My Driving Journey - Lesson 60, 61 & 2nd driving test

I'm seriously giddy typing this post, I genuinely can't believe I have managed to gain a life skill. I've passed my driving test, I have a driving licence (well when it arrives in the post I do)! It's so flipping exciting! I genuinely think my life is on the up right now...please don't come crashing down anytime soon, thank you very much! :)
I'm going to be completely honest the whole journey every now & then has been a little bit tough but I think because I was in a good mind set that improved it all that much. Knowing that if I cancelled a lesson with too late notice I would still be charged made me not want to cancel any lessons at all. I only managed to miss a few & that wasn't always my choice but you just kind of go with it.
I feel like I'm going to go into like an acceptance speech like I've just won an award, oohh why not hey? Let's go for it....
Firstly I'd like to give a massive thanks to my instructor Sharon, she has been absolutely incredible! So understanding & very supportive. I felt she believed in me from the very start, which is always a great feeling. I don't just feel like she was my instructor I felt I created a friendship with her. We would chat away all lesson from the moment I got in the car to the moment I got out again. I really did get lucky choosing Sharon as my instructor honestly, I'm so grateful!
I'd also really like to thank my family, friends & fellow bloggers in the community who have been so supportive. All of your kind, positive words have been so fantastic & really helped me through. Just like anyone else I love to hear that I've helped someone in some way. I know a few people have said I've inspired them & made them want to drive too. You can do it, you just need to be ready & believe in yourself! You can do this! :)
Ok, so maybe now I'll actually go into the lesson updates & driving test too... Sorry about the waffle but brace yourself, it might just get a little bit worse...

Tuesday 18th February
Eeeekkk...driving lesson in the mini, woop woop! I really did enjoy driving the mini & now I'm actually gutted that I'm not driving it anymore to be honest. But since I hadn't drove the mini since before new year I just had a drive around kind of lesson to just get used to the car again. That was pretty easy to get the idea of again so that's really all for that lesson, now on to the next....
Wednesday 19th February
Driving test day again, how exciting & scary too?! Luckily this time round I wasn't as nervous to be honest. Last time I actually took some rescue remedy spray with me & had a few squirts but this time round I didn't even take it with me...woohoo! Bonus!!! I got picked up at 8.10am...yes, 8.10am! I got to practice most of my manoeuvres this time round so I was prepared & the lesson before went so smoothly so I wasn't too worried about the test itself.
I had a completely different examiner this time round & well I flipping passed! I passed with 4 minors, 4 MINORS!!!! I'm so proud of myself you seriously wouldn't believe how proud I am. My minors weren't anything major, funnily enough others they would be called majors...I'm totally not funny am I?! :/ 1 minor was forgetting to check my blind spot after completing a manoeuvre. 2nd minor was my positioning at a junction, in my defence the markings had worn away. 3rd minor was when I was pulling out from having to stop between two cars, a car behind had to stop...yet last time I got a major because a car had to slow down, how does that work?! I do not know! 4th minor was baffling, I don't even genuinely know how I managed it. But I got to the last roundabout before the test centre, I think I must of relaxed & thought phew then I got my gears all wrong & I genuinely thought I had got a major.. I would of cried because we were literally seconds away from the test grateful I didn't, what a relief!
I've now managed to stick all my driving lesson cards (in the photo above) in my notebook where I wrote up all my lessons too. So pleased that I managed to actually keep on top of it & do it too! Usually a good idea goes down the pan & stops after a couple of weeks. :/
I seriously don't think you understand just how proud I am of myself. I never thought I'd be able to drive, but look at me now! I didn't think I'd be able to sit my theory but I did & passed it first time. I didn't think I'd be able to do the driving lessons or test because they are based in the town that gives me my highest anxiety levels but look, I can now say I did it! Anna 1 - 0 Anxiety
I'm quite sad to see this come to an end actually now but I'm sure I will think of something else to blog about more than likely. I do have a few ideas swimming round in my head so watch this space!
Thank you for all your tweets, messages & comments too, I really do appreciate you taking time to read & connect with me. As always thanks for reading too!
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 23rd February 2014

Is it really Sunday again already?! WOW, this week seems to have just flown by. I've been so busy recently that I'm so behind with blog reading. I'd probably log on to bloglovin' & have over 60 posts to read but I will get round to it. I usually read on a Sunday morning but this Sunday morning ended up with me looking at cars online....cos incase you didn't know already & if you didn't where have you been hiding? I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!!!!

