Browsing Category

Lifestyle

Lifestyle

How To Defend Yourself When Alone Or In Danger

One of the first lessons I was taught by my mum when I turned 13 was how to protect myself. Whether it was a stranger trying to grab you or a predator watching, we were given tips on what to do if any of these were to happen. The main reason for writing a post like this was because a woman was murdered in my county last Friday. Her name was Gracie Spinks and she was only 23. I remember driving past her with my mum as she tended to her horse. I never knew her personally but even I could tell how much she cared for horses.

On Friday morning she was tending to her horse Paddy like she did most mornings. That was until a monster came and took her life. This monster had been served a restraining order by Gracie before all this but it unfortunately did nothing.

It posed a question that all women ask themselves: why should we have to protect ourselves?

Monsters only meant to be stories told to scare kids. They’re not supposed to be real but they are.

Photo by lucia on Unsplash

It frustrates me that it is always women that have to cover their items or make sure they don’t walk alone at night. I’m sure that men are human too so should get the same advice. However, it isn’t as common to see. Why should we have to be the ones to ensure we’re safe instead of dealing with the problems at hand? Why not deal with the mindsets of the predators first? Of course no-one can know who will become one as a child but it would still be nice to have classes about respect for all genders.

The lessons could include equality for race, disability, sexualities and more. Teacher friends, I’d love to know what kids are taught these days! Just curious.

That all said, I still wanted to come up with some tips to defend ourselves. If a day like this ever occurs, hopefully we’d have a fighting chance.

Take a friend with you or tell them where you are

It’s no secret that we tend to become lax when all of our days are the same. We get used to know our routines and it lulls us into a false sense of security. I promise I’m not trying to trigger anyone into anxiety or paranoia but it’s true!

  • If you’re going out, tell someone where, how long you’ll be there and when you’ll come back. This one sounds somewhat controlling but at least that person will know if something changes.
  • If you have to do something alone in an open space, take a friend with you. The saying tends to go ‘Two are better than one’. It’s company and a look-out in one.

Walk facing traffic and be aware

Of all the things I’ve learned from true crime stories, it’s how common it is for a person to be grabbed from behind. If a car was to approach you, at least you’d be able to see a suspicious car coming.

Always be aware of your surroundings. It’s easy to just stick in your earphones or play on your phone as you walk or run. However it stops you from focusing on what is going on around you and being slow on the uptake if someone is creeping up behind you.

If you think someone is following you, stop heading to your destination and go somewhere different, especially if you were heading home. Go somewhere that is more busy and go into a shop/supermarket. You can tell staff in there that someone is following you and need help.

Use a personal safety app

While I was researching for this post, I stumbled on the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website that has a bunch of really important safety tips. One of them was to use safety apps. The one they advised was called Hollie Guard where, if you feel threatened, you can shake your phone and send out an alert. Once you activate an alert, it sends your location along with video and audio evidence to an emergency contact.

It has a journey feature (can give real-life updates of you going from A to B), a Man Down feature (for if you’re about to come under serious harm and it flags if you suddenly stop or get impacted) and a Reports (that keeps track of geotags and records any incident you may have).

Carry a personal safety alarm

There’s one item that all women tend to have hidden away from view and that is a personal safety alarm. There are so many kinds out there that do a bunch of different things! If you don’t have an alarm yet, here are some things to consider:

  • An alarm is meant to distract and shock your attacker. Those few moments of distraction will give you precious seconds to escape and those seconds could mean life or death.
  • If we want to get the attacker to let you go, pick an alarm that gives off a continious sound and goes off around 138 decibels.
  • Hold the alarm as close to the attackers’ face and, once they let you go, drop the alarm near them and run towards a busy area. If you end up near some people, shout at them to call the police.

Take some self-defence classes

What I love about some schools is that they’re teaching girls self-defence. The percentage of girls that are attacked is higher than it should ever be and it’s why all females should be able to defend themselves. If you can, look into doing some self-defence classes to give you basics on how to defend yourself.

Use whatever you have to hand! Wearing heels? Slam that heel into their foot! Wearing a heavy bag? Whack that into them! If you’re in a chokehold, don’t grab the attacker’s arms. Do the old-fashioned trick and give them a sharp knee into the groin. If they’re grabbing your collar, then straighten your arm, lock your elbows and slam your hand into their ear.

These are only a scratch on the amount of tips out there for women to look at. Whoever you are, stay safe and please keep the family of Gracie Spinks in your thoughts.

What advice have you been taught to stay safe?

 

Lifestyle

Dee Reviews | Rogue: Untouched and This Book Is Gay

Oooh, look who is coming to you with a slightly different looking post. This layout is just a quick test to see how the pictures look in the post. If I don’t like them, then I’ll probably just take the pictures the way I have been doing. As the title suggests, Netgalley finally gave me some upcoming books to review! I was beginning to think no-one liked me. Haha!

