Lifestyle, Winter

my top 9 of 2018 & my mental health

So the end of 2018 and the start of 2019 seems to have everybody uploading their Top 9 posts and re-caps about their year. So here we go, below you will find my personal top 9 images linked to some but not all of my happy memories that happened last year.

But first a brief description of my year. 2018 was the year I had a breakdown, not my first and not my most spectacular but definitely the hardest one to bounce back from as leaving the house became a very, very hard task. It was also the year I discovered I suffer from Sensorimotor Obsessive Compulsion Disorder. I won’t go on too much about it but basically Sensory OCD is ‘obsessions which include a heightened awareness and focus on involuntary bodily activities and processes… Common examples include hyper awareness of swallowing, breathing or blinking’. It is also said that these types of obsessions can be particularly brutal as they involve everyday bodily processes that you need to do to survive which means there is no escape.

It is brutal, and hard to bounce back from. But I am, slowly. Happy Dance.

 

 

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So first up! July, after a few weeks of going to therapy I took on head first the challenge of walking down to the Quayside from Newcastle City Centre to get some Halloumi Fries from The Little Fishy pop up bar next to the NE1 Quayside beach. I think this was my first and furthest solo outing, other than the trip to M&S a week earlier which had seen me fight through two panic attacks as I refused to turn back to work (aka my ‘safe space’). I remember the Summer sun had vanished and it was really dark and gloomy but it didn’t dampen my spirits or stop me from taking a photo to record my achievement.

 

 

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I text my friend as we were traveling to Brockbrushes saying how scared I was to be going but also so happy I had left the house and was going on an outing. It was also so warm which did not help my fuzzy brain issues but I didn’t die! Horray! I did however help pick enough raspberries and strawberries to keep us going for weeks.

 

 

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Holiday time! I was so lucky that after the most heartbreaking news I was able to escape reality for a week and hang out in such a peaceful setting. Ironically I was at my most anxious here, but also in the most safest and calmest space with my favourite people and I returned home feeling motivated to change my life and live everyday to the full.

 

 

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 Jam! I made my first batch of blackberry jam (or just my first batch of jam full stop) and it was hella tasty too. My family is probably going to hate me this year as come the Summer / Autumn months I am going to be making jams and pickles like it’s going out of fashion.

 

 

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The day I decided I wasn’t going to sit in the house and be a hermit alone, no I was going to go sit in the pub and be a hermit alone with a gin, and some nice warm food. The weather was also crazy this day as well, I went out in my wellies and jumped in every puddle on the way to the pub and when I left it was lashing it down with rain! I was absolutely soaking by the time I got home. Well worth it though.

 

 

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My first night out in over a year! Where I was able to dress up nice and my god, I was SO nervous heading out alone as I was worried I had forgotten how to talk to people or that people would wonder why the hell I was there but I was overwhelmed by the amount of wonderful friends who took their time to talk to me like a normal person, which to them they would be thinking well why the hell wouldn’t we but to me it meant the absolute world. My skin was also so clear that night as I had been dairy free for a month and lost a crazy amount of weight due to hula hooping. I need to invest in contact lenses though as my dorky glasses ruined that outfit. Ha!

 

 

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Cake! My last bake of 2018 which was disgustingly only bake number 11 from my Mary Berry / Lavender and Black Bakes challenge I had set myself on halfway through last year. This one is here as it was the first thing I have ever baked where I have ever given it to anyone other than my poor family who get lumbered with my baking 24/7. It seemed to receive good comments back as well so it certainly boosted my confidence slightly. And as wonderful as the festive period has been I can not wait to get back into baking and catching up on this challenge.

 

 

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Aghhh! Fireball tour! This one made me feel sick for months on the lead up. It was my second night out in 2018 / since I became unwell and I was so nervous about being in such a crowded and busy environment but honestly I had nothing to fear. A few times I felt a bit uneasy but I just took myself off, calmed down and came back in and by the time the last band came on stage I was a lot more at ease with my nerves and ended up in the pub afterwards for a pint.

