The Perfect Bad Day Survival Kit by Stefanie London


[Note from Frolic: we are so excited to have author Stefanie London guest post on the site today. Take it away, Stefanie!]

Authors know stress. The impending doom of a deadline looming over you like a tidal wave? Yep. How about that revision letter that makes you want to crawl up into a ball and cry? Oh yeah. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out how to meet your wordcount for the day when all the group texts are blowing up, the laundry hamper won’t close anymore and you’re pretty sure even Old Mother Hubbard is judging your cupboard. Just another day in the office. Surviving a stressful day is something I’ve gotten down to a fine art, so I thought I’d share what’s in my ‘Bad Day Survival Kit’ with you all in the hope it helps you out next time your day goes pear shaped.

1. Knitting Needles

Being creative and engaging in an activity that requires me to focus is hands down one of the best things I can do to unwind if I’m having a bad day. There’s something about following a process and the repetitive nature of knitting that really calms me, plus I get something cute to wear at the end of it! Colourful toques, anyone? (That Canadian-speak for a knitted hat BTW.) Not to mention all the fun I have picking out new projects on Ravelry and then shopping for yarn. It ticks all my happy boxes.

Currently on my needles is the Gather shawl by Andrea Mowry:

2. Crime Podcasts

Okay, yes. I am that weirdo who could fall asleep to stories about murder. My husband actually sat me down once while catching me in the dark watching a gory documentary about a man who was convicted of murdering his wife, to ask if everything was ok. Honestly, true crime has always fascinated me, especially when it’s a solved case. I love hearing how the investigators unwound all the clues and figured out who was behind the crime. Maybe there’s part of my brain that’s satisfied by the conclusion to a mystery.

Current favourite crime podcasts include:

  • Casefile (hearing the narrator’s Aussie accent is a good cure for homesickness)
  • Canadian True Crime (also narrated by an Aussie…it’s like my two homes in one!)
  • Dirty John (worth a listen even if you’ve watched the Netflix miniseries)
  • Serial (loved season one and three, in particular)
  • Trace (more Aussie podcasts!)
3. Romance Novels

Like knowing crimes will be solved, knowing love will happen at the end of a tough journey also makes my soul incredibly happy. I have a whole bookshelf just dedicated to romance novels in my office and anytime I’m having a crappy day, I pluck one out to read. Recently I’ve read two that I really enjoyed:

The Billionaire’s Bargain by Naima Simone. This was a rollercoaster of emotion—short, incredibly sexy and it kicks off in a city-wide blackout. I’ve been a fan of Naima’s writing for years now, and I thoroughly enjoyed the start to her new series.

Where We Belong by Lauren Harbor. If there are funny, goofy and charming animals in a romance novel, then you have me sold! This novella is also the start of a series and while small, it packs a strong emotional punch and deals with some serious issues. Comic relief is provided by the adorable German Shepherd, including funny quotes from his point-of-view at the start of each chapter.

4. Face Mask

No, not the rubbery kind you use to terrify people with on Halloween. I mean than gloopy, slimy, sticky kind you use to brighten your skin…and terrify your husband any night of the week. No? that’s just me, then? Okay. I love doing my best Jim Carrey impersonation with the BOSCIA Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant mask—smokin!!

Taking care of my skin is 100% part of my self-care routine, and there’s nothing I like to do more after a long day then take my time in the bathroom, pop on a mask and then read in bed while it works wonders on my skin. For me, skin care isn’t necessarily about the way my skin looks (although that is a bonus), it’s about how it feels. After all, your skin is the largest organ on your body, so it’s important to take care of it!

5. A Favorite Spot

This isn’t a “thing” because sometimes the best thing you can do to lift your mood is go somewhere comforting with someone you love. No stuff required! My husband and I have a favourite café that we like to go to at the end of a long week. We order the same thing (literally the exact same thing #creaturesofhabit) every time we go, sit in almost the same spot and spend time talking about our work, our hobbies and our plans for the future.

The routine has saved me from times where it feels like I’m going to drown under all my deadlines, when a book isn’t working out the way I wanted it to, or when I just need to step away from my laptop. Taking time out to relax and do something purely for pleasure’s sake is so important. We don’t always spend hours at the café, sometimes we can only squeeze in enough time to finish our drinks…but it’s something. And, when life is crazy, ten or fifteen minutes can make all the difference.

Bonus things in my Bad Day Survival Kit include:

  • Coffee (duh!)
  • Freshly washed sheets
  • Homemade banana and walnut bread
  • Boardgames (Pandemic Legacy is a current fave!)
  • Blankets
  • Comfy shoes so I can go for a long walk along the lakeshore or at my favourite park (High Park, here in Toronto!)

I hope this list helps you out next time life throws you a curveball! Keep on shining x​

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart.

Also llamas.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her wonderful husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies, and drink coffee.

Her bestselling book, Pretend It’s Love, is a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

Connect with Stefanie:

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The Aussie Next Door by Stefanie London, out now!

American Angie Donovan has never wanted much. When you grow up getting bounced from foster home to foster home, you learn not to become attached to anything, anyone, or any place. But it only took her two days to fall in love with Australia. With her visa clock ticking, surely she can fall in love with an Australian—and get hitched—in two months. Especially if he’s as hot and funny as her next-door neighbor…

Jace Walters has never wanted much—except a bathroom he didn’t have to share. The last cookie all to himself. And solitude. But when you grow up in a family of seven, you can kiss those things goodbye. He’s finally living alone and working on his syndicated comic strip in privacy. Sure, his American neighbor is distractingly sexy and annoyingly nosy, but she’ll be gone in a few months…

Except now she’s determined to find her perfect match by checking out every eligible male in the town, and her choices are even more distracting. So why does it suddenly feel like he—and his obnoxious tight-knit family, and even these two wayward dogs—could be exactly what she needs?


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