The Anxiety Files: my experiences with mental health

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I thought I’d start a new series on this blog in hopes that I can help other people or maybe spark a conversation amongst other people. There is a big stigma attached to mental health and for some reason, people think talking about your experiences publicly (or at all) means you’re “attention seeking”. I’ve experienced this with both strangers and friends alike and as much as it hurts and makes me feel like closing up, I’ve learnt that it’s important to push past that. It’s important to fight through the people who create the stigma and talk out because after all, 1 in 4 people are dealing with a mental health issue and there still isn’t enough being done about it.

I was first diagnosed with anxiety at 10 years old back in 2006, but have always been a person with a “nervous” personality and I suppose things first began getting worse around 2005. The past eleven years have been an absolute rollercoaster with experiences I’d never wish on even my enemies, but I feel like it’s important to take the good out of the bad and since more and more people are being diagnosed, that people talking about their experiences is so important because it’s a topic not nearly discussed enough. There’s also a lot of different ways people experience their mental health and while it’s simple to give out symptoms for a broken leg or asthma, it’s not so easy with something like anxiety or bi polar.

I wanted to create this first introductory post to give you an idea what my intentions are, but also ask if there’s anything you’d like to see me talk about. I know there are many people out there who don’t have people to talk to and I’m more than willing to share experiences if it means that someone somewhere is benefiting from it. Feel free to comment below or email me.

So, keep your eyes peeled on this blog as I’ll be doing what I can to be informative and helpful as possible, because at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat and it’s crucial we stick together.

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Disney Nerd: My top 10 Disney films

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Disney films are without a doubt my favourite films of all, but to narrow it down to a top ten has been a very difficult task for me, as a Disnerd, to accomplish. However, after a long thought (and discussion with my mother), I’ve managed to pick a top ten.  I’ve based this on the Walt Disney films and not included live actions or Disney Pixar. These are in order and took a LOT of thought, so without further ado…

10.Lady and The Tramp

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This canine love story is one that definitely pulls at my heart strings and as someone who prefers dogs over people, this is such a lovely film I enjoy curling up to watch. The soundtrack is beautiful, with ‘Bella Notte’ being my favourite song from the entire film.

9.The Aristocats

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Even if you’re a dog > cat person, it’s impossible to not love the tale of this feline family as they try and venture home to their mansion in Paris. The songs are catchy and the entire storyline is full of family friendly comedy and a plot to win you over and really make everybody want to be a cat.

8.The Lion King

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A true classic. The Lion King is a beautiful and emotional film but has the equal balance of comedy for it not to break your heart too much (Mufasa’s death anyone? Still gets me going even today.) The scenery of the film is gorgeous with the African colour scheme and beautiful wild animals. Of course, another film full of songs which will be etched in your mind for many years, including the famous ‘Circle of Life’, it’s no wonder the film inspired a Broadway/West End show.

7.Aladdin

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Starring the late Robin Williams, this is definitely one of his most finest pieces of work with the chucklesome Genie really being what makes this movie what it is. Of course, we can’t forget about the leading Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, who both share a beautiful love story, but where would a Disney film be without a splash of laughter?

6.A Goofy Movie

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To me, this film is highly underrated. A member of the classic Disney films, Goofy, takes his son Max, on a trip of a lifetime, which can only go wrong in true Goofy style. Another film with a great soundtrack full of toe-tapping hits, this film is one that any person who considers themselves a Disney fan needs to see in their lifetime.

5.Pocahontas

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I used to watch this film every Sunday at my Gran’s without fail. Differing from most Disney princess fairytales, this tells the story of Powhatan Indian princess Pocahontas and English explorer, John Smith. Coming from two different worlds who are against one another, Pocahontas and John Smith are brought together during John’s search for a New World before falling for one another. The beautiful animation really introduces a historic native culture to the world and shares the love story of the diverse love interests. Definitely a classic almost forgotten from the Disney films.

4.Beauty and the Beast

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Who couldn’t be in love with Beauty and the Beast? From the hearty characters and the well known songs, not to mention the beautiful animation by Disney. Another wonderful story which teaches that love is love and not defined by a person’s looks. Plus, how amazing is Gaston? One of the best villains going. As much as he isn’t a feminist, you just love to hate him and his selfishness.

