#smearforsmear after trauma

It’s cervical cancer prevention week and we are inundated with reminders to book in for our smears all over social media . This is a good thing , we know the Jade Goody effect is long gone . Smear test take up is the lowest it’s been for years and lives will be lost because of it .

Sometimes though there are reasons beyond a bit of embarrassment at whipping off your pants and laying legs open in front of a ‘seen it all before ‘ nurse .

If you’ve suffered abuse or sexual violence you may feel like you just cannot do it. The triggers of being that vulnerable and being touched that intimately may simply be impossible for you to even contemplate,let alone do . I know that and I understand . There are so many ‘normal’ situations that involve being touched that I simply can’t do or that I’ve had to overcome for the sake of my health. I’m not going to order you to get down that doctors for your smear right this instant or patronise you with the consequences of not doing , because you already know. Bloody hell I can’t tell anyone to do anything , I can’t even manage the hairdressers as my hair being touched is a huge trigger of panic and traumatic flashbacks. What I can do maybe though ,is talk about how I manage with smears and maybe you could try out some of my tips. Hopefully they might work for you or at the very least help you come up with a solution that’s right for you.

* Talk to your GP or nurse

I know talking about previous sexual violence or abuse isn’t easy , but if you talk to a health care professional before your smear , they’ll know your history and they can take this into account when the time comes .

I missed many , the Jade Goody effect was lost on me . Yes I knew women died but this wasn’t embarrassment or fear of pain this was a mental block that I just couldn’t overcome . Until my sister had an abnormal result with her smear and something just triggered in me that I had to do this. I spoke to my GP , all the while apologising for wasting an appointment on my fears but she was so good ,told me this was certainly not a waste and between her and an amazing nurse created an environment where I felt in control with what was going on. I didn’t even realise that’s what I needed but the professionals did.

If you discuss your history and past trauma with your GP or nurse and you don’t feel reassured or you feel misunderstood or dismissed or not listened to then go elsewhere.

*Take a friend

Again opening up and talking about how debilitating your past trauma is can be hard , I know this . Having someone to just be with you in the waiting room when you’re tempted to just run away could be helpful though. Obviously some people (like me) find overcoming something so huge as something they can only do alone .

*Seek help for healing after past trauma

Again all these words of advice come from telling people what you’ve been through and I know that’s far from easy I promise I do. It really is the only way to truly heal though. My mental health has been screwed for years because I didn’t deal with the past and it’s not an easy thing to do but ,on this one , the ends justify the means.

*Seek alternative advice

Speak to someone at Jo’s Trust , look on their website. It’s full of advice on how to make something potentially triggering and traumatic easier. Speak to other survivors of abuse who may have their own tips . Personally I choose meditation , now I know there’s hardly enough time to get into deep relaxation as it’s over with pretty quickly but the breathing techniques that go with meditation I find helpful because I can concentrate on that totally and almost leave my body temporarily whilst folk are fiddling around with my vagina .

I guess my advice , on the whole, is talk to someone. There will be someone who can help you through.There’ll be advice somewhere that may just connect with you as a possibility. Your past has had a huge impact on your well-being already , don’t let it rob you of your future too.

I’m not being all holier than thou either here . I’m just saying I understand sometimes it’s not just a case of gritting your teeth and getting on with it because than can feel impossible. As well as my hairdresser thing , I find the dentist problematic something vulnerable about that experience. If I forget to request a female GP and have a strange man touch me doing something as simple as taking my blood pressure I can descend into to panic.

I know it’s not easy to overcome something so huge but ,for me and I can only ever tell my story , there’s something empowering in taking control and not letting the past win over my present .

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Oh b@##!cks …seems the mental health experts are right

Lovely readers , if you’ve read much of my blog or if you follow me on Social Media

(Here on Twitter

Here on Facebook

Here on Insta if you were wondering )

you will know that I have a love of chips , and cocktails and wine and sitting on my arse and galaxy caramels and junk food and being a hermit who likes to be left alone with a book.

