Life and chicken broth- Shelf Help presents”Eat Happy” by Melissa Hemsley

Healthy Food

I crashed a party #livingdangerously .

It was all too good to be missed. A brilliant book, bubbly, yummy food and a bunch of awesome ladies. The perfect night out, right?

By night out I mean back home in Pjs by 10pm #livingdangerously.

The party: Shelf Help by Toni Jones presents Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley!

Toni, Melissa and Mr Toni having a blast!

Shelf Help is a new breed of book club, dedicated to self-help and self-development. Founded by freelance writer and modern nomad Toni Jones, this lady has amassed quite the credentials, whose work has been featured in The Telegraph, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, Grazia, InStyle, Stella, BBC, The Huffington Post, The New York Post just to name a few. Her book club could only be a good idea.

She’s so awesome that although we had only met IRL a couple of times before (involving leggings and sweaty workouts), Toni was kind enough to allow me to crash her party. I guess she was confident that I wouldn’t show up in lycra this time.

Behind the scenes

For the record, I even put some makeup on – woo hoo!

This evening wasn’t about just any book (as if). It was a cookbook. In fact, the first cookbook ever to be featured in Shelf Help. And I can see why Toni picked it. “Eat Happy” by Melissa Hemsley aka happy-cook/fairy-with-the-best-dresses-in-the-business is one of my favourite healthy cookbooks and that’s saying a lot. You only need to glance at my overflowing bookshelves and non-Insta worthy book stacks magically multiplying on every corner of the living room to know that if a book makes it to the top of the pile it’s a real winner.

“They said best case scenario Eat Happy would make it to the top of Amazon’s Healthy Food books category. But vegetables are mainstream, right?said Melissa.

Guess what. The girl was right. It made it to the top. Like top, TOP. 

Melissa Hemsley is a best selling healthy food author and hands down one of the most honest, candid food celebrities I’ve had a chance to meet. She also gives these amazing warm hugs. Eat Happy is her first solo book and frankly, I think it’s her best so far.  Packed with easy, delicious recipes, it’s an every day healthy food bible that hardly ever leaves my kitchen worktop – butter and chocolate stains all over included.

The room was packed. Delicious canapes featuring recipes from Eat Happy were served and Toni and Melissa were getting (more or less) comfortable on their stools and we can sense that getting-ready-for-action meets giggling-girlfriends kinda vibe.

We talked healthy food, army mums and how we’re all just wiggin’ it. And had lots of fun along the way. 


Ladies, read this way for precious gems of wisdom for the modern girl.

1. We should never have to choose between feel good and flavour – we can have both. Note: buy the book.

2. Melissa actually knows the price of a cabbage. I don’t. Should I? 

3. She was once asked to leave an Open University course on Shakespeare. Never having completed an official University degree, Melissa has made her way up the food chain on the back of hard work and passion. There’s hope for the rest of us.

4. She’s also trying to do away with perfection (phew). Tips to deal with anxiety: positive self-talk and writing things down. Also, getting an induction oven (doesn’t have to worry about leaving the cooker on any more). As a happy induction oven owner, I can totally vouch for this one.

Even if I felt like crying when the gas engineer declared he had to switch of my old cooker on accounts of a gas leak and I had nowhere to cook my scrambled eggs for days.

5. I’m not the only one obsessed with forgetting my passport before getting on the taxi on my way to the airport.

6. How to switch off: walk your dog. Cook chicken broth. Don’t worry about the to-do list. Don’t worry about the new book (if applicable). Switch of your phone.

7. A beautiful goal: to connect more. In this day and age of messaging services galore, it feels good to just call someone.

As I left the beautiful Soho House in Chiswick at the end of the evening, everything slightly blurry on account of that pretty pink wine, my heart was full:

Warm Melissa hug – check.

Connecting with likeminded creatures –check.

Notebook filled with feel good life tips – double check.

Still don’t know the price of cabbage. But hey, I’m happy to be a work in progress.

Check the next Shelf Help events – there’s a new exciting book featured each month and even if self-help is not your thing you’ll still get a chance to hang out with Toni and other awesome souls. I may see you there!

With love,

Catarina xo

Ps. Find out another one of my favourite healthy cookbook authors here: Health and Fitness chat: 10 Questions with Nutritionist Alice Mackintosh

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