25 Little Things

Seeing as I’ve had quite some time off of late, I thought it would be good to have a little catch up. I recently read a post by Dorkface and loved her answers and you should totally check our her blog. She’s pretty awesome. So I thought this would be a nice way for you guys to get to know me better. I will say though, I am quite boring so trying to think of 25 little things about me has proven a bit tricky.

25 Little Things

1. I’ve only just started watching Greys Anatomy. I know! I know! I am currently watching season 3 and OMG! It’s like Ross and Rachel all over again!

2. I absolutely hate the recent weather (heatwave) and long for autumn and snow.

3. I play far too many phone games. Most of them I only play to get ‘free’ gold for my main game. I love cooking games, word and puzzle games but mostly willing to give any game a go. Unless of course it promotes the mass production of chickens or any other animal for that fact.

4. I currently feel like I have lost creativity somewhere. I think I must have lost it somewhere between the hospital in London and the stressful day job. I have tried to pick it up again since mum was discharged but it has been slow progress. It still feels a bit too much like a chore at the moment so I am just working on digital stuff to keep me going. Ive just started to use my bullet journal again so that is helping.

5. I have been wanting to set up a little business from home but I just don’t know where to begin. I have started selling a few little designs on some websites but I haven’t really published anything yet. I will do when I have a better idea of what it is I want from my business.

6. I recently went to visit my sister and her family on the Isle of Man. It is a lovely little island with some lovely beaches and we were lucky that this was just before the mad heat kicked in so it was still a pleasant few days. We had a great time catching up, trying lots of ice-cream and a lovely few meals.

Visiting Family. Copyright of Monsterful Mama

7. I have a degree in photography but I am a terrible photographer. I don’t remember half of what they taught me and it to be honest, it was a bloody expensive bit of paper. It did help me get onto the PGCE that I needed to become a teacher though, so it is not all bad.

8. Science is my jam, especially earth science. To become a teacher I had to resit my science GCSE and I loved revising for it.

9. I used to dye my hair a lot. My appearance used to be incredibly important to me. Not so much now.

10. I hate mushrooms. The smell of them, the texture, the way they look when they’ve been cooked. YUK!

11. I wrote a political thing here but decided it was probably best to keep my political views out of the blog. Just know that I hate Donald Trump and Theresa May and think that it is a joke to leave the EU. That is all you need to know.

12. I don’t do religion. If I had to label myself I’d say humanist.

13. My favourite ‘colour’ is black but secretly I love a bit of pink too. Not to wear mind, just ever since I had my little girl I am enjoying pale shades of pink more and more especially if it features super kawaii designs. SSSH! Don’t tell anyone that though, It doesn’t really go with my image.

14. I love, love, love well illustrated children’s books, even more so since becoming a teacher and a mother. Oliver Jeffers books are great and I love how they are now available in board books for toddlers! I am currently making a list of my top picture books for a blog post so I you have any to add, do let me know in the comments.

15. I once met (paid £20 to stand next to and get his autograph) Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes and other stuff. He signed a picture of himself and took a selfie of us both whilst my husband waited with his mate. It was a great day.

16. I love nap times. I often waste them browsing social media and playing those silly phone games but sometimes I like to get s**t done too. Like today, Bubba has just gone down for a nap after finally falling asleep on daddy (first time all week) and here I am, writing this post.

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Bullet Journal and Stationery. Copyright Monsterful Mama

17. I have a mild stationery addiction. I love pens. Brush pens mostly, despite having zero skill in using them. I love washi tape but again, rarely use it to its full potential. It currently just hangs up on my desk making me look mildly creative. I also love collecting (and not using) pretty note books, buying (but not reading) books about mindfulness, drawing and mum stuff. Actually this one should start with ‘I have a substantial addiction to buying stuff and not using it.’

18. My music taste seems to be stuck in the 90’s-early 00’s. I’ve tried liking current music but most of it is crap and sounds the same.

19. Despite being a crap photographer, I love putting up pictures on the walls of our house. I love coming down in the morning and being greeted by beautiful memories. It is a great way to start the day.

20. I love my little Instax printer. I love being able to print off pictures from my phone at any time and I plan to use them in a scrapbook that I am going to make for Zosia.

