IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I honestly can't believe how quick it's came around this year, so to get things started with a ban...

Blogmas Tag 2018


IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

I honestly can't believe how quick it's came around this year, so to get things started with a bang its time for the blogmas tag :D

so I'm gonna answer some questions and pass the tag on then you do it too!! Ready?! Let's go!

Blogmas Questions:

1. What’s your favourite Christmas song?
So, I love Christmas songs but it has to be a bit of Michael Buble or Wham!

2. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
Has to be Mickeys Once upon a Christmas 🎄 THIS WILL NEVER CHANGE!

3. Are you good or bad at wrapping presents?
I’m terrible unless it’s a box or a tub of sweets!
 
4. Do you have any family traditions?
Yes! We open 1 present on Christmas Eve and then read our Christmas story :)

5. Favourite Christmas food?
Probably Christmas pudding or candy canes

6. Mince pies or Christmas pudding?
Hmmm, this is a tough one! I love them both but Christmas pudding with fresh cream is a winner!!

7. Do you wake up early on Christmas Day or have a lie in?
Early!! We were up at 4am last year!! This year will probably be the same!

9. Best cracker joke?
Q: 
What does Miley Cyrus have for Christmas?
A: Twerky

10. Do you give/ receive any yearly gifts?
Yes!! My mum buys us a ‘crappy Callander’ every year!
And also we put an orange in stockings too! It’s a weird yearly thing!

11. Have you got a New Years resoloution yet?
Yes! To Grow My Business!

12. Are you dressy or pj’s on Christmas Day?
Pjs all day long!!! Unless we're going to see family then its more like a onesie lol

13. What’s for Christmas dinner?
Normally chicken we're not turkey fans but sometimes we have gammon it’s so good!

14. What’s on your wish list this year?
Alexa Dot, Handbag, a purse and some cuddles

15. Do you buy local/handmade items or mass produced?
Honestly a little of both! It’s hard with the kids wanting his and that ‘must have’ toys!

16. When do your tree and decs go up?
This year we did it on 27th november :)

17. Midnight mass or not?
Not for us! We love Christmas party’s though!

18. What age did you stop believing?
Honestly, I was about 9/10 and it bloody killed me :(

19. What’s your favourite Christmas event?
Has to be going to see Lilli in the school concert she just melts me :D

20. Are you a Christmas fanatic?
I wouldn't say fantastic but its growing on me :D

Really hope you enjoyed my questions and I hope you get to answer them :D

I’m tagging Michaela from At Home With Kayla, Karina from Mums The Nerd, Alice from Living With A Jude, Naomi from Me Becoming Mum, Lisa from That British Betty,  Laura from Laura Morningstar and Emma from Me The Man And The Baby :D

Much love
Mumma
X

Test for Tommy - every newborn baby deserves the test that could help save their life. Imagine if you were about to have a baby...

Test for Tommy Campaign

Test for Tommy - every newborn baby deserves the test that could help save their life.



