AYESHA TANIA CROWNED WINNER OF INTERNATIONAL ART COMPETITION

Budding 11-year-old local artist to have artwork displayed across the UK and Ireland.

Following a public vote, eleven-year-old Ayesha Tania from Newport has been announced as the winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award 2018, which was developed to celebrate and inspire creativity from 5-11-year-old children this summer.

After receiving nearly 1,000 entries from across the UK and Ireland, 14 regional winners were selected by a panel of experts to face off in a public vote between 27th August and 9th September. Parents and children then cast nearly 20,000 votes to crown Ayesha, the finalist who represented Wales, our overall winnerFinalists had their artwork displayed on billboards across the UK and Ireland throughout the voting period, and as the overall champion, Ayesha’s artwork will be seen on a further selection of billboards from the end of September. She will also win a bespoke art party for her friends and family, courtesy of BIC®.

To be crowned nationwide champion, Ayesha entered an expertly crafted macaw pencil drawing. Ayesha’s success this year comes after the talented young artist was also announced as one of the 2017 winners.

Illustrator Phil Corbett, who sat on the judging panel for this the competition, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Ayesha as the 2018 winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award. Her macaw drawing is technically outstanding. The bird itself is so vibrant and realistic but the background is also extremely well put together. The fact that Ayesha was also a winner last year shows that she really does have huge amounts of artistic skill.”

Rebecca Huda, BIC® UK and Ireland’s Product Manager – Stationery, said: “We were incredibly impressed by the quality of submissions received and diverse subject matters tackled by young artists from all across the country. It was immensely difficult for our panel of experts to whittle the artworks down to just 14 finalists in the first place, so to win the title of overall winner really is a huge accolade for Ayesha.

“We’d like to thank all of the participants and encourage everyone who entered to continue nurturing their artistic talent. We hope to see even more entries next year!”

Just some of the Ways Life Has been Made Easier


At times, life can be a right old slog, with goals reduced to simply getting by day by day. That’s why when even the most insignificant of tasks is made a little bit easier, it can have a tremendous positive effect.


When times are hard, all it can take to fall down a black hole of despair is for one little thing to go wrong. Anyone who has been there fully understands how little a straw it can take to break the camel’s back. Thankfully, advancement in technology and the considerate nature of others has meant that many tasks have been made easier with time.

Writing


As the owner of a blog, one of the most notable tasks that have been made easier is writing. Without technology, I wouldn’t have written this blog – and neither would you be reading it. This means that many who live with degenerative diseases that simply cannot handwrite for a prolonged period of time (or at all) can now express themselves in written form.

Life has been made easier


It has also given a voice to those who cannot otherwise communicate. Perhaps Professor Stephen Hawking was the best example of this, having suffered from motor neurone disease, meaning that he eventually lost the ability to walk and talk. Hawking was provided with a computer that allowed the scientist to type words which were then turned into spoken words.

Giving to Charity


Technology has certainly made the act of giving that little bit easier. Whereas before donations could only be made by physically giving money and/or unwanted items, now we can give any amount of money with just a couple of clicks of a mouse. For example, when we settle down to watch telethons such as Children in Need and Sport Relief, we can give money just by texting on our mobile device.


In many cultures, giving to charity is as much of an obligation as simply being nice to one and other. For example, charity makes up one of the five pillars of Islam and it is customary for Muslims to make a donation based on their expendable income, called zakat. This can be difficult to work out for some, which is why many websites incorporate a zakat calculator to help Muslims donate the correct amount.

Paying the Bills


Do you remember having to make the trip to the post office in order to pay your bills? Waiting in line behind someone who seems to take longer than seems necessary every single time was an absolute pain and waste of time. We did it, though, because we had to.


Step forward technology, meaning that we can make sure all of the bills are paid without having to actually do a thing. Direct debits and standing orders ensure that bills are taken care of automatically. Those nasty reminders through the post are a thing of the past when you have forgotten to pay your bills.

Ordering In

Finally, and arguably most importantly, it has been made so much easier to order in your Saturday night Chinese! Having to go out to the takeaway is a thing of the past thanks websites such as Just Eat and Hungry House that compile all of your favourite local takeaways, allowing you to make your order for delivery and pay online, meaning that all you have to do is answer the door!



