Rockin around the tree with Christmas decorations

Is it just me? I’m not yet feeling very festive, so I might go into the loft and start rockin around the tree with colourful Christmas decorations.

Finally, the Christmas decorations are down from the loft, well at least some of them; I just need to decorate the tree with red balls with bright silver stars on.

     Santa holding a teddy bear         

Even my Jack Russell, Winston is sniffing the decorations and looking for his presents.

 

snowglobe

 

Some of my favourite decorations are hanging by the fireplace, and I also love snow globes. Don’t ask me why, but I love going into shops and looking at the snow inside them. It’s something that reminds me of family Christmases when I was a child. The best thing about my snowglobe is that its musical and plays “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.

I have just finished the tree and the Christmas decorations and taken some pictures because my niece wants to see some pictures and I need to find some festive spirit.

My mum also went back into the loft, especially for my Tigger stocking and Winston’s stocking and our stocking hangers so we can hang them up by the fireplace.

Christmas decorations on the fireplace

We only have three sets of tree lights which are blue, white, and red. I will have to take a trip out to Wyevale garden centre and buy more because I love lights.

I love Christmas lights so much that I want to go and see the annual lights in Newlyn and Mousehole as they look stunning all lit up and I want to try out my new Pentax DSLR with a tripod. Yes, I finally have a big tripod, at least I will have when I collect in from my sister’s in a couple of weeks.

I might go back into the attic to find my little Christmas tree that lights up. I used to put this tree in my bedroom when I was younger. My sister and I use to decorate my room and make it look festive.

What are your favourite Christmas decorations? Comment below or send a tweet to @AdminChick

Christmas songs on your office playlist

One of the best things about working on your own from home is that you don’t get into an argument about the Christmas songs on your office playlist.

In big offices, you have to take it in turns when playing tunes, unless you are quietly sitting there with your headphones in. Which isn’t much fun because you can’t dance, sing, and have a laugh in case you disturb the person on the phone talking to a client.

Here is are the Christmas songs on my office playlist this year:

O Holy Night by Mariah Carey

This tune is on my iPod. I love to sing it, however, I’m still struggling with the high pitched notes, they take some breathing and I can’t sing nowhere near as good as the talented Mariah Carey. I might download her Christmas album so I can play these songs for my niece as she loves singing and dancing.  

Last Christmas by Wham

This was George Michael when he looked good and the world didn’t know he was gay. I always like watching the video because it looks so wintery.

War is over – John Lennon

John Lennon was a fantastic songwriter and I think this has to be one of the greatest Christmas songs ever. The former Beatle sends a powerful message within that song.

Do they know it’s Christmas – Band Aid 1984

I remember when they brought out the vinyl LP in 1984 and every Christmas when I was younger I used to get it out and ask my dad to play it on his record player. In fact, I might get it out and play it when I finally get round to putting up the Christmas decorations.

The Fairytale of New York –  The Pogues and Kirsty McColl

I love this song. It’s probably the best Christmas song ever and it often tops the Christmas polls when it comes to festive tunes. Irelands singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan and the late great Kirsty McColl develop a chemistry in this song which goes way beyond a slagging match. It became a No.2 hit in 1987 but has remained a huge favourite to this day.

 Santa Baby

This song is humorous, especially on the karaoke machine after a few drinks. Maybe not for the office, especially if your office has lots of people in. I have visions of Marilyn Monroe, singing this song to president Kennedy. 

Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody

This song is great for getting up and injecting some life into a crowded office and dancing around the room. This song reminds me of a Christmas ballet show I took part in back in the 90s.

What’s on your Christmas office playlist? Comment below or tweet @AdminChick.

Reminising over Christmas Nativity Plays

It’s been quite a few years since I last saw a Christmas Nativity play. In fact, the only one I have ever seen is probably the one I was in at school back in the 1980s.

I went to a Church of England primary school where we visited the church at Christmas, Easter and during Harvest time. In my very first school play, I played a narrator, and most of the girls in my class played Angels. I wanted to be a narrator as I wanted a speaking part. My chance to show off and stand out from the crowd from an early age.