Imagine if you were about to have a baby. Now imagine you’d heard that there was a test that could be carried out on all newborn babies – a quick, easy and painless test that could help detect potentially life-threatening heart disease. You’d want your baby to have that test, wouldn’t you?
Tiny Tickers, the baby heart charity, thinks so too and that’s why they have created their latest campaign, Test for Tommy. The campaign is named in memory of baby Tommy, who died from undiagnosed heart defect at eleven days old. And by ‘test’, they are referring to pulse oximetry testing.
Pulse oximetry testing is a non-invasive test that can be performed a few hours after birth and measures a baby’s blood oxygen levels. With a simple probe attached to baby’s head and foot, you get a reading within seconds. Low percentage levels could be a sign of a heart problem, meaning the baby would be sent for further examination. This would then start the chain of events that would hopefully save their life.
At present, pulse oximetry isn’t part of the mandatory NHS newborn checks (NIPE), meaning not every baby leaving hospital has the test. One in 125 babies are born every year with a serious heart condition and, at present, 1000 leave hospital with no-one knowing they have a potentially life-threatening illness. Tiny Tickers wants to change that, by creating a safety net for those 1000 babies. They are doing this by placing pulse oximetry machines in maternity wards across the UK.
Let’s look at two babies, born with the same heart condition and see the difference a pulse oximetry test can make…
When Tommy was born, he displayed all the signs of heart failure that his mum, Natasha, now knows about – his skin was a blue colour, he didn't want to feed, he was always asleep and cold to touch. Natasha knew something was wrong and voiced her concerns to numerous medical professionals, but it was too late. Tragically, at 11 days old, Tommy passed away. Tommy's post-mortem showed he had Transposition of the Great Arteries, a heart condition that can be treated with surgery. Natasha is now passionate about ensuring all babies receive a pulse oximetry test because, if Tommy had been tested, he may still be here today.
Tom was also born with Transposition of the Great Arteries. Unlike Tommy, he received a pulse oximetry test after birth. His oxygen saturation levels were dangerously low and his heart condition was diagnosed soon after the test. Tom had open heart surgery at eight days old and is now approaching his third birthday.  His mum Nicola, forever grateful for the pulse oximetry test that helped to save his life, says, ‘Without the pulse oximetry test, which is currently not a compulsory part of newborn testing, we would have been sent home. It terrifies me how differently our story may have turned out.’
Sadly, the horror Nicola can only imagine, is a daily reality for Natasha. The stories of two babies with similar names and the same heart condition end so differently because one was offered a pulse oximetry test and the other wasn’t. It’s that simple.
Tiny Tickers has already placed 70 pulse oximetry machines at hospitals throughout the UK and, through the Tommy's Test campaign, they seek to fund 330 by 2021. But they need our help. With congenital heart disease being one of the biggest killers of infants in the UK, there’s no time to waste.

All babies deserve the best start. Help Tiny Tickers to make sure every baby receives a pulse oximetry test by donating today. For more information, and to donate to the Test for Tommy campaign, visit www.tinytickers.org/test-for-tommy  or text BABY46 £5 to 70070 and help support more tiny hearts.
Natasha says, ‘I can never explain to someone the pain of losing your baby. It’s a pain nobody wants to imagine or ever feel’. Let’s help Tiny Tickers ensure no more babies die from an undiagnosed heart condition. Every newborn deserves the test that could save their life. Thank you.

Tiny Tickers Registered Charity No: 1078114

*Disclosure- This post is a pre-written post with credit to the Tiny Tickers Charity but I'm happy to post as its a subject that we should all be aware of*

Before we kick this post off I better tell you guys a bit about me! I'm Gemma, a mental health and recovery blogger, you...