Thankfully, it isn’t just unhealthy restaurants that have signed up to such initiatives with healthier alternatives also available, meaning you can enjoy having a salad, healthy sandwich and light bites delivered to your door.
There are, of course, many other things that have also been made easier over the years, but if we were to list them all this would be more of a book than a blog post.

Win A Stationery Bundle – 3rd Big Birthday Giveaway!

A stationery bundle is up for grabs for one lucky winner today! Today (9th August) marks the 3rd year of Relentlessly Purple and so far we have 3 giveaways live!

Along with this stationery bundle I’m giving my readers a chance to win a pair of Akai wireless headphones and a £15 Hotel Chocolat E-gift card. Makes sure to enter each giveaway for a chance to win. 

I am a self-confessed stationery addict, blogging gives me a great excuse to always buy more! Over the 3 years of blogging as Relentlessly Purple, I’ve been lucky to review some gorgeous stationery too including a Ryman diary Old English Co and Printkick stationery bundle. Now I’m giving you a chance to win a bundle of stationery I’ve enjoyed buying over the last week!

Stationery Bundle

 

Stationery bundle

Today’s bundle includes various stationery items roughly totalling £20. We have some lovely pens, sticky notes, a notebook and more for our winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back each day for an extra entry for each giveaway too!

A Beautiful Walk With Izzy – My Sunday Photo

I went on a beautiful walk with Izzy this week along the river. We really enjoy these walks now the sun is shining and on this particular day the sky was bright blue with lots of fluffy clouds. I discovered ‘Super Vivid’ mode on my lovely purple camera and really pleased how these turned out without editing!

Beautiful Walk

A beautiful walk with Izzy - My Sunday Photo

We always start off in the same place by Thurrock Yacht club where we check out the view and boats. We’ve taken so many similar shots before but I’ve never quite managed to capture the colours like this.

Boats at Thurrok Yacht Club

Watching the boats is one of Izzy’s favourite things to do, we often watch them being worked on or pulled out/off the river using the ramp. Both girls are always so interested in what the guys there are up to.

Izzy Boat Watching

We walked further than we normally do on this particular walk and it was lovely to see a few different angles!

Grays Riverside

Our last photo is my absolute favourite! I edited it on my phone a little but I just love everything about it. You’d never think I was sat in Grays of all places with this view!

I’m loving the sunshine and the chance to finally have beautiful walks like this with the girls. I’ve found a camera mode other than auto I love and can see a rather colourful summer being captured!

What do you think?

Photalife

Little Tiger Party At Kidzania London

We attended the Little Tiger Party at Kidzania London on Saturday and it was fantastic! Having attended Little Tigers Birthday party last year we were really excited to be invited this year too. The girls love Little Tiger books & they couldn’t wait to find out about new books & meet the authors and illustrators. Surprisingly Izzy remembered last year’s Little Tiger Party, the books & activities we took part in. When I told her we had been invited she was so excited!

Little Tiger Party at Kidzania

 

Little Tiger Party

The Little Tiger Party (#TigerPBParty) was held at Kidzania in London where they recently teamed up to create a Little Tiger Library. The library is within Kidzania, giving children a chance to discovers new authors and role play as a librarian too. We arrived a little after 9.30am and greeted by a lovely breakfast buffet. We soon moved into the Kidzania Theatre where several authors & illustrators were ready to tell us about their books.

Kidzania globe

Blue Monster Wants It All

Blue Monster Wants It All! By Jeanne Willis

First up was Jeanne Willis who Izzy mistook for the queen! Jeanne read her book ‘Blue Monster wants it all’ a fantastic story that leaves children with a positive message. Blue monster isn’t happy with anything and thinks he needs a new everything. Even as a baby he wanted everything new from a new pram to a new cuddly toy. I got so absorbed into the storyline that I accidentally forgot to get a picture of Jeanne Willis reading to us, oops!

Blue monster throws away anything old and demands a new replacement. He even get’s rid of all his old toys, family and even the sun! All in search of something newer, shinier & better only to find you can’t buy new friends and family. When Blue monster realises this he quickly repairs his old broken plane and flies back home to his old family! It’s so easy to get caught up with having to have everything new, especially for children these days. I love that there is a story like to help remind children of what is actually important! Such a lovely way to start the Little Tiger Party.

