Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

New Chapter – I’m Moving Out!

It’s been hard to write lately, I don’t really know why. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to write about what is going on in the world at the minute, but between planning and prepping for my move and having major writers block, I just haven’t posted anything.

I am currently budgeting, planning and organising for my move in a few months. Right now I am excited about the move, but I think nearer to the move I am going to start getting nervous and a little sad. Don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to get out of Liverpool, I won’t look back at this place, however, I do have some people that mean a lot to me here and it’s going to be ridiculously hard to say goodbye to my mum. I have lived with my mum my whole life – minus a year I lived with my dad when I was 9. She has been my rock all these years, through all the shitty times, she was on my side, looking out for me.

I know most people have a hard time leaving home, home is their comfort zone, it’s all they’ve ever known and moving out for the first time is a massive step into adulthood. This home isn’t really my comfort zone however, yes my mum is here and I have made my room my safe place, my ‘safety net’ as someone once called it but this house, my stepdad, they’re not home. I need the freedom to do what I want, to roam my home without fear of repercussions. Not only do I not get on with my own stepdad, I feel like a prisoner in my own home, it’s not like I am trapped in the house with bars on the windows and a deadbolt on the door, but with my anxiety around this place, I don’t feel safe or confident around here. It’s part of the reason I am leaving Liverpool to start with.

Liverpool has been my home my whole life, I have lived in this area of Liverpool since I was 9 and before that I lived in another part of the city. It’s never felt like my home however. I feel as if I don’t fit in here, I always felt different. I never liked parties, getting dressed up on a Friday night and going into town and getting drunk, it wasn’t my idea as fun when I was younger and it still isn’t.  I am not the girly girl type, I do get spray tans, in fact the only time I apply tan is for some important event like a wedding. I do my own nails and most of the time, I don’t even bother with that. If I can get away with not wearing make-up I won’t wear it and I would so much prefer to wear a pair of jeans, hiking boots and a t-shirt with a leather jacket then skirts and dresses. I feel like there is this expectation to be like everyone else around here, like if you stand out, that is weird. Everyone around here listens to the same music, wears the same shoes and all have the same hairstyle. Where is the originality? It frustrates me that I feel as if I can’t be myself here.

I’ve spent my whole life unhappy, uncomfortable and unsettled, I want that to change, I need that to change. This move is about my health more than anything, I guess that doesn’t make complete sense, how could a move possibly solve all my problems but it’s the last thing I can do to try and get my life back on track. For a long time I didn’t even want to be alive, I would wake up in the morning and be upset that I was still here, I used to go to bed and hope I wouldn’t wake up. I am still depressed but I want to want to live. I want to smile and laugh and it be real. This move is the first thing in a long time that has given me some hope for my future. It has given me something to hope for, as sad as that may sound to some.

 

Shannon x

 

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Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

My gradual dislike for YouTube ‘Creators’

I know I am not the only person who has discussed the decline of popularity of some of the *previously* most loved and popular YouTubers, however I have some of my own opinions on these YouTubers. I started watching YouTube as a young teen, I don’t actually remember some of the first YouTube channels I was subscribed to, it is completely possible it was just a bunch of ‘Make-up Tutorials’ because I was a 12 year old girl after all. YouTube had started to become very popular for those kind of videos when I was a teen, apparently YouTube was no longer for funny cat videos (I’d take a cat video over a Jake Paul/Logan Paul video any day). YouTubers like Meredith Foster, Bethany Mota and Zoella became some of my favourite YouTubers. Flash forward to today, they’ve become some of my least favourite.

Pretty much all of my teen years were spent watching ‘Zoella’ before she ‘wrote’ her books, brought out a beauty line or homeware line. I don’t know if Zoe was always a very talented manipulator of younger viewers or whether she was once a genuine, humble, selfless young women making videos for ‘fun’. Now, I don’t know which one of those statements is true, I hope it is the second one but even the thought of her realizing she could con young viewers is just as bad to be honest. Obviously, most people who are in tune with the ‘scandals’ (if you’ve call them that) of  YouTube are probably aware that Zoe, or should I say her ‘management’ decided to charge £50 in Boots (Boots sold for the recommend retail price set by the supplier) for a 12 day advent calendar that was worth around £15. A lot of people have had a lot to say, when I saw the calendar in store myself I personally thought it was rather steep for a 12 day calendar, it’s not like it’s a Chanel beauty advent calendar after all, but when I saw videos of what was actually in the box, I was utterly shocked. I was shocked that she thought, or her management thought they could get away with charging £50 for products you could get in Poundland or Home Bargains for under £15.  Like I said I used to love her, whether it was a genuine ‘Zoella’ I loved, or my young mind looked up to her because she was so good at making you believe she was like you, I don’t know. Her videos about her fight with Anxiety and her cheating ex, related to me, so as a young naïve girl I related to her. She could have very well went through those horrible things, but now I’m wondering whether it was just an act for views, subscribers, and eventually money. I also cannot be the only person who has noticed her content has gone down hill in recent years, she doesn’t seem to put much thought into the things she posts these days, I stopped watching before Christmas 2017 because her videos became boring, unoriginal, and repetitive. I stopped watching ‘PointlessBlog’ years ago because it became painfully obvious how much of a fake he was, however it took a little longer to see it with the ‘perfect’ Zoe.

