Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 in Review

It may be the cliché of the century, but this year has passed far too quickly and yet feels like a lifetime all at once. I had initially decided I wasn't going to do a 'year in review' post this year, as I felt like I'd wasted the first half of the year battling mental illness. Truthfully, I was embarrassed and felt like I hadn't done 'enough' compared to the glitz and excitement of others. It then occurred to me that perhaps that's actually a powerful reason to write a review of the year, not just to take stock of everything I did do and how grateful I am, but to show how quickly things can turn around when you're at your lowest.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Being Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia

Last week, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It wasn't a shock, as it had come at the end of a lot of discussion with my doctor, and a lot of poking and prodding. I've had plenty of warning and time to gather my thoughts about it, but it didn't make finally hearing the 'official' diagnosis any less difficult. Lots of people don't know what fibromyalgia is, or what the process of diagnosis is, so I wanted to share my experience. 

if fibro thinks it's gonna stop me partying in giant heels, it's mistaken!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

#TorPrompts Week One

The wonderful TorAthena has made a brilliant list of writing prompts to follow, for those of us who are inspired by NaNoWriMo, but don't quite fancy writing a whole novel. I've been itching to flex my fictional muscles for a while, and dip my toes into the grisly world of horror writing, so I'm very thankful to Tor for giving me a good excuse to! I'm going to be posting weekly sets of short pieces based on the prompts she's made, and I hope you enjoy them! I'm new to the whole fictitious thing, so I'd love any feedback or constructive criticism!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The Horror Tag 2018

It's All Hallow's Eve Eve! What better time than the dark evening before Halloween to answer some questions about one of my favourite topics? This is another snazzy tag I've pinched from Amy, goddess of Blogtober. I'll be quite sad tomorrow when her posts are over. Without further ado, let's chat about horror!

Spooky Netflix Picks: October 2018

It's that time of year when sitting wrapped in blankets, with a hot drink and a good TV series to binge-watch seems like the best of ideas. You've probably already gathered that I'm a fan of any excuse to hibernate, so naturally, I love a good ol' binge-watch. Netflix has a banquet of spooky series to watch, ranging from bone-chilling horror to documentaries of the macabre. There are tons of series I'm yet to watch, so I'm sure there'll be more of these posts in the future! For now, here are the spooky series I've been loving this month.

Erm, you're not popcorn!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Spooky Self Care

Spooky babes need self-care too you know? Whilst I quite enjoy a bit of the fluffy pink side of life, it's not for everyone, and sometimes I need to wrap my goth self in cotton cobwebs. Whether you just want to get into the Halloween spirit whilst taking time to recharge, or you live the spooky life all year, this list of sinister self-care essentials will have you feeling cosy and creepy in no time. 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Spooky Bucket List

In the run-up to Halloween, it's natural to be thinking about the spooky and haunted places one would love to visit. Well, it is if you're a bit of a weirdo like me! Over the years, I've gathered a rather long list of historical, haunted, and creepy places to visit, as it seems there's no end to the world's macabre locations. From the sites of witch trials, morbid museums, and burial sites in their many forms, to the voodoo capital, sites of multiple hauntings, and locations where the inexplicable happens - there are plenty of places to visit for your fix of the grim and ghoulish. This list is absolutely not extensive, but a collection of some of my priorities and places I'm most interested in! 

Friday, 26 October 2018

Sweater Weather Tag Updated

It's been an age since I did the Sweater Weather Tag, and as a self-confessed Autumn fanatic, it was long due an update. With the nights growing longer, the leaves falling, and the breeze beginning to bite, it seemed the perfect time to revisit this tag. It has such cute questions and is great for getting in the cosy mood, so I'm excited to be doing it again (and comparing my answers from 2015)! 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

My Paranormal Experiences

I've promised this post for a long time, and gave a hint to one of the stories I'd be telling in The Halloween Tag! I've had a few inexplicable paranormal experiences, and I'd like to share them with you. I feel like I'm quite unbiased, as whilst I believe in the paranormal, I'm also a scientist, and know that many incidents can have a more mundane explanation. These, however, do not. As an adult, I welcome these experiences, as I don't think 'spirits' or 'ghosts' want to hurt you in most cases, and I find these glimpses into the unknown utterly fascinating.  I have three stories which stand out most to me, out of the mutitude of potentially paranormal happenings I've been witness to. 

