You Are Not Alone


I know that for some people Christmas is a difficult time of year but you are not alone,  I thought i'd share a list of helpful numbers and websites you can go to over this Christmas period.

MIND

Website www.mind.org.uk

Tel No   0300 123 3393

Samaritans

Website  www.samaritans.org

Tel No      116 123 

Alcoholics Anonymous



Tel No     0800 9177650 

Stonewall


Website    www.stonewall.org.uk

Info line 08000 50 20 20 


London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard

Tel No    0207 837 7324

SANELine

Website   www.sane.org.uk

Tel No     0300 304 7000

Papyrus, Prevention of young suicide


Website  www.papyrus-uk.org 

National self-help body for the Transgender community

Beaumont Society


Information Line 01582 412220


Childline




Depression Alliance



Refuge

Website   www.refuge.org.uk

Tel No     0808 2000 247

Beat
Beating eating disorders.


Help line 0345 634 1414
Youth Line 0345 634 7650

Shelter
Website  www.shelter.org.uk
Tel No    0808 800 4444

NHS Direct

1111 

No Panic

Tel No  0844 967 4848
youth helpline     01753 840393

Oxfam Unwrapped


Every year at Christmas we all spend a fortune on cards and gifts. Cards that will be put in the recycling as soon as Christmas is over, gifts that you're unsure the recipient will even like.

At work we've removed the hassle of buying and writing Christmas cards by choosing to purchase Oxfam Unwrapped gifts. This year is the second year we've done this and because you're purchasing a gift rather than just donating to charity, you know where your money is going and that it is helping people. This year we purchased honey bees, 2 chickens, and safe water for 10 people.

Oxfam Unwrapped also makes a great gift for the person who has everything, or the person who would appreciate a gift to charity rather than a gift for themselves. There are so many different gifts to choose from, that you can easily find something that suits your recipient such as a goat for the animal lover or a pile of poo for the gardener.



Last year we gave the gift of a goat which provides a family with milk, and most often Oxfam will provide a family with a breeding pair of goats allowing them to grow their own herd to use for milk and meat, along with selling the produce to create an income.


Credit - Tom Greenwood, Oxfam GB

When you give the gift of poo, it isn't just poo but is mixed with organic fertiliser. Oxfam also provides the family with training on eco-friendly farming, helping them to grow the best crops to eat and sell.

If you're still looking for a last minute Christmas gift then I recommend taking a look at the gifts offered by Oxfam Unwrapped, and when you purchase a gift they send you a card to give to the recipient with details of their gift.


A day at Towneley | OOTD


When I went to Towneley I couldn't resist making use of the woods for some outfit photos to share with you all.





Hat - Dorothy Perkins
Top - Primark
Sleeveless Jacket - New Look
Jeggings - ASOS
Boots - Schuh
Bag - ASOS

A day out to Towneley | Lifestyle


On a lovely autumn afternoon I couldn't resist going for a trip to Towneley and exploring the woods. This is a very picture heavy post, because I simply can't whittle them down any further, it's just a beautiful place and for once I managed to get some decent photos.













 



I love visiting Towneley to see the leaves changing colour, and seeing the first signs of winter.

Where do you like to go and visit in the autumn?

A Blackpool Treat | Lifestyle


Just the other day I had my annual trip to Blackpool, I don't know about you but a trip to Blackpool and the illuminations is a highlight of my Autumn.  




I love a walk along the promenade, playing on the two pence machines in the arcade. It's what makes my annual trip to Blackpool so special, along with the food! 

One of the best things about Blackpool has to be getting fish and chips or in my case chips, you can't ever go to a seaside town and not stop at the local chippy. So when I was asked to create a classic Lancashire recipe I just had to get involved, Travelodge have put together a blog with some classic Lancashire foods.  

The other week I decided to try my hand at making fish and chips at home, creating a gluten free recipe so that I can enjoy one of my favourite treats again. I decided to use a basic recipe from BBC Good Food, it's often one of the first places I look for a recipe.


Ingredients

Gluten Free Plain Flour
Sparkling Water
Thwaites Wainwrights Ale
Turmeric
Cornflour
Sunflower Oil
Salt and Pepper
Haddock
Potatoes

You can use just sparkling water and not include the ale to go for a completely gluten free recipe, however I can get away with small amounts of gluten so had to include the ale, especially as it's from a Lancashire brewery.

I must admit it took a lot longer than I expected but I think that's due to the fact my oven is a bit naff so the chips took forever to cook! It is a simple recipe to follow and you can't go far wrong with it at all.


I was really impressed with what I managed to create, there a couple of things I would change. I would use a different pan for frying the fish, as I chose quite a wide pan which then meant the oil was quite shallow meaning my fish did sink to the bottom quite easily. I would also have cooked it a little longer just because the batter wasn't quite as crispy as I would have liked.

What would be one of your favourite treat recipes to recreate at home?
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Homemade Pamper Night #MiraMessMakers | Beauty


With the autumn nights beginning to draw in I love nothing more than a pamper night, an evening to look after myself and do all of the things I love.



