Why journaling is good for self care

Bullet journals, gratitude journals, diaries, planners, they're all very popular - why? Because journaling is good for self care. From teenagers to women in their 50's people are journaling more and more, and while mental health is an issue we're all trying to tackle, journaling is helping people cope. It's a way to take care of yourself, to give yourself space and time and get things out of your head. So have you stepped onto the journaling path yet or are you still wondering whether it's for you?



Teens take care of themselves by journaling


Back when I was a teenager ("when dinosaurs roamed the earth" - as I would say to my kids!) I kept a diary. I got my first diary when I was 13 years old, it was a small A5 book with a brass lock with a tiny little key. I kept the key on a necklace around my neck and while I didn't have huge worries to write about at 13, apart from boys and homework, I soon established a routine of writing in that diary every day. 

At 14, when my parents split up and divorced, my diary became a safe haven. I wrote down how I was feeling. I vented about my mum when she was mean. I blurted out all the thoughts and emotions that were breaking me inside. I truly feel that keeping a diary, or a journal - whichever you want to call it - helped me stay sane. I really struggled when my parents divorced and my personality completely changed for a while there. I am just thankful that I can look back and know that keeping a diary helped me. 

Which brings me to today's teens - do they keep journals? My son doesn't, as far as I know, but do teenage girls? I hope so.

Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | My Passion Planner, a coffee, and my computer are all I need for some self care.
My Passion Planner, a coffee, and my Macbook - all I need for some self care. 😊


Journaling is such a good way to take care of yourself that I hope teenagers are being told about it. And if they're not, I hope they read about it, or hear friends talking about it. At a time when emotions run high, hormones are raging, and there's so much angst, journaling could really help.

And it teaches you focus...



Journaling is focussed self care


Whether you write every day or every month, whenever you sit down to write in your journal you are giving yourself focussed self care. You are allowing time, just for you, where you write, draw, whatever it is you do in your journal. 

You take time to focus on yourself, to think about the days that have passed, to think about issues that are bothering you, and you let all that stuff go when you write it down. It is a calming, quiet pastime.





To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Oscar Wilde





Journaling helps get ideas and thoughts out of your head


Like I said, when my parents were going through their divorce journaling helped me. I was able to write down what I was feeling, I was comfortable doing so because I knew no one would ever read it and that helped me vent. 

Journaling is such a good form of self care, especially if you don't intend anyone else to read it, because you can write down whatever you're feeling without the fear of judgement. We spend so much time keeping thoughts and feelings to ourselves for fear of being judged that a lot of the time we never truly say what we're feeling. Our heads become clogged up with all the things we never say and that's when we start to feel overwhelmed by everything. 

Taking a simple step, like starting a journal, could be a brilliant way of taking care of your mental health. You get time to focus on you, putting yourself first for a change. The self care you're allowing will give you time to chill out, to be quiet and calm. And when you're a busy mum any time at all to be calm and quiet is welcome - right?



Journaling can be a form of therapy


Americans are big on seeing therapists aren't they? Or at least that's the impression you get from the TV. Speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings is a good way to help yourself, to make you feel better about whatever it is that is bothering you. But we can't all afford a therapist so what do we do?

Journaling, or keeping a diary, can be another form of therapy. Instead of speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings you're writing them down, getting them out of your head and down on paper. If you have troubling thoughts they're out of your head and perhaps seeing them written down will help you see they're not as troubling as you originally thought. Or if they are, it could help you deal with them in an orderly way. If it's just thoughts and feelings you're writing down this could still help. I always found that writing something down, the physical act of using a pen and paper to write it, helped me so much. 



Stationery is awesome!


Who doesn't love new pens and notebooks? Colourful pens, beautiful notebooks, and SO MUCH COLOUR can only make you smile right?

Every time I set foot in a stationery shop I smile. The teenage girl in me shrieks with joy as I look at all the notebooks and journals available and the Hubby runs away in fear when I see the pen section. I have loads of pens that I love to use, including a pen I got from Ted Baker a few years ago. For colour I always use my Manuscript Pen Company pens, they're brilliant and I can draw to my hearts content with them. 

My Passion Planner is full of notes and drawings, and colour is everywhere. Writing things in the planner makes me smile and reaching for the coloured pens brings me joy. 

