Saturday, 18 April 2015

18.04.2015 | This isn't an apology's been a while. 

My last post was on the 18th March....

I'm not going to apologise for the gap though and I'm not going to say that it won't happen again! I have missed you all and I've missed writing but sometimes you just need to have some time out. I'd gotten to the point where I was seeing writing posts as a chore and I never wanted it to be like that. 

Maybe you could see it in the posts? 

Who knows?

Either way I'm back, sort of :)

How have you all been? Have you been enjoying the weather? 

I haven't decided if I'm going to continue doing themes on a set schedule as I feel I lost some of myself in them and although I have a plan for them I think I'm going to roll with some spontaneity instead, how does that sound?

Our garden has been changing a lot over these weeks so I've added a picture below for you to compare to the January ones :)

I hope you're all having a good weekend and I shall see you in the future!

Make your own choices,

Toodlepip x

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

March Mindset | What comes up must come down

Happy Hump Day my Leaves :)

How's your week been so far?

Today is the final sayings/ quotes post for March Mindset!

Now, I don't mean this to be taken in a pessimistic way but more as a prompt that things change all the time. Almost as a reality check. When I was on medication I didn't have this change in mood, I was pretty numb all throughout. It was only when I finished it that I began to experience these mood changes and view them in a new light.

Yes you can feel amazing one day and bad the next but this is just you being you. I'm learning to appreciate the lows as much as the highs. I wouldn't appreciate the highs in life as much as I do now if I didn't have the lows as a comparison.

So, next time you're feeling a bit low just remember that it's a sign that you've had some pretty good highs lately and take the chance to reflect on what's made you happy :)

I hope this post made sense, I left the most challenging to explain last ^^, as always if you have your own meanings that you take from this then feel free to share them below but stay positive please :)

Make your own choices my leaves.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

March Mindset | If it's meant to be, it will be

Good Evening my Leaves how has your weekend been?

Again no weekly update this week, I just don't seem to have the time free from Wednesdays but I promise to update you if anything special happens! :)

It's Mother's Day here in the UK so I've spent the day relaxing with my mum and generally taking it easy :)

Today's post is my third 'sayings' post. Again, I'm not too sure if this counts as a saying but I like it :)

If it's meant to be, it will be.

Now straight away I'm sure you have already thought of a situation that you would apply this saying to. Be it exams, relationships, a job interview or something else this saying can be applied.

I love this saying but have great difficulty having faith in it most days as I like to have control of situations as opposed to letting them just happen. From a mental health side I say this a lot when I'm feeling the anxiety or low mood rising. I remind myself that not everything can be controlled and you just have to let them take their course.

This tends to reduce my anxiety in a situation and helps me to ride out the low mood because I know it will be over soon and I'll feel more myself again :)

Do you use this saying? What situations do you find that it helps in?

Make your own choices my leaves.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

March Mindset | Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Good Evening my Leaves and happy Hump Day!

This week is flying by! how's it treating you?

Today's post is the second saying that I am particularly enjoying during March Mindset!

"Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
(Dr Seuss)

I tend to focus on the last part of this quote but I think as a whole quote it's a good mindset to have. It reminds me not to focus as much on what other people think but instead, to be as much of myself as I can. 

I find it a good test of seeing who your true friends are too as 'those that matter don't mind' your quirky moments or outbursts. They accept you for you, through and through :)

It's not healthy to bottle in your essence and feelings so I invite you all to share this quote far and wide but remember to be true to yourself :D

Make your own choices my leaves.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

March Mindset | Ways to stay positive

Good Evening my Leaves,

Happy Sunday! 

I wanted to start today's post by apologising for the lack of weekly update this week. I had my second appointment with the counsellor and left me with a headache and much to chew on, to the point where I didn't feel perky enough for a weekly update. I'm feeling much better now and have had a nice gentle weekend to calm my mind!

Today's post ties into it all quite nicely as its where I share my tips on staying positive :) I hope you enjoy them :) feel free to share your own too!

