation and mindfulness can impact the brain. I keep meaning to do more book reviews so this is something for me to keep in mind for 2018 🙂

2. How To Deal With Toxic People

We’ve probably all come across someone who is consistently negative and drains our energy. This post outlined some tips on how to deal with such people.


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Yuletide Winter Wonderland

If you watch any English TV, the Christmas specials almost always end with snowfall.

This is a lie.

However we’ve got very close to a white Christmas this year and here are some pics I managed to grab before freezing my unspeakables off!

I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas!

Simon ☺️

Don’t miss out on free sci-fi e-books!

I don’t know about you but I always love to get books in my favourite genre. Especially those not heard of before. Ajay from the new story angles it can help give a new angle to your writing.

Imagine my delight when discoverscifi popped up on my Facebook and I got 10 few ebooks for the price of an email subscription. 

Being the kind person I am I thought I would pass this on! 


Simon ☺️

The Christmas Tag

I got this tag from my lovely friend Tiffany and it was a really kind and loving gesture. Thank your Tiffany I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Here are the rules for this award:

    Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog 

    Add the picture in your blog 

    Copy these rules into your post 

    Add a link to this original post Original Christmas Tag

    Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas – related questions if you want) 

    Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs 

    Have fun! 
These are the questions Tiffany left me:

What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?

It’s generally a cheerful time and people are nicer than normal.
What´s your favorite Christmas memory?

 When I was a kid way back when and the excitement of it all.
Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

Not really… I would like something less traditional myself.
What’s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)

I wish Christmas was led commercial.
What´s your favorite Christmas dish?

Mice pies and brandy butter!
What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?

Nice soft white lights.
What´s your favorite Christmas song?

The Greg Lake one.
Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

At home

What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you?

Peace and goodwill to all.
Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?


Additional question for my interest: If you could make Christmas different next year what would you choose to do? 

Spend it at the beach.
And who are my nominees for Christmas Tag

There are always loads of people I could tag on these, but I’ll keep it to a few:




Here are the questions for my nominees, I’ve kept them the same as Tiffany’s as things are busy:
What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?

What´s your favorite Christmas memory?

Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)

What´s your favorite Christmas dish?

What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?

What´s your favorite Christmas song?

Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you?

 Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

  Additional question for my interest: If you could make Christmas different next year what would you choose to do? 
Happy Christmas to friends near and far. Tiffany and Family and thanks darling Ben for asking me to take part. Love to You and Yours!

Happy Christmas to all my bloggies! 

Simon ☺️

2018 Kindness Practice

Niki will be hosting the 2018 Kindness practice. Look at her post for details and how to sign up!

Simon 🙂

The Richness of a Simple Life

Are you ready for the 2018 Kindness Practice? It was formerly called The Kindness Challenge because I hosted it here, and bloggers love a good blogging challenge! This year I’m hosting it via email only. When I created the challenge, I intended it to be a practice that impacted lives in a positive way. I had no idea of just how powerful it would be. Participants were so dedicated to the weekly prompts and saw some amazing shifts in their lives!

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Making a Yule Log that’s to die for!

The Yule log was originally a huge (and it must have been huge) log that was selected to burn in a house over the Christmas period. The tradition is that once this log was lit it must not go out until burned up. These days the Yule log is smaller and more edible. If you’re twiddling your thumbs, wondering what to do in the few days before Christmas here’s an idea for you – make a Yule log! This is a chocolate Swiss roll covered in chocolate butter icing and it’s a bit delic!

The recipe for the swiss roll is:


3 Eggs
75g castor Sugar
60g Self Raising Flour
20g Cocoa Powder

Line a 8″ x 12″tray with greaseproof paper, preheat oven to 200C.

1) Mix eggs with electric mixer for two minutes.

2) Add castor sugar to eggs, mix with electric mixer for about 8 minutes until the consistency and colour of whipped double cream.

3) Sieve flour and cocoa powder twice.

4) Gently fold in flour an cocoa powder into egg mix. Ensure it’s well mixed.

