The Benefits of being a Blogger

Today I took full advantage of being a blogger and able to work wherever I want and spent the day with my friend so that we could catch up. (In between her doing housework and getting her youngest from nursery I was able to work from the comfort of her sofa!).

We decided to fill her paddling pool up for the kids to go in after school and cool off, and to treat them all to a takeaway pizza and chips.

I’ve not felt so relaxed in ages, I really enjoyed watching Dinky play with her children. His confidence has come on so much. When my friend and I first met he would be too anxious to join in with their games and would nervously be tugging on me to either go home or for me to have to be by his side.

But today, he proved how much he has come along by happily joining in with their play and literally only coming to me for food and drinks. As you can see, they had a great time!


Nothing makes me happier than seeing a Dinky enjoying himself. For years we really struggled with his interaction and now he seems to have conquered that. I’m one happy Mumma indeed.

So, to sum up my day, I managed to:
1. Catch up with a great friend of mine.

2. Enjoy watching Dinky play and interact with other children.

3. Work from where and when I felt like it.

I’m totally getting used to this whole being your own boss thing!

How can you become a full-time blogger?

If you want to know how you can be your own boss, check out my post here on How to become a full-time blogger. I’ve also got a great giveaway ending 30/06 there too, so head over and enter!

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Big news in the Miss Pork Pie Household!

I am super excited to be able to share with you all the news that I have taken the leap and decided to become a full-time blogger! It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never thought I’d achieve, at least not for a while anyway.

It all came about because I have been really struggling to find childcare for Dinky over the summer holidays. There are plenty of people that could and would help me but I just couldn’t expect them to have him 5 days a week for the whole 6 week period. I really struggled to pull it together last summer holidays, and even on just the half term holidays I sometimes only just scraped it together.

So I went into work and asked if I could reduce my hours so that I’d be able to work in the afternoons when Dinky could go to my parent’s for a few hours. It seemed like the perfect plan. Unfortunately, my employers couldn’t offer me the hours I was after, so understandably I was told to keep my hours or resign. It really hit me hard, to be honest, I felt stupid because I’d assumed that everything would work out okay. Now though I was faced with a decision to either beg for childcare from my friends and family or to leave my job that I’d worked hard at for two years.

Dinky always comes first, that’s a given but if I can’t provide for him and support and earn money alongside Mr. Pie’s wage then what use is it being at home? So that’s where I decided to jump in feet first and become a full-time blogger. I’ve been blogging as a hobby for three years now and more recently than not my views have started rocketing, and I’ve been offered work from various brands. I’ve had to turn a few away because of working full time but I know that once I’m at it full time I can take on so much more.

I have also recently started taking on some freelance writing jobs for various people/companies, which I plan on continuing once I have finished my current job.

I am really looking forward to beginning this journey into becoming self-employed. I am going to be doing vlogs on mental health, beauty, and parenting. I also have many other ideas in the pipeline, but for now, I’d love to hear any ideas that could help me get going or even share your stories on how you became a full-time blogger.

 

Much love xx

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5 tricks you NEED to follow to successfully lose weight (and not go without your favourite foods!)

So to kick off #WeightlossWednesday I am going to share with you 5 tricks you should follow to successfully lose weight, and with the added bonus of still being able to enjoy your favourite foods!

Let’s face it we all know how to eat healthily. We all know that an apple will be better for your health than a bag of crisps, but the crisps taste better. So what if there was a way we could have best of both worlds? Well there is and I’m going to tell you how. I’ve basically taken the best and most useful bits out of every diet I’ve ever tried and popped a bit of common sense in there.

  • Drink plenty of water

This is one tip I will be pushing everyone to make sure they do. Quite often the symptoms of thirst trick the mind and body into thinking it’s hungry. So if you feel hungry, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you still feel hungry after that then it is hunger and you should eat.

Water is also the best way to keep your body hydrated, which in turn will make your skin glow, your nails longer and your hair stronger.

  • Listen to what your body wants.

When you are eating, really notice what your body is telling you. After you have established that your body is actually hungry, you need to retrain your brain and your body to realise when you’re full and need to stop eating. The best way to do this is put your cutlery down between each bite and chew slowly. Once the feeling of hunger has gone then stop eating. This may result in you eating little and often, but this is easier for your body to work off.

