My Music Playlist

I’ve always been a music lover and I’ll freely admit to having somewhat of an eclectic taste that probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What I am listening to totally reflects my mood. I find it helps me, mentally and emotionally.

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Music helps me to focus or it allows me to distance myself from anxious thoughts. A distraction, if you like. Mindfulness is quite a thing now; you hear about it everywhere and I think most of us would agree that some sort of ‘time-out’ from our own over-thinking minds, can only be a good thing.

Mindfulness enables us to live fully in the present moment; thinking about breathing or focussing on sensations throughout the body whilst letting go of everything else that’s happening around us. Music helps me do this too – On a good day, I can completely close my mind to everything else, and just be.. in that very moment (anxiety allowing).

This theory is backed up by research as talked about here on the  BBC website.   I absolutely believe that this is true, and whilst it’s not a ‘magic’ fix to all ills, it can definitely give me a boost when I need it.

What music inspires you? What music gives you that positive boost or allows you to ‘feel’, if only for a minute?

As I said, my music taste is a mixed bag, but I like music that makes me feels something. I love a good power ballad when I want to shout my feelings from the rooftops, but simply can’t. I like to listen to something with sheer emotion and that helps me cry if I need to, or let my frustrations out by ‘singing’ along (sorry neighbours!) I also have been known to listen to more ’emo’ or darker music when the mood takes me.

On the whole, I’m pretty much a pop music lover. I’m really loving Ed Sheeran and Demi Lovato for some real emosh stuff and I absolutely love Twenty One Pilots for music that says what I’m thinking. The mind can be a scary place sometimes – music for me, is like a journey; a story and I relate to so many of their lyrics. ❤️

Here’s what I’ve been listening to recently:

  • The entire Divide album – Ed Sheeran (Absolutely beautiful emotional rollercoaster)
  • Make Me Wanna DieThe Pretty Reckless
  • Born This WayLady Gaga
  • Fire Meets GasolineSia
  • Wherever You Will GoCharlene Soraia (Never fails to make me cry!)
  • Stone Cold Demi Lovato
  • Nightingale Demi Lovato
  • Stressed Out Twenty One Pilots
  • The Run and Go Twenty One Pilots
  • HurtsEmeli Sande
  • HeavydirtysoulTwenty One Pilots
  • MigraineTwenty One Pilots

Also listening to Panic! At The Disco thanks to my teenager! ❤️

What’s on your music playlist?

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Someone take 2016 outside and give it a talking to

What is it with this year?

2016 has been a steaming pile of brown stuff, and that’s to put it politely. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Trump happened.

2016 has taken too many of our idols…. Bowie, Wilder, Ali, Prince; to name but a few. Terrorist attacks; innocent lives lost in the name of hate. The Brexit….the list goes on.

Sadly, due to the election hysteria, the horrific accident in Croydon this morning was somewhat overlooked by the media. But, it’s with those people who lost their lives, loved ones and the injured that my thoughts are with this evening. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and pain that many are feeling right now. I’m praying for you all tonight.

There’s not much left of 2016 and thank goodness for that. I for one will be glad to see the back of it.

On that note, and after yesterday’s promise to try to see the positives, I’m asking ‘What GOOD things have happened this year?‘ Help me out here… I’m struggling.

  1. My plantar fasciitis has (sort of) stabilised. Massive positive!!
  2. My family are happy and healthy – which is all you can wish for, isn’t it!
  3. The kids say Pokemon Go… although, I think the novelty well and truly wore off on that one once Summer was over. But it did get people outside and moving.
  4. Andy Murray won Wimbledon! Yay!!!
  5. My kids met Little Mix – who are awesome and really lovely (A big thanks to Jesy for making my girl feel important to you for that few moments that she had with you. You’ll never know how much that meant to her!)
  6. I’m back blogging! Woop!
  7. Autumn. My favourite season; I love the colours, brisk mornings, hot chocolate and red cups. Snuggly jumpers and comfy boots.