Journaling isn't just about getting out the bad thoughts, it's about taking care of yourself. It's about enjoying yourself too. Smile while you're writing. Incorporate colour into your journal. Add checklists so you can feel like you're achieving something. Anything that makes you smile - do it.

But never forget the stationery!



Journaling for mental health or self care


Whether you're struggling with your mental health or you're just trying to take care of yourself journaling is for you. 

Stay-at-home mums can use journaling as a form of self care so they can vent about having to do all the housework, or not getting enough time for themselves. Working mums can use it to rant about work, about no one helping with housework, or because they're not getting enough time for themselves. 





Journaling is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time.

Mina Murray





Journaling can be whatever you make it. A form of therapy. Something you enjoy as a hobby but isn't that serious. Or just something to do. 

And you can choose the type of journaling you do too...



Examples of journaling




Gratitude journaling


Writing down everything you're thankful for, whether it's every day, every week, or every month. Taking time to be thankful, realising all the things that went well - or perhaps that didn't go so well but there was a silver-lining. 

Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | Start a gratitude journal and be thankful for the little things.


Sometimes writing things down, trying to think of things to be thankful for, is a way to actually be more thankful for life itself. It makes you see that life, seeing the sun, seeing your child smile, are reasons to be alive and take joy in every moment.



Emotional journaling


Stress, anxiety, even love. Writing out your emotions, and your emotional responses to the things happening in your life is a great way to deal with whatever emotions you're having. As I said above, I enjoyed writing a journal when my parents were going through a divorce and it helped me cope. There have been times in my life when keeping a journal kept me going and made me see that things weren't quite as bad as I thought. 

Keeping track of how you're feeling is also a good way to look back and adjust your reactions to things for the future. Learning more about yourself, about how you deal with certain situations, is a good thing and can help you in the long run.



Bullet journaling


This is huge right now. Almost everyone I know keeps a bullet journal and they love doing it. They add things like checklists, they draw little flowers, they make their journal look pretty. And they love doing it. It makes them happy. And why not?



Personal planning


Diaries, journals, or planners they all help you keep you organised don't they. I love my Passion Planner, it helps me keep track of everything I need to do as well making me smile when I read the wonderful quotes on each page. I write down all I need to do, I cross off things I've completed, and I manage to remember birthdays because they're in my planner - which I look at every day.


Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | Here are a few reasons why you should start journaling...


Journaling is a good way of taking care of yourself, it doesn't cost much (apart from that lovely new journal and pens!) and all you need to do is take time to write things down. Will your journal become your new therapist? Could you have a life changing realisation by keeping a journal? 

Isn't it about time you found out?



Do you keep a journal, and if so how much time do you spend on self care?




While you're trying to write in your journal why not grab this Captured! colouring page for your kids - it'll keep them busy for a while so you get some quiet time to write.




I want the colouring page for my kids (and coffee for me!)




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Post Comment Love 26th - 28th April

Post Comment Love is back after the Easter break and we're happy to welcome all you lovely bloggers. Stephanie and I would love you to join us, and if you haven't already why not check out our Blogger Showcase questions - you could be featured!

How did the Easter school holidays treat you? Or perhaps the kids are still on holiday?

My two went back to school on Monday and I'm happy to have a little peace, although we did have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend. We did lots of walking, took the boys to Park Hall in Stoke-on-Trent to walk around, and visited family. It was great. The weather helped of course, and it made me look forward to the summer.

On the other hand though, like I said it's nice to have some peace. And getting the house back in order is taking a little longer than I thought it would. That's the trouble with school holidays, everything suffers but particularly the cleaning. We're so busy going out and having fun that the house doesn't get cleaned. Never mind though, at least we're having fun eh?



How did you enjoy the Easter Holidays?




Blogger Showcase Nicky from The Organised Blogger & Spinnin Plates


I'm happy to welcome Nicky, a lovely lady who is also part of the Mamapreneur Revolution (like me!). Nicky is a mum of 3 and lives in North Devon. After hitting breaking point in 2017 as she tried to "do it all" Nicky discovered blogging. She describes herself as kind, generous, and (super) organised. To find out where Nicky went next on her blogging journey head over to Stephanie's blog where she's answering our questions.