However , I have finally after years of denial and refusal to believe the truth , have to concede that these things are not necessarily conducive to good mental well-being. I know that sucks right ?? I’ve read the guidelines , I’ve read the articles but I rolled my eyes , tutted then believed my way was best. My mental health was in no way impeded by my lifestyle I just had to wait for a mental health wobble to pass and all would be back right with my world. The mental health wobbles did pass , but when they did I wasn’t necessarily happy. I was slightly less crap than I had previously felt but not happy , not motivated ,not joyful . Just not so down.

So here I am (and please don’t mistake my Eureka moment for some kind of New Year New Me nonsense because I hate that stuff) having to concede that these basic concepts of how to deal with anxiety and low mood . Well they actually work. Can’t tell you how much I resent it !! Let’s look at it closer shall we . As always I can only talk about what helps my mental health , everyone is different.

Sleep

Anxious , low mood me is a bit on the irritable bitchy side I won’t lie . She reads the sleep advice and hits right back with “huh well that’s all well and good but you try sleeping when you can’t breath and your heart feels like it’s about to bounce out of your chest”

Thing is a good night’s sleep really does help. I can deny it no longer. I read how motivational it was to set your alarm an hour early everyday and get up and start the day in a productive manner (I’m so sorry I’ve searched and searched for the source but can’t find it anywhere)I thought I’d give it a whirl as my blog has been sadly neglected of late so I thought I could use my hour for that but I’d have to go to bed much earlier . So I have been. Not everyday , I still sometimes get so wrapped up in a book 1am calls . I’ve made a concerted effort though. It was hard to sleep at first but added to doing a bit of exercise to make me physically tired I also used meditation before bed and my brain I assume got into the habit of the earlier night.

Exercise

This was the one I least wanted to be true . I’m a bit lazy . The thought of the gym brings me out in hives ,along with the idea of any kind of group fitness setting.

I have run intermittently on and off for years but more out of feeling obliged to exercise rather than enjoying it . Lately though I have been feeling the endorphin hit and finding myself , again , way more productive in a day when I’ve run or swam first thing…… annoying…seems sat on your bum isn’t terribly conducive to good mental health.

Diet

Another one that’s a absolute pain. Just leave me be with my chips and my crisp sandwiches could you !! Yeah yeah healthy eating blah blah …how’s that going to make a difference really?? Bloody does though!! I had to make a few changes to my diet for other health reasons not connected to my mental health . It’s definitely contributing though. Less sugar , more fruit (apparently fruit and nut doesn’t count ) less salt ,more veg. It’s all basic stuff right ? Basic stuff I’ve been ignoring for years .

Drink more water

We ALL know this one , and once you get in the habit it’s the easiest thing to change I think. Plus there are some super cute water bottle out there!!

Socialise

We all know loneliness and isolation are detrimental to mental health , however for someone like me who actively enjoys her own company I was always a bit conflicted by this one . I think the key for me has been balance. I can’t handle lots of people for long periods , I need socialising to be on my terms really and so there are two things here that I think are helping this head of mine and that’s a) saying no to things or events that I dont want to do and b ) realising that as well as loving my own company I also really quite like (carefully selected of course) other people’s company too!!

I don’t know what balance of making these changes have had the uplifting effect on my mental health as I kind of did them all within a short space of time. I suspect it’s probably a combination of them all. I just need to now when the next wobble inevitably turns up make sure that a family size caramel , a duvet in the dark , neglecting my diet and hibernating for a week isn’t necessarily my first port of call . Self care is of course always important and chocolate with a blanket and a book usually helps . My problem though is I’ve an all or nothing nature so a day of wallowing can easily slip into 3 days , a week. Maybe next time ….and I’ll say this fast because it feels wrong coming out my mouth (or fingers) maybe …. I’ll try a run !!!

