If you can spare a few minutes to help a fellow blogger out for her dissertation it would be greatly appreciated!!!
I sorted out my bookcase the other day, its something I like doing at the beginning of the year so I can take stock of the books I have read and the ones I still have to read. Normally, with swapping books with friends and family and acquiring new books through the year I have a pile of around 30 or so books to read before I even think of adding more to my collection.
This year though, has surprised me as I have a grand total of 16 books to read (this is just physical books and doesn’t include my Kindle list…). 4 of the books I have to read are from the Box Of Stories books and the rest are books that have been given to me by friends. Heres the list of books to be read
- An Orphan’s War – Molly Green
- True Lies – Ross Slater
- The Lie – C.L.Taylor
- Nobody’s Child – Michael Seed
- Live, Laugh, Love, Always, Lydia – Lydia Bright
- English – Ben Fogle
- The Green Witch – Murphy-Hiscock
- The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton
- Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant
- The Fame Game – Lauren Conrad
- Infamous – Lauren Conrad
- Starstruck – Lauren Conrad
- Mummy is a killer – Nikkia Robertson
- Daniel Isn’t Talking – Marti Leimbach
- The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams (Aged 2 1/2) – Katie Kirby
- Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak – Julie Cohen
I’ve read #3 previously but want to re-read it. #5, #10, #11, #12 are not really something I would normally read but I sort of like reading books that I wouldn’t normally choose and are out of my comfort zone. #6 and #15 I have started reading previously but stopped for one reason or another so I would really like to finish those at some point, #15 is really funny and one of those books you can pick up whenever!
I’m most looking forward to reading #2 as it looks really interesting. I wrote about this one in my “A Box Of Stories – Unboxing” post.
What books are in your TBR pile? Have you read any that are on my list? What did you think of them?
Back at the end of 2018 I came to a rather abrupt decision, not just to leave Facebook, but to walk out and never go back. Facebook and I are over, we broke up and I never want to see it again (*disclaimer*…at least for the forseeable future…).
So, on the 5th January, after leaving a message up on my Facebook for a week prior saying I was leaving and should anyone want to stay in contact to inbox me their mobile, and after downloading all the information that I wanted to save from my account, I hit the delete account button. Facebook does, kindly, let you know that it puts your account into de-activation mode for a month incase you want to come back within that 30 day period…helpful, but no.
And this wasn’t a decision I had truly thought about and mulled over, I just decided that I was fed up of the social media platform, just like that, there was no decision to be made, I’d had enough and I wanted out there and then. A few friends were pretty surprised as I’d spent half my degree years working on projects about social media and proclaimed my love for Facebook pretty much daily for the past few years.
And here I am now, just over a month into not having a Facebook…do I miss it? Not particularly, though in the beginning I would pick up my phone and not really know why. That habit was quite a worrying one as I had not really noticed how much I used to pick it up to check Facebook and it was a pretty hard one to break too.
So, why did I leave? That’s what you have all been waiting for me to answer right? Well, it was a mixture of things, one being the endless amount of hours I spent scrolling through my feed (and we are talking around 2 hrs a day) and not really getting anything out of it aside from frustration borne from seeing the same things posted over and over again, whether it be videos, memes or articles. No longer was I connecting with friends, I had no idea what any of them were up to in real life as no one seems to share any snippets of their life anymore, and surely that is the one thing that Facebook is supposed to do, after all, their tag line is “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”. And when people did share something personal it always seemed to be a smug photo of them on holiday/at a fancy restaurant/showing off a new purchase/whatever and to me it sort of felt like people were gloating and bragging and, honestly, I really hate that (not to say I’ve never been guilty of that).
Facebook breeds meanness, I used to be in a lot of groups for one thing and another and, while people were encouraged to share things, like, for example, something they had made, the amount of mean comments that were posted underneath made me feel a bit insecure and not wanting to share. I was always taught that if you have nothing nice to say then not to say anything and that is a transferable skill…it works on-line too.
Then there is the whole censoring what you say, not for any political reasons or anything else, but because half the people you work with are on your Facebook friends list and you don’t want them to know certain things, or that you can’t say something because it might upset someone else and it all just becomes a headache.
And don’t get me started on algorithms and that Facebook controls what you see from which friends…
I think what it all boils down to is that I just became really irritated with Facebook and it left me feeling not too good about myself, wasn’t giving me anything in return of any sort of value, it wasn’t enhancing or enriching my life and when that happens, whether it is a real relationship or a relationship with a social media platform I think its time to call it a day.
