Money Matters For Our Children

Growing up is difficult enough, without the added strain of not knowing how to manage your finances. Teaching children about money sometimes is all too basic. I talk to twenty-something and thirty-something-year-olds, and they all say the same thing. “Why wasn’t taught in school?” referring to the have had a council tax bill; choosing a pension; savings account etc.

Photo of children playing in sand by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

As it has been for many decades, we have enjoyed learning about the basics of money in school. In the early primary age, we played shop with our friends. Role-playing the shop assistant and the customer and counting how much was made by the end of the session.

Photo rolled up £5 note by Philip Veater on Unsplash

Later, in primary school, it was less pay and more pen to paper working out the ins and outs as a part of a maths lesson and distancing that element of play. Secondary school play is now gone, now it is hard-core number crunching, working out twenty per cent VAT of an item bought, and how to do it quickly! After all, if you want to get employed, you need to work those numbers.

All this focuses on the inflow and outflow, but wear is the investments, mortgage understanding and the all-important money management?

Finally Financal Breakthrough

Well, I am so glad to hear that Martin, moneysavingexpert.com, released a book with all money matters covered. He has funded that state-run secondary schools in England will get copies of the book.

Your Money Matters, the first-ever curriculum-mapped financial education textbook, is aimed at students aged 15 to 16, and will teach them about topics such as savings, budgeting, borrowing, student loans and identity theft. It was written by the financial education charity Young Money with guidance from Martin.

Mason, Callum. First-ever financial education textbook lands in schools – funded by Martin. 07 11 2018. News Report. 08 11 2018. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2018/11/financial-education-textbooks-funded-by-martin-land-in-english-s/?fbclid=IwAR1UgZNboB7nVY9uAZ2RoGGaDX_I46XvySsRvh3KFch8NtHRTcv3dOVxFG8.

Wait, I not in England and my child is going to miss out!

Not to worry because for free, you can also download the pdf of this book and I cannot recommend it enough. I too have been reading it, and I have learnt something new.

Photo of a tip jar by Sam Truong Dan on Unsplash

So as there is no harm, no spend. Watching those pennies again I see, got-ya! There is no reason not to download it. In fact, there is a whole website dedicated to giving you information to young persons about money matters.

YOUNG MONEY – YOUR MONEY MATTERS – FINANCIAL EDUCATION TEXTBOOK

On the page it has a teacher guide and all-important FAQs for more information.

Guidance on issues such as: Saving and spending; Borrowing; Good and bad debt; Risk and rewards; Insurance; Investments; Future planning around student loans; Tax and national insurance.
While school in England will be getting 100 hard copies and 10 copies of the Teacher’s Guide. Like mentioned before you can download this fantastic book for free!

Perfect for Halloween Collection of Party Ideas

For me, Halloween has to be my favourite event of the year. I just love dressing up; having parties; and getting together with family and friends.

So this year I had a search online to see if I can make this year a little different because, well just because… Do I really need to have a reason to plan another Halloween party?

Stage One – Planning

Who doesn’t love planning? Me! There are some great stickers you can decorate your planner with.

Hardest part is ‘sticking’ to one set.

Stage Two – Decorating your home

With much to choose from and the local supermarket being most peoples first point to fill their house with halloween goodies. It doesn’t always have a special touch. So I have put together a few items which you can add around your home to add that unique style. 

Stage Three – Food, Drink and the details

Decide how much time and effort you want to spend on the munch. The more you have to give the more creative you can get.

Check out these great Halloween Party Foods by Bex and Sarah over on UK Lifestyle Hub 

Don’t forget there are a few added extras to add. 

Stage Four – Costume

This doesn’t have to be scary. Have some fun, especially if there are young children around. A friend of mine is currently halfway through her pregnancy. And yes we are all excited but first, there is Halloween. Last year we nailed Hocus Pocus. Of course, I was Mary Sanders. The other two don’t have enough width to their mid-section if you know what I mean.

Just for fun, check us out. You can let me know in the comments if you think we pulled it off.

My Halloween 2017
Halloween 2017

This year is going to be a little bit less excessive. 

Stage Five – Entertainment

Party games and music are a must! They help everyone come together and once the laughter begins, you know the party has started!