Connect with Nicky

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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Post Comment Love 26th - 28th April | Join Stephanie and Morgan for the weekly linky that welcomes all bloggers, all topics.


Thank you for popping by.


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Teach your kids what stay-at-home mums do

How many times have you told someone you're a stay-at-home mum and seen their eyes glaze over? Isn't it about time we taught our kids what a stay-at-home mum does? We need to be teaching them it's just as important as being a high-flying executive with a high paying job.


As a stay-at-home mum I am at home all the time - it's in the job title. But, I'm not the kind of person that cleans all day, or even who's entire life is about my kids. I am me - Morgan. I am a writer, an artist, I love music, and nothing makes me smile more than a good coffee first thing in a morning. And yes, I am also a stay-at-home mum. I cook the meals, clean the house, and take my youngest to school every day. So why is the fact that I'm a stay-at-home mum what defines me?



What stay-at-home mums do...


So the presumption when you tell someone that you're a stay-at-home mum is that all you do is change nappies, clean the house, and watch daytime TV (🙄). And it's even worse when you have kids who go to school - people just presume you're going to get a job. What they don't realise is you already have one, and it's pretty full on!





A stay-at-home mom is a working mom. Being a stay-at-home mom is a job.

Cobie Smulders





As it's the school holidays I thought I'd take this time to teach my kids what stay-at-home mums do all day, and to be honest I think they've been surprised by how much I do. I'm sure they imagine me sitting at home drinking coffee all day!



A standard day


Breakfast - After getting up early (usually around 6:30am for me) I head downstairs and make breakfast for me and the Hubby. Having older kids means I can leave them to do their own breakfast. Of course that doesn't mean there's no cleaning to be done when they're finished. In fact the mess is probably worse than if I'd done their breakfast myself. So after everyone is finished with breakfast I spend some time in the kitchen cleaning. Wiping the sides, putting the dishes into the dishwasher. 

Teach Your Kids What Stay-at-Home Mums Do | Using the dishwasher is a skill, teach your kids about it!
Do your kids know how to use the dishwasher?


Then on school days I have to make LP's packed lunch and take him to school. 

After school drop off I'll put the washer on, make myself a coffee and head upstairs to my office where I spend the morning writing. Well, I say I spend the morning writing but what actually happens is I'll take a break mid-morning to check on the washer, empty it and put a new load in.

Lunch time rolls around fast and then I'm in the kitchen again making lunch for the Hubby and me. I actually take a lunch break, step away from the computer and spend some time with the Hubby. Sometimes I'll take the opportunity to do some exercise too. Sometimes.

After lunch, and before going back into my office, I attend to the washer again. Emptying, loading. And then it's back into my office for more writing, drafting, social stuff. Before long though it's school pick-up time and I get in the car to head to school. 

My day isn't over just yet.

Once I get home I attend the daily chores. I clean the kitchen, tidy the lounge, clean the bathroom. Once the daily chores are done I'll tackle the weekly chores - so depending on the day I might deep-clean the bathroom, sort out all the bedding in the house, or sort out my office.

Oh, and don't forget the washer, again.

You'd think my day as a stay-at-home mum was done - but no, I haven't made dinner yet!

So making dinner is one of the final jobs I do daily, once dinner is made I leave the dishes for the following day and chill out in the evening. I'll sit down and watch my favourite show (The Office, or Grey's Anatomy) or Hubby and I will watch a good movie.

So, there you have it - that's just one day. And that is pretty much every day of my life. I may be a stay-at-home mum but that is not all I am.

And again that's why I think it's important to teach kids what stay-at-home mums do



Take them with you


When the kids are off school take them around the house with you and show them the work you do while they're at school. Even if you have a different routine, you should be showing them the work you do. 

Teach Your Kids What Stay-at-Home Mums Do | Time to mop the kitchen floor - get the kids involved.


The great thing about involving the kids, showing them what you do everyday, is they learn that you don't just sit home all day waiting for them to come home. Those jobs you do all the time, the ones no one notices (until they're not done), they're the ones you should spend your time pointing out. 

It's about time we all raised our hands and said we work hard, and are here ALL THE TIME if our kids need us. 