As for other YouTubers, I have to say that my subscriptions bar has gotten pretty small these days. I was coming onto YouTube, seeing a load of videos from people I no longer care to watch. One of those people who I unsubscribed to was Oli White, he is one man that I cannot stand anymore. I am pretty sure I found out about Oli many years ago through watching Joe Sugg’s videos, but in recent years Oli has become unbearable, mainly for two reasons – the excessively loud shouting in videos like he’s filming at a concert where no one can hear him and the other reason being his crappy personality.

However that is NOT the thing that pisses me off the most, surprise, surprise, it is about the prices they charge for their ‘merch’. Merch can be a great thing, it can be a way for  fans to express their feelings towards an artist. Most musical artists will have merch when you go see them at a concert, but the difference between YouTuber merch and merch at a concert is that merch at a concert is cheaper. That is INSANE to me. I pay less for a t-shirt supporting a world famous artist then a t-shirt with a few words on from a ‘famous’ YouTuber. I recently found ‘JAACKMAATE’ on YouTube and started watching his videos (more like binge watching…its not creepy, I swear) and I completely agree with ALOT he says about YouTubers, including his video about Oli White’s hoodies. I’m sorry but I could never justify myself paying £30+ for a hoodie that says ‘what is up’ on it. I know for a fact that I can get a hoodie with more detail on from BooHoo for £15. I could NEVER justify the price to my mum either. Something I have always said, as I don’t see the point in big, expensive name brand products is ‘you’re not always paying for the product, but for the name on the product’. I don’t care if your shoes are Nike and cost over £100, if they’re shit quality, they aren’t worth it just because they have the Nike name plastered on them. I know for a fact I can find good quality products for a fraction of the price name brands will sell them for. These YouTubers aren’t stupid, they know people will buy the products simply because they’ve got their logo stuck on them. Prime example is Alfies Deyes’ tops, his tops are literally plain t-shirts with a ‘PB’ logo on a small part of the t-shirt. Creative!!! Who is buying these? I wouldn’t be wasting my money on these, not for me, not for future children I may have. Nope. Nope. NO. Like with most of the world, greed is playing a big factor in the production and selling of unoriginal, boring, predictable products.

Every ‘big’ YouTuber has their own merch these days, like they’re some massive artists with TONS of talent. Now, I do agree some products brought out by YouTubers are quality products, but most YouTubers are just throwing products out that take 5 minutes to design and £5 to produce for greedy reasons. It’s not because they want to ‘share their designs and work with us’. That’s bull! They want money.

I feel like I have slammed YouTubers throughout this whole post, which I guess I have, I could have said A LOT MORE. I am not even going to touch the disappointment of the human species that are Logan and Jake Paul. Regardless of what I have said in this blog post, I do still watch some YouTubers and still do have some favourite channels including; SORTEDfood, Lindsey Hughes, Joe Sugg (just hope he doesn’t turn out like his friends), Gabriella, Laura in the Kitchen, CupcakeJemma, Emma Blackery, and JaackMaate. Looking at that list, most of those are cooking channels, oh well, they still count to me, otherwise I’d only have 4 people to watch on YouTube, which is kind of sad.

If you have an suggestions for any more YouTubers who aren’t greedy, rapists, homophobic, bland, boring, unoriginal, uneducated, vein, racist and/or sexist I would love to hear about them!

If you’d like to buy a nice hoodie, t-shirt or cute phone case and don’t fancy forking out £30 for Oli White’s products, check out Boohoo! – www.boohoo.com (not sponsored, I just love Boohoo!)

Tweet me @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Advice♥, Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

What To Know Before Getting A Dog – Breeds

For the second part of my ‘what to know before getting a dog’ series, I want to talk about breeds. Like with coats, there is a breed type that will probably be best suited to you, your lifestyle, and your living situations. If you haven’t read my first post about the different types of coat types and how to look after said coat, here is the link! –

I have owned dogs with 2 different coat types – double and smooth. The reason being that they are easy to groom at home and personally like those kinds of dogs better. I currently have a Husky and two French Bulldogs. But, being a dog groomer I have groomed all 5 types of coats and have picked up quite a few facts and opinions on most common breeds.

When we are looking to buy a dog it’s important that we know everything we possibly can about the breed. It’s also important you understand what you will need to provide for this breed.

When picking a breed, do some research, write down;

  • Prices for food and treats (more or less depending on the size of the dog),
  • Bedding, blankets and toys (is this breed bigger and there for need a big bed? is this breed known to be destructive with certain toys?)
  • Harness, collar and lead (again, depending on size of dog, prices will vary)
  • Vet bills and insurance(will they be castrated? It is also the LAW in the UK to have your dog microchipped, failure to do so can result in a fine)
  • Flea and worming medications( these have to be done monthly in most cases and the bigger the dog, the more it will cost to keep these up to date)
  • Groom costs (whether you’re going to get a groomer to groom them on a regular basis or do it yourself, you need to work out average costs for that, see my last post that I linked earlier to get the run down on coat types and grooming prices).

