Getting Rid Of Crap People In Your Life

No matter what walk of life we’ve come from we all have one thing in common and that’s people. We all have people in our lives; colleagues, kids, partners, husbands, wives, family members, acquaintances, friends. The list is endless. But some of these relationships are relentless in the impact they have on our lives. And let’s face it some people are just crappy human beings. So why do we put up with it? I literally have no idea!

I’v spent more of my life wanting to please others and begging people to love me than I have not. I look back now and think NEVER AGAIN! But in the midst of all these relationships and encounters I was blinded by their deafening roars. I believed I was not worth loving. I believed I was not good enough. I believed the world would be better without me.

In the last few years I’ve realised a lot of this was because of my untreated depression and anxiety BUT these shitty people, who by the law of DNA should have treated me better, much better, should have stepped up their game. But you can’t change people. As agonising as that is. It’s taken me a good thirty plus years to understand this.

Life is far too precious to waste it by letting toxic people ruin it and take away your happiness. Don’t let them. I know it’s not that simple but it really is that simple.

I had one major toxicity in my life. He hurt me over and over and over. Sometimes he had verbal remorse once or twice over 21 years. But nothing says sorry like changed actions, and nothing ever changed. He almost ruined my life. Almost. But he didn’t. He hasn’t. And now he’s a distant memory. A memory that will no doubt always come to haunt me but it’s something I have to bear. Because he will NOT ever ruin anything else for me. After 21 years I cut him from my life. It was an horrific time. It was hard. He made it harder. I let go of him and snatched back my worth. I realised it was not me who was the problem. I made a promise to myself that from now on I was in charge of my life.

It was THE BEST decision I’ve ever made. It was the start of freedom.

I lost a lot of people when I cut loose from this burden BUT it was still worth all I lost. The whatifs nearly stopped me but I couldn’t live in the toxic cloud of darkness anymore.

The last 34 years has taught me to accept all or accept nothing. There’s no fence for me. This had led other people to leave our lives too, but it’s been a mighty good riddance. I will never let people make me question my worth. Never. They have no right. And I most certainly will never let my children wonder about their worth. They are loved outloud. I’m fiercely passionate about that. I don’t want them to spend their adult life recovering from their childhood like I’ve had to.

I’m a big believer in second chances, but not third chances. My door will shut. Yours should too. Your happiness and peace should be your priority. You matter! You’re worthwhile. Don’t settle for a life of pleasing others or keeping the peace only for your own peace to be destroyed.

It’s never too late to change the direction of your life.

 

 

Easter Biscuits – Bunny Backs

We love a little treat over at Swords and Snoodles, especially a festive one so we decided to make some Easter biscuits!

Our Easter biscuits were Bunny Backs and they were so delicious.

They were real easy to make so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

You will need:

  • 250g butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 medium/large packet of white chocolate buttons
  • Sprinkles
  • Bunny shaped cookie cutter

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas mark 6. Mix 250g softened butter &140g caster sugar into a bowl using a wooden spoon. Add 1 egg yolk & 2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat to combine. Sift in 300g plain flour. Mix in using your fingers. Once you have a good dough chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Once chilled roll out to 5mm thick onto a floured surface. cut out your biscuit shapes using your cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until a light golden colour. Once cool, melt to white chocolate buttons but keep aside one button for each biscuit you have made. Using a small spoon cover the bunny ears in white chocolate and cover in sprinkles. Using the melted chocolate as edible glue stick a chocolate button onto each bunny biscuit as its tail. Shake off excess sprinkles and serve.

Healthy Living Corner: Quitting Smoking

  1. This is another one of our Healthy Living Corner pieces we are taking part in. This one is aimed at tips to help people who are thinking about quitting smoking. I doubt it will be as easy as some of you may expect, so these tips may come in very handy.

Ask yourself why  you want to stop smoking? Write down a list of reasons and keep them with you at all times. If you’re tempted to light up a cigarette, you need to refer to your list before you allow yourself to light up.

Set a date when to stop completely. Although most people prefer quitting gradually by smoking fewer cigarettes each day you might end up getting the same level of nicotine since you’re smoking more of each cigarette. The best idea to quit smoking is by setting a date and stopping altogether.

Tell everyone around you that you’re quitting. Family and friends will give you the support you need. Of course, if you’re living with other people who still smoke, quitting might be harder. Therefore, try to get other people in your circle who smoke to give it up as well. That way, you can make it a team effort and quit together rather than failing at doing it alone.

