It’s a new year…

It’s a new year…

Whilst i wanted to write a blog post talking about the highs and lows of the last year in a reflective manor i couldn’t feel more against it this year. Normally i would set myself a list of unrealistic expectations and then feel sadness when i could not keep simple promises to myself. The simple fact is last year was terrible, Not the sort of year you try to find positives from but a year you shut the book on and perhaps think of burning. To many i am sure the last year had some positives that they could find but for me the only positives to come from the last year has been that i have learnt that i do not need to invest so much time and energy into others and to nurture myself. It is because of this new found self love that i am able to separate myself more before i become victim to my depressive and intrusive thoughts. Last year i became very invested in my phone, like many people had found themselves i realised that i had become addicted. The need to keep up to date with others gave me many expectations on what i should be doing with my life, how i should have myself together, how i should have life that is to be a insta worthy place. I would find more and more that i would question my appearance based on others, I would think does my house look good enough? I would think am i parenting correctly? am i doing enough? I would find myself in the endless scroll that never ended. Though i do not blame myself for becoming attached to my phone as it was my only means of contact to the outside world i still feel that it sucked the life from me. Since discovering my addiction i decided to use my phone less, take breaks and to remember the things that are posted online are often snippets of reality that are only showing the best bits of a persons life…

With that being said this is why i have often gone missing for chunks of time, i needed to concentrate on me and to take away the expectations put onto myself to create content that would be worthy of reading or seeing. There will no doubt all over the world be new fitness fanatics, artists, dieters and peacekeepers being created as we land on the other side of the chapter of last year creating more pressure for us to perfect our personal flaws. But know this, we do not have to improve ourselves, we are perfect as we are. Creating unrealistic goals and achievements can put extra pressure on us that at a time of such uncertainty that only sets us up for more disappointment. Remember if there are goals you wish to achieve set them for yourself in the mindset that there is no race to achieve them, there is no failure in giving up and it is okay to have no aspirations for this year.

I feel we will still struggle on this year as we all continue to battle the biggest pandemic in our lifetimes that forces us to hide away in our homes to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The battle has still only just begun but know that you do not need to change yourself in a pandemic because others are, all you need to do is survive. To not only survive but to find your own happiness, to listen to the stresses and thoughts you have and to try and make yourself feel happiness in yourself by doing things you may love and by taking the time for you.

It is a new year and instead of making crappy pointless goals this year how about you make only one to be happy, to look after you first and let everything else fall into place. So watch your favourite films, cry reading books and have so many baths you become a shrivelled mess. But do not think of yourself as a failure or a underachiever. We do not and have never needed to change. May this year be a year that brings you comfort and joy.

Shopping list by orchard toys review!

Shopping list by orchard toys review!

Disclaimer- I was gifted a box of orchard toys in exchange for review of the shopping list game. All opinions are my own!

I have had shopping list for a few years now. I remember seeing it in a charity shop and picking it up and taking it to the till to try teach Elijah some words. We have had many, many games together with this game and have found orchard toys to be very beneficial in the teaching of Elijahs speech development and recognition of words, letters and numbers.

When I was sent the box with the updated version I was excited as I had a very old version with one of the lists missing. (Charity shop bargains can sometimes have their downfall). Elijah loves a new game that teaches him things and he was so excited.

Shopping list is a game which works by seeing who can collect all their shopping first. As Elijah’s still a bit to little to race against others we work to just complete the shopping list and name everything on the list. Elijah loves picking up the items and comparing against the list and putting in his basket. He thrives on the praise of getting things right so this is the perfect game for him.

There are several lists to choose from even one on a phone to make more modern. You can also choose from a basket or a trolley to put the shopping In too. Elijah likes the baskets the most as he plays with a toy basket the most! We love finding the food items and talk about the food groups they may belong too or what we use a product for like washing powder. The possibility’s to learn through this game are endless.

They have even brought out add on packs to game such as fruit and veg and clothing to teach your child new words and to identify more complex items. The mini packs that you add on you could play without the original set too so perfect for a quick game on the go or to take to a family’s house to play with them!

I will always and have always recommended this game to anyone with a young child and will be rehoming our old game to a friend and sharing the love!

