Monthly Archives

January 2019

Lifestyle Mental Health

Growing Up As A Young Carer

Carer

You guys have already heard of my story looking after my mum when she had her brain tumour but I actually cared for her long before that. I’d been caring for her ever since I was 16. I’m writing this post because today is Young Carers Awareness Day and, even though I’m old now, I still wanted to chat about my time as a young carer.

Here’s a bit of a back-story: Mum had been a nurse ever since she was 17 and by the time I was 16, she had been nursing for nearly 30 years. As you can imagine that did a number on her back especially her back. She ended up developing osteoarthritis in her back and shoulders as well as the bottom of her spine starting to crumble. All that meant that she found it awful to bend, get up if she had to kneel and all the things that we take for granted.

Here is where I came in.

She may have not wanted me to care for her (she didn’t like the idea of her teenage daughter having to help her) but she didn’t have much of a choice. This is I usually ended up having to do every day:

Help get out of bed by turning her around on the bed and pulling her up
Cook breakfast, lunch and dinner
Wash dishes
Do laundry
Help out of armchair
Help get dressed and put shoes on
Help put coat on
Wash her back and legs and assist out of shower
Dry her with a towel
Cream legs
Sort out her medication
Act as an assist as she walked with her stick
Help out of car and help get her legs into the car
Put petrol in car and pay
Do grocery shopping

There is probably more but I don’t want to end up boring you with everything. I obviously did everything on the list every day as it changed every day depending on how painful her back was and what she had been doing at work the day before.

You can guess that I didn’t get a chance to really be a teenager even if I wasn’t overly on being social anyway. She felt so guilty that I wasn’t getting the opportunity to be like everyone else my age but I couldn’t leave her to struggle. When I was at this age I was never the chance to take a break or to attend a young carers’ group to relax. Going to school and in between helping were my moments to chill out.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom being a carer since Mum and I were very close and it’s amazing how strong a bond can be when you’re helping each other every single day. Regardless of what she couldn’t do physically, she was still a mother to me. She listened to how bad my day at school was, loved what I cooked for, pushed herself to make me sandwiches for lunch when she was having a good day, made the most amazing curry when I came home and gave the best hugs.

I don’t regret caring for her at all and would do it all again in a heartbeat. If any of you are a young carer, you need to check out Carers Trust who are an amazing support! You get people who understand what you are struggling through and give you times when the person you care for gets looked after so you can be a kid again!

Were you/are you a young carer? Let me down in the comments below!

Mental Health

My Anti-Anxiety Bucket List

anxiety

After reading and commenting on my friend Jenny‘s post, I instantly got inspired to write about my own anti-anxiety bucket list. It’s such an incredible idea and something I need to tackle head-on this year seeing as 2018 was a little debilitating in regards to letting me do stuff.  I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety since 2010 but apparently have had it since my teens. You can check out my mental health category for more of these kinds of posts.

My anxiety never really bothered me as much when a kid probably I was distracted by school and exams, but when I was at university, it decided to hit me full force.

Since then, it has prevented me from doing a lot of things that I have seriously regretted never doing: going on a holiday with a friend, interviewing someone famous, learning to drive and more. I sometimes feel as if it has trapped me back in my teens and refuses to let me do anything too crazy. Though I have tried to use it to my advantage whenever I’ve had to perform on-stage. It’s amazing what acting can do to help!

Travel alone

I tend to travel alone at the best of times but only to places that I’ve been to before such as London and Manchester. I would love to go somewhere for a few days such as Paris or Amsterdam where I’ve never visited but heard so much about. The idea of it terrifies me but I still want to eventually do it. Sometimes you just have to face your fears!

go out somewhere in the evening

This sounds like such a stupid choice but it’s a big thing for me. I always choose to do things during the day because I feel safe and I’m less anxious, but a lot of great opportunities happen in the evening such as plays, dinners out and events. I have always stayed clear of them because I hate travelling at night until I added it to this list!

be in a relationship

Okay, this is a massive confession that I’ll probably do a post on in the future…I’ve never been in a relationship. Never had a boyfriend, never had my first kiss…you get that point. I never really connected with anyone like that. Sure I’ve had crushes on people but that’s it. I did have one guy who had a crush on me but I was super uncomfortable and I did my best to avoid since I couldn’t return any feelings. I would love to experience what it’s like to be in a relationship even if it’s just once. I guess I feel like nobody can like me that way since I’m odd and different to everyone else.