This month I reviewed Rogue: Untouched by Alisa Kwitney and This Book Is Gay (new updated version) by Juno Dawson! Two completely different books but both I was super excited to read! The first because I’ve previously read and review Domino Strays and the second because my local library still had the book under ‘James’. Only fair I read under the correct name!

Hope you enjoy these mini reviews and let me know if you want more in future!

UK Paperback: 22nd July 2021

Plot

Young Rogue’s life sucks: she lives alone in an abandoned cabin, works a terrible diner job and hides from everyone. The powers she has started to develop are terrifying her. When your first kiss almost kills the guy, it’s hard to trust anyone – even yourself. Then two people arrive in town who could change her life, and she finally gets a choice: follow a mysterious billionaire who says she’s scouting for gifted interns, or the handsome card shark with eerie red eyes. Except they’re not the only ones watching her… Rogue will have to trust in herself and accept the powers she’s trying to suppress to decide her own fate – before someone else does.

Review

If there’s anyone that adored watching the original X-Men animated series or the older X-Men films, then you will have discovered the incredible Anna Marie LeBeau aka Rogue! She was always such a sassy lady but her life was super sad too! The fact that she was always too scared to touch anyone or kiss them.

As you can guess from the plot, Rogue Untouched is basically a prequel to everything that we know about Rogue. She’s a teenager in a quiet Mississippi town, trying to make ends meet through her waitress job and praying that her 1986 pickup truck (called Willie) starts! She never would have guessed who would turn up in her life!

If you know the whole X-Men story, then you will probably have already guessed who the ‘handsome card shark’ is! Let’s just say that he’s just as suave and a magnet for trouble as he always has been! We get to see a whole bunch of people that we recognise and some new faces that we meet along the way. Marie’s journey to the lady we know is bumpy, deadly and chaotic but I loved it!! You never knew what was going to happen next and it definitely left me wanting to re-read it all over again.

If you love Marvel and X-Men, you need to read this!

 

Synopsis

A funny and pertinent book about being lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious – for everybody, no matter their gender or sexuality Former PSHCE teacher and acclaimed YA author Juno Dawson gives an uncensored look at what it’s like to grow up as LGBT.

Including testimonials from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, this frank, funny, fully inclusive book explores everything anyone who ever dared to wonder wants to know – from sex to politics, how to pull, stereotypes, how to come-out and more. Spike Gerrell’s hilarious illustrations combined with funny and factual text make this a must-read.

Review

You’re probably looking at this book and thinking ‘Er…Daisy? This has been out for years now! Why are you including it?’. Well, there’s a good reason. This Book Is Gay was originally released back in 2014 and in 2015 she came out as a transgender woman. Her old book was under her deadname ‘James’. Even my old library has that copy. I wanted to see it with the new updated cover.

Juno is such an incredible writer and even won an award last year for her book Meat Market!

This book is definitely more non-fiction than her other books and does exactly what the synopsis suggests. It gives a really interesting look into different elements of the LGBTQ+ community! Juno, if you ever read this mini review, I had to skip Chapter 9 about gay sex because I’m ace and couldn’t get myself to read!

The rest of the book is hilarious yet informative in a way that will really help any age who is questioning themselves and help them engage too! You get to learn through some of Juno’s own personal experiences growing up and discovering who she really was. Spike Gerrel’s brilliant illustrations add to the humour too!

If you know anyone, whether young or old, who has recently come out or is just curious about the community, tell them to read this!

What books have you been reading this May?

Lifestyle

Journal With Me | My April Bullet Journal Recap

It’s been a few months since I last did a monthly bullet journal recap so here we are! This is going to be my April bullet journal flipthrough and I’m actually really proud of it. I’ve been challenging myself each month to be a little more creative with my pages and I love this theme.

If you don’t know, April is usually the time of year where the cherryblossoms are viewed in Japan by residents and tourists alike! I’ve seen so many incredible images of the sakura trees. It is one of my goals to visit Japan so I can see them live. Did you know that there are lots of sakura flavoured snacks in Japan? You can get a Sakura Frappuccino from Starbucks and even a Sakura McFloat from McDonalds!!

You guys shouldn’t be surprised I have a Japanese theme this month since I’m always chatting about anime!

april bullet journal

I discovered this gorgeous cherryblossom design on Pinterest and adapted it to fit with what I wanted. As you can probably see, my artistic genius is non-existent! I did love how these pages turned out though. I used the Tombow Dual-Brush Pen (772 – Dusty Rose) and the Uni Pin Fine Line (0.5) to draw all my tree branches and flower designs.

It took so forever to be happy with the tree branches! I’m one of these people who draws and rubs out over and over again. They still look more like weird pointy things but I won’t learn if I don’t try!

Moving onto my monthly spread, I chose to show this since I don’t have much personal information on it. Most of them are just random letters that make sense to me! I have a seperate journal for a lot of my fandom stuff but was so excited for the new season of My Hero Academia coming out.