1. Visual Motivation

You've seen my desk with various inspirations on it. At the moment it is full of notes of the little things that make me smile. This is exactly what I need each day I get home and its one of the first things I see when I wake up too so it sets me up for a happy day :)

2. Focus on the positives

Make a list of what has gone well each day. No 'ifs' or 'buts' just the positives. Reminding yourself of these will help you to continue drawing positives and eventually you won't need to make a point of writing them down to be able to reflect on them.

3. Goals and Rewards

It may sound like a strange one but I find that having something to work towards keeps me positive. By having goals you get a boost when you achieve them. I set myself goals in order to justify buying something I usually would pass over but know that I want. For this laptop I had to get to a savings goal and now every time I use it I'm reminded that I can achieve things if I set my mind to it :)

These are just a few things I do to keep positive. Is there anything that you do?

Make your own choices my leaves.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

March Mindset | Make your own choices

Happy hump day my leaves!

How are you all today?

Today we kick off March Mindset with one of my favourite sayings and what I take from it. You may take something different from it, let me know in the comments :)

Make Your Own Choices

Sounds fairly instructive doesn't it? This is a very simple statement but it holds a lot of power. I went through a phase a few years ago where I almost became afraid of making decisions in case they were wrong. As a result I wasn't happy with who I was and how indecisive I had become.

Make your own choices reminds me that it's OK to be wrong. It's OK to fail. Its not OK to go along with other people's decisions simply because it is easier. If you genuinely want to do the same thing that's fine but don't go being someone you don't want to be. Its not good for your help and it actually increased my anxiety when I thought it would reduce it. I'm still a way from the person I want to be but I'm making progress and this sentence is really helping.

At the end of the day, you were born with a brain capable of thinking for itself, so, go use it :)

Make your own choices my leaves.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

March Mindset | The Overview

Hello my darling buds,

How has your February been? Are we ready for March?

New month means new theme so, welcome to:

March Mindset

As you're all aware by now, I see a counsellor for my depression and anxiety. So far, on this round, I've had one session. I didn't find it terribly successful but that is partly due to my pessimistic mindset. It takes two in this situation to get better so I've been working on being more open minded to it working this time round. This month I'm going to share some of things that help me to achieve this and keep working towards a lighter mind.

These posts will include:

Visual motivation
Things I do
Sayings and what I take from them

I hope you find it even a fraction as enlightening as I do.

Enjoy your Sunday and have a good week!

Make your own choices

Toodlepip x

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Weekly Update | 27.02.2015

Good Evening my Leaves,

How has your week been? I have found that it has flown by for me and I can't believe we're at the weekend again already!

This week has been very successful. I had a big panic attack on Saturday morning but since then I have been blissfully free from anxiety! :) I had a friend from the North visit and it was great to spend time catching up! Its made me realise that I don't want to stay down here all my life and will probably move about a lot until I find the place that feels right.

I've been a bit crafty again this week after realising that listing things that make me happy actually made me feel happier.

My desk is now covered in little things that bring a smile every time I see them :)

Aside from that I've been exercising and trying to eat a little cleaner, I came very close to my mid goal weight a few weeks ago and am making another push at it!

How has your week been? Do you have plans for the weekend?

See you on Sunday for March's theme :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Monthly Favourites | February 2015

My leaves, we've made it through a sixth of the year! Ahhhhh :)

With the end of another month it's time to share my favourites for the last few weeks, though it feels like I was writing January's yesterday!

1. Being a little silly

Because sometimes you just need time to unwind and realise just how much you've accomplished. I decided to relax this month by making balloon animals (a secret Santa gift) with my friends. We had a great time and it was nice to do something a little different. The image on the right became a giraffe with a lion's mane but was initially supposed to be a flower...

2. Naked 3 palette

I know I don't tend to feature make up due to my eczema but this Naked palette hasn't irritated my skin so far so its getting a mention :) The range of colours really suit me, I think, and they're pretty lasting considering I haven't found an eye primer I can use yet!

3. Flowers

With so many people I know having weddings this year and with Valentine's day this month I feel as though I have been surrounded by flowers! The question of favourite flowers came up quite a lot and I have decided on Gerberas :) They're just so colourful and 'happy'. I saw this bouquet mixed with roses and immediately fell in love, I'm not usually a roses person but they work very well in this arrangement! What's your favourite flower?