start acting

It’s been 4 years since I last auditioned for anything and I miss acting so much that it hurts sometimes. The anxiety hits due to knowing I’m very rusty and my town has nothing in the way of acting classes. I do have a couple of possibilities in a city near me…I’m just really nervous that I’ll be terrible compared to everyone else. Stupid negative thoughts.

learn to swim

This post is quickly becoming a list of all the things I never did as a child but here we are: I, Daisy, cannot swim. Not even a doggy paddle! I can give a little kick with one leg but don’t even ask me to get the other leg up. I’m not getting any younger and I think it would help with a lot of body hatred I have if I could start swimming. I’ve been making a lot of excuses for not starting so that’s why it’s on here.

What would be on your anti-anxiety bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Books

Book Review | One Day In December (Josie Silver)

One Day In December

For my second book review of 2019 I bring to you One Day In December by Josie Silver. Before last month I hadn’t been  familiar with Josie’s work but I already have her next book The Two Lives of Lydia Bird on my ‘To Be Read’ list for later on this year.

I hadn’t read a grown-up book (yes, I like reading Young Adult and Kids more at 32! haha!) for a long time but, when I was walking around WHSmith before Christmas, I was immediately drawn to this cover. It was romantic, simple and I decided to have a quick glimpse of the first page to see if I should buy and…I did!

One Day In December follows the journeys of both Laurie and Jack, a couple who catch the eye of each other one day. One is standing at a bus stop and the other is on a waiting bus. You’d think that these two would instantly fall in love and everything ended beautifully but that would make a really short book, wouldn’t you think? Nope, both of them lose sight of each other and I can’t exactly spoil what happens between them.

I loved the friendship between Laurie and her best friend Sarah! They are like younger versions of Bridget Jones who drink wine, gossip with each other and try to survive the jobs that they’ve been given. Their friendship doesn’t always go smoothly and Laurie is tested along the way when she meets a wealthy man called Oscar. While he does care about her in his own way, he doesn’t stay in her life for the right reasons and I can imagine that I wouldn’t last as long as she does! I may struggle with the whole romance side of things but I love that Laurie is still really relatable and makes me all gooey in the inside!

Plus you can’t go wrong with One Day In December that is loved by Reese Witherspoon who said that people ‘will fall head over heels with this book’!

There are times when I thought I would get a little bored and sigh at how the romance is dished out, but that never happened while I read. It was like a roller-coaster that took me round and round and never failed to be fun! I laughed, I grinned and I winced for all the moments the two main characters struggled.

I’m really glad that I’ve started adding book reviews to my blog and I hope anyone that stumbles upon this enjoys this too!

Have any of you guys read One Day In December?

 

 

Beauty Mental Health

My Self-Care Beauty Routine

For the past couple of months I have actually been attempting to do a beauty routine every night as a form of self care. It’s taking me what feels like forever to create some sort of routine. If you don’t have mental health, there are days or even weeks where you can’t get yourself to do anything. Have a shower, get out of bed…you get the picture. I’ve found various things to use as self-care during the day but night-time wasn’t easy. That is when I really struggle with my depression and anxiety so all of these products have been a god-send to me!

Self Care

As a gift to myself, I bought some Lancome products (a brand that I utterly adore and never fails to make me feel great) knowing that they would be some of the best.

My Self Care Beauty Routine

Lancome Creme Mousse Confort (£18 at John Lewis, £23 in other stores)

Self Care

This is the first time I’ve ever used a cleanser! I have heard so many of my favourite beauty vloggers and bloggers using one in their skin routine so it was the right time to introduce it to my first. I’m going to sound like such a newbie (which I am) but I wasn’t entirely sure how to use a cleanser at first but I saw the word lather and got the idea eventually. It felt my skin feeling so clean and I love the smell of roses anyway so double win!

Garnier Skin Active: Soothing Botanical Toner with Rose Water (£1.74 in Boots)

Second product that I’ve never used before but will always continue to use in some form! I never knew how nice it was to wipe toner around your face. Just what I needed as self care! It was relaxing and suitable for getting ready for bed. After walking around outside with pollution (which is really gross), this toner soothes my skin since it’s been getting dry quicker because of the obvious and the winter weather.