What positives can you add? I think we all need something good to focus on right now!

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Rays of light through the darkest clouds

I feel like I should apologise for the radio silence recently. I had the Summer ‘off’ so I could concentrate on my family, but since then I’ve been going through some hard times mentally speaking. I won’t go into a long dramatic post about it all but I felt compelled to write in celebration of the good bits.

I honestly started to think that his was just ‘me’ now and feeling like this was just going to be my life, with regular panic attacks thrown in for good measure. I think I’ve forgotten how to see the positive things day-to-day, or perhaps I see them but I just don’t notice them.

On Monday I decided a bit of retail therapy would do me good. Fresh air, away from the same four walls and the negativity that fuels the storm in my head. I had a really nice time on my own. I bought myself some bargain clothes in the sale and pottered around, looking for ideas for Christmas presents.

On the way home, I felt a bounce in my step and an unfamilar warmth. It felt good and as I sat down on the bus, I realised that I. Was. Actually. Smiling. Not a fake smile to be polite and pretend, but a genuine life-is-good, happy grin.

I had noticed the little things around me. A robin dancing across the fences, a couple holding hands, a little girl skipping along; the sun shining even though the clouds where grey and threatening rain. I suppose it was a mini epiphany – it’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it?

I almost felt like the old me again.  Just for a little while.

Let me be clear. I am not saying that a shopping spree ‘cured’ me, because oh my God, I am nowhere near it. But I just think that it’s important to focus on the positive, no matter how small and insignificant it might seem. Can’t even believe I’ve typed that sentence, to be honest.

Life came tumbling back down to Earth with a bump when I returned to familiar surroundings, passing the ‘negativity in my life’ as I went. It was an unwelcome reminder of the darkness I often feel but I was determined that it wasn’t going to rain on my parade.

Monday was a good day. And I’ll take that.

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My workspace

I don’t really have a physical workspace in all honesty. I steal my husband’s desk when he’s out at work, but other than that my workspace is my iPhone. I’m always on the go, so whatever I’m doing has to be mobile or it has to wait until the end of the day when the children are in bed.  With no beautiful workspace to photograph and share with you, I thought I’d write about what I consider essential items as a blogger/freelancer/creative.

Notebooks, sketchbooks and diaries

I live by lists. Oh, I do love a list!

I have a diary that I use for appointments, plans and blog schedules – my current favourite is my gorgeous Sprinkle Of Glitter Diary.sogoh

I am a complete Youtuber obsessive and I adore Louise. Her diary is upbeat and full of positivity and motivation – something I need a lot of.

I also have zillions of notebooks full of ideas, plans and schedules. I even have one for cleaning which sounds a bit OTT, but I like having a routine for day-to-day things. I rarely get everything done, but that’s just life isn’t it? Never enough hours in the day! I have zero memory so lists are my saviour – I like jotting down something that springs to mind randomly – I can have my best ideas and even ‘write’ posts in my head as I’m walking home from the school run!

I’m also a doodler. I have dreams of becoming an illustrator and I’m always sketching or drawing – I find it quite therapeutic.

Pens and Fineliners

I love pens – always have. Actually all stationery. I don’t know if it’s the same in your house, but we seem to have a phantom pen snatcher. I’m always buying pens but when the phone rings and I need to write down a message, you can bet your bottom dollar that not one can be found. So, I’ve now put a wooden pot next to my paperwork trays with some lovely new pens and fineliners (I draw with them).

A Smartphone

I honestly don’t know how I managed without an iPhone. It has everything together in one easily accessible place; from my calendar to my emails. Social media, to my photos. If I haven’t brought my DSLR out with me, my iPhone can be trusted to take a decent snap, especially outdoors. I can blog on it, answer emails, research posts… pretty much anything that I could do sat in front of a PC or laptop.

Tea

…and lots of it. I simply cannot function before my first cup of tea of the day. Don’t even ask me to try. As the saying goes, “Sometimes all you need is a nice cup of tea” and it’s so true (for me anyway). When things are going tits up and I want to throw things at my computer, I take five, make a brew and drink it while the damn thing’s still hot. Ah… Bisto.