4. Food

Or more specifically, a Chez salad ^^. This delightfully filling dish consists of: Tuna, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Beetroot and a little salad cream/mayonnaise. Its very easy to make and doesn't taste as healthy for you as it is (if you don't have the dressing) the beetroot vinegar works quite well as a replacement if you want a fully healthy meal :)

5. Ice Skating

I mentioned this is in my health update but I really enjoyed ice skating this month. Not just for the test in overcoming anxiety but it felt good too! Its nice and refreshing to feel the air run through you as you glide/ stumble around the rink :) If you haven't been yet this year, I urge you to give it a go :)

So, what have you enjoyed this month? Is there anything I need to try out? :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

February 2015 | Health and Self Development Update

Good Evening my Leaves and welcome to February’s monthly update :)

How has February treated you? I’ve had a very mixed month but I also feel like I’ve achieved quite a bit too and I shall share that with you today.

A New Sport

Karate has been going very well lately, I’ve been particularly enjoying the meditational sessions too as they have been giving me tools to use when I need to quiet my mind and I’m starting to feel the benefits of this. The terminology and when to move is still quite a challenge but for month two, its progress in the right direction :)

Belly Dance has also been going well but I’m not sure if the course is quite the right fit for me. I enjoy the people around me and the routines that we’re learning but there can be a few frustrating moments where I can see more time needs to spent but isn’t. I think its part of being a returnee instead of a beginner that I can see these things and how its affecting the other learners but, for now, its good exercise so I will finish the course out! :)

A New Language

Dutch is really starting to come along now. I reviewed ‘uTalk’ a few weeks back now and have now completed, to my own level, 1 of the 35 topics available. I’ve taken to writing the phrases and words on a whiteboard and then I can take them to the kitchen when I’m cooking and keep practicing. Its still something I’m enjoying and I’m currently trying to decide which topic to do next :D

A New Instrument

There has been very little progression this month with drumming. I’m finding it harder to self motivate as I don’t have a set time when I learn a rhythm or other people to motivate me. I’m still very interested in learning but it has taken a back seat this month. I’ve been eyeing my guitar lately too and think that I could start to learn that too as I have the actual instrument but its drumming that has my heart.

Mental Health

Eurgh, where to start with this one?! I’ve had my first appointment now with the therapist. It was essentially the initial consultation where they try to discover every inch of your life in 40 minutes and then assume they have everything. I know that a limit of 6 sessions means that they can’t spend all their time on discovery but I felt very frustrated after as I hadn’t been given the chance to speak freely it was just a lot of question and answer talk. The session ended with them once again recommending CBT. I’m not saying that it isn’t an effective method but it is simply there to give you coping mechanisms. I’m not just looking for coping mechanisms. I want to get to the root of the problem so that I can get out of this circle. I have another appointment soon so we shall see how that goes. I’ve had a lot of anxiety lately partly due to a lot of change and additional stresses but these are being resolved so I’m hoping for a much calmer March

Looking at the positives I have achieved quite a lot this month; I’ve been to the cinema (after two years avoiding it), I’ve eaten out a few times with minimal hiccups, I’ve gone to places where I can’t always take my bag (security blanket) and I’ve been a lot more honest in how I’m feeling which has helped those around me too. I am aware that I have a long way to go but I’m definitely seeing the progress.


I mentioned the ab workout video in Friday’s weekly update so you know that I’m still finding challenges to do! I have actually gained weight overall this month which has annoyed me as I was very close to a stage goal but, I think this could possibly be muscle gain so I can’t grumble too much! :) Me and my Fitbit made it to 10,000 steps on a walk this weekend too which is the first time this year I’ve completed that step goal. I realise this is what you are supposed to achieve everyday but little steps people!

How has your month been? Are you still keeping to your resolutions? 

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Weekly Update | 20.02.2015

Happy Friday!

How have you been this week my Leaves? :)

I went ice skating at the weekend and I didn't ache! Yay! I also didn't fall! Yay, again!

This week has been fairly productive and I've managed to keep a decent handle on my anxiety despite being ill at the beginning of the week. As far as I'm concerned that makes this week a success!