Teach your kids what you do as a stay-at-home mum


When you're taking the kids around with you, showing them the chores you do every day why not take the opportunity to teach them how to do the chores. Teach them about putting the washing machine on, teach them how to dust the surfaces, how to clean the countertops. Even if your kids are young teaching them about the jobs you do as a stay-at-home mum is a good thing, they'll see you work hard, but they'll also see how to do the jobs when they're old enough.

Teach Your Kids What Stay-at-Home Mums Do | No, you can't daydream all day - you have work to do!
If only you could sit there daydreaming...



All stay-at-home mums are different, and the same


Everyone's routines are different and that's fine. You might enjoy taking five minutes to watch daytime TV while you eat lunch, or you may tackle your chores in the morning, but either way you do them - every day. 





It's the best job in the world, and the toughest job in the world all at the same time.

Angela Kinsey





And I can guarantee one thing about you - you see those glazed eyes when you tell someone you're a stay-at-home mum. As a way to tackle this I'm suggesting we all start teaching our kids what stay-at-home mums do, how much effort it is being there all the time and making sure the house is tidy so they can pull out their toys whenever they like. 

Teach Your Kids What Stay-at-Home Mums Do | Isn't it about time we taught our kids what a stay-at-home mum does?


If our children grow up knowing what stay-at-home mums do maybe, just maybe, one day you'll tell someone you're a stay-at-home mum and they'll get animated and say "oh goodness! You're a star!".



Do you talk to your kids about what you do as a stay-at-home mum?




Want a minute to enjoy a hot coffee? Put the kettle on then print this Captured! colouring page for your kids to colour in. Take a minute, sit in the lounge and watch your kids colouring while you drink your coffee!
Teach Your Kids What Stay-At-Home Mums Do | And then sit down and let them colour in while you have a coffee!

I want the colouring page for my kids (and coffee for me)!




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Post Comment Love 12th - 14th April

Welcome to Post Comment Love, our little linky hosted by myself and Stephanie where we welcome all bloggers to share with others right here. I enjoy reading your posts and think it's great connecting with people each week.

It's been a quiet week this week, well apart from the kids being at home of course! It's not been too bad to be honest, they've pretty much entertained themselves. Hubby and I took a day off on Monday and we went into Nottingham, then on Wednesday we all went for a walk at Wollaton Park. It's nice to get outdoors when the sun is shining - although it was quite chilly when we were walking, despite the sun being out!

LP is looking forward to next week when he'll be attending a sports club for a few days, then we're visiting my parents on Wednesday which I'm quite looking forward to. It'll probably feel quite hectic next week, but I think we'll all enjoy being busy.

We're also going to be celebrating my brother-in-law's 40th birthday next Monday, we're all going for a meal, which will be nice. This year we've got lots of 40th birthdays!

Oh, and just a little reminder - as it's Easter Weekend next week we'll be taking a Post Comment Love break. Go enjoy that bank holiday with your family!

How are you enjoying the Easter holidays?




Blogger Showcase Bethany from New Age Dream Chick


Bethany is a married mum of 2 who says writing is her number 1 passion and hobby. She enjoys writing about parenting and describes herself as creative, air-headed, and intelligent. And she is over on Stephanie's blog today answering our Blogger Showcase questions. Head over there to find out more about Bethany.


Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Post Comment Love 12th - 14th April | Come join in our little community and share your posts with others.


Thank you for popping by.


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How to stop feeling guilty about spending money on yourself

It's just been your birthday and you have a little money to spend on yourself, but just as you're about to purchase that nice top you've had your eye on the mama guilt hits and you stop yourself. Sound familiar? It was my birthday back in January and I still have a gift voucher I haven't used. What's stopping me? Mama guilt. I've been doing some research on how to stop feeling guilty about spending money on yourself - here's what I've learned.



Birthday!


As you get older your birthday is less of a big deal isn't it? Really it's just another day, unless it's a big birthday (I'm knocking on the door of 40!). But to be honest it's just another day when you'll have to clean the house and cook the meals right?

You get cards, and sometimes even money inside. You take a moment to imagine what you could spend that money on. A snazzy new tee? Some colourful nail polish? Maybe even a new handbag. Wouldn't that be nice... And then you bump back to earth when you remember it's your youngest's school trip next week and they need spending money. Or there's another birthday coming up and you need to get something for that. What do you do? You end up spending the money you were given for your birthday to someone else.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Spend your birthday money on YOU rather than saving it to spend on others. You deserve a treat.
Spend your birthday money on yourself!


