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To Flower Crown or Not To Flower Crown? 

Today I asked my husband the question which has been plaguing my mind for a while: can a 33 year old teacher pull off a flower crown?

I love the idea of channelling an actress playing Juliet in a garden-theatre Shakespeare production or taking inspiration from Rapunzel’s floral accessories in Tangled. However, I am not 13 anymore- I couldn’t play Juliet! Also, I don’t have the amazing hair of Rapunzel and will not be at Coachella.  So… should I leave dreams of floral headdresses behind me in my youth or can I pretend to be a princess from classic literature and float about Liverpool with faux roses on my head?

The problem was that a lot of the flower crowns and garlands that I found in the shops were just too expensive for something that I wasn’t convinced I would wear.  The solution: Primark.  I ended up using three floral hair accessories with varying amounts of floral fantasticness- a subtle peach and cream headband (£3), a pink and white flower crown to sit on top of the head (£4) and a bright pink Frida Kahlo-esquire flower crown (£4).

  
So… now to develop some outfits that will do these beautiful (but cheap) flower crowns justice. Any ideas? 

A Day in The Life #BEDM

Hmmm… today’s Blog Everyday May topic included sharing a typical day or a look at what we had done today.  I was actually quite looking forward to this one- I was going to talk about typical Friday’s and how I chill out after a week at school.  As it happens, today has not been a typical Friday.  In fact, I have spent today in a bad mood due to the results of the UK General Election (booo!!) and my silly sprained ankle.  Basically, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself today which is not something that the blog-reading public probably want to know about.

So… instead I thought I’d share what I do on a day when I am feeling sorry for myself or feeling particularly low…

I watch clips of The Muppets.

I quite like opera but feel that it should always be performed by Muppets!

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UK Election 2015

I sprained my ankle quite badly the other day and am not dealing very well with crutches.  I’m like Bambi trying to walk on ice.  t took me half an hour to cross the road on crutches to get to the polling station so I could vote. My husband had to bring the car over the road to drive me back as I couldn’t face the journey back.  It tired me out completely but I’m so glad that I had my say and actually got to vote.

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Stepping Back Into The 90s with The Music of Space

At the weekend I went down to the Museum of Liverpool with my husband and his parents.  We went up to the top floor where the ‘Wondrous Place’ permanent exhibition is held.  ‘Wondrous Place’ allows a look at the sporting and artistic achievements of Liverpool’s daughters and sons.  My father-in-law absolutely loved having the opportunity to explore the music of his youth and spent a lot of time listening to the 60s Merseybeat music.  Whilst he and my mother-in-law stood in a booth listening to “Needles and Pins” I had a walk around the different displays of Liverpool bands and clubs.  I came across this little fella and just the sight of him took me back to my own youth in the 90s.


Do you remember him? He featured on the back cover of Scouse indie band Space’s Tin Planet album.  The front showed a self-assembly kit and the completed robot sat proudly on the back of the record.

Ever since I spotted him I’ve had some of my favourite Space songs just floating around my head so it seems like a good opportunity for reminiscing and returning to the 90s.

Female of the Species

Probably the most famous of Space’s songs, this is an ode to the Bond girl, Pussy Galore.  This was the weekly soundtrack to our warm-up in PE in the final two years of school.  I can’t hear it without wanting to bend the knees and stretch up to the side.

Neighbourhood

Great use of sampling and probably the best use ever of Loyd Grossman’s catchphrase from Through The Keyhole.

The Ballad of Tom Jones

This was always going to be a song that I would love- Space and Cerys Matthews together is great enough but they are singing about Mr Tom Jones!!!  I’m a huge Tom Jones fan and understand exactly how the mellifluous tones of the Welsh wonder would keep a warring couple together.

Me and You Vs. The World

The jangly beginning reminds me of the Merseybeat sound of the 60s and I love the kitchen-sink/Coronation Street style love story start -” I first met you hanging knickers on the line” which ends with a tale of armed robbery and death.

Do you remember Space? Which was your favourite song?

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REVIEW: Butter- Erin Lange

A lonely obese boy everyone calls “Butter” is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans?

Blurb taken from Goodreads

I like my YA the way I like my coffee, really dark.  Just because an author is writing for teens doesn’t mean that they should pull any punches… and in Butter, her debut novel, Erin Lange really goes straight for the heart of the matter.  Butter is a lonely teenager who is struggling with his obesity.  When he posts on a social media site that he plans to eat himself to death on New Year’s Eve he soon grabs the attention of the more popular kids in the school but is it the right type of attention? Do they want to be his friend or are they obsessed with his grisly plans? Are they only being friends with him to be part of the action when he does commit suicide live on webcam?