Blakemere Village Zombie Pirate Trail

Today I was lucky enough to take my beautiful nephew on a trip to Blakemere Village. By 'taking my nephew', I mean that my mum did the driving and I did all of the fun auntie bits! Naturally, I felt it my duty as 'Goth Auntie' to partake in some Halloween adventures with our youngest family member, so a Zombie Pirate Treasure Trail seemed like a perfect afternoon out for us, and it was!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

A Month In Horror - October 2018

Hello horror lovers! It's our month to shine, so I'm back with another 'A Month in Horror' post! It's been a while since I've done one of these, and I'm super excited to be writing about my love of horror again. I'd really hoped to feature the majorly-hyped The Haunting of Hill House in this post, but haven't yet found the time to watch it with my full attention. Not to worry, that just means there'll be more horror-themed musings to post in the near future! Without further ado, behold the grizzly films I've loved and loathed in this month of the macabre. 

a blurred image of a book containing vintage images of women with old dentistry equipment in their mouths, caging their lower faces

Monday, 22 October 2018

The Halloween Tag 2018

It's spooky season my darlings! Whilst I knew I was too busy to complete a full Blogtober, I thought it would be fun to do a '10 post countdown' to Halloween instead! What better way to start than with the Halloween Tag? I spotted this on Amy's blog and just had to do it. As a self-confessed Halloween Queen, I truly enjoyed answering these questions and really look forward to seeing other peoples' answers!

a hippopotamus foetus is preserved in liquid in a vintage jar next to an adult hippopotamus skull in a natural history museum display

Friday, 19 October 2018

Treat Yourself Like a Child

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was 'it's okay to soothe yourself like you'd soothe a child'. Sometimes, when vulnerability and anxiety get to be too much, it's right to do whatever makes you happy, even if it's not considered 'mature'. It's also a good idea to check in with yourself the way you would a child. Are your needs being met, or are you low because they're not? The most mature, adult thing you can do in life is take care of yourself, and if that means juice and a cartoon, then that's precisely what you should do. 

a white mug with a black bat and font reading 'spooky' sits next to a white saucer featuring a witches hat and text reading 'bewitching', against a black backdrop with halloween themed orange lollipops and pin badges

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

End of 2018 Goals

It's the last quarter of 2018! Where did the time go?! I didn't have the best start to 2018, but now I'm finally at a point where I can start working towards my goals again. I have lots of ideas and plans for my future, and know what steps to take to get there. It feels so wonderful to finally be ready to do that. My time feeling frozen by depression and anxiety is over. I'm back and ready to achieve. We all know that posting it on the ol' blog makes one accountable, so I'm sharing my goals for the last part of 2018, in hopes I can check in in January 2019 and have achieved it all (and more)! 

an aerial view of two feet wearing black pumps stand in a pile of colourful autumn crunchy leaves

Thursday, 4 October 2018

My Top 5 Favourite 'Comfort' TV Shows

We all know that snuggling under a blanket with a good TV show is a great choice for self-care. It's low energy, safe, escapism. Sometimes you just need to get cuddly and cosy with a comforting TV programme, especially when you haven't got the energy left to focus on anything too serious! When I'm drained, I just can't follow a complex plot or information overload. I need something visual, simple, and safe from anything upsetting (like global warming or sad plotlines!). Here are my top 5 TV shows for easy-watching comfort.

on a white surface with a white background, a Pennywise pop vinyl is next to a black hot drink mug that reads 'boo' in white font. In the foreground is a rat skull and a tiny jar of mouse bones.
hot drinks mandatory!

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Apps For Mental Health Guide

I think apps can be a great way of managing mental health problems (but not as a replacement for medical advice). There are so many ways in which apps can help, from connecting you to communities of people who can relate to you, to providing helpful advice and distractions in difficult times. It's comforting having something to lift your mood in your pocket at all times, and I think there's definitely an app for everyone. I've spent weeks reviewing a multitude of mental-health related apps (15!), so hopefully you'll find the one for you in this guide! 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

September Favourites

I can't believe Autumn is here! I get so excited when September hits because the weather finally starts to cool, and all of the spooky goodies I love so much start popping up in shops. The end of August came with my first payday at my new job, so naturally I've treated myself this month! I'm excited to show you the cute little 'pick-me-ups' I've bought.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Blogger Recognition Award