& breatheeee......
I do these posts every week to recap on the good things about the week just gone because let's be honest if we all just look on the bright side of things sometimes life can be that little bit easier so why don't you try to....

Image found on weheartit

Things that have made me happy this week are....

- passing my driving test, WOOHOOO!
- receiving lovely, kind & supportive words
- going car shopping, exciting but stressful too!
- watching Identity Thief...very funny!
- finally watching the original catfish (the movie)
- keeping busy on Saturdays now
- people waving at me whilst I was cleaning the windows, slightly random but made me smile :)

As you can tell this weeks main focus has been driving & cars....

I really can't wait to be have a car & freedom & adventures.

What has made you happy this week?

Let me know in the comments & as always thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

the difference a year or two can make....

Image found on weheartit

I've recently been thinking about how much my life has changed over the past year. Infact it has changed positively in the past couple of weeks! I actually look back a little & actually think I can't believe it too! It has changed little by little every year actually but the past year seems to have been my best one. I never imagined I would be where I am now. You know onwards & upwards....
I've decided I'm just going to try & write a very little, ok ok...maybe a fairly lengthy post (you know I don't do short posts very well) about the past year or so. Of course, I'm going to try & find a few photos to fit in too. :) 

First off without a doubt I'm going to have to mention the exact reason I'm actually here, blogging in the first place. One word for you, anxiety...if you suffer with anxiety you will know how relatable the below picture is....
Image found on weheartit

This month a year ago I decided to start blogging & I can honestly say I haven't looked back since. I started blogging about my friend anxiety. I thought it would be a good way to kind of express myself & have something to focus on, little did I know I would become connected to so many people too. I absolutely LOVE it! I really love the whole process of blogging...the planning what I'm going to write about (sometimes its just straight out of the blue, random & whenever I want to blog) , taking or finding pictures, writing my post, receiving lovely comments on my posts. The blogging community really is a lovely community to be part of & it is safe to say I have created some friendships too.
Image found on weheartit
Over the past couple of years my thoughts really have changed but the negative thoughts can easily win if you let them out do the positive ones. I've chosen over time to change my negative thoughts for positive ones instead & I can honestly say I'm in a much better frame of mind. Don't get me wrong, the negatives do creep in every now & then but I just change them for happy positive ones instead. It isn't as simple as just changing your thoughts once or twice & expect it to work, you have to put in a lot of hard work & it should pay certainly has for me.
Pretty sure this image will be from weheartit too

 I do think that really life hasn't got any easier as such, I certainly have got stronger as a person. I'm beginning to find my own voice, ooohh how exciting..I'm gaining my own voice at the age of twenty two...finally, praise the lord?! I used to really struggle to let go of things...whether that be something that happened, a thought in my head, a friendship or relationship that had ended. But I now feel I handle these different situations a lot better, I don't hold onto things anymore...obviously if they aren't worth holding on to. I know that I'm the stronger person for walking away instead of holding on to something that might never change. Over the past year I have certainly learnt who & what is important to me & my life. I've also learnt to put myself first sometimes too, cos sometimes you have to be selfish & look after're the one person you can guarantee will be there for you at the end of each day. I advice each & every one of you to make a friend in yourself, embrace yourself, love yourself, become your own best friend :) Did I just sound really cheesy there? I don't care, that's how I feel & think.

Image found on weheartit

One thing I certainly have learnt to do is hold my head up high. Especially when it comes down to my anxiety. I don't shy away as much as I used to. On the 6th February this year I decided to take part in the time to talk day, which was so much fun actually. I even got to meet a friend of mine who I'd been talking to for over a year. This time last year I was pretty low actually & was waiting to start my next lot of therapy, I think. I'd already had one the previous year but that seemed to send me backwards...not the direction I was hoping for exactly. I've now started to talk a lot more about my anxiety, both on my blog & in real life too. Anxiety is only a little part of me, yes it can sometimes feel a huge part but I'm not going to let it define me. If I feel someone should know about my situation I'd much rather be honest & mention my situation. Like before Christmas I applied for a job, I had two interviews & from the first interview I was honest & open from the start...I literally mean within a couple of sentences I was in there dropping the anxiety bomb. Thankfully I had such a fantastic response from them & they were so understanding. Unfortunately I didn't get the Monday to Friday job with them but I have now got a Saturday job with them, which they hope will lead to a more permanent is hoping! I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive bunch of people around me, I don't take any of it for granted.