The Top 7 Tag

Here we are almost at the end of the longest month in existence , how does January last for so long??

Anyway the lovely folk at Parenting Phils challenged me to take part in this reflective look at the past year. It was an increasingly tricky one for me personally but I’m not going to spend a brand new year feeling sorry for myself so I’m going to focus on the good parts of last year and this tag seemed a good way to do that. Onward and upwards and all that!!!

So……

My Top 7 Posts From 2018

Didn’t know whether to go with my personal faves or the posts that were most popular so have combined the two starting with my top 3 most popular posts

Affection withdrawal as an abuse tactic… conquered

I didn’t realise how relatable this post would be. Even so many years away from abuse I do still suffer from thinking that certain things that happened had only ever happened to me.

We’re all stories in the end….

A piece where I thought of the stories I tell my children of their grandparents that they never met and ponder what stories my children will tell to their children about me …eeekk

Then I became me…

A positive poat about how rebuilding after abuse can leave you pretty strong and powerful.

My personal fave posts I’ve written to add are these…

He made me

Total slush-fest as glorious first born turned 18

A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel

A funny little tale of how teen boy the younger devised a plan of all plans to get small girl interested in the World Cup (spoiler alert – it totally worked!)

Doria Ragland and the chip on my shoulder

The HUGE chip on my shoulder about being a single mum and how a royal wedding made it a little less prominent

An A-Z of self care

Something we all need from time to time

7 Things I Loved in 2018

1) My eldest turning 18 and starting out in a career and being a proper grown up who I am immensly proud of

2) The afore mentioned World Cup.

Our house developed a month long party atmosphere , alongside lucky flags , lucky shirts and all other kind of superstitious nonsense , when the kids get older though they are less likely to want to hang out with you and for all those England matches we were there all together in frenzied excitement ….and it very nearly came home

3) A cool mini break to York with youngest 3 . It was so lovely to get away together and York is my fave place so lots of fun and happiness

4) Teen boy the younger smashing his gcses and starting college . SO great to see all his hard work paid off in his results.

5) A fabulous night out with the girls watching Matilda at the theatre.I bloody love a musical but long term readers will know my theatre trips are often a solo activity. This time my daughters joined me for a gorgeous meal then a fab theatre trip.

6) Continuing to be surrounded by amazing people . My inner circle is verry small but I’m very lucky to have in it amazing humans such as my sister and fantastic friends and even soe handsome guy (how did that happen?) Speaking of which…

7) The best date ever

Handsome man -check

Beautiful city – check

LOADS of theatre – check

Fab Food – check

Amazing company -double check.

It Was Amazing!!

7 Things I’m Looking Forward To in 2019

1) Doing more writing on that book that I’ve tinkering with for about a thousand years

2) More theatre , I’ve already seen plays I fancy seeing in my fave small theatres.

3) Some more mini breaks with the kids , hoping to build on our York trip and explore elsewhere this year …dependent on children’s social life and who wants to go where at any given time.

4) A return to Edinburgh Fringe , my happy place and soul feeder

5) More lovely dates ….see above …I’ve bought a diary and everything!

6) Grow my blog. Stop treating it as a secong thought and put some work into it.

7) Taking dance classes …been on the to do list years this year it shall happen

7 other great bloggers that you should check out and that I challenge to complete the Top 7 Tag!

The Mum Conundrum

Reflections from me

Liberty on the Lighter side

Herding Cats

Parent Bear

Bellissimamma

Lisa Pomerantzster

 

 

 

BlogCrush week 101 – 18th January 2019

Happy weekend everyone.

We had a bumper BlogCrush last week and we’re so grateful to everyone joining in. It’s so lovely to read everyone’s brilliant posts !

We’re so lucky to have such a lovely community here and BlogCrush and we so appreciate you amazing bloggers who join us here making it such a fab place !!