I like to have a two page spread for my monthly so I can see clearly when something is and what kind of thing it is. I always have a little key at the bottom. My brain loves thinking in colour! I incorporated some other little Japanese doodles with a little origami crane and a temple.

april bullet journal

My April bullet journal mood tracker has to be my favourite one yet!! I love how the flower doodles turned out, even if the branch is attached to a flower petal! Haha! I wanted it to look like petals were falling from the flowers and I think I managed to make it look like that so yay!

You know I’m as open as I can be with my mental health and I’ve definitely had a struggle with it this month. Nothing new there.

As for the habit tracker, I always make a mistake on this! For some reason I have a hydrate reminder and a drink reminder! Past Daisy, what is the difference?! Insert facepalm here. Bread is the bane of my existence and I’m trying to lessen how much I have and, as I’m writing this post, I have had a few days without bread!

april bullet journal

Even though I have my fandom journal (post coming soon!), I love creating some pages of my favourite shows. It helps me practice my bad drawing and allows me to fangirl whenever I feel like it! Down below we have drawings of Penny Polendina from RWBY and Tamaki Amajiki from My Hero Academia.

These two are the cutest characters ever!! These type of pages allow me to gush over the episode!

If you want to see more pages like this on my blog, let me know in the comments below!

april bullet journal
There we go, everyone! That has been my April bullet journal recap/flipthrough. What do you think of some of the pages I created? If any of you have bullet journals, I’d love to see some of your pages at some point. I don’t have many friends who do this kind of journalling and I want to fangirl over you!!

I’m already planning on May spread and will be back next month showcasing it!

Have you ever tried a Japanese snack or visited Japan?

Lifestyle

7 Childrens’ & YA Recommendations For World Book Day

2021 is definitely giving us a very different World Book Day to what we’re used to. Usually we would see children dressing up as their favourite book characters and wearing them to school. We’d also be buying the little £1 books with the tokens. However children are either having to wear the costumes at home or on a short day at school. They can’t even use their book tokens in Waterstones this year!

Since we’re still on the pandemic rollercoaster, I thought it would be fun to recommend some children and young adult books to enjoy! You’re never too young or old to enjoy a story.

YA Recommendations

Childrens’ Recommendations

Dream Big, Little Mole by Tom Percival

Join one little mole as she follows her dream of building the biggest hole ever, and learns along the way that everyone has something special to give the world – it just sometimes takes a little time (and a few mishaps!) to discover what that special something is.

I love the look and sound of this book. It’s adorable and has a very important message for little ones. Things take time and mistakes along the way. As long as they’re patient and keep trying, then they can achieve anything they put their minds too. Got to love uplifting books like this!

How Do You Make A Rainbow by Caroline Crowe & Cally Johnson-Isaacs

Stuck inside on a cloudy day, a little girl asks her grandad to help her paint a rainbow on the sky. But as Grandad tells her, rainbows aren’t painted on the sky, they grow out of kindness, hope, and helping other people.

There is something special about rainbows. Between looking for the end of one, leprechauns and the NHS, they’re just an incredible thing to learn about. I love the way Caroline and Cally have shown how special rainbows can be through kindness, positivity and such an adorable relationship between a grandaughter and grandad! I had a special one with my own grandad who used to call me his ‘little woman’ so this makes me smile.

One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom Moore by Captain Tom Moore

A book about adventure, family, hope and what we can achieve when we work together. If ever there was a keepsake to remind us of the kindness and courage of these unprecedented times, this is it. From his beginnings in Yorkshire in 1920 through to his incredible fund-raising campaign for the NHS (with some wild adventures along the way!), this is the story of Captain Sir Tom’s amazing life

If there is one positive thing about this whole pandemic, then it’s that we all discovered the incredible life of Captain Sir Tom Moore. He was such an amazing man to watch as he did those 100 steps for 100 years and it’s just sad that he was taken by the thing he was able to raise money for. I’m glad that he at least loved to see how truly special we thought he was.

Now children for maybe another 100 years get to learn about him too through his own words!

The Runaway Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Lucy Locket lives with her father, the New Mother and the New Baby. They sent away her beloved Nurse and replaced her with a horrid governess. Lucy desperately wants someone to be kind to her, and to have some fun – there’s very little of that in her house.

Kitty Fisher is a street performer who earns tin for her supper by tumbling. She has always lived on the street and on her wits, with only the kind Gaffer to help her. But now Gaffer is gone, and Kitty is all alone.

When Lucy runs away from home, Kitty shows Lucy how to survive – where to find the best picnic leftovers in the park, and which trees makes the best beds. Lucy learns quickly and shows Kitty her own skills – befriending families to get free meals and singing beautiful melodies for the crowds.

But the streets of Victorian London are dangerous and soon the girls find themselves under threat from thieves – and even worse, the Workhouse!