Depression, anxiety and self-image - My experience - GUEST POST







Before we kick this post off I better tell you guys a bit about me! I'm Gemma, a mental health and recovery blogger, you'll find me over at www.musingsofamisfit.co.uk . I'm 26, from Cardiff in the UK and I'm currently at the start of my own recovery from mental illness.
Depression, anxiety and self-image - My experience
Looking at that photo of me you'd think I'm a confident, happy and carefree person wouldn't you? However, I'm not. Not really. Since I was about 12, I have struggled with depression. Now that was way back in the early 2000's and if you talked about suicidal thoughts as a child you'd be told you were attention seeking and reading too many stories. The problem is, that's not true. The feelings are real, the thoughts are there and before anyone knew it I actually tried to end my life at 13. I guess at those ages it was more so because of the relentless bullying I faced in primary and secondary school. (This was all before social media was a major thing... The best we had then was Bebo and Myspace. Even the phones were rubbish back then.)
Honestly speaking, back at those ages, it was because of the bullying. It made me hate myself, every single detail I would find a flaw with just because I've been told over and over and over there is something wrong with me. I felt fat, disgusting and unloveable. The problem with mental illnesses; for example depression and anxiety. They cling to the negatives, they'll start to loop them and just brush off anything positive. It becomes an auto response to anything. Your family and friends could tell you different but you don't believe it because you've been told otherwise so much that your mind even tells you the bad is true. 
I went through a phase where I would starve myself or make myself sick. (I sometimes still go back to this because it's a learned behaviour but not as drastic as I did back then.) I would look up liposuction surgery, facial reconstruction surgery... anything to fix this issue. This only got worse once I had my own laptop when I was a little older. The only reason my parents never knew was that I was a clever kid who knew how to delete browsing history for my sessions on the family PC.
It got worse for me over the years, everything piling itself up on bit by bit until I've reached a breaking point and am accepting the help. However, there are more reasons why this got worse for me after those ages. It would be more appropriate to check my blog out to know more about what factors made my mental health. This is due to the nature of the subject material.
During the years after that until now? Well, I've never really liked myself. I've had everyone, including partners telling me I wasn't good enough. I had been told I was a 'consolation prize'. I needed to lose weight to be loved, I needed to look a certain way, act in another way in order to even be liked. Now that sort of thing really messes with someone who struggles with their mental health and self-image enough as it is. 
I became very withdrawn over the years until I met my husband. I'd engage in negative coping mechanisms, many of which were taught to me by people over the years. Some of which I found by myself in an attempt to feel something other than the misery, the dread and the emptiness inside of me. A whole load of feelings that became who I was, became my autopilot. They were the only constant in my life and I didn't know how to feel any other way. I still searched for various ways to lose weight, to fix my face. I did a few times during these years trying to take my life again. I didn't see a point in ruining everyone's lives with my existence.
Finding love again when you're that broken is like a fairytale. It's not as smooth, don't get me wrong. I didn't realise how bad I was struggling until 2 and a half years with my husband. However, it still felt like a fairytale. He was my prince charming and I feel he rescued me not only from a never-ending loop of being hurt by others. He saved me from myself, from my constant negativity. He showed me what it was like to be actually happy, how to feel appreciated. How to feel respected, wanted and most importantly loved for I am.
Being loved for who I am... Body size, looks, personality and all. He loved everything. He still does, even though I'm struggling with my mental health. It's an amazing feeling and a strange concept to me even now. I still need reassurance, if I put on weight or even lose it. If I'm feeling like that ugly troll that I've been made to feel like, I need his reassurance. That is what my mental illness and the years of being put down has done to me.
I'm hoping someday soon, I won't need that reassurance. I'll feel great 24/7 not just sometimes when I do a good job with dressing up and doing my makeup. I'll be that confident super-woman who won't let people knock her down. But for now, I accept feeling okay at least sometimes... it's better than what I used to feel like. For now, I'll accept the moments, hours, sometimes even days where my mental illness isn't making me feel like a burden and I should just give up. I'm working on that, I'm working on everything and that's what matters.
How am I working on it?
Well, I'm finally open to getting support since my last recent attempt. It was kind of a wakeup call for me that something is still very wrong with me. I mean I have everything I've ever wanted and yet I still feel that way? Yeah, it's a wakeup call that I'm still struggling.
So being open with getting support, trying everything they do offer to me and working with what I feel works for me helps a lot. I'm under the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and have a Community Practice Nurse (CPN) who I discuss my treatments, any issues and how I'm feeling with. 
I'm awaiting psychiatrist and course appointments and may be put on the waiting list for more support as well as my current talk therapy with New Pathways. I'm open to trying medication if they believe that will help me. I'm even trying to just talk more about how I am and take action where I need to if I'm feeling at that extremely low / crisis state.
I'm even writing my own blog about my mental health issues and my recovery in order to have a more positive outlet than my journal. I'm hoping actually that it reaches others who may feel like I have and stop them from making the same mistakes I did. 14 is years is a long time to struggle without help.
So what can we do about it, how can we fix this?
Sadly, we can't ultimately fix this.
Mental illness happens because of so many different causes and it's hard to stop each and every one of them. Self-image gets battered the same way. Its hard to pin-point every single cause and make them disappear.
A main factor for children and for self-image is bullying and sadly, we can't magically eradicate bullying. (Especially with how prevelant technology and social media is nowadays) The best we can do is battle it and raise awareness about how it affects people. We can get schools to actually clamp down on it rather than just having a policy that they don't actually follow!
So in terms of the mental health (and probably still self-image) what can we do?
We can raise awareness. There's too much stigma around mental health and it's a joke that it's still here on in 2018! People suffer, people need help. So what? Mental health is just as important as physical health. You don't expect someone with a broken leg to not complain about their pain or get up and walk it off... So why would you with a mental illness?
We need to talk more about mental illnesses and the effects they can have on you. We need this taught in schools, we need more people day in day out making themselves heard! We need to encourage people to talk about it, we need to reach out to our family, our friends even strangers who may be struggling. It's not talked about enough and people are dying every single day due to mental illness and suicide. Does that not point out that there's a problem?
Well, If I'm honest with you... If people talked more about it when I was growing up and not assumed that I was 'attention seeking'. Maybe, just maybe I would have actually got help then and not waited until I had a breakdown 14 years later. I'll leave that thought with you.