I've also stumbled across a video that has given me a fitness goal to strive towards:

Uptown Abs Workout

You've probably seen it before but let me tell you it looks easier than reality xD I can get to a minute in before I collapse! I want to be able to do the whole song by Easter hopefully! How do you fare against it?

I've got a weekend of catching up with people this weekend so sadly it will pass far too quickly but, I hope you all make the most of your weekend and... Enjoy it :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | Compliments

Good Evening my Leaves, Happy Wednesday!

Today's post is a request for opinions. I want to know what you all think about compliments. Yep, sounds a little strange, I know, but I shall explain :)

Compliments unsettle me.

There are very few people that I trust when they pay me a compliment. I don't know why but I always feel ruffled by them. They're nice, don't get me wrong, and I like recognition but compliments just seem strange.

I think it depends on the topic. If I'm complimented on something I've achieved or done at work I like the recognition but not the action, does that make any sense? I'd rather an email or note I suppose. If its in front of other people I go bright red and wish the earth would swallow me up. If its regarding my appearance there are very few people I wouldn't feel awkward to accept them from.

I always assume there is an ulterior motive but a lot of the time there isn't. I've improved over time and am much better at receiving them now but there's a ways to go yet ^^,

My questions to you then are:

1. How do you feel about compliments?
2. How do you respond to them / are there certain ones that make you act differently?

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | Respect Yourself

Happy Sunday my leaves,

How are you all today?

Did you have a good weekend? I had a great Saturday but feel a little off today so I'm having a Duvet and movie day :)

Today's post is all about respecting yourself. It's what makes you, you. 

I see so many people not liking who they are when they're around certain people and personally I think it comes down to our own image of ourself. If we don't respect ourself then we won't act like ourself, in turn we probably won't like ourself.

I guess today is less a post and more a note. 

Go out there and make decisions for yourself. Think a little less about what people want from you and focus on what you want.

If you don't know what you want then make a list of what you enjoy and who you aspire to be. Make steps to get yourself there and go for it :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Weekly Update | 13.02.2015

Good Evening my Leaves and HAPPY FRIDAYYYYY!!

It's been one of those weeks that has started off like I'm living in a nightmare but has ended with me making up dance routines to +Disturbed ^^

How has your week been?

I hope you've been enjoying the 'relationship' posts that I've been releasing :) I've tried to make them nice and light hearted because the last thing you all want to see is a post making 'being single/in a relationship' the dream ^^.

I spent my weekend doing some volunteering helping to redecorate a community spot, it was great fun and I met quite a few people without going all 'anxious Chez' on them :)

I've also been slowly experimenting with make up again and sadly an allergic reaction today :( Not stopping me from wearing Chubby sticks though! :D

Here's to a good weekend with much more dancing :D

Stay safe & enjoy your weekend!

Make your own choices!

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | It's OK to be single

Happy Wednesday my friendlings :) How are we all?

Did you enjoy Sunday's post? It certainly gave me a chuckle to write :)

Today is all about being single... in a good way! Not a mopey way!

I feel like the media and society put a lot of pressure on needing to be a relationship so this post is to let you know that you can do whatever you want. :) seriously!

Relationships aren't happy if you're not happy so don't feel like you can't say 'no' unless you want to :)

I've made another little list of what being single means to me, again you can add your own things to this if you wish :)

Being single (to me) means...

Not having to consider another person when you're planning to go somewhere.
Being able to choose your car music whenever you want :)
Being able to wear high heels (in cases where your beau is a close height to you)
General freedom to do whatever you please :)

Anything to add?

Enjoy the rest of your week and I shall see you on Friday!

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | Pro's & Con's of a relationship (light-hearted)

Hello my leaves, how are you today?

This post is number 100!! And to mark it a little more I've just hit 6,000 views :) I can't thank you guys enough! This blog started as a little something and I can't believe where we're at :) I know it's not the big leagues but it still makes me happy!

Anyway, to the post!

