Music is My Happy Place

For the month of March I have decided that I am going to devote some time thinking about all the things that make me feel… HAPPY!

To kick off it has to be music.

There are many benefits of listening to music. Here, I am going to list ten for you!

  1. Music increases happiness
  2. Music improves performance in running
  3. Music decreases stress
  4. Music improves sleep
  5. Music reduces depression
  6. Music helps you eat less (apparently!)
  7. Music elevates your mood while driving
  8. Music strengthens Learning and memory
  9. Music increases verbal intelligence
  10. Music raises IQ and academic performance

 

So with all these benefits, I have decided to share with you all my 20  “feel good/happy” songs. Which to be honest, is super hard because i have thousands that I love.

Lets face it, music is very personal and i bet everyone at some point, has heard a song that has stirred up some emotions be it happy, sad, reminded us of something from our past, an event or person.

As you will find, my music collection is very varied, I have everything on my iPhone from Michael Buble to Eminem!

But they do say “variety is the spice of life” Right 🙂

  1. Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
  2. Oasis-Live Forever
  3. Blonde and Craig David-Nothing Like This
  4. Drake-One Dance
  5. J-Lo- On the floor
  6. Iggy Azalea-Bounce
  7. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
  8. Rich Girl- Gwen Stefani
  9. Freak Of the Week- Krept and Kronan
  10. Sweet Dreams- Eurythmics
  11. Shoot the Runner- Kasabian
  12. Prince- Purple Rain
  13. The Vamps- Cecilia
  14. I’m so excited- The Pointer Sisters
  15. I know you want me- Pitbull
  16. It’s like that- Run DMC vs Jason Nevins
  17. Silly Ho- TLC
  18. Lorde- Royals
  19. Drag me Down- One Direction
  20. Christina Aguilera- Candyman

 

Do any of these songs feature on your happy playlist?

I would love to know what your happy songs are!

Thank you for reading x 🙂MusicBlog

 

 

Mental Health and my family

I have been very honest about my experience with mental health, and my battles with anxiety. Because I have suffered to this degree, I have always thought that I am quite an empathetic person and will offer a listening ear and share my own experiences if there is even a small chance they might help somebody else.

However, recent months have shown me that even with the best intentions, I have not been as sympathetic or helpful as I might of wanted to be – and for this I feel some guilt, and perhaps this is why I feel the need to use my blog as a platform to vent.

It all began in the summer of last year, my sister had been displaying some concerning behaviors that led us as a family to be very worried about her mental health.

Physically, she had declined, she looked weak and fragile, once a curvy size ten she struggled to keep her clothes hanging onto her now child like body.

Mentally, she seemed very detached. Like she was in another world, preoccupied deep in her own thoughts, at times she would whisper to herself, on more than a handful of occasions we would witness her cocking her head as if having a secret conversation with somebody, we saw her mouth “help me”, at times she would be deadly silent, and when questioned she would get into a rage, spitting venom and anger or be constantly repetitive.

On more than one occasion she threatened to hit my mum, when we tried to question her behavior and say in a gentle manner that we were concerned, she would unleash her fury on to us, saying that we “were all mad!” and there was nothing wrong.

At this point I cannot share the extent of my frustration. Of course, we were all hugely worried and trying to get my sister to understand the reasons why was like banging our heads against a brick wall.

She began to deteriorate further, she would have conversations with dead family relatives. She started to become deceitful and would lie, important sentimental items went missing, she contacted social services on a family member to make unfounded allegations, and probably most disturbing of all, she would contact the emergency services and say family members were being tortured, or hanging.

As a family, we were at a complete loss on what to do. My sister was unwilling to seek help and refused to see there was anything wrong with her behavior, I contacted some mental health charities for advice, well known ones like Mind or Sane Line.

They were understanding and sympathetic but the advice remained the same,

“I know this is hard for you and your family, but there is nothing anybody can do if your sister is refusing to seek help”.

