This year has been a tough one to say the least. It has had some wonderful highs and some lows deeper than ever. This blog is an overview of the year so I can log my triumphs and find hope in the year to come. We all experience different ways of life. Some will struggle and some will strive during different times throughout the year. We will experience loss, grief and positivity at times during achievements in education, work life and then when we lose family, friends and possessions. Life is full of twists, turns, bumps and smooth patches.
Overview of 2019 highs and lows
- Both of my brothers attempted suicide
- I was on BBC WM and news talking about the ‘Kon Marie’ tidying method and it’s impact on mental health in my family.
- My uncle passed away after suffering for years with dementia
- My nieces and nephews were all taken into Foster care
- I alongside my Mum and partner have been fighting for custody to become connected foster carers to my nieces and nephews. I have undergone training for preparation of foster caring and many court dates in which I have had to legally represent myself and Mum.
- My beautiful dog of 12 years passed away leaving a huge emptiness in our lives.
- I lost my ESA leaving me with very little money to live on.
- I had my blog post ‘Share the orange’ featured on the Alzheimers Research UK Instagram.
- Nspa beauty asked to use my image of their product!
- My cousin passed away
- I officially launched my website and began the next level of my blogging journey and career
- I was gifted my first package from Adagio Teas
- I became Engagement Lead for Think4Brum and attended conferences and summits I never would’ve been able to years ago due to my agoraphobia and social anxiety and phobia
- I was discharged from therapy
- Maui Moisture contacted me to use one of my photographs of their products
- I did my first Halloween blogging challenge
- I hosted and took part in my first ever Blogmas
- I took part in a big Blogger Secret Santa
- I started working with Alzheimers Research UK.
- I did my second year of work on Rethink Mental Illness’s comms panel
- I started and loved aerial silks and hoops and found my love of exercise.
- I started my body positivity and confidence journey by modelling.
- I survived
Trying new homemade goodies!
One thing we have done this year is try new food and sweet treats. I love spontaneously deciding to bake some goodies ready for my partner and Mum to come back from work and try them out. I often try out new ideas and recipes when I’m on my own in case they don’t work out. It’s fun seeing what does and doesn’t work well in the hope of discovering new awesome recipes and treats. Some fail badly and some are super wonderful! It’s all about trial and error.
Starting with Viennese whirls; Jam and butter cream and biscoff too!
I’ve always loved making cookies but never thought to try out other biscuity treats so when I thought of making these viennese whirls I was super excited. I soon found out that you have to get the baking time just right otherwise they will either be too soft, too hard or crumbly. It’s a trial and error type method with these, but they always taste so delicious. Getting the mixture the right consistency is vital to as piping them onto the baking sheet can prove difficult if it is too thick. Get it just right and you’ll be left with gorgeous bite sized treats.
Trying out doughnuts was super fun but quite difficult! Just like the viennese whirls, you have to get the mixture consistency right and then you have to cook it for a precise amount of time to ensure you cook it all the way through but don’t overcook!
Making doughnuts require attention and alertness. Deep frying can be tricky but super fun. Watch out for the little spits of hot oil. Take care and precaution. If you do them correctly, you’ll have super tasty treats! If you don’t succeed first time just keep trying. Tasty Perfection takes time.
After years of making cakes of all sizes, flavours and consistencies we have finally found our perfect recipe! We have perfected our sheet cakes and have tried so many different flavours and toppings. It has been so much fun to make them again and again for ourselves, special occasions and for loved ones for Christmas and Halloween.
Below is a list of my gratitude towards 2019. The list is based on what I’m grateful for, the people in my life and the lessons I have learnt. Being grateful is a wonderful feeling and recognising your gratitude from painful situations can shed some inner emotions you didn’t think were there. Things have been tough, but I am grateful for what I have learnt and continue to find some positives in a field of negativity.
- Becoming stronger after having to be my families rock
- Being reminded of how hard life can be, but how I can be stronger
- The opportunities I got with my blogging and mental health advocacy
- Having the chance to meet amazing passionate people who want to change the world
- Having opportunities to learn more about the mental health industry and get closer to working within it
- Being part of an amazing team who take me for who I am and the work I do without judgement
- Living another day to tell inspiring tales and help others
- Both of my brothers being alive after suicide attempts
- Seeing my nieces and nephews despite them being in foster care
- Working with the BBC radio and news
- My boyfriend remaining by my side despite everything my family is being put through
- My strength in self care and self help preventing heavy relapse
- My skills in reasoning with my anxiety and lessons I learnt to help myself during times of need
- Feeling happy at times despite being surrounded by pain, hurt and stress.