The power of positivity & goodbye 2016

2016 was the year I wanted to be more positive.  I planned to write one good thing, no matter how small, from each day in a diary and do you know what?  I succeeded. Not 100% but almost. For some reason the last few weeks I haven't been doing it much as I keep forgetting but I'd say 11 and a half months of the year is pretty good going.

There have been, as always, highs and lows this year.  It's difficult to focus on the positives too when life is plagued by illness but I wanted to make more of an effort to not let the illness and the things I can't do be the focus.  There's no getting away from it, however I really think it's helped not dwelling so much on the rubbish stuff.

I've laughed a lot, been to various special events and celebrations (2016 has been the year of being able to get dressed up & partake in socialising!), visited friends in far away places, stayed in bed watching Netflix and not felt guilty about it, got a mobility scooter (woo), made lots of memories with my girlie who makes me giggle every day and basically keeps me sane! Just living life a bit (no matter how poorly I've been afterwards!!) because isn't life for living?

I've also had two vitamin D deficiencies and been mega poorly with the M.E, had lots of funny turns and and had to spend a lot of time resting... but in spite of all that I am still smiling!  I feel grateful for the nice things and all the good people I have in my life. People who keep me going, who make me belly laugh and who are there when I need them. Despite the rubbish times I've still managed to find something good in each day.  Even if it has been something that a lot of people would discard as not important. Little things are big things for us poorly people.  I feel proud that despite being faced with many challenges, I've pretty much managed to keep positive. Not the whole time but pretty much!

Hopefully I can keep at it in 2017 and I've got some nice things to look forward to already which always helps.  I find having things to look forward to really important even if I do often panic about being well enough to do them!

The last few years I have done a memory box where I've written stuff on a piece of paper that has made me smile, made me laugh or just things I know I'd forget if I didn't make a note of. I fold them up and put them away in the box.  The tradition seems to have been that we open it on New Year's Eve but today after a bit of a rough week, I decided we should have an early sneak peek.  It's amazing how much you forget until you are prompted and you remember clearly again.  Some of the stuff made me really giggle and some just made me do a big "aaaaaaw".  I can't recommend it enough.

As much as I feel like saying good riddance to 2016 for various reasons, it's also been a year of smiles and happy times for which I'm very grateful.

Wishing you all a very happy, sparkly and as healthy as possible 2017!



All I want is to protect my girl

When you are a parent your number one priority is your child.  You love them unconditionally and you want to protect them.  There is so much evil in the world and I know realistically we can't protect them or wrap them up in cotton wool but we still try.

The last week has thrown a few issues our way and without saying too much, if someone hurts your child, it also hurts you. More than anything.  You want to be able to protect them but it's not possible all the time. You're not with them some of the time. So why does it make you feel like you have failed as a parent? That you haven't done your job properly in protecting them?

I have touched on bullying previously and it's something I hate with an absolute passion.  I know it goes on and I also sadly know a lot of people that it has affected and it breaks my heart. Why can't people just be nice? Whether physical or mental bullying, it hurts.  It causes pain.  It has lasting effects but bullies just don't care.  Their actions have serious consequences yet they just carry on doing it.  Stuff people say (which I've talked about in a whole seperate post here) can be as bad as hurting someone physically.  Physical assault though is absolutely unacceptable. As a parent it's unacceptable in a kind of 'mess with my child, you mess with me' kind of way.

I know the world can be a big bad place but it can also be a lovely one so it's difficult. Bringing up a child in a world full of horrible things and equally horrible people makes it hard to focus on the good sometimes, but that's what we need to do. Stick a big two fingers up at the bad eggs and make each day as happy as possible.  Although seeing red when someone hurts you and yours is inevitable...

I've always told my daughter that she can talk to me no matter what and that she can tell me anything.  I had/still have a close relationship with my mum and even told her the first time I was going clubbing (age 15.. my daughter won't be doing the same)!!!  I remember one night someone's parent stormed into a nightclub after finding out they were there and dragged them out.  I think knowing my mum knew where I was was better than her not knowing.  Despite my little girl not even being 8 yet, she luckily does tell me things. Some of it I sometimes wish I didn't know as hearing not so nice things are difficult, but then that's where your job as a parent kicks in and appropriate action can be taken if necessary!

If I had a magic wand I'd make the world full of rainbows and unicorns and everyone would be lovely!!  Until that happens (one can dream) I will just do my best to be there for my girl. To help her focus on the good stuff and to deal with or block out the bad. What's that thing they say... being a parent is the hardest job in the world.  They're not wrong!