Halloween 3 Game Multipack - Bingo Trivia Word search - 20 Player

Then for the children, the trick or treat bag. Why not have it personalised and there can be no argument to whos treats they are.

Halloween Personalised Trick or Treat Goodie Party Bag

But not everyone wants to take part or be bothered on Halloween. I found this for you.

Halloween Hanging No Trick or Treat Door Sign

If my ideas are not to your liking then please view the Editor’s Picks on Etsy.

What are your plans this year? Big, few friends, quiet night with Hocus Pocus? 

Whatever you and your loved ones do. I hope you create magical memories and spooky stories to tell.

Tower of Clutter

Have you ever heard of the tower card? Years ago I was with a group of friends and we had our tarot cards read. I’m not saying that this is a good or bad thing, just that it happened.

I wasn’t paying attention, to be honest, but I do remember one card that came up. It wasn’t even for me. Yet it was the one I recall.

This lady explained that the tower was a complete disaster and everything was destroyed. All was not lost because this gave you a chance to rebuild the way you wanted it to be in the first place.

Why I’m bringing this up is because this may be a quick explanation of my week so far.

You see for the past seven or so years I have been selling off, little by little, all the items that clog up the house.

So much so that as a family we named a space in our house the “Room of Doom.”

Throughout my blog, there has been the reference to this area. And how the struggle of clearing it was becoming overwhelming.

My birthday was Sunday 19th, and one gift I received, was a week off from being a parent. Actually, I think it is more like my mother and her fiancé, just love having them around but they don’t have time off work at the same time as the girls get time off school.

Monday morning, the day after my birthday. I was determined to clear some of the clutter away.

Sorting through twenty plus dusty boxes of stored unwanted items was a task. By Tuesday I had advertised four large IKEA bags of clothes and filled thirteen bags ready to go to ‘cash for clothes’. The bags that my husband took to drop off, all thirteen of them, we got £21.50 for. The ones advertised made £50.

There is so much more work to do but this was me facing the defeat that I couldn’t list and sell on eBay to put into savings. On the other hand, I can now create a routine and start with the few remaining items and build a better, more manageable system that works with my goals and gives me the freedom to get creative again.

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and a breathing space has been given. I really wish I had done it sooner.

Holding on to so much stuff does nothing good for you. Having it there has stopped me from purchasing any old thing. I had retrained my thinking to “do I really need this?” Before I even thought, “do I like this?”.

Hopefully with that way of thinking and the mass amount of breathing space created by removing so much in one sweep. I am finally getting my ducks in a line.

I want to set a challenge for you to write down every time you didn’t buy something that you normally would have. Add the amount it would have cost you. Do this for a month. How much did you save?

Leave a comment to let everyone know how much you saved. And good luck!

It’s happened! My daughter’s and my best friend left.

In the beginning.

A long time ago and a very different me, went to collect my daughter from school and her teacher release my daughter and another girl to me.

Her teacher had been convinced by the two of them that they were having a sleep over at my house that evening.

I had never seen this girl in my daughter’s class before. I certainly had no idea who their parents were.

Confused about the whole situation I had a word with the teacher. Who confirmed that yes, Gwenny was coming to my house tonight.

As I was slowly walking away from the school with random child and Amelia. I started wondering if I had agreed that Gwenny was coming to mine that night.

After all I have been known to forget details like that before.

Then I heard someone call out “Gwenny! How did you enjoy school?”

Looking for the person that knew this munchkin, I met Catherine. This was Gwenny’s mum.

I felt so awkward asking her if I had arranged for her daughter to stay at mine, as this is what I had just been informed by the teacher.

Thankfully, Catherine looked as shocked as I did. This was not the case. If fact, our two had been like Siamese twins for the past 3 days and managed to convince everyone that this was the case that when he was coming to my house, for a sleepover.

For the past three years

Catherine and I became as close as did Amelia and Gwenny.

For us we delt with the highs and lows of being married with young children and not working. The girls delt with school life and all the emotional difficulty that comes with it.

As the children grew, her and my youngest started playing together and whatever life through at us, we supported each other.

It was quite a roller coaster but we got through some of the toughest challenges. Even challenged ourselves to walk the hill. At least once a week. Tough hill, not for the faint hearted.

Time to get out

Things were getting more difficult financially for Catherine and her family. Between them they made their decision to sell their house. Not expecting it to sell any time soon. Due to the previous owner had it on the market for years.