Keep following for more great posts just like this one! Mumma x

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Before we start, I really need to make this abundantly clear. OCD is not a condition in whi...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder : A Mental Health Guest Post

mental health



Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Before we start, I really need to make this abundantly clear. OCD is not a condition in which someone is ‘a little bit’ OCD. Nor is it a condition in which someone likes to be tidy and cannot stand to see mess. Just because you arrange your books in colour order on a shelf, it does not follow that you have OCD. You do not have OCD if you wake-up in the night and suddenly wonder if you have turned off the oven.
OCD is one of the most debilitating mental health conditions. It changes lives. It is like a parasite that impacts on families of sufferers in a most cruel way. It’s incredibly serious and life-altering. It’s time that more people were educated about what the condition is and what can be done to help people. We really need to understand it more and respect people who suffer from it.
A correct definition of OCD is when someone has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
Sufferers report that it can start with a very simple thought that someone needs to repeat a behaviour, or the consequences will be dire; such as the loss of a family member. Whilst many people may experience this at some point and be able to swiftly remove it from their train of thought, OCD sufferers are unable to do so, and this will ultimately result in more repetitive behaviour and increased fear of punishment. This may lead to complicated rituals that the sufferer must follow daily or they will be convinced that they will be punished in some horrific way. There are some sufferers who develop whole rituals because it is their way of coping with the condition and eventually the rituals become so complex that the sufferer is unable to go through their daily life, hold down a job or even go outside. It also impacts on families as families must cope with the obsessive behaviour and must make allowances for it.
Cleanliness can be a huge factor in OCD but not in a good way. Sufferers become concerned with germs and the fear of catching serious illnesses from being in contact with the germs. They will possibly resort to touching things such as handles and light switches only with kitchen towel or tissues and they will also be dealing with other intrusive thoughts making them complete these rituals several times in an hour and throughout the day. They may need to wipe a plate or glass at least fifty or a hundred times to make sure that it is clean. Eventually they may stop eating as the whole process becomes so arduous.
What can be done to help sufferers?
As with many mental health conditions, getting a sufferer to acknowledge that they have a problem is a huge step in the road to recovery. Many sufferers are too embarrassed or anxious to admit that they have a problem. It is thought that combining CBT- cognitive behavioural therapy with medication of  selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can work to redress the balance of chemicals in the brain as well as enabling the sufferer to face the fears that have led to the compulsive behaviour. Sadly, NHS mental health services are under so much pressure nowadays that it can take a long time to be referred to a service. In the meantime, it helps sufferers to be encouraged to embark on a self-care programme. Eating healthily, taking regular exercise, learning mindfulness and learning to switch off. Whilst these won’t cure OCD, they will help to alleviate some of the symptoms. It’s also a really good idea to seek out a support group or a charity that will provide further information.

