Something that has finally helped me with my insomnia and my SAD too!

Something that has finally helped me with my insomnia and my SAD too!

For a few years I’ve seen the lumie lights advertised and I thought with the fact I’ve basically not had more that 4 hours sleep a night at maximum for a year that I was willing to try everything. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll of seen I used sleep masks, ear plugs, white noise, oils, pills, sedatives, sprays, scents and lots more. Basically you name it I have tried it and it hasn’t worked. In December I had enough with the house move stress that has caused me immense stress and I just couldn’t sleep so I asked for the lumie light alarm clock for my birthday. It’s pretty expensive for a alarm clock but at the end of the day I would pay anything to sleep again. So James brought it for my birthday and I was so excited to try it. I’ve now been using it a few weeks so can give true review now.

So basically the light/ alarm clock is used to create the lighting of a sunset and then a sunrise in the morning with your alarm. You can use the light as a calming light or a bright light in your bedroom too. It goes from white to yellow, orange and red. Or you can turn the light off and have the time only on it. You can personalise the wake up and sunset to you with the brightness you’d like, how long you want it to take to come on or turn down and you can choose your sounds. There is 5 sounds for waking up I choose birds, there is also 5 sounds for sleeping I choose white noise, crickets or thunderstorms. My favourite is crickets.

So I’ve got myself into a routine with it. I always go to bed about ten thirty or I am too awake to try. I set my sunset for half hour and have it go from a bright white to red. The sunrise as it happens makes me feel sleepy and I yawn the crickets sound help send me to sleep too. I normally fall asleep with it or just a few minutes after the sunset is finished and the room is lit a dark warm red. once you’ve set your sunset for the first time all you do then is press a button and it does it every night for you! The same with the alarm. I set it for half an hour so half hour before it slowly fills the room with a sunrise and then at 7:30 plays the sound of birds I wake up with that and the room feels warm and lovely and lit when the room used to be pitch black and dark.

I’ve personally found it has helped me to calm down and although not every night do I fall asleep at the same time as the sunset I am never up as late. The best thing is the sunrise setting has allowed me to wake up in the morning and feel more energised. I start the day on a positive instead of in a dark miserable day. For once I don’t mind a alarm. I also try to set my alarm for ten minutes before Elijahs awake just so I can wake up slowly. My mood has significantly improved since I received this and would recommend to anyone to try. Obviously some things work for others and don’t just like oils work for some people and not me but I can say even if it doesn’t help you sleep the wake up in the morning is so nice and calming and if you wake up in a good mood it’s better then miserable you haven’t slept much and woke to the darkness!

If anyone’s interested this is the clock I have:

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.

The TRUTH about buying a house in the coronavirus pandemic.

The TRUTH about buying a house in the coronavirus pandemic.

Buying a house has always been hard, You save all the money you can scrape together then put your hope into a lucky bank you’ve chosen to give you what you need to make your dreams reality. We brought our first house almost 4 years ago now. We gave up holidays and luxury to obtain our goal. It was full of whirlwind of high and lows as we went through the application process and then the actual buying of our house. We Ended up needing a broker after our bank refused to lend to us and went for a house we could afford. Once a bank told us what we could get we had to go for a cheaper house. I thought that would be stress over once our offer was accepted and we found our house. We then spent a long time chasing solicitors and dealing with the drama that comes with buying a house. Also add in the fact i was pregnant and working full time it meant i cried way more then my hormones should of allowed for. I thought once we had moved in that we would never have to do it again, i loved our little fixer upper house but it appears the neighbourhood has gone downhill as new people moved in and we no longer want to live in our own house so we have decided its time to go. So here we are in a pandemic moving house and But this is how it is different now,

First of all obviously with the pandemic going on it means that buying a house is so much harder, Buying a house is counted as a business transaction so viewing houses and all the little bits that come together to enable a house sale is allowed no matter if in a lock down. House viewings are done in face masks. You can only view a house with your bubble at a time so viewings cannot be done as quickly. This means viewings can take days to take place at a time. I once asked to book a viewing for a house and they wanted to book me in ten days later! One issue i had is that a lot of places wanted only online viewings and i personally don’t think i would be comfortable buying a house i have only seen through a screen. This means that i can not see the area around the house, listen to the area around and get a gist of the the neighbours which is why we are leaving so going in blind was not a option when it came to viewing.