Within a week of the house going on the market the first offer came in and they turned it down, not meeting the amount advertised. After all it was little under a week their house had been for sale. Half hour later, the asking price was met. As well as the realisation that they have to move from this house sooner than they thought.

Having their last Christmas there and by New Year’s Eve into a rented home, while they searched for a suitable home for themselves.

Since that point it has been a count down until Gwenny and Catherine were gone.

Last term of school

To Catherine’s amazement, she got a job in a local school. Things were looking up at last. Even her flowers had started to bloom. Those flowers she brought with her to her old house and while living there, hasn’t grown and certainly did not flower.

A house that they had visited and liked, accepted their offer. Once the paperwork and other details had fallen into place, preparation to move had begun.

Last week of term

Her husband had spent a week at the new house and trying to turn it into a home ready for the weekend when all their belongings were turning up.

Tuesday, I looked after Gwenny for the last time. And for a non-hugging child, she actually did. Even though Gwenny was excited about her new home and school, which she is to start in September. Amelia was nothing but miserable. Her best friend in the whole world was moving away and facing the fact that she wouldn’t be able to see her. Just hit her hard.

Poor Amelia has cried so many times over losing her friend. That it didn’t really hit home to me until Thursday, when we all met up after school, one last time.

I’ve never been the soppy one. In fact, you could usually best on me to be the least emotional. Mainly because I try not to let anyone get attached to me. Never mind get attached to others.

I couldn’t say goodbye. I choked up and tears rolled down both cheeks. Crikey what had happened to me? I was losing someone that has not only been apart of my life but had impacted it to the core.

But she wanted to make things better for her family and by golly she did it!

I can only wish her and her family the very best for the future. And even though I won’t be able to see her as often. She is still a wonderful friend.

Friday, Catherine collected Gwenny from the school for the last time and we all said goodbye. Catherine welled up and her reactions immediated mine from the day before.

Then they drove off.

And now

Life carries on. Summer holidays are now upon us. We are already planning on visiting Catherine and Gwenny during the holidays.

Gwenny and Amelia will be working on their handwriting by sending postcards to each other.

So the next school year is going to be somewhat of a challenge for Amelia. As she’ll have to become friends with someone else.

Think this means that I’m going to have to face that I too will have a challenging time ahead. I won’t be able to just pop over to see Catherine and right the world as to speak, over a coffee and cake.

I’m going to miss that very much. Yes I was talking about the cake 😂

Have you been in a similar situation? Have you moved and left some great friends because of work? Maybe your child has moved school or their best friend has moved to another school? Share your experiences and how you felt and coped with the changes. I would love to hear.

School Summer Holidays 2018 Approaching Fast and free printable

With the school summer holidays approaching fast and not managed to sort out a family holiday or anything to look forward to. Keeping the children happy and occupied is going to be a task and a half.

Depending on the ages of your children and the age range, this adds that extra stress when trying to keep them happy.

Let us not forget if they are of school age, September will bring a new start in a new year, and that can be daunting and exciting to children.

So, let’s reflect on the task ahead of us. Six weeks holiday, to prepare them for the new school year while trying to entertain them and not spending a shed load of money.

Challenge Accepted!

By my rough calculations, there are two weeks to prepare ourselves for the endless amount of complaints, moaning and that dreaded sentence; “I’m bored!”

What is the plan

  1. Make a list of all the things that each of my children would like to achieve through the summer holidays
  2. Make a Summer bucket (and spade) list. Like what I did there?
  3. Get new reading books and set daily goals with them.
  4. Keep them entertained with worksheets
  5. Get Active! Mine children love their bicycles. Also walks including nature hunts. They do love swimming too.
  6. Chore list – they have a simple chore list that is for all year round. But I think that some extra work around the house can build on their team effort skills.
  7. Look up local events.
  8. Visit distant family.
  9. Get Creative! I have hundreds of loo roll inners. Time to put them to good use.
  10. Make play dates with their friends.

I am still going to be looking for a short break away in the meanwhile, but for now, I must work with what I have got.

 

Talking about what I have got. I have permission to share a free worksheet from Education.com, please download and enjoy.