Both my niece and nephew will be taking part in Christmas plays this week. Unfortunately, I will miss both plays because my sister has her mother-in-law staying from Germany and I thought it would be great to give her the opportunity to see the kids.  

My 3-year-old nephew was singing in his nursery play earlier today, and my niece will be an Angel, with a speaking part in a Christmas Nativity play tomorrow.  My 6-year-old niece has been practising her one line off by heart and is really excited about this as she loves the opportunity to sing and dance.

It’s also the end of the year for ballet today. My niece started a new dance school in the summer and is now enjoying her new school and has also gone into the primary group from the pre-primary group which her friends.

Outside the Church of Nativity

The story of nativity and the actual meaning of Christmas

Christmas isn’t just about receiving presents its to celebrate the birth of a king! Many people have stopped celebrating it because Britain has allowed foreign religions to take over. Christmas has also become so commercialised that shops are open late Christmas Eve and they are even open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Retailers are greedy, and I can’t believe that people volunteer to work!

Christmas should also be about family, or at least it was when I was growing up, back in the days when Sunday trading was a sin.  

The story of the nativity is all about the birth of baby Jesus. His parents, Mary and Joseph, rode on a donkey all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Baby Jesus was born in a stable with a visit from the three wise men who came with gifts of gold, frankincense, and Myrrh. The shepherds also visited the newborn baby king.

Inside the church of Nativity

I visited the Nativity Church in Bethlehem back in 1999, during a flying trip to Isreal. The church was packed full of people, and the Nativity part of the church was a lot smaller than expected. We weren’t allowed to take our cameras into Isreal at the time, which was unfortunate.

Have you seen a Christmas Nativity play this year? Maybe you are taking part in one or have previously taken part? Comment below or tweet some photos @AdminChick.

Making a Christmas shopping list

It’s the first weekend in December, and I should start making a list for my Christmas shopping trip.

So far, I have presents sorted for my niece and nephew, but I owe my mum and sister the money for them.

Who’s on my Christmas shopping list?

That leaves, Mum, Dad, My sister, the dogs, and my friend Stef.

Christmas is always an expensive time of year as is the beginning of the New Year because my birthday is in January and I like to go out and buy myself presents. In addition to this, my car tax, MOT, and service are also up in February and March.

I overspent by quite a bit last month, and I can’t see that improving this month. So I thought I’d sit down at my laptop and make a shopping plan before diving into the shops and hammering the credit card.

I’m planning to go into Truro sometime this week to buy a few presents.

My Mums Christmas gift

I know what I want to buy my mum and sister. However, my mum has been ill lately, and I know that what my sister and I are planning isn’t suitable for mum yet.

Dad’s Christmas present

I planned to get my dad an iPod so that he can play all his favourite songs in his car. He brought a new car recently, and it doesn’t have a CD player so you can only play tunes on an MP3 player or an iPod. He has updated his Mp3 stick, so he doesn’t need an iPod. My dad has become a fan of men’s facial products, so I now have another idea of what to buy him.

My Sister’s Christmas present

I have a backup plan for what I’m going to buy my sister, but my mum told me to wait for the Boxing Day sales. My mum gave me another idea a few minutes ago, so I know which shops to visit.

Christmas Plush Dog Toys
Christmas Plush Dog Toys

The dogs

I buy my dog, Winston and my sister’s dog Beanie a present every year to put inside their dog stockings. Winston loves soft squeaky toys, but Beanie chews toys, so I will probably buy her some biscuits or a bone.

Stef

This is the only friend who I buy presents for because I’ve known her for years. She’s quite tricky to buy for, but hopefully, she will be shopping with me so that I can fish for ideas. Also, her partner is coming so maybe he will give me some ideas.

I haven’t revealed what presents I plan on buying just in case the people mentioned in this blog post are reading this.

Shops I need to go in:

  • Boots
  • The Bodyshop
  • Debenhams
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Fatface
  • The pet shop in the market
  • Lush

Food and drink I need to buy:

Have you done your Christmas shopping list yet? Maybe you have already started on your Christmas shopping. Let us know, comment down below, or tweet @AdminChick.