A camera

As mentioned, I have a DSLR for my ‘proper’ photography. I’m still very much an amateur but I’ve taken some shots that I’m really rather proud of. As I say though, my iPhone is a fairly good back-up for quick shots, especially when I’m on the go.

Pretty fabrics

Not really ‘essential’ but great for photography. I use white/cream fabrics as backgrounds when I’m photographing make-up or anything that I want to really stand out.

PicMonkey

I’ve used this online image editing tool since it launched in 2012 (?) and I pay for a Royale plan because in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. It’s easy to use, effective and allows you edit and enhance images, create collages, add text/graphics; in a simple click of a mouse. I totally love it. (Please note, I’m not affiliated with PicMonkey in any way, shape or form; I’m simply a very happy customer.)

Oh…I really want an office now!

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A day in the life of anxiety girl

Let me start by saying this is about me personally, and not everyone with anxiety, OCD or any mental illness will feel the same way.  I’m also not making light of mental illness. Believe me, I know just how much of a struggle it is.

But this is a snapshot my day… not every day, but more often than not.

6.30am

My second from last alarm goes off and I enjoy the 3 seconds of warm fuzziness before my brain kicks into gear and I think, “what have I got to worry about today?” There’s rarely a day that there’s nothing.

I try to rationalise everything, check my phone and then depending on how much sleep I’ve had (or haven’t had) I try to get my ‘5 more minutes’ of warm duvet coziness.

Did I send that form in yesterday?

Oh God, I don’t think did. I’m sure it had to be in by last night.

I’ll have to phone them.

God. No, I can’t phone them.

What should I say?

Maybe I did send the form in.

*Jumps up to check*

I sent the blasted form in.

Now…. 3 more minutes….

7am

Shit! My last alarm (the one I’ve actually labelled PANIC) goes off and I fall out of bed, getting dressed as I rush to the bathroom to get washed and ready. I get the children up and start breakfasts and all the rest of the mornings ‘To Do list’.  No matter how organised I am we are always rushing out the door at the last moment. I hate being late – it stresses me out.

8.20am

Finally, we’ve caught up with ourselves and we are en route.

“Did I lock the door?”

“I did lock the door didn’t I?”

*Asks closest child* “Yes mum”

“Are you sure? Did you see me?”

“Oh well, I can’t go back now. We’ll be late.”

“You locked the door, Mum. I saw you. You definitely locked it”

Phew.

But then what if I didn’t?

The house will be burgled.

I can’t afford to replace the XBOX.

The kids will never forgive me.

I’ll go straight home.

I’ve mastered the school run without making eye contact with even one person. Oh I tell a lie, maybe one person, that I know well and I don’t feel intimidated by. Once I drop everyone off,  I go back through my thoughts to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything.

Better rush home, just in case it’s unlocked and the local burglar is taking everything we own.

Oh God, there’s dog poop/vomit/some other bodily fluid on the pavement.

Wait. I didn’t see that one the way up.

What if we walked in it? What if the kids walked in it?

What if the person it belongs to has some incurable and highly contagious disease?

They’ll be treading all round the school… Oh God, they’ll get ill and probably die.

I’ll clean their shoes when they get home.

Home at last.

I’d locked the blasted door.

10am

*Phone rings*

Unknown number.

I can’t answer it.

I don’t know who it is.

Maybe it’s someone trying to con me into handing over my bank details.

I won’t answer it.

Oh but what if it’s the hospital? Maybe one of the kids or hubby has been in an accident.

I better answer it.

*phone rings off*

Oh god.

12pm

*Reads email*

Invitation to a  ‘really lovely event that you’d love if you wasn’t so socially awkward”

No.

Just No.

I couldn’t possibly go.

There will be people there.

Intelligent people.

Pretty people.

People who will want to talk to me.

God.

They’ll hate me.

I’ll have to say no.