Octopants

Suzie Senior & Claire Powell talking about their new book - Octopants!

We then learnt the origin of the second book, Octopants written by Suzy Senior & illustrated by Claire Powell. Poor Octopus has no underpants and can’t find any, no matter how hard he tries! Luckily he eventually comes across a solution! This is a fun, colourful book for kids and both girls really enjoyed both the book & the presentation.

Octopants written by Suzy Senior & Illustrated by Claire Powell

We learnt the Octopants song which was pretty funny! We helped to come up with some new pant ideas for the octopus, from chicken pants & dinosaur pants to unicorn pants. There were several amusing suggestions leaving Claire to figure out how to turn the idea into pants.

Look Out! It’s A Dragon!

Look out, it's a dragon! By Jonny Lambert
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Next up, Jonny Lambert author of ‘Only Lonely Panda’ came on to the stage. He told us about Saffy the dragon in his new book ‘Look out! It’s a dragon!’ and how he created her. Jonny uses a process called scratch & tickle where he adds paint to his image and scrapes & dabs it with various items until he is happy with it. When he created Saffy he then tore a piece of card to create her belly & finishing the process. This gives Saffy a lovely texture & depth throughout the book.

Jonny Lambert explaining the 'Scratch & tickle' process.

Jonny also showed us how to make a 3D cardboard dragon, this led to Izzy having a slight hissy fit. Izzy thought the dragon story was written because of her Cardboard box dragon. Of course, this meant she wanted to be a helper on stage! She was quite upset at not being chosen but she was very pleased to catch up later on with Jonny. She found him in the Little Tiger library helping children colour & cut out their own dragon & they sat drawing for a while!

Jonny Lambery & Izzy colouring & drawing together.

Saffy isn’t like the other dragons & wants to find a lovely new home. She comes across one and tries to make friends. Everyone is scared of Saffy though as dragons have quite a reputation though & they tell her to go away. When the other dragons come along and ruin their lovely home, Saffy rescues everyone and takes them to a lovely new home.

Cock-A-Doodle-Poo!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! book - Little Tiger Books

The last book, Cock-A-Doodle-Poo was read out by author Steve Smallman who had all of us giggling! Who knew there was so much poo on a farmyard or just how funny a book about poo can actually be!? Rooster is causing a lot of mess & havoc on the farmyard, especially for farmer Jill, but apparently, poo can even be life-saving!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! being read by author Steve Smallman at the #TigerPBParty

Kidzania London

After the party, we were kindly gifted tickets to explore Kidzania London, a huge indoor roleplay place for kids. There are so many jobs for children to try out, they earn Kidzo’s for each job.

Emergency Ambulance - Kidzania

Children can spend their well-earnt Kidzos on activities such as abseiling or riding around in various emergency vehicles or spend them in the final gift shop before leaving. You can even save your Kizos for your next trip and save up for something special!

Renault Formula E

Eva changing a Renault Formula E tyre- Kidzania

Eva was happy to go off and try out a few jobs starting with changing a Renault Formula E wheel. Unfortunately I’m not too sure what else she learnt in the Renault garage, I did ask a member of staff and explained I was there as a blogger and hoped to write about it before we went in but as Izzy discovered at the same time I couldn’t go in with her, I didn’t get a chance to find anything out.

Surgery

Eva performing surgery - Kidzania

Eva really enjoyed performing surgery too & overall she really enjoyed Kidzania, other than the music being a little too loud for her liking. We will look into seeing if they hold quieter days so she can try out a few more activities. I think if we had known how big Kidzania was we would have organised a friend to pick us up so we could do a full day and try everything!

Water Aid science laboratory - Kidzania

Parents aren’t allowed in the activities & the doors are closed which is great for children’s independence but unfortunately, Izzy was put off immediately. She was eventually persuaded by the open water aid centre where she learnt about using clean water and how to make bubbles which she loved! Izzy is really interested in germs & washing her hands regularly so it’s not surprising she enjoyed this activity.

Lovabella Baby Centre

Izzy caring for Lovabella dolls in the baby centre - Kidzania

Thankfully we lost her again when she spotted the Lovabella baby centre! This was the only activity she was happy to do alone. She really enjoyed herself and was happy to go in alone which was a huge relief!