 

 

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I know, I know! All my top 9s are nights out. Sorry. But also not sorry! This one was amazing, my wonderful friend text me an hour before my crazy busy shift ended and asked if I fancied going for a pint. Well, we’ve all seen the meme. One pint means you wake up four days later missing a shoe and probably some of your dignity, I woke up the next morning massively hungover but absolutely over the moon that I had gone out for a spontaneous night out! No planning, no panicking and not a single sign of my anxiety when I was shit faced, just an embarrassing IG story of me screaming along to meatloaf and a memory of telling my brother I brought him some chicken nuggets home, when eating the last of said chicken nuggets.

 

 

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And finally, the last and most beautiful sunset of 2018. I was awe-struck at how beautiful the sky looked on the way home from work that I decided to sit on my doorstep and watch it play out. I thought of the year that had passed, the loved ones I had lost and what I want to have accomplished within the next 12 months. I probably also looked mental to my neighbour sitting on the cold, damp floor in the dark with a bottle of beer in my hand staring at the night sky, but whatever.

 

 

I think I’ve written 10 not 9. Oops… Oh well, have the last one for luck.

If you got this far through my post then well done! Please let me know your highlight of  2018 or what you hope 2019 brings you. I’m hoping to just keep continuing taking those little steps forwards, and to see my loved ones more often, because if 2018 taught me anything it is that life is far, far too short.

 

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Autumn, Beauty

A very merry Lush-mas: Goddess

Technically speaking this is not a Christmas bath bomb so I am being a teeny tiny bit naughty sneaking it in here. HOWEVER it is new, it is fantastic and it is 100% worth you running out your front door to your local Lush store to pick one of these up. After you’ve finished reading this post obvs.

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I was blown away with the smell of this bath bomb which was a combination of sandalwood and jasmine, however and I could have sworn I could smell lavender in there as well when it first began to fizz after hitting the water.

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The creamy lilac colouring was truly magical as well as adding to the calming effect that the fragrance was already having on my mood. I have also seen that this bath bomb has a lot of silver lustre which I could imagine as the bath bomb itself before I placed it in the bath was sparkling on its own, however I went into the bath on a Friday afternoon with just the December light coming through my window and a few candles I had dotted about, so to me the water was this fantastic matt lavender colour.

So would I buy this again? Yes I would! It was everything I needed after a stressful six days working in the crazy christmas retail chaos.

Autumn, Beauty

A Very Merry Lush-mas: Perle De Sel

This was the second bath bomb I used from this years Christmas line up from Lush and it was beautiful. The water that this product left was honestly beyond breathtaking! In a strange-sounding way it looked as if I was wrapped in beautiful expensive satin when I looked down into the water, like I say I know that sounds beyond mad but seriously you need to grab this bath bomb and experience it for yourself!

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Scent wise, Perle De Sel had a floral and slightly musky fragrance but not in a heavy or overpowering way. No in fact it was quite the opposite and it was just a nice smelling bath and reminded me greatly of the snow cake soap lush released last christmas but sadly did not re-release this season.

All in all this bath screamed luxury from the delicate fragrance to the way the fine glitter particles swirled around my body and the calming colour of the water. Would I buy again? Yes! I think I need to stock up on these to get me through the rough days of 2019!

Autumn, Beauty

A Very Merry Lush-mas: Shoot for the Stars

Hello and welcome to the first ever A Very Merry Lush-mas, which is basically just an excuse I have given myself to go out and buy six of this years festive bath bombs from Lush without feeling guilty for spending money on myself and not presents for other people. It’s wonderful how much guilt you can rid yourself of by just saying ‘ooohh I know, I’ll write a blog post about it’!

Over the next six days I will be posting about a different bath bomb from the Lush 2018 Christmas range and writing a tiny review. So to kick-start the week off I thought I would write about a bath bomb that always re-appears at this time of the year and it is one of my favourite products from Lush’s range, Shoot for the Stars.