*Politely declines the invitation*

Oh God. They will think I don’t like them.

What if they never speak to me again?

That’s it now. My career is over.

4pm

Arrive home from school run, successfully avoiding the disease-ridden pavement.

I think.

Did I?

Yes, I’m sure I did. I’ll clean everyone’s shoes now, just in case.

7pm

Child A didn’t eat much dinner tonight. Well, when they are hungry later they will learn that if you don’t eat all your dinner, you go hungry!

They won’t sleep tonight.

They will be hungry.

Starving. They’ll be starving.

Maybe I’ll make them a sandwich.

11pm

Bedtime at last! I’ve just written a detailed list for tomorrow so I don’t forget anything. I can’t read at bedtime as I can’t stop my brain from interrupting. Most nights, I fall asleep pretty easily, but then I’ll wake up around 2am.

Better check on the kids. What if the blankets fallen off and they are freezing to death?

What was that noise? It sounded like the back door.

Did I lock the back door?

I said something horrible 5 years ago. I wonder if they still hate me?

I need to find some work.

We won’t have enough money to eat.

But what if I go to an interview and I don’t know what to say?

They’ll hate me.

I’ll never get a job.

What do I need to worry about tomorrow?

God, look at the time… I won’t get up in the morning.

We will be late!

And then it starts all over again tomorrow

Incidentally, I’m feeling panicky about publishing this post. Hence the first paragraph. My mouth is burning, I’m sweating  and I’m about to email a draft to my better half as he is the rational one. My anxiety is far more than just this post, but it is a small insight to the scary place that is my mind. If you feel like this too, you are not alone and talking about it makes more people understand. So there we are.

*holds breath*

 

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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What’s this ‘date night’ thing, you speak of?

It’s funny that ‘date night’ should be today’s #BEDM topic as I was thinking just the other day about how little ‘couple-time’ we get these days. Little to none really. I see people gushing on social media about ‘date night’ – parents and non-parents alike, and I waver somewhere between feeling insanely jealous, and then giving myself a shake as that’s just life – a sacrifice you happily make as a parent.

Then  I read articles that don’t agree with ‘date nights’ at all; deeming them an excuse to not make an effort the rest of the time. I suppose I see their point, but personally, I’d see a ‘date night’ as ‘me-time’ spent with the one person who truly understands.

In all honesty, by the time the children are asleep, all we want to do is tidy up, eat up and go to bed ourselves. But, we do try to grab ourselves an odd morning together; just the two of us. It might only be a couple of hours between pick ups and work shifts, but it’s our time and I enjoy it.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some ‘couple-time’ (I think that’s probably a better name for it in our case) ideas for knackered parents.

Go for a coffee – Not romantic in the slightest but it’s a great way to relax and have a good old chat. I love popping to Starbucks/Costa and having a naughty coffee (mine’s a White Chocolate Mocha FYI) so it feels like a treat as well as some well-deserved chilling time with my favourite grown-up.

Catch a daytime movie – Time is usually against us on this one. But visiting the cinema was one of the ‘dates’ we used to enjoy a lot before we had our family, so it makes us feel young and free again!

Eat Alfresco – Breakfast on the balcony, or an impromptu picnic in the park can be equally romantic and if you’re clever, you can whip up some suitable food in no time at all. Obviously not so lovely if it’s the middle of a Winter freeze, but we have been known to wrap up and go for a long walk with a flask of tea!

Cook for each other – Food is a big part of our family and so going to the effort of cooking a special meal for someone means so much. We often do this to mark special occasions – Birthday’s, Valentines, anniversaries.

Go out for breakfast – If you have school age children, and happen to both have a day off together (I know – shock!) then why not take the opportunity to go out for breakfast? OK, it’s not quite the same as going out for dinner, but we really enjoy it! Great food, great company and amazing conversation – what more do you need?

Do you and your partner have Date Nights? What do you do?

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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Family favourites – April

This months favourites are mostly mine really, as April seemed to whizz by in a flash and I’d not really gathered much to include.