 

Summer Word Search Download

Let’s have fun this summer and practice our reading skills as we search for these summer words. Be sure to swim on over to Education.com for more learning resources and games to keep the reading going strong.

 

 

Setting Up Your Bullet Journal 101.2

Setting Up Your Bullet Journal

After selecting your stationery as explained in Bullet Journal – In the beginning. 101.1 It is time to set up your bullet journal.

Depending on the type of book or if you choose an organiser, e.g. Filofax. You may have certain parts available to you. I am currently using Scribbles That Matter notebook, and that has already got some features such as a Key, Index, and pen test page. However, if you have decided to use an ordinary notebook, which is much cheaper, then you’ll have to do some extra work to set it up.

I’ll go through each part of the set-up as if you have a blank book and not one that has been designed to adding as a bullet journal. I would still recommend reading through all the stages to make sure that you fully understand their use and why they are there.

Key

You need to design a key. Fundamentally the most used feature of organising your tasks, events, appointments, etc. Your key should be personal to you, and you recognise easily. Ryder Carroll created his own, and many have used his key. This does not mean that you must use his to bullet journal. Mine is one that had evolved from my university days when I was taken lots of note and having to remember assignment dates, classes and so on. Below is the recognised version key that Ryder created and an image that I have posted on my bullet journal feed on Instagram.

Ryder Carroll's Bullet Journal Key in my BuJo
Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal Key in my BuJo

A post shared by Danielle (@ohpositivemumbujo) on

Why do you need a key?

The short answer is to stay organised. Bullet Journaling is all about getting it done and staying on task. Carroll created rapid logging to make sure everything gets done. Many of us have created bullet journals that not only function well but have let us create aesthetically pleasing books. Among the pretty pictures; you can see the key being used.

Which brings me on to the other function of the key.

Migrating

< and > can be seen in both above keys. They are used to schedule or migrate your tasks, events, and appointments. For example. You have a task set to go food shopping, and for whatever reason, you can’t go on that day. Then you can write over your task with a > and migrate it to another day. Another example is your task to make an appointment to see the dentist. You phone them up to make your appointment, you now can mark that complete, but now you make your appointment for a time in the future. This you can now < schedule your future log ready for when you create the month/week/day layout.

Index

If you are using an everyday notebook the first 5 pages, title them “Index”. Below write the page(s) and next to page write content. Make a table around these two headings and continue to the bottom of the page. Do this on the five pages.

The reason for the Index pages is for you to find everything within your bullet journal quickly. For example, if you make a movie watch list on page 120 and again on page 161. In the Index, you will have the sub-heading content, movie watch list and under the page(s) you will have 120, 161. This keeps your collections together even if they are spread throughout your bullet journal.

Page numbers

If your book doesn’t have page numbers, then it is The future to number them. This makes it easier to find each item and each page you will use will be added to your index page. Pre-printed books usually have them on the bottom outside corners. You don’t have to do this but wherever you decide to place your page number, make sure that it is consistent throughout the book. Making it easy to locate.

Future Log or Plans

The future log is a 4, 6 or 12 months ahead glance at upcoming tasks, events, and appointments. There are some beautiful designs which people have created for these. There is no wrong or right way of doing them either. I’ve seen them combined with birthdays and anniversaries. Done in the minimal layout or look like an artist’s dream.

The primary use of these pages is, so you get a snapshot of months ahead. All the information placed here will be added to your month, week, and day layouts. That example I was talking about earlier about making the appointment. It would go here. Then when you create your month and week on which it falls. You can put it on the right day and time and make sure you never miss another thing again.

Month layouts

Now I’ve talked a lot about month layouts, and by now you have a pretty good understanding what is going to go here. That would be excellent news for me because you understand how it works, already. Not sure still? No worries, here we go.

You must by now have seen a wall calendar. Generally, display the month which we are in. The monthly layout is that. You collect all the information from the Future log and input to your month. Recurring events that you didn’t add to your future log, also gets added in. And anything like children’s parties that you just got the invite for, which is next week, and so on. You use this like you would a month to view, calendar. It is that simple.

So why do we need to break it down into week and day layouts?

You can add all your events and appointments. I believe it would become too cluttered once you started adding all your tasks.