Like I said, I still have a gift voucher sitting on my desk in front of me right now that I got for my birthday back in January. And I still haven't spent it. It's like my brain won't let me think of anything to spend it on for myself so I'm just letting it sit there. There's a struggle inside my head, I could spend it on the boys, or on the Hubby... but it was a gift for me - so why shouldn't I spend it on myself?

If you're anything like me you already spend all of your time thinking about other people. You cook and clean, you drive the kids to school and back. So once in a while it really is okay to spend a little money on yourself.





Guilt can stop us from taking healthy care of ourselves.

Melody Beattie




Make changes


To help you feel less guilty for spending money on yourself you could try a few changes to your routines and the way you spend money. Here's a few ideas...



Cheaper brands


A few years ago the Hubby and I looked at our finances and decided we needed to reel it in a bit. We weren't having money troubles but we could see it on the horizon and decided to make some changes before we got there.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | No matter what you choose coke or cola, it looks the same in a glass!
Whether Coke or Cola, it looks the same in a glass...


After looking at how much we spent and what we spent it on we realised that a lot of our money was used to buy expensive branded things like Pepsi, Cadbury chocolate, and Warburtons bread. In order to save money we made a switch and started buying supermarket's own branded things. From cola to bread we made a change and soon noticed our finances improving. Right now we get through a lot of cola during the week, but the cola we buy is 17p for a 2 litre bottle, compare that to the £1.50 or more for the branded stuff and we're already making a huge saving every week.

Have you made the switch yet?



Spending on the kids


When you have kids you're forever spending money on them. They need new clothes every month, or at least it seems like it. They get through shoes like they're sweets, and toys may as well be disposable. But let's face it, the spending on the kids isn't about to change is it?

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Kids, a constant drain on our money!
Kids - a constant drain on our money. Not that we'd have it any other way. 💖


If you suddenly said you weren't going to spend money on the kids you'd feel even more guilty. But there is a way you can continue to look after your kids without spending money on them all the time. You could think about saving for your kids' future! There are things like Junior ISAs, Trust Funds, all sorts of ways you could save. Wouldn't you feel good to know your kids future was sorted and they wouldn't have to worry about money for a while? I know I would.

There are lots of places you can find out more about the Junior ISAs and Trust Funds.





Motherhood is like a big sleeping bag of guilt.

Anna Faris




Sell online


I'm betting that somewhere in your house is a load of stored toys/clothes/bits and pieces that you're not going to use again. Toys from when the kids were babies. Clothes you'll either never fit into again, or even if you did you'd never wear. And all the things you've put into storage thinking you might need it one day. You won't need it. Ever.

A good way of getting some money together (to spend on yourself or the family) is to sell some of those things online. Why not put the kids' old toys on Ebay or similar. There's always going to be someone out there looking for toys!



Don't overspend


When you've spent a little time saving money by switching to supermarket brands, or you've made some money back from selling online, you can spend the money on yourself if you choose. You know it's money you've only made because of the changes you made, so you deserve a treat.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Buy that treat for yourself, just remember to not overspend!
A new handbag would be lovely right? But can you really afford the designer handbag?


Buying yourself a treat is all well and good, just don't go overboard. I wouldn't recommend buying yourself a new Louis Vuitton handbag for example. Or splurging on a dress you'll never wear. Think about how you spend the money, think about the thing you're spending the money on and make sure you'll use it to make yourself happier. And don't overspend! Keep an eye on your budget.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Making small changes to your finances you could feel less guilty about spending money on yourself.


Now I'm not saying these changes will make the guilt go away completely, I mean, we're mums aren't we? We feel perpetually guilty. But making the changes might help, and when you do spy something you think you'd like you might be less likely to stop yourself.



When was the last time you spent money on yourself?




Don't forget to grab the Activity Book so you get to enjoy a hot coffee during the holidays too!

Post Comment Love 5th - 7th April

Welcome to another Post Comment Love, a linky hosted by myself and Stephanie where we welcome all bloggers, all topics, to share with others right here. We look forward to reading the different types of posts every week - what have you got in store for us this week?