Prepare yourself for some withdrawal symptoms. Once you quit smoking, you will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, cravings, headaches, nausea or a general ill feeling. These symptoms present themselves because of the lack of nicotine in your body, especially in the levels that it’s used to. Be prepared for these. They may last up to 4 weeks but will definitely subside.

Avoid getting in situations that may tempt you as an individual to smoke such as drinking alcohol. In the first few weeks after you quit smoking, you should stay away from alcohol and change your normal routine as well. If you’re tempted to smoke after drinking tea or coffee, you should consider switching to water or fruit juice instead.

Don’t rush the whole process, rather you should take it one day at a time. Every day you have gone without smoking, mark it off on a calendar and look back when you feel tempted and get the motivation you need to stop smoking altogether.

Always try and maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole process. Start telling people that you don’t smoke and you will feel better about it. Even better, you will start smelling better, cough less and taste your food more. Don’t forget about the amount of money you will save once you stop buying cigarettes.

You should watch your diet once you quit smoking because your appetite is bound to increase. Stay away from fatty or sugary foods and maintain your weight.

Don’t become disheartened if you can’t stop smoking. Most people can’t quite after the first attempt. However, don’t give up completely but examine the reasons why you failed in the first place and find ways to correct the mistakes. You should know that people who have actually quite have tried doing it a few times.

If you can’t stop smoking on your own, you can always visit any Stop Smoking Clinics available on NHS since they have proven successful at helping people quit smoking. Find the nearest one and join any program that allows you to stop smoking as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can always try a Vape AYR , a new brand of modern vaporiser. It lets you see the levels remaining and also recharges and refills itself.

There’s are 10 flavours to choose from including Apple strudel.

Whatever your method of quitting I wish you good luck in your journey of self-care.

Don’t forget to be a wife too!

This is a post to all of the wives out there, but it isn’t exclusive to them, I just happen to be one, hopefully anybody in a relationship can take something away from this.

When you fall in love you forget the world around you. Your every waking thought is consumed with this exciting, butterflies-in-tummy, love. Your world is a bright place, with kites and bunnies, sunshine and lollipops. You feel madly in love! The reality though is that this is not love, not real love anyway. Real love is not always pretty.

Some days my husband comes home to Mary Poppins; the kids have behaved, the house is clean, the kids are fed and bathed and already in their pyjamas, I have clean hair, my makeup is still intact, dinner is in the slow cooker, and there’s a smile on my face. Other days my husband walks into the lair of Cruella De’ville; the kids have misbehaved since morning, they don’t know how to share, they fight, they cry, they refuse food, they shout, every task has been a battle, there’s been wee on the floor, food on the floor, four million poops, sand all over my kitchen floor, chalk on the walls, paint in their mouths, things have been thrown, things have been smashed, inedible items have entered the digestive system, mommas had no time for breakfast or lunch, everything’s gone wrong, mummy wants to cry, mummy’s mentally packing her suitcase, mummy feels not up to the job, mummy didn’t have time to shower, mummy’s got greasy hair, and there is no food in for dinner. Whatever the mood, my husband gets the brunt of it both good and bad!

Some days I am madly in love, and can’t wait to see my husband, other days I feel so exhausted and just want to go to bed at 7pm to recharge, but this will not help my marriage.

Relationships are hard work. They require maintenance, and without it they end up being scrapped. They die, yet all they needed was a drop of water, something to revive it. I make a point of telling my husband several times a day I love him, I write him little notes to leave in his lunch bag, I send him silly pins on Pinterest. He deserves my best, not just my derailed self first thing in the morning with huge hair and mascara stained eyes, or end of the day stressed-out me. I want him to see me at my greatest even though he loves me regardless.

Being a mummy subconsciously robs you of some of your identity as a wife – not in a negative way, your children become your priority, and makeup etc seem less significant because time is precious and totally used up. This is why you have to consciously make an effort; wear makeup, wash your hair, look good, feel good – YOU still matter!

I’m a nightmare for going to sleep at 6:30 with our boys. Some days are hard, and tiring, and all I want to do is sleep (& sometimes I do), but I force myself to get up and spend some time with my husband, and our relationship gets invested in, and ultimately grows stronger.

When weeks are busy I get so grotty and unbearable, I snap at my husband, even his breathing irritates me, yet I always discover it’s because we’ve not spent any time together for a few days – I’m a weird one! The quote “Leave me alone, I’m lonely” describes me to a tee. Once we spend time together I feel so much better, united, revived, and loved. Even five minutes together makes all the difference.