The weather

We are all thoroughly enjoying the sunshine that has made a welcomed appearance this week; that means more outdoor activities, no coats, ice cream and hopefully more happy faces and family picnics. Welcome Spring… please do stay a a while and feel free to bring your friend, Summer soon too.

Spring Flowers

We just love the outdoors during this time of year – the flowers, the wildlife…..everything seems so new and beautiful. It gives me a new-found positivity about life. I know that sounds ridiculously deep, but it does and as someone who struggles with anxiety and sometimes depression too, I think that’s really important for me. I love Spring photography too – birds, flowers, bumble bees. They are all on this years ‘shot list’.

flower

On to beauty products, I have been loving a few things this month and first up is my new cleanser. I bought it ages ago in Asda, but I’ve only really started to properly use it as my second cleanse at night. It feels amazing!  It’s called nspa Beauty Rituals Melting Cleansing Gel and I think it was around £6-£8. It is a gel formulation that melts into a milk cleanser as it contacts with wet skin. It feels so lovely and it removes any make up that my Micellar water might leave behind. My skin feels lovely and soft, hydrated and not at all irritated. As someone with dry and sensitive prone skin, I’m very impressed with this product. The grapeseed oil takes off make up without the need to scrub at the skin, and it also contains ginseng, vitamin E, avocado, apricot and neroli oils – it smells lovely too!

meltcleanse

I occasionally treat myself to a Pink Parcel (the most amazing surprise box for that time of the month) I love the concept so much and a few months ago I received this mini bottle of Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Body & Massage Oil in my box. The full size bottle is £36 from Notonthehighstreet. I instantly fell in love because I absolutely adore lavender and it looks and smells divine. It claims to ‘promote deep healing and tranquility’ and you know what? I’d agree with that. It’s soothing, relaxing and was incredible as a massage oil after a shoulder injury. Both myself and my other half love it – it’s quite sensual too. It’s quite an all rounder, as it can be used on problem skin, hair, nails and even as a cleansing oil/moisturiser. I’ll definitely be repurchasing!

Lola says: “Sweet Lullaby is a comforting scent with Lavender and Ylang Ylang at its soothing heart, grounded by Patchouli and Vanilla at its spicy base, and uplifted by Sweet Orange in the top note to sing a sweet lullaby” – a truly beautiful scent.

lolas

And finally on to food. Just one favourite this month as I don’t feel like I’ve been eating very well at all. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a random allergy to chillies but peppers don’t seem to have any effect on me at all. *yay* My hubby picked these Sweet Peppers Stuffed With Cream Cheese on a recent trip to Aldi and I’m addicted! They do have white pepper in them, so they have a bit of a kick, but it doesn’t affect my allergies so I am over the moon! YUM!!!

peppers

What have you been enjoying this month?

I’ve skipped today’s #BEDM prompt to bring you my monthly favourites! But, you can find out more about it by clicking the badge below:
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What’s in my bag – the mum edition

I can not tell you how pleased I was that I’d cleaned out my bag a few days before seeing that today’s #BEDM prompt is ‘What’s in your bag?’.
That said, I am not going to post images of the horror that was the inside of my bag. No. Just…. No.

Please tell me that I’m not alone in finding small children’s snotty tissues, half eaten apples and bits of popcorn stuck to the bottom? My gorgeous Cath Kidston bag was subjected to all of the above said atrocities, along with 10 billion receipts, several pens that no longer work and more inhalers than my child will ever need in a 24 hour period. I know I never like to be without one, but they seem to be breeding!!