Currently the government has a holiday on stamp duty. Which is great and a big saving to many, many people. However this means the market has gone crazy. So many houses are going for sale and buyers are biting up anything that comes up on the market. This panic affected us when buying. A house we liked was a bit too much money for us. Our first broker told us we had the money so we went for it as there was a offer on the house we wanted already so we wanted the house due to its location. We rushed looking around and decided that the house was the one we wanted and put the offer in which was accepted.

This caused a lot of issues for us. Whilst we liked the house as time went on and we viewed again we realised how small the house was in fact. We realised that the house had alot of issues from our soclicitor finding issues with the house which set of very red alerts. As solicitors are completly swamped at the moment taking on so many clients issues take alot longer to move. They promise six weeks to move but we where 8 weeks in when we decided to pull out after our mortgage was rejected.

Our mortgage was rejected due to many points, The main being our broker lied to us and also gave us the wrong figures on what we could get and as well as that he applied with too little information then what was required. Then there was the big issue that is affecting many, many people at the moment…Covid.

Banks are now being way more strict with their lending criteria. Covid had become a list of questions on many, many forms. All applicants for a mortgage have to prove that they can work through further covid lock-downs. They have to be “covid secure” that means no time off, no loans, no acceptance of government grants and no furlough. I have spoken to many people who are in the same situation right now have been turned down for small loans and mortgages just because they where furloughed or accepted a loan based on the corona-virus. Banks are also trying to process as much deals as they can as so many are buying and selling that this means that they can make money in the long run but need to make sure their selection is for the best. I can understand why but it is not a fair way to decide someone can get a mortgage.

James is self employed and as i no longer work as i became a stay at home mum there is no longer my employed paycheck as a stable salary is now gone. James now makes double our salaries and didn’t have to stop during covid as he works outdoors.However the banks are being really judgemental of those who are self employed which is not right at all. Also only a few banks will give to self employed at the moment and accept this years books so it is SO,SO much harder to get a mortgage being self employed then ever before. With that you also have to prove if you had to isolate you can still keep an income.Which we could as we have insurance and contract work to others. But again it’s another hurdle to jump through.

A mortgage decision can now take months. The survey on the house can also take months and the full connection from searches to solicitors doing their bits and bobs to connect the dots take even longer. My in laws are not moving till January and they sold and brought in September. Selling your house is hard too, you need to keep competitive with others whilst also getting the best deal. We sold and took less so we could get out quickly and get the house we wanted at the time.

So my advice to anyone buying now is look if your covid secure if you are not contact a broker to get advice. Do not look at a house without getting a broker to look at your file to see how much you can get and get accepted for. Also do your research into the best brokers in your area. We went with who we used last and they messed us over big time. We tried another and got a realistic amount we could borrow and we went for a house we loved for less money pulling out of the old deal. Take your time when looking around don’t rush, look at many, many places to get your moneys worth. Before we pulled out we looked around and realised we where paying too much, The house we wanted was a semi with lots of trees and on a hill and the new house is detached, bigger and is quiet and still near family a 3 minute walk from the old house. I wished we didn’t rush into the first house but thankfully some issues came up that meant we had to rethink and i think we’ve got a better deal.

Get a full home buyers survey. Your banks survey is basically a quick run round the house to basically check its there and it’s worth. However we paid for a full report to put our mind at ease so we wouldn’t buy a house that may fall apart the next day. We picked up the need for a new electricity box so we will be getting someone in to test the electrics to check if we need to lower our offer.

