Calculate Your Star Rating

Peter says


As you know by now, each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, idea in How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available – you get one just for buying the book! Collect enough stars and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required. 

To help you tot up your ‘Star Rating’ we’ve created a simple (excel) spreadsheet. Simply change the values in the blue squares (for you and/or your friends) and the sheet will tot up your overall score.

Click here to download the spreadsheet to your computer.

Keep in mind that your Star Rating isn’t necessarily fixed. It’s a work in progress. I took the liberty of reviewing my scores before writing this post and noticed that my score has risen ever-so slightly! Yay me.

If you have any questions about the spreadsheet or you’d like to share your score with the world, feel free to use the comment box below!

If you don’t have Microsoft Excel, I thoroughly recommend Open Office, which is free and available for all types of computers.

‘Go With The Flow’ Day

pocketful of smiles_smlOne of the things I love about ‘Boxing Day’ is how people have taken the idea, and made it their own. This week, to mark the launch of her latest book – ‘A Pocketful of Smiles’ – author Wendy Steele tells us about ‘Go With The Flow’ Day.

With the evenings drawing in and less sunshine to brighten our days, I can feel lethargic and unmotivated. For me that suggests I need to book a ‘Go With The Flow’ day.

Do you sometimes get tired of the same routine? Do you find that your weekends feel just like working days? Do you sometimes wish you could do just what you feel like doing right now? You need a Go With The Flow Day.

This day is easy to achieve for some, requires forward planning by most but is impossible for very few of us. In order to make this time, you need to book a day in your diary to do it. For those with small children, this may need to be when grandparents are available to babysit, or with partners, decide if you’re going to ‘go with the flow’ together or separately.

A possible Go With The Flow Day for me would be when my children have plans where they are staying over, I’ve seen my mum the previous weekend, there is tasty home made food in the freezer and I’ve worked hard to get washing, shopping, chores etc relatively up to date. Upon waking, I might decide to have my first cup of Rooibos in the garden or the summer house. A leisurely bath with essential oils gives me time to think; a walk in the woods feels like a good idea. Wrapped up warm while walking, I remember the book I bought about spirals on ancient monuments and I indulge that feeling on my return home and curl up in front of the fire with my book. A cat or two comes to join me and I relish their warmth and their company. Before the light fades, I retrieve dahl and rice from the freezer and as I decant it into oven proof dishes, I remember the cooking apples in the cupboard, wash them, de-core them, fill them with brown sugar and sultanas and pop them in the oven with the curry. I return to my book but my mind recalls that I haven’t read one of my favourite books, ‘Moon Magic’ by Dion Fortune for a while and I abandon one book for another.

Everyone’s Go With The Flow Day will be different but try not to get distracted and fall into everyday mode. If you want to work, then please do so. Sometimes I write on these days but don’t feel you have to or you should. If you want to paint the spare room, go ahead, but only if you want to. Treat yourself to a day of doing what you feel.

Book a Go With The Flow Day in your diary now. After one of these days, I return to my routine refreshed. Even the chores seem less tiresome and I feel more in tune with my surroundings.

You can find 100 more ideas to bring happiness to your days in my new book ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you.’ Just visit amazon all the books

My HappY Place – Happiness app for your iphone / ipad

happY-screenshotA few weeks back I got this email from a young fella called Zach Grossman, asking me if I’d like to review his iPhone app, My HappY Place.

Here’s an extract;

I’m sure you get e-mails like this all the time and I completely understand if you can’t help me out, but if you could offer any assistance at all that would be absolutely amazing. I spent a good chunk of my savings on this app after I graduated college and I’m really just trying to get it out there to as many people as possible. I think there are a lot of individuals who could really use something like this, especially many of your readers.

Well blimey. How could I refuse that? Anyone who’s poured their heart and soul into something will know exactly how it feels when you eventually finish it, and you’re faced with the gargantuan task of telling the world. Zach me ol’ chum, I’m happY to help.

Zach describes My HappY Place (the captial Y is intentional) as an app that “lets people store things that make them happy all in one place (music, photos, quotes, videos, journal entries). The idea is that if you’re having a rough or stressful day you can just go to your happy place to unwind a bit. It’s a simple app, but effective nonetheless.” What a great idea. Whenever life’s giving you a hard time you can take out your phone and find something that will put a smile back on your face. It’s like having a mini trophy board of sorts with you at all times. Fabulous.

Here are some of things I particularly like about it:happY-screenshot-150x150

  1. It’s incredibly easy to use!
  2. You can add pics and open them full size
  3. You can add and play songs
  4. you can add vids and play them within app
  5. you can have your own background image on app
  6. you can add info on journal dates past and present, and even include a picture

I didn’t really use the quote bank – I’d have liked to have seen a few more funny ones in there – but I suspect that’s just me.

As the app opens it asks you to complete the phrase  “Today I’m grateful for….” and there’s no ‘skip’ option available. I’ll confess that there were times I struggled to think of something, but that’s the point – and having read some interesting research recently on the power of “being grateful” I think this is a deceptively powerful feature. I’d like an option whereby the app could periodically prompt you to think of something throughout the day. What does seems a little odd is that you can’t scroll back through past gratitudes. Maybe that could be a enhancement for the future Zach?

Finally, I really like the way this app gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “go to your happy place”. Being a jaded cynical Englishman “going to my happy place” – sitting zen like on the floor and letting my mind float into an imaginery world of sunshine and flowers – isn’t something I’m very good at. Having an actual “happy place” (albeit virtual), on my phone,  at the tap of an icon, is actually very cool, and appeals to my need to make happiness a practical thing. And for a mere dollar (or 69p in the UK), it’s worth every penny.

You can download the app directly from iTunes (UK | USA)

Christmas with a Kobo?


the koboWith the festive season just around the corner you might be interested to know that a serious contender to the Amazon Kindle has entered the market. WHSmiths are now selling the Kobo.

From what I understand the Kobo is a Canadian piece of kit, and for the longest time you couldn’t buy it in the UK. But now you can, and any books you fancy the look of at the WHSmith online bookstore can be downloaded onto it directly.

What’s more, just like the Kindle, you don’t actually need a Kobo device to read Kobo-books. You can download the FREE Kobo app for virtually any smartphone or computing device and access your Kobo library that way.

I don’t mind admitting that when I found out about the Kobo I panicked – just a little. I wasn’t 100% sure whether How To Do Everything and Be Happy was available to Kobonians, in Kobonia, which meant there would be people out there for who Boxing Day would only ever be something that happens once a year. Those same people might be walking around making lists of things they might do before they ‘kick the bucket’ (rather than NOW). And let’s not even get into the absence of proper Wish List / Goal Planning activities – that, quite frankly, just didn’t bear thinking about. But I needn’t have worried. Enter ‘Manty67’ and her blog ‘Life and Other Things’ at

Manty is – so far as I know – my first Kobo reader. And judging by her blog she thoroughly enjoyed my book. She even describes herself as a follower.

I have followers.

It’s a fun blog. I particularly like Manty’s Trophy Board, and the amusing piece about her first Boxing Day. Hope the next one goes better, Manty.

But I digress.

The important point here is that – YES, How To Do Everything and Be Happy is available for the Kobo, whether you live in Kobonia or anywhere else. Right now.
And you can download it here.


A Chat with Dave Monk, from BBC Essex…

dave monk


Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with Dave Monk, from BBC Essex, to chat about How To Do Everything And Be Happy.

We discuss whether it’s actually possible to do everything and be happy, the three causes of unhappiness, the secret to happiness, and what one thing you can do, today, to feel happier.

Click here to listen to the interview