Week layouts

Week to week plans. Again, like the monthly layout, you have your week. You add everything from your future log, which now should be in your month, and add it to your week. Here comes the added extra area. If you monitor your water intake or weight, the weekly layout is going to be the place to do it. Not only has it been filled with your events, birthdays, anniversaries, and recurring events, such as weekly music lesson. Here you would create areas within your layout to monitor your habits, the weather, your weight. Most importantly, your tasks or to-do lists. We all have them and even if it is posting a parcel to washing clothes. Each of our days is broken down too many little tasks.

Keep it simple or a splash of colour?

It is up to you how you design your weekly layout and no two weeks must be the same. This is the beauty of setting up your bullet journal. It is your design, which works for you. Not everybody has the same needs, and when you buy a diary or planner with it, all set out for the whole year, each page like the last. It doesn’t give you room for your busy days to your not much happening days. Let us pretend that you are the head bridesmaid and you have to do a lot of tasks and keep an eye on every detail leading up to the big day. You buy an expensive planner for the year and fill it to the brim. The day after the wedding, now you have this planner for the rest of the year. Are you going to use it or dump it? No wrong answer, but this system adapts to you. Therefore, it has become so popular with so many people.

Day layouts

If you have a day which is extremely busy then doing a day layout. If your every day is hectic then to save pages in your book, I would give the weekly plan a miss and do days. Now if you are into writing your journal, i.e. dear diary, your daily layout is a perfect way to reflect. Like before, you might write a day to day account for a few weeks and abandon the idea. Not to worry. Just turn the page and create a week layout and design a space you write one or two lines, to sum up, the day.

This covers the primary use of your bullet journal

The next post I am going to go through collections and what they are and some brilliant examples.

I had to add this because if like me you have a million and one jobs to do in a day. This Checklist Washi Tape is perfect for just sticking in. Anything to save time right?

Organic Shop Pomegranate and Patchouli haircare range – review

Organic Shop Pomegranate and Patchouli haircare range - review
Organic Shop Pomegranate and Patchouli haircare range – review

Pomegranate & Patchouli Haircare

from the Organic Shop also available exclusively at Tesco

My family and I tried out the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask.

What the products promise:

With its exotic aroma, Pomegranate & Patchouli is bursting with essential oils to give your hair extra strength and vitality. Organic Pomegranate leaves your hair looking sleek and shiny, whilst Organic Patchouli Oil gives an intense hydration boost to leave your locks luxuriously silky soft. This invigorating range is sure to indulge your senses and leave your hair look irresistibly gorgeous.

My Guinea Pigs

My husband was the first to try out the shampoo and conditioner, and I’m sad to say he wasn’t that impressed. He said that he had to use more shampoo then he usually would, but it did smell amazing. He was looking forward to having that smell in his hair afterwards, but sadly, none of us could smell any of this fantastic aroma on his hair.

However, he does have short hair, and I wonder if it had an impact on it in any way?

Next, I went all in and tried the shampoo and hair mask. I immediately understood what my husband meant about the gorgeous scent. I used about the same amount of shampoo as I usually do. I found it to be quite drying on my hair. This is a good thing for me as I suffer from greasy hair and this is a massive problem for me. On to the hair mask and I followed the instructions, and I expected it to leave my hair heavy and become greasy quickly after. I would typically avoid hair masks because of this. This did not do that. My hair was like stated, silky smooth and after blow drying my hair lasted clean and fresh looking for not one but three days!

Its downside was like my husband my hair didn’t have that beautiful fruity smell after but overall I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

I have tried using the shampoo and conditioner and not using the hair mask, and the results were similar. I might have found a right combination for my greasy mop!

Now before you judge me for trying it on my two daughters (seven and five years old). I did it for a good reason. They both have long hair and due to their ages has sensitive skin. My eldest more so.

These products are as stated on their website

All our products contain at least 98% naturally sourced ingredients with at least the lead active ingredients always being Organic, hence the name “Organic Shop”! Many of our products are Vegan friendly, please get in touch for a full list just to be sure!

We are proud to have Soil Association’s COSMOS NATURAL Certification for Organic Shop products.

What does COSMOS guarantee?

All products with the Soil Association COSMOS logo guarantee:
– No Animal testing
– No GM ingredients
– No Controversial chemicals
– No Parabens and Phthalates
– No Synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances

So I felt confident to use on my children. One has curly, knotty hair and the other straight, thick hair. They both are head-strong and know what they like and don’t.