We are still awaiting our mortgage to be decided on which has took 4 weeks but we should hear this week. So remember your sale and purchase will take longer and patience is a virtue. You won’t be out in 6 weeks like they promise and it will be pure stress. People are slow on the selling and buying process such as paperwork and helping with querys.

We have decided that houses might fall in value next week so if we do not move we could loose out when buying again. There is also lots of people pulling out because banks are refusing to lend. So if we do not get our mortgage this time we will go into renting until the corona virus calms the housing market a bit but here is to hoping we get our dream house and our mortgage goes through.

Then maybe i might sleep again and not refresh my phone constantly. That and i won’t live in boxes anymore. Good luck to all of you buying and selling houses right now. We all know we all need it!

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.

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

I was kindly gifted this camera in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

So my baby camera started to break about a month ago and I was looking for a camera that didn’t require to be turned on constantly and carrying around a monitor whenever I went. The sound of static would stop me sleeping and the out of range was useless. So when lollipop contacted me I was excited to try something new. I immediately jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did.

The turn around time is so quick It arrived the next day and was a beautiful camera. You can even order it with prime! It was really well presented and easily shows how to connect and fit it. I choose the colour blue as we’re planning on decorating Elijahs new bedroom in the new house and wanted something that wouldn’t stand out too much! The camera can wrap around bits and bobs or be hung against the wall with a stand they supply which is fantastic! The Camera is really flexible and you can move it around. It also comes with wire hiders so you can attach to wall or hide against a wall without damage and need for nails for the wires!

Setting up was a bit confusing but once I worked it out it was fantastic. The camera works through a app on phone and sends notifications if your child moves across a area, Cries or even makes any noise. You can also have camera set as background audio so hear constantly or just have notifications and open when you hear them. I sleep and wake up when I hear a notification. I thought I wouldn’t but I hear it when it’s on loud. It’s fantastic if your walking round house or hanging washing out too. I can now have a bath without worrying about a monitor breaking or not hearing.

The sound quality is fantastic. The photo quality is amazing. The day and night mode both pick everything up and you can also set up recording of your little ones moments. You can also talk thorough the camera which is interesting and the best bit is you can play music or white noise so that your child sleeps. Elijah already has a white noise machine but sometimes I play the hoover sound and he notices no different.

You can change a lot of settings for your child. You can change how sensitive you want it and loud you want it. As the photos below show the clarity and the notifications so you know what’s going on when you watch it. Elijah is rugby tackling James when he went to read his bed time story and get ready for bed which I found hilarious I got a notification about the noise. The second he was talking to James after refusing to sleep 😂

Overall it may be a bit pricey but you get what you pay for I’ll use for a few more years and if I was to have another child I’d buy this again! I wish I had it when he was a newborn!

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

Review of bewilderwood and their glorious lantern parade!

Review of bewilderwood and their glorious lantern parade!

Last weekend we visited bewilderwood after being invited along on a gifted basis in exchange for a review. We primarily came for the glorious lantern parade but where also given some day tickets to use too. We’d seen a lot of photos on Instagram of bewilderwood and it seemed like our sort of day out! We love the outdoors and especially the forests so to go somewhere Elijah could enjoy and be outdoors ticks all the boxes. This will be a completely honest review from me and James’s point of view of both the event and the day trip.

So first of all we traveled from Suffolk which took a hour and half to get there but we regularly travel (lockdown postcode checked first) for days out. So this was no issue for us as we love going for a drive too! We arrived at 3 pm due to the fact our lantern event wasn’t till 7:30 and didn’t want Elijah to be tired. First of all the customer service team are fantastic, I had to isolate for a few days due to a family member I was near too having Covid symptoms so couldn’t go to the first event on the opening day of the lantern parade so had to rearrange. Luckily the family member did not have Covid so I could go the following week instead. They rearranged with no issues and they where lovely! The customer services also told me I had no time I had to turn up but the last admission was at 4 and they shut at five. So we arrived for 3pm.