Then the most recent thing to happen to me....I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!!!! I FLIPPING DID IT!!!! :D I still can't actually fully believe it, maybe it will sink in more next week when I would usually have my lesson or maybe when I actually get to drive a car on my own. I really can't wait to be able to have my own adventures & go to more places too. This time last year I genuinely never thought I would be able to drive. Luckily for me again, I got another person to add to my supportive bunch. My instructor Sharon, I contacted a few instructors being honest about how I was & two men said I should wait until I'm fully better....clearly they were clueless. Then two women were very understanding, I felt like I clicked with Sharon more so I went with her & she has been absolutely amazing during it all! I really am so grateful for her, she has been so understanding & supportive. So yeah, that happened & that's all I have to update you with I think...I just said that as if I've only wrote a little paragraph, as if that would happen!

I'm not sure I actually know anybody else who has passed their driving test & framed the certificate but because of my anxiety & situation it really is a massive achievement for me so I thought sod it, I'm framing it! So as you can tell from the photo above I treated myself to a pretty frame, even got a little bit of money off because a friend served me & got family & friends discount...thanks Adele! :) we all love a little bit of a saving, right?! :)
A little note to leave you all on...
This post wasn't just for me, it was for you too...
Image found on weheartit
If you have taken time out of your day to celebrate with me the difference a year can make, I would like to thank you very much! Ooohh & a MAHOOSSSIIVEEE thank you for all your lovely tweets, you guys are the best! :)
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 59

I'm starting to feel like these posts should be coming to an end very soon, well I hope they are actually. I do love driving lessons don't get me wrong & I'm creating a friendship with Sharon too but after doing so many lessons & being capable of driving now I just want to actually say I have a full licence.

Thursday 13th February
After last weeks terrible lesson & failing my test. I got to practice manoeuvres during my lesson today, what a relief! I practiced a reverse around a corner, all went well. I got to practice a few bay parks, they went well too. Then I got to practice doing a parallel park, only one....did it go well? Yeahhhh! Did I manage to park it in one? Yeahhhhh! :) Did I hit the kerb or go up the kerb? Noooo :)

After my lesson I got a text from Sharon to say she is finally picking the mini back up...YESSSSSSS!!!! I'm so pleased about it, I will have the car for my next test. Hopefully I'll pass this time round, fingers crossed! :)

That's it for this weeks update, fairly short & sweet? I think so! :)

I have my second test this week, wish me luck & fingers crossed?

Thanks for reading & following along with my journey.

- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 16th February 2014

What better time to write this than not long after finishing a delicious Sunday dinner! I couldn't think of a better time either :)
I have a question for you, yes might be down in the dumps right now, you might have had a crappy week but can you please pick out one tiny little thing that was good about your week & share it with me? :)

Remember if you have had a bad day or a bad week or maybe even a bad month don't forget to try your best to....

Image found on weheartit

Don't let anything or anyone keep you down. No matter what life throws at you always try to hold your head up high & even try a little smile, maybe? :)

Cos in the words of Luke Britnell 'everything always looks great with a smile'...I agree with you there Luke! *high five*

On to the good things about my previous week, always better to focus on the positives instead of the negatives....

- the delicious Sunday roast my mum just cooked us
- a successful driving lesson, heres to a better test next time...
- feeling organised
- working my first EVER Saturday job & LOVED every minute of it! Roll on next Saturday :)
- handwriting letters to surprise friends that are a fair distance away...
- starting making my patchwork cushion, watch this space...
- being busy

That is pretty much it for this week, well what I can think of cos the week has just flown by. These weeks seem to be going by faster & faster & getting shorter & flippin shorter!

I'd really love it if you left me a comment with one positive thing about your week, thanks for reading & thanks in advance for commenting :) (that's if you do of course!) hehe....

- Anna ♥

I've decided to create a scrapbook...

Since today is Valentines Day (I did type the post up about a week ago but it was waiting for the right moment to make its appearance!) :) I thought since it's all about love, I thought I'd share with you one of my loves....for crafting & faffing about! I think creating something yourself is a real boost to your self esteem & time well spent. I'll stop waffling now & just post the post then shall I? hope you enjoy! :)

I've decided that this year I'm going to try & 'get out more'. Well, that is how some people phrase it isn't it? I just want to live more, experience more things. Spend more money on experiences & create memories, instead of buying more clothes. I have an awful lot, I'm not ashamed of that! What girl doesn't have a lot of clothes?