Today I wanted to talk about the pro's and con's of relationships. Valentine's Day is looming and I don't want you to feel like you have to be seeking a relationship or accepting the first person to ask. So, I've divised a few little (not to be taken too seriously) things to note prior to making your decision. This post is to be taken lightly and not as if I'm a guru ^^,

1. Bed

Pro's: Portable heater to help warm the bed.
Extra pair of hands to help strip and make the bed.
Someone available to hug and snug at any time (unless they're asleep, then it's at your own risk).

Con's: Portable heater when you're too hot already.
Less space in the bed.
Duvet stealers!
Less choice in which bed covers you choose.

2. Food

Pro's: Extra person to help cook (or cook for you).
Help with the food bill.
No needing to work out how to 'downsize' measurements to one portion.
Someone to eat out with and not have the awkward 'table for 1' scenario.

Con's: Another set of taste buds to account for.
Someone else to persuade you to get takeaways...

3. TV

Pro's: Someone to act as cushion for scary films.
More likely to watch a wider variety of programmes.
Two sets of funds = bigger TV/ satellite?

Con's: arguments over who gets to watch and who has to record their show.
Games console time.
Endless complaints of you watching drivel when they want to watch something.

4. Company

Pro's: Someone there to cheer you up / give a hug when you're down.
Little treats such as breakfast in bed / flowers.
Help raising pets / children.
Personal cheerleader when they know how hard you've worked to achieve something (also your motivator when you want to achieve something).
Someone to share common interests with.
Someone to have private jokes with.
Someone to dance with in the rain and other spur of the moment times.
Someone to play games with e.g. pool, xbox, board games, cards.

Con's: The feeling that you're leaving part of you at home when you go out with other people.
They see every side of you.
That point where it's comfortable to have body functions in company e.g. wind, shaving, toilet...
Less opportunity to have time to yourself, by yourself.

And there we have it! Feel free to add more in the comments, I'm sure I haven't covered everything! Make sure to try and have a pro for every con too, let's not make this a negative spiral :)

Make your own choices!

Toodlepip x

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Friday, 6 February 2015

Weekly Update | 06.02.2015

Good Evening my leaves,

How are we all doing today? How has your week been?

I've got the rugby on in the background as I type this, how on earth they can hear each other play over the shouting is lost on me! Then again, I can't really explain any of the rules either so...

This week has seen a variety of weather's including snow!

I've had a knackering week to the point where I believe I'm now running on fumes just to stay awake!  It's been very productive though and I've certainly had lots of fun! I think everyone at my work has been feeling the same as emotions have been running much higher than usual. Hopefully I will have enough time to recuperate this weekend, in between decorating and housework, so will be fine and fresh by Monday!

Anyhoo, I shall see you all on Sunday for my 100th post!!! I can't believe we will be at 100 already! It only feels like yesterday that I was typing my 10th :)! 

Have a lovely weekend, stay safe and make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | Good Friends

Happy Wednesday my leaves :)

How is your hump day going?

Today's post is all about Good Friends. I mean the ones that you can not see for ages and then when you catch up with them its as if there was no break :) The ones where you can just sit and do something normal like watch TV and be comfortable in each others presence. The ones where you don't feel like you have to talk the entire time yet you'll know how the other is.

Do you have a few faces popping into your head?

I wanted to give them a special mention because you never really realise just how much those relationships mean to you until you're no longer in the vicinity of them. They say that you make over 300 friendships-ish in your lifetime but only 30-40 will be longstanding, if that. I can count my good friends on my hands and I'm content with that!

A year ago I was asked to be Best (wo)man at my close friends' wedding (this Autumn). I have known the groom for over twenty years and the bride for over ten. As best man its one of my duties to write a speech about the groom. How on earth do you describe all the feelings you have about the good nature of someone? How do you select the 'best bits' of such a long standing relationship?

I don't think I have the words to express how happy being friends with these two has made me. They're both realistic and honest people and they've always made the most of any time we had free to catch up. Together they are opposites but they complement each other's personality really well. Maybe this is what I need to say in the speech, its practically writing itself in this post ^^.