I'm Elizabeth, I am a writer, a teacher and an examiner.
I write everything from non-fiction articles on educational issues, autism and gardening to social media strategies and fictional writing. I recently completed my first novel; Control. Alt. Delete. It’s an inspirational story of a woman who becomes a victim of coercion and control and how she manages to escape and survive.
I’m married and I live with my husband, two children and two cats, Barbara and Mittens in South Yorkshire.  I’m a champion of autism and I advise parents who are going through the EHC system.  I’ve been a teacher in a wide range of roles in a variety of educational settings for over twenty-five years.
You can find more from Elisabeth Straw here:

Halloween is coming up fast and I'm starting prep for my party! I've been looking at some great Halloween themed products for all...

Halloween Gift Guide

halloween gift guide
Halloween is coming up fast and I'm starting prep for my party!
I've been looking at some great Halloween themed products for all ages, so take a look and just remember if you use my codes at the bottom you can save money too ;)

First, we'll start with the alcohol, Fallen Angel Vodka, Its a great Halloween gift and drink, the bottle is shaped like the devil! how cool is that?! We got sent a 50ml signature bottle to test and the vodka is lovely, nice and smooth and doesn't smell bad either. its the perfect novelty gift to give and it looks great on the shelf after and at £8.50 what a bargain gift!
 













Then its all about the decor, Why not check out these great decorations for your Party from Studio24, from floating skeletons to inflatable pumpkins Studio has it all to make your party be as scary as you like!


Got kids coming to the party? make sure they're entertained too by getting a few spooky party games like this from what2buy4kids.                                        

Halloween parties, not your thing? Why not take the kids away to Legoland for 

Brick or Treat is back this Halloween Half Term!


EVENT DETAILS:
Enjoy over 55 rides, attractions and spooktacular activities across the Resort and get your 2nd Day FREE – remember to dress up your little ghouls for our costume competition – brand new for 2018.

Don't miss out on the ultimate family Halloween experience to make memories to last a lifetime!

Plus, on 20th/21st/26th/27th & 2nd November enjoy an incredible fireworks show with 3D exploding LEGO bricks!

DATES: 18/10/18 - 02/11/18





Don't forget the What2Buy4Kids Monster Sale and to use my code below to save 10% :D

I hope you have a great Halloween whatever you decide to do and make sure you stay safe :D

Much Love
Mumma
X


*Disclosure: Some links in this post are Affiliate links and if you click and buy from then i get a percentage of that perchase to help me create more great content*

I know some of you are going to say it's too early for Christmas but its now October and really we only have 83 days left!!  Every ...

Letters From Santa....

I know some of you are going to say it's too early for Christmas but its now October and really we only have 83 days left!! 
Every year we always write a letter to Santa with what we would like for Christmas and Lilli is always gutted she doesn't get one back (i know lazy mummy lol) So this year we found Lapland Mail Room and OMG it is amazing!! You put in all your child/ children's details and get a personalised letter from Santa to them!!!

Look how easy it is:

Letters to santa
 Just choose the letter you want to personalise out of the 4 different packages and enter your child's details, details include their age, name, gender and other little sentiments like what you left for Santa and Rudolph last year, who your friend is so santa doesnt forget them and you can even add their most hoped for toy! 

Letters to santa


After entering all the details, watch the magic come alive as you read your child's letter, all letters are written slightly differently for each child so will never be the same!

Lastly, add your address (don't worry it will come addressed to them not you) so you can sit back, relax and watch the magic happen.

So how simple is that?! Take a look now!

Much Love
Mumma
X

Hi, I’m Nic, a twenty-something lesbian from Bournemouth. I run a lifestyle blog which covers a variety of content from Disney, LGBT l...

A Day In The Life - Guest Post - A Twenty Something Lesbian








Hi, I’m Nic, a twenty-something lesbian from Bournemouth. I run a lifestyle blog which covers a variety of content from Disney, LGBT life, Events, Wedding planning and mental health.

Mental health is a topic that is really important to me, although there is great progress being made in terms of awareness, there is unfortunately still a stigma surrounding it. We need to feel comfortable to discuss mental health openly and honestly, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. 

