raw chocolate making

raw chocolate making

I love making raw chocolate. It tastes so much nicer than mass-produced bars and when you make it yourself you can tailor it to suit your palate.

Here’s my basic plain raw chocolate recipe used for the fruit & nut bars in the picture.

Being creative in the kitchen is a great way to de-stress and having a whole heap of raw chocolate at the end of it is an added bonus! What’s not to love?!

We’ll go more in-depth and try out several raw chocolate recipes in our raw chocolate making workshop on retreat (click here for details and bookings) but if you want to have a go at home in the meantime I highly recommend www.elementsforlife.co.uk for all your ingredients


how do you reconnect with your soul?


Taking time away from what you usually do and what people usually need from you is, I think, the best way to reconnect with your soul and your unique values. It might be a walk with the dog, a long hot bath, getting lost in a good book or a creative project, taking a day off work, having a weekend away or booking a retreat…it doesn’t really matter how you get there, but stepping off the treadmill sometimes is invaluable.

Two weeks ago I joined Charlotte Preston Yoga & Massage Therapy for a yoga retreat day in a spectacular tree-house in the heart of the New Forest and I gained so much from it. The yoga and qigong were fabulous & lunch was delicious, but aside from that, I felt such a benefit from taking time for me. I even felt proud of myself for doing it!!

It was a great reminder of what I know deep down and sometimes forget to practice – taking time (or stealing time as I sometimes think of it) is truly important for us all.

Left to my own devices, I can become a bit reclusive and shut myself away from the world, and the more I do it, the harder it becomes to not do it. But all of that makes it all the more empowering when I do something at odds with my natural tendency and step out into the light and reconnect with myself & the world at large.

[note to self: taking time for me helps to put more life in my days – which has to be a #1 lifegoal]

What do you do to take time? How do you reconnect with your soul? Would love to know Jx

welcome to take time retreats

take time retreats

I launched take time retreats earlier this year as a means to create and hold space for women, like me, who sometimes forget how important it is to do this for ourselves.

I have spent the past 22 years working in all areas of health & fitness, starting as an exercise to music instructor, moving onto the gym floor, into leisure management, back to the gym, and 7 years ago into my own personal training and massage therapy business.

My thinking has evolved in that time along with my own fitness regime, which has softened and become more holistic in recent years. Instead of always pushing myself to the limits I now understand the value of time spent with my feet up the wall!

Take time retreats has been growing in my head for several years and I am really excited to bring it to you.

We offer busy women the chance to take time for themselves, with mindful movement, amazing food, plenty of time to catch up on sleep in our luxurious en-suite bedrooms, a creative focus, and the opportunity to reconnect through sound and massage therapy.

These are all elements that I have found to be truly important in my life, in helping me to manage my own mental health and learn to listen to my heartbeat, and I can’t wait to share them with you Jx