Anyway, enough rambling, go love your husband, relationships don’t come with a lifetime guarantee, you have to keep renewing it.

Go be a good momma, but remember you’re a wife too!

X

A Video For The Mothers With A Different Story

What is a mother? A mother is a million things, all different, but all just as important!

Take a look…

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Whatever your story, you matter!

Share with somebody who you think needs reminding.

The Works Christmas Shop

Illusions Of A Parent And Car Safety

We all have dreams and ideas for our lives, our homes, our marriages,  our children. We dream of winning the Lotto or landing a big promotion. We dream of living in Mauritius with a Butler. We think big ideas regarding our future. We dream, we dream alot.

Then there’s the everyday type of dreaming; you promise yourself that tomorrow is the day you’ll have this parenting malarkey sussed and you map out your day, and even throw in a new creative activity you recently saw on Pinterest. Then real life shows up. It’s not even 9.30am and you need a double vodka, a big slice of chocolate fudge cake, and possibly a Strepsil to soothe your throat from all the yelling you’d promised yourself you weren’t going to do today, again.

Here are four dreams and romantic ideas of mine. They lull me into a false sense of dreaminess and make me think things are a good idea – when, in reality, if they don’t involve unwashed hair, pj’s, and not having to socialise with any other human beings, then it’s safe to say it’ll be a bad idea.

Lets go for a lovely drive

The dream – Let’s all hop into the family car and go for a lovely, autumnal drive. Let’s marvel at the scenery and sing along to our favourite songs. Let’s find a layby to stop and drink hot chocolate and enjoy each other’s company.

Reality – Nobody wants to go for a drive except momma. The kids karate chop each other across the seats. Momma thinks about car safety and quickly does a mental checklist; Are the coolant/water levels ok? Is the tyre pressure going to be ok and when did we last check it? Is the oil level ok? Do we have enough windscreen wash? Do all of our lights work? Is the boot free of unnecessary weight? Is everybody strapped into their seats properly without thick coats? Do we know where we are going? Right, all checked, meanwhile everybody argues over which music should be played. The car steams up and blocks everybody’s view of the scenery. The smell of the countryside makes the 5yo hurl. The hurl makes the 7yo cry. They both make momma cry. Daddy then cries after he feels a tyre blow! Forget the countryside we now need to find Kwikfit and something stronger than hot chocolate

Babycino dates with my handsome boys and my husband

The dream – We get dressed with minor fuss. Mummys hair looks great. Everyone is happy. We leave the house on time and remember everything. The journey is smooth and tearless. We order and take our seats. The boys eat the cake they chose without moaning or swapping. They sit lovely and use their manners. They drink their babycinos. We have a relaxing coffee with our lovely little boys.

Reality – The boys moan their way through waking up. Mummy is exhausted from being woken up every 45 minutes from midnight til 5am by a dehydrating three year old. The lounge floor is a Coco Pop assault course. Nobody likes milk this morning; it’s “poo poo!” Nobody wants a bath. Mummy has to karate chop pj’s off two flailing baby dragons. The bath is apparently boiling hot. Mummy slings two boys into the lava-temperature bath. Two boys get washed while doing a tantrum dance. Mummy is soaked. And mad. Nobody wants to get dressed but no choice is given. Have you tried dressing a wild coyote? Mummy gets ready in 10 minutes whilst playing referee. Daddy takes a bit longer. We leave the house 45 minutes later than planned. Mummys face sweats. Mummy forgets the changing bag. The journey is not moan free; it’s hot, the sun hurts, it’s cold, etc etc. We pull up at the coffee shop. Let’s start afresh. We order. We sit. D1 doesn’t like his chair. D2 will not swap. D1 now likes his chair. D2 now wants to swap. D1 wants Daddys cake. So does D2. No one sits still. Two dragons roar loud. D1 hits D2. A brawl occurs with a latte being piggy in the middle. People judge us. We quickly drink our coffee. We exit quick. The end.

The toystore visit

The dream – We promise our children a special treat from the big toy store for their good behaviour. We are all excited to visit the store, and feel a sense of magic. It will feel just like the Toys R Us advert. Our two children will be so excited and so grateful to us. They will hold our hand and dance down the aisle in amazement at all the wonderful toys on show.