As much as I understand this, I cannot convey how frustrating it is. To watch a loved one deteriorating before your eyes, and refusing to seek help or be so unwell that they cannot To witness the knock on effect of the unwell person’s actions on other people is detrimental, to even see there is a problem, is one of the most distressing things.

This has been the breaking of my mother’s heart, how many times I wish I had a magic wand to make it all better but I can’t.

Moving forward, my sister has since spent time in a psychiatric unit. As a result of her behaviors, she was brought there and was even sectioned. Throughout this period, she then decided to ban all staff from discussing her with her family and isolated us all from her care plan. This, appeared to me, to be the actions of somebody wanting to control a situation, and all I could try and do was to offer support to my Mother.

As a family, we have been far from perfect, fractured at best, but it would not be wrong to say we have all tried to rally around my sister at this point. But, I have to be honest, I feel that my sister does not want this support. She does not want this help. I feel as though she does not want to get better.

What we do know is that she admitted to hearing voices and having suicidal thoughts,  during her time in hospital, she has been diagnosed with an illness she refuses to accept. She refuses to work co-cooperatively with the health professionals and she refuses to let us in.

My aging Mother frequently breaks down in tears, this has no effect on my sister. My mother has confessed that she is terrified that my sister will take her own life. I feel that my mother needs to encourage her to be dependent and realize that my sister has to take responsibility for her own recovery.  That no matter how much we want my sister to get better, us wanting it is not enough.

I have done my best to support my Mother, but I feel like my best is not good enough. She lashes out at me at times, calling me a Bitch for instance because apparently I am just not a support.

The last time I saw my sister, just a few days ago she was in one of her aggressive moods. She told me that she did not wish to see me and that I was none of her concern, nor was it any of my business what was going on with her.

And sometimes, increasingly, might I add, I am starting to feel resentful, and angry towards her. I know that’s not right, but I feel like the one person who needs to accept and be willing to accept help is the one person that is unwilling to.

And in the process, breaking what is remaining of my already very fractured family in the process.

No social skills when it comes to parenting!

So its that time of year again. The time when it is my little girl’s birthday, and as all young children (shes seven) she wants to have a party with some of her school friends.

Being honest now, I didn’t want her to have a party.

Nothing to do with expense or time, no, its because of other god damn parents!

(see last years blog post, probably a year to the day) where I ranted about all things children party related.

One year on. This year my daughter wanted an ice skating party. I knocked that on the head straight away. As if I have a crystal ball in front of me, I could forsee what would lie ahead, and I just wasn’t up for that.

 

  1. The crying/ whingey  kid (there is one at nearly every party) “I can’t do it, I’m too tired/cold/miss my mum/ I don’t like ice skating”
  2. The “hyper” kid, the one who needs no sugar but is a over zealous danger at the best of times, let alone on ice and skates.
  3. The cling on kid,  and the cling on parent. The one who won’t leave the parents (mummy or daddy will stay because poor “Harriet, Cordelia, Bea does not like being away from me)…… and I did a mental risk assessment. No sodding chance!

so I explained to my daughter that ice skating is something we could do as a family, but for a party how does she feel about a pizza making party at a well known restaurant chain. Delighted was the answer. Awesome. We need a minimum of 8 so we invited 12.

My little girl spent a few careful hours, designing her invitations with care and pride. On Monday, I sent her off to school with them and my partner ensured they went directly to the parents, (no “oh it must of been in Louis’ book bag and we didn’t get it bullshit”).

To this time, I have had just two RSVP’s.

One in the playground from a plumy spoken doctor mummy. Trying to see if her daughter could go with someone else….. and “is Celia going?” (do parents not even drop their kids off anymore…?) until i informed her “Cecilia” had not been chosen. (offspring of a non rsvp’er, I know from previous 2 years).

And a second one texted saying could anybody take and drop their child off? As they are running another party… and he wont be able to come otherwise.

Jeez, make it sound like your doing us a favor why don’t you!

