Saturday, 30 December 2017

My 2017 Highlights


2017, has been a crazy year. I'm not sure if you could call it worse or better than 2016, but hey, at least I'm still here. 2017 has been a busy year for sure. It's gone by in a flash. I know everyone says that but for me it really has. There's been some notable highs and some serious lows.

My mental health has been all over the place this year. If you follow me on social media, you would be very well aware of that. However, as I write this I really do believe I'm in a much better place then what I have been during some parts of this year, which is such an achievement for me. This year has been full of therapy, CBT and medication, all of which is currently coming to an end.

I'll be writing about my honest thoughts and feelings on the treatment I received this year, in January, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Mental health aside, for now, I've had amazing opportunities this year, including visiting some beautiful places and meeting some lovely people. My blog has also gone from strength to strength this year, giving me a chance to work with some amazing brands and charities. I could go on forever, so let's take it month and month before I waffle forever...

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

December Book Haul

December Book Haul book blogger books waterstones whsmiths ya young adult fiction


December is always the best month of the year to accumulate books. What with Christmas and everything. For me, I have the added bonus of having a birthday in December which means extra books for me. Smiley face. There is no getting around the fact that books are expensive. Which is why I like to ask for them for Christmas and Birthdays. I always think they make the perfect gift. 

I am course super thankful and grateful for all the books I received this month. I realise how lucky and fortunate I am to have such a lovely and supportive family who can buy me all these fantastic books. But you guys know that I would never do these kinds of posts to brag or 'show off' I'm just dead excited because BOOKS! 

This year I got a fair few books, some of which I asked for, and some were surprises. Because this post includes both books, I got for my birthday and for Christmas I'm not going to be able to go into lots of details about each one because otherwise, I think we would be here all day. So, I guess we better get started. 

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Saturday, 23 December 2017

My Favourite Books I've Read In 2017

My Favourite Books I've Read In 2017

2017, was the year I properly got back into reading and I am so glad I did. It has been a fantastic way of coping with my mental health issues, something at times I have found very hard to do this year. But I won't go into that in this post as I did a whole post on the topic, which you can read HERE.

I didn't read massive amounts this year as I only really got back into reading half way through the year, however, in the second half of the year I read a lot of amazing books as well, of course, some not so amazing ones. Next year, I will be doing a lot more book blog posts including recommendations, reviews, TBRs and what I read. I will be carrying on with mental health and lifestyle posts, but as it is my blog and I want it to be a place where I can write about my passions I want to encompass another one of my new found loves; reading.

Reading is something I recommend to everyone. It has been a game changer for my mental health this year. It has done more for me than any anti-depressant has ever done. I've only included five books on the list as I wanted to tell you a bit about each book and why it is my favourite, if I added anymore, this post would go on forever. I'll stop waffling and let's get cracking...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Harry Potter Tag

The Harry Potter Tag

If you know me you will know that I love Harry Potter. I essentially live and breathe it. Harry Potter has to be my favourite film and book series that has ever been made or published. Although I didn't get into Harry Potter until I was a lot older than the rest of my friends and family. I definitely made up for all those missing years. 

Longtime followers of my blog know that I've visited the Harry Potter studios in London on more than one occasion because I loved it so much. However, one thing I've never done is actually talk about Harry Potter in terms of my favourite characters, books or anything along those lines. I know a lot of you guys are Potter fans too and like me love discussing Harry Potter. 

Today I thought I would answer the Harry Potter TAG. I just found these questions online and thought they would be great to answer. I'm planning on doing more Harry Potter related content in the new year so if you're a Potter-head, stay tuned. 

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Friday, 15 December 2017

8 Christmas Jumpers You Need In Your Life

8 Christmas Jumpers You Need In Your Life xmas tacky light up fun cheap Debenhams

I love a good Christmas jumper. I mean who doesn't right? When it comes to Christmas jumpers, you are either a lover of the traditional or a fan of the wacky and tacky. If I'm honest, I love both. I have a mixture of both the conventional and the weird in my collection. 

Christmas jumpers are one of those critical items of clothing which can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. There are some really stylish Christmas jumpers out there which are beautiful and really do look classy. On the other side of the coin, you have all singing all dancing light up Christmas jumpers. The ones you wear to the office Christmas party or on Christmas jumper day. 

Talking of which, Christmas jumper day is actually today, and it's not too late to join in and donate to Save the children. Save the children run national Christmas jumper day every year. By donating £2 you could help give a child a hot meal, essential health care and education for those who are denied these basic needs. Every £2 adds up, so there really isn't a reason to not throw on your wacky woollies this festive season. 

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Is Having a Mental Illness Inspirational?

Is Having a Mental Illness Inspirational? depression anxiety mental health OCD help advice blogger UK thoughts

Often when you call someone inspirational or brave, it is meant in a complementary positive context. But what if the word actually does more harm than good? 

I’ve been blogging about my own mental health battles online now for quite a while. During that time I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called an inspiration. I’m not doing what I’m doing to receive compliments like this. I candidly talk about mental health to raise awareness and normalise what is still a highly stigmatised topic in 2017. 