3.Sleeping Beauty

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Another Disney princess film I adore is Sleeping Beauty. The magic and thrill of it all is so enticing and I’m absolutely in love with the three good fairies.  The fact that even though they are unaware of who the other person is, Aroura and Phillip are willing to fight for one another’s love, though it ends up they were destined to be together all along. Thank goodness they were actually going to be set up with each other the entire time, right?

2. Peter Pan

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A definite close second, the entire story of Peter Pan and the idea of Neverland has had me in awe since a little girl. A world where growing up doesn’t exist and adventure awaits is truly something I admire and long to exist. Although the music, animation and characters were what appealed to me most as a child, perhaps now at an older age where I’m becoming a young woman with many responsibilities and fear the future is the reason I truly have fallen in love with Neverland.

1. 101 Dalmatians

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Of course, having owned four dalmatians of my own, it’s no surprise that this is my number one Disney film of all time. I’ve been obsessed since I was quite literally a baby and owned more than a fair few hundred of stuffed Dalmatian toys. The thought of that many dogs actually does excite me, despite being a lot of work and for some reason unknown, the breed has always been one I’ve been most attracted to when it comes to dogs. I love to hate Cruella and following the puppies as they prove that dogs are in fact smarter than you think is such an exciting and entertaining story which I love to relive again and again.

 

What are your top 10 Disney films – are any of them mentioned above? Comment below because I love to talk Disney!

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I’m that friend…

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Image credit: tinybuddha.com

Image credit: tinybuddha.com

There’s something that’s been on my mind for years. And lately I’ve thought enough about it to want to say something. I don’t know whether I will keep this blog post up, because I may feel like hiding how I feel again, but for now… I just want to talk about it.

You know people tend to care about friends, make them a huge part of their life, the friends you want to talk to and will easily start the conversation with first if you want to talk to them? I’m not that friend.

I’m ‘the filler friend’, you may say. Allow me to elaborate.

I’ve had lots of different groups of friends growing up and it’s not like each friend group has mutual friend groups with the other groups. Most are complete strangers to one another. But imagine when you’re in a conversation and you begin talking and have something you want to say and then someone will talk over you and people will suddenly turn their attention to them and not give a flying fruit as to what you were saying so you just quiet down. Or when it comes to a group of friends, there’s always someone in the back, who quite frankly almost has to jog to keep up with the others and be walking close enough to be involved. That’s the person I always have been. No matter who I’ve been friends with.

They ask why when I do talk, I’m loud, but it’s because I’m for once trying to be heard. I’m never the friend like “omg I wanna hang out with Jazz, I wonder what Jazz is up to?” Unless, of course, I have or am doing something they want. Like a free concert, or going somewhere good, or able to get free stuff. I’m just the friend that nobody truly gives a damn about.

It’s been this way for as long as I remember. When I was really young in primary school. I mean I would understand if I was an obviously boring person, but I’d like to think that I’m not? Like I have stories I can tell, I have opinions and similarities to all of those friends. But I’m not the one they genuinely feel interested in or want to start talking to first.

The past 7 or so years I’ve had some very unusual and wonderful opportunities thanks to my hobbies or career and sometimes they can be beneficial or interesting to others. People liked that and I thought it was a perfect way to make myself ‘the relevant friend’. But in all honesty? It just made me the ‘friend we need to be friends with because you never know, she could offer us something great’. And that seriously sucks.

I guess maybe this does play a big part in my low self esteem and why I lack so much confidence. Because no matter who I’m friends with, I will always be ‘that’ friend.

Recently, I became friends with someone and, for once, I wasn’t seen as that friend. They were genuinely interested in me and wanted to talk to me and we talked all the time and became really close and I finally felt like someone ACTUALLY liked me for me and wanted to be my friend. But sadly, all good things do come to an end and when things went wrong, I ended up losing that friendship. We’re hopefully trying to patch that up and starting again – at least that’s what I hope the outcome is because I found them as amazing and interesting and a great friend as they made out to think of me. Losing them had a huge impact on me and to live without them  is a dreadfully painful thought. I hope we can patch things up and get to be the way we were because it was a friendship I valued so much and was so afraid to lose and then I did. And it broke me.