You can check out orchard toys here – https://www.orchardtoys.com/

Or their Instagram is here- https://instagram.com/orchardtoys?igshid=23nidsqmaux8

Thanks for reading! Check out some of their other fantastic games here!

A home movie date for kids!

A home movie date for kids!

Looking for things to do stuck in? A movie is a obvious choice but can you make it fun? Children are simple creatures, no offence to my child but if I cut his food slightly difference he’ll be fooled into eating the whole thing. So to make a movie special for the both of you is easily achieved.

So first of all choose snacks, favourite snacks. Im all for healthy snacks but when you go to the cinemas do you take a veg platter? No you take chocolate. Sugar and treats in moderation is not a issue so enjoy a treat. Once you’ve decided what you want to serve at your movie showing then work on presentation. Putting food in little bowls and displaying them nicely on a tray makes it feel like a little buffet. A buffet of your favourite naughty snacks. You can get popcorn containers for as little as a pound. If your feeling Christmassy then displaying on a load of Christmas platters and using Christmas themed cups can make it that little bit special.

Make the environment different. Do you sit on the sofa all day and have a cosy rug? set up a load of pillows and blankets on the floor with your snacks in the middle and spice it up. Change the lighting in your room shut the blinds and put fairy lights everywhere. The comfier the better. With young children you could ask them to invite their favourite toys so come sit and watch the film with them.

If your children are older you could make them or get them to make cinema tickets for the night. You could also play a game to decide who gets to pick the film! For younger children pick a film they’ll like that you don’t watch often. Musicals are great as children are free to dance and sing along unlike in the cinemas.

Ban phones. Put phones away like you would in the cinemas and wind down. Talk to your children about the film and what they like about it during the film.

Just remember to enjoy each other’s company and only pay attention to the film and eachother untill it’s done. Don’t worry about work or talking to people. It’s important to spend quality time with children and such a simple activity with no technology is perfect for this!

Hope your not forced to watch frozen or trolls for the millionth time like me!

Has bullying affected who i am today?

Has bullying affected who i am today?

In short the answer is yes, when people push their trauma and jealousy upon you to lessen their load you will obviously have that load weighing down on you. This year has been a year of reflecting and boy have i had a lot of time to do that. It seems no matter your age being a child in school, a highschooler who doesn’t quite fit the mould of society or as a adult minding their own business when apparent “friends” begin indirect tyrains against you well, it can happen to anybody. But the thing is, some of us grow up, some of us don’t thrive on the sadness of others.

My bullying started as a high schooler and why? Because in a conversation to another girl a “friend” i said something as a question, obviously kids can be mean and twist what you say. After this happened basically the whole year hated me. For something so pathetic i was physically and emotionally bullied for three years. As a young child at the age of 11-13 every day became a tyrant of abuse. It got bad and eventually i moved school. You know what i left that school and i no longer felt scared, i found my people, i had lots of friends and i was never sad a day of high school any longer. I remember crying on my leaving day as i was afraid to leave my new safe place and my friends. But you know what a few of those friends stuck around and now 12 years later are still my closest and bestest of friends.

I thought i had left highschool behind, in that i mean the term childish bellittling and bullying. Apparently adults old enough to be my grandparents in previous work places have even felt the need to bring me down for no reason whatsoever. Strangers have commented on my social media and given me abuse for no reason what so ever. Friends who i’ve told my darkest secrets too belittling, copying and slandering me everyday in places they think i couldn’t see. All i have ever done is try to please everyone and do right by everyone and you know what screw that! I’m done!

Going to therapy enabled me to think. To stop playing the victim and move on. In therapy i was once told i have two options, to forgive or to accept what has happened and move on. I decided that forgiveness is the way, this way i don’t allow anyone to hold a power over me anymore. Whilst forgiveness doesn’t warrant a message to everyone i have ever been wronged by it is by rationalising peoples actions and relating to my own life.It is also forgiving myself for when i have became like others and pushed my trauma on others too, when i have reacted meanly to others.