But remember – if you’re not sure if you’re hungry, water first, everything else comes later.

  • Everything in moderation

You’ve probably heard that a thousand times and probably hate it when someone gives you that advice but trust me, it’s the best way of losing weight and still being able to enjoy your favourite foods. Use the same principle as my last point, only eat your desired food until the feeling of hunger goes. Also remember that you should be putting nutrition into your body. Over time your body will begin to stop craving “goodies” and it will crave more of the nutrition.

Another good way of keeping things in moderation is to reward yourself for victories along your journey. For example you walked to work instead of taking the bus all week. Having one chocolate bar will not undo all of that hard work you have done to eat healthily, especially if you keep up your activity levels.

 

  • Exercise

Another thing that a lot of people don’t want to hear. People often picture exercise as countless hours in the gym on the treadmill. This is an option but exercise is any form of movement that gets your heart rate up.

As I previously mentioned, walking to work (if possible) will up your exercise massively and you will see those pounds drop off. If you’re stuck for exercising ideas I always browse Pinterest for ideas. Another site I have found inspiration from is http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/8-at-home-workouts-to-lose-weight-and-build-muscle

  • Use your common sense.

You know that a glass of coke isn’t as good for you as water, you know a chippy dinner is worse than a grilled chicken salad. What I’m saying is use your common sense when making your meal decisions. It doesn’t mean that coke and chips are banned it just means that having them more often than not is a no go.

Here are some ideas for some healthier alternatives to junk food – https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/healthy-alternatives-for-favorite-junk-foods

If you follow these simple tricks you will lose weight.

Remember to link up to #WeightlossWednesday every week to find out how everyone has done!

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£10 Debenhams Gift Card Giveaway!

I am super excited to be able to finally run my first ever giveaway!

So im just about to launch a new section of my blog that will be dedicated to fashion and “what I wore”. I thought that a great way to kick it off would be to give away a gift card for one of my lovely readers! The more you enter, the more chance you have to win!

£10 Debenhams Gift Card Give Away

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Giveaway ends on the 03/04/2017 and I will contact the winner to arrange postage. Good luck everyone!

 

Much love xxx

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How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx

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    Dinky got glasses!

    Last year at parents evening, Dinky’s teacher recommended that we take him to get his eyes tested as she had noticed his depth perception was off. She also pointed out that he has got a bit of a squint in his left eye.

    Suddenly all of Dinky’s falls, bumps and spillage made more sense. I thought he may have just been a bit of a clumsy child (I know that I certainly was!).

    So I took him to see an optician who immediately referred him to see an opthalmologist at the hospital, where they would dilate his eyes to make sure they can diagnose and treat accurately.

    I’ve got to be fair to my boy, he was an absolute angel when they administered the drops. He sat nicely by me in the waiting room and didn’t complain even once.

    The opthalmologist confirmed that the squint in his left eye was the reason for his depth perception troubles and probably the majority of any bumps and falls. We were advised that if the glasses don’t correct the squint then he may need a patch over the good eye. She wrote a prescription to take to an optician and away we went.

    As you can see, Dinky is thrilled to have glasses like Mummy and Daddy do! I’m so proud of how brave he was during the whole procedure, as he gets frightened with the new and unknown. 

    Hopefully these glasses can correct his squint and he can continue amazing me like he always does!

    Does anyone else’s child/children have a squint? Or even yourself? I’d love to hear and read your stories! Leave links in the comment section!
    Much love xx

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    The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than, Is The Person You Were Yesterday

    It’s been quite a few months since I last posted anything on here, and after talking to the lovely Nikki over at keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk, I decided to sit and write a post again!

    I’m now working full time which is amazing, I only started the hours last week, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but looking forward to almost double my part time pay at the end of the month!

    I feel like things are slowly coming together at the moment. Back at the end of last year things were pretty dark for me. I felt really poorly a lot of the time, I drank way too much and I just lived to pay the bills. Since then as you may already know we have moved. Things didn’t change too much after that, I felt a little like things were the same but in a different location.

    Then, about a month ago I’d just had enough of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve barely touched a drop of drink (apart from a few Saturday nights when I want to relax) and I decided to set myself something to work towards.