By doing this before buying or adopting your dog, you know an estimation of how much you are going to need to spend monthly or annually. This will give you a better idea if you’re able to financially able to afford a dog. A lot of dogs end up in shelters or being neglected because people do not realise how much dogs can be yearly. You need to be sure you are able to pay for your dogs needs. They need; food, water, blanket, grooming, flea and worming, vet checks, exercise, and attention to thrive and be healthy, happy dogs.

The next thing to think about when looking to buy a certain breed is your living situation. You need to think about these things;

  • The size of the breed – a big dog that needs plenty of space needs a bigger place to live. A flat isn’t the best option for a large dog like a Husky or Labrador.
  • Other animals – not every animal likes each over, if you own a cat or another dog, you need to think about the kind of dog you want to get. Is it suitable for a home with other animals?
  • Children – although dogs have hearts of gold most of the time, they don’t quite understand their strength or that they could hurt their new family members by being too boisterous and playing. They will see it as having fun with the children but they can easy get carried away and knock children over. So most big dogs are not always suitable for a family with babies or small children. Although, with proper training, food guarding shouldn’t be an issue, it may still be with children. So, you need to be careful with any dog around young children who don’t understand that when the dog has a treat that you shouldn’t try and grab it off him/her. However, if you’re willing to get your dog trained in the right way from a young age and you watch your younger children around the dog while he/she is eating, everything should be fine with most breeds.

The final most important thing to think about before getting your dog is your lifestyle. Everyone has different lifestyles, they work different hours, they have families or maybe they travel a lot. Here are a few things to think about;

  • Do you go away for work or on holiday a lot? If so, who will look after the dog? Have you asked a friend if they will or will you pay for a kennel stay?
  • What hours do you work? Will you gone more them 8 hours at a time? If you are, is there someone else who can check in on the dog or be home with him/her?
  • Do you have a baby or small child? Do you have the time for a dog right now?
  • Are you able to walk the dog each day? Remember some breeds need to have more exercise then others and require longer walks. Do you have the time to walk the dog each day?
  • The most important question is, do you have the time and energy to give the dog all the attention he/she needs to be a happy dog?

Each breed is different. They’re known to have different personalities, temperaments and they all look different. Meaning, you need to pick a dog best suited to all the things I have listed above. Whatever dog you do decide to take home with you, remember that they rely on you, they need you, and if possible, always adopt, don’t shop.

 

Shannon x

 

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

It’s another New Year with no resolutions

A few years ago I decided to scrap making ‘New Years Resolutions’. Mainly for the fact that I find them stupid, but other reasons include;  not keeping to them anyway, life happens, we can’t control and over organize every minute of a year to fit your resolution, it’s not possible. So, instead of telling friends all the things I want to do next year, I look back on the year I have had. I can hope for things to happen in the future, in the next year but making resolutions just usually ends up in disappointment the following New Year. Some pretty amazing things may happen next year, and I sure hope they do but with good things, bad things also happen. We have to learn to accept that we can’t control everything and that sometimes we can’t always do what we set out to do, by accepting that, we avoid the feeling of failure a little less.

Today marks the first day of 2018, it’s not really a special day, it’s just another day, another year but we live in a world obsessed with new beginnings and fresh starts, so to some, this day is something more then just a Monday. But, the truth is, we can have a fresh start on any day of the year, it doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow or in 2 weeks, it can be whenever you’re ready. Maybe these next few months are going to hard, maybe you have lost someone close to you or had an argument with a friend, but that doesn’t mean your whole year is ruined! You decide when your fresh start begins. Not a calendar. Just for today, try not worrying about the year ahead, don’t worry about what will or won’t happen and look back at the year you have had. The mistakes you have made and learned from, the days out and holidays, the achievements and accomplishments you have made this year.

Look back at the good things from the past year.

This year I have lost 2 stone with Slimming World and I bought loads of new clothes, that I can FINALLY fit into, like my new leather jacket. I went on my first holiday without family. I met my boyfriend and I made some pretty big decisions about my career and moving out. I finished my Level 2 diploma in animal care, I made a 2 tier cake for a wedding anniversary.

I’m pretty happy with everything that has happened in my life in the last year. There has been sad moments, moments filled with confusion, anger and sadness but like every other year, I got through it and I’m ready for another year of exciting things! I just don’t know what they’re going to be, and I’m actually okay with that.

What is your best memory from 2017? Let me know on twitter – @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Advice♥, MyStorys, Women; It's safe here.

Why I NEED Feminism

Anyone who is a feminist out there has their own reasons for being one. Most of the time, these reasons are similar or the same to others, but their reasoning for needing it, that’s what different, because everyone’s experiences with the things that fuel the need for feminism in the first place are different.

Feminism. Yes, it’s a word and it’s not a bad one. Yet people are stigmatized for stating they are one. Just like periods, masturbation and fetishes, feminism isn’t taboo. It isn’t about some gender being a head of another. It’s about equality, something everyone should be concerned about. Yet, feminists get a reputation for being ‘crazy, lesbian, men hating ugly women’. Isn’t it funny how, when we are talking about equality and equal rights, people have to put a label on what they think the cause is about. They don’t agree with it, so they stick a label on the cause, they stigmatize these people. For what? The hope that less people will become a feminist? Because god for bid you become a ‘crazy, man hating women’ right? Wrong, it’s not funny. Not at all.