But why is it someone can only be inspirational when they’ve been meet with hardship or are handicapped in some way? And why is it only when the individual is defying all odds and doing something amazing despite their circumstances can they be classified as inspirational? Isn’t just getting through the day enough? 

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

As a child, I was a complete bookworm. I loved reading so much. It would be rare if you ever found me without my nose in a book. I could not leave the things alone. Like most millennials, I grew up obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson. Jacqueline Wilson is to reading what Lady Di is to Britain. A well loved and appreciated icon. 

My life revolved around coming home to watch the latest episode of Tracy Beaker while reading one Jacqueline's books. I've actually still got all my books, and I will hold on to them for as long as I possibly can, as they were such important parts of my childhood that hold such dear memories in my heart. 

As I grew up though, I stopped reading. The internet came along, and suddenly reading took a back seat in my life. I was more interested in watching YouTube and chatting on MSN then reading. I found that as I got older, there weren't books suitable for my age group. I was getting too old for Tracy Beaker but too young for the chick lit in the adult section. I felt very lost when it came to my reading, and as a result, my reading journey ceased. 

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

10 Easy Ways To Support Charity This Christmas

10 Easy Ways To Support Charity This Christmas

For some people, Christmas is just another day. Their Christmas tradition isn't setting up the tree and making it look 'instagramable' it's putting down the mouse traps to stop the disease spreading around their family, in their mouldy, damp, cramped flat which the council has kindly given them. 

Some children don't wish for a sack full of gifts at Christmas from Santa, all they hope for is that this Christmas isn't their last. Christmas isn't a time full of joy, happiness and laughter for everyone. It can be the loneliest time of the year. For those on the streets, those spending it alone and those with mental health problems, Christmas can be a difficult time of the year. 

Of course, we all deserve to treat ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with spending your hard earned money on gifts for yourself and your loved ones. But as much as Christmas is for getting it's also about giving. Giving to those less fortunate than yourselves. As a society, we are consumed by consumerism. We are driven by the innate drive for the latest, the prettiest and the best. Gosh, you only have to take one look at the blogging community to recognise that. 

So amongst your social media feeds being bombarded with blogmas posts I hope this little post, brings you back down to reality. To just stop and take a few seconds to appreciate what you have and who you have. To be grateful for the little and big things this Christmas. And most importantly come to the reality that these things you take for granted now will not last forever.

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

When Mental Illness Becomes Your Identity


Raising awareness of mental illness, fighting the stigma and campaigning for better understanding and rights for those who struggle with their mental health, is something which I do on a daily basis. It is part of me. It is something which I feel very passionate about given my own experiences of mental illness. It is also something I enjoy. I wish I didn't have to, but I'm a realist and not an idealist. I know there is a problem, which I want to change.

Writing openly and honestly about mental health is very rewarding. When I see changes in the law or high profile celebs or even royalty,  doing their bit to end mental health stigma and improve the way in which the system works, it makes me feel proud of the community I am part of. When people tell me how much my blog or story has helped them, I feel delighted that I can help someone overcome a struggle which I know firsthand just how lonely and isolating it can be. 

But is there a line between where being open about mental health crosses over with your identity? Or when your mental illness becomes your identity? For me, I think there is, and I believe that in many aspects of my life that line has been crossed which can throw some pretty heavy challenges my way. 

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Harry Potter Primark Haul


Last Sunday, I went on a shopping trip to Oxford Street for my birthday. I really wanted to go because there are so many amazing shops in London, that I just don't have in my part of the country. Also, they have two hella big Primark, with dedicated Harry Potter sections. Which if you know me is like a dream come true.

I went to both the Oxford Street Primark at Marble Arch and the Oxford Street Primark at Tottenham Court Road. The Primark at Tottenham Court Road is the one with the huge dedicated section to Harry Potter. They have the suitcases and letters hanging from the ceilings as well as a much bigger selection of bits than the other Primark's I have been to.

I had such a lovely day out and I managed to pick up some awesome bits. Although by the end of the day my head was pounding and feet were killing, it was actually a lovely day. If you love Harry Potter as much as I do, you need to get yourself down to Oxford Street ASAP.

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Why Everyone Can Raise Awareness Of Mental Health | Maison de Choup


It's no shock by now that I'm passionate about raising awareness around mental health. Bloody hell, I have a whole blog pretty much dedicated to it. It's important and a crucial step in ending the stigma. So when we think of ending mental health stigma, we often think we need to share our personal stories and experiences. Whether that be on YouTube, through blogging or even on Facebook for some. 

Some may even feel pressured into sharing their story even if they don't feel comfortable because 'how on earth can you spread awareness without baring your soul to the internet?'

Don't get me wrong raising awareness around mental health through sharing personal accounts and experiences is fundamentally essential. But for some, this isn't even possible. It's counterintuitive to expect someone to share their story even if it affects their mental health negatively. 

Fear, embarrassment, having an unsupportive family or even not having the platform to share their story are some of the reasons why raising mental health awareness in this very traditional sense is not going to be for everyone.

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