How are we finding January ? Is it just me or does it seem to go on for about a decade ??

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

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My featured post this week is our unconventional Christmas I think it can be a brave thing to just do your own thing round Christmas time. This was just a lovely sweet post.

Lucy’s pick was saying goodbye to the dummy

My own post this week is one inspired by a book about objects we love.

Have a fantastic week everyone and keep warm , I hear about is on the way….brrrrrrrr

Kelly xxx

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BlogCrush week 100 – January 11th 2019

It’s our 100th BlogCrush!!!!

Wow!! We’re so lucky to have such a lovely community here and BlogCrush and we so appreciate you amazing bloggers who join us here making it such a fab place !!

Last week’s link up was yet again full of truly brilliant posts . I feel so happy to be part of an awesomely talented and supportive bunch of writers ,you guys rock!!You make it so hard to choose a fave

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

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Lucy At Home UK Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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Us hosts are lucky enough to be able to pick a fave from the last week’s link up as our featured blog each week.

if you’re our featured blogger please take our special badge to add with your blog!

Lucy At Home UK Gentle Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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My featured post this week is Tips for a stress free school run for someone as disorganised as I am tips are always welcome.

Lucy’s pick was How to be a Good Friend

My own post this week is one about how harmful words can be , but they are defeatable (I suspect I just made up that word !)

Have a fantastic week everyone and thanks for making 100 weeks of BlogCrush so much fun with special thanks to Alice and Wendy who co -hosted way before I did !!

Kelly xxx

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All those things you said I was – that I am not

A hard thing to get over after domestic abuse or emotional abuse or being bullied in any manner is the damage that’s left behind. Those words and names that were used to keep you in your place for me were a huge stumbling block. As always I can only speak of my experience of emotional abuse but long after the bully or the abuser has gone those words are still etched into your vulnerable brain.

The old sticks and stones rhyme has things all wrong . Words do hurt. They’re harmful and painful and last long after scratches or bruises heal.

When you’ve been called things regularly , incessantly , relentlessly they start to stick. Over time they become not just something someone spits at you but words you’ve taken on . That’s how you view yourself. Your thoughts and brain manipulated to the point that even after the bully or abuser is long gone you find yourself doing their work for them. You call yourself these names , you take them on as things that are true and part of who you are.

Over the years though I’ve kind of chosen and learnt to own and remove these words of their power. The ones that bother or get to me . I can honestly say none of these do anymore but let me tell you about them in case anyone else has struggled.

FAT

Firstly I wasn’t fat . I had 3 babies in 3 years and that will take it’s toll on a body. The way I look from 0-3 babies changed dramatically (let’s not even go with baby no 4 who left her mark majorly too ) Your body is meant to change dramatically though . It has grown and given birth to actual human beings . It has to change to accommodate this.

I used the word against myself many many times . I did the headwork myself for anyone that had ever called me that .Not anymore. How much I weigh is between me and the bathroom scales (if I had any , which I no longer do because they’re toxic in themselves in my opinion) Unless I’m asking for a piggy back my weight is not your concern.

Ugly

Another physical one. Isn’t it odd how these hurt the most. There is a rant about patriarchal society raring to go here but I’ll park that for another post.

Ugly ,to me now , makes no sense . You can be not attracted to someone that doesn’t make them ugly. This one stuck in my brain too though , compliments were tricky. If someone called me beautiful I would bat that right away with “ah I’m just plain but I’m alright with that”

You don’t find me aesthetically pleasing ? Ok let’s both get on with our days !! Really there is no brain space left for that stuff anymore.

Stupid

Ok THIS bothered me more than any other. Even when said over and over I doubted this one . My brain resisted . I’m not stupid. At all. I’m a reasonably intelligent person. Reasonably intelligent people are quite intimidating to the bully types though ,they’ve the potential to make your average bully look ridiculous using words alone. A massive threat. So stupid is thrown around in the hope that it sticks. I do have to pull myself up on this one sometimes because I will STILL use this about myself. Only I don’t mean stupid as in not clever but as in “I put my dress on inside out again ” I need to find a kinder word.

