10 amazing things that happened to me this year

My last couple of posts have been a bit down in the dumps. So! Before I start a new year I reckon it’s time to note down some of the amazing things that have happened to me this year.. because 1) it’s always good to remember what you’ve got to be grateful for and 2) who doesn’t love a list?! and 3) I probably need this post more than I think…

10.

My best friend designed another animal in Birmingham and I got to recreate a moment I had 3 years ago by visiting it

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9.

I planned and pulled off another Awards Night at my old work

8.

Our annual family trip to Cornwall happened, and this year Si came too

7.

We had a day out to Lincoln, and can I just say it was beautiful! In fact we had a lot of days out including Stratford, Charlecote Park, York & Scarborough whilst holidaying.

6.

I did the Memory Walk to raise awareness and money for the Althziemers Society in support of my Nanna ❤️

 

5.

I spent time with my bestest pals- not enough, never enough. We went away for Laura’s birthday, had a triple celebration for birthdays, break ups and new jobs, and that’s just the events we took photos for lets not forget the brunches, lunches, takeaways, cuddles and phone calls.

4.

I had an amazing Christmas with everyone I love being involved including: Following tradition & celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve with my beautiful friend Lyns, who I’ve now been friends with for over 10years! Seeing all my extended family on Christmas Eve. Having an awesome Friendmas with Laura & Sarah. Seeing Si on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Reinventing the yearly family stairs shot on Christmas Day 🎄

3.

Celebrating mine & Si’s three year anniversary by seeing a John Williams concert at Symphony Hall. OH! And having my sister capture the most perfect representation of our relationship on camera…

2.

Handmaking little cards to ask my best friends and sister if they’d be my bridesmaids, seeing them try on their dress and generally being so prepared I’ve planned most of our wedding because…

 

1.

We Got Engaged!!!!

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Part 2: I don’t even know

A couple of days I posted about the way I have been and am feeling lately, I think writing it all down really opened up my eyes to the reality of it all. After being prompted by two friends and my partner yesterday I decided to go and see my GP about the things I’d been feeling.

I’ve now been signed off as unfit for work due to work related stress for the next two weeks. I’d be lying if I said I knew how this made me feel completely because honestly I don’t. I feel so conflicted, anxious, confused, slightly ashamed and a little lost. Genuinely feel the only thing I’m finding I’m ab,e to hold onto right now is the support from people around me.

Today I’ve been invited for an interview for another role. I applied whilst I was still at work, it’s within the same company but is a role which pays less, is a couple of steps backwards, but ultimately I wouldn’t have to commute anymore, I’d save money on petrol, it’s definitely something I’m capable of doing and I’d be able to trust the manager completely – he’ll be my brother in law this time next year which is a bit weird but also means he knows me extremely well and will give me the support I need to rebuild myself and the confidence I feel I’ve lost since moving into my current position.

I honestly never thought that I’d be off with work related stress, but I know I need time to re-evaluate, relax and repair. I need time make sure that mentally I’m okay and that I’m looking after myself.

Sx

Ps. I’m sorry this post feels a little all over the place, so any questions just ask aha 🙈

Part 1: I don’t even know

Of late I’m starting to think, feel, worry that my mental health might be suffering. I feel like I’m so nervous and terrified that people will laugh at me, or think I’m just making a fuss, or over exaggerating, or lying, or just being stupid really, but if I don’t write down how I feel, just once, then I’m confident these feelings will never go away.

Back in April I applied to a promotion and accepted when I was offered a new job. It meant I’d now have to travel from Birmingham to Leicester 5 times a week taking me an hour (or in really bad traffic two hours) each way. If I’m totally honest this has probably been one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever had to make, not just the commuting but also the trials and mountains I’ve faced along the way. I’ve now been in my position for eight months. Lots of things have changed since I started, other managers have left, many team members have left and a few months ago we got a new general manager after the previous one left due to extreme stress and pressure he felt was weighing him down. Oh, and the lack of support he felt. When my old general manager left I was honestly annoyed, not because he was leaving but because he didn’t even work his notice and he kind of left us in the lurch. Which is funny, because I now am pretty sure that I’m feeling the exact same way that he was feeling then. I could walk out tomorrow and never look back, in fact, right now, I’d happily just not turn up tomorrow and the only reason that I won’t is because a) I need the money, b) I’m worried I’ll never get a job outside of the company I currently work for, c) well I keep telling myself I’m just not that person.