Christmas jumpers that are warm and look great

The last three Christmases I have started a family tradition, which all members of my family must own and wear their Christmas jumpers on December 25th.

Here are some Christmas Jumpers that are warm and look great:

Navy Snowman Christmas jumper

Girls Christmas Jumper

My parents bought this jumper for my 6-year-old niece last year. She loves wearing this jumper and has already worn it this year because she says it keeps her warm and feels nice and soft. My mum, my sister, my niece, my nephew and I go and visit Buckfastleigh every December to see Father Christmas on the train. We have been going on this trip since last year and will be going again this year in a couple of weeks. 

On this trip, we like to wear our Christmas jumpers to help get into the festive mood. We also wear our jumpers on Christmas day. 

Red Christmas jumper with Reindeer from Howies     Grey Christmas jumper with a snowman on from Next       Light grey Christmas jumper with reindeer and Christmas trees from FatFace

Ladies Christmas Jumpers

I have three Christmas jumpers, one I bought from Howies for my staff Christmas lunch back in 2012 A snowman jumper which I purchased from Next in 2013 and another one that I bought in the FatFace sale on Boxing day 2015.

The first Christmas jumper I bought was for my staff Christmas lunch. All the jumpers that I liked were sold out in the shops and online, and the only other jumpers were cheap, tacky jumpers made with cheap material. I saw this wool jumper from Howies for £80 and decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present.

The only downside with this jumper was that because we don’t have cold winters in Cornwall, this jumper was a bit too warm for the milder climate but would be perfect to wear in colder climates.

The second jumper I bought was from Next; I had received a Next voucher, so I put the voucher towards this jumper and wore it to work. It’s not as thick as my Howies jumper, and it’s also a little bit on the thin side, and I have to wear something underneath it. However, I think the snowman looks a little bit more festive than the Howies jumper and doesn’t look too tacky.

On Boxing day, last year, my mum, sister and I went to FatFace to check out the sales. I purchased a new pair of jeans, some boots, a small leather handbag and another Christmas jumper with Reindeer on. This jumper was £40 reduced to £25; I liked this jumper for a while, but I thought the original price was a bit expensive because I already had Christmas jumpers.

I haven’t worn this yet, but it feels thicker than my snowman jumper and not as thick as my Howies jumper so it should be just right for the weather. The problem with winter in the South West of England is that we don’t often get frost or snow, we tend to get the sunshine or wind and rain. I will probably wear this jumper on the train this year, depending on the weather.

Grey Christmas jumper with a fairy on with black stars from Debenhams

My sister’s Christmas jumper came from Debenhams last year. This is the jumper that she has chosen to wear on the train because its one of her favourites. She does have another festive jumper that is blue and fluffy with snow on which I bought her for Christmas 2014.

 

 

 

Green Eddie Vedder Christmas juumper with picture of Eddie Vedder with red and white textMen’s Christmas Jumpers

My brother-in-law won’t be joining us on the train as he has to work weekends. There is no getting away from our family tradition when it comes to wearing Christmas jumpers. My sister has surprised him with a cool Eddie Vedder Christmas jumper which he will be happily wearing on Christmas day with no complaints!

 

A blue Christmas jumper with a snowman on for boys

 Boys Christmas Jumper

My nephew has a snowman jumper which keeps him warm enough but not too hot because he likes to peel layers of clothing off as he’s not usually a fan of jumpers unless he’s feeling the cold. He will be wearing his snowman jumper he will be wearing on the train trip this year, but he might not be wearing his new Gruffalo jumper he has got for Christmas on Christmas day.

Share your Christmas jumpers, by posting selfies on your Twitter pages. Use the hashtag #Christmasjumperselfie! @AdminChick

Christmas Gifts for your friends that are under £20

It’s December,the time of year when many of us write out our shopping lists or rummage around the shops looking for Christmas gifts for our friends that are under £20.

I haven’t even started buying Christmas presents yet, so I thought I’d make a start by checking out the online shops before going into the shops to have a look.

