Shari Black Books

A Review of a Planner for Freelancers and Mental Health Journals for Adults & Children by Shari Black: Includes TWO Giveaways!

11th September 2020


Now the kids are back at school and our old lives are starting to return, I’ve been looking at ways to organise my freelance work. I’ve also been keen to assess how both my son and I are feeling after six months in lockdown.

I came across a range of books by Shari Black, a writer and children’s author, who has written many books about Star Wars, LEGO, Harry Potter and more under her maiden name, Shari Last. She now has a new business, Little Pop of Colour, and writes books under her married name. Her main focus now is creating books and prints to brighten up your day and home.

I was intrigued by her planner for freelancers and the journals she had created for adults and children, so thought I’d give them a try…

This Freelance Life Planner

This Freelance Life is a planner, organiser and diary for those who work independently. It’s a six month undated planner and has a variety of monthly, weekly and daily diary pages. I love this, because some months I’m busier than others, so I need to organise differently each time.

If I’m overwhelmed with tasks, I can use the monthly page initially to work out everything that needs completing, before I then allocate it to weeks/days. If I don’t achieve it one day I simply add it to another day that week, and the monthly page keeps me on track.

Freelance Planner
The Planner Has Some Useful Sections

I used to have a bullet journal and found the monthly tracking really useful as days can change rapidly and before you know it something’s been forgotten. Having three diary options helps avoid missing things, which eases the pressure and anxiety I get: It’s a win-win!

The planner also has pages for bright ideas, notes, contacts and invoices. The first thing I did was fill in the invoice page, as it’s a great tracker. Many companies pay 30 days after invoiced, so it’s easy to lose track of what’s owed.

Mindful Journals for Adults & Children

Shari has four young sons and decided to write journals for a range of ages to “help kids seek out and reflect on the best parts of each day”. This helps children cultivate a positive mindset” which is important especially during this pandemic.

My Happy Journal is a positive diary for children and adults, which encourages mindfulness, gratitude and emotional well-being. It’s perfect for helping to build or maintain good mental health. The journal prompts you to think about good things that happen daily, which over time helps the brain automatically find positives rather than negatives.

This is a must for me, because part of my depression and anxiety comes from constant negative thinking. At some stage in my life the brain got used to negative triad thinking, so journaling can help break or prevent this cycle.

Mindful Journals by Shari Black
The 8 Year Olds’ Journal (open) and Happy Journal are Very Similar

The Most Awesome Journal for 8 Year Olds is similar, but aimed at your 8 year old! It enables them to keep a track of their daily thoughts and emotions, focusing on the positive aspects. Shari was inspired to create journals for children specific to their age from her own children. She said; “My eldest is 8 too and he finds it really beneficial having a journal. He doesn’t write daily, but it’s nice for him to have a place to record whenever he wants to”.

It’s filled with fun boxes to complete whenever they want, and has space for photos, doodles and notes for top secret plans to encourage creativity and imagination.

Shari’s written a range of books including a quirky one about the Covid-19 pandemic and I’m giving one away below!

Terms and conditions for the following giveaways are at the bottom of the post.

Giveaway 1: The Most Awesome Journal For Super Cool 8 Year Olds (ends 9 Oct 2020)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Book Prizes
You Could Win Either of These Below!

Giveaway 2: My First Pandemic ABC Book (ends 8 Oct 2020)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

UK entrants only.
You must be aged over 18 to enter.
Entries will be checked and verified before a winner is randomly selected.
The company who make the product are responsible for supplying the prizes NOT SingleParentPessimist.co.uk
Your email will be required so you can be contacted to claim your prize if you are the winner- the email address will not be passed onto any company without your permission first. Your contact details will not be used or stored for any other purposes.

I was gifted these books for the purpose of testing them for this review. No payment was received and all opinions are honest and my own.

61 Comments

  • Chris Andrews

    12th September 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Who would you give this book to and why?
    to my grandson because he loves being 8 years old

    1. Rebecca roberts

      6th October 2020 at 6:16 pm

      We have our day after a story in a bed we talk about the good and bad of all our day and our feelings my daughter is 7 and we have done this since she was 3 she tells me everything and I do think it’s put trust in her

  • Corinne Peat

    12th September 2020 at 8:31 pm

    We draw pictures and also walk and talk.