Reality – There was no good behaviour yet we are still going to the toystore. The boys are excited. We arrive. D2 makes a getaway on the car park and runs fast. Good start. We go into the store. D1 wants the Lego aisle. D2 wants the dollies aisle. D2 lays on the floor and refuses to walk. We drag him to another aisle. We walk down the music aisle. D2 plays the keyboard. D1 pushes D2 off the stool for his turn. D2 bites D1. Timeout in a toystore is always a joyous time. Apologies are made. Fresh start. The bike aisle. D1 tests out a bike. D2 has climbed the shelf and is head first in a tractor. He screams when he is pulled out. Cue lying on the floor. After 45 minutes of pure stress we decide to leave. But not empty handed because we’re crazy like that! Anyone else? The end.

Let’s eat out for dinner

The dream – You want to spend some quality time with your family so decide to go out for dinner. You choose a child friendly restaurant and imagine the four of you enjoying a lovely meal as a family. The kids eat well and wait patiently for their pudding. You leave feeling full and proud.

Reality – You end up at Pizza hut because you know the icecream factory will be the perfect bribe for your children to behave well and eat their meal. It all starts well. D2 eats a crayon but that’s nothing abnormal. They choose their food. It takes 365 days to arrive. They get hangry. Crayons are thrown. Legs are jerked. Snarls are exchanged. The pizza arrives. Cue a break down because I won’t let my children eat molten lava pizza. It cools. They eat. They eat well. Mummy and daddys food arrives. Mid pizza the icecream tantrum begins. Everyone stares. We cave. The boys have dessert. Pizza hut call in Environmental Health to de-toddler the sprinkles and syrups counter. They have a second helping. We use four hundred baby wipes, 20 napkins, and we leave. The end.

But would we have it any other way? Yes! Yes we would 🤣

The Ultimate Shopping Experience

Is there such a thing as the ultimate shopping experience once you’re a parent? With your kids, no, but without, then yes. Or is this just me being a bit cruel? Ha! My boys hate shopping, unless it is toy shopping of course, but even then it’s usually a traumatic experience. I tend to avoid shopping with my kids and the majority of my shopping is done online nowadays.

Pre-kids I used to love shopping for hours and hours, sometimes a whole twelve hours. Shopping and perusing were some of my most favourite past times. Then my little bundles of joy came along and shopping turned into more of a chore. It was a rushed process, I no longer perused in my own time, I had to be organised and be quick. The joy soon withered away regarding shopping, but the love I have for it is still there, buried but still there, and every so often it gets rekindled and I remember how much I love it.

I do, however, go shopping in a much more organised manner nowadays. My trusty lists help me. I plan which shops I need to go into, this makes it so much easier to not become overwhelmed and to lose the joy of shopping.

Comfortable shoes are also a must! There is nothing worse than going shopping and having to wince at every step you make because you’ve worn heels and your feet feel like balls of lava.

At least one coffee pit-stop is also usually required, sometimes two, and maybe even three if it’s Christmas shopping. I carry a bottle of water too, the changing rooms are often hotter than the Sahara Desert!

I also love going to the beauty counters in department stores too during my shopping trips. Nothing warms my heart more than a few samples of the latest perfumes and make-up products to trial at home. It gives you  little spurt of shopping energy too a little pick-me-up!

One of my favourite shopping centres is The Trafford Centre in Manchester, I’ve been a few times and have always had a great shopping experience there, but my shopping goal for 2017 is to visit Liverpool ONE. Its reviews are amazing (you can see what’s on in Liverpool if you’re interested here).

No matter where I shop I think my favourite time of year to shop has to be Christmas, I love the smells, the lights, the decorations, the coffee specials, and the general atmosphere. What’s your favourite time of year to shop?

Are you an organised shopper? I’d  love to know how you make sure you have the ultimate shopping experience!

#ultimateshoppingexperience

 

Your Guide To Our Top 4 Freebie Sites

Everyone loves getting something for nothing right?! I sure do, anything from a simple piece of biscuit on a taste trial in Tesco to random items through the post. I do find though that a lot of people hesitate to use online sites for freebies, figuring that there is too much hassle involved in getting started, and sometimes they are right. Other people get fed up with all the junk mail that these sites generate, in fact, does is there anybody that actually likes getting constant junk mail?

A lot of freebie sites say you have to register – also you will have to provide your address so that the freebies can be sent out to you, but what is the best way to provide the required information without signing up to a heap of junk mail or giving away too much private information? Using technology the right way an finding the right site is the secret to success.

These sites listed below are great for freebies that are actually useful, and the sites are pretty hassle free. The freebies range in use from household goods, free magazines to birthday presents. Who wouldn’t love those?!