Here are my top Christmas gifts for friends that are under £20

Female

Yankee Candle gift set

2 Small Jar Yankee Candle gift set – from Boots

Today I went shopping with some friends, and we were talking about candles. We both think that Yankee candles are the best because they last longer than other cheaper candles. With this in mind, I was browsing through the Boots website to check out some Christmas gifts and found that you can purchase a two small Jar Yankee Candle gift set for just £10.66. This 2 Small Jar Candle gift set contains; Cosy by the Fire and Snowflake Cookie, the ideal warm and relaxing scent to help get you into the spirit of Christmas.

The Bodyshop

Female Moringa Festive Picks for £20

I was looking at the Bodyshop Christmas gifts section and was browsing the internet to see what I would buy someone. 

  • Moringa Shower Gel 250ml
  • Moringa Body Butter 50ml
  • Moringa Body Scrub 50ml
  • Moringa Soap 100g
  • A small cream bath lily

Men's Rescue Kit

Male Modern Gent’s Maca Root Rescue Kit £15


I still have to buy my Father and brother-in-law presents, so I choose the bestselling face maca root rescue kit because it’s the Bodyshops best-selling face protector. It features the following:

  • The Maca Root Balancing Face Protector and the Maca Root Eye Rescue Serum
  • Leaves skin refreshed and hydrated
  • Non-greasy, light formula
  • Absorbs instantly

 

Navy, white and green Beanie hat with bobble

Superdry

Female – Jacquard Beanie £19.99

Women love a beanie hat, especially when they are having a bad hair day or on windy days when their hair is too short to tie up. Superdry beanies are also very stylish and warm

Male Big Hiker Socks Double Pack £19.99

There are two things that a man can never be short of in life, and they are the things that I usually buy my brother-in-law for Christmas they are socks and pants. These double pack of hiking socks are warm and ideal for men who either work outdoors or do a lot of outdoor activities and all for just £19.99

Fatface

Female

REINDEER KNICKERS IN A CHRISTMAS CRACKER

These briefs are festive as well as soft and comfortable with a lace trim. These make great stocking fillers and at a fantastic price of £8.00.

Male

REINDEER VAN CHRISTMAS UNDERCRACKERS £8.00

These Boxer’s in a cracker are the perfect gift for the man who has everything. This is one of the things that you can never be short on and one of the other most popular Christmas gifts, is socks. 

Sainsbury’s

Female

Prosecco Mionetto 200&ml Marc de Champagne Truffles x6 for £6 in Sainsbury’s

Mionetto allows you to enjoy the taste of the aromas of golden apples and white peach; this is best-served cold with some  lovely truffles made with creamy ganache and fresh cream
the white chocolate and Marc de Champagne encased in white chocolate shells

 

Male

Kopparberg Cider Bottle & Glass Gift Set 2x330ml for just £6 in Sainsbury’s.

Includes: Kopparberg Pear Cider and Kopparberg Mixed Fruit Cider

This gift is perfect for a male friend because not only does it come with a decent size glass, it’s also bursting with the taste of rich fruits such as pears and raspberries and it’s ideal for that Christmas afternoon or evening drink, it’s best served cold with lots of ice.

I’m off to the shops on Monday because I like to look at things in the shop before I purchase them. 

Let me know what Christmas gifts you are buying your friends that are under £20? Comment below.

See you tomorrow.

Opening my yummy Malteser advent calendar and Blogmas!

Today I’m looking forward to opening my yummy Malteser advent calendar and it’s also the first day of Blogmas. 

A few weeks ago, my dad decided to surprise us all by ordering 7 advent calendars. My mum thought that there had been a mistake on the order when the shopping came.

My dad brought Malteser advent calendars for both my sister, my mother and I, Mars advent calendars for himself and my brother-in-law and a Troll calendar and a Santa one for my niece and nephew. Malteser advent calendars have even made it into the Daily Mirrors 2016 “Best Chocolate advent calendars” along with Thorntons, Lidl and John Lewis. 

Malteaser advent calendar

It’s been another difficult year and to make it to December is an achievement for me. December is a difficult time of year for many people who struggle with their mental health. I attend a monthly Bipolar group, and many of the group get depressed this time of year due to lack of light and the whole overwhelming Christmas rush. Even going to the shops can fill like climbing a huge mountain because there are crowds of people everywhere.