Where on earth did March go?!?

It was LP's 10th birthday yesterday and I spent the day reminiscing. He was born at 5:05am on 4th April 2009, and ever since that day he's been a morning person. He has always enjoyed getting up early and, of course, yesterday was no different. He got out of bed... or rather he burst out of bed (!) at 6:30am and smiled immediately. As he opened his presents all I could hear were screams of "YEESSS!!!" when he saw what he'd got. It was so lovely.

He went to school on his birthday too - it doesn't happen often because of when his birthday is. It's usually during the Easter Holidays but this time the holidays start just after his birthday so he got to see all his friends on his birthday - which he was rather pleased about! He took a bag of sweets to school too - to hand out to his friends. He's seen so many of his friends do this and he's always asked if he could, but with his birthday being in the holidays it's always been awkward. But anyway - he got to do that yesterday too.

On our way to school he was chatting away and said he was really pleased with his presents. This is something that had been bothering me because we had no idea what to get for him. He's at that awkward stage where he didn't really want anything. We did get him a new bike, which he's been ready for for a while. He was going to buy his own (his decision) but as it was his birthday we decided to get it for him anyway, and he LOVES IT. He wanted to go out for a ride yesterday morning!

So yes, now I'm a mum to two boys who are both double digits old. OMG! It's amazing how fast the time goes isn't it? It seems just yesterday I had a little firework racing around the lounge every day looking for some mischief to get into. Ah, motherhood is awesome!

I'm hoping for a peaceful weekend this week. Lots of resting and playing games. I'm hoping. It might not happen but I can cross my fingers. 

Did you celebrate anything this week?




Blogger Showcase 




Who are you (a short introduction)


Hi I’m Nicola a 40 year old mummy to a 3 year old son. Living in central Scotland with my incredible husband and our crazy dog Alba. 



How did you discover blogs/blogging?


I discovered blogs and blogging through YouTube actually! I was watching a beauty video or something like that and the person mentioned they had a blog. Where they shared more information. After visiting their blog I ended up subscribing. I wanted to do what they did but never had the confidence to start my own channel or blog. 



Why did you start blogging?


A good friend encouraged me to start a blog as a diary. He knew I loved writing and wanted to start a blog but wasn’t sure. I had been diagnosed with chronic illness and had a setback in with my eyesight. This meant I wasn’t able to work. To attempt to stave off boredom I started writing. At first I didn’t have a set niche. I went from wanting to write about beauty, plus size fashion. Now I feel settled in the what I write about which is disability, parenting and lifestyle.



What do you find most challenging?


Getting the words out is the most challenging part of blogging for me. It probably sounds ridiculous. A blogger not able to get the words out!! I can have a vivid picture in my mind of what I want to discuss in my posts but getting the idea down onto paper or print that makes sense to readers is tough. Especially when I suffer from brain fog due to my chronic illness. I get frustrated with myself. The amount of posts I’ve scrapped because I can’t get the right words out is shocking. 



What is your favourite topic to write about? 


One of my favourite topics to write about is mental health and chronic illness. Being chronically ill or mentally ill can feel so isolating. I want people who might be in the same situation as me to see that they are not alone. 



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals? 


I do have goals in terms of the amount of people I want to read my posts and read my story. I don’t have a goal of making money or a living out of it. Don’t get me wrong if the opportunity to make some dosh was to come knocking on my door. I would grab it with both hands and start running. At the moment though that isn’t my priority. 



What is your favourite thing about blogging? 


My favourite thing about blogging is that my writing might help someone who is in a similar situation to me, feel that they are not alone, that they are doing an amazing job and that they are supported. 



Have you ever attending a blogging conference? And is so what did you think? 


I was meant to go to one in 2017 in Glasgow. Sadly anxiety ruled that day and I ended up not going. I’ve been to an Instagram meet-up with that Nic from Weeslice organised. I was petrified about going. One of my besties came with me and I had an amazing time. 



What are your three best posts? 


Chronic illness & the grieving process - https://nicolajogston.com/chronic-illness-the-grieving-process/

Shining the Spotlight on Chronic Illness & Disability Q&A with Amanda - https://nicolajogston.com/shining-the-spotlight-on-chronic-illness-disability-qa-with-amanda/

Shining the Spotlight on Chronic Illness & Disability Q&A with Jaime. 