I really liked the concept of the book- a teen so ostracised that the only way for him to get any attention is to live-stream his own death.  It’s heart-breaking and gruesome all at once.  The details of the list of foods that Butter begins to develop is stomach-churning and I was kept absolutely riveted wondering whether he would go through with it.  Reading greedily on, I actually began to feel complicit in his suicide plans, like one of the kids who were egging him on.  It was an awkward place to be but allowed me to really mull over the issue of what I would do if faced with this situation in real life.

Butter is an absolutely engaging first person narrator with a really dry sense of humour.  I couldn’t help but totally fall in love with his personality and just hoped that the other kids would see past his size and through to his lovely good-hearted nature.  The book just shows the loneliness of the bullied child and really should be a must-read in secondary school.

I was a little disappointed in the ending.  The issues seemed sewn up a little too easily.  I know it’s a teen novel and storylines generally do end on a hopeful note but Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours shows that a tragic end can actually make the point even stronger.  I was happy for Butter with this ending but think that the novel may have been stronger had it perhaps shown more realistically the aftermath of the events.

Pleasures I Don’t Feel Guilty About #BEDM

The term ‘guilty pleasures’ baffles me sometimes.  As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, why should you feel guilty about those things that make you happy or bring you pleasure?  I can understand how things which you know are harmful but make you happy could be seen as a guilty pleasure- like smoking- but when used in relation to songs, films or books should we ever really feel guilty about what we enjoy?

Guilty Pleasures are often those films, songs or recording artists that we feel that others will look down on.  But, so what if they do? They don’t have to watch or listen along! It’s my choice and I’m going to damn well enjoy myself without feeling bad about it!  So today I’m going to celebrate two of my favourites that I previously would have been a little ashamed of.

Get Over It

There are probably many reasons to be a bit embarrassed of enjoying this teen-comedy so much- the fact that Carmen Electra is listed on the DVD as a key cast member but actually only says five words in the final cut, the cheesy stage musical songs, the fact that it doesn’t know if it’s a gross out comedy or a rom-com… but there are far more reasons to love it.  I mean, this is a film which starts with Vitamin C singing The Captain and Tenille’s Love Will Keep Us Together following a brokenhearted Ben Foster out of his ex-girlfriend’s house as he carried a box of his possessions.

This film is pure cheese and it knows it so lets enjoy every minute of it- from the accident prone Dora-Lynn in the Japanese restaurant to Berke flashing his arse to the basketball court and of course every moment featuring Martin Short’s Desmond Forest Oates.  This film is a joy from start to finish so let’s enjoy it! And remember… “keep icing your front bum! Swelling increases when you don’t ice and I need you!”

Grease 2

Oh, the much maligned younger sibling of the 1970s classic!  I know it’s basically a gender swap of the original and pales into significance in comparison but don’t compare it! Just see it in it’s own light and enjoy the over-the-top campness of the songs.

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My Self Care Kit #BEDM

I’ve spoken before about my experiences with depression and anxiety.   One way that I now try to help myself if I am having a bad time with my GAD is through the use of my Self Care Kit.  When I was at my worst I put together a collection of items which help me when I’m feeling especially low. This kit is very personal to me and wouldn’t necessarily work in this exact form for everyone but may give you ideas that you could tailor to your own personality and likings.
Here are some suggestions of what you could include in your kit and examples of what I have used in my own:

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Stress Ball
In times of deep distress, anxiety or anger it helps to physically take the emotions out on an inanimate object. A stress ball is a great idea for these situations.  You could make a simple one by filling a balloon with flour and then tying off the end.  I like to use my squeezy squidgy Rosette Stone.

Playdough works really well for times when you just need to keep your hands busy too!

Nail Polish and Removers
I find that doing something that requires my concentration helps. I’m not great at polishing my nails but I do enjoy doing it and it requires my full attention, meaning that it distracts from my worries and anxieties.

Colouring books and pencils/pens
Adult colouring in has become a big thing at the moment. It allows you time to focus on your breathing and just take a little time out from your wandering mind. I like the Hachette books with the cardboard covers which give you a steady base to

Completed embroideries
I like having a few pieces of personal embroidery that represent moods and emotions. I like the tactile element of running my hands over them and find it strangely calming. I also think seeing a completed project helps me realise that I can achieve things.