You can’t have a recommendations list for World Book Day without mentioning a Jacqueline Wilson book! She’s one talented author that has made the lives of so many young people very happy! When I saw one of the main character’s names, I immediately thought of the rhyme ‘Lucy Locket lost her pocket’ but that’s just because I’m weird and remember things like that.

I love that both Lucy and Kitty band together to survivive the Victorian streets. It reminds me a teeny bit of Oliver Twist and that just makes me happy!

Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston

Amari Peters knows three things.

Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret …

So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.

Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.

With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton…

I’ve seen a few people chatting about Amari and the Night Brothers so thought I’d give it a look and it sounds incredible. It’s always fun when a little sister goes looking for her big brother. It just makes it extra fun for kids who are the youngest in their family. This seems a combination of Spy Kids and Artemis Fowl. Forget kids, I’m going to be giving this book a read myself!

Magic? Check.
Adventure? Check.
Save the world? Check!

YA recommendationsPhoto by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

YA (Young Adult) Recommendations

Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera

Emil and Brighton defied the odds. They beat the Blood Casters and escaped with their lives – or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed it would make him invincible, but instead the potion is killing him.

In Emil’s race to find an antidote that will not only save his brother but also rid him of his own unwanted phoenix powers, he will have to dig deep into the very past lives he’s trying to outrun. Though he needs the help of the Spell Walkers now more than ever, their ranks are fracturing, with Maribelle’s thirst for revenge sending her down a dangerous path.

Meanwhile, Ness is being abused by Senator Iron for political gain, his rare shifting ability making him a dangerous weapon. As much as Ness longs to send Emil a signal, he knows the best way to keep Emil safe from his corrupt father is to keep him at a distance.

The battle for peace is playing out like an intricate game of chess, and as the pieces on the board move into place, Emil starts to realise that he may have been competing against the wrong enemy all along.

I’m a big fan of Adam Silvera as an author and, even though I wasn’t completely sold on the first book in this series, I’m planning to re-read the first book before I read this! I did love the sibling relationship between Emil and Brighton initially so can’t wait to see what craziness the sequel has!

If you love fantasy and drama, then you’ll love this!

Coming Out Stories by Emma Goswell & Sam Walker

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Whether you’re gay, pan, queer, bi, trans, non-binary, or an ally, this uplifting go-to resource is filled with helpful advice and tips on what to expect, and inspirational quotes from leading LGBTQ+ figures, to help you live your life as your most authentic self. Welcome to the family!

The final book on my childrens’ and YA recommendations list had to be an LGBTQ+ one. I couldn’t resist to be honest. This sounded like the perfect one for teens to read, whether they’re questioning their sexuality or just want to learn more from stories. You can learn so much from real life experiences even from the ones that are heartbreaking and difficult.

What books would you recommend to read on World Book Day?

Lifestyle Mental Health

How I’ve Been Coping With My Binge-Eating Disorder

If you’ve been following my mental health journey over the last few years then you’ll know that I’m currently battling a binge-eating disorder. Weight has been a demon of mine I’ve battling ever since I was a teenager.

Before I carry on with this post, I’m going to pop a TRIGGER WARNING right here.I will be chatting a little bit about my BED history and therapy so don’t want to trigger anyone. You’re more than welcome to read some of my other random blog posts.

Where did all my problems with eating begin? This post will explain all about my nightmare with food and what caused me to lose all kinds of control with it. Even to this day I can’t read my own post due to being triggered by it. It’s something I’m working on in therapy.

Late last year I contacted a local eating disorder charity called First Steps to be assessed for possible therapy. I’d already done general therapy but these guys would focus solely on my eating disorder. The assessment was an experience for me since I’m still trying to learn how not to feel guilty. Guilt is a major thorn in my side.

That’s where my brain is at right now.

binge-eating disorder

I started my ED therapy on 13th January with another wonderful trainee called Lisa. I was pretty nervous on my first session with her because I had to have my camera on. It’s something I try to avoid whenever possible but I’m kind of not allowed to. They understand that it’s difficult for sufferers but it’s one hurdle I’m managing to overcome. It’s a little easier on the phone because the camera is pretty teeny so I don’t have to see my face. Haha.

You’re probably wondering what my sessions have been consisting of.

It has mostly had a jumble of usual therapy stuff (chatting about my past and my emotions) and also focusing on my relationship with food. If you’ve suffered with either a binge-eating disorder or any kind of eating disorder, then you’ll understand how awful it can be to think about food.

It’s crazy to think that something vital to our lives can also have a negative impact.  I feel so many different emotions when we chat about my week and food diary:

  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Relief

Over the first 4 sessions we’ve spoken about my relationship with bread and how my disorder is almost a type of self-harm. I never thought about it that way before but it makes sense. Every time my ED has flared up, something traumatic has happened in my life. Whether it’s after being bullied or a death in my family. I gained a whole bunch of weight after my dad died, then went down to 8st after my GP said I was morbidly obese at 12st and then put all the weight back on after mum died.