I agreed to this… makes my daughter happy.

I have heard not a word from any of the others. Don’t get me wrong, I know we all have busy lives. However, it takes how many seconds to send a text? Its just common courtesy, something that seems to be severely lacking in today’s society. 

I started to question myself at this point, am I being over sensitive, panicky maybe? I know my daughter goes to a school where the forty something “yummy mummy’s” are cliquey and do you know, in the two years she has been there she has only been invited to one play date? So last night, I decided to google and guess what I discovered.

This seems to be a “thing!” The non RSVP…. and the amount of stories I read actually made me really, really cross!

There was one story in particular, that actually saddened me to read, I shall paste the link to it below if you would like to take a look. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3888522/Oregon-mother-urges-parents-RSVP-turned-son-s-birthday.html

I can totally empathize with the mum in this story. No one wants to see their child upset, OK, so I know it says more about the people who don’t respond, but come on! Is it really that much of a big deal to send a message,

“Thank you for the invite…… so and so can/cannot come”

I’m sorry. But this is just RUDENESS.

I was brought up with manners. And to all the parents who don’t RSVP, look what message you are sending to your children! (social etiquette…… what?????)

So, I have made a decision. Last year, my partner had to “chase” parents in the playground to ask if their child was coming or not.

This year, we are doing no such thing!

I am going to treat “LIKE WITH LIKE!”

If the remaining parents do not respond by the required date. I did say we need numbers CONFIRMED by 23.01.17, I will  either be :

Plan A: changing the venue and notifying those only who have confirmed. 

Plan B: keeping the venue and refusing entry to those who just “turn up” as they did not confirm we did not cater for them.

And lets see then, how they feel!

Its always different when the worm turns!

 

 

 

 

I will fight for HER right!

As I write this I am tired and emotional. My head is full of rubbish and my eyes sting from my tears.

I am the mother of a little girl with SEN. So what? I’m not the only one. Yes, I know this. This is not a pity party. This is the stock realisation that has hit me where I know I will need to fight. Fight like a lioness to get what my daughter deserves.

For what feels like the longest time, I have had to fight to get listened to. By doctors, paediatricians, god damn teachers that there was concerns regarding my daughter.

And for the longest time, I heard everything from being told that I was an anxious mother, that because I have a big age gap between my kids that I had forgotten what children were like! That my daughters behaviour was because she wasn’t getting enough attention or because her Dad and I had relationship problems!

Well, screw you professionals! Because all of what you thought was text book rubbish!

It’s a chromosome deletion. 16P.11.13 if you are really interested. It affects her development learning and behaviour.

Nothing I did or didn’t do caused this. But now you know what are you going to do about it?

Are you going to offer her the extra support she needs? 

Like your shitty neatly typed policy tells me you are…..

Are you going to make sure she makes appropriate progress and her needs are being met?

Like hell you are! Because the reality is, you don’t care. She’s not a little girl to you, she’s a statistic. A tick box exercise!  

But this is where you go wrong. For I won’t stand back anymore and put my trust in this failing education system.

I won’t be fooled by her cotton haired candy flossed fake smiling year two teacher like last year, when you smiled at me through your fake heavily lined eyes and told me that my little girl was doing ok, making great progress and getting all the right help…

Yet her current teacher told me that last year had been a “waste” and actually is fighting our corner.

For this woman I am grateful, for her honesty and for her support but it’s not enough.

Now I need to battle against the fat cats. The powers that be. The up their own arses don’t give a shit big wigs to ensure that my little girl has the right to be included, the right to be educated like every one else, just because she has a part of a chromosome missing.

😞

Pet Loss and Bereavement

I am a huge advocate of the benefits of keeping pets, for both adults and children alike.

I have always been an animal lover since I was a little girl, and indeed my dream was to become a vet.

For me, the only part I hate about being a pet owner is the inevitable deaths.

For me, the animals I have are my family, and dealing with pet loss is both heart wrenching and leaves a little paw print on my heart forever.