I thought I could share my little adventures with you lovely bunch & now I've created something else too....A SCRAPBOOK!!!! can I get a woo hoo? Come on, atleast one of you must of woohooed? :)

My scrapbook is going to be filled with all kinds of outings & experiences that I do to prove I can beat my anxiety. Prove that I can live & not just float through life. Brace yourself because this post may contain a few photos. We love photos, right? :)

everything I've been using, minus a rubber!
I thought I'd share with you some of the bits & bobs that I've used to create my scrapbook. Buying a scrapbook would definitely be a start unless you fancy making one, that's an idea. But it would probably be just as cheap to buy a ready made one. :) I bought mine from Boots, I think it was around £7. I got it when it was half price, gotta look out for bargains. :)

Be sure to look out for offers on photo printing, it is usually a lot cheaper to get them done online & delivered. They come through normal post, mine arrived within a few days.

main page, let's kick some ass!
I thought it would be a good idea to create a main page, basically what my scrapbook was all it meaning. :) I'd been looking for decent sized stencils for ages & couldn't find any but I came across some East Of India self adhesive wooden letters. They can be used for sticking onto signs but I thought they were fantastic for what I needed, just the right style & size. BONUS!

my East Of India wooden letters
I just used a pencil to go around the letters & then I got my colour on! I always find colouring really therapeutic. I went for nice, colourful colours cos it's going to be a happy reminder so I need to use as much colour as I can. :)

red letters, for the red carpet..showbiz of course!
One of the first pages I created was my cinema trips page. When I went to the cinema for my birthday it was the first time in over four years but I'm fairly hopeful that I'll be going again...hence why I've dedicated two pages so far to cinema trips. I'm hoping to go once I've passed my test hopefully, I really want to see That Awkward Moment. Zac Efron, zero clothing, big screen?! You want to go now too, don't you? ;)

loving the rain at my first ever Westlife concert!
 Ooh, a little tip....
 to add a jazzy touch to your scrapbook photos use patterned/shaped scissors. One bonus is it makes the photos look different, another bonus is you don't have to worry about getting the photos looking dead straight. You can just jazz it up as much or as little as you like. :)
I went to a Westlife concert, screw you anxiety! I actually went to two! :)
  Ooh, another couple of little tips....
for adding pictures & what not in, I decided to use double sided tape, instead of glue. Glue can get pretty messy & can look untidy. Especially if it goes all uneven & makes your page bumpy. To add a bit of colour & pattern to your scrapbook, buy some patterned paper. I got mine from The Works, crafty bargains can be found there! :)

Righty ho, that is pretty much all I've got to share with you. I thought it would be a lovely thing for me to have to remember all the good times. So when I'm having a bad day I'll be able to remind myself & look at the memories..knowing that they will bring a smile to my face & know better days will come again! :)
Have you ever had a go at scrapbooking? It is so much fun, very therapeutic & great for rainy days! I highly recommend it! :)
Let me know if you've ever given it a go, how it turned out & if you plan to in the future let me know too. Anything scrapbooky related leave me a comment, deal? :)
Thanks for reading, that is if you managed to read it all & didn't get bored! :)
- Anna ♥

The Liebster Award, nominated by Amy (Relief From Anxiety)

The lovely Amy from Relief From Anxiety has kindly nominated me for The Liebster Award. If you suffer from anxiety or just want a better understanding of the condition be sure to head on over to her blog. I really want to be able to put a face to the name but either way I do enjoy Amy's blog, her writing & I can totally relate to her.

The rules are as followed....
- Link back to the person that nominated you & answer the 11 questions which they have asked you on their blog post.
- Choose 11 people to nominate for the Liebster award and let them know that they have been nominated. you can't choose the person who nominated you!
- Ask your chosen 11 nominees questions.
- Add the Liebster award badge to your blog.