So many little connections.

Something I love about therapy is that you’re not judged. You can literally talk about anything (within reason) and not have to worry. My brain does worry about what she’s thinking but I have to let those fears go. I have 15 sessions left to go with Lisa and I’m really hoping to finally make some progress with this. I’m tired of these thoughts and need to take back control.

Even though I’ve lived through these 4 sessions, I literally can’t remember everything we talk. A lot of it is just talking on the spot, sometimes sharing my mood tracker (which Lisa really seemed to love) and going over my mood. One day I could be okay and the next I feel like I want to disappear. I hate having to think about myself when I know others are struggling much more than me.

We did come to the conclusion that my eating habits and body image may be genetic. Both my parents struggled with their weight so it was a sure thing that I would as well. I guess it just depends what happens in a person’s life to kick-start a particular way of thinking. Mine came in the form of bullying, genetics and life. One of my dreams for doing all this is to not only eat what I want without thinking about the consequences and feel comfortable in my body.

The other things I can do with First Steps are some workshops. These are group activities and carry on for as long as I want them, even when the therapy is over. These are some of the workshops I can take part in:

  • Dance Movement
  • Skills for Carers
  • Art Creative Workshop
  • Eating Disorder in Student Services
  • Waiting Well Support Group
  • Thursday All Ages Support Group
  • Body Image Workshops
  • Stand Up (Comedy) To Mental Health Recovery

I’m excited to work on my body image because it’s an utter nightmare right now. I can’t look at my reflection in anything without wanting to cry or avoid. It’s my goal this year to think at least one nice thing about myself and I will do it! I had been planning to do a diary entry post about my therapy sessions but I’m not sure how well this one will do. Let’s see!

If you’re struggling with any kind of eating disorder, don’t suffer alone. There are more of us out there than you think and, like First Steps says, ‘eating disorders are not just about being underweight’. They come in many different forms and your feelings are justified!

Have you ever had to deal with a binge-eating disorder personally or through family?

binge-eating disorder

 

Lifestyle

How To Cope With Invisible Illness Frustration

If you’ve never heard of the term ‘invisible illness‘ before, the explanation is in the name. A illness that you can’t see with the naked eye/can’t always see outside the body. It’s basically describing a bunch of illnesses that you may not have heard much of such as:

  • ADHD
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

To learn more about some of the invisible illnesses out there, check out these links. They’ll give you better information than I can! Haha!

There are so many invisible illnesses out there that we’d be here all day if I mentioned all of them! As you’ve probably guessed, not every disability is visible. People with these types of illnesses often seem okay on the outside and that tends to make their life even more challenging.

invisible illnessPhoto by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

What could possibly frustrate someone like this? Oh, there are more reasons than there should be and it sucks that even one of these happens. As we don’t always have aids to help us, abled people tend to make it their job to judge us.

  • Being harassed for using a disabled parking space.
  • Being harassed for sitting in a disabled bus seat.
  • Struggling to get friends to understand how difficult it can be to go out.

Not only do we have to suffer the symptoms from our illnesses but we also have to defend outselves (even from medical professionals). I’ve had to see so many different people and it can be really disheartening when you have to prove to others that you’re actually suffering and it’s not all in your head.

As recent as yesterday there has been a picture making its way around Twitter chatting about living with pain. The techniques they shared to ease pain is to dust off your bike and go for a ride, see if you can lessen your pain medication and go for walks. My thought? Have these people even suffered with a chronic illness before?! I would give anything to be able to do any of these without pain then or later on. I’m lucky if I can walk 3000 steps in a day sometimes and that’s why I’m trying to push myself a little.

I asked some friends who suffer from an invisible illness if they could chat a little about their frustrations and how they deal with them.

Chloe Metzger (Mental Health & Fibromyalgia)

When in a non-pandemic using disabled toilets or spaces on public transport because I’m young and look healthy. I have my stick with me just to signal to people I need the seat. Even then sometimes it’s rare for someone to give up their seat for me.

It’s hard…I normally take a book or my phone out and just look at that instead.

Kara Cole (Severe Anxiety, Emotional Instability, Hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD) and Fibromyalgia)

The hardest thing for me is the inconsistencies. What you do one day is not the same as what you can do the next. It’s frustrating getting others to understand and acknowledge that, but it’s more frustrating to deal with that yourself. A string of bad days is heartbreaking.

The support from believers is invaluable. Friends or family who believe you and fight for you are amazing. They can fight for you even when you can’t.

The problem is that because women are more prone to these types of conditions, doctors put the symptoms we have to us being either emotional and that it’s just all connected to mental health. I literally went to a pain management class that told me I wasn’t really feeling pain. It was just the nerves in my pain pretending to make the feeling of pain.

Coping Ideas

One. Record everything in a diary and say where exactly your pain is. Say how long the pain lasts and what situations tend to flare up your pain.