Since I have left Facebook I have been reading more blogs and articles online that I’m interested in, writing and working on my blog more, creating more and just enjoying time where I have noting to do for what it is – simple, quiet downtime. And its been brilliant.
Will I ever return to Facebook? At the moment I can’t see that happening any time soon, I’m still getting to grips with Twitter and I’m pretty happy with Instagram, but it’s not something I would rule out entirely.
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It seems that hygge is as difficult to define as it is to pronounce, and looking on-line gives both the meaning and pronunciation several versions.
Hygge is Danish, that much I know, and from reading the book “The Little Book Of Hygge” I have come to understand that Hygge is more than some kind of interior design movement.
Hygge to me means comfort, cozy, comfortable, warm, enjoyment, contentment, calm, soft, quiet, peaceful, restful and a lot more than I can really put into words.
Hygge is not something you can bottle and sell. It’s not something you can buy either. Hygge is born, it is crafted, cultivated, nurtured.
It is about memories, warm drinks on a cold day, a hug from a loved one, snuggling up in a warm bed, candle light, quiet nights in with a glass of wine and your favorite book, that feeling you get when you hear your favorite song or catch a brief smell of your favorite scent. It’s all of that with a sprinkling of believing in magic.
Today is Time to Talk Day, an initiative bought about to help end the stigma that surrounds mental health.
I decided that Time To Talk day was something I wanted to get involved with as mental health is something I have had dealings with over the course of my life and the stigma that surrounds mental health has always created a barrier that has stopped me from talking about my mental health. And this stigma seems to be really silly, we all have mental health, whether it is good, bad or you never think about it. I think it is time to start having the conversations about our mental health, just as we do with our physical health, we need to normalise all health issues to the same level.
So, today I am going to share with you my mental health story. (You can find other posts about my mental heath here)
On a Monday morning, back at the beginning of September 2018, I got up to get ready for work and I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t face the idea of getting ready or even leaving the house to go to work, I felt dizzy, a bit sick and really panicky. I already had a routine appointment with my doctor booked in for that morning and I managed to leave the house and get to it. I sat in the doctors waiting room and just didn’t feel connected to myself, it felt like an alien had taken over and inhabited my body. I got called in to the doctor’s office and just burst into tears. I told him how I was feeling and we went through a series of question and answers and he eventually told me that I had anxiety, stress and depression. I was prescribed medication and given a note for 2 weeks away from work and asked to return to the doctor for assessment at the end of that fortnight.
Those first weeks away from work went by in a haze. I got up, took my medication and either slept or lay on the sofa, I couldn’t carry out tasks very easily as my thought process was jumbled and everything felt too hard. My concentration levels dropped which meant that I had difficulty in reading a book or even following a tv show. I don’t know whether that was down to the medication or whether that was my brains way of shutting off in order to heal itself. I told this to the doctor on my next visit.
I had a lot of side effects from my medication, from feeling too hot or cold, feeling sick, shaking, headaches, bad stomach, feeling like I was going to pass out, lack of appetite, I can’t remember them all now. The worst was feeling really wobbly and light-headed all day, so much so, that I didn’t trust myself to get into the shower or have a bath. I was really worried that I would fall or pass out but really needed a shower. In the end, I had to ask a friend to come around and stay while I had a shower incase I did fall.
Over time my medication was increased as my anxiety levels were still really high and I went on to have further side effects from the medication which have now gone as my body has got used to the ingredients.
I still have problems, sleep is an ongoing issue. Despite how tired I am and what I have tried, I am not sleeping very much day-to-day, but when I do sleep I am loosing nearly 24 hours as my body and mind try to catch up. I have been referred to a mental health worker who will be working with me to improve my sleep soon, so hopefully, I will be able to sleep for a full night again. I still feel anxious, worried and feel the panic start to set in but I have a few coping mechanisms which seem to work well for me. I have had a few anxiety/panic attacks (you can read about the worst one here) but generally I am able to take control of them as I feel them coming on, distracting myself by doing something I enjoy seems to help a lot.
I have been off from work for around 4 months now and I can feel my old self starting to return. My concentration levels are increasing and I’m finding that I am able to do more things. I am finding myself enjoying things that I used to and am preparing to return to work.
I think that the main thing I want to say is that if you are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or start to notice that your enjoyment in life seems to be shrinking then it really is worth speaking to a medical practitioner. There is no shame to be had by saying that you are not ok, and seeking help for it. I have also been blessed with having family and friends who I have been able to talk to and who have supported me through this period of time which has really helped me, whether it has been a phone call to ask how I am, a text or a visit, going shopping or cooking for me when I have been unable to, having a support network has really aided me along the way.