Lovabella Baby Centre - Kidzania

Izzy also considered surgery but seeing the dummy & apron she had to wear put her off, seeing Eva perform the surgery even more so. By next year I’m sure she will love it though and happuly go into each activity alone. I can see us investing in annual passes as a gift for the girls in the future. I imagine once they are used to the venue I will be able to happily sneak off to the parents garden and leave them to it!

Saffy the dragon signed by Jonny Lambet to Eva & Izzy

Overall we had a fantastic day at the Little Tiger Party and can’t thank Little Tiger & Kidzania enough for having us. To really top the day we came home with a signed copy of each book & one of Jonny’s Saffy artworks he used on stage to explain scratch & tickle, which we absolutely love! I love that the girls both told everyone to sign Izzy/Isobella as Issobella, it became a little joke, Izzy Issobella! An amusing memory for the girls to look back on. Little Tiger parties are the best, we really enjoy these events and hope to get invited to the next one too!

Recovering From A Low Patch

I’m slowly recovering from a low patch. Having felt great following my personal month of blogging challenge, losing my ESA award was a huge blow. It left us struggling financially, we spent every single day and weekend focused on finding a solution. Trying to writing the right letter and applying for the right benefits with 2 kids around can be hellish.

Recovering From A Low Patch

Benefit Changes & Accepting I Need A Carer

DWP Assessors acknowledged all my health issues and agreed they impacted my health. However, I was basically told I could work if I used a wheelchair. Sod my mental health too, just get on with it basically. Luckily I receive PIP and with the Mr spending so much time at home caring for me, doing things I can’t, reminding me to eat regularly, take my medications on time etc allowed him to claim carers allowance which also entitled him to claim income support for us.

Having a Carer

I’m not going to lie, whilst accepting that I do need a carer was hard, it was also a relief. Passing on the burden of having to fill out the form correctly made things less stressful. After 2 months of barely any money to live on, we received the benefit awards the same day as our eviction notice. Luckily that meant we could notify the council and avoid being evicted.

Getting Back On Track

I still struggled for a while, kicking myself for putting us through 2 months of hell because of my health. After a few weeks spent catching up on bills though, things finally turned around. Being able to treat the girls to what they need plus a few extras have been lovely. I felt so selfish when we had nothing, the whole family suffered because of my assessment.

Slowly picking myself back up I’ve managed to get back on track with finding out what’s going on with me. I missed blood tests after losing my award as I felt it was pointless. So what if I was ill? Everyone else was barely able to eat. Obviously now I see it probably would have helped me to carry on with the tests so I have been back to the Dr and getting back on top of it all.

Instead of pushing myself through frustration I’ve slowed down, picked up my crochet hook more and read, having more me time has helped. Recovering from a low patch can be quite wobbly, I’ve had some low days reflecting on these last few months. I’ve also been trying to make the most of being in a better situation and accepting I need more help has helped me feel better about having more me time, something the Mr is always nagging me to do!

Having A Life Again

Knowing the Mr can pick up a few beers to relax after a day of school runs, shopping, clothes washing, reminding me to person and general tidying is a huge relief. The poor bloke barely has a social life, he spends so much time at home helping us. It’s nice he can sit and relax after a long day with a cold beer.

I’ve had the chance to finally try Contact Lenses with a push from the Mr and eventually decided to go with Daily lenses instead of monthlies without feeling hugely guilty. The benefits have outweighed the costs and as the Mr is now officially my Carer he is using it as an excuse to make me listen & treat myself more!

Contact Lens

Months of apologising to the girls because we couldn’t afford to do this or buy that was hard. Luckily we were able to get out to the Dickens festival & spoilt them slightly. We made the most of being out for the first time in months which felt great. Mum guilt is horrible when you are the reason your kids are going without so it was lovely to finally say YES. Izzy was ecstatic to see The Lamplighter and he sung the Charlie Mops song just for her even though he hadn’t planned to sing it!

Eva spent some birthday money and I treated her to a few extras too. Something I hadn’t been able to do for a while! As she has become a huge Harry Potter fan we picked her up some awesome bits like this box and sign!