Although the feminism movement didn’t appear till the 1960s/1970s, women have been fighting for equal rights since 1848. The first women’s conference was held in Seneca Falls, America in 1848. It was at this time that women started to realise that in order to change society they would need their own organisations to do so. But it wasn’t really until 1897 that the move for women to have a vote actually started. Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. The word ‘suffrage’ means the right to vote. She wanted a peaceful protest. She felt that any violence would persuade men that women could not be trusted. Her tactics were patience and logical arguments. She argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws: she argued that women had to pay taxes, like men, they should have the same rights as men. It was unfortunate that her progress was very slow.

She converted some of the members of the Labour party (known as the labour representation committee back then), most men thought women wouldn’t be able to understand how parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the electoral process. This made women angry, which prompted the creation of the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters.

The union became better known as the Suffragettes. The members of the suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted. The suffragettes continued fighting for the right to vote, holding protests and even getting arrested for doing so. The Cat and Mouse Act was introduced to deal with hunger strikes that where being held by jailed suffragettes. The act would allow the suffragettes to starve while in jail if they did not want to eat, they would then release the suffragettes, so the government wasn’t responsible for the death on an inmate. Once they were fit and healthy again, they were re-arrested for any reason and this process would happen again. On the 8th June 1913, Emily Wilding Davison died after stepping out in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby on the 4th June 1913. She was a member of the Suffragette movement. She was their first martyr. In 1918, women over the age of 30( who also met a property qualification) were given the right to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that all white women over the age of 21 had the right to vote.

Of course, it didn’t end there. There was a lot that still needed to be fought. For instance, the pay gap between women and men, discrimination in the work place and sexual and physical violence issues.

In 1948, The NHS was introduced, which gave everyone access to free healthcare, where as before only the insured (mainly men) would benefit. In 1974 contraceptives become available, free under the NHS.

In 1977, the first rape crisis centre opened in London.

In 1985, The Equal Pay Act allowed women to be paid the same as men for the work of equal value.

In 1994, Rape in marriages was made illegal.

What shocks me more then the years in which some of these things were legalized or made illegal is that we are still having to fight for the most basic human rights. Men still earn more then women in some job roles or in some companies. Women and men are still subjected to physical, sexual and verbal abuse by partners, little is being done about these issues. Sexual harassment is a massive issue, one that seems to get swept under the rug more often then not.

Women and men are being sexually harassed all over the world, every second of every day. If you’re in a room filled with people right now, you can bet they have been harassed at some time in their life, and most likely it was sexual harassment. It’s to common and it shouldn’t be.

I need feminism because these women fought for my freedom. They fought for my vote, my access to free contraceptives, my right to have a legal abortion, to study anything I like, to have any Job I want, to file for a divorce, to own my own property, to have my own money. Most importantly they fought for me to be my own person. To be me, not just someone’s daughter, wife or mother. They gave me the freedom and decision to be whomever I wanted to be.

I need feminism because I am a victim of sexual abuse and our country does very little for abuse victims. Schools aren’t teaching the important issues of the world, but as long as you know algebra, who needs to know about the suffragettes and what an abusive relationship looks like… right? No, they need to learn these things in high school because too many teenage boys, boys who have grown up in the 21st century still think its acceptable to smack a girl on the ass, or stare at her chest. There are people out there that think groping, cat calling, inappropriate messages and unasked for nudes are acceptable.

I need feminism because I am taught that walking alone at night, wearing a short skirt or flirting is dangerous and that I should not do those things if I do not want to get raped. I live in a world, where we sexualize children, teach teenagers what to do to not get raped and stigmatize women for living their life their own way. I live in a world where my 8 year old sister cannot take her top of at the beach, without someone telling me that it is wrong and she needs to out a top on. I live in a world where teenage boys are allowed to be young and silly. They’re allowed to be ‘boys’ but teenage girls need to careful and watch what they say and do. I live in a world where women fear walking down the street after a night out. Their heart beats faster and they start to panic when a man walks behind them in the dark. They get even more scared when that man approaches them, and he may only be asking her the time or for a lighter, but she has accepted in her head ‘this man is going to hurt me’. Why, why in 2017 is this even still possible? Why are women still living in fear? This is why I need feminism

I rejected a boy today. I was honest, I told him I didn’t have feeling for him and that I was attracted to someone else. He seemed fine about this at first, but suddenly his messages started getting meaner, he started picking at my past relationships, slut shaming me because I have talked about sex and stated I enjoyed it, I am not ashamed of that fact. Yet, he tried to make me feel like I shouldn’t talk about it openly, fuck him I thought.

So, what I took from this was, a boy who was told weeks ago of my feelings for another boy used verbal abuse to try an intimate me because he was mad at me for liking another boy or because, he wanted to make me feel bad about not liking him. It didn’t work. Neither of those reasons are okay. I respected that he may be upset but that does not mean I deserve any kind of verbal abuse for stating I did not like him, in the kindest way I could.

If I ignore a boys advances or messages, I start getting hate for it. I’ve been called a snob for ignoring a message on Instagram from someone I didn’t even know. I’ve been called a prude for not messaging back someone who sent me a nude at 1am on a Tuesday, waking me up. I have had people message me telling me I am showing a little too much of my body in pictures on Facebook. Apparently its okay for lads to pose in a mirror, flexing with no top on and caption it ‘finished my workout’ but not for a girl to post a picture in shorts and bralett captioned ‘feeling good today’. It’s the same f***ing thing!