I know that I don't give my good friends as much time as I could but we all know that our lives are getting more and more busy as we grow up.  I guess it's true when people say it's about quality not quantity :)

Anyhoo, I hope you can identify these friends too. If you haven't caught up with them for a while then just send them a quick email, text or card to let them know that you're still there. It's amazing what the little gestures can do to someone's day :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

February Flames & Friendships | Overview

Hey hey we've made it to February!

I hope you all had a lovely January my leaves and that any resolutions you made are going well!

Today I wanted to give you an overview of what's to come in February as you seemed to like that I did that for January. So without further a do let me introduce the theme:

As we all know February gets drowned in pinks, reds hearts and soppy declarations of love for Valentine's Day. With that in mind I decided to focus on relationships (& non-relationships) for the month.

This month we will cover:

Pro's and Con's of relationships
Why being single is OK
Good Friendships
Having a little respect
& one of my awkward topics ^^,

I hope you all enjoy this month and feel free to let me know what you think of this theme and your opinion on Valentine's Day and it's lead up :)

Make your own choices

Toodlepip x

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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Monthly Favourites | January 2015

Hello my leaves :)

I'm back again!

Seriously beginning to feel like a yo yo with all these posts! :)

Once again we have reached the point in the month where I share a few things that have made me happy this month :)

1. uTalk

A recent discovery from a review from this app is fast becoming a go to when I can't sit in front of the TV any longer! I'm very slowly learning Dutch at present and its starting to come together. I can count to ten (almost) and am learning the key 'starter words' too :) If you want to explore the app then click the link here.

2. Blankets

Hehe, Chez is clearly going through hibernation at the moment ^^, It all started with adding a blanket to my bed set so that I didn't have to invest into a higher tog duvet for winter. It then became something that wrapped around me whilst getting ready for the day. Eventually it became something that didn't leave my side unless I left the house... I really do think that everyone should have a blanket :P this little number was £10 from a supermarket a few years ago and it still has lots of life! :)

3. My iPod

For those days when you just want to dance/get the cleaning done! My iPod has been my lifesaver. I think it's something I always overlook  but I don't know how I would go about my day sometimes without music in my hand! My phone doesn't have the capacity to hold the variety I like so this little purple device is perfect :)

4. Monster Jumper

Yep. This fleecy Jumper has been my go to every time I've felt the chill! I bought it a few years ago from REEF in Lancaster (I think this shop has since closed :( ) and I can honestly say that it lasts very well! Who says that growing old means growing up? :D

5.  Now TV

Can you guess the above show?
With all the time off and the dark, cold nights, I've been looking for something to distract me. Now TV has quite a selection of programmes to watch and it also covers a few Sky channels so I should be able to watch Game Of Thrones when it returns :) yay!

And that's a wrap! Let me know in the comments below what you have enjoyed this month :) 

Don't forget there's still time to win premium access to the language of your choice on uTalk too so get commenting :)

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Friday, 30 January 2015

Weekly Update | 30.01.2015


How has this week been for you all?

My work week has been stressful but my 'outside of work' week has been lovely :)

This week I attended my second belly dance class down south, it was much closer to what I'm used to and I got to learn a new move which is always exciting! I'm slowly starting to get to know everyone too so that's a perk on the 'being social' side of things :D 

My anxiety hasn't behaved one bit this week but I'm refusing to let it stop me and have been pushing through, no doubt I will snap at some point but I'm trying to find that point! Have you seen the new video by +JacksGap ? It's about Mental Health and it makes me happy to see people with louder voices help us to be heard!

I've also been amazed at your support once again! The comments you have been leaving have been like little warm fuzzies that give me tiny hugs, something I've been in need of this week! I'm glad you're enjoying my posts and that some of you are feeling a benefit from them :) I'm very slowly picking up a life on twitter and other networks and all those links should now be on the right *crosses fingers* for you :)

All that and I forgot to cross my fingers...

For those of you that missed Wednesday's post I have some very exciting news! I have a tool to help me learn Dutch! I reviewed uTalk on Wednesday and I have to be honest, I really enjoyed it :) It's as though you are learning languages whilst playing games and looking at pictures :) My mum also got involved and now I fear we will be fighting for time and which language to learn next xD There are over 100 languages for you to choose from AND the company (eurotalk) have kindly said that I can give codes to three lucky readers for the Premium package of their language choice. All you have to do is comment on this post or the Wednesday one and tell me which language you would like to learn and why :) Easy peasy lemon squeezee (is that right?)