(Oh and don't be a bully!)



Be kind!

You always find out who is there for you when life throws a curve ball at you.  It seems to take bad stuff happening to show you who really cares.  I'm not just talking about things regarding me and mine, but I've seen it so much in other situations recently too.  Life can be so tough but it's the people around us who can make a difference.

I know I've blogged before about random acts of kindness but it really doesn't take much to be kind; to spare a thought for others, to take time to ask how people are and if they're not OK, to be there for them. Whether it is just for a few kind words, a shoulder to cry on or physically being there in some way.  Hugs help a lot!  Doing random acts of kindness is such a brilliant thing which everyone could (and should do).  One of my previous posts is here.

I have found myself thinking a lot lately that I wish I had a magic wand to take all the rubbish away for so many people.  It makes me so sad seeing people suffer for whatever reason but I know I can't do anything other than just let them know I'm here.  Having people there for me too when I've needed it really does help.

I have also been thinking lately about people who are suffering for other reasons and it prompted me to do another collection for our local food bank.  We sometimes take stuff anyway but I thought it would be nice to try and get a bigger box together, especially with the festive season approaching.  Stuff like mince pies and some chocolate treats would make such a massive difference to families and those with children too would be so grateful.

It makes me so sad to think of people who can't afford the very basics. And isn't the festive season all about giving?! I made a few pleas for help on social media but other than a few friends who are donating things, I have had no response!!  I know people may already be doing similar and I know people get sick of seeing charity requests and the like too, but I thought something like giving a few tins or some cartons of juice might be an easy one to help with. It really makes me so sad (and mad) but I should try not to let it dishearten me!!

Something else that upset me recently too was seeing a friend of a friend appealing for help from people to sign up to the bone marrow register as his daughter's leaukamia had returned and she is in need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life.  He had previously done another post on Facebook to try and reunite a Pandora bracelet he had found with it's owner after finding it at a shopping centre.  That post had been shared 7100 times in under 24 hours.  The post requesting help regarding the bone marrow register was shared 173 times.  I hope they don't mind me putting this here but if you wanted to sign up to register for the bone marrow register you can do here or here.

It just sadly seems that in this day and age unless stuff affects people, they don't often seem to care.  I've experienced it myself when fundraising for charities close to my heart, when people I thought would support me never did.  Yet stupid, meaningless stuff is shared daily.  Something is wrong somewhere but hey ho, such is life!

My own image

Those who continue to be there for me (and others), thank you :-)



Mila and Pheebs subscription box for children

Hello! I've been AWOL for a while due to my health being rubbish - I found out I had a Vitamin D deficiency last month, so on top of the M.E it's been rough.  However I'm on boosters for it now and it's making a difference so I'm hoping I can start writing a bit more regularly again.

You may remember me posting previously about Mila and Pheebs.  My other post about them is here but we (I mean little Miss!) love them so I wanted to share some of the recent box contents.  For those who don't know, they do kids' craft boxes which can be purchased as a monthly subscription or as a one off box for £9.99 including postage.

There are always colouring sheets, a wordsearch, stickers, an iwako eraser, embossed cards and envelopes and a themed paperclip in each box along with various other stuff.

The theme for the September box was Carnival and my little Miss was really excited about getting it. It certainly didn't disappoint.

As well as doing all the activities and the craft kits, she also made some extra stuff utilising and taking inspiration from the things in the box.  She decided to make an actual carnival for her tooth fairy as she lost another tooth around the time of the box arriving!

Her imagination astounds me sometimes.  She (I) cut out the unicorns from the page markers and stuck them onto straws which we attached to a paper plate.  We used the remaining part of the plate to make a helter skelter and made popcorn out of yellow tissue paper along with some mini drinks with straws!  It did look pretty cool and the fairy and her friends thorougly enjoyed it. Apparently!

The October box theme was Spooky in time for Halloween and again, she was very happy with what was inside.

It arrived at the start of half term so we spent a fair bit of time doing/making things and really enjoyed it.  It's amazing how much time can be spent crafting and I really love seeing children be creative.  Obviously us spending quality time together is my favourite part of it!

The fact the boxes are packed full of stuff, yet still fit through the letterbox, is brilliant.  With all the subscription boxes on the market, having one especially for kids is such a good idea.  They make perfect gifts too if you want to buy a one off box.  You can subscribe via  this link.

Alexis at Mila and Pheebs is lovely and my little Miss made her a card using stuff from the boxes.  The colour changing pens were definitely a big hit!!

Let me know if you decide to get a box or if you have any questions feel free to ask.


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