Being Robbed By Royal Mail & Fonegiant

The Mr made sure I finally have a working phone (LG G5!) too which was a huge relief after months of phone stress. With Fonegiant and Royal Mail both failing spectacularly with Fonegiant sending out a locked phone, in the wrong colour, followed by Royal mail losing the £180 phone.

Royal Mail can only refund the person who paid the postage which is down to Fonegiant who refuse to claim and instead keep resending me the Royal Mail Claims site page. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a phone from Fonegiant as there is no guarantee you will receive a working phone and clearly they are unwilling to help once they have the money safely in their account.

Royal Mail did eventually give me £60 compensation and accepted they have lost the phone. They refused to refund me the £180 for the phone as Fonegiant have to chase it.. Which of course Adam who owns Fonegiant is refusing to do. Having been robbed by them both in the middle of all this just made me feel even worse. I felt suicidal for the first time in years.

That refund could have fed us when we had no money coming in! Without a phone, I couldn’t book the appointments needed or answer calls from DWP which helped my assessment fail. I was immensely grateful when Mandy offered to send me a phone to help me out. She warned me it may not work with a big crack in the screen. The phone worked enough for me to make those necessary calls and I honestly can’t thank Mandy enough!

The Mr eventually bought me a G5 for £40 less than the one from Fonegiant. It arrived working, the correct colour, on the correct network! Such a relief!

Recovering From A Low Patch

Since things fell back in place, the Mr has bought me a new (working!) LG G5, allowing me to feel connected again. I can keep up with everything again, I can moan on twitter and harass Martyn and Hannah on Whatsapp (Sorry guys but you kept me sane) again. I can call and book appointments and keep in touch with my brother again. All things I felt lost without!

Hopefully, now I’ll find my blogging mojo again. I’m determined to set myself a few goals over the coming months. Blogging definitely keeps me sane, whatever I’m sharing. From sharing cool products, covering my mental & physical health, crafts, books, it all makes me feel happier. Jibbering moany rubbish helps me get everything off my chest so my head can attempt thinking logically. Sharing our ups & downs has been a massive help to me & it’s lovely to look back & see how far we’ve come.

Looking back over the last few months, we’ve been through quite a lot but there are so many positives to focus on! I have realised I have some fantastic friends I can genuinely rely on, talk openly with and feel supported by.

Going through this has shown me we can get through so much as a family. The last few months have been so stressful for us all yet we still come out stronger than ever! When you aren’t worrying so much about where the next meal is coming from everything feels amazing. I’ve been in agony at times but still, I feel grateful to finally have everything back in place.

If you are ever having a low patch, reach out, there’s always someone willing to listen. My DM’s are always open! Sometimes things like this hit us hard & small things on top can tip us over the edge but we can recover from a low patch!

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

The girls enjoyed some Food prep using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler this week. Eva wanted to make fruit kebabs and since we were sent some Kiddies Food Kutters & Safety Food Peelers I figured I’d let the girls try them out. After the girls had been poorly, followed by a heat wave, healthy fruit kebabs sounded like a fantastic idea.

Kiddies Food Kutter

The Kiddies Food Kutter is a safety knife designed specifically for children aged 2 years + including children with special needs. Using an ergonomic design, these knives are suitable for left & right handers. As these were originally designed for pumpkin carving, they are stainless steel, safe, strong & sturdy. The Kiddies Food Kutter teaches fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, independence, and confidence.

Using a sawing action to cut, Izzy managed to slice up a banana with ease. She has previously struggled with knives aimed at her age group and is a little wary of full sized knives. The fact Izzy failed to break it proves Kiddies Food Kutters are definitely strong & sturdy as she is basically a 3-year-old version of the hulk, so that’s saying something! As she had sliced it herself, Izzy finally ate a banana for the first time in almost 2 years too.

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Eva has slightly weak hand muscles & can sometimes struggle to grip things tightly but she had no issue with the Kiddies Food Kutter. Neither of the girls had any issues and with rounded teeth & no sharp edges, there was no risk of cut fingers. As washing up is my pet hate I love the fact Kiddies Food Kutters are dishwasher safe & BPA free too!