So the good bits of the day trip! First of all the place was really lovely, there was a fairy tale fantasy vibe. The place is based on a book and the characters in the books are hidden around the park for you to find. The fact it’s in the middle of a forest is great too because you get lots of fresh air and can take in the scenery. The place is full of climbing frames, zip wires, treetop houses and slides galore. There’s lots of places to explore. There’s also arts and craft huts, story readings and much more to do during the day (before it starts to close).

Elijah loved running around and exploring. He even tried a big slide and wanted to go down a few more hundred times. He loves exploring all the tree houses and running through the woods. We looked out for characters and statues and Elijah got very excited spotting some bats and a giant spider! We loved the Halloween decorations too! There was a outdoor cafe with lots of picnic tables. They served hot food and drink too! It smelt really nice!

Being so close to Norwich it’s only twenty minutes to Norwich so there’s shopping and food places locally too that you can visit after or before. There is a gift shop with lots of little bits to remember your visit too! There is a boat ride that goes around and looked super fun although they didn’t allow us on as we where a minuite late.

Whilst we arrived at three we were a little disappointed a lot of things where closed when we arrived. The story telling was finished, many things where shut and it felt a bit like a race against the clock to look at everything in time for the place in time. When we arrived I also asked the staff what time the boat rides finished as we where most excited to do that. They told us they would run till 5pm when they shut so that everybody could have a go. So we decided to explore the park instead of queuing first. The downside of this was in fact the staff member was wrong and they shut at 4:30. Despite us arriving to the que for the boats at 4:31 they shut the gates in front of us. I asked if we could join as we where told they shut at 5 and it was one minute late the staff said no so we where all very upset. Elijah started to cry as we walked away and was sad and ended up in a tantrum. We left immediately as being around the boats again would of upset him all over again. I was surprised that they would state a last admission at a full paid price be a hour before they shut if everything is already closing. Perhaps they should advise a earlier arrival time. This way it avoids rushing and disappointment.

However we knew we where coming back later and we went locally to Norwich for dinner. Whilst bewilderwood would make a fantastic day out I would visit earlier if we where to go again. They did have a fantastic scheme with wristbands that you write your details on should your child get lost which I thought was fantastic. Overall we would come again but perhaps earlier to enjoy the story telling and arts and crafts. We would also come to have a go on the boats. The place is more suited to older children but so long as you follow your child along there’s no limit to the fun you can have together.

Now the glorious lantern parade. What can I say other then the fact it was fantastic!

First of all I’ll apologise for our photos we tried to walk through quickly to social distance and my camera didn’t want to focus. But none the less I can only describe the event as beautiful! Lanterns and fairy lights lit the whole way which took us about a hour to complete.

First of all we checked in and we went to make Elijahs lantern. The place was a light with lanterns absolutely everywhere and the energy from the kids was really sweet. There was a witch who opened the event and made everyone excited to go in the children loved it. However the only issue I had the whole time which lots of people loudly commented on was the fact they crammed us all through a small gate and didn’t filter people in so it created a big crowd and social distancing wasn’t happening. We tried to keep our distance but a lot of people ignored the social distancing rules.

When we followed the trails it was so pretty following all the lights and there was music and sound effects. Elijah enjoyed carrying his little lantern and kept trying to spot things. All the play frames where lit up and looked beautiful. There was story telling and characters too. The food and drink was open too and there was no rush to get to the end. We will book again for next year we loved it that much. It was well worth the travel and it was nice to experience some sort of festivity in the bleak of the corona virus pandemic.

Thanks for reading!

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

So Christmas is coming up and I’m starting to scan the stores both online and offline for Christmas presents for loved ones. Coronavirus be damned it will not stop us enjoying Christmas and I will drop off presents on the door step wearing a Santa outfit if I have too. Don’t push me I will purchase one Boris. So here are some ideas I’ve had that I would both like for myself and as a gift for someone else!