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This bath bomb ticks all the boxes. You get spectacular bath art, vivid blue moisturising bath water and a scent that lasts on your skin and around the house for hours after you pull the plug. It is also from the Honey, I washed the kids scent family so you know that it is going to smell mouth-watering just from reading the ingredients list on Lush’s website.

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This is most certainly one of the only bath bombs I look forward to all year around and get excited about when I see it is back listed as being back in stock on Lush’s website. Would I buy again? Yes, Yes and Yes!!

 

Autumn, Fashion, Lifestyle

Favourite Christmas Eve PJs

I honestly think I own more sets of PJs then I do going out outfits, I am like the queen of Pjs with how many I own, and every time I try to have a clear out I can not for the life of me part with any of them! So the last thing I need for Christmas is more PJs. HOWEVER, I’m pretty sure it is some unwritten law that you must have a new set of PJs for Santa coming! I have honestly known myself to run around on Christmas Eve after work just to pick up some new PJs for myself if I haven’t done so already. Little Leg’s PJs are always bought well in advance and are wrapped up and delivered on Christmas Eve evening.

So here are a few PJ’s that have caught my eye this December.

 

Next’s Family Sprout PJ

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Next Family Penguin Pjs

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Next’s Classic Black Penguin Pjs

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Next Ghost Pjs
(My Christmas Eve Pjs)

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Asos Cany Cane Pjs

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Asos wide legged polka dot Pjs

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Asos Star Wide Legged Pjs

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Debenhams Reindeer PJs

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All of these images are from the websites I have linked to and are not my own. Also none of these links have been sponsored, just PJs I really like when scrolling through various websites. Happy Shopping! 

Autumn, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Christmas Movie Countdown

The best way to get into the festive spirit is to snuggle up under a blanket with a hot chocolate and watch a good Christmas film. This year, myself and little legs have decided to countdown the days to Christmas by watching a different movie every night, so what are we watching? And more importantly what have we missed? Let us know your favourite Christmas movie in the comments below.

  1. Nightmare before Christmas
  2. Home Alone
  3. Home Alone 2
  4. Elf
  5. The Grinch
  6. Jack Frost
  7. Miracle on 34th Street
  8. It’s a wonderful Life
  9. White Christmas
  10. Die Hard
  11. The Santa Clause
  12. Gremlins
  13. Arthur Christmas
  14. Jingle all the way
  15. Serendipity
  16. Batman Returns
  17. Scrooged
  18. Edward Scissorhands
  19. The Snowman
  20. Groundhog day
  21. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  22. Polar Express
  23. Rise of the Guardians
  24. Deck the Halls
  25. Father Christmas
Autumn, Lifestyle

Homemade Wrapping Paper

Does anyone else absolutely love wrapping paper? I love it so much that before October has finished I have usually toddled around every store in Newcastle looking for the best festive paper I can wrap my gifts in that year, and if truth be told I actually had this years paper picked out but I refused to let myself buy it until November 1st.

That was until I seen a post on my Facebook page explaining that you are unable to recycle it and mountains of the stuff ends up in landfills every year which is not helping out current pollution situation.

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So on November the 1st (or a few days after) I toddled out and purchased some brown paper, logged into my Pinterest account and pinned multiple ideas for making my own festive wrapping. Some of the idea’s I found are beautiful! From making homemade pom-poms to wrap around your gifts, to decorating your presents with pine cones and pine tree cuttings.  I opted for the classic stamper and ink set in the hopes that I could get little legs involved in creating some amazing wrapping paper designs and get him off the consoles for a little bit.