Describe yourself in 3 words. 


Over-thinker, sarcastic 



Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person? 


Tea and biscuits all the way or maybe tea and cake.



What’s your idea of a perfect night out? 


Going for a nice meal at the local Italian restaurant. Seeing a comedy show or musical, then home for an early night. Secretly I’m an 80 year old in the body of. 40 year old whose body feels like a 90 year old. 



Your perfect night in?


My perfect night in would be a nice new pair of clean cosy pyjamas. The fire on, candles burning and a movie or tv show on. With endless cups of tea, snacks and cuddles. 



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality? 


I think my OH would say my best quality is my kindness & loyalty I show for other people.



Connect with Nicola:

Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest



Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Nicola and feel free to grab our featured badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog.


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Day trips to take in the UK during Easter Holidays

The kids are about to be off school for two weeks, you haven't booked a holiday abroad, and you're looking for something you could do to entertain them - at least for one day! Don't worry lovely - I've got you! Having spent 14 years looking for places to take the kids I've gathered a list of our favourite places to visit, some close by and some further afield. We love day trips in the UK and do many of these trips throughout the school holidays - here's a few of our favourites.



Check out English Heritage during the Easter Holidays


I always love visiting English Heritage properties, especially during the easter holidays (sun - yay!), they're full of history and you can even learn something when you visit!

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | English Heritage has some lovely properties, including Bolsover Castle.
Bolsover Castle holds a special place in my heart.


One of my main reasons for loving English Heritage is that Hubby and I got married at one of their properties. Bolsover Castle. Yep, I got married in an actual castle - how cool is that! I still can't believe that I did it, and every time we visit I get that familiar lump in my throat as I remember our wonderful day. 

The rain was pouring while I was at the hairdressers, it continued to pour as I got into my dress. It was still raining as I got in the car with my dad and drove from our home in Nottingham to Bolsover Castle. The lovely people at the castle had a huge umbrella ready for me when I arrived - and it was still raining! Not a great start huh?

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Rain can make things a bit dreary, but you can still enjoy yourself.
Thanks to the lovely people at Bolsover Castle my dress didn't get wet!


But as I stood next to the Hubby and we said our vows the sun burst through the clouds and shone through the windows in the Star Chamber. Almost as if it was blessing our marriage. It was amazing! For the rest of the day the sun shone brightly and our guests were able to enjoy the castle ruins and explore where they wanted. It was fabulous.

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | The sun shone in through the windows as we said our vows.
And the sun shone...


Of course there's not just Bolsover Castle, there are so many other properties around the country. I also love Hardwick Hall, they have a great audio tour there. Stop by their website to check out where their properties are, you could find there's one just down the road!



Calke Abbey - a great day trip for Easter

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Calke Abbey is a really interesting place to visit.
A huge house, with lots of interesting artefacts.


We visited Calke Abbey a few years ago, the weather wasn't great - even during the easter holidays - and it was so interesting to see the collection of things that filled the rooms. It was dark, and old, but you could feel the history. The boys enjoyed walking around and exploring the grounds and the Hubby and I enjoyed walking around the building and looking at all the interesting artefacts. There was an old camera and we were both mesmerised by it for a while, trying to work out how it worked!

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | The camera was really interesting - seeing how it worked was brilliant.
It was so interesting looking at this old camera.



Take a day trip to Heights of Abraham for Easter

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | The waterfall at Heights of Abraham was lovely.


Matlock is a lovely little place and again holds some wonderful memories for me. We first took LP here when he was a baby, I remember walking through the caves on the tour with him in my arms. I was terrified I would slip and drop him!

We walked through the caves with BP at 5 years old, LP was just a few months old, and when we emerged at the top I let out a huge sigh of relief because I hadn't dropped LP. Phew!

Over the years we've visited Heights of Abraham and had a good time each visit. LP remembers visiting when he was around 5 years old, we sat outside while the sun shone and watched the Punch and Judy show while eating ice cream. The boys loved it and still remember it to this day.





The memories we make with our family is everything. 