21. That reminds me! Everyone always asks about Zosia’s name. It is so difficult coming up with a name that you love when you’re a teacher. Then when you share it with your husband and he doesn’t like it either it can become quite a chore. When I was casually watching TV one evening after work, slobbing out like a pregnant mess (surprisingly I had not yet fallen asleep. The hubby heard a name on the telly and from that we decided that it would be her name. It means ‘Wisdom’ and originates from Poland and for those who always mispronounce it: Zosh – a.

22. I absolutely hate drinking coffee that has gone cold but love iced coffee.

23. I made most of my wedding decorations myself with the help of my BFF and sister.

24. Before Zosia, My hubby and I used to play a lot of World of Warcraft and League of Legends.  I even created our own guild with over nine hundred members. We are currently missing playing WoW and I am having to convince my hubby why we should not buy the last two expansions that we have missed, each.

25. I love swimming but hate the fuss of changing rooms, lockers, the thought of the dirty floors and water etc.

That’s it. I made it out alive I hope you did too. If you would like to know anything else drop me a question in the comments. Thanks for coming along for the ride, no matter how boring it was.

Peace and Love

Monsterful Mama

Musings Of A Tired Mummy


Why you Should be Using a Journal to Improve your Mental Health


Using a journal

When I was a kid, about eight or nine, my nan gave me my first diary. A simple weekly spread to manage the supposedly hectic life of a primary school pupil. I began to use it as a way of documenting the little things I had done during the day; woke up, brushed my teeth, watched Pokemon, annoyed little sister etc. I kept things very simple. As I grew up my diary morphed, changed. It grew with me. As I became a teenager dealing with my parents separation, puberty, first ‘loves’ and being unpopular at school, my diary became incredibly important to me. I took it everywhere. As a teen I was so angry at the world and writing all of that down helped me to process my emotions. Of course, this didn’t suddenly make me a better person. I was still a terrible daughter, sister, friend but slightly less so. I felt so very alone growing up, as I am sure we all did but my diary was the only thing I could be truly honest with. I would pour my heart out to it. No holds barred. The great thing was, it never judged me.

As I ventured into adulthood, as I began my journey into serious relationships and discovered my own ideas of womanhood, my diary changed again. I started to include pictures, memories. Growing up my diary was a place to vent, rant, a place to be angry and sad. Now it had become a place of love and happiness. I had made it a document of the good times. Naturally, being only eighteen/nineteen it didn’t last long. Yet I knew that when I was in a better place, it would be something I could look back at with a smile.

Move into my early twenties and my diary (now a proper notebook, with lined pages and referred to as a journal because that’s more grown up) it went through one of its darkest phases. The anger I had felt as a teenager was nothing compared to what was happening to my mind at this point. I had gone from updating it a few times a week to writing in it daily, sometimes several times a day. I would write page after page about how low I was, what (or who) was causing it. It was a very negative place. I knew this would not be a thing that I would want to look back on. It often took me into a darker place as I became overwhelmed with emotions and as I processed the person I was becoming, hurtful, unfaithful, nasty. I no longer recognised myself. However, being able to express myself through writing, during this darkest phase is probably what saved my life.

The journey to recovery was not easy. It took years. A part of that recovery was during an emotionally abusive relationship where I allowed him to strip me back, to break me down and uncover this horrible woman I had become until I was no longer that person and unfortunately, I was no longer a version of me that I recognised. Despite of all that, it was writing at this point which allowed me to re-evaluate who I was and who I wanted to be. At my lowest point, it was my diary that was my salvation.

Then I met my hubby, my light at the end of the tunnel, my knight in shining armour. It wasn’t long before I didn’t need to write things down. I didn’t feel like I needed to furiously scribble down every emotion or vet the things I wanted to say. I could be myself again. Slowly (although he may not realise it) he allowed me to rebuild myself as the person I am today. After a while, I no longer needed the diary and I stopped writing. This isn’t a negative thing. Not needing to write has been refreshing after so long. I still write today but not because I need to. I write because I want to. I write to keep myself and my family organised and to process events out of my control. I write to vent things around the world that upset me but it is no longer so personal. But why did I start in the first place? Why did I feel that need, the need that at points felt so desperate? Personally, I think it was out of frustration, desperation and possible even self-preservation. To save my sanity, to minimise damage.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” – Oscar Wilde