A third post in a week?! I'm spoiling you! The brilliant L at One More Light LB has nominated me for a 'Blogger Recognition Award' and I am so thankful! L is such an angel and writes some brilliantly poignant pieces about mental health, particularly how Chester Bennington's life, music, and passing has affected her. You should 100% check out their blog!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Pnk Lettuce - Completely Inappropriate Jewellery*

When Pnk Lettuce said they'd like to send me something, I had no idea what to expect. I knew they made brillianty sweary jewellery, but that gives a lot of scope for surprise! I was so excited for my package from them to arrive, to see what stylish hilarity lay inside.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Time to Say Thank You

Today, I'd really love to thank the amazing people who have supported me in my mental health recovery and my return to blogging. I wouldn't be back to writing, creating, and rebuilding my life without these absolute angels, and they 100% deserve my eternal thanks and gratefulness. I am so blessed to have these people in my life, and so I'm singing from the rooftops about their wonderful creations and their wonderful selves! 

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Seatox Kelp Help* Face Masks

We all know I just adore a good facemask, so imagine my joy when Seatox offered to let me try out their Kelp Help* powder to make some facemasks with? I was beyond excited. They truly unleashed the self-care beast and I had so much fun trying out different recipes to share with you! 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

My First Panic Attack

Panic attacks are horrible experiences, and can be terrifying, especially if you've never had one and don't actually know what's happening to you. It's not just butterflies in your stomach or feeling a little queasy. In fact, panic attack symptoms are not dissimilar to heart attack symptoms. I think understanding what a panic attack feels like can make it less terrifying for people experiencing it for the first time, and easier for people who have never experienced one to understand how debilitating it can be. This post will contain mentions of panic, bullying, and self-harm. 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Things I Care About Vegan Colouring Book*

Woah there! Someone has combined self care and veganism?! They're my two favourite things! Honestly I was thrilled when Things I Care About gifted me their Peace Love Vegan Colouring Book* at a vegan event recently. Wait! There's unicorns and dinosaurs in there too?! It's like the designer read my mind, and I know you'll love it too.

Dolphin erasers and colouring pencils both from ASDA. 

Monday, 3 September 2018

10 Basic Confessions Tag

In honour of the dawn of PSL season, I'm here to share my 'basic bitch confessions'. Let's face it, we're all a little bit basic, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's so unreasonable to ridicule people for liking 'basic' things. They're considered 'basic' because they make most people happy. What's wrong with liking things that make us happy? Nothing. I'm taking a stand and making this a tag. Now I've said the word 'basic' way too many times, I'm going to tell you what makes me a basic bitch!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

August Favourites

Wow! August is coming to an end already. This summer has passed so ridiculously quickly. I'm so excited that autumn is almost upon us and the weather is beginning to cool! Be still my Halloweeny heart! This month I've found some brilliant bargains and some beautiful pieces so I'm keen to share with you. You'll definitely have peeped some of these on my Instagram already because I just couldn't wait to show them! 

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

My Vegan Story

I've been vegan for two and a half years now, and animal rights has been a part of my life for much, much longer. Lots of people ask about what made me finally make the big change to become vegan, or what the story is, so I decided to finally write up a post to explain how I've been headed towards veganism since age 3 (seriously!). 

Thursday, 23 August 2018

My First Mental Health Support Group

Recently I decided to go to my first mental health support group meeting. By chance I discovered one that's less than a 10 minute journey away from my house, so decided to give it a try. I was incredibly nervous, as I had no idea what to expect. How many people would be there? What would everyone be like? What would we talk about? It seemed like a really big step to take, but one I was as excited as nervous about.

I dressed up all sassy for confidence (duh!)

Sunday, 19 August 2018

New Wardrobe Wishlist

Since staring my new job, I've been building up a chunky Amazon Wishlist of the new clothes I'm lusting after. Over the past year, a medication I was on caused weight gain, plus my mental health took the fun out of nice clothes, so for a long time I've basically lived in the same 2 grotty pairs of trousers and a small collection of faded, ill-fitting old t-shirts. Now I'm feeling myself, loving my new shape, keen to dress up all funky, and have an income again. Time for a wardrobe update? I think so! My wishlist is full of everything from practical choices to more bold pieces, so I've picked some of my favourite, more fun items to share with you. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

There Are No Steps Back in Recovery

Something that always bugs me a little in discussions about mental health is the concept of 'setbacks'. Frankly, I don't believe they exist. Now, I'm not suggesting that there is a right or wrong way to discuss your own mental health; you should always describe your experience in a way that works for you. For me, the concept of a 'backwards step' or 'setback' makes me uncomfortable, so I'd like to offer an alternative perspective. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Matt Haig Talk in Liverpool

I was lucky enough to get myself a ticket to "Matt Haig Discusses Notes on a Nervous Planet in Liverpool" and was so very excited to go. I had no idea what to expect or how many people would be there or anything at all about the event, so going alone was a really big challenge for my anxiety. I am so glad I went!