I was ten when I lost my first pet. A little Russian Dwarf Hamster called Bert. He became my best friend. I had got him at a time when my parents were going through a  very difficult time in their relationship, in fact you could liken it to a war zone, and Bert became my friend, my confidante and my fur baby.

He lived to the age of two and a half. Good innings for this species of Hamster. But I still remember clearly his demise. We had left him in the care of a good friend of my Mum’s while we went on a family holiday to Wales for a week. On our return, he was very sniffly and not eating very much. A trip to the vet told  us that he had a very bad cold, and would not live much longer, so all we could do was take him home and wait for the inevitable.

Twenty Seven years later, I remember those last few days clear as anything. I kept his little cage near the radiator to keep him warm, trying to hand feed him sesame seeds and nuts, I kept talking to him, trying to reassure him, willing him to stay with me longer, thanking him for keeping my secrets safe…. A few days later, he passed away and I still remember, to this day, the pain in my chest I felt as I cried a river.

I actually don’t think I cried that hard again until the passing of my own Father.

To some, this may sound silly, weird or even just odd. But if you have ever experienced the death of a much loved pet, I know you will be able to relate. We feel the same emotions, the feelings of loss, sadness and grief. We grow to share a special bond with our pets and its natural to miss it when it is no longer there.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, one of  our Guinea Pig’s passed away. It was cruelly sudden, no warning and no reason to think anything was wrong. I don’t feel it necessary to go into the details of this, suffice to say we were in a taxi on our way to the emergency vet when he passed away in my arms, and yet again, the tears flowed. I felt that same ache in my chest, at his loss when I realised that I wouldn’t hear him wheeking at me as I walked past his cage, or that he wouldn’t be snatching his favourite cucumber pieces out from between my fingers. And again, I cried a river.

Today, we buried him in our garden. I didn’t cry (no tears left) I was happy for the memories. My little girl asked me why I cried when he died, and I explained to her “Because I was sad. Because I will miss him”. She just nodded thoughtfully.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

So, if you are going through the Bereavement of a pet I wanted to share with you some little things I have learnt and may help or support you through your pet loss.

  1.  Allow yourself to cry. It is ok! Ignore anybody who says “it was just a pet”. They just don’t understand.
  2. Do something for your pet, this could be in the form of a memorial, online or otherwise, perhaps plant something where your pet is buried, write a poem, frame a favourite photograph.
  3. Remember your pet. This may make you sad at first, but in time, you will find yourself smiling at the happy memories you shared.
  4. Give yourself time, you have lost something very special to you. Let yourself feel however you feel. Talk to people who understand about your loss.

The Blue Cross have a Bereavment line. If you feel you need to talk to somebody and it may be easier over the phone.

tel:08000966606 (Text Below from the Website)

The loss of a pet impacts everyone differently. Call the support line on 0800 096 6606 (UK only including northern Ireland). The support line is open from 8.30am – 8.30pm everyday. All calls are free and confidential from a land line. If calling from a mobile phone, some phone networks may charge. Support is provided by trained volunteers. The service does not offer a counselling service but is able to offer emotional support and information for pet owners who may be experiencing the loss of a pet.

How do you handle the death of a pet with children?

I find it best to be honest with my children. Tell them that they are not alone and let them do their favourite thing.

Talk about their love for the pet and what sort of memorial they’d like to make for remembering the pet by, such as a special headstone or decoration in the garden.

For younger children, maybe they could draw a picture or write a story.

Be ready to talk when they wish to.

In time, the pain will ease but don’t rush it, it is normal to feel sad for a time.

This Blog was written in Loving Memory of my pets who have crossed over to Rainbow Bridge x

What’s in my makeup bag?

And back to a light hearted, beauty blog for today 🙂

“What’s in my make-up” bag?!

Let me just say, before I “ramble” on in my make-up bag I keep all the contents that I need for my “daily face!”