Unloveable

I’m cold , I’m emotionless , I’m averse to affection and love. This made me unloveable. If someone is abusing or bullying you it’s quite a powerful tool for them to project their views onto other people. Maybe you’ve heard “It’s not just me , everyone think ‘that’ about you ” It’s high level manipulation this because while you’re mentally fighting one person you can grasp onto the thought other people see positives in you. Ugly is most certainly objective. Unloveable feels like fact. The real masters of manipulation here will then throw your deepest insecurities at you ,that at one time you have confided in them. Maybe it’s parent issues , something you went through with your ex, an old friend but throw in well *insert name here * thought you were unloveable too didn’t they , that’s why…..

This one stuck with me the absolute longest . Do I believe myself to be unloveable now though? Absolutely not.

Rubbish in bed

*eye roll emoji*

Along with fat and ugly – well you’re not going to dare go sleep with anyone else now are you?

We do.

It’s brilliant.

I’m sure everyone can personalise this post with their own words that have lingered in their minds way too long. Whether put there by bullies , abusers , toxic family members . It can be so difficult to stop internalising these words and using them on yourself. With a bit of work and a lot of patience and surrounding yourself with positive, loving people you really can get there .

There’s nothing more empowering than when those words bounce right off your suit of armour of self belief .

That’s freedom.

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10 (realistic) things I want to do before I turn 40

I shared how disappointing a 40 before 40 list I’d found had been. I just know in less than a year I can’t climb Mount Everest or eat at the world’s most expensive restaurant. These ideas just weren’t for me (or most people I’d wager)

So 2019 ,my last year in my 30’s (I’m a December baby so I do have the whole year) these are the ticks off the checklist I need to make .

1) Go to a dance class

I’ve wanted dance lessons since I was tiny and it just never happened. That didn’t deter me though. I terrorised my family growing up by constantly dancing around the house. Why walk from room to room when you can twirl or leap ? ( NOW I know where small girl gets it from )

Still at 39 I can be mostly found all jazz hands and West End show chorus lining when I’m alone behind closed curtains! I mean every year that Strictly is on I tweet how I really want to learn the Charleston. This can be that year!

2) Go self hosted with the blog

Yeah ,yeah I know I’ve said that every year for 3 years now. If I’m changing this blogs focus a little though , less about the kids more about being a 39 year old woman whose kids are zooming towards adulthood . Surely there’s no better time to take the plunge ! Let’s say by this year’s BlogOn I’ll have done it . …don’t look at me like that I WILL!!

3) Do something physically challenging

I always said the year after I turned 40 I wanted to run a marathon. A sentiment I echo every year when I watch the London Marathon on the TV. Whether I have that in me remains to be seen. Walking I can do though , I walk loads maybe I get stretch myself with that. A long distance or a hilly challenge. I’ll let you know when I find ‘my ‘ challenge.

4)Write a heartfelt letter

Write a few actually . Letters rock. I love receiving them (though I very rarely do! Where’s my “aaaawww”??) I equally love writing them. Something about pretty paper with matching envelopes and a favourite pen . I also struggle with verbally expressing my feelings. I am getting better ,but still struggle so letters work for me . Maybe I could do one a month .

5) Take the kids back to York , we had a great time last year

We did have a lovely mini break in York last year. We did it on the cheap and cheerful and maybe we can explore some other places for all of us to visit. Children’s social lives permitting.

6) A super secret Harry Potter mission that is under teen boy the elder and my cloak of invisibility for now

All I’ll say is …it involves small girl getting a letter from Hogwarts and a super surprise birthday trip to the Harry Potter studio tour.

Cant take credit for that really , was teen boy the elder’s idea I’m just jumping on the bandwagon.