Friday, 10 August 2018

How Guinea Pigs Help My Mental Health

It's no secret that a cuddle with an adorable animal can lift your mood tenfold. But can a pet really help your mental health? I believe they absolutely do, and that guinea pigs can make the perfect companion to a person struggling with their mental wellbeing. My guinea pigs have been a lifeline to me in tough times, and having them to take care of and cuddle and watch is truly a blessing. This post is going to tell you why, and is packed with adorable piggie pictures so is definitely worth a scroll! 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Yogific Yoga & Vegan Festival Liverpool

I was lucky enough to be asked to work with the event management team at Yogific Yoga & Vegan Festival in Liverpool on 15th July! Yogific hold yoga and vegan festivals all over the UK and Europe, bringing together the vegan community and the yoga community to show how spiritual practise and veganism go hand in hand. For just £7 entry, there was a full day of talks, yoga and meditation classes, including outdoor classes in the glorious sunshine, and a huge variety of stalls. It's such a beautiful event and I was so happy to be taking part. 

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Jöro Vegan Eatery

Jöro Vegan Eatery is a beautiful, rustic café tucked away down historic stone steps in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead. They're you'll find homemade vegan food and a welcoming atmosphere. I'm always delighted to find new vegan places to eat, so for somewhere to open in such a central, accessible location at such affordable prices is a joy. I've visited twice now, and loved every moment I've spent there. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

How To Enjoy Summer

It can be very easy to feel like you're the only one not enjoying the summer, but I assure you, this is not the case. Plenty of us are just more suited to the cooler weather and darker evenings that autumn and winter bring. If summer isn't the season of joy for you, then I feel you totally. Here are some handy tips to help you survive the season of sun and sweat. 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

How to Make a Recovery Journal

Welcome to my first #SelfCareSunday post! We all know recovering from mental health problems isn't linear. We have good days, bad days, amazing days and days we'd rather forget. On the bad days, I find it helpful to look back on tangible evidence of the good days, so I can see that it is possible to feel positive, and to look at how far I've come. On a day-to-day basis, it helps to check in with myself, to pat myself on the back for the achievements, and to consider the challenges and if I've learned anything from it. I decided to keep a journal to document my daily journey to mental health recovery, and here's how.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Mental Health | An Update

Hello! It's been a while hasn't it? It's been nearly 6 months since I last posted anything. Where have I been? Nowhere exciting. This blog post is a little difficult to write, but it felt wrong coming back without writing some kind of update or explanation. This post is going to contain talk about mental illness so please don't read further if it's going to be triggering for you. 

Monday, 29 January 2018

My 10 Goth Clichés

Hey Spookies! I absolutely love it when tags come around with us gothicly inclined folk in mind. I adored Kaya's video all about her 10 goth clichés, so without further ado, here's mine!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Wicked Kitchen Vegan Wraps Review

Hey Spookies! If you're into vegan food, you know Derek Sarno's collaboration with Tesco is the word - and taste - on everyone's lips. Finally, vegan-friendly convinience food that isn't a hummus and falafel wrap. Not that I'm not partial to a hummus and falafel wrap - it's just nice to finally have variety!

Monday, 8 January 2018

2018 Reading List

Hey Spookies! I've got so many books I want to read, and I've decided to spend more time with my nose in a book than mindlessly scrolling through Twitter. Now that I'm between jobs, I have a bit more time to spend reading too. Here are the books at the top of my pile for 2018.

Friday, 5 January 2018

2017 in Review

Hey Spookies! I've been really enjoying 2017 review posts so I thought I'd do my own. It feels like last year has been painfully slow but gone in a blink all at once, so it's been refreshing to look back on exactly what I've spent a year doing. I've used my camera roll as a guide, so hopefully I've missed nothing out!