I like to use cheaper products alongside slightly more expensive ones.

So, it makes sense to start off with some foundation and concealer.

My favourite foundation and the one that I find really works for my skin (in terms of colour and coverage) is the Rimmel Match Perfection in shade 100. (Ivory) I have fair skin which is why for a while I struggled to find the right foundation for me and this is it. Its fairly inexpensive, depending on which high street store I go too and what special offers are on at the time, I spend probably between £6.99 and £10.00 on a bottle which lasts me approximately two months and I use this daily.

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In conjunction with this foundation I also use Rimmel Hide The Blemish concealer in shade 001, which is also Ivory. I don’t suffer from dark circles fortunately but I do use this under my eyes because I feel it helps me to look a “little less tired”. A necessity, if like myself, you are soooo not a morning person!

Next, its eyebrow time! I don’t do much to my brows, and I have used alot of eyebrow products, wax, pencil, powder etc, too much faffing about for me, which is why, I love Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown. Basically, you apply it like mascara on your brows, it makes them look defined and tidy with a lovely natural tint. Perfect!

Up next its “all about the eyes!” If there was one make-up product I could not live without, it would have to be one of my eye make-up pieces because….. well, I just love them all!

I have been recently using the Naked Basics Palette by Urban Decay. In this handy little palette you have a choice of six neutral colours, which are just perfect for the day time and it is even possible to create a smoky eye for the day without it looking “over the top”, just because the shades are all so nice. It’s a must have in my opinion.

 

 

Being all about the eyes, means I have tried and tested a fair few eye-liners in my time, seeking the perfect one! I love using black eye-liner to accentuate my eyes, and for a number of years, I was always a fan of Kohl. However, over time I found that I began to discover that my eye-liners would smudge easily, or not last for the day, and just generally hoped I would find something better. And that I have!

I am using the Bobbi Brown Gel Eye-liner Black Ink. I cannot rave about this enough. It is super long lasting, easy to apply and leaves that professional look. It stays on rain or shine, throughout my cycling, stressing (!) and even if I am naughty enough to fall asleep with it on (yep, still there!) Obviously, Bobbi Brown is high end make-up and when I purchased this it was as a two pack with another little pot of eye-liner “sepia ink” and it even came with a mini brush. I think it cost me £38.00 for the two, which yes, is a little pricey but I believe its well worth the money, and you don’t need to apply a lot so my pots look barely touched.

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Next, my mascara is Benefit’s Roller Lash.

Say no more.

 

Now, next item, you may laugh. It is a bright pink eye shadow from Kiko Milano in shade 228 (Infinity). Except I don’t use this as an eyeshadow, but as a blusher. I love that freshly flushed rose look, and again after trying and testing numerous blushers which left me distinctly unsatisfied (too orange, too patchy, rubs off easily) when I was browsing in kilko I caught sight of the perfect colour, and so what it says eye-shadow but I use it as blush? It was cheap as chips (£2.28 I think on special offer) lasts all day, and gives me that long sought after rosy glow 🙂 x

 

 

 

Finally, lets move on to the lips. Since as long as I can remember I have loved a lip liner. When I was a teenager I used to draw em on like Kylie Jenner before she was even born! (probably….) now I know how to be a lot more subtle, and I am no Angelina Jolie in the pout department so lip liner has to be a daily staple.

The one I am currently using is by MUA Lip Academy, Intense Colour, Caramel Nougat. I adore this natural colour and its a total bargain at £1. For those, that may not know MUA is sold in branches of Superdrug!

On top of this, I use a slick of Rimmel Lasting Finish colour rush in nude  which gives my lips a nice shiny natural effect and I am good to go 🙂

I like to use cheaper products alongside slightly more expensive ones.

So what’s in your make up bag?

Do you use any of the products I do?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for reading my blog x

 

 

Genetics. To know or not to know that is the question?

Hi All,

To those of you who are familiar with my blogs you will know my story.

If not, let me update you now.