Anyhoo, enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

Make your own choices.

Toodlepip x

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Learning a New Language | Introducing... uTalk

My Leaves! I know I have been yammering away about learning a new language for a while now, but I have made a lovely discovery!

The phone app to teach and support you with learning your next language. I came across the app on 'bloggersrequired' and saw that I could provide the company with a review* and learn a language at the same time, personally I think I'm the one with more to gain from all this! As always opinions are my own, you may have a different opinion on the product but don't knock it until you've tried it! :)


The Basics

You have the option of three packs for each language (All languages are accessible regardless of the pack):

Basics: (1 topic - Completely FREE :D)

Essentials: (11 topics - £7.99)

Premium: (35 Topics - £12.99)

I had a play around on the Basics before upgrading and found it very useful for deciding which language I wanted to learn. This pack is fine if you don't know if you want to study but, you would need the additional topics if you wanted to progress. I reasoned with the cost being inexpensive compared to other methods and programmes available. When you consider the amount of work it must take to find native speakers and set everything up, you can understand the reason to charge.

The First Impression:

So much choice for languages! Currently 100+ available languages for you to try out and learn! I did a little test by thinking of an unusual (in my opinion) language and it was there! A shining example of this would be Tagalog! :D It has made me, who spent three years studying linguistics, a very happy person to see such a wide array and variety as opposed to sticking with the standard options. I know I have settled with learning Dutch for now but I could learn Haitian Creole or Wolof next!

The Games:

Practice - See all the phrases for the topic with their English translation. You can also hear the pronunciations of the words. Ideal for learning the pictures meaning prior to starting the other games.
Easy - matching what you hear to what you see
Speaking - listen to your lovely imitations and see how you compare to the native...
Hard - matching what you hear to what you see with more challenge
Memory - The images hide and you have to remember location and sound to match
Recall - Here's the picture and the English but 'what was the translation?' self assess your responses

The Pro's

Easy to use and get started (very visual)

Covers the areas and topics you would expect from a phrase book or Language 101 

Can practice some grammatical features such as adjectives and prepositions

Male and Female speakers so you can pick up the key parts of pronunciation

Achievements to unlock e.g. consistent high score, completing all areas of a topic etc.

Can easily return to previous activities and is handy to use for reference with the search function (Available on phone and tablet).

The Con's

No rating/marking on your pronunciation by the app although you do get to cringe at your poor imitations!

If this isn't your way of learning or you are new to learning languages you would need to use other tools too for learning other aspects such as word order, why some words have different endings for gender etc.

The Conclusion

Overall, for a language learning app, I'm in love! You can tell the app has had development time and that it isn't a start up businesses first venture (the company behind the app have been running since 1991!). This really comes across in the features and the vocabulary available. I'd say this a great starter app for anyone looking to learn a new language and it covers everything you would need to get by on holiday. Naturally there is a limit within the app but there are additional programmes available through the company from when you're ready to progress away from an app as your main source of learning.
I can't help but compare to Rosetta Stone as that's the method I have mentioned trying before now. The method of learning is the same (imagery and using your brain to make the connections), the uTalk is cheaper overall but perhaps doesn't have the range within the language as Rosetta. That being said, I feel the need to highlight that I compared an app to a computer programme so naturally there would be limitations!! 

The CHALLENGE for you:

Find a language on this app that you want to try or test (free or purchased) to see if it's right for you through this link here :)
Let me know which languages you enjoyed trying and have a chance to win a premium package in a little giveaway that the company are allowing me to do :)

Happy Learning! I shall be keeping you updated on my progress and experience with uTalk in the Monthly Updates :)

Make your own choices,

Toodlepip x

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* As I said at the beginning I was invited to review this app through bloggersrequired and was provided with the 'Premium' bundle without monetary purchase. All opinions are my own and I wouldn't publish a review on something I didn't enjoy. Or maybe I would, but I would still provide you with my honest, and often blunt, opinion :)