Food Prep

 

Safety Food Peeler

The Australian made & owned Safety Food Peeler has a unique bladeless design to keep fingers safe. Children 3 years and up, including those with special needs, the disabled, adult left-handers, the elderly with arthritis and dementia can peel fruit & vegetables easily with the ergonomically designed handle. The Safety Food Peeler has a special fingerprint marking for placing your pointer finger. This allows you to slide the peeler along slowly peeling long ribbons off. Only light pressure is required to peel long ribbons off fruit or vegetables.

Izzy gave the Safety Food peeler a try but quickly decided she wasn’t keen on how quickly the peeler slid. She decided to stick to slicing with the Kiddies Food Kutter as she enjoyed being able to cut everything up. I’m sure with time she will give it another go though and I will certainly try again very soon.


Safety Food Peeler

Eva much preferred the Safety Food Peeler to our normal peeler which she gets rather nervous about. She found the Safety Food Peeler much easier to control. It took a few attempts peeling her pear to get the hang of the Safety Food Peeler. She kept moving her finger off the fingerprint but once she remembered this she got on much better with it. Feeling much more confident, she has since decided she wants to help peel vegetables for our dinners more often!

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Food prep is certainly easier using the Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler for kids. It gives parents peace of mind when giving children the responsibility of cutting or preparing their own food. We love encouraging the girls to get involved in growing & preparing their own food and these fab tools help them do it safely. With my anxiety, it can be a bit stressful at times, especially when knives and peelers are involved so having these products in the drawer is a huge relief.

Kiddies Food Kutters & Safety Food Peelers are available separately in 1’s & 3’s or together as a 2 pack or 4 pack through Kiddies Food Kutters Store. They start at just £6.82 each.

Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Would you feel a little safer letting your kids help with food prep using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler too?

 

 

 

Craft, Mental Illness And Happy Post

.Relentlessly Purple covers, Craft, Mental Illness, product reviews and more. Blogging gives me a creative outlet, an excuse to craft and show it off across different platforms. I love hearing how others do the same and seeing their makes. I especially love the idea of Happy Post which I’ll let Katie tell you more about.

Craft, Mental Illness And Happy Post

Craft, Mental Illness and Happy Post

I have always been very creative, right back to my childhood days and before mental illness really took hold of my life but even then I found it relaxing and something I could really get in to. I have taken craft with me throughout my life and now have an Etsy shop, where I sell my makes Katies Cabin Handmade. Crafting is like a part of me, if I didn’t have it, I am not sure who I would be, it’s almost built into who I am.

Craft and Mental Illness

I have had a very long battle with mental health issues starting with self-harm when I was 14. In my late teens I started struggling with anorexia and later in life was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Throughout these times creative activities have been extremely helpful. They really help to focus the mind on one activity rather than the million thoughts going round my head. If I am depressed and struggling to do anything, sometimes, if I can just get myself to do something small but creative, it helps me to feel like I am being productive. Crafting can boost a mood, if only slightly.
Craft is a very mindful activity and always helps me to just zone out to everything else going on around me. Within craft groups and communities that I am part of it seems that a large proportion of crafters actually struggle with mental health issues. They use craft for this very reason whether they then go on to sell their makes or not, so there must be definitely something in the fact that crafting does help mental health issues!
People may think “I’m not creative” or “I couldn’t make that” but you really don’t need to be a crafting genius to benefit from crafting. It can be an adult colouring book or doodling – these are also very mindful creative activities. If you wished you could teach yourself a craft such as crochet or knitting – something that interests you! There are so many tutorials these days on the internet and even books that learning a craft in today’s day and age is easier than ever and it’s so rewarding when you finally manage to make something which in itself is a real mood booster!

Happy Post

Happy Post

I decided to put my crafting to good use and offer ‘Happy Post’ to those struggling with mental illness.

I make and sell a lot of prints and so I decided to make “quote cards” with an inspirational theme. These are to send to those currently having a hard time with mental health issues. The smallest of things can sometimes help when you are in a dark place. I wanted to offer a little bit of hope with the aim to make people feel less alone.
I also blog about mental illness and am in the process of writing a book of my own experiences to try and help raise awareness.
You can see my blog, about me and nominate someone for a happy post at www.mentalhealthjourney.co.uk
If you’ve never tried a craft then give it a go! You never know you may just find something that you love!