I think the most random thing I found in my bag (and how I hadn’t noticed it when rifling for spare change, I have no idea) was this rather disheveled looking, naked fashion doll. Nobody remembers putting her there so I can only assume that this plastic, popcorn-munching stowaway climbed in all by herself. That’s what my daughter thinks, anyway!

doll

Other items that I do actually consider essential include:
Tissues – a must-have for snotty noses, sticky faces and make-shift doll blankets. Likewise, baby wipes are also universally useful for pretty much everything.
Lip balm – annoyingly, this isn’t even mine. It’s my childs…and it’s a Balmi too!
A manicure kit – Don’t laugh but this has saved my life on many occasion. Last week I snapped my nail backwards whilst trying to grapple with all the gym kits, school bags, coats and other *stuff* the kids plonk at your feet the second they escape from school (ouch!) It broke, and then kept catching on everything I touched which hurt like hell, so out came my trusty little nail kit and I completed minor surgery on myself, right there on the school playing field. It’s also stopped all hell from breaking loose when I couldn’t open a My Little Pony blind bag in the middle of Tesco car park.
Kidilicious snacks – I’m not one to use sweets as a bribe… but fruit snacks that children think are sweets? I have no problem with that 😆
Purse, keys, phone (obviously)
Water bottle – Not that I ever get to drink it myself, but it’s important to keep hydrated!
Pens – preferably ones that work are most useful *rolls eyes*
Notebook – I carry one with me everywhere. I do love a list!
Spare hair bands – I just know that halfway to school my daughter will realise she has sports and needs her hair tied back. I buy millions of the things; usually the big bundle you can buy in Primark for £1. I just pick up a pack everytime I go in there.

Not massively exciting, admittedly! So, what’s in your bag?

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Walking is good for my soul…

.....But not so much for my sole! *badum tish* Stay with me.... I'll get to the point :lol:

Apparently it’s Walk To Work Month… who knew?

Do you walk a lot? I don’t drive so I tend to walk everywhere anyway.  On an average day I probably walk about 8 miles outside of the house. I’ve always walked everywhere, even as a teenager – I love it.

Obviously, it’s good for you. The fresh air (sort of), the exercise, the surroundings – nature and the outdoors definitely does wonders for my state of mind. I find it relaxing yet exhilarating (except when it’s blowing a gale – I hate windy weather… rain, storms – no problem, but wind? Just NO!)

Most of my photography is taken outside – the World is a beautiful place and we’d notice it more if we were to Just. Slow. Down.

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

Love being outdoors, especially this time of year. So beautiful #woods #nature🍃 #ukblogger

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

When my children were younger I’d scoop them up into their wrap, and wear them on family walks…the wonder in their eyes was magical to see, there’s nothing quite like it. I really miss babywearing! The kids have always walked to school, whatever the weather. I think it’s good for them too and they’ve never questioned it as they’ve always done it.

We love to go for long walks in the woods too – so much to see and experience. Much needed time away from screens and the internet could not be better spent if you ask me. If I could do it every day, I would.

Unfortunately, all this lovely walking has its downside. Especially when you run as well. Over the past 8 years or so I’ve suffered from occasional Plantar fasciitis; or thickening/inflammation of the plantar fascia. However for the past 2 months, it’s become chronic pain that lasts all day. It’s just not feasable for me to rest, so the ligament struggles to heal, resulting in me hobbling about like Hopalong Cassidy. By the time the day is over, I can be found practically crawling around on my hands and knees. It also caused me to have Sciatica which I believe was due to the way I had to walk/limp. Not nice at all.

I have a night brace (which has to be the most uncomfortable thing to try to sleep in) which stretches out the plantar fascia overnight. I also have the most fantastic foot wrap that supports my arch and the plantar fascia as I walk; coupled with a memory foam heel wedge that I wear in my shoe. A great big pain in the…..well, foot. But it does seem to be allowing the ligament to heal again. Thank the Lord! I’m not the best patient…. not because I’m a wimp or whine a lot, but because I just don’t have flipping time to be injured! 😆 I’m sure most of you are with me on that one!

So, if you are ever unfortunate to suffer from this painful condition, I highly recommend a foot wrap that is designed to support the plantar fascia –  it’s literally changed my life! (yes, slightly dramatic, but it has!)

Do you or have you suffered from foot pain of any kind? What helped you?

This is my post for Day 3 of #BEDM. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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