Sexual Harassment isn’t just unwanted touching or advances. It’s all of those things I have mentioned and trust me, there are many more ways in which people are sexually harassed. It’s disgusting, we have come so far already, but we are nowhere near finished fighting for rights, for protection, for justice.

Shannon x

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

What is school all about? – BACK TO SCHOOL.

The year was 2014 and I fled my high school as soon as the teacher said ‘good luck’ to my entire year as we sat in assembly waiting for the teachers to finish babbling on about our future and how they’re a big part of our success – haha, they were jokers them lot!

As you can gather from my opener, I HATED high school. Now, it wasn’t the learning part. I liked that part, weird right? I didn’t the students or the place. If I was to do high school again, I’d have done it a little different but in the end I think my life would have lead a similar path either way. High school was a time of pain for me, my dad died, my boyfriend hurt me badly and I was bullied. It wasn’t the best time in my life, but regardless of all that, I tried my best to power through. Teachers in high school are so intense, they are always in your face about exams and how you need to apply yourself more to your work. I think sometimes they forget your a teenager. You’re crushing on the popular lad who sits in front of you in English. You’re falling in ‘love’ for the first time, you’re getting your heart broken for the first time or the third. You’re changing physically and mentally. You’re having your first period, you’re trying to figure out how to use a tampon, you’re worried that your pad is going to move during gym and you’re gunna have a Carrie moment right there in the changing rooms. Basically, you have a lot on and to top all those lovely feelings and emotions off, you’re dealing with teachers telling you what you do now will impact you’re entire future. Truth is, it won’t.

Now, I am not saying don’t turn up and pay attention. I still think learning is important. I just don’t think 15 year olds need the stress that is put on them by high school teachers. You may get crappy GCSE results or amazing results. What’s important is what you do after that. Do you give up? No. You go to college or get an apprenticeship or get a job. Those GCSE’s won’t define your future. They can be important if you want to go to a highly respected college or uni yes. But they aren’t a deal breaker. Not getting good results isn’t the end of the world. You’re 16, you shouldn’t be putting the world on your shoulders. Neither should any teacher, parent or friend.

School is about:

1. knowledge – I do not just mean algebra, I mean life lessons. Like sex ed, finances and how to live in the real world, employability lessons and lessons on getting your house and paying your own bills. You shouldn’t just be taught that condoms are to protect against STD’s and pregnancy. You should be teaching ALL students the meaning of the word NO, how to respect the opposite sex. Telling someone how to use a condom is useless if they’re just going to rape a girl at a party because they thought ‘she wanted it’. Teach them that smacking people on the ass on the street is not okay. Why is this not being taught? Why?

2. Socializing and Connecting  – I have never understood same sex schools. I think its important that boys and girls mix in their teenage years. Most of the time they will end up growing up not knowing how to act around the opposite sex. Males and Females need to connect with the opposite sex when growing up, I think its damaging when they don’t. School is a in which teenagers can talk to their friends about familiar issues, they can talk about things they’re all going through together. I once a teacher who said ‘ you come here to learn not talk to your friends’ – never hated a teacher more in my life. Right, I am here to listen to teacher talk like they’re a walking textbook for 6 hours and then be given 2 hours of homework, so after an *entertaining* day at school I can go home, do homework, have my tea and go to bed – how interesting.

3. Change – You’re 11 when you walk into that school for the first time, everyone is massive compared to you, the building is intimidating and you’ve got a bag full of stuff you probably will never need or lose by Friday, you’re in year 7. Over the course of the next 5 years, you’re going to change. The things in your bag will change, your body will change, your thoughts and opinions will change. It’s called growing up, but so much of it is done in high school. The lessons learned, the mistakes made, the embarrassing stories forever engraved in your brain. That all happens between Year 7 and Year 11.

I wouldn’t go back to high school if someone had a gun to my head. Overly dramatic? Yes. I guess I just really hated High School.

It is September 1st 2017. A new academic year starts Monday, my brothers go back to school Wednesday (thank god) and a new year of schooling begins. One brother is going into his last year of high school – without a care in the world, may I add. Another goes into Year 9 – He doesn’t seem to bothered either to be honest. Is it a boy thing? Have a good year whether your going into High School, College, Uni or your working!

Shannon x

 

 

Advice♥, Slimming World

Low Syn Snacks & Treats – Slimming World.