Thank you for sharing your Craft, Mental Illness and Happy Post with us Katie! I love the idea of Happy post. I know this will put a smile on many faces that need a little something to brighten their day!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

It’s Mental Health Awareness week 2018, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This runs from 14th – 20th May and focuses on stress, a key factor in mental health problems. Research shows 2/3 of us experience mental health problems with stress being a key factor according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental health awareness week 2018

Stress

Stress can cause or worsen anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Anyone of us can experience mental health problems throughout our lifetime and we need to openly talk about this to help beat the stigma and raise awareness. Stress in the workplace is the Mental Health Foundations main focus this mental health awareness week.

I have written several times on the blog about mental health awareness & my own mental health. From struggling with chronic pain at 25, my anxiety, having a carer at 27 and more. I know I’m not alone as there are some wonderful bloggers & readers out there who have opened up too.

Mental Health Affects Everyone

Young children and teens are also at risk of stress with the pressure to maintain high standards in school, friendships, overloaded with school work, homework and endless tests. Adults have so many different stressors from overworking, lack of wor/ability to work, financial strains, family issues and more, it can be difficult to cope in this hectic world. The more we talk about this, the easier it will be for those suffering mental health problems to speak up. I used to bottle everything up myself and it made things so much worse!

 

Beat The Stigma – Talk!

Talking about my mental health through the blog at times has been extremely cathartic for me. I know from comments left that opening up has helped others to do the same, it’s a chain reaction. Whilst most people may not feel comfortable to write publicly, talking to close friends and family can do the same. The more we talk about mental health and make changes to lessen day to day life stresses, the easier is to admit how we feel and that we need help. The more we talk about mental health and make it everyday conversation the quicker we can beat the stigma and support one another better.

Get Help

If you need to talk to someone my DM’s/Email is always open if any of my readers ever want to chat. Sometimes we need a little more than that and the following charities are here to help, should you need it.

Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk/

Email – info@mind.org.uk

Infoline – 0300 123 3393

Text: 86463.

Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org.uk

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Sane

www.sane.org.uk/support

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30-10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: http://www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

 

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

www.youngminds.org.uk

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm)

Did you know it was mental health awareness week?

 

 

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest – Can You Spot Them All?

For the Great Oreo Cookie Quest, we were sent 2 packs* to enjoy during family moments. Oreos are a delicious & fun snack for all the family! Oreo is celebrating #OreoCookieQuest with fun ways to win great prizes. With the new on-pack promotion you can win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex!! We’ve hidden 10 Oreos in this post for fun, can you spot them all?

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

#OreoCookieQuest

Watching A Film

2 Oreos with a glass of milk is a perfect treat for anyone at anytime. The Great Oreo Cookie Quest seemed like a great way to spend more mother-daughter time with Eva across the weekend. Eva loves Oreos and enjoyed having them as a treat when we snuggled up to watch a film together!

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Crocheting

I’ve been teaching Eva to crochet lately, and whilst we had a small hiccup after discovering she crochets left-handed, she is learning. When she gets frustrated we take a quick break and an Oreo quickly puts a smile back on her face. We’ve been practising chaining which she can do with finger knitting so she is picking up confidence bit by bit. We found some fab tutorials online for lefties (I am left handed but crochet right handed!) so I’m sure she will get the hang of it soon!

Oreos & Crochet

Creative Homework

It’s been a slow process with lots going on recently but we have been working on a 3D model of Mount Merapi for Eva’s creative homework. She has been reading The Firework Makers Daughter at school and couldn’t wait to make the model. After several layers of papier mache, it is finally dry and ready to paint! Hopefully, we can hand it in this week!

Oreo-cano

Reading

As I mentioned in a few recent posts, Eva is becoming a big reader like I was at her age, she speeds through books in a day or 2. I try to encourage her to read to herself and out loud to us, she loves reading out loud. Whilst we were spending some one on one time comfortably reading on the bed we treated ourselves to an Oreo.

Reading with Oreos

Eva really enjoyed reading about the human body in this interesting pop-up book. She loved finding out how our bodies work and can name so many body parts and their functions. I love the detail in the book and listening to Eva reading with confidence.

Oreo challenge

Did you find all 10 Oreos in our photo’s? Do you love Oreos too?

*This post is an entry for Britmums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

 

DIY Daddy