I worked out that a lot of people have trauma like me, they feel angry at the world. Whilst i hold it in and cause myself more upset the way they process is through upsetting others. Of course this never solves any ones issues and just causes more guilt to ad to their portfolio. I have accepted that this is why i have been bullied, not because of who i am. Nobody really cares about me or my life some people just fixate on something they don’t like and can’t let go. I can now see why others do it, i understand and i am saddened that this is the way someone would push their feelings out.

I have given up caring about my past regarding bullies, sure the trauma stays behind but i now know why, i know i am not the issue, the defendant is. But still i have the feeling of extreme self consciousness. I regularly get anxious about others and the need to be liked, i struggle with everything regarding myself. I have times i want to delete my social media so that i don’t get others a chance to see into my life and judge me. But i know that i am able to grow from this, I am able to deal with bullying better. I am able to understand others emotions better. I am not as upset by others actions and im able to process things with a better head.

I am able to know how to deal with any issues that may arise as Elijah starts school and can teach him to be kind and compassionate. I can teach him to be strong and respectful for others and their feelings.

But i give no bully’s power over me anymore. Whilst others move on with their lives now i will slowly do it too.

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

The other day I did a few stories on Instagram about my eating disorder which is binge eating disorder. I was amazed and the amount of people messaging me saying they suffer too and how it rules and destroys their life’s too. The thing is people never worry until someone is loosing weight. But what about when someone gets addicted to eating their emotions and cannot stop eating? When someone gets in the mirror as they are getting bigger and cannot do anything about it? It’s not as simple as someone who enjoys big portions, it’s a uncontrollable sensation which you can’t stop. It’s a feeding frenzy, once you start you just can’t stop. You’ll continually put on weight and get judged as someone who likes to eat. You’ve tried to diet but depriving yourself just makes you worse.

However with binge eating disorder sometimes you do not even enjoy eating and are not be able to stop yourself. You can spend your nights crying and thinking why can’t I stop myself? Then your left to feel sick with yourself every time you eat and eat more out of that emotion. It’s like bulimia without the throwing up. It’s keeping the bad stuff in with no way out.

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is when someone eats food emotionally and is unable to stop. They may eat untill way past full and even cause themselves pain. Often we go out and buy bags full of snacks and eat all in one sitting. It’s having dinner then later eating crisps and three chocolate bars and a milkshake because you can’t help yourself. It’s like a addiction. You cannot stop. Despite staring in the mirror feeling sick or feeling horrible after a binge. It’s struggling with diets as you cannot control yourself and depriving yourself only makes it worse. It is never really feeling full. It’s eating to try and fill the emptiness that will never be satisfied.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder:

  • Buying lots of food to eat all at once. Some people refer to these food as a treat. Even if it’s every night. It could be a carrier bag full of snacks for one sitting.
  • Eating when sad. Not being able to stop.
  • Eating way past being full and it hurting.
  • Eating when not even hungry.
  • Hiding to eat or hiding evidence of eating.
  • Feeling like a failure or digested in yourself and body after eating.
  • Storing food as not to run out.

Normally people become binge eaters because of emotional issues or things such as negative body image. Anxiety and depression are normally the main cause.

There are times I wish I could stop. I’ll buy healthy food and meal plan and try to diet. Then a bit of stress comes in my life and I’ve spiralled. I feel disgusted in my self. I don’t want to look like this. I don’t want to be big I want to be skinny. I don’t want to be such a mess that I reach for a multi pack of chocolate bars to myself because something of minor inconvenience has caused this emotion.

Doctors never seem to care either. Obviously they are more concerned with people who loose weight from conditions such as anorexia and bulimia and rightly so. Loosing weight is dangerous to internal organs and is starving the body. However, when you can’t stop eating doctors just judge you. Like your forcing yourself to be big on purpose. They seem to not care about the negative effects of weight gain. They don’t seem to care that obesity causes a lot of issues medically too. Such as increased risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The sluggishness, breathlessness and fatigue also clouds our lives too.

There are resources such as support groups,books and you can obviously talk to your doctor. However most people have sound that cbt therapy is the best help.

If you feel this is you then remember you are not alone. It may control you now but hopefully one day with a bit of help it wont! There are so many others just like you out there and you’d never think it!

Thanks for reading!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Now that it’s more and more clear Halloween won’t be happening in the normal way this year there’s still lots of ways to have fun. Last year I threw a Halloween party for Elijah and his little friends and this year we can’t even trick or treat. But with a little positivity we can still enjoy ourselves!