7) Go to a big sporting event

This one was meant to originally be , go to Wembley. I’ve never been . Those pesky children have but I have not . The thing is though I want to go to Wembley to see a match that means something to me . As Hull City just got knocked out the FA Cup this kind of falls to my rugby team Hull FC (yeah I know that sounds like a should be football !!) to regain the Challenge Cup. This is by no means a long shot. This cup has been ours 2 from past 3 years. However if we don’t make it a big sporting event will suffice , we do live in Manchester there HAS to be something!

8) Go home more

I know I’ve lived here a decade this ‘should’ be home only Hull (only if you come from there I suspect) has a magical draw to it . Not to mention my sister and her crew and I miss them so much. Hull is where the heart is and we will make a concerted effort to sync diaries (5 teens between us could be tricky) and get together more.

9) Return to Edinburgh Fringe festival

Not only the site of the best date ever (BEST!) but also where I found myself when I holidayed there solo on my first trip.

If you’re me there’s something intoxicating about spending a few days absolutely enveloped in shows and culture and fun. Edinburgh Fringe is as if someone has organised something purely for me ,put all my favourite things in one very beautiful place and led me to it .

Wonder what this year’s will bring ..

10) Write more of the book.

Yes this is another one I trot out year after year. I read a great piece earlier in the year though about getting up an hour earlier every day and prioritising writing time. When I flick through what I’ve already written (and there is kind of a book there) obviously some of it is absolute horse poo , but some bits are good. Let’s work on them.

If nothing else and this time next year I’m still saying the same I think that idea of getting up early and writing would be a great start to a day and beneficial to my mental health and that can never be a bad thing.

I think my list is a little more realistic that these grandiose ones don’t you ? and this one is full of things that’ll make feel feel accomplished and happy . Much better plan.

Did you have anything in particular you wanted to do before you turned a certain age ? Did you do them ?

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My Favourite books of 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a great new year.

I need to begin this post by telling you all I am rubbish at book reviews. I am particularly rubbish at book reviews of books I really like….and I really like books remember when i wrote about how I’d rather share my bed with a book than a bloke….

The thing is when I read a book that I truly love I want to tell people every plot detail , every character quirk , every twist and turn and that’s certainly going to spoil your enjoyment of the books.

That said , knowing my bookworm tendencies I am often asked for book recommendations. I also really like to share the book love . I’m also thinking some of you lucky people may have gotten book tokens for Christmas and looking for something to spend them on. So I’m just going to tell you my fave books I read last year , provide you with a spoiler free blurb and then add my thoughts with my finger placed firmly on my lip! That seem sensible ?

OK let’s go – my top 5 of 2018

5 Years From Now – by Paige Toon

What if you met the right person at the wrong time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

My Thoughts

I love a book with a twist , being a bookworm though if the twists aren’t a bit clever you spot them from a mile. I did not for a second expect the journey this book would take me on. I am not exaggerating to say I felt a whole range of emotions from elation to absolute heartbreak , and if a book can make you feel like that ..I’d say it’s a good read.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies ) by Scarlett Curtis

My thoughts
Just wow .
I can say in all honesty I have never felt more empowered by a book.
As it’s a collection of pieces from a wide range of women you can pick and put down this book to suit , which makes it handy for the modern busy woman I guess.
Keira Knightley’s piece of childbirth made me shiver and seeth and feel like a total kickass in the space of a few hundred words.
The Cows by Dawn O’ Porter
Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.
COW n.
/ka /

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.

My Thoughts
This was the last book I read in 2018 (I know , where had I been?) my goodness though it was a ‘pause your life and just finish the book’ kind of a read. Small girl says you should never travel anywhere without an emergency book and with this one I took her advice. Always about my person to whip out on the train or at the busstop. Really enjoyed it , the characters are stunningly written and…..see I’m doing it , I’m about to spoil it . Trust me on this one !!!
How to Survive the End of the World (when it’s in your own head) – by Aaron Gillies
There are plenty of books out there on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, all-out nuclear war, or Armageddon. But what happens when it feels like the world is ending every single time you wake up? That’s what having anxiety is like – and How to Survive the End of the World is here to help. Or at least make you feel like you’re not so alone.