Since starting a diet in March I have lost two stone. I didn’t do it by not eating enough, or onlt eating fruit or not eating carbs. I did it by joining a group, one that didn’t tell me to cut major food groups out of my diet, they never tell you that you can’t have something, they simply advise you on what’s better for you and informing you on what you can eat instead of something full of calories. I thought when I started Slimming World that takeaways, treats and carbs would be wiped off the table and that I would be shouted at for even thinking about pasta or a portion of chips and curry from the chippy. I was wrong. Once a week I go to a group near me with other people who are there for the same reason as I – to lose weight the healthy way. You’re given a booklet full of information when you start, including a book that informs you on most of the food you eat on a daily basis. There are multiple sections in this book. One section tells you what fruit and veg are ‘speed’ (helps you lose weight faster), another part of the book tell you what ‘A’ and ‘B’ choices you can have each day ( I normally got for 30g cheese for my A choice and 2 pieces of Hovis 400g bread). Then there is a section in the back full of ‘syns’. Syns are things that have a high calorie count. For instance, chocolate has syns in, as well as sausages. It is recommended that you have no more then 15 syns a day if you want to lose weight, not gain. You also have a section full of ‘free’ food. Like, rice, pasta, potatos etc. So, for instance you ate a jacket potato with butter and cheese for your dinner, the potato is free, if you only use 30g cheese, that’s your A choice and for 1 teaspoon of LIGHT butter, it’s 2 syns. You can skip the butter for a syn free meal or simply minus 2 syns from your daily allowance of syns. It’s easy to follow and after a few weeks of referring back to the book and online site, which you are given a pin to when you gain, you will be able to remember the syn count for most basic foods, like butter, mayonnaise and a packet of maltsters. Some treats have more syns in than others and over the last few months I have brought together a list of snacks and treats that are low in syn but that I still really enjoy, they take away the cravings I have and stop me from binge eating and undoing all the work I have done up to now.

This is my list of low syn treats and snacks! Let me know in the comments about your favourite low syn snacks and treats.

Meringues

Possibly one of my favourite treats to have when I feel I need a little treat on a Monday evening.

Syn Count – 2 syns per nest.

Price – £1.25 at ASDA (Extra Special, 8 nests)

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Sugar Free Strawberry Jelly Sachets

I love these because they are cheap and very low in syns. There are 2 sachets in each pack and they make a lot of jelly then the premade pots you can buy, yet have the same amount of syns.

Syn Count – 1/2 per sachet.

Price – 74p at ASDA

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French Fries (Crisp)

These have always been one of my favourite crisps and luckily they aren’t the highest in syns compared to other crisps

Syn Count – 4.5 per packet.

Price – £1.45 for 6 packets at Asda.

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Cadburys Highlights (sachets, 11g)

Sometimes I get fed up with drinking tea, or diet soda and want a cup of hot chocolate. These 11g sachets are the perfect treat.

Syn Count – 2 per sachet (with water)

Price – 4 sachets for £1 at ASDA

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Fab (Lolly Ice)

Thank god there is a lolly ice out there that is easy to get a hold of and cheap. Everyone wants to enjoy a lolly ice at the beach or park with the kids on a hot day, so luckily this fab lolly ice doesn’t go over your daily syn count!

Syn Count – 4 per lolly 

Price – £1 for a box of 6 at ASDA (the birthday cake edition is about 25p more and weirdly half a syn less at 3.5 syns)

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Nutella 

I don’t know a person who doesn’t like Nutella. I mean, there must be people out there who don’t like the chocolate spread, but they’re rear. Nutella isn’t the lowest in syns but 1 tablespoon on toast or straight from the spoon is the same amount of syns as the FAB lollies and will settle your chocolate cravings.

Syn Count – 4 per tablespoon (1.5 for teaspoon) 

Price – £1.50 for 200g at ASDA 

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Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is something I only ever eat when put into something, like my peanut butter cupcakes which are NOT slimming world acceptable. Lets just say they’re only made for special occasions as a whole tub of peanut butter goes into 24 cupcakes. But, my mum does like peanut butter and like Nutella, if she is craving some will have a tablespoon on her B choice for the day.

Syn Count – 4.5 syns for 1 tablespoon (1.5 syns for 1 teaspoon)

Price – £2.58 for 340g at ASDA (the whole earth one, asda own is about 95p for 400g) 

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Aero Mouse Yogurt/Dessert

These are great for a low syn dessert or treat during the day. They are cheap and easy.

Syn Count – 4.5 syns per yogurt (59g pot)

Price – £1.40 for 4 at ASDA 

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Snack a Jacks (Caramel)

These are one of the lower syned treats on here. They are again cheap for the amount you get and you can have a few of these for the same amount of syns at are in a packet of crisp.

Syn Counts – 2.5 for each 

Price – £1.79 per packet at ASDA

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These are my picks, if you want a part two let me know below. What are your favourites? Are you also on Slimming World. Comment below or tweet me @lifeasshanx

 

Shannon x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice♥, MyStorys

10 things I wish I knew at 15

Being 15 is hard. You’re dealing with feelings you’re not yet used to having every day, you are dealing with fake friends and first love.

There are things I wish I knew at 15, if you’re 15 or nearly 15, you should know these things as well.