5) Pour mix into tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

6) Once baked, turn out onto a clean tea towel. Cut the crispy edges and roll up in the tea towel inside it while still hot. Leave for about 1 minute.

7) Unroll and fill with jam, cream or both.





Once this is done make chocolate butter icing by mixing butter with icing sugar and cocoa power. I almost always wing it with butter icing and make it to look and taste. Once you’ve made this and smooth this over to make it look log like. Then decorate festively however you like! This is sweet and yummy, best with double or clotted cream it’s a heart attack in a bowl.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Simon 🙂

Yummy Christmas Pie

With Christmas nearly here and loads of ideas flying about I thought I would repost one of my now well liked traditions – After Christmas pie!

A boxing day treat for all is to make a pie from the leftovers. There’s two pies I tend to make:

The first is a pie with leftover turkey and gammon, with some white sauce and a few other things (down to personal preference) like mushrooms and stuff in. It should be easy to make a big pie, I use shop bought shortcrust pastry, roll it out then place into the pie dish. I fill it with all the turkey, gammon and all then cover it up with more pastry,  coat the pastry top in egg (use this to bind the edges too). And then cook for 30 minutes.

On top of this is the Christmas leftovers pie, which is genius. I got it from Paul Hollywood and it’s basically a pie with stuffing, turkey, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, whatever is left over in it. I made both of these and they’re simply out of this world and make a great boxing day meal that’s simple after the rigor of the roast the day before!

Don’t get too hungry now!

Simon 🙂

Manic Monday…on time!


I thought after last week I had better write a manic Monday on time, the last couple of weeks have been insane and hopefully things will calm down a bit now. I keep saying that though and it keeps not happening so we’ll see!

Last week Marquessa Matthews took over my blog with her pair of posts on 30 Things you can still do before 2018 which of course is something that’s looming, it’s only a couple of weeks and the new year will be on us. With this will be the promise of new challenges, new opportunities and some warmer weather on the way.

I have one or two other bloggies I’m trying to encourage to take over my blog, so if you feel like taking over, let me know!

I’m getting ever closer to launching some new things, so keep your eyes peeled they’re on the way and hopefully sooner rather than later as I need them up and going… I’ll be keeping you guessing up until the end!

Before I go on too much Ellie Maloney has just published her first book 329 Years Awake and it need support from readers and scifi geeks the world over. So please do have a look and offer a amazing new author the support she deserves.

If you’re into crazy goofy Scifi why not catch up on The Great Galactic Service Station. The next part is in progress, but I’ve not yet managed to get it out. Here’s the first 7 parts for you:

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 1

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 2

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 3

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 4

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 5

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 6

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 7


Also make sure you follow up what’s going on in the rest of the Planet Simon universe:

Planet Simon Facebook Page






Keep smiling and writing!

Simon 🙂

30 Things You Can Still Do Before 2018 (Part 1) 

As part of a series of blog takeovers, Marquessa Matthews has got a list of things we can be doing before the new years strikes!

30 Things You Can Still Do Before 2018 (Part 1)


Can someone please tell me where 2017 went?

In 2018, I need to stop treating my writing as a hobby (I know, I know that I’ve said that plenty of times before). In order to find more time in the New Year between my 9 to 5, eldercare responsibilities and my own day-to-day to manage, I have made a list of 30 things I’m doing before 2018 hits that should streamline my life in the New Year.

I hope this list provides you with some value. And THANK YOU SIMON for the opportunity to “take over” your blog!