I hate waiting in queues as I don’t have any patience and I’m getting worried because I haven’t bought any Christmas presents yet and I have spent every penny in my bank account last month! For the first time in my life, I have plunged into debt, and I owe my Dad money, my mum and my sister money for Christmas presents. 

December is a strange month because outside it looks nothing like Winter. I’ve always associated Christmas with being cold and frosty with snow. However, since moving to Cornwall, there has never once been a white Christmas or even a frosty Christmas. It’s more likely to be either wet and windy or sunny. 

Hopefully, when I get paid next week, I will have enough money to pay everything off, including the dreaded credit card bill!

I’m usually more organised but unfortunately, my mum is ill as there is a problem with her kidney and my Dad has also not been very well. I was also looking forward to seeing my family up country, but it doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen this side of Christmas. I wanted to visit my Grandad who has been in hospital for months, my aunt who I haven’t seen since March and visit my Gran’s grave. 

A red and green female elf             Male elf hanging from the lamp                 A sideway picture of the gree, red and white male elf hanging from the light

The best thing about December is spending time with my niece and nephew who are currently opening their advent calendars and playing with their Elves from the Elf on the Shelf pack and their Christmas advent trains. We are going on a train trip in a few weeks, it’s something we do every year as a family. My nephew loves trains and when I say loved, I mean he even takes his Thomas the Tank engine to bed with him. 

I’m also looking forward to Blogmas, This is the first time that I will be taking part, and I’m hoping that I can write some interesting posts that add value to my readers on a regular basis. It may sound like an easy task for many people, but for me, consistency would be another huge achievement for me to conquer. 

I think I have rambled on enough, so I’m going to open my Malteser advent calendar and get a cup of tea, before cracking on with today’s work! 

Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrows post. Bye, for now.

 

Should I take part in the 2016 Blogmas challenge?

I was checking my Twitter feed this morning and noticed there are lots of posts about “Blogmas” because I’m a new blogger I had never heard of Blogmas until.

What is Blogmas?

Blogmas is when Bloggers post every day in December until the 25th although some people just blog for the 12 days of Christmas.

Now I’m faced with the task of whether to take part or not? Can I commit to 25 interesting daily posts during the busy festive period? Many of you may be thinking yes, it’s easy. However, sometimes I’m on a high and I can write posts quickly and other days I can’t write to save a life. I need to be inspired, or a kick up the backside to keep me in check. 

However, my illness means that sometimes I’m on a high and I can write posts quickly and other days I can’t write to save a life. I need to be inspired, or a kick up the backside to keep me in check. 

Sometimes the light goes out and I become almost like a walking zombie, left to rot in a dark room. I could sit at my laptop for hours and not get any work done. 

I watched a webinar, yesterday by Natasha Courtenay-Smith, who has helped lots of business owners and individuals build successful blogs. She said the more you write, the more traffic you will receive. Taking part in Blogmas should tell me if this is true. 

Some of the problems, I find when blogging is that I spend ages thinking about post titles, instead of just writing them and putting them up and I’m, always looking for unique content, that has never been done before. 

It’s not just the posts that take time, its also taking the right pictures to go with the posts and scheduling social media. I’m planning to concentrate on two platforms, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

My reasons for taking part in Blogmas are because I want to add value to my blog and write some fun and engaging posts to get myself into the festive mood and hopefully, my posts will be engaging enough to make people want to read and return to my blog . 

I also plan to start Vlogging in the New Year, I might even video some of my Blogmas posts, so I really need to get my skates on and plan my content and social media content if I’m going to make a success of this!

Attending Penzance Bipolar Group

I was sat in Bolitho House waiting to meet my CPN, and I noticed a poster on the wall about Penzance Bipolar group.

The Penzance Support Group meets every third Wednesday of the month in a room behind the Healing Star at the top of Causeway Head, Penzance between 2 pm and 4 pm.

Around this time last year, I attended for the first time with my Dad and a family friend. There were 3 or 4 other people who also attended and since then the numbers have been between 3 – 7 people. I was surprised to see I was the youngest member there at the age of thirty-something, although probably because many younger people are working between those times or they don’t know about the group.