Here are the questions Amy asked me & my answers....
1. Favourite quote?
I have a lot of favourite quotes, but I'm going to pick this one...'sometimes you've gotta fall before you can fly'.
2. Favourite band/artist?
You've gotta be kidding me, I seriously can't just choose one...hmm, I really don't do favourites. But I'd probably have to say at the minute bands that I'm really enjoying are..The Vamps & The Overtones but to be honest, I don't actually know much about either of them other than I really like their music. An artist would actually be between Luke Britnell & Taylor Swift.
3. One of the nicest/best things that someone has said to you?
After an interview once, being told they admired my honesty...being honest does do you good. :)
4. Your favourite upbeat happy song or your favourite sad song?
Ooooh, I really don't do these favourite questions any good do I..I'm going to actually go with a completely different group as to my 'favourite' one.. I really don't have favourites. I'd say Little Mix - Move! moveee ittt babyyy oohhhhhh!
5. Favourite place you've visited?
Seriously sat here not having a clue what to put..I'm going to have to leave this one blank, well not really blank cos I'm writing. I haven't really visited many places to be honest. Note to self: I need to see more places.
6. A life lesson to share?
If someone is dumb enough to let you go, be smart enough to walk away. Can I share two? I'm kinda of already doing that too. Don't let people pick you up & then drop you when they want too. Sometimes you have to be the bigger person, walk on & move on.
7. Something you would change in the world?
Crime, all crime & suffering.
8. If you could meet anyone in the world, dead/alive, who would it be?
I'd love to be able to actually meet both my granddads, one died before I was born then the other died when I was really young. Too young to remember him.
9. The thing that makes you happiest/keep positive?
I don't actually know of a thing that makes me stay positive, I guess it's been over time & practice. Changing your thoughts really does work over time, trust me.
10. Favourite sport & do you have any awards?
I used to love football but now I don't have a favourite sport. Funny story, I have a few awards but I found a certificate the other day I was rewarded PE student of the month...wooohoo! :P
11. Best piece of advice to give to someone suffering with or trying to understand mental health issues?
Don't suffer in silence, you shouldn't be ashamed or made it suffer in silence. Speaking out & getting help is the best thing to do. Also only you can make you better, you can have as much support around you the world can give but you need to be wanting to get better too.

Righty oh, my questions are....
1. If you could give one piece of advice to your teenage self what would it be?
2. Do you have any pick me ups & if so what is it/they?
3. Who do you look up to the most in your life?
4. What made you want to start blogging?
5. What made you call your blog the name it is?
6. Would you ever give creating YouTube videos a go?
7. What is your favourite thing to do on a day off?
8. How long have you been blogging for?
9. Have you ever been to a blog meet up?
10. What is the best thing about living where you live?
11. If you could be a fly on the wall in someones house who would it be?

I'm well aware they are pretty random...I just typed them out as they came in my head & I mean who doesn't love abit of randomness?

Now for my nominees..

A Mad Hatters Tea Party
Bethnal Bohemia
Dib Dab Debs
Dreaming Again
Head Over Heels
Kimi & Me
Life Outside London
Miss Jo Jangles
The Giggles Of Life
The Peculiar Joint
Tori's Tales

Oooh, how much easier is it to put things in alphabetical order! :)

I'm ever so pleased I managed to actually choose 11 this time, last time if I remember right I struggled & didn't pick 11..uh oh! breaking the rules? I've done it right now :)

I can't wait to hear from the girls I've nominated! They are all a lovely bunch, a few of my oldie favourites & a few of my current ones too..

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 58 & uh driving test!

Usually this little blog of mine is a place to be happy & positive but oh my...there is nothing positive about this post really! Other than experience I guess? & I do get to try again :)

  Monday 3rd February
If you know me to talk to via twitter & email then you know that I managed to fail my first driving test last week. I was feeling really positive about it all until I think reality just sunk in. I had an hours lesson before & it was seriously I'd say my worst lesson ever! I think I managed to stall the car about 4 times altogether between my lesson & on the test itself. I'd just like to point out though that my instructor does have a different car at the minute & I'm really not getting used to it as much. Before my test we practiced an emergency stop & 3 out of the 4 manoeuvres..what manoeuvre did I get on my test? Ohh yes, that would be right...the one I didn't practice :/ typical! I haven't actually done a manoeuvres lesson in a while because I'm usually feeling a drive around kind of lesson when I'm given the option but it is safe to say that this week I'm doing a manoeuvres lesson. Well I'm guessing I am anyway, if not I will certainly be asking if I can. I do think nerves got the better of me in the run up to the test & I did keep asking Sharon if I was actually going to do my test next. I did also ask if I could just go home because I had a feeling that I wouldn't pass anyway. What can I say, sometimes you just have a gut feeling & sometimes it is just right.