Since starting in April a couple of things have happened more frequently than I’d like:

1. Every 2-3 months I’ve wanted desperately to leave but stayed – telling myself things will get better if I just hold out

2. Every 2 weeks I’ve struggled to sleep before a shift so badly that I’ve ended up doing a 2hour commute and 8hour shift on 3hours sleep

3. I’ve had a teary conversation with Si about wanting to leave

4. I’ve felt unfairly treated

5. I’ve fallen asleep, or woken up feeling sick to my stomach with worry about having to work my next shift, or week, or pattern

6. I’ve caused an argument with someone I love because I feel so low and am struggling to detach and switch off from the things I worry about at work meaning when I have a bad day I take all the negative feelings home with me

7. I’ve had to rearrange or miss things I had planned because even though I requested it off it just ‘wasn’t possible’

8. I’ve worked more than 5 days in a row and had less than 12hours between my shifts

9. I’ve been too tired to want to do anything on my days off

10. I’ve wondered if I’m suffering from stress

I understand how important mental health is, from the age of 15 to the age of 21 I was probably suffering with depression and was a repeated self harmer. I was completely trapped in this horrible repetitive cycle that I felt I couldn’t escape, struggling to feel I was in control of anything and using dangerous ways to try and escape the prison I felt I was in mentally. I have friends who suffer with anxiety, I’ve known people who are severely depressed. Yet I’d be lying if I said that never did it cross my mind that someone who had a doctors note for stress was not being totally truthful. It’s something I feel guilty for, but I also know that almost everyone has thought it at least once and whilst my friends and family would always support and believe and love me if I found out I was actually suffering with stress and had to take time off work that it’s always the top game players who don’t know you as well who can cast shadows over your honesty. The bosses, colleagues and acquaintances who will potentially whisper that it’s because you’re not capable, competent, resilient enough & that’s what I truly worry about. I worry that I may not actually be suffering from stress, that maybe I’m just overreacting; and then it occurs to me that tonight I was so happy, I was with my two best friends and we were giggling and laughing and celebrating Christmas together but then all it took was one text about work, one text that made me feel sick to my stomach, instantly withdraw, suddenly become tired and begin yawning, fill me with dread and make me start to feel unsteady, uneasy and totally crap.

Reading this back I’m thinking maybe I need to visit my doctor, but I also know that’s one of the scariest parts, because even though I’m thinking it, even though I’m wondering it, being told it professionally is entirely different and terrifying.

I hope all of you have had the most amazing Christmas, and I’m really sorry to post like this on Boxing day.. but I needed to write it, needed to hear it. If any of you have suffered from stress or anything mentioned in this post and want to reach out please do. You may not be a doctor, neither am I, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other ❤️

Sx

Finding this type of love is extremely special ❤

If you would like to use this photo please accredit me & my blog as I took the picture myself at a recent Bonfire Night celebration

Ps. The reason today was when I heard him put the washing into the tumble dryer and put on a new load whilst making tea that he brought to me in bed

Not a beauty blogger..

I just want to start this post with a couple of disclaimers: 1) I’m not a beauty blogger. 2) I’m definitely not in any way shape or form a professional hair dresser. 3) I really hope this helps because I seriously could’ve done with this type of post!!!

I recently dyed my hair a dark blue black, and then about two-three weeks later I seriously started to regret it. Now it’s not because I didn’t like the colour, this is just the type of person I am 🙈! My roots started to show and I already knew I didn’t want to keep the dark dark colours as I was feeling something more natural for Autumn (I’m naturally a brunette & for me autumn means warm colours, brown eye shadow to go with my brown hair and brown eyes, jumpers, coats and scarves!! I completely love the season and everything it means.

I started doing some research using google, YouTube & Pinterest but to be honest I just found it so difficult. I had my hair cut by my hair dresser who said her daughter had used washing powder to remove the colour from her hair so I tried to research this method but found noting. I then decided to try an online method which suggested mixed Head & Shoulders shampoo with washing up liquid.. I can be pretty impatient so I tried it and when it didn’t work I was desperate for another option.

This time I decided to spend £10 on a colour remover that I bought from Asda (it’s pictured below) and it really worked! Now it really smells, like really smells, but if you can handle it I’d say it definitely works – I’ll put before & after pictures below in case you want to have a look. I’ve used this before and whilst it worked afterwards my hair looked and smelt like straw. Utterly horrid. So this time I decided I would buy new shampoo & conditioner. After treating my hair with the colour remover you could see a clear difference, but to protect my hair I washed it in a shampoo made to recover damaged hair, I then conditioned using the same brand and left it on for 20-30 minutes before washing out.

All products used:

Now this isn’t a full review and it’s not meant to be. I just wanted to share my experience and also show my results in case someone else who is trying to find out what I tried to find out stumbles across this post.