So first of all I’m going in big. I’m not a materialistic person or someone who expects big gifts but the only thing I want this Christmas is this…

Photo from hotel chocolat

A hotel chocolat velvetiser. Have you looked at them? Not only are they beautiful but a hot drink connoisseur like me aspires for a new tool to master the battle that is making the perfect hot chocolate. Tassimos be gone we all know the new kid on the block is taking the lead. It gently warms and froths and mixes at the same time. Leaving you to do nothing but pour in and pour out! They also come with two snazzy cups for you to share your experience. It also comes in three beautiful colours and it’s a toss up between copper or charcoal for me. You can also indulge in some of the 16 hot choc flavours hotel chocolat have to offer making this the perfect luxury gift. And if you like me enjoy a good hot chocolate this is the way to go!

Next up we have a obvious and affordable choice. Bath bombs. Obviously we have the high street brands such as lush which are king but there are also little small businesses to try. Instagram is crawling with them and if you look on my gram I’ve been lucky enough to try some myself. they’re often very high quality and smell fab too.

My fav lush bath bomb!

An even easier choice now. Feel like you don’t know a person well enough or their very picky? Don’t want to give money? A gift card is the way to go. But where from? Well if into make up and skincare a boots or Superdrug voucher is somewhere you can’t go wrong. They sell all sorts from vegan to high end makeup there’s sure to be something in these places that your recipient will love. If you have a film fanatic on your hand I normally would suggest a cinemas gift card but because we have seen Covid destroy the film industry perhaps a Netflix gift card (yes they exist) or a hmv gift card for people who enjoy physical copies of films is the way to go! If you know your person is a foodie then a gift voucher to their favourite restaurant is always appreciated. If your not sure which one to get there are lots of gift cards that cover quite a few. Also you can help small businesses by asking if they do gift cards for eating out another day too! With moving house being a theme for us this year I know I would love a next/ dunelm or John Lewis voucher! I adore picking my own home bits and I’m very fussy about what I like. Play it safe and if you know anyone planning to move or moving this is the perfect gift to give. If you’re really, really stuck a amazon voucher is great because then someone can buy absolutely anything they want from a game to shampoo, you name it they have it.

Photo taken from wired.com

The way to my heart is through smell. If you want to get in my good books a candle is the way to go. For affordable options head to tk maxx where you will hit the mother load of candles every time. Theirs a scent there to suit every person. Want to support a small business there’s lots of small businesses out their making candles and wax melts! Check previous blog posts and my Instagram for my reviews on them!

A small business I worked with before and have even brought as gifts for others since is am botanical.

Beauty boxes/well being boxes. I love a pick me up and a surprise in a box. Many companies do one off boxes or you can subscribe someone for a few months as a gift. The perfect gift if you hate choosing things out! Take the hassle out of selecting and know you can’t be blamed if something goes wrong!

The contents of a well being box i received to review which screamed my autumn personality and vibes available from http://www.thewellbeingbox.com.

Another fantastic gift which would also be perfect for a anxious mind is a diffuser. There are many diffusers out there small and large depending on what you want to buy. Coupled with the right essential oils you can really help someone relax and they’re also great for keeping illnesses at bay. Many people are scared of candles because of the fire so if you want to give someone a nice scented replacement this is the way to do it! My favourite essential oil smell is lemongrass! Just make sure you check for pets as some oils can’t be used around them!

This diffuser was gifted to me from Smellacloud

My favourite gift every year without fail is pjs and cosy socks. Specifically overly fluffy ones. I love to buy other people cosy pjs too for Christmas and couple it with some chocolate and your golden!

These super cosy bed socks are from perillasocks and are previously gifted

Make your own hamper. You can buy a basket and then fill it with their favourite things. This can be done really inexpensively as well. I often make friends chocolate boxes filled with their favourite chocolates I’ve gotten from Poundland and thrown some tissue paper and they’ve loved the thought and effort!

Hope some of these ideas have helped and I’ll be doing a his and little ones gift list too soon! So that you can get ideas for the whole of your family! Thanks for reading Charlie x

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!