I used the shampoo and conditioner on both of them, and this is precisely what they had to say about them.

I like the smell and how soft if makes my hair. I’m glad that when I combed it with the conditioner in that it didn’t hurt. I just love it.

Amelia (7)

I love it because it is pink and fruity! Plus it got very bubbly and I could stand my hair up.

Bethany (5)

My view on using the products on their hair was that the conditioner worked well when I was detangling their hair. Also, they had no reactions to the products and left their hair clean and smooth.

The verdict

At £2.50 each, it works out cheaper for us as a family. All of us can use the same products and yes I tested them on my children’s hair. So I would say safe to use for 3+ years. It worked and did what it was meant to do on a wide range of hair types and persons. I can say that as I have also shared these products with Louise and her family. They all seem pleased with the results as well. Her brood is her husband, five children (ages from 4 to 14 years) and of course herself.

The most significant flaw if I am going to be picky is even though our hair was lovely afterwards. It did not retain the fruity aroma. Our hair, once dry, didn’t smell of anything. At least it didn’t smell dirty, right?

Interested in trying for yourself

Please do check out their website and buy from there or from Tesco. They have a more extensive range then just hair care.

And before I forget! They are also running a competition to the Caribbean for seven nights to the ‘2018 Travellers Choice’ Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba. You have to visit the site now.

organicshop.co.uk/competitions

*Note these products were sent to me for free so that I could give an honest opinion on them. I have not been paid for this review.

If you would like to work with us and get us to review a product(s). You can visit our contact page.

Mental Illness Let’s Talk You’re Not Alone

I have discovered that I seem to be surrounded by mothers struggling with mental illness and most can’t even bring themselves to get help.

It saddens me because I too have suffered for a very long time, but I went to get help because I didn’t want to make my nearest and dearest suffer from my depression and anxiety.

Get Help

I’m not saying that my suffering from these conditions should only be treated because I share a house with others. Not at all! After having my first daughter, the midwife at the time suggested that I treat my depression because if it were a toothache, I would see a dentist. If I were diabetic, I would medicate. I put it off thinking that I would be seen as mad, crazy, just not quite a full picnic basket. I talked myself in and out of it for ages, mostly through exhaustion of having a newborn who didn’t understand what sleep was. And like hell was she going to let anyone in my street sleep either.

My Story

I worried about the worrying and at some point, while my daughter was being checked over her measurements and the other questions the health visitor bombards you with; I broke down. How bloody embarrassing, there I was sobbing and trying to hold it together in the doctor’s surgery. Of course, she handled the whole thing like a professional and asked if I would like to wait a moment before going to face all the other mothers, who were waiting to come in, with their bundles of joy. Yes, joy, the thing you “should” experience with your new baby. There I was crying uncontrollably.

What she did next, I cannot thank her enough. When I had calmed down enough to hold a conversation again. She kindly asked me if I had brought this up with the doctor. I shook my head because this was something there was no way I was going to be labelled as a mental case. She left the room and came back in about 5 minutes later. My eldest now was attached to me, what I mean is I was breastfeeding her. The health visitor took this opportunity to say while stood in the doorway loudly. “If I help you move your belongings, would you mind going into the empty treatment room, so you can continue to feed?”

At the time, I missed it but what she was doing was giving a reason why I was in there so long as putting me into another room, so if a doctor was to walk in, to say get something for someone else. Then everyone was waiting wouldn’t know that a thing was wrong.

Help Was There

This is what happened because while I was now in treatment room 2, a doctor walked in and loudly made a point of saying “oh I didn’t realise anyone was in here.”
Walked over to me and as the door closing behind her continued with “what a beautiful baby. How old?”
I began to answer, and she sat down next to me. She then explained that the health visitor had updated her the of situation. And if I was happy to try going on the lowest dose of these antidepressants. Just to see if it makes any difference. That and she wanted me to travel to another town to join a mother-toddler group, and a lot more information; that I can honestly say I didn’t take in.

Within three days of taking the antidepressants, it was like a black cloud had lifted off me. I didn’t feel like I was utterly useless, just not that good. And mostly when my daughter cried; I didn’t feel that dread of I’m going to do it wrong, I’m going to end up making her life terrible. I just picked her up and smiled at her little crying face. Cuddled her into me and went and sat with her to feed. I was at the start point of recovering.