Two. When you start seeing doctors, see if you can get a copy of your medical records and test results. It’s something you can take to other professionals in the future.

Three. If you’re a friend or family member of someone with an invisible illness, please try not to judge a book by its cover. If someone has a chronic condition like IBD or fibromyaligia, they may look fine but they’re more likely going to be exhausted, in a lot of pain and dealing with other possible things

Four. Remember that you are not alone. For every person that judges you, there will be someone out there that understands what you’re doing through. Chat with them when you need to and try to educate those around you. The more people understand invisible illnesses, the easier the world will be for us.

Five. Be patient. If someone with an illness chats with you about their condition, be patient with them and listen. They’ve had to deal with a lot of stigma up until this point and it has probably taken a great deal of courage to talk to you.

It’s very difficult to struggle in silence. I don’t like to be a bother to people and tend to give up the disabled seat when I see someone with a stick or wheelchair. It’s getting to a point where I will be needing an aid to help me with my walking and I’m currently on the list for a worker to help with my communication issues due to lockdown and my autism. Even now I don’t mind waiting. There is always someone worse off than me and I’d prefer if they got the help first.

Remember: don’t automatically assume that someone is okay or ‘normal’ just because they look like it. It’s usually on those days when they put on a mask just to get through that moment.

Last month there was an awesome campaign called ‘Making The Invisible Visible‘ where a group of sufferers took pictures of themselves with labels of their illness on their body. It was super inspiring and it’s raised over £800 to date!

What are your frustrations on having an invisible illness and how do you cope?

invisible illness

Lifestyle

How To Find Your Blogging Voice As A Beginner Blogger

When you first decide to join the blogger world, it can seem really overwhelming. There are so many types of blogger out there from beauty to fashion to book. If you love it, then you can write about it which is amazing in this day and age. One thing you might struggle with right at the beginning is trying to find your blogging voice.

It’s so easy to look at how other bloggers write and copy their voice.

Believe me, I did it a little at the start and I soon realised how vital it was to discover your own. There’s no way you’ll find a local following if you sound exactly like every other blogger out there. It takes trial and error to find it, but when you do, it will be so much easier to create content.

Here are some ways to help you discover your blogging voice as a beginner blogger.

Blogging VoicePhoto by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Create a list of what you love

One of the most important things you need to choose at the start is what the heck you’re going to blog about. It’s more difficult that it sounds. If you’re like me then you will be in love with a bunch of different things. Before I choose to focus on a jumble of three things, I created a list of what I enjoyed/knew and could potentially choose:

  • Fandom
  • Books
  • Mental Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Theatre
  • Films

Since our community is so vast these days, it’s more than likely there will be hundreds of people blogging about one of your loves. It can be annoying but it’s just one of the elements we have to accept. By creating a list you can pick and choose a couple of things and make your blog unique.

Read before you create

There are multiple ways to start a blog.

You can either make a WordPress or Blogger account and start blogging straight away. That or you follow someone else’s blog for a while and learn before you try. I was the latter and was a reader of a bunch of different blogs for years! My favourites had to be FleurDeForce, InTheFrow and LydiaEliseMillen. I might be a walking fashion disaster but I can still appreciate blogs about it and beauty!

That introduced me to blogging being a hobby to take part in and, to be fair, I can’t figure out how I discovered the community on Twitter! Haha! I’m forgetful in my old age. Reading different sites brought my attention to themes, writing layouts and possible navigation.

They gave me a bunch of ideas and it made my life so much easier when it came to creating it.

Test the waters

Want to know if your new blogging voice is working? Post!

You won’t know what works unless you create content and post it for people to check out. I definitely haven’t figured this one out just yet. Sometimes something that worked one time might not work the next. You kind of have to test the waters to see what content is popular and focus that day to that subject.

People will start to learn what kinds of topics you like to chat more about and what your niche is. If it’s something they like to read, they’re more likely to follow your blog.

What ways have you used to help finding your voice?

Blogging Voice

Lifestyle

The First Lookthrough Of My 2021 Bullet Journal

It’s the first day of 2021 so happy new year, everyone! I hope you all had a good one considering. I actually just chilled in my PJs and watched the London display from my bed. You can’t go wrong with a relaxing start to a new year, can you?

One of the few things I loved about 2020 was doing my bullet journal. There’s something relaxing about learning some new skills and putting them to good use. I only had my Mina Lima notebook to write in so couldn’t be as pretty as I wanted but I reckon I did pretty good!

Let me introduce my 2021 bullet journal to you! It took a little drafting but I’m loving how it’s turning out.

Bullet Journal

Pinterest really is the best place to get inspiration for journalling. I loved discovering different creations and picking and choosing from the pictures I saw. A lot of what you’ll see was inspired and just changed a little to my tastes. I thought that I would use yellow for my first theme of the year. It’s so bright and makes everything look so happy!