Candace Cameron Bure





I love visiting places the boys remember, they tell of stories where they did a particular thing (like eating ice cream) and can remember how good it was. Listening to them retell their stories is a lovely part of visiting and I smile every time.



Visit Alton Towers during the Easter holidays


Alton Towers has been a favourite of ours over the years, I've lost count of how many times we've vistited. The Easter holidays is always a popular time to visit, they've usually been open a few months, the sun is usually shining, and all the rides are working.

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Alton Towers is a fun theme park with lots to do.
You can even explore some of the castle!


At almost 10 years old LP has watched his brother go on the "big rides" like Smiler and Galactica for years and he's always disappointed that he can't go on them. But now he's big enough for those rides he keeps asking when we'll be going to Alton Towers again. He cannot wait to ride Smiler, he's even tried to convince me I should go on it - to which he received a rather loud laugh!

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | The Smiler at Alton Towers, not one I'm likely to ride!
I mean, look at it! LP has got chance of getting me on that thing!



Take a day trip to Blackpool and enjoy the beach this Easter


While Blackpool is a little further afield for us we can still manage to do it in one day. Easter is a great time to visit, although summer is good too. 

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Our boys love Blackpool, especially the Tower.
Have you stood above the glass at Blackpool Tower yet?


I adore visiting the coast, and Blackpool is a brilliant place. There's plenty of things for the kids to do, they love playing in the arcades and Bingo is popular with LP. We always buy rock, because - well, you have to don't you? Then there's Blackpool tower, the circus, a SeaLife centre, and even Madam Toussauds. And if we're visiting in the summer LP insists on going in the sea... Brrr right? I think it every time - how can he go in the sea, it must be FREEZING. But he loves it none-the-less. One year we went and had forgotten a towel - and he still went in!

I love walking along the beach, watching my boys run and play, and listening to the waves crash onto the beach. Being near the sea brings me peace - even if it is in Blackpool. 



Chester Zoo would be a great day trip for Easter


With a teen who is mad about animals and everything to do with animals visiting a zoo during the Easter Holidays sounds like one of the best things we could do right? 

We visited Chester Zoo a few years ago and we all loved it, it wasn't too busy - at least to start with - and we all learned lots. It's a big place, there's lots of walking around, so it's good to plan for that. But you do get to see some amazing animals, like tigers, Orangutan, and much to BP's delight even some lizards.

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | My boy loves the lizards...
BP loved watching the Chameleon. 


My favourite area in Chester Zoo is the aquarium, seeing the coral and fish swim around, looking at the jelly fish, I'm always calmed by it. They also have a brilliant butterfly area where you can get some amazing photos - if you're quick enough (I never am!).

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | I enjoy watching the coral sway in the aquarium at Chester Zoo.




Day trips to London are great!


Visiting our country's capital city during the Easter holidays is a great way to get either a day trip or even a weekend away. A couple of years ago we spent a weekend in London, we did lots (and lots) of walking around and seeing all the usual tourist spots. We visited the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, we did it all. 

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | The London Eye is brilliant, you can see for miles!
Looking up at the London Eye.


It was only a couple of years ago but the photos we have show BP being significantly shorter than he is now. At the time he was still shorter than me - he's certainly not anymore! We often laugh about how taller than me he is now, and he's not even done growing. But anyway - back to London.





Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Confucius





There are so many interesting things to do in London, and they don't all have to cost. Just walking around is interesting. We walked through a market, went to the Saatchi Gallery and the Tate, and I took lots of photos.

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Parks everywhere, there's plenty of places to walk and have fun in London.
We enjoyed walking through parks too.


When you're taking a day trip I'd plan what you're going to do, whether that's just walking around or going to something specific, that way you won't get sidetracked with other stuff. Be sure to stop by the food hut just along the way from the London Eye - we bought a few pies the last time we were there and they were lovely!

Day Trips To Take In The UK During Easter Holidays | Places to visit that won't use up a whole weekend - unless you want them to!


The Easter holidays always seem to creep up on me, even though they're always in my diary, but planning day trips doesn't usually take a lot of time. We can plan to do something at the end of the first week and it doesn't take as much planning as, say, a holiday abroad.



Are you planning any day trips during the Easter Holidays?




Grab this Wonderful Winter Activity Book, it could keep the kids quiet while you're in the car travelling!