Lancome Advanced Genifique Serum (30ml – £59)

Now that I’m slowly getting further into my 30s, I need all the anti-age products thrown at my face! I’m slowly getting the odd wrinkle at the corners of my eyes and under my eyes. Begone, foul wrinkles! I massage this serum over my forehead and then over the rest of face and neck before I put on the night cream. I heard that this serum helps the cream sink in better.

Lancome Hydra Zen Neurocalm Moisturizing Night Cream (£43)

Self Care

Say hello to the baby night cream I’d gotten in a gift set! I got a bunch of teeny Hydra Zen products (which I have loved for around 5 years now) and also say hello to the big mummy version in 50ml! Woo…that’s a doozy! When the product you’re using has the words ‘zen’ and ‘calm’ in it, you know it’s going to help you relax. I’d used the day version of this so was excited to use the night cream and I love it so much! It cools my skin and makes it feel fresh and full of moisture which is a brilliant thing for my dry, sensitive skin. I’ve just ran out of my baby version but hopefully I’ll be able to save up some money and grab the big one in the next few weeks.

I’m hoping to test other products eventually as I figure out how to do this!

What products do you use to help your self care?

 

Lifestyle Mental Health

4 Podcasts You Have To Check Out

Podcasts

When I have days where I’m struggling to leave my flat, go online or watch TV, I pop on some podcasts to distract my mind. This is still a new addition to my routine so I’m still trying out different podcasts to see if I find something to love, but after listening for a few months, I figured I could give you a taste of what I’m loving right now.

TED TALKS: 

There are so many times when I want to be inspired by powerful women and powerful stories and Ted Talks does that in abundance! My friend Natalie introduced me to Ted Talks and I’ve never looked back. I can stick on a talk while I’m getting ready in the morning or when I’m typing up a blog post. If you haven’t guessed, I’m listening to one right now and ‘3 questions to ask yourself about everything you do – Stacey Abrams’! She is brilliant and I’m definitely feeling inspired! I would love the opportunity to do a TED Talk one day to speak about how odd my mind is, how Harry Potter saved me or something I don’t even know.

Fantastic Geeks And Where To Find Them

My days, do I adore Tessa Netting and Anna Brisbin! This girls are the pinnacle of the Harry Potter fandom! They are so funny, so talented and really honest. When I heard that two of my favourite Youtubers were creating a podcast about not only Harry Potter but other fandoms, I endlessly clicked iTunes to get one of the few fandom podcasts out there. My favourite episodes have to be ‘SHREK IS LOVE, SHREK IS LIFE | Hufflepuffs are like Onions (Ep. 27)‘ and ‘Harry Potter Gender-Bent Casting | Benedict Cumberbatch as McGongall PLEASE!! (Ep. 26)‘.

Happy Place

If you don’t live in the UK, then you won’t know about the amazing Fearne Cotton. She’s been really looking into mental health over the last few years with two books (Happy and Calm) which are brilliant, but she also has a podcast called Happy Place. She interviews various kinds of people who suffer from mental health such as Natalie Dormer, Matt Haig and Stephen Fry. I never realised some of my favourite people were suffering along with me and, when I’m struggling with either my anxiety, my depression or both, it’s so handy to listen to stories of recovery.

The Archers

Okay, I’m so showing my age but I love listening to The Archers (a radio drama played on BBC Radio 4) and it’s like Emmerdale on the radio. It’s weird how I can’t sit and watch that, but I sit and listen to that. It has all the drama and reality of a country life! The actors are brilliant to listen to (one day I’ll be on it) and the episodes are only 13 minutes long! You can just sit with a cup of tea and listen to what’s going on!

What podcasts are you listening to right now?

Books

Book Review | What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli/Adam Silvera)

Book

CHARACTERS:  Image result for 5 stars
BOOK OVERALL: 

Ever since I discovered Becky Albertalli through Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, I’ve been utterly obsessed with her writing! I’ve read Leah Off The Beat and have just ordered The Upside of the Unrequited from my local library so, when I heard she was co-writing another book alongside Adam Silvera, I kind of freaked! I instantly added this to my ‘to be read’ list and then realized that I wouldn’t be able to buy the book for a few months after the publish date. I actually spotted What If It’s Us in Tesco for only £3 recently and threw it into my basket without any questions I asked.

The book follows Arthur Seuss and Ben Alego, two teenage boys who are suddenly thrown together after meeting each other in a New York post office. Arthur is visiting the city with his parents and interning at his mum’s law firm and spots a good-looking guy (Ben) heading into the post office with a box. Both have a short conversation with each other and then parted…without exchanging numbers. The story is made up of their POVs following their lives with their friends, their ups-and-downs and trying to find each other!