Moving Forward

Now, she is coming up to her 8th birthday. I am still having down days, but I am now more positive than ever. Coming from where I have been. Trust when I say, that having any positive thoughts were impossible for me then.

Getting Together

When a group of friends had an excellent idea of booking a table at a large café (more restaurant) for a dinner time get together. Three had recent birthdays, and one had just got a new job. Perfect time to use as an excuse for some cake, coffee and a mummy chin-wag.

Out of the ten that were meant to turn up, there were four. The reasons for them not coming was so upsetting to me because I have been there and all I want to do now is help them.

They couldn’t face dealing with so many people. Felt intimidated by being in such an open area and not feeling safe. In so much depression that they couldn’t face getting dressed and being around happy people. Even more so if they were to ask them any questions. The array of mental torture that each of these ladies was suffering and weren’t ready to get help. Hit me to the core. I even set up another date for everyone to meet again and tried to explain that we are all having difficulties. Another reason we should meet up and help each other. Maybe then the world won’t be such a dark place.

Again, they are dropping out. I don’t take offence to that, but they all message me, apologising that they couldn’t possibly face a group of people. So, I have offered to meet with them one by one. Some say thanks, some say they’ll keep it in mind, but you can already hear the tone of, I can’t cope, but I’m okay.

Remove the Taboo

One day, mental illness will be respected like any other condition. Heck, we even mock and joke about flu. Like how men cope with it and when mum gets it, it might be the same as man flu, but no one cares.

So why is this crippling disorder still seen as taboo?

This post is my coming out! I suffer from depression and anxiety, and I am taking medication every day to help with the effects of my illness. I want everyone to know, that you are not alone! There are plenty of others suffering with you, and it is not your fault! You are not crazy, seek help! Do not tolerate any longer than you have too. There is no quick fix, but you are affected by an illness. Please even if your first step is emailing me.

Your Turning Point

If you feel like you too can speak up about any mental illness, you have experienced. I would love if you shared your story in the comments. You may not think your story is worth it, but you don’t know if someone out there reads that and it clicks for them.

You are stronger than you think! Take care and take action!

Outsmarted by my Confident Child and I’m Proud

St David’s Day, in Wales this is a big deal to dress your children up, and they have to look their best. It’s like photo day but in national dress costume.

I’m trying to get both my daughters presentable. Dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed and the typical school rush before the actual run.

Outsmarted

As I am in the middle of a (heated, my side) conversation with my nearly 8, going on 16 year old. My daughter said something which shut me up! I didn’t have a word to say. There was no angle or point of view or anything. I was entirely out-smarted by her reply, and it made me so proud to be her mother.

Usually, her smart-ass come-backs really push my buttons. This one-liner; come-back reassured me, one thing. I’m doing something right.

What was said?

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Favourite Washi Tapes from Etsy – January

As mentioned before in my bullet Journal 101.1 post, I use washi tapes to highlight and decorate my BuJo.

I have selected a few that I believe that work with the current trends and a few that are just great to have to divide up pages and topics within your bullet journal.

Pineapples

washi tape set gold pineapple washi tape

pink and gold foil pineapple washi

Foxy

fox washi tape washi tape washi kawaii

Flamingos

pretty flamingos washi tape flamingo

pink-flamingo-washi-tape-kawaii

Unicorn

rainbow unicorn washi tape mint

Bullet Journal tapes

bullet journal washi tape days of the week

retro-vintage-camera-film-design-washi

book stack washi tape bullet journal

Decoration

blue turquoise chevron washi tape

diamond washi tape 15-mm x 7-m

set of 3, 5mm x 10 metres skinny pink

set of 5, 5mm x 10 metres rolls of skinny

handwritten text washi tape

Bullet Journal – In the beginning. 101.1

Bullet Journaling is not only fashionable but effective!

I have been asked to teach how to bullet journal in my local community hub because it is something that has become a bit of a hot topic and people have seen me, use mine. Therefore I am using my blog to cover the bulk of what is said in the hour that is presented at the hub. It means if a lesson is missed or someone is in need of a reminder. They can visit the blog and recap on the lesson.  There are going to be six lessons, for an hour each week. In this time I am confident that not only can I show how to create a bullet journal for each individual to personalise, but for them to (as one said) “Get stuff done!”.