Before & after:


I’m really really happy with the result & so glad the black-blue is gone.. now just to decide if I want to use the brown dye pictured below or keep this light brown, slightly ginger colour! If you have an opinion on which to keep please do let me know as I could do with a hand deciding.

Sx

Ps. I bought a new lamp today too & it’s absolutely adorable & casts the prettiest shadows

HAPPY: Day One

I’m not sure if anyone’s read this book yet, but for a while now I’ve been wanting to read Fearne Cottons book, HAPPY. I don’t know why but I just haven’t bought it for myself, I’m not sure whether it’s my strange tendency to not buy things I want unless their clothes or useful or whether it’s that I felt I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the content… but either way when Fearne Cotton first released it I was one hundred percent, absolutely, definitely intrigued. I mean I follow a few celebs on Instagram, not many I want to add, but Fearne Cotton is one of them.. a couple of celebrities just really capture my attention and Fearne Cotton, along with Giovanna Fletcher, is one of them.

Today I got home, after a super crappy day at work, and my Mom tells me there’s a gift for me on the kitchen table.. I’m at that point in my adult life where although I was super excited, I was expecting something practical that I needed. So my Mom has totally gone & bought me this book I’ve been mentioning but never getting round to buying or reading!

Now I’m not overly superstitious… but it’s kind of funny that after a crap day where I really really didn’t feel happy I’ve been bought a book all about happiness!

I’ve read the first little introductory bit & I’m excited to read the rest. I can’t guarantee I’ll read it every day, and maybe I won’t even read it regularly, but I know I’m still intrigued and I want to give it a go so I guess I’ll let you know how it goes!

Fingers crossed it helps with this mini, slow but steady journey I’m on to notice the happiness in my life

Sx

Monthly Memories: September

I’m 100% behind on whats happened in my life that I wanted to write a post about, life still a little bit manic with working and commuting as well as desperately trying to see the people I love in all my spare moments. So whats gone on in my life this month? Well, lets see what I can tell you all about!

Si’s Birthday Surprise

Right at the begining of the month it was Si’s birthday and after me changing jobs and us having less and less time together I just wanted to plan something cute & special for his birthday. We’ve been together 2 and a half years now and during this time we’ve visited a fair few castles, we visit them when we’re on holiday and in our first year together I took him away as a surprise to Kenilworth castle and to stay overnight in like a hotel that looks like a castle but isn’t a historic castle. Si has a degree in history and really enjoys visiting them, I’m more of that opinion that their beautiful to look at more often than not, interesting to see and you can get some amazing pictures aha! So this year for his birthday I managed to get a sweet deal on GroupOn that was a 2night stay in Best Western Hotels Salford Hall (which is lush) including breakfast each morning, afternoon tea on one of the days and tickets to Warwick Castle. Now I can tell you straight up that Warwick Castle is nothing like the castles we usually visit, it was so commercialised but actually we had a really good day and were entertained by the Falconry shows and Trebuchet shows and Horrible Histories Maze. Si seemed to really enjoy himself and staying in a hotel and just getting a bit of time completely to ourselves was lovely! It ended on a not so great note as I started feeling super ill after our Warwick Castle visit and woke up on our last day full of cold meaning instead of doing what we had planned we headed back to Birmingham and I spent most of the day napping.. To be honest I’ve still not fully recovered as I still have some symptoms of my cold 2 weeks after first feeling ill!

Memory Walk

I’ve already mentioned on my blog about doing this memory walk, but in this post I want to say I had a really great day, I was still suffering from a cold but it was fun to be surrounded by family. I managed to raise 85% of my target thanks to some amazing people in my life donating way more than they should’ve, but it was so nice to feel the support. Me & Alex ended up walking ahead of everyone else and just having the loveliest catch up ever! Even though we’re living together again now we definitely don’t get enough time together but I have to be so honest, she is becoming one of my closest friends and I adore spending time with her.

Other than this my September has been a little boring and consistent mostly of work, work, work, work, work!! I have managed to squeeze in a couple of cheeky brunches with two of my faves, Laura & Lynsey but generally I haven’t really seen much of my pals incl Sarah which is sad as I miss all of them. I’m not sure yet whether this is normal for adults, to hardly see one and other, or whether this is just because I’m working 40+ hours a week as well as travelling for 10 hours.. but who knows! I’ll just see how my life pans out next week.

Ooo! Also its finally scarf season and I could not be happier about it and I dyed my hair a blacky-blue which I absolutely adore so have a picture of it with me in a snapchat filter because why not!

Sx

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