For a while, we expected that my youngest child had ADHD. This was due to her behavioural difficulties, which as she has got older, have also developed into learning difficulties.

We have had a battle accessing the support we have felt she requires (maybe I shall update you on that another time) but last year we were referred to a paediatrician to assess her and advise on steps forward.

Before a diagnosis of ADHD could be given, our little one had to undergo a number of tests (including blood samples) these blood samples have identified that she has two deletions in chromosomes (please see blog: chromosome deletion, scared to meet you).

For those of you, who don’t know (and I am learning over the world wide web) but by no means, an expert……

Rare chromosome disorders include extra, missing or re-arranged chromosome material but do not include the more common chromosome conditions such as Down’s Syndrome. Using the latest technology, it is now possible for smaller and more complex chromosome defects to be identified. The amount of chromosome material duplicated, missing or re-arranged can vary a great deal. This means that it may be difficult to identify two people who have exactly the same chromosome disorder. The clinical problems of those affected can also vary enormously even when the chromosome diagnoses are similar.

Now, we are several weeks ahead and I have had some time to digest the information that my little girl may have “more than just ADHD” and the new journey this takes us on.

Already, we have had letters through the post from the local hospital and the genetic specialists. They request that my partner and myself undergo blood test samples so they can look at us rather closely to see if the deletions our child has are indeed inherited or to quote the specialist, “a red herring”.

Knowing that my DNA is to be scrutinized so closely under a multitude of microscopes, looking for any tiny “abnormality” makes me anxious to say the least. If I am being honest, I don’t know how I feel about it, although I don’t  like it.

 

worried

 

 

Maybe it is the anxious part of me, which makes me think “What if…..”

What if the geneticists discover something about me I never knew I had?

What if they drop this bombshell that I have a deletion or two?

This would make “me” the cause of my child’s difficulties.

What good is it me knowing if I have a condition or even “diagnosis” I can’t change now I am in my mid-thirties?

I just don’t know if there is a benefit to knowing- do we really need to know?

With all these questions, whizzing around my brain, I decided to call the genetic specialist and ask her.

To be honest, I just blurted it out like this.

“So we have been sent blood forms, what happens if we don’t want them? What happens if we don’t want the genetic testing”

A rather pregnant pause followed.

“The reason these tests are conducted is because we want to see if your child’s condition is inherited or if is more of a red herring.

Yes, exactly I thought. “Inherited” from me? the exact thing I don’t want to know.

The geneticist went on to talk about just how much science has evolved and with that happening, it means that the tests are so precise in discovering a multitude of things about an individuals genes and DNA. And I do appreciate, just how fascinating this all this but I can’t help but think I am not “ready” to find out what potentially awaits.

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She explained that it is parental choice, whether they get tested or not. But then confused me further, by saying that if our child’s difficulties are inherited (i.e me or her Dad have them, yet we are symptomless or don’t have the same problems) then the deletions may not “be an issue”.

Alternatively, if they have manifested as a “red herring” then this may mean there are other “causes” which will need “further testing…..”

(seriously confused face) so does this mean that its better to be inherited than not?

The hole of confusion I have been stuck in, just gets bigger and bigger.

So, it turns out, we don’t need to have the blood tests, but according to the specialist, it will restrict the amount we can find out about our daughter’s changes if we refuse them.

(Hey, rock and a hard place, give me a wave!) We have always and continue to want the best for our child and knowing that my refusal to participate in some test could restrict her well being in something just makes me feel overwhelmingly useless.)

To be honest, all of this is massively overwhelming, anxiety inducing and  generally poo all at the same time.

Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that from going to a potential ADHD diagnosis I am potentially looking at something else, except I don’t even know what that “something” is.

Is there anybody out there who has any insight into how genetics really work and jargon aside, who have been through a similar thing? I would love to hear from you.

Even, if like myself, you have not experienced this before and are a parent, what are your opinions on this? I would love to hear from you. And as always, thank you for reading x

 

 

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