If you need to talk, there are lots of places you can turn to and a host of on-line support available as well as groups that meet in person, to find out what is available to you in your area Google is a good place to start.
And if you ever need someone to talk to, you can always drop me an email – email@example.com.
I wrote, last month, about My Quest for the Perfect Bag and it seems that, like busses, 2 always seem to arrive at once! Yep, I now have 2 bags that are pretty perfect for what I wanted!
The first bag I bought in TKMaxx.
It is by Pierre Cardin and is a lovely pewter shade. It has a metallic finish but isn’t particularly shiny due to its textured, faux leather finish, and looks really classy. There is minimal branding, just a tiny metal “Pierre Cardin” signature logo on the front, top centre, though the bag could be worn so the branding isn’t showing. There are 3 main pockets, the 2 outer ones have no inner pockets or zipped compartments but the centre one has a zipped pocket and 2 small open pockets. This bag has a strap that is half chain and half material the same as the bag, the chain parts attach to the bag and the material part is designed to go over the shoulder.
Things I like about this bag.
- The zip pulls. The tabs to the zips have been made from the same material as the bag so match in really nicely and I love that they are really long and easy to get hold of.
- 3 big compartments. I can fit my Filofax into the middle one and other bits into each side.
- The silver, metal zips. They look really nice against the pewter finish of the bag and open and close relatively easily where some metal zips stick.
- The material. It is a faux leather and looks to be quite hard wearing which is perfect for me who puts a bag through its paces!
Not so good things about the bag.
- The jump rings holding the chain broke almost straight away. The bag wasn’t full or heavy but the jump rings gave way on my way from the car to the supermarket – not ideal. I have fixed them with keyring hoops.
- The metal chain can catch on certain fabrics, like knitwear and also has caught my hair a few times, tough I guess this is the nature of a chain.
- The bag is slightly too small for all my things that I need for work. I sort of wish I had taken all the things I normally carry with me and tried them all in the bag before I bought it. Though, this bag is definitely one that I will be using regularly, both for work and when I’m going out somewhere as it looks really nice and will go with all my outfits!
The second bag I bought is from Artsac.
This bag is by a company called Artsac, I had one of these when I was in uni and I loved it. To be honest though, I had forgotten all about the brand but re-discovered them when browsing multi-pocket bags online. When I saw that there was a sale on I jumped at the chance to buy one as I knew, from previously owning one, how durable and tough they are. I was torn between buying a red one, a pink one or one of their colour block ones, but decided on this lovely blue colour. The bag is nylon (I know…I did say that I didn’t really want a nylon bag…) but has so many pockets for all my bits and bobs and is big enough to carry all my things that I decided to break a rule to accommodate this purchase. And I’m so pleased I did. The strap is really wide, in a woven heavy-duty fabric, there are 2 big main zip compartments, both big enough to fit my Filofax, kindle, notebook and pencil-case in, one of these compartments has 2 slip pockets and the other has a small zip pocket inside. There is a big zip section on the outside back of the bag which will hold notes and letters, 2 pockets in the flap of the bag, under which, there is another zipped pocket which will fit my keys, purse, phone and lip gloss. This will be my main bag for taking everywhere as it is really light, due to the fabric it is made of, and it is perfect for my style which is both bright and more on the casual side!
Things I like about this bag.
- The pockets and compartments – they are the perfect size, and amount for all my things!
- The colour which is brilliant for my style and what I was looking for.
- The style of the bag. As it is a cross body bag it means I will be able to have it hooked on one shoulder or across my body when shopping.
Not so good things about the bag.
- Its nylon. I know I had a bag from Artsac before and it worked really well and was really hard-wearing but I’m a bit worried about how this one is going to last and how quickly it shows signs of wear…still, that’s a worry and nothing to do with the bag at the moment.
- No corner or base protection. I would have liked to see some kind of protectors on the corners of the bag as I think they will wear the quickest. And the addition of studs to the bottom would have given extra protection. That said, I tend to keep my bag on carpeted floor or hanging from the back of chairs anyway.
Which of my bags do you like the most? And what are your favorite bags? Do you have any links for ones that you can share in the comments?
Thank you Candace of Revenge Of Eve for the nomination to take part in this tag! If you have not visited Revenge of Eve, I really do recommend that you do! Candace posts about arts, crafts and mental health amongst other things, she is really friendly too, and though I’ve not been following her for long I am really enjoying getting to know her and look forward to her posts!
The tag is created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip.
Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!
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Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
Tag 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’
Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, mean answer as and when.
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