In the group, we sit around in a circle, and we each individually talk about how we have been since our last meeting and issues we may be experiencing with medication, Mental health services, GP’S or just life in general.

The good thing is that it’s completely confidential, so if you have thought about attending but haven’t plucked up the courage, I would certainly recommend it.

I have finally plucked up the courage during the last few sessions to be able to attend alone and have since been released by the Mental Health team due to lack of NHS funds.

I have found the group members to be more helpful and understanding than my former CPN or Psychiatric doctor who has misdiagnosed me, even though he only saw me twice and 11 sessions of CAT therapy was barely lifechanging.If you don’t have any money, that’s no problem because you can attend for free and make a small

If you don’t have any money, that’s no problem because you can attend for free and make a small donation online to Bipolar UK. 

I would definitely recommend Penzance Bipolar group, so see you there!

 

Being prescribed antidepressants

Prozac green and yellow antidepressant pillsI spent years trying to avoid taking antidepressants, in September 2013 things became so bad that I had no choice.

I went to the doctors after being suspended from my job and falling out with my friends. I was a total mess and wanted to end it all.

I can’t remember how I ended up at the doctors, but somehow I managed to walk for a whole hour to get to the surgery. I was lucky enough to have a friendly female locum who prescribed me Sertraline and asked me to come back and see her in a few days time.

Sertraline is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The pill is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

I didn’t want to go on tablets, and for years I have been struggling with highs and lows thinking they would just disappear and I can find my happy ending story. I previously took St Johns worts when things got really bad, just after my 21st birthday.

St Johns Worts are a natural herbal remedy, used for mild to moderate depression. I found them ok at the time, to the extent where I could stop crying, but they are certainly no cure. 

When I first started taking antidepressants called sertraline, I had horrendous side effects including sickness and a bad stomach, but this settled down within a few days.

I was also offered CBT first at a lower level, and after a few sessions of talking, I was moved up a step to receiving higher intensity CBT, which are more in-depth sessions.

After completing my CBT sessions, I found that the sertraline and CBT sessions hadn’t even touched what was going on in my head, I even had a couple of counseling sessions with a private counsellor who deals with Bupa patients.

In March 2014 I hit rock bottom again when my Dad had a heart attack in January, I had fallen out with someone who I thought was my friend after receiving the news that my mum had a mass on her kidney and that she would have to have her kidney taken out.

This time the doctor prescribed more antidepressants this time Prozac another SSRI was used to treat depression. He gave me a prescription in case I needed it but told me I need to stop taking pills and just get on with life.

By the beginning of February 2015, I was at the doctors again, and this time I was put on the mental health team as I was worse than ever.

The mental health team took months to access me and when they did they got my notes mixed up. They put me on a relatively new medication called Venlafaxine(yet another SSRI) Antidepressant and anxiety tablet.

I was on the mental health team for over a year, and I have just been released from the team after 11 CAT sessions and no proper diagnosis. They said I have Adjustment disorder – Which according to Wikipedia and other sources is a stress related illness to life events and lasts no longer than six months – Anxiety and Personality disorder.

A personality disorder is also often mixed up with Bipolar 2, which they said they couldn’t rule out!

I’ve now been told that I have to try more Outlook South West lower level therapies because of NHS funding. I’m tempted to get another opinion from a private therapist because I’m angry about the way I have been treated.

I have had this illness for years, even throughout my school days there was always something different, the boredom, the angst, the tearaway. It wasn’t for attention or fear of abandonment(which is what Borderline Personality patients are known for) because I often felt like a bubble being protected because I was trapped, with so many expectations almost celebrity like. It wasn’t even life-related, at times life appeared to be ok, but I still felt like there was something missing. At times there was lots of people around me I wanted to scream let me out! I hated the spotlight yet I hated being hated!

Has anyone else had similar problems with antidepressants or getting a diagnosis? Perhaps you have been misdiagnosed? I’ve kept this inside for ages and now feel the time is right to let my voice be heard! I refuse to become another statistic shutting up and hiding away from society.