Anxiety, Depression and Me

First off, I'm sorry for being AWOL over the last few weeks. I have been in two minds about writing what has kept me from blogging but but I feel it is important to share.

In April, I had the panic attack which changed my life. What brought it on? I couldn't tell you. All I know it was one of the most scariest experiences of my life.

If I'm totally honest,  I had been feeling low for a while. I wasn't sleeping and would struggle to wake up in the mornings. I had no interest in socialising, finding myself making plans, knowing full well I wasn't going to go and cancel at the last minute.

I spoke to my family and decided to seek professional help, making an appointment to see my doctor. He was really understanding and talked me through my treatment options. We agreed that I would be referred to see a counsellor.

I was diagonised with depression, anxiety and low self esteem. Reading this sentence back, it seems so strange, especially as i am always considered someone who is strong, happy and outgoing. I was also concerned because i didn't want anything to affect Darcy but she has and always will be my motivation to do the best for both of us.

The hardest part of this whole experience was admitting that I was struggling. It's scary opening up to someone and sharing your deepest, personal feelings.

In a strange way, having the panic attack has actually helped me. It made me have to address my struggles. Don't get me wrong I have low days but in general I feel much better in myself and slowly things are going back to normal.
A lot of people suffer with mental health at some point in their lives.
If you are feeling stressed, anxious and not eating or sleeping well, please go and see your doctor. There is nothing wrong with feeling low and seeking help.

Coupons for Food Shopping

As much as we’d all love for the price of food shopping to come down, the truth is actually much different.  When I shop for Darcy and I, I try to have a good selection of fresh food – after all I want Darcy to have a mixed, healthy diet. This is working well because she isn’t a fussy eater – but it can be expensive!

I have always loved a bargain, so a few months ago I thought I would have a look at ways I can save on our weekly household shop, and it’s working.

One of the most effective ways to save money is by redeeming coupons on your routine shopping trips to the market. There are a lot of misunderstanding about coupons that how using them is only a waste of time or how there are no coupons that work for the brands that families usually use. I believe that every person should use coupons and that is why I am going to bust some common myths and misconceptions about using coupons.

  • You can never find a coupon for the items you are interested in; it is what a lot of people say about coupons. What I have to say is that you can even find coupons for toothpaste and shower gels not to include other basic needs. I am a frequent coupon user and I believe if you do it right, you can literally walk out of a grocery store with a couple of items for free. I just managed to get some free ASDA coupons, and managed to cut down my shopping bill by £30.

  • People also claim that there are no coupons available for non-processed foods, what they don’t know is that you can buy a jar Uncle Ben's for £1, which is originally £2.99. It is only one example. If you are a healthy living enthusiast then you would want to switch from junk and processed foods to the healthier options. There are a lot of stores like Tesco's, Sainsbury's and Morrison's that accept all kinds of coupons for their all-natural, organic food options. You can use a manufacturer’s coupon with the ones that the Whole Foods offer to save a lot of money on non-processed foods.

Another thing that a lot of people relate to using coupons is that they think it is a lot of time-consuming thing to do. It might be true to some extent. But I think the only activity that takes time is arranging your coupons and clipping them together for the next time you go shopping is worth the money it saves. I prefer doing this task of clipping while I am watching TV or listening to music. 

There are a couple of websites on the internet that can help you save a lot of time because all of their coupons are already put together.

Using coupons is a good habit for saving money and living a more frugal lifestyle.

Do you use coupons? Have any other tips to save money? Let me know! 

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Is Your Home Ready for a New Arrival?

Spring is officially sprung. And, as this is the season that’s traditionally thought of as the time the stork visits to deliver new arrivals, this post takes in some of the essential prep and planning you may need to do in your home if you’re currently expecting. Pregnancy can bring all kinds of feelings – nervousness, tiredness and a touch of terror, not to mention the sickness, but it’s likely to be a busy time of excitement for you and your partner.
You may just be settling into the groove of pregnancy and not quite ready to announce that you’re expecting or perhaps after a scan or two you’re desperate to start organising and making changes ready for the new arrival. Wherever you are right now, it’s often wise to start planning ahead as soon as you feel able to.

No matter how far off your delivery date seems right now time can really creep up on you, which is why so many new parents find themselves finishing off those odd jobs around the house or decorating once the baby has arrived! These are tasks that are made a lot more complicated to carry out when you’re working with a sleep deficit and have the constant company of a cute, vulnerable and often demanding new born. There are lots of posts out there already that give some great nursery decorating tips, so this one deals with some of the primary practicalities like deciding which room will be the nursery and making space for all the new essentials like linen, clothes, toys and furniture.

Bringing in boundaries

It’s recommended that your baby sleeps in your room with you for the first six months of their lives so that you can keep an eye on them and be prepared for the frequent feeds. This means that any furniture purchases you make will need to consider that the items won’t be taking up residence in the nursery immediately. Some people choose to purchase a beside the bed cot that acts as a safer extension of your own bed or you could opt for a freestanding cot or cotbed.
Whatever you choose, pay particular attention to sizes if you’re planning to move items between rooms. If you’re in the lucky position of having more than one spare room and you’re wondering which to turn into the nursery, you may want to take into consideration not only the shape and the size of the rooms but whether the route to them is all on one level and how easy it is to moderate the temperature within the rooms.
While it might be a little while until your baby is able to crawl, it’s worth thinking where they might start to wonder to straight away. Baby gates are a popular way of restricting movement between rooms and stairs but you may also want to think about whether you need to create any baby-free zones. If you work from home or like to have a clear spot for crafting or cooking, you might want to think about separating some space off just for you. You could keep a room free for that purpose or section off part of an existing room, using curtains or internal bi-fold doors. The latter can be a good option when you’d like a little more noise protection and can help partition larger and smaller spaces. Vufold offers options ranging from one to four doors in length.

Making space

If you’re already looking around you and wondering where you’ll store the baby’s things, now is the time for a clear out! If you’re short on storage space, invest some time in sorting through things to see what you no longer need. Along with gaining some valuable space you might come across items you can sell at a car boot sale and raise some extra cash towards any baby related purchases you need to make.
According to research carried out by the Money Advice Service, your first year as a parent can cost between £1,600 and £7,200 not including childcare. That covers things like clothing, furniture and other baby essentials. So be mindful there are some great savings to be made by buying certain things second hand or being gifted by friends and family. If you are also expecting to have a reduced income throughout your maternity period, every little bit will certainly help. Putting a budget in place might seem extreme but it should give you a good idea of where you want to splurge and where you need to save, check out Money Advice Service’s handy baby calculator to give you a headstart.

Are you making changes ready for a new arrival? Which aspects have you most enjoyed and what has you in a tizzle?

*Sponsored guest post