  • Corinne Peat

    12th September 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I would give the book to my son who is 8 on his next birthday

  • Bryan Murphy

    12th September 2020 at 8:57 pm

    We always eat together and always discuss her feelings

  • Rebecca Nisbet

    12th September 2020 at 10:28 pm

    My daughter has struggles with putting in to words how she feels, which causes her to overload and have a meltdown.
    So we have to try and sense it before it happens, and try and see what is up without putting the words in her mouth, as she will go with whatever we say.
    Sometimes we can get to that so she has to go to her room and has this little ‘safe space’ under her bed where she calms down.
    But a book like this would be perfect for her, as she can get in to a routine with using it.

  • John Taggart

    13th September 2020 at 8:24 am

    I would give it to my grandson so he could write down every time he gets up to mischief, how many pages does the Journal have? I’m basically looking for a blank version of war and peace!

  • Jenny McClinton

    13th September 2020 at 9:57 am

    Journal for an 8 year old: I try and ask sit my daughter down for cuddles and make it clear she can talk to me ever she feels like it. Also when I can see something is on her mind, I encourage her to talk and ask if she is ok. If she says nothing I say well I’m here if you do need to talk.

  • Jenny McClinton

    13th September 2020 at 10:01 am

    My first pandemic: I would give to my daughter, as we could then discuss things and make sure there is nothing that is worrying her.

  • ashleigh allan

    13th September 2020 at 10:32 am

    We just make time to talk!

  • ashleigh allan

    13th September 2020 at 10:33 am

    I would give it to my nephew!

  • Laura Pritchard

    13th September 2020 at 12:38 pm

    I’m completely open & unembarrasing about everything – nothing is off the table to discuss.

  • Sarah Alexander

    13th September 2020 at 1:47 pm

    I have always wanted my daughter to keep a diary, this looks great as she could structure her thoughts

  • claire woods

    13th September 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Always try to talk.

  • claire woods

    13th September 2020 at 7:40 pm

    I’d give the humour book to my son. He likes funny things.

  • Laura Linsey

    13th September 2020 at 8:16 pm

    I answer any questions and try not to make the conversations too serious

  • Rich Tyler

    14th September 2020 at 1:36 pm

    We’ve made it clear we’re always here, no matter what need to talk about

  • Rich Tyler

    14th September 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I’d give it to my boy

  • Annabel Greaves

    14th September 2020 at 5:38 pm

    I take the time to sit them down to talk when they are ready

  • lynn neal

    15th September 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Have conversations about how they are feeling when we are playing!

  • Ruth Harwood

    16th September 2020 at 7:39 am

    I talk about my own feelings with her so she will share too xx

  • Ruth Harwood

    16th September 2020 at 7:40 am

    I talk about my own feelings and then she’ll open up about hers xx

  • Carly Belsey

    16th September 2020 at 12:05 pm

    If my daughter does something that isnt nice I always ask her how she would feel about someone not sharing with her or leaving her out etc and she then puts herself in that position and understands more.

  • Kate Sharman

    20th September 2020 at 9:00 pm

    We walk and talk, sometimes it works and others not so much

  • lynn neal

    21st September 2020 at 8:49 pm

    My husband as he is not finding anything very funny at the moment!

  • Jodie Green

    26th September 2020 at 6:25 pm

    From a very early age Ive always encouraged them to talk about their feelings, drawing pictures and talking about them is good for the younger children, we also have a worry box they can write things down and pop it into there

  • Jodie Green

    26th September 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I’d give the book to my little boy, perfect for learning his alphabet and with something very relevant at the moment! My older children would probably enjoy reading it too!

  • Karen Usher

    27th September 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I love to have some one on one time with my daughter where she feels most comfortable to tell me anything in the world, I always tell her that she can tell me anything and I hope she always remembers this.

  • Debbie E

    2nd October 2020 at 9:29 pm

    We have one to one time.

  • Rachel Craig

    5th October 2020 at 12:48 am

    We spend time together. Aim to allow each child some one to one time with each parent :- To provide opportunity to seek advice, etc. Speak to the children, letting them know that they can seek some one to one time. As this allows time and opportunity for child to confide in parent. Sometimes feeling can be mixed, may want to get some clarity from parent in how to deal with these feelings, etc

  • Rachel Craig

    5th October 2020 at 12:49 am

    ABC book for self, in need of some laughter.