I’m sorry for this negative post. I just needed to let off some steam. I needed to be able to talk about it. Maybe someone out there will read this and relate to me. Or maybe I’m just writing a rambling rant and nobody will ever read it, but at least it’s off my chest.

While we’re on the topic of apologising, I’m sorry I haven’t been greatly active on here, either. But things should change soon. I have plans and ideas for what to post and hopefully they’ll be put into action soon. So catch you then.

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June and July Favourites 2016

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Hello, strangers!

I didn’t have too many favourites during June, so I decided to do two months in one. I’ve also been fairly busy the past two months so forgive me for the lack of posts.

 

LUSH’s Grease Lightning

Grease Lightning

My wonderful friend recently sent me a goody box of lovely LUSH products and I took a shine to this one in particular. This zit zapper which includes Fair Trade organic aloe vera gel, fresh sea water and grape juice as some of its alluring ingredients is definitely a winner with me. Throughout June I had a few nasty breakouts of one or two big whoppers and this beaut in a bottle really came to the rescue in sorting them out.

Available for £6.50

LUSH’S Coalface cleanser

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Another product I received was the Coalface cleanser. This was one of the first ever LUSH products I tried and I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. The smell for me takes me back to when I first started using the products, which is nice, but may not be to everyone’s liking. You use it like a typical soap and wash off and it cleanses your skin nicely and consistently.

Available from £5.95

 ‘Girls Talk Boys’ by 5 Seconds of Summer

The Aussie foursome are back with a brand new single and this time, it’s pretty special. The track belongs to the soundtrack of the 2016 remake of ‘Ghostbusters’. The song gives off some very retro funk vibes which honestly makes me think of putting on some flares and heading out to my local disco to bust some moves. As an introvert, however, I just listen to it as I get on with work and mime my heart out.

 

‘Brand New Moves’ by Hey Violet

Speaking of 5 Seconds of Summer, their first band signed to their label, ‘Hi or Hey Records’, have released the lead track of their new EP, ‘Brand New Moves’. Hey Violet are back a year on from their debut ‘I Can Feel It’ and following 5SOS on the retro sounds. I’ve been listening to this song on repeat since the release at the end of July and I honestly cannot wait to hear the upcoming EP releasing later this month.

Tanya Burr Cosmetics matte lip in ‘Martha Moo’

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Beauty guru, Tanya Burr, has released a new range to her beauty line and I was extremely excited to get my hands on the matte lip in the colour ‘Martha Moo’, named after her dog, Martha. The colour reminds me of a 90s grunge which is rich in colour and only needs one application to create the perfect matte lip.

Available for £5.99

 

‘New Dynasty’ EP by Camryn

Camryn is back with her brand new EP, ‘New Dynasty’, which is a five track extended play. Camryn’s sound has matured since her One Direction tour days and is a prime example of where she plans to take her music. I’m super excited to see her near future plans.

‘You Don’t Know Love’ by Olly Murs

Olly has released the first single from his upcoming untitled album and it’s definitely a right bop. I managed to meet up with Murs (after that story) on his radio tour promoting the single and it’s definitely thrilling and refreshing to hear his new music on the airwaves once again.

 

This has been a music-heavy two months for me! What have you been loving lately?

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Quick doggy treats: Chicken Bites

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If you’re unable to go to the shop or fancy trying something different for your furry friend, then this quick recipe is easy enough for you to make a tasty treat which your dogs will love!

Dog treats

Ingreedients 

  • 200g flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter/flora/stork
  • Fresh chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Rub the flour and butter together to make crumbs
  2. Add chicken stock to mix
  3. Mix until dough
  4. Roll out dough
  5. cut shapes
  6. Cook in a medium temperature oven for about 10 minutes
  7. Leave to cool

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Louis and Pepsi love these and I’m sure you’re dogs will, too!

Let me know if you make these and how you get on.

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May Monthly Favourites 2016

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We’re already halfway through the year and I have no idea how. But anyway, here are this month’s favourites!