WOW FreeStuff An easy to use site, WOW Free Stuff has over 600 freebies on offer. Five or six new ones are added every day so you will always be able to check out something new. The majority of the freebies in this site are samples, so you can get your hands on toys, eco-friendly products, shampoo and even chocolate. Toiletry samples are great, especially if you plan to travel or take a vacation somewhere in the near future. The site also has a hints and tips section which is great for understanding how to make the most of freebie offers (like setting up a second email address). They also have an app that you can sign in to that lets you check out the latest freebies wherever you happen to be.

Gumtree Gumtree Freebies is a lot like Freecycle, members who have items they want to get rid of can upload them for viewing. Do expect to trawl through a lot of rubbish first (in saying that what one person calls junk, another person may call treasure) but don’t give up too easily, if you keep searching you will see that there are some good items out there. In fact, within one day we saw a dishwasher, a trampoline and a vintage typewriter. You can be as specific as you like when it comes to location for pick up, however being too fussy might mean you miss out on a great offer. Keep an eye on the site regularly as items move fast. However, if you are after something specific you can list a ‘wanted advert’. Who knows, you might just receive contact from someone with the exact item.

Hot UK Deals Discount vouchers, competitions and freebies; Hot UK Deals has got them all! This site was set up in 2004, registration is free and anyone can sign up. You will find fun competitions, the latest top 10 hottest deals as well as deals on specific products. Hot UK Deals is definitely worth checking out. They also have a fab Facebook page if you search for them too.

P & G Everyday Think of some of the UK’s favourite brands; Bounty, Crest, Pantene. Proctor and Gamble manufacturers have them! P & G Everyday provides coupons for download and free samples for posting. You will also find informative articles and product reviews if you google them.

Do you have any go-to freebie sites? I’d love to hear what they are!

Meal Times

Who loves meal times? Not me, well I do, and I don’t. They are a lot easier now my boys are 5 and 7 though, the years before that mixed in with sensory issues, well, they were interesting lets just say. I have two children who are extreme opposites in the majority of things. I have one who is obsessively clean and likes things in order and I have another one who thrives in chaos and mess. Both have been a fun journey, and when I say fun I mean stressful. The last 7 years have been an interesting meal-time journey as I’m sure everybody else’s with kids has been too. My floor and walls have suffered immensely, as well as my sanity. I don’t think I actually miss the days of old though in regards to meal times, is that terrible of me? Well, I don’t. I don’t miss the mess, the pleading, the throwing, the tears, or the stressful cooking whilst looking after a baby and a toddler, nope I don’t miss any of that!

In our house one thing we like to do is eat our meals as a family at the table, which is much easier now to do consistently because the children eat the same times as us these days. It’s lovely all sitting together (most of the time, ok half of the time, maybe) and sharing a meal together. It’s even better when they eat it without moaning about it smelling gross or that this week they don’t like chicken any more etc etc.

I do love family meal times though, they’re quite special really aren’t they, despite how stressful they are in the build up to it. I must admit though I tend to use my slow cooker for most of our meals, throwing ingredients in and hoping for the best usually. It’s made meal preparation so much easier for us, and I wouldn’t be without it, I literally cook everything in it; spag bol, pasta bake, beef, whole chickens, stews, Mexican food, and even chocolate cake!

We also love making meal times special, and my boys love nothing more than a spontaneous tea party, or themed dinner with table decorations, but their most favourite meal is when we invite people over for tea, they get all excited and love helping with the prep. I love hosting people, and my boys do to. We love a good party here. I hope they grow up feeling the same too, and enjoy making meal times special, and being kind to others by inviting them to share a meal too.

Unfortunately though there are so many people in the world today who don’t get to eat a meal regularly, let alone share a meal with somebody, or some people eat all of the meals alone, and not out of choice.That makes me feel so sad. We really shouldn’t take forgranted that we have a house to enjoy a meal in, whether it’s at a table, on a sofa, on a floor, on the garden, or in a bedroom. And I know a lot of people, myself included, don’t have the budget to stretch to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves with hundreds of pounds etc, so here’s an idea in the video below for a way that we can help, and every little really does help.

Why not host a get together at your house, share a meal with a few friends and all chip in what you can to donate to Christian Aid? You can sign up here if you are interested.

If you choose not to sign up that’s ok, we are all free to do as we please, but please don’t take your meal times forgranted, one day those children will be too cool to be home for dinner with you, and you’ll miss them. You’ll miss the squabbles, the sly elbow nudging, the kicking under table, and the attitude problems.

Go share a meal with someone this week.

Happy meal times folks!