From helping readers identify the enemy, to safeguarding the vulnerable areas of their lives, Aaron Gillies will examine the impact of anxiety, and give readers some tools to fight back – whether with medication, therapy, CBT, coping techniques, or simply with a dark sense of humour.

My thoughts

I found this book when I was going through a mental health wobble and it was a revelation. It wasn’t just me who felt like this , who thought like this , whose brain was on a self destruct mission.

For anyone who has dealt with or has to deal with the horrors of anxiety I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it comfortingly relatable it is also really really funny , i found myself bursting into giggles in public reading it.

The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Blake

The “OMG” romance of the year, The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh is a heart-wrenching love story with a dark secret at its heart, for anyone who’s waited for a phone call that didn’t come.

Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything.

So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call.

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other?

The truth.

My Thoughts

Oh….now I have to keep my blabbermouth words brief on this one.

All I’ll say is this isn’t just a favourite book of last year , it’s a favourite book ever.

You know when you’re enjoying a book so much you start to ration chapters because you just can’t stand for it to end …though you also need to know what happens RIGHT NOW?

That’s this book.

Now I am backing away before I ruin this delight for you all.

So there we are my recommendatiions for anyone fancying a good read and also thinks my book picks are any good (the two generally don’t go together!)

Here’s to plenty more amazing books this year.

What were your favourites that you read in 2018?

Navigating Baby
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

BlogCrush week 99- January 4th 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

How are we all? Good new year celebrations (ie in your PJs by 9 with the Christmas chocolate?)

Last week’s link up was yet again full of truly brilliant posts . I feel so happy to be part of an awesomely talented and supportive bunch of writers ,you guys rock!!You make it so hard to choose a fave

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

p>

Lucy At Home UK Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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Us hosts are lucky enough to be able to pick a fave from the last week’s link up as our featured blog each week.

if you’re our featured blogger please take our special badge to add with your blog!

Lucy At Home UK Gentle Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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My featured post this week is looking back at 2018 a reflective post which I always like .

Lucy’s pick was what was Christmas like ?

My own post this week is a bit of a whinge about miserable old January!!

Have a fantastic week everyone…..and good luck with back to school next week

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BlogCrush week 98 – 28th December 2018

Hello you beautiful people!!

How has your week been ?

So how did Christmas go? We had an unexpectedly great day here all at smallest girls daddy’s (without a single argument!!)

So onto New Year ??? Do you have resolutions??

Last week’s link up was yet again full of truly brilliant posts . I feel so happy to be part of an awesomely talented and supportive bunch of writers ,you guys rock!!You make it so hard to choose a fave

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

p>

Lucy At Home UK Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

<a href="https://lucyathome.co.uk/" title="Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger"><img src="https://lucyathome.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/blogcrush-logo-parenting-lifestyle-linky.png" alt="Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger" style="border: none;" /></a>

Us hosts are lucky enough to be able to pick a fave from the last week’s link up as our featured blog each week.

if you’re our featured blogger please take our special badge to add with your blog!

Lucy At Home UK Gentle Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

<a href="https://lucyathome.co.uk/" title="Lucy At Home UK gentle parenting blogger"><img src="https://lucyathome.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/blogcrush-linky-ive-been-featured-blog-badge-2.png" alt="Lucy At Home UK gentle parenting blogger" style="border: none;" /></a>

My favourite post this week actually made me cry. Why DO we need so much stuff

Lucy’s BlogCrush this week is about gift ideas

My own post this week is about how I have had a shocker of an end of a year ….but still some fab stuff happened in 2018

Have a brilliant week everyone!!

Kelly xxx

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