The evening has to start off with a bath for me, and I usually pop in one of my favourite LUSH products tonight I used Sex Bomb which is full of relaxing essential oils, perfect for pamper night!




Now that I'm running a house I can't treat myself to all my favourite beauty products so instead I'm starting to make my own using the contents from my cupboards. It's so easy to do and it's mostly stuff that I always have in so when the mood strikes I can have an evening looking after myself. 

I was sent a lovely hamper by the folks at Mira Showers which did allow me to experiment with a couple of ingredients I haven't used before, mainly soya wax.


First up I made a lip balm, not that it looks quite like a balm in the second photo but that was before it hit the fridge. You need soya wax, cocoa powder, a ginger tablet, and vitamin E tablet. I melt my soya wax in the microwave and usually do it for about 2 minutes and that leaves a little left still to melt so get spoon in and mix it up before adding your cocoa, cocoa is for flavour so add as little or as much as you would like. You need to grind up your ginger tablet, I just squish it between two spoons until it looks like it's ground up enough, and then with the vitamin E tablet you want the liquid from inside so I cut it open with some scissors. You then need to mix it all together and put it in the tub that you want to use before popping it in the fridge for an hour.


Next up is a facemask, not pamper night is complete without a facemask. All you need is some oats, juice from half a lemon, honey and some cinnamon powder. Quite simply chuck it in a bowl and mix it all together before popping it on your face.


You've done a facemask so the next thing you need to do is moisturise your face, so for a homemade moisturiser you need coconut oil, a vitamin E tablet, corn flour, and then an essential oil for a nice scent and I had vanilla and fudge. Melt your coconut oil in the microwave, and like with the soya wax don't let it melt completely but mix it to finish of melting the last little bit. Add in your vitamin E tablet and some of your chosen oil and mix together, you then need to add in your corn flour to thicken it up so you can use it a moisturiser. You could also use it as a body butter if you wanted too.


If you've made yourself a lip balm then you're going to want to make sure you've got lovely smooth lips to be moisturising so the next thing to make is a lip scrub. You need brown sugar, coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon. Melt your coconut oil and add all the other ingredients to it, mixing them together. I could have done with a little more brown sugar in mine, but I'd run out.


The last thing I make is a body scrub, although I've had a bath at the start of the evening, I like to get in the shower before bed. All you need to get your hands on is some olive oil, brown sugar and an essential oil of your choosing. For my body scrub I chose a stress and anxiety blend I have, as this helps to get rid of all that stress and anxiety we have, which is just what you want before bed. Add your sugar and essential oil to a bowl, put in as much essential oil as you would like, I tend to go for around 10-15 drops, and then slowly add the olive oil mixing as you go until you've got the consistency you like for your body scrubs.

I find these all really easy to make and they don't break the bank at all, get your hands on a couple of nice jars and you can make enough to last you for a couple of pamper nights or even to give as gifts!

Once I've had my little pamper, I often sit and paint my nails while watching a film, or I'll curl up with a book and a glass of wine, just to round out the evening in a lovely relaxing way.


How do you spend your pamper evenings at home?


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In Photos: Lounge Tour


As you'll be aware, I bought my own little house in Spring, and I'm finally at a point where I'm ready to share some of it with you. I haven't got everything as I would like it, but that takes time and money, neither of which I have much of at the moment.




I absolutely love the wall of prints that I'm creating, a way to inject the things I love into my home but that are easily changeable with any passing fancies, or as I fall in love with yet another hanging sign!



I find so much joy in my reading nook, curling up in my chair on an evening or on a Sunday afternoon losing hours in a book.I have so much choice of what to read with my little library too, though at the rate I'm buying new books I'll be needing to move house again soon just for storage space!






The rest of my lounge is currently quite simple, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect mirror above the fireplace. I've yet to decide on what I'd like to hang above my sofa, I keep thinking of a photo collage so that my friends and family are always around me.

I have noticed since moving out that some things mean a lot more to me now than they ever did when I lived with my folks. There are a lot of things that I'm no longer as attached to too.

I know that if I was ever to be burgled I'd be a bit gutted if they took my TV, laptop, camera etc, however they are all easily replaceable and I'm no longer as attached to them as I used to be. I always try to remember to back up photos on dropbox so that I can always access them so as much as I'd be annoyed I could still access those memories.

The things that mean the most to me now are my baby photo albums and baby record books, if I had a fire I would be heart broken at the loss of those, they could never be replaced. They're all stored in my little library, and I often pull them out to flick through 'cause I find so much joy in them. I am planning on scanning in all my baby photos and backing them up, so that I will always have a copy in case anything does happen to the originals. Looking back at those photos now means so much to me and they are what I cherish.

Legal & General have written a blog post about how much do we value our possessions which I found really interesting to read. After reading it over, I'm pretty sure that I undervalued my possessions when getting out my home insurance policy, but I'll know for next year to think about it more.

I'm sure that anyone who doesn't live in their parents home has the common sense to have home insurance, obviously it would never replace any item with sentimental value but if anything happened to my home there would be some financial assistance to help me create a home again.

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