Update | Where Have I Been?

For the last few weeks most of 2017 so far I've been pretty distant. I've not posted a great deal and my Twitter has been quite negative, when I've bothered posting at all.

I posted last year about my anxiety and how it affected me. I've been doing pretty well at controlling the panic attacks and persistent worry, but that has led to the depression pushing through. I've been gradually feeling lower and lower. I'm crying over things that clearly aren't that bad and I can't control it. Not having control over it makes me feel worse and I'm no longer afraid to admit I am struggling.

We've been trying to tackle the underlying cause of my depression during my CBT sessions. I've been talking to my therapist about my life and how things are going with work & family etc. The other week we started a session with her telling me she'd done a bit of research and put what I'd told her all together and came to a new(ish) diagnosis - Depression caused by Low Self-Esteem. When she was reading out the signs and characteristics of this, I burst into tears. It was me all over. Everything she was saying rang true and I collapsed.

Since then I have been working through everything and it's been exhausting. I'm not really feeling any better but we are starting to get to the root of my problems and I am hoping with time that this low feeling will go away.

Yesterday I attended BlogConLDN with some friends I met at the #BloggerHalloweenParty last year and we had an amazing time. A huge shout out goes to these girls. They are great people and they understand what I'm going through and I how things can make me feel. They don't judge me and I feel like I finally have a group of friends where I actually belong. So thank you girls, you're all amazing!

Last but not least, I want to thank everyone who reads for being so patient and understanding and I'm really hoping to start getting back on track and enjoying my writing again! There'll be a post coming over the next couple of days about BlogConLDN so keep an eye out for that!

Five Favourite Friday | Rockabye Baby! Covers

Photo Source: +Rockabye Baby! (Twitter: @rockabyebaby)

It's Friday! They don't come around quick enough!

This week we're looking at covers by Rockabye Baby! and I have to say it's been a lot tougher than I thought. If you haven't heard of Rockabye Baby! then go visit their website and take a listen. They do covers of various artists and albums designed to be relaxing enough to send a baby to sleep whilst being stimulating enough for adults to listen to.

Here are my favourites:

5. Clocks. A cover of Coldplay's song. I love Coldplay's version so it's natural that I love this cover.

4. Under Pressure. They really pulled off this cover of Queen's song. Not an easy thing to do!

3. Yellow Submarine. Because who doesn't love a song about living on a yellow submarine?

2. All You Need Is Love. Another Beatles cover. I love this one as this was the first song Alex ever heard, so it means so much more.

1. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). My favourite song. And a great cover. Even this version gets me feeling emotional!

And there's my top 5. It's been really difficult choosing as they have so many amazing covers. I highly recommend listening to their stuff and if you have young children who like a lullaby at bedtime, these make a great alternative to the ones you might be used to!

As ever, head over to Broken Thoughts to read Tim's post and to find out what our topic for next week is!

Five Favourite Friday | Cars in Film

Hi everyone! Hope your week has treated you well! We're back with another top 5 and this week Tim has chosen film cars as his topic.

I've loved looking through all the different cars for this topic so I'm going to just jump straight in!

5. Aston Martin V12 Vantage, from James Bond: Die Another Day. I love an Aston Martin. Any one will do. Seriously. But this one has to be my all time favourite. It's the reason I love Aston Martin so much! For the second I saw it in the film I instantly wanted one!

4. Mater, from Disney's Cars. Doesn't everyone love Mater? He's just so lovable! 'Nuff said.

3. Bumblebee, from Transformers. On the subject of lovable characters, Bumblebee is the cutest. Y'know, as far as cars go anyway! And who doesn't love a bright yellow Camaro with black racing stripes??

2. The Tumbler, from Batman: The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises. This is quite simply a jaw dropping car and I instantly know you're lying if you say you don't want one!

1. FAB1, from Thunderbirds. A beautiful car and a perfect driver. Didn't every girl want to be Lady Penelope at one point or another? And what makes it even better still is having good old Parker as a driver! It's my dream in life is to own FAB1, become Lady Penelope and have Parker as my personal driver. I'm not asking too much.... Right?

So there's my top 5! No honourable mentions from me this week as there would be far too many! I had a huge list of cars in film that I love, I might do a separate post to show some appreciation for these.

Next week I'm opting for something a little strange. Next week we'll be looking at our top 5 Rockabye Baby! covers. If you don't know who Rockabye Baby! are, click here and have a listen ready for our post next week.

As ever, head on over to Broken Thoughts to read Tim's post!

Five Favourite Friday | Crisp Flavours

This week it's Five Favourite Saturday! We're a day late with our post due to dealing with a very poorly little boy who has caught chicken pox!

This weeks topic is crisp flavours! I love a packet of crisps, my problem is that once I start I can't stop! So here are my favourite flavour of crisps to pig out on!

5. Cheese & Onion. A tad boring I know but every so often I do just have a hankering for some cheese & onion crisps. 

4. Prawn Cocktail. I don't know many people who don't like prawn cocktail. I just love how it can be quite tangy!

3. Salt & Vinegar. Again, another boring one. But the salt & vinegar crisps I like the most are Walkers Squares. Yum! 

2. Beef & Onion. This went off the shelves for a while but boy am I glad they're back!!

1. Pickled Onion. I hate pickled onions. Love pickled Onion flavoured crisps. They taste totally different!! But my god do I love pickled Onion crisps. Mmmm... 