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Now I will say I don’t think I am actually made for arts and crafts. As wonderful as the image above looks (okay, as alright as the image above looks) I have to admit that these trees aren’t in straight lines, more like drunken lines and after an hour or two I ended up with cramp in my arm from repeating the same movement’s of stamp in ink, stamp on paper, stamp back into ink on loop. However, I will say that I felt a little proud when finished with how fab it looked, especially when I was toddling through Fenwick’s and seen they were selling pretty much identical wrapping paper to the one I have created for £4 a roll! Are you making your own wrapping paper this year? If so let me know what you’re doing in the comments section below!

 

 

Uncategorized

Christmas Bucket List

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I know I have an Autumn Bucket List already on the go but I purposely left off all the Christmas stuff so I could have a separate bucket list for the month of December. So here is our Christmas countdown bucket list. Lets see how many we can cross off before December 24th! Let me know what you’re looking forward to doing or seeing over the next 23 days, I would hate to think I have missed something off our list!

  • See Fenwick’s Window
  • Go the Fenwick’s christmas cafe
  • Jesmond Dene afternoon tea
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Bake a Christmas cake
  • Bake Christmas goodies
  • Eat roast chestnuts
  • Visit a Christmas Market
  • Watch Christmas Movies
  • Make my own wrapping paper or Christmas cards
  • Make a Christmas wreath

 

 

Autumn, Lifestyle

Christmas Countdown!

Aghhhhh! Here we are, 24 days until it is all over and eaten and drank. The countdown to the most wonderful time of the year has officially begun and I am beyond excited! Are you? For some crazy reason unbeknown to me, I seem to have some form of content planned for pretty much everyday of December. I know, stop the train! After a whole five-week of silence I have come back big in the craziest month of the year, however I am not going to be forcing myself to completing Blogmas so if I miss a day or two posting then so be it and if not then look at me being ridiculously productive at last, even if it has occurred at the end of 2018!

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I will probably be too crazy busy to post and promote my posts all throughout the festive period, which I am sure you will understand so I recommend clicking the follow button found in the right hand side column as it means you will get a little email pinging into your inbox as soon as I upload any content so you won’t miss a thing!

Why will I be crazy busy you may ask! Well I will be drinking my way through river of hot chocolate, baking up lots of jolly delights and obviously playing Santa by getting all the gifts ready for Christmas day. Hopefully I will find a minute or two to relax and check out Hadrian’s Tipi, Pizza Punks Christmas menu and many more festive activities on the run down to the big day!

Can you tell I am excited? Let me know what your most excited about now that we are entering the final few weeks of 2018.

Autumn, Lifestyle

31 Preteen Halloween Movies

This Halloween season myself and Little Legs decided we would countdown to the 31st October by watching a different film every evening. Now we usually always watch a ton of ‘spooky’ movies during the October period in any way but this idea, along with LLs getting older challenged us to find new films to watch for 2018.

However! How difficult is it to find horror film ideas for 11 years olds! I scoured the internet looking for films we could watch and the film lists I kept finding are either for teeny tiny kids, or full-blown horror buffs! Nightmare! So here is our list of 31 films we are watching throughout October that will hopefully inspire your Halloween film viewings or will help you with ideas for introducing your little ones into a slightly darker version of childhood classics.

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Also please let me know if I have missed any pre-teen friendly horror gems off the list! Here we go:

  1. Hocus Pocus
  2. Beetlejuice
  3. Frankenweenie
  4. Edward Scissorhands
  5. Corpse Bride
  6. Coraline
  7. Nightmare before Christmas
  8. The Addams Family
  9. Ghostbusters
  10. Death becomes her
  11. The Witches
  12. The Black Caldron
  13. The Goonies
  14. Gremlins
  15. Box Trolls
  16. Rocky Horror picture show
  17. Underworld 1 – 2 & 3
  18. The league of extraordinary gentlemen
  19. Van Helsing
  20. The Lost Boys
  21. House on Haunted Hill (Vincent price)
  22. Hell Boy
  23. Sleepy Hollow
  24. Tremors
  25. Zombieland
  26. Sweeney Todd
  27. The Birds
  28. Psycho
  29. Frankenstein
  30. The Mummy
  31. Little shop of horrors