  1. You won’t be friends with 95% of these people when you leave, so whether you’re ‘popular’ or not, it doesn’t matter. In 5 years you won’t even remember their second names.
  2. The exam results/grades your teachers are pressuring you to get aren’t the most important thing in the world – your health is. Teacher’s say things like ‘ these tests will define your future’ but they don’t and they won’t. You’ll define your future. You have your whole life to learn.
  3. You’ll say and do things you regret. Don’t feel bad, everyone makes mistakes, all you need to remember is to learn from them.
  4. It hurts now, but it won’t forever. The person you like doesn’t like you back, your girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you, your best friend hurt you. They feel like the worst kind of pain when you’re 15 and it’s all new to you but you won’t feel like that forever. Give it time.
  5. It’s okay to say no. It’s high school and all your friends are going to parties, getting high, drinking and having sex. You aren’t any less of a person for saying no, you aren’t any less fun for not wanting to do something. Even if its as small as your boyfriend not wanting to wear a condom, if you don’t want to put yourself at risk of STDs and pregnancy but he does, say NO. It’s your right and you shouldn’t feel bad about saying the word NO.
  6. But its okay to say yes. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to wear something, wear it. If you want to say something, say it. Do what feels right to you and don’t let other peoples small minds keep you from being who you are.
  7. Don’t stand for bullies or anyone who knocks you down. If a friend is bringing you down, leave that negative person, tell them to get out of your life. High school is hard enough, you need people who support you, make you laugh and understand you in your life. Don’t let anyone make you feel worthless.
  8. Respect your family. They have their rules and you’re probably going to break them, that’s what being a teenager is all about BUT respect your mum and dad. I lost my dad at 15 and I will always feel guilty for the argument we had a few months before he got sick. Help them, let them know you’re okay, tell them you love them.
  9. Enjoy yourself. You’re only a teenager for a couple of years, soon you’ll be doing exams and picking a collage and being pressured to pick a career path but right now, you don’t need to worry about that.
  10. Smile, laugh, work hard and be hopeful. You’ll be older soon, you’ll be out of high school soon. You’ll be away from the people you don’t like, the bullies and the cliques. You will be an adult soon and it comes around faster then you would expect.
Advice♥, Uncategorized

Don’t hide behind self harm – suicide

When I was 13 I was adamant that at 16 I was going to get a job in America and move to New York. At 13, the idea of moving to another country was exciting, considering I didn’t have the best home life. However, at 13, I didn’t realize how hard it actually is to move to another country, let alone another continent. TV Shows like friends made me want to be apart of the city life in New York, bearing in mind I don’t even like the city, I am a countryside and seaside kind of girl. Half my wall was covered with pictures of New York and I knew one too many facts about the city, I guess my fantasy of jet setting off to another country came from the fact that running away from my  life at the time was all I wanted. I didn’t need to go to New York, I didn’t need to leave the country I live in, I just knew I needed to get away. I could use the excuse that I didn’t leave home at 16 on the fact that I didn’t have money, but if I really wanted to leave, I would find a way. Over the last 4 years I have grown, I have become stronger and a lot of things and people have got my through the hard times but I do credit myself a great deal for dealing with my issues. I could never sit here and say that I am the strongest because that’s not true, I still have moments of weakness now.

I don’t want to die, I did. I wanted to die, I didn’t want to live in a world without my dad, I didn’t want to live in a world where I couldn’t trust men, I didn’t want to have nightmares that he was hurting me again, I didn’t want to get hurt again. I won’t lie about my past, I did go through a dark period in my life, one where  I didn’t see a way out, it was horrible mainly because I didn’t know if I would ever get out of it and to this day I still worry that I am going to go back into one of those phases again and it terrifies me, I don’t want to be that scared, lonely girl I was, I have to just hope I am strong enough to deal with whatever comes at me. A couple years ago, I started getting over my dark phase but one thing that still carries with me from those days are my scars and the urge to hurt myself again. I started using self harm as a way to cope, it wasn’t about killing myself anymore, it become my way of dealing with a hard time in my life. I would turn to cutting myself to make myself feel better and too me that was more, is more scary then cutting my wrists to kill myself because like I said I don’t want to die, I just have gotten used to using self harm as a way of dealing with my pain. Why? I guess its a couple reasons. I blame myself, I blame myself for my past, I blame myself for my pain and the only way I can think of punishing myself is by hurting myself and causing myself pain. Luckily, I stopped. I stopped using self harm as a way of dealing with my pain, instead I started to do other things, like writing and drawing, I distract myself with other things but it doesn’t always work.

It’s like a drug, an addiction. Whenever I am feeling stressed, sad or angry my first thought is to break something and hurt myself with the glass, I rub my wrists, I stand and I cry and I think, I spend so long standing there trying to stop myself. It’s an urge to relieve the pain in my own way that I have used to years but I can’t, I can’t do that to my friends, my family, anyone in my life, I can’t hurt them anymore and its the only thing that stops me from hurting myself.

Why can’t I have use fantasies like moving to New York to deal with my pain, my life? Things aren’t as easy as it was when I was 13, 14, 15, 16, its different, its harder. I need to find a way of dealing with this pain that still can burden me to this day because I have a good life and amazing people in it, I can’t afford to lose any of it, not after I have come so far.

No, I no longer hurt myself

No, I haven’t attempted to kill myself in over a year

No, I don’t want to die

No, I no longer use self harm as a way to deal with my pain

Yes, I still think about suicide and self harm, I have my scars as a constant reminder

Please tell someone how you feel, you deserve to want to live as well.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.

  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.

  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.