I managed to get 2 majors & 9 minors. If you automatically get a major then you've failed...but you still continue with the test. I managed to get a major whilst doing a parallel park...I would like to add in my defence I haven't practiced it in a while & okay, yes I did go up the kerb. But also, if I couldn't manage to park in the certain spot then I would drive off & find somewhere else suitable...don't quite think that's allowed on the test though. Then my second major was ridiculous if you ask me, if I was driving along once I'd passed my test I wouldn't have pulled up anywhere along that road. We was travelling along a stretch of road that is a speed limit of 30, the road then bends & changes to 40mph. I was asked to pull over somewhere safe & suitable, which I managed fine. The next part wasn't great, well I did absolutely fine...I pulled away safely when nobody was coming but at the last minute I saw a car come around the bend but obviously I had to go, I couldn't wait all day for somebody not to be coming round the bend, could I? So because the car behind us braked I got a major. Of course the car was going to brake, it was travelling between 30-40mph! It is safe to say I wasn't overly pleased by this. I do think a lot of people are cautious & think danger once they see a L plate on a car. As for minors I got 9, you're allowed 15 to still pass...I won't go into detail of them because to be honest with you, I can't even remember them now.

What do you think about driving tests?
Do you feel like you're expected to drive like a robot? Like we are all meant to be programmed the exact same way.
The road & traffic situation certainly has an effect on if you pass.
Plus really, when you're driving around normally will you be under so much pressure?

Out of curiosity, what number test did you pass on?


Thanks for reading & following along on my journey. Hopefully this journey will come to an end soon, then I'll have to try & get my head around the crazy world that is cars...completely baffles me! Can I walk forever? Just at high speed to be able to travel further away?

- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 9th February 2014

We are here again, it's that time of week...
Its Sunday...whos looking forward to Monday?
This time last week I actually was, I was getting really excited to be honest.. it did soon hit a low, not exactly a great start to the week. But anyway more about that in tomorrows post though!

I'm not saying that for more readers or page views by the way, I'm saying it because it's driving related & I now know I have regular readers...*waves manically* :D


I'm going to try & list 5 good things about this week but brace yourself, that might go straight out the window... I will try my best! brownie promise.. :)

1. FINALLY meeting Nicola, after over a year of talking...crazyyy!
2. being able to be a part of the first ever #timetotalk day
3. celebrating my first year of blogging..surely I'm an official blogger now right? :P
4. managing 4 full days out the house
5. finally moving my bedroom around & being completely happy with it...ok, maybe until a months time :/
Well that's my week round up, in a much shorter way! But I like to change things up every now & then, you know...keep it fresh :)
What has been good about your week?
Maybe you've started a new job? Woohoo Michelle you did it, week one is complete!
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

Can I call myself a blogger now?

It feels like I haven't sat down & blogged in ages...the last time I blogged was Thursday, it was hardly that long ago but I feel like so much has happened since then! Everything feels so manic so it's lovely to be able to just sit down & type....
I'm alone, which is the best time to blog if you ask me. No distractions, just me & the laptop. I feel really behind on blog reading too but tonight that will change. Unfortunately I have jobs to do during the day, well we will say after dinner now. But I thought I'd finally get round to posting this post!

5th February 2013, I first created a blog. No, it wasn't this exact blog. It was on wordpress. Over the past year I have definitely tested & now I finally feel I have found my place in the blogging world. I first started off blogging about my mental health because to be honest, that was the only thing happening in my life but now I have so much more ideas & things I want to blog about! :) I'm so happy with my blog name, the header, the layout..just the whole look & feel my blog has....

Maybe, over time I might tweak a few things here & there but I do really feel like it is pretty perfect! You know, as close to perfect as it can be right? :)

So since I have been blogging for one whole year ....okay, one whole year & four days! I am a little delayed in writing this because I decided I wanted to try my hand at baking something to celebrate blogging for a whole year. I flicked through a few baking books & finally set my eyes on a gorgeous hummingbird bakery cheesecake. The recipe was actually for strawberry but we couldn't find any nice strawberries, I've been told about 5 different times now that strawberries aren't in season so I switched the strawberries for raspberries! Can I get a YUMMMMMYYYY?!

Wait no longer, you can now have a slice of the cake...okay, one slight problem though guys! I'm sorry, you can only have a slice of the cake in photo form..better than nothing though right? :)

When I started on blogger I didn't have the same URL, I changed it..does anybody know if there is a way to find out the exact date I changed it on? I really would LOVE to be able to find 'a whole lot of chitty chat's birth! There must be some way of finding it I'm sure.
Anyway that's all I've got to share with you for this post but I'd just like to say a MAHOSSSIIVEEEE thank you to all of you who have now become regular readers & to those who are also becoming my friends! :)
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥
p.s. I can totally call myself a blogger now right? :P

#timetotalk day!