Bullet Journal 101.1 post header image
Bullet Journal 101.1

Ryder Carroll developed Bullet Journaling through trial and error into a system that could be used by everyone; in 2014 he launched a Kickstarter project, which you can see the video below.

 

Since then the world has taken to it by storm and created various versions and layouts based on the original Bullet Journal. Alternatively, BuJo for short.

You can create a Bullet Journal in any notebook, but due to their popularity, you can now buy a ready to use version of the book with; lined, gridded, plain or dotted paper. Each of the books is suited to different people’s uses and styles. There is nothing stopping you from using your Filofax or equalling to achieve the same ends.

Continue reading “Bullet Journal – In the beginning. 101.1”

New Year, New Me and My Bullet Journal

I haven’t posted for a while now because I was trying to find myself and my purpose.

Since last August, I have got involved with a community group called Families Together and in December volunteered for the local community hub.

I can’t tell you how much has changed because the biggest thing is my focus and mindset. I am happier and have self-worth again. So much so that I am teaching at the hub every Wednesday.

So if you haven’t visited for a while or you are wondering if this is still an active site, the answer is Yes!

I am teaching Bullet Journaling at the Hub so there will be posts about how to do and make a BuJo work for you.
I’m still decluttering, so more on that.

As I never got around to posting about the transformation of my house. That will be making an appearance.

I have even managed to team up with a few other parents, and I’m looking forward to seeing their posts too.

I’m so excited about this year because I’m going to make it MY year. And I hope you will make this year, yours too!

Bezazz Logo
Where we get our hosting from.

Esther Lily Art – local artist

Esther Lily Art website logo

Recently I came across a local artist with a very unique way of painting, she uses mixed mediums and approaches her art spiritually.
She has not been painting for very long, but has already made progress which I think is worth talking about.

I got a chance to ask her a few questions and get more of an insight.

Continue reading “Esther Lily Art – local artist”

After watching Earthlings

Two of my friends have gone vegan and at first I thought it was just for health reasons. Well for one of them it started out that way but they came across the American documentary Earthlings.

As shocking and disturbing as it is to watch. I don’t feel that everyone becoming vegan is going to be the answer.

Some of the clips filmed were from the 90’s? And a lot of these issues have been address since then. Not all and I’m sure it still goes on. But isn’t it our job to become more informed and educate ourselves to where everything comes from?

 

Take the BBC documentary, “Kill It, Cut It, Use It” a 5 part series that explained what happens in the UK.

 

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Family Favourite Recipe – Sweet Potato Tuna Pie

I started out with a recipe that I found in the Family Kitchen Cookbook and made some changes to suit my family. On page 87, Cheesy potato-topped tuna pie. Delicious!

It really is but I decided to make a few small changes. Why not, right?

Sweet Potato Tuna Pie

By Danielle Morris-Brewer,
3 Oct 2016

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Best Buddy for a non slip bath – product review

Over a year ago (1st October 2015) I bought Sylglas ASDCL Anti-Slip Discs for my bath as I have become extremely fed up of every few months having to replace the bath mat and having to make an additional wash just for the mat.

It is a safety issue when it comes to children. You want them to be confident that standing up to get in and out of the bath/shower is safe and they aren’t just going to slip and fall when doing so. Children play. Regardless where they are and the idea of them slipping and falling under the bath water just because a mat wasn’t stuck down properly. It is another thing that could put them off water all together.

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The evolution of my blog

This used to be my personal blog on my journey of de-cluttering
Finding new homes for useful things

I sell mostly through ebay.co.uk and now started with Gumtree. I have many items that are brand new from unwanted gifts or items such as clothing that has been out-grown by my daughters. My aim is to find new homes that each of these things can find a use again. In addition to you grabbing at a bargain price.

When my family and I first watched the film WALL.E, it hit home how continuing buying new things to replace the old and throwing out was going to mount up. I decided then to only part with anything if I can find a new purpose for it.

By the time my second daughter was born I had got onto eBay and started selling many things that was not of any more use to any of us. Asking family and friends if they needed/wanted first and then listing it.

I had been called a hoarder up until then. Keeping everything from years gone, even if it hadn’t left a box in years.

Continue reading “The evolution of my blog”