So here’s some things you can still do to celebrate Halloween safely.

Pumpkin picking. You can go pumpkin picking outdoors and safely. There you can distance, sanitise and make a day of it. Most places require a time slot too so there’s not too many people out there with you. It’s a great way to exercise and enjoy some time with others and feel the escape of the house. You also support the farms and small businesses too! We love it and have been every year for last five years!

Pumpkin carving. Once you have a pumpkin you still can enjoy carving or painting it. You can download stencils online and print of or you can design your own pattern to carve. Kids love the sensory activity of scooping the pumpkins out! Make it into a fun activity for all the activity.

Halloween crafts. Colouring and paining activities with themes such as Halloween can be great too. There’s so many printable activity packs free online for the taking. You can also paint some loo rolls and add pipe cleaners to make spiders! The possibilities are endless.

Halloween baking! Bake a cake or cookies with a Halloween theme and enjoy making spooky treats! Cut cookies before baking with a ginger bread man shape and you can make a skeleton! Make hotdogs and cut bits up to look like fingers then add ketchup for blood!

Dress up and have a little disco at home! Make Halloween snacks too! Have your own party. Play party games and enjoy yourself. Skype friends and have a virtual party too!

If your not isolating see family or friends for a coffee and call it trick or treating? Track and trace compliant of course!

Get cosy, watch Halloween movies, listen to spooky music. Whatever it is you do to get in the Halloween spirit. Just remember you’re not alone we’re all in this together.

No matter what you do just enjoy yourself and have a spooky time!

Hello again.

Hello again.

Sorry it’s been a long time. I’ve been battling a bit with lack of enthusiasm both with writing and with life. But i think I’m slowly coming out of the other side. So what’s new? Well I don’t think I’ve spoken about it on my blog as yet but we got a puppy. A blog post will surely come next all about him but for now you can’t say I didn’t tell you! we’re also in the progress of buying a new house.

Yes we choose the pandemic as the time to move of course…how typical of me. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough I thought you know what let’s pick up everything we have and move. So obviously I’m stressed out of my mind with that. You know they say it’s one of the most stressful things you can do moving house? Well it’s true and even more so now we are sellers at same time as buyers. I thought we would stay in this house forever when we first moved in but as lockdown broke it came increasingly clear that we didn’t like our neighbour hood and me coming to the rescue of my neighbours and treating injury’s on the side of the road came to common a occurrence.

James’s business is doing really well despite the pandemic. He was able to work throughout due to being a outside worker and being able to distance. This has meant that we wanted to move more for the fact of James wanting to create his own water now and having parking at the house.

So we decided we’d move. At first we thought about moving to the countryside then I realised I barely ever see my family or friends anymore since moving so decided to move back to where I grew up. This meant we’re able to see family and friends and walk to each others more which will be lovely for Elijah growing up. The house we’re buying is beautiful we have loads of privacy and trees lots of space and heatedly attached to our neighbour. The perfect place for us all to enjoy. It’s a shame neighbours can make your life a miserable time and cause you to move. But I guess that’s life. So five weeks later we’re still waiting for a date while everyone works behind the scenes we want to be in before Christmas but who knows.

The exciting thing will be making the new house our own and more trips to Ikea! I went to Ikea for the first time in years and years the other day and I’ve never been so excited! Ikea is literally a dream! Everywhere you go in the show room is beautiful styled rooms that you can then go ahead and purchase. Honestly I was mind blown and had to seriously stop myself from buying things till we move.

But for now organising and sorting. We’re trying to enjoy the last moments in our house and make as many memories as we can. I get sad at times thinking how well leave the house we brought Elijah home too, the house he took his first steps and said his first words. It’s going to be odd seeing the house empty. I’m sure they’ll be lots of tears when we leave. I’m scared Elijah and the pup won’t understand we’re moving we tell Elijah everyday but still the fear lingers.

Not the most thrilling of posts but this is why I’ve been gone. It’s funny how stress messes with us! It can consume you when things are time pressured. But here’s to hope things will move forward soon!

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Disclaimer- this is a gifted item sent for this post.