 Wooooohooooo! Today 6th February 2014 is the very first time to talk day, dedicated to talk about mental health. I'd almost go as far to say I actually love talking about mental health. I love helping people feel less alone, nobody should have to feel alone. #timetotalk day was brought to us by time to change. Time to change is run by both Mind & Rethink Mental Illness. I'd highly recommend checking out all three of them honestly!

Image from time to change website
It isn't too late to get involved with time to talk day, it can be as simple as texting a friend or family member to see how they are doing. I really do believe it is the little things that count. You could even pick up the phone or put the kettle on. I decided I wanted to bring mental health into my local community, admittedly I only really had people speak to me that I know but that doesn't matter, it started conversations.
I decided to use the advantage of my parents shop (you will soon realise it is a carpet shop but it was a good platform) & set up a little stand with leaflets, postcards, badges, pens, pledge sheets, mental health knowledge quiz, a poster & my little whiteboard. Of course I took photos to document the day....
not great quality, but this is the full display :)
the bottom half of the display
the table top display
Once I had set up I decided it was the right time to do my pledge....
you can make a pledge too over at time to change
 I set up around half past 9 & around dinner time I had had 5 conversations. 1. with my dad. 2. with my grandma. 3. with a carpet rep. 4. with my mums auntie & uncle. 5. with a family friend.

my board at dinner time, total conversations...5

I decided to text near enough everyone in my phonebook who I knew locally, the more people the merrier if you ask me. I did get a few responses & people did pop in too. If you know me personally you will know that I'm very good friends with a girl called Nicola, who lives about 20 minutes away in the car & we have never met but we have been speaking for over a year. I bit the bullet today & asked her if she fancied doing some exposure (exposure is something you do to face your anxieties) & invited her to come & meet me at the shop. She had actually ordered the time to talk teabags & brought them along with her. I don't drink tea so Nicola & my dad had the cups of tea. Nicola also nicely brought with her the little badges she got in the pack too. I think it's about time for some more photos, don't you think? So everyone, meet Nicola....
smile, some good things can come from mental health problems....good friends
silly selfie anyone? :P
the lovely badge & the even lovelier (even a word?) chipped nail polish
me & Nicola with our pledges..I don't like smiling for photos that I can't see my face on..much prefer a selfie :)
Nicola adding her bit :)

Nicolas mum had dropped her off & then texted her when she was on her way back & Nicola didn't want to go yet, I didn't want her to go either! There will definitely be many more meet ups Nicola, don't you worry :) Admittedly when I was waiting for her to come even though I Skype with her, I still had the catfish feeling..I haven't experienced that but on telly I can imagine the feeling.
at the end of the day in the shop I had had 10 conversations
So in total at the end of the day in the shop I had had 10 conversations about mental health. The conversations were with 6. the husband & wife who own the shop I helped out at before Christmas & had my job interviews at, such lovely genuine people! (well that was a mouthful) mums friend, who popped in to show her support..she had suffered from depression & can relate. 8. the man who is like my second dad (I certainly know how to put a heck of a lot of words down don't I) 9. a lady who lives over the road from us. 10. Nicola & her mum! So not only did I have 10 conversations about mental health I also remember who they were all with.
Another bit to add, I also texted my therapist to mention what I was doing, she said if she had a cancellation she would definitely pop down..she didn't get any cancellations but she did ring me during appointments to make sure it was all going well & said she would ring me soon to catch up on how I'm lovely is that?! :)
I doubt any of them will be reading this post (okay, maybe Nicola will be...hello there Nicola!), but guys if you are thank you very much! I'm really grateful for your support! Some people did actually read my sign whilst they were passing but didn't spark a conversation about the topic. But that is fine, atleast it will be in their mind & hopefully they'll be thinking about it.
I'm actually a little bit disappointed that our local mind wasn't doing anything for today. But nevermind, I'm pleased with myself & my contribution to the day. I started blogging exactly a year ago yesterday about my mental health, how funny is it that literally the next day after is time to talk day about mental health.
I think now would be a really good time to stop my jibber jabber..I have no idea why I actually made that remark but it's a quote from something isn't it? I have no idea what it's from...ooohh, it's 'quit you're jibber ain't hurt fool, get some nuts'..the snickers advert?
If you haven't already please check out the charities that support mental health.
Rethink Mental Illness

Have you been involved in #timetotalk day? Let me know what you've been up. I'd love to know.