Most people will experience some form of mental health at some point in their lives. For me, I struggled with depression on and off for about 6/7 years, until I was 20. It was something that suffocated me, but I got so used to feeling that way, I just became numb. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling for years, I suffered and struggled with it alone for too long. I got so good at putting on my ‘brave face’ that not even my closest friends and family noticed, it wasn’t until I managed to pull myself out of that dark place, they saw the extreme change in me.

Sometimes I just felt low and worthless, but at times I was self-harming and suicidal. 

When I was in college I was at one of my lowest points and my mental health was taking over my life so I put myself into to see the college counsellor, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It forced me to be vulnerable and open up, by talking to my counsellor it was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders, it didn’t make the depression go away overnight, but I truly believe that it put me on the path to healing and I’m now depression free, I haven’t self-harmed in years and I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I opened up and spoke to my parents about how I was feeling, after a few tears it’s made our bond even stronger. I used to bottle everything up and it made me so unwell, but now I live my life as an open book and it’s changed my life, for the better.

I now do everything I can to help and support my partner, who was recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and spread awareness of the importance of talking about how we feel because it really did change my life.


Let us know if you think seeing a counsellor is/was beneficial in the comments below.
You can find Nic HERE and on social media :D

Much Love
Mumma
X

High-Functioning Depression High-functioning depression is something that’s not talked about a lot.  Whenever I’m on social media, lo...

High-Functioning Depression – A Myth? - Guest Post

High-Functioning Depression
High-functioning depression is something that’s not talked about a lot.  Whenever I’m on social media, looking through some of the hashtags or talking to the different people on there, I find very few mentions of it.  It’s something I feel needs talking about.  So I’d like to tell you a bit about my depression and how I am a high-functioning depressed person.
When talking about depression, for those who haven’t experienced it personally, people often picture someone like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh: someone who is gloomy, pessimistic and anhedonic.  If you think of the stereotype, it’s often someone who might look a bit like this:
https://i0.wp.com/pushingbacktheshadows.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/stock-man-depressed-anxiety-sad-stress-worry-bed-7y2w.jpg?resize=840%2C560


Does that look familiar?  Your stereotypical, socially-perceived depressed person.  Well, what people don’t always realise is that there are two types of depression.
This one is known as low-functioning depression.  It’s what society commonly perceives to be “depression” and it’s where stigma creates one of the biggest problems for people who are depressed, because it’s “the way we should be”, even though that’s not the case.
The Reality of High-Functioning Depression
As you may have guessed, high-functioning depression is the complete opposite of low-functioning depression.  We don’t get stuck in the funk where we cannot do anything, we don’t spend hours upon hours trapped in our beds, we function more than that.  If anything, we appear to be normal members of society.  That does not, however, mean that we aren’t struggling.  Check out this article by amysboarderlineworld, which sums up what I’m trying to say quite nicely.
You see, we might appear to be normal, functioning members of society but that is an illusion, a myth we have created for others to see.  We struggle, perhaps just as much as someone with low-functioning depression.  We just continue along our lives as though nothing is wrong which, in turn, makes us seem like nothing is wrong.
That is the reality.  The struggle.  People see that we are “normal, functioning members of society” and assume that we are not depressed or anxious (as that’s the thing, it isn’t limited to depression).  Unfortunately, it’s the way it works, for people seem to think we are, for want of a better word, “normal”.
But we’re not.
I’m a High-Functioning Depressed Person
In reality, you won’t see me struggling.  I’m good at hiding it.  Very good at hiding it.  Look for it and you might miss it, because we get on with what we need to do.  I certainly do.  Even on the bad days, I’m frequently plodding along with whatever I need to do.  At work, back when I worked at the bank, I was often on a bad day yet no one knew.  Out of 100 employees who worked in the same office as me, only one person ever frequently picked up on my bad days.  In some cases, I’ve been on self-destructive bad days with blood leaking from self-harm wounds.  It’s not been pretty.
So high-functioning depression and anxiety is something we need more awareness of.  We need to get those discussions going!  In that vein, check out the post from The Mighty below, which will round off my point nicely.

If you want to check out more of Alex’s pieces you can find him here: http://www.pushingbacktheshadows.com/

Much Love
Mumma
X