    Here are a few things I’ve planned to do/already started:

    1. I don’t currently drive so I’m aiming to be driving by the end of the year (I realise how ambitious this is!).

    2. We have a cellar, and recently our favourite wine bar (which happened to have an amazing pool table) closed, so we’ve decided to convert our cellar into a home bar. We’ve kind-of started already. We’ve managed to clear out all of the crap that was in there (I will be doing a progress post in the future so I will post photos there) and all that is left in there now is some of Mr Pie’s family’s belongings, which will hopefully be cleared soon.

    3. Continue with improving my health. Without even trying I’ve managed to lose 8.5lb since the end of March. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the only thing I have changed it that I’ve been walking Dinky to school and then to work around the corner rather than taking the bus on the school run. I can tell the difference already, and the walking wasn’t with the intention of losing weight, it was due to anxiety preventing me from wanting to travel by bus. So I’d like to continue improving my health.

    4. Keep fighting the anxiety. I recently went to the Doctors regarding my anxiety. I was having night terrors, waking up shaking, sweaty, paralysed, the lot. I get anxiety every day but normally battle through it with hyperventilation and lots of chewing gum. After a long chat with the Doctor I decided to give medication a try, a low dose of beta blocker has made me feel 1000000% better. I think just knowing that I’ve got the medication there is making me feel at ease. In 2 weeks I’ve only had to use it 3 times which I don’t think is bad at all!

    5. Blog more. Even only halfway down this first post back after months of not writing anything I feel good. Definitely need to blog more.

    So five things that I really don’t think is unachieveable, infact I’ve already started 3 of them, and I finally feel like there’s something to work towards or look forward to. I’ve had the above picture saved in my phone for months, and everytime I’ve felt a bit down looking at it has helped, even if I did nothing straight away, I do feel like I am always trying to better myself, which is never a bad thing!

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do to pull yourself out of the dark place?

    Much love xx
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    The Worst Things I’ve Been Told As A Parent

    Everyone has their own little ways of soothing, disciplining and in general just dealing with their child, and normally I say each to their own, but here are some of the most ridiculous things I’ve been told to do as a parent!

    -If your baby bites you, bite them back-
    I’m sorry but fuck off, if your baby is biting you, they are probably teething. Plus, I think taking a chunk out of your baby is classed as child abuse. Even if your child does it, and knows exactly what they’re doing, you still don’t bite your child.

    -Sleep when your baby sleeps-
    Oh Ok then, so who’s coming to do all of the housework whilst we are tucked up dreaming away? No one that’s who, now get your head out of your arse.

    -Reward bad behavior with a cuddle-
    Ok, so those exact words were not said to me, more in action form. Zak was being naughty once and after ignoring everything I said, they took it upon themselves to give him a big cuddle and kisses. Tell me where the logic is in that one.

    -Babies who have a dummy are more settled-
    Not once did Zak have a dummy and still sleeps through the night, and he has done from the age of about 8 weeks. So no, babies with dummies are not necessarily more settled. Dummies are the parent’s preference, but personally, I feel like dummies are sometimes (not always) used to just keep their child quiet when they can’t be bothered.

    -Stick some whiskey in their bottle-
    No, no, no, no, no and guess what? NO. Alcohol is poisonous to adults, hence us getting “drunk”, and you want me to give my child an alcoholic drink that is quite strong for fully grown adults? Yeah, don’t come near my child.

    What bad advice have you been given?

    Much love xx
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    Things all parents will relate to.

    A few things have been swirling around my head recently about children, especially toddlers.  Some of the things they do, and some of the things they say leave us all gob-smacked, laughing, the things you experience amidst all of the madness and sometimes most of the time, leaves you crying.

    -The inability to listen the first, second and third time you call their name…
    To which you then resort to raising your voice, and your child does not understand why you are raising your voice at them, which then leads to a strop.

    -The words “no” and “what”…
    Zak has recently really got into these words. We could be chatting, and I’ll ask him to do something and I get an immediate “no”. It shocks me every time, if I’d have done that to my parents I’d have been bollocked for it. Zak’s favourite at the minute is “what”. If I call him from another room all I hear is “WHAT?”. It really frustrates me, and no matter how many times I tell him to answer differently, he still does it. Probably because he knows it annoys me.