As you have seen before I was previously sent a book for Father’s Day for Elijah too give you his dad as a present! We absolutely loved this book so when they asked us to try another we couldn’t say no! With Christmas coming up and my dads birthday I thought this would be the perfect time to order for my dad something from Elijah they can read together!

So making the book is quick and easy you can customise everything about the characters to freckles and hair styles! You put your family’s names in and have chance to dedicate a page to them too! The personalisation is lovely and makes it a truly unique gift. As well as personalising it you can choose what stories you have in the book too!

Elijah already loves it and says he can’t wait to wrap up for grandads birthday as he’s starting to understand birthdays more. He knows that it is Elijah and grandad on the front too! My dad is quite young so it’s great that he is still able to look his age in the book too which I find is a issue when buying personalised gifts for a grandparent.

These books are fantastic quality and made to last for years! I am excited to give him a great keep sake he can have for years to come and store away for memories as Elijah gets older. Maybe he will give back to Elijah when he is older too!

They sell plenty of different stories and personalised bits so make the perfect place for presents for parent, grandparents or even themselves! Go check them out at

https://hoorayheroes.co.uk or https://hoorayheroes.com

Thanks for reading! Charlie-Jane!

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Sometimes we all have such busy schedules that we never really just spend the day with our child out and about on our own. I am forever guilty of spending lots of time with friends or as a family out and about. This isn’t a bad thing because Elijah loves spending time with others and asks to go out everyday. However normally on days we have no plans we stay at home watching tv and learning. Again this isn’t a bad thing either as we love spending time together at home. But one thing i have always been anxious about is going out just me and my child. When he was a baby it was fine. I loved pushing him around in his buggy and going to community centres and baby groups. However as Elijah got older the tantrums started.

Of course it is natural for children to express their emotions in the form of a tantrum. With the amount of emotion they are feeling and the incapability of explaining their emotions they become upset and warrants a screaming on floor session. However i have always been someone who cares about other peoples opinions whether i like it or not. So a tantrum would cause my social anxiety to go into over board if i was alone because well all eyes would be on me and there would be nobody else to help distract him.

The thing is when a child has a tantrum. It is natural to stare and look, not to judge as so many people do but to see where the noise is coming from. Curiosity always wins, if someone was to scream in a supermarket or shop would you not ping your head round to look for the route cause of the noise.When you have social anxiety if anyone looks at you it is your worse nightmare. Frankly i dislike being in any sort of a attention platform so also don’t really like when we are out and Elijah is being good and many people come to talk to me about him. I don’t mind being nice to others and speaking to strangers but it does make me feel uncomfortable. Especially when people touch him (even before covid) or don’t take the hint the conversation is over.

Because i suffer from a chronic illness as well i sometimes don’t have much strength as apposed to other parents. I can’t always pick him up and carry him long when he flops to the floor. We have also gotten rid of his buggy because he wouldn’t sit in it and also i think he is too old for it. He is sometimes tired which causes more tantrums and because we often go for nice long walks he can sometime get bit touchy. However when i go oit without james i never take him anywhere which will over tire him because of this.

I always panic about taking Elijah to restaurants because when he is bored he acts up and misbehaves. But however i have found that if i take him a bag of toys out with us he is normally quite well behaved. I have been known to take games and even playdough if needed. But being alone again is still stress full.

However i have been trying to go out of my comfort zone a lot more these days . I have been forcing myself to overcome my anxiety and take Elijah out just the two of us at least once a week. I started by taking him to the library, then to soft play and then out for meals and trips into town. I have started to slowly build up my confidence and i just try to keep myself calm if Elijah does have a tantrum. I try to remain calm and speak to Elijah calmly and explain things clearly to him, i try to distract him or structure my day so we don’t go out when he is sleepy or going to get tired walking around too much. I will not let my anxiety control me or my sons life. Lock down affected me a lot in regards to going out because i am so scared of covid but the more i go out the more i journey outside the more i feel a bit more comfortable. I teach Elijah to distance as well as hand washing regularly. I just have to accept this is the world we live in now and it’s not healthy to stay in one place for the rest of our lives, so long as we are careful and i overcome my anxiety then we are able to live a relatively normal life.