Every moment of this book shows the strength of Becky and Adam’s writing seeing as I couldn’t tell who wrote what! I did have the odd idea of when Becky did after seeing a lot of Harry Potter references (just like in Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah Off The Beat) which, as a Potter fan, is a big thumbs-up for me!

Arthur is such an adorable little nerd with his awkward babbling, love of all Broadway shows especially Hamilton! Any chance to fan over characters who love Lin-Manuel Miranda is perfect with me and Arthur is just so perfect. He’s not just a nerd…he has such a relatable story. His home life isn’t perfect and he pretty much foot-in-mouth syndrome that made me want to hit him over the head at times.

As for Ben, he’s equally as incredible! Going through a messy break-up, flunking school and not living his best life. I wanted to give this guy so many hugs during the book but he had THE best friend in the form of Dylan, who I secretly think was trying to beat the records for the most nicknames you can give to one friend! Seriously! Haha!

The book had me hooked from cover to cover and I would have given it a full 5 stars if it wasn’t for the disappointing ending. I guess it was realistic (and I won’t spoil it) but I wanted so much more to happen and needed more of those boys! I just hope a film is created on this book so I can see Ben and Arthur on the big screen! Can I suggest Asa Butterfield for Arthur?!

Have you any of you guys read this yet?

Lifestyle

A Fan’s Guide To Surviving Award Ceremonies

award ceremonies

This post is currently being written as I wait to hear the results for the Golden Globe Awards. If you haven’t read my winner predictions, click here to read! There is nothing else that makes a fan proud than hearing their favourite show and/or favourite actor winning an award for their role. Everyone wonders about the nerves the people nominated, but think about the fans!

I decided to make a guide to help my fellow fangirls and fanboys survive the award ceremonies with their emotions still in tact.

Watch the red carpet and stare at all the gorgeous fashion choices

For as long as I can remember, I’ve drooled over the different trends that actresses wear for the red carpet. If you have SKY (or maybe Freeview/Virgin Media…not sure if it’s on either of these), then you should check out E! It has the best livestream of all the big award ceremonies. They have so many great interviews with Ryan and Giuliana who talk films and, of course, the fashion! I may be unfashionable but I do love fashion!

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FRIENDS WITH YOU DURING award ceremonies

I’d never spoken with people during award ceremonies until watching the Oscars last year and I love staying up into the early hours to watch the ceremony or finding out the next day with them on who won. There is something so powerful and so special about celebrating your fandom together. You can laugh, cry, scream, almost pee yourselves. You go through so emotions during the award ceremonies that it really helps to be with someone so you can be held over the internet.

REMEMBER TO GET FOOD/DRINK, GO TO THE TOILET AND LOCK YOURSELF AWAY BEFORE THE SHOW

You don’t realise how locked down on your seat you become until the ceremony starts. You literally become frozen in front of the TV/laptop during it so forget about all human needs! If you want to survive, get everything you’ll need because you might be stuck where you are for a good few hours! The only times you’ll get to move are during the breaks/intervals so take advantage of these! Run as quick as you can, gather everything into your arms, do what nature intended you to do and tweet everyone that cares about your thoughts! It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks because you’re in a fan bubble!

GRAB TISSUES BECAUSE YOU WILL CRY

You never thought that you’d cry during an awards ceremony but you do! It suddenly hits you as soon as you hear the name you’ve been crossing your fingers for since nominations were announced is called. You become a sobbing mess and it’s totally worth it! As soon as you hear that name, your phone is summoned to your hand with a silent Accio and you start tweeting and texting all of your friends!

Don’t just tweet your friends! If your favourite actor/actress/show has a Twitter account, then tweet them! There is nothing like tweeting them your congratulations and getting a tweet back with a thank you! It makes you feel so proud! Almost like your part of their massive extended family! That said, don’t get too crazy with them! Their minds will be as blown already by winning! Haha!

ENJOY THE AWARD CEREMONIES

Whether you’re having to stay up till silly o’clock to watch the ceremonies happening in the US on TV or listening to it on the radio, enjoy yourself! There is so much to love! All those crazy moments on the red carpet, interviews with different people, the speeches that the winners give as quickly as they can….so much! You might not be there but you, in a way, helped them to get where they are so give yourselves a big pat on the back!

How do you guys survive during award ceremonies?