  • Michelle Moloney

    5th October 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I make sure I never tell my niece and nephew they are wrong to feel what they’re feeling,

  • Michelle Moloney

    5th October 2020 at 4:37 pm

    I’d read the book myself first, then pass it around my friends before deciding if it’s a keep book or a donate to a deserving cause book

  • Jennifer Rhymer

    5th October 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I try to relate to my child, I’m honest about how I’m feeling and she does talk to me. We always have a hug too x

  • Jennifer Rhymer

    5th October 2020 at 9:11 pm

    My little girl is 8 years old, I’d give this book to her! x

  • Mel B

    6th October 2020 at 2:14 pm

    My niece… even though she’s only 7… sssssh!

  • Anthea Holloway

    6th October 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Always listen to what your child has to say and show that you understand by responding.

  • Jess McGuire

    6th October 2020 at 4:56 pm

    By listening and being understanding

  • Sheri Darby

    6th October 2020 at 9:26 pm

    My daughter would love this

  • Troy Easton

    6th October 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I would give this to my cousin and I find the best way is too talk as family about feelings from each other.

  • Sam Parkes

    6th October 2020 at 11:21 pm

    We talk on the school run and at the end of the day. I’m a single parent so we are very close me and my daughter

  • Kate Cunningham

    6th October 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Give them time and opportunities to open up about things that are troubling them. Don’t offer a solution, ask how they feel, what would they like to happen, is there a way you can bring this about? Teach them how to sort things out themselves, knowing you will be there to support and help out when they can’t manage themselves.

  • janine atkin

    7th October 2020 at 8:19 am

    id give this to my nephew who is a funny little boy!

  • Laura Whittle

    7th October 2020 at 10:47 am

    We use the school run home to talk about their day. I’ll ask them if there’s anything funny that happened, if there’s anything that made them upset, if there’s anything good or exciting that happened. We talk about their fave lesson and worst lesson, etc.

  • Adrian Bold

    7th October 2020 at 12:12 pm

    We always talk about things when there is conflict and usually get to the bottom of things.

    1. Kelly Knowles

      7th October 2020 at 1:58 pm

      I try too, it’s hard in our situation my children are young carers and see to my needs so there is often times I need to mindful of their emotions, it’s especially hard in this world whilst they are very worried about me catching the virus

  • Adrian Bold

    7th October 2020 at 12:19 pm

    I’d give the book to my sister who I think would find it amusing.

  • Rebecca Whatmore

    7th October 2020 at 4:09 pm

    We are very open and have chats as a family at the dinner table.

  • Pauline Burroughs

    7th October 2020 at 4:50 pm

    My granddaughter is 8 years old and I always try to listen. She doesn’t seem to need any encouragement to talk about her feeling because she does talk a lot (and I mean a LOT) 🙂 I try to be constructive about how she can deal with situations and I always try to turn things into positives. It sometimes hard to see anything positive when you’re the one dealing with a situation and it can help to have somebody else give advice. I think that goes for adults as well as children. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved

  • Joyce W

    7th October 2020 at 8:18 pm

    My grand daughter talks freely about her feelings without any encouragement – we never tell her she is being silly to feel the way she does and always try to give her constructive advice

  • Joyce W

    7th October 2020 at 8:19 pm

    My grand daughter would love this book

  • Kim

    7th October 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I tell my grandchildren that they can talk to me about anything, and I will always listen ?

  • Patricia Barrett

    7th October 2020 at 11:05 pm

    We always find time each day to have a chat about things that are going on in our lives.

  • Jennifer Toal

    8th October 2020 at 6:33 am

    Easy when they are young but trickier the older they get. Best thing to do is ask about their day you might get a grunt but when they want to tell you something listen and be responsive show them you are interested and make sure they know they are loved

  • Jeanette Leighton

    8th October 2020 at 10:33 am

    Fantastic have entered for my daughter sheriah who is 8

  • Natalie Crossan

    8th October 2020 at 10:46 am

    I find that my daughter talks more when she’s relaxed so we colour, or I run her a bath and her openness to talk is more 🙂

  • Sarah Hanson

    8th October 2020 at 11:23 am

    Always be ready to listen and not judge at any time

  • Stephanie

    8th October 2020 at 11:32 am

    Yes please

  • Carrie Jennings

    8th October 2020 at 1:26 pm

    at the end of the day we climb into my bed and discuss any concerns, happy stories or anything else

  • Sandra Foreman

    8th October 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Baking

  • Mandy Doherty

    8th October 2020 at 9:33 pm

    I talk to my grandchildren how they are feeling and then we talk about other things that make them feel that emotion

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