  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

 

Advice♥, MyStorys

Goodbye 2016 Hello 2017

Sometimes the pain will never go away. The pain of losing a family member or the heart ache from losing someone you loved. It all hurts and I wish I could say it will go away, but sometimes it just…doesn’t. I wish I could give everyone an easy fix to heartache or death but I can’t and maybe that’s because I haven’t gotten over it yet or maybe, just maybe it’s because you never get over somethings, some people. I am not talking about a May – December romance, I am talking years of trust, comprise and commitment to one person, do you ever forget that kind of love? Do you ever hear their names after years and not feel anything? Maybe after time, you do get over it but how? Because as far as I am aware loving someone for so long, and I mean LOVING someone, you must feel something when their name is mentioned or when you see them around… that’s normal right?

I’ll never forget the people that left my life, some left not because they wanted too but because they had to and some left because they wanted too. I let some leave, as much as it killed me but I needed to let them go, but no matter what, I miss them. I miss them friends I had, not because they made me a better person or because they made me happy but for one stupid reason, they remind me of a younger me and as much as I cannot be that person anymore, sometimes it’s nice to think of a time when life was easier and simpler and the only thing that made me sad was liking someone I couldn’t have and I didn’t have anxiety and I wasn’t depressed, it was all just so much easier.

Over the years I have asked my self so many questions… Where do I go from here? What will I do? Who will I be? What will I be? Questions circled my mind for what seemed like years, ever since I left high school I haven’t known what to do with myself. High school should have been this amazing thing, but it wasn’t and I couldn’t have been out those doors any faster and to be honest the thought of school now sends shivers down my spine and makes me feel sick, I hated high school, I hated my classmates the most, not the learning part, I liked that part, I still do. I tried being a chef, but decided that wasn’t for me and that it would simply be a hobby, I tried childcare but that wasn’t for me and even though I love to write, Business Admin was definitely not for me. Finally I settled on Animal Care, but until 2016, I had no idea who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be, it was scary.

However, this year a lot of things became clearer to me, my feelings, my future, my pain. It all started to make sense, it all started to become manageable.

Earlier, I talked about love and loss, something that has been a big factor in my life since I was 14. The pain of my past hasn’t gone away after 4 long years, by now, I wished it would have, but like I said, there aren’t any quick fixes to not being in pain anymore and it sucks, it really does, but its the truth. You can read article after article about moving on and getting over someone or dealing with grieve and maybe for some they work but sometimes not even the age old saying ‘It takes time’ works because no matter how much time passes I will never get over my dad dying and I will never forget my abusive first boyfriend, or my best friend who broke my heart, when I didn’t even love him.  Loving someone can be confusing, it is confusing. But so is losing someone.

I have learnt a lot the last couple years, I am not the same person I was 4 years ago, hell, I’m not even the same person I was a year ago. Everyone says that with the new year they are going to do so many new things, most never keep to these ‘New Year Resolutions’, after 3 days it’s back to life before the 31st December, we have all done it, made unrealistic resolutions we cannot keep to, but this time last year I made a couple resolutions, the most important one; To be happy. Am I the happiest I will ever be? No, but I am happy, I am very happy. I may not have everything I want and feel the way I want too all the time, but for the most part I am happy and to me, being this happy right now is all I need and want.

This time last year I was a wreck, I actually made a show of myself at a wedding in front of someone I once liked because I was so upset, angry and confused, it wasn’t one of my finest moments, let’s just say that. This time last year, I was more confused and scared about my future then I had ever been before, although I was in college during this period and getting my grades/marks up to where they needed to be, I was worried about the upcoming year. What would it hold? What would happen to me? Would I get a job? Would I pick a career path by the time I leave college? Again, lots of questions I didn’t know how to answer. I entered 2016 not knowing what was ahead for me, I was nervous.

February 2016 rolled around pretty fast, I was leaving college, insert a very nervous and over panicked(is that a word? It is now) Shannon. I passed my exams(yay) and I left my college with more confidence and more qualifications. Although March was filled with job applications and disappointment, I finally found a career path and luckily a job, an apprenticeship actually. As of April I was working, I had made new friends, I was going out on nights out and having a good time, my life felt together, but somethings aren’t meant to be and some people aren’t meant to be in your life… who knew I wouldn’t be there longer then 6 months? August was the breaking point for me, after losing one of my best friends for a new ‘friend’ and being walked all over I had to leave, I had to run as far away from that place as I could, before I found myself not wanting to be here anymore, again. Suddenly I found myself in that place again, confused, angry and upset, a place I know very well. But I am lucky, my college tutors got me a placement nearer to home and they took me on, I guess luck is on my side… well sometimes it is.

I am still at this placement, in fact as I am writing this, we still have 104 dogs in before Christmas! Don’t worry, when you read this, I’ll be relaxing, probably being lazy in bed, not waking up till 11am, eating chocolate all day and watching TV.

But, this last year hasn’t all been about work and college, no. This year I turned 18, I wore a beautiful dress to a massive wedding, went on days out with my family, I laughed with my friends and family. I faced my fears and went to a new college! I made loads of new friends, the only downside to that is… Christmas just got a whole lot more expensive, but that’s okay. I reconnected with old family members and took a step back into my childhood, remembering my dad and our happy memories. I bought clothes and shoes that I wouldn’t normally wear, I faced my fear and built up my confidence to do something daring. I found my passion to travel, explore and have adventures again, somewhere along the line I had lost that, but I found it again and my bucket list is growing evermore.