If you have managed to read all the way to the bottom of this mahooossiiveeee post, give yourself a round of applause & a pat on the back :)

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 56 & 57

Uh oh, it's not Monday! Had anyone actually noticed? I'm not too sure if you had or not.. :)
I would apologise but I'm kind of not sorry about it :/ yeah, it's nice to have a routine & all but sometimes a break from routine is exactly what we need. So I'm breaking the rules & blogging/posting this a day late...dum dum dummmm! Did the world stop spinning because I didn't post it on a Monday like I usually do? No, I didn't think so either :)
Let's get cracking with the latest from my driving journey..
Tuesday 28th January
Well, todays lesson I was absolutely dreading if I'm completely honest with you! :/ Me & my mum had been out on Sunday morning to the place where I drive, to do abit of shopping & I felt mega sick & panicky & blahhhh, ending with us coming home within ermmm 15/20 minutes & me being in my pjs for the rest of the day & in bed too. Good old anxiety then liked to keep this stored in my mind & made me completely dread my lesson. In all honesty if I didn't have to drive then I wouldn't of but if I didn't drive then I'd of lost my money so on we went.
I had a mock test, safe to say this was my worst test to date. I managed to get 2 majors & 7 minors :/ I genuinely am a safe driver & feel ashamed admitting that I got 2 majors, not 1 but 2...should I be embarrassed? :/ My two majors were 'speeding' I was travelling at 46 in a 40mph zone, it had changed & I wasn't aware...I am ashamed but I am human too. Then my second was not preparing quick enough/soon enough for a was a lot sooner than I had realised.
So yeah, it is safe to say that my lesson was abit of a nightmare & completely horrid! Surely we all must have them? Usually they go really well too. So when they go wrong it's even harder to accept.
Friday 28th January
Today could of been a manoeuvres lesson but I choose to do a drive around one so I could learn from my mistakes of where I went wrong in my mock test. I certainly know where the speed change was now, it does go from national speed limit to a 40 but I can remember where it is. Actually not much to share on this lesson other than that so I'm going to leave it at that.
So that is all for my update this week, if you are still following me..thank you :)
Tomorrow I will have been blogging for A WHOLE YEAR in total...crazyyy or what?! Time really does fly when you're having fun :) So I'm off to make a celebratory cheesecake, I mean really though do I need an excuse to make cheesecake? No, I don't think I do! :) hehe!
Hope you're all having a lovely week so far & are well!
I need a mega blogging catch up to catch up on my favourite blogs, oooohh maybe with a nice drink & some cheesecake! Sounds like a plan! :)
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 2nd February 2014

Hello, hello, hello! :)
Right now actually feels like a really late time to be blogging on a Sunday..I was taking part in the lbloggers chat on twitter but really couldn't keep up so I'm doing something productive on here :)
Sundays are for lounging about, right? I've actually been for a 4 mile (4.1 mile to be exact) walk today so not exactly lounging day I'd hoped for & before that I nipped to Asda to pick up my ingredients to make a strawberry cheesecake, I got EVERYTHING but strawberries...can't exactly have a strawberry less strawberry cheesecake can I? So back to the shops tomorrow to pick some up... :)
I'm gonna stop waffling now & just get on with the flippin' post, what do you think? Good idea, I thought so too! :) I do actually kind of write these posts as if I'm talking to myself..don't be alarmed though, nobody needs to call a doctor :) hehe..
This week the good things have been....
- being able to learn from my mistakes
- dog walks...a 4 mile one! REALLY?!
- writing in cards, sending cards with meaning & real thought being put into it are one of the best things in life if you ask me...must have LOTS of writing in it too of course :)
- managing to help at my parents shop again, it really always is a bonus managing that!
- enjoying time with family & friends
- D.I.Y
- bedtime reading
- new super cosy knitted jumper from my mum :)
- tiger bread
For me, a blog post isn't complete without a photo so....
look no further, here is the photo I have choosen to share....
Image found on weheartit (as usual) :)
I'm a real big believer of finding the good in things & looking on the bright side of life. When life gives you a reason to be sad, beat back & find a reason to smile! In the words of Luke Britnell 'everything always looks great with a smile'.. I completely agree so get smiling & keep smiling guys! :)
What has been good about your week? Let me know in the comments or if you do a post similar, link me up? :)
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