    -The mega cute face they find when you’re mad at them…

    The big eyes come out, the cuddles, the kisses on the face and then they bring out the cute phrase/dance/action that they know you love. How can you stay mad at that face?

    -The overwhelming feeling that no matter what, you’re not good enough…
    I get this one a lot. I constantly feel like my best isn’t good enough, I feel like I am the only one struggling to get my child to pick up the cushion he just threw for no reason, to eat his food, and to just behave in general. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not the naughtiest child out there, but I get those moments where it all becomes too much, and I wonder sometimes why I am failing this, badly.

    -Those days where you feel like a TV Mom
    I can’t be the only one who feels like this from time to time? The days where your child behaves, the house is clean (well everything is packed into bulging cupboards and it looks clean), you get everything done that you need to and you even had time to slap on some make up, and you found probably the last set of clothes without a bleach stain on them. They are great days.

    -Getting stupidly excited when another adult comes over, or you bump into someone you know
    When the only conversation you’ve had all day is about minions, farts and lollipops, when you do get the chance to have some adult conversation, you get that rush of excitement run through you. Until of course, your child gets jealous that your attention isn’t just for them and they play up. Then you end up telling them off. No wonder you don’t have much adult conversation.

    -Finally, when you’re without your kids, it’s not right
    You’ve been stressed and crazy all week, you have bags under your eyes, matted hair, you’re hungry, tired and need a long bath. You finally get that little bit of time to yourself that you have been waiting for. The moment is here and it just doesn’t feel right, you miss their little faces and weirdly miss all of the stress. You then sit there upset because all you wanted was free time and now feel like an awful, selfish person.

    Much love xx

     

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    Things I love to hate about kids and their funny ways.

    Before I had Zak I didn’t take into account a lot of the little things that happen almost daily and how I was meant to deal with them. I knew the obvious ones like “you’ll miss out on so much sleep, be changing endless nappies, wiping tears, kissing baddies” etc. I loved all of that and I still do, but here’s a rather funny list of a few things I love to hate about kids and their brains.

    Young kids cannot, nay, will not be reasoned with.

    A bit of an obvious one you may think, but not once before I had Zak did I realise this. At least once a day I try to reason with Zak, and explain why I am doing what I am/asking him to do. They cannot listen or comprehend why you’re being a “big meany”. This frustrates me. I’m not wishing his life away, but when the day comes, when I can just simply explain why something has got to happen, I shall be a very happy Mumma indeed.

    Kids will push you to your absolute limit.

    Another fairly obvious one I guess. Before I had Zak, if I saw a toddler having a strop (please don’t torch me) I honestly thought it was to do with parenting. Not in a way that the parents weren’t fit, just in a way that they didn’t know how to deal with that situation. I thought I had it all planned out.

    Nope.

    I get it now, this point takes me back to my last point, kids will not be reasoned with. Zaks first ever public strop I was just so stunned that all I could do was watch in horror as my sweet boy screamed down the chocolate isle in Morrisons. Not good. But now he knows, stropping creates attention Mummy doesn’t want. So Mummy has to either grin through grinding teeth or bribe her way out of a major strop. Kids are crafty.

    Everything goes in their mouths

    Even after teething stage, well at least it does with Zak, or he licks everything. I don’t ever remember doing this, but literally everything I have has been covered in Zaks drool at some point. His personal favourite, a shopping trolley.

    They try to imitate everything you do.

    I knew kids copied, because that’s how they learn, but I didn’t realise they would to this extent. I have some funny little habits that Zaks picked up on, like playing with my hair when I’m tired. I’m not sure if he is tired when he does it, but I definitely see him do it, and then realise I’ve been doing it. I love watching him do things like that, it’s weird thinking how easily influenced children are.

    They will break your heart almost everyday.

    This one might sound weird, and I don’t mean it in a bad way, I mean something they will do or say, and you see them developing and becoming their own unique little person, it fills me with pride and breaks my heart, knowing that everyday he seems to need me less and less.

    I could go on for hours about little things like that, but those are my main ones, and I’m sure many of you parents have noticed it too, all I know is, I wouldn’t change having Zak for the world, and I can’t wait to have more children, to see if they’re any different, and to love as much as I do Zak.

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