An honourable mention goes out to the Ready Salted and Lightly Salted flavoured crisps as they go with anything. Whatever you happen to have in your sandwich, the flavours just do not clash!

What are your favourite crisp flavours?

As ever, head on over to Broken Thoughts to read Tim's post and see what the topic is for next week!

March Goals

Hello everyone! It feels like it's getting longer and longer between posts! Basically, I've been struggling throughout February. Nothing feels like it's gone my way and I've been at an all time low.

Now, I'm feeling a bit more like me again (although I'm still feeling low) and I'm back at CBT tomorrow after 4 weeks off. I'm not really sure how it's going to go. Time will tell!

I said at the beginning of the year that I wanted to do monthly goals and then review them at the end of every month whilst setting new goals for the following month. So far, I've been pretty pants at achieving this! But I do have some goals that I want to achieve for March (and I've even got some for April already too!) so there's no better time to get cracking and list my goals for this month!

Social Media | I'm going to make an assumption that every blogger/YouTuber has monthly goals relating to their social media following? Well, I have a few goals for March regarding my social media following!

  • Twitter - reach 500 followers. I currently at around 340 followers so to hit 500 this month would be amazing!
  • Instagram - reach 200 followers. I'm at 164 followers at the moment so not completely unachievable! Again, this would be amazing if I could reach this!
  • YouTube - Start my channel & upload my first video! This is the one I'm most anxious about. I've thought about YouTube for years but my anxiety has always got in the way. I'm attending BlogCon this month, so I thought if I vlogged my day that would be a really good first video!
Education & Work | Mainly on the education front but I have a couple of things I want to do this month!
  • Increase my NVQ %. Basically increase the completion percentage to nearer the 60% mark
  • Start to learn a new language. I say this every year but never do it. So, I thought if I had it as a monthly goal I might actually start!
Health | Soooo many things under this category! Let's start with a few simple ones.
  • Lose  5lb. This shouldn't be too difficult as it's just over 1lb a week to lose!
  • Ditch the snacking habit. This is like smoking for me. I don't smoke so my really bad habit is snacking. And I need to stop.
  • Exercise! I currently do not exercise. At all. No, really. I don't. But I want to start. Even if it's Yoga or something not too strenuous to start with.
  • Improve my mood. This is more to do with my mental health than general health. But I need to improve my mood. It's just a downward spiral at the minute and I hate it. Fingers crossed!
Phew! I'm sure that list was shorter in my head! I'll hopefully keep you updated as the month goes on!

How are your New Years Resolutions coming along?

Five Favourite Friday | 50 Things to do Before You're 11 ¾

Tim chose our topic for this week and he's opted for the National Trust's 50 Things to do Before You're 11 ¾! You can download their app for free or pick up a booklet from any National Trust property (I got Alex's from Powys Castle).

So here goes:

5. #7 Fly a Kite. 'Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height. Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring.' I feel like this is something that everyone should do at least once in their lives, and I can't wait to get Alex a kite and take him to a large field and get him flying it!

4. #15 Play in the Snow. Highly unlikely but a definite must! It just doesn't snow much anymore does it?

3. #27 Go Stargazing. I love going out and just looking at the stars and I can't wait to do this with Alex.

2. #37 Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool. I don't think I ever did rock pooling as a kid so it would be so cool to do this with Alex for the first time!

1. #48 Find a Geocache. I've yet to find one so I think it would be really cool for us to go hunting for them as a family!

And there you have it. You check out the full list here or download the app on iOS or Android.

Next week we'll be looking at our top 5 crisp flavours! I had a craving for crisps as I'm writing this which may or may not have influenced my decision for the topic...

Five Favourite Friday | Board Games

Friday!!! Everyone's favourite day! For me and Tim Friday doesn't just mean it's the weekend, it means it's time for another top 5! This week we're looking at Board Games. I love board games. I always wanted to be that family that sits around the dining table after dinner and plays a board game or two instead of sitting in front of the TV or on our phones. Now I have my own little family, as Alex grows maybe my dream will become reality!

Until then, here are my favourite board games to play. There are no rules to the list, if they're sold amongst the board games in the shop, and is played on a board or using a board then it counts!

5. Chess. Let's takes things back to basics. Chess is one of my favourites. My dad taught me to play and we'd play together loads. One Christmas I was even treated to a glass chess board and pieces! It was beautiful.

4. The Game of Life. I was introduced to this game by my partner and his family. I'd not heard of it until we played it but once I had played it once I was hooked. The whole premise of the game is that you have a car with 'you' inside and as you progress around the board you gain a 'husband' or 'wife' and get a job and, if you're lucky (or not depending on your views!), children too! To win, you reach the end of the board and be the one with the most money when you 'retire'!

3. Battleships. 2 Players. 10 ships. Who can sink whose ships first? That's basically it. So simple yet so much fun!

2. Trivial Pursuit. I love this game so much. I could spend hours and hours playing this game! I'm not great at it but I love it! I do really the different variations like the Harry Potter version and Disney version which I happen to be rather good at!

1. Cluedo. My absolute favourite game. I could play this all day and all night long. I'm good at this game but it's really varied so I could have one great game and then the next be terrible! I just love it.

An honourable mention this week goes out to Monopoly. Relationship killer. The cause of many a household argument. You either end up stinking rich or completely broke! But we all keep going back to it! It's addictive!

And there you go - my favourite board games. What are yours? Let me know in the comments!

As always, pop on over to Broken Thoughts for Tim's top 5 and to find out what he's chosen as next weeks topic!