Cuddly toys
A hug or cuddle is always helpful when I am low. A friend gave me this little whale and I keep him in my box to comfort me when I am struggling.

Faux fur
For some reason I find messing about with bits of fabric quite calming. Maybe it is a substitute cat/dog. I can stroke it and pretend I have a pet. I know, weird eh?

A love spoon
My Nan bought this for my husband and I from a holiday to Wales. Holding it reminds me of her. For similar reasons my box also includes Grandad’s tie.

Bracelets
Keeping my hands busy helps so I keep a couple of old bracelets in there to fiddle with.

Photos
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have a range of photos in my kit for different occasions- landscapes, flowers, animals, family (this can be triggering if I am missing people that have passed on but sometimes it helps) and friends.

Just a few ideas of simple ways I look after myself when I am low. The kit is always evolving and changing.
What would/do you have in your mental health self care kit?

Adventure #BEDM

JM Barrie- “To live will be an awfully big adventure.”

I may not be adventurous in many ways.  I don’t take part in adventure pursuits or extreme sports (or any sport for that matter).  I like a stroll but don’t tend to go hiking often.  I like holidays but don’t tend to go too far off the beaten track.  However, without being too cheesy, I do think that grown-up life has been pretty much like an adventure at times.
There have been amazing highs,  terrible lows and nail biting moments since I turned 18.  It’s very much taken me on a journey and I am both excited and frightened of where it will take me next.  I’m ready though. Here I am life, ready to take you on!

10 Facts About Me (Blog Everyday May- Sort Of)

I have been going through a blogging existential crisis recently.   Why do I blog? What is my vision? Do I have the time and motivation to create the type of content that I am aiming for?

I haven’t really got around to blogging much recently because I have been a little preoccupied with these questions.  As I was mulling these issues over I received an email from Rosalilium inviting me to take part in Blog Everyday May.  I thought this would be a great way to explore my feelings about blogging and try to regain my blog mojo.

I really did intend to blog everyday but forgot that May started yesterday and got mixed up with the date. So, here is my response to yesterday’s prompt- About Me.

1) I like to think that I am still the party animal that I was in my youth but these days I am more commonly found on the couch with a cup of herbal tea.

2) When I was about 17 I once managed to flirt with a guy successfully solely through the medium of talking about Discworld.

3) Like Rachel in Friends, I have a public favourite film and a secret favourite.  My guilty pleasure real favourite is Get Over It.

4) I love the music of Roy Orbison- I don’t think anyone can emote like the Big O.

5) I’m from Wigan originally but see myself as an adopted Scouser.

6) I play the piano and clarinet but actually haven’t touched the latter for years.

7) I like my jewellery and have a large collection of costume jewellery.

8) I’m a huge Disney fan and my favourite Princesses are Rapunzel, Tiana and Anna.

9) I am extremely clumsy and once gave myself whiplash when I fell backwards over a child at work.

10) I really want to one day have a cat called Worf (named after the Star Trek character).

I look forward to reading your BEDM posts and finding out more about you all.

10 Facts About Me (Blog Everyday May- Sort Of)

I have been going through a blogging existential crisis recently.   Why do I blog? What is my vision? Do I have the time and motivation to create the type of content that I am aiming for?

I haven’t really got around to blogging much recently because I have been a little preoccupied with these questions.  As I was mulling these issues over I received an email from Rosalilium inviting me to take part in Blog Everyday May.  I thought this would be a great way to explore my feelings about blogging and try to regain my blog mojo.

I really did intend to blog everyday but forgot that May started yesterday and got mixed up with the date. So, here is my response to yesterday’s prompt- About Me.

1) I like to think that I am still the party animal that I was in my youth but these days I am more commonly found on the couch with a cup of herbal tea.

2) When I was about 17 I once managed to flirt with a guy successfully solely through the medium of talking about Discworld.

3) Like Rachel in Friends, I have a public favourite film and a secret favourite.  My guilty pleasure real favourite is Get Over It.

4) I love the music of Roy Orbison- I don’t think anyone can emote like the Big O.

5) I’m from Wigan originally but see myself as an adopted Scouser.

6) I play the piano and clarinet but actually haven’t touched the latter for years.

7) I like my jewellery and have a large collection of costume jewellery.

8) I’m a huge Disney fan and my favourite Princesses are Rapunzel, Tiana and Anna.

9) I am extremely clumsy and once gave myself whiplash when I fell backwards over a child at work.

10) I really want to one day have a cat called Worf (named after the Star Trek character).