I wanted to experiment with the different pens so used my yellow Tombow Dual Brush with a Uni Pin Fine Line (0.5) and a white gel pen. Do I sound like a stationery blogger yet?! I do love my pens even if I don’t know how to use them properly. Haha!

Can you tell I’ve been working on my lettering too?

I haven’t discovered how to do those stunning watercoloured quote pages yet, but I still wanted to include a quote to prepare me for 2021. This one really spoke to me for some reason. Being able to be the you that could be instead of working on someone you’re not meant to be.

Comparison loves to warp your perception. It’s something I’m going to be working with my therapist on next week so wish me luck!

With mental health being a giant part of my life, I needed somewhere to dump all the rubbish that’s inside of my brain. Not necessarily the negative stuff, but all the random stuff. I have a bunch of that in my ol’ noggin and what better place to store it than on a brain dump page.

We might not be able to go to the cinema in person right away but, as last year revealed, the film industry know how to bring them to us. We had new Disney films on Disney Plus, straight to screen on Sky Movies and even Netflix got in on the action.

2021 has more films than this coming out but these are the ones that have caught my eye. I’m particularly excited for Cruella, Spiderman 3 and Respect! I’m predicting that Respect will have some Oscars buzz for 2022! Yes, I’m looking ahead to next year already!

Below I have a bookcase for at least 30 books I want to read this year. I’ll probably add at least 20 more if I can. Let’s just see what happens, shall we? We also have a saving wishlist because I seriously need a carpet in my flat (my feet are cold!) and a new laptop (it’s 10 years old this year!). If I’m going to get a new one, I’m saving up for a Macbook Pro.

It’s great to be back blogging again. I’ve missed it and definitely planning to make more posts more frequently. I’ve had my year of utter depression and NO MORE! Daisy is being reborn into a blogger once more!

Lifestyle

‘You Can’t Be Sia-rious’ – Reflecting On Sia’s Upcoming Film

If you were on Twitter a few days ago, you may have seen me reacting to a trailer. This trailer was for the singer Sia’s debut film Music. When I first saw the picture for it, I was pretty impressed. It looked bright and colourful and I did like some of Sia’s music. However, when I discovered what the film was about and saw the trailer, my thoughts quickly changed.

Sia

Zu (Kate Hudson), a newly sober drug dealer and self-saboteur finds herself the sole guardian of her teenaged, autistic half-sister, Music (Maddie Ziegler). Zu is a free spirit barely able to take care of herself, let alone her sister; Zu struggles with this new responsibility, but soon learns that life’s obstacles are made easier with a little help from a friend, Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr.), a neighbor whose own family story makes him someone Zu can learn from and rely upon.

As someone on the autistic spectrum, I’m always a little on the fence when it comes to media featuring it.

There have been a bunch of TV shows/films that have featured autistic characters. There have been some that have been incredible such as The A Word and a CBeebies show called Pablo. Yet there have been others that were sometimes questionable like The Good Doctor and Atypical.

Something that nearly all these things have in common are that the ‘autistic’ character is usually played by a neurotypical actor.

Personally I’m kind of on the fence about this.

If it’s evident that the actor has done their research about autism and shows an understanding, then I don’t normally mind it. However, if an actor has been shown purely for the name or laziness, then that’s when I struggle. This is where I’m standing with Music.

1. Not everyone on the spectrum are non-verbal.

GAHHH!

Okay…every time I see something with an autistic character, they are always shown to be either non-verbal or over-the-top. It’s great that they’re showing one element of the spectrum! That’s a great start! However, we’re not all like this. It’s such a wide spectrum.

2. There are more autistic actors out there they could’ve cast!

Regardless of the controversy over casting Maddie Ziegler as Music, I do think she’s an amazing up-and-coming actor. The problem is that there are actually autistic actors that could have portrayed this character. Yes, they may not be non-verbal but at least they would be on the spectrum.

Apparently Sia tweeted that she did look into casting a non-verbal young girl but…

“I actually tried working with a beautiful young girl non-verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful.”

While I appreciate that she tried, this could have been an incredible opportunity to learn more about autism. She could have helped introduced practices on sets to make Hollywood more accessible. However, she went for Maddie. Sia could have approached: Kayla Cromer, Dan Aykroyd or even Susan Boyle!

There are also a number of undiscovered autistic actors out there! I’m not saying that non-autistic people can’t play these characters. Look at Freddie Highmore and Jim Parsons. They did such a great job! There’s just certain roles like this that should be considered more carefully.

3. Sia’s responses to tweets

There are many ways you could respond to criticism. Believe me, my acting tutor told me that 99% of us would never get an acting job…on our first day! You’re upset by it and may spiral, but you eventually learn from your mistakes. You don’t lash out at the public for their views!

“Maybe you’re just a bad actor.”

“F**king bullsh*t. You have no f**king idea because you weren’t there and haven’t seen the movie.”

“I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f**king prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers.”

These responses are horrendous!!