  1. Reduce the number of blogs followed: How many blogs do you follow and how many do you actually read? Up to recently, I had 1508 blogs in my “Blogs I Follow” on WordPress, which was surely a sign of madness on my part and an impossible number to manage, even in rotation. This is the formula I used to trim my 1508 blogs down to 804: if a blog has had no activity within 6 months OR if 100% of its content is related to fashion, make-up, parenthood, gaming or business = Unsubscribe/Unfollow (though I kept a few exceptions with the hope that certain bloggers return one day). With fewer blogs in my feed, I’ve already started rediscovering some of my old favorites.
  2. Create a short list of bloggers: I regularly correspond with a number of bloggers outside of WP and I finally took time to create a “short list”. With all of them in one easily accessible “special” list, I can easily get to their blogs and social media accounts at the click of a button.
  3. Sign up for Audible.com: My preference will always be the feel of a “physical” book but the only time I enjoy real books is on vacation while away from home. Since it’s a battle I can’t win, I signed up for Audible again and have been happily “reading” as I putter around the house (this mention is not an endorsement for Audible).
  4. Get rid of unused apps: If you barely use them, why are leaving them to clog up space on your cell?
  5. Don’t unsubscribe, just trash it: Someone somewhere said something about sending junk emails and newsletters to “Trash” instead of wasting time “unsubscribing”. Now that I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks, my inbox is definitely less spammy.
  6. Back up all electronic files: My laptop is on its last legs so I’m backing up on an external device and a USB key every week to avoid the “oh my God I lost everything on my laptop” heart attack. Whether it be on an external drive, a USB key or in the cloud, just do it sooner than later.
  7. Donate to charities online: Don’t waste time writing cheques and finding stamps to mail your end of year donations. Do it online and receive your tax receipts within minutes by email.
  8. Sign up for electronic billing: I still had a few bills in paper format by mail and this wasn’t an issue until an emergency came up a few weeks ago and I had zero energy to deal with them at the end of some very long days. It was the final push I needed to finally convert everything to electronic billing.
  9. Charge all recurring bill payments to one credit card: If I ever forget my credit card in the thingamabob at the grocery store again (don’t ask ’cause I won’t tell you), I’ll only need to deal with ONE credit card company as opposed to two or three. Let’s just say…yikes.
  10. Automate credit card payments: My preference was to keep control of my credit card by paying off my manually, as a way to force myself t sit down and reconcile my receipts. Now, I’m having my bill paid automatically which will be convenient when I’m away or busy. Of course, I will still reconcile my purchases after the fact.
  11. Dedicate a credit card with a low limit for online purchases: Being a victim of online fraud years ago taught me to sign up for a credit card with a very low limit. Low limit = limited worries. Every year, the credit card company increases my limit without asking me and every year I call them to request that they lower it back to where it was.
  12. Start a savings fund for a “rainy” project: I opened a new bank account and set up a monthly automatic transfer to it that is equivalent to what I often waste per month when I don’t bring my lunch to work (which I plan on not doing in 2018). I’m not sure what I will use that “savings” for, but it could be a weekend trip, an emergency fund or tickets to a day at a spa.
  13. Double up on important items: Over the past few months, I fell out of my habit of “doubling up” on certain essentials to avoid unplanned errands to the store. I made a list of my important “back-ups” and then went to the store for back-ups of coffee, toilet paper, soap, MAC foundation, hand sanitizer (yes, I’ve got germ issues)…Now, when I find myself using a “back up”, I’ll add the item to my errands list. Decide what is important to you and double up.
  14. Stockpile for emergencies: The 1998 ice storm freaked Montrealers out, including little old me. For years after that, everyone I knew had emergency supplies at hand. But memories fade and I stopped doing it. Well, after seeing all the horrible natural disasters in 2017 and what my adopted island of Puerto Rico is still suffering through, I’ve started replenishing my “emergency” essentials: water, batteries, flashlights, matches, candles, canned goods with a manual can opener… Think about what you would do if you were snowed in for a week and couldn’t order take-out delivery to your door?
  15. Keep a running list of errands on your cell (see #13): Don’t you hate it when you lose your paper errands/to-do lists? I sat down, created a new “Errands” category in my Evernote and have been consistently adding my errands list. I always have my cell which means that I always have my list.

For the next 16 to 30 items, you can click here . 


Marquessa Matthews about.me/simplymarquessa