Keeping a diary or a journal to document the good, bad and the ugly is no new thing. As early as human kind could write, they would document their daily life, the things they had learnt, seen, done etc. There is research from the University of Lancaster that suggests keeping a journal of your experiences can help keep your mind healthier as you get older. Expressive writing can be a way to get a clear perspective as you take time to reflect on something. It stops to obsessive loops we can get ourselves into when dealing with negative situations. It can make us happier and more successful. With this in mind I have come up with some of the benefits of keeping a journal and why you should be using expressive writing to help improve your mental well-being.

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Setting Goals. Copyright of Monsterful Mama

1. It Doesn’t Have to be Articulate:

It doesn’t matter if the spellings are correct or the grammar is perfect. Nobody is going to read it but you, and even you don’t have to read it once you’ve finished it. It doesn’t have to even make sense so long as it allows you to deal with things in your own time. You could try making a mind map if that helps you.

2. Offload the Negative:

You can use it as a brain dump, a way to empty out all of the negative stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. You are quite literally just offloading some of the things that you either don’t have time to deal with or the things that need more of your attention. You can write the basics down for now and move on. Come back to it when you are ready to deal with it.

3. No Regrets:

Too often do we react on impulse to a negative situation and too often do we fell like crap after. We know we have said things we now regret and we continue to let the loop go round and round in our head. By writing it down, you can say all the things that are bothering you without fear of repercussion and free from the worry of upsetting someone. Once you have all of that out of your system you have time to re-evaluate the situation and approach it in a calm manner. Pouring your heart out on paper can help you to form rational responses to negativity.

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Reviewing the good. Copyright of Monsterful Mama

4. Don’t Just Focus on the Negative:

The process of writing things down, doesn’t have to be solely about the negativity in your life. I use a bullet journal to not only help organise my life but to help me regain control. Yes, there are times when you need to offload the negative but there are also times when you need to remind yourself of the positive. I have often kept a page in my journal to help me focus on the things I am thankful for and keeping a gratitude log is a great way to help you can a little perspective. I made a page about all the things I love about my husband so that I can focus on that when he is driving me mad.

5. Change a Habit of a Lifetime:

You can use your journal as a way to help change some of those habits which are leading to these negative emotions. Tracking habits and moods allows you to see what it is holding you back and means you can find ways to help you move on. Whether you are tracking how many times in a month you have exercised or how many days you have felt sad, you will be able to see what is happening and hopefully address any triggers.

6. Achieve your Goals:

By using a tracker like above, you can begin to work on achieving your goals. Documenting what you want to achieve, whether it be today, this week, this year or even in your lifetime is a great way to help you to actually achieve your goals. Writing the goals down makes them real and thus you feel more accountable for them. Achieving the goals you set yourself allows you to feel more successful, no matter how small the goal was.

Goals to work towards. Copyright of Monsterful Mama

7. Unleash your Creative Side:

Writing of any kind is a creative outlet, but why stop there? Using a bullet journal is not just a better way to get organised or even to improve your mental health but it is a great way to brush up on other creative skills. I am not just talking about our drawing or painting etc. We also begin to learn a more creative approach to dealing with the pain, disappointment and difficult relationships. Plus you can have a good doodle.

8. Because it Feels Good:

Using expressive writing to help us process life can really make us happier and achieve positivity in our lives. As we go on this journey of self-discovery we can begin our personal transformation. We can manage stress better, we have a feeling of fullfilment. The less stressed we are, the happier we are. The happier we are, the better our mental health is. The better our mental health, the more successful we can be. It sounds quite obvious when you put it like that.

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Inspirational Quote. Copyright of Monsterful Mama

I am by no means an expert on this topic. I am merely sharing what has worked for me in the hope that it can help you. We all know that improving our mental health in todays often chaotic and stressful world is so important. If you ever feel like life is just too much to bare please remember that there are a number of channels out there willing to help you through the dark days. You are not alone. Nor do you have to suffer alone.

If you have any other tips to help with expressive writing or keeping a journal, or if you have used this method to help you during a difficult time, let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,
Peace and Love

Monsterful Mama

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Musings Of A Tired Mummy