They do not help at all. I understand it’s probably devastating that people are negative about something Sia has worked on. Yet, she should at least try to understand it from the perspective of the autism community. She’s not just talking to someone in her family. She’s talking to the worldwide public and has to be more professional than this, not just cuss everyone out.

She also consulted with a controversial ‘charity’ called Autism Speaks. Just google them and you’ll see why people are face-palming.

4. It is one big sensory nightmare!

We all know that Sia is a little out there. She dresses different, has a persona of hiding her face and more. I love that she looked at the focus of music. I personally use music a lot to ground me, to escape from the world and sometimes to understand people.

Unfortunately someone didn’t do their research!!

The trailer itself is a sensory nightmare! The music is too loud, the colours super bright and people just dancing all over the place. Maybe this would be incredible for a typical person but an autistic viewer could have a sensory overload!

Sia – If you do ever find this post, please learn from our community. We’re not trolls, we’re not attacking you. We’re simply wanting our world to be understood.

If you want to learn more about autism, please head over to the National Autistic Society‘s website. It has so much information!

What are your thoughts on Sia’s film trailer for Music? I’d love to know especially if you’re on the spectrum or have an autistic loved one!

 

Lifestyle

What’s On My Christmas Jumper Wishlist for 2020?

Who else has been contemplating putting up their Christmas decorations early? A few people on my street have already done it and I’m so tempted. I think we all deserve to celebrate earlier and one of the ways I want to do it is getting some Christmas jumpers. I have none tucked away and it’s good to have some options.

Have I been looking into getting some for a couple of months? Yes.

Have I made myself a little wishlist of jumpers that I love? Of course!

jumperPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Eru Christmas Elf Hoodie (£32)

Before anyone says ‘Daisy, this isn’t a jumper!’, it was classed as one on the Next website and that’s enough for me! Haha! One of the things I loved about this option was that it was ELF-related. Anything to do with that film wins. Buddy just makes everything instantly Christmas!

I’m not sure how long the hoodie itself is but still looks amazing!

Threadbear Christmas Dog Jumper (£24)

You can’t have a Christmas jumper wishlist without one that has a festive animal on it! I wish I could find one with a cat, but this dog one is adorable too! Look at it! It has little fairy lights on it and a pair of teeny boots!

If we’re going to go into other details, I also love the grey and red combo! It makes this look less cheesy and more something you wouldn’t be embarrassed in seeing yourself in.

Perfect choice for dog lovers out there!

Sparkle Tree Christmas Jumper (£15)

If Christmas isn’t the perfect time to wear a sparkly jumper, then I don’t know when is. I’m not usually a massive fan of sparkle but it tends to make me think 80s, but I do love what Matalan has done with this. It doesn’t look like it’s overkill and the sparkle does remind me of my tinsel!

The tree on the front is something that really made me love this. I can’t deal with decoration on the front of a top that sticks out. It always manages to catch on something and made wearing it a nightmare. While this does have little baubles and candy canes that stick out, it’s only slightly.

Cute yet functionable!

‘Fa LaLaLaLa’ Black Jumper (£22)

If you’re someone that does like all the bright colours and sparkle, then you might enjoy this minimal black and white jumper from Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s.

It still has the festive edge with the ‘Fa Lalalala’ on the front, but it isn’t as much in your face as the others. I reckon this would be great for everyday wear during this month and December and carry on until Christmas 2021. Black and white can never go out of fashion!

At least I hope not! Haha.

Disney Minnie Mouse Jumper (£16)

You can’t have a post on my blog without some fandom-related jumpers!

Of course I had to find myself a Disney one to include and I thought this Minnie Mouse sweatshirt was adorable! It’s as simple as it sounds. It has Minnie looking up at some mistletoe and I’m sure that special someone will give you a kiss under it!

It’s also white so you really could wear this throughout the year. I doubt anyone else would care that it’s technically something festive.

How To Train Your Dragon | Elsa From Frozen | Baby Yoda (£55.99)

If you’re looking for some more alternative jumpers that are pretty expensive but super detailed, then EMP has so many options from you to choose from! I can’t vouch on how thick they are, but look at these designs I saw! They’re really unique and lots of nerds would flock to these!

First up, we have Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon! It’s super rare to find any clothing with Toothless on it and I gave a little internal squeal when I saw that he had a Christmas jumper. I love it! It’s in his usual clothes and has tiny designs of dragon and viking helmets. You even get a design on the back too!

I’m in love with the Elsa jumper!! It comes in different shades of blue, a gorgeous silohette of Elsa, snowflakes and mini dancing Olafs! You don’t have to be a child to love a Disney princess. Just let it go, okay?! *wink*

Finally we have the cutest little child in the universe! You can watch all the latest Mandalorian episodes on Disney Plus while wearing this! I bet The Child would be the perfect little space elf. The jumper has ‘This is my good side’ on the front and ‘Merry Forth Be With You’ on the back!

Which Christmas jumper will you be wearing this year?