LUSH’s Rub Rub Rub shower scrub

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I’ve been hearing about this product a lot and I honestly have no idea why I was reluctant to buying it until recently. Thanks to my friend who actually works at LUSH, she totally sang the praises of this product and told me about how people use it as an alternative to shampoo and conditioner. I was sold and gave it a go and oh my goodness, it’s amazing. If you have oily hair then this is amazing. My hair feels so clean and well looked after. I use a slight bit of conditioner on the ends but the rest is just this. It’s also amazing for your body, too. Rub Rub Rub is full of mineral-rich sea salt and organic lemon juice which cleanses the pores and exfoliates your skin. I have been obsessed with this product all month and I’m desperate to get some more. Next time I’ll get the bigger tub for sure.

Get it here for £8.95

LUSH’s Pumice Power

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Another LUSH product I’ve been loving is LUSH’s Pumice Power. I have pretty rough skin on the bottom of my feet and again, my friend from LUSH had my back and introduced me to this little beauty. You just use it in the bath or with a bowl of water and rub it like a pumice stone and it just does wonders for your feet. It may take more than one use to get rid of all the rough skin, but it’s definitely worth it.

Get it here for £3.25

Colourpop – Bianca

Colourpop

I saw Zoella wearing this colour and I couldn’t help but be intrigued with what she was wearing. Thankfully, Zoë was a babe and left a link in the YouTube video of the colour. I ordered it and it was such a beautiful colour which I feel could be used with many different looks.This is a matte liquid lipstick but doesn’t feel too drying. The product seemed to last a long time on my lips, especially when I was out all day in Cardiff and wore it. Of course, when eating it didn’t stay whole so I did apply again to keep it fresh but the overall colour actually stayed and I was pretty impressed.

Get it here for $6.00

 

Reggie N Bollie – New Girl


The X Factor runners-up, Reggie N Bollie, have released their debut single and while I wasn’t their biggest fan during their time on the show, I definitely love this song. It screams summer and has Caribbean vibes. Plus there’s a lot of steel drums which I’m a sucker for in a summer song. I’ve been playing this song a lot since the release and it’s possibly en route for being my song of the summer.

Emma Blackery – Sucks to be You EP

British YouTuber/singer-songwriter, Emma Blackery, released her comeback EP in May and it is honestly such a jam. The pop-punk sound reminds me of the early to mid 00’s and is definitely the kind of music I’m into. There’s not much else to say but it’s just perfect for any pop-rock/pop-punk lovers.

 

What have you been enjoying this month?

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My Top 5 LUSH Products

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LUSH is one of my favourite beauty brands and I mention their products a fair bit on this blog. I have a lot of products I’m love with but I’ve actually narrowed it down to five that I love the most which I’m recommending in this post.

 

5. Milky Bath bubble bar

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This bubble bar is definitely my favourite from LUSH. It contains orange oil and actual skimmed milk so while there’s no expiry date, I definitely recommend using this sooner rather than later. This bar creates a LOT of bubbles which, let’s be honest, are a major plus when it comes to bath time. I definitely recommend!

Get it here for £3.75

4. Charity Pot hand and body lotion

Charity Pot

This lotion is so soft on the skin and has a light and floral scent to it. Ingredients include Fair Trade shea butter, Rosewood Oil and Ylang Ylang oil. The best bit? 100% of the proceeds (minus VAT) go to various good causes  and the lid of your product tells you which charity you have supported. Feel good in more than one way!

Get it for £3.50

3. Love Lettuce fresh face mask

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This mask does wonders for my pores. It tightens them and helps balance out the oil in my t-zone. It smells amazing and includes seaweed gel, almond oil and honey. My face looks so much cleaner and brighter and feels super soft!

Get it for £6.75

2. Cup O’Coffee exfoliating mask

Cup O Coffee

It’s funny because I don’t really like the taste of coffee but I absolutely love the smell. This exfoliating mask is an absolute Godsend. I have rough patches on my elbows and just after 10 minutes of putting this on them and washing it off, they were baby smooth. No surprise this includes coffee infusion! It works well as both a face and body mask and makes your skin feel so soft.

Get it for £6.75

1. Intergalactic bath bomb

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My number one LUSH product is the Intergalactic bath bomb. It was in my April monthly favourites and as you can see from there, it’s like looking at the galaxy in your bath! It’s also super refreshing with ingredients such as grapefruit oil and peppermint oil. I love a good bath bomb, especially when it’s like watching a show of explosions full of colour when you put it in the water!

Get it for £3.95

What’s your favourite LUSH product?

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