If you are feeling anxious about going out solo with your toddler remember you are not alone. Baby steps can help at times and things do get better. Things are not always as bad as our head makes it out to be. Yes there are times i take him out and his naughty but sometimes he can be a complete angel. He will be the best behaved little boy ever. It is rare he is naughty but when he is the odd time it makes me still feel anxious and stressed but i try to remember this is just a bad day and we will get through it.

Thanks for reading, charlie x

How to improve your child’s vocabulary from a young age.

How to improve your child’s vocabulary from a young age.

One thing i always hear from other people is how they are so impressed with how well Elijah speaks. People have always been shocked when i tell them Elijah’s age. I am proud of his language skills and how they have came along. Elijah at 6 months old could say hello. Lot’s of people didn’t believe me and then where shocked when i would show them a video or Elijah spoke to them and said hello. From this point his language grew and he could say many things by a year. At a year old he could count up to ten himself and by two he could count backwards and improved on to twenty. He can say every colour and speak in full clear sentences. He still has times he struggles as he is still learning but it is incredible how far he has come. I think it is so important that we spend time concentrating on vocabulary with a child because where else will they learn it?

I’ll be honest i’m no expert or anything but one thing that i have always insisted on is speaking properly to Elijah and not making up knick names for objects to make words easier. I don’t want to say my advice will help but you never know, my advice has helped friends. I also want to state children grow at their own rates, they will learn to speak when they learn. There is nothing wrong with your child taking longer to learn certain things then another and do not compare your child to others. If you are ever at all concerned just pop along to your health visitor!

So my first tip is to well, speak to your child as if they are an adult. Yes the appeal is there to coo, speak in baby talk but their is a difference to calm, loving tones of voice to talking gibberish. For example if someone spoke to you like a baby and making up random words you’ve forgotten how to say would you be able to repeat that word? I’ve also never shortened words. Although Elijah has as he was grasping words i would still always say the whole word even though i knew what he meant. I would never refer to a object he has named something different to what he says it is or he then learns that his word is the correct word. I would also always speak in slow clear sentences when talking to him. I would speak short sentences at times but always in sentences. I know some parents say thing like “bottle? “Shortening the sentence” would you like your bottle?”. If you teach them to shorten sentences they will only learn to shorten the sentence. I taught Elijah to count by counting everything we do since a baby. I would count 1-2 putting his legs through clothes and socks and shoes on. We would count walking downstairs. Count the toys, count anything we could. A few friends have told me their children have learned from this.

Another thing i use to teach vocabulary is use physical images and letters/numbers/ items to teach the words. Flash cards are your best friends. You can grab a box of first words cards for about 3 pounds in some shops like tkmaxx. I also used picture books too. I would tell Elijah what was on every card each day and as he got older i’d ask him to tell me what was on the cards and he would tell me. You can also teach colours and sound animals make too. I would pick up a card with a pig on. I would say it was pink and then i would make the noise of the animal. This really helped elijah to recognise animal sounds to the animal and helped so much with his colours.

Magnetic and wooden letters numbers/ these are fantastic for learning. Elijah recognises all his letters and we are starting to build up to words. Visual aids are so helpful too. Just incorporating letters and numbers into play helps too. Putting them in a tuff tray or putting in slime or anything worlds. I try to add anything i can into play so we learn more.

Read to your child, children can benefit from being in the womb. It forms a emotional connection as well as helping to learn. Elijah now reads a few books in full with us and recalls most of the gruffalo in different voices too. Pointing to pictures and explaining what things are helps too. As they get older ask questions about the book.

Let them have tablet time! Let them only watch things they learn from.. Put reading eggs on, watch videos where they talk. Even blippi has some educational bits to his shows. Children are sponges and love to learn so let them watch films and videos that teach them things and sing even if they are annoying. I’m not saying all day but a little a day helps.

Be around other people. Take your child out for dinner, take them to see friends, to play. Social skills and being around others all help to teach both confidence in using language but also allows them to pick up language.Elijah has many times said things hes picked up from others and i am all for it if it helps him to learn.

Anyway hope some of these bits of advice help! They may